The following families of languages indigenous to Mexico belong to the Hokan stock:
Serian family [Seri]
Tequistlatecan family [Oaxaca Chontal]
Yuman family [Cocopa, Kiliwa, Kumiai (Diegueño) and Paipai]
The Hokan languages include families of languages in Mexico and in the western part of the United States, especially in California. This group is somewhat famous because its validity as a group has been a topic of considerable dispute. The name "Hokan-Coahuiltecan" was also used previously because some linguists were proposing the inclusion of the Coahuiltec language (now extinct) from the state of Coahuila. The predominant view currently is more conservative and does not include it.
The name "Hokan" comes from the word for 'two' that supposedly is one of the pieces of evidence for the genetic relationship of these languages: the root is [*xwak] in Proto-Yuman, [ookx] in Seri, and [ogé?] or [ukwe?] in Oaxaca Chontal (Highland and Lowland, respectively.)
The Seri language (cmique iitom) is considered a language isolate within the Hokan stock. It is spoken in two villages (El Desemboque del Río San Ignacio and Punta Chueca) on the coast of the state of Sonora, Mexico. Tiburón Island in the Gulf of California is part of the traditional Seri homeland, and it is called Tahéjöc.
The total Seri population was less than 200 in the 1930's. Today
it is at least three times larger. The Serian family has the smallest
number of speakers of any family in Mexico.
The Seri people call themselves the comcáac (singular: cmique). Until the middle of the twentieth century they were hunter-gatherers. Their livelihood today is based on commercial fishing and the sale of shell necklaces, ironwood carvings, and traditional baskets.
The Tequistlatecan family currently consists of two languages that have been called Oaxacan Chontal. Highland Oaxacan Chontal has some dialectical variation. Speakers of Lowland Oaxacan Chontal (also called Huamelulteca) are very bilingual (in Spanish) and the native language is in danger of extinction. The Summer Institute of Linguistics has concluded its work in this language family.
Cocopa, Kiliwa, Tipai, Diegueño (Kumiai), Paipai
The languages of the Yuman family have very few speakers. The
majority of the languages in this family are found in the state
of Baja California Norte (apart from the other languages of this
family which are found today only in California and Arizona in
the U.S.). Cocopa is spoken in Sonora and also in the state of
Some of the speakers of Tipai use the name Cochimi to refer to themselves; linguists use this name to refer to a group that is now extinct. There is another language in this family, a dialect of Tipai according to some linguists, spoken in Santa Catarina by a very small group, also referred to as Ko'al.