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Matlatzinca Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Matlatzinca pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
aa  a:  a Like a only held longer.
e    e Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in gate.
ee  e:  e Like e only held longer.
ë  ä  ə Like the a in about.
ëë  ë:, ää  ə Like ë only held longer.
i    i Like the i in police.
o    o Like the o in note.
u   u Like the u in flute.
ü  i, +  i Somewhat like the u in lettuce... like i but further back in the throat.

Matlatzinca Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Matlatzinca pronunciation:
b    b Like the b in boy.
ch  ch  t Like ch in chair.
d    d Like the d in day.
h  j  h Like h in hay.
j    x Raspy sound like the j in the Spanish word jalapeño.
k  c, qu  k Like the k in key.
ku  kw, cu kw ~ kw Like qu in English queen.
l    l Like l in light.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ñ    ny Like Spanish ñ, somewhat like ny in canyon.
p    p Like the p in pie.
r     Like the r in Spanish pero, somewhat like the tt in American English butter.
s  z, c  s Like the s in sun.
t    t Like the t in tell.
tz  ts  ts Like ts in cats.
w  hu  w Like w in way.
x  sh   Like sh in shell.
y    j Like y in yes.
z    z Like z in zoo).
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Matlatzinca Tones

Matlatzinca is a tone language. Some syllables are pronounced with higher pitch than others. In English, the last syllable of a question is pronounced with high pitch, so you can hear the difference between sentences like "You see a man." and "You see a man?" In Matlatzinca, such high and low tones are used in nearly every word, giving the language a lively sound.

There are two tones in Matlatzinca, high tone and low tone. High tones are usually marked with an acute accent, like this:

a low tone
á high tone

Matlatzinca Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Matlatzinca words
   Matlatzinca picture dictionary
   Matlatzinca body words
   Oto Manguean languages
   Mexican Natives

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