An 1860 English-Hopi Vocabulary Written in the Deseret Alphabet
Place Published: Salt Lake City, UT
Publisher: University of Utah Press
Date Published: 2015
Edition: First edition
Book Id: 43601
161 pp. Octavo [23 cm]; illustrated covers.
From the publisher: "In 1859 Brigham Young sent two Mormon missionaries to live among the Hopi, "reduce their dialect to a written language," and then teach it to the Hopi so that they would be able to read the Book of Mormon in their own tongue. Young also instructed the men to teach the Hopi the Deseret alphabet, a phonemic system that he was promoting in place of the traditional Latin alphabet. While the Deseret alphabet faded out of use in just over twenty years, the manuscript penned by one of the missionaries has remained in existence. For decades it sat unidentified in the archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints—a mystery document having no title, author, or date. But authors Beesley and Elzinga have now traced the manuscript's origin to those missionaries of 1859 and decoded its Hopi-English vocabulary written in the short-lived Deseret alphabet. The resulting book offers a fascinating mix of linguistics, Mormon history, and Native American studies."