Lakota language


Lakota language

language
name=Lakota
nativename=Lakhota
states=United States, with some speakers in Canada
region=Primarily North Dakota and South Dakota, but also northern Nebraska, southern Minnesota, and northern Montana
speakers=8,000–9,000
familycolor=American
fam1=Siouan-Catawban
fam2=Siouan
fam3=Mississippi Valley
fam4=Dakotan
fam5=Sioux
iso2=sio|iso3=lkt

Lakota (also Lakhota, Teton, Teton Sioux) is the largest of the three languages of the Sioux, of the Siouan family. While generally taught and considered by speakers as a separate language, Lakota is mutually understandable with the other two languages, and is considered by most linguists one of the three major varieties of the Sioux language. The Lakota language represents one of the largest Native American language speech communities left in the United States, with approximately 8,000–9,000 speakers living mostly in northern plains states of North and South Dakota.

The language was first put into written form by missionaries around 1840 and has since evolved to reflect contemporary needs and usage.

Vowels

Lakota has five oral vowels, IPA|/i e a o u/, and three nasal vowels, IPA|/ĩ ã ũ/ (phonetically IPA| [ɪ̃ ə̃ ʊ̃] ). Lakota IPA|/e/ and IPA|/o/ are said to be more open than the corresponding cardinal vowels, perhaps closer to IPA| [ɛ] and IPA| [ɔ] . Orthographically, the nasal vowels are sometimes written with a following unicode|<ƞ>, <ŋ>, or , and sometimes with ogoneks underneath, <į ą ų>.

Consonants

Example: "wawíchayaka" "He looked at them."

Enclitics

Lakota has a number of enclitic particles which follow the verb, many of which differ depending on whether the speaker is male or female.

Some enclitics indicate the aspect, mood, or number of the verb they follow. There are also various interrogative enclitics, which in addition to marking an utterance as a question show finer distinctions of meaning. For example, while "he" is the usual question-marking enclitic, "hųwó" is used for rhetorical questions or in formal oratory, and the dubitative "wa" functions somewhat like a tag question in English (Rood and Taylor 1996; Buchel 1983). (See also Men and women's speech below.)

Men and women's speech

There are a number of enclitics which differ in form based on the gender of the speaker. "Yeló" (men) marks mild assertions, and "kšt" (men) marks stronger assertions. "K(i)štó" is the version used by women corresponding to men's "yeló" and "kšt". For men, "wą" marks a mild opinion and "yewą́" marks stronger opinions. The corresponding women's forms are "ma" and "yemá", respectively. "Yo" (men) and "ye" (women) mark neutral commands, "yethó" (men) and "nithó" / "įthó" (women) mark familiar, and "ye" (both men and women) and "na" mark requests. "He" is used by both genders to mark direct questions, but men also use "hųwó" in more formal situations. "So" (men) and "se" (women) mark dubitative questions (where the person being asked is not assumed to know the answer).

While many native speakers and linguists agree that certain enclitics are associated with particular genders, such usage may not be exclusive. That is, individual men sometimes use enclitics associated with women, and vice versa (Trechter 1999).

Examples of enclitic usage

Phrases

"Hokahe!" is a phrase used by traditional Lakota people during battle. It means "let's go". Crazy Horse was known to use it to mean "charge!" It can be contracted to just "ho!". According to a Lakota Holy Man, Eagle Voice, as recounted by Nebraska poet John Neihardt, it is literally translated as "Hold fast. There is more!" [ [http://www.bobbybridger.com/bb_about_hokaheyarchive.html Bobby Bridger: singer, songwriter, storyteller, artist, teacher ] ]

"Háu kola", literally, "Hello, friend," is the most common greeting, and was transformed into the generic motion picture American Indian "How!", just as the traditional feathered headdress of the Teton was "given" to all movie Indians. As "háu" is the only word in Lakhota which contains a diphthong, /au/, it may be a loanword from a non-Siouan language.

