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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
(written with the Cree syllabary), English and French on signs
in Canada’s Quebec (Québéc) Province.
In terms of speaker number, geographic distribution and survival rate, Cree
is one of today’s most significant aboriginal American languages. The vast majority of Cree speakers lives in Canada, between the Pacific
coast and areas in northeastern British Columbia. Only in Canada’s Northwest
Territories does Cree have official status, although it is home to a very small
of Cree speakers.
The Cree people constitute the largest First Nations population
of Canada. In the United States of America, it is only in northern central Montana that Cree people are found, specifically
speakers of Plains Cree who share Rocky Boy Indian Reservation as a part of
the “Chippewa Cree Tribe.”
The name “Cree” (which
should not be confused with “Creek,” i.e. Muscogee) is
derived from Kiristino (> French Cristinaux), an Ojibwa word denoting a member of a band living south of James Bay. Cree people refer to themselves as Nēhiyaw, Nīhithaw, Nēhilaw, Nēhinaw, Ininiw, Ililiw, Iynu (Innu), or Iyyu, depending on their cultural allegiance, native area and dialect.
is an Algonquian language, is thus related to languages such as Abenaki, Arapaho,
Malecite–Passamaquoddy, Mi'kmaq, Ojibwe, Sauk–Fox–Kickapoo, and Shawnee. It consists of nine main dialect groups.
Features of the
language include complex polysynthetic morphological and syntactic structures,
a common feature of aboriginal American languages. For example, there are suffixes
of proximity to the discourse. Lexical morphology can be highly complex in its descriptiveness; e.g., Plains
Cree kiskinohamātowikamikw for ‘school’ literally translated is “knowing-it-together-by-example place.”
Two script systems
are used to write Cree. All varieties can be and are written by means of various Latin-script-based
orthographies. In addition, there is the Cree syllable script which has two
variants: Eastern Cree Syllabary, and Western Cree Syllabary. All letters of
these two systems are contained within the general Canadian Aboriginal syllabary
There is in Canada
much in the way of Cree
literature and culture research, teaching and other activities, some of them
dedicated institutions, with a growing list of printed, recorded and electronic
The Cree language
has contributed much to the developments of two North American contact languages:
(1) the Cree- and French-based Michif language of the Métis people used throughout
a larger region, mostly in Canada,
creole spoken by the Red River Métis of Manitoba, Canada.
Genealogy: Algic > Algonquian > Cree
Historical Lowlands language contacts: English, Scots