Nomenclature[ edit ] The word Navajo is an exonym : it comes from the Tewa word Navahu, which combines the roots nava "field" and hu "valley" to mean "large field". It was borrowed into Spanish to refer to an area of present-day northwestern New Mexico , and later into English for the Navajo tribe and their language. Classification[ edit ] Navajo is an Athabaskan language , and along with Apache languages, make up the southernmost branch of the family. Most of the other Athabaskan languages are located in Alaska and along the North American Pacific coast. Most languages in the Athabaskan family have tone. However, this feature evolved independently in all subgroups; Proto-Athabaskan had no tones.
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In an American Community Survey found that , people spoke Navajo at home. Navajo is related to the Apache languages, although not mutually intelligible with them. Written Navajo Navajo first appeared in writing in in the form of a Navajo word list published in the Journal of a Military Reconnaissance by Lt. James H. At the beginning of the 20th century missionaries began producing religious texts, dictionaries and grammars in Navajo.
Each missionary invented his own spelling system so many different ways to write Navajo emerged. Recently there has been a revival of interest in the Navajo language and the development of Navajo computer fonts has made it much easier to write, edit and publish written material in Navajo.
Navajo in Education Navajo has been taught in schools in the Navajo Nation since , and a number of immersion programs have been set up. Classes in Navajo are also available at Arizona State University. Navajo in the Media The first Navajo newspaper was published between and Translation All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Navajo (Diné Bizaad)