This database houses lexical, grammatical, and other data from languages spoken by hunter-gatherer groups and their small-scale agrarian neighbors. It is designed to facilitate the exploration of these data and to aid in phylogenetic research regarding the languages under investigation. At present, the languages targeted are predominantly from three major world regions: northwestern Australia, northern Amazonia, and California and the Great Basin.

Hunter-gathering peoples are a tiny minority in today's world, and their languages have tended to be understudied in comparison to those spoken by agrarian and more urban populations. Hunting and gathering subsistence strategies tend (with many exceptions) to correlate with other demographic and social characteristics, such as small and relatively mobile communities, egalitarian social structures, etc. A focused study of languages spoken by hunter-gatherers and others along the hunting/gathering-agriculture spectrum allows us to address questions relating to the relevance of subsistence pattern and related social variables to processes of language contact and change.

Please note that this is a working database and that information on some of the languages included is not yet complete. Some of the judgments concerning lexical histories are best understood as working hypotheses, which may be revised as historical work on these languages advances.

The database draws on work supported by BCS-0902114 "Dynamics of Hunter-Gatherer Language Change", a grant awarded to Yale University by the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The South American component of this database draws additionally on work supported by an ACLS fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, awarded to the University of Texas at Austin. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or of the ACLS.

To cite this database:

Bowern, Claire, Patience Epps, Jane Hill, and Patrick McConvell. Hunter-Gatherer Language Database. https://huntergatherer.la.utexas.edu/. Accessed [date].

South American component:

Epps, Patience. South American Languages. In Languages of Hunter-Gatherers and their Neighbors: Database, Claire Bowern, Patience Epps, Jane Hill, and Patrick McConvell. https://huntergatherer.la.utexas.edu. Accessed [date].

Australian component:

Bowern, Claire and Patrick McConvell. Australian Languages. In Languages of Hunter-Gatherers and their Neighbors: Database, Claire Bowern, Patience Epps, Jane Hill, and Patrick McConvell. https://huntergatherer.la.utexas.edu. Accessed [date].

North American component:

Hill, Jane. Languages of California and the Great Basin. In Languages of Hunter-Gatherers and their Neighbors: Database, Claire Bowern, Patience Epps, Jane Hill, and Patrick McConvell. https://huntergatherer.la.utexas.edu. Accessed [date].