Could you please provide not only your reference for the misspelling comment but also an in depth explanation for the reasoning to support it. In practice, I believe I have always heard hózhó said with a guttural sound either on the second vowel or both but, I wouldn't say that without the guttural sound is definitively incorrect. Additionally, based on the word as used today, a case could be made as to whether two "o"s should be used at the end of the word since when spoken the second vowel is most of the time sounded out longer.
First, just because some college or even Navajo website poorly puts into print a language that until recently was only a spoken language, does not mean other derivatives are misspellings. In fact, if the person that made that comment did a thorough analysis of the language from the different parts of the Navajo reservation and in depth review of the different literature written throughout history, they would come to two major realizations:
- One - The Navajo language has had many interpretations concerning how to write the language using the English alphabet and if such work was undertaken these days, many of the symbols used to represent sounds made for other languages would provide a more accurate representation of the Navajo pronunciation.
- Two - Attempting to use said poorly English alphabet translated words would result in a poorly sounded language. (example: the word for water in Navajo can be seen written two ways, ( tó or tó' ), but, I have generally heard it said as the second. However, neither spelling will get you to the proper pronunciation. A more accurate spelling would be ( twó' ) but not said the way Americans say the word. The lip movement associated with the "tw" sound in the word "twig" would assist in a more accurate pronunciation. The rules provided in saying Navajo words do not account for this and accurately representing these sounds has yet to be seen.) You can hear the water word said correctly in the middle of this broken down word for ocean. - http://navajowotd.com/post/18182447435/tonteel
Concerning this hózhó word, please listen to the sound bite on the webpage for Hózhó. You will hear the guttural sound utilized for the second vowel. In fact, in this example, the speaker shortens the second vowel justifying an apostrophe after said vowel. - http://www.colorado.edu/religiousstudies/TheStrip/features/Navajo/hozho.htm
- I think what you call the gutteral sound is actually nasalization (chį́į́shtah diitsʼaʼígíí). The last o is nasalized. On the webpage for Hózhó, it is pronounced hózhǫ́ (nasalized). The reason that ǫ is often written as o is because of the earlier difficulty of writing ǫ. Today there are Navajo keyboards readily available, and it is now easy to write ǫ. There are numerous references available, including the Navajo-English Dictionary (Leon Wall & William Morgan), A Navajo/English Bilingual Dictionary (Alyse Neundorf), page 376, and The Navajo Language, A Grammar and Colloquial Dictionary (Young and Morgan). Also, when a suffix that begins with a vowel is appended to hózhǫ́, the nasalization becomes a full n: hózhóní, hózhóoniísh ... that would not happen if the word really was hózhó. If the correct spelling were hózhó, then derivations would be like hózhóhí. If it ended in a glottal stop, then derivations would be like hózhóʼí.
- As to whether it is spelled with one o or two, it depends on what follows. For example, the adverbial suffix -go requires that the vowel be lengthened: hózhǫ́ǫgo; Díí bee nihitsijįʼ hózhǫ́ǫ dooleeł; Háíshąʼ doo bił hózhǫ́ǫ da? Compare the word for summer, shį́...the vowel has to be lengthened in shį́įgo, shį́į́dą́ą́ʼ, etc.; or the word ákótʼé (as a single word), but lengthened in ákótʼéego, ákótʼéegi, doo ákótʼée da.
- Before World War II, tó was usually spelled "txwó". It was decided that the x and w were not needed, since "-to-" or "-tó-" always has that sound. It is inherent to the phoneme and so it does not need to be explicitly written. As for a final glottal stop, it depends. The possessed form of a word is often different from the simple form, and the possessed form of tó is bitoʼ. You can hear the pronunciation on our own pages at hózhǫ́, tónteel, and tó. —Stephen (Talk) 20:27, 1 March 2014 (UTC)