GHWDAQ'ACH SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION

INTRODUCTION - VOWELS/CONSONANTS - SOUND CHANGES - COMPOUND WORDS

INTRODUCTION

The language distinguishes 32 sounds: 4 vowel sounds and 28 consonant sounds. They are described below.

The spelling system was only standardised in 1578 b.S., more than four centuries after the Volkek-Oshra moved to Ximax. Thus, the spelling used in texts originating from before that date do not always match what is shown here.

There are also some older names, such as “Volkek-Oshra” itself (standard spelling: Vork'ekoshra or Vork'ek Oshra), that acquired widely accepted spellings before that date. In many such cases, the older spelling remains common in informal writings and texts written by non-Volkek-Oshra, while the standard spelling is used in formal texts written by the Volkek-Oshra themselves.
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VOWELS/CONSONANTS

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VOWELS

Sound

Spelling

Pronunciation

a a Like the "a" in "father"
e e Like the "e" in "bed"
ɔ̜ o Like the word "awe"
u Like the "oo" in "book"
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CONSONANTS

Sound

Spelling

Pronunciation

ch Similar to ch', but less forceful
tʃʰ ch' Like the “ch” in “chill”
d d Like the “d” in “dog”
g g Like the “g” in “gill”
ɣ gh A hushing sound similar to kh, but voiced
gw Similar to g, but with lips closer together
ɣʷ ghw Similar to gh, but with lips closer together
j Like th “j” in “jog”
k k Similar to k' but less forceful, like the “k” in “skill”
k' Like the “k” in “kill”
x kh A hushing sound similar to the “h” in “hat”, but more forceful
khw Similar to kh, but with lips closer together
kw Similar to k, but with lips closer together
kʷʰ kw' Similar to k', but with lips closer together
m m Like the “m” in “mill”
n n Like the “n” in “nest”
q q Similar to k, but more guttural
q' Similar to q, but more forceful
qw Similar to q, but with lips closer together
qʷʰ qw' Similar to q', but with lips closer together
r or ʀ r A trilled “r” sound, sometimes guttural
s s Like the “s” in “same”
ʃ sh Like the “sh” in “shame”
t t Similar to t' but less forceful, like the “t” in “still”
t' Like the “t” in “till”
β v Similar to the “v” in “vat”, but produced by blowing air between the lips instead of between the upper teeth and lower lip
z z Like the “z” in “zest”
ʒ zh Like the “s” in “pleasure”
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SOUND CHANGES

Adding suffixes beginning with r or a vowel to some words ending in certain consonants cause them to change those consonants. Specifically:

These words are shown in the dictionary with “(w)”, “(')”, or “(w')” at the end respectively, indicating that the bracketed letters are not to be written unless the word is followed immediately by a suffix beginning in r or a vowel.

For example, the verb shuruk(w), “to cure or heal someone”, would be written without a “w” when it occurs without a suffix or with a suffix beginning in a consonant other than r.

Qosashuruk.
“I cured them.”

However, when the word is immediately followed by a suffix beginning with a vowel, such as ashka, the “w” appears.

Qashurukwashka.
“I was cured.”
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COMPOUND WORDS

Compound words may be written as a single word or separated into two or more words. The exception is if the compound word contains a proper noun, in which case the proper noun must be separate. Hyphens are sometimes used to link the separated words together. The main word always comes first, followed by the modifying word.

Raraskhrad / raras-khrad / raras khrad
“Milari”, literally “mountain-cat”

Ghwad-Vork'ekoshra / Ghwad Vork'ekoshra
"Volkek-Oshra Language"

Compound words are treated as a single unit when it comes to inflections, regardless of how they are written.

Raras khradat
“Milaris

If, within a compound word, a word ending in “(w)”, “(')”, or “(w')” is followed by a word beginning in r or a vowel, the bracketed letters have to be written.

Akshak'rugh / akshak'-rugh / akshak' rugh
“Pike”, literally “long-spear”
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 Date of last edit 16th Dead Tree 1673 a.S.

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