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Atakapa Indian Language (Atakapa-Ishak)

Language: Atakapa is a Gulf language, once spoken along the Louisiana and East Texas coast. Atakapa is an agglutinative language with complex verbs and primarily verb-initial word order. The Atakapas were nearly destroyed by a smallpox epidemic in the 18th century, and their language, like other Gulf/Tunican languages, has not been natively spoken for more than a century. However, some Gulf Indian people today are working to revive the Atakapa language again.

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Names: The name Atakapa comes from the tribe's name in the language of their Choctaw neighbors. It means "people-eaters." (This may or may not have been a literal reference to cannibalism.) Their own name for themselves was Ishak, meaning "the people," or Yuk'hiti Ishak, "our people." Some descendants today prefer to use the name Atakapa-Ishak. Other spellings of these names include Attakapa, Attacapa, Attakapas, Atakapan, Yukhiti Ishak, and Icak. The three dialects of the Atakapa language have been known as Western Atakapa, Eastern Atakapa, and Akokisa.

Atakapa Language
Atakapa language samples and resources.

Atakapa Tribe Culture and History
Information and links about the Atakapa nation past and present.

Atakapa Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to common questions about the Atakapas.

Atakapa Language Resources

Our Atakapa Language Materials

Atakapa Vocabulary:
    Our list of vocabulary words in the Atakapa language, with comparison to words in other Gulf languages.
Atakapa Pronunciation Guide:
    How to pronounce Atakapa words.
Atakapa Picture Dictionary:
    Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Atakapa language.
Atakapa Body Parts:
    Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in the Atakapa language.
Atakapa Colors:
    Worksheet showing color words in the Atakapa language.
Atakapa Numbers:
    Worksheet showing how to count in Atakapa.
Louisiana Language Map:
    Tribal map showing the location where Atakapa was spoken.

Atakapa Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources
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Dictionary of the Atakapa Language:
    Atakapa dictionary for sale online.
A Structural and Lexical Comparison of the Tunica, Chitimacha & Atakapa Languages:
    Book of comparative vocabulary and grammar in the Gulf region.
American Indian Dictionaries:
    Atakapa and other Native American dictionaries and language materials for sale.

Atakapa Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Texas Indians: A Dictionary of Atakapa:
    Complete scanned-in copy of the definitive 1938 dictionary of the Atakapa language.
Language of the Atakapas-Ishak Indians:
    Primer on the Atakapa language from linguist and Atakapa descendent Hubert Singleton. PDF format.
    Demographic information about Atakapa from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Atakapa Language Tree:
    Theories about Atakapa's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Atakapa Language Structures:
    Atakapa linguistic profile and academic bibliography.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

Wikipedia: Atakapa:
Encyclopedia articles on the Atakapa Indian language.
Lengua Atakapa Ishak: * Langue Atakapa:
Information about the Atakapa-Ishak language in Spanish and French.

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