Nawathinehena language

Nawathinehena is an extinct Algonquian language formerly spoken among the Arapaho people. It had a phonological development quite different from either Gros Ventre or Arapaho proper. It has been identified as the former language of the Southern Arapaho, who switched to speaking Arapaho proper in the 19th century. However, the language is not well attested, being documented only in a vocabulary collected in 1899 by Alfred L. Kroeber from the Oklahoma Arapaho.

Native toUnited States
Eraattested 1899[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3nwa

While it shares many important phonological innovations with Arapaho, it presents the merger of *r, *θ and *s with *t as t instead of n as in Arapaho, a sound change reminiscent of Blackfoot and Cheyenne (Goddard 1974, Jacques 2013). PA *w changes to m instead of merging with *r, *s and *n as n.


  1. Nawathinehena at MultiTree on the Linguist List
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nawathinehena". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.


  • Goddard, Ives (1974). "An Outline of the Historical Phonology of Arapaho and Atsina". International Journal of American Linguistics. 40: 102–16. doi:10.1086/465292.
  • Jacques, Guillaume 2013. The sound change s>n in Arapaho, Folia Linguistica Historica 34:43-57
  • Mithun, Marianne 1999. The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge Language Surveys. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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