Definition of Hokan in English:

Hokan

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.

    • ‘The Hokan languages are spoken in the southwestern and west coast US and in northwestern Mexico (Baja California and Sonora).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Take, for example, a language like the Native American Hokan variety Atsugewi.’
    • ‘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.’

noun

  • [mass noun] The hypothetical Hokan language family.

    • ‘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.

Pronunciation:

Hokan

/ˈhəʊkan/