|Spoken in:||Canada, United States|
|Region:||Six Nations Reserve in southern Ontario, Tuscarora Reservation in northwestern New York, and eastern North Carolina|
|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Ontario (ɒnˈtɛrioʊ is a province located in the central part of Canada, the largest by population and second largest after Quebec New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous North Carolina ( is a state located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the southeastern United States List of language familiesA language family is a group of Languages related by descent from a common ancestor called the Proto-language of that family The Iroquoian languages are a Native American Language family. ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages ISO 639 -3 (ISO 639-32007 is an international standard for Language codes The standard describes three‐letter codes for identifying languages In Computing, Unicode is an Industry standard allowing Computers to consistently represent and manipulate text expressed in most of the world's|
Tuscarora, sometimes called Skarure(h/ʔ), is an Iroquoian language of the Tuscarora people, spoken in southern Ontario, Canada, and northwestern New York around Niagara Falls, in the United States. The Iroquoian languages are a Native American Language family. The Tuscarora ("hemp gatherers" are an American Indian tribe with members in New York, Canada, and North Carolina. Ontario (ɒnˈtɛrioʊ is a province located in the central part of Canada, the largest by population and second largest after Quebec Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous The Niagara Falls are massive Waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the international border separating the Canadian province of Ontario The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The original homeland of the Tuscarora was in eastern North Carolina, in and around the Goldsboro, Kinston, and Smithfield areas, and some, though few, still live in this region. North Carolina ( is a state located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the southeastern United States Goldsboro is the name of several places in the United States: Goldsboro Maryland Goldsboro North Carolina Kinston may refer to Kinston Alabama Kinston North Carolina (Kingston until 1784 See also Smithfield is the name of several places In the UK Smithfield Cumbria Smithfield London (sometimes referred to as West Smithfield The name Tuscarora (pronounced approximately "Tuh-skuh-roar-uh") comes from the tribe's name and means "hemp people," after the Indian hemp or milkweed that they use in many aspects of their society. "Skarureh" refers to the long shirt worn as part of the men's regalia, hence "long shirt people".
Tuscarora is a living but severely endangered language. An endangered language is a Language that it is at risk of falling out of use generally because it has few surviving speakers As of the mid-1970s, only about 52 people spoke the language in the Tuscarora Reservation (Lewiston, New York) and the Six Nations Reserve (near Brantford, Ontario). The Tuscarora School in Lewiston has striven to keep the language alive, teaching children from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade. Despite this, Ethnologue reports a total of only 11 to 13 speakers in the 1990s, all of whom are older adults.
The Tuscarora language can appear complex to those unfamiliar with it, more in terms of the grammar than the sound system. Grammar is the field of Linguistics that covers the Rules governing the use of any given natural language. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA is a system of phonetic notation based on the Latin alphabet, devised by the International Phonetic Many ideas can be expressed in a single word, and most words involve several components that must be considered before speaking (or writing). It is written using mostly symbols from the Roman alphabet, with some variations, additions, and diacritics. A diacritic ( also called a diacritic or diacritical mark, point, or sign, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation
Tuscarora has four oral vowels, one nasal vowel, and no diphthongs. The vowels can be both short and long, which makes a total of eight oral vowels, /i ɛ a u iː ɛː aː uː/, and two nasal vowels, /ə̃ ə̃ː/. A nasal vowel is a Vowel that is produced with a lowering of the velum so that air escapes both through Nose as well as the Mouth. A nasal vowel is a Vowel that is produced with a lowering of the velum so that air escapes both through Nose as well as the Mouth. Nasal vowels are customarily indicated with an ogonek, long vowels with a following colom, < : >, and /ɛ/ (which may actually be [æ]) with <e>. The ogonek ( Polish for "little tail" the Diminutive of ogon) is a Diacritic hook placed under the lower right corner of a vowel in the
|Close||/i/ /iː/||/u/ /uː/|
|Open-mid||/ɛ/ /ɛː/||/ə̃/ /ə̃ː/|
The /u/ is often rather written /v/. A front vowel is a type of Vowel sound used in some spoken Languages The defining characteristic of a front vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far forward A central vowel is a type of Vowel sound used in some spoken Languages The defining characteristic of a central vowel is that the tongue is positioned halfway between A back vowel is a type of Vowel sound used in some spoken Languages The defining characteristic of a back vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far back as A close vowel is a type of Vowel sound used in many spoken Languages The defining characteristic of a close vowel is that the tongue is positioned as close as The open-mid vowels make a class of Vowel sounds used in some spoken Languages The defining characteristic of an open-mid vowel is that the tongue is positioned An open vowel is a Vowel sound of a type used in most spoken Languages The defining characteristic of an open vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far as Thus in the official writing system of Tuscarora, the vowels are /a e i o v/.
