User:Selguha/Comparison of orthographies

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This page is mainly about the alphabets of different engineered languages. Work in progress; missing citations for now. Newest material at bottom.

'Diaphonemic' comparison

One way to compare alphabets is to borrow and slightly stretch the concept of the diaphoneme. This abstract unit is a bundle of closely related phonemes in different varieties of a language. Where two constructed languages have similar phonologies, it can similarly make sense to group their phonemes together into meta-units for purposes of orthographic comparison. So, for instance, one language may have a constrast between /s/ and /ʂ/ and another may have a very similar contrast between /s/ and /ʃʷ/; if neither language has another voiceless sibilant, it makes sense to consider /ʂ/ and /ʃʷ/ as one diaphoneme. Traditionally diaphonemes are transcribed with double slashes, e.g. //ʃ//.

The following chart compares alphabets by means of diaphonemes whose representation tends to vary across orthographies. A blank space indicates the absence of a diaphoneme in a language. The languages are listed in an arbitrary order; in earlier versions of the chart, languages were arranged in an order highlighting their similarities.

Orthographic representation of selected diaphonemes in natural and constructed languages
English Esperanto Pandunia Globasa Hanyu Pinyin Malay Latejami Xorban Loglan Lojban Toaq
//ʔ// ∅ / k1 q , . 2
//t͡s// c c c
//d͡z// dz3 z4 z
//t͡ʃ// ch ĉ ch q5 c c ch
//d͡ʒ// j ĝ zh j j j j
//z// z z z z z z z z z
//ʃ// sh ŝ x x sh x sy x c c c sh
//ʒ// zh ĵ q j j j
//x// kh ĥ h h6 h kh x x x
//h// h h h h7 8 h h
//w// w ŭ w / u w w / u w w w u u w
//j// y j y / i y y / i y y y i i y

1 Intervocalic glottal stop is implied when certain vowels appear back-to-back or doubled, such as in the word kemuliaan /kəmuli.aʔan/ 'glory; dignity'. Syllable-finally, glottal stop is written k.

2 Only represented intervocalically..

3 There is disagreement over whether Esperanto has a /d͡z/ phoneme. Kalocsay and Waringhien include /d͡z/ in Esperanto's inventory in their Plena Analiza Gramatiko de Esperanto (1985; p. 47).

4 For present purposes only, I treat Standard Chinese's unaspirated stops as voiced consonants; Pinyin uses traditionally voiced consonant letters for these sounds.

5 I have also collapsed the Chinese retroflex and alveolopalatal series into the diaphonemic category of postalveolars. Admittedly this reflects the perceptual habits of the English speaker; it may be more intuitive to Chinese speakers to group the retroflex and alveolar sounds together as apicals. That would be less useful for this chart, however.

6 The phoneme written ⟨h⟩ is allowed to vary between [x] and [h] in Pandunia; I have chosen arbitrarily to designate this phoneme /x/.

7 The Latejami phoneme is allowed to vary between a dorsal fricative and a glottal fricative or stop; its main allophones can be inferred to be [ç], [x], [χ], [h] and [ʔ].

8 This sound is actually voiced, /ɦ/, with permitted allophones including [ɣ] and [ʁ].

Letter-assignment comparison

Constructed languages discussed below do not yet include the worldlangs Pandunia and Globasa.

Comparison of the IPA values of selected consonant letters
Grapheme English Pinyin Malay Latejami Xorban Loglan Lojban Toaq
’ (apostrophe) .1 θ h ʔ
, (comma) ʔ .1
. ʔ
c k / s t͡sʰ t͡ʃ t͡ʃ ʃ ʃ ʃ t͡sʰ
ch t͡ʃ t͡ʂʰ t͡ɕʰ
h h x h h~x θ h h
j d͡ʒ t͡ɕ d͡ʒ d͡ʒ ʒ ʒ ʒ d͡ʑ
q t͡ɕʰ ʒ ʔ θ ŋ
sh ʃ ʂ ɕ
w w w w w w y w
x ks~gz ɕ ks ʃ x x x
y j j j j j ə ə j
z z t͡s z z z z z d͡z
zh ʒ t͡ʂ

1 This is the IPA symbol indicating a syllable boundary or a hiatus (a syllable boundary between nuclei without any intervening consonants).

