Consonant clusters beginning with H

The clusters beginning with H include [ hp ] HP, [ ht ] HT, [ htʃ ] HCH, [ hk ] HK, [ hy ] HY, and [ hw ] HW. You may find it hard to hear the [ h ] because English does not have such clusters. In addition, East Cree speakers do not always pronounce the [ h ]. Here are some examples of clusters beginning with [ h ] in East Cree.

HP

Northern Syllables IPA
ᐅᐦᐱᓐᐦ Click here to hear this word uhpinh uhpinh [ uhˈpɪnʰ ]
ᐐᐦᐹᔅᒄ Click here to hear this word wiihpaaskw wiihpaaskw [ ˈwiːhpaːskʷ ]
Southern Syllables IPA
ᐊᑯᐦᑉ Click here to hear this word akuhp akuhp
ᒀᐦᑉᐦᐄ Click here to hear this word kwaahphii kwaahphii

HT

Northern Syllables IPA
ᐄᔮᐦᑎᒄ Click here to hear this word iiyaahtikw ii – yaahtikw [ iː – jahtəkʷ ]
ᐃᔥᒀᐦᑖᒻ Click here to hear this word ishkwaahtaam * ish – kwaahtaam [ iʃ – ˈkɔʰ tam ]

* The H is difficult to hear in the last example.

Southern Syllables IPA
ᐋᐱᐦᑑᓐ Click here to hear this word aapihtuun aapihtuun
ᑯᐦᑕ Click here to hear this word kuhta kuhta

HCH

Northern Syllables IPA
ᒋᐦᒋᐱᔨᐤ Click here to hear this word chihchipiyiu * chihchi – pi – yiu [ tʃiçˈtʃɪ – pɪ – juʔ ]
ᒥᐦᒌᐙᓯᐤ Click here to hear this word mihchiiwaasiu mihchii – waa – siu [ mɪhiː – ˈwa – suʔ ]

* The H sounds almost like a [ ʃ ] in this example. It is actually a [ ç ] sound, described below.

Southern Syllables IPA
ᐊᓵᒥᐦᒉᐤ Click here to hear this word asaamihhcheu a – saamihcheu
ᒥᑎᐦᒌᐦ Click here to hear this word mitihchiih mi – tihchiih

HK

Northern Syllables IPA
ᑳᐐᐦᒀᓯᑦ Click here to hear this word kaawiihkwaasit kaa – wiihkwaa – sit [ ka – wihˈkɔs – sɪt ]
ᒥᐦᒀᐤ Click here to hear this word mihkwaau mihkwaau [ ˈməhkɔːw ]
Southern Syllables IPA
ᐋᐦᑯᓲ Click here to hear this word aahksuu aahk – suu
ᒥᐦᑯᓐᐦ mihkunh mihkunh

HY

Northern Syllables IPA
ᒧᔖᐙᐦᔮᐅᐲᓯᒻ Click here to hear this word mushaawaahyaaupiisim mu – shaa – waahyaau – pii – sim [ mu – ʃa – wah jaw – ˈpi – sʊm ]
Southern Syllables IPA
ᐱᒥᐦᔮᐤ Click here to hear this word pimihyaau pimihyaau
ᔦᐦᔦᐤ Click here to hear this word yehyeu yehyeu

HW

Northern Syllables IPA
ᐙᐦᐙᐤ Click here to hear this word waahwaau waahwaau [ wahwɔw ]
Southern Syllables IPA
ᒋᐸᐦᐌᐤ Click here to hear this word chipahweu chipahweu

While H before consonants often sounds like H, it can also sound

  • a bit more like the H in human [ ç ] after the vowels I or II, and
  • a bit more like [ ɦ ] (the H sound in ahead) after the vowels A or AA.

Some examples are provided on the page describing fricatives.

As mentioned above, East Cree speakers do not always pronounce H before consonants. Instead, the preaspirated H influences the pronunciation of the preceding vowel in one of two ways:

  • the vowel before the H may sound longer (but not necessarily). For examples, see the page describing fricatives.
  • the vowel before the H can be deleted. (This affects only the short vowels I, U, and A, and not all of the time.)
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