Cherokee language

  • cherokee
    ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ
    tsalagi gawonihisdi
    cherokee sample.svg
    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 to ~2100 (2018 and 2019)[4][5]
    language family
    iroquoian
    • southern iroquoian
      • cherokee
    writing system
    cherokee syllabary, latin script
    official status
    official language in
    eastern band of cherokee indians in north carolina
    cherokee nation[6][7][8][9]
    of oklahoma
    united keetoowah band department of language, history, & culture[7][8]
    council of the cherokee nation
    language codes
    chr
    iso 639-3chr
    cher1273[10]
    linguasphere63-ab
    cherokee lang.png
    pre-contact distribution of the cherokee language
    cherokee speaking areas within the usa.png
    current geographic distribution of the cherokee language
    this article contains ipa phonetic symbols. without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of unicode characters. for an introductory guide on ipa symbols, see help:ipa.

    cherokee (ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ, tsalagi gawonihisdi [dʒalaˈɡî ɡawónihisˈdî]) is an endangered to moribund[a] iroquoian language[4] and the native language of the cherokee people.[6][7][8] ethnologue states that there were 1,520 cherokee speakers out of 376,000 cherokee in 2018,[4] while a tally by the three cherokee tribes in 2019 recorded ~2,100 speakers.[5] the number of speakers is in decline. about eight fluent speakers die each month, and only a handful of people under the age of 40 are fluent.[12] the dialect of cherokee in oklahoma is "definitely endangered", and the one in north carolina is "severely endangered" according to unesco.[13] the lower dialect, formerly spoken on the south carolina–georgia border, has been extinct since about 1900.[14] the dire situation regarding the future of the two remaining dialects prompted the tri-council of cherokee tribes to declare a state of emergency in june 2019, with a call to enhance revitalization efforts.[5]

    around 200 speakers of the eastern (also referred to as the middle or kituwah) dialect remain in north carolina and language preservation efforts include the new kituwah academy, a bilingual immersion school.[15] the largest remaining group of cherokee speakers is centered around tahlequah, oklahoma, where the western (overhill or otali) dialect predominates. the cherokee immersion school (tsalagi tsunadeloquasdi) in tahlequah serves children in federally recognized tribes from pre-school up to grade 6.[16]

    cherokee is polysynthetic,[17] the only southern iroquoian language,[18] and it uses a unique syllabary writing system.[19] as a polysynthetic language, cherokee is highly different from indo-european languages such as english, french, or spanish, and can be difficult for adult learners to acquire.[6] 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.[6] verbs must contain at minimum a pronominal prefix, a verb root, an aspect suffix, and a modal suffix.[20]

    extensive documentation of the language exists, as it is the indigenous language of the americas in which the most literature has been published.[21] such publications include a cherokee dictionary and grammar as well as several editions of the new testament and psalms of the bible[22] 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.[23][24]

  • classification
  • history
  • geographic distribution
  • status and preservation efforts
  • phonology
  • grammar
  • orthography
  • vocabulary
  • samples
  • notes
  • references
  • bibliography
  • further reading
  • external links

Cherokee
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ
Tsalagi Gawonihisdi
Cherokee sample.svg
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 to ~2100 (2018 and 2019)[4][5]
Iroquoian
  • Southern Iroquoian
    • Cherokee
Cherokee syllabary, Latin script
Official status
Official language in
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina
Cherokee Nation[6][7][8][9]
of Oklahoma
United Keetoowah Band Department of Language, History, & Culture[7][8]
Council of the Cherokee Nation
Language codes
chr
ISO 639-3chr
cher1273[10]
Linguasphere63-AB
Cherokee lang.png
Pre-contact Distribution of the Cherokee Language
Cherokee Speaking Areas Within The USA.png
Current geographic distribution of the Cherokee language
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Cherokee (ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ, Tsalagi Gawonihisdi [dʒalaˈɡî ɡawónihisˈdî]) is an endangered to moribund[a] Iroquoian language[4] and the native language of the Cherokee people.[6][7][8] Ethnologue states that there were 1,520 Cherokee speakers out of 376,000 Cherokee in 2018,[4] while a tally by the three Cherokee tribes in 2019 recorded ~2,100 speakers.[5] The number of speakers is in decline. About eight fluent speakers die each month, and only a handful of people under the age of 40 are fluent.[12] The dialect of Cherokee in Oklahoma is "definitely endangered", and the one in North Carolina is "severely endangered" according to UNESCO.[13] The Lower dialect, formerly spoken on the South Carolina–Georgia border, has been extinct since about 1900.[14] The dire situation regarding the future of the two remaining dialects prompted the Tri-Council of Cherokee tribes to declare a state of emergency in June 2019, with a call to enhance revitalization efforts.[5]

Around 200 speakers of the Eastern (also referred to as the Middle or Kituwah) dialect remain in North Carolina and language preservation efforts include the New Kituwah Academy, a bilingual immersion school.[15] The largest remaining group of Cherokee speakers is centered around Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where the Western (Overhill or Otali) dialect predominates. The Cherokee Immersion School (Tsalagi Tsunadeloquasdi) in Tahlequah serves children in federally recognized tribes from pre-school up to grade 6.[16]

Cherokee is polysynthetic,[17] the only Southern Iroquoian language,[18] and it uses a unique syllabary writing system.[19] As a polysynthetic language, Cherokee is highly different from Indo-European languages such as English, French, or Spanish, and can be difficult for adult learners to acquire.[6] 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.[6] Verbs must contain at minimum a pronominal prefix, a verb root, an aspect suffix, and a modal suffix.[20]

Extensive documentation of the language exists, as it is the indigenous language of the Americas in which the most literature has been published.[21] Such publications include a Cherokee dictionary and grammar as well as several editions of the New Testament and Psalms of the Bible[22] 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.[23][24]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Cherokee (taal)
አማርኛ: ጻላጊኛ
Ænglisc: Ceroke sprǣc
العربية: شيروكي (لغة)
Արեւմտահայերէն: Շերոքի լեզու
asturianu: Idioma cheroqui
تۆرکجه: چروکی دیلی
Bân-lâm-gú: Cherokee-gí
беларуская: Чэрокі (мова)
български: Черокски език
čeština: Čerokézština
español: Idioma cheroqui
Esperanto: Ĉeroka lingvo
euskara: Txerokiera
Fiji Hindi: Cherokee language
한국어: 체로키어
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Cherokee
isiZulu: IsiTsherokii
italiano: Lingua cherokee
ქართული: ჩეროკი (ენა)
kernowek: Cherokee (yeth)
latviešu: Čiroku valoda
lietuvių: Čerokių kalba
Lingua Franca Nova: Tsalagi
македонски: Черокиски јазик
მარგალური: ჩეროკიშ ნინა
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Cherokee
Nederlands: Cherokee (taal)
norsk nynorsk: Cherokesisk
Piemontèis: Lenga cherokee
português: Língua cherokee
română: Limba cherokee
Runa Simi: Tsalaki simi
русский: Чероки (язык)
svenska: Cherokesiska
Türkçe: Çerokice
українська: Черокі (мова)
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Cherokee
文言: 切羅基語
粵語: 柴羅基文
中文: 切羅基語