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Ojebway Language:

A Manual for missionaries
and others employed among the Ojebway Indians
by Edward F. Wilson, 1874


Orthography and Pronunciation.

The Ojibwe, not being a written language, has been spelt in many different ways, according to the option of the writer. The French adopt their several styles and the English theirs. Thus, for instance, the word muhzenuhegun (book), will spelt by French masinaigan. In this book, the orthography followed by the Rev. F.A. Omeara, LL.D., Rector of Port Hope, is adopted…

A few hints as to the manner of pronunciation may be found useful.

1. Remember there is no silent vowels: every letter is distinctly pronounced.

2. Pronounce a distinctly as in fate, not as in fat. Thus, words ending in gawin, pronounce gay-win; pasho, not pash-o, but pay-sho, and so on.

3. Pronounce ah, au as in past, laugh, ah!, &c. Thus, pahpahezhah, he goes about, pah-pah-e-zhah. Muh-yah-jaud, he who starts. (Note - ah and au has exactly the same sound.

4. Pronounce e or i softly, as in the word iniquity; thus enene, not ee-nee-nee or en-nen-ne, but in-nin-ne, like the word ninny.

5. Pronounce u or uh as in up, mud, hug, brush, &c.; thus, muh-kuhda (black)… muck-ud-day. Dush, but, as brush, dum, duk, (endings), as drum, duck. Muzenuhegan (book), mus-ze-nuh-e-gun.

6. Pronounce o as in note, toe; thus, ekedo (he says), as doe.

7. Always pronounce g as in gig, pig, never as in gin, page. Where uge occurs pronounce it ug-ge, ume um-me, and so forth. Wherever uh occurs in a word gu(…) against confounding the h with the letters following, thus in the word muhzenuhegun, it I not nu-he-gun, but nuh-e-gun.

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