< Kihā́mmic

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This appendix describes the phonological system of the Kihā́mmic language.

See also IPA for Kihā́mmic


Consonants phonemesEdit

Bilabial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive p b t d k g
Fricative f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ ç h
Affricate t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Approximant l j w
Flap or tap ɾ


  • The labio-dental nasal [ɱ] is an allophone of [m] before the labio-dental fricatives [f] and [v]. An example of this is "ámfô" [aɱfo] ("mud").
  • The velar nasal [ŋ] is an allophone of [n] before the velar plosives [k] and [g]. An example of this is "ongá" [ɒŋga] ("fingernail"). The velar nasal is also produced when a word terminates with /ng/, for example in "tsíng" [t͡sɪŋ] ("jewel").
  • The voiced glottal fricative [ɦ] is an allophone of [h] between vowels, before [j] and after [k].
  • The velarised alveolar lateral approximant [ɫ] is an allophone of [l] before another consonant, as in "gəltá" [gəɫta] ("mortar").
  • The alveolar approximant [ɹ] only occurs at the starts words and is an allophone of the alveolar tap [ɾ].
  • The voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative [θ] and the voiced dental non-sibilant fricative [ð] are allophones. Their occurrence is often unpredictable. For example, "zū́þômô" [zuːθomo] ("smooth"), but "kaiþá" [kaɪ̯ða] ("truth").
  • Both [t] and [d] may be pronounced as the dental plosives [t̪] and [d̪].
  • The bilabial plosives [p] and [b] may also, but less frequently, be produced as dental plosives, [p̪] and [b̪] (or [ȹ] and [ȸ]).
  • Rarer still is the dental nasal [n̪] which is an allophone of [n].


  • Gemination of consonants occurs almost exclusively due to the two digraphs /kg/ and /gk/ - [kː] and [gː] respectively.
  • The only other place it occurs in Standard Kihā́mmic is when the last consonant in a given word and the first consonant in the following word are the same fricative, nasal or plosive. Such as "án zápôvan núk" [an zapovanːʊk] ("a sharp rock").

Syllabic consonantsEdit

Kihā́mmic has seven syllabic consonants, [l̩], [ɫ̩], [m̩], [n̩], [ɾ̩], [z̩] and [s̩]. There are even a few words that do not have vowels in at all:

  • blg [bl̩g] (key)
  • grg [gɾ̩g] (bubble)
  • gzkl [gz̩kɫ̩] (spring [relating to water])


Chart of vowelsEdit

Front Near-front Central Near-back Back
Close i iː u uː
Near-close ɪ ʊ
Close-mid e o
Mid ə
Open-mid ɛ ɜ ɔ ɔː
Open a ɑː ɒ


  • In Kihā́mmic vowel modifications do not occur. Nasalisation does not occur, vowels are never reduced and vowels do not undergo assimilations.
  • In Standard Kihā́mmic the close-mid front unrounded vowel [e] only appears at the ends of words. However, for some speakers it replaces the open-mid front unrounded vowel [ɛ] entirely. For example,"Zún klûré, ékô hób aná mūskôá" ("One day I'll have a son") would normally be pronounced [zʊn kluɾe ɛko hɒb ana muːskoa], but some speakers may pronounce it [zʊn kluɾe eko hɒb ana muːskoa] instead.
  • There are also a few speakers (albeit fewer than above) for whom the open front unrounded vowel [a] may be pronounced as a near-open front unrounded vowel [æ].
  • Some speakers may also pronounce the vowel "ā" as [aː], [äː] orː] rather than [ɑː]. This doesn't often occur where speakers pronounce "a" as [æ].

Vowel lengthEdit

In Kihā́mmic vowel length and is partially independent of stress and intonation. It may in fact change the meaning of a word, compare "lûgá" [luga] ("brush") and "lūgá" [luːga] ("louse").


Kihā́mmic has fourteen diphthongs: nine falling ([aɪ̯], [aʊ̯], [au̯], [eɪ̯], [eʊ̯], [eu̯], [oɪ̯], [oʊ̯], [ou̯]) and five rising ([wa], [wɛ], [we], [wɪ] and [wi]). The [w◌] in rising diphthongs can also be analysed as [u̯◌].

If a diphthong is stressed the first vowel in the grapheme acquires the stress mark. Hence "bevrói" [bɛvˈɾoɪ̯] (redo) and not "bevroí" or "bevróí".

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