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Central Algonquian languages

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Title: Central Algonquian languages  
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Central Algonquian languages

Central Algonquian
North America
Linguistic classification: Algic
Glottolog: None
cree1271  (Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi)[1]
east2765  (Eastern Great Lakes Algonquian)[2]
meno1252  (Menominee)[3]

The Central Algonquian languages are commonly grouped together as a subgroup of the larger Algonquian family, itself a member of the Algic family. Though this grouping is often encountered in the literature, it is an areal grouping rather than a genetic one. In other words, the languages are grouped together because they were spoken near each other, not because they are any closer related to one another than to any other Algonquian language. Within the Algonquian family, only Eastern Algonquian constitutes a valid genealogical group.

Within the Central Algonquian grouping languages that are closely related are Potawatomi and Chippewa otherwise known as the Ojibwe, which are generally grouped together as an Ojibwa-Potawatomi sub-branch. David J. Costa spectulcated in his 2003-2004 web publications that within Central Algonquian there is a specific language sub-branch he refers to as "Eastern Great Lakes". The hypothesis for this subgroup is based on lexical and phonological innovations.

Family division

The languages are listed below along with dialects and subdialects. This classification follows Goddard (1996) and Mithun (1999).

1. Cree-Montagnais (also known as Kirištino˙ or Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi)

i. Cree
ii. Montagnais-Naskapi

2. Menominee (also known as Menomini)
I. Eastern Great Lakes (also known as Core Central)

a. Ojibwe–Potawatomi (also known as Ojibwe–Potawatomi–Ottawa, Anishinaabemowin, or the Anishinaabe language)
3. Ojibwe (also known as Ojibwa, Ojibway, Ojibwe–Ottawa, Ojibwemowin or the Anishinaabe language)
i. Northern
  • Algonquin
  • Oji-Cree (also known as Severn Ojibwe, Anishininiimowin or the Anishinini language)
ii. Southern
4. Potawatomi
5. Fox (also known as Fox-Sauk-Kickapoo or Mesquakie-Sauk-Kickapoo)
  • Fox (also known as Meskwaki, Mesquakie, or Meshkwahkihaki)
  • Sauk (also known as Sac and Fox)
  • Kickapoo
  • Mascouten (unattested)
6. Shawnee (Ša˙wano˙ki)
7. Miami-Illinois

See also


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Eastern Great Lakes Algonquian". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Menominee". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

External links

  • Algonquian Family
  • Algonquian languages


  • Campbell, Lyle (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  • Goddard, Ives (1994). "The West-to-East Cline in Algonquian Dialectology." In William Cowan, ed., Papers of the 25th Algonquian Conference 187-211. Ottawa: Carleton University.
  • ———— (1996). "Introduction". In Ives Goddard, ed., "Languages". Vol. 17 of William Sturtevant, ed., The Handbook of North American Indians. Washington, D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution.
  • Mithun, Marianne (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
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