Algonquian languages

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The Algonquian languages (also Algonkian; pronounced /ælˈɡɒŋkwiən/ or /ælˈɡɒŋkiən/)[1] are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a member of the Algonquian language family. The term "Algonquin" derives from the Maliseet word elakómkwik (pronounced [ɛlæˈɡomoɡwik]), "they are our relatives/allies".[2][3] Most Algonquian languages are extremely endangered today, with few native speakers. A number of the languages have already become extinct.

Speakers of Algonquian languages stretch from the east coast of North America all the way to the Rocky Mountains. The proto-language from which all of the languages of the family descend, Proto-Algonquian, was spoken at least 3,000 years ago. There is no scholarly consensus as to the territory where this language was spoken. For information on the peoples speaking Algonquian languages, see Algonquian peoples.

Contents

Family division

This large family of around 28 languages is divided roughly into three major geographical groupings. These groupings--Central, Plains, and Eastern Algonquian--are primarily for convenience. Only Eastern Algonquian constitutes a true "genetic" subgroup.[citation needed]

The languages are listed below[4] (dialects and subdialects are listed on the Central Algonquian, Plains Algonquian, and Eastern Algonquian pages):

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