Jarda Spelling
vragad …Jardae
[ˈvraɡat ˈɟardae]

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The Jarda Alphabet (M0rtEg)

Jarda uses an alphabet called Njoerr-teg (M0rtEg), which is based on phonetic principles. Ņörteg is the Jarda name of the writing system; the individual characters themselves are called ņör. A more detailed description of Njoerr-teg (which assumes some familiarity with articulatory phonetics) is available for those who are interested. However, native Jarda words only require a subset of 37 of the ņör, which represent the 37 phonemes of the language. Here they are, in Jarda alphabetical order, with their romanized equivalents and a brief description of each sound.

i i [i] - a high front unrounded vowel, like "ee" in "seek". Avoid pronouncing as the "i" in "sick". Examples: cim ķim “visit”, 5Ri śṛi “eye”.

y ü [y] - a high front rounded vowel, like the German "ü" in "über". Examples: kyn kün “ride”, dy “some”.

W ŭ [ɯ] - a high back unrounded vowel, the unrounded equivalent of u, the nearest vowel sound to gh without producing friction. Examples: bWR bŭṛ “gather”, 5lW ślŭ “all”.

u u [u] - a high back rounded vowel, like "u" in "rule". Examples: kun kun “four”, gru gru “young”.

e ê [e] - a vowel that is higher and more pure than the English "a" in "rate", almost like an elongated version of “i” in “rid”, or the German “ee” in “See”. Avoid pronouncing as the “e” in “pet”. Examples: en ên “nonexistent”, ze5 zêś “green”, re “almost”.

0 ö [ø] - a high-mid front rounded vowel, like the German "ö" in "schön". Examples: z0l zöl “mercury”, b0 “zero”.

8 ŏ [ɤ] - a high-mid back unrounded vowel, the unrounded equivalent of o; alternatively like "o" in "world". Examples: R8l ṛŏl “person”, n8 “which”.

o ô [o] - a high-mid back rounded vowel, like the German "o" in "oder"; higher, farther back, and more pure than the English "o" in "joke". Examples: vjox vjôx “frequent”, slo slô “ball”.

E e [ɛ] - a low-mid front unrounded vowel, somewhat lower than English "e" in "bed"; similar to the Hungarian "e" in "egy". Examples: pe5 peś “monster”, mE me “precisely”.

O o [ɔ] - a low-mid back rounded vowel, like the English "o" in "for". Examples: KOl λol “reveal”, wO wo “why?”.

a a [a] - a low front unrounded vowel, like the French "a" in "chat"; farther forward than English "a" in "far". Examples: au au “and”, ran ran “beach”, va va “not”.

b b [b] - like English "b" in "book". Examples: be5 bêś “tomorrow”, Gybal ğübal “laser”, kab kab “top”.

p p [p] - like English "p" in "speech", without the aspiration of English "p" in "peach". Examples: pEn pen “water”, 2iRps ziṛpa “lid”, wOp wop “kick”.

m m [m] - like English "m" in "milk". Examples: mWg mŭg “demand”, rozmo rôzmô “brain”, kOm kom “imprison”.

w w [w] - like English "w" in "weed". Examples: wOm wom “net, web”, twan twan “strong”.

v v [v] - like English "v" in "vest". Examples: vam vam “lack, without”, Razvi ṛazvi “girl”, stav stav “eyebrow”.

f f [f] - like English "f" in "food". Examples: fom fôm “expressive range”, cufe ķufê “box”, 5af śaf “leaf”.

d d [d] - like English "d" in "deep". Examples: diG diğ “warmer, hotter”, gendi gêndi “resign”, kad kad “toy”.

t t [t] - like English "t" in "steak", without the aspiration of English "t" in "take". Examples: t8n tŏn “cold”, costa ķôsta “flycatcher-sprite”, spOt spot “same”.

n n [n] - like English "n" in "noodle". Examples: n0R nöṛ “where?”, ginJa ginģa “secret”, tan tan “pattern”.

R [ɻ] - similar to English "r" in "real", but pronounced without lip rounding. Examples: ReL ṛêļ “day, date”, 2iRvi źiṛvi “clarinet”, baR baṛ “stand”.

r r [r] - a trilled r, like Spanish "rr" in "perro". Examples: raz raz “five”, varka varka “jacket”, jWr jŭr “ally”.

l l [l] - like English "l" in "leap". Examples: lox lôx “older”, galki galki “forest”, mlel mlêl “slightly”.

z z [z] - like English "z" in "zip". Examples: zEl zel “voice”, tOza toza “with”, glaz glaz “distribute”.

s s [s] - like English "s" in "self". Examples: s85 sŏś “hot”, $aspi łaspi “dictionary”, cas ķas “huge”.

K λ (formerly ð) [ɮ] - a voiced alveolar lateral fricative, like Zulu "dl" in "indlovu"; the voiced equivalent of ł. Examples: Kiz λiz “support”, kRiKal kṛiλal “diplomat”, maK maλ “safe”.

