Native languages in danger of extinction


Monday, November 8th 2004, 10:39 am
By: News On 6


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Ten of 25 native languages still spoken in Oklahoma are just one aging generation away from extinction.

Intertribal Wordpath Society linguist Alice Anderton says in September, at least two native speakers of Caddo died. She says time is running out for some Indian languages.

Although Oklahoma has more than 21,000 native speakers, ten tribes have ten or fewer fluent speakers left. And Anderton says 15 tribes have fewer than 100.

Over the last decade, many tribes have initiated language classes.

Choctaw now is offered in public high schools throughout the Choctaw Nation, at community centers or via the Internet.

Comanche is taught at the Comanche Nation College in Lawton, and University of Oklahoma students can study Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek and Kiowa. At Oklahoma State University, students can learn Muskogee.