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The Cherokee syllabary is a
syllabary In the linguistic Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
invented by
Sequoyah Sequoyah (ᏍᏏᏉᏯ ''Ssiquoya'', as he signed his name, or ᏎᏉᏯ ''Se-quo-ya'', as is often spelled in Cherokee The Cherokee (; chr, ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ, translit=Aniyvwiyaʔi, or chr, ᏣᎳᎩ, links=no, translit=Tsalagi) are on ...

Sequoyah
in the late 1810s and early 1820s to write the
Cherokee language 200px, Number of speakers Cherokee or Tsalagi (, ) is an endangered-to- moribund Iroquoian language The Iroquoian languages are a language family of indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous peoples of North America. They are known f ...
. His creation of the syllabary is particularly noteworthy as he was
illiterate Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write in at least one method of writing, an understanding reflected by mainstream dictionaries. Correspondingly, the term ''illiteracy'' is considered to be the inability to read an ...

illiterate
until the creation of his syllabary. He first experimented with
logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lang ...
s, but his system later developed into a syllabary. In his system, each symbol represents a
syllable A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels a ...

syllable
rather than a single
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
; the 85 (originally 86) characters provide a suitable method to write Cherokee. Although some symbols resemble
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
,
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
,
Cyrillic , bg, кирилица , mk, кирилица , russian: кириллица , sr, ћирилица, uk, кирилиця , fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system is ...
, and
Glagolitic The Glagolitic script (, ''glagolitsa''; Bulgarian and Macedonian: глаголица, romanized as ''glagolitsa'' and ''glagolica'' respectively; Croatian: ; Czech: ; Slovak: ''hlaholika'') is the oldest known Slavic alphabet An a ...

Glagolitic
letters, they are not used to represent the same sounds.


Description

Each of the characters represents one syllable, as in the
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
''
kana The term may refer to a number of syllabaries In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. ...

kana
'' and the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
Greek
Linear B Linear B is a syllabic script In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The tradition ...
writing systems. The first six characters represent isolated
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables ...
syllables. Characters for combined consonant and vowel syllables then follow. The charts below show the syllabary in recitation order, left to right, top to bottom as arranged by
Samuel Worcester Samuel Austin Worcester (January 19, 1798 – April 20, 1859), was an American missionary to the Cherokee, translator of the Bible, printer, and defender of the Cherokee sovereignty. He collaborated with Elias Boudinot (Cherokee), Elias Boudino ...
, along with his commonly used transliterations. He played a key role in the development of
Cherokee printing The Cherokee syllabary is a syllabary invented by Sequoyah in the late 1810s and early 1820s to write the Cherokee language. His creation of the syllabary is particularly noteworthy as he was illiterate until the creation of his syllabary. He fi ...
from 1828 until his death in 1859. The transliteration working from the syllabary uses conventional consonants like ''qu, ts,...'', and may differ from the ones used in the phonological orthographies (first column in the below chart, in the "d/t system"). The Latin letter 'v' in the transcriptions, seen in the last column, represents a
nasal vowel A nasal vowel is a vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing syste ...
, . The Cherokee character Ꮩ (do) ''does'' have a different orientation in old documents, resembling a Greek Λ (or barless A) rather than a Latin V as in modern documents. There is also a handwritten cursive form of the syllabary; notably, the handwritten glyphs bear little resemblance to the printed forms.


