- Southern Athabaskan languages
Infobox Language family
altname=Southern Athabaskan, Southern Athapaskan, Apachean
Southwestern United States
Pre-contact distribution of Southern Athabaskan languages
Southern Athabaskan (also Apachean) is a subfamily of
Athabaskan languagesspoken primarily in the North American Southwest (including Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Sonora) with two outliers in Oklahomaand Texas. These languages are spoken by various groups of Apacheand Navajo peoples. Western Apaches call their language "Nnee biyáti’" or "Ndee biyáti’". Navajos call their language "Diné bizaad".
There are several well known historical people whose first language was Southern Athabaskan.
Geronimo(Goyaałé) who spoke Chiricahuawas a famous raid and war leader. Manuelitowho spoke Navajo is famous for his pre and post Long walk of the Navajosleadership.
The seven Southern Athabaskan languages can be divided into 2 groups according to the classification of
Harry Hoijer: (I) Plains and (II) Southwestern. Plains Apacheis the only member of the Plains Apache group. The Southwestern group can be further divided into two subgroups (A) Western and (B) Eastern. The Western subgroup consists of Western Apache, Navajo, Mescalero, and Chiricahua. The Eastern subgroup consists of Jicarilla and Lipan.
I. Plains: 1 Plains Apache (a.k.a. Kiowa-Apache)II. Southwestern: A. Western:: i. Chiricahua-Mescalero::: 2. Chiricahua:::: a. Chiricahua proper:::: b. Warm Springs::: 3. Mescalero:: 4. Navajo:: 5.
Western Apache(a.k.a. Coyotero Apache)::: a. Dilzhe’e(a.k.a. Tonto, Northern Tonto, Southern Tonto)::: b. White Mountain::: c. San Carlos: B. Eastern:: 6. Jicarilla:: 7. Lipan
Hoijer's classification is based primarily on the differences of the pronunciation of the initial
consonantof noun and verb stems. His earlier 1938 classification had only two branches with Plains Apache grouped together with the other Eastern languages (i.e. with Jicarilla and Lipan).
Mescalero and Chiricahua are considered different languages even though they are mutually intelligible (Ethnologue considers them the same language). Western Apache (especially the Dilzhe'e variety) and Navajo are closer to each other than either is to Mescalero/Chiricahua. Lipan Apache and Plains Apache are nearly extinct (in fact Lipan may already be extinct). Chiricahua is severely endangered. Mescalero, Jicarilla, and Western Apache are considered endangered as well, but fortunately children are still learning the languages although the number of child speakers continues to decline. Navajo is one of the most vigorous North American languages, but use among first-graders has declined from 90% to 30% in (1998 N.Y. Times, April 9, p. A20).
All Southern Athabaskan languages have somewhat similar phonologies. The description below will concentrate mostly on
Western Apache. You can expect minor variations of this description in other related languages (e.g., cf. Navajo, Jicarilla, Chiricahua).
Southern Athabaskan languages generally have a consonant inventory similar to the set of 33 consonants below (based mostly on Western Apache):
These vowels may also be short or long and oral (non-nasal) or nasal. Nasal vowels are indicated by an
ogonek(or nasal hook) diacritic ˛ in Western Apache, Navajo, Mescalero, and Chiricahua while in Jicarilla the nasal vowels are indicated by underlining the vowel. This results in sixteen different vowels:
He later revised his proposal in 1971 when he found that Plains Apache did not participate in the "IPA|*k̯/*c" merger to consider Plains Apache as a language equi-distant from the other languages, now called Southwestern Apachean. Thus, some stems that originally started with "*k̯" in Proto-Athabascan start with "ch" in Plains Apache while the other languages start with "ts".
Morris Opler (1975) has suggested that Hoijer's original formulation that Jicarilla and Lipan in an Eastern branch was more in agreement with the cultural similarities between these two and the differences from the other Western Apachean groups. Other linguists, particularly
Michael Krauss(1973), have noted that a classification based only on the initial consonants of noun and verb stems is arbitrary and when other sound correspondences are considered the relationships between the languages appear to be more complex. Additionally, it has been pointed out by Martin Huld (1983) that since Plains Apache does not merge Proto-Athabascan "IPA|*k̯/*c", Plains Apache cannot be considered an Apachean language as defined by Hoijer.
