Cherokee language

Cherokee (ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ, Tsalagi Gawonihisdi [dʒalaˈɡî ɡawónihisˈdî]) is an endangered Iroquoian language[4] and the native language of the Cherokee people.[5][6][7] There were 1,520 Cherokee speakers out of 376,000 Cherokee in 2018.[4] The number of speakers is in decline. About 8 fluent speakers die each month, and only a handful of people under 40 are fluent.[10] The dialect of Cherokee in Oklahoma is "definitely endangered", and the one in North Carolina is "severely endangered" according to UNESCO.[11] The Lower dialect, formerly spoken on the South Carolina–Georgia border, has been extinct since about 1900.[12] Cherokee speakers populate several counties within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina.[13] Around 200 speakers of the Eastern (North Carolina) dialect remain and language preservation efforts include the New Kituwah Academy.[14] The Cherokee Immersion School (Tsalagi Tsunadeloquasdi) is also present in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.[15]

Cherokee is the only Southern Iroquoian language, and it differs from other Iroquoian languages.[16] Cherokee is polysynthetic[17] and uses a unique syllabary writing system.[18] As a polysynthetic language, Cherokee is highly different from English and other Indo-European languages like French or Spanish, and can offer many challenges to adult learners.[5] A single Cherokee word can convey ideas that would require multiple English words to express, including the context of the assertion, connotations about the speaker, the action, and the object of the action. The morphological complexity of the Cherokee language is best exhibited in verbs, which comprise approximately 75% of the language, as opposed to only 25% of the English language.[5] Verbs must contain at minimum a pronominal prefix, a verb root, an aspect suffix, and a modal suffix.[19]

Extensive documentation of the language exists, as it is the indigenous language of the Americas in which the most literature has been published.[20] Such publications include a Cherokee dictionary and grammar as well as several editions of the New Testament and Psalms of the Bible[4] and the Cherokee Phoenix (ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎯ, Tsalagi Tsulehisanvhi), the first newspaper published by Native Americans in the United States and the first published in a Native American language.[21][22]

Cherokee
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ
Tsalagi Gawonihisdi
Cherokee sample
Tsa-la-gi written in the Cherokee syllabary
Pronunciation(Oklahoma dialect) [dʒalaˈɡî ɡawónihisˈdî]
Native toNorth America
Regioneast Oklahoma; Great Smoky Mountains[1] and Qualla Boundary in North Carolina[2] Also in Arkansas.[3] and Cherokee community in California.
EthnicityCherokee
Native speakers
1520 (2018)[4]
Iroquoian
  • Southern Iroquoian
    • Cherokee
Cherokee syllabary, Latin script
Official status
Official language in
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina
Cherokee Nation[5][6][7][8]
of Oklahoma
Regulated byUnited Keetoowah Band Department of Language, History, & Culture[6][7]
Council of the Cherokee Nation
Language codes
ISO 639-2chr
ISO 639-3chr
Glottologcher1273[9]
Linguasphere63-AB
Cherokee lang
Pre-contact Distribution of the Cherokee Language
Cherokee Speaking Areas Within The USA
Current geographic distribution of the Cherokee language

Classification

Cherokee is an Iroquoian language, and the only Southern Iroquoian language spoken today. Linguists believe that the Cherokee people migrated to the southeast from the Great Lakes region about three thousand years ago, bringing with them their language. Despite the three-thousand-year geographic separation, the Cherokee language today still shows some similarities to the languages spoken around the Great Lakes, such as Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora.

Some researchers (such as Thomas Whyte) have suggested the homeland of the proto-Iroquoian language resides in Appalachia. Whyte contends, based on linguistic and molecular studies, that proto-Iroquoian speakers participated in cultural and economic exchanges along the north-south axis of the Appalachian Mountains. The divergence of Southern Iroquoian (which Cherokee is the only known branch of) from the Northern Iroquoian languages occurred approximately 4,000-3,000 years ago as Late Archaic proto-Iroquoian speaking peoples became more sedentary with the advent of horticulture, advancement of lithic technologies and the emergence of social complexity in the Eastern Woodlands. In the subsequent millennia, the Northern Iroquoian and Southern Iroquoian would be separated by various Algonquin and Siouan speaking peoples as linguistic, religious, social and technological practices from the Algonquin to the north and east and the Siouans to the west from the Ohio Valley would come to be practiced by peoples in the Chesapeake region, as well as parts of the Carolinas.

History

Cherokee Heritage Center - New Hope Church - Bible cover in Cherokee script (2015-05-27 14.09.44 by Wesley Fryer)
Cherokee Heritage Center - New Hope Church - Bible cover in Cherokee script (2015-05-27 14.09.44 by Wesley Fryer)

Literacy

Adams Corner - Kirche 7
Translation of Genesis into the Cherokee language, 1856

Before the development of the Cherokee syllabary in the 1820s, Cherokee was a spoken language only. The Cherokee syllabary is a syllabary invented by Sequoyah to write the Cherokee language in the late 1810s and early 1820s. His creation of the syllabary is particularly noteworthy in that he could not previously read any script. Sequoyah had some contact with English literacy and the Roman alphabet through his proximity to Fort Loundon, where he engaged in trade with Europeans. He was exposed to English literacy through his white father. His limited understanding of the Roman alphabet, including the ability to recognize the letters of his name, may have aided him in the creation of the Cherokee syllabary.[23] When developing the written language, Sequoyah first experimented with logograms, but his system later developed into a syllabary. In his system, each symbol represents a syllable rather than a single phoneme; the 85 (originally 86)[24] characters in the Cherokee syllabary provide a suitable method to write Cherokee. Some symbols do resemble the Latin, Greek and even the Cyrillic scripts' letters, but the sounds are completely different (for example, the sound /a/ is written with a letter that resembles Latin D).

Around 1809, Sequoyah began work to create a system of writing for the Cherokee language.[25] At first he sought to create a character for each word in the language. He spent a year on this effort, leaving his fields unplanted, so that his friends and neighbors thought he had lost his mind.[26][27] His wife is said to have burned his initial work, believing it to be witchcraft.[25] He finally realized that this approach was impractical because it would require too many pictures to be remembered. He then tried making a symbol for every idea, but this also caused too many problems to be practical.[28]

Sequoyah did not succeed until he gave up trying to represent entire words and developed a symbol for each syllable in the language. After approximately a month, he had a system of 86 characters, some of which were Latin letters he obtained from a spelling book.[26] "In their present form, many of the syllabary characters resemble Roman, Cyrillic or Greek letters or Arabic numerals," says Janine Scancarelli, a scholar of Cherokee writing, "but there is no apparent relationship between their sounds in other languages and in Cherokee."[25]

Unable to find adults willing to learn the syllabary, he taught it to his daughter, Ayokeh (also spelled Ayoka).[25] Langguth says she was only six years old at the time.[29] He traveled to the Indian Reserves in the Arkansaw Territory where some Cherokee had settled. When he tried to convince the local leaders of the syllabary's usefulness, they doubted him, believing that the symbols were merely ad hoc reminders. Sequoyah asked each to say a word, which he wrote down, and then called his daughter in to read the words back. This demonstration convinced the leaders to let him teach the syllabary to a few more people. This took several months, during which it was rumored that he might be using the students for sorcery. After completing the lessons, Sequoyah wrote a dictated letter to each student, and read a dictated response. This test convinced the western Cherokee that he had created a practical writing system.[27]

When Sequoyah returned east, he brought a sealed envelope containing a written speech from one of the Arkansas Cherokee leaders. By reading this speech, he convinced the eastern Cherokee also to learn the system, after which it spread rapidly.[26][27] In 1825 the Cherokee Nation officially adopted the writing system. From 1828 to 1834, American missionaries assisted the Cherokee in using Sequoyah's syllabary to develop type characters and print the Cherokee Phoenix, the first newspaper of the Cherokee Nation, with text in both Cherokee and English.[30]

In 1826, the Cherokee National Council commissioned George Lowrey and David Brown to translate and print eight copies of the laws of the Cherokee Nation in the new Cherokee language using Sequoyah's system.[28]

Once Albert Gallatin saw a copy of Sequoyah's syllabary, he found the syllabary superior to the English alphabet. Even though the Cherokee student must learn 85 characters instead of 26, he can read immediately. The student could accomplish in a few weeks what students of English writing could learn in two years.[29]

In 1824, the General Council of the Eastern Cherokee awarded Sequoyah a large silver medal in honor of the syllabary. According to Davis, one side of the medal bore his image surrounded by the inscription in English, "Presented to George Gist by the General Council of the Cherokee for his ingenuity in the invention of the Cherokee Alphabet." The reverse side showed two long-stemmed pipes and the same inscription written in Cherokee. Supposedly, Sequoyah wore the medal throughout the rest of his life and it was buried with him.[28]

By 1825, the Bible and numerous religious hymns and pamphlets, educational materials, legal documents and books were translated into the Cherokee language. Thousands of Cherokee became literate and the literacy rate for Cherokee in the syllabary was higher than that of whites in the English alphabet.

