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."
In any event, here are the vocabulary words:
Houma/Choctaw Word Set
Click here to see Choctaw vocabulary words compared to words in related Muskogean languages:Muskogean Indian Words