19th Edition



A language of United States

Alternate Names
Lakhota, Lakotiyapi, Teton

2,000 in United States (1997 W. Meya), increasing. 2,300 L1 speakers of all Sioux dialects in a total population of 175,000. L2 users: 100 in United States (2016 W. Meya). Ethnic population: 170,000 (2016 W. Meya). Includes all ethnic Sioux. Total users in all countries: 2,200 (as L1: 2,100; as L2: 100).


Nebraska: northwest corner; North Dakota: Bismark, Standing Rock reservation; South Dakota: Cheyenne River, Lower Brule reservation, Pine Ridge, Rapid City, Rosebud; Urban centers including Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).




SOV; postpositions; noun head initial; dual number; definite and indefinite articles; verb affixes mark person, number; no passives; causatives; comparatives; 30 consonant and 9 vowel phonemes; non-tonal.

Language Use

Teaching programs at every level, preschool through university. Substantial Lakota language program developed at Sinte Gleska College on the Rosebud Reservation. Courses offered in several American colleges and universities (Golla 2007). Older adults and elderly (L1); Adolescents and young adults (L2). Also use English [eng].

Language Development
New media. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 2006. Agency: Lakota Language Consortium (LLC).

Latin script [Latn].

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