The sounds of Choctaw have been described most extensively in Charles Ulrich's 1986 Ph.D. dissertation (see also Broadwell 2006).

Vowels in Choctaw may be short or long.

Short Long
ʋ /a/ a /a:/
i /i/ e /i:/
u /o/ o /o:/

In Byington's time, the letter e /i:/ was pronounced as in they.

Vowels are also sometimes nasal, spelled with an underline in the traditional Choctaw spelling.

a̱ /ã/ i̱ /ĩ/ o̱, u̱ /õ/

There are thirteen consonants.

p t ch /ʧ/ k
f s sh /ʃ/ h
hl, lh /ɬ/
w y /j/

The voiceless lateral fricative is spelled hl before a vowel and lh before a consonant.


Broadwell, George A. 2006. A Choctaw Reference Grammar. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Ulrich, Charles H. 1986. Choctaw morphophonology. UCLA Ph.D. dissertation.