Chapter 4: Towards a Polar Eskimo Orthography
Towards a Polar Eskimo Orthography
SWG was written from the mid-nineteenth century to 1973 using the Kleinschmidt orthography. The spelling reform in 1973 replaced the
and the diacritics marking long vowels and geminates were got rid of, and the vowels and consonants were duplicated. The result according to my informants was that words became much harder to spell and many of the words simply became too long. Living in a digital age, this has actually become a problem because we are left with a language which does not lend itself to texting or subtitles. It is clear that even today the spelling reform had not been entirely accepted in north-west Greenland and the orthography used in the glossary of this book reflects that to some degree. That is to say the occasional word might be written with a word final (or initial)
. Even qa’ddunaa was sometimes written as kadluna. Whilst one wishes to remain as consistent as possible in the representation of phonemes, the old spellings have been kept in a very small number of cases where several attempts to write a certain word down used the
The orthography that I use in this book is the one that I established in conjunction with 12 months’ worth of discussions with local people on the matter. It seems it is impossible to establish...
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