Friday, August 30, 2013

R and L in Mohawk

Q: How do you pronounce the Mohawk word Aweri (sweetheart)? I found conflicting pronunciations online. Is the "r" pronounced like an r, or like an l?

A: It depends on the dialect. In Akwesasne (and among some Six Nations speakers), it's pronounced like English "l." In other dialects, it's pronounced more like the "r" of Spanish.

Are you sure "aweri" can mean "sweetheart," though? Neither of our Mohawk speakers has ever heard it used that way. It literally means "its heart."

Hope that helps, have a good day!
Native Languages of the Americas

Further reading:
Mohawk language
Mohawk words
Iroquois tribes

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