Etrandish alphabet

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Language: English

The Etrandish alphabet is a variant of the High Elven alphabet used for the Etrandish language.

The letters

The dental fricatives /θ ð/ are written as 「th」.

The front rounded vowels /œ øʏ̯/ are written as 「eo eu」. /ʏ yː/ are written as 「y ý」 , even though those letters stood for /i iː/ in Middle High Elven, and also for the semivowel /j/. Since 「y」 stands both the vowel /ʏ/ and the semivowel /j/, a special convention is used for /jʏ/ and /jʊ/ - the earlier would be written 「yu」 , the latter as 「iu」.

While in Middle High Elven, the preferred way to write /t͡ʃa t͡ʃɛ t͡ʃi t͡ʃo t͡ʃu/ was 「cia ce ci cio ciu」, in Etrandish, the preferred way is 「cha che chi cho chu」 (except in High Elven loanwords). The same way, the preferred way to write /d͡ʒ/ is 「j」 instead of 「gi」, not just word-initially. The same way, the preferred way to write /d͡ʒ/ was 「j」 instead of 「gi」, not just word-initially. Likewise, the preferred way to write /ka kɛ ki ko ku/ may be 「ca che chi co cu」 in Middle High Elven, as opposed to the Etrandish 「ca ke ki co cu」 (except in High Elven loanwords).

All in all, the spellings did not change from Middle Etrandish, except that several letters that formerly stood for (long) monophthongs now stand for diphthongs.

The velar nasal /ŋ/ is written as 「ng」.

Pictogram Letter name Letter value
Capital Minuscule Romanization Pronounciation Romanization Value Numerical value
(See Numerical system)
Mophus.svg Mophus s.svg mofó /mɔfoʊ̯/ m /m/ 1
Pequus.svg Pequus s.svg pequó /pɛkʷoʊ̯/ p /p/ 2
Bauvus.svg Bauvus s.svg bawó /bɑwoʊ̯/ b /b/ 3
Farránus.svg Farránus s.svg farránó /fɑrːaːnoʊ̯/ f /f/ 4
Norus.svg Norus s.svg noró /nɔroʊ̯/ n /n/, /ɲ/, /ŋ/ 5
Tagom.svg Tagom s.svg tagó /tɑgoʊ̯/ t /t/, /t͡s/, /θ/, /ð/ 6
Dirum.svg Dirum s.svg déró /deɪ̯roʊ̯/ d /d/ 7
Sélta.svg Sélta s.svg sélta /seɪ̯ltɑ/ s /s/, /ʃ/ 9
(greater 1)
Zapha.svg Zapha s.svg zapha /zɑfɑ/ z /z/ 10
(greater 2)
Sarcus.svg Sarcus s.svg sarcó /sɑrkoʊ̯/ none, used as numeral only 11
(greater 3)
Lepha.svg Lepha s.svg lepha /lɛfɑ/ l /l/, /ʎ/ 12
(greater 4)
Rámum.svg Rámum s.svg rámó /raːmoʊ̯/ r /r/ 13
(greater 5)
Carramfus.svg Carramfus s.svg karramfó /kɑrːɑmfoʊ̯/ k /k/ 14
(greater 6)
Cirrum.svg Cirrum s.svg cirró (guard) /t͡ʃɪrːoʊ̯/ c /k/, /t͡ʃ/, /ʃ/ 15
(greater 7)
Quallum.svg Quallum s.svg qualló /kʷɑlːoʊ̯/ q /k/ 16
(greater 8)
Gatus.svg Gatus s.svg gató /gɑtoʊ̯/ g /g/, /d͡ʒ/ none
Herrus.svg Herrus s.svg herró /hɛrːoʊ̯/ h /h/ Radix point
Amalus.svg Amalus s.svg amaló /ɑmɑloʊ̯/ a /ɑ/ Hexadecimal up
Ámálus.svg Ámálus s.svg ámáló /aːmaːloʊ̯/ á /aː/, /ɔː/ none
Angum.svg Angum s.svg angó /ɑngoʊ̯/ none, used as numeral only 0
Enermus.svg Enermus s.svg enermó /ɛnərmoʊ̯/ e /ɛ/, /ə/, /eɪ̯/ Negative sign
Enermus.svg Enermus s.svg énérmó /eɪ̯neɪ̯rmoʊ̯/ é /eɪ̯/ none
Ilnom.svg Ilnom s.svg ilnó /ɪlnoʊ̯/ i /ɪ/, /ə/, /j/ Octal up
Ílnom.svg Ílnom s.svg ílnum /iːlnoʊ̯/ í /iː/ none
Jilnom.svg Jilnom s.svg jélnó /d͡ʒeɪ̯lnoʊ̯/ j /d͡ʒ/ none
Orranta.svg Orranta s.svg orranta /ɔrːɑntɑ/ o /ɔ/, /oʊ̯/ Hexadecimal double
Órranta.svg Órranta s.svg óranta /oʊ̯rɑntɑ/ ó /oʊ̯/ none
Untus.svg Untus s.svg untó /ʊntoʊ̯/ u /ʊ/, /ə/, /w/, /Cʷ/ none
Úntus.svg Úntus s.svg úntó /uːntoʊ̯/ ú /uː/ none
Vuntus.svg Vuntus s.svg vuntó /vʊntoʊ̯/ v /v/ Hexadecimal quad
Vuntus double.svg Vuntus double s.svg wuntó /wʊntoʊ̯/ w /w/, /Cʷ/ 8
Ydum.svg Ydum s.svg ydó /ʏdoʊ̯/ y /ʏ/, /ə/, /j/ Ordinator
(optional, usually not written)
Ýdum.svg Ýdum s.svg ýdó /yːdoʊ̯/ ý /yː/ none


