Orthography for South Slavey

The standard orthography recommended by the South Slavey Standardization Committee as reported in the Dictionary of the Verbs of South Slavey (second edition, 2004) is listed below. Beneath that is the orhtography written in the IPA.

 The sounds /m/ and /mb/ and /n/ and /nd/ may be alternants of each other. The t and k sounds, the plain 'aspirated' stops, are afrffricates tx and kx in the Dene langauges we have looked at. The t and k sounds are followed by a strong velar frication. 

Vowel sounds

South Slavey has a five vowel system. South Slavey vowels may be long or short, nasalized or non-nasal, and carry tone. Nasal vowels a marked with a hook (ąą), H tone is marked with an accent (áá), low tone is unmarked. Vowels may have both tonal and nasal marking (ą́ą́).  South Slavey is also reported to have a central vowle, the schwa /ə/. In the chaart below are the 5 short oral and nasal vowels. Different dialects of South Slavey may have different vowels.

The vowels changes in Slavey languages indicate grammatical or/and lexical differences.


  • A Dictionary of the Verbs of South Slavey, (2004) Published by the Dehcho Divisional Educational Council, Ft Simpson NT Canada.
  • Phillip Howard. (1990) A Dictionary of the Verbs of South Slavey. Yelllowknife, Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Culture and Communications.
  • Mithun, Marianne (1999). The languages of native North America. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

See also Language Materials

Chris Harvey. (2012) LanguageGeek [website] from http://www.languagegeek.com/

denespeechatlas@rochester.edu  © Joyce McDonough 2012