Choctaw language

Last updated
Native to United States
Regionfrom Southeastern Oklahoma,to east central Mississippi and into Louisiana and Tennessee
Ethnicity20,000 Choctaw (2007) [1]
Native speakers
9,600 (2015 census) [1]
  • Western
    • Choctaw
Language codes
ISO 639-2 cho
ISO 639-3 cho
Glottolog choc1276 [2]
Oklahoma Indian Languages.png
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

The Choctaw language, traditionally spoken by the Native American Choctaw people of the southeastern United States, is a member of the Muskogean family. Chickasaw, Choctaw and Houma form the Western branch of the Muskogean language family. Although Chickasaw is sometimes listed as a dialect of Choctaw, more extensive documentation of Chickasaw has shown that Choctaw and Chickasaw are best treated as separate but closely related languages. [3]



Rev. Cyrus Byington worked nearly 50 years translating the bible into Choctaw. He stayed with the Choctaws in Mississippi before removal and followed them to Indian Territory after their forced relocation. Cyrus Byington.png
Rev. Cyrus Byington worked nearly 50 years translating the bible into Choctaw. He stayed with the Choctaws in Mississippi before removal and followed them to Indian Territory after their forced relocation.

The written Choctaw language is based upon the English version of the Roman alphabet and was developed in conjunction with the civilization program of the United States in the early 19th century. Although there are other variations of the Choctaw alphabet, the three most commonly seen are the Byington (Traditional), Byington/Swanton (Linguistic), and Modern (Mississippi Choctaw).

Many publications by linguists about the Choctaw language use a slight variant of the "modern (Mississippi Choctaw)" orthography listed here, where long vowels are written as doubled. In the "linguistic" version, the acute accent shows the position of the pitch accent, rather than the length of the vowel.

The discussion of Choctaw grammar below uses the linguistic variant of the orthography.

The Choctaw "Speller" alphabet as found in the Chahta Holisso Ai Isht Ia Vmmona - The Choctaw Spelling Book, 1800s. Choctaw alphabet (Speller).svg
The Choctaw "Speller" alphabet as found in the Chahta Holisso Ai Isht Ia Ʋmmona – The Choctaw Spelling Book, 1800s.
The Choctaw linguistic alphabet as found in the Choctaw Language Dictionary by Cyrus Byington and edited by John Swanton, 1909. Choctaw alphabet (Byington).svg
The Choctaw linguistic alphabet as found in the Choctaw Language Dictionary by Cyrus Byington and edited by John Swanton, 1909.
The Modern Choctaw alphabet as used by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Present. Choctaw alphabet.svg
The Modern Choctaw alphabet as used by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Present.
IPALinguisticCBTC MississippiTraditionalByington/Swanton
iiííe, i
+Cam, an
+Cim, in
+Com, on, um, un
ɬlhłhl, lh ł, lh
  1. ^ Choctaw Bible Translation Committee
  2. ^ Substituted with 'v' according to typesetting or encoding constraints.
  3. ^ The former is used before a vowel; the latter, before a consonant. The intervocalic use of <hl> conflated the common consonant cluster /hl/ with /ɬ/.
  4. ^ Dictionary editors John Swanton and Henry Halbert systematically replaced all instances of <hl> with <ł>, regardless whether <hl> stood for /ɬ/ or /hl/. Despite the editors' systematic replacement of all <hl> with <ł>, the digraph <lh> was allowed to stand.


There are three dialects of Choctaw (Mithun 1999):

  1. "Native" Choctaw on the Choctaw Nation in southeastern Oklahoma
  2. Mississippi Choctaw of Oklahoma on Chickasaw Nation of south central Oklahoma (near Durwood)
  3. Choctaw of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians near Philadelphia, Mississippi

Other speakers live near Tallahassee, Florida, and with the Koasati in Louisiana, and also a few speakers live in Texas and California.



Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
central lateral
Nasal m n
Stop 1 p   b t k ʔ 2
Affricate ch [ ]
Fricative f s 3 ɬ sh [ ʃ 3 ] h
Approximant l y [ j ] w
  1. ^ The only voiced stop is /b/. The voiceless stops /p/, /t/, and /k/ may become partially voiced between vowels, especially /k/ and for male speakers. Also, the voiceless stops are slightly aspirated at the onset of words [4] and before stressed syllables, behaving like English voiceless plosives.
  2. ^ Controversially, analyses suggest that all nouns end in an underlying consonant phoneme. [5] Nouns apparently ending in a vowel actually have a glottal stop /ʔ/ or a glottal fricative /h/ as the final consonant. Such consonants become realized when suffixes are attached.
  3. ^ The distinction between phonemes /s/ and /ʃ/ is neutralized at the end of words.

