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Mohawk language

From Academic Kids

Mohawk is a Native American language spoken in the United States and Canada. It is part of the Iroquoian family.

Contents

Phonology

Based on sound files available at http://www.ohwejagehka.com/lang.htm, the phoneme inventory appears to be as follows (using IPA notation):

Consonants

  1. There are no bilabials (unless one counts /w/ as labial rather than velar).
  2. It is unclear whether aspiration is phonemic or a realization of C + /h/; probably the latter as ‘nh’ is /n/ + /h/, and ‘sh’ is /s/ + /h/ (not IPA ).
  3. Listening to the syllabification of careful speech suggests that orthographic "ts" is indeed an affricate, since "tsh" corresponds to IPA — though it raises the question of why not use a single symbol for each of these? (After all, with such a small inventory, there are lots of Latin letters available!)
  Dental Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop  
Affricate    
Fricative    
Nasal      
Liquids    

Vowels

  1. Length is contrastive.
  2. Nasalization is contrastive.
  3. There appear to be a high and low tone. (See tonal language.)
  Front Central Back
High    
Mid  
Low     a

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