Đà Misaliàn Iŋgliš Alfàbeṭ
so I guess I made an English spelling reform?
well, technically I've made several. this is just the first one I'm happy enough with to publish somewhere. anyway, I'm not gonna waste time explaining what a phonetic alphabet is and why it's useful for English to have one. but, just to be clear, this isn't one of those "I want everyone to stop using Standard English Spelling and start using my thing instead" spelling reforms. it's just for fun, so don't take it too seriously.
PARṬ WÔN: GOULS
my priorities for what I want in an English spelling system are a bit different from what you might have seen before. above all, I want it to be aesthetically pleasing to me personally. if I don't like the way it looks, I've failed. secondly, it should be intuitive to native English speakers who have some amount of linguistic experience. the third priority is for it to be versatile, able to work regardless of what dialect of English you speak.
there's also some things I specifically don't care about that other people do. I'm not making any effort to avoid diacritics or digraphs, because English phonology is too big for that to be a good idea. I also don't care about every sound always being written with the same letter and every letter always making the same sound. as long as there isn't any ambiguity, allowing sounds to be written multiple ways and vice versa can really help an orthography look nicer.
PARṬ TU: CONSÀNINTS
|labial||dental||alveolar||palatal / postalveolar||velar||glottal|
|nasal||Mm /m/||Nn /n/||Ňŋ /ŋ/|
|stop (voiceless)||Pp /p/||Tt /t/||Čč /tʃ/||Cc, Kk /k/||(Ṭṭ [ʔ])|
|stop (voiced)||Bb /b/||Dd /d/||Jj, Ǧǧ /dʒ/||Gg /ɡ/|
|fricative (voiceless)||Ff /f/||Ţţ /θ/||Ss, Ṣṣ /s/||Šš /ʃ/||(Xx /x/)||Hh /h/|
|fricative (voiced)||Vv /v/||Đđ /ð/||Zz, Ss /z/||Žž /ʒ/|
|approximant||Ll /l/||Yy /j/|
|labialized approximant||Rr /ɹ̠ʷ/||Ww /w/|
no, I don't know how to make IPA text display properly. yes, the font I'm using does actually have those characters and yes, they usually look normal.
M represents the bilabial nasal, which is the sound it usually represents.
N represents the alveolar nasal, which is the sound it usually represents.
Ň / ŋ (I like the letter ŋ, but I don't like capital Ŋ, so I used Ň for the capital instead. innovation!) represents the velar nasal, also known as the NG sound, as in "sing" siŋ.
P represents the voiceless bilabial plosive, which is the sound it usually represents.
B represents the voiced bilabial plosive, which is the sound it usually represents.
T represents the voiceless alveolar plosive, which is the sound it usually represents.
Ṭ represents the glottal stop, but only when it occurs as an allophone of T, as in "button" bûṭin (also can be spelled bûṭàn). I personally tend to glottalstoppify T whenever it appears at the end of a word, so you'll see a lot of this letter in the way I spell things, but remember that you don't need to, say, spell "part" like parṭ unless you pronounce the T at the end of that word like a glottal stop.
D represents the voiceless alveolar plosive, which is the sound it usually represents.
Ḍ represents the alveolar tap, which in American English is an allophone of both T and D, as in "butter" bûḍer and "ladder" lâḍer.
Č represents the voiceless postalveolar affricate, also known as the CH sound, as in "choose" čūz.
J and Ǧ both represent the voiced postalveolar affricate, also known as the J sound, as in "jump" jômp. in the Misalian Alphabet, J is used word initially and Ǧ is used elsewhere: compare "jar" jar and "ajar" àǧar. yes, it is somewhat controversial to use two letters to represent the same sound in a phonetic alphabet, but I'm doing it this way because I think it looks better.
C and K both represent the voiceless velar plosive, which is the sound K usually represents. the letter K is used for this sound at the ends of words, as in "take" teik, before the glides Y and W, as in "cure" kyer (also can be spelled keur) and "quick" kwik, and before any variation of the letters I and E, as in "king" kiŋ and "case" keiṣ. C is used for this sound in every other situation. once again, this choice isn't very logical, but I think it helps make things look good.
G represents the voiced velar plosive, also known as the hard G sound, as in "go" go.
F represents the voiceless labiodental fricative, which is the sound it usually represents.
V represents the voiced labiodental fricative, which is the sound it usually represents.
Ţ represents the voiceless dental fricative, also known as the voiceless TH sound, as in "thing" ţiŋ.
