Latin glottal stop in ID in NWT, Canada

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Fri Oct 30 07:59:42 CDT 2015

Borders around Alaska were very fuzzy and native Americans were mobile in
the region. It seems unaoidable that at some time some of their languages
have been written by some missionaries and books/religious texts exhanged

As well, even before Alaska was sold by the Russian Empire to USA, there
were also many Russian migrants going to Canada and USA via Alaska,; and
meeting also native Americans. The US and British Canadian authorities were
not as active as they are today in those areas, and aboriginal populations
(as well as many mùigrants) were certainly more autonomous and more mobile
than they are today, and had more cultural exchanges. At that time they
were still not small minorities as they are today, and the usage of English
nad French by them was much less common.

PS: Note that I used the term "probably". "North-West Territories" is only
today's name of an organized Canadian province. For long, this area was not
incorporated, so I used a *generic* term (with "territories" in lowercase
(and the term I used was probably referring to the whole Arctic region,
where native Americans were travelling for long distances across seasons
for their traditional fishery and hunting).

If you look at a "common" map centered on the equatorial line, the artic
region seems enormous, but look at a map centered on the pole, and consider
what were the limits of the iceshelfs in past centuries and how those
populations were living in the area, independantly of the European/American
and Asian countries established to the south. The arctic Ocean was an
essential resource and people lived all around it on a quite thin border of
land and on iceshelfs with very scarce resources. They had to be mobile and
received little help from the south. But the area was also regularly
visited by European and Asian fishers or explorers, and notably from Russia
looking for routes to the Atlantic or Pacific and selling products to local
native populations or trying to fix them under some imperial rule.

There were also a many more active native languages than those that remain
today, many of them are now extinct or persist only in some old
transcriptions written in the Latin or Cyrillic alphabets (possibly in
sinograms or Mongolian scripts too, with Chinese or Japanese explorers,
fishers and merchants from their former empirial regimes: there could
remain old books transcribing some of those old arctic native languages),
but these old transiptions may have been preciously kept by today's native
peoples in their local communities, or they could remain in some museum or
public library all around the Northern hemisphere.

2015-10-30 7:07 GMT+01:00 Peter Constable <petercon at>:

> *From:* Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at] *On Behalf Of *Philippe
> Verdy
> *Sent:* Thursday, October 29, 2015 6:26 AM
> > On the opposite, Native Americans HAVE used the Cyrillic script in
> Alaska
> > and probably as well in North-Western territories in Canada…
> In Alaska, yes, because the languages in question are, in fact, Siberian
> languages.
> But where have you gotten the idea that Cyrillic script has been used in
> orthographies for languages spoken in Northwest Territories? I’ve never
> seen any indication of that, and I am very doubtful.
> (Btw, it’s “the Northwest Territories”, not “North-Western territories”.)
> Peter
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Unicode mailing list