Wiktionary:About Klamath-Modoc

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This page explains conventions provisionally adopted for Klamath-Modoc entries. It complements Wiktionary's other policies.


On a provisional basis, Wiktionary largely follows the spelling system used by the Klamath Tribes on their webpage about the language,[1] with a few modifications. This system is in turn heavily based on that used by Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker in his study of the language. This is not intended to establish long-term rules on how to write Klamath-Modoc; it is merely an expedient measure in the absence of established rules.

In particular:

  • The letters ʔ and ɢ are adopted from the IPA letters ⟨ʔ⟩ and ⟨ɢ⟩ to represent the phonemes /ʔ/ and /ɢ/. While the Klamath Tribes use ? and G respectively, and while Barker used , it is believed that ʔ and ɢ would appear instead if these letters were easy to type.
  • Ejective consonants are represented by the base consonant followed by a combining comma above: p̓ t̓ c̓ k̓ q̓ m̓ n̓ w̓ l̓ y̓. This emulates Barker's system. The Klamath Tribes represent ejective sounds with an apostrophe after the base consonant (p' t' c' k' q' m' n' w' l' y'), but it is believed that the former would be preferred if it were easier to type with a conventional keyboard.
  • Following both the Klamath Tribes and Barker, voiceless sonorants are represented with capital letters M N W L Y.
  • Double vowels indicate longer vowel length: aa ee ii oo. This conforms to the Klamath Tribes' practice, but diverges from Barker's use of dots (a· e· i· o·).

Format of entries[edit]

Klamath-Modoc entries list the following items, in this order:

  • Alternative forms attested in Barker's and Gatschet's works, representing the original typography as closely as possible.
  • The etymology.
  • The word and its definition(s).
  • Relevant usage notes.
  • Relevant "see also" links.
  • References.
  • The template {{LDL|kla}}, due to the fact that Klamath-Modoc is an extinct language with no known literature, and its words have very few, if any, examples of actual usage.