Shawnee language

Shawnee language

states=United States

The Shawnee language is a Central Algonquian language spoken in parts of central and northeastern Oklahoma by only around 200 Shawnee, making it very endangered. It was originally spoken in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. It is closely related to the other Algonquian languages Mesquakie-Sauk (Sac and Fox) and Kickapoo.


Stress in Shawnee falls on the final syllable of a word.


Shawnee has four short vowels, IPA|/i e a o/ (where IPA|/i/ and IPA|/e/ are phonetically IPA| [ɪ] and IPA| [ɛ] ) and four long vowels, IPA|/iː eː aː oː/.


Some speakers of Shawnee pronounce /ɕ/ more like an alveolar /s/. This pronunciation is especially common among Loyal Band Shawnee speakers near Vinita, Oklahoma.


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.

External links

* [ Shawnee Language]
* [ Ethnologue Report for Shawnee]
* [ Albert Gatschet's notes on the Shawnee language]


*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 Unpublished Dissertation, University of South Carolina, Columbia.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.
*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.

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