Sámi dieđalaš áigečála 1-2011 ja 2-2012: Ole Henrik Magga

Johan Turi čállin

Ole Henrik Magga (Sámi allaskuvla)

Viečča artihkkala dás (pdf).

The Orthography of Johan Turi

When Johan Turi became a writer, there were few models for how he should handle the challenge of writing words on paper. Turi himself had never been taught to read or write in school. His main language was Sami as spoken in Guovdageaidnu and he also knew Finnish quite well, but spoke neither Swedish nor Norwegian. Although we do not know exactly what kind of books Turi may have read in Sami, it seems evident that he did not start from scratch. His use of letters and spelling points to the fact that he had some basic knowledge of the translations of N. V. Stockfleth and J. A. Friis.

The words flow quite freely from his pen without much thought of sentence structure or spelling rules. This analysis of his spelling shows that his use of letters and his writing of initial consonants is obviously influenced by both Sami orthography and Finnish spelling rules. In other parts of the words, the spelling is mostly based on his own phonetic analysis and only in the endings do the Sami spelling rules from his time seem to play a certain role. Turi’s writing is far from phonological and consistent. It was never read by Sami speaking readers as it was written, but it could have been provided that the reader has some basic familiarity with (western) North Sami.