Mohawk Dutch

Mohawk Dutch
Native to New Netherland
Region North America
Extinct unknown; possibly late 19th to early 20th century
Dutch-based creole with Mohawk
  • Mohawk Dutch
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog None

Mohawk Dutch is a now extinct Dutch-based creole language mainly spoken during the 17th century west of Albany, New York in the area around the Mohawk River, by the Dutch colonists who traded with or to a lesser extent mixed with the local population from the Mohawk nation.

At the height of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands's North American colony of New Netherland, there were 18 languages spoken within Dutch-controlled territory.[1] Dutch settlers frequently married First Nations women, most commonly from the Mohawk with whom they were strong allies.[2] The resulting children often drifted between the territory of the Iroquois Confederacy and New Netherland, forming among themselves a creole taking elements from both languages.

The language was never documented and disappeared in the 20th century.[3]


Research into similar languages, such as Michif (a mixed language formed between French and Cree), has indicated that creoles formed between Europeans and First Nations peoples tended to follow a similar pattern grammatically.[4] The verb phrase was most likely Iroquoian-based and so polysynthetic. The noun phrase likely derived from Dutch.

See also


  1. A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times, by Jonathan Pearson, Junius Wilson MacMurray. Published 1883 by Munsell's Sons, Schenectady, NY. Original from Harvard University, digitized May 10, 2007.
  2. The Mohawk Dutch and the Palatines
  3. Sijs, Nicolien van der (2009) Cookies, coleslaw, and Stoops. The influence of Dutch on the North American languages Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, p.36
  4. Bakker, Peter. A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed Cree-French Language of the Canadian Metis, Oxford University Press, 1997.
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