Navajo language

Navajo or Navaho (/ˈnævəh, ˈnɑː-/;[2] Navajo: Diné bizaad [tìnépìz̥ɑ̀ːt] or Naabeehó bizaad [nɑ̀ːpèːhópìz̥ɑ̀ːt]) is a Southern Athabaskan language of the Na-Dené family, through which it is related to languages spoken across the western areas of North America. Navajo is spoken primarily in the Southwestern United States, especially on the Navajo Nation. It is one of the most widely spoken Native American languages and is the most widely spoken north of the Mexico–United States border, with almost 170,000 Americans speaking Navajo at home as of 2011.

Diné Bizaad
Native toUnited States
RegionArizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado
Ethnicity332,129 Navajo (2021)
Native speakers
170,000 (2019 census)[1]
Latin (Navajo alphabet)
Navajo Braille
Language codes
ISO 639-1nv
ISO 639-2nav
ISO 639-3nav
ELPDiné Bizaad (Navajo)
The Navajo Nation, where the language is most spoken
Navajo is classified as Vulnerable by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

The language has struggled to keep a healthy speaker base, although this problem has been alleviated to some extent by extensive education programs in the Navajo Nation, including the creation of versions of the films Finding Nemo and Star Wars dubbed into Navajo. [citation needed]

The United States in World War II used the Navajo language to develop a system of code talkers to relay messages that could not be cracked.

Navajo has a fairly large phoneme inventory, including several uncommon consonants that are not found in English. Its four basic vowels are distinguished for nasality, length, and tone. It has both agglutinative and fusional elements: it relies on affixes to modify verbs, and nouns are typically created from multiple morphemes, but in both cases these morphemes are fused irregularly and beyond easy recognition. Basic word order is subject–object–verb, though it is highly flexible to pragmatic factors. Verbs are conjugated for aspect and mood, and given affixes for the person and number of both subjects and objects, as well as a host of other variables.

The language's orthography, which was developed in the late 1930s after a series of prior attempts, is based on the Latin script. Most Navajo vocabulary is Athabaskan in origin, as the language has been conservative with loanwords since its early stages.

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Navajo language, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.