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Encyclopedia > Cree language
Cree
Nēhiyawēwin, Nīhithawīwin, Nēhinawēwin.
Spoken in: Canada
Total speakers: 117,410 (including Montagnais-Naskapi and Atikamekw) [1]
Language family: Algic
 Algonquian
  Central Algonquian
   Cree 
Writing system: Latin alphabet, Cree syllabics (variation of Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics
Official status
Official language in: Northwest Territories (Canada)
Regulated by: no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1: cr
ISO 639-2: cre
ISO 639-3: variously:
cre – Cree (generic)
nsk – Naskapi
moe – Montagnais
atj – Atikamekw
crm – Moose Cree
crl – Northern East Cree
crj – Southern East Cree
crw – Swampy Cree
cwd – Woods Cree
crk – Plains Cree

Cree (also known as Cree-Montagnais, Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi) is the name for a group of closely-related Algonquian languages spoken by approximately 117,000 people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories to Labrador, making it by far the most spoken aboriginal language in Canada.[1] Despite numerous speakers within this wide-ranging area, the only region where Cree has any official status is in the Northwest Territories alongside 8 other aboriginal languages. [2] The Innu are the indigenous inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan, which comprises most of the Quebec-Labrador peninsula in Eastern Canada. ... The Innu are the indigenous inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan, which comprises most of the Quebec-Labrador peninsula in Eastern Canada. ... The Atikamekw language (also spelled Attikamek) is an Algonquian language, and is a dialect of the Cree language complex. ... A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common proto-language. ... The Algic (also Algonquian-Wiyot-Yurok or Algonquian-Ritwan) languages are an indigenous language family of North America. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (the two Algic languages that are not Algonquian are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... Writing systems of the world today. ... Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz redirects here. ... Cree syllabics are the variations on Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics that are used to write Cree language dialects. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... For the former United States territory, see Northwest Territory. ... 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. ... Innu-aimun or Montagnais is an Algonquian language spoken by over 16,500 people, called the Innu, in Labrador and Quebec in Eastern Canada. ... The Atikamekw language (also spelled Attikamek) is an Algonquian language, and is a dialect of the Cree language complex. ... Swampy Cree is spoken by people from northern Manitoba, and Western Ontario. ... Plains Cree is an Algonquian language, often considered a dialect of Cree, spoken by about 34,000 people in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Montana. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (the two Algic languages that are not Algonquian are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... Labrador (also Coast of Labrador) is a region of Atlantic Canada. ... 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. ... An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in the countries, states, and other territories. ...

Contents

Dialect criteria

The Cree dialect continuum can be divided by many criteria. Dialects spoken from northern Ontario and coastal north-western Quebec make a distinct difference between /ʃ/ (sh as in she) and /s/, while those to the west (where both are pronounced /s/) and east (where both are pronounced either /ʃ/ or /h/) do not. In several dialects, including northern Plains Cree and Woods Cree, the long vowels /eː/ and /iː/ have merged into a single vowel, /iː/. In the Québec communities of Chisasibi, Whapmagoostui, and Kawawachikamach, the long vowel /eː/ has merged with /aː/. A dialect continuum is a range of dialects spoken across a large geographical area, differing only slightly between areas that are geographically close, and gradually decreasing in mutual intelligibility as the distances become greater. ... This article is about the Canadian province. ... This article is about the Canadian province. ... Plains Cree is an Algonquian language, often considered a dialect of Cree, spoken by about 34,000 people in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Montana. ... Chisasibi (meaning great river in Cree) is a village on the eastern shore of James Bay, in the James Bay region of northern Quebec, Canada. ... Whapmagoostui (place of the beluga in Cree) is a Cree village of about 700 people at the mouth of the Grande-Baleine River, on the coast of Hudson Bay in Nunavik, Quebec. ... Kawawachikamach, Quebec, meaning meandering waters, is an aboriginal village at the sound end of Lac Matemace (where it joins Lac Peter) about eight kilometres northeast of Schefferville, population 581, latitude 54° 51 49, longitude 66° 45 34. The village was built by the Naskapi from 1980 to 1983. ...


However, the most transparent phonological variation between different Cree dialects are the reflexes of Proto-Algonquian *l in the modern dialects, as shown below: Proto-Algonquian (commonly abbreviated PA) is the name given to the posited proto-language of the languages of the Algonquian family. ...

