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How to mark Tech ejectives and syllabics using Arabic script

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Saturday, January 19, 2002, 20:26
(Warning: If you don't know the Arabic writing system, this might confuse
you a bit.)

First of all, welcome to the new members of the list; there are quite a few
since I've been gone.

Now my goal in applying Arabic script to my conlang is basically to do the
opposite of what is done to satisfy the large phonology of Sindhi. Instead
of inventing many new letters by putting four dots on one and strokes
through another, I use whatever is available in the character set provided
by MS Arabic fonts like Andalus, Traditional Arabic, Simplified Arabic and
Arabic Transparent.

In the extended character set (which also includes additional letters for
Farsi), there are two combining forms: hamzeh (a small reverse-2 that
indicates a glottal stop) and maddeh (a tilde-like mark placed over initial
alif to mark an initial long A). I decided to use these as diacritics.

The hamzah is normally applied only over or under alif, or over waw or yeh,
and indicates a following glottal stop in the latter two cases. In Tech, if
placed over an emphatic letter, it marks an ejective. It can also be applied
over other letters, but I haven't decided on conventions yet as the
phonology is not completely decided (it'll come as I implement Indo-European
onto the Semitic/Afro-Asiatic foundation, and then Kartvelian, Altaic etc.).

So, hamzeh on the following gives you:

sad + hamzeh = /ts'/
dad + hamzeh = /tL'/ (L should be l-curl, a voiceless lateral fricative).
tah + hamzeh = /t'/
zah/dhah + hamzeh = /tS'/
qaf + hamzeh = /k'/ or /q'/

(Without hamzeh, the values are /z~/, /dl~/, /d~/, /zh~/ and /G/; the tilde
indicates "emphasis" or pharyngealization.)

It may be necessary to use hamzeh for other letters, such as hah for /ts/,
seen for /L/.

Now on to maddeh, that tilde-like thing. In Tech, this indicates a syllabic
nasal or liquid, so it can appear over reh, lam, meem and noon. I am
probably going to have syllabics in the case of two words I already have
that have no vowels: _bn_ "son" and _Sm_ "name" (but not _bint_ "daughter").
Basically, the maddeh would mean that both the initial consonant and the
following vowel of the syllable is /r/, /l/, /m/, /n/.

So I welcome comments as to whether this is in character and tradition with
Arabic script.


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