Heiltsuk is a northern Wakashan language spoken mid-way up the Pacific coast of British Columbia.
The writing system presented here is based on the practical orthography as shown in Rath 1981. It is currently used in Kitasoo and Bella Bella, with several modifications (shown at the Bella Bella Community School page). The main differences are shown below in the charts, with Rath’s orthography in parenthesis. It appears from the Heiltsuk Nation website, that this is the official standard. It is a compromise of sorts between the linguistic and B.C.-style practical orthographies. Some its most notable features are: using ‹v› as a diacritic for rounded velars and uvulars, the caron accent ˇ where other B.C. languages use the underline, and the complex forms of vocalic nasals (e.g. ṃ̓).
Note: There are several Roman Orthography conventions on this site that may require further explanation. On the charts below, there is lots of phonetic terminology that may not be familiar to everyone.
Bella Bella - Waglisla
|bilabial||alveolar||alveolar affricate||lateral||velar (y-offglide)||rounded velar||uvular||rounded uvular||glottal|
|voiced stop||b||d||z||λ (dh)||g||gv||ǧ||ǧv||’ǎ / ’|
|voiceless stop||p||t||c||ƛ (th)||k||kv||q||qv|
|ejective stop||p̓||t̓||c̓||ƛ̓ (t̓h)||k̓||k̓v||q̓||q̓v|
|voiceless fricative||s||ł (lh)||x||xv||x̌||x̌v|
|nasal / resonant||m||n||l||y||w||h|
|glottalised nasal / resonant||m̓||n̓||l̓||y̓||w̓||h̓|
|syllabic nas. / res.||ṃ||ṇ||ḷ|
|syllabic stressed n/r||ṃ́||ṇ́||ḷ́|
|syllabic glottalised n/r||ṃ̓||ṇ̓||ḷ̓|
|high||i í i̓||u ú u̓|
|low||a á a̓|