While Middle Etrandish orthography was relatively straightforward, Current Etrandish orthography on the other hand has evolved to include several peculiarities that make it not entirely coherent with the pronunciation.

Native Etrandish vocabulary vs High Elven loanwords

One of the big differences between the spelling of Native Etrandish vocabulary and High Elven loanwords is the rendering of the palatal sibilants /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ/ :

  • in High Elven loanwords, they are spelled as 「ci gi sci」 (ci gi sci), just like in High Elven
  • in Native Etrandish words, they are primarily spelled as 「ch j sh」 (ch j sh) - at least before 「a o u」 (a o u). Sometimes, the High Elven convention of using 「c g」 (c g) before 「e i」 (e i) is employed, especially word-medially and in personal names.
  • In Native Etrandish words - as well as loanwords from any language other than High Elven - 「ch」 (ch) is nearly always used for /t͡ʃ/ - rarely for /kh/ or /x/ - , but in High Elven loanwords, it is always used for /k/.

Loanwords from Classical High Elven, Middle High Elven and contemporary High Elven are spelled exactly the way they would be in High Elven, and their pronunciations tend to be Etrandish approximations of what seems to be a mix between Classical High Elven and Middle high Elven:

  • y ý」 (y ý) were pronounced as [ʏ yː] in Classical High Elven, exactly the same way they are pronounced in Etrandish now. Meanwhile, in Middle High Elven, they unrounded to [ɪ iː], leading to a case where the Etrandish pronunciation is much more conservative and closer to the original.
  • ae」 (ae) is pronounced as /ɐɪ̯/ in Etrandish, which is once again quite similar to the way it was pronounced in Classical High Elven, /ai̯/. In Middle High Elven, the digraph was pronounced as /ɛː/, which got raised to /eː/ in contemporary High Elven.
    • In Etrandish, /ɐɪ̯/ monophthongizes to [ɛː] before coda-position /r/, leading to 「aer」 (aer) being pronounced very similarly to the way it was in Middle High Elven.
  • In contemporary Etrandish, Middle Etrandish /ɑlk/ became /ɔːk/ in both native Etrandish vocabulary and High Elven loanwords. Highly literate priests, erudites and aristocrats may use the conservative pronunciation /ɒłk/ in High Elven loanwords.
  • In Classical High Elven, the digraphs 「ph th ch」 (ph th ch) were pronounced [pʰ~pˢ tʰ kʰ] - they became [f t k] in Middle High Elven. In Etrandish, they are pronounced [f θ~ð kʰ], because the digraph 「th」 (th) is also used for the dental fricatives [θ ð].
  • In Etrandish, 「gn」 (gn) is pronounced as /gn/, while it is /ɲ/ in contemporary High Elven. That pronunciation is also used in Etrandish, but only in loanwords from Middle High Elven and contemporary High Elven - otherwise, /ɲ/ is spelled as 「ny」 (ny), and 「gn」 (gn) is pronounced as /gn/.

