Talk:Ojibwe language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Article merged: See old talk-page talk: Ojibwa-Potawatomi-Ottawa language
Article merged: See old talk-page talk: Ojibwa-Ottawa language

Merger proposal[edit]

{{Discussion top|No feedback received. I did merge into Ojibwe language page. Jomeara421 (talk) 21:25, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
I have recently undertaken some work on the Ottawa language article, which has resulted in a Good Article categorization. This endeavour entailed spending some time consulting the other articles on Ojibwe.

There are a LOT of articles relating to Ojibwe language and dialects. I think that the organization of these articles warrants some changes. In their present state it is difficult for readers not already knowledgeable in Ojibwe to disentangle the information that is presented in these articles.

There are three 'main' Ojibwe language pages:

Ojibwa-Ottawa language (oji)
Ojibwa language (oji)
Ojibwa-Potawatomi-Ottawa language no Ethnologue code I believe

A few observations, based on the published literature on Ojibwe and its dialects:

  1. There is a single Ojibwe language with multiple dialects.
  2. There is not support for 'Ojibwa-Ottawa' as one language and 'Ojibwa' as another.
  3. The contents of the first two pages above overlap significantly AND they have the same Ethnologue code.
  4. There is no "Ojibwa-Potawatomi-Ottawa" group reported in the published literature that I'm aware of. There is no Ethnologue code for this would-be amalgam. The content of this article overlaps significantly with parts of the previous two.
  5. While there is clearly a close relation of some sort between Ojibwe and Potawatomi, the linguistic spadework to determine whether the relationship between the two results from descent from an intermediate genetic subgroup ("Common Ojibwe-Potawatomi" if you like), OR from linguistic diffusion (of a type known to be common among the Central Algonquian languages) has yet to be undertaken. Hence an article on such a grouping is not warranted by Wikipedia's criteria (Reliable sources, verifiable, no original research).
  6. There is a separate article Potawatomi language, which is distinct from the Ojibwe articles.
  7. There is also an article Ojibwa-Potawatomi-Ottawa language dialects, which presents an overview of Ojibwe dialects.
  8. There is also a series of separate pages on individual dialects, most of which are greatly neglected.
  9. The articles on Ojibwe are almost all devoid of references, and fall short of Wikipedia's expectations for Wikipedia:Verifiability as reflected in the use of Reliable Sources.

Sooooo, what appears to be justified is the following:

  1. A single page entitled "Ojibwe language" This page would be a general overview of the Ojibwe language, combining the material in Ojibwa-Ottawa language (oji) and Ojibwa language (oji), much of which overlaps in any event.
  2. Another page entitled "Ojibwe dialects" based on a revised and improved Ojibwa-Potawatomi-Ottawa language dialects.
  3. The page Ojibwa-Potawatomi-Ottawa language (which overlaps with the others anyways) would be incorporated into the new and improved "Ojibwe language", as a trimmed and condensed section concentrating on what sources meeting the criteria in Wikipedia:Reliable Sources tell us about any possible relationship.
  4. The Ojibwa-Potawatomi-Ottawa language dialects also needs to be reorganized to make it consistent with the published literature. It also is almost completely devoid of references and includes information that does not appear to be publicly available.

The articles above have I am sure grown up incrementally over the years. There is relatively little activity on them. This could be the time to undertake some work on improving this corner of Wikipedia. I am willing to take a whack at this, but if there is no agreement as to it being a good idea then I am fine with that as well.

I have drafted a version of a new improved article at: User:Jomeara421/Ojib Gen Master. Please note that some of the section headings are temporary, just to break out particular material for review purposes.

Here is a list of all the Ojibwe language articles that I am aware of.

