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Natchez Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Natchez pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
a∙  a, aa, a:  a Like the a in father, only held longer.
e    e Like Spanish e, somewhat like the a in Kate.
e∙  e, ee, e:  e Like the a in Kate, only held longer.
i    i Like the i in police.
i∙  i, ii, i:  i Like the i in police, only held longer.
o    o Like the o in note.
o∙  o, oo, o:  o Like the o in note, only held longer.
u    u Like the u in flute.
u∙  u, uu, u:  u Like the u in flute, only held longer.

Natchez Nasal Vowels

Nasal vowels don't 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."

Note that before the consonant sound ñ, vowels are always nasalized.
Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
an    ã
en    
in    ĩ
on    õ
un    ũ

Natchez Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Natchez pronunciation:
c  sh, s, š   Like sh in shy.
h    h Like h in hay.
k  g  k Like the soft k in sky.
kw  gw  kw~kw Like the qu in square.
l    l Like l in light.
ł  L, 'l  ł This sound is a lateral fricative that doesn't really exist in English. The Natchez 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.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
p  b  p Like the soft p in spy.
t  d  t Like the soft t in star.
tc  ts, ch, dz, c  ts~t Like ts in cats or tch in catch.
w   w Like w in way.
x  h  x Like the raspy j in Spanish jalapeño.
y    j Like y in yes.
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Natchez Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Natchez Indian words
   Natchez animals
   Natchez body
   Gulf Coast languages
   Southeastern Native Americans
   Louisiana Indians

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