Today, all surviving Iroquoian languages except Cherokee in Oklahoma and Mohawk are severely endangered or critically endangered, with only a few elderly speakers remaining. Cherokee in North Carolina is considered severely endangered.
Evidence is emerging that what has been called the Laurentian language appears to be more than one dialect or language. Ethnographic and linguistic field work with the Wyandot tribal elders (Barbeau 1960) yielded enough documentation for scholars to characterize and classify the Huron and Petun languages.
The languages of the tribes that constituted the tiny Wenrohronon[a], the powerful Susquehannock and the confederations of the Neutral Nation and the Erie Nation are very poorly documented. They are historically grouped together, and geographically the Wenro's range on the eastern end of Lake Erie placed them between the two much larger confederations. To the east of the Wenro, beyond the Genesee Gorge, were the lands of the Iroquois and southeast, beyond the headwaters of the Allegheny River, lay the Susquehannocks. The Susquehannocks and Erie were militarily powerful and respected by neighboring tribes. These groups were called Atiwandaronk, meaning 'they who understand the language' by the surviving Huron (Wyandot people). By 1660 all of these peoples but the Susquehannocks and Iroquois were defeated and scattered, migrating to form new tribes or to be adopted into others—the practice of adopting valiant enemies into the tribe was a common cultural tradition of the Iroquoian peoples.
The group known as the Meherrin were neighbors to the Tuscarora and the Nottoway (Binford 1967) in the American South and may have spoken an Iroquoian language. There is not enough data to determine this with certainty.
^ abcdEditor: Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., by The editors of American Heritage Magazine (1961). "The American Heritage Book of Indians". In pages 188-219. ,. American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc. LCCN61-14871.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Barbeau, C. Marius (1960), Huron-Wyandot Traditional Narratives in Translations and Native Texts, National Museum of Canada Bulletin 47; Anthropological Series 165, [Ottawa]: Canada Dept. of Northern Affairs and National Resources, OCLC1990439.
Binford, Lewis R. (1967), "An Ethnohistory of the Nottoway, Meherrin and Weanock Indians of Southeastern Virginia", Ethnohistory, Ethnohistory, Vol. 14, No. 3/4, 14 (3/4), pp. 103-218, doi:10.2307/480737, JSTOR480737.
Chilton, Elizabeth (2004), "Social Complexity in New England: AD 1000-1600", in Pauketat, Timothy R.; Loren, Diana Dipaolo, North American Archaeology, Malden, MA: Blackwell Press, pp. 138-60, OCLC55085697.
Goddard, Ives, ed. (1996), Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 17: Languages, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, ISBN0-16-048774-9, OCLC43957746.
Lounsbury, Floyd G. (1978), "Iroquoian Languages", in Trigger, Bruce G., Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 15: Northeast, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, pp. 334-43 [unified volume Bibliography, pp. 807-90], OCLC58762737.
Mithun, Marianne (1984), "The Proto-Iroquoians: Cultural Reconstruction from Lexical Materials", in Foster, Michael K.; Campisi, Jack; Mithun, Marianne, Extending the Rafters: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Iroquoian Studies, Albany: State University of New York Press, pp. 259-82, ISBN0-87395-781-4, OCLC9646457.
Mithun, Marianne (1985), "Untangling the Huron and the Iroquois", International Journal of American Linguistics, 51 (4), pp. 504-7, doi:10.1086/465950, JSTOR1265321.