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<Asa Lovejoy>
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While I had heard of the creation of the written form of the previously unwritten Cherokee language, I wasn't aware that just one man created it until today. Is this the equivalent of Cyril's creation of the Russian alphabet? What other languages have been given written forms when there were none previously? Why were they deemed necessary when the cultures had done well without writing?
 
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Shong Lue Yang (Soob Lwj Yaj in Hmong) invented the Hmong messianic script. There's an interesting book about it by William Smalley called Mother of Writing: The Origin and Development of a Hmong Messianic Script. It's available. Comparable to Cyril and Methodius and cyrillic, there's Ulfila's Gothic alphabet. Fifth century CE bishop who translated parts of the bible. Oldest longish Germanic texts available.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I heard that one year after Sequoyah's Syllabary was created, 80% of Cherokees had become literate, both men and women. Does anyone know if this is true?

It heard this on QI, which is an excellent programme generally, but it has been known to propagate the odd urban legend.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Wikipedia has an article on the Cherokee language. This led to another script, the Vai script of Liberia, devised by Mɔmɔlu Duwalu Bukɛlɛ of Jondu.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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From Omniglot:
quote:
The Cherokee syllabary, which was reputedly invented by George Guess, a.k.a. Chief Sequoyah, of the Cherokee, was introduced in 1819... By 1820 thousands of Cherokees had learnt the syllabary, and by 1830, 90% were literate in their own language.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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While the last post here about Sequoyah documenting the Cherokee language was from May 2007, I just heard this podcast, which describes Sequoyah's methodology. It is impressive and very interesting.
 
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