A language of United States

Alternate Names
Nishnabek, Pottawotomi

21 in United States, all users. L1 users: 10 in United States (2018 J. Neeley), increasing. 8 speakers in Wisconsin and 2 speakers in Kansas (2018 J. Neeley). L2 users: 11 (2018 J. Neeley). Ethnic population: 25,000 (1997 L. Buszard-Welcher). Total users in all countries: 21 (as L1: 10; as L2: 11).


Kansas; Michigan: southwest and north; Wisconsin: north; Oklahoma: central.

Language Status

8b (Nearly extinct). Language of registered tribe: Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Forest County Potawatomi Community, Hannahville Indian Community, Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (Michigan and Indiana), Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.


Polysynthetic language; fairly free word order.

Language Use

Shifting to English [eng]. Ceremonial and religious activities.

Language Development

Taught in tribal Head Start and K-12 schools in most communities as wells as in adult language programs. Grammar. Bible portions: 1844. The Prairie Band Potawatomi Language and Cultural Department is instrumental in the revitalization of the Potawatomi language and culture. Agency: Citizen Potawatomi Cultural Center.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

85% have varying degrees of language retention.

Also spoken in:

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