Spelling Manual (Southern) – Dialect Differences

The syllabic chart

The full syllabic chart shows all the symbols that are used in writing Eastern James Bay Cree. Some symbols are used only in the Southern dialect, not in the Northern, as explained below.

North – South differences

Speakers from Wemindji, Chisasibi, Whapmagoostui, and sometimes Eastmain use ᐋ, ᐹ, ᒑ, ᒫ, ᓈ, ᓵ, ᔖ instead of ᐁ, ᐯ, ᑌ, ᒉ, ᒣ, ᓀ, ᓭ, ᔐ.

Southern Northern
ᒥᐦᐧᑳᓐ ᒥᐦᐧᑳᓐ
ᔭᒄ ᔨᒄ
ᐧᐁᐦᐄᑲᓐ ᐧᐋᐦᐄᑭᓐ
ᓇᐧᐋᐸᒫᑦ ᓂᐧᐋᐱᒫᑦ
ᐧᑳᓐ ᐧᑳᓐ
ᒣᐱᓲᓐ ᒫᐱᓲᓐ
ᐧᐋᐤ ᐧᐋᐤ
ᒋᓲ ᒋᓲ
ᔐᔔ ᔖᔔ
ᑳᐤ ᑳᐤ

The Northern speakers do not use ᐸ, ᑕ, ᑲ, ᒐ, ᒪ, ᓇ, ᓴ, ᔕ, ᔭ but instead use ᐱ, ᑎ, ᑭ, ᒋ, ᒥ, ᓂ, ᓯ, ᔑ, ᔨ.

Southern Northern
ᑯᓀᔮᐤ ᑯᓈᔮᐤ
ᐦᑳᔮᐤ ᐦᑳᔮᐤ
ᐸᑦ ᐱᑦ
ᐦᑳᐯᔥ ᐦᑳᐹᔥ
ᓯᓇᐦᐄᑲᓐ ᓯᓂᐦᐄᑭᓐ
ᒣᔅ ᒫᔅ
ᑳᐤ ᑳᐤ
ᐧᐁᔨᒣᐤ ᐧᐋᔨᒫᐤ
ᐦᒋᓇᒻ ᐦᒋᓂᒻ

However, is used in both Northern and Southern dialects at the beginning of a word, and after in some verbs.

Southern Northern
ᑎᐦᒄ ᑎᐦᒄ
ᒥᔅᒄ ᒥᔅᒄ
ᒪᐦᒄ ᒥᐦᒄ
ᐅᑖᒪᐦ ᐅᑖᒥᐦ

Eastmain speakers

In Eastmain, speakers use both Southern and Northern pronunciations since the community is on the boundary of the two dialect areas. Sometimes the two pronunciations are used in a single word, or show up in the written form.

ᓭ, ᓯ, ᓱ, ᓴ, ᔅ and ᔐ, ᔑ, ᔓ, ᔕ, ᔥ

Both these sets are used in writing East Cree words. Some Inland speakers may pronounce the ᔐ, ᔑ, ᔓ, ᔕ, ᔥ as ᓭ, ᓯ, ᓱ, ᓴ, ᔅ and therefore may want to check their spelling with the dictionary.

ᓭ ᓯ ᓱ ᓴ ᔅ ᔐ ᔑ ᔓ ᔕ ᔥ
ᕆᓪ
ᓈᐤ ᑳᒄ
ᐅᑏᔅ ᔒᑯᓐ
ᔑᓐ ᐧᐋᐤ
ᑳᐤ
ᒋᓲ
ᑲᐧᐹᓐ ᐧᐁᔨᒣᐤ

Writing at the end of a word

There is a tendency for southern coastal speakers to pronounce as at the end of words. Special attention is needed when writing final .

Write… Not…
ᐄᔨᔫ ᐄᔨᔫᑦ
ᐁ ᓂᐹᔮᐦ ᐁ ᓂᐹᔮᐦᑦ
ᐁ ᐱᒧᐦᑌᔮᐦ ᐁ ᐱᒧᐦᑌᔮᐦᑦ
ᐄᔨᔫᔅᐧᑫᐅ ᐄᔨᔫᔅᐧᑫᐅᑦ

Note that there are words that do end in (such ᒉᑳᑦ, ᐁ ᓂᐸᑦ) and these ones should not be changed to .

Inland and Coastal differences in pronunciation

There is a dialect difference between Inland and Coastal Southern speakers in the pronunciation of certain words such as the ones below. Words in the dictionary which differ are marked ‘coastal’ or ‘inland’.

Coastal Inland
ᓂᔮ ᓂᔮᔨᓐ
ᓂᔮᔖᑉ ᓂᔮᔨᓂᔖᑉ
ᓂᔮᒥᑎᓅ ᓂᔮᔨᓂᒥᑎᓅ
ᐄᔨ
ᒥᔅᑎᓯᓃᐅᐄᔨᔫ ᒥᔅᑎᓯᓃᐅᐄ
ᓀᒥᔅᑳᐅᐄᔨᔫ ᓀᒥᔅᑳᐅᐄ
ᒋᓭᓰᐲᐅᐄᔨᔫ ᒋᓭᓰᐲᐅᐄ
ᐄᔨᔅᒋᓯᓐ ᐄᓇᔅᒋᓯᓐ
ᐄᔮᔥᑦ ᐄᓈᔥᑦ
ᐄᔨᔥᑯᑌᐤ ᐄᓂᔥᑯᑌᐤ
ᐄᔨᔫᔅᐧᑫᐤ ᓅᔅᐧᑫᐤ
ᐄᔨᔫᔥᑌᐤ ᓅᔥᑌᐤ
ᐄᔨᔑᑉ ᐄᓂᔑᑉ
ᐄᔨᒥᓐᐦ ᐄᓂᒥᓈᓐᐦ
ᐦᑎᒄ ᐦᑎᒄ
ᐊᐦ ᐊᐦ
ᐅᔑᐦᒣᓭᐤ ᐅᔑᐦᒣᓭᐤ
ᔮᓐ ᓕᔮᐤ
ᐳᐃᐦᒉᐤ ᐦᒉᐤ
ᐅᐦᒋ ᐅᐦᒋᑰᓐ/ᐅᐦᒋ
ᓀᐧᐋᐯᑲᒨᐦ ᓀᐧᐋᐯᑲᒧᓐᐦ/ᓀᐧᐋᐯᑲᒨᐦ
ᐯᑲᑌᐦᑕᒻ ᐯᑲᑌᑕᒻ
ᐊᓯᔥᑲᒻ ᐊᓯᔥᑲᒻ
ᐅᑌᐤ ᐧᐁᔫ
ᑲᔭ

See also: Spelling Manual – Northern Dialect – Dialect Differences