FACTOID # 9: The bookmobile capital of America is Kentucky.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Cherokee language
Cherokee
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎧᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ

(tsa-la-gi ga-wo-ni-hi-is-di)

Spoken in: United States 
Region: Oklahoma and the Cherokee Reservation in Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
Total speakers: 15,000 to 22,000
Language family: Iroquoian
 Southern Iroquoian
  Cherokee 
Writing system: Cherokee syllabary
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: chr
ISO 639-3: chr 
Cherokee language spread in the United States.
Original distribution of the Cherokee language
Original distribution of the Cherokee language

Cherokee (Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩ; Tsalagi) is an Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people which uses a unique syllabary writing system. It is the only Southern Iroquoian language that remains spoken. Cherokee is polysynthetic, places an emphasis on syllables, and is very complex to learn for English-speakers. Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Area  Ranked 20th  - Total 69,898 sq mi (181,196 km²)  - Width 230 miles (370 km)  - Length 298 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ... A rainy day in the Great Smoky Mountains, Western North Carolina Appalachian Mountain system The Great Smoky Mountains are a major mountain range in the southern part of the Appalachian Mountains, the second ridge line forming a north-south running mountain chain from the Eastern United States and bordering the... Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest city Charlotte Area  Ranked 28th  - Total 53,865 sq mi (139,509 km²)  - Width 150 miles (240 km)  - Length 560[1] miles (901 km)  - % water 9. ... A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common proto-language. ... Iroquoian languages The Iroquoian languages are a Native American language family. ... Pre-contact distribution of the Iroquoian languages The Iroquoian languages are a Native American language family. ... Writing systems of the world today. ... Sequoyah The Cherokee language is written in a syllabary invented by Sequoyah (also known as George Gist or George Guess). ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ... Image File history File links Cherokee_lang. ... Image File history File links Cherokee_lang. ... Iroquoian languages The Iroquoian languages are a Native American language family. ... For other uses, see Cherokee (disambiguation). ... Sequoyah The Cherokee language is written in a syllabary invented by Sequoyah (also known as George Gist or George Guess). ... Pre-contact distribution of the Iroquoian languages The Iroquoian languages are a Native American language family. ... Polysynthetic languages are highly synthetic languages, i. ...


For years, many people wrote transliterated Cherokee on the Internet or used poorly intercompatible fonts to type out the syllabary. However, since the fairly recent addition of the Cherokee syllables to Unicode, the Cherokee language is experiencing a renaissance in its use on the Internet. As of January 2007, however, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma still officially uses a non-unicode font for online documents, including online editions of the Cherokee Phoenix. Transliteration is the practice of transcribing a word or text written in one writing system into another writing system. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ... The Cherokee Phoenix was the first Indian published newspaper. ...


The Cherokee language does not contain any "r" based sounds, and as such, the word "Cherokee" when spoken in the language is expressed as Tsa-la-gi (pronounced Jah-la-gee, or Cha-la-gee) by native speakers, since these sounds most closely resemble the English language. A Southern Cherokee group did speak a local dialect with a trill consonant "r" sound, after early contact with Europeans of both French and Spanish ancestry in Georgia and Alabama during the early 18th century (This "r" sound spoken in the dialect of the Elati, or Lower, Cherokee area – Georgia and Alabama – became extinct in the 19th century around the time of the Trail of Tears, examples are Tsaragi or Tse-La-gee). The ancient Ani-kutani (ᎠᏂᎫᏔᏂ) dialect and Oklahoma dialects do not contain any 'r'-based sounds. In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. ... This monument at the New Echota Historic Site honors Cherokees who died on the Trail of Tears. ... Ah-ni-ku-ta-ni or Ah-ni-gu-ta-ni (pronounced Ah-nee-koo-tah-nee/Ah-nee-goo-tah-nee) were the ancient priesthood of the Cherokee or Ah-ni-yv-wi-ya people. ...

Contents

Phonology

Cherokee only has one labial consonant, /m/, which is relatively new to the language, unless one counts the Cherokee w a labial instead of a velar. Labials are consonants articulated either with both lips (bilabial articulation) or with the lower lip and the upper teeth (labiodental articulation). ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ...