Language Entries[edit]

Ojibwa-Ottawa language (oji)
Ojibwa language (oji)
Ojibwa-Potawatomi-Ottawa language (?)
Potawatomi language (pot)

Dialect Entries[edit]

Ojibwa-Potawatomi-Ottawa language dialects
Algonquin (alg)
Severn Ojibwe (ojs)
Ottawa (otw)
Saulteaux (ojw)
Chippewa language (ciw)
Northwestern Ojibwa language (ojb)
Central Ojibwa language (ojc)
Eastern Ojibwa language (ojg) (aka Mississauga on Wikipedia)

Grammar Entries[edit]

Ojibwe grammar (mostly Minnesota)
Ojibwe phonology
Ottawa phonology

Writing Entries[edit]

Ojibwe writing systems
Canadian Aboriginal syllabics
Great Lakes Algonquian syllabary

Thanks. John Jomeara421 (talk) 06:02, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, I've gone ahead with the merger so that the old pages Ojibwa-Potawatomi-Ottawa language and Ojibwa-Ottawa language redirect here. I've also placed notes at the top of this page showing where the old Talk pages for both can be found. I have saved some bits and pieces of both that could be worked into this article if references can be found, and will include a couple more. There are still some conceptual issues with this article, particularly with regard to a putative Ojibwe-Potawatomi subgroup (not clearly discussed in the literature), but those can await more published research.
Some of the setions here need more work. The newly renamed Ojibwe language dialects page needs a lot of work as it is almost completely lacking references so that's on the to do list.
John Jomeara421 (talk) 21:12, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Lingua Franca Material - Unsourced[edit]

This material on Lingua Franca external history needs reference support:

As fur trading with the French increased the Ojibwas’ power, became the trade language of the Great Lakes region, and was for hundreds of years an extremely significant presence in the northern United States and across all of Canada.
The Anishinaabe language replaced the Wyandot language as the lingua franca of the Great Lakes region sometime during the middle of 17th century and remained as a lingua franca in the region until replaced by English in the late 19th century. Consequently, various dialects of the Anishinaabe language were understood by non-Anishinaabe peoples of the Great Lakes as well as by other peoples beyond the Great Lakes. At the height of its use as the major diplomatic and trade language of the region, the Anishinaabe language was found from the Ohio River valley in the south to James Bay in the north and from Ottawa River in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west.
Jomeara421 (talk) 05:38, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Found a citation for part of the above statement (highlighted in bold/green text):
Wurm, Stephen Adolphe; Mühlhäusler, Peter; Tyron, Darrell T. (1996), "3.1.1 Huron", Atlas of Languages of Intercultural Communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas, Trends in Linguistics, Documentation 13, II.2, International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies, Walter de Gruyter, pp. 1115–1116, ISBN 3110134179, ISBN-13 9783110134179
CJLippert (talk) 18:48, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
The three sentences currently in the 'Lingua Franca' section demonstrates the idea in further details than the one and half highlighted sentences above in bold/orange, as Ho-chunk is a Great Lakes non-Algonquian language, Pawnee and Ayowe are a non-Great Lakes non-Algonquian languages, Menomini and Meshkwaki are both Great Lakes Algonquian languages. CJLippert (talk) 19:04, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
For the first unsourced sentence/paragraph, this is implied in the current 'Lingua Franca' section in the article, though the hundreds of years portion seems highly exaggerated (not sure about Canada, but in the US, Ojibwe stopped being a Lingua Franca towards the end of the Great Lakes Lumbering era at about 1890... which would mean about 150 years of 'lingua franca' status... far from being "hundreds of years"). CJLippert (talk) 19:14, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
That's a great reference, I think I actually came across it somewhere but either it didn't sink in or I forgot. I'll get a copy of the article through Interlibrary Loan since for some reason I don't have $277 US + shipping to spare. The Huron information is interesting; on the Atlantic coast the available information is that the Delawares for example didn't learn Iroquoian languages and had to rely on interpreters despite what must have been sustained contact - trade languages imply significant bilingualism, as Rhodes notes (the one outlier being pidgins, which can be trade languages of course). John Jomeara421 (talk) 19:52, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

(undent) I've added a small amount of text to make sure the main points are covered, with supporting references from Bakker and Grant. I included a paragraph on Wyandot/Huron for context. One point to cover would be to document when the trade language status of Ojibwe started to decline; I assume that it slowly died out as speakers shifted to English over an extended period of time, but it is known for example that Potawatomi-Ojibwe bilingualism has persisted until very recently. John Jomeara421 (talk) 21:31, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposed Name Change > "Ojibwe"[edit]

I am proposing changing the name of this page back to "Ojibwe language," which it was a long time ago. This is part of the larger proposal in the section "Merger proposal" on this page above.

Rational for English Spelling “Ojibwe” in title.

