There are four vowels in Innu spelling:
These vowels actually represent 7 phonemes (distinct linguistic sounds). We distinguish short and long vowels.
The vowel e is always a long vowel. It is pronounced like the vowel in the English word ‘say’: Penashue François, meshkanau street, road, path, trail
The vowels a, i and u can be long or short.
- When a and i are long, they are pronounced like they are in French (papa, ville): utapan car, mitshishu s/he eats
- When a and i are short (and in the middle of words), they are often pronounced as [ǝ] (like the French e in peser): nussim my grandson, nipin summer, massin soulier, ishinamu s/he perceives something
The u vowel can be long or short (…)