A language with a fascinating history has joined the Language Conservancy’s list of partnering nations. Maskoke ʻPunvyvs! Speak Maskoke! is now available for purchase. It will become part of the language curriculum for nearly 50 students in the Pumvhakv School, a language-immersion school in the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.
The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma has approximately 17,000 enrolled members, most of them living in Seminole County, OK. The Maskokee language is spoken by around 5,000 people, the majority of whom live in Oklahoma – but many speakers are among the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, whose history is closely connected with the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Around 200 speakers of Maskokee are Florida Seminole, who have their own dialect. The number of speakers makes it more likely that Maskokee can survive and grow as a living language.
The Maskoke alphabet was adopted in the late 1800s. The alphabet has 20 letters and is based on Latin script, although some of the sounds are very different from English — in particular the sounds represented by c, e, i, r, and v. For instance, “v” is sounded as a short “a” or “uh” and sometimes the letter “a” is used instead for written Maskoke.
TLC is proud to be chosen by the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma for language revitalization services.