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|central North America|
|Linguistic classification||One of the world's primary language families|
|ISO 639-2 / 5||sio|
Pre-contact distribution of the Siouan–Catawban languages
Siouan or Siouan–Catawban is a language family of North America that is located primarily in the Great Plains, Ohio and Mississippi valleys and southeastern North America with a few other languages in the east.
A language family is a group of languages related through descent from a common ancestral language or parental language, called the proto-language of that family. The term "family" reflects the tree model of language origination in historical linguistics, which makes use of a metaphor comparing languages to people in a biological family tree, or in a subsequent modification, to species in a phylogenetic tree of evolutionary taxonomy. Linguists therefore describe the daughter languages within a language family as being genetically related.
North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.
The Great Plains is a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe, and grassland, located in America and Canada. It lies west of the Mississippi River tallgrass prairie in the United States and east of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. and Canada. It embraces:
Authors who call the entire family Siouan distinguish the two branches as Western Siouan and Eastern Siouan or as Siouan-proper and Catawban. Others restrict the name "Siouan" to the western branch and use the name Siouan–Catawban for the entire family. Generally, however, the name "Siouan" is used without distinction.
The Western Siouan languages, also called Siouan proper or simply Siouan, are a large language family native to North America. They are closely related to the Catawban languages, sometimes called Eastern Siouan, and together with them constitute the Siouan (Siouan–Catawban) language family.
Siouan languages can be grouped into the Western Siouan languages and Catawban languages. The Western Siouan languages can be divided into Missouri River languages (such as Crow and Hidatsa), Mandan, Mississippi River languages (such as Dakotan, Chiwere-Winnebago, and Dhegihan languages), and Ohio Valley Siouan branches. The Catawban languages consist only of Catawban and Woccon.
The Catawban, or Eastern Siouan, languages form a small language family in east North America. The Catawban family is a branch of the larger Siouan a.k.a. Siouan–Catawban family.
Crow is a Missouri Valley Siouan language spoken primarily by the Crow Nation in present-day southeastern Montana. The word, Apsáalooke, translates to "children of the large beaked bird." It is one of the larger populations of American Indian languages with 4,280 speakers according to the 1990 US Census.
Hidatsa is an endangered Siouan language that is related to the Crow language. It is spoken by the Hidatsa tribe, primarily in North Dakota and South Dakota.
There is a certain amount of comparative work in Siouan–Catawban languages. Wolff (1950–51) is among the first and more complete works on the subject. Wolff reconstructed the system of proto-Siouan, and this was modified by Matthews (1958). The latter's system is shown below:
In linguistics, the comparative method is a technique for studying the development of languages by performing a feature-by-feature comparison of two or more languages with common descent from a shared ancestor and then extrapolating backwards to infer the properties of that ancestor. The comparative method may be contrasted with the method of internal reconstruction in which the internal development of a single language is inferred by the analysis of features within that language. Ordinarily, both methods are used together to reconstruct prehistoric phases of languages; to fill in gaps in the historical record of a language; to discover the development of phonological, morphological and other linguistic systems and to confirm or to refute hypothesised relationships between languages.
With respect to vowels, five oral vowels are being reconstructed /*i, *e, *a, *o, *u/ and three nasal vowels /*ĩ, *ã, *ũ/. Wolff also reconstructed some consonantal clusters /*tk, *kʃ, *ʃk, *sp/.
A nasal vowel is a vowel that is produced with a lowering of the soft palate so that the air flow escapes through the nose and the mouth simultaneously, as in the French vowel
Collaborative work involving a number of Siouanists started at the 1984 Comparative Siouan Workshop at the University of Colorado with the goal of creating a comparative Siouan dictionary that would include Proto-Siouan reconstructions.This work yielded a different analysis of the phonemic system of Proto-Siouan, which appears below:
In Siouanist literature (e.g., Rankin et al. 2015), Americanist phonetic transcriptions are the norm, so IPA *ʃ is Americanist *š, IPA *j is Americanist *y, and so on.
The major change to the previously-proposed system by systematically accounting for the distribution of multiple stop series in modern Siouan languages by tracing them back to multiple stop series in the proto-language. Previous analysis posited only a single stop series.
Many of the consonant clusters proposed by Wolf (1950–1951) can be accounted for due to syncopation of short vowels before stressed syllables. For example, Matthews (1958: 129) gives *wróke as the proto-form for 'male.' With added data from a larger set of Siouan languages since the middle of the twentieth century, Rankin et al. (2015) give *waroː(-ka) as the reconstructed form for 'male.'
Unlike Wolff and Matthew's proposals, there are no posited nasal consonants in Proto-Siouan. Nasal consonants only arise in daughter languages when followed by a nasal vowel.In addition, there is a set of sounds that represent obstruentized versions of their corresponding sonorants. These sounds have different reflexes in daughter languages, with *w appearing as [w] or [m] in most daughter languages, while *W has a reflex of [w], [b], [mb], or [p]. The actual phonetic value of these obstruents is an issue of some debate, with some arguing that they arise through geminated *w+*w or *r+*r sequences or a laryngeal plus *w or *r.
Previous work on Proto-Siouan only posited single vowel length. However, phonemic vowel length exists in several Siouan languages such as Hidatsa, Ho-Chunk, and Tutelo. Rankin et al. (2015) analyze numerous instances of long vowels as present due to common inheritance rather than common innovation. The five oral vowels and three nasal vowels posited by earlier scholars is expanded to include a distinction between short and long vowels. The proposed Proto-Siouan vowel system appears below:
The Yuchi isolate may be the closest relative of Sioux–Catawban, based on both sound changes and morphological comparison.
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, this Macro-Siouan hypothesis is not considered proved, and the similarities between the three families may instead be due to their protolanguages having been part of a sprachbund.
In linguistics, voicelessness is the property of sounds being pronounced without the larynx vibrating. Phonologically, it is a type of phonation, which contrasts with other states of the larynx, but some object that the word phonation implies voicing and that voicelessness is the lack of phonation.
Wyandot is the Iroquoian language traditionally spoken by the people known variously as Wyandot or Wyandotte, descended from the Huron Wendat. It was last spoken by members located primarily in Oklahoma, United States and Quebec, Canada. Linguists have traditionally considered Wyandot as a dialect or modern form of Wendat.
In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant or resonant is a speech sound that is produced with continuous, non-turbulent airflow in the vocal tract; these are the manners of articulation that are most often voiced in the world's languages. Vowels are sonorants, as are consonants like and : approximants, nasals, flaps or taps, and most trills.
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Mandan is an extinct Siouan language of North Dakota in the United States.
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