Volume 2, Issue 4 (2008) Pp. 1–9.
- Father Morice's Rendering of Latin in Carrier Syllabics
- by William J. Poser
Father Adrien-Gabriel Morice, O.M.I., missionary in Fort Saint
James, British Columbia from 1885 to 1904, published three
editions of a Carrier Prayer Book, consisting mostly of prayers,
hymns, and catechism lessons which he had translated into the
Carrier language. All three editions also contain a number of
Latin hymns. In the first two editions, both the Carrier text and
the Latin hymns are written in the “Dene syllabics”
Father Morice's adaptation of the Cree syllabics for Carrier.
The rendering of these hymns in syllabics is rather peculiar, not
what one would expect from a straightforward transliteration of
either the Classical or the Italianate Church Latin pronounciation.
For example, most instances of Latin <u> are rendered /i/.
The syllabic text can be explained only by assuming that the
Latin was pronounced in the French manner and then further
adapted to the phonology of Carrier. In two respects this adaptation deviates
from the actual pattern of adaptation of loans, suggesting that
that the adaptation of the hymns was dictated in some respects by Father Morice's
ideas about Carrier phonology rather than by actual Carrier practice.
Article [PDF file] (383 Kb)
High-resolution (1200 dpi) images of the prayerbook text. Click to open in a new window.