A language of United States

Alternate Names
Lakhota, Lakotiyapi, Teton, Teton Sioux

2,100 in United States, all users. L1 users: 2,000 in United States (1997 W. Meya), decreasing. 2,300 L1 speakers of all Sioux dialects in a total population of 175,000. L2 users: 100 (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).


Montana; 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, and Seattle.

Language Status

8a (Moribund). Language of registered tribe: Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of the Cheyenne River Reservation, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (North Dakota and South Dakota).




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

Revitalization is quite active, so even though absolute numbers may still be decreasing, there is increasing use among the young L2 speakers (2016 W. Meya). Older adults only. Also use English [eng].

Language Development

Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. Bible portions: 2006. 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). Agency: Lakota Language Consortium (LLC).


Latin script [Latn].

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