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Oneida Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Oneida pronunciation:
a  u   ~ a Like the a in what or the a in father.
a:  a·, aa  a Like the a in father, only held longer.
e    ε Like the e in get.
e:  e·, ee  e Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in gaze.
i    i Like the i in police.
i:  i·, ii  i Like the i in police, only held longer.
o     ~ o Like the u in put or the o in note.
o:  o·, oo  o Like the o in note, only held longer.

Oneida 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."

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
 ę, enh, unh   ~ ẽ
:  ·, ę:, ę·   ~ ẽ
u  ų, , unh, onh  ũ
u:  u·, ų:, :, ų·, ·  ũ

Oneida Consonants

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Oneida pronunciation:
h    h Like h in English hay.
ts  j, ch  ts~t~d Like ts in tsunami. Before y or i the Oneida pronunciation sounds like the j in jar, and before hy or hi it is pronounced more like the ch in char.
k  g  g~k~kh Like g in gate, soft k in skate, or hard k in Kate.
l  r  l Like l in English light.
n    n Like n in night.
s  sh, c  s ~ Like s in sell. Before y or hy the Oneida pronunciation sounds more like the sh in shell.
t  d  d~t~th Like d in die, soft t in sty, or hard t in tie.
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, th is always pronounced like the th in "outhouse," never the th in "think."

Oneida Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Oneida words
   Oneida picture dictionary
   Oneida body
   Oneida alphabet and spelling
   Iroquoian language group
   Eastern Woodland tribes
   New York languages
   Oneida legends

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