Detailed considerations

The phonetic values of these characters do not equate directly to those represented by the letters of the Latin script. Some characters represent two distinct phonetic values (actually heard as different syllables), while others may represent multiple variations of the same syllable. Not all
phonemic In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that can distinguish one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Mid ...
distinctions of the spoken language are represented: *Aspirated consonants are generally not distinguished from their plain counterpart. For example, while + vowel syllables are mostly differentiated from + vowel by use of different
glyph The term glyph is used in typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system o ...
s, syllables beginning with are all conflated with those beginning with . * Long vowels are not distinguished from short vowels. However, in more recent technical literature, length of vowels can actually be indicated using a colon, and other disambiguation methods for consonants (somewhat like the
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
dakuten The , colloquially , is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term glyph is used in typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembl ...
) have been suggested. * Tones are not marked. * Syllables ending in vowels, ''h,'' or glottal stop are not differentiated. For example, the single symbol Ꮡ is used to represent both ''suú'' as in ''suúdáli'', meaning "six" (ᏑᏓᎵ), and ''súh'' as in ''súhdi,'' meaning "fishhook" (ᏑᏗ). * There is no regular rule for representing
consonant clusters In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
. When consonants other than ''s, h,'' or glottal stop arise in clusters with other consonants, a vowel must be inserted, chosen either arbitrarily or for etymological reasons (reflecting an underlying etymological vowel, see vowel deletion for instance). For example, ᏧᎾᏍᏗ (tsu-na-s-di) represents the word '' juunsdi̋'', meaning "small (pl.), babies". The consonant cluster ''ns'' is broken down by insertion of the vowel ''a'', and is spelt as ᎾᏍ . The vowel is etymological as ''juunsdi̋'' is composed of the morphemes ''di-uunii-asdii̋ʔi'' (DIST-3B.pl-small), where ''a'' is part of the root. The vowel is included in the transliteration, but is not pronounced. As with some other underspecified writing systems (like
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
), adult speakers can distinguish words by context. If a labial consonant such as ''p'' or ''b'' appears in a borrowed word or name, it is written using the ''qu'' row. This ~ correspondence is a known linguistic phenomenon that exists elsewhere (cf.
P-Celtic The Gallo-Brittonic languages, also known as the P-Celtic languages, are a subdivision of the Celtic languages The Celtic languages ( , ) are a group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic The Proto-Celtic language, also call ...
,
Osco-Umbrian The Osco-Umbrian, Sabellic or Sabellian languages are an extinct group of Italic languages The Italic languages form a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia ...
).


Transliteration issues

Some Cherokee words pose a problem for transliteration software because they contain adjacent pairs of single letter symbols that (without special provisions) would be combined when doing the back-conversion from Latin script to Cherokee. Here are a few examples: * ᎢᏣᎵᏍᎠᏁᏗ = ''itsalisanedi'' = ''i-tsa-li-s-a-ne-di'' * ᎤᎵᎩᏳᏍᎠᏅᏁ = ''uligiyusanvne'' = ''u-li-gi-yu-s-a-nv-ne'' * ᎤᏂᏰᏍᎢᏱ = ''uniyesiyi'' = ''u-ni-ye-s-i-yi'' * ᎾᏍᎢᏯ = ''nasiya'' = ''na-s-i-ya'' For these examples, the back conversion is likely to join ''s-a'' as ''sa'' or ''s-i'' as ''si''. One solution is to use an apostrophe to separate the two, as is sometimes done in Japanese according to the modified Hepburn standard: ''itsalis'anedi''. Other Cherokee words contain character pairs that entail overlapping transliteration sequences. Examples: * ᏀᎾ transliterates as ''nahna'', yet so does ᎾᎿ. The former is ''nah-na'', the latter is ''na-hna''. If the Latin script is parsed from left to right, longest match first, then without special provisions, the back conversion would be wrong for the latter. There are several similar examples involving these character combinations: ''naha nahe nahi naho nahu nahv''. A further problem encountered in transliterating Cherokee is that there are some pairs of different Cherokee words that transliterate to the same word in the Latin script. Here are some examples: * ᎠᏍᎡᏃ and ᎠᏎᏃ both transliterate to ''aseno'' * ᎨᏍᎥᎢ and ᎨᏒᎢ both transliterate to ''gesvi'' Without special provision, a round trip conversion may change ᎠᏍᎡᏃ to ᎠᏎᏃ and change ᎨᏍᎥᎢ to ᎨᏒᎢ.


