Central Algonquian

The Central Algonquian languages are commonly grouped together as a subgroup of the larger Algonquian family, itself a member of the Algic family. Though this grouping is often encountered in the literature, it is an areal grouping rather than a genetic one. This means the languages are grouped together because they were spoken near each other, not because they are any closer related to one another than to any other Algonquian language. Within the Algonquian family, only Eastern Algonquian constitutes a valid genealogical group.
Within the Central Algonquian grouping languages that are closely related are Potawatomi and Chippewa otherwise known as the Ojibwe, which are generally grouped together as an Ojibwa-Potawatomi sub-branch. David J. Costa spectulcated in his 2003-2004 web publications that within Central Algonquian there is a specific language sub-branch he refers to as “Eastern Great Lakes”. The hypothesis for this subgroup is based on lexical and phonological innovations.
Family division
The languages are listed below along with dialects and subdialects. This classification follows Goddard (1996) and Mithun (1999).
1. Cree-Montagnais (also known as Kirištino˙ or Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi)
i. Cree

Plains Cree
Woods Cree
Western Swampy Cree
Eastern Swampy Cree and Moose Cree
Atikamekw(also known as Attikamek, Attikamekw, Atikamek or Tête de Boule)

ii. Montagnais-Naskapi

East Cree (also known as James Bay Cree or Eastern Cree)Naskapi

Northern East Cree
Southern East Cree

Montagnais(also known as Innu-aimun or Innu)

2. Menominee (also known as Menomini) I. Eastern Great Lakes (also known as Core Central)
a. Ojibwe–Potawatomi (also known as Ojibwe–Potawatomi–Ottawa, Anishinaabemowin, or the Anishinaabe language)

3. Ojibwe (also known as Ojibwa, Ojibway, Ojibwe–Ottawa, Ojibwemowinor the Anishinaabe language)

i. Northern

Oji-Cree(also known as Severn Ojibwe, Anishininiimowin or the Anishinini language)

ii. Southern

Saulteaux(also known as Nakawēmowin, Plains Ojibwe or Western Ojibwe)
Eastern Ojibwe(also known as Mississauga Ojibwa or Jibwemwin)
Southwestern Ojibwe(also known as Chippewa, Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Ojibwemowin or Ojibway)
Ottawa(also known as Odawa or Daawaamwin)
Northern Ojibwe(also known as Northwestern Ojibwe)
Nipissing Algonquin(also known simply as Algonquin)

4. Potawatomi

5. Fox(also known as Fox-Sauk-Kickapoo or Mesquakie-Sauk-Kickapoo)

Fox(also known as Meskwaki, Mesquakie, or Meshkwahkihaki)

Sauk(also known as Sac and Fox)


Mascouten (unattested)

6. Shawnee (Ša˙wano˙ki)
7. Miami-Illinois


April 30, 2007

Miyo Wahkohtowin Community Education Authority (MWCEA) and Dr. Earle Waugh Dir. Center for Culture & Health Family Medicine, University of Alberta (U of A) are partnering to develop a web based interactive First Nations language portal with dictionary and curriculum based resources to further the development for Cree language in Canada.

Plains Cree Language
October 13, 2005

Region: 2 communities in Quebec and Labrador. Those in Kawawachikamach are about 10 km northeast of Schefferville in northeastern Quebec at the height of land (watershed). On December 15, 2002 most of the Mushuau Innu moved from Utshimassits (Davis Inlet) to Natuashish on the mainland. Natuashish is an isolated community in Labrador.

Naskapi Language
October 13, 2005

Region: 11 communities in Quebec and Labrador, from Lake St. John eastward along the Saguenay Valley to the north shore of the St. Lawrence River and Gulf of St. Lawrence eastward to St. Augustin, northward to the height of land at Schefferville and inland Labrador (Goose Bay, Lake Melville). Western Montagnais is in 4 communities: […]

Montagnais Language
October 12, 2005

Region: Three isolated communities on reservations of Manuane, Obedjiwan, Weymontachie, between La Tuque, Quebec, and Senneterre, Quebec, 200 to 400 km north of Montreal in south central Quebec, along the upper reaches of the St. Maurice River.

Plains Cree Language