Sami again

Sandra O'donnell USG
Wed, 20 Feb 2002 15:24:20 -0500

>For what it is worth, as a linguist and a lexicographer, I
>find Michael Everson's arguments about the term "Sami" very

. . .
>Regarding the pronunciation issue, I don't see "Saami" as any
>significant pronunciation help to the naive English user over
>"Sami". . .
>And in addition to the easy (and correct) pronunciation
>analog in "swami", there is a very widely known language name
>which also provides a correct analog: "Yahi".

I have no strong feelings on this topic, but I do think you it's
important to realize that what linguists think is "very widely
known" doesn't always match what the rest of us regular folks 
think. I've never heard of "Yahi," but it apparently is a language
from a Northern California Native American tribe (that's what I
gleaned after a quick Google search). I doubt anyone except a
linguist would think this name is widely known.

On the other hand, if you put the name "Sami" in front of a random
group of people without context, some might think it refers to the
language, others to the Science and Math Initiative (though that
would usually be written SAMI), and some to a popular character on
a U.S. daytime soap opera (which -- honest -- I haven't watched in
YEARS, but I know she's still on :-) ). 

Context is important, as are assumptions about what is widely known.

		-- Sandra
Sandra Martin O'Donnell
Compaq Computer Corporation