Language name and locationː Natchez, Louisiana state, USA [Refer to Ethnologue]

言名称和分布地区纳切斯语, 美国南部路易斯安那州和密西西比州地区


1. wī’dan

2. ā’widi

3. nē’di

4. ginawī’di( 2 x 2?)

5. icpī’di

6. lā’hanaox

7. ā’n‘gua

8. ápgádū’bic

9. wi’dipgádū’bic

10. ō’gō


Linguist providing data and dateː Mr. Mark Rosenfelder, The Author of the website "Numbers from 1 to 10 in over 5000 languages", Chicago, USA, October 7 2023.

提供资的语言: Mr. Mark Rosenfelder, 2023 年 10 月 7 日.


Other comments: Natchez was originally spoken near Natchez, Mississippi and in parts of Louisiana. Although there some hypotheses have linked Natchez with Proto-Muskogean and some of the other languages in the Gulf, to date the language is considered an isolate, lacking any known linguistic relatives.

The Natchez language is the ancestral language of the Natchez people who historically inhabited Mississippi and Louisiana, and who now mostly live among the Muscogee and Cherokee peoples in Oklahoma. The language is considered to be either unrelated to other indigenous languages of the Americas or distantly related to the Muskogean languages.
The phonology of Natchez is atypical in having voicing distinction in its sonorants but not in its obstruents; it also has a wide range of morphophonemic processes. Morphologically, it has complex verbal inflection and a relatively simple nominal inflection (the ergative case marks nouns in transitive clauses), and its syntax is characterized by active-stative alignment and subject-object-verb word order (or more accurately Agent-Object-Verb and Subject-Verb). 
The Natchez chiefdom was destroyed in the 1730s by the French; Natchez speakers took refuge among their neighbors and accompanied them when the U.S. federal government forcibly removed them to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) on the Trail of Tears. That meant that Natchez speakers were frequently multilingual in Muscogee, Cherokee, Natchez, and English. The language gradually became endangered, and it is now generally considered extinct in spite of recent revitalization efforts. Much of what is known of the language comes mostly from its last fluent speakers, Watt Sam and Nancy Raven, who worked with linguist Mary R. Haas in the 1930s.
The Natchez nation is now working to revive it as a spoken language. As of 2011, field linguists from the community were being trained in documentation techniques, and six members of the Natchez tribe in Oklahoma now speak the language, out of about 10,000.
The Natchez language is generally considered a language isolate. Mary Haas studied the language with Sam and Raven in the 1930s, and posited that Natchez was distantly related to the Muskogean languages, a hypothesis also accepted by Geoffrey Kimball, and initially proposed by John R. Swanton in 1924.
In 1941 Haas also proposed grouping Natchez with the Atakapa, Chitimacha, and Tunica languages in a language family to be called Gulf. This proposal has not been widely accepted today by linguists.
History: The Natchez people historically lived in the Lower Mississippi Valley. The ancestors of the Natchez are considered to be the Plaquemine culture, making the Natchez the last surviving group of the historical Mississippian chiefdoms of that area. The first mentions in historical sources come from the French who colonized the Mississippi Valley beginning around 1700, when the Natchez were centered around the Grand Village close to present day Natchez, Mississippi. The French and Natchez were first allied, but hostilities gradually broke out as colonists encroached on Natchez lands. The earliest sources for the Natchez languages are the chronicles of Antoine-Simon Le Page du Pratz, a French colonist who lived among the Natchez and learned their language. His chronicles contain examples of Natchez as it was spoken in the early 1700s. In 1729 the Natchez revolted, and massacred the French colony of Fort Rosalie, and the French retaliated by destroying all the Natchez villages. The remaining Natchez fled in scattered bands to live among the Chickasaw, Creek and Cherokee, whom they followed on the trail of tears when Indian removal policies of the mid 19th century forced them to relocate to Oklahoma. In Oklahoma the language was mostly spoken in Abihka and Notchietown. Most Natchez speakers were multilingual, speaking also the Cherokee and Creek languages, and as traditionally the Natchez language was generally passed down matrilineally, this led to a decrease in Natchez speakers as Natchez, Muscogee and Cherokee speakers intermarried.
In 1907 when anthropologist John R. Swanton visited the Natchez there were seven fluent speakers left, but in the 1930s when linguist Mary R. Haas did her fieldwork there were only two: Watt Sam (1876 - 1944) and Nancy Raven (1872-1957). In 1931, anthropologist Victor Riste made several wax cylinder recordings of Watt Sam speaking the Natchez language, which were later rediscovered at the University of Chicago in the 1970s by Watt Sam's nephew Archie Sam and linguist Charles Van Tuyl. These are the only known recordings of spoken Natchez. One of the cylinders is now at the Voice Library at Michigan State University.
Natchez is very little studied, apart from the work by Swanton and Haas and the early mentions by the French Chroniclers, Natchez has been discussed by Daniel Garrison Brinton who published an article "On the Language of the Natchez" in 1873, and is briefly mentioned by Albert Gallatin and Albert Pike. A vocabulary compiled based on the French sources was published by Charles van Tuyl in 1979.In the early 21st century linguistic work has been carried out by the linguist Geoffrey Kimball, who has worked based on Haas' notes and unpublished manuscripts.

Natchez has only recorded traditional numerals from 1 to 10 many years ago, not sure if they were used a traditional decimal or vigesimal system before, New data for numbers after ten is required.