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Miwok Material Culture: Indian Life of the Yosemite Region (1933) by S. A. Barrett and E. W. Gifford


Miwok Alphabet

Editor’s note: Miwok is not a written language, so anything written is phonetic. The alphabet and sounds used in Miwok Material Culture are not explained in the book. However, it appears identical to the one given in S. A. Barrett’s “The Geography and Dialects of the Miwok Indians,” University of California Publications in American Archeology and Ethnology (UCPAAE) 6:2 (February 1908), pp. 359-361 —dea.


ALPHABET

The characters used to represent the various sounds found in the Miwok dialects are as follows:

Vowels.

a   as in father.
aias in aisle.
ēas in obey.
eas in net.
īas in machine
ias in pin.
ōas in note.
oEnglish aw.
ūas in rule.
uas in put.
as in but.
uis made with the lips considerably rounded. There is no exaclty equivalent sound in English.
Similar to u but with lips more rounded. This sound approaches the French u, but is of less definite quality.
uAn obscure sound.

The apostrophe (’) following a vowel or consonant indicates a pronounced aspiration.

Consonants.

p,b,w,m,n,y,has in English.
kis a symbol which has been used to represent two different sounds: the post-palatal and the medio-palatal voiceless stops, the value given it in any case being governed by the tongue position of the vowel with which it is associated.
gis the sonant of k and its positions are varied by the vowel with which it is associated in the same manner as in the case of k.
t, dalveolar stops, voiceless and voiced respectively. The latter occurs rarely in the Sierra group of dialects.
tvoiceless dental stop. In making this sound the tongue tip rests against the backs of the upper teeth.
tvoiceless interdental stop.
nasalized post-palatal sonant; like English ng.
xhas a sound usually approaching Spanish jota, but is sometimes distinguisable from h only with difficulty.
g‘the sonant of x.
c, jopen prepalatal consonants, voiceless and voiced respectively.
s, zopen alveolar consonants, voiceless and voiced respectively.
sThis peculiar voiceless continuant is made by protruding the lower jaw to a considerable extent and retracting the edges of the tongue to an almost prepalatal position.
las in English let.
lThis is a voiceless stop made with the tip of the tongue onthe alveolar arch. The closure is followed by only a slight explosion, the air being allowed to escape laterally. This sound has not so far been met with among the Sierra dialects and oly occasionally among the Coast dialects
lthe sonant of l
Lresembles l except that the tongue is somewhat more retracted, and more relaxed so that there is almost no explosion as the air escapes over the sides of the tongue. The sound resembles that of hl. This also has not so far been found among the Sierra dialects and is found among the Coast idalects more rarely than is l
tcas in church.
tsas in sits.
djas j in jury.

SOUNDS.

The following are the sounds found in the four Sierra Miwok dialects.

Vowels:
a, ai, ē, e, ī, i, ō, o, ū, u, , u, , u

Consonants:

kgtdttpb
nm
xcsw
s
l
l

y, h, tc, dj.



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