Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How do you spell Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug?

The Algonkian language family includes most First Nations languages in the boreal forest region of Canada, from the Atlantic Coast pretty much to the Rockies. Speakers of these languages build compound words (like German does, say) as a basic part of their syntax.

So all those syllables in the heading above? They are just the combining of what we English-speakers would consider several words into one compound word. I understand "Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug" means "the people who live at the big lake with the trout in it." And Ontario maps would locate these people's community at "Big Trout Lake," about 650 k north of Thunder Bay, in the James Bay lowlands. Still, you can see why they get "KI" a lot.

Anyway, that's by way of introduction to my column about the KI-Platinex controversy in Law Times. You can read it in the digital edition at http://www.lawtimesnews.com/ now.
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