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Cayapa Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Cayapa alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Cayapa 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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Cayapa Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Cayapa pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
e    e Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in gate.
i    i Like the i in police.
i  i  i This sound does not exist in English. It sounds like the i in police only pronounced further back in the mouth. If you've ever heard a Slavic language like Russian or Polish being spoken, it is the same "dark i" sound from those languages.
u    u Like the u in flute.

Cayapa Nasal Vowels

Nasal vowels don't 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."

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
ã  â ã
 ê
ĩ  î ĩ
ĩ  î ĩ
ũ  û ũ

Cayapa Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Cayapa pronunciation:
b  p  b Like b in boy.
ch  ĉ  t Like the ch in child.
d  t  d Like the d in day.
dy    dy Like the di in adieu.
f    f Like the f in far.
g  gu, k  g Like the g in girl.
h  j, x  h ~ x Like h in hay. Sometimes it is pronounced more raspily, like the j in Spanish jalapeño.
j  J, ch  d Like j in jar.
k  c, qu  k Like the k in king.
kw  qu  kw ~ kw Like the qu in queen.
l    l Like the l in light.
ll  ł  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 the m in moon.
n    n Like the n in night.
ñ  ny  ny Like the ny in canyon.
p    p Like the p in pin.
r  t   Like the r in Spanish pero, somewhat like the tt in American English butter.
s    s Like s in sun.
sh  ŝ   Like sh in shy.
t    t Like the t in time.
ts    ts Like the ts in cats.
ty    ty Like the ty in Katya.
v  p, b  v Like v in vine.
w  hu  w Like w in way.
y    j Like y in yes.
z    z Like z in zoo.
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Cayapa Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Cayapa words
   Barbacoan

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