Pronunciation Changes

Certain pronunciations in Otoe-Missouria change during certain circumstances.  Below is a list of possible changes and the situations where they can change.  Note that these are guidelines that are used most of the time, not all of the time.

Pronunciation changes can occur in the following circumstances:


1. It changes “because it just does”.  An example of this is when the vowel “a” changes to an “e” if placed before “gra”.  For example, to say “I love her” through the verb “grahi” (love) is not pronounced with the usual pronoun prefix “ha-” (I) but instead the “a” changes to an “e” and the term becomes “hegrahi”.


2. Two syllables merge together.  If this happens with two different syllables, often a new pronunciation emerges.  If they are the same, then the syllable remains the same.  The resulting combination is usually stressed when pronounced.


3. Some changes occur in different situations.  For example, the suffix -wi is often used to indicate plurality in a verb.  For example, “We are going to the store.”  If the sentence is changed to, “We will go to the store,” the suffix -wi indicating “we” will change to -ta.


4. A sound emerges as the result of two different sounds coming together in a word.  This can also occur when two words are pronounced together at conversation speed.  For example, when a nasal “ą” goes into a “j” or “d”, an “n” sound will appear like in the word “xąnje” (big).


5. A different sound emerges when a syllable is contracted.  For example, a word ending in -je such as “soje” (smoke) would, when contracted as a result of merging with another word, the “j” would change into a “t” and a glottal stop would emerge after the “t” (t’).  An example of this would be soje + ubrą = sot’ubrą (smoke smell).


a- + bra- = ebra-

ą- + d- = ąnd-

a- + gra- = egra-

a- + gru- = egru-

a- + gwa- – egwa-

a- + ha- = aa- (this is only done with the pronoun prefix “ha-“)

a- + i- = i-

a- + į- = ą-

a- + į- = į-

ą- + j- = ąnj-

a- + k- = ank- (occurs less frequently)

a- + k- = ąnk- (occurs less frequently)

ą- + k- = ąnk-

a- + o- = o-

ą- + r- = ąnr- (“nr” is pronounced like an “n”)

a- + thd- = ethd-

a- + thg- = ethg-

a- + thu- = ethu-

a- + u- = o-

a- + x- = ex-

a- + zha- = ezha- (the sound “zh” is extremely old and rare)

e = a for the last word in a question or command if it ends with “e”

e = a if the last letter of a verb is an “e” and has the suffixes -wi or -nye attached

ha- + gi- = he- (1st-person singular “ha-” with “GI” verbs)

ha- + ra- = hada- (1st-person singular “ha-” with “RA” verbs)

ha- + re- = haje- (1st-person singular “ha-” with “RE” verbs)

ha- + ri- = haji- (1st-person singular “ha-” with “RI” verbs)

ha- + ro- = hado- (1st-person singular “ha-” with “RO” verbs)

ha- + ru- = hadu- (1st-person singular “ha-” with “RU” verbs)

ha- + wa- = hapa- (1st-person singular “ha-” with “W-P” verbs)

į- + a- = ą-

i- + b- = imb- (occurs less frequently)

į- + b- = įmb-

į- + ch- = įnch-

į- + d- = įnd-

į- + e- = e-

į- + g- = įng-

i- + gra- = egra- (occurs less frequently)

į- + j- = įnj-

į- + k- = įnk-

į- + o- = o-

į- + p- = įmp-

į- + r- = įnr- (“nr” is pronounced like an “n”)

į- + t- = įnt-

i- + th- = inth- (occurs less frequently)

į- + th- = įnth-

į- + u- = o-

-je = t’- if it is contracted on that syllable

-nge = k’- if it is contracted on that syllable

-nye (3rd-person plural “they” suffix) = -na for questions and commands

-pahu- = -pu- in some cases

ra- + gi- = re- (2nd-person “ra-” with “GI” verbs)

s- + r- = sr- OR sd- OR st-

u- + hį- = ų-

ų- + r- = ųnr- (“nr” is pronounced like an “n”)

wa- + hį- = wį-

wawa- + a- = wawa-

wawa- + gra- = wewegra-

wawa- + i- = wiwa-

wawa- + u- = wowa-

-wi (plural suffix) = -ta for the future tense