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Yupik writing

Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


A syllabic writing system for central Yupic, an Eskimoan language of Alaska, invented around 1900 by Uyakoq (1860–1924), a native speaker of that language who had been exposed to English writing through his literate son, but was not himself literate. The script has attracted considerable interest among scholars of writing because it quickly evolved from a logographic system, based on traditional pictograms, to a syllabic system. Uyakoq apparently learned to write some English words which, however, he used holistically via X enography for Yupik words which could be combined with graphemes denoting Yupik inflectional endings. The Yupik language is now mostly written in the Roman alphabet which has been used in various forms since the early nineteenth century. A systematic orthography was worked out in the 1960s at the University of Alaska ( table 5 ). Table 5 The Yupik syllabary: latest developmental stage of the script Source: adapted from Schmitt 1951 , Figure 13 Reading Schmitt 1951; Jacobsen 1995. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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