Đ represents the voiced dental fricative, also known as the voiced TH sound, as in "this" điṣ.
this is the part of the description where I legally have to point out that yes, the digraph TH represents two distinct sounds in Standard English Spelling. (compare "thigh" ţay and "thy" đay) I'd be genuinely surprised if reading this hidden page on a website about an alternative numbering system is the first time you've heard that, but I spend a lot of my time talking to amature linguists so I sometimes forget how most people don't know the basics of English phonology.
S and Ṣ represent the voiceless alveolar fricative, which is the sound S usually represents. well, I say "usually represents", but the phrase "usually represents" yužuàly reprìzents contains three esses, which are all pronounced differently! anyway, this sound is written with Ṣ word finally, as in "house" hauṣ, (unless the second-to-last sound in the word is another voiceless consonant, as in "lapse" laps) and with S everywhere else.
Z represents the voiced alveolar fricative, which is the sound it usually represents. you might notice that on the chart I listed that S can also make this sound, and that's because of a thing I'm about to explain.
in English, there are three different suffixes that are all pronounced the same context-sensitive way: the plural suffix (as in "sea / seas"), the genitive suffix (as in "sea / sea's"), and the third person singular suffix (as in "see / sees"). in a sense, these three suffixes are all the same "-S suffix", which simply has three different functions. this -S suffix has three different pronunciations. its default pronunciation is /z/, as in the examples already shown. if a word ends with a sibilant sound (specifically any of /s z ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ/), the suffix is pronounced like /ɪz/ (sometimes analyzed as /əz/ or /ɨz/), as in "catch / catches". if a word ends with a voiceless sound, the suffix becomes voiceless /s/, as in "cat / cats". in the Misalian English Alphabet, this suffix is always written with S, regardless of its pronunciation* and regardless of its function.
*there's an exception to this: if the word ends with S or Ṣ on its own (as in "fox" focs), the -S suffix is written with ÌS instead of just S, as in "foxes" / "fox's" focsìs, rather than focss.
as you'll see in a bit, a sound being at the "end of a word" frequently changes how it's written. if a word ends with the letter S, the rest of the word is pronounced as though the letter S were not there. so, the word "row" is written ro, "rows" is ros, and "rose" is rouz.
Š represents the voiceless postalveolar fricative, also known as the SH sound, as in "ship" šip.
Ž represents the voiced postalveolar fricative. this sound doesn't really have a grapheme to call its own, but it's the sound S makes in the word "pleasure" plèžer.
X represents the voiceless velar fricative, which is the sound CH makes in the Scottish pronunciation of "loch" lox. this sound doesn't appear in a lot of dialects of English, but it's important to be able to write it, especially since I'm dedicating letters to the not-really-phonemic sounds [ʔ] and [ɾ].
H represents the glottal fricative, which is the sound it usually represents.
W represents the labiovelar approximant, which is the sound it usually represents.
some English speakers pronounce words like "what" wôt (or wot) with a voiceless W sound. this is analyzed as /hw/, and therefore is written with the digraph HW (eg. hwôt or hwot).
L represents the lateral approximant, which is the sound it usually represents.
R represents the inconsistently pronounced English rhotic, which, by definition*, is the sound it usually represents.
*"rhotic" is a poorly defined category of sound. the most inclusive way of describing what it means is "sound that can be written with the letter R".
Y represents the palatal approximant, which is the sound it usually represents.
PARṬ ŢRI: VAWÀLS
English vowels are the main reason English spelling can be complicated, and are also the main reason I think most English respelling systems don't look very good. (I'm looking at YOU, Piydursowniyon Ingglish Alfobet)
in the Misalian English Alphabet, most vowels can be written multiple ways, and most vowel letters can represent multiple sounds. yeah, I know, "what about the Alphabetic Principle??" and all that. remember, I care more about the system looking good than the system being logical. anyway, here's a chart.
|front||central / back unrounded||back|
|close||Ii, Īī, Yy /iː/||Uu, Ūū /uː/|
|near close||Ii, Ìì /ɪ~ɨ/||Uu, Ùù /ʊ/|
|mid||Ee, EI ei /eɪ/||Àà /ə/||Oo, OU ou /oʊ/|
|open mid||Ee, Èè /ɛ/||Ôô, Ûû /ʌ/||Ôô, Ōō /ɔː/|
|open||Aa, Ââ /æ/||Aa, Āā /ɑː/||Oo, Òò /ɒ/|
wait before I explain myself, there's a few more vowels actually! I'm gonna stop showing both cases because the rest of these are written with digraphs, and it gets kinda cluttered.