Free variation

  1. /ɬ/, the voiceless lateral fricative, is pronounced as a voiceless dental fricative [θ]. [6]
  1. The voiceless labiodental fricative /f/ is pronounced as a voiceless bilabial fricative [ɸ]. [6]

Phonological processes of consonants



Short 1 Long Nasal 2
Close front iɪĩː~ẽː
Close-mid back oʊõː
Open central aəãː
  1. ^ Lax vowels occur more often in closed syllables. [7] In traditional orthography, ʋ usually indicates [ə] and u usually indicates [ʊ]. Exceptions include pokoli (traditional) for /pʊk.koli/, imalakusi for /imaːlakosi/. The traditional orthography doesn't distinguish lax and tense front vowels, instead it indicates /iː/ with e.
  2. ^ Nasal vowels are intrinsically long.


  1. In Choctaw, very few words are distinguished only by pitch accent. [7] Nouns in Choctaw have pitch realization at the penultimate syllable or the ultimate syllable. [7] Verbs in Choctaw will have pitch realization at morphemes indicating tense, but sometimes, pitch directly precedes the tense morpheme. [7]

Syllable structure

Syllables of Choctaw [8]

VVCSuper Heavyóok.cha-cha
CVVCSuper Heavynáaf.ka'
VCSuper Heavyat
CVCSuper Heavyok.hish
*(C)VCCSuper Heavytablit.tapt
*CCVSuper Heavyski.tii.nnih
  1. As is in the chart above, there are three syllable structure types in Choctaw: light, heavy, and super heavy. Possible syllables in Choctaw must contain at least one vowel of any quality. [9]
  2. Syllables cannot end with a consonant clusters CC. However, there is an exception with the structure *(C)VCC if a word in Choctaw ends with the suffix /-t/. [9]
  3. Syllables do not begin with consonant clusters CC, but there is an exception in an initial /i-/ deletion, which results in a syllable *CCV . [9]

Rhythmic lengthening

  • Rhythmic lengthening is the process of lengthening the vowel duration of an even-numbered CV syllable in Choctaw. However, vowels at the end of words are not permitted to undergo that process. Also, if an even-numbered syllable is a verbal prefixes class I or III, the affix's vowel may not undergo lengthening, and the same holds true for noun prefixes class III as well. [10]

Smallest possible word

  • The smallest possible word in Choctaw must contain either two short vowels or one long vowel. [8]
  • /A-/ insertion: there are verbs with only one short vowel in their roots. Without an affix attached to the verb root, the verbs become impossible utterances because Choctaw requires either two short vowel or a long vowel for a word to be formed. An initial A- prefix is thus attached to the root of the verb. [11]
*bih → a-bih

Phonological processes

Glide insertion

  • When a verb root ends with a long vowel, a glide /w/ or /j/ is inserted after the long vowel. [12]
  • ∅→/wa/ / V:____
  1. Where V: is oo
  2. boo-a-h→bóowah
  • ∅→/ja/ / V:____
  1. Where V: can be either ii or aa
  2. talaa-a-h→talaayah

/i-/ deletion

  • In Choctaw, there is a group of nouns which contain an initial /i-/ that encodes for 3rd person possession. It may be deleted, but if the /i/ is part of a VC syllable structure, the C is also deleted, because the resulting CCV syllable is rarely a permissible syllable structure at the onset of words. [13]
/i/→∅ / #____
Part 1: /i + C/→∅ + /C/ / #____
Part 2: /∅ + C/→∅ / #____

/-l-/ infix assimilation

  • The verbal infix /l/ is pronounced /h, ch, or ɬ/ when /l/ precedes a voiceless consonant. [14]
l → {h, tʃ, ɬ} /_C[-voice]
ho-l-tinah → ho-ɬ-tinah

