Tonkawa Sound Guide

Short Vowels

a = about, above

e = bed, met

i = it, hid

o = on-ward, ongoing

u = put, push

Long Vowels

a• = saw, call

e• = hey, they

i• = field, wield

o• = own, bone

u• = yule, rule


c = church, chair

h = Standard English

k = Standard English

l = Standard English

m = Standard English

n = Standard English

p = Standard English

s = Fluctuates between ship, and sip

t = Standard English

w = Standard English

x = Like the German Bach, ich

y = Standard English

‘ = Glottal Stop

Sound Guide & Common Phrases

Learning Resources

Tonkawa English Dictionary

A booklet listing the approximately 2,500 words in the Tonkawa language.

Language Coloring Book

A fun way for children to learn the Tonkawa language.

Tonkawa Night Story

“The Young Man Who Became a Shaman,” translated into English.

Language References

Hoijer, Harry 1933. Tonkawa: An Indian Language of Texas. In Handbook of American Indian languages, Vol. 3. Boas, Franz (ed.) New York: Columbia University.

Hoijer, Harry 1946. Tonkawa. In Linguistic Structures of Native America. Harry Hoijer et al. 289-311.

Hoijer, Harry 1949. An Analytical Dictionary of the Tonkawa Language. Publications in Linguistics 5. Berkeley, CA: University of California.

Hoijer, Harry 1972. Tonkawa Texts. Publications in Linguistics 73. Berkeley, CA: University of California.