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Gros Ventre Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Gros Ventre alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Gros Ventre spellings we have used on our site, as well as some alternate spellings that you may find in other books and websites. You may also like to visit our Algonquian homepage to see how Gros Ventre relates to other languages from the Algonquian family.

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At the time of this writing, there is no official alphabet or orthography used by the Gros Ventre tribe. Those who are working to preserve and revitalize Gros Ventre have been concentrating on the spoken language, and most people just write words out as they hear them (i.e. not always in the same way.) If the tribe chooses an official writing system, we will change our website to reflect that. Until then, we are using an orthography based on the one used by the Arapaho tribe, whose language is extremely similar to Gros Ventre.

Gros Ventre Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Gros Ventre pronunciation:
e    ε Like the e in bed.
ee  e:  ε ~ æ Similar to the a in bad, only held longer.
i    I Like the i in sick.
ii  i:  i Like the ee in seek, only held longer.
o  a ~ ə Like the au in caught. When unaccented, it often sounds like the a in about.
oo  o:, a: Like the au in caught, only held longer.
u   Like the u in put.
uu  u: u Like the u in flute, only held longer.

Gros Ventre Diphthongs

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: How To Pronounce It:
ei  ey  ej Like ay in English say.
oe  ai, ay  aj Like English eye.
ou  o, ow  ow Like ow in English show.

Gros Ventre Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Gros Ventre pronunciation:
b  p  b ~ p Like b in bill. At the end of a word or before a voiceless consonant, it is pronounced like the p in spill instead.
c  ts  ts Like ts in tsunami.
č  tc, dj, ch, j  t Like ch in chair.
h    h Like h in hay.
k  g  k Like the k in skate.
ky  k'  kj Like the ky sound in cute.
n    n Like n in English night.
s  sh, c  s Like s in English sing.
t  d  t Like the t in star.
ty  t', dj  tj Like the ty in Katya.
w   w Like w in English way.
y    j Like y in English yes.
 ?,   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."
3  θ, th  θ Like th in English think.

Men's and Women's Speech

In the past, Gros Ventre men and women used different pronunciation for some words. In words where men used the sounds č or ty, women would use the sounds k or ky. This gender distinction has not been preserved among younger learners of the language.

Gros Ventre Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Gros Ventre words
   Algonquian language family
   Indian tribes of Montana

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