Writing Systems

Dakelh has been written in several different writing systems. The first writing system used for Dakelh was the Déné Syllabics. This writing system, introduced in 1885, was widely used for several decades but is used only by a few people today. The writing system in general use today is the The Carrier Linguistic Committee Writing System.

A third writing system was the phonetic writing system used by Father Adrien-Gabriel Morice in his scholarly writing, which we may call Morice phonetic.

It is possible that you will encounter Dakelh written in still a fourth writing system: the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). This is used by linguists for scientific purposes. Dakelh is not normally written in IPA. There is sometimes confusion about this because Dakelh written in the Carrier Linguistic Committee writing system is said to be written "phonetically". What people mean when they say that a language is written "phonetically" is that there is a straightforward correspondance between the sounds of the language and the symbols used to write them. The Carrier Linguistic Committee writing system is quite different from IPA.

The paper Notes on Carrier Writing Systems contains a comparison of the various writing systems other than the syllabics. The paper The Carrier Syllabics describes this system and relates it to the other systems.


Yinka Dene Language Institute 2001

Yinka Déné Language Institute © 2006