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Exercises on Orthography and Accentuation

Page history last edited by Mundialecter 1 year, 7 months ago

Exercises on Orthography and Accentuation in Sambahsa.

 

(Thanks to Dave MacLeod for his help: www.pageF30.com )

Sambahsa’s orthographical and accentuational system is quite elaborated; this is due to the fact that it tries to respect the forms that loanwords have in the source languages, especially West-European languages where orthography plays a key role.

Nevertheless, those rules are entirely regular, and can be mastered through repetition. This series of exercises, which can be redone several times, is here to make you acquainted with them. Just read once the full rules in the Grammar Section and, before beginning, be sure to understand clearly the Sambahsa Phonetic Transcription rules.

 

[a] = like “a” in “car”

[ä] = like “e” in “bed”, but often a bit longer

[b] = as in English

[c] = as “sh” in “shoe”

[d] = as in English

[e] = as in Italian or Spanish. Listen to it: http://tts.imtranslator.net/4Fxa

[ë] = as “e” in “the”

[f] = as in English

[g] = as “g” in “give”

[h] = as “h” in “hope”

[i] = as “i” in “bit”

[j] = as “si” in “vision”

[k] = as in English

[l] = as in English

[m] = as in English

[n] = as in English

[o] = as in English

[ö] = as “u” in “burn”, but slightly longer

[p] = as in English

[q] = it is the “ach-laut” of German or the “jota” of Spanish. Listen to “khaco” (I’m not able to”: [qAko] : http://tts.imtranslator.net/4Fxf

[r] = its pronounciation varies from region to region. Nevertheless, “rr” and “rh” have to be pronounced rolled, as in Spanish.

[s] = as “s” in “say”

[t] = as in English

[u] = as “oo” in “book”

[ü] = it is the “u” of French or the “ü” of German. Listen to “styr” (steering wheel) : http://tts.imtranslator.net/4Fxk

[v] = as in English

[w] = as in English

[x] = it is the “ich-laut” of German. Listen to “ghianshiek” (rock, stone) : http://tts.imtranslator.net/4Fxt

[y] = as “y” in “you”

[z] = as “z” in “zero”

[§] = as “th” in “thin”

 

Stressed vowels are written in capital letters, and a [:] following a vowel indicates that this one has to be lengthened. Letters in italics can be left unpronounced.

These exercises will consist each of series of ten “difficult” words. Your task will be to guess their right pronounciation (including the place of the stress) and then to compare with the solution given.

 

 

1st Series:

 

inkapiet : (he/she/it) would begin

alyo : another (one)

dwogimt : twentieth

secule : century

secret : secret

kjiawxieng : by chance

ghyien : opened (preterit)

sgillen : sealed (past participle)

salgih : took out

giowit : (he/she/it) remove

 

 

1st Series:

 

inkapiet : (he/she/it) would begin

 

[inkapyEt] : The orthography here is clear. “ie” is always stressed when it stands at the end of a word. Under the stress, “e” is always pronounced as [e]. If no consonant had followed “ie”, then it would have been pronounced [i:] (or “ee” in English).

Be careful, “ye” does not trigger the same effects as “ie”, since “y” is only a semi-vowel. In *inkapyet, the stress would not have fallen on *e, but on *a.

 

 

alyo : another (one)

 

[Alyo] : quite easy; “alyo” is uncommon in Sambahsa insofar as it is declined.

 

 

dwogimt : twentieth

 

[dwOdjimt] : “I” as the last vowel of a word is only stressed if it is followed by “h” (then it turns to [i:]) or “n” (but not “ng” !) or the same consonant twice.

“g” is pronounced [dj], as in English, before “e”, “i” or “y”.

In the spoken language, it is common that the final “t” is left unpronounced. As the pronouns of sambahsa are declined, this does not give rise to misunderstandings.

 

 

secule : century

 

[sEkül] : Here, two important exceptions are featured. First of all “u” is normally pronounced [u] (or English “oo”) except when there is a “e” in the two following letters. Then, this “u” is pronounced [ü], a sound that exists in French and German.

Secondly, “e” as the last letter is left unpronounced and sends back, normally, the stress on the first preceeding vowel. The only exception are words ending with “-ule”, where the stress is sent back again on the vowel before this “-ule-“. This comes from the fact that, in Latin, “ul-“ was already unstressed.

 

 

secret : secret

 

[sëkrEt] : Here, the place of the stress is due to the fact that “se” is perceived as a prefix; it is the contraction of “seni” = apart, separately. In Sambahsa, prefixes are never stressed and the accentuation then comes back on the stem of the word.

Unstressed “e” is pronounced [ë] as “e” in English “the”, except when it is in conjunction with another vowel, or when it is followed twice by the same consonant (“ck” counting as “k” + “k”). Yet, in common speech, the difference between [e] and [ë] might be hardly noticed; more important is to stress the right vowel.

 

 

kjiawxieng : by chance

 

[kjyawksyEng] : We’ve already explained that “ie”, as a double vowel, must be stressed. “w”, when it is followed by a consonant, is pronounced like a very short [u] and is never stressed. In Sambahsa, letters can interact between each other. Thus, you may hear [kc] instead of [kj] at the beginning of the word, and the final [-ng] will be commonly pronounced as a final “ng” in English.

 

 

ghyien : opened (preterit)

 

[gyen] : Remember that “gh” is always pronounced [g] (the h is here to “harden” the “g”). The verb “ghyan” [gyan] turns to “ghyien” under ablaut; thus, the “y” is still present in the simple past tense form only for purely grammatical reasons.

 

 

sgillen : sealed (past participle)

 

[sdjIllën] : Before e, I and y, “g” is pronounced [dj], as it is often the case in English. You can