Cherokee Language Essay

Cherokee Language Essay

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Cherokee: An Endangered Language
In the United States, an emphasize in learning the dominant language, English for example, can inevitably put other languages within the country in extinction. In reality, there are many other spoken languages in the United Sates, like those spoken by Native Americans, that are becoming endangered because of the immensity of more used languages. One may ask, what is an endangered language? According to Michael Cahill (Bonvillain), who has studied and researched many different endangered languages around the world, a language is endangered when "it is in fairly eminent danger of dying out." Cahill states two ways to quickly identify when a language is on its way to becoming endangered. One is when the "children in the community do not speak the native language of their parents, and the other is when there are only a small number of people left in the ethnolinguistic community" that know how to speak the language (Bonvillain). In specific, the Cherokee language fits into the category of an endangered language in the United Sates because less and less speakers speak it and because it is taught less often to younger generations as well. Although Cherokee, a language containing its own rules in grammar, morphemes, syntax, and phonetics, was once a language spoken in vast areas around the United States by native peoples, the language struggles to survive albeit historical foreign attack and current domination of other languages such as English.
The Cherokee language is spoken today by about fourteen thousand people in western North Carolina and northeastern Oklahoma. During the period in which American natives faced European invasion, three major dialects were recognized (Power Source). These di...


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Huckabay, Anna. "Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center." The Cherokee Nation:

Cherokee.org. 1998-2000. 13 April 2004 < http://www.cherokee.org/Culture/language.

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Berry, Christina. "Culture Feature: Cherokee." All Things Cherokee. 2003. 13 April 2004

< http://www.allthingscherokee.com/atc_sub_culture_feat_images_120102.htm>.

Native Languages of the Americas: Cherokee. May 2001. Native Languages Association. 22

February 2004 < http://www.native-languages.org/cherokee.htm>.

Masters, Ken. "Language and Songs." Cherokee Images: Tribal Art. 1996-2004. 22 February

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