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Comanche Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Comanche pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
aa    a Like a only held longer.
e    e Like Spanish e, similar to the a in gate.
ee    e Like e only held longer.
i    i Like the i in police.
ii    i Like i only held longer.
o    o Like the o in note.
oo    o Like o only held longer.
u   u Like the u in flute.
uu    u Like u only held longer.
u  i, e, y ə Like the a in about.
uu  ii, yy  ə Like u only held longer.

Comanche Voiceless Vowels

Voiceless vowels (also known as whispered vowels) don't exist in English. If you've ever heard spoken Japanese, the soft breathy 'u' in the middle of names like Asuka or Satsuki is an example of a voiceless vowel. Pronouncing a syllable with a voiceless vowel as if you were stage-whispering that syllable (but not the other syllables around it) will help you say it correctly.

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
a    
e    
i    
o    
u    
u    

Comanche Diphthongs

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Comanche pronunciation:
ai ay  aj Like English eye.
oi  oy  oj Like the oy in boy.

Comanche Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Comanche pronunciation:
b  v  β Bilabial v as in Spanish navidad. It resembles an English v sound but is pronounced between the two lips instead of with the top teeth against your lip.
h  j  h Like h in hay.
k  g, c, qu  k Like the soft k in sky.
kw  qu, cu kw ~ kw Like qu in English square.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
p  b  p Like the soft p in spy.
r     Like the tt in English butter.
s    s Like s in see.
t  d  t Like the soft t in star.
ts  tz, ch  ts Like ts in cats.
w  u w Like w in way.
y    j Like y in yes.
 , ?   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Comanche Stress

Comanche has less pronounced word stress than English does. In English, unstressed vowels are often weakened to schwas, which makes the stress sound very strong. (An example of this is the word "rebel." When "rebel" is a noun, the stress is on the first syllable and the word is pronounced REH-bəl. When "rebel" is a verb, the stress is on the second syllable and the word is pronounced rə-BELL.) But in Comanche, all vowels are pronounced fully regardless of stress. If you weaken an unstressed vowel to a schwa you will often change the meaning of the word, so be careful not to do this!

Although stress is less pronounced than it is in English, it is still present. Generally speaking, the stress is on the first syllable of a Comanche word. When the stress falls in a different place, it is usually marked with an acute accent like á or ó, as in Spanish.

Comanche Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Comanche words
   Comanche picture dictionary
   Comanche body parts
   Comanche colors
   Comanche alphabet and sounds
   Uto-Aztecan languages
   Plains Indian language
   Tribes of Texas

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