Omaha-Ponca

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A language of United States

Alternate Names
Mahairi, Ponka, Ppankka, Umanhan
Population

85 (Golla 2007). Fewer than 50 Omaha speakers, 35 Ponca speakers. Additional semispeakers of Omaha (Golla 2007). Ethnic population: 365 Omaha and 160 Ponca (2000 census).

Location

Omaha dialect: southeastern Nebraska, Macy and Walthill; Ponca dialect: south central Oklahoma, Red Rock area.

Language Status

8a (Moribund).

Dialects

Omaha, Ponca. Ponca and Omaha are completely mutually intelligible, Similar to Osage [osa], Quapaw [qua], and Kansa [ksk].

Language Use

Formally for prayers, especially at funerals, for songs, powwow announcements, but usually translated into English [eng] for nonspeakers present. Speakers 60 and older. In 1985 only a few older women seemed less than fully fluent in at least the regional English [eng].

Language Development
Omaha language program at Umonhon Nation Public School Culture Center in Walthill. Taught at tribal college and at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Ponca language program at Red Rock high school (2007). Grammar.
Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion, Mormon, Baha’i.