Spelling East Cree (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.
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.
However, ᐊ is used in both Northern and Southern dialects at the beginning of a word, and after ᐦ in some verbs.
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|
Writing ᒡ at the end of a word
There is a tendency for southern coastal speakers to pronounce ᒡ as ᑦ at the end of words. Special attention is needed when writing final ᒡ.
|ᐁ ᓂᐹᔮᐦᒡ||ᐁ ᓂᐹᔮᐦᑦ|
|ᐁ ᐱᒧᐦᑌᔮᐦᒡ||ᐁ ᐱᒧᐦᑌᔮᐦᑦ|
Note that there are words that do end in ᑦ (such ᒉᑳᑦ, ᐁ ᓂᐸᑦ) and these ones should not be changed to ᒡ.
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’.
Table of Contents
- Dialect Differences
- ᒋᐦᑲᔥᑖᑲᓐᐦ The Use of Dots
- Syllabic Finals
- Small syllabic symbols at the end of the word
- No ᒻ or ᓐ in the middle of a word
- ᒃ and ᒄ at the end of a word
- How the small syllabic symbols change when an ending is added
- ᔅ and ᔥ
- ᔦᐦᔦᐧᐋᑲᓐ The use of the ᐦ (h) final
- Large syllabic symbols that sound like finals
- ᐃ, ᐄ and ᔨ
- Syllabic symbols not to forget to write
- Adding endings to nouns and verbs
- New spellings as of summer 2015
- Writing Names
- Standard Roman Orthography (SRO)