Though use of the Cherokee syllabary declined after many of the Cherokee were relocated to Indian Territory, present day Oklahoma, it has survived in private correspondence, renderings of the Bible, and descriptions of Indian medicine[31] and now can be found in books and on the internet among other places.

Nearly two hundred years later, John Standingdeer Jr. developed computer software to help people learn the language, based on dividing Sequoyah's 85 characters into 16 basic sounds.[32]

Geographic distribution

Cherokee is the most populous Native American language spoken in the U.S. states of Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Tennessee, and Kentucky.[33] The language has remained vigorous in some Oklahoma communities[34] and elsewhere, communities like Big Cove and Snowbird of the Eastern Band in North Carolina still predominantly speak Cherokee.[35] Cherokee is one of only five Oklahoma aboriginal languages still spoken and acquired by children.[36]

Dialects

At the time of European contact, there were three major dialects of Cherokee: Lower, Middle, and Overhill. The Lower dialect, formerly spoken on the South Carolina-Georgia border, has been extinct since about 1900.[12] Of the remaining two dialects, the Middle dialect (Kituwah) is spoken by the Eastern band on the Qualla Boundary, and retains 1,000 speakers [4] or fewer.[37] The Overhill, or Western, dialect is spoken in eastern Oklahoma and by the Snowbird Community in North Carolina [38] by an estimated 9,000 people[13][36] or more.[4][20][39] The Western dialect is most widely used and is considered the main dialect of the language.[5][13] Both dialects have had English influence, with the Overhill, or Western dialect showing some Spanish influence as well.[13]

The now extinct Lower dialect spoken by the inhabitants of the Lower Towns in the vicinity of the South Carolina–Georgia border had r as the liquid consonant in its inventory, while both the contemporary Kituhwa or Ani-kituwah dialect spoken in North Carolina and the Overhill dialect contain l. Only Oklahoma Cherokee developed tone. Both the Lower dialect and the Kituhwa dialect have a "ts" sound in place of the "tl" sound of the Overhill dialect. For instance, the word for 'no' is ᎥᏝ (ə̃tˤɑ or [ə̃tl̥á]) in the Overhill dialect, but ᎥᏣ (ə̃sɑ) in both the Lower and Kituhwa dialects.

Language drift

There are two main dialects of Cherokee spoken by modern speakers. The Giduwa dialect (Eastern Band) and the Otali dialect (also called the Overhill dialect) spoken in Oklahoma. The Otali dialect has drifted significantly from Sequoyah's syllabary in the past 150 years, and many contracted and borrowed words have been adopted into the language. These noun and verb roots in Cherokee, however, can still be mapped to Sequoyah's syllabary. In modern times, there are more than 85 syllables in use by modern Cherokee speakers. Modern Cherokee speakers who speak Otali employ 122 distinct syllables in Oklahoma.

Current status and preservation efforts

Swyddfa Bost Tahlequah
Tahlequah is a city in Oklahoma where Cherokee is still predominantly spoken.
Kituwah Academy
A lesson at Kituwah Academy on the Qualla Boundary in North Carolina. The language immersion school, operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, teaches the same curriculum as other American primary schools, but the Cherokee language is the medium of instruction from pre-school on up and students learn it as a first language. Such schools have proven instrumental in the preservation and perpetuation of the Cherokee language.

The Cherokee language currently retains about 2,000 Cherokee speakers, but an average of 8 fluent speakers die each month, and only a handful of people under 40 years of age are fluent as of 2019.[10] In 1986, the literacy rate for first language speakers was 15–20% who could read and 5% who could write, according to the 1986 Cherokee Heritage Center.[4] A 2005 survey determined that the Eastern band had 460 fluent speakers. Ten years later, the number was believed to be 200.[32]

Official status

Tsali Boulevard sign, Cherokee, NC IMG 4880
Tsali Boulevard in Cherokee, North Carolina

Cherokee is "definitely endangered" in Oklahoma and "severely endangered" in North Carolina according to UNESCO.[11] Cherokee has been the co-official language of the Cherokee Nation alongside English since a 1991 legislation officially proclaimed this under the Act Relating to the Tribal Policy for the Promotion and Preservation of Cherokee Language, History, and Culture.[40] Cherokee is also recognised as the official language of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. As Cherokee is official, the entire constitution of the United Keetoowah Band is available in both English and Cherokee. As an official language, any tribal member may communicate with the tribal government in Cherokee or English, English translation services are provided for Cherokee speakers, and both Cherokee and English are used when the tribe provides services, resources, and information to tribal members or when communicating with the tribal council.[40] The 1991 legislation allows the political branch of the nation to maintain Cherokee as a living language.[40] Because they are within the Cherokee Nation tribal jurisdiction area, hospitals and health centers such as the Three Rivers Health Center in Muscogee, Oklahoma provide Cherokee language translation services.[41]

Education

Cherokeeclass
Oklahoma Cherokee language immersion school student writing in the Cherokee syllabary.
CherokeeKituwahAcademy
The Cherokee language taught to preschool students as a first language, at New Kituwah Academy

In 2008 The Cherokee Nation instigated a 10-year language preservation plan that involved growing new fluent speakers of the Cherokee language from childhood on up through school immersion programs, as well as a collaborative community effort to continue to use the language at home.[42] This plan was part of an ambitious goal that in 50 years, 80 percent or more of the Cherokee people will be fluent in the language.[43] The Cherokee Preservation Foundation has invested $4.5 million into opening schools, training teachers, and developing curricula for language education, as well as initiating community gatherings where the language can be actively used. They have accomplished: "Curriculum development, teaching materials and teacher training for a total immersion program for children, beginning when they are preschoolers, that enables them to learn Cherokee as their first language. The participating children and their parents learn to speak and read together. The Tribe operates the Kituwah Academy".[43] Formed in 2006, the Kituwah Preservation & Education Program (KPEP) on the Qualla Boundary focuses on language immersion programs for children from birth to fifth grade, developing cultural resources for the general public and community language programs to foster the Cherokee language among adults.[44] There is also a Cherokee language immersion school in Tahlequah, Oklahoma that educates students from pre-school through eighth grade.[45]

Several universities offer Cherokee as a second language, including the University of Oklahoma, Northeastern State University, and Western Carolina University. Western Carolina University (WCU) has partnered with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) to promote and restore the language through the school's Cherokee Studies program, which offers classes in and about the language and culture of the Cherokee Indians.[46] WCU and the EBCI have initiated a ten-year language revitalization plan consisting of: (1) a continuation of the improvement and expansion of the EBCI Atse Kituwah Cherokee Language Immersion School, (2) continued development of Cherokee language learning resources, and (3) building of Western Carolina University programs to offer a more comprehensive language training curriculum.[46]

Phonology

Recording of a native Cherokee speaker from the Eastern Band
Recording of a Cherokee language stomp dance ceremony in Oklahoma

The family of Iroquoian languages has a unique phonological inventory. Unlike most languages, the Cherokee inventory of consonants lacks the labial sounds p, b, f, and v. Cherokee does, however, have one labial consonant m, but it is rare, appearing in no more than ten native words.[47] In fact, the Lower dialect does not produce m at all. Instead, it uses w.

