S, H, S+H

s sounds like the < sh > [ ʃ ] in shirt when it is before < y > or < r >

sa̲hsyǫˀ you returned (it is hard to hear the first syllable < sa̲ > in this word)

ęhsręˀ you will set it on something


s sounds like the [ s ] in sing almost everywhere else:

só:wa:s dog

sgę́:nǫˀ hello


s might sound like a [ z ] in some words, especially when the < s > is between vowels. However, the following word is a counterexample:

í:soˀ many, lots


h sounds like [ h ] in hello.

knó:haˀ my mother

hahdo:s he dives


h is an important consonant in Cayuga, and it’s important to pronounce any < h >’s you see in the Cayuga spelling. Notice, for example, that Cayuga can have an < h > sound at the end of a word, as in shę́h how (featured below). In contrast, English never has an < h > sound at the end of the word.


For a more detailed description of pronunciation changes involving syllables with < h >, see [link to web page].


sh is a bit complicated. First, let’s talk about what < sh > does not sound like: in English, the < sh > spelling stands for the first sound in the word shirt; in contrast, the < sh > spelling never stands for this sound in Cayuga.

sh Next, let’s talk about the linguistic orthography. (Recall from this page that the linguistic writing system for Cayuga is a bit different from the Henry writing system.) The linguistic writing system has an < sh > spelling. It sounds like an [ s ] followed by an [ h ], as in the phrase less heat.In contrast, the Henry orthography spells the same sounds — the [ s ] sound followed by [ h ] — just with < s >.The following words are spelled in both the linguistic and Henry orthographies:

shę́h how (linguistic orthography); sęh (Henry orthography)

shehó:wi: tell her (linguistic orthography); sehó:wi: (Henry orthography)

 In the Henry orthography there is no way to spell the difference between a plain [ s ] sound and the sounds [ s ] followed [ h ]. This isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re trying to sound out a Cayuga word that is spelled in the Henry writing system, you will have to get a speaker to pronounce the word for you so that you can tell whether to pronounce just an [ s ], or an [ s ] followed by an [ h ].