|-I, -Y||-U, -W||-R|
|E-||ei /eɪ/||eu, ew /juː/||er /ɚ/, /ɜː/
|O-||oi, oy /ɔɪ/||ou /oʊ/||or /ɔɚ/|
|A-||ai, ay /aɪ/
|au, aw /aʊ/
and uh, yeah that's all the vowels. (do I need to list the rhotic triphthongs? I don't think I need to list the rhotic triphthongs.)
okay, now I can explain myself.
first of all, I is replaced with Y word finally, as are EU and AU with EW and AW. unlike other things that happen word finally, this doesn't happen when the word ends with the -S suffix. so, "baby" is beby, but "babies" is bebis. oh, and this also doesn't apply if the only vowel in the word is I, as in "she" ši.
the vowel digraphs EU OI AI AU also become EW OY AY AW when they're followed by another vowel.
the diphthong /juː/ is only written with EU when it comes after a consonant, as in "few" few. elsewhere, it's written as its components, either YU or YŪ.
syllabic consonants are written with vowels before them:
- syllabic R is ER
- syllabic L is ÀL
- syllabic M and N are IM and IN (or ÌM and ÌN)
the letters A, E, I, O, Ô, and U represent two vowels each. you can think of these as the "long" and "short" pronunciations of the vowels. a vowel is pronounced "long" word finally, or if it's separated from the next vowel in the word by a single consonant. a vowel is pronounced "short" everywhere else.
since each of the twelve vowels represented by these six letters can appear in either type of position, each one can be written a second way. here's a chart showing how to write each of these vowels in both positions.
|vowel||"long" position (word finally or if separated from the next vowel in the word by a single consonant)||"short" position (elsewhere)|
(for the following list, when two ways of writing a vowel are presented as a pair, the first is used in "long" positions and the second is used in "short" positions. eg. I/Ī means I is used in "long" positions and Ī is used in "short" positions.)
I/Ī represents the FLEECE flīṣ vowel.
U/Ū represents the GOOSE gūṣ vowel.
EU represents the CUTE keuṭ diphthong. again, this is written with YU or YŪ when it isn't after a consonant.
Ì/I represents the KIT kiṭ vowel. it also represents the almost-phoneme /ɨ/ that appears in the post-sibilant pronunciation of the -S suffix.
IR represents the NEAR nir rhotic diphthong.
Ù/U represents the FOOT fuṭ vowel.
UR represents the TOUR tur rhotic diphthong. if you're like me and you pronounce the words "moor" and "more" the same way, feel free to write this vowel with OR instead, as in tor.
EUR represents the CURE keur rhotic triphthong. similar to EU, this is written as YUR when it doesn't come after a consonant, as in "Europe" Yuràp. oh, and like UR, feel free to write this vowel with YER if you can't tell the difference, as in kyer.
E/EI represents the FACE feiṣ diphthong.
EIR represents the PLAYER pleir rhotic triphthong.
À represents the schwa, which is the vowel at the end of the word COMMA camà. this orthography follows the "schwa is never stressed" principle, so if a word has a stressed schwa in it, write it with either Û/Ô or ER, depending on your dialect.
ÀI represents the PRICE pràiṣ vowel, but only if you're like me and you pronounce "price" and "prize" with different vowels.
ÀU represents the MOUTH màuţ vowel, but only if you pronounce "house" and "houses" with different vowels.
ER represents the NURSE nerṣ vowel, which for speakers of rhotic dialects of English is typically a syllabic R sound. for speakers of non rhotic dialects, this is the stressed schwa.
O/OU represents the GOAT gouṭ diphthong.
OUR represents the FORCE fourṣ rhotic triphthong. of course, you can write this vowel with OR if you pronounce it the same as that vowel, as in forṣ.
È/E represents the DRESS dreṣ vowel.
ÈR represents the SQUARE skwèr rhotic diphthong.
Û/Ô represents the STRUT strôṭ vowel. for most American English speakers, this is the stressed schwa.
Ô/Ō represents the THOUGHT ţōṭ vowel. if you pronounce "cot" and "caught" the same way, you can write this vowel with A/O, as in ţot.
OI represents the CHOICE čoiṣ diphthong.
OR represents the NORTH norţ rhotic diphthong. if you pronounce "sauce" and "source" the same way, you can write this vowel with Ô/Ō.