Comparison of IPA values for consonant letters and digraphs in various languages
English Spanish Italian German Albanian Pinyin Malay Latejami Xorban Loglan Lojban Toaq
. ɦ ʔ h
. ʔ ʔ
c k / s k / s~θ k / t͡ʃ k / t͡s t͡s t͡sʰ t͡ʃ t͡ʃ ʃ ʃ ʃ t͡sʰ
ch t͡ʃ ch k x t͡ʂʰ t͡ɕʰ
dh ð
g g / d͡ʒ g~ɣ / x g / d͡ʒ g g g g g g g g
gh g / f~∅ g ɣ~x
gj ɟ~d͡ʑ
gn ɲ
h h / ∅ h / ː h x h h~x θ h h
j d͡ʒ x (j) j j d̥͡ʑ̥ d͡ʒ d͡ʒ ʒ ʒ ʒ d͡ʑ
kh (x) x
ll ʎ~ʝ ɫ
ng ŋ / ŋg ŋg ŋg ŋg ŋg ŋ ŋ ŋg ŋg ŋg ŋg
nj ɲ
ny ɲ
ñ (nj) ɲ
q c~t͡ɕ t͡ɕʰ ʒ ʔ θ ŋ
qu kw kw / k kw k / kv
r ɻ ɾ r ʁ / ɐ̯ ɾ ɻ~ʐ / ʵ r r r r r ɾ
rr r r
s s s s z s s s s s s s s
sc sk / s sk / s sk / ʃ
sch (ʃ) ʃ
sh ʃ ʃ ʂ ɕ
sy ʃ
ß s
th θ / ð t θ
v v b~β v f v v~f v v v v
w w (w) (w) v w w w w y w
x ks~gz / z ks~gz ks~gz? ks d͡z ɕ ks ʃ x x x
xh d͡ʒ
y j ʝ / i̯ (j) ??? y j j j j ə ə j
z z s~θ t͡s~d͡z t͡s z d̥͡z̥ z z z z z
zh ʒ ʒ d̥͡ʐ̥

jbopomofo: A possible mapping of Zhuyin (Bopomofo) characters to Lojban

Lojban letter IPA value Zhuyin letter Pinyin analogue Original IPA value
b [b] b [p]
p [p] p [pʰ]
m [m] m [m]
f [f] f [f]
v [v] v [v]
d [d] d [t]
t [t] t [tʰ]
n [n] n [n]
l [l] l [l]
r [r~ɾ~ɹ~ɻ~ʁ] er [aɻ], [ɻ]
g [g] g [k]
k [k] k [kʰ]
x [x] h [x]
dj [dʒ~dʐ] zh [tʂ]
tc [tʃ~tʂ] ch [ʈʂʰ]
c [ʃ~ʂ] sh [ʂ]
j [ʒ~ʐ] r [ɻ~ʐ]
dz [dz] z [ts]
ts [ts] c [tsʰ]
s [s] s [s]
z [z] -i [ɻ̩~ʐ̩], [ɹ̩~z̩]
a [a] a [a]
e [ɛ] (-i)e, ê [ɛ]
i [i], [j] yi, i [i]
o [o] o [ɔ]
u [u], [w] wu, -u [u]
y [ə] e [ɤ]
ai [aɪ̯] ai [aɪ̯]
au [aʊ̯] ao [ɑʊ̯]
ei [eɪ̯] ei [eɪ̯]
oi [oɪ̯] yu, -ü [y]
' [h] ˙ N/A N/A
, [.] ' [.]
. [ʔ] N/A N/A
capitalization primary stress 「...」 N/A N/A

† The characters and are not used in modern Zhuyin.