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Encyclopedia > Iroquoian

The Iroquoian languages are a Native American language family. The family includes the languages of the Iroquois Confederacy (including the extinct Mingo language), as well as Cherokee.


Every language in this family has at least one nasal vowel phoneme. Cherokee's is a nasal schwa, written in transliteration as 'v' (e.g. "Hv?" sounds like "Huh?" nasalized, and means the same thing).


The Iroquois were made up of a group or league of tribes that settled much of the land which presently spans from western New York to western Ohio. They were not nomadic but preferred to live in villages with houses built of saplings and bark or thatch commonly called long houses. Food such as corn, squash, beans, and other crops were cultivated and stored in various types of pottery jars. Excavated grains, pottery and other evidence suggests that a typical Indian meal consisted of soup made from different plants and animals, with corn as a staple in their diets.


Some linguists group the Iroquoian languages with the Siouan languages as the Macro-Siouan family, but this larger family is not recognized by a consensus of linguists.


Iroquoian languages


  Results from FactBites:
 
Iroquoian languages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (521 words)
The Iroquoian family is composed of eleven languages.
The Meherrin peoples may have spoken an Iroquoian language, but there is not enough data to determine this with certainty.
Some linguists group the Iroquoian languages with the Siouan languages as the Macro-Siouan family, but this larger family is not recognized by a consensus of linguists.
Iroquoian Languages (695 words)
The Iroquoian languages were originally spoken over a very large expanse of territory, including much of the southern Canada (Ontario and Quebec), particularly along the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, through large portions of the Mid-Atlantic states, and down into the Carolinas.
All of the Iroquoian languages today are endangered, to one degree or another, and two of the ten languages above, Huron and Wyandot, are already extinct, with no remaining native speakers.
Among the Northern Iroquoian languages (that is, all of them except Cherokee), the main differences lie in matters of pronunciation, and less so in vocabulary or grammatical structure, so that if someone knows how to speak one of those languages, they can acquire a working knowledge of one of the others with comparatively little effort.
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