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Tonkawa Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Tonkawa pronunciation:
a     Like the a in what.
a:  a•  a Like the a in father.
e    ε Like the e in red.
e:  e•  e Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in gaze.
i    I Like the i in hit.
i:  i•  i Like the ea in heat.
o     Like the au in taut.
o:  o•  o Like the o in home.
u     Like the u in put.
u:  u•  u Like the u in flute.

Tonkawa Diphthongs

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Tonkawa pronunciation:
aw    aw Like ow in English cow.
ay  ai  aj Like English eye.

Tonkawa Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Tonkawa pronunciation:
c  ts, ch  ts~ Like ts in tsar or ch in char.
c'    t Like c, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
h    h Like h in heart.
k  g  k Like the soft k in skate.
k'     Like k, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
kw  gw, kw  kw Like the soft qu in square.
kw'  kw'  k Like kw, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
l    l Like l in light.
l'     Like l, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
m    m Like m in moon.
m'     Like m, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
n    n Like n in night.
n'     Like n, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
p  b  p Like the soft p in spill.
p'     Like p, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
s  sh  s~ Like s in sip or sh in ship.
sh     Like sh in shore.
t  d  t Like the soft t in star.
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 pop of air.)
x  j  x Raspy sound like the j in Spanish jalapeño.
x'     Like x, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
xw  xw  xw This sound doesn't exist in English. The Tonkawa pronunciation is a light raspy sound like blowing out a candle.
xw'  xw'  x Like xw, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
y    j Like y in yes.
y'     Like y, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Tonkawa Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Tonkawa words
   Tonkawa animals
   Tonkawa alphabet and phonology
   Plain tribes
   Native Americans of Texas

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