A language family of the north-eastern United States and adjoining Canada, including the Mohawk, Seneca (Mingo), Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida, Wyandot, Tuscarora, Huron, and Cherokee languages. The Cherokees of course were later asked to move along there. Only Cherokee and Mohawk have a large number of speakers.

Sometimes grouped with the Sioux languages in a Macro-Siouan family.

A phonetic oddity is that they seem to have no P sound.

Ir`o*quoi"an (ir`O*kwoi"an), a.

Of, pertaining to, or designating, one of the principal linguistic stocks of the North American Indians. The territory of the northern Iroquoian tribes, of whom the Five Nations, or Iroquois proper, were the chief, extended from the shores of the St. Lawrence and of Lakes Huron, Ontario, and Erie south, through eastern Pennsylvania, to Maryland; that of the southern tribes, of whom the Cherokees were chief, formed part of Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. All of the tribes were agricultural, and they were noted for large, communal houses, palisaded towns, and ability to organize, as well as for skill in war. -- n.

An Indian of an Iroquoian tribe.


© Webster 1913

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