Phonological processes of the suffix /-li/

  • There are several assimilation processes that occur with the suffix /-li/. When the verbal suffix /-li/ is preceded by /f/ /ɫ/ /h/ /m/ /n/ or /w/, the /l/ assimilates to the corresponding consonant that precedes it. [15] Also, the verbal suffix /-li/ is preceded by the consonant /b/, the /l/ is realized as /b/. [15] Third, when the verbal suffix /-li/ is preceded by the consonant /p/, the /p/ is pronounced as /b/. [15] Lastly, when the verbal suffix /-li/ is preceded by the consonant /t/, the /t/ is pronounced as /l/. [15]
/l/→/f, ɫ, h, m, n, w/ / /f, ɫ, h, m, n, w/____
/kobaf-li-h/→ kobaaffih
/l/→/b/ / /b/____
/atob-li-h/→ atobbih
/p/→/b/ / /b/____
/tap-li-h/→ tablih
/t/→/l/ / ____/l/
/palhat-li-h/→ pallalih
  • There are two deletion processes that occur with the suffix /-li/. If the verbal suffix /-li/ precedes the verbal suffix /-tʃi/, the suffix /-li/ may be deleted if the resulting syllable, after deletion, is a consonant cluster. [16] The other process occurs when the verbal suffix /-li/ precedes the suffix /-t/, which results with the suffix /-li/ being sometimes deleted if the syllable /-li/ has not already gone under phonological processes as described above. [17]
/li/→∅ / ____/tʃi/
/li/→∅ / ____/t/

Schwa insertion

  • Schwa insertion: when a glottal fricative /h/ or a velar stop /k/ precedes a voiced consonant within a consonant cluster, a schwa /ə/ is inserted to break up the consonant cluster. [18]
∅→/ə///h/____[+voiced] consonant
∅→/ə///k/____[+voiced] consonant

Vowel deletion

  • Vowel deletion is the process of a short vowel being deleted at a morpheme boundary. It occurs when an affix containing a short vowel at the morpheme boundary binds to a word that also contains a short vowel at the morpheme boundary. [19]
  1. For most vowel deletion cases, the preceding short vowel is deleted at the morpheme boundary. [19]
V→∅ / ____V
  1. If a class II suffix attaches to a word that results with two short vowels occurring together, the short vowel that follows the class II suffix is deleted. [19]
V→∅ / V____

Morphology and grammar

Verbal morphology

Choctaw verbs display a wide range of inflectional and derivational morphology. In Choctaw, the category of verb may also include words that would be categorized as adjectives or quantifiers in English. Verbs may be preceded by up to three prefixes and followed by as many as five suffixes. In addition, verb roots may contain infixes that convey aspectual information.

Verb prefixes

The verbal prefixes convey information about the arguments of the verb: how many there are and their person and number features. The prefixes can be divided into three sorts: agreement markers, applicative markers, and anaphors (reflexives and reciprocals). The prefixes occur in the following order: agreement-anaphor-applicative-verb stem.

Agreement affixes

The agreement affixes are shown in the following chart. The only suffix among the personal agreement markers is the first-person singular class I agreement marker /-li/. Third-person is completely unmarked for class I and class II agreement arguments and never indicates number. [20]

person markersclass Iclass IIclass IIIclass Nimperative
paucal ii-il-pi-pi-pim-kii-kil-

Some authors (Ulrich 1986, Davies, 1986) refer to class I as actor or nominative, class II as patient or accusative and class III as dative. Broadwell prefers the neutral numbered labels because the actual use of the affixes is more complex. This type of morphology is generally referred to as active–stative and polypersonal agreement.

Class I affixes always indicate the subject of the verb. Class II prefixes usually indicate direct object of active verbs and the subject of stative verbs. Class III prefixes indicate the indirect object of active verbs. A small set of stative psychological verbs have class III agreement subjectsthe direct object; an even smaller set of stative verbs dealing primarily with affect, communication and intimacy have class III direct object.

