Dalcurian alphabet and pronunciation
Modern alphabet and pronunciation (with English IPA equivalent)
|letter||letter name||pronunciation (with IPA)|
|Aa||al||(æ) as in cat|
|Bb||bri||(b) as in bat|
|Cc||ca||(k) as in cat|
|Dd||da||(ɗ) as in day|
|Ee||era||(ɛ) as in end|
|Ff||fe||(f) as in fall|
|Gg||géø||(g) see special pronounciation|
|Hh||hal||(h) as in hat|
|Ii||il||(ɪ) as in kill|
|Jj||öja||(ʒ) like the s in television|
|Ll||lá||(l) as in like|
|Mm||ma||(m) as in man|
|Nn||na||(n) as in not|
|Oo||ol||(ɒ) as in top|
|Pp||pä||(p) as in pat|
|qöc||(k) as in kick|
|Ququ||q'qöa||as in quick|
|Rr||ræ||(ɹ) see special pronunciation|
|Ss||siri||(s) as in sit|
|Tt||tø||(t) as in take|
|Vv||vála||(v) as in van|
|x||séca||(ks) as in wax|
|Yy||yenta||(waɪ) as in the whole word why|
|z||tsi||(ts) as in sets (like the German z)|
special vowels and characters
|Ää||äli||(eɪ) as in 'ey' in they (see also special pronunciation)|
|Áá||áli||(a:) long as in bar|
|Éé||éga||(i:) long as in feel|
|Öö||öli||(u) long as in cool|
|Øø||ø||like the och in the German doch|
|Ææ||æ||(aɪ) as in the 'i' in find|
|Þ||eÞ||(ɵ-voiceless dental fricative) th as in bath but not in the|
|ß||alv||(v) as in have; replaces v after a vowel but only formal literacy (rarely used now)|
- g is a voiced velar plosive pronounced hard at the beginning and middle of a word, like g in get/forget but becomes soft at the end of a word, like g in the German word swanzig.
- r is an alveolar trill. Its place of articulation is alveolar which means it is articulated with the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge (or just behind the top teeth). It can be likened to the way in which a Scottish person with a strong accent would say great, straight, road, etc.
- ä is pronounced like the ey in they. However, at the end of a word, or where it is separated by a high apostrophe, it is pronounced ey-ya (ipa: eɪ-j-æ).
- q Unvoiced velar plosive. Is only found at the beginning of a word, including words that are separated by a high apostrophe, as in Dal’qörian or qatáj-cat, and is always pronounced like an English k.
- c Unvoiced velar plosive. Only appears in the middle or end of a word such as qurvecsár-to annoy and dörac-through, and is sounded like an English k.
- x is used only to denote a negative word and attaches to the end of a verb. (see verbs and negatives)
- z is only used in loan words, and pronounced like the ts in sets, much like the German 'z.
- sh This does not exist in Dalcurian, however, after the vowel ö you may hear the s as a 'voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant' [ʃ], although it's exact sound can only be described as being a 'half voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant' and cannot be identified in IPA.
- eÞ. As stated in the pronunciation chart, this is represented in IPA with θ and is an Unvoiced dental fricative like the th in thin and bath. Although to English ears, there may appear to be only a small difference between the voiced th as in the and then, Dalcurians do not know this sound, and a characteristic of the Dalcurian English accent is a heavily unvoiced th.
Lenition/mutation (spoken only)
When in word final position and the following word begins with the dentals d, t and itself, Þ undergoes complete mutation, eg:
- DanöÞ vélø It's cold, but
- Danö[-] disiri vélø, It's very cold
- máriÞ eladöra with you all but
- mári[-] tiÞöra with it
- tiÞ nöacr... it can... but
- ti[-] Þöldr... it should...
Note on Þ: There is an unhappy agreement when a word ends in Þ and the following word begins with Þ. In both cases, the first Þ is muted and the second lenites to /t/.
When in word final position and the following word begins with the spirants: s and f; lenites to /t/:
- máriÞ mæöra but
- mári[t] siöra
- ti[t] flästa it's new
The rhoticity of the language can also force mutation of the r in many word combinations. When r is in medial or last syllable position, and the following word begins with r the first is normally muted, for example:
- Érenöra Þöldr becomes
- Érenö-a Þöldr (some dialects do the opposite and mute the 1st r)
- máriÞ reÞæsámn becomes
- má-iÞ reÞæsámn
Uppercase letters are used to begin sentences, and with real nouns such as names, places, countries. There is no capital x or z, since there are no words begining with these. Þ does not fall under any case classification, and this form is used in any position in a sentence. In actual fact, Þ is being considered [under the coming spelling reform] for deletion from the alphabet. It's replacement is very likely to be dh like that of the Halcarnian dialect.
As well as being a 'rhotic' lanuage, Dalcurian is also PHONETIC; its spoken pretty much as it is written. Once you have learned to pronounce the letters, speaking and reading Dalcurian should be relatively easy. For example, Dal'qörian is pronounced dal-koo-ree-yan. Here are a few more examples, in syllabic form, to give you a flavour of how words sound:
Written Dalcurian is highly 'diacritical'. However, and mainly for those outside of Dalcuria, it is not always possible to write in this way, depending on one's PC and operating system. For this reason, an auxilliary spelling system is in place, which uses no diacritics. This is as follows:
- Ela mantábel, am gravætas ön jerandel, andri vädencamöig, vädenár efragörädn ön equahörädn.
Minäla Þöldr semér reÞæsámn ön qvésänámn,, ön, máriÞ ela, am perös qve beröjelperös, agöentr.
- Ela mantahbel, am gravaetas un jerandel, andri vaidencamuig, vaidenahr efraguraidn un equahuraidn.
Minaila thuldr semeer rethaesahmn un qveesainahmn,, un mahrith ela, am perus qve berujelperus aguentr.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience, and should stand together in a spirit of brotherhood.