Simple Construction: Alphabet & Pronunciation

Simple Construction: Alphabet & Pronunciation

A Lesson by Donna M. Burr

While it is an odd thing to worry about first, for the simple construction of a language one needs to start with the alphabet and the pronunciation.


Simple Language Construction
Alphabet & Pronunciation

The one thing that many people usually don't start with when creating a language is the alphabet, due to the fact that most like to establish the actual language before making an actual "alphabet" in the races language. However, this isn't really going to be in the race's language and is merely a helper in creating your soon to be enthralling language. Pronunciation is important, as well as how many "letters" they have in the alphabet in which they are using. While English has 26 letters, for example, German has ~30. So your language can have as many alphabetic characters as you want and each one can have a unique pronunciation to them. You can establish letters with stresses over them, greek letters, etc and use them in an unique way. However, in this process, the more letters you have the longer your words are going to be. So I would suggest if you have 20 letters or below, to go with Part A and if you have more than 20 go with Part B.

In view of the English language, we have 26 distinct letters, each with their own pronunciations. However, many of them have similar sounds.
m and n
s, z, and (soft) c
r and l
h and ch 
e, y, and i
o, u, and oo
k, g, and c
t, d, and th 
p, b, v, and f
j, and (soft) g
As you can tell, upon pronouncing the letters above many have similar sounds. It is up to you how much a difference your race can tell between the sounds and whether many of the letters are "combined." However, if you add more than 26 letters to the alphabet it is a good idea to see what it sounds closely like with the above and if it should be grouped with one or the other, or stand alone by itself. Once again, this is made with English in mind.

Please know that the alphabet I am choosing for the examples are picked at random and will be used consistently throughout the lessons for Simple Language Construction.

Part A (Less then 20 letters): Creating the Alphabet
Okay, so we are ready to choose an alphabet we are going to use. For the record, we are going to use the alphabet below, because we want pretty short words and no "harsh" consonants or vowels. So, we are going to use the following as our guideline.
m and n = using m
s, z, and (soft) c = using s
r and l = using l
h and ch = using h
e, y, and i = using y
a = using a
o, u, and oo = using oo
k, g, and c = not going to be used (see s*)
t, d, and th = using th
p, b, v, and f = using v
j, and (soft) g = using j
w = using w
q = not going to be used (see w*)
x = not going to be used (see w*)
*There is a reasoning for this and will be explained as the lesson continues.
Simple right? Once you have chosen what you want in your alphabet, feel free to continue to Combining the Two for the completion of the lesson.

However, you are more than welcome to split sets and create new ones. Like you can split and have "z" as its own letter and either usable or unusable. Same applies with the other sets. Mix and match until you find an alphabet you like, but please make sure not to go above 20 otherwise it turns into Part B.

Part B (More then 20 letters): Creating the Alphabet
Below we are going to have an alphabet which using more than 20 letters.
m = using m
n = using n
s and (soft) c = using s
z = using z
l = using l
(soft) r = using r*
(hard) r = using r* (see note beneath Over 26 Letters)
h and ch = using h
e and i = using i
y = using y
a = using a
o and oo = using o
u = using u
k and c = using k
(hard) g = using g
t, d, and th = using t
p and b = using p
v, and f = using v
j, and (soft) g = using j
w = using w
q = using q
x = using x

Over 26 Letters Note
If you are using more than 26 letters, then I would suggest assigning them as a "hard" sound or a "soft" sound. To assign such a classification just depends on the pronunciation. Basically, I could say that there is a hard r (pronounced urrr) and a soft r (arrrr). If one pronounces it, one sounds deeper in the throat than the other, designating hard and soft. That way when we come to the other lessons associated with the Simple Language Construction it will be a lot easier.

However, if you would like to go ahead and designate such in your actual alphabet, even if it is under 26, you are more than welcome to. However, make sure that letters of the english alphabet are paired with them in some way. For example: if I designate that my language has a soft r and an l, and I decide I want to go ahead and add a hard one, I would make it its own set and note (see r) because it has a to have a pairing. This will be explained further below.

Combining the Two
Combining the two is a bit easier, but takes a lot of playing around with. Pronunciations are important with this system, so please make sure every letter has a unique pronunciation. If it has more than one pronunciation, please see the note More Pronunciations. The pronunciations can be as outlandish or as simplified as you want, but make sure they don't exceed more than three letters.

First we are going to take a look at our "Less than 20" alphabet and assign it unique pronunciations.
m and n = using m = mi
s, z, and (soft) c = using s = se
r and l = using l = la
h and ch = using h = hu
e, y, and i = using y = yo
a = using a = ah
o, u, and oo = using oo = oo
k, g, and c = not going to be used (see s*) = se
t, d, and th = using th = thy
p, b, v, and f = using v = vi
j, and (soft) g = using j = jh
w = using w = wa
q = not going to be used (see w*) = wa
x = not going to be used (see w*) = wa
As you can see the (see "letter"*) indicates that any letters in English will have that pronunciation within the language. You can add other consonants onto vowels, or add consonants onto consonants. It doesn't matter as long as the pronunciation makes sense to you.

Next we are going to assign pronunciations to the "More than 20" alphabet:
m = using m = mn
n = using n = neh
s and (soft) c = using s = sa
z = using z = z
l = using l = li
(soft) r = using r = ura
(hard) r = using r = ari
h and ch = using h = hax
e and i = using i = ih
y = using y = ya
a = using a = ay
o and oo = using o = oh
u = using u = oo
k and c = using k = ku
(hard) g = using g = gu
t, d, and th = using t = te
p and b = using p = pu
v, and f = using v = ves
j, and (soft) g = using j = jw
w = using w = wi
q = using q = kua
x = using x = ks

If you have an alphabet that has more than 26 letters, make sure that each one has a unique sound and spelling of that sound. Also, in order for your language to come together, it has to be paired with a letter of the english language.
Example: soft and hard r, they would both be categorized under "r" even though they have separate sets. This is to better ensure our translations go smoothly once we get further into lessons. As you can tell above that, while they are considered separate "letters" next to them say "using r". This designates their translation into and from english.

Run would have the usage of hard r in the pronunciation, while rhythm would be designated as a soft r. It just depends on your classification. Everything will be made much clearer in the next lesson. Just know that your alphabet will result in a unique language when we are over no matter how many letters you may have.

Now that we have chosen our pronunciations for the language, we can go to the next lesson!

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Posted 7 Years Ago

Thank you very much! This was very helpful for me, my friend and I are applaud your knowledge.

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Posted 8 Years Ago

This is GREAT!!!!

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Posted 8 Years Ago

Amazing man!
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Donna M. Burr
Donna M. Burr

Banks, AL

Thank you everyone who has reviewed my works, and I am sorry I am unable to thank you each individually due to my chaotic schedule. I just want you all to know I appreciate the constructive criticism,..