The Tuscarora language has ten symbols representing consonants, including three stops (/k/, /t/, and /ʔ/), three fricatives (/s/, /θ/, and /h/), a nasal (/n/), a rhotic (/r/), and two glides (/w/ and /y/). These last four can be grouped together under the category of resonants. (Mithun Williams, 1976) The range of sounds, though, is more extensive, with palatalization, aspiration, and other variants of the sounds, that usually come when two sounds are set next to each other.
|Stop||t [t]||(ʧ)||k [k]||ʔ [ʔ]|
|Fricative||θ [θ]||s [s]||h [h]|
|Approximant||y [j]||w [w]|
There may also be the phonemes /b/ and /f/, although they probably occur only in loan words. In Linguistics, a dental consonant or dental is a Consonant that is articulated with the tongue against the upper teeth such as /t/ /d/ /n/ and Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior Alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets Palatal consonants are Consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the Hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth Glottal consonants are Consonants articulated with the Glottis. A nasal consonant (also called nasal stop or nasal continuant) is produced with a lowered velum in the mouth allowing air to escape freely through the A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a Consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the Vocal tract. Fricatives are Consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together Rhotic consonants, or "R"-like sounds are non-lateral Liquid consonants This class of sounds is difficult to characterise phonetically though most of them share Approximants are speech sounds ( Phonemes) that could be regarded as intermediate between Vowels and typical Consonants In the articulation of approximants /ʧ/ is commonly spelled <č>. <y> represents /j/. The phonemic consonant cluster /sj/ is realized as a postalveolar fricative [ʃ]. Postalveolar consonants are Consonants articulated with the tongue near or touching the back of the Alveolar ridge, placing them a bit further back in the
Tuscarora has three stops: /t/, /k/, and /ʔ/; in their most basic forms: [t], [k], and [ʔ]. /k̯w/ could be considered separate, although it is very similar to /k/+/w/, and can be counted as a variant phonetic realization of these two sounds. Each sound has specific changes that take place when situated in certain positions. These are among the phonetic (automatic) rules listed below. Since, in certain cases, the sounds [g] and [d] are realized, a more extended list of the stops would be [t], [d], [k], [g], and [ʔ]. In the written system, however, only /t/, /k/, and /ʔ/ are used. /k/ is only aspirated when it directly precedes another /k/.
The language has two or three fricatives: /s/, /θ/, and /h/. /s/ and /θ/ are only distinguished in some dialects of Tuscarora.  Both are basically pronounced as [s], although in some situation /s/ becomes pronounced as [š]. /h/ is generally [h]. An affricate is /t̯s/. (Very little information is provided on this sound, but it is presumably similar to /k̯w/ in that the sound is close to /t+s/. )
Resonants are /n/, /r/, /w/, /y/. Based on recent recordings it seems like these letters are realized very much the same way they are in English. /r/ does not seem to be trilled at all, and /y/ is not pronounced as [y], but rather as /y/ like in the word "year. " A rule below specifies pre-aspiration under certain circumstances. The resonants can also become voiceless fricatives (as specified below). A voiceless /n/ is described as "a silent movement of the tongue accompanied by an audible escape of breath through the nose. " When /r/ becomes a voiceless fricative, it often becomes similar in sound to /s/.
/s/ followed by /y/ or sometimes /i/ often becomes [š].
Used here is a type of linguistic notation. Aloud, the first bullet point would read, "/s/ becomes /š/ when preceded by /t/. "
The basic construction of a verb consists of
in that order. For English usage of verbs see the wiki article English verbs. All verbs contain at least a pronominal prefix and a verb base. A prefix is a type of Affix attached to a stem which modifies the meaning of that stem
These are the very first prefixes in a verb. Prepronominal prefixes can indicate
In addition, these can mark such distinctions as dualic, contrastive, partitive, and iterative. According to Marianne Mithun Williams, it is possible to find some semantic similarities from the functions of prepronominal prefixes, but not such that each morpheme is completely explained in this way. Marianne Mithun (1946- is a leading scholar of American Indian languages and language typology
As it sounds, pronominal prefixes identify pronouns with regards to the verb, including person, number, and gender. In Linguistics and Grammar, a pronoun is a Pro-form that substitutes for a (including a noun phrase consisting of a single Noun) with or Since all verbs must have at least a subject, the pronominal prefixes identify the subject, and if the verb is transitive, these prefixes also identify the object. For English usage of verbs see the wiki article English verbs. For example:
Tuscarora word: rà:weh
Translation: He is talking.
