Vocabulary Words in Native American Languages: Hidatsa
We have included twenty basic words, enough to give you a feeling for each language. All the nouns are singular and all
the verbs are 3rd person singular ("he or she sings") because many Native American languages don't have a separate infinitive ("to sing")
the way English and French do.
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Hidatsa Word Set
These vocabulary words come from 19th century sources, and I recently received mail from a Hidatsa speaker informing me that some of these words
are not pronounced this way anymore--in particular, that "luetza" is pronounced "nuetza" in modern Hidatsa, and "miri" is pronounced "mini."
These could be changes in the language due to the multilingualism of the Hidatsa people during the 20th century ("mini" is the word for water in
Mandan, one of the other languages of the Fort Berthold Reservation, and neither
Mandan nor Arikara had an "l" sound.) On the other hand, it is common in Siouan languages for sonorants (like l and r) to vary phonologically
with other sounds, so it's possible that "nuetza" was always the usual form of this word and it was only pronounced "luetza" under certain conditions.
Further input on this question is welcomed.
Click here to see Hidatsa vocabulary words compared to words in related Siouan languages:Siouan Indian Words