Meskwaki-Sauk Language

The Meskwaki-Sauk language (or Meskawaki, Mesquaki, Fox) is spoken by the Sac and Fox (or Sauk-Fox) people of Oklahoma and the Nemaha Sauks of the Kansas-Nebraska border. Although Fox/Meskwaki and Sauk are sometimes considered separate languages, they are mutually intelligible and therefore can also be considered dialects of the same language. Meskwaki is a member of the Central Algonquian branch of the Algic language family, and is closely related to Kickapoo. More distantly related languages include Shawnee, Myaamia, and Potawatomi.

Selected Language Information

Bloomfield, Leonard. 1925. Notes on the Fox Language. International Journal of American Linguistics Vol. 3. 219-32.

Dahlstrom, Amy. 1997. Fox (Mesquakie) Reduplication. International Journal of American LinguisticsVol. 63: 2. 205-226.

Dahlstrom, Amy. 2003. Warrior Powers from an Underwater Spirit: Cultural and Linguistic Aspects of an Illustrated Meskwaki Text. Anthropological Linguistics Vol. 45: 1. 1-56.

Dahlstrom, Amy. 2003. Focus Constructions in Meskwaki (Fox). Proceedings of the Lexical Functional Grammar 03 Conference. Miriam Butt and Tracy Holloway King (eds.) University at Albany, State University of New York: CSLI Publications. 144-163.

Goddard, Ives. 1996. Writing and Reading Mesquakie (Fox). Papers of the Twenty-seventh Algonquian Conference. W. Cowan (ed.) Ottawa: Carleton University. 117-134.

Jones, William. 1907. Fox Texts. In Publications of the American Ethnological Society. Franz Boas (ed.) Leyden, Holland: Late E.J. Brill Publishers.

Sammons, Olivia. 2009. Updating the Sauk Lexicon. Masters thesis. University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, 214.

Whittaker, Gordan 1996. Conversational Sauk, A Practical Guide to the Language of Black Hawk. Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma.

Sample Archival Materials in the Native American Languages Collection


Talk Sauk

Sauk Dictionary

Meskwaki Tribe

Learn Sauk


Catalogue of Endangered Languages