Here is the rationale for this spelling:

This is now the most commonly used English spelling in academics works by scholars of Ojibwe: John Nichols (multiple publications), John Nichols and Earl Nyholm, J. Randolph Valentine (multiple publications). It is also the spelling that most closely reflects the pronunciation of the word in the language itself. It is also widely used in other contemporary linguistically oriented publications, for multiple dialects.

  • Ningewance, Patricia. 1993. Survival Ojibwe. Winnipeg: Mazinaate Press. ISBN 0-9697826-0-8
  • Sugarhead, Cecilia. 1996. ᓂᓄᑕᐣ / Ninoontaan / I can hear it: Ojibwe stories from Lansdowne House written by Cecilia Sugarhead. Edited, translated and with a glossary by John O’Meara. Winnipeg: Algonquian and Iroquoian Linguistics.
  • Vollom, Judith L. 1994. Ojibwemowin. Series 2. Second Edition. Ramsey, Minnesota: Ojibwe Language Publishing.

As well, this is already used for the titles of articles such as Ojibwe grammar, Ojibwe writing systems, and Ojibwe phonology. It is also the spelling used throughout the article Ottawa language which was recently approved as a "Good Article"

Thanks. John. Jomeara421 (talk) 19:03, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Writing system - /h/ ~ /ʔ/[edit]

The mention of /h/ versus /ʔ/ in the writing system section was intended to reflect the fact that phonologically Ojibwe dialects have one or the other as phonemes. A given dialect might well have phonetic [h] AND [ʔ], but they will have one or the other as part of the phonological inventory but not both. The 'other' will then be derived by rule, i.e. is an allophone, predictable variant, etc. This point is made in the Phonology section, with quote from Valentine's dialect study. To the extent that the D. Vowel system is being used consistently it should have one or the other symbol but not both, assuming that people aren't just writing phonetically. The one true exception is for example Ottawa, which has underlying glottal stop but also has /h/ in words that are affective or onomatopoeiac in some way. In nearly all dialects the phoneme is /ʔ/; Severn Ojibwe has /h/ all the time, no [ʔ] intervocalically, etc. I will reword this to make it clearer, and cross-reference to Phonology section. It's a minor point. John Jomeara421 (talk) 01:13, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

---About the writing system: it is of no use (and even a little offending I would say) to call the writing systems "non-indigenous". The Latin alphabet is non-indigenous to the English language (the old English runes were!). Yet we never say that "English uses a non-indigenous writing system". That's why I removed it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:15, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Map Data[edit]


This is a draft of a map I'm working on. The size of a symbol represents raw number of "aboriginal" speakers reported in the Canadian census. The red ones are communities with over 50% native speakers. I realize that it has issues (overlapping symbols, urban areas not included, and the need to sort out which historically-Saulteaux communities are now strictly Cree-speaking). The final product will look a lot different (more colors, labels). What I need most, however, is similar data for Anishinaabe communities in the US. I can get data broken down by state, but I would much rather have band-level data like I have for Canada. Any suggestions on finding the US data? Leo1410 (talk) 11:18, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

You're asking very different levels of coverages for the US. There are tribal-entity-level data and then there are the county-level data. The two are overlapping but not necessarily complimentary as one is not a subset of another... but the place to start are the US Census Bureau's Minority Links: Facts on the American Indian and Alaskan Native Population for the county-level data and 2000 Census of Population and Housing Characteristics of American Indians and Alaska Natives by Tribe and Language: 2000 (PHC-5) for the tribal-entity-level data. The two will be similar but not identical. Also, the US Census Bureau distinguished Ojibwa, Ottawa and Potawatomi from each other. CJLippert (talk) 22:32, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
You would use tribal data I think. US counties would correspond to Canadian Census Districts which are gigantic and probably exclude urban areas.vıdıoman
US Census Track corresponds to Canadian Census Districts, and in the US, they're actually very small. From combination of these tracts, the FIPS55-3 5-digit areas (now part of GNIS) are generated. From these FIPS55-3 5-digit areas, the FIPS6-4 3-digit County/Parrish and 4-digit Reservation/Colony/Rancheria areas are generated, to which they are combined to generate the FIPS5-2 2-digit States/Protectorates/Districts codes. However, collected data from Census Tracks are not displayed as that would reveal too much personalised information, so instead, the aggregated data become viewable. If the county-aggregated data are use, the actual location of the speakers would be mapped. If the tribal-entity data are used, the vigour of language prevalence for the tribal-entity can be gleaned. CJLippert (talk) 17:58, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Miigwech for the comments. It was a several-step process, but I got the data. It's not as reliable as the Canadian, but it should still work. I think what passes for a speaker in the US census is not as strict as in the Canadian. However, with the high populations in the US communities relative to lower number of speakers, the map shouldn't be overly skewed even if a "non-speaker" in Kingfisher Lake knows a lot more of the language than a "speaker" in Red Cliff. The final map will be a combination of these two--size indicating raw number of speakers and shade of red indicating percentage of community. Leo1410 (talk) 15:47, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Section: Well-known speakers of Anishinaabemowin[edit]

