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There are different ways of spelling the word that refers to the Thítųwą(also known as "Teton") division of the Oyáte. So, when one sees the word Lakȟóta, the most obvious questions arise:

Why is there an 'h' in Lakȟóta? Why is there an acute accent above the 'o' in Lakȟóta?

These are diacritic marks used to write Lakȟóta in the American Phonetic Alphabet.

What is the American Phonetic Alphabet?

According to Wikipedia, it (the acute accent mark above the vowel) is one of several diacritic marks used "... in the transcription of the indigenous languages of the Americas. This usage originated in the orthographies created by Christian missionaries to transcribe these languages. Later, the practice was continued by Americanist anthropologists and linguists who still follow this convention in phonetic transcription to the present day ... ."

Why not write Lakȟóta as Lakota, the way most people pronounce Dakota?

Dakota, as in South Dakota, is an example of this problem of trying to combine the sounds of a language to correspond with a method of writing it. As an example, although the term Dakota appears to have been accepted by the indigenous group to which that term refers, the Dakhóta do not actually pronounce Dakota this way.

Says who?

Call an enrolled member of the Yankton Sioux tribe -- members of whom call themselves Ihąkthųwą (with an acute accent above the second vowel: [a with an ogonek diacritical mark beneath it] -- who speaks Dakhóta and ask.

What is Ihąkthųwą (with an acute accent above the second vowel:[a with an ogonek diacritical mark beneath it]?

It means "dwells at the end". An a with an ogonek mark beneath it indicates that the vowel is nasalized. An acute mark above an ogonek vowel indicates that the vowel is stressed. An ogonek vowel without an acute mark indicates that it is unstressed.

Then why doesn't the first ogonek a in Ihąkthųwą have an acute accent above it?

This is a limitation of using html in a web browser that does not support combining diacritic marks. Not all browsers support the same features of correctly rendering an html character that uses combining diacritic marks.

Is there a solution to this problem?

For now, I have compiled the homepage and other pages using fonts that are typically installed in a new computer. I have also other pages within this site that use a set of fonts that I created. Those text on these designated pages will appear as gibberish to those who do not download and install these fonts.

If members of an indigenous group, like the Dakhóta, do not object to this written form of the term Dakota being applied to them, then why make an issue of it?

Although Lakota appears as a popular word found in most pre-digital era publications, it was not until quite recently that some of the analog press processes were rendered relatively obsolete by the digital era.
The current digital era has, for the most part, provided useful solutions to the conventional problems and obstacles that had historically impeded progress for indigenous populations to publish our own language materials free from the limited repertoire of standard Latin conventions.
Because the standard Latin alphabet was imposed upon indigenous non-standard Latin languages, the sounds of the Lakȟóta language have been arbitrarily assigned to popular European typeface characters when published in analog printing presses. The results have been confusing at best.
So, the issue of what we should call ourselves and allow ourselves to be called by others -- seems to be a Lakȟóta one. This situation inspires the questions: For whom do we speak our own language? For the benefit of others? Or for ourselves?
Although we have been called many things, by many people at different times -- especially by our traditional enemies -- we are still selective about what we will respond to. We insist that we be called by our term for ourselves.

Then why use a non-Lakȟóta form to write the Lakȟóta language?

The APA has evolved into a practical solution that provides a clearest method, so far, of Lakȟóta language notation.
The objections to using it are essentially historical, political and cultural ones -- i.e, its development and use by Christian missionaries, linguists and anthropologists funded by U.S. commercial, religious, military, educational and political interests.

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