Active verbs

As the chart above shows, there is no person-number agreement for third person arguments. Consider the following paradigms:

hablitok ("kicked", past tense)
singular paucal pluralsingularplural
first-personsingularili-habli-li-tok 1
'I kicked myself'
'I kicked us (few)'
'I kicked us (all)'
'I kicked you'
'I kicked you (pl.)'
'I kicked her/him/it/them'
'we kicked me'
il-ili-habli-tok 1
'we kicked ourselves'
'we kicked you'
'we kicked you (pl.)'
'we kicked her/him/it/them'
'you kicked me'
'you kicked us (few)'
'you kicked us (all)'
ish-ili-habli-tok 1
'you kicked yourself'
'ýou kicked you (pl.)'
'you kicked her/him/it/them'
'you (pl.) kicked me'
'you (pl.) kicked us (few)'
'you (pl.) kicked us (all)'
'you (pl.) kicked you'
hash-ili-habli-tok 1
'you (pl.) kicked yourselves'
'you (pl.) kicked her/him/it/them'
'she/he/it/they kicked me'
'she/etc. kicked us (few)'
'she/etc. kicked us (all)'
'she/etc. kicked you'
'she/etc. kicked you (pl.)'
"she/etc. kicked her/him/it/them"
ili-habli-tok 1
'she/etc. kicked herself/etc.'
  1. ^ When the subject and object refer to the same thing or person (coreference), the reflexive ili- prefix is mandatory and used in place of the coreferent object.

Transitive active verbs seemingly with class III direct objects:

  • Am-anoli-tok 'She/he/it/they told me.'
  • Chim-anoli-tok 'She/he/it/they told you.'
  • Im-anoli-tok 'She/he/it/they told him/her/it/them.'
  • Pim-anoli-tok 'She/he/it/they told us.'
  • Hachim-anoli-tok 'She/he/it/they told y'all.'

When a transitive verb occurs with more than one agreement prefix, I prefixes precede II and III prefixes:

'We saw you.'
'You told us.'

For intransitive verbs, the subjects of active verbs typically have class I agreement. Because third-person objects are unmarked, intransitive active verbs are indistinguishable in form from transitive active verbs with a third-person direct object.

Stative verbs

The subjects of stative verbs typically have II agreement. A small set of psychological verbs have subjects with class III agreement. [21]

'I ran.'
'I am fat.'
'I am skilled.'

The set of agreement markers labelled N above is used with negatives. [22] Negation is multiply marked, requiring that an agreement marker from the N set replace the ordinary I agreement, the verb appear in the lengthened grade (see discussion below), and that the suffix /-o(k)-/ follow the verb, with deletion of the preceding final vowel. The optional suffix /-kii/ may be added after /-o(k)-/. Consider the following example:

  • Akíiyokiittook.
  • Ak-íiya-o-kii-ttook
  • 'I did not go.'

Compare this with the affirmative counterpart:

  • Iyalittook
  • Iya-li-ttook.
  • go-1sI-DPAST
  • 'I went'.

To make this example negative, the 1sI suffix /-li/ is replaced by the 1sN prefix /ak-/; the verb root iya is lengthened and accented to yield íiya; the suffix /-o/ is added, the final vowel of iiya is deleted, and the suffix /-kii/ is added.

Anaphoric prefixes

Reflexives are indicated with the /ili-/ prefix, and reciprocals with /itti-/: [23]

  • Ilipísalitok.
  • li-pí̱sa-li-tok.
  • REFL-seeNGR-1sI-PT
  • 'I saw myself'.

Verb suffixes

While the verbal prefixes indicate relations between the verb and its arguments, the suffixes cover a wider semantic range, including information about valence, modality, tense and evidentiality.

The following examples show modal and tense suffixes like /-aachii̱/ 'irrealis'(approximately equal to future), /-tok/ 'past tense', /-h/ 'default tenses': [24]

'She runs.'
'She will run.'

There are also suffixes that show evidentiality, or the source of evidence for a statement, as in the following pair: [25]

Nipi' awashlihli.
Nipi' awashli-hli
meat fry-first:hand
'She fried the meat.' (I saw/heard/smelled her do it.)
Nipi' awashlitoka̱sha.
Nipi' awashli-tok-a̱sha
meat fry-PT-guess
'She fried the meat.' (I guess)

There are also suffixes of illocutionary force which may indicate that the sentence is a question, an exclamation, or a command: [26]

'Did she fry it?'
Chahta' siahokii!
Chahta' si-a-h-okii
Choctaw 1sII-be-TNS-EXCL
'I'm Choctaw!' or 'I certainly am a Choctaw!'

Verbal infixes

Choctaw verb stems have various infixes that indicate their aspect. [27] These stem variants are traditionally referred to as 'grades'. The table below shows the grades of Choctaw, along with their main usage.