In the case of p, qw is often substituted, as in the name of the Cherokee Wikipedia, Wiɣiqwejdiʃ. Some words may contain sounds not reflected in the given phonology: for instance, the modern Oklahoma use of the loanword "automobile", with the /ɔ/ and /b/ sounds of English.

Consonants

As with many Iroquoian languages, Cherokee's phonetic inventory is small. The consonants for North Carolina Cherokee are given in the table below. The consonants of all Iroquoian languages pattern so that they may be grouped as (oral) obstruents, sibilants, laryngeals, and resonants (Lounsbury 1978:337). Obstruents are non-distinctively aspirated when they precede h. There is some variation in how orthographies represent these allophones. The orthography used in the table represents the aspirated allophones as th, kh, and tsh. Another common orthography represents the unaspirated allophones as d, ɣ, and dz and the aspirated allophones as t, k, and s (Scancarelli 2005:359–62). The unaspirated plosives and affricate are optionally voiced intervocally. In other dialects, the affricate is a palatal (like ch in "church"), and a lateral affricate (like tl in "atlas") may also be present.

North Carolina Cherokee consonants
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop t k ʔ
Affricate ts
Fricative s h
Nasal m n
Approximant l j w

Vowels

There are six short vowels and six long vowels in the Cherokee inventory.[48] As with all Iroquoian languages, this includes a nasalized vowel (Lounsbury 1978:337). In the case of Cherokee, the nasalized vowel is a mid central vowel usually represented as v and is pronounced [ə̃], as "a" in unstressed "comma" plus the nasalization found in French un. Other vowels, when ending a word, are often also nasalized.

Front Central Back
Close i   u  
Mid e   ə̃   ə̃ː o  
Open a  

Tone

Oklahoma Cherokee has six phonemic tones, two of which are level (low, high) and the other four of which are contour (rising, falling, highfall, lowfall).[49] While the tonal system is undergoing a gradual simplification in many areas, it remains important in meaning and is still held strongly by many, especially older, speakers. Tone is poorly documented in North Carolina Cherokee. The syllabary, moreover, does not display tone, and real meaning discrepancies are rare within the native-language Cherokee-speaking community. The same goes for transliterated Cherokee ("osiyo", "dohitsu", etc.), which is rarely written with any tone markers, except in dictionaries. Native speakers can tell the difference between written tone-distinguished words by context.

Tone inventory

The tone name in the left-hand column displays the labels most recently used in studies of the language.[49] The second represents the tone in standardized IPA.

Tone Name IPA
Low ˨
High ˦
Rising ˨˦
Falling ˥˩
Highfall ˥˧
Lowfall ˧˩

Tone environments

The high and low tones can appear on both long and short vowels in Cherokee,[50] and remain at the same pitch throughout the duration of the vowel sound. Contour tones in Cherokee appear only in underlying long vowels.[51] At the ends of words in colloquial speech, there is a tendency to drop off a long vowel into a short vowel; this results in the highfall tone being produced as a high tone in faster speech. [52]

Highfall

Highfall has a unique grammatical usage, primarily appearing with adjectives and adverbials along with most nouns derived from verbs. It only appears in verbs subordinate to another element of the sentence. When a highfall appears on a verb it changes the verb's role in the sentence, typically to one of four main categories: agentive derivation, modal, object derivation, or subordination.[53]

Grammar

Cherokee, like many Native American languages, is polysynthetic, meaning that many morphemes may be linked together to form a single word, which may be of great length. Cherokee verbs, the most important word type, must contain as a minimum a pronominal prefix, a verb root, an aspect suffix, and a modal suffix.[19] For example, the verb form ge:ga, "I am going," has each of these elements:

Verb form ge:ga
g- e: -g -a
PRONOMINAL PREFIX VERB ROOT "to go" ASPECT SUFFIX MODAL SUFFIX

The pronominal prefix is g-, which indicates first person singular. The verb root is -e, "to go." The aspect suffix that this verb employs for the present-tense stem is -g-. The present-tense modal suffix for regular verbs in Cherokee is -a.

Cherokee has 17 verb tenses and 10 persons.[32]

The following is a conjugation in the present tense of the verb to go.[54] Please note that there is no distinction between dual and plural in the 3rd person.

Full conjugation of Root Verb-e- going
Singular Dual incl. Dual excl. Plural incl. Plural excl.
1st ᎨᎦ
gega
I'm going
ᎢᏁᎦ
inega
We're going (you + I)
ᎣᏍᏕᎦ
osdega
We two are going (not you)
ᎢᏕᎦ
idega
We're all going (3+, including you)
ᎣᏤᎦ
otsega
We're all going (3+, not you)
2nd ᎮᎦ
hega
You're going
ᏍᏕᎦ
sdega
You two are going
ᎢᏤᎦ
itsega
You're all going
3rd ᎡᎦ
ega
She/he/it's going
ᎠᏁᎦ
anega
They are going

The translation uses the present progressive ("at this time I am going"). Cherokee differentiates between progressive ("I am going") and habitual ("I go") more than English does.

The forms ᎨᎪᎢ, ᎮᎪᎢ, ᎡᎪᎢ gegoi, hegoi, egoi represent "I often/usually go", "you often/usually go", and "she/he/it often/usually goes", respectively.[54]

Verbs can also have prepronominal prefixes, reflexive prefixes, and derivative suffixes. Given all possible combinations of affixes, each regular verb can have 21,262 inflected forms.

Cherokee does not make gender distinctions. For example, ᎦᏬᏂᎭ gawoniha can mean either "she is speaking" or "he is speaking."[55]

Pronouns and pronominal prefixes

Like many Native American languages, Cherokee has many pronominal prefixes that can index both subject and object. Pronominal prefixes always appear on verbs and can also appear on adjectives and nouns.[49] There are two separate words which function as pronouns: aya "I, me" and nihi "you".

Table of Cherokee first person pronominal prefixes
Number Set I Set II
Singular ji-, g- agi-, agw-
Dual inclusive ini-, in- gini-, gin-
Dual exclusive osdi-, osd- ogini-, ogin-
Plural inclusive idi-, id- igi-, ig-
Plural exclusive oji-, oj- ogi-, og-

Shape classifiers in verbs

Some Cherokee verbs require special classifiers which denote a physical property of the direct object. Only around 20 common verbs require one of these classifiers (such as the equivalents of "pick up", "put down", "remove", "wash", "hide", "eat", "drag", "have", "hold", "put in water", "put in fire", "hang up", "be placed", "pull along"). The classifiers can be grouped into five categories:

  • Live
  • Flexible (most common)
  • Long (narrow, not flexible)
  • Indefinite (solid, heavy relative to size), also used as default category[56]
  • Liquid (or container of)

Example:

Conjugation of "Hand him ..."
Classifier Type Cherokee Transliteration Translation
Live ᎯᎧᏏ hikasi Hand him (something living)
Flexible ᎯᏅᏏ hinvsi Hand him (something like clothes, rope)
Long, Indefinite ᎯᏗᏏ hidisi Hand him (something like a broom, pencil)
Indefinite ᎯᎥᏏ hivsi Hand him (something like food, book)
Liquid ᎯᏁᎥᏏ hinevsi Hand him (something like water)

There have been reports that the youngest speakers of Cherokee are using only the indefinite forms, suggesting a decline in usage or full acquisition of the system of shape classification.[57] Cherokee is the only Iroquoian language with this type of classificatory verb system, leading linguists to reanalyze it as a potential remnant of a noun incorporation system in Proto-Iroquoian.[58] However, given the non-productive nature of noun incorporation in Cherokee, other linguists have suggested that classificatory verbs are the product of historical contact between Cherokee and non-Iroquoian languages, and instead that the noun incorporation system in Northern Iroquoian languages developed later.[59]

