Thursday, May 18, 2017


Getting the alphabet straight is frustrating. It's a matter of tradeoffs;

For now, I've decided not to use w and y (or j) for the semivowel versions of u and i, but just to use u and i, specifying that they become their semivowel equivalents when next to another vowel. That keeps two letters from going to waste. And I proposed keeping diphthongs from forming by putting a hyphen between the letters. But I could use the Loglan comma instead, as Steve Rice wrote:

If you want to break a diphthong into two separate sounds, put a comma without spaces around it between the vowels when writing them in text. The name 'Lois', for example, would be written Lo,is in Loglan (Without this comma the oi in Lois would be pronounced oy and the name would rhyme with 'Joyce'.).

So it would work the same way in Tceqli.

pai = PIE

pa,i = PAH-ee

kau = COW

ka,u = KAH-oo

I think I like that better than the hyphen.

So that keeps j from being used up that way, and permits it to represent /Z/.

And q can continue to represent /N/.

So with these "changes" (some are just reversions to earlier ideas of Tceqli or Loglan) we have:


First, an orthography note. Tceqli can be written in all lower-case letters or all upper-case letters. When writing about Tceqli in English, I use conventional English style capitalization, hence "Tceqli" is capitalized. And you can just follow English usage in capitalization if you like. And I use capital letters to show stress on some occasions in what follows on this page.

The Tceqli language uses the 26 letters of the Roman alphabet. 13 of them are called cuazim, or "leading letter" (C) in Tceqli:

B as in Boy /b/
C as in SHin /S/
D as in DuD /d/
F as in FluFF /f/
G as in Good /g/
H as in Hat /h/
J as in meaSure, French Jean-luc picard, Je /Z/
K as in KinK /k/
P as in PiP /p/
S as in So /s/
T as in ToT /t/
V as in Victory /v/
Z as in Zoo /z/

X is a special letter used only to form foreign sounds by making digraphs. For example, the English "th" sound in "thin" would be represented in Tceqli by "tx."

The other 12 are called falozim, or "following letters" (N) in Tceqli

six vaul, or "vowels" (V):

A as in fAther /a/
E as in bEt* /e/
I as in machIne /i/
O as in bOAt /o/
U as in bOOt /u/

Y as in bUt, AmericA  [schwa] /ə/

And two poifaivaul, "semivowels" (P):

U as in We, coW /w/
I as in You, boY /j/
(they become semivowels when next to other vowels. to prevent that, insert a comma between them.

fia = FYAH
fi,a = FEE-ah

And three truin, "nasals," (T)

M as in MiM /m/
N as in NooN /n/
Q as in siNG /N/

And two hlar, "laterals" 
L as in LuLL /l/
R as in RoaR (Midwestern American or Mandarin preferred, but any 'r' sound will do.) /r/

N.B: *E is a short sound, as in English bEt, rEd, lEg. Remember to keep it short at the end of a word like "bine" or "twale". Do not pronounce it as in English "hooray". That sound is a diphthong and is indicated by "ey." The sound is common in English, but is seldom found as the last phoneme of a word.  The word deybe is pronounced like English "day bed" without the "d."

Y is rarely written, and the sound is often just an allophone of /a/ in unstressed positions. It's also appended to many letters to give them their names:

"zbano" is spelled zy, by, a, ny, o.

A few of these are unconventional.  Q was chosen to represent the consonant in siNG because it had no other obvious use, and because the NG sound rarely has a symbol in any language. X is used this way in Esperanto, to make digraphs.
U and I make these diphthongs:

ai - as in frY
au - as in cow
ei - as in bAthe
oi - as in bOY
ia - as in YArd
ie- as in YEllow
io - as in YOre
iu - as in YOU
ua - as in WAter
ue - as in WEt
ui - as in WE

When a  comma is interposed, vawl are pronounced separately:

be,o - BE-o
cu,a - XU-a

Stress: If a Tceqli morpheme of more than one syllable ends with a vaul (AEIOU) or poyfayvawl (WY), the stress falls on the next-to-last vaul:

dilna - DILna

pamo - PAmo

zilau - ZIlau

somalay - soMAlay

If such a morpheme has more than three syllables, a secondary stress falls on the fourth-to-last syllable.

tuiamalu - tuyaMAlu

kauelomani - kaweloMAni

If it does not end with a vawl or poyfayvawl, it is stressed on the last vawl: 

diyan - diYAN

cawal - caWAL

femur - feMUR

felin - feLIN

And if such a morpheme has three or more syllables, a secondary stress falls on the third-from-last syllable:

piramun - piraMUN

starloremi - starloreMIN

Finally, any diphthongs that you find difficult to pronounce may be pronounced as two separate vowels, u for u, and i for i, provided that the morpheme is stressed as though the two vowels are a diphthong!

Ceilo - CEY-lo or CE-i-lo, NOT Ce-I-lo

Triphthongs are possible though rare:
iai as in YIkes!
uau as in WOW!
uei as in WAY
iei as in YAY
ioi as in YOIks!

Tceqli morphemes must begin with one or more tcuazim.  But this is an actual language, so there are times when borrowed names do not.  In this case, for the most part, we simply put an 'h' at the beginning if the name begins with a vowel or semivowel:

English > heqlizo      
Al> halzo
Obama > hobamazo

Names beginning with with lmnqr add z:

Lima > zlimazo
Russia >zrusizo
Norman > znormanzo

The names of letters in Tceqli:

A a
E e
I i
O o
U u
Y y

L hly
M hmy
N hny
Q hqy
R hry 

B by
C cy
D dy
and so forth

Note that the falozim group of letters are in violation of the rule that morphemes must begin with a cuazim. Consequently, they must be preceded by a pause or glottal stop.

All the cwazim, on the other hand, have names in the form of the letter itself followed by et, so no pause is required, though it's usually there anyway.

They are also used to spell words, of course, but they are also used as pronouns, or anaphora, to refer back to previously used words, in this way.

Djanzo pa gi kom pan. D pa falfa P. (Prounounced dy pa falfa pə.)
John was eating bread. He dropped it.

They replace da for clarity. To avoid confusion, they are always written upper-case followed by a space, of course.

They are also used for acronyms:

To hanho ze stan hu Hamerihaimzo.  HSH  Pronounced hə-sə-hə
The United States of America. (USA)

Janzo Fitsjeraldzo Kenedizo. JFK  Pronounced jet-fet-ket

And for foreign abbreviations, of course the falozim have to be used, too.

USA pronounced u-sy-a

And to name the chemical elements, both the tcuazim and falozim forms have to be used, of course:

Fe pronounced fy-e, Ag pronounced a-gy, etc.

In mathematical expression, lower-case letter symbols are pronounced the same way:

a+b=c  a plu by kwal cy
Finally, for situations where extreme clarity is called for, the military, or NATO, "phonetic" alphabet is used as is.

ICAO Phonetic Alphabet
LetterCode WordPronunciation
AAlfaAL fah
BBravoBRAH voh
CCharlieCHAR lee
DDeltaDEL tah
EEchoEKK oh
FFoxtrotFOKS trot
HHotelHO tell
IIndiaIN dee ah
JJulietJEW lee ett
KKiloKEY loh
LLimaLEE mah
NNovemberNOH vem ber
OOscarOSS car
PPapaPAH pah
QQuebeckeh BECK
RRomeoROW me oh
SSierrasee AIR ah
TTangoTANG go
UUniformYOU nee form
VVictorVIK ter
WWhiskeyWISS key
XX-rayEKS ray
YYankeeYANG kee
ZZuluZOO loo 

Now — whatever shall we do with "w"?

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