Definition of Hokan in English:

Share this entry

Hokan

Pronunciation: /ˈhəʊkan/

adjective

Relating to or denoting a group of American Indian languages of California and western Mexico, considered as a possible language family. They include Yuman, Mojave, and several other languages now extinct or almost so.
Example sentences
  • Tlapanec is the most recent addition, having been tentatively linked with Hokan languages earlier.
  • The Hokan languages include families of languages in Mexico and in the western part of the United States, especially in California.
  • The Hokan language, a dialect of which is spoken by the Washo people, is apparently of great antiquity - it belongs to what is very likely the oldest of California languages.

noun

[mass noun]
The hypothetical Hokan language family.
Example sentences
  • Although some Hokan families may indeed be related, especially in northern California, few linguists today expect Hokan as a whole to prove to be valid, and the term is often used as a convenient label to simplify one of the most linguistically diverse areas of the world.

Origin

From Hokan hok 'about two' + -an.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Hokan

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.