Word order

Simple declarative sentences usually have a subject-object-verb word order.[60] Negative sentences have a different word order. Adjectives come before nouns, as in English. Demonstratives, such as ᎾᏍᎩ nasgi ("that") or ᎯᎠ hia ("this"), come at the beginning of noun phrases. Relative clauses follow noun phrases.[61] Adverbs precede the verbs that they are modifying. For example, "she's speaking loudly" is ᎠᏍᏓᏯ ᎦᏬᏂᎭ asdaya gawoniha (literally, "loud she's-speaking").[61]

A Cherokee sentence may not have a verb as when two noun phrases form a sentence. In such a case, word order is flexible. For example, Ꮎ ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᎠᎩᏙᏓ na asgaya agidoda ("that man is my father"). A noun phrase might be followed by an adjective, such as in ᎠᎩᏙᏓ ᎤᏔᎾ agidoga utana ("my father is big").[62]

Orthography

Sequoyah
Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee syllabary

Cherokee is written in an 85-character syllabary invented by Sequoyah (also known as Guest or George Gist). Many of the letters resemble the Latin letters they derive from, but have completely unrelated sound values; Sequoyah had seen English, Hebrew, and Greek writing but did not know how to read them.[63]

Two other scripts used to write Cherokee are a simple Latin transliteration and a more precise system with diacritical marks.[64]

Description

Each of the characters represents one syllable, as in the Japanese kana and the Bronze Age Greek Linear B writing systems. The first six characters represent isolated vowel syllables. Characters for combined consonant and vowel syllables then follow. It is recited from left to right, top to bottom.[65]

The charts below show the syllabary as arranged by Samuel Worcester along with his commonly used transliterations. He played a key role in the development of Cherokee printing from 1828 until his death in 1859.

Cherokee Syllabary

Cherokee Syllabary

Notes:

  1. In the chart, ‘v’ represents a nasal vowel, /ə̃/.
  2. The character Ꮩ do is shown upside-down in some fonts. It should be oriented in the same way as the Latin letter V.[a]
a   e   i   o u v
ga ka   ge   gi   go gu gv
ha   he   hi   ho hu hv
la   le   li   lo lu lv
ma   me   mi   mo mu  
na hna nah ne   ni   no nu nv
qua   que   qui   quo quu quv
s sa   se   si   so su sv
da ta   de te di ti do du dv
dla tla   tle   tli   tlo tlu tlv
tsa   tse   tsi   tso tsu tsv
wa   we   wi   wo wu wv
ya   ye   yi   yo yu yv

The phonetic values of these characters do not equate directly to those represented by the letters of the Latin script. Some characters represent two distinct phonetic values (actually heard as different syllables), while others often represent different forms of the same syllable.[65] Not all phonemic distinctions of the spoken language are represented. For example, while /d/ + vowel syllables are mostly differentiated from /t/ + vowel by use of different graphs, syllables beginning with /ɡ/ are all conflated with those beginning with /k/. Also, long vowels are not ordinarily distinguished from short vowels, tones are not marked, and there is no regular rule for representing consonant clusters. However, in more recent technical literature, length of vowels can actually be indicated using a colon, and other disambiguation methods for consonants (somewhat like the Japanese dakuten) have been suggested. Six distinctive vowel qualities are represented in the Cherokee syllabary based on where they are pronounced in the mouth, including the high vowels i and u, mid vowels e, v, and o, and low vowel a. The syllabary also does not distinguish among syllables that end in vowels, h, or glottal stop. For example, the single symbol, Ꮡ, is used to represent both su as in su:dali, meaning six (ᏑᏓᎵ), and suh as in suhdi, meaning 'fishhook' (ᏑᏗ). Therefore, there is no differentiation among the symbols used for syllables ending in a single vowel versus that vowel plus "h." When consonants other than s, h, or glottal stop arise with other consonants in clusters, the appropriate consonant plus a "dummy vowel" is used. This dummy vowel is not pronounced and is either chosen arbitrarily or for etymological reasons (reflecting an underlying etymological vowel). For example, ᏧᎾᏍᏗ (tsu-na-s-di) represents the word ju:nsdi, meaning 'small.' Ns in this case is the consonant cluster that requires the following dummy vowel, a. Ns is written as ᎾᏍ /nas/. The vowel is included in the transliteration, but is not pronounced in the word (ju:nsdi). (The transliterated ts represents the affricate j, as in other Iroquoian languages due to etymological reasons, cf. the Korean letter ).[67] As with some other writing systems (like Arabic), adult speakers can distinguish words by context.

Transliteration issues

Some Cherokee words pose a problem for transliteration software because they contain adjacent pairs of single letter symbols that (without special provisions) would be combined when doing the back conversion from Latin script to Cherokee. Here are a few examples:

  • ᎢᏣᎵᏍᎠᏁᏗ = itsalisanedi = i-tsa-li-s-a-ne-di
  • ᎤᎵᎩᏳᏍᎠᏅᏁ = uligiyusanvne = u-li-gi-yu-s-a-nv-ne
  • ᎤᏂᏰᏍᎢᏱ = uniyesiyi = u-ni-ye-s-i-yi
  • ᎾᏍᎢᏯ = nasiya = na-s-i-ya

For these examples, the back conversion is likely to join s-a as sa or s-i as si. Transliterations sometimes insert an apostrophe to prevent this, producing itsalis'anedi (cf. Man'yoshu).

Other Cherokee words contain character pairs that entail overlapping transliteration sequences. Examples:

  • ᏀᎾ transliterates as nahna, yet so does ᎾᎿ. The former is nah-na, the latter is na-hna.

If the Latin script is parsed from left to right, longest match first, then without special provisions, the back conversion would be wrong for the latter. There are several similar examples involving these character combinations: naha nahe nahi naho nahu nahv.

A further problem encountered in transliterating Cherokee is that there are some pairs of different Cherokee words that transliterate to the same word in the Latin script. Here are some examples:

  • ᎠᏍᎡᏃ and ᎠᏎᏃ both transliterate to aseno
  • ᎨᏍᎥᎢ and ᎨᏒᎢ both transliterate to gesvi

Without special provision, a round trip conversion changes ᎠᏍᎡᏃ to ᎠᏎᏃ and changes ᎨᏍᎥᎢ to ᎨᏒᎢ.[b]

Unicode

Cherokee was added to the Unicode Standard in September, 1999 with the release of version 3.0.

Blocks

The main Unicode block for Cherokee is U+13A0–U+13FF.[note 1] It contains the script's upper-case syllables as well as six lower-case syllables.

Cherokee[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+13Ax
U+13Bx
U+13Cx
U+13Dx
U+13Ex
U+13Fx
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 12.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

The rest of the lower-case syllables are encoded at U+AB70–ABBF.

Cherokee Supplement[1]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+AB7x ꭿ
U+AB8x
U+AB9x
U+ABAx
U+ABBx ꮿ
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 12.0

Fonts and digital platform support

A single Cherokee Unicode font, Plantagenet Cherokee, is supplied with macOS, version 10.3 (Panther) and later. Windows Vista also includes a Cherokee font. Several free Cherokee fonts are available including Digohweli, Donisiladv, and Noto Sans Cherokee. Some pan-Unicode fonts, such as Code2000, Everson Mono, and GNU FreeFont, include Cherokee characters. A commercial font, Phoreus Cherokee, published by TypeCulture, includes multiple weights and styles.[68] The Cherokee Nation Language Technology Program supports "innovative solutions for the Cherokee language on all digital platforms including smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets and social networks."[69]

Vocabulary

Cherokee stop sign
Cherokee stop sign, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, with "alehwisdiha" (also spelled "halehwisda") meaning "stop"
Cwy no parking
Cherokee traffic sign in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, reading "tla adi yigi", meaning "no parking" from "tla" meaning "no"

Numbers

Cherokee uses Arabic numerals (0–9). The Cherokee council voted not to adopt Sequoyah's numbering system.[70] Sequoyah created individual symbols for 1–20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 as well as a symbol for three zeros for numbers in the thousands, and a symbol for six zeros for numbers in the millions. These last two symbols, representing ",000" and ",000,000", are made up of two separate symbols each. They have a symbol in common, which could be used as a zero in itself.

