I am currently working with Salvadoran Nawat, an endangered language that has never had a standardized orthography due to being primarily oral. As part of the revitalization process, we need to standardize an orthography for this language. However, we are not sure if we should represent phonemes or phones in the orthography. For instance, in cases where two consecutive /k/ phonemes occur as in /kk/, the pronunciation in Nawat actually entails aspiration of the first k, resulting in [hk]. Consequently, a word like /nutsakka/ is articulated as [nutsahka], should we write it as nutzakka or nutzahka? Similarly, when /n/ precedes /p/, as in /senpa/, the articulation in Nawat is [sempa]. Should we write senpa or sempa in such instances?
In the context of revitalizing endangered languages that have primarily been oral, should orthographies represent phonemes or phones? How do we address the issue of phonemic vs. phonetic orthographical representation in cases where there are differences in pronunciation such as the example of /kk/ becoming [hk] in Salvadoran Nawat?