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The Houma and Choctaw people spoke very closely related languages. Houma was evidently so similar to Choctaw that speakers of the two languages could understand each other easily, so most linguists consider Houma to have been a dialect of Choctaw. Since Houma is no longer natively spoken, it is impossible to be sure of this one way or the other. Here are a list of Choctaw words compared to Houma words collected in the early 1900's. Most of the differences seem to be related to spelling. The Houma words use "tc" to represent a sound like the "tch" in "itch," while modern Choctaw orthography uses "ch." Choctaw uses a "v" character to represent a short "uh" sound as in "cut," except at the end of a word where an "a" is used. The people who recorded Houma seem to have used "a" and "u" indiscriminately to represent the "uh" sound. Since English uses the same vowel for more than one sound, missionaries and other English speakers writing down Indian words were often rather careless about recording vowel sounds. It's likely that the Houma word recorded as "totcenu" was pronounced very similar to, if not the same as, Choctaw "tuchina."
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