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2. Oral vowels

PostPosted: February 11th, 2009, 3:01 am
by Jan
From New Lakota Dictionary (NLD), page 695 1st edn, page 749 2nd edn:

Lakota has five oral vowels: a, e, i, o, u.
Their pronunciation is comparable to the five “cardinal” vowels as they are realized in Spanish or Italian. All are considered “pure”; in that there is no shift in articulators or articulatory positions during their articulation. Pure cardinal vowels are difficult for English speakers to pronounce because in most kinds of English they begin with a “pure” vowel and end with a glide (y or w). This English glide is usually written with the midvowels /e/ and /o/ but not otherwise. Compare the following:

sí 'foot'see (si + y-glide)
sú 'seed'sue (su w-glide)
blé 'lake'play (ple +y-glide)
bló 'potato'below (belo +w-glide)

The Lakota vowels e and o have no phonetic analogs in English. The sounds of these vowels are somewhat more open than the accepted pronunciation of the cardinal vowels e and o. Lakota examples of these vowels are that and voice.
The Lakota vowel a is pronounced with an almost fully open mouth. An adequate English analog is the vowel in the first syllable of the word father. A Lakota example is skin.
All Lakota oral vowels are partially devoiced or whispered when they are stressed and in utterance-final position. This devoicing makes it sound like a final h follows the vowel. This is especially noticeable when words are pronounced very carefully, as in citation or formal speech.

If your first language is English and want to pronounce Lakota vowels correctly you have to practice "deleting" the glide (y or w) after your vowels.

oral vowels - practice

PostPosted: February 11th, 2009, 3:55 am
by Jan
Level 2 textbook, page 4, listening activity number 4.

Listen to the audio track and decide which vowel is missing in each word:

Question 1: čháp_ 'beaver'

Question 2: p_spíza 'prairie dog'

Question 3: ȟ_ká 'badger'

Question 4: mat_ška 'crayfish'

Question 5: kh_ya 'turtle'

Question 6: h_čá 'turkey buzzard'

Question 7: tȟ_ 'blue'

Question 8: z_ 'yellow'

Question 9: kh_khúše 'pig'

Question 10: wíy_ka 'feather'

Question 11: _štá 'eyes'

Question 12: wábl_ša 'redwinged blackbird'

Question 13: _pížata 'a swallow'

Question 14: wóž_pi 'pudding'

Question 15: ph_ží 'grass'

Question 16: sáp_ 'black'

Question 17: pt_gléška 'cow'

Question 18: matȟ_ 'bear'

Question 19: z_čá 'squirrel'

Question 20: wíy_kse 'scissors'