easy way to type it:    gwaan  

for AMP: 


Lolly Metcalf’s South Slough Milluk

Annie Miner Peterson’s Milluk

Americanist Phonetic


Exactly Jacobs’ transcription

Americanist Phonetic & IPA

[ gwa·n ],


[ gwa·na ]

[ gwaˑn ],


[ gwaˑna ]




[ ɢ̣wa·n


[ ɢwaˑn ]

Instant Phonetic Englishization:  gwahn, rhymes with ‘swan’.  Annie’s version of the word begins with a Back G, made farther back in the throat than Lolly’s Mid G. 

Daisy’s Version of the Word:  Lolly’s younger sister Daisy says the word with a second syllable.  At the beginning of the interview Daisy says that she never really spoke the Milluk language.  We only put what Lolly says in Milluk into our table of transcriptions. 

Lolly Metcalf actually does say the word as [ gwa·na ], but only after Daisy says it that way.  When Lolly says the word with a second syllable one can hardly even hear the second syllable.  

Later in the interview, in the interview segment “High”, we can hear Daisy say [ gwa·na ] again, which could even be transcribed as [ gwa·nʌ ].  It is hard to say what the exact tongue-height is for the vowel of the second syllable, since Daisy is so much in the background in that interview segment.  Daisy seems stuck on the idea that the word has a second syllable.  Even though we do not see the two-syllable form of the word in the Milluk texts, we have to take seriously the idea that such a form of the word might have actually existed in the language, just because of the fact that Lolly actually says it, even if it is very difficult to hear the short vowel at the end of Lolly’s two-syllable version of the word.  Because of all of this, the version of the word with a second syllable is really only a linguistic curiosity.  

What to Imitate:  Students of the Milluk language only need to learn how Lolly Metcalf pronounces this Milluk word as / gwaan /, which is the first time that she says it.  The word appears in the Milluk texts, but only with the first syllable.  It appears there as | g̣wa·n | which we modernize to be | ɢ̣wa·n |.  Annie Miner Peterson’s version of the word begins with what we call a Back G, or call a ‘dotted G’. 

The Easy-Way-to-Type Spellings as Phonemic Representations:  We treat our easy ways of typing the word as phonemic representations of the word by putting those spellings between sets of diagonal lines / / as opposed to putting them within square brackets [ ] as phonetic transcriptions.  That is because we make a point of making the easy-way-to-type spellings phonemic, which is to say by using the Milluk language’s own natural alphabet of distinctive speech sounds, which distinguish one Milluk word from another.  

Our easy-way-to-type spellings also happen to use only the letters of the Roman Alphabet, plus @ to represent the vowel Schwa [ ə ].  Because of that, some of the phonemes of Milluk are written with letters of the Roman Alphabet in combination.  For example, the Milluk word / chaachai / ‘walk’ has two syllables which each begin with the Milluk phoneme / ch /.  To hear that word, see the interview segments “Walk 1” and “Walk 2” on this website.  The sound / ch / is at the beginning and end of the English word ‘church’.  In our phonetic transcriptions, we write this sound as [ č ] in our Americanist phonetic transcriptions and as [ tʃ ] in our phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).  In the IPA, affricate consonants are written as a stop consonant in combination with a fricative consonant, which is what they are phonetically. 

 Phonemic Representations in Linguistics:  In linguistics, words and sentences which are written phonemically are not only enclosed between sets of diagonal lines / /, they are also written using standard phonetic symbols, such as / č / in the Americanist tradition of phonetic writing and the equivalent combination of [ tʃ ] which consists of IPA phonetic symbols.