The MyLanguage Alphabet

aeyiuowhwhlrrmngnpktbgdfthsshvdhzzhKQ'

This is an alphabet that I originally used for a language I started making up a while ago (eighth grade?). I no longer have the dictionary for that language (blame computer), but I still remember the alphabet (which should be usable for just about any language, at least if you add enough letters). It is an attempt to create an alphabet that makes sense, though I didn't know as much about how sounds are produced as I do now. I have made some changes since then; what's shown here is mostly the original.

The alphabet is phonetic; it is not based on the spelling in any other language. My intent was to have these spelling rules:

  1. Each letter makes exactly one sound, and makes that same sound each time it occurs.
  2. Each sound has exactly one letter for it.
  3. There are no silent or double letters.
  4. There are no sounds that are not written.

The first rule is not entirely correct since I was wrong about a few diphthongs.

The transliterations shown are what I used when I first thought up the alphabet. Some of them (specifically q, x, and most of the vowels) come from a phonetic way of spelling things that my grandpa thought up (which in some ways influenced this alphabet). Not all of the transliterations show the actual sound of the letter; be sure to look at the Pronunciation column when seeing what sound a letter makes.

The alphabet is divided into several types of letters that share characteristics. The names for these types were what I originally called them, before I learned their actual names.

See also: Everything else I can remember about MyLanguage

The letters

Vowels

When I decided on these vowels, I was convinced that the main thing that determines what vowel is which was the shape of one's lips (it's actually where the back of the tongue is). I got this order for the vowels by attempting to put the vowel with one's mouth most open first. I may have made replacements for these at one point, but these are the ones I can remember (they're the original vowels). Note that the number of sides in each shape increases by one for each vowel except oo.

AppearanceTransliterationPronunciationComments
An isosceles triangle pointing upwardsaLike the a in apple
A squareeLike the e in end
A pentagon pointing upwardsyLike the ea in eat or the y in yankCan also be written as a pentagon with straight vertial sides that form ninety-degree angles with the base.
A hexagon with two horizontal sides.iLike the i in in
A block arrow pointing to the right.uLike the u in jump or the a in aboutCan also be written as a block arrow with the left side missing.
An octagonoLike the a in father and the o in topCan also be written as a circle (the first one's an octagon; the second one's a circle).
A cylinderwLike the o in who or the w in winter

See below for more vowels

Whispers

Unvoiced vowels.

AppearanceTransliterationPronunciationComments
An X with arrowheads at the ends of the lineshLike the h in heThis was originally a left-pointing block arrow.
An upside-down cylinderWA voiceless w soundApparently some people use this for words like what. Also can be written as a small superscript x followed by a cylindar (except that the small superscript x should have arrowheads – blame low resolution).

Vowel-like

These are the liquids. The symbols for the first two come from the fact that these symbols were easily available in the program I was using when I made up the alphabet (this is also where u and w come from).

AppearanceTransliterationPronunciationComments
A sunlL
A crescent moonrEnglish R
A starRLike a Spanish r, or like the tt/dd in latter/ladder in dialects where they're pronounced the sameNot in the original alphabet. A rolled r (Spanish rr) can be written as a squiggle followed by a star.

Vowel-like (2)

Nasal consonants.

AppearanceTransliterationPronunciationComments
Two horizontal lines stacked vertically close togethermMRepresents two lips that are closed.
Two horizontal lines stacked vertically farther apartNThe ng in singer and the n in finger and sinkSimilar to m, but with your mouth open.
A backwards ZnNThe diagonal line represents the tongue touching the roof of the mouth.

Click-like

Voiceless plosive consonants

AppearanceTransliterationPronunciationComments
A less-than signpPThe point represents when one's lips are closed; the other end represents when they're open.
A sideways HkKThe vertical line represents the movement of the tongue.
A backwards Z with a vertical line on the lefttTThe vertical line represents the movement of the tongue.

Voiced click-like

Arrowheads are added to voiceless letters to make the letters for voiced consonants.

AppearanceTransliterationPronunciation
A less-than sign with arrowheads on the rightbB
A sideways H with arrowheads on the vertical linegG
A backwards Z with a vertical line on the left that has arrowheadsdD

Hisses

Voiceless fricatives.

