Help:IPA for Nahuatl

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Nahuatl pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. This pronunciation guide is based on the phonology of Classical Nahuatl, and is not valid for many contemporary Nahuatl dialects.

IPA Examples English approximation
Consonants
ʔ h[1] the catch in oh-oh;
j y yellow
k ca, co, que, qui scan
cu, uc squeak
l l leave
ll (geminated)[1] will leave, solely
ɬ l [1][2] no English equivalent - same as Welsh "Llanelli" (slightly similar to English "athlete" or "clan")
m m man
n n[3] nose
ŋ nca, nco,
nque, nqui
sing
p p span
s za, zo, ce, ci sack
ʃ x, y [2] shoe
t t stand
t͡ɬ tl no English equivalent
t͡ʃ ch choo
t͡s tz cats
w hu, uh won
ʍ[2] hu, uh which (Only in dialects that have not undergone the wh/w merger such as Irish and Scots English)
IPA Examples English approximation
Vowels
a a bra
ā (long a)
e e met
ē mate
i i city
ī see
o o go[4]
ō go
Stress
ˈ Primary stress on penultimate syllable (placed before the stressed syllable)
Nahuatl has four possible syllable clusters CVC, CV, VC and V[5][6]
example: CVC-CVC-CV tlal-huac-tli[5]
tricky vowel & consonant combinations
Correct IPA Nahuatl word
correct: incorrect: kʍ tecuhtli (lord)
Modern & Variant Orthography
Modern Variant
Huītzilopōchtli, xiuhpōhualli Vītzilopōchtli, xiuhpōvalli
huīpīlli, huei teocalli uīpīlli, uei teocalli
aztecah, azo, zaoc, za açtecah, aço, çaoc, ça
iyo, in, ipan, itzcuīntli yyo, yn, ypan, ytzcuīntli
cuahuitl, macuahuitl quahuitl, maquahuitl

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c No Nahuatl words begin with an "l" or a glottal stop "h".
    Karttunen, F. (1983). An analytical dictionary of Nahuatl. University of Texas Press: USA. page xi ISBN 0-8061-2421-0
  2. ^ a b c Allophone occurring before all voiceless consonants: [p], [t], [ts], [], [s], [ʃ], [k], [kʷ], and at the ends of words[citation needed]
  3. ^ The "n" is Nahuatl's most weakly pronounced consonant.
    Lockhart, J. (2001). Nahuatl as written: Lessons in older written Nahuatl with copious examples and texts. Stanford University Press: USA. ISBN 0-8047-4282-0
  4. ^ The Nahuatl /o/ doesn't quite line up with any English vowel, though the nearest equivalents are the vowel of coat (for most English dialects) and the vowel of saw.
  5. ^ a b Canger, U. Ochpaniztli and Classical Nahuatl syllable structure. University of Copenhagen.
  6. ^ Nahuatl words cannot start or end with two consonants. Only Nahuatl verbs can end in two vowels.
    Lockhart, J. (2001). Nahuatl as written: Lessons in older written Nahuatl with copious examples and texts. Stanford University Press: USA. ISBN 0-8047-4282-0