Michael Everson
Mon, 18 Feb 2002 17:51:52 +0000

At 12:45 -0500 2002-02-18, <> wrote:
>  > Most Samis live in Norway. In Norway, the Germanic language there
>>  borrowed the word S=E1pmi, S=E1mi, as "same" with an adjective "samisk".
>>  In Finland, where there are not very many Sami speakers compared to
>>  Norway, particular orthographic practices of that language write long
>>  vowels with double letters, hence "saami".
>I don't know how much the relative number of Sami speakers in 
>Finland contributed to the spelling; my guess is that the "long 
>vowel -> double vowel" rule was much stronger in this case.  Any 
>kind of diacritics very rarely survive when words are "finnishized" 
>(made to agree with Finnish ortography) (In fact, I can't think of 
>any examples right now where the diacritics would survive, but I'm 
>certain there are counterexamples...)

But the point is that -aa- is unnecessary in English. Sami rhymes 
with swami. Saami looks bad in English, and there's really no 
motivation to prefer it.
Michael Everson *** Everson Typography ***