Disappearing glottal stop (ˀ)

The pronunciation of odd-numbered syllables ending with a glottal stop (ˀ) can be quite different from the spelling. The first vowel can sound 'swallowed', or even disappear, to the point where two syllables sound like one. Here are some examples to illustrate: 

 

JI̲ˀÉ sounds like CH'E: deyoji̲ˀéhta: a stampede 

 

GE̲ˀA sounds like Kʸ'A: agége̲ˀaji:h I have dark hair 

GÉˀA: hogéˀaji:h he has dark hair 

 

DE̲ˀǪ sounds different: sayę́de̲ˀǫh you are really good at something 

DÉˀǪ: ęsayędéˀǫhǫ:k you will be really good at it 

 

GA̲ˀÁ sounds like K'Á: ga̲ˀáhdraˀ a basket 

GÁˀA: agáˀahdraˀ my basket 

 

Sometimes there is no difference between the pronunciation of odd-numbered and even-numbered syllables ending with a glottal stop. Here are some more examples:

 

Odd numbered Ęˀ in DRĘˀÍ: hodidręˀí:ga:ˀ painted turtles 

Even-numbered Ęˀ in DRĘˀÍ: odręˀí:ga:ˀ* painted turtle 

  

Odd numbered Ǫˀ in STǪˀĘ́: hotgǫhstǫˀę́htaˀ he is shaving 

Even numbered Ǫˀ in STǪ́ˀĘ: ahotgǫ̲hstǫ́ˀęht he shaved 

 

Whispered AH, plus another vowel

The following examples illustrate several combinations of whispered A̲H, followed by another vowel. It is often difficult to hear any trace of the whispered vowel, and it often sounds like two syllables are pronounced as one.

 

HYA̲HI sounds like HYAIH: dehsáhya̲hiht cut up the fruit! 

AHÍ: ahí:ˀ I thought, intended 

 

GRA̲HE sounds like KRA̲E: gra̲hé:t a tree 

GRAHE: no examples provided

 

NA̲HÁ sounds like NHA: agena̲háotraˀ my hat 

NAHÁ: anaháotraˀ a hat 

Whispered I̲H, E̲H, and Ę̲H, plus another vowel

The following examples illustrate various combinations of whispered I̲H, E̲H, and Ę̲H, followed by another vowel. It is often difficult to hear any trace of the whispered vowel, and it sounds like two syllables are pronounced as one. As well, whispered I̲, E̲, and Ę̲ are sometimes replaced by a whispered Y sound.

 

Whispered I̲H, plus another vowel


GI̲HÉ sounds like KÉ: gi̲hé:yǫhs I am dying 

GÍHE: ęgíhe:ˀ I will die 

 

SI̲HA sounds like SHHA: gadíhsi̲ha:ˀ they are congregated 

DIHA: hadihá:wiˀs they carry along 

 

DRI̲HÓ sounds like TRO: agadri̲hóˀda:t I worked 

DRÍHO: ęgaǫdríhoˀda:t they (f/m) are going to work 

 

NI̲HÚ sounds like NHYÚ: ni̲hú:ˀuh he is small 

GIHÚ: nigihú:ˀuh a small stream 

 

NI̲HE sounds like NHYE: agę́ni̲hęˀ I stopped, quit 

NÍHE: sęní:hę: quit! 

 

DRI̲HǪ́ sounds like TRǪ:  honadri̲hǫ́:dǫˀ they (m) are agents 

IHǪ: ni̲hǫwáihǫ:t he has appointed him 

 

Whispered E̲H, plus another vowel

DE̲HĘ sounds like TE: de̲hęnaǫháˀ they (males) are racing

EHĘ: no example provided

 

GE̲HA sounds like KYA: ęknége̲haˀ I will drink it 

GEHA: snegéhah drink it! 

