Loup language

Loup is an extinct Algonquian language, or possibly group of languages, spoken in colonial New England. Loup ("Wolf") was a French colonial ethnographic term, and usage was inconsistent. In modern literature, it refers to two varieties, Loup A and Loup B.[2]

Native toUnited States
RegionMassachusetts, Connecticut
Extinct18th century
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
xlo – Loup A
xlb – Loup B
xlo Loup A
 xlb Loup B
Glottologloup1243  Loup A[1]


Loup A, which may be the language of the Nipmuck, is principally attested from a word list recorded from refugees by the St. Francis mission to the Abenaki in Quebec. The descendants of these refugees became speakers of Western Abenaki in the eighteenth century. Loup B refers to a second word list, which shows extensive dialectal variation. This may not be a distinct language, but just notes on the speech of various New England Algonquian refugees in French missions.[3]

Chaubunagungamaug lake sign, in Nipmuk and English


The phonology of Loup A (Nipmuck), reconstructed by Gustafson 2000:

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal/
Velar Glottal
plain pal. plain lab.
Plosive p t k (kʷ)
Nasal m n
Fricative s h
Lateral l
Approximant w j
Short Long Nasal
Close i
Mid e
Open a ã
Back-mid o
Back-close u

The vowel sounds likely have the same phonetic quality as other southern New England Algonquian languages. The short vowels /i o e a/ may represent the sounds as [ɪ], [ʊ], [ɛ,ə], and [ʌ], while the long vowels /iː/, /oː/, and /ã/ correspond to /i/, /o/, and /ã/.[4][5]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Loup A". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Goddard, Ives (2012). "The 'Loup' Languages of Western Massachusetts: The Dialectal Diversity of Southern New England Algonquian". Papers of the 44th Algonquian Conference. SUNY Press: 104–138.
  3. ^ Victor Golla, 2007. Atlas of the World's Languages
  4. ^ Gustafson, Holly Suzanne (2000). A Grammar of the Nipmuck Language (PDF). Deparament of Linguistics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  5. ^ Costa, David J. (2007). The Dialectology of Southern New England Algonquian (PDF).

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