Back in 2015, I took a course in being an ally for local Native American communities from the Portland Underground Grad School (PUGS). One action that was suggested during the course was learning the local language, but it proved difficult to find opportunities. When the pandemic forced school closures, though, Lane Community College began offering classes online. I found out about this thanks to the excellent Kaltash Wawa blog, and this fall I signed up to take a remote Chinuk Wawa class through Lane Community College.
What is Chinuk Wawa?
Keyman for Linux
Emacs Input Methods
ipa-x-sampa, as it seemed to have the best coverage of symbols needed by Chinuk Wawa. However, it was missing a way to input the very important character “x̣”, which was needed by one of the very first words I learned, “yax̣al”!
I added the following code to my startup file to remedy this. This adds the ability to type x_. to get x̣ and ?/ to get ?, both of which make typing Chinuk Wawa much easier for me.
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(defun chinuk-wawa-quail-rules () "Add Chinuk Wawa rules to the `ipa-x-sampa` input map." (interactive) (if (string-equal "ipa-x-sampa" (quail-name)) (quail-define-rules ((append . t)) ("_." #x0323) ;; allows for x with dot beneath ("?/" "?")) ;; allows for ? character )) (add-hook 'quail-activate-hook 'chinuk-wawa-quail-rules)
As you can see, this method allows plenty of additional characters to be added to
ipa-x-sampa, so if it turns out I missed anything or am annoyed by any other side effects of this input method, I can expand on it later.
The biggest downside of this is that I can only input Chinuk Wawa easily in Emacs, but since I do most of my work there—including writing this blog post—it doesn’t feel that bad to me. It’s definitely better than typing QWERTY!