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Pemon Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Pemon pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
e  ee  e ~ ε Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in gate. In an unstressed syllable it is often pronounced more like the e in get.
i  ii  i Like the i in police.
ï  y, i i This sound does not exist in English. It sounds like the i in police only pronounced further back in the mouth. If you've ever heard a Slavic language like Russian or Polish being spoken, it is the same "dark i" sound from those languages.
o  oo  o~ Like o in note. Sometimes it is pronounced more like the au in naughty.
ö   ø ~ ə Somewhat like the ay in say, only pronounced with rounded lips. This is the same ö sound used in German. In an unstressed syllable it is often pronounced more like the a in about.
u    u Like u in flute.

Pemon Diphthongs

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Pemon pronunciation:
ai ay  aj Like English eye.
au    aw Like ow in cow.
ei  ey  ej Like ay in say.
oi oy  j Like oy in English boy.

Pemon Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Pemon pronunciation:
ch    t Like ch in cheese.
k  c, qu  k Like the soft k sound in English ski.
kw  qu  kw Like qu in queen.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ñ    n Like ny in canyon.
ng    ŋ Like ng in sing.
p    p Like the soft p in spin.
r  l   Similar to the ll in English bellow, only pronounced more quickly (so that the tongue only flaps once against the top of the mouth.)
s    s Like the s in sun.
t    t Like the soft t in star.
w  hu  w Like w in way.
y    j Like y in yes.
 , ?, k   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Pemon Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Pemon Indian words
   Pemon picture dictionary
   Carib languages
   Cariban legends

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