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Oji Cree

Anishininimowin or Oji-Cree (sometimes called Severn Ojibway) is closely related to the Ojibway language, but has a different literary tradition based in Cree, and several phonological and grammatical differences. This nation has communities throughout north-western Ontario (with the Cree to the north and Ojibway to the south) and at Island Lake in Manitoba. Oji-Cree is often grouped together with Ojibway and related languages.

The orthography of Oji-Cree is Algonquian Syllabics, with western-style finals, but with an eastern placement of the w-dot. It is typically not written in any sort of Roman writing system. The charts below show the distinctive sounds of the language, using an Algonquianist orthography, which can be used along with the Syllabics chart.

Note: On the charts below, there is lots of phonetic terminology that may not be familiar to everyone.


The Canadian Census counts 12,600 Oji-Cree speakers in 2006, up from 10,475 in 2001. Howe and Cook group it with Ojibway (and related languages) for a total of 45,000

Anishininimowin: Consonants

  bilabial alveolar palato-alveolar palatal velar glottal
voiceless stop hp ht   hk  
voiced stop p t č   k  
voiceless fricative   hs     h
voiced fricative   s š      
nasal m n        
approximate w     y    


  front central back
high i – ī    
mid ē   o – ō
low   a – ā  


  • The voiceless sounds are written by some linguists as hp, ht, hc, hk, hs, hš. These may also be realised as double consonants: pp, tt, cc, kk, ss, šš.


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Last Update: August 21, 2008