The Timucua Language


Timucua is an extinct isolate, once spoken primarily in Florida. Its relationship to other language families has not been clearly demonstrated.

Our knowledge of Timucua comes almost entirely from 17th century Spanish colonial documents. The most important of these fall into two categories: a.) a Latinate grammar (Pareja 1614) (hereafter the Arte), giving a treatment of some aspects of Timucua grammar and b.) several long volumes of parallel Spanish-Timucua religious materials, including a confessional , three catechisms, and a doctrina (explication of Christian doctrine).

The original documents upon which this dictionary are based are Pareja (1612a, 1612b, 1613, 1614, 1627a, 1627b), Movilla (1635a, 1635b).

There are explorations of a few areas of Timucua grammar in Gatschet (1877, 1878, 1880) and in Adams and Vinson (1886). The only modern account of Timucua grammar is Granberry (1993), but there are large gaps in his account of the language.

See Broadwell (2014), Dubcovsky and Broadwell (2017), and Broadwell (to appear) for more discussion of the Timucua language.


Adam, Lucien and Julien Vinson, eds. 1886. Arte de la lengua timuquana, compuesto en 1614 por el padre Francisco Pareja, y publicado conforme al ejemplar original único. Bibliothèque Linguistique Amèricaine 11. Paris: Maisonneuve Frères et Ch. Leclerc.

Belarmino, Roberto. 1614. Declaracion de la doctrina Christiana: Por orden del Sanctissimo Padre Clemento Octavo, de felice recordacion. Por el illustriss[imo] y Reverendiss[imo] señor Cardenal Roberto Belarmino, de la Compania de Iesus. Aprovado por la Congregacion de la reforma, para el uso delos que enseñan, y aprenden la Doctrina Christiana. Traduzida de Latin en Castellano por Luyz de Vera secretario del Duque de Monteleon. Lisbon: Antonio Alvarez.

Broadwell, George Aaron. 2014. Timucua -ta: Muskogean parallels. Michael Picone and Catherine Davies, eds. Language variety in the Southeast. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press.

Broadwell, George Aaron. 2017.  Shadow authors: The texts of the earliest Florida authors. Franciscans and American Indians in Pan-Borderlands Perspective: Adaptation, Negotiation, and Resistance. American Academy of Franciscan History.

Broadwell, George A. 2019.  Honorific usage in Timucua exempla. in Preaching in New Worlds, edited by Timothy Johnson, Katherine Wrisbey Shelby, and John D. Young. Routledge . [Available as  Broadwell chapter Honorific Usage in timucua exempla from Preaching and New Worlds]

Broadwell, George Aaron. 2021. Timucua hand use: Dispelling the claim of left-hand preference. New Florida Journal of Anthropology 1(2):18-29

Broadwell, George Aaron (2021). The things they formerly worshipped: Timucua Christian texts on Native worship. in Facing Florida:Essays in culture and religion in early Southeastern America, edited by Timothy Johnson and Jeffrey Burns. Oceanside, CA: Academy of American Franciscan History, pp. 51-62.

Broadwell, George Aaron and Alejandra Dubcovsky. 2022. Hearing a Faint Voice: Timucua Words in a Catholic Miracle Story. The New American Antiquarian. 1:7-25. [Available at]

Dubcovsky, Alejandra and George Aaron Broadwell. 2017.  Writing Timucua: Recovering and Interrogating Indigenous Authorship. Early American Studies.

Gatschet, Albert S. 1877. The Timucua Language. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 16:1-17. [g1]

Gatschet, Albert S. 1878. The Timucua Language. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society17:490-504. [g2]

Gatschet, Albert S. 1880. The Timucua Language. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 18:465-502. [g3]

Granberry, Julian. 1993. A Grammar and Dictionary of the Timucua Language. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama.

Milanich, Jerald and William Sturtevant. 1972. Francisco Pareja 1613 Confessionario: A Documentary Source for Timucuan Ethnography. Division of Archives, History, and Records Management, Florida Department of State. Tallahassee, FL.

Molina, Alonso de. 1571. Arte de la lengua Mexicana y Castellana. Mexico City: Pedro Ocharte.

Movilla, Gregorio de. 1635. Explicacion de la Doctrina que compuso el cardenal Belarmino, por mandado del Señor Papa Clemente 8. Traducida en Lengua Floridana: por el Padre Fr. Gregorio de Movilla. Mexico: Imprenta de Iuan Ruyz.

Pareja, Francisco. 1612a. Cathecismo en lengua castellana, y Timuquana. En el qual se contiene lo que se les puede enseñar a los adultos que an de ser baptizados. Mexico City: Impresa de la Viuda de Pedro Balli. [National Anthropological Archives, MS 2401C]

Pareja, Francisco. 1612b. Catechismo y breve exposición de la doctrina christiana. Mexico City: Casa de la viuda de Pedro Balli. [National Anthropological Archives, MS 2401A].

Pareja, Francisco. 1613. Confessionario en lengua castellana y timuquana con unos consejos para animar al penitente. Mexico City: Emprenta de la viuda de Diego Lopez Daualos. [National Anthropological Archives, MS 2401B].

Pareja, Francisco. 1614. Arte y Pronunciacion de la Lengua Timucvana y Castellana. Mexico City:Emprenta de Ioan Ruyz.

Smith, Buckingham. 1860. Dos cartas en lengua apalachino y timuguana. Privately printed by Buckingham Smith, New York. (Copy in New York Historical Society)