Introducing the Gevey script
The Gevey native script is similar to other Balhe language scripts, with adaptions to accommodate the particular needs of the language. It is believed the script originated on the continent of Falah and came to our continent at the time of the Vreski Empire, though the Vreski languages used (and contine to use) a related, more linear alphabet.
The native script is written in syllables, with each syllable composed of a vowel glyph, which can carry a modifying stroke, and between one and four consonant glyphs.
|Vowel glyphs go to the right of the syllable bar; where the syllable has no coda, the vowel will be full-size ...|
|... while those with codas have half-size vowel glyphs occupying the top-right corner of the syllable.|
|There are six vowel glyphs: each posesses a vowel diacritic - emerging from the top of the syllable bar - to indicate their exact phonetic value.|
|Consonant onsets go to the left of the syllable bar; if the onset is written with a single letter then it will be full-size ...|
|while double letter onsets are written half-size, with the first consonant letter on top of the second.|
|Most consonants come in voiced-voiceless pairs; voiced consonants are written with a voicing diacritic which often goes at the top left of the syllable glyph.|
|If the first of a pair of consonants in a syllable onset is voiced, then the second will also be voiced - even though it is written identically to its voiceless counterpart.|
|Syllable codas are placed at the bottom right of the syllable bar; most single letter codas do not extend beneath the baseline ...|
|... though voiced single letter codas do extend beneath the baseline, using a variety of extensions.|
|Where double letter codas occur, the first letter will go to the right of the syllable bar while the second will be placed at the base of the syllable.|
|Again, if the final letter of a double letter coda is voiced, then the prefinal letter will also be voiced, but will be written using its voiceless counterpart's glyph.|
The phonology of the Gevey script
Native script vowels
While it may appear as if there is some logic to the mapping of vowel phones to the grid of vowels and diacritics, any such logic is for the most part a coincidence: common usage (and the general consensus of dictionary compilers) have led to the current mapping of phone to glyph+diacritic.
|<a> [æ]||<ae> [eɪ]|
|<ai> [eə]||<aa> [ɑ]|
|<e> [e]||<ee> [i:]|
|<i> [ɪ]||<ie> [aɪ]|
|<o> [ɒ]||<oe> [əʊ]|
|<ao> [ɔ]||<oo> [u:]|
|<u> [ʊ]||<ue> [ʌ]|
|<ui> [ʊə]||<uu> [u]|
|<ou> [aʊ]||<oi> [ɔɪ]|
|<au> [ɔ:]||<ua> [ɑ:]|
Native script paired consonants
Most Gevey consonants come in voiceless-voiced pairs, with the voiced consonants being the marked versions. The voicing of a Gevey word is strong at the start of the word and weaker at its end; when two words with a coda and onset in different voices come together the voice of the onset will leach back to affect the voicing of the previous word's coda - which is for the most part easily marked in the native script, hence the reason why written Gevey routinely records these voice changes rather than sticking to a strict spelling for each word.
|<p> [p]||<b> [b]|
|<t> [t]||<d> [d]|
|<k> [k]||<g> [g]|
|<f> [f]||<v> [v]|
|<tj> [tʲ]||<dj> [dʲ]|
|<s> [s]||<z> [z]|
|<c> [ʃ]||<x> [ʒ]|
|For historical reasons, the following glyphs are treated as paired, even though they are both voiceless:|
|<q> [q]||<qj> [χ]|
The following four sets of paired letters represent double consonants; Gevey syllables can take a maximum of three consonants in both the onset and the coda, but the writing system only has space for two consonant letters before and after the vowel nucleus - these letters, which are not found in other Balhe language scripts, help accommodate the writing system to the realities of the spoken language.
|<tc> [ʧ]||<dx> [ʤ]||<st> [st]||<zd> [zd]|
|<ct> [ʃt]||<xd> [ʒd]|
|<ts> [ts]||<dz> [dz]|
Native script unpaired consonants
Unpaird consonants also - to the native Gevey speaker's mind - come in 'pairs', with the R and W pairs having a voiced-voiceless distinction - though no unpaired single coda letters descend beyond the baseline. These letters are called 'unpaired' for the practical reason that they will be largely unaffected by any voicing changes of the consonants surrounding them in the syllable and the word.
|<r> [r]||<rj> [ɹ]|
|<w> [ʍ]||<wj> [w]|
|<l> [l]||<lj> [ɫ]|
|<n> [n]||<nj> [ɲ]|
|<m> [m]||<y> [j]|
|For historical reasons, this glyph is treated as unpaired|
Numbers and punctuation
The above text reads: beetcuc gafrixuc 0123456789 , . ! ". The Gevey nativescript generally employs just four punctuations as part of the writing system:
- koundomu - the high mark, lift mark or focus mark <!>, used to mark the the use of the weak focus tone at the end of a clause
- guskietu - the breath mark or comma <,>, used to mark the end of a clause
- dxetaopu - the halt mark, period or full stop <.>, used to mark the end of a clause-chain, or sentence
- meevdomu - the speech mark or quote mark <">, used to enclose quoted speech
The nativescript makes no use of the apostrophe or hyphen, though both are used when writing the language in the Cheidran alphabet.
Nativescript numbers are in fact adapted letters, and are routinely written lower than surrounding syllable glyphs. Sets of mathematical notations have existed in the past, but are rarely used nowadays as most people prefer using the (much simpler) Cheidran notations such as brackets and mathematical operators. When Cheidran numerals are used, additional symbols are required for 8 and 9 as all Cheidran Societies count using a base8 number system.