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Family of more than 30 American Indian languages. They were spoken in pre-Columbian times from the northern Great Basin to Central America. Geographically, Uto-Aztecan can be divided into a northern and a southern branch. The northern branch, spoken from Oregon and Idaho to southern California and Arizona, includes the languages of the Northern and Southern Paiutes, Utes, Northern and Eastern Shoshone, Comanche, and Hopi. The southern branch includes the languages of the O'odham (Pima and Papago) in Arizona and of a number of Mexican Indian peoples, including the Tarahumara of Chihuahua, the Yaqui of northwestern Mexico and Arizona, and the Cora and Huichol of Nayarit and Jalisco; its southernmost extension includes Nahuatl.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Uto-Aztecan languages, visit Britannica.com.
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