Alphabet and Pronunciation

Alphabet

lower-
case
upper-
case
IPA letter name
a A /a/ aya
b B /b/ ibe
c C /tʃ/ ice
d D /d/ ide
e E /e/ eya
f F /f/ ife
g G /g/ ige
h H /x/ ihe
i I /i/ iya
j J /dʒ/ ije
k K /k/ ike
l L /l/ ile
m M /m/ ime
n N /n/ ine
o O /o/ oya
p P /p/ ipe
r R /ɾ/ ire
s S /s/ ise
t T /t/ ite
u U /u/ uya
v V /v/ ive
w W /w/ iwe
x X /ʃ/ ixe
y Y /j/ iye
z Z /z/ ize

Upper-case vs Lower-case Letters

There are currently no set rules in Globasa for the use of upper-case letters. Globasa speakers are welcome to use upper-case letters at their discretion until the time comes to establish such rules or guidelines.

Letter Names

When spelling words out loud, the names of the letters may be shortened.

  • Vowels: a, e, i, o, u
  • Consonants: be, ce, de, etc.

Consonants

letter IPA pronunciation examples
b /b/ as in boy basa language
c /tʃ/ as ch in chair cokolate chocolate
d /d/ as in dip doste friend
f /f/ as in fun fasul bean
g /g/ as in good globa world
h /x/ as ch in Bach hawa air
j /dʒ/ as in jazz juni young
k /k/ as in kite kitabu book
l /l/ as in log lala sing, song
m /m/ as in map multi many, much
n /n/ as in nine newe new
p /p/ as in peace pingo apple
r /ɾ/ as r in Spanish or Italian risi rice
s /s/ as in sit sui water
t /t/ as in time teatro theater
v /v/ as in vest visita visit
w /w/ as in win watu time
x /ʃ/ as sh in shop xugwan habit
y /j/ as in yes yuxi play, game
z /z/ as in zen zebra zebra

Notes on the Consonants

c - never [k] as in cup or [s] as in cent

d, t - never like the American English pronunciation of d and t between vowels, as in lady, meter.

In American English, d and t tend to be rendered as [ɾ] when they appear between vowels (leader, liter, etc). The sound [ɾ], or so-called flap, is virtually identical to the Spanish (and Globasa) r. English speakers with American accents should be careful to always pronounce a true d (the d in done, not in leader) and a true t (the t in talk, not in liter) in Globasa.

g - never [dʒ] as in gym

h - voiceless velar fricative, not to be confused with [χ], a voiceless uvular fricative

The velar fricative is pronounced in the same point of articulation as [k], and is akin to a cat's hissing sound. In contrast, the uvular fricative is a more guttural sound pronounced further back in the throat in which uvular vibration is noticeable. Permissible variant: [h], as in hotel.

j - permissible variant: [ʒ] as the French j, or as the English s in vision

k, p and t - ideally pronounced slightly aspirated, although not as strongly as in English

l - never articulated as [ɫ], a velarized or so-called dark l, pronounced in English in syllable-final position, as in bell; always as a plain l, as in belle in French

r - ideally pronounced as a single flap/tap rather than a trill

s - always voiceless; never [z] as in visit

w and y - may be pronounced as vowels (u and i), but are never stressed; may also be rendered as [uw] and [ij] when they appear between a consonant and a vowel. See Spelling Convention below.

x - never [ks] as in taxi

z - always as a single voiced sibilant; never [ts] as in pizza

Vowels

Globasa's vowels (a, e, i, o, u) are pronounced as in Spanish, Italian or Esperanto.

letter IPA pronunciation example
a /ä/ as a in Spanish or Italian basa language
e /e̞/ as in let bete child (daughter/son)
i /i/ as in machine, as ee in seen idi go
o /o̞/ as in for oko eye
u /u/ as in rude or as oo in moon mumu ox (bull/cow)

Notes on the Vowels

a - ideally pronounced [ä], an open central unrounded vowel; the front [a] and back [ɑ] are permissible variants

e - ideally pronounced [e̞], a mid front unrounded vowel; the close-mid [e] and the open-mid [ɛ] are permissible variants

o - ideally pronounced [o̞], a mid back round vowel; the close-mid [o] and the open-mid [ɔ] are permissible variants

Elision

In certain cases, primarily in poetry, song lyrics or onomatopoeic sounds, e in word-final position or in word-initial position (when followed by -s- and another consonant) may be rendered silent and replaced by an apostrophe.

cokolate or cokolat'
jaze or jaz'
espageti or 'spageti

Stress

The following stress rules apply to all polysyllabic words, including words that are affixed.

If the word ends in a consonant, the stress falls on the last vowel.

xugwan (habit), pronounced xu-gwan [ʃu.'gwan]
problem (problem), pronounced pro-blem [pro.'blem]
kitabudom (library), pronounced ki-ta-bu-dom [ki.ta.bu.'dom]

If the word ends in a vowel, the stress falls on the second-to-last vowel.

doste (friend), pronounced dos-te ['dos.te]
piu (bird), pronounced pi-u ['pi.u]
Espanisa (Spanish language), pronounced es-pa-ni-sa [es.pa.'ni.sa]

Monosyllabic content words are stressed. There are currently no stress rules for monosyllabic function words. Whether they are stressed or unstressed is left to the speaker's discretion.

Epenthesis

Consonant Epenthesis

A glottal stop may optionally be added between any two vowels, whether within or between words.

poema (poem), pronounced [po'ema] or [poʔ'ema]

Vowel Epenthesis

A mid central vowel such as [ə] may optionally be added between any two consonants, whether within or between words.

magneto (magnet), pronounced [mag'neto] or [magə'neto]

Double Vowels and Consonants

Double vowels and consonants, whether within words as a result of affixation or between words, may alternatively be pronounced slightly longer or up to twice as long as single ones.

