Njoerr-teg

The Jarda Phonetic Feature Alphabet
L0r-tEg

This page uses Unicode characters for the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). If you need a Unicode font that includes the IPA characters, install the free Thryomanes TrueType font. Best results are seen with Netscape Communicator. If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer, you may need to obtain a copy of the Lucida Sans Unicode font, if it isn't already installed, in order to see the IPA characters properly.

Njoerr-teg is a writing system which is intended to represent all of the distinctive features of the sounds of human languages, as well as a few sounds from non-human languages (such as the distinctive Neyasai whistles). Once the basic principles are learned, an unfamiliar njoerr (phonetic symbol) can be recognized by its individual features, but a familiar letter should be easily recognizable by its overall shape. The "Lhoerr" TrueType font includes a number of njoerr that are likely to be the most useful, but a full listing of all the possible njoerr would require a character set larger than what most software currently supports.

Vowels

Vowels are represented by a vertical component (which may be short or long) with a distinctive element (a short line or hook) attached. The system allows for the direct representation of 24 vowel sounds, plus a neutral schwa (@ [ə]), which has no lines or hooks. Vowels are classified according to the traditional high-mid-low, front-central-back, rounded-unrounded distinctions, which correspond roughly to the position of the tongue and lips. The distinctive element is attached to the left of the vertical component in front vowels (a [a] i [i]), the middle in central vowels (I [ɨ] 3 [ɜ]), and the right in back vowels (O [ɔ] u [u]) The vertical component is longer in high (close) and low (open) vowels (u [u] A [ɑ]) and shorter in mid vowels, which are subdivided into high-mid (e [e], o [o]) and low-mid (% [œ], ^ [ʌ]). Unrounded vowels have a straight line as the distinctive element (E [ɛ] 8 [ɤ]), while rounded vowels use a hook (0 [ø] U [ʉ]). And as you might expect, the distinctive element is attached to the top of the vertical component in high vowels (y [y] W [ɯ]) and to the bottom in low vowels (a [a] 6 [ɒ]). Finer distinctions in vowels are possible by adding diacritics. Slightly higher or lower vowels are marked by putting a short diagonal line above or below the lhörr ( [ɪ] [æ]). Vowels that are farther front or back than the cardinal vowels are marked by adding superscripts that look like less-than < and greater-than > signs (e> [ë] O< [ɔ̈]). Vowels that are more rounded than normal have a superscript hook ( [ə̹]), and vowels that are less rounded have a superscript right-angle ( [ø̜]).

Consonants

Consonants are represented by a diagonal component, and except for the sounds produced in the throat, a horizontal component, contrasting with the vertical component of vowels. The combined orientation and position of the diagonal and horizontal components specifies one of four generalized areas of articulation: labial (b), coronal (d), palatal (J), and velar (g). Each of these areas is subdivided into specific points of articulation (up to four) by adding a shorter diagonal line to the unattached end of the horizontal component. Dental articulation, for instance, is derived from coronal by adding an upward-rightward diagonal (ð), and uvular articulation is derived from velar articulation by adding an upward-leftward diagonal (Q). Places of articulation are described in more detail below. The horizontal component may also be doubled (n), indicating a nasal sound. Pharyngeal (¥), epiglottal (9), and glottal (F) sounds lack a horizontal component.

The shape of the diagonal component identifies the manner of articulation. Ordinary stops (plosives and nasals) use a single straight line (d [d] N [ŋ]). A double line identifies approximants (j [j] œ [w]). A ring at the end of the diagonal component makes the consonant voiceless (p [p] k [k]). Fricatives have a curve attached to the straight line (f [f] G [ɣ]), which is reversed for sibilants (s [s] 2 [ʑ]). Affricates are symbolized by a combination of the straight line and fricative curve (¢ [t͡s] § [ɖ͡ʐ]). A loop which crosses the diagonal line represents a lateral sound, either a lateral approximant (l [l] L [ʎ]) or a lateral fricative ($ [ɬ] K [ɮ]). Lateral affricates are symbolized in a manner similar to non-lateral affricates (È [t͡ɬ]). An extra short diagonal line where the diagonal element attaches to the horizontal element indicates a flap or tap (+ [ɾ] à [ɽ]), which may also be added to lateral ({ [ɺ]) or nasal (ù [ɾ̃]) consonants. A double tap element indicates a trill (r [r] 7 [ʀ]), which can also have a fricative element (û [r̝]).