AppearanceTransliterationPronunciationComments
Two vertical lines almost above each other, but one offset slightly and overlapping the other slightly.fFThe top line represents one's teeth; the bottom one represents one's lower lip.
An arrow pointing to the upper-left, with the arrowhead slightly detached from the arrowqVoiceless TH, as in bathVertical line represents teeth; horizontal line represents roof of mouth; diagonal line represents tongue. I'm not sure if it should go here; it may be a plosive (click-like).
A sideways 'S' shapesS
A sideways 'S' shape with a diagonal line through itcSH

Buzzes

Voiced fricatives.

AppearanceTransliterationPronunciation
Like the shape for F, but with arrowheads on the top and bottom.vV
Like the shape for the other TH, but with arrowheads on the angled linexVoiced TH, as in bathe
A sideways 'S' shape with arrowheadszZ
A sideways 'S' shape with a diagonal line through itjLike the s in vision

Clicks

These are the clicks that were used in MyLanguage. The set of clicks isn't taken from some other language (i.e., there are probably not enough clicks for any other language that uses clicks). In MyLanguage, clicks may be used before a vowel in the same syllable; doing so results in an NG sound being said at the same time as the click.

AppearanceTransliterationPronunciationComments
A backslash with a curved line in front of itKA click in which one's tongue starts touching the roof of one's mouth and then quickly moves down and slaps on the bottom of said mouth
A backslash with a slanted curved lineQA click in which one's tongue touches the top of one's top teeth and then quickly moves away
A capital H'A click in which one's tongue starts touching the roof of one's mouth and then quickly moves away but doesn't slap against the bottom of the mouthThis sound is used in contractions in MyLanguage.

Spelling rules

Mostly words are spelled phonetically. Each syllable in a word is separated by a dot, and each word is separated by a dash. The punctuation is also different.

Accents and main vowels

Each syllable has a main vowel (the most stressed sound in the syllable), indicated by an accent mark. Vowels that occur before the main vowel are generally pronounced as glides (like the y in yank or the w in watermelon); if there are vowels after the main vowel in the same syllable, the vowels become a falling diphthong. The accent marks, from most to least stress, are:

Stress levelAppearanceComments
3Two concentric circlesGoes around the letter
2A 'no' signGoes through or behind the letter ("behind" means that it's not visible in enclosed portions of certain letters
1A block-letter top half of a circleGoes above the letter; can also be written without the horizontal lines
0The top half of a circleGoes above the letter.

The main vowel need not be a vowel; for example, in the second syllable in little, the main vowel is L, which is generally not considered a vowel. (Note that there is an exception to the rule that each syllable has a main vowel for syllables that consist only of a click sound.)

Note that I sometimes omit these due either to laziness or due to it being more difficult to get them on a computer.

Sound combinations

Some sounds are not shown above because they're made using a combination of two or more letters.

Diphthongs (vowels)

These are all falling diphthongs, i.e., the main vowel is the first letter in the combination. The only sound in English that could be considered a rising diphthong is the u in university, which would be yw.

CombinationPronunciationComments
awLike the ou in out
eyLike the a in apeThe e sound is actually slightly different than an ordinary e sound.
oyLike the i in ice creamThe first sound might be slightly different in this diphthong.
owLike the o in donutI think this is actually a separate sound, rather than this diphthong. A small superscript cylindar followed by an octagon would probably be more accurate.
owyLike the oi in oilSee previous comment
wuLike the oo in bookThis I think is also a separate sound.

Consonants

CombinationPronunciation
tshCH
dzhJ

Miscellaneous modifiers

Not all of these are used in any language I know. All of these are placed above and to the left of the letter they modify.

ModifierDescriptionComments
Superscript XStop soundUse on nasal consonants to indicate that the person should put his/her mouth in the position to make the sound, but stop the sound.
Superscript X with arrowheadsMake a vowel, vowel-like, or nasal voicelessNeed higher resolution. This one should have arrowheads; it's where the symbol for H comes from.
Square with shadowFrom here to the end of the syllable should be echoedThis is used in MyLanguage to mark plurals.
SquiggleRepeat a sound rapidly several timesUsed for rolled R, see above.
Superscript cylindarMake a sound with one's lips rounded, like OO.