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Tuscarora Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Tuscarora pronunciation:
a  u  a ~ Like the a in father or the au in caught.
a:  a·, aa  a Like the a in father, only held longer.
e  eh  ε ~ æ Like the e in set or the a in sat.
e:  e·, eh  ε Like the e in get, only held longer.
i  ee  i ~ I Like the i in police or i in pit.
i:  i·, ee  i Like the i in police, only held longer.
u  oo  u ~ o Like the u in flute or the o in note.
u:  o:, o·, oo  u Like the u in flute, only held longer.

Tuscarora Nasal Vowels

Nasal vowels don't really 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:
ę  e, enh   ~
ę:  e:, ęę, eenh   ~

Tuscarora Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Tuscarora pronunciation:
d  t  d Like d in day.
f    f Like f in fair. Only pronounced in the Tuscarora Nation dialect.
g  k  g Like g in good.
h    h Like h in English hay.
ch    t ~ d Like ch in char or j in jar.
k  g  k ~ kh Like the soft k in ski or the hard k in key.
n    n Like n in night.
r    r Like r in English red.
s  sh, c  s ~ Like s in sell. Before y it is pronounced more like the sh in shell.
t  d  t ~ th Like the soft t in sty or the hard t in tie.
th  θ  θ Like the th in think. Only pronounced in the Tuscarora Nation dialect.
w   w Like w in way.
y    j Like y in yes.
 , ?   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Note that in this spelling system, sh is always pronounced like the sh in "mishap," never the sh in "shell."

Tuscarora Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Tuscarora words
   Tuscarora picture dictionary
   Tuscarora alphabet and phonology
   Iroquoian linguistics
   Tribes of the Southeast
   Native Americans of Vermont
   Tuscarora legends

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