Arapahoan languages

The Arapahoan languages are a subgroup of the Plains group of Algonquian languages: Nawathinehena, Arapaho, and Gros Ventre.

United States
Linguistic classificationAlgic

Nawathinehena is extinct and Arapaho and Gros Ventre are both endangered.[2][3]

Besawunena, attested only from a word list collected by Kroeber, differs only slightly from Arapaho, but a few of its sound changes resemble those seen in Gros Ventre. It had speakers among the Northern Arapaho as recently as the late 1920s.

Nawathinehena is also attested only from a word list collected by Kroeber, and was the most divergent language of the group.

Another reported Arapahoan variety is the extinct Ha'anahawunena, but there is no documentation of it.


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Arapahoic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International
  3. Goddard 2001:74-76, 79


  • Goddard, Ives (2001). "The Algonquian Languages of the Plains." In Plains, Part I, ed. Raymond J. DeMallie. Vol. 13 of Handbook of North American Indians, ed. William C. Sturtevant. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, pp. 71–79.
  • Marianne Mithun (1999). The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge Language Surveys. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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