Breakdown: masculine + 'talk' + serial
The 'masculine' ("rà") is the pronominal prefix, indicating that a male is the subject of the sentence.
On account of various changes in the evolution of the language, not all of the possible combinations of distinctions in person, number, and gender are made, and some pronominal prefixes or combinations thereof can represent several acceptable meanings.
The verb base is, generally, exactly what it sounds like: it is the barest form of the verb. This is a verb stem that consists solely of one verb root.
Verb stems can be made of more than just a verb root. More complex stems are formed by adding modifiers. Roots might be combined with many different kinds of morphemes to create complicated stems. In Morpheme-based morphology, a morpheme is the smallest linguistic unit that has semantic meaning. Possibilities include reflexive, inchoative, reversive, intensifier, and distributive morphemes, instrumental, causative, or dative case markers, and also incorporated noun stems. The base may be further complicated by ambulative or purposive morphemes. 
Aspect suffixes are temporal indicators, and are used with all indicative verbs. Grammatical mood is one of a set of distinctive Verb forms that are used to signal modality. "Aspect" is with respect to duration or frequency; "tense" is with respect to the point in time at which the verb's action takes place.  Three different aspects can be distinguished, and each distinguished aspect can be furthermore inflected for three different tenses. These are, respectively, punctual, serial, or perfective, and past, future, or indefinite. 
Nouns, like verbs, are composed of several parts. These are, in this order:
Nouns can be divided two ways, formally and functionally, and four ways, into formal nouns, other functional nouns, possessive constructions, and attributive suffixes.
The pronominal prefix is very much like that in verbs. It refers to who or what is being identified. The prefixes vary according to the gender, number, and "humanness" of the noun. Genders include:
The prefixes are:
Most stems are simple noun roots that are morphologically unanalyzable. These can be referred to as "simplex stems. " More complex stems can be derived from verbs this is commonly done as:
(verb stem) + (nominalizing morpheme).
The process can be repeated multiple times, making more complex stems, but it is rarely the case that it is repeated too many times.
Most nouns end in the morpheme -eh. Some end in -aʔ, -vʔ, or -ʔ.
In addition to the formal nouns mentioned above, clauses, verbs, and unanalyzable particles can also be classified as nominals. Clausal nominals are such things as sentential subjects and compliments. Verbal nominals usually describe their referents.
Unanalyzable particles arise from three main sources which overlap somewhat.
Onomatopoeia, from Tuscarora or other languages, is less common than other words from other languages or verbal descriptions that turned to nominals. Onomatopoeia (also spelled onomatopœia, from Greek: ονοματοποιΐα is a Word or a grouping of words that imitates the sound it is describing In many cases a pronominal prefix has dropped off, so that only the minimal stem remains.
Ownership is divided into alienable and inalienable possession, each of which type has its own construction. An example of inalienable possession would be a body part—this cannot be disputed. An example of inalienable possession would be a piece of paper.
Attributive suffixes come in many forms:
A diminutive indicates something smaller; an augmentive makes something bigger. Locative (also called the seventh case) is a Grammatical case which indicates a location A diminutive is a formation of a Word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning smallness of the object or quality named encapsulation intimacy or endearment A diminutive is a formation of a Word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning smallness of the object or quality named encapsulation intimacy or endearment A simple example would be a diminutive suffix added to the word "cat" to form a word meaning "small cat. " A more abstract example would be the diminutive of "trumpet" forming "pipe. " Both diminutives and augmentives have suffixes that indicate both smallness and plurality. A (certain) diminutive can be added to any functional nominal. Augmentives usually combine with other morphemes, forming more specific stems.
Attributive suffixes can be added to any word that functions as a nominal, even if it is a verb or particle.