Character orders

* The usual alphabetical order for Cherokee runs across the rows of the syllabary chart from left to right, top to bottom—this is the one used in the Unicode block: Ꭰ (a), Ꭱ (e), Ꭲ (i), Ꭳ (o), Ꭴ (u), Ꭵ (v), Ꭶ (ga), Ꭷ (ka), Ꭸ (ge), Ꭹ (gi), Ꭺ (go), Ꭻ (gu), Ꭼ (gv), Ꭽ (ha), Ꭾ (he), Ꭿ (hi), Ꮀ (ho), Ꮁ (hu), Ꮂ (hv), Ꮃ (la), Ꮄ (le), Ꮅ (li), Ꮆ (lo), Ꮇ (lu), Ꮈ (lv), Ꮉ (ma), Ꮊ (me), Ꮋ (mi), Ꮌ (mo), Ꮍ (mu), Ꮎ (na), Ꮏ (hna), Ꮐ (nah), Ꮑ (ne), Ꮒ (ni), Ꮓ (no), Ꮔ (nu), Ꮕ (nv), Ꮖ (qua), Ꮗ (que), Ꮘ (qui), Ꮙ (quo), Ꮚ (quu), Ꮛ (quv), Ꮜ (sa), Ꮝ (s), Ꮞ (se), Ꮟ (si), Ꮠ (so), Ꮡ (su), Ꮢ (sv), Ꮣ (da), Ꮤ (ta), Ꮥ (de), Ꮦ (te), Ꮧ (di), Ꮨ (ti), Ꮩ (do), Ꮪ (du), Ꮫ (dv), Ꮬ (dla), Ꮭ (tla), Ꮮ (tle), Ꮯ (tli), Ꮰ (tlo), Ꮱ (tlu), Ꮲ (tlv), Ꮳ (tsa), Ꮴ (tse), Ꮵ (tsi), Ꮶ (tso), Ꮷ (tsu), Ꮸ (tsv), Ꮹ (wa), Ꮺ (we), Ꮻ (wi), Ꮼ (wo), Ꮽ (wu), Ꮾ (wv), Ꮿ (ya), Ᏸ (ye), Ᏹ (yi), Ᏺ (yo), Ᏻ (yu), Ᏼ (yv). * Cherokee has also been alphabetized based on the six columns of the syllabary chart from top to bottom, left to right: Ꭰ (a), Ꭶ (ga), Ꭷ (ka), Ꭽ (ha), Ꮃ (la), Ꮉ (ma), Ꮎ (na), Ꮏ (hna), Ꮐ (nah), Ꮖ (qua), Ꮝ (s), Ꮜ (sa), Ꮣ (da), Ꮤ (ta), Ꮬ (dla), Ꮭ (tla), Ꮳ (tsa), Ꮹ (wa), Ꮿ (ya), Ꭱ (e), Ꭸ (ge), Ꭾ (he), Ꮄ (le), Ꮊ (me), Ꮑ (ne), Ꮗ (que), Ꮞ (se), Ꮥ (de), Ꮦ (te), Ꮮ (tle), Ꮴ (tse), Ꮺ (we), Ᏸ (ye), Ꭲ (i), Ꭹ (gi), Ꭿ (hi), Ꮅ (li), Ꮋ (mi), Ꮒ (ni), Ꮘ (qui), Ꮟ (si), Ꮧ (di), Ꮨ (ti), Ꮯ (tli), Ꮵ (tsi), Ꮻ (wi), Ᏹ (yi), Ꭳ (o), Ꭺ (go), Ꮀ (ho), Ꮆ (lo), Ꮌ (mo), Ꮓ (no), Ꮙ (quo), Ꮠ (so), Ꮩ (do), Ꮰ (tlo), Ꮶ (tso), Ꮼ (wo), Ᏺ (yo), Ꭴ (u), Ꭻ (gu), Ꮁ (hu), Ꮇ (lu), Ꮍ (mu), Ꮔ (nu), Ꮚ (quu), Ꮡ (su), Ꮪ (du), Ꮱ (tlu), Ꮷ (tsu), Ꮽ (wu), Ᏻ (yu), Ꭵ (v), Ꭼ (gv), Ꮂ (hv), Ꮈ (lv), Ꮕ (nv), Ꮛ (quv), Ꮢ (sv), Ꮫ (dv), Ꮲ (tlv), Ꮸ (tsv), Ꮾ (wv), Ᏼ (yv). * Sequoyah used a completely different alphabetical order: Ꭱ (e), Ꭰ (a), Ꮃ (la), Ꮵ (tsi), Ꮐ (nah), Ꮽ (wu), Ꮺ (we), Ꮅ (li), Ꮑ (ne), Ꮌ (mo), Ꭹ (gi), Ᏹ (yi), Ꮟ (si), Ꮲ (tlv), Ꭳ (o), Ꮇ (lu), Ꮄ (le), Ꭽ (ha), Ꮼ (wo), Ꮰ (tlo), Ꮤ (ta), Ᏼ (yv), Ꮈ (lv), Ꭿ (hi), Ꮝ (s), Ᏺ (yo), Ᏽ (mv), Ꮁ (hu), Ꭺ (go), Ꮷ (tsu), Ꮍ (mu), Ꮞ (se), Ꮠ (so), Ꮯ (tli), Ꮘ (qui), Ꮗ (que), Ꮜ (sa), Ꮖ (qua), Ꮓ (no), Ꭷ (ka), Ꮸ (tsv), Ꮢ (sv), Ꮒ (ni), Ꭶ (ga), Ꮩ (do), Ꭸ (ge), Ꮣ (da), Ꭼ (gv), Ꮻ (wi), Ꭲ (i), Ꭴ (u), Ᏸ (ye), Ꮂ (hv), Ꮫ (dv), Ꭻ (gu), Ꮶ (tso), Ꮙ (quo), Ꮔ (nu), Ꮎ (na), Ꮆ (lo), Ᏻ (yu), Ꮴ (tse), Ꮧ (di), Ꮾ (wv), Ꮪ(du), Ꮥ (de), Ꮳ (tsa), Ꭵ (v), Ꮕ (nv), Ꮦ (te), Ꮉ (ma), Ꮡ (su), Ꮱ (tlu), Ꭾ (he), Ꮀ (ho), Ꮋ (mi), Ꮭ (tla), Ꮿ (ya), Ꮹ (wa), Ꮨ (ti), Ꮮ (tle), Ꮏ (hna), Ꮚ (quu), Ꮬ (dla), Ꮊ (me), Ꮛ (quv).