Learning Lakota

Few resources are available for self-study of Lakota by a person with no or limited access to native speakers of Lakota. Here is a collection of some resources currently available:

*"Lakhótiya Wóglaka Po! - Speak Lakota!" : Level 1 & Level 2 Textbooks and Audio CDs by Lakota Language Consortium.(Available at [http://stores.languagepress.com/StoreFront.bok Lakota Language Consortium Inc.] ) (elementary/secondary school level)
*"New Lakota Dictionary." (ISBN 0-9761082-9-1) (Pre-order at [http://www.lakhota.org/html/DictionaryPrint.html Lakota Language Consortium Inc.] )
*"Lakota: A Language Course for Beginners" by Oglala Lakota College (ISBN 0-88432-609-8) (The companion 15 CDs/Tapes (11 hours) are available at [http://audioforum.com/index.php?crn=3030&rn=210&action=show_detail Audio Forum] ) (high school/college level)
*"Reading and Writing the Lakota Language" by Albert White Hat Sr. (ISBN 0-87480-572-4) (Available at [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0874805724 Amazon.com] ) (high school/college level)
*University of Colorado Lakhota Project: "Beginning Lakhota", vol. 1 & 2, "Elementary Bilingual Dictionary" and "Graded Readings", [http://www.colorado.edu/linguistics/CULakhotaProject] (high school/college level)
*"Lakota Dictionary: Lakota-English/English-Lakota, New Comprehensive Edition" by Eugene Buechel, S.J. & Paul Manhart (ISBN 0-8032-6199-3) (Available at [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0803261993 Amazon.com] )
*"A Grammar of Lakota" by Eugene Buechel, S.J. (ASIN B000AO4ZCK) (Available at [http://www.matoska.com/cgibin/gencat.cgi?AC=gencat&PC=1&ST=5&S1=BGRAMLAK65&S2=NULL&RS=1,8,9,NULL,0,2&NO=0 Matoska Trading Company] ) (professional level)
*The article by Rood & Taylor, in References "infra" (professional level)

References

Bibliography

*Buechel, Eugene. (1983). "A Dictionary of Teton Sioux". Pine Ridge, SD: Red Cloud Indian School.
* DeMallie, Raymond J. (2001). Sioux until 1850. In R. J. DeMallie (Ed.), "Handbook of North American Indians: Plains" (Vol. 13, Part 2, pp. 718-760). W. C. Sturtevant (Gen. Ed.). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 0-16-050400-7.
*Mithun, Marianne (1999). "The Languages of Native North America". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* Parks, Douglas R.; & Rankin, Robert L. (2001). The Siouan languages. In "Handbook of North American Indians: Plains" (Vol. 13, Part 1, pp. 94-114). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
* de Reuse, Willem J. (1987). One hundred years of Lakota linguistics (1887-1987). "Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics", "12", 13-42. (Online version: https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/dspace/handle/1808/509).
* de Reuse, Willem J. (1990). A supplementary bibliography of Lakota languages and linguistics (1887-1990). "Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics", "15" (2), 146-165. (Studies in Native American languages 6). (Online version: https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/dspace/handle/1808/441).
*Rood, David S. and Allan R. Taylor. (1996). "Sketch of Lakhota, a Siouan Language". "Handbook of North American Indians", Vol. 17 (Languages), pp. 440-482. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution. (Online version: http://lakxotaiyapi.freecyberzone.com/sk0.htm)
*Trechter, Sarah. (1999). Contextualizing the Exotic Few: Gender Dichotomies in Lakhota. In M. Bucholtz, A.C. Liang, and L. Sutton (Eds) "Reinventing Identities" (pp. 101-122). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN:0195126297
* Ullrich, Jan. (2008). New Lakota Dictionary. (Lakota Language Consortium). ISBN 0-9761082-9-1. Available at http://www.lakhota.org/html/DictionaryPrint.html

External links

* [http://www.lakhota.org Lakota Language Consortium]
* [http://www.omniglot.com/writing/sioux.htm Omniglot]
* [http://www.sicc.sk.ca/heritage/sils/ourlanguages/lakota/lakota.html Our Languages: Lakota] (Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre)
* [http://www.inext.cz/siouan/ Lakhota Language]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20060519050702/http://lakxotaiyapi.freecyberzone.com/sk0uni.htm Sketch of Lakhota, a Siouan Language]
* [http://www.elexion.com/lakota/iyapi/index2.html Lakota Iyapi]
* [http://www.ucalgary.ca/lingcpl/volume_25/Telfer_edited.pdf Palatalization in Lakhota]
* [http://www.dakotaculture.com/wiki/ Dakota Culture and Language Encyclopedia]
* [http://www.fa-kuan.de/LAKSTRUCT.HTML Some Reflections on Laḱota Syntax]


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