Cochimí language

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Native to Mexico
Region Baja California
Ethnicity Cochimí people
Extinct Beginning of 20th century[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 coj
Glottolog coch1272[2]

Cochimí was once the language of the greater part Baja California, as attested by Jesuit documents of the 18th century. It seems to have become extinct around the beginning of the 20th century[1] (Modern "Cochimi"-speakers are actually speakers of Kumiai.) There were two main dialects, northern and southern; the dividing line was approximately at the Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán, in the north of present-day Baja California Sur.

The Jesuit texts establish that the language was related to the Yuman languages of the Colorado River region. It is thought to be the most divergent language of the family, which is generally called Yuman–Cochimí to reflect this. Based on glottochronology studies, the separation between Cochimi and the Yuman languages is believed to have occurred about 1000 BC.[3]

Cochimí text

Following is the Pater Noster in the dialect of San Ignacio Kadakaamán, recorded by Francisco Javier Clavijero from the work of the missionaries Barco and Ventura, which has been lost.[4]

Va-bappa amma-bang miarnu,
rna-rnang-ajua huit maja tegem:
amat-mathadabajua ucuem:
kern-rnu-jua arnrna-bang vahi-mang amat-a-nang la-uahim.
Teguap ibang gual güieng-a.vit-a-jua ibang-a-nang packagit:
-mut-pagijua abadakegem, rnachi uayecgjua packabaya..guern:
guangrnayi-acg packadabanajarn.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Golla, Victor. 2011. California Indian Languages, p. 125. University of California Press, Berkeley.
  2. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Cochimi". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Hill, Jane H. "Toward a Linguistic Prehistory of the Southwest: "Azteco-Tanoan" and the Arrival of Maize Cultivation." Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol 58, No. 4 (Winter 2002), p. 458
  4. [1]