 

GE̲HÓ sounds like KYÓ: hadihǫwaˀge̲hó:nǫˀ sailors

GEHÓ: hahędagehó:nǫˀ farmer 

 

DE̲HÚ sounds like TYÚ: niyokde̲hú:ˀuh small root 

DEHU: no example provided

 

DE̲HĘ sounds like TYĘ: ęgáde̲hęh I will be embarrassed 

DÉHĘ: gadéhęhs I am embarrassed, ashamed 

 

GE̲HǪ sounds like KYǪ: ęhsátge̲hǫ:ˀ you will sell 

GEHǪ: hatgéhǫhaˀ he is an auctioneer 

 

Whispered Ę̲H, plus another vowel 

GĘ̲HÉ sounds like KHÉ: deyagwi̲hsragę̲hé:yǫ: she is sighing 

GĘHÉ: agyaˀdagęhé:yǫ: I am physically weak, slow 

 

GĘ̲HĘ sounds like KĘ: howę́gę̲hę:ˀ it used to be his

GĘHĘ: agawęgę́hę:ˀ it used to be mine 

 

JĘ̲HǪ sounds like CH'HǪ: ęhseję̲hǫhsgwáę:ˀ you will whisper 

JĘHǪ: sajęhǫhsgwáę: whisper! 

 

Whispered O̲H and Ǫ̲H, plus another vowel

The following examples illustrate various combinations of whispered O̲H and Ǫ̲H followed by another vowel. It is often difficult to hear any trace of the whispered vowel, and it often sounds like two syllables are pronounced as one. As well, in some instances, whispered O̲H and Ǫ̲H are replaced by a whispered W sound.

 

Whispered O̲H, plus another vowel


DRO̲HE sounds like TRWE: ędwádro̲he:k we all (incl.) will gather together 

SRÓHE: ęhsróhe:k you will gather 

 

JO̲HA sounds like CHWA: asáhjo̲haeˀ you did wash your hands 

JÓHA: sahjóhae: you wash your hands! 

 

GO̲HÓ sounds like KÓ:  ahshago̲hó:wiˀ he told her 

GOHO: (no examples provided)

 

GǪ̲HÍ sounds like KWÍ: dwaknigǫ̲hí:yo: I am satisfied, peaceful 

GǪHÍ: desaˀnigǫhí:yo: you are satisfied 

 

GǪ̲HE sounds like KWE: ahágǫ̲he:k he punched it

GǪ́HE: segǫ́he:s you hit it all the time 

 

GǪ̲HA sounds like KWA: gˀanígǫ̲haˀ the mind 

GǪ́HA: ǫgwaˀnigǫ́haˀ our mind 

 

GǪ̲HÓ sounds like KÓ: sę̲ˀnigǫ̲hóˀdrǫh you are a worrier 

GǪHÓ: ęhsęˀnigǫhóˀdrǫ: you will worry, despair; you will be desperate 

 

GǪ̲HĘ́: sounds like KWĘ́: dwaknigǫ̲hę́ˀǫh I am in sorrow; I am sad 

GǪHĘ: (no examples provided)

 

DǪ̲HǪ́ sounds like TǪ́: ęhohdogaˀdǫ̲hǫ́:gyeˀ he will be growing along 

DǪ́HǪ: go̲hdogadǫ́hǫgyeˀ she is growing something 

Syllables ending with ˀ

Odd-numbered syllables ending with a ˀ can sound quite different from their even-numbered counterparts. Here are some examples comparing odd- and even-numbered syllables. (Listen especially for the bolded syllables.)

 

Odd-numbered, with disappearing glottal stop: gˀadréhdaˀ car, vehicle 

Even-numbered, with regular glottal stop: hoˀdréhdaˀ his car, vehicle 

  

Odd-numbered, it sounds like the glottal stop has moved in front of the vowel, is right after the D: ęhsadˀenyę́:dęˀ you will try 

Even-numbered, with regular glottal stop: sadeˀnyę́:dęh sample it! try it! 

 

 

Odd-numbered, with missing vowel after the D: sayę́de̲ˀǫh you are really good at something

 

Even-numbered, with regular glottal stop; ęsayędéˀǫhǫ:k you will be really good at it

 

Here are some observations about these examples:

  • The glottal stop sound can disappear in odd-numbered syllables
  • It can sound like the glottal stop has moved in front of (instead of after) the odd-numbered vowel
  • The odd-numbered vowel sound might disappear
  • The first consonant of the syllable can sound strange somehow