This lesson presents the most popular writing system in Incudea, the so-called Teivan script. The phonemes are rendered according to the IPA system and follow the more or less standard pronunciation of the Silver Sisters. The speech of other Inculae (not to mention other species) can sound quite different.
|r||r, rr||/r/ = [ɾ, r]||ri|
|t 4||t, th||/t/ = [t, θ]||to|
|n 2||n||/n/ = [n, ŋ]||no|
|H H||unwritten||none||dicho fanar|
Dicho fanar, the so-called silent letter, is used to manipulate word stress in that narrow class of words where such manipulation is acceptable (proper names mostly). The Inculae use it sparingly, the Zeburajas are extremely fond of it. The superscript version is used for putative vowels, whereas the regular version is used for putative consonants. See the appendix on stress for more.
There is one additional glyph termed the "vowel companion", 7, which is also silent and not listed among the letters of the alphabet. (See the next lesson for more.)
Some letters have more than one possible pronunciation:
r (/r/) is realized among Inculae in one of two ways: "soft" (an alveolar tap, as in Spanish pero) and "hard" (an alveolar trill, as in Spanish perro.) The Academy guidelines for correct use are very specific:
- An r that is part of a consonant cluster is soft.
- An r that has a final position in a syllable is soft, whether the syllable ends a word or not.
- An r that has initial position in a word is hard.
- An r that has initial position in a syllable and is preceded by a consonant is hard.
- An r that has initial position in a syllable and is preceded by a vowel is hard unless:
- The r is preceded by a diphthong ending in -i (ai, ei, oi or ui)
- The r is preceded by the diphthong au
- The r is followed by a diphthong beginning with -i (ia or io)
- The r is followed by the diphthong ui
- The r is preceded and followed by the same simple vowel (i.e. ara, ere, iri, oro, uru)
- Augmentation, affixing or compounding of any sort does not change the original quality (soft or hard) of an r.
- There are two common words in Horgothic which employ a soft r when a hard r would be expected (larim, flore). These words are spelled in Teivan with a silent letter preceding the r to account for the irregularity.
t (/t/) has two allophones, romanized here as t and th. th occurs at the end of words, whereas t occurs everywhere else.
v (/v/) is most often heard as [v] in Incudea, but [w] is not at all uncommon. Among the Big 8 planets, [w] predominates in Naxis, Glowgem and Ikrilath. In these locations, /vr/ and /vl/ are also pronounced differently, often as /fr/ and /fl/ respectively.
n (/n/) is velarized in syllable-final position when the syllable in question is not the last one in the word.
Other variations are covered in the next lesson.