O'odham Ñeok (Language)

Although O'odham is a spoken langauge, there have been many different attempts to use different orthographies by persons attempting to write the language. Different language scientists (Linguists) developed spelling systems loosely based on the English ortography and have had issues with pronunciation and usage.

In the past, the symbols (letters) were limited to what was available on a standard typewriter which is why the Mathiot method (one of the first O'odham dictionaires) and the Saxton-Saxton-Enos method (a different O'odham dictionary) were developed. In the early 1970's, the Alvarez-Hale method was developed. At the time fonts were limited to what was available on standard typewriters which is why special characters for Ḍḍ,Ṣṣ, Ññ, and the ŋ were created by typing the letters d and s backspacing and placing a dot under the d or s, blending the letters n and g for ŋ, backspacing and typing in a tilde over the n for ñ.

The Tohono O'odham Nation officially adopted the Alvarez-Hale method and is the orthography used on the Tohono O'odham Nation and Salt-River Indian Community. The Gila River Indian Community and Ak-Chin Indian communities both utilize the Saxton-Saxton-Enos orthography. The different orthographies used in O'odham country is one of the main reasons that there does not exist a consistent spelling system of O'odham words.

Check out some of the Oʼodham language Related tools we have organized for you. Simply click on one of the links below for more details:

O'odham Language Pronunciation  |   O'odham Language Fonts
O'odham Language Keyboards  |   O'odham Language Dictionaries