|Native to||United States|
|Native speakers||200 (2002)|
Distribution of the Shawnee language around 1650
The Shawnee language is a Central Algonquian language spoken in parts of central and northeastern Oklahoma by approximately 200 Shawnee, making it an endangered language. It was originally spoken in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. It is closely related to the Algonquian languages Mesquakie-Sauk (Sac and Fox) and Kickapoo.
Language revitalization efforts
Stress in Shawnee falls on the final syllable of a word.
Shawnee has four short vowels, /i e a o/ (where /i/ and /e/ are phonetically [ɪ] and [ɛ]) and four long vowels, /iː eː aː oː/.
Shawnee shares many grammatical features with other Algonquian languages. There are two third persons, proximate and obviative, and two noun classes (or genders), animate and inanimate. It is primarily agglutinating typologically, and is polysynthetic, resulting in a great deal of information being encoded on the verb. The most common word order is Verb-Subject.
During the 19th century a short-lived Roman-based alphabet was designed for Shawnee by the missionary Jotham Meeker. It was never widely used. Later, native Shawnee speaker Thomas 'Wildcat' Alford devised a highly phonemic and accurate orthography for his 1929 Shawnee translation of the four gospels of the New Testament, but it, too, never attained wide usage.
- Shawnee reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- "Shawnee: A Matter of Funding". PBS. 2009-04-13. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/weshallremain/native_now/language_shawnee. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- "Shawnee Language Classes". Eastern Shawnee of Oklahoma. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- "Say it in Shawnee!". Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- "Learn Shawnee - Learn Shawnee Language". Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- Mithun, Marianne (2001). The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-521-29875-9.
- Alford, Thomas Wildcat. 1929. The Four Gospels of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Shawnee Indian Language. Xenia, Ohio: Dr. W. A. Galloway.
- Andrews, Kenneth. 1994. Shawnee Grammar. Unpublished Dissertation, University of South Carolina, Columbia.
- Costa, David J. 2001. Shawnee Noun Plurals. Anthropological Linguistics 43: 255-287.
- Costa, David J. 2002. Preverb Usage in Shawnee Narratives. In H. C. Wolfart, ed., Papers of the 33rd Algonquian Conference, 120-161. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba.
- Gatschet, Albert S. "Shawnee words, phrases, sentences and texts 1890-1892". Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- Voegelin, Carl F. 1935. Shawnee Phonemes. Language 11: 23-37.
- Voegelin, Carl F. 1936. Productive Paradigms in Shawnee. Robert H. Lowie, ed., Essays in Anthropology presented to A. L. Kroeber 391-403. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Voegelin, Carl F. 1938-40. Shawnee Stems and the Jacob P. Dunn Miami Dictionary. Indiana Historical Society Prehistory Research Series 1: 63-108, 135-167, 289-323, 345-406, 409-478 (1938–1940). Indianapolis.