Name of GradeHow it is formedWhen it is used
n-gradeinfix n in the next to last (penultimate) syllable; put accent on this syllableto show that the action is durative (lasts some definite length of time)
l-gradeput accent on next to last (penultimate) syllable; lengthen the vowel if the syllable is openbefore a few common suffixes, such as the negative /-o(k)/ and the switch-reference markers /-cha/ and /-na/
hn-gradeinsert a new syllable /-hV̱/ after the (original) next to last (penultimate) syllable. V̱ is a nasalized copy of the vowel that precedes show that the action of the verb repeats
y-gradeinsert -Vyy- before the next to last (penultimate) syllableto show delayed inception
g-gradeformed by lengthening the penultimate vowel of the stem, accenting the antepenultimate vowel, and geminating the consonant that follows the show delayed inception
h-gradeinsert -h- after the penultimate vowel of the show sudden action

Some examples that show the grades follow:

In this example the l-grade appears because of the suffixes /-na/ 'different subject' and /-o(k)/ 'negative':

... lowat táahana falaamat akíiyokiittook.
lowa-t táaha-na falaama-t ak-íiya-o-kii-ttook
burn-SS completeLGR-DS return-SS 1sN-goLGR-NEG-NEG-DPAST
'... (the school) burned down and I didn't go back.'

The g-grade and y-grade typically get translated into English as "finally VERB-ed":

'He sang.'
'He finally sang.'

The hn-grade is usually translated as 'kept on VERBing':

Ohó̱bana nittak pókkooli' oshtattook.
Ohó̱ba-na nittak pókkooli' oshta-ttook
rainHNGR-DS day ten four-DPAST
'It kept on raining for forty days.'

The h-grade is usually translated "just VERB-ed" or "VERB-ed for a short time":

'He took a quick nap.

Nominal morphology

Noun prefixes

Nouns have prefixes that show agreement with a possessor. [28] Agreement markers from class II are used on a lexically specified closed class of nouns, which includes many (but not all) of the kinship terms and body parts. This is the class that is generally labeled inalienable.

sanoshkobo' 'my head'
chinoshkobo' 'your head'
noshkobo' 'his/her/its/their head'
sashki' 'my mother'
chishki' 'your mother'

Nouns that are not lexically specified for II agreement use the III agreement markers:

a̱ki' 'my father'
amofi' 'my dog'

Although systems of this type are generally described with the terms alienable and inalienable, this terminology is not particularly appropriate for Choctaw, since alienability implies a semantic distinction between types of nouns. The morphological distinction between nouns taking II agreement and III agreement in Choctaw only partly coincides with the semantic notion of alienability.

Noun suffixes

Choctaw nouns can be followed by various determiner and case-marking suffixes, as in the following examples, where we see determiners such as /-ma/ 'that', /-pa/ 'this', and /-akoo/ 'contrast' and case-markers /-(y)at/ 'nominative' and /-(y)a̱/ 'accusative': [29]

alla' naknimat
alla' nakni-m-at
child male-that-NOM
'that boy (nominative)'
Hoshiit itti chaahamako̱ o̱biniilih.
Hoshi'-at itti' chaaha-m-ako̱ o̱-biniili-h
bird-NOM tree tall-that-CNTR:ACCSUPERESSIVE-sit-TNS
'The bird is sitting on that tall tree.' (Not on the short one.)

The last example shows that nasalizing the last vowel of the preceding N is a common way to show the accusative case.

Word order and case marking

The simplest sentences in Choctaw consist of a verb and a tense marker, as in the following examples: [30]
'It rained.'
'She/he/it is fat, they are fat.'
'She/he/it/they saw her/him/it/them.'
As these examples show, there are no obligatory noun phrases in a Choctaw sentence, nor is there any verbal agreement that indicates a third person subject or object. There is no indication of grammatical gender, and for third person arguments there is no indication of number. (There are, however, some verbs with suppletive forms that indicate the number of a subject or object, e.g. iyah 'to go (sg.)', ittiyaachih 'to go (du.)', and ilhkolih 'to go (pl)'.)

When there is an overt subject, it is obligatorily marked with the nominative case /-at/. Subjects precede the verb

Hoshiyat apatok.
hoshi'-at apa-tok
bird-NOM eat-PT
'The birds ate them.'

