The Full Wiki

Siouan languages: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Western) Siouan
central North America
 (Western) Siouan
Mississippi Valley (Central)
Ohio Valley (Southeastern)
ISO 639-2 and 639-5: sio
Siouan langs.png

Pre-contact distribution of the Siouan languages

The Siouan (a.k.a. Siouan proper, Western Siouan) languages are a Native American language family of North America, and the second largest indigenous language family in North America, after Algonquian. The Siouan family is related to the Catawban family, together making up the Siouan-Catawban family. Some authors use the term Siouan to refer to the Siouan-Catawban family and the term Siouan proper to refer to the Siouan family.

While the Lakota and Dakota comprise "the Great Sioux Nation", the language family is much broader and includes "the old speakers", the Ho-Chunk and their linguistic cousins, the Crow. The Siouan family also extends eastward to Virginia and southward to the Gulf of Mexico.

Linguistic and historical records indicate a possible southern origin of Siouan people, with migrations over a thousand years ago from North Carolina and Virginia to Ohio. Some peoples continued down the Ohio River to the Mississippi and up to the Missouri, and others across Ohio to Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, home of the Dakota.


Family division

The Siouan family consists of 17 languages with various sub-languages:

I. Missouri River Siouan (a.k.a. Crow-Hidatsa)

1. Crow (a.k.a. Absaroka, Apsaroka, Apsaalooke, Upsaroka)
2. Hidatsa (a.k.a. Gros Ventre, Minitari, Minnetaree)

II. Mandan Siouan

3. Mandan
a. Nuptare
b. Neutare

III. Mississippi Valley Siouan (a.k.a. Central Siouan)

A. Dakotan (a.k.a. Sioux-Assiniboine-Stoney)
4. Sioux
a. Santee-Sisseton (a.k.a. Santee, Eastern Sioux, Eastern Dakota)
i. Santee
ii. Sisseton
b. Yankton-Yanktonai (a.k.a. Yankton, Central Sioux, Eastern Dakota)
i. Yankton
ii. Yanktonai
c. Lakota (a.k.a. Lakhota, Teton, Western Sioux)
i. Northern Lakota
ii. Southern Lakota
5. Assiniboine (a.k.a. Assiniboin, Nakhóta, Nakhóda, Nakhóna)
6. Stoney (a.k.a. Alberta Assiniboine, Nakhóda)
B. Chiwere-Winnebago (a.k.a. Chiwere)
7. Chiwere (a.k.a. Ioway-Otoe-Missouria, Ioway-Otoe)
a. Iowa (a.k.a. Ioway)
b. Otoe (a.k.a. Oto, Jiwere)
c. Missouria (a.k.a. Missouri)
8. Winnebago (a.k.a. Hocák, Hochunk, Hochank, Hocangara, Hotcangara, Hochangara)
C. Dhegiha (a.k.a. Dhegihan)
9. Omaha-Ponca
a. Omaha
b. Ponca (a.k.a. Ponka)
10. Kansa-Osage
a. Kansa (a.k.a. Kanza, Kaw) (†)
b. Osage
11. Quapaw (a.k.a. Kwapa, Kwapaw, Arkansas) (†)

IV. Ohio Valley Siouan (a.k.a. Southeastern Siouan)

A. Virginia Siouan
12. Tutelo
13. Saponi (a.k.a. Saponey) (†)
14. Moniton (a.k.a. Monacan) (†)
15. Occaneechi
B. Mississippi Siouan (a.k.a. Ofo-Biloxi) (†)
16. Biloxi (†)
17. Ofo (a.k.a. Ofogoula) (†)

(†) - Extinct (dormant) language

Another view of both the Dakotan and Mississippi Valley branches is to represent them as dialect continuums.

All the Virginia Siouan dialects listed here are thought to have been closely related to one another; the term Tutelo language is also used in reference to their common tongue.

Genetic relations

In the 19th century, Robert Latham suggested that the Siouan languages are related to the Caddoan and Iroquoian languages. In 1931, Louis Allen presented the first list of systematic correspondences between a set of 25 lexical items in Siouan and Iroquoian. In the 1960s and 1970s, Wallace Chafe further explored the link between Siouan and Caddoan languages. In the 1990s, Marianne Mithun compared the morphology and syntax of all the three families. At present, the Macro-Siouan hypothesis based on relations among Siouan, Caddoan, and Iroquoian is not considered proved.[1]

See also


  • Parks, Douglas R.; & Rankin, Robert L. (2001). "The Siouan languages", in R. J. DeMallie (Ed.), Handbook of North American Indians: Plains (Vol. 13, Part 1, pp. 94–114). W. C. Sturtevant (Gen. Ed.). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 0-16-050400-7.
  • Rood, David S.; & Taylor, Allan R. (1996). "Sketch of Lakhota, a Siouan language", in Handbook of North American Indians: Languages (Vol. 17, pp. 440–482). Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution.
  • Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version: [1]
  • Ullrich, Jan. (2008). New Lakota Dictionary: Incorporating the Dakota Dialects of Santee-Sisseton and Yankton-Yanktonai (Lakota Language Consortium). ISBN 0-9761082-9-1.


  1. ^ Mithun, Marianne. 1999. The languages of native North America. p.305. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address