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Subject: Cheraw Language
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

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

Some other resources that could help are

ILAT Listserv -

I hope some of this is helpful.

Best of luck
Reply From: Elizabeth J Pyatt      click here to access email
Date: 17-May-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Cheraw Language    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (17-May-2013)
  2. Re: Cheraw Language    Herbert Frederic Stahlke     (18-May-2013)

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