Cherokee Syllabary Texts: Digital Documentation and Linguistic Description

Author Jeffrey Bourns

Thumbnail PDF


  • Filesize: 276 kB
  • 6 pages

Document Identifiers

Author Details

Jeffrey Bourns
  • Digital Scholarship Group, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA

Cite AsGet BibTex

Jeffrey Bourns. Cherokee Syllabary Texts: Digital Documentation and Linguistic Description. In 2nd Conference on Language, Data and Knowledge (LDK 2019). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 70, pp. 18:1-18:6, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


The Digital Archive of American Indian Languages Preservation and Perseverance (DAILP) is an innovative language revitalization project that seeks to provide digital infrastructure for the preservation and study of endangered languages among Native American speech communities. The project’s initial goal is to publish a digital collection of Cherokee-language documents to serve as the basis for language learning, cultural study, and linguistic research. Its primary texts derive from digitized manuscript images of historical Cherokee Syllabary texts, a written tradition that spans nearly two centuries. Of vital importance to DAILP is the participation and expertise of the Cherokee user community in processing such materials, specifically in Syllabary text transcription, romanization, and translation activities. To support the study and linguistic enrichment of such materials, the project is seeking to develop tools and services for the modeling, annotation, and sharing of DAILP texts and language data.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Applied computing → Digital libraries and archives
  • Cherokee language
  • Cherokee Syllabary
  • digital collections
  • documentary linguistics
  • linguistic annotation
  • Linguistic Linked Open Data


  • Access Statistics
  • Total Accesses (updated on a weekly basis)
    PDF Downloads


  1. Kilpatrick Collection of Cherokee Manuscripts. Beinecke Library, Yale University.
  2. Ellen Cushman. The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People’s Perseverance. University of Oklahoma Press, 2012. Google Scholar
  3. Digital Scholarship Group, Northeastern University. URL:
  4. Joel Robert William Dunham. The Online Linguistic Database: software for linguistic fieldwork. PhD thesis, University of British Columbia, 2014. Google Scholar
  5. David M. Eberhard et al. Cherokee. In David M. Eberhard, Gary F.Simons, and Charles D. Fennig, editors, Ethnologue: Languages of the World. SIL International, twenty-second edition, 2019. Google Scholar
  6. Durbin Feeling. Cherokee-English Dictionary. Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, 1975. Google Scholar
  7. Durbin Feeling, Craig Kopris, Jordan Lachler, and Charles van Tuyl. A Handbook of the Cherokee Verb: A Preliminary Study. Cherokee National Historical Society, 2003. Google Scholar
  8. Bettina Klimek. Proposing an OntoLex-MMoOn Alignment: Towards an interconnection of two linguistic domain models. In Proceedings of the LDK workshops: OntoLex, TIAD and Challenges for Wordnets, pages 1-16, 2017. Google Scholar
  9. Robert Leopold. Articulating culturally sensitive knowledge online: A Cherokee case study. Museum Anthropology Review, 7(1-2):85-104, 2013. Google Scholar
  10. Brad Montgomery-Anderson. Cherokee Reference Grammar. University of Oklahoma Press, 2015. Google Scholar
  11. Christopher Moseley, editor. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. UNESCO, 3 edition, 2010. Google Scholar
  12. Cherokee Nation. Ga-du-gi: A vision for working together to preserve the Cherokee language. Report of a needs assessment survey and a 10-year language revitalization plan. Technical report, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, 2003. Google Scholar
  13. Endangered Languages Project. Cherokee. URL:
  14. William Pulte and Durbin Feeling. Outline of Cherokee grammar. In Cherokee-English Dictionary, pages 235-354. Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, 1975. Google Scholar
  15. Elizabeth Seay. Searching for Lost City. The Lyons Press, 2003. Google Scholar
  16. Hiroto Uchihara. Tone and Accent in Oklahoma Cherokee. Oxford University Press, 2016. Google Scholar