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Apalachee Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Apalachee alphabet page! The Apalachee language has not been spoken for centuries, and the vocabulary lists on our website come from 17th-century Spanish records. The orthography, therefore, resembles Spanish more than English or linguistic notation. Here is a general pronunciation guide:

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Apalachee Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Apalachee pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
i    I ~ i Like the i in pit or the i in police.
o    o ~ Like the o in note or the u in put.

Apalachee Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Apalachee pronunciation:
b  v, u  b Like b in bill.
c  k, qu, q, g  kh Like k in kite.
ch  c, č  t Like ch in chair.
f    f ~ φ Like the f in English fair. It was probably originally pronounced bilabially, without touching the upper teeth to the lower lip.
gu  w w Like w in way.
h  g  h Like h in English hay.
l    l Like l in light.
lz  ł, lh, hl  ł This sound is a lateral fricative that doesn't really exist in English. It sounds like the "ll" in the Welsh name "Llewellyn." Some English speakers can pronounce it well if they try to pronounce the "breathy l" in the word clue without the c in front of it.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
p    ph Like p in pie.
s    s Like s in sing.
t    th Like t in tie.
y  i  j Like y in yes.

Apalachee Long Vowels

Like other Muskogean languages, Apalachee had a distinction between long and short vowels (a long vowel was simply held longer than a short one, without the quality of the vowel changing.) However, the Spanish orthography used to record the language failed to note this distinction. Linguists can make good guesses as to which vowels were long and which were short based on other, closely related Muskogean languages, and you will sometimes see Apalachee long vowels marked with a colon to show their length (i.e. to:lo, "two," which was only recorded as tolo by the Spanish.)

Apalachee Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Native Languages of the Southeastern United States
   Apalachee Indian words
   Muscogean languages
   Apalachee
   Southeastern languages
   Native Americans of Florida

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