A Concise Dictionary of Nakoda (Assiniboine)


A Concise Dictionary of Nakoda (Assiniboine)

Vincent Collette
With Wilma Kennedy
​Foreword by Chief Ira McArthur

Studies in the Native Languages of the Americas Series

378 pages
8 illustrations, 1 map, 8 tables


February 2023


$85.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

February 2023


$85.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

A Concise Dictionary of Nakoda (Assiniboine) brings to life the hopes and dreams of Nakoda (Assiniboine) elders. The Nakoda language—also known as Assiniboine, an Ojibwe ethnonym meaning “Stone Enemy”—is an endangered Siouan language of the Mississippi Valley branch spoken in southern Saskatchewan and northern Montana. Nakoda belongs to the Dakotan dialectal continuum, which includes Dakota, Lakota, and Stoney.

The fieldwork for this project was done between 2018 and 2020 with Elder Wilma Kennedy, one of the last fluent speakers living in Carry The Kettle, Saskatchewan. The volume brings together many valuable stories and colorful expressions as well as archaic words that do not appear in any known sources of the language. Particular care was taken to obtain the derivatives of many verbal stems, along with sentences for many of the verbs, adverbs, and other function words.

More than a list of words, this volume contains definitions and standard spellings along with a wealth of grammatical information. The dictionary contains more than 6,000 Nakoda-to-English translations, more than 3,000 English-to-Nakoda translations, and more than 1,500 sentences that will be extremely helpful for those interested in mastering the different usages of words and the various sentence patterns of the language. This dictionary of Nakoda can be used by anyone interested in learning or would like to refresh their knowledge of the language.

Author Bio

Vincent Collette is a visiting professor of linguistics at the University of Québec at Chicoutimi. He is the editor of Nakón-i’a wo!: Beginning Nakoda and other works. Wilma Kennedy (Heȟága hóta’į wį́yą, Echo of the Elk Woman; 1923–2020) was an educator, language activist, and knowledge keeper of the Nakoda community. She is the coauthor of Nakón-i’a wo!: Beginning Nakoda.


"This dictionary is an invaluable contribution to endangered language documentation and to theoretical, typological, and comparative linguistics."—E. J. Vajda, Choice

“A great resource for both academic and nonacademic audiences. It is the most comprehensive dictionary of the Nakoda (Assiniboine) language. It is a mandatory addition to reference collections at academic libraries and will be a treasured possession of every Nakoda household.”—Jurgita Antoine, director of Native language research for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium

“This dictionary greatly increases the knowledge of the Nakoda (Assiniboine) language and will be a valuable resource to those wishing to better understand Siouan languages. Although the work is directed toward the Nakoda (Assiniboine) communities it will also be an important contribution to specialists in the field.”—Thomas Shawl, Nakoda (Assiniboine) language consultant

Table of Contents

List of Illistrations
Foreword by Chief Ira McArthur
Messages from Funders
A Short History of the Nakoda People
Dialectal Situation of Nakoda
Language Vitality
Spelling System and Sound Description
Key to Entries
General Information
Entries for Verbs in the Nakoda–English Section
Entries for Nouns in the Nakoda–English Section
Entries for Morphemes in the Nakoda–English Section
Entries in the English–Nakoda Section
Glossing and Class Codes

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