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Koasati Pronunciation and Spelling Guide (Coushatta)

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

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Koasati pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
a:  aa, a·  a Like the a in father, only held longer.
e    e Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in gate.
i    I Like the i in pit.
i:  ii, i·  i Like the i in police.
o    o Like the o in note.
o:  oo, o·  o Like the o in note, only held longer.
u  oo  u Like the u in flute.
u:  uu, u·  u Like the u in flute, only held longer.

Koasati Nasal Vowels

Nasal vowels don't really 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."

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
ą  an, an, a  ã
į  in, in, i  ĩ
 on, on, o  õ

Koasati Consonants

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Koasati pronunciation:
b    b Like b in bill.
c  ch, č  t ~ ts Like ch in chair or ts in tsunami.
d    d Like d in day.
f  fh  Φ This sound does not exist in English. It is pronounced by narrowing your lips and blowing through them, as if you were playing a flute.
h    h Like h in English hay.
k    kh Like k in kite.
l    l Like l in light.
ł  th, lh, hl  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 m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
p    ph Like p in pie.
s  š  s ~ Like s in sing or sh in show.
t    th Like t in tie.
w   w Like w in way.
y  i  j Like y in yes.
 ?, h   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Koasati Double Consonants

When a Koasati word is spelled with double letters, like híssi (hair) or mikkó (chief), the consonant must be pronounced with double length. For an English speaker, the easiest way to pronounce a consonant with double length is to imagine a word break between the two consonants. The s sounds in "dress suit" are pronounced like the ones in híssi, and the kc sounds in "book-case" are pronounced like the ones in mikkó.

Coushatta Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Coushatta vocabulary
   Coushatta animals
   Coushatta body parts
   Coushatta colors
   Coushatta numbers
   Coushatta alphabet
   Koasati alphabet and phonology
   Languages of the Southeast
   Tribes in Louisiana
   Coushatta stories

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