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Social Science Native American Studies

A Concise Dictionary of Nakoda (Assiniboine)

by (author) Vincent Collette

foreword by Ira McArthur

Initial publish date
Feb 2023
Native American Studies, Grammar & Punctuation
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2023
    List Price

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A Concise Dictionary of Nakoda (Assiniboine) brings to life the hopes and dreams of Nakoda (Assiniboine) elders. The Nakoda language—also known as Assiniboine, an Ojibwe ethnonym meaning “Stone Enemy”—is an endangered Siouan language of the Mississippi Valley branch spoken in southern Saskatchewan and northern Montana. Nakoda belongs to the Dakotan dialectal continuum, which includes Dakota, Lakota, and Stoney.

The fieldwork for this project was done between 2018 and 2020 with Elder Wilma Kennedy, one of the last fluent speakers living in Carry The Kettle, Saskatchewan. The volume brings together many valuable stories and colorful expressions as well as archaic words that do not appear in any known sources of the language. Particular care was taken to obtain the derivatives of many verbal stems, along with sentences for many of the verbs, adverbs, and other function words.

More than a list of words, this volume contains definitions and standard spellings along with a wealth of grammatical information. The dictionary contains more than 6,000 Nakoda-to-English translations, more than 3,000 English-to-Nakoda translations, and more than 1,500 sentences that will be extremely helpful for those interested in mastering the different usages of words and the various sentence patterns of the language. This dictionary of Nakoda can be used by anyone interested in learning or would like to refresh their knowledge of the language.

About the authors

Vincent Collette is a professor of linguistics at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, and the editor of Nakón-i’a wo! Beginning Nakoda and A Concise Dictionary of Nakoda (Assiniboine). He is interested in Indigenous languages of North America, and is specialized in historical linguistics, semantics, and morphology.

Vincent Collette's profile page

Ira McArthur's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“A great resource for both academic and nonacademic audiences. It is the most comprehensive dictionary of the Nakoda (Assiniboine) language. It is a mandatory addition to reference collections at academic libraries and will be a treasured possession of every Nakoda household.”—Jurgita Antoine, director of Native language research for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium

“This dictionary greatly increases the knowledge of the Nakoda (Assiniboine) language and will be a valuable resource to those wishing to better understand Siouan languages. Although the work is directed toward the Nakoda (Assiniboine) communities it will also be an important contribution to specialists in the field.”—Thomas Shawl, Nakoda (Assiniboine) language consultant

"This dictionary is an invaluable contribution to endangered language documentation and to theoretical, typological, and comparative linguistics."—E. J. Vajda, Choice