Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How's your spelling?

How's your spelling? One of the problems encountered by writers in our language is deciding on whose orthography to use. Each linguist tends to have his own way of writing our language and on each reservation there probably are several ways that are in use by individuals as well. Some, such as San Manuel, have adopted one through discussions in committee. We at the DRLC have been using the system used in "Wayta' Yawa' ", Ramon and Elliott (2002), with slight modifications.

There are many problems in choosing an orthography that suits everyone. One of the main considerations is the user-friendly aspect. How strange or difficult does it look on the page? If there are too many extra characters involved in making a sound, it tends to discourage usage. I am of the opinion that, the simpler the better. Through usage we know when an "e" is pronounced as in yet or as in emi' (you) which I used to spell, umi'.

Confusing? Come to our class, which is held every 1st and 3rd Mondays at 17 W. Hays ST. in Banning, CA., and we can discuss it. - ES


Caveman said...

> Through usage we know when an "e"
> is pronounced as in yet or as in
> emi' (you) which I used to spell,
> umi'.

Haminat ne'puuyuu,

To my ear, it sounds like you (Ernest) pronounce "e" like the vowel in the English word book.


Dorothy Ramon Learning Center said...

It is pronounced both ways, that is the point. Depending on what the word is, through usage, you know the pronunciation. For example: be and bet both use the same letter, but are pronounced differently. The same should, in my opinion be practiced in Serrano. - ES