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Lesson #1: The Alphabet
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The Alphabet
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 27 Nov 2020, 10:59.

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The Ushnagos language uses the Ushnagos alphabet to represent its 29 letters. In this 3 part lesson, we will be giving in rundown of all the letters in the alphabet. In this first lesson, we will be explaining how the alphabet functions as well as the simpler letters in the alphabet.

Unlike the English alphabet, which has 2 cases for each letter (Upper and Lower), the Ushnagos alphabet has 4 Cases.

- The Initial form: This is when the letter is written in front of a word. This is similar to the Uppercase letters of English, except that are at the beginning of every word, not just the first in the sentence or proper nouns.
- The Medial form: This is the form letters take in the middle of a word, similar to the Lowercase letters of English.
- The Final form: Similar to the Initial form, the Final form is the form letters take when they are at the end of a word.
-The Isolate form: When a word is a single letter long, an acronym, an initial, or you just want to present a letter by itself, then you use the Isolate form.

Part 1/3: Consistent Forms
In this part we will look at the formation of Ushnagos words as well as out first 7 letters.

Lets take a look at out first letter -- "a" -- to see these forms in action.

A
/a/

When writing "a" alone, such as in an acronym, we use the Isolated form of the letter. the Isolate form of the letter "a" is:
à

"A" looks like an eight, and is written by first starting in the middle, going to the upper right to make the top loop, then going to the bottom right to make the second loop before returning back to the middle. This writing direction will help you write easier when using the other forms.

The initial form of "a" is:


Notice how the Initial form looks similar to the Isolate form, just with an extra line to the right? This allows it to connect to letters to the right of it. This can be seen with the Medial form of "a":
͏a͏

as well as the Final form:
À

Together, the forms look like so:
AaÀ à

The Initial, Medial, and Final forms of letters all connect to each other to form words longer than one letter. With one small caveat that will be discussed in Part 3, all words in Ushnagos can be written with one continuous stroke without ever lifting up the pencil.

Modern Ushnagos is written left to right, but that wasn't always the case. Historically, it was as a vertical script written down to up. You can still see it in formal situations such as religious texts or certain government documents.

Due to the nature of the Isolate forms, most letters besides "a" have an Isolate form that varies from the others visually, while retaining some similar features. Let's see this with out next letter -- "s".

S
/s/

From now on, we will present the connecting forms first with the Isolate form last. The Initial form of "s" is:


To write this, begin a line from the top and draw all the way down, then draw a curving line to the center right. This connects with the Medial form:
͏s͏

which has a curving line to the very top. The Final form is very much the same:
Ş

The Isolate forms varies somewhat:
ş

It may look like a different letter, but notice the similarity between the Final and Isolate forms. The Isolate form often looks similar to either the Initial or Final form, depending on the letter.
Together, the "s" look like:
SsŞ ş

Letters that have similarities to each other in Ushnagos can look similar. The letter "t" is like the letter "s" but flipped vertically.

T
/t/
TtÞ þ

"t" is written the same as "s", except you start at the bottom rather than the top.

The 3 letters we looked at so far have spanned both sides of the center line. However, some letters are only one side. This is with the case of our next letter: "f".

F
/ɸ/
Note: /ɸ/ is similar to English F, but more like a blowing sound

Initial "f" looks like this:


"f" is written stating in the middle, writing a backwards "c", then hooking back to the right. Here is "f" in it's Medial form:
͏f͏

and its Final form:
͏Ĥ

The Isolate form is different:
ĥ

Begin writing the hook, then form a "c" shape with the rest of the letter. Now all together.
FfĤ ĥ

Notice how the connecting forms are half the height of the Isolate form? While all Isolate forms are full height, some other forms may only be above or below the center line. Don't be fooled, however. Treat these letters the same as the full length ones. Practice these. While it may be tempting to write these half height letters with full height, its a bad habit to do so and you'll need to do so to distinguish different letters.

"p". is like "f" but rotated 180 degrees.

P
/p/

PpĈ ĉ

Our next letter is "r".

R
/ɾ/

First here is Initial "r":


"r" is a top loop starting in the middle and continuing rightward. Here is the Medial form:
͏r͏

and the Final form:
͏Ŕ

The Isolate form of "r" is:
ŕ

It's like a backwards 9. Write it by starting with the bottom hook. Together, "r" looks like this.
RrŔ ŕ

Our final letter for this part is "l".

