Talk:Algic languages

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from Algonquian talk[edit]

below is copied from Talk:Algonquian:

Re: Algonquin & Algonquian[edit]

"The family is named for Algonquin (of the Ottawa River valley), the language of this family which the French studied intensively in their early contacts with native peoples. They recognized the closeness to Algonquin of other languages of the family with which they gained familiarity. The spelling Algonquian reflects this origin; some scholars have preferred Algonkian as the English spelling (both forms have the same pronunciation), but historical precedent is on the side of Algonquian. (Campbell 1997:401, n. 133)

"The name Algonquin is said to be from Maliseet elakómkwik 'they are our relatives (or allies)' (Day and Trigger 1978:792)." (Campbell 1997:401, n. 136)

Compare with the OED etymology:

Algonquin < French Algonquin < maybe contracted from French Algoumequin (17 century) < perhaps near Micmac algoomeaking or algoomaking 'at the place of spearing fish and eels'. (OED)


  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Day, Gordon M.; & Trigger, Bruce G. (1978). Algonquin. In B. G. Trigger (Ed.), Northeast (pp. 792-797). Handbook of North American Indians (Vol. 15) (W. C. Sturtevant (Ed.)). Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution.
  • Simpson, J. A.; & Weiner, E. S. C. (1989). Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. (Online version).

Re: Wiyot & Yurok[edit]

Concerning etymology of Wiyot (a.k.a. Wishosk) and Yurok (a.k.a. Weitspekan).

This below is from Campbell (1997):

"Wiyot is from wíyat, the native name for the Eel River delta, which also referred to one of the three principal groups of Wiyots (Elsasser 1978:162).

"Yurok is from Karuk yúruk meaning literally 'downriver'. The Yurok traditional name for themselves is Puliklah (Hinton 1994:157), from pulik 'downstream' + -la 'people of', thus equivalent in meaning to the Karuk name by which they came to be known in English (Victor Golla, personal communication)." (Campbell 1997:401, notes #131 & 132)

"The connection of Wiyot and Yurok in northern California (which together were formerly called Ritwan, after Dixon and Kroeber's [1913] grouping of the two as one of their more remote Californian stocks) with Algonquian was first proposed by Sapir (1913) and was quite controversial at that time (see Michelson 1914, 1915; Sapir 1915a, 1915b; see also Chapter 2), but the relationship has subsequently been demonstrated to the satisfaction of all (see Haas 1958; Teeter 1964a; Goddard 1975, 1979, 1990). Before 1850 the Yurok lived on the lower Klamath River. The Wiyot (earlier called Wishosk) lived in the Humboldt Bay area, in the redwood belt; the last fully fluent speaker died in 1962 (Teeter 1964b). Many scholars have commented that although Wiyot and Yurok are neighbors in northern California, they seem not to have a closer relationship with each other than either has with Algonquian...." (Campbell 1997:152).

However, Howard Berman (1982) has suggested that Wiyot and Yurok in fact share sound changes not shared by the rest of Algic, which would indicate that Wiyot and Yurok do indeed form a genetic 'Ritwan' group.

I provide everyone with a biblio:

  • Berman, Howard. (1982). Two Phonological Innovations in Ritwan. IJAL 48: 412-20.
  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Dixon, Roland; & Kroeber, Alfred L. (1913). New linguistic families in California. American Anthropologist, 5, 1-26.
  • Elsasser, Albert B. (1978). Wiyot. In R. F. Heizer (Ed.), California (pp. 153-163). Handbook of North American Indians (Vol. 8) (W. C. Sturtevant (Ed.)). Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution.
  • Goddard, Ives. (1975). Algonquian, Wiyot, and Yurok: Proving a distant genetic relationship. In M. D. Kinkade, K. L. Hale, & O. Werner (Eds.), Linguistics and anthropology in honor of C. F. Voegelin (pp. 249-262). Lisse: Peter de Ridder Press.
  • Goddard, Ives. (1979). Comparative Algonquian. In L. Campbell & M. Mithun (Eds.), The languages of native America: Historical and comparative assessment (pp. 70-132). Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • Goddard, Ives. (1990). Algonquian linguistic change and reconstruction. In P. Baldi (Ed.), Linguistic change and reconstruction methodology (pp. 99-114). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Haas, Mary R. (1958). Algonkian-Ritwan: The end of a controversy. International Journal of American Linguistics, 24, 159-173.
  • Hinton, Susanne F. (1994). Flutes of fire: Essays on Californian Indian languages. Berkeley: Heyday Books.
  • Michelson, Truman. 1914. Two alleged Algonquian languages of California. American Anthropologist, 16, 361-367.
  • Michelson, Truman. 1915. Rejoinder (to Edward Sapir). American Anthropologist, 17, 4-8.
  • Robins, R. H. (1958). Yurok Language: Grammar, Texts, and Lexicon. Berkeley: University of California Publications in Linguistics 15.
  • Sapir, Edward. 1913. Wiyot and Yurok, Algonkin languages of California. American Anthropologist, 15, 617-646.
  • Sapir, Edward. (1915)a. Algonkin languages of California: A reply. American Anthropologist, 17, 188-194.
  • Sapir, Edward. (1915)b. Epilogue. American Anthropologist, 17, 198.
  • Teeter, Karl V. (1964)a. Algonquian languages and genetic relationship. In Proceedings of the ninth international congress of linguists (pp. 1026-1033). The Hague: Mouton.
  • Teeter, Karl V. (1964)b. The Wiyot language. University of California publications in linguistics. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Cheers! - Ish ishwar 02:34, 2005 Feb 25 (UTC)


For some reason, this article has a heading for "Unami (aka Delaware or Lenape)", though both Lenape language and the intermediate Algonquian languages refer to it simply as Lenape or Delaware. Any reason it's more precise here? It is a touch confusing... Shimgray | talk | 10:49, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Paul Proulx ?[edit]

Hello Everyone! I'm not an expert in Algic languages, but why has Paul Proulx's name been omitted? Is he considered an outsider in the field of Algic studies? --Pet'usek [petrdothrubisatgmaildotcom] 12:43, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Ah, I see, not any more - well done! :-) -- (talk) 08:13, 21 December 2007 (UTC)


The Micmac numerals are newt, tapu, sist, new, nan, asukom, lluiknek, ukmuljin, peskunatek, newtiskaq. The Yurok numerals are kora, niiyel, nahkseyl, cooneyl, meruh, kohcew, crwrsik, knewelik, krmik, wrlrwryl. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Earlier history of "Algic"[edit]

In 1839 Henry Rowe Schoolcraft published his Algic Researches, essentially a collection of retold legends mostly of Ojibwe origin. OpenLibrary link:

Should Schoolcraft get the credit for coining the term "Algic"? Though he must have conceived of the Algic languages quite differently than Sapir did.

N.B. the cataloger's note: "The term Algic is "derived from the words Alleghany and Atlantic, in reference to the race of Indians anciently located in this geographical area."--v. 1, p. 12. — ℜob C. alias ÀLAROB 22:16, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Relationship between the Algic and Iroquoian language groups[edit]

Can anyone shed any light on the relationship between the Algic and Iroquoian language groups? There must be some linguistic relationship, even if it has to be traced back to the general vicinity of Siberia! Heavenlyblue (talk) 23:44, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Was wondering the same - are there any stronger linguistical connections, that are based on R-M173 haplogroup that is shared among Na-Dene, Iroquian an Algic people? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Genetic relationships does not in any way necessitate linguistic relationships. Nessimon (talk) 16:44, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

"All non-Algonquian Algic languages still spoken are endangered"[edit] added "non-Algonquian" to the sentences "All Algic languages still spoken are endangered", with the explanation: "correction. It's silly to say Cree and Ojibway are endangered without concluding that all native american languages are endangered".

Even ignoring the fact that you could conclude all Native American languages are endangered, this edit isn't the way to hedge the point. It's silly to say "all non-Algonquian Algic languages" when there are two of them. And it's silly to say both of them are endangered when one of them is already dead. (talk) 16:16, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Map – Mexico[edit]

The map of the pre-contact distribution does not include the Fox language in Mexico. Is this because they migrated there since then or is it an omission? --JorisvS (talk) 14:39, 7 February 2014 (UTC)