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Zuni (Shiwi'ma)

Zuni or Zuñi is a language isolate spoken by about 9,500 people in the USA, mainly in Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico, and in parts of Arizona. Zuni has been influenced to some extent by other languages in the areas where its spoken, in particular Hopi, Keresan, Tanoan, and also Navajo. The native name for Zuni is Shiwi or Shiwi'ma (the Zuni way) and the Zuni call themselves A:shiwi.

The language is spoken by people of all ages, including children, is the main language of communication in the Zuni Pueblo, and is used in the home.

Ways of writing Zuni with the Latin alphabet have been devised by a number of linguists and anthropologists, including Stanley Newman and Dennis Tedlock. The current orthography was devised mainly by Curtis Cook, who recorded and transcribe hundreds of Zuni oral histories, folk tales and religious teachings, and produced textbooks for learning the language and other publications.

Zuni alphabet and pronunciation

Zuni alphabet and pronunciation

A colon is used to mark long vowels, e.g. A:shiwi (Zunis).

Sample text

  1. Le'na' benan k'okshi banan kwayi. Jesus Christ, ho'n a:wan Datchu God an Tsawak'ona andepbe:'a.
  2. Hish kya:koł ho'n a:wan Datchu God an beye:na:kwe deya'kowa Isaiah le'na' ts'ina: ya:k'yakkya. Ho'n a:wan Datchu God yam Tsawak le'anikwekkya, "Si! Wan yu'hadiyahk'ya! Ho' yam beye:na:kwe dom an kel a:k'yap, lukk'on dom an kwa'hoł demła yelede'unna.
  3. Luk hom an beye:na:kwe delibałda'kowa we'atchonan, a:ho'i le'a:wanikwanna, ‘Demł a:ho' a:wan Mosson an iydunona dekkwin don yam ik'e:na: k'okshuna:wa. Iydunon akkya don yelede'una:wa!'" Lesna' Isaiah ts'ina: ya:k'yakkya.

Translation

  1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
  2. As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
  3. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

    Mark 1: 1-3

Links

Information about the Zuni language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuni_language
http://www.ashiwi.org/Language.aspx
http://www.amerindianarts.us/articles/zuni_language.shtml
http://www.zunispirits.com/2009/zunilanguagepage.html

Zuni translations of parts of the Bible
http://sites.google.com/site/benawekokshi/

Information about Curtis Cook
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0713Zuni0712.html

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet


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