Â/A represents the TRAP trap vowel.
AI represents the WISE waiz diphthong.
AIR represents the FIRE fair rhotic triphthong.
AU represents the NOW naw diphthong.
AUR represents the HOUR aur rhotic triphthong.
A/Ā represents the FATHER fađer vowel. if you pronounce "cot" and "caught" the same way, you can write this vowel with A/O.
Ò/O represents the LOT loṭ vowel. if you pronounce "father" and "bother" so they rhyme, you can write this vowel with A/O.
PARṬ FOR: IGZAMPÀL TECSṬ
Đà Norţ Wind and đà Sôn
Đà Norţ Wind and đà Sôn wer dispeuḍiŋ wič wàz đà stroŋger, wen à travler keim àloŋ rapt in à worm clouk. Đe àgrīd đaṭ đà wôn hu fersṭ sàcsidid in mekiŋ đà travler teik hiz clouk of šud bi cànsìḍerd stroŋger đan đi àđer. Đen đà Norţ Wind blu az hard az hi cud, bàṭ đà mor hi blu đà mor clously did đà travler fould hiz clouk àraund him; and aṭ lasṭ đà Norţ Wind geiv ôp đi àtemṭ. Đen đà Sôn šaind auṭ wormly, and ìmidiàṭly đà travler tuk of hiz clouk. And so đà Norţ Wind wàz àblaiǧd tà càmfeṣ đaṭ đà Sôn wàz đà stroŋger àv đà tu.
Atìcàl 1 ov đà Yunìversàl Declàrešàn ov Heumàn Raits, Rìcīvd Prànônsiešàn
Ōl heumàn biyiŋs à bōn fri ànd īkwàl in dignìty ànd raits. Đe à indaud wiđ rizàn ànd conšànṣ ànd šud act tàwōds wôn ànûđà in à spirit ov brûđàhud.
Arḍìcàl 1 àv đà Yunìversàl Declerešin àv Heumin Ràits, Jeneràl Àmèrìkin (pràiṣ reziŋ, cot-cot merǧd)
Ol heumin biyiŋs ar born fri and īkwàl in dignìḍy and ràits. Đe ar indaud wiđ rizin and conšinṣ and šud act tàwords wôn ànûđer in à spirit àv brûđerhud.
PARṬ FAIV: MOUSṬ CAMIN WERDS
here's a bunch of common words in English, sorted by type of word.
- "the" đà, but sometimes đi.
- "a" à, but sometimes e.
- "this" điṣ
- "that" đat or đaṭ
forms of "be":
- "be" bi
- "being" biyiŋ or bīŋ
- "am" am or àm
- "are" ar, a, er, or à
- "is" iz
- "been" bin, ben, or bīn
- "was" woz, wôz, or wàz
- "were" wer or wà
forms of "have":
- "have" hav, hàv, àv, or à
- "having" hâviŋ
- "has" hâs, hàs, or às
- "had" had
|first person singular||I
may, but sometimes mà or mì
maiself or màiself
|first person plural||we
ôṣ, àṣ, or àz
aur, ar, or a
aurs, ars, or as
aurselvs, arselvs, or aselvs
|second person singular||you
yu or yà
yor, yô, yur, your, yer, or yà
yors, yôs, or yers
yorself, yôself, yurself, yerself, or yàself
|second person plural||yourselves
yorselvs, yôselvs, yurselvs, yerselvs, or yàselvs
|third person inanimate||it
it, iṭ, àt, or àṭ
|third person singular||they
đem, đàm, or đim
đemself, đàmself, or đimself
|third person plural||themselves
đemselvs, đàmselvs, or đimselvs
|third person feminine||she
her or hà
hers or hàs
herself or hàself
|third person masculine||he
- "of" àv, ov, or ôv
- "in" in or àn
- "to" tu, tà, or tù, but sometimes ḍà or ḍù
- "for" for or fô, but sometimes fer or fà
- "with" wiđ or wiţ
- "on" on or ōn
- "at" at, aṭ, àt, or àṭ
- "from" from, frôm, or fràm
- "and" and, end, en, ànd, àn, or in
- "but" bôt, bôṭ, bàt, or bàṭ
forms of "do":
- "do" du
- "doing" duiŋ
- "does" dûs or dàs
- "did" did
- "done" dôn or dun
forms of "say":
- "say" se
- "saying" seyiŋ
- "says" sès
- "said" sèd