Numerals

Cherokee generally uses
Arabic numerals Arabic numerals are the ten numerical digit A numerical digit (often shortened to just digit) is a single symbol used alone (such as "2") or in combinations (such as "25"), to represent numbers in a Positional notation, positional numeral sy ...

Arabic numerals
(0–9). In the late 1820s, several years after the introduction and adoption of his syllabary, Sequoyah proposed a set of number signs for Cherokee; however, these were never adopted and never typeset. In 2012, the Cherokee Language Consortium agreed to begin using Sequoyah's numerals in some instances. Sequoyah developed unique characters for 1 through 19, and then characters for the "tens" of 20 through 100. Additional symbols were used to note thousands and millions, and Sequoyah also used a final symbol to mark the end of a number. The glyphs for 1 through 20 can be grouped into groups of five that have a visual similarity to each other (1–5, 6–10, 11–15, and 16–20). The Cherokee Language Consortium has created an additional symbol for zero along with symbols for billions and trillions. As of Unicode 13.0, Cherokee numerals are not encoded within Unicode. Sequoyah's proposed
numeral system A numeral system (or system of numeration) is a writing system for expressing numbers; that is, a mathematical notation for representing numbers of a given set, using Numerical digit, digits or other symbols in a consistent manner. The same s ...
has been described as having a "ciphered-additive structure," using combinations of the characters for 1 through 9 with the characters for 20 through 100 to create larger numbers. For example, instead of writing 64, the Cherokee numerals for 60 and 4 () would be written together. To write 10 through 19, unique characters for each number are employed. For numbers larger than 100, the system takes on features of a multiplicative-additive system, with the digits for 1 through being placed before the hundred, thousand, or million sign to indicate large numbers; for example, for 504, the Cherokee numerals for 5, 100, and 4 () would be written together.


Early history

Around 1809, impressed by the "talking leaves" of European written languages, Sequoyah began work to create a writing system for the Cherokee language. After attempting to create a character for each word, Sequoyah realized this would be too difficult and eventually created characters to represent syllables. He worked on the syllabary for twelve years before completion and dropped or modified most of the characters he originally created. After the syllabary was completed in the early 1820s, it achieved almost instantaneous popularity and spread rapidly throughout Cherokee society. By 1825, the majority of Cherokees could read and write in their newly developed orthography. Some of Sequoyah's most learned contemporaries immediately understood that the syllabary was a great invention. For example, when
Albert Gallatin Abraham Alfonse Albert Gallatin, born de Gallatin (January 29, 1761 – August 12, 1849) was an American politician, diplomat, ethnologist Ethnology (from the grc-gre, ἔθνος, meaning 'nation') is an academic field that compares and a ...

