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|Question:||I am a member of the Cheraw Indian Nation. Our language has been lost over the years with no record at all of any part of it. In our very area lived the Lumbee Indians (who were a mixture of Cheraw, PeeDee, Tuscarora, as well as other nations), the Catawba (who many Cheraw joined in the mid 1700's), The Cherokee, the Tuscarora. Most of their languages was Algonkian in base and there are other languages with that same base. Considering the nomadic nature of our people, and considering the necessity of trade among the different nations, to me it would be reasonable for their languages to mix to some extent if not to a great extent. Would it be possible to take a base of a certain amount of words from these various languages, who are derived from the same base and build a rudimentary language which could be learned and spoken? If so how many words would be needed?|
|Reply:||This is an interesting question. If my interpretation is correct, what you are essentially asking to create an artificial language based on It is possible to create an artificial language, but I think the more you could reconstruct about the original language, the better (are there any place names, phrases, special words used in the tribe?) FWIW - It appears that conventional wisdom says that Cheraw might have been a eastern Siouan language. Other Siouan languages include Lakota, Crow In any case, I really would recommend contacting someone familiar preserving/reviving languages. There may be people at the University of North Carolina who could help http://americanindianstudies.unc.edu/ Some other resources that could help are ILAT Listserv - http://www.u.arizona.edu/~cashcash/ILAT.html http://linguistics.arizona.edu/node/696 http://www.unm.edu/~linguist/nal.html I hope some of this is helpful. Best of luck|
|Reply From:||Elizabeth J Pyatt click here to access email|