10 May 2007

ohi:yoˀ update

an update to my previous post. on my return drive from Ithaca i saw more signs with IPA-looking stuff. besides the signs at river crossings, there were ones notifying me that i was entering the Allegany Indian Reservation of the Seneca Nation. turns out that the signs below are actually just printed in the Seneca language. Seneca has a fairly small set of phonemes, all of which are present in English except for contrastive long vowels and nasal vowels.

apparently since Seneca had no native orthography (that is my conjecture, i don't know that for certain), a slightly modified IPA became its de facto writing system. i'll leave commenting on that process to the socio-historical linguists.

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