- Dakota language
Dakota Dakhótiyapi, Dakȟótiyapi Pronunciation [daˈkʰotijapi], [daˈqˣotijapi] Spoken in United States, with some speakers in Canada Region Primarily North Dakota and South Dakota, but also northern Nebraska, southern Minnesota Native speakers 15,400 (no date) Language family Language codes ISO 639-2 dak ISO 639-3 dak This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.
Dakota has two major dialects with two sub-dialects each (and minor variants, too):
- Eastern Dakota (aka Santee-Sisseton or Dakhóta)
- Santee (Isáŋyáthi: Bdewákhatuŋwaŋ, Waȟpékhute)
- Sisseton (Sisítuŋwaŋ, Waȟpétuŋwaŋ)
- Western Dakota (aka Yankton-Yanktonai or Dakȟóta)
- Yankton (Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋ)
- Yanktonai (Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋna)
- Upper Yanktonai (Wičhíyena)
The two dialects differ phonologically, grammatically, and to a large extent, also lexically. They are mutually intelligible to a high extent, although Western Dakota is lexically closer to the Lakota language with which it has higher mutual intelligibility.
For a comparative table of the various writing systems conceived over time for the Sioux languages, cf. the specific section of the article Sioux language.
Dakota has five oral vowels, /a e i o u/, and three nasal vowels, /aŋ iŋ uŋ/.
Front Central Back high oral i u nasal iŋ uŋ mid e o low oral a nasal aŋ
Bilabial Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal Nasal m [m] n [n] Plosive unaspirated p [p] t [t] č [tʃ] k [k] ’ [ʔ] voiced b [b] d [d] g [ɡ] aspirated ph [pʰ] / pȟ [pˣ] th [tʰ] / tȟ [tˣ] čh [tʃʰ] kh [kʰ] / kȟ [kˣ] ejective p’ [pʔ] t’ [tʔ] č’ [tʃʔ] k’ [kʔ] Fricative voiceless s [s] š [ʃ] ȟ [χ] voiced z [z] ž [ʒ] ǧ [ʁ] ejective s’ [sʔ] š’ [ʃʔ] ȟ’ [χʔ] Approximant w [w] y [j] h [h]
Comparison of the dialects
In respect to phonology Eastern and Western Dakota differ particularly in consonant clusters. The table below gives the possible consonant clusters and shows the differences between the dialects:
Dakota consonant clusters Santee
Yankton Yanktonai b ȟ k m p s š t h k g bd ȟč kč mn pč sč šk tk hm km gm ȟd kp ps sk šd hn kn gn ȟm ks pš sd šb hd kd gd ȟn kš pt sm šn hb kb gb ȟp kt sn šp ȟt sp št ȟb st šb sb
The two dialects also differ in the diminutive suffix (-da in Santee, and -na in Yankton-Yanktonai and in Sisseton) and in a number of other phonetic issues that are harder to categorize. The following table gives examples of words that differ in their phonology.
Eastern Dakota Western Dakota gloss Santee Sisseton Yankton Yanktonai hokšída hokšína hokšína boy nína nína nína / dína very hdá kdá gdá to go back hbéza kbéza gbéza ridged hnayáŋ knayáŋ gnayáŋ to deceive hmúŋka kmúŋka gmúŋka to trap ahdéškada ahdéškana akdéškana agdéškana lizzard
There are also numerous lexical differences between the two Dakota dialects as well as between the sub-dialects. Yankton-Yanktonai is in fact lexically closer to the Lakota language than it is to Santee-Sisseton. The following table gives some examples:
English gloss Santee-Sisseton Yankton-Yanktonai Lakota Northern Lakota Southern Lakota child šičéča wakȟáŋyeža wakȟáŋyeža knee hupáhu čhaŋkpé čhaŋkpé knife isáŋ / mína mína míla kidneys phakšíŋ ažúŋtka ažúŋtka hat wapháha wapȟóštaŋ wapȟóštaŋ still hináȟ naháŋȟčiŋ naháŋȟčiŋ man wičhášta wičháša wičháša hungry wótehda dočhíŋ ločhíŋ morning haŋȟ’áŋna híŋhaŋna híŋhaŋna híŋhaŋni to shave kasáŋ kasáŋ kasáŋ glak’óǧa
Yankton-Yanktonai has the same three ablaut grades as Lakota (a, e, iŋ), while in Santee-Sisseton there are only two (a, e). This significantly impacts word forms, especially in fast speech and it is another reason why Yankton-Yanktonai has better mutual intelligibility with Lakota than with Santee-Sisseton.
English gloss to go  I shall go to go back  he/she/it will go back santee-sisseton yá bdé kte hdá hdé kte yankton-yanktonai yá mníŋ kte kdá/gdá kníŋ/gníŋ kte lakota yá mníŋ kte glá gníŋ kte
There are other grammatical differences between the dialects.
- ^ http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=dak
- ^ a b c d Ullrich, Jan (2008). New Lakota Dictionary (Incorporating the Dakota Dialects of Yankton-Yanktonai and Santee-Sisseton). Lakota Language Consortium. ISBN 0-9761082-9-1.
- ^ many Yankton speakers pronounce the following clusters in the same way as the Yanktonai (Ullrich, p. 5).
- ^ in Upper Yanktonay
- ^ a b c more precisely: ‘he/she/it is going (back)’ (hence elsewhere).
- ^ which means that, in many words ending in -a (which are conventionally cited, in Ullrich’s dictionary (cf. pp. 699/700), with a capitalized final –A/Aŋ), the same -a turns into -e or into -iŋ when some circumstances occur (the word is the last in a sentence, or is modified by suffixes that trigger the ablaut, or, still, is followed by a word that triggers the ablaut, as well).
- 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.
- 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.; & 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: 
- Parks, D.R. & DeMallie, R.J. (1992). Sioux, Assiniboine, and Stoney Dialects: A Classification . Anthropological Linguistics vol. 34, nos. 1-4
- Riggs, S.R., & Dorsey, J.O. (Ed.). (1973). Dakota grammar, texts, and ethnography. Minneapolis: Ross & Haines, Inc.
- Shaw, P.A. (1980). Theoretical issues in Dakota phonology and morphology. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc.
- Eastern Dakota (aka Santee-Sisseton or Dakhóta)
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