World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Western Apache language

Western Apache
Ndee biyati' / Nnee biyati'
Native to United States
Region Primarily south-east Arizona
Native speakers
14,000 (65% of pop.)  (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 apw
Glottolog west2615[2]

The Western Apache language is a Southern Athabaskan language spoken by over 14,000 of the Western Apaches living primarily in east central Arizona. Goodwin (1938) claims that Western Apache can be divided into five dialect groupings:

  • Cibecue
  • Northern Tonto
  • Southern Tonto
  • San Carlos
  • White Mountain

Other researchers do not find any linguistic evidence for five groups, but rather three main varieties with several subgroupings:

Western Apache is most closely related to other Southern Athabaskan languages like Navajo, Chiricahua Apache, Mescalero Apache, Lipan Apache, Plains Apache, and Jicarilla Apache.

In 2011, the San Carlos Apache Tribe’s Language Preservation Program, located in Peridot, Arizona, began its outreach to the "14,000 tribal members residing within the districts of Bylas, Gilson Wash, Peridot and Seven Mile Wash,"[3] only 20% of whom still speak the language fluently.[4]


  1. ^ as reported by Willem de Reuse in Golla, Victor. 2007. North America. In Encyclopedia of the world's endangered languages, ed. Christopher Moseley (pp. 1–95). Routledge: London.
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Western Apache". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Sandra Rambler (2011-11-09). "Arizona Silver Belt Tribe focuses on preservation of Apache language". Arizona Silver Belt. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  4. ^ 'Testimony of Mary Kim Titla:Reclaiming our Image and Identity for the next Seven Generations,' Senate Committee on Indian Affairs,' November 29, 2012.

References and recommended reading

External links

  • American Indian Language Development Institute (has children's video of Cactus Boy story in Western Apache)
  • Apache Tribe Language
  • Western Apache-English Dictionary (White Mountain)
  • Simplied Apache Pronunciation at the Wayback Machine (archived October 28, 2009)
  • Apache Texts
  • Issues in Language Textbook Development: The Case of Western Apache
  • White Mountain Apache Language: Issues in Language Shift, Textbook Development, and Native Speaker-University Collaboration
  • Western Apache vocabulary word list

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.