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, which is different from contemporary Nahuatl dialects.

Phoneme Spelling English approximation
Consonants[1]
ʔ h[2] the catch in "oh-oh"
j y yellow
k qu,[3] c[4] scan
cu,[5] uc[4] squall
l l[2] leave (not dark L as in "dull")
ɬ l (before a voiceless consonant) play; Welsh ll
m m man
n n[6] nose
p p span
s c,[3] z[4] sack
ʃ x shoe
t t stand
t͡ɬ tl somewhat cheer
t͡ʃ ch choo
t͡s tz cats
w hu[5], uh[4] witch
ʍ hu[5], uh[4] which (as "hwich")
Phoneme Spelling English approximation
Vowels
a a bra
ā (long a)
e e met
ē mate
i i city
ī see
o o go[7]
ō go
Stress
ˈ Primary stress nearly always[8] occurs on the penultimate (second to last) syllable. In any case, the IPA stress symbol is always placed immediately before the stressed syllable.
´ The stressed vowel is pronounced with raised pitch, which is optionally indicated by an acute accent on the vowel of the stressed syllable.
Nahuatl has four possible syllable clusters CVC, CV, VC and V[9][10]
example: CVC-CVC-CV tlal-huac-tli[9]
Modern & Variant Orthography[11]
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
tlahtohqueh tlàtòquê

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Consonants can be geminated, including /l/ (spelled as ll, but not pronounced as in Spanish) (Andrews 2003, p. 33).
  2. ^ a b No Nahuatl word begins with /l/ or /ʔ/ (Andrews 2003, p. 29; Karttunen 1992, p. XI).
  3. ^ a b Before e and i.
  4. ^ a b c d e All other cases.
  5. ^ a b c Before vowels.
  6. ^ /n/ is Nahuatl's most weakly pronounced consonant (Lockhart 2001, p. 112).
  7. ^ The Nahuatl /o/ is different from every English vowel, but the nearest equivalents are the vowel of coat (for most English dialects) and the vowel of saw.
  8. ^ The only exception is vocative forms, in which case the final syllable is stressed.
  9. ^ a b Canger, U. Ochpaniztli and Classical Nahuatl syllable structure. University of Copenhagen.
  10. ^ Nahuatl words cannot start or end with two consonants. Only Nahuatl verbs can end in two vowels (Lockhart 2001, pp. 120-121).
  11. ^ Andrews 2003, p. 655-658

Sources[edit]

  • Andrews, J. Richard (2003). Introduction to classical Nahuatl (rev. ed.). Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 24–38. ISBN 0-8061-3452-6. 
  • Karttunen, Frances (1992). An analytical dictionary of Nahuatl. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-2421-0. 
  • Launey, Michel (2011). Mackay, Christopher, ed. An Introduction to Classical Nahuatl. Cambridge University Press. pp. 4–5. 
  • Lockhart, James (2001). Nahuatl as written: lessons in older written Nahuatl, with copious examples and texts (Orig. print ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press [u.a.] ISBN 0-8047-4282-0.