Published September 4, 2018
This video was recorded by Daniel Bogre Udell in Peru and features Navajo speaker Barbara Ortella Orneleas. Navajo was spoken by roughly 167,000 speakers as of a 2015 census. Navajo is an Eyak-Athabaskan language belonging to the Na-Dené language family. Navajo has an SOV word structure, 33 consonants and 16 vowel phonemes. Navajo is a language of the Navajo Nation and the Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado Indian River Reservation, and is spoken in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. According to Ethnologue its vitality is considered Threatened, meaning that transmission to new generations is currently at stake, however its status above endangered means things can still be done. Two tones, a high and low tone, render Navajo a tonal language like most of the other Athabaskan languages. Navajo orthography is based in the Latin script and maintains a high literacy rate.