When there is an overt object, it is optionally marked with the accusative case /-a̱/

Hoshiyat sho̱shi(-ya̱) apatok.
hoshi'-at sho̱shi'(-a̱) apa-tok.
bird-NOM bug-(ACC) eat-PT
'The birds ate the bugs.'

The Choctaw sentence is normally verb-final, and so the head of the sentence is last.

Some other phrases in Choctaw also have their head at the end. Possessors precede the possessed noun in the Noun Phrase:

ofi' hohchifo'
dog name
'the dog's name'

Choctaw has postpositional phrases with the postposition after its object:

tamaaha' bili̱ka
town near
'near a town'


Some common Choctaw phrases (written in the "Modern" orthography):

Other Choctaw words:

Counting to twenty:

At " Native Nashville " web , there is an Online Choctaw Language Tutor, with Pronunciation Guide and four lessons: Small Talk, Animals, Food and Numbers.

See also

Related Research Articles

Chechen is a Northeast Caucasian language spoken by more than 1.4 million people, mostly in the Chechen Republic and by members of the Chechen diaspora throughout Europe, Russia, Jordan, Central Asia and Georgia.

Crow is a Missouri Valley Siouan language spoken primarily by the Crow Nation in present-day southeastern Montana. The word, Apsáalooke, translates to "children of the large beaked bird." It is one of the larger populations of American Indian languages with 2,480 speakers according to the 1990 US Census.

Muscogee language Indigenous American language

The Muscogee language, also known as Creek, is a Muskogean language spoken by Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole people, primarily in the US states of Oklahoma and Florida. Along with Mikasuki, when spoken by the Seminole it is known as Seminole.

Muskogean languages language family

Muskogean is a language family spoken in different areas of the Southeastern United States. Though the debate concerning their interrelationships is ongoing, the Muskogean languages are generally divided into two branches, Eastern Muskogean and Western Muskogean. Typologically, Muskogean languages are agglutinative. One documented language, Apalachee, is extinct and the remaining languages are critically endangered.

Koasati language Native American language spoken in Louisiana

Koasati is a Native American language of Muskogean origin. The language is spoken by the Coushatta people, most of whom live in Allen Parish north of the town of Elton, Louisiana, though a smaller number share a reservation near Livingston, Texas, with the Alabama people. In 1991, linguist Geoffrey Kimball estimated the number of speakers of the language at around 400 people, of whom approximately 350 live in Louisiana. The exact number of current speakers is unclear, but Coushatta Tribe officials claim that most tribe members over 20 speak Koasati. In 2007, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, in collaboration with McNeese State University and the College of William and Mary, began the Koasati (Coushatta) Language Project as a part of broader language revitalization efforts with National Science Foundation grant money under the Documenting Endangered Languages program.

Chickasaw language Native American language of the Muskogean family

The Chickasaw language is a Native American language of the Muskogean family. It is agglutinative and follows the word order pattern of subject–object–verb (SOV). The language is closely related to, though perhaps not entirely mutually intelligible with, Choctaw. It is spoken by the Chickasaw tribe, now residing in Southeast Oklahoma, centered on Ada.

Supyire language language

Supyire, or Suppire, is a Senufo language spoken in the Sikasso Region of southeastern Mali and in adjoining regions of Ivory Coast, where it is known as Shempire (Syenpire). In their native language, the noun sùpyìré means both "the people" and "the language spoken by the people".

Tunica language language

The Tunica language is a language isolate that was spoken in the Central and Lower Mississippi Valley in the United States by Native American Tunica peoples. There are no native speakers of the Tunica language, but as of 2017, there are 32 second language speakers.

The Persian language has between six and eight vowel phonemes and twenty-six consonant phonemes. It features contrastive stress and syllable-final consonant clusters.

Seneca language Iroquoian language, spoken in western New York at the time of European contact

Seneca is the language of the Seneca people, one of the Six Nations of the Iroquois League; it is an Iroquoian language, spoken at the time of contact in the western portion of New York. While the name Seneca, attested as early as the seventeenth century, is of obscure origins, the endonym Onödowáʼga꞉ translates to "those of the big hill." About 10,000 Seneca live in the United States and Canada, primarily on reservations in western New York, with others living in Oklahoma and near Brantford, Ontario. As of 2013, an active language revitalization program is underway.

