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Carijona Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Carijona alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Carijona orthography we have used on our site, as well as some alternate spellings that you may find in other books and websites.

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Carijona Vowels

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Carijona pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
e  ee  e ~ ε Like the a in gate or the e in get.
i  ii  i Like the i in police.
ï  y, I ~ ə This sound does not exist in English. It sounds like the i in bit pronounced further back in the mouth, or like the u in but pronounced higher in the mouth. This typical Cariban vowel also exists in the Turkish language (the undotted ı), and you can hear what it sounds like at this excellent Turkish site. In Carijona, this vowel sound is sometimes pronounced like the a in about instead.
o  oo  o ~ Like o in note. Sometimes it is pronounced more like the au in naughty.
u  uu  u Like u in flute. In an unstressed syllable, especially at the end of a word, it is sometimes pronounced more like the u in put.

Carijona Nasal Vowels

Nasal vowels don't really exist in English, but you may be familiar with them from French (or from hearing people speak English with a French accent.) They are pronounced just like oral ("regular") vowels, only using your nose as well as your mouth. To English speakers, a nasal vowel often sounds like a vowel with a half-pronounced "n" at the end of it. You can hear examples of nasal vowels at the end of the French words "bon" and "Jean," or in the middle of the word "Français."

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
ã  ą, añ  ã
 ę, eñ  
õ  , oñ  õ
ũ  ų, uñ  ũ

Carijona Diphthongs

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Carijona pronunciation:
ai ay  aj Like English eye.
au    aw Like ow in cow.
oi oy  j Like oy in English boy.

Carijona Consonants

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Carijona pronunciation:
b    b Like b in boy.
ch    t Like ch in cheese.
d    d Like d in day.
g    g Like g in good.
h  j  h ~ k Like h in hay. Before consonants, this sound is pronounced raspier, like the j in Spanish jalapeño.
j    d Like j in jar.
k  c, qu  k Like the soft k sound in English ski.
kw  qu  kw Like qu in queen.
l  r, l   Similar to the ll in English bellow, only pronounced more quickly (so that the tongue only flaps once against the top of the mouth.)
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ñ    n Like ny in canyon.
p    p Like the soft p in spin.
s    s Like the s in sun.
t    t Like the soft t in star.
v  b  β Like v but pronounced between the lips, as in Spanish navidad.
w  hu  w Like w in way.
y    j ~ dj Like y in yes. Sometimes it is pronounced more like the "dy" sound in French adieu.
z    z Like the z in zoo.
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Carijona Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Carijona words
   Carijona picture dictionary
   The Carib languages

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