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Cherokee

A language of United States

ISO 639-3chr

Population  16,400 (2000 census). 130 monolinguals. 14,000 on Oklahoma rolls (1986 D. Feeling), 1,000 in North Carolina (1997 R. Sabino). Ethnic population: 308,132 (1990 census) including 70,000 on Oklahoma rolls (1986 D. Feeling), 9,800 in Eastern Band (1997 R. Sabino).
Region  East and northeast Oklahoma and Cherokee Reservation, Great Smokey Mountains, western North Carolina.
Language map  Southeastern United States of America
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 young people prefer English. Elati dialect extinct.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 15%–20% can read, 5% can write (1986 Cherokee Heritage Center). Now taught in schools, churches, and other classes (1986 Cherokee Advocate). Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1850–1951.
Writing system  Cherokee script. Latin script.
Comments  Christian, traditional religion.
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