Letters, Letter Names, and Sounds

Posted on 1 Eholē, (November), 1998. Revised and reposted Rvfo Cusē 2003

First, read down the list of 20 symbols then study the pronunciation guide below it

A

a

 

C

c

 

E

e

 

Ē

ē

= "e" with "-" over it or ë in traditional texts.

F

f

 

H

h

 

I

i

 

K

k

 

L

l

 

M

m

 

N

n

 

O

o

 

P

p

 

Diphthongs

R

r

 

 

S

s

 

Ae (in formal print as Æ, æ) appears only as an initial letter

T

t

 

au

U

u

 

Eu

W

w

 

Oe (in formal print as Œ, and œ)

V

v

 

ou

Y

y

 

ue

A Rough Guide To Reciting The Muskogee Alphabet

for A say ah as in father, (occasionally aw as in law or a as in altar or halt)

for C say che as in cheese, (chair, Geronimo; many older speakers say ts in Tsetse fly; nowadays, you hear many younger folks say it as the J in Jimmy Jeeter's Jeep)

for E say ih as in end, (hen, thin, kid; its a short "e")

for Ē say ee as in each, (eat, eel (a long "e")
Any [e] before an [r] is often nasalized and acquires a slight "n" sound

for F say fe as in fee, (feel, feet) Do not put teeth and lip in the English position for F
Place lips together to correctly pronounce the [F] in the old way

for H say he as in heap, (heat, hot; pronounce every [h] in a Creek word)

for I say ay as in ate, (lace, day and occasionally i as pie, high and sky in some verbs)

for K say ge as in geese, (go or like gimmick -- do you get it?)

for L say le as in leap, (lip, linger)

for M say me as in meet

for N say ne as in knee

for O say oh as in hope, (sometimes as in own)

for P say be as in beet, (pose, boy, or like p inside the word support)
The [P"]can alternate between a [P] and [B] sound as in Spanish

for R say h'le as in ath'lete or harsh'ly and fifthly. Air is heard while pronouncing the "el" like sound.
Common alternate
sound : for R say thie as in thief (th sound of thin, thunder, thumb, thought)

for S say zhee as in Gigi (French name) or s as in ash
or pleasure (with [e] sound attached --almost as "she" but with a little [z] sound
added for "Zing." Some think the [s] in rose is a good example to use

for T say de as in deep, (dull or tall. The [d] sound of "t" in water comes to mind as an example)

for U say u as in Sue (name), without the initial [s]. It will rhyme with the "oo" as in [oo-wee].

Its like saying the vowel in "LU" or "LEW" without the "l." Alternate Sound when reciting the alphabet: for U say "u" with an "n" sound [un] as in strewn to prevent confusion when reciting the next letter, [v]

for V say uh as in hut, (but, up), NOTE: This sound can alternate with "A" and may sound like either a in arena. Some think it nicely equals the a in marines

for W say we as weed, (wheel, rarely heard)

for Y say ye as yeast, (yield)

Diphthongs, except Æ, pronounce both vowels smoothly in the order given, gliding from the first vowel sound to the second vowel sound to produce the proper combined sound, which is just what "diphthong" means!

 

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