American Indian languages
American Indian cultures
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.
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 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.
Our Atakapa Language Materials
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.
Worksheet showing color words in the Atakapa language.
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
Dictionary of the Atakapa Language:
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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.
Links, References, and Additional Information
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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