Nuuchanulth and other languages of British Columbia

From: William J Poser (
Date: Sun May 29 2005 - 11:22:17 CDT

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    Almost all of the native languages of British Columbia are written
    in some variant of the Roman alphabet. Indeed, the practical writing
    systems tend to avoid non-ASCII characters. The exceptions are:

    (a) Carrier has been written in the Carrier "syllabics", which are a
        subset of the Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics range;
    (b) Two languages that spill over into BC, Cree and Slave, are sometimes
        written in their versions of the "syllabics", which are also
        covered by the CAS range.
    (c) The trade language Chinook Jargon, as well as Latin, English, and
        several Salishan languages, most prominently Shuswap, were written
        in what is usually known as the "wawa writing". ("wawa" is Chinook
        Jargon for "word, language, to speak".) This is a slight adaptation
        of Duployer shorthand. As far as I know, this has not yet been
        encoded. To my knowledge no one uses the wawa writing anymore, but
        a fair amount of material written in it survives.


    Bill Poser, Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania

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