Chiwere language

Native toUnited States
RegionOklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas
Ethnicity1,150 Iowa, Otoe, Missouria (2007)[1]
Fewer than 40 semi-fluent speakers[2][3]
Language codes
ISO 639-3iow
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Chiwere (also called Iowa-Otoe-Missouria or Báxoje-Jíwere-Ñút'achi) was a Siouan language originally spoken by the Missouria, Otoe, and Iowa peoples, who originated in the Great Lakes region but later moved throughout the Midwest and plains. The language is closely related to Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago. Christian missionaries first documented Chiwere in the 1830s, but since then virtually nothing has been published about the language. Chiwere suffered a steady decline after extended European-American contact in the 1850s, and by 1940 the language had almost totally ceased to be spoken.


The Iowa tribe refers to their language as Báxoje ich'é or Bah Kho Je (pronounced [b̥aꜜxodʒɛ itʃʼeꜜ]). The Otoe-Missouria dialect is called Jíwere ich'é (pronounced [d̥ʒiꜜweɾɛ itʃʼeꜜ]). The spelling Chiwere, used mostly by linguists, derives from the fact that the language has an aspiration distinction rather than a voice distinction (see the phonology section below), so that the unaspirated stops /b̥ d̥ d̥ʒ ɡ̊/ are variably voiced [b d dʒ ɡ] or unvoiced [p t tʃ k]. Although [tʃ] is a valid pronunciation of the first sound of Jiwere ~ Chiwere, it may mislead English speakers into pronouncing it [tʃʰ].

Similarly, a common folk etymology of Báxoje is "dusty noses," based on the misunderstanding of the first syllable as , or "nose."[5] However, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma says Bah-Kho-Je means "grey snow," due to their winter lodges being covered with snow stained grey by fire smoke.[6]

Other Languages
asturianu: Idioma chiwere
brezhoneg: Ioweg-Otoeg
català: Chiwere
español: Idioma chiwere
français: Iowa-oto
മലയാളം: ചിവേരെ ഭാഷ
Nederlands: Chiwere
Piemontèis: Lenga iowa-oto
português: Língua chiwere
русский: Чивере