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The Bannock, whose precontact territory centered around the Snake River plain of southwestern Idaho and the Boise River valley, speak the variety of Northern Paiute most influenced by its close linguistic relative, Shoshoni. This influence may be due to a combination of factors, including the overlapping nature of aboriginal territories, the acquisition of the horse and buffalo-hunting culture, and the later impact of a one-way bilingualism that was present on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, whereby nearly all Bannock speakers also spoke (and speak) Shoshoni, but not the reverse. The number of Bannock speakers, currently, may be no more than a dozen, although there is a dedicated group of language learners and teachers.

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This document was originally published in International Journal of American Linguistics by University of Chicago Press. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1086/707225