Word creation

The polysynthetic nature of the Cherokee language enables the language to develop new descriptive words in Cherokee to reflect or express new concepts. Some good examples are ᏗᏘᏲᎯᎯ (ditiyohihi, "he argues repeatedly and on purpose with a purpose") corresponding to "attorney" and ᏗᏓᏂᏱᏍᎩ (didaniyisgi, "the final catcher" or "he catches them finally and conclusively") for "policeman."[73]

Other words have been adopted from another language such as the English word gasoline, which in Cherokee is ᎦᏐᎵᏁ (gasoline). Other words were adopted from the languages of tribes who settled in Oklahoma in the early 1900s. One interesting and humorous example is the name of Nowata, Oklahoma deriving from nowata, a Delaware word for "welcome" (more precisely the Delaware word is nuwita which can mean "welcome" or "friend" in the Delaware languages). The white settlers of the area used the name nowata for the township, and local Cherokee, being unaware that the word had its origins in the Delaware language, called the town ᎠᎹᏗᎧᏂᎬᎾᎬᎾ (Amadikanigvnagvna) which means "the water is all gone gone from here" – i.e. "no water."[74]

Other examples of adopted words are ᎧᏫ (kawi) for "coffee" and ᏩᏥ (watsi) for "watch"; which led to ᎤᏔᎾ ᏩᏥ (utana watsi, "big watch") for clock.[74]

Meaning expansion can be illustrated by the words for "warm" and "cold", which can be also extended to mean "south" and "north". Around the time of the American Civil War, they were further extended to US party labels, Democratic and Republican, respectively.[75]

Samples

From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Cherokee Translation Syllabary
Nigada aniyvwi nigeguda'lvna ale All human beings are born free and ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᏂᎨᎫᏓᎸᎾ ᎠᎴ
unihloyi unadehna duyukdv gesv'i. Gejinela equal in dignity and rights. They are ᎤᏂᎶᏱ ᎤᎾᏕᎿ ᏚᏳᎧᏛ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎨᏥᏁᎳ
unadanvtehdi ale unohlisdi endowed with reason and conscience ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏃᎵᏍᏗ
ale sagwu gesv junilvwisdanedi anahldinvdlv adanvdo gvhdi. and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. ᎠᎴ ᏌᏊ ᎨᏒ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎠᎾᏟᏅᏢ ᎠᏓᏅᏙ ᎬᏗ.

References

  1. ^ Neely, Sharlotte (March 15, 2011). Snowbird Cherokees: People of Persistence. University of Georgia Press. pp. 147–148. ISBN 9780820340746. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  2. ^ Frey, Ben (2005). "A Look at the Cherokee Language" (PDF). Tar Heel Junior Historian. North Carolina Museum of History. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-07. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  3. ^ "Cherokee". Endangered Languages Project. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Cherokee: A Language of the United States". Ethnologue. SIL International. 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e "The Cherokee Nation & its Language" (PDF). University of Minnesota: Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition. 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Keetoowah Cherokee is the Official Language of the UKB" (PDF). keetoowahcherokee.org/. Keetoowah Cherokee News: Official Publication of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. April 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 15, 2014. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Language & Culture". keetoowahcherokee.org/. United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. Archived from the original on April 25, 2014. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  8. ^ "UKB Constitution and By-Laws in the Keetoowah Cherokee Language" (PDF). United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 1, 2016. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  9. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Cherokee". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  10. ^ a b Ridge, Betty (Apr 11, 2019). "Cherokees strive to save a dying language". Tahlequah Daily Press. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in danger". www.unesco.org. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  12. ^ a b Scancarelli, Janine; Hardy, Heather Kay (2005-01-01). Native Languages of the Southeastern United States. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0803242352.
  13. ^ a b c d Thompson, Irene (August 6, 2013). "Cherokee". aboutworldlanguages.com. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  14. ^ Schlemmer, Liz (October 28, 2018). "North Carolina Cherokee Say The Race To Save Their Language Is A Marathon". North Carolina Public Radio. Archived from the original on May 14, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  15. ^ Overall, Michael (Feb 7, 2018). "As first students graduate, Cherokee immersion program faces critical test: Will the language survive?". Tulsa World. Archived from the original on May 14, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  16. ^ Feeling, "Dictionary," p. viii
  17. ^ Montgomery-Anderson, Brad (June 2008). "Citing Verbs in Polysynthetic Languages: The Case of the Cherokee-English Dictionary". Southwest Journal of Linguistics. 27. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  18. ^ "Cherokee Syllabary". Omniglot. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  19. ^ a b Feeling et al., "Verb" p. 16
  20. ^ a b "Native Languages of the Americas: Cherokee (Tsalagi)". Native Languages of the Americas. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  21. ^ LeBeau, Patrik. Term Paper Resource Guide to American Indian History. Greenwoord. Westport, CT: 2009. p132.
  22. ^ Woods, Thomas E. Exploring American History: Penn, William – Serra, Junípero Cavendish. Tarrytown, NY: 2008. p829.
  23. ^ Cushman, Ellen (2011). ""We're Taking the Genius of Sequoyah into This Century": The Cherokee Syllabary, Peoplehood, and Perseverance". Wicazo Sa Review. University of Minnesota Press. 26: 72–75. doi:10.5749/wicazosareview.26.1.0067. JSTOR 10.5749/wicazosareview.26.1.0067.
  24. ^ Sturtevant & Fogelson 2004, p. 337.
  25. ^ a b c d Wilford, John Noble (June 22, 2009). "Carvings From Cherokee Script's Dawn". New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  26. ^ a b c G. C. (August 13, 1820). "Invention of the Cherokee Alphabet". Cherokee Phoenix. 1 (24).
  27. ^ a b c Boudinot, Elias (April 1, 1832). "Invention of a New Alphabet". American Annals of Education.
  28. ^ a b c Davis, John B. Chronicles of Oklahoma. Vol. 8, Number 2. "The Life and Work of Sequoyah." June 1930. Retrieved April 4, 2013.[1]
  29. ^ a b Langguth, p. 71
  30. ^ "Sequoyah", New Georgia Encyclopedia, accessed January 3, 2009
  31. ^ "Cherokee language". www.britannica.com. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
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  33. ^ Blatt, Ben. "Tagalog in California, Cherokee in Arkansas: What language does your state speak?". Data source: Census Bureau American Community Survey. Map by Ben Blatt/Slate. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
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  36. ^ a b Anderton, Alice, PhD. Status of Indian Languages in Oklahoma. Intertribal Wordpath Society. 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
  37. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions: Do Cherokee people still practice their traditional culture?". www.cherokeemuseum.org. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Archived from the original on August 30, 2014. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  38. ^ Scancarelli, "Native Languages" p. 351
  39. ^ "Iroquoian Languages". www.mingolanguage.org. mingolanguage.org. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  40. ^ a b c Cushman, Ellen (September 13, 2012). The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People's Perseverance. Chapter 8 – Peoplehood and Perseverance: The Cherokee Language, 1980–2010: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 189–191. ISBN 9780806185484. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  41. ^ "Health Centers & Hospitals". Cherokee Nation. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
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  44. ^ Kituwah Preservation & Education Program Powerpoint, by Renissa Walker (2012)'. 2012. Print.
  45. ^ Chavez, Will (April 5, 2012). "Immersion students win trophies at language fair". Cherokeephoenix.org. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
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  47. ^ King, Duane Harold (1975). A Grammar and Dictionary of the Cherokee Language. pp. 16, 21.
  48. ^ Feeling, "Dictionary," p. ix
  49. ^ a b c Montgomery-Anderson, 2008, p. 159
  50. ^ Montgomery-Anderson, 2008, p. 50
  51. ^ Montgomery-Anderson, 2008, p. 51
  52. ^ Montgomery-Anderson, 2008, p. 52
  53. ^ Montgomery-Anderson, 2008, p. 54
  54. ^ a b Robinson, "Conjugation" p. 60
  55. ^ Feeling, "Dictionary" xiii
  56. ^ King, Duane (1975). A Grammar and Dictionary of the Cherokee Language. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Georgia.
  57. ^ Scancarelli, Janine; Hardy, Heather Kay (2005-01-01). Native Languages of the Southeastern United States. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0803242352.
  58. ^ Mithun, Marianne (1984). "The Evolution of Noun Incorporation". Language. 60 (60): 847–894. doi:10.1353/lan.1984.0038.
  59. ^ Chafe, Wallace. 2000. "Florescence as a force in grammaticalization." Reconstructing Grammar, ed. Spike Gildea, pp. 39–64. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  60. ^ Holmes, Ruth (1977) [1976]. "Cherokee Lesson 23". Beginning Cherokee. University of Oklahoma Press:Norman. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-8061-1463-7.
  61. ^ a b Feeling, "Dictionary" p. 353
  62. ^ Feeling, "Dictionary" p. 354
  63. ^ Feeling, "Dictionary" xvii
  64. ^ Feeling et al., "Verb" pp. 1–2
  65. ^ a b Walker & Sarbaugh 1993.
  66. ^ "Cherokee". download. LanguageGeek.com.
  67. ^ Scancarelli 2005.
  68. ^ "Phoreus Cherokee". TypeCulture. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  69. ^ Avila, Eduardo (September 13, 2015). "How the Cherokee language has adapted to texts, iPhones". Public Radio International, Digital Voices Online. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  70. ^ "Numerals", Cherokee, Inter tribal, archived from the original on November 2, 2011
  71. ^ a b "Numbers in Cherokee". omniglot.com. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  72. ^ "Dikaneisdi (Word List)". cherokee.org. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  73. ^ Holmes and Smith, p. vi
  74. ^ a b Holmes and Smith, p. vii
  75. ^ Holmes and Smith, p. 43
  1. ^ There was a difference between the old-form DO (Λ-like) and a new-form DO (V-like). The standard Digohweli font displays the new-form. Old Do Digohweli and Code2000 fonts both display the old-form[66]
  2. ^ This has been confirmed using the online transliteration service.
  1. ^ The PDF Unicode chart shows the new-form of the letter do.

