easy way to type it:    tselk@s

Lolly Metcalf’s Coos Bay Milluk

Americanist Phonetic


[ tsǽlkəs ],


[ tsǽlkəs ]

[ ˈtsælkəs ],


[ ˈtsælkəs ]

This interview segment is from early in the interview, where Lolly has what we call ‘borderline vowels’, in some cases, rather than showing us the range that a given phonemic vowel can have, which is what she did in a number of cases late in the interview when she was not only warmed up as a speaker of Milluk, but seems to have had in mind that future generations of English-speaking people would be listening to her trying to learn the Milluk language.  The borderline vowels would seem to be very natural pronunciations, while showing us the range of Milluk phonemic vowels as they occur in particular words is very helpful where the range of a Milluk phoneme crosses the border between two phonemes in English.   

Instant Phonetic Englishization:  tsehl_kuhs. 

In transcribing this word phonetically, it makes a difference to us that we cannot see how Annie Miner Peterson said this word.  That is because the vowel in the first syllable is halfway in tongue height between being [ æ ] and being [ ɛ ], while at the same time being close in terms of how far front or back the tongue is for the vowel to be [ ɑ ], using the IPA symbol here, to avoid confusion.  As for the vowel in the second syllable, it is halfway between being [ ə ] and being [ ʌ ] in terms of tongue height.  It is actually easier for us to imitate the word exactly as Lolly says the word than it is for us to phonetically transcribe the word with complete confidence that we know what we are hearing in terms of the right phonetic symbols to use.  

This word does not appear in the Milluk texts.  It is also not in Jacobs’ slip-file dictionary, and can’t be found in PDFs that we have of Milluk phrases and sentences that Jacobs got from Annie Miner Peterson.