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Arikara Language (Sanish, Arikari, Arickaree)
Language: Arikara is a Caddoan language of the Great Plains, originally spoken in North and South
Dakota. It is a tone language
with complex polysynthetic morphology.
Today, the Arikara Indians share a reservation with the Mandan and
Hidatsa tribes. The Arikara language has been in decline
and is spoken today by only a few dozen elders in North Dakota, but some young people are working to keep their ancestral language alive.
Names: The origins of the tribal name Arikara are not entirely known. It was probably originally a place name or the
name of a particular band in the language of a neighboring tribe; it resembles Pawnee words for "male deer" and "horns."
Their own name for themselves is Sáhniš, which means "the people." In the past, they were
often known as the Ree Indians, and sometimes as the Pandani or Star-rah-he.
Alternate spellings of these names include Arikari, Arikaree, Arickaree, Aricara, Aricaree,
Arikkara, Ricara, Racari, Ricaree, Riccaree, Sanish, Sahnish, Sahnis, Tanish, Ris, Rus, Padani, and Starrahhe.
Arikara language samples and resources.
Arikara Tribe Culture and History
Information and links about the Arikara Indians past and present.
Introduction to Arikara mythology.
Arikara Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Arikaras, their language and culture.
Our Arikara Language Materials
Our list of vocabulary words in the Arikara language, with comparison to words in other Caddoan languages.
Arikara Pronunciation Guide:
How to pronounce Arikara words.
Arikara Animal Words:
Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Arikara language.
Arikara Body Parts:
Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in Arikara.
Worksheet showing color words in Arikara.
Worksheet showing how to count in Arikara.
Arikara Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources
Traditional Narratives of the Arikara Indians: Traditional Narratives From Alfred Morsette:
Two-volume set of legends and stories in the Arikara/Sahnish language, with English translation.
A collection of legends and stories in Arikara and related languages.
Native American Dictionaries:
Arapaho and other American Indian dictionaries and language materials for sale.
Arikara Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions
English to Sanish Language Dictionary:
Alphabetic vocabulary of the Arikara Indian language.
Arikara (Sáhniš) Language Program:
Homepage of a tribal initiative to create Arikara textbooks and CD-ROM's.
Arikara Language Tree:
Theories about Arikara's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Arikara Language Structures:
Arikara linguistic profile and academic bibliography.
Arikara Language Preservation and Usage
House of Languages: Arikara
Information about Arikara language usage.
Demographic information about Arikara from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Links, References, and Additional Information
Encyclopedia article on the Arikara language.
La Lengua Arikara Langue Arikara:
Information about the Arikara language in Spanish and French.
Arikara links pages.
Arikara Indian books.
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