The basic word order in Tuscarora is SVO (subject, verb, object), but this can vary somewhat and still form grammatical sentences, depending on who the agents and patients are. In Linguistic typology, subject-verb-object ( SVO) is a sentence structure where the subject comes first the Verb second and the object According to a tradition that can be tracked back to Aristotle, every sentence can be divided in two main constituents, one being the subject of the sentence and the For English usage of verbs see the wiki article English verbs. An object in Grammar is a Sentence element and part of the sentence predicate. For example: If two nouns of the same relative "status" are together in a sentence, the SVO word order is followed. Such is the case, for example, in a Noun-Predicate-Noun sentence in which both nouns are third person zoic (non-human) singular. Third person (or third-person) may refer to A Grammatical person, he, she, and they in the English language If one is of a "superior" status, it can be indicated by a pronominal prefix, such as hra, and as such SVO, VSO, and OSV are all grammatically correct. The example given in Grammar Tuscarora is:
wí:rv:n wahrákvʔ tsi:r
(William he-saw-it dog. )
wahrákvʔ wí:rv:n tsi:r
(he-saw-it William dog. )
tsi:r wí:rv:n wahrákvʔ
(dog William he-saw-it. )
In all cases, the translation is "William saw a dog. " Mithun writes: "[I]t is necessary but not sufficient to consider the syntactic case roles of major constituents. In fact, the order of sentence elements is describable in terms of functional deviation from a syntactically defined basic order. " (Emphasis added. ) A sentence that is ambiguous on basis of its containing too many ambiguous arguments is:
tsya:ts wahrá:nv:t kv:tsyvh
George he-fed-it fish
This could be translated either as "George fed the fish" or "George fed it fish. "
Tuscarora appears to be a nominative-accusative language. A nominative-accusative Language (or simply accusative language) is one that marks the direct object of Transitive verbs distinguishing them Tuscarora has a case system in which syntactic case is indicated in the verb. In Grammar, the case of a Noun or Pronoun indicates its Grammatical function in a greater Phrase or Clause; such as the The main verb of the sentence can indicate, for example, "aorist+1st-person+objective+human+'transitive-verb'+punctual+dative. Grammatical person, in Linguistics, is deictic reference to a participant in an event such as the speaker the Addressee, or others In Syntax, a transitive verb is a Verb that requires both a subject and one or more objects Some examples of sentences with transitive verbs The dative case is a Grammatical case generally used to indicate the Noun to whom something is given " (In this case, a sentence could be a single word long, as below in Noun Incorporation. ) Objective and dative are indicated by morphemes. An objective pronoun in Grammar functions as the target of a Verb, as distinguished from a Subjective pronoun, which is the initiator of a verb The dative case is a Grammatical case generally used to indicate the Noun to whom something is given In Morpheme-based morphology, a morpheme is the smallest linguistic unit that has semantic meaning.
Tuscarora definitely incorporates nouns into verbs, as is evident from many examples on this page. This is typical of a polysynthetic language. Polysynthetic languages are highly Synthetic languages ie languages in which words are composed of many Morphemes Definition The degree of In Tuscarora, one long verb can be an entire sentence, including subject and object. In fact, theoretically any number of arguments could be incorporated into a verb. It is done by raising nominals realized as noun stems. Datives are not incorporated.
Examples are as follows:
Breakdown: n + v + k + h + ey + aʔ + tsiʔr + aʔn + ihr
dualic + future + 1st-person + objective + human + reflexive + 'fire' + 'set'
Translation: I'll set my fire on him. or I'll sting him.
Breakdown: waʔ + k + h + e + taʔnar + a + tyáʔt + hahθ
aorist + 1st-person + objective + human + 'bread' + joiner + 'buy' + dative-punctual
Translation: I bought her some bread.
Breakdown: yo + ʔn-aʔ-tshár + h + v
non-human-objective + 'door' + 'cover' + perfective
Translation: The door is closed.
(From Grammar Tuscarora by Marianne Mithun Williams. )
Tuscarora is a language of Northern Iroquois. The Iroquois Confederacy (also known as the "League of Peace and Power" the "Five Nations" the "Six Nations" or the "People of the Longhouse This branch of Iroquois includes Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Cayuga along with Tuscarora. Of these, it is most closely related to Cayuga, but in general is the farrest removed from the group of six. William Chafe posits that it broke off from a larger language, which he calls "Proto-Northern-Iroquois," into "Proto-Tuscarora-Cayuga," and then broke off onto its own, having no further contact with Cayuga or any of the others.  Through "Proto-Northern-Iroquois" it is related also to Huron. "Huron" redirects here For other uses see Huron (disambiguation.
Amerind is Joseph H. Greenberg's criticized theory of one massive proto-language from which all American Indian languages descended. Joseph Harold Greenberg (May 28 1915 – May 7 2001 was a prominent and controversial linguist and Africanist anthropologist known for his work in both typology In his Amerind Etymological Dictionary he cites Tuscarora 42 times, as part of the Amerind branch he calls Keresiouan. Examples of these citations include: