International Latin Alphabet

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Part of the International Alphabet System.

System Symbols Comment
IPA a b ʃ d e f g h i j k l m n o p ʒ r s t u v w x y z ç q
IAS-diacritic ^ ´ . ˚ ˇ `
International Latin Alphabet 1994 a b q d e f g h i j k l m n o p y r s t u v w x - z c -
International Latin Alphabet 2015 a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p y r s t u v w x - z q -
International Latin Alphabet 2016 a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z - -

Design principles

Create a phonetic alphabet (ordered set of assignments of phones to graphemes) where

  1. each letter is part of the Lowercase Latin alphabet as defined in "C0 Controls and Basic Latin" (http://unicode.org/charts/PDF/U0000.pdf)
  2. each phone is represented in IPA (https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/sites/default/files/IPA_Kiel_2015.pdf) by one character
  3. each letter represents one phone
  4. each letter that represents a phone from one of the groups "vowels", "consonants (pulmonic)" in IPA, represents a phone from the same group
  5. each phone is represented by the IPA letter, if the IPA letter is from the Lowercase Latin alphabet, (= a phone that is represented by a Basic Latin letter in IPA should only be assigned to that letter)

Process to obtain the target alphabet

Create initial assignments

Select the letters of the Lowercase Latin alphabet in the order as listed in "C0 Controls and Basic Latin"

<a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z>

and assign to each the phonetic value represented by the same letter in IPA, if any

[a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z]

Change assignments

Change assignments to increase coverage of spoken conversation.

Change assignments in the group pulmonic consonants

Letter c

1 <c> : replace [c] with [ʃ] and include as allophones [ʂ], [ɕ]

  • Reason: [ʃ] found more often than [c]
  • Occurrence of initial phone: not present in a standard variety of any of the six official UN languages
  • Occurrence of replacement phone: Arabic, English, French, varieties of Spanish
    • possible allophone: [ʂ] in Russian
  • Precedence:

- found in IPA pre-1900 - Northern Berber Latin alphabet - conlangs: Esperanto 1894, Uropi 1986, Loglan 1986, Lojban 1997, Sambahsa Phonetic Transcription <year?>, Tceqli 2017, Pandunia 2017.

  • Other:

- <c> or <ci> represent /ʃ/ in some English words, e.g. <musician>. - <c> appears as single letter representing a sound containing /ʃ/, e.g. Italian <c> = /tʃ/ before <e,i>. - <c> appears in multigraphs representing a sound sequence containing a sound /ʃ/, e.g. German <sch>, Italian <sc>, French <ch>, x-Esperanto <cx>, Spanish <ch>, Czech <cz>, Hungarian <cs>. - <c> with diacritics represents a sound sequence containing a sound /ʃ/, e.g. Esperanto <ĉ>, Czech <č>, Maltese <ċ>, Turkish <ç> - The IPA /ɕ/ may sound as an allophone of /ʃ/ for some.

[a b ʃ d e f ɡ h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z]
Letter q

2 <q> : replace [q] with [ʒ] and include as allophones [ʐ], [ʑ]

  • Reason: [ʒ] and nearby values [ʐ], [ʑ] found more often than [q]
  • Occurrence of initial phone: not present in a standard variety of any of the six official UN languages
  • Occurrence of replacement phone: English, French, varieties of Spanish, varieties of Arabic,
    • possible allophone: [ʐ] in Chinese, Russian
  • Precedence: No precedence known.
[a b ʃ d e f ɡ h i j k l m n o p ʒ r s t u v w x y z]

Change assignments in the group vowels

Letter a

2.1 <a> : change from front [a] to central [ä], include old value as allophone

  • Reason: symmetry, actual use?
  • Precedence: (...)
Letter e and letter o

2.2 <e o> : change from close-mid [e o] to mid [e̞ o̞], include old value as allophone

  • Reason: symmetry reasons one may like to change the values to mid
  • Occurrence of initial phone: not present in a standard variety of any of the six official UN languages
  • Occurrence of replacement phone:
  • Precedence: (...)
  • Other:

there might be reasons in observed use of spoken conversation for not changing them.

Letter y

2.3 <y> : change from close front rounded [y] to central-mid [ə], include old value as allophone

  • Reason: symmetry
  • Precedence: (...)


Changes

  • the frontness from high to mid
  • the closeness from closed to central
  • the roundedness from rounded to rounded or unrounded

Target alphabet

[ä b ʃ d e̞ f ɡ h i j k l m n o̞ p ʒ r s t u v w x ə z]

Simplified

[a b ʃ d e f g h i j k l m n o p ʒ r s t u v w x y z]

Affricate relevance

  • interslav: "bogatši" which means "richer". t and š need to be pronounced separately, otherwise it would be written "bogači", which is a different word and is the singular locative of "bogač", which means "rich man" - ILA would have /bogatci/ for both and cannot distinguish.
  • Polish
    • tc : <cz> VS <trz>
      • <czy> VS <trzy>
        • workaround: <tc> VS <tq>, the latter with progressive voicing assimilation
    • dq : <dż> VS <drz>
      • <dżem> = "jam", with monophonemic affricate, versus <drzem> = "take a nap (imperative)" with plosive-plus-fricative sequence.
        • workaround: <dq> VS <dc>, the latter with progressive voicing assimilation