Bibliography

  • Feeling, Durbin. Cherokee-English Dictionary: Tsalagi-Yonega Didehlogwasdohdi. Tahlequah, Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation, 1975.
  • Feeling, Durbin, Craig Kopris, Jordan Lachler, and Charles van Tuyl. A Handbook of the Cherokee Verb: A Preliminary Study. Tahlequah, Oklahoma: Cherokee Heritage Center, 2003. ISBN 978-0-9742818-0-3.
  • Holmes, Ruth Bradley, and Betty Sharp Smith. Beginning Cherokee: Talisgo Galiquogi Dideliquasdodi Tsalagi Digohweli. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1976.
  • Montgomery-Anderson, Brad (May 30, 2008). "A Reference Grammar of Oklahoma Cherokee" (PDF).
  • Robinson, Prentice. Conjugation Made Easy: Cherokee Verb Study. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Cherokee Language and Culture, 2004. ISBN 978-1-882182-34-3.
  • Scancarelli, Janine (2005). "Cherokee". in Janine Scancarelli and Heather K. Hardy (eds.). Native Languages of the Southeastern United States. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press in cooperation with the American Indian Studies Research Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington. pp. 351–384. OCLC 56834622.

Concerning the syllabary

  • Bender, Margaret. 2002. Signs of Cherokee Culture: Sequoyah's Syllabary in Eastern Cherokee Life. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
  • Bender, Margaret (2008). "Indexicality, voice, and context in the distribution of Cherokee scripts". International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 192 (192): 91–104. doi:10.1515/ijsl.2008.037.
  • Daniels, Peter T (1996), The World's Writing Systems, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 587–92.
  • Foley, Lawrence (1980), Phonological Variation in Western Cherokee, New York: Garland Publishing.
  • Kilpatrick, Jack F; Kilpatrick, Anna Gritts, New Echota Letters, Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press.
  • Scancarelli, Janine (2005), "Cherokee", in Hardy, Heather K; Scancarelli, Janine (eds.), Native Languages of the Southeastern United States, Bloomington: Nebraska Press, pp. 351–84.
  • Tuchscherer, Konrad; Hair, PEH (2002), "Cherokee and West Africa: Examining the Origins of the Vai Script", History in Africa, 29: 427–86, doi:10.2307/3172173, JSTOR 3172173.
  • Sturtevant, William C (general); Fogelson (volume), Raymond D, eds. (2004), Handbook of North American Indians: Southeast, 14, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, ISBN 0-16-072300-0.
  • Walker, Willard; Sarbaugh, James (1993), "The Early History of the Cherokee Syllabary", Ethnohistory, 40 (1): 70–94, doi:10.2307/482159.

Further reading

  • Bruchac, Joseph. Aniyunwiya/Real Human Beings: An Anthology of Contemporary Cherokee Prose. Greenfield Center, N.Y.: Greenfield Review Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-912678-92-4
  • Cook, William Hinton (1979). A Grammar of North Carolina Cherokee. Ph.D. diss., Yale University. OCLC 7562394.
  • King, Duane H. (1975). A Grammar and Dictionary of the Cherokee Language. Ph.D. diss., University of Georgia. OCLC 6203735.
  • Lounsbury, Floyd G. (1978). "Iroquoian Languages". in Bruce G. Trigger (ed.). Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 15: Northeast. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. pp. 334–343. OCLC 12682465.
  • Montgomery-Anderson, Brad (May 30, 2008). "A Reference Grammar of Oklahoma Cherokee" (PDF).
  • Munro, Pamela (ed.) (1996). Cherokee Papers from UCLA. UCLA Occasional Papers in Linguistics, no. 16. OCLC 36854333.
  • Pulte, William, and Durbin Feeling. 2001. "Cherokee". In: Garry, Jane, and Carl Rubino (eds.) Facts About the World's Languages: An Encyclopedia of the World's Major Languages: Past and Present. New York: H. W. Wilson. (Viewed at the Rosetta Project)
  • Scancarelli, Janine (1987). Grammatical Relations and Verb Agreement in Cherokee. Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles. OCLC 40812890.
  • Scancarelli, Janine. "Cherokee Writing." The World's Writing Systems. 1998: Section 53.

External links

Language archives, texts, audio, video

Language lessons and online instruction

Catoosa County, Georgia

Catoosa County is a county located in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 63,942. The county seat is Ringgold. The county was created on December 5, 1853. The meaning of the Cherokee language name "Catoosa" is obscure.Catoosa County is part of the Chattanooga, TN–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

On April 27, 2011, a devastating tornado touched down in the town of Ringgold, located in Catoosa County, leaving a path of severe destruction.

Chenocetah Mountain

Chenocetah Mountain, known to locals as "Tower Mountain," is located near the towns of Mount Airy and Cornelia, Georgia. The mountain has an elevation of 1,830 feet (560 m). Atop the mountain, the WPA built an observation tower in 1937 for the Forest Service; it is used as a fire tower for observation by rangers. Chenocetah is a Cherokee language word meaning "see all around." Variant names were "Griffin Mountain" and "Tower Mountain".Occasionally visitors are allowed in. During Cornelia's annual Big Red Apple Festival, visitors are allowed into the tower to enjoy its panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Cherokee

