- Algonquian languages
or Algonkian languagesFamily of 25–30 North American Indian languages spoken or formerly spoken across a broad area of eastern and central North America.They are divided conventionally into three geographic groups. Eastern Algonquian languages, spoken from the Gulf of St. Lawrence south to coastal North Carolina, include Micmac, East and West Abenaki, Delaware, Massachusett, and Powhatan (or Virginia Algonquian)the latter two now long extinct. Central Algonquian languages include Shawnee, Miami-Illinois, Sauk, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Menominee (all spoken around the Great Lakes), Ojibwa (around the upper Great Lakes and north from eastern Quebec through Manitoba), and Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi (spoken from Labrador west to Hudson Bay and Alberta). Plains Algonquian includes the languages of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Atsina (Gros Ventres), and Blackfoot (spoken in the central and northern Great Plains).
* * *also spelled AlgonkianNorth American Indian language family whose member languages are or were spoken in Canada, New England, the Atlantic coastal region southward to North Carolina, and the Great Lakes region and surrounding areas westward to the Rocky Mountains. Among the numerous Algonquian languages are Cree, Ojibwa, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Mi'kmaq (Micmac), Arapaho, and Fox-Sauk-Kickapoo. The term Algonquin (often spelled this way to differentiate it from the family) refers to a dialect of Ojibwa. Algonquian languages have been classified by some scholars as belonging to a larger language group, the Macro-Algonquian phylum. See also Macro-Algonquian languages.
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