Navajo

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A language of United States

Alternate Names
Navaho
Autonym
Diné, Diné Bizaad
Population

167,000 (2015 census). 7,600 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 266,000 (Ichihashi-Nakayama et al 2007).

Location

Arizona: northeast; Colorado; New Mexico: northwest; Utah: southeast.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of registered tribe: Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation (Arizona and California), Navajo Nation (Arizona; New Mexico; Utah).

Typology

SOV; postpositions; dual number; indefinite article; tense and aspect; 33 consonant and 16 vowel phonemes; tonal (2 tones: high, low).

Language Use

Vigorous in some families. L1 speakers among first graders are 30% versus 90% in 1968 (1998). Wide range of functions.

Language Development
High literacy. Grammar. Bible: 1985–2000. Immersion program in several schools; formally taught at several universities (Golla 2007).
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

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