Language Map of North America
The Erie Indians tribe was an indigenous people of North America of the Iroquoian branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock.
The Erie spoke a version of the Iroquois language which was apparently similar to that of the Huron.
Iroquian : The Erie Indians spoke a language resembling that of the Hurons, although it is not stated which of the four or five Huron dialects.
The Eries were the Neutral Nation as some French explorers and even Senecas called them. It was a natural appellation because the Eries were independent and peaceful between enemies to East and West, as were the so-called Neutrals in Niagara area between hErie-Huron and Iroquois feuds. The Erie-Alliwegis were not Iroquois and did not speak Iroquois. They spoke hEriequois based on Eries, which they, the Erie-Neutral Nation and Erie-Sussquehannocks commonly called spoke all in the same unique language family influenced mainly by Olmecs and Toltecs.
The Erie-Neutral Nation around Niagara area and in Southern Ontario and St. Lawrence River Valley were really Eries as a map of Eries in a wide perimeter around the North Shore of Lake Erie shows and another map shows the Eries East of the Mohawks. Moreover, the Eries were aboriginals to St. Lawrence Valley. It’s been said the Neutrals spoke “…awry.” Actually spoke Heriequois, hard for Iroquois to understand since they came from the distant West – far from Mississippi Valley culture.
Even the Erie-Sussquehannocks were reported to have spoken a kind of Erie-Huron dialect, one among four or so. But it really was Heriequois.
Most observers, who were extremely few in number because of the Eries being so independent, thought they spoke a kind of Erie-Huron dialect. They were also wrong. It was Heriequois. There are many more striking similarities among the Alliwegis, Eries, Neutrals, and Sussquehannocks.
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Map based on maps in American Indian Languages : The Historical Linguistics of
Native America (Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics, 4) and in Collier's Encyclopedia.
A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent. have become extinct, but many of them are still in use today. The classification “Native American languages” is geographical rather than linguistic, since those languages do not belong to a single linguistic family, or stock, as the Indo-European or Afroasiatic languages do. There is no part of the world with as many distinctly different native languages as the Western Hemisphere. Because the number of indigenous American tongues is so large, it is convenient to discuss them under three geographical divisions: North America (excluding Mexico), Mexico and Central America, and South America and the West Indies.
It is not possible to determine exactly how many languages were spoken in the New World before the arrival of Europeans or how many people spoke these languages. Some scholars estimate that the Western Hemisphere at the time of the first European contact was inhabited by 40 million people who spoke 1,800 different tongues. Another widely accepted estimate suggests that at the time of Columbus more than 15 million speakers throughout the Western Hemisphere used more than 2,000 languages; the geographic divisions within that estimate are 300 separate tongues native to some 1.5 million Native Americans N of Mexico, 300 different languages spoken by roughly 5 million people in Mexico and Central America, and more than 1,400 distinct tongues used by 9 million Native Americans in South America and the West Indies.
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