Pomoan (Phōmō, also called Kulanapan) is a family of endangered languages spoken in northern California by the Pomo people on the Pacific Coast. According to the 2000 census, there are 255 speakers of the languages. Of these, 45 are between the ages of 5 and 17, including 15 with limited English proficiency.
John Wesley Powell designated this group of languages as the Kulanapan family in 1891, and noted that its boundaries were the Pacific Ocean to the west, Yukian and Copehan territories to the east, the watershed of the Russian River to the north, and Bodega Head and present-day location of Santa Rosa, California to the south.
Pomoan consists of 7 languages, named for their geographic locations by Samuel Barrett in 1908:
At the time of Barrett's classification these languages were thought to be dialects of a single language, yet the diversity and non-intelligibility between Pomoan languages has shown them to be seven distinct languages. Barrett's naming convention often leads those unfamiliar with the languages to the misconception that the Pomoan languages are dialects of one single Pomo language.
The "Kulanapan Family" in John Wesley Powell's 1891 classification of North American Languages included most of the communities now known to have spoken Pomoan languages. The term "Kulanapan" originated as the name of one Pomo band from the Clear Lake area, and was first applied to the whole Pomoan family by George Gibbs in 1853. Northern Pomo and Northeastern Pomo are now extinct (Northern Pomo in 1994). The remaining Pomoan languages are spoken by rapidly-diminishing handfuls of elderly speakers, with Kashaya having the most speakers.
Pomoan has been included in all formulations of the controversial Hokan language phylum.