Places of articulation

Bilabial sounds are represented with an up-right diagonal attached to a labial element (B [β]).

Labiodental sounds are represented with a down-right diagonal attached to a labial element (ô [v]).

Linguolabial sounds are represented with a down-left diagonal attached to a labial element, but the basic Lhoerr font does not include any linguolabial characters. Instead, a linguolabial superscript is used (b} [d̼]).

Labio-velar sounds are represented with an up-left diagonal attached to a labial element (œ [w]).

Dental and interdental sounds are represented with an up-right diagonal attached to a coronal element (ø [ð]). Superscripts may be used to distinguish between dental (ø[ [ð̪]) and interdental (ø¨ [ð̟]) sounds, or to represent dental sounds not included in the basic Lhoerr font. In addition, superscripts can be added to any coronal lhörr to distinguish apical (ø] [ð̺]) from laminal (ø# [ð̻]) sounds.

Alveolar sounds are represented with a down-right diagonal attached to a coronal element (ý [ð̱]).

Post-alveolar sounds are represented with a down-left diagonal attached to a coronal element (Z [ʒ]). In addition to apical and laminal variations, an additional superscript is used to represent the laminal closed post-alveolar ("hissing-hushing") sounds found in some Northwest Caucasian languages (S‚ [ŝ]). This "closed" diacritic indicates that the tip of the tongue is touching the the lower teeth.

Retroflex sounds are represented with an up-left diagonal attached to a coronal element (Á [ɖ]).

Labial-palatal sounds are represented with an up-right diagonal attached to a palatal element (4 [ɥ]).

Alveolo-palatal sounds are represented with a down-right diagonal attached to a palatal element (ú [ʑ]).

Palatal sounds are represented with a down-left diagonal attached to a palatal element (Ÿ [ç]).

A down-right diagonal attached to a velar element represents the hooktop heng symbol (Š [ɧ]), typically described as "simultaneous [ʃ] and [x]".

Velar sounds are represented with a down-left diagonal attached to a velar element (¾ [ɣ]).

Uvular sounds are represented with an up-left diagonal attached to a velar element (q [q]).

Pharyngeal fricatives are represented by adding a fricative curve to the top of a leftward-leaning diagonal element (Þ [ħ] ¥ [ʕ]).

Epiglottal fricatives are represented by adding a fricative curve to the bottom of a leftward-leaning diagonal element (H [ʜ] 9 [ʢ]). The diagonal element by itself represents an epiglottal stop (¿ [ʡ]), since there are no pharyngeal stops.

Glottal sounds are represented with a rightward-leaning diagonal element (? [ʔ] h [h] F [ɦ]).

Airstream mechanism

Unless marked, an egressive pulmonic airstream is assumed. Ejectives, with an egressive glottalic airstream, are represented with a short diagonal superscript similar to a glottal stop (k` [kʼ]). Implosives are represented with a short diagonal superscript that would be similar to a voiced glottal stop if such a thing existed (b) [ɓ] p) [ɓ̥]). Clicks, with an ingressive velaric airstream, are represented with a superscript that resembles a velar element (p! [kʘ] ð! [gǀ] n! [ŋǃ] ‰!/ [kǂʰ] È!` [kǁʼ]). If the closure is uvular rather than velar, a uvular element is used instead (þ× [qǀ]).

Laryngeal setting

Modal voice is generally unmarked, but can be indicated by a superscript plus sign (ˆ). Whispered or pre-aspirated sounds are indicated by a ring attached to the diagonal element of a consonant (ë [ɹ̥] î [l̥]) or as a superscript ( [ht] [i̥]). Aspiration and breathy voice are indicated by a superscript glottal fricative (t/ [tʰ] d= [d̤]). Laryngealization (creaky or stiff voice) is indicated by a glottal sign crossed by two short lines ( [b̰]). (This sign may be doubled if necessary to distinguish between stiff ˜ and creaky ˜˜ voice. Similarly, the sign for breathy voice may also be used to indicate slack voice.)

