Lesson 3 - Basics: Alphabet, vowels, grammar rules


The Abenaki Alphabet -

Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll 
		Mm Nn Oo 8 Pp Ss Tt Uu Ww Zz

Vowels are sounded as follows -

A	as in master.
E	as in label.
I	as in Indian; but more often "I" is 
		sounded as "E" in emotion.
O	as in notice.
U	as if it were "e yo" when followed or preceded 
		  by a consonant;
		  when alone it is as "U" in union.
8	is the nasal "o(n)" sound; for example, 8h88 	
		(yes) is pronounced o(n)-ho(n).

The consonants are sounded as follows - 

B & P	are sounded as a hard "P"; when written 			
			they are often interchanged.
C	is always followed by the letter "H" and 
           is sounded as "TS";
	   for example, chaga (if) is pronounced tsa-ga.
D & T	are sounded as a hard "T"; when written 
		they are often interchanged.
G	is always hard as in game.
H	is sounded like "H" in help; 
			when not preceded by "C".
J	is sounded like the letters "DZ"; 
	for example, chijis (baby) is pronounced tsid-zes.
K	as in kitten.
L	as in label.
M	as in mom.
N	as in name.
S	as in sound.
W	is pronounced (oo)w; for example wliwni 					  			
	(thank you) is pronounced oowle-oowne.
Z	as in zebra.

Basic Language Rules -

A or 		AIEE.
CH		TS.
J		DZ.
G		hard "G".
W		(OO)W.
8 or 	O(N)  - nasal "O".
PH		not "F" sound.
D		soft "T".
I		at end of word "E" as in pedal. 
I		in middle of a word "EE" as in seen.

Basic Grammar Rules -

>	Plural animate words end in "K".
>	Plural inanimate words end in "AL"; except 
		words ending in "KW" or "GL" have "O" 
			for plural.
>	Words ending with "AD" or "ID" denote trade or 
		occupation; "JIK" in plural.
>	"R", "F", "V", "X", and "Y" have no pronunciation 
		in the language.
>	"EIAW" at the end of a word means "four".   

Here are some words to test some of these 
	pronunciation rules:

Mean, angry	chilao		tsi-lao'
Bad		majigo		ma-dzi-go'
Good		wligen		(oo)w-li-gen
Man		san8ba		sa-no(n)-ba			
Woman		phanem		p-ha-nem
Tree		abazi		ah-bah-ze
Drum		pakholigan	pak-ho-li-gan
Drummer		noli pakholid	no-le' pak-ho-it
Leaf		wanibagw	(oo)wah-ni-bahgw'
Leaves		wanibagwol 	(oo)wah-ni-bahg'-wohl
I/me		nia		ni-ah'
You		kia		ki-ah
He/she		agma		ahg-mah'
Us/we		niona		ni-oh'-nah
You (formal)	kiona		ki-oh'nah
They		agm8w8		ag-mo(n)-wo(n) 

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