Each of the names cited in this section should have a reference. Jomeara421 (talk) 12:02, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Census data in "Geographic Distribution"[edit]

The table in this section has a row for "Ottawa" and the Canadian Census of 2006 is cited as the source for data in this section. But the Canadian Census (Statistics Canada 2006) does not have "Ottawa" as a reporting category. In my opinion there are no Wikipedia:Reliable sources for Ottawa speaker data in Canada. Jomeara421 (talk) 22:27, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

I think we had the 8000 total figure from a study, and from the US Census know how many speakers there are in the US, and then the remainder as being attributed to Canada, so with that many being subtracted from the total Ojibwa total. That information needs to be conveyed somehow. CJLippert (talk) 19:35, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
The 8000 figure probably is cited from the Ottawa language article from the 15th edition of Ethnologue. That information is no longer available at Ethnologue online and should be removed from the Ottawa language article, because the 16th edition has now replaced the 15th online. The info in the 15th threw together some very dubious information for three different Ojibwe dialects to come up with a number of 8000, which was little more than speculation. The information in the 16th is even less reliable than the 15th, and gives different number but cites no sources: Ethnologue entry for Ottawa. I would be very surprised if there were more than perhaps 3000 speakers of Ottawa because Ottawa is now in steep decline, but any estimate is no more than a guess.
By The Way, arriving at a number for Ottawa by subtracting the US number from the speculative 8000 would almost certainly be considered a violation of the Wikipedia:No original research dictum by Wikipedia purists, thereby inducing banishment to the nether regions. :)

Jomeara421 (talk) 02:25, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Migrant groups?[edit]

The dialects of Ojibwe are spoken in Canada from southwestern Quebec, through Ontario, Manitoba and parts of Saskatchewan, with outlying communities in Alberta,[3][4] and in the United States from Michigan through Wisconsin and Minnesota, with a number of communities in North Dakota and Montana, as well as migrant groups in Kansas and Oklahoma.[4][5]


Irrelevant ethnocentric and frankly racist blathering (yes, the "noble savage" stereotype is no less racist than the "dirty stupid Injun" one). The Ojibwe are definitely not native to Kansas and Oklahoma (no, just because they are Native/indigenous/Amerindian doesn't mean they're native to the whole flipping continent), but known to have been forced to relocate there within documented history, hence migrant (even if involuntarily). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:39, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
 Done I see that the article already mentions now that these groups have been forcibly relocated. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:48, 2 February 2017 (UTC)


This sentence "The aggregated dialects of Ojibwe comprise the second most commonly spoken First Nations language in Canada (after Cree),[6] and the fourth most widely spoken in the United States or Canada behind Navajo, Inuit and Cree." doesn't make sense. How can it be second in Canada, and fourth in Canada and USA combined when one of the first three is Inuit, another mostly Canadian language ? The reason is because, it is the second First Nation language in Canada, but Inuit (and métis) are not considered First Nations. That sentence is leading to confusion. Amqui (talk) 04:25, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

I also suggest that we take a look at the comment left by an IP contributor in the section above in 2010. Amqui (talk) 04:32, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

The introduction goes abruptly into Valentine and which dialects he includes in his classifications but doesn't say who Valentine is. Putting this note here in case someone with time and expertise (I've neither right now) can address it. Blue william (talk) 00:09, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 5 external links on Ojibwe language. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 04:36, 14 December 2017 (UTC)