Eastern Pomo language language

Eastern Pomo, also known as Clear Lake Pomo, is a nearly extinct Pomoan language spoken around Clear Lake in Lake County, California by one of the Pomo peoples.

The Yimas language is spoken by the Yimas people, who populate the Sepik River Basin region of Papua New Guinea. It is spoken primarily in Yimas village, Karawari Rural LLG, East Sepik Province. It is a member of the Lower-Sepik language family. All 250-300 speakers of Yimas live in two villages along the lower reaches of the Arafundi River, which stems from a tributary of the Sepik River known as the Karawari River.

The Awngi language, in older publications also called Awiya, is a Central Cushitic language spoken by the Awi people, living in Central Gojjam in northwestern Ethiopia.

The Nukak language is a language of uncertain classification, perhaps part of the small Nadahup (Makú) language family. It is mutually intelligible with Kakwa.

This article is about the sound system of the Navajo language. The phonology of Navajo is intimately connected to its morphology. For example, the entire range of contrastive consonants is found only at the beginning of word stems. In stem-final position and in prefixes, the number of contrasts is drastically reduced. Similarly, vowel contrasts found outside of the stem are significantly neutralized. For details about the morphology of Navajo, see Navajo grammar.

Tundra Nenets is a Uralic language spoken in European Russia and North-Western Siberia. It is the largest and best-preserved language in the Samoyedic group.

Duna language Language

Duna is a Papuan language of Papua New Guinea. It may belong to the Trans New Guinea language family and is often further classified as a Duna-Pogaya language, for Bogaya appears to be Duna's closest relative, as evidenced by the similar development of the personal pronouns. Estimates for number of speakers range from 11,000 (1991) to 25,000 (2002).

Luchazi is a Bantu language of Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Zambia. Luchazi is the principal language of the Ngangela Group. Ngangela is a term coined by the Vimbundu traders and missionaries in 18th century to describe the tribes occupying the area of eastern-central Angola. Ngangela simply means people of the east. Ethnically distinct varieties, many of which are subsumed under the generic term Ngangela, are all "fully intelligible". These are: Luchazi itself, Nyemba, Mbwela of Angola, Nkangala, Mbunda, Luimbi (Lwimbi), Yauma, Songo, Chimbandi and Ngondzela.

Ute dialect language

Ute is a dialect of the Colorado River Numic language, spoken by the Ute people. Speakers primarily live on three reservations: Uintah-Ouray in northeastern Utah, Southern Ute in southwestern Colorado, and Ute Mountain in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. Ute is part of the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Other dialects in this dialect chain are Chemehuevi and Southern Paiute. As of 2010, there were 1,640 speakers combined of all three dialects Colorado River Numic. Ute's parent language, Colorado River Numic, is classified as a threatened language, although there are tribally-sponsored language revitalization programs for the dialect.

Neve’ei, also known as Vinmavis, is an Oceanic language of central Malekula, Vanuatu. There are around 500 primary speakers of Neve’ei and about 750 speakers in total.


  1. 1 2 Choctaw at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Choctaw". Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Munro 1984
  4. 1 2 3 Broadwell (2006:15)
  5. Broadwell (2006:19-20)
  6. 1 2 3 Broadwell (2006:15-20)
  7. 1 2 3 4 Broadwell (2006:16-18)
  8. 1 2 Broadwell (2006:18-20)
  9. 1 2 3 Broadwell (2006:18-19)
  10. Broadwell (2006:21-26)
  11. Broadwell (2006:18-21)
  12. Broadwell (2006:125)
  13. Broadwell (2006:60-62)
  14. Broadwell (2006:124-125)
  15. 1 2 3 4 Broadwell (2006:26-27)
  16. Broadwell (2006:130)
  17. Broadwell (2006:219)
  18. Broadwell (2006:16)
  19. 1 2 3 Broadwell (2006:26)
  20. Broadwell (2006:137-140)
  21. Broadwell (2006:140-142)
  22. Broadwell (2006:148-152)
  23. Broadwell (2006:98-99)
  24. Broadwell (2006:169-183)
  25. Broadwell (2006:184-190)
  26. Broadwell (2006:191-193)
  27. Broadwell (2006:161-168)
  28. Broadwell (2006:52-63)
  29. Broadwell (2006:64-92)
  30. Broadwell (2006:32)


Further reading