Secondary articulations

Labialization, palatalization, and similar gestures are represented with small superscript approximants. Labialized sounds use a labial superscript ( [sʷ]), palatalized sounds use a palatal superscript (k; [kʲ]), and velarized sounds use a velar superscript ( [ɫ]). A coronal superscript indicates rhoticity ( [ɚ]). A leftward-leaning diagonal line indicates pharyngealized sounds ( [tˁ]).

Stress, tones, and length

Three degrees of stress (primary, secondary, and unstressed) are indicated by dots ('"Ê). Tones are indicated by short horizontal lines; there are five level tones (¯´–¸_). Rising and falling tones are represented as level tones connected by short diagonal lines (ÕÓØÔÒÖ). Other tones in the basic Lhoerr font include: rising-falling (Û), falling-rising (Ü), downstep (), upstep (), global rise (Ú), and global fall (Ù). Length is marked as follows: long (:), half-long (÷), extra-short ().

Alien sounds

There are four basic Neyasai whistles: voiceless and voiced velar (í¤ \¤) and retroflex (Ĥ Ť), although palatal (ì¤ j¤) and uvular (±¤ ݤ) whistles are also possible, whistles can be trilled (æ¤ r¤), and it is even possible to produce a retroflex whistle simultaneously with another whistle (e.g., Ħí¤). Some non-human languages distinguish sounds in which the tongue makes an audible "pop" by hitting the bottom of the mouth, such as the Neyasai double click (t!„). Nasal fricatives found in some alien languages (e.g., ⃠) are produced by constricting the nostrils while producing a nasal stop.

Other diacritics

¦

double articulation

-

syllable break

,

minor (foot) group

.

major (intonation) group

­

linking (absence of a break)

|

syllabic

non-syllabic

~

nasalized

nasal release

¹

lateral release

¬

no audible release

advanced tongue root

retracted tongue root

Lhörr transcription samples L0r tREÌ"nskReÍ'pS@n sEÌ'mpl|z

Here are some samples from various languages, both actual human languages and Kolagian alien languages, transcribed using the Lhörr-têk system. Note that phonetic distinctions that are not significant in the particular language do not have to be written. In a more narrow transcription, for instance, the American English sound "r" would be spelled ƺ, but since it is the only alveolar approximant in the language, it may be written R for simplicity. Similarly, the Olaetyan sound "x" could be spelled ý#‚, but since it is the only non-sibilant alveolar fricative (contrasting with a dental fricative ø and a sibilant z), the fact that it is also laminal and the tip of the tongue touches the lower teeth does not need to be specifically marked.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. D@ kweÍk bRAun fAks ¡3mpt ovR| D@ lezi dOg

Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz. ¡EÌkdOz l3v mAi beÍg sfeÍNks @v kwORts

Shu shi yi jiu si ba nian xie de. (Chinese) Äu´ ÄÆ| ji´ ÿ@uÜ sR|Ò ba´ njaÓn 5eÜ d@
"The book was written in 1948."

T'óó báhádzidgo shil nantl'a. (Navajo) t`o´: bA´hA´Ðidgo Si$ nAnÈ`A
"It's terribly difficult for me."

X-ar oxìs idhlöz om vo, oxìs xesizzi idhli. (Olaetyan) ýA+ o'ýeÍs iK0'z om vo o'ýeÍs ýEsi'zi i'Ki
"If you've never heard of them, you don't want to know."

Syánî: kyá: sixi:nâ: zè têi, yé: sí:! (Ziri:nka) sYaÕniÔ: kYaÕ: siØ5iØ:naÔ: zeÖ teiÔ YeÕ: siÕ:
"Your blue eyes are absolutely beautiful as the sky, friend See."

Yakwint Utsukimi leskw? (Jirit) jakêint WtsWkiNi $Eskê
"Do you have a human-sized room?"

Dha tliki rrazlajiz lerr je suma. (Zharranh) ða $iki rAzlAYiz lEr YE sUmA
"The book I am reading is long."

!K#s'*c%saik'i $ain/a kr$irin!%m@iri*. (Neyasai) t!kí¤s`t!„k;@saik`i ˤaiñ!a kƤi+in!@m!i+it!„
"K'queesticasai could barely contain her excitement."