Kutenai Tales/Alphabet

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ALPHABET

Vowels
a e i o u
(a˘) ι υ, ϋ
aₐ eᵢ iᵢ oᵤ
Consonants
(dl)
p t ts k, kᵘ q
p! t! ts! k!, k!ᵘ q!
s (x̯)[1] ł
m n
h, w, y, ʼ
· long sounds.
: very long sounds.
˘ short sounds.
principal stress accent.
‵  secondary stress accent.
. separate sounds, particularly in t.s and t.ł, indicating that these sounds are not affricatives.
–́ high tone.
–̂ sinking tone.
Description of Sounds
e, i represent a sound which is by origin probably a somewhat open i. In contact with velars and palatals, it inclines toward the sound of e. When long, the sound is always slightly diphthongized.
o, u represent a u with very slight rounding of lips. In contact with velars, it inclines toward the sound of o. When long, the sound is always slightly diphthongized.
(a˘), ι, υ open vowels, often followed by long consonants.
ϋ open short, about as German ü in Hütte. The pronunciation of this vowel differs very much among individuals. Some pronounce a clear ι; others a u. All admit that both these extreme forms are correct.

ᵃ, ⁱ, ᵘ vocalic resonance of consonants.
ₐ, ₑ, ᵢ, ᵤ short weak vowels, very slightly voiced.
very weak vowel of indeterminate timber, lips, palate, and tongue almost in rest position, larynx not raised.
aₐ, eᵢ, iᵢ, oᵤ diphthongized vowels, ending with a decided glottal stricture, so as to be set off from the following consonants, without, however, forming a complete glottal stop.
p, t, ts, k, kᵘ, q strongly aspirated surd stops (kᵘ labialized, q velar). ts is pronounced by many individuals as tc; but careful speakers, particularly old men, pronounced a clear ts. When followed by w or y, the stops lose some of the strength of their aspiration. Terminal k is somewhat palatalized, except when it follows a u.
p!, t!, ts!, k!, q! very strong glottalized consonants (fortis). ts! has in its continuant part a pure s character.
s as in English.
velar spirant.
ł voiceless l.
dl voiced affricative, only in the word kudlidlus ("butterfly").
m, n often strongly sonant, with sonancy beginning suddenly before complete labial or lingual closure.
ʼ glottal stop.
ʻ aspiration. All surd stops are strongly aspirated, but the aspiration has been indicated only in words beginning with aₐʻ.

The primary accent is always on the penultima, the weak vowels, ₐ, ᵢ, ᵤ, not being counted.

  1. Only in Coyote's pronunciation.