The Cherokee (; Cherokee: ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ, romanized: Aniyvwiyaʔi or Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩ, romanized: Tsalagi) are one of the indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands of the United States. Prior to the 18th century, they were concentrated in what is now southwestern North Carolina, southeastern Tennessee, and the tips of western South Carolina and northeastern Georgia.The Cherokee language is part of the Iroquoian language group. In the 19th century, James Mooney, an American ethnographer, recorded one oral tradition that told of the tribe having migrated south in ancient times from the Great Lakes region, where other Iroquoian-speaking peoples lived; however, anthropologist Thomas R. Whyte writes that the origin of the proto-Iroquoian language was likely the Appalachian region and the split between Northern and Southern Iroquoian languages began 4,000 years ago.Today there are three federally recognized Cherokee tribes: the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB) in Oklahoma, and the Cherokee Nation (CN) in Oklahoma.By the 19th century, European settlers in the United States classified the Cherokee of the Southeast as one of the "Five Civilized Tribes", because they were agrarian and lived in permanent villages and began to adopt some cultural and technological practices of the European American settlers. The Cherokee were one of the first, if not the first, major non-European ethnic group to become U.S. citizens. Article 8 in the 1817 treaty with the Cherokee stated that Cherokees may wish to become citizens of the United States.The Cherokee Nation has more than 300,000 tribal members, making it the largest of the 567 federally recognized tribes in the United States. In addition, numerous groups claim Cherokee lineage, and some of these are state-recognized. A total of more than 819,000 people are estimated to claim having Cherokee ancestry on the US census, which includes persons who are not enrolled members of any tribe.Of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes, the Cherokee Nation and the UKB have headquarters in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The UKB are mostly descendants of "Old Settlers", Cherokee who migrated to Arkansas and Oklahoma about 1817 prior to Indian Removal. They are related to the Cherokee who were later forcibly relocated there in the 1830s under the Indian Removal Act. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is on the Qualla Boundary in western North Carolina; their ancestors resisted or avoided relocation, remaining in the area.

Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation (Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, Tsalagihi Ayeli or ᏣᎳᎩᏰᎵ "Tsalagiyehli"), also known as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is the largest of three Cherokee federally recognized tribes in the United States. It was established in the 20th century and includes people descended from members of the Old Cherokee Nation who relocated from the Southeast due to increasing pressure to Indian Territory and Cherokee who were forced to relocate on the Trail of Tears. The tribe also includes descendants of Cherokee Freedmen and Natchez Nation. Over 299,862 people are enrolled in the Cherokee Nation, with 189,228 living within the state of Oklahoma. According to Larry Echo Hawk (in 2009), former head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the current Cherokee Nation is not the historical Cherokee tribe but instead a "successor in interest".Headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation has a tribal jurisdictional area spanning 14 counties in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma. These are Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Ottawa, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner, and Washington counties.

Cherokee National Youth Choir

The Cherokee National Youth Choir was created in part by Chad "Corntassel" Smith, a former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. It consists of youth of Cherokee descent who sing gospel music in the Cherokee language. The directors are Mary Kay Henderson and Kathy Sierra. The choir has sung at various venues around the United States, including singing for former President George W. Bush, singing at Ground Zero in New York City, and singing alongside Dolly Parton at her amusement park, Dollywood. They have won numerous awards, including a Nammy (the Native American Music Award), and they release a new gospel CD each year.

Cherokee Phoenix

The Cherokee Phoenix (Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎯ, romanized: Tsalagi Tsulehisanvhi) was the first newspaper published by Native Americans in the United States and the first published in a Native American language. The first issue was published in English and Cherokee on February 21, 1828, in New Echota, capital of the Cherokee Nation (present-day Georgia). The paper continued until 1834. The Cherokee Phoenix was revived in the 20th century, and today it publishes both print and Internet versions.

Cherokee syllabary

The Cherokee syllabary is a syllabary invented by Sequoyah in the late 1810s and early 1820s to write the Cherokee language. His creation of the syllabary is particularly noteworthy as he could not previously read any script. He first experimented with logograms, but his system later developed into a syllabary. In his system, each symbol represents a syllable rather than a single phoneme; the 85 (originally 86) characters provide a suitable method to write Cherokee. Although some symbols resemble Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic letters, the relationship between symbols and sounds is different.

History of the Cherokee language

This article is a detailed history of the Cherokee language, the Native American Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people.

Hominy

Hominy is a food produced from dried maize (corn) kernels that have been treated with an alkali, in a process called nixtamalization (nextamalli is the Nahuatl word for "hominy").

Northeastern State University

Northeastern State University (NSU) is a public university with its main campus in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The university also has two other campuses in Muskogee and Broken Arrow as well as online. Northeastern is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of Oklahoma as well as one of the oldest institutions of higher learning west of the Mississippi River. Tahlequah is home to the capital of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and about 25 percent of the students at NSU identify themselves as American Indian. The university has many courses focused on Native American linguistics, and offers Cherokee language Education as a major. Cherokee can be studied as a second language, and some classes are taught in Cherokee for first language speakers as well.

Nûñnë'hï

The Nunnehi are a race of immortal spirit people in Cherokee mythology. In the Cherokee language, Nunnehi literally means "The People Who Live Anywhere", but it is often translated into English as "The People Who Live Forever", or simply "The Immortals". The Cherokee believed the Nunnehi to be a type of supernatural human being, completely distinct from ghosts and nature spirits, as well as from gods. In this sense, the Nunnehi (along with the Yunwi Tsunsdi, or "Little People" in the Cherokee language) are the Cherokee equivalent of fairies in traditional European folklore. The belief in fairy-like beings is universal among all ethnicities, including all American Indian tribes.According to Cherokee folklore, the Nunnehi had many underground townhouses throughout the southern Appalachian Mountains, and they were particularly fond of high mountain peaks where no timber ever grew. Hunters would often hear the Nunnehi in the mountains, singing and dancing and beating drums, but when they would go toward the sound, it would shift about and suddenly seem to be coming from behind them or from some other direction, so that the person hearing the sound would never be able to find where it was coming from.

Passiflora incarnata

Passiflora incarnata, commonly known as maypop, purple passionflower, true passionflower, wild apricot, and wild passion vine, is a fast-growing perennial vine with climbing or trailing stems. A member of the passionflower genus Passiflora, the maypop has large, intricate flowers with prominent styles and stamens. One of the hardiest species of passionflower, it is both found as a wildflower in the southern United States and in cultivation for its fruit and striking bluish purple blooms.

Same-sex marriage in Oklahoma

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the U.S. state of Oklahoma since October 6, 2014, following the resolution of a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. On that day, following the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to review the case that found the ban unconstitutional, the federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriage.

On January 14, 2014, Judge Terence C. Kern, of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, declared Question 711, which banned the recognition and performance of same-sex marriage, unconstitutional. The case, Bishop v. United States (formerly Bishop v. Oklahoma), was stayed pending appeal.On July 18, 2014, a panel of the Tenth Circuit upheld Kern's ruling overturning Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban. However, the panel put its ruling on hold pending disposition of a petition for certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court. On October 6, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the request for review, leaving the Tenth Circuit Court's ruling in place. The Oklahoma Government responded by implementing the circuit court's ruling, recognizing same-sex marriage in the state.

Sequoyah High School (Tahlequah, Oklahoma)

Sequoyah High School (also known as Sequoyah-Tahlequah) is a Native American boarding school serving students in grades 9–12, who are members of a federally recognized Native American tribe. The school is located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and is a Bureau of Indian Education grant school operated by the Cherokee Nation. Sequoyah Schools also has an elementary school grades pre-school through 8. Students in pre-school through grade 6 are taught through Cherokee language immersion and begin to transition to instruction in English in grade 5.

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Tahlequah ( TAL-ə-kwah; Cherokee: ᏓᎵᏆ)

is a city in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, United States located at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. It is part of the Green Country region of Oklahoma and was established as a capital of the 19th-century Cherokee Nation in 1839, as part of the new settlement in Indian Territory after the Cherokee Native Americans were forced west from the American Southeast on the Trail of Tears.

The city's population was 15,753 at the 2010 census, an increase of 8.96 percent from 14,458 at the 2000 census. The 2014 estimated population is 16,496.Tahlequah is the capital of the two federally recognized Cherokee tribes based in Oklahoma, the modern Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. Tahlequah is also the county seat of Cherokee County. The main campus of Northeastern State University is located in the city.

