Warning: mysql_get_server_info(): Access denied for user 'mandan'@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/mandan/public_html/wp-content/plugins/sil-dictionary-webonary/include/infrastructure.php on line 407

Warning: mysql_get_server_info(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/mandan/public_html/wp-content/plugins/sil-dictionary-webonary/include/infrastructure.php on line 407
Mandan Letters and Sounds – MHA Language Project – Mandan
MHA Education Dept., New Town, ND
701-627-4113
701-627-4935

Mandan Letters and Sounds

Nasal sounds: in Mandan, there are nasal sounds that look like this: ą, ąą, į, įį, ų, and ųų. The vowels a, i, and u are also spoken with a nasal sound when following the consonants n or m even without the special character. These sounds appear in American English for certain words. For example, the vowels in the words ‘pan’, ‘Sam’ and ‘lamb’ are also nasal sounds. Try saying the word ‘pan’, but right before you say the letter ‘n’, stop! Congratulations, you just produced a nasal sound!

Glottal stop: You may notice that in Mandan, the apostrophe appears in certain words. This symbol corresponds to a sound called the glottal stop. This sound can be found right in the middle of the word ‘uh-oh’, right after ‘uh’ but before ‘oh’. Try saying ‘uh-oh’, but before you go on to say ‘oh’, keep your mouth still! Now try breathing – when you make a glottal stop, the back of your mouth closes which is why you can’t seem to take a breath of air.

Stress accent: words in Mandan have accent marks that look like this: á, í, and é. These marks mean that certain parts of the words sound stronger meaning that they tend to sound longer, louder, and also have a higher pitch. For instance, notice that the English words ‘produce’ (fruits and vegetables) and ‘produce’ (to make something) sound very similar, but they’re actually different! In ‘produce’ (fruits and vegetables), the first part of the word tends to sound longer, louder and with higher pitch. The opposite is true for ‘produce’ (to make something).

X: The letter x in Mandan is a sound that does not appear in English. To produce this sound, prepare to say the sound k, but instead of making the sound that would normally sound like k, make a hissing noise like a cat. Make sure that the back of your tongue is almost touching the roof of your mouth.


Letter Mandan word example Listen Meaning

A
a

ímashut

Ą
ą

istą́mi

AA
aa

áakup

ĄĄ
ąą

hą́ąsh

E
e

ék

Ee
ee

éexi

H
h

hí’

I
i

íparak

Į
į

ptį́r

II
ii

míiti

Įį
įį

mį́įhe xíh

K
k

karásisitka

M
m

mapíksok

N
n

náamini

O
o

shópka

Oo
oo

óoxa

P
p

pó’

R
r

róke

S
s

sé’

Sh
sh

shehék

T
t

téetoki

U
u

núp

Ų
ų

shų́t

Uu
uu

rúuhaare

Ųų
ųų

ų́ųpa

W
w

wáakta

X
x

xą́h

shé’