Cherokee Registry



In the Cherokee text both d and g have a medial sound, approximating the sounds of t and k respectively. The other letters are pronounced in regular accordance with the alphabet of the Bureau of Ethnology. The language abounds in nasal and aspirate sounds, the most difficult of the latter being the aspirate `l, which to one familiar only with English sounds like tl.


A few words whose meaning could not be satisfactorily ascertained have been distinctively indicated in the Cherokee text by means of italics. In the translation the corresponding expression has been queried, or the space left entirely blank. On examining the text the student can not fail to be struck by the great number of verbs ending in iga. This is a peculiar form hardly ever used excepting in these formulas, where almost every paragraph contains one or more such verbs. It implies that the subject has just come and is now performing the action, and that he came for that purpose. In addition to this, many of these verbs may be either assertive or imperative (expressing entreaty), according to the accent. Thus hatû'n-gani'ga means "you have just come and are listening and it is for that purpose you came." By slightly accenting the final syllable it becomes "come at once to listen." It will thus be seen that the great majority of the formulas are declarative rather than petitional in form-laudatory rhapsodies instead of prayers, in the ordinary sense of the word.