Dialect Location Reflex
of *l
Word for "Native person"
← *elenyiwa
Word for "You"
← *kīla
Plains Cree SK, AB, BC, NT y iyiniw kiya
Woods Cree MB, SK ð/th iðiniw/ithiniw kīða/kītha
Swampy Cree ON, MB, SK n ininiw kīna
Moose Cree ON l ililiw kīla
Northern East Cree QC y īyiyū čiy ᒌ
Southern East Cree QC y iynū čiy ᒌ
Kawawachikamach Naskapi QC y iyyū čiy
Atikamekw QC r iriniw kira
Western Innu QC l ilnū čil
Eastern Innu QC, NL n innū čin

The Plains Cree, speakers of the y dialect, refer to their language as nēhiyawēwin, whereas Woods Cree speakers say nīhithawīwin, and Swampy Cree speakers say nēhinawēwin. This is similar to the alternation in the Siouan languages Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota. Plains Cree is an Algonquian language, often considered a dialect of Cree, spoken by about 34,000 people in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Montana. ... Swampy Cree is spoken by people from northern Manitoba, and Western Ontario. ... The Atikamekw language (also spelled Attikamek) is an Algonquian language, and is a dialect of the Cree language complex. ... Innu-aimun or Montagnais is an Algonquian language spoken by over 16,500 people, called the Innu, in Labrador and Quebec in Eastern Canada. ... Innu-aimun or Montagnais is an Algonquian language spoken by over 16,500 people, called the Innu, in Labrador and Quebec in Eastern Canada. ... In linguistics, Alternation is when a set of morphosyntactic properties is phonologically expressed in two or more different ways in different words. ... Pre-contact distribution of the Siouan languages The Siouan (a. ...


Another important phonological variation among the Cree dialects involves the palatalisation of Proto-Algonquian *k: East of the Ontario-Quebec border (except for Atikamekw), Proto-Algonquian *k has changed into /tʃ/ or /ts/ (ch as in cheese and ts as in Watson) before front vowels. See the table above for examples in the *kīla column. Palatalization means pronouncing a sound nearer to the hard palate, making it more like a palatal consonant; this is towards the front of the mouth for a velar or uvular consonant, but towards the back of the mouth for a front (e. ...


Very often the Cree dialect continuum is divided into two languages: Cree and Montagnais. Cree includes all dialects which have not undergone the *k -> /tʃ/ sound change (BC–QC) while Montagnais encompasses the territory where this sound change has occurred (QC–NL). These labels are very useful from a linguistic perspective but are confusing as East Cree then qualifies as Montagnais. For practical purposes, Cree usually covers the dialects which use syllabics as their orthography (including Atikamekw but excluding Kawawachikamach Naskapi), the term Montagais then applies to those dialects using the Latin script (excluding Atikamekw and including Kawawachikamach Naskapi). The term Naskapi typically refers to Kawawachikamach (y-dialect) and Natuashish (n-dialect). Kawawachikamach, Quebec, meaning meandering waters, is an aboriginal village at the sound end of Lac Matemace (where it joins Lac Peter) about eight kilometres northeast of Schefferville, population 581, latitude 54° 51 49, longitude 66° 45 34. The village was built by the Naskapi from 1980 to 1983. ...


Dialect groups

A rough map of Cree dialect areas

We can broadly classify the Cree dialects into nine groups. From west to east: Map of Cree language area, uses Canadamap. ... Map of Cree language area, uses Canadamap. ...

Swampy Cree in turn has an eastern and a western dialect which differ in the use of the phoneme š. In the western dialect, š has merged with s.
  • Moose Cree (l-dialect)
  • James Bay Cree (y-dialect, sometimes called East Cree)
James Bay Cree has a northern and a southern dialect which differ in the number of vowel distinctions they make. The long vowels ē and ā have merged in the northern dialect but are distinct in the southern. Also, the southern dialect has lost the distinction between s and ʃ. Here, the southern dialect falls in line with the rest of the Montagnais groups where both phonemes have become ʃ. Nonetheless, the people from the two areas easily communicate.
  • Atikamekw (r-dialect)
  • Western Montagnais (l-dialect)
  • Eastern Montagnais (n-dialect, also sometimes called Innu-aimun)
  • Naskapi (y-dialect)

Plains Cree is an Algonquian language, often considered a dialect of Cree, spoken by about 34,000 people in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Montana. ... Swampy Cree is spoken by people from northern Manitoba, and Western Ontario. ... The Atikamekw language (also spelled Attikamek) is an Algonquian language, and is a dialect of the Cree language complex. ... Innu-aimun or Montagnais is an Algonquian language spoken by over 16,500 people, called the Innu, in Labrador and Quebec in Eastern Canada. ...

Syntax

Like many Native American languages, Cree features a complex polysynthetic morphology and syntax. A Cree word can be very long, and express something that takes a series of words in English, while at other times Cree is more explicit than English. For example, the Plains Cree word for "school" is kiskinohamātowikamik, "Know-by.hand-caus-applicative-reciprocal-place," "The knowing-it-together-by-example place". To say "he always danced like that" in Plains Cree, however, is simply ki-isi-nanīmihitow 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. ... Polysynthetic languages are highly synthetic languages, i. ...


Written Cree

Cree dialects, except for those spoken in eastern Quebec and Labrador, are traditionally written using Cree syllabics, a variant of Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, but can be written with the Roman alphabet as well. The easternmost dialects are written using the Roman alphabet exclusively. This article is about the Canadian province. ... Labrador (also Coast of Labrador) is a region of Atlantic Canada. ... Cree syllabics are the variations on Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics that are used to write Cree language dialects. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ...


Contact languages

Cree was also a component language in two contact languages unique to Western Canada. Michif is a mixed language combining Cree and French. Bungee is a pidgin combining Cree and Scottish Gaelic elements on an English substrate. Both languages were spoken by Métis voyageurs and settlers in Western Canada. Michif is still spoken in central Canada and in North Dakota. Many Cree words also became the basis for words in the Chinook Jargon trade language used until some point after contact with Europeans. Michif (also Mitchif, Mechif, Michif-Cree, Métif, Métchif) is the language of the Métis people of Canada and the northern United States, who are the descendants of First Nations women (mainly Cree, Nakota and Ojibwe) and fur trade workers of European ancestry (mainly French Canadians). ... A mixed language is a language that arises when speakers of different languages are in contact and show a high degree of bilingualism. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... This article is about simplified languages. ... Canadian Gaelic (Gaelic: Gàidhlig Canadanach, locally just Gaelic or The Gaelic) is the dialect of Scots Gaelic that has been spoken continuously for more than 200 years on Cape Breton Island and in isolated enclaves on the Nova Scotia mainland. ... The Métis (pronounced MAY tee, SAMPA: [meti], in French: [metis] or, [mEtIs]) are an ethnic group of the Canadian prairies and Ontario. ... The coureurs des bois (runners of the woods) or voyageurs (travellers) is the name given to the men who engaged in the fur trade directly with the Amerindians in North America from the time of New France up through the 19th century, when much of the continent was still mostly... This article is about the region in Canada. ... Official language(s) English Capital Bismarck Largest city Fargo Area  Ranked 19th in the US  - Total 70,762 sq mi (183,272 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 340 miles (545 km)  - % water 2. ... Chinook Jargon was a trade language (or pidgin) of the Pacific Northwest, which spread quickly up the West Coast from Oregon, through Washington, British Columbia, and as far as Alaska. ...


Legal status

A French/Cree stopsign in Québec
A French/Cree stopsign in Québec

The social and legal status of Cree varies across Canada. Cree is one of the eleven official languages of the Northwest Territories, but is only spoken by a small number of people there in the area around the town of Fort Smith. [2] In many areas, it is a vibrant community language still spoken by large majorities and taught in schools. In other areas, its use has declined dramatically. Cree is one of the least endangered aboriginal languages in North America, but is nonetheless at risk since it possesses little institutional support in most areas. For the former United States territory, see Northwest Territory. ... Fort Smith is a community in the Northwest Territories, Canada. ...


References

  • Ahenakew, Freda, Cree Language Structures: A Cree Approach. Pemmican Publications Inc., 1987. ISBN 0-919143-42-3
  • Steller, Lea-Katharina (née Virághalmy): Alkalmazkodni és újat adni – avagy „accomodatio“ a paleográfiában In: Paleográfiai kalandozások. Szentendre, 1995. ISBN 963-450-922-3
  • Wolfart, H. C. & Freda Ahenakew, The Student's Dictionary of Literary Plains Cree. Memoir 15, Algonquian and Iroquoian Linguistics, 1998. ISBN 0-921064-15-2
  • Wolvengrey, Arok, ed. nēhiýawēwin: itwēwina / Cree: Words / ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ: ᐃᑗᐏᓇ [includes Latin orthography and Cree Syllabics]. [Cree-English English-Cree Dictionary - Volume 1: Cree-English; Volume 2: English-Cree]. Canadian Plains Research Center, 15 October 2001. ISBN 0-88977-127-8
  • Bloomfield, Leonard. Plains Cree Texts. New York: AMS Press, 1974. ISBN 0404581668
  • Castel, Robert J., and David Westfall. Castel's English-Cree Dictionary and Memoirs of the Elders Based on the Woods Cree of Pukatawagan, Manitoba. Brandon, Man: Brandon University Northern Teacher Education Program, 2001. ISBN 0968985807
  • Dahlstrom, Amy. Plains Cree Morphosyntax. Outstanding dissertations in linguistics. New York: Garland Pub, 1991. ISBN 0815301723
  • Ellis, C. D. Spoken Cree, Level I, west coast of James Bay. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2000. ISBN 0888643470
  • LeClaire, Nancy, George Cardinal, Earle H. Waugh, and Emily Hunter. Alberta Elders' Cree Dictionary = Alperta Ohci Kehtehayak Nehiyaw Otwestamakewasinahikan. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1998. ISBN 0888643098
  • Norman, Howard A. The Wishing Bone Cycle Narrative Poems from the Swampy Cree Indians. New York: Stonehill Pub. Co, 1976. ISBN 0883730456
  • Salt, Luci. Eastern James Bay Cree Dictionary Cree - English : Northern Dialect. Chisasibi, Que: Cree Programs, Cree School is gay Board, 2004. ISBN 1894843312
  • Hirose, Tomio. Origins of predicates evidence from Plains Cree. Outstanding dissertations in linguistics. New York: Routledge, 2003. ISBN 0415967791
  • Wolfart, H. Christoph. Plains Cree A Grammatical Study. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, new ser., v. 63, pt. 5. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1973. ISBN 0871696355

Freda Ahenakew Freda Ahenakew SOM (born 1932) is a Canadian author and academic of Cree descent. ... Arok Wolvengrey (IPA: /ˈɛɹək ˈwʊlvn̩ˌgɹe(ɪ)/) is a linguist noted for his work with Amerindian languages. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b Statistics Canada: 2006 Census
  2. ^ a b Northwest Territories Official Languages Act, 1988 (as amended 1988, 1991-1992, 2003)

External links

Wikipedia
Cree language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1058x1058, 477 KB) aa Wikipedia logo, version 1058px square, no text Wikipedia logo by Nohat (concept by Paullusmagnus); compare Wikipedia File links The following pages link to this file: Arabic language Talk:Anarcho-capitalism Talk:Algorithm Talk:Anno Domini Talk:The... Wikipedia (IPA: , or ( ) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Quebec. ... This article is about the Canadian province. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Algonquin (or Algonkin) is an Algonquian language closely related to Ojibwe. ... The Atikamekw language (also spelled Attikamek) is an Algonquian language, and is a dialect of the Cree language complex. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Abenakis. ... The Mikmaq language (also spelled Míkmaq, Migmaq, and Micmac) is an Eastern Algonquian language spoken by around 7,300 Mikmaq in Canada, and another 1,200 in United States, out of a total ethnic Mikmaq population of roughly 20,000. ... “Montagnais” redirects here. ... Inuktitut (Inuktitut syllabics: (fonts required), literally like the Inuit) is the name of the varieties of Inuit language spoken in Canada. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cree - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (432 words)
Their Cree language is an Algonquian language, and was once the most widely spoken in northern North America.
Skilled buffalo hunters and horsemen, the Cree were allied to the Assiniboine of the Sioux before encountering English and French settlers in the sixteenth century.
Presently the remaining Cree in the United States live with the Assiniboine in Montana on the Fort Belknap Agency and Reservation.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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