Albert Gallatin
, a politician and trained linguist, saw a copy of Sequoyah's syllabary, he believed it was superior to the English alphabet in that literacy could be easily achieved for Cherokee at a time when only one-third of English-speaking people achieved the same goal. He recognized that even though the Cherokee student must learn 85 characters instead of 26 for English, the Cherokee could read immediately after learning all the symbols. The Cherokee student could accomplish in a few weeks what students of English writing might require two years to achieve. In 1828, the order of the characters in a chart and the shapes of the characters were modified by Cherokee author and editor
Elias Boudinot Elias Boudinot ( ; May 2, 1740 – October 24, 1821) was a lawyer and statesman from Elizabeth, New Jersey who was a delegate to the Continental Congress (more accurately referred to as the Congress of the Confederation) and served as President o ...
to adapt the syllabary to printing presses. The 86th character was dropped entirely. Following these changes, the syllabary was adopted by the ''
Cherokee Phoenix The ''Cherokee Phoenix'' ( chr, ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎯ, translit=Tsalagi Tsulehisanvhi) is the first newspaper published by Native Americans in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the ...
'' newspaper, later '' Cherokee Advocate'', followed by the ''Cherokee Messenger'', a bilingual paper printed in
Indian Territory The Indian Territory and the Indian Territories are terms that generally described an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. governmen ...
in the mid-19th century. In 1834, Worcester made changes to several characters in order to improve the readability of Cherokee text. Most notably, he inverted the ''do'' character (Ꮩ) so that it could not be confused with the ''go'' character (Ꭺ). Otherwise, the characters remained remarkably invariant until the advent of new typesetting technologies in the 20th century.


Later developments

In the 1960s, the Cherokee Phoenix Press began publishing literature in the Cherokee syllabary, including the ''Cherokee Singing Book''. A Cherokee syllabary typewriter ball was developed for the
IBM Selectric The IBM Selectric typewriter was a highly successful line of electric typewriter A typewriter is a machine, mechanical or electromechanical machine for typing characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array of Button (control), keys, ...

IBM Selectric
in the late 1970s. Computer fonts greatly expanded Cherokee writers' ability to publish in Cherokee. In 2010, a Cherokee keyboard cover was developed by Roy Boney, Jr. and Joseph Erb, facilitating more rapid typing in Cherokee. The keyboard cover is now used by students in the
Cherokee Nation The Cherokee Nation (Cherokee language, Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, ''Tsalagihi Ayeli'' or ᏣᎳᎩᏰᎵ "Tsalagiyehli"), also known as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is the largest of three Cherokee List of federally recognized trib ...
Immersion School, where all coursework is written in syllabary. In August 2010, the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts in
Cherokee, North Carolina Cherokee ( chr, ᏣᎳᎩ, translit=Tsalagi) is a census-designated place A census-designated place (CDP) is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially ...
acquired a letterpress and had the Cherokee syllabary recast to begin printing one-of-a-kind fine art books and prints in syllabary."Letterpress arrives at OICA"
''Southwestern Community College'' (retrieved 21 Nov 2010)
Artists Jeff Marley and completed a collaborative project on October 19, 2013, in which they printed using Cherokee syllabary type from Southwestern Community College in the print shop at
New Echota New Echota was the capital of the Cherokee Nation The Cherokee Nation (Cherokee language, Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, ''Tsalagihi Ayeli'' or ᏣᎳᎩᏰᎵ "Tsalagiyehli"), also known as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is the large ...

New Echota
. This was the first time syllabary type has been used at New Echota since 1835. In 2015 the Unicode Consortium encoded a lowercase version of the script, since typists would often set Cherokee with two different point sizes, so as to mark beginnings of sentences and given names (as in the Latin alphabet). Handwritten Cherokee also shows a difference in lower- and uppercase letters, such as descenders and ascenders. Lowercase Cherokee has already been encoded in the font Everson Mono. The syllabary is finding increasingly diverse usage today, from books, newspapers, and websites to the street signs of
Tahlequah, Oklahoma Tahlequah ( ; Cherokee language, ''Cherokee'': ᏓᎵᏆ, ''da-li-gwa'') is a city in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, Cherokee County, Oklahoma located at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. It is part of the Green Country region of Oklahoma and was ...

