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Lushootseed Pronunciation and Spelling Guide (Puget Sound Salish)

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Lushootseed pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
ə  e, u  ə ~ Like the a in about or the u in cut .
i  e  i ~ e Like the i in police. In some dialects it is pronounced like the e in they.
ii  i:  i Like i only held longer.
u o, oo u ~ o Like the u in tune or the o in tone.

Lushootseed Diphthongs

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Lushootseed pronunciation:
aw    aw Like ow in cow.
ay ai  aj Like English eye.
əw aw  əw Similar to ow in cow, only deeper in the throat. In some dialects this sound is the same as aw.
iw ew  iw Similar to ew in mew.

Lushootseed Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Lushootseed pronunciation:
b    b Like b in boy.
c  ts  ts Like ts in tsunami.
c'  , t  t Like ts, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
č  ch  t Like ch in child.
č'  ch', t  t Like ch, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
d    d Like d in day.
dz  dz, ds  dz Like ds in Edsel.
g    g Like g in gate.
gw  gw  gw Like gw in Gwen.
h    h Like h in English hay.
ǰ  j  d Like j in jar.
k    k Like k in king.
k'     Like k, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
kw    kw Like the qu in queen.
k'w    w Like qu, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
l    l Like l in light.
l'     Like l, only glottalized (pronounced with a slight catch of air.)
ł  ɬ, hl, lh, thl  ł This sound is a lateral fricative that doesn't really exist in English. The Lushootseed pronunciation 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. Some Lushootseed speakers pronounced this sound more like "thl" or "shl."
 ƛ', tł, tl, £  ƛ' Somewhat like the ttle in little, but with a glottalized pop of air.
m    m Like m in moon.
m'     Like m, only glottalized (pronounced with a slight catch of air.)
n    n Like n in night.
n'     Like n, only glottalized (pronounced with a slight catch of air.)
p    p Like p in pain.
p'     Like p, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
q    q Like English k, only pronounced further back in the throat.
q'     Like q, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
qw  qw  qw Like the qu in queen, only pronounced further back in the throat.
q'w  qw'  w Like the qw, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
s    s Like s in sing.
š  sh   Like sh in shy.
t    t Like t in tie.
t'     Like t, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
w   w Like w in way.
w'   Like w, only glottalized (pronounced with a slight catch of air.)
xw  xw, hw  xw Soft sound like blowing out a candle.
 x, , X  X Raspy sound like the ch in German ach.
w  xw, w  Xw Like ch in German ach, only pronounced with rounded lips.
y    j Like y in yes.
y'     Like y, only glottalized (pronounced with a slight catch of air.)
ʔ  ', ?   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Capitalization

Lushootseed, like most Salishan languages, does not typically use capital letters in its orthography. However, you will sometimes see Puget Sound Salish people use them anyway, particularly for proper names (such as "Si'ał" for Chief Seattle.)

Lushootseed Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Lushootseed words
   Tulalip Lushootseed Alphabet
   Salishan languages
   Northwest Coast Indians
   Puget Sound Salish mythology

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