easy way to write it:     yeis

for AMP: 


Lolly Metcalf’s Coos Bay Milluk

Annie Miner Peterson’s Milluk

Americanist Phonetic


Exactly Jacobs’ transcription

Americanist Phonetic

[ yæis ],


[ yeis

[ jæis ],


[ jeis ]


[ yæis ]

 ranging to

[ yeis

Instant Phonetic Englishization:  yae_ees, but as one syllable. 

Lolly's Full Range of Pronunciations with This Diphthong: We hear Lolly Metcalf say [ yæis ], then [ yeis ].  This goes beyond her range of pronunciations for this word in the interview segment “Mouth 1”.  There we hear her start out with a pronunciation [ yæis ] then we hear her say [ yɛis ], for her second pronunciation of the word.  The range of [ æ ] to [ ɛ ] is the same range as with her pronunciations of the Milluk word / ʔælks / ‘afraid’, where we hear her say [ ʔælks ], then [ ʔɛlks ].  The range here of [ æ ], to [ e ] is greater, because the phonetic vowel [ e ] has a higher tongue height than the phonetic vowel [ ɛ ], which has a higher tongue height than the phonetic vowel vowel [ æ ].  

Lolly’s pronunciation of [ yeis ] is very natural, because the vowel [ i ] is a high vowel.  In contrast, the vowel [ æ ] is a low vowel.  In effect, the high vowel [ i ] pulls up the low vowel [ æ ], to make a more relaxed pronunciation of the word.  However, in both of the two interview segments where we hear Lolly say the Milluk word meaning ‘mouth’, she starts out each time with the fully low vowel pronunciation of [ yæis ].  In other words, she starts out each time with a very distinctive pronunciation of the word, then goes to a more relaxed pronunciation of the word.  

When we show above that the exact transcription that Jacobs has of Annie Miner Peterson’s pronunciation of this word is | yɛis | ‘mouth’, something is missing.  That is because Jacobs only used the phonetic vowel [ ɛ ] to write the Milluk phoneme that we write as / æ /.  We write this same Milluk phoneme as / e / in our easy way to type the word.  

We have every reason to believe that Annie’s pronunciations of the Milluk word meaning mouth would also have had the diphthong in this word ranging from [ æi ] to [ ɛi ] and on to [ ei ] and so we put that into our table of transcriptions.  The IPA phonetic transcriptions are [ jæisranging to [ jeis ].  Depicting this range in any kind of phonetic transcriptions amounts to being a reconstruction of exactly how she pronounced this word, but we can hear Annie pronounce a word which has just this same phonemic diphthong / æi /.  

Another Word with the Same Diphthong: In the fluently spoken Milluk of originally phonographic recordings, we hear Annie Miner Peterson pronounce the Milluk word / gwæis / ‘girl, young woman’ as [ gwɛis ] and as [ gweis ].  We have reason to believe that when she pronounced this word / gwæis / ‘girl, young woman’ more slowly and carefully than in fluently spoken Milluk, she would have also pronounced it as [ gwæis ] and that Lolly Metcalf would have done the same.  We do not get to hear the word / gwæis / ‘girl, young woman’ from Lolly, because when Swadesh asked Mrs. Metcalf to say the Milluk word meaning ‘girl’, Lolly was evidently thinking of a little girl, so she said [ gwæʔæk̯ʼ ] ‘little girl’.