“I really didn’t think it would be this hard,” said Teara Farrow Ferman, manager of cultural resource programs for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. “I didn’t think that we would still be disputing this after so much time.”
The county agreed to change most of the names, but it would not accept the Indian names proposed by the tribes.
Officials protested that some of the name changes proposed by Native Americans — like Sáykiptatpa and Nikéemex — were too hard to pronounce, prompting the tribes to create an interactive pronunciation guide.
“Seriously, can you pronounce them?” asked Mr. Britton, the county commissioner. “It’s a safety issue. Someone making a 911 call has to say the location, and the dispatcher has to understand and repeat it to the sheriff.”
A semi-academic linguistics blog about Sinotibetan, previously focused primarily on Wú, a Sinitic language spoken in the Yangtze Delta region. Topics now include historical linguistics, documentation, language rights, sociolinguistics and learning materials, as well as acting as the dev blog for Phonemica from time to time.
I'm a linguist based in Asia, working on documentation and historical development of Sinotibetan. In addition to academic research, I'm heavily involved in Phonemica, an organisation that promotes crowd-sourced preservation of local languages.
I'm currently in the field, so getting in touch isn't easy. However you can try to email me at the following address and I'll respond as soon as I'm able:email@example.com