ae」 (ae) vs 「ai」 (ai)

In Etrandish, both digraphs stand for the same phoneme, the diphthong /ɐɪ̯/, and its monophthongized allophone [ɛː] before coda-position /r/ and /l/. However, they are not fully equivalent, as etymologically, they have different origins.

  • Old Etrandish /æː/ and /æi̯/ merged as /ɐi̯/ in Middle Etrandish, but the differences between the two are still reflected in the spellings:
    • Native Etrandish words that had /æː/ in Old Etrandish use 「ae」 (ae)
    • Native Etrandish words /æi̯/ in Old Etrandish use 「ai」 (ai)
  • High Elven loanwords always use 「ae」 (ae)
  • Loanwords from Wood Elven and other languages generally use 「ai」 (ai)

yu」 (yu) vs 「iu」 (iu)

Since the letter 「y」 (y) stands for both /j/ and /ʏ/ in Etrandish, they have developed a peculiar way to spell /jʏ/ and /jʊ/ - spelling the earlier as 「yu」 (yu) and the latter as 「iu」 (iu).

/jyː/ and /juː/ are spelled as 「」 (yú) and 「」 (iú).

The many ways to spell /ɔː/

Early Middle Etrandish did not have /ɔː/ - 「aur」 (aur) was pronounced [ɐu̯ɹ], 「ár」 (ár) was pronounced [ɒːɹ], 「ál」 (ál) was pronounced [ɒːł].

Around 200 AEKE, /ɐu̯/ monophthongized to [ɔː] before coda-position /r/. Around 600 AEKE - when Middle Etrandish gave way to contemporary Etrandish - [ɒːɹ ɒːł] shifted to to [ɔːɹ ɔːł], and former [ɒłk] became [ɔːk].

These shifts led to 「aur ár ál alk」 (aur ár ál alk) being pronounced as [ɔːɹ ɔːɹ ɔːł ɔːk].


In during the transition between Old Etrandish and Middle Etrandish, Old Etrandish coda-position /er/ and /ør/ merged into a new /ər/. This shift happened strictly only in the environments where /r/ was followed by anything but a vowel: a consonant or a word boundary.

When Middle Etrandish would give way to Current Etrandish, in all variants - except the Northern dialect - /ɪr/, /ʏr/ and /ʊr/ also collapsed into /ər/, but once again - only in positions where /r/ is pronounced as [ɹ], in other words: when /r/ is followed by a consonant or a word boundary.

This however remains unreflected in the orthography. As such, /ər/ can be written as 「er ir yr ur」 (er ir yr ur), so long as it is at the end of a word or is before a consonant.

Former long vowels and diphthongs

Middle Etrandish had six phonemic long vowels /aː eː øː oː iː yː uː/ and six phonemic diphthongs /ɐi̯ ɐu̯ ɛi̯ œi̯ ɔu̯ ui̯/. Out of these, three long vowels and three diphthongs would merge: Middle Etrandish /ɛi̯ œi̯ ɔu̯/ and /eː øː oː/ would merge into [eɪ̯ øʏ̯ oʊ̯] in Current Etrandish.

As a result, a large number of digraphs would come to represent the same phoneme.

Orthography Middle Etrandish Current Etrandish
ei」 (ey) [ɛi̯] [eɪ̯]
ei」 (ei)
é」 (é) [eː]
oei」 (oei) [œi̯] [øʏ̯]
oei」 (oey)
eu」 (eu) [øː]
eu」 (ew)
ow」 (ow) [ɔu̯] [oʊ̯]
ou」 (ou)
eu」 (ó) [oː]


See also: Template:HE/doc