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Family 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 Mi'kmaq (Micmac), East and West Abenaki, Delaware, Massachusett, and Powhatan (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-Innu (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).
Variants of ALGONQUIAN LANGUAGES
Algonquian languages or Algonkian languages
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Algonquian languages, visit Britannica.com.
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