Cree is the name for a group of closely-related Algonquian languages spoken by approximately 50,000 speakers across Canada, from Alberta to Labrador.
The Cree dialect continuum can be divided by several criteria. Dialects spoken from north-eastern Ontario to Labrador make a distinction between š (sh as in she) and s, while those to the west do not. In several dialects, including northern Plains Cree and Woods Cree, the long vowels ê and î have merged into a single vowel. However, the most transparent phonological variation between different Cree dialects is in the evolution of the proto-Algonquian rhotic *r in the modern dialects.

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