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Quapaw Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Quapaw alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Quapaw orthography we have used on our site, as well as some alternate spellings that you may find in other books and websites. You may also like to visit our Sioux Languages homepage to see how Quapaw relates to other languages from the Siouan family.

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Quapaw Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Quapaw pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
e    e Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in English gate.
i    i Like the i in police.
o    o Like the o in note.

Quapaw 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."

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
an  ã, ą, aN  ã
in  ĩ, į, iN  ĩ
on  õ, , oN  õ

Quapaw Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Quapaw pronunciation:
b    b Like b in bill.
č  c, ch, ć  t An unaspirated, 'soft' ch sound, like the ch in filching or the t in vulture.
čh  ch  th An aspirated, 'hard' ch sound, like the one in chair.
č'  č’, c'  t' Like ch in char, but with a catch after it (like ch'ar).
čč    č Like the č, only held longer and/or pronounced higher-pitched.
d    d ~ d Like d in English die. Sometimes it sounds more like a combination of d and the th in other.
g  , gh, ğ   Like the raspy g in Spanish saguaro..
h  x  h~x Like h in hay.
k    k Like the unaspirated k in ski..
kh    kh Like the aspirated k in key.
k'  k’  k' Like k in key, but with a catch after it (like k'ey).
kk    k Like the k, only held longer and/or pronounced higher-pitched.
m    m Like m in English moon.
n    n Like n in English night.
p    p Like the unaspirated p in spin.
ph    ph Like the aspirated p in pin.
pp    p Like the p, only held longer and/or pronounced higher-pitched.
s    s Like s in so.
s'  s  s' Like s in so, but with a catch after it (like s'o.)
š  c, sh   Like sh in show.
š'  c', sh'  ' Like sh in show, but with a catch after it (like sh'ow.)
t    t Like the unaspirated t in sty.
th    th Like the aspirated t in tie.
t'  t’, ţ  t' Like t in tie, but with a catch after it (like t'ie).
tt    t Like the t, only held longer and/or pronounced higher-pitched.
w    w Like w in English way.
x    x Guttural sound that doesn't exist in English. Like ch in German ach.
x'  '  x' Like ch in German ach, but with a catch after it.
z    z Like z in zoo.
ž  zh, j   Like a French j. In English, you can hear this sound at the end of words like garage.
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Quapaw Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Quapaw words
   Quapaw animals
   Siouan language family
   Eastern Woodlands languages
   Native Americans of Arkansas

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