‘sick’, ‘ill’, ‘hurt’,

easy way to type it:    xaenwis

Lolly Metcalf’s Coos Bay Milluk

Americanist Phonetic


[ x̣ǽnwɪs ],


[ x̣ǽnwɪs ]

[ ˈχænwɪs ],


[ ˈχænwɪs ]

Other Places to Hear This Word:  This Milluk word can also be heard in the interview segments “My Belly Hurts”, “My Head Hurts”, and “Sad”. 


Instant Phonetic Englishization:  hhann_wiss for Lolly’s pronunciation.  Annie’s pronunciation is hardly any different, even though Jacobs wrote the vowel in the final syllable of this word as a Schwa [ ə ]. 

Hardly A Difference:  With the word meaning ‘sick’ in this interview segment, we do not go so far as to recommend that anyone try to reproduce Annie’s pronunciation of the last syllable of this word with a vowel much different than the vowel in the English word ‘miss’.  Jacobs writes about syllables such as this, including reference to what we might call an ‘in-between phonetic vowel’ that is involved in cases such as this and the uncertainty of how to write it phonetically.  That is in Jacobs’ section titled “Phonetics” in his first volume of Coos texts published in 1939. 

for AMP:  


Annie Miner Peterson’s Milluk

Exactly Jacobs’ transcription

Americanist Phonetic & IPA


[ x̣ǽnwəs


[ ˈχænwəs ]

[ ɪ ] versus [ ə ]:  Where it comes to Jacobs writing Schwa [ ə ] as a short unstressed vowel where we hear Lolly pronounce the vowel as [ ɪ ], see what we say about this in the interview segments “Nose ” and “Night”.  With those words, we found that, when Jacobs was making his slip-file dictionary, even though his transcriptions of those words in the Milluk texts have short unstressed Schwas [ ə ], he wrote on file slips that, in the syllables in question, the words had instead the vowel which he wrote as Iota [ ɩ ] which we modernize to be [ ɪ ].  

The Other Way Around:  In the interview segment “Hair”, we report on something like the reverse of the situation that we have here and in the interview segments “Nose ” and “Night” about [ ɪ ] versus [ ə ].  We hear Lolly say [ há·məs ] ‘hair’.  We also have in our table of transcriptions for that word that Mrs. Peterson said | há·məs |.  However, we found only 2 examples of that transcription with Schwa [ ə ].  We found 10 examples in the Milluk texts of the transcription | há·mis |, which would be phonetically [ há·mɪs ].