Double Vowels

riinvita (reinvite), pronounced [riʔin'vita] or [ri:n'vita]

semiisula (peninsula), pronounced [semiʔi'sula] or [semi:'sula]

Double Consonants

possahay (hinder), pronounced [posəsa'hay] or [pos:a'hay]

aselli (original), pronounced [a'seləli] or [a'sel:i]

Double r

Although r cannot be lengthened in the same way that other consonants can be, double r may alternatively be lengthened as a trill.

burroya (nightmare, bad dream), pronounced [buɾə'ɾoya] or [bu'roya]

W and Y

Note: As a learner of Globasa you may skip the following portion, which is merely a discussion on how Globasa deals with w and y.

Stress

As stated above, w and y may be pronounced as vowels. However, since they are technically consonants they are never stressed.

Compare the pronunciation of following proper names:

Maria, pronounced ma-ri-a [ma.'ɾi.a] or mar-i-a [maɾ.'i.a]
Maryo, pronounced ma-ryo ['ma.ɾjo], mar-yo ['maɾ.jo], ma-ri-o ['ma.ɾi.o], or mar-i-o ['maɾ.i.o]

Spelling Maryo with y rather than i allows the stress to be shifted to a, the second-to-last vowel letter. With the stress on the appropriate vowel, it makes no difference in Globasa whether Maryo is pronounced as two syllables, with a consonantal y (ma-ryo or mar-yo), or alternatively, as three syllables, with y pronounced as an unstressed i (ma-ri-o).

Diphthongs

Globasa allows the following diphthongs: aw, ew, ow, ay, ey, oy. However, glides (w and y) may be pronounced as independent vowels or even as [wu] and [yi] forming a separate, unstressed syllable.

Ewropa (Europe), pronounced ew-ro-pa [ew.'ɾo.pa] or e-u-ro-pa [e.u.'ɾo.pa] or even e-wu-ro-pa [e.wu.'ɾo.pa]

Spelling Convention

Unless they must be pronounced as separate syllables, u and i do not typically appear next to other vowels. Instead, w and y are conventionally used, either preceded or followed by vowels.

pyano (piano), pronounced pyano ['pja.no], pi-a-no [pi.'a.no] or even pi-ya-no [pi.'ja.no]
cyan (cyan), pronounced cyan [tʃjan], ci-an [tʃi.'an] or even ci-yan [tʃi.'jan]
jyen (fry), pronounced jyen [dʒjen], [ʒjen], ji-en [dʒi.'en], [ʒi.'en] or even ji-yen [dʒi.'jen], [ʒi.'jen]
swini (pig, hog), pronounced swi-ni ['swi.ni], su-i-ni [su.'i.ni] or even su-wi-ni [su.'wi.ni]

Compare with the following words, in which i and u cannot, under any circumstance, be part of the same syllable as the adjacent vowel:

maux (mouse), pronounced ma-ux [ma.'uʃ]
daif (weak), pronouncd da-if [da.'if]
Australi (Australia), pronounced a-us-tra-li [a.us.'tɾa.li]

Note that the spelling Awstrali would violate the phonotactic rules. See below. Whether Awstrali is divided into syllables as Aws-tra-li or Aw-stra-li, syllables such as aws and stra are not allowed in Globasa. As a result, Australi must be spelled with u rather than w to indicate the obligatory separation of syllables.

Phonotactics

Note: As a learner of Globasa you may skip this portion, as this is merely a description of Globasa's syllable structure.

Syllables

Syllables consist of: (onset)-nucleus-(coda).

The syllable structure in Globasa is (C)(C)V(C).

Onset

Syllables may or may not have an onset. In Globasa, the onset consists of any single consonant, or any of the following consonant clusters:

bl-, fl-, gl-, kl-, pl-, vl-
br-, dr-, fr-, gr-, kr-, pr-, tr-, vr-
bw-, cw-, dw-, fw-, gw-, hw-, jw-, kw-, lw-, mw-, nw-, pw-, rw-, sw-, tw-, vw-, xw-, zw-
by-, cy-, dy-, fy-, gy-, hy-, jy-, ky-, ly-, my-, ny-, py-, ry-, sy-, ty-, vy-, xy-, zy-

Nucleus

All syllables have a nucleus. In Globasa, the nucleus consists of any single vowel: a, e, i, o, u.

Coda

Syllables may or may not have a coda. In Globasa, the coda consists of any single consonant. However, the following caveats apply:

Word-final position: Only the following consonants are allowed in word-final position: -f, -l, -m, -n, -r, -s, -w, -x, -y. This does not apply to proper nouns, but it does apply to any Globasa word, including culture-specific words.

Nucleus-coda caveat: When w or y are in the coda, neither i nor u is allowed in the nucleus. As a result, the following nucleus-coda combinations with -w and -y are not allowed: -iy, -iw, -uy, -uw. All other nucleus-coda combinations with -w and -y are allowed: -aw, -ew, -ow, -ay, -ey, -oy.

Coda-onset voicing: Coda-onset consonant cluster may or may not agree with regards to voicing: tekno vs magneto, epilepsi vs absinte, etc.

Coda-onset stops: Consonant clusters consisting of two stops (-kt-, -pt-, etc.) are allowed only in culture-specific words and proper nouns: vodka, futbol, Magdalena etc.. All other Globasa words follow the Italian and Portuguese model which omits the first consonant: astrato (abstract), ativo (active), otim (optimal), etc.

Two-consonant codas: The coda of proper nouns may end in up to two consonants, including in word-final position: Trinidad, Bah, Rembrant, Mark.