- Siouan languages
Family of North American Indian languages, spoken mainly west of the Mississippi River in the 17th and 18th centuries.The principal languages and language groups at this time were Winnebago in Wisconsin, Chiwere (Iowa, Oto, and Missouri) in Iowa and northern Missouri, Dhegiha (Ponca, Omaha, Kansa, Osage, Quapaw) in an area extending from eastern Nebraska to Arkansas, Sioux or Dakota (a range of dialects including Santee or Dakota proper in Minnesota, Teton or Lakota in North and South Dakota, and Assiniboine in Canada), Hidatsa and Mandan on the middle Missouri River, and Crow in Wyoming and Montana. Separated from the main body of Siouan languages were the now-extinct languages Tufelo and Biloxi, near the Gulf of Mexico, and the distantly related Catawba, once spoken in South Carolina. The extant Siouan languages are now spoken mainly or solely by older adults.
* * *North American Indian family of languages that, with the Iroquoian and Caddoan language families, constitutes the Macro-Siouan language phylum. This phylum is, after the Algonquian, the largest native American linguistic phylum north of Mexico. Siouan includes at least five language groups: those of the Gulf Coast region (including Biloxi, Ofo, Tutelo), the upper Missouri River region (including Hidatsa, Crow), the northern plains (including Dakota, or Sioux proper), the central plains (Omaha, Osage, Ponca, Kansa, Quapaw), and the Great Lakes (including Winnebago). The Catawba language of the Carolinas is sometimes classified as a Siouan language.
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