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Girekian Phonology & Orthography
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Exactly what do all those lines and squiggles mean?
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 5 May 2020, 13:42.

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Menu 1. Introduction 2. Consonants 3. Vowels 4. Punctuation 5. Spelling 6. Stress 7. Learn More
[edit] [top]Introduction

 Girekian is the protolanguage spoken by the ancient people of Mayen. Each letter is based on the shape that the mouth makes while forming each phoneme.

The earliest writing has been found on paper made from sedge pulp (similar to papyrus). The traditional writing implement was an ink brush made from reeds. Simple, clear strokes keep ink from bleeding and obscuring the text. Consonants are open shapes, while vowels are closed shapes. Lines and vertices are often used to indicate tongue or lip movement. Uppercase letters are essentially embellished versions of the lowercase, but each uppercase letter is designed to evoke a concept that begins with that letter. Lowercase letters are default, with capitalization only used in the case of proper nouns, particularly the names of higher life forms (people and divine/celestial beings). Pronouns are not capitalized, nor are the beginnings of sentences.

[edit] [top]Consonants

Clicking on a letter's name will take you to its word summary, if you're interested in the etymology of each consonant's name and the meaning of its uppercase form.

"bom" (b) b B
"tik" (t) t T
"kur" (k) k K
"'itol" (') ' ∧‌
"fœl" (f) f F
"zyb" (z) z Z
"cyl" (c) c C
"xaz" (x) x X
"qyl" (q) q Q
"hal" (h) h H
"maqyl" (m) m M
"nyl" (n) n N
"won" (w) w W
"lon" (l) l L
"jaz" (j) j J
"rul" (r) r R

▼ Click to see pronunciation notes.


[edit] [top]Vowels

Vowels do not have names as they are simply considered compliments to consonants.

(i) i
(y) y
(e) e
(u) u
(œ) œ
(o) o
(æ) æ
(a) a
(ä) ä
(ö) ö
(å) å
(û) û

▼ Click to see notes.


[edit] [top]Punctuation

Clicking on the name of each mark will take you to its word summary, if you're interested in the etymology of each punctuation mark's name and the meaning of its symbol. (At least it will when I get around to transferring these entries to the CWS dictionary!)

(.) .
(?) ?
(!) !
(") "
(~) ~

▼ Click to see notes.


[edit] [top]Spelling

The writing system is phonemic and  Girekian syllables are CV or CVC. The rule is that consonants and vowels must alternate. There are a few rare exceptions of consonant clusters at the seam between syllables, but these are almost all a result of inflection and native speakers are still prone to verbally add an unstressed vowel, especially y [ɪ]or œ [ə]. Vowel clusters are strictly illegal.

Words are verbally spelled by naming each consonant "attached" to the vowel that follows it. For example rohytija is spelled "rulo haly tiki jaza".

[edit] [top]Stress

Single syllable words are typically unstressed, but they may be stressed for emphasis. Stress is typically on the first syllable in two-syllable words, and on the second syllable in words that are longer than two syllables, so "lam jaliz lako'am" ("the six jokes") is pronounced "lam JAliz laKO'am". Stress placement is generally strict as verbal inflection is important, so shifting stress alters the meaning of a word or phrase. Putting stress in the "wrong" place can convey annoyance/disapproval, affection, importance, or amazement.

Stress also changes the pronunciation of some consonants, which in turn changes the connotation of the word. The word "hofen" from earlier is a perfect example. Including the "f" in the first syllable pronouncing it "HOFen" (to moor (a boat)) is standard, while including it in the second syllable would change the sound of the word slightly to "HOvhen" which has the connotation of to marry.

Particularly long words may have additional (secondary) stress, starting on the second and continuing at every other syllable (2nd, 4th, 6th syllable, etc). However, inflected endings are never stressed, so if a word is lengthened through inflection, the stress is applied only to the root of the word.

▼ Click for more examples.


[edit] [top]Learn More

Now that you know how to spell and pronounce  Girekian words, check out the other lessons to learn about building words, phrases, and sentences!

Girekian Morphology Part 1: Nouns
Girekian Morphology Part 2: Verbs
Girekian Morphology Part 3: Adjectives
Coming Soon: Interjections, Numbers, Derivational Morphology, Syntax
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