Consonants

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Aspirated stop t k
Unaspirated stop d g ʔ
Affricate ʦ
Fricative s h
Nasal m n
Approximant j ɰ
Lateral l

Labials are consonants articulated either with both lips (bilabial articulation) or with the lower lip and the upper teeth (labiodental articulation). ... Alveolars are consonants articulated with the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, the internal side of the upper gums (known as the alveoles of the upper teeth). ... Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... The vocal cords, also known as vocal folds, are composed of twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally across the human larynx. ... In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies the release of some obstruents. ... Look up stop in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies the release of some stop consonants. ... Look up stop in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An affricate is a consonant that begins like a stop (most often an alveovelar, such as [t] or [d]) and that doesnt have a release of its own, but opens directly into a fricative (or, in one language, into a trill). ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ...

Vowels

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

Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... A central vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... A back vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... A close vowel is a type of vowel sound used in many spoken languages. ... A mid vowel is a vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... An open vowel is a vowel sound of a type used in most spoken languages. ...

Diphthongs

Cherokee has only one diphthong native to the language:

  • ai  /ai/

Another exception to the phonology above is the modern Oklahoma use of the loanword "automobile," with the /ɔ/ sound and /b/ sound of English.


Tone

Cherokee has a robust tonal system in which tones may be combined in various ways, following subtle and complex tonal rules that vary from community to community. While the tonal system is undergoing a gradual simplification in many areas (no doubt as part of Cherokee's often falling victim to second-language status), the tonal system remains extremely important in meaning and is still held strongly by many, especially older speakers. It should be noted that the syllabary does not normally display tone, and that 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 tone-distinguished words by context.


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. Consider the following verb: Polysynthetic languages are highly synthetic languages, i. ... In Linguistics, a morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in a given language. ... A verb is a part of speech that usually denotes action (bring, read), occurrence (to decompose (itself), to glitter), or a state of being (exist, live, soak, stand). Depending on the language, a verb may vary in form according to many factors, possibly including its tense, aspect, mood and voice. ... In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase with or without a determiner, such as you and they in English. ... Look up prefix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a verb defines the temporal flow (or lack thereof) in the described event or state. ...

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

For example, the verb form ge:ga, "I am going," has each of these elements. 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.


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.


Writing system

Main article: Cherokee syllabary

Cherokee is written in an 85-character syllabary invented by Sequoyah (also known as George Guess). Some symbols do resemble Latin alphabet letters, but with completely different sound values; Sequoyah had seen English writing, but didn't know how to read it. Sequoyah The Cherokee language is written in a syllabary invented by Sequoyah (also known as George Gist or George Guess). ... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ...


Due to the polysynthetic nature of the Cherokee language, new and descriptive words in Cherokee are easily constructed to reflect or express modern concepts. Some good examples are di-ti-yo-hi-hi (Cherokee:ᏗᏘᏲᎯᎯ) which means "he argues repeatedly and on purpose with a purpose". This is the Cherokee word for attorney. Another example is di-da-ni-yi-s-gi (Cherokee:ᏗᏓᏂᏱᏍᎩ) which means the final catcher or "he catches them finally and conclusively". This is the Cherokee word for policeman.


Many words, however, have been adopted from the English language – for example, gasoline, which in Cherokee is ga-so-li-ne (Cherokee:ᎦᏐᎵᏁ). Many 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. The word "nowata" is a Delaware word for "welcome" (more precisely the Delaware word is "nu-wi-ta" which can mean "welcome" or "friend" in the Delaware language). The white settlers of the area used the name "nowata" for the township, and local Cherokees, being unaware the word had its origins in the Delaware language, called the town a-ma-di-ka-ni-gv-na-gv-na (Cherokee:ᎠᎹᏗᎧᏂᎬᎾᎬᎾ) which means "the water is all gone gone from here" -- i.e. "no water". Nowata is a city located in Nowata County, Oklahoma. ... Lenape (also called Delaware) is a language in the Algonquian language family spoken by the Lenape people. ...


Other examples of adopted words are ka-wi (Cherokee:ᎧᏫ) for coffee and wa-tsi (Cherokee:ᏩᏥ) for watch (which led to u-ta-na wa-tsi (Cherokee:ᎤᏔᎾ ᏩᏥ) or "big watch" for clock).


Computer representation

Cherokee is represented in Unicode, in the character range U+13A0 to U+13F4. The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ...

