Shoshone is an Uto-Aztecan language spoken in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming in the USA. In 2007 there were about 1,000 native speakers, and another 1,000 less fluent speakers. The main dialects of Shoshone include Western Shoshone, which is spoken in Nevada, Gosiute in western Utah, Northern Shoshone in southern Idaho and northern Utah, and Eastern Shoshone in Wyoming.
Shoshone is also known as Shoshoni-Gosiute and Shoshoni, and the native names are Sosoni' ta̲i̲kwappe (Shoshoni language), and Neme ta̲i̲kwappe (the people's language).
The majority of Shoshone speakers are over 50, however the language is still being passed on in a few families. There are also a number of efforts to revive and revitalise the language among younger Shoshone people. Schools and universities in Idaho and Utah offer courses in Shoshone at different levels for children and adults. There are also projects to record and document the language, and to produce language learning materials and resources.
The two main spelling systems for Shoshone are known as Crum-Miller, which was developed in the 1970s, and the Idaho State University system, which was developed in the early 21st century.
Stress normally falls on the first syllable of a word. An acute accent is used to indicate when it is on another syllable.
Hear the sounds of Shoshone
Information about the Shoshone language
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Comanche, Cora, Hopi, Huarijio, Huichol, Ivilyuat / Cahuilla, Kawaiisu, Luiseño, Mayo, Mono, O'odham, Nahuatl, Northern Paiute, Pipil, Serrano, Shoshone, Southern Paiute, Tarahumara, Tepehuán, Timbisha, Tongva, Yaqui
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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