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Achumawi Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Achumawi alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Achumawi orthography we have used on our site, as well as some alternate spellings that you may find in other books and websites. We are not aware of any official Achumawi orthography approved or used by the Pit River tribe.

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Achumawi Vowels

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Achumawi pronunciation:
a    a ~ ə Like the a in father or the a in what.
aa  a:, a·  a Like a only held longer.
e    e Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in Kate.
ee  e:, e·  e Like e only held longer.
i    i Like the i in police.
ii  i:, i·  i Like i only held longer.
o    o Like the o in note.
oo  o:, o·  o Like o only held longer.
u   u Like the u in flute.
uu  u:, u·  u Like u only held longer.

Achumawi Consonants

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Achumawi pronunciation:
c  ts, ch  ts ~ t Like ts in cats or tch in catch.
h    h Like h in hay.
j    d Like j in jar.
k    k Like the soft k in sky.
l    l Like l in light.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ng    ŋ Like ng in sing.
p    p Like the soft p in spy.
q    q Like k, only pronounced further back on the palate..
s    s Like s in see.
sh  š   Like sh in shell.
t    t Like the soft t in star.
w   w Like w in way.
x    x Guttural sound that doesn't exist in English. Like ch in German ach.
y    j Like y in yes.
z    z Like z in zoo.
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Achumawi Tone

Achumawi is a tone language. Some Achumawi syllables are pronounced with higher pitch than others. In English, the last syllable of a question is pronounced with high pitch, so you can hear the difference between sentences like "You see a man." and "You see a man?" In Achumawi, such high and low tones are used in many words.

There are two main Achumawi tones: high and low. High tones are usually written with an acute accent, like this: á. Vowels with no accent marks on them are pronounced with normal (low) tone.

Achumawi Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Achomawi dictionary (Amazon affiliate link)
   Achomawi words
   Achomawi animals
   Achumawi body words
   Achomawi colors
   Achomawi numbers
   Hokan language family
   Language of California

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