The Orthography, Phonology, and Phonotactics of Voksigid.
1. The alphabet consists of all the Roman letters except q and
The letters l and r will never be used to distinguish two words,
so that in a technical sense they will be considered the same phoneme. In fact,
however, the official sounds of l and r will be as shown below.
Because people whose native languages have only one sound similar to both, as
Japanese and Korean, may use that sound for both letters, we will never use them
to distinguish minimal pairs. A similar comment holds for s and z;
Spanish, for example, has no /z/ while German tends to pronounce initial
s as [z] and Italian does the same with intervocalic s.
2. The sounds of the letters are as follows:
a (Eng. art, Fr. la)
b (Eng. boy)
c (Ital. cento = ch in Eng. chief, sh in Eng. shoe)
d (Eng. dog)
e (Eng. bed, Ger. Bett, beten)
f (Eng. find)
g (Eng. girl)
h (Eng. have, Ger. Bach) -- the [x] sound is allowed for the benefit
of such as Russian speakers who cannot pronounce [h].
i (Eng. in, machine)
j (Eng. jam, Fr. journal)
k (Eng. key)
l (Eng. love, Ger. Liebe)
m (Eng. man)
n (Eng. sun; before k or g, as in Eng. sung)
o (Brit. Eng. on, aw in Am. Eng. dawn, Ger. so)
p (Eng. pin)
r (Eng. red, Fr. rouge, Span. rojo)
s (Eng. sing)
t (Eng. top)
u (Eng. push, rude)
v (Eng. very)
w (Eng. wash)
y (Eng. yet)
z (Eng. zero)
It should be noted that for the letters c e h i j n o u, sounds are
included that are in some languages considered distinct phonemes; this is
done to allow for ease in pronouncing by speakers of as many languages
For items 3-5, the following terminology applies:
Vowel = a e i o u, or any of the diphthongs listed.
Diphthong = ai au oi.
Pure consonant = b c d f g h j k p s t v z.
Liquid = l r.
Nasal = m n.
Glide = w y.
Semivowel = any liquid, nasal, or glide, as defined
Consonant = any pure consonant or semivowel, as defined
Voiced consonant = b d g j v z.
Unvoiced consonant = c f h k p s t.
3. A syllable consists of one to four phonemes, of the form [P] [S] V [C]
where bracketed elements are optional, P is any pure consonant, S any
semivowel, V any vowel, and C any consonant, except:
a. The final consonant of a syllable may not be a glide or h.
b. The final consonant of one syllable, combined with the initial
consonant(s) of an immediately following syllable in a word, may not make any of
the combinations forbidden in 4.
4. The following consonant combinations are forbidden:
a. Voiced + unvoiced consonant or vice versa.
b. Nasal consonant + nonhomoorganic stop. This specifically forbids the
combination of m + any of (c d g j k t) and the combination
of n with (b p)
5. If a word ends in a pure consonant and the following word does not begin
with a pure consonant, or if a word ends in a semivowel and the following word
begins in a vowel, a distinct pause must be articulated at the word boundary.
In other cases, a pause may be made at a boundary, but need not be. A word
boundary is defined as anywhere where a blank space is written.
This page was originally a part of my site on Geocities, maintained until 1998.
The last edit on the Geocities page was made on May 24, 1997. The pages on Geocities
could not be edited between 1998 and 2009, and were preserved as they were, until
download in preparation for migration to this site took place on May 22, 2009.
Please inform me of
dead links and any other problems.
Last modified by B. R. Gilson
(email@example.com) June 13, 2009.
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