United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma (ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ or Anigiduwagi Aniyvwiya, abbreviated United Keetoowah Band or UKB) is a federally recognized tribe of Cherokee Native Americans headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. According to the UKB website, its members are mostly descendants of "Old Settlers" or "Western Cherokee," the Cherokee who migrated to present-day Arkansas and Oklahoma about 1817. Some reports estimate that Old Settlers began migrating west by 1800. This was before the forced relocation of Cherokee from the Southeast in the late 1830s under the Indian Removal Act. Although politically the UKB is not associated with the Trail of Tears, many of the membership have direct ancestors that completed the harrowing journey in 1838/1839.

Many UKB members are traditionalists and Baptists.

Voiced velar approximant

The voiced velar approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɰ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is M\.

The consonant is not present in English, but approximates to the sound of a 'g' with the throat kept open. The voiced velar approximant can in many cases be considered the semivocalic counterpart of the close back unrounded vowel [ɯ]. The two are almost identical featurally. ⟨ɰ⟩ and ⟨ɯ̯⟩ with the non-syllabic diacritic are used in different transcription systems to represent the same sound.

In some languages, such as Spanish, the voiced velar approximant appears as an allophone of /ɡ/ – see below.

Some languages have the voiced pre-velar approximant, which is articulated slightly more front compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical voiced velar approximant, though not as front as the prototypical palatal approximant.

The symbol for the velar approximant originates from ⟨ɯ⟩, but with a vertical line. Compare ⟨u⟩ and ⟨ɥ⟩ for the labio-palatal approximant.

Voiceless dental and alveolar lateral fricatives

Not to be confused with the Voiceless alveolar lateral affricate, the Tibetan lh as in Lhasa

The voiceless alveolar lateral fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents voiceless dental, alveolar, and postalveolar lateral fricatives is [ɬ], and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is [K]. The symbol [ɬ] is called "belted l" and should not be confused with "l with tilde", [ɫ], which transcribes a different sound, the velarized alveolar lateral approximant. It should also be distinguished from a voiceless alveolar lateral approximant, although the fricative is sometimes incorrectly described as a "voiceless l", a description fitting only of the approximant.

Several Welsh names beginning with this sound (e.g. Llwyd /ɬʊɨd/, Llywelyn /ɬəˈwɛlɨn/) have been borrowed into English, where they either retain the Welsh ⟨ll⟩ spelling but are pronounced with an /l/ (Lloyd, Llewellyn), or are substituted with ⟨fl⟩ (pronounced /fl/) (Floyd, Fluellen).

Wes Studi

Wesley Studi (Cherokee: ᏪᏌ ᏍᏚᏗ; born December 17, 1947) is a Cherokee American actor and film producer who has won critical acclaim and awards for his portrayal of Native Americans in film. He has appeared in Academy Award-winning films, such as Dances with Wolves (1990) and The Last of the Mohicans (1992), and in the Academy Award-nominated films Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) and The New World (2005). He is also known for portraying Sagat in Street Fighter (1994). Other films he has appeared in are Hostiles, Heat, Mystery Men, Avatar, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and the television series Penny Dreadful.

Drifted Otali sequoyah
Syllabary mapping
Otali syllable Sequoyah syllabary index Sequoyah syllabary chart Sequoyah syllable
a 00 a
e 01 e
i 02 i
o 03 o
u 04 u
v 05 v
qwa 06 ga
ka 07 ka
ge 08 ge
gi 09 gi
go 10 go
gu 11 gu
gv 12 gv
ha 13 ha
he 14 he
hi 15 hi
ho 16 ho
hu 17 hu
hv 18 hv
la 19 la
le 20 le
li 21 li
lo 22 lo
lu 23 lu
lv 24 lv
ma 25 ma
me 26 me
mi 27 mi
mo 28 mo
mu 29 mu
na 30 na
hna 31 hna
nah 32 nah
ne 33 ne
ni 34 ni
no 35 no
nu 36 nu
nv 37 nv
qua 38 qua
que 39 que
qui 40 qui
quo 41 quo
quu 42 quu
quv 43 quv
sa 44 sa
s 45 s
se 46 se
si 47 si
so 48 so
su 49 su
sv 50 sv
da 51 da
ta 52 ta
de 53 de
te 54 te
di 55 di
ti 56 ti
do 57 do
du 58 du
dv 59 dv
dla 60 dla
tla 61 tla
tle 62 tle
tli 63 tli
tlo 64 tlo
tlu 65 tlu
tlv 66 tlv
ja 67 tsa
je 68 tse
ji 69 tsi
jo 70 tso
ju 71 tsu
jv 72 tsv
hwa 73 wa
we 74 we
wi 75 wi
wo 76 wo
wu 77 wu
wv 78 wv
ya 79 ya
ye 80 ye
yi 81 yi
yo 82 yo
yu 83 yu
yv 84 yv
English Cherokee[71] Transliteration

one ᏐᏬ sowo
two ᏔᎵ tali
three ᏦᎢ tsoi
four ᏅᎩ nvgi
five ᎯᏍᎩ hisgi
six ᏑᏓᎵ sudali
seven ᎦᎵᏉᎩ galiquogi
eight ᏧᏁᎳ tsunela
nine ᏐᏁᎳ sonela
ten ᏍᎪᎯ sgohi
eleven ᏌᏚ sadu
twelve ᏔᎵᏚ talidu
thirteen ᏦᎦᏚ tsogadu
fourteen ᏂᎦᏚ nigadu
fifteen ᎯᏍᎦᏚ hisgadu
sixteen ᏓᎳᏚ daladu
seventeen ᎦᎵᏆᏚ galiquadu
eighteen ᏁᎳᏚ neladu
nineteen ᏐᏁᎳᏚ soneladu
twenty ᏔᎵᏍᎪᎯ talisgohi
English Cherokee[71][72] Transliteration

Days of the Week ᎯᎸᏍᎩᎢᎦ hilvsgiiga
Sunday ᎤᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᎬ unadodaquasgv
Monday ᎤᎾᏙᏓᏉᏅᎯ unadodaquohnvhi
Tuesday ᏔᎵᏁᎢᎦ talineiga
Wednesday ᏦᎢᏁᎢᎦ tsoineiga
Thursday ᏅᎩᏁᎢᎦ nvgineiga
Friday ᏧᎾᎩᎶᏍᏗ junagilosdi
Saturday ᎤᎾᏙᏓᏈᏕᎾ unadodaquidena
English Meaning Cherokee Transliteration

January Month of the Cold Moon ᏚᏃᎸᏔᏂ dunolvtani
February Month of the Bony Moon ᎧᎦᎵ kagali
March Month of the Windy Moon ᎠᏄᏱ anuyi
April Month of the Flower Moon ᎧᏩᏂ kawani
May Month of the Planting Moon ᎠᎾᎠᎬᏘ anaagvti
June Month of the Green Corn Moon ᏕᎭᎷᏱ dehaluyi
July Month of the Ripe Corn Moon ᎫᏰᏉᏂ guyequoni
August Month of the End of Fruit Moon ᎦᎶᏂᎢ galonii
September Month of the Nut Moon ᏚᎵᎢᏍᏗ duliisdi
October Month of the Harvest Moon ᏚᏂᏅᏗ duninvdi
November Month of Trading Moon ᏄᏓᏕᏆ nudadequa
December Month of the Snow Moon ᎥᏍᎩᎦ vsgiga
English Cherokee Transliteration

black ᎬᎾᎨᎢ gvnagei
blue ᏌᎪᏂᎨᎢ sagonigei
brown ᎤᏬᏗᎨ uwodige
green ᎢᏤᎢᏳᏍᏗ itseiyusdi
gray ᎤᏍᎪᎸ ᏌᎪᏂᎨ usgolv sagonige
gold ᏓᎶᏂᎨᎢ dalonigei
orange ᎠᏌᎶᏂᎨ asalonige
pink ᎩᎦᎨᎢᏳᏍᏗ gigageiyusdi
purple ᎩᎨᏍᏗ gigesdi
red ᎩᎦᎨ gigage
silver ᎠᏕᎸ ᎤᏁᎬ adelv unegv
white ᎤᏁᎦ unega
yellow ᏓᎶᏂᎨ dalonige
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