A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World

By Robert Bringhurst | Go to book overview

Appendix 3
Spelling of Other Native
American Languages

IN AN EFFORT to set Haida oral literature and the Haida language in context, I have often mentioned names, words or phrases in other Native American languages and have quoted a few texts in other languages as well. Where a script is in popular use among native speakers, I have usually adopted it with little or no change. This means using several different symbols for some phonemes – but that is a complication we already take for granted in the languages and literatures of Europe. The spelling systems used are outlined here. While none of these descriptions is complete, they should suffice to make phonemic sense of any phrase or text or name appearing in this book.

For ARIKARA, I use a system based on that of Douglas Parks. Long vowels are written double. The apostrophe represents a glottal stop. The letter č is pronounced like ch in English cheese. The acute marks stress, not tone. Arikara is rich in devoiced vowels and semivowels, which Parks writes as capitals. I write them with a ring diacritic instead, as is usual in Cheyenne. Thus å is devoiced a, and

is devoiced n. For further reference, see Parks 1991.

For BLACKFOOT (Siksika), I use the alphabet developed by Donald Frantz and Norma Russell. Long vowels are written double and long consonants are likewise. The acute accent signifies a high tone. The apostrophe represents a glottal stop, and h is a voiceless uvular fricative, like Navajo h or Haida xh.

Further reference: Donald G. Frantz, Blackfoot Grammar (2nd ed., Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995); Donald G. Frantz & Norma Russell, Blackfoot Dictionary of Stems, Roots and Affixes (2nd ed., Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995).

-423-

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A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Books by Robert Brinchurst 2
  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 6
  • Acknowledgements 10
  • Prologue: Reading What Cannot Be Written 13
  • 1: Schwaansing *
  • 1: Goose Food 27
  • 2: Spoken Music 50
  • 3: The One They Hand Along 65
  • 4: Wealth Has Big Eyes 100
  • 5: Oral Tradition and the Individual Talent 111
  • 2: Sting *
  • 6: The Anthropologist and the Dogfish 135
  • 7: Who's Related to Whom? 155
  • 8: The Epic Dream 173
  • 9: The Shaping of the Canon 201
  • 10: The Flyting of Skaay and Xhyuu 213
  • 3: Hlchunuhl *
  • 11: You Are That Too 221
  • 12: Sleek Blue Beings 236
  • 13: The Iridescent Silence of the Trickster 263
  • 14: The Last People in the World 277
  • 4: Stansing *
  • 15: A Knife That Could Open Its Mouth 295
  • 16: The Historian of Ttanuu 315
  • 17: Chase What's Gone 332
  • 5: Tliihl *
  • 18: A Blue Hole in the Heart 339
  • 19: The Prosody of Meaning 361
  • 20: Shellheap of the Gods 372
  • 21: 1 November 1908 383
  • 22: How the Town Mother's Wife Became the Widow of Her Husband's Sister's Sons 393
  • Appendices *
  • Appendix 1 - Haida Spelling and Pronunciation 415
  • Appendix 2 - Haida as a Written Language 418
  • Appendix 3 - Spelling of Other Native American Languages 423
  • Appendix 4 - The Structure of Skaay's Raven Travelling: the Poem of the Elders 430
  • Appendix 5 - Haida Village Names 434
  • Appendix 6 - A Short Pronouncing Glossary of Haida People and Places 436
  • Notes 439
  • Select Bibliography 493
  • Index 517
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