Wipukpa-Tolkapaya Yavapai Pronunciation Guide

' a aa ch e ee h hw i ii k kw ky l m n ny o oo p q qw r s sh t th u uu v w y

How to Use:

Each letter’s entry features the Yavapai letter, an English equivalent or an explanation of how to produce the sound, and a word that contains the letter in context. Click on the speaker icon next to each word in order to hear it spoken aloud.

Accent Marks

Every Yavapai word has at least one accented vowel (á,é,í,ó,ú). Accented vowels are pronounced with more stress and loudness than the other vowels in a word. If the accents falls on a long vowel, only the first of the two has the accent mark (áa, ée, íi, óo, úu). In the case of reduplicated words, such as káthkáth 'í "to tap, to tick", an accent is placed above the vowel in each reduplicated syllable and pronounced with stress on each.

Inserted Vowels

When two or more consonants come together in a word, speakers will often insert an extra short vowel called a schwa, which is most commonly pronounced like the English "uh" and is never written in this writing system. For example, the word chthúli "to wash, clean" is pronounced [chǝthúli] with the [ǝ] representing the inserted vowel. No vowel is inserted between digraphs (sounds represented by two letters) such as ch, hw, kw, ky, ny, qw, sh, and th. The letter ['] is also a consonant, so this also applies to words like 'páacha "people" and ''úla "teddy bear cholla cactus" would be pronounced as ['ǝpáacha] and ['ǝ'úla], which you may see written in other systems as [ah-bah-jah] and [uh-oola], respectively.