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Cherokee

A language of USA

ISO 639-3: chr

Population 15,000 to 22,500. 130 monolinguals. Population includes 14,000 speakers on Oklahoma rolls (1986 Durbin Feeling, Cherokee Nation, OK), 1,000 in North Carolina (1997 Robin Sabino). Ethnic population: 308,132 (1990 census) including 70,000 on Oklahoma rolls (1986 D. Feeling), 9,800 in Eastern Band (1997 Robin Sabino).
Region Eastern and northeastern Oklahoma and Cherokee Reservation, Great Smokey Mountains, western North Carolina.
Alternate names   Tsalagi, Tslagi
Dialects Elati (Lower Cherokee, Eastern Cherokee), Kituhwa (Middle Cherokee), Otali (Upper Cherokee, Western Cherokee, Overhill Cherokee), Overhill-Middle Cherokee.
Classification Iroquoian, Southern Iroquoian
Language use Vigorous in some Oklahoma communities. Elsewhere most younger speakers prefer English. The Elati dialect is extinct.
Language development Literacy rate in first language: 15% to 20% can read it, 5% can write it (1986 Cherokee Heritage Center). Now being taught in schools, churches, and other classes (1986 Cherokee Advocate). Sequoyah syllabary. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1850–1951.
Comments Christian, traditional religion.