Most of the Aleutian alphabet is approximately pronounced as in English
(IPA is provided for some sounds)
[For font issues see below.]
a = 'a' in 'lava'
aa = 'a' in 'father' (a bit longer)
i = 'i' in 'hit'
ii = 'ea' in 'bead'
u = 'u' in 'put'
uu = 'o' in 'who'
Consonants (similar to English):
ch = 'ch' in 'chip'
d = 'th' in 'the' (ð in IPA) (NOT 'd' in 'dog')
h = 'h' in 'help'
k = 'k' in 'kite'
l = 'l' in 'lamp'
m = 'm' in 'meet'
n = 'n' in 'need'
ng = 'ng' in 'sing' (ŋ in IPA) (not at n+g as in 'ng' in 'finger')
s = 's' in 'sing' (though as 'z' in 'zinc in loan words)
t = 't' in 'top'
y = 'y' in 'yearn'
w = 'w' in 'well'
z = 'z' in 'zinc'
b = 'b' in 'book'
f = 'f' in 'face'
p = 'p' in 'pepper'
r = Either as Russian r (r in IPA) or as in English 'r' in 'red' (ɹ in IPA)
v = 'v' in 'vain'
g = French 'r' (ɣ in IPA)
x = German 'ch' as in 'ich' (x in IPA)
ĝ = This sound is hard to describe, it's like Aleut 'g' but deeper in the throat (ʁ in IPA)
x̂= Same as for ĝ only it's a deeper x ( χ in IPA)
hl = similar to the 'lh' in Tibetan, or 'll' in Welsh (ɬ in IPA)
hm = 'h' + 'm'
hn = 'h' + 'n'
hng = 'h' + 'ng'
hy = 'h' + 'y'
hw = 'h' + 'w'
As a note n'g = 'n' + 'g', as a way to differentiate it from 'ng'
Now on to Grammar:
Like most (if not all) Eskimo-Aleut languages, Aleut has a dual form of personal pronouns and personal endings.
Ex. txin yaxtakuq = I love you
Note the similarities between the 2nd and 3rd person pronouns in the dual and plural. Also note that these pronouns are used for the person/thing that is being acted upon, not the person/thing that is doing the act. In other words, the personal pronouns in Aleut are generally used for the direct/indirect object of the sentence, not the subject. And finally, the third person personal pronouns and endings do not account for the gender of the person/thing referenced.
Verbs in citation form tend to end in -l
yaxtal - to love
tunux̂tal - to speak
ukux̂tal - to see, look at
achigal - to learn, study
This -l ending means more then just the citation form, but I'll get into that later after.
In order to get the base of the verb you simply take off the -l ending:
It is this form that the ending for verbs are added.
These ending are added to verbs:
|Singular||-q||-t or -x̂t||-x|
|Dual||-s||-txidix or -x̂txidix||-x|
|Plural||-s||-txichix or -x̂txichix||-s|
A note about the 2nd person forms; the basic endings are '-t', '-txidix' and, '- txichix.' But in some cases a '-x̂-' is added to the base form. If the '-x̂' is added it will be stated as the following: ( -x̂- for 2nd person) next to the entry about the ending in question.
yaxtakuq - I love
yaxtakutxichix - You (pl.) love
achigax - They (dual) learn
Verb Ending for Present Tense/ General Statement:
-ku- = general statement ending ( -x̂- for 2nd person)
This ending is added to the base of the verb to convey the general statement about what is happening, and conveys the present tense. Note however that where -ku- does denote what English would consider the present tense it does not convey the time that something occurred, it's usual purpose is just to convey a general statement about something.
yaxta + ku + q --> yaxtakuq = I love (present tense)
achiga + ku + x --> achigakux = They are learning
achiga + ku + x̂ + t --> achigakux̂t = You are learning
-laka- is the negation of -ku- ( -x̂- for 2nd person)
yaxta + laka + q --> yaxtalakaq = I don't love (present tense)
achiga + laka + x --> achigalakax = They are not learning
achiga + laka + x̂ + txidix --> achigalakax̂txidix = You (dual) are not learning
And that will do it for now.