Other differences and similarities among the Southern Athabaskan languages can be observed in the following modified and abbreviated Swadesh list:
Southern Athabascan grammar.
* [http://home.bluemarble.net/~langmin/miniatures/navajo.htm How Different can Languages be?: The grammatical mosaic of Navajo]
* [http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8352/lang.htm Simplified Apache Pronunciation]
* [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/apache/ Chiricahua and Mescalero Texts]
* [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/apache/frames/grammar.html Grammatical Sketch of Chiricahua/Mescalero]
* [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/apache/Resources/resources.html Other Apache Ethnographical Sources]
* [http://www.freewebs.com/apache-texts Apache texts]
* [http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/pla/jat/ Goddard's Jicarilla Texts (translation only)]
* [http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/TIL_11.html Issues in Language Textbook Development: The Case of Western Apache]
* [http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/TIL_12.html White Mountain Apache Language: Issues in Language Shift, Textbook Development, and Native Speaker-University Collaboration]
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=92341 Apachean Languages on Ethnologue site]
* [http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/faculty/gordon/apachephonetics.pdf Phonetic Structures of Western Apache (318 kb PDF: technical work on acoustic phonetics)]
* [http://www.language-museum.com/a/apache.php sample of Apache bible translation]
* Wikipedia in Navajo
*"For the bibliography, see the subarticle
Southern Athabaskan languages/Bibliography."
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Southern Athabaskan languages bibliography — This is the bibliography of the Southern Athabaskan languages article. Bibliography* Grimes, Barbara F. (Ed.). (2000). Ethnologue: Languages of the world (14th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International. ISBN 1 55671 106 9. (Online edition:… … Wikipedia
Athabaskan languages — Infobox Language family name=Athabaskan altname=Athabascan, Athapascan, Athapaskan region=Western North America familycolor=Dené Yeniseian fam2=Na Dené fam3=Athabaskan Eyak child1=Northern Athabaskan child2=Pacific Coast Athabaskan… … Wikipedia
Athabaskan languages — or Athapaskan languages Family of North American Indian languages. There are perhaps 200,000 speakers of Athabaskan. Northern Athabaskan includes more than 20 languages scattered across an immense region of subarctic North America from western… … Universalium
Northern Athabaskan languages — Northern Athabascan Ethnicity: Dene Geographic distribution: Alaska, Yukon Linguistic classification: Dené–Yeniseian Na Dené Athabaskan–Eyak … Wikipedia
Southern Athabascan grammar — Southern Athabascan (also Apachean, Southern Athabaskan) is a subfamily of Athabaskan languages spoken in the North American Southwest. Refer to Southern Athabascan languages for the main article.Typological overviewTypologically, Southern… … Wikipedia
Athabaskan language family — Athabaskan also spelled Athabascan , or (in Canada) Athapaskan , or Athapascan one of the largest North American Indian language (North American Indian languages) families, consisting of about 38 languages. Speakers of Athabaskan… … Universalium
Languages of the United States — Official language(s) none Main language(s) English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo European 3.8%, Asian … Wikipedia
Southern Tutchone — The Southern Tutchone are a First Nations people living mainly in the southern Yukon in Canada. The Southern Tutchone language, originally spoken by the Southern Tutchone people is a lect of the Tutchone language, part of the Athabaskan language… … Wikipedia
Na-Dene languages — Na Dené Geographic distribution: North America Linguistic classification: Dené–Yeniseian Na Dené Subdivisions: Athabaskan–Eyak Tlingit … Wikipedia
List of languages by name — NOTOC This list of languages is alphabetical by English name of the language.Ethnologue lists about 7,300 main languages in its language name index (see the external link) and distinguishes about 39,491 alternate language names and… … Wikipedia