$ ł [ɬ] - a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative, like Welsh "ll" in "llawen". Produced by trying to say "sh" as in "push" while your tongue is in the position of "ll" in "pull". Examples: $iR łiṛ “book”, Le$ig ļêłig “chalk”, re$ rêł “carve”.

J ģ [ɟ] - a voiced palatal stop, like Hungarian "gy" in "gyermek". Similar to "d" in British pronunciation of "duke". Examples: Jag ģag “rule, standard”, kirJa kirģa “school”, skeJ skêģ “key”.

c ķ [c] - a voiceless palatal stop, like Hungarian "ty" in "tyúk". Similar to "t" in British pronunciation of "Tuesday". Examples: cig ķig “eat”, zaci zaķi “cheese”, zic ziķ “nut”.

j j [j] - like English "y" in "yard". Examples: jum jum “ten”, kaja kaja “personal”, saj saj “defy”.

L ļ [ʎ] - a voiced palatal lateral approximant, like "lh" in Portuguese "olho". Examples: Lev ļev “clothing”, GaLis ğaļis “vacation”, roL rôļ “take”.

M ņ [ɲ] - a voiced palatal nasal, like "ñ" in Spanish "año". Examples: M0r ņör “phonetic symbol”, taMke5 taņkêś “helium”, kuM kuņ “diminish”.

2 ź [ʑ] - a voiced alveolo-palatal sibilant fricative, like Polish "zi" in "zielony". Examples: 2Ev źev “mask”, je2ad jêźad “bravery”, sle2 slêź “stay”.

5 ś [ɕ] - a voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant fricative, like Polish "si" in "siedem". Examples: 5oR śôṛ “concept”, mi5ka miśka “weasel”, j85 jŏś “acquire”.

g g [ɡ] - like English "g" in "game". Examples: gav gav “fill”, Jenga ģênga “banjo”, Rog ṛôg “son”.

k k [k] - like English "k" in "skill", without the aspiration of English "k" in "kill". Examples: kim kim “apple”, p0ski pöski “political party”, mEk mek “hat”.

G ğ [ɣ] - a voiced velar fricative, like Spanish "g" in "luego". Examples: Gel ğêl “send, transmit”, JaGom ģağôm “twenty-four”, jaG jağ “pain”.

x x [x] - a voiceless velar fricative, like "ch" in "loch". Examples: xEs xes “know one’s location”, kexti kêxti “relieve”, zux zux “result”.


Stops and fricatives (including lateral fricatives) in Jarda are divided into voiced sounds (such as b, z, gj) and the corresponding voiceless sounds (p, s, kj). Each voiceless sound immediately follows the corresponding voiced sound in Jarda alphabetic order. In compound words, voiceless sounds at the end of one morpheme assimilate by substituting the corresponding voiced sound before another voiced sound (tis tis "frozen water, ice" + gRam gṛam "rain, precipitation" = tisgRam tizgṛam "hail"). The reverse is also true (muG muğ "morning" + suR suṛ "meal" = muGsuR muxsuṛ "breakfast"). Assimilation also occurs between words: vragad …Jardae vragad Ģardaê "Jarda spelling" is pronounced vragat Ģardaê, and dEcis 2or ‘mi5ka’ deķis źôr ‘miśka’ "reclaiming the word 'weasel'" is pronounced deķiz źôr miśka. This assimilation is not indicated in the spelling; Jarda spelling is morphophonemic rather than strictly phonetic.


Voiced stops are not distinguished from voiceless stops at the end of a word; they are pronounced as voiceless themselves. When followed by a vowel or voiced consonant, however (in a suffix or a following word of the same phrase), they are pronounced as voiced. Therefore, Jarda writes them as voiced stops. Examples include the word ņörtek "the Jarda phonetic alphabet", which is really spelled ņörteg (L0rtEg), but pronounced with a k at the end, and the word vragad vragat "spelling, orthography", which is derived from vrag vrag "to spell" by adding the suffix -ad -ad.

Stress and syllable boundaries

The primary stress in Jarda is on the first syllable of a word, with a secondary stress on the first syllable of each verb or noun morpheme following the first one (e.g., sni's-ka-R8"l ˈsniskaˌṛŏl "Samiji gerbil-people", t8'-ma-Ri"-5eg ˈtŏmaˌṛiśêg "mole-rat"). Morphemes other than noun and verb roots, such as the inanimate genitive suffix -e ê and the preposition na na "and", are unstressed. Unless marked otherwise, a single consonant between vowels belongs to the following syllable, and a pair of consonants between vowels is divided between the two consonants (ri-śêg, snis-ka). (Exceptions to this rule are found in compounds and borrowed words.) Vowels in an open syllable (a syllable ending in a vowel) are pronounced somewhat longer than vowels in a closed syllable (ending in a consonant).


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