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Sounds and Letters

These pages contain resources to help you become familiar with the sounds and letters of Northern Pomo. You can hear each sound by clicking on the buttons in the table. Click on the Vowels and Consonants tabs for more information, including recordings of two fluent speakers of Northern Pomo saying words that contain the sounds.


The words of Northern Pomo are made up of 39 distinct sounds, many quite different from English. It's possible to write the sounds of a language in many ways. Here we use a writing system that attempts to capture all the important sound distinctions while still aiming to minimize the number of special characters.

Click on a letter to listen to the corresponding sound. Each sound is repeated twice so you can hear it clearly. (Note: it may take a few seconds to hear the sound, depending on your internet speed.)

ʔ a a: b ch
ch' d e e: h
i i: j k k'
l m n o
o: p p' s
sh t t'
t̪' t̪ʰ ts ts' u
u: w x y

How can I type these letters on my computer or mobile?

Some of the characters in this Northern Pomo alphabet are not found on typical electronic keyboards. There are three ways to deal with this.

  1. Use alternates for the letters that are not like the English alphabet:
    • ʔ = ?
    • = T
    • t̪ʰ = Th
    • tʰ = th
    • pʰ = ph
    • kʰ = kh
  2. If you have a Mac, create your own keyboard using Ukelele for Mac.
  3. There are several apps for inputting letters on mobile depending on your device:
  4. The Type IPA website has an online keyboard that allows you to type the Northern Pomo alphabet. You can find the symbols on the IPA Full keyboard.
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Vowels and Consonants

Click on a button to see a video about particular sounds.


Introduction to Ejectives

Watch


Ejectives: t'

Watch


Ejectives: k'

Watch


Ejectives: ch'

Watch


Can you tell the difference? #1

Watch


x and h

Watch

Introduction to Ejectives

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Ejectives: t'

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Ejectives: k'

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Ejectives: ch'

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Can you tell the difference? #1

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x and h

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