Friday, December 18, 2009
Here's a news report from summer of this year (August, I think) on the Cia-Cia language, a language that received some attention this year for its decision to use Korean hangul as its official script. The orthography for the language is as follows:
|Consonants ||ㄱ ||ㄲ ||ㄴ ||ㄷ ||ㅌ ||ㄸ ||ㄹ ||ᄙ* ||ㅁ ||ㅂ ||ㅸ ||ㅍ ||ㅃ ||ㅅ ||ㅇ** ||ㅈ ||ㅉ ||ㅎ |
|romanized ||g ||k ||n ||d ||dh ||t ||r ~ gh, l ||m ||b ||v ~ w ||bh ||p ||s ||null, ’, ng ||j ||c ||h |
|IPA ||[ɡ] ||[k] ||[n] ||[ɗ] ||[d] ||[t] ||[r ~ ʁ, l] ||[m] ||[ɓ] ||[β] ||[b] ||[p] ||[s] ||[-, ʔ, ŋ] ||[dʒ] ||[tʃ] ||[h] |
|Vowels ||ㅏ ||ㅔ ||ㅗ ||ㅜ ||ㅣ ||ㅡ |
|romanized ||a ||e ||o ||u ||i ||null|
What's interesting about this is that hangul is now a more accurate representation of the way the language is actually spoken than Korean itself, because though hangul is generally pretty easy to read it isn't a perfect representation of Korean - 조건 (term) for example is actually pronounced 조껀, the ㅎ in 싫어 (hate) is silent, so is the ㄹ in 흙 (earth), and so on, so some people actually do make spelling mistakes in Korean as well. That's what happens when a writing system is adopted but then the spoken language changes over time.
Also note that the woman in the news broadcast pronounces it as Bahasa Jjiajjia (since ㅉ in Korean is like a doubled j) but ㅉ actually represents a tʃ (English ch) sound in Cia-Cia. Chia-chia, not jjia-jjia.
Most languages choose to go with the Latin alphabet when devising a script, but the Korean government seems very taken by the idea of a language choosing to use hangul and so they are now receiving some preferential treatment from the Korean government including a trip from Dec. 21 to 26 to Seoul for nine people from the tribe (I assume the Korean/Seoul city government is paying for this) where they will hold a meeting with the mayor. Going with the Latin alphabet likely would have simply earned them a visit from a few dusty scholars and little else (certainly no media attention), so the extensive hands-on support and attention they are receiving from Korea after choosing to use hangul probably makes it worth it.
Here's the location of the city.
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