L
/l/

"l" is like "r", but flipped vertically.
LlŁ ł

Pop Quiz:
Type the romanization of the sequences.

à
 
ĥ
 

 

 
SaĈ
 
TaĈ
 
RaÞ
 
PatŞ
 
LasÞ
 
PastÀ
 
SalsÀ
 

Part 2/3: Inconsistent Forms
In the previous part, we looked at letters whose connecting forms are identical to each other. In this part, we will look at the next 8 letters whose connecting forms differ.

Our first letter for this lesson is "m".

M
/m/

The Initial form of "m" is like the Isolate form of "r", but flipped horizontally:


The Final from of "m" is like the mirror image of the Initial from:
͏Ņ

The Medial form, however, is different:
͏m͏

To write the medial form of "m", start from the left and make a loop above the center line, then make a second loop to the right of it can continue rightward. The segment that connects the two loops should be slightly above the center line.

The Isolate form is like the Initial:
ņ

Together:
MmŅ ņ

The next letter is "n"

N
/n/

"n" is like "m", but flipped horizontally:
NnŃ ń

The next letter is "i"

I
/i/

First we have the Initial form:


Note the little hook at the beginning.

This hook is not present in the Medial form:
͏i͏

nor the Final form:
͏Ì

Both of which are also in the opposite direction to the Initial form.

Finally, the Isolate form:
ì

Altogether:
IiÌ ì

Note: You may confuse "i" with "p". Just remember, "i" is hooked Initially, but "p" always Points right.

Next, we have "u", which is similar to "i":

U
/u/

UuÙ ù

To avoid confusion with "f", think of "f" Fleeing way while "u" Uppercuts to the right.

The next letter is "k":

K
/k/

First the Initial Form:


"k" looks like a curvy six. Begin that the top, make a have loop on top, then continue to the bottom right to complete the bottom loop, then continue to the right.

For the Medial form:
͏k͏

make a sharp uptick upwards before going to the right. Make sure the tick is straight upwards and doesn't curve either way, lest someone reading would confuse it for an "i" or "p".

The Final form is a mirror image of the Initial form:
͏Ķ

The Isolate form is like the Initial form without the complete loop. It should resemble an English S:
ķ

Altogether:
KkĶ ķ

All of the letters presented to you so far have been represented with a single letter in the romanization. The last 3 letters in this part, however, will be represented with diagraphs, the first of which being "kh".

KH
/x/
Note: /x/ is similar to English H, but more restricted in the back of the mouth. It should not sound phlegmy.

"kh" is like "k", but flipped vertically:
XxH h

The next letter is "sh":

SH
/ʃ/
Note: Like English SH

First, the Initial:
Ś͏͏

Start by writing at the top, curving to the right to the center line. In the Medial form:
͏ś͏

make a backwards English C, draw a straight line on the top, then draw a forward English C. The Final form is a mirror of the Initial form:
Ŝ

The Isolate form is like a stretched Initial form:
ŝ

To avoid confusion between Isolate form "sh" and Isolate form "t", remember that "sh" SHifts right while "t" Tilts left.

All forms of "sh" together:
ŚśŜ ŝ

Our final letter for this part is "ch":

CH
/t͡ʃ/
Note: Like English CH

"ch" is like "sh", but flipped horizontally:
CcÇ ç

To avoid confusion between Isolate form "ch" and Isolate form "s", remember that "ch" CHarges forward while "s" Stays back.

Pop Quiz:
Type the romanization of the sequences.

ì
 
ş
 

 

 
NuŃ
 
MiÞ
 
InĶ
 
SciŅ
 
LumĈ
 
PrinÞ
 
ArxaŅ
 

Part 3/3: Diacritics
In part one, it was briefly mention that all words can be written with a single stroke with ONE caveat. That caveat is the 2 diacritics of the Ushnagos alphabet. The remaining 15 letters of the Ushnagos alphabet are made with those you have already learn plus a diacritic.