    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
13A0  
13B0  
13C0  
13D0  
13E0  
13F0                        

A single Cherokee font is supplied with Mac OS X, version 10.3 (Panther) and later and Windows Vista. Cherokee is also supported by free fonts found at languagegeek.com, and the shareware fonts Code2000 and Everson Mono. For the origin and evolution of fonts, see History of western typography. ... Mac OS X (IPA: ) is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Code2000 is a digital font which includes characters and symbols from a very large range of writing systems. ...

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.

Drifted Otali Sequoyah Syllabary Mapping
Otali Syllable Sequoyah Syllabary Index Sequoyah Syllabary Char Sequoyah Syllable
nah 32 nah
hna 31 hna
qua 38 qua
que 39 que
qui 40 qui
quo 41 quo
quu 42 quu
quv 43 quv
dla 60 dla
tla 61 tla
tle 62 tle
tli 63 tli
tlo 64 tlo
tlu 65 tlu
tlv 66 tlv
tsa 67 tsa
tse 68 tse
tsi 69 tsi
tso 70 tso
tsu 71 tsu
tsv 72 tsv
hah 79 ya
gwu 11 gu
gwi 40 qui
hla 61 tla
hwa 73 wa
gwa 38 qua
hlv 66 tlv
guh 11 gu
gwe 39 que
wah 73 wa
hnv 37 nv
teh 54 te
qwa 06 ga
yah 79 ya
na 30 na
ne 33 ne
ni 34 ni
no 35 no
nu 36 nu
nv 37 nv
ga 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
ma 25 ma
me 26 me
mi 27 mi
mo 28 mo
mu 29 mu
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
la 19 la
le 20 le
li 21 li
lo 22 lo
lu 23 lu
lv 24 lv
sa 44 sa
se 46 se
si 47 si
so 48 so
su 49 su
sv 50 sv
wa 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
to 57 do
tu 58 du
ko 10 go
tv 59 dv
qa 73 wa
ke 07 ka
kv 12 gv
ah 00 a
qo 10 go
oh 03 o
ju 71 tsu
ji 69 tsi
ja 67 tsa
je 68 tse
jo 70 tso
jv 72 tsv
a 00 a
e 01 e
i 02 i
o 03 o
u 04 u
v 05 v
s 45 s
n 30 na
l 02 i
t 52 ta
d 55 di
y 80 ye
k 06 ga
g 06 ga

Cherokee language in popular culture

The theme song "I Will Find You" from the 1992 film The Last of the Mohicans by the band Clannad features Máire Brennan singing in Cherokee as well as Mohican. This article is about the 1992 film. ... Clannad are a Grammy Award-winning Irish musical group, from Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair), County Donegal. ... Máire Ní Bhraonáin, better known as Máire Brennan (born August 4, 1952, Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland), is a Celtic folk singer, best known for her work with the band Clannad. ... Mahicans settled the Hudson River south of the Mohawk River, moved east to Massachusetts, then to Wisconsin. ...


See also

For other uses, see Cherokee (disambiguation). ... Iroquoian languages The Iroquoian languages are a Native American language family. ... Native American languages are the indigenous languages of the Americas, spoken by Native Americans from the southern tip of South America to Alaska and Greenland. ... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ...

References

  • 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. "Cherokee Writing." The World's Writing Systems. 1998: Section 53. (Viewed at the Rosetta Project)

External links

Wikipedia
Cherokee language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wiktionary
Cherokee language edition of Wiktionary, the free dictionary/thesaurus
Wikibooks
Wikibooks has more on the topic of
Cherokee language

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cherokee language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (646 words)
Cherokee only has one labial consonant, /m/, which is relatively new to the language, unless one counts the Cherokee w a labial instead of a velar.
Cherokee is represented in Unicode, in the character range U+13A0 to U+13F4.
Cherokee is also supported by free fonts found at languagegeek.com, and the shareware fonts Code2000 and Everson Mono.
MSN Encarta - Cherokee (1388 words)
Cherokee, Native Americans of the Iroquoian language family and of the Southeast culture area.
Surplus lands not assigned to Cherokee individuals were parceled out by the federal government, and in 1891 the tribe’s western land extension, the Cherokee Strip or Cherokee Outlet, was sold to the United States; in 1893 it was opened, mostly to non-Indian settlers, in a famous land run.
Cherokee families typically had two dwellings: rectangular summer houses with cane and clay walls and bark or thatch roofs, and cone-shaped winter houses with pole frames and brushwork covered by mud or clay.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m