The Choctaw Alphabet

  • A - apisa, mirror. Long as in English father.
  • Ʋ - ʋllo̱si, baby. Short as in English sofa.
  • B - bʋshpo, knife. As in English ball.
  • Ch - chukfi, rabbit. As in English church.
  • E - achefa, to wash. Long as in English fee.
  • F - fichik, a star. As in English fire.
  • H - haknip,body. As in English hot.
  • Hl - hla̱fa, a mark. A little like English health. Hl is spelled lh before a consonant.
  • I - iti, tree. Short as in English itch.
  • k - koni, skunk. As in English kitchen.
  • L - luksi, turtle. As in English lemon.
  • M - mi̱ko, chief, king. As in English match.
  • N - nʋni, fish. As in English new.
  • O - ohoyo, woman. Long as in English boy.
  • P - pinti, mouse. As in English pot.
  • S - sinti, snake. As in English sun.
  • Sh - shukha, hog. As in English shoe.
  • T - tanchi, corn. As in English toy.
  • U - ushi, child. Short as in English pore.
  • W - wak, cow. As in English work.
  • Y - yʋnʋsh, buffalo. As in English yellow.

Choctaw also has nasal vowels (pronounced through the nose). These are usually spelled a̱, i̱, and o̱ (or u̱). Before ch, l, and t the same sounds are spelled an, in, and on (or un). Before b and p, they are spelled am, im, and om (or um). There is a great deal of variation in spelling between these three pairs of vowels:

  • ʋ~a
  • i~e
  • u~o
In general, the letters ʋ, i, and u are used for shorter vowel sounds where the mouth is almost closed; a, e, and o are used for longer vowel sounds where the mouth is more open. Consonants may be doubled. The n in the word hannali ‘six’ is held longer than the n in the word hanali ‘leg’. When a sound is spelled with two letters (sh, hl, ch), do not double the letters.

The following alphabetical order was used to sort words: a A a̱ A̱; ʋ Ʋ; b B; c C; e E e̱ E̱; f F; h H; i I i̱ I̱; k K; l L; m M; n N; o O o̱ O̱; p P; s S; t T; u U u̱ U̱; w W; y Y. Ch, hl, lh,and sh are sorted as two separate letters.