Cree syllabics

Cree syllabics are the variations on Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics that are used to write Cree language dialects.

History

This writing system was devised for the Cree language in the mid-1840s by James Evans, an English Wesleyan missionary working in northern Manitoba. His native students had difficulty understanding how the same letters could have different sounds in English and in Roman alphabet writing systems designed for Cree, so he created a new writing scheme for them based on Pitman's shorthand.

Syllabary

The new syllabary was quite simple; it consists of just 9 basic shapes representing syllables, which can be rotated to distinguish between different vowels and adorned with a diacritic dot to distinguish vowel lengths. (Since syllables beginning with a given consonant have a similar shape, the writing system is, strictly speaking, not a syllabary but an abugida.) Evans's syllabary was so easy to learn that it caught on quickly, leading to an incredibly high literacy rate among the Cree and adaptations of the script to be used to write native languages all over Canada, including Athabaskan languages, Inuktitut, and others. Some of these languages have changed to a Roman orthography, but many still use the syllabary today.

Families

There are, in the main, two major families of Cree syllabic writing. Eastern Cree syllabics are used by Cree dialects east of the Manitoba-Ontario border, and Western Cree syllabics are used by Cree speakers west of that line. Not all eastern Cree dialects are written with syllabics - the dialects of eastern Quebec use the Roman alphabet. The two syllabic writing systems diverge primarily in the way they indicate consonants appearing at the ends of syllables, the way they mark the semi-consonant /w/, and in order to reflect the phonological differences between Cree dialects.

See also

Books with Cree Syllabic

  • Hymn Book. (By James Evans) Norway House, 1841.
  • Catechism. (Transl. James Evans) Rossville, É.N.
  • The Holy Bible. (Transl. John Sinclair, Henry Steinhauer) London, 1861.
  • Bunyan: Pilgrim´S Progress. (Transl. John Sinclair) Toronto, 1900.
  • Cree Hymn Book. (By John Mcdougall) Toronto, 1888.
  • Cree Hymn Book. (By Robert Steinauer, Egerton Steinauer) Toronto, 1920.
  • The Epistle of Paul The Apostle To The Galatians. (Transl. Joseph Reader) Oonikup (Northwest Territory), S.A.
  • The Acts of The Apostles And The Epistles. London, 1891.
  • The Books of The New Testament. London, 1859.
  • The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians; the Epistle of Jacob; the First Epistle General of John. (Transl. Thomas Hullburt) Rossville, 1857.
  • The Travellers´ Spiritual Provision (Calender) S.L., S. A.
  • The Handbook to Scripture Truth: Words of Admonition, Counsel and Comfort. Toronto, 1893.
  • Prieres, Cantiques, Catéchisme Etc. En Lanque Crise. Montreal, 1886.
  • The Book of Common Prayer, (Transl. John Horden) London, 1889 (Addl. Printings Through 1970).
::In: Paleográfiai kalandozások. Szentendre, 1995. ISBN 9634509223

External links

  • The Cree syllabary at Omniglot
  • Cree at Languagegeek.com
  • Barber, F. Luis: James Evans and the Cree Syllabic. In: Victoria Library Bulletin Toronto. July 1940. vol. 2. No. 2. 16 p.
  • Burwash, Nathaniel: The Gift to a Nation of Written Language. S.l., 1911. 21 p.
  • Evans, James: Cree Syllabic Hymn Book. Norway House, 1841. In: Bibliographical Society of Canada; Facsim. Series 4. Toronto, 1954. 23 p.)
  • Steller, Lea-Katharina (geb. Virághalmy): Alkalmazkodni és újat adni avagy accomodatio a paleográfiában. In: Paleográfiai kalandozások. Szentendre, 1995. ISBN 9634509223
  • Ray, Margaret: The James Evans Collection. In: Victoria Library Bulletin Toronto. July 1940. vol. 2. No. 2. 16 p.
Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics
Child systems Inuktitut

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Canadian Aboriginal syllabic writing
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Cree is the name for a group of closely-related Algonquian languages spoken by approximately 50,000 speakers across Canada, from Alberta to Labrador.

Dialect criteria

The Cree dialect continuum can be divided by many criteria.
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writing system is a type of symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in language.

General properties

Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that one must usually understand something of the
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Cree is the name for a group of closely-related Algonquian languages spoken by approximately 50,000 speakers across Canada, from Alberta to Labrador.

Dialect criteria

The Cree dialect continuum can be divided by many criteria.
..... Click the link for more information.
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James Evans (January 18, 1801 – November 23, 1846) was a Canadian Methodist missionary and amateur linguist. He is best remembered for his creation of writing systems for several Aboriginal languages, including Ojibwe, Cree, and indirectly Inuktitut.
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Child systems Numerous: see Alphabets derived from the Latin
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Pitman Shorthand
Child systems Pitman's New Era
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Pitman Shorthand
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syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. A symbol in a syllabary typically represents an optional consonant sound followed by a vowel sound.
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abugida is a term coined by Peter T. Daniels in order to describe a writing system in which consonant signs (graphemes) are inherently associated with a following vowel. Thus, the absence of such a vowel, or other following vowels, are usually indicated explicitly.
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Athabaskan or Athabascan (also Athapascan or Athapaskan) is the name of a large group of closely related Native American peoples, also known as the Athabasca Indians or Athapaskes
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Inuktitut (Inuktitut syllabics: ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ( fonts required ), literally "like the Inuit") is the name of the varieties of Inuit language spoken in Canada.
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Note - partially copied from Western_Cree_syllabics


Eastern Cree syllabics are a variant of Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics used to write all the Cree dialects from Moosonee, Ontario to Kawawachikamach on the Quebec-Labrador border in Canada that use
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Manitoba


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Western Cree syllabics are a variant of Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics used to write Plains Cree, Woods Cree and the western dialects of Swampy Cree. It is used for all Cree dialects west of approximately the Manitoba-Ontario border in Canada.
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Latin alphabet
Child systems Numerous: see Alphabets derived from the Latin
Sister systems Cyrillic
Coptic
Armenian
Runic/Futhark
Unicode range See Latin characters in Unicode
ISO 15924 Latn

Note
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Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics
Child systems Inuktitut

Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

Canadian Aboriginal syllabic writing
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Western Cree syllabics are a variant of Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics used to write Plains Cree, Woods Cree and the western dialects of Swampy Cree. It is used for all Cree dialects west of approximately the Manitoba-Ontario border in Canada.
..... Click the link for more information.
Note - partially copied from Western_Cree_syllabics


Eastern Cree syllabics are a variant of Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics used to write all the Cree dialects from Moosonee, Ontario to Kawawachikamach on the Quebec-Labrador border in Canada that use
..... Click the link for more information.
Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics covers the block U+1400 through U+167F in the Unicode standard. It is used for Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics.

Character Unicode name Hex Decimal Unicode Entity
ᐁ CANADIAN SYLLABICS E 1401 ᐁ
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