The first diacritic is the horizontal diacritic, which in Ushnagos is called the Fortat, or "soft dot". This is used to modify vowels. We have already learned 3 of the vowels in the Ushnagos alphabet. The remaining 3 are made with the Fortat. The first value is "á":

Á
/ə/
Note: Like the English "UH" sound

Áá â

"á" is like "a", but with a diacritic mark over it. Also note that the Romanized "á" has an acute mark over it. The other two vowels are "e" from "i":

E
/e/

EeÈ è

and "o" from "u":

O
/o/

OoÒ ò

Note for "o" that the Fortat high up despite it being only half height.

The second diacritic is the vertical diacritic, known as the Ushtat, or "voice dot". This diacritic is used for 2 different purposes. The first purpose is two make the voiced equivalent of the unvoiced equivalents you have already seen. There is not much else to say about this topic so hear is a speed round of all of these sounds in the order presented to you in the previous two parts:

Z
/z/

ZzŻ ż

D
/d/

DdÐ ð

V
/β/
Note: Like blowing air, but with your vocal chords

VvĦ ħ

B
/b/

BbČ č

G
/g/

GgĠ ġ

GH
/ɣ/
Note: Similar to English H, but more restricted in the back of the mouth and with your vocal chords. It should not sound phlegmy.

QqĜ ĝ

ZH
/ʒ/
Note: Similar to "sh", but with your vocal chords

ŹźŽ ž

J
/d͡ʒ/

JjĴ ĵ

Additionally, the Ushtat is used to modify other letters to produce sounds that aren't voiced versions of unvoiced sounds, but rather to produce a sound that is similar to the letter without the diacritic. The first of these is "y":

Y
/j/

YyÝ ý

The diacritic modifies "i" to form the semivowel "y". The same thing happens to "u" to make "w":

W
/ʋ/
Note: Similar to English W, but a little closer to English V

WwÜ ü

The last letter to have the Ushtat -- and our final letter of the alphabet to learn -- is "ng":

NG
/ŋ/
Note: Like English NG

ÑñŇ ň

"ng" is derived from "n". This may seem to be like a strange sound to have an Initial form to, seeing that English only has it at the end of syllables, but like any sound in Ushnagos it can start a sound a syllable. It may be hard to pronounce at first, but it's necessary to learn the language. In fact, "ushnagos" is only the English name of the language. The proper romanization is "ushNGagos", as "ng" is the initial sound of the language.

Pop Quiz:
Type the romanization of the sequences.
Letters to copy: á

ò
 
ĵ
 

 

 
BeÐ
 
YaÝ
 
ŹáŇ
 
VasÈ
 
ZacŞ
 
ReliŜ
 
BaqdaÐ
 

Congratulations! You have learned all 29 letters of the Ushnagos alphabet. It's important to note that you haven't learned them in proper alphabetical order. Below is a table that shows all the letters and all their forms again.




LetterIPAIsolate FormInitial FormMedial FormFinal Form
R/ɾ/ŕ͏r͏͏Ŕ
L/l/ł͏l͏͏Ł
N/n/ń͏n͏͏Ń
NG/ŋ/ňÑ͏͏ñ͏͏Ň
M/m/ņ͏m͏͏Ņ
A/a/à͏a͏͏À
Á/ə/âÁ͏͏á͏͏Â
I/i/ì͏i͏͏Ì
E/e/è͏e͏͏È
Y/j/ý͏y͏͏Ý
U/u/ù͏u͏͏Ù
O/o/ò͏o͏͏Ò
W/ʋ/ü͏w͏͏Ü
KH/x/h͏x͏H
GH/ɣ/ĝĝ͏q͏͏Ĝ
K/k/ķ͏k͏͏Ķ
G/g/ġ͏g͏͏Ġ
F/ɸ/ĥ͏f͏͏Ĥ
V/β/ħ͏v͏͏Ħ
P/p/ĉĉ͏p͏͏Ĉ
B/b/č͏b͏͏Č
S/s/ş͏s͏͏Ş
Z/z/ż͏z͏͏Ż
T/t/þ͏t͏͏Þ
D/d/ð͏d͏͏Ð
CH/t͡ʃ/ç͏c͏Ç
J/d͡ʒ/ĵ͏j͏͏Ĵ
SH/ʃ/ŝŚ͏͏ś͏͏Ŝ
ZH/ʒ/žžźŽ
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