Tahlequah, Oklahoma
and
Cherokee, North Carolina Cherokee ( chr, ᏣᎳᎩ, translit=Tsalagi) is a census-designated place A census-designated place (CDP) is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially ...
. An increasing corpus of children's literature is printed in Cherokee to meet the needs of students in Cherokee language immersion schools in Oklahoma and North Carolina.


Possible influence on Liberian Vai syllabary

In recent years evidence has emerged suggesting that the Cherokee syllabary provided a model for the design of the
Vai syllabary The Vai syllabary is a syllabic writing system devised for the Vai language by Momolu Duwalu Bukele of Jondu, in what is now Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia. Bukele is regarded within the Vai (ethnic group), Vai community, as well as by most ...
in
Liberia Liberia (), officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape ...

Liberia
, Africa. The Vai syllabary emerged about 1832/33. The link appears to have been Cherokee who emigrated to Liberia after the invention of the Cherokee syllabary (which in its early years spread rapidly among the Cherokee) but before the inventions of the Vai syllabary. One such man, Austin Curtis, married into a prominent Vai family and became an important Vai chief himself. It is perhaps not coincidence that the "inscription on a house" that drew the world's attention to the existence of the Vai script was in fact on the home of Curtis, a Cherokee. There also appears to be a connection between an early form of written Bassa and the earlier Cherokee syllabary.


Classes

Cherokee language classes typically begin with a transliteration of Cherokee into Roman letters, only later incorporating the syllabary. The Cherokee language classes offered through
Haskell Indian Nations University Haskell Indian Nations University is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English i ...
,
Northeastern State University Northeastern State University (NSU) is a public university with its main campus in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The university also has two other campuses in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Muskogee and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Broken Arrow as well as online. North ...
, the
University of Oklahoma , mottoeng = ''For the benefit of the Citizen and the State'' , type = Public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organi ...
, the
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) is a Public university, public liberal arts university in Chickasha, Oklahoma. It is the only State university system, public college in Oklahoma with a strictly liberal arts–focused curricul ...
,
Western Carolina University Western Carolina University (WCU) is a public university in Cullowhee, North Carolina. It is part of the University of North Carolina system. The fifth oldest institution of the sixteen four-year universities in the UNC system, WCU was founded t ...
, the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC, UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Chapel Hill, or simply Carolina) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information f ...
, and the immersion elementary schools offered by the Cherokee Nation and the
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), (Cherokee The Cherokee (; chr, ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ, translit=Aniyvwiyaʔi, or chr, ᏣᎳᎩ, links=no, translit=Tsalagi) are one of the indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands of the ...
, such as
New Kituwah Academy The New Kituwah Academy (Cherokee language, Cherokee: , '; ), also known as the Atse Kituwah Academy, is a private school, private bilingual Cherokee language, Cherokee- and English-language immersion school for Cherokee students in kindergarten ...
, all teach the syllabary. The fine arts degree program at Southwestern Community College incorporates the syllabary in its printmaking classes.


Unicode

Cherokee was added to the
Unicode Unicode, formally the Unicode Standard, is an information technology Technical standard, standard for the consistent character encoding, encoding, representation, and handling of Character (computing), text expressed in most of the world's wri ...

Unicode
Standard in September, 1999 with the release of version 3.0. On June 17, 2015, with the release of version 8.0, Cherokee was redefined as a
bicameral script Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet), a written element of an alphabet * Letterform, a typographic term for alphabetical letter shapes * Reh ...
; the character repertoire was extended to include a complete set of lowercase Cherokee letters as well as the archaic character (Ᏽ).


Blocks

The first Unicode block for Cherokee is U+13A0–U+13FF. It contains all 86 uppercase letters, together with six lowercase letters: The Cherokee Supplement block is U+AB70–U+ABBF. It contains the remaining 80 lowercase letters.


Fonts

A single Cherokee Unicode font, Plantagenet Cherokee, is supplied with
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