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Iroquoian

Iroquois
Geographic
distribution:
eastern North America
Linguistic classification: Iroquois
Subdivisions:
Ethnologue code: 5: iro

Pre-European contact distribution of the Iroquoian languages.

The Iroquoian languages are a First Nation and Native American language family. They are known for their general lack of labial consonants.

Family division

Southern Iroquoian
Cherokee
Northern Iroquoian
Lakes Iroquoian
Five Nations and Susquehannock
Seneca–Onondaga
Seneca–Cayuga
Seneca
Cayuga
Onondaga
Onondaga
Mohawk–Oneida
Oneida
Mohawk
Susquehannock
Susquehannock (extinct)
Huronian
Wyandot (HuronPetun) (extinct)
Wenrohronon (extinct)
Neutral (extinct)
Erie (extinct)
Tuscarora–Nottoway
Tuscarora (seriously endangered)
Nottoway (extinct)
Unclear
Laurentian (extinct)

Scholars are finding that what has been called the Laurentian language appears to be more than one dialect or language.

In 1649 the tribes constituting the Huron and Petun confederations were displaced by war parties from Five Nations villages (Mithun 1985). Many of the survivors went on to form the Wyandot tribe. Ethnographic and linguistic field work with the Wyandot (Barbeau 1960) yielded enough documentation to be able to make some characterizations of the Huron and Petun languages.

The languages of the tribes that constituted the Wenrohronon, Neutral and the Erie confederations were very poorly documented. These groups were called Atiwandaronk meaning 'they who understand the language' by the Huron, and thus are historically grouped with them.

The group known as the Meherrin were neighbors to the Tuscarora and the Nottoway (Binford 1967) and may have spoken an Iroquoian language. There is not enough data to determine this with certainty.

External relations

Attempts to link the Iroquoian, Siouan, and Caddoan languages in a Macro-Siouan family are suggestive but remain unproven (Mithun 1999:305).

Iroquois linguistics and language revitalization

As of 2012, a program in Iroquois linguistics, the Certificate in Iroquois Linguistics for Language Learners, offered at the Syracuse University, is designed for students and language teachers working in language revitalization.[1][2]

Six Nations Polytechnic in Ohsweken, Ontario offers Ogwehoweh language Diploma and Degree Programs in Mohawk or Cayuga.[3]

See also

  • Proto-Iroquoian language

Notes

Bibliography

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Further reading

  • Driver, Harold E. 1969. Indians of North America. 2nd edition. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226164670
  • Ruttenber, Edward Manning. 1992 [1872]. History of the Indian tribes of Hudson's River. Hope Farm Press.
  • Snow, Dean R. 1994. The Iroquois. Blackwell Publishers. Peoples of America. ISBN 9781557862259
  • Snow, Dean R.; Gehring, Charles T; Starna, William A. 1996. In Mohawk country: early narratives about a native people. Syracuse University Press. An anthology of primary sources from 1634-1810.


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