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language family indigenous to North America, including the Algonquian languages
The term "Algic" was first coined by Henry Schoolcraft in his Algic Researches, published in 1839. Schoolcraft defined the term as "derived from the words Allegheny and Atlantic, in reference to the indigenous people anciently located in this geographical area." Schoolcraft's terminology was not retained. The peoples he called "Algic" were later included among the speakers of Algonquian languages. This language group is also referred to as "Algonquian-Ritwan" and "Wiyot-Yurok-Algonquian"
When Edward Sapir proposed that the well-established Algonquian family was genetically related to the Wiyot and Yurok languages of northern California, he applied the term Algic to this larger family. The Algic urheimat is thought to have been located in the Northwestern United States somewhere between the suspected homeland of the Algonquian branch (to the west of Lake Superior according to Goddard) and the earliest known location of the Wiyot and Yurok (along the middle Columbia River according to Whistler).
Classification of Algic
The genetic relation of Wiyot and Yurok to Algonquian was first proposed by Edward Sapir (1913, 1915, 1923), and argued against by Algonquianist Truman Michelson (1914, 1914, 1935). According to Lyle Campbell (1997), the relationship "has subsequently been demonstrated to the satisfaction of all". This controversy in the early classification of North American languages was called the "Ritwan controversy" because Wiyot and Yurok were assigned to a genetic grouping called "Ritwan". Most specialists now reject the validity of the Ritwan genetic node. Berman (1982) suggested that Wiyot and Yurok share sound changes not shared by the rest of Algic (which would be explainable by either areal diffusion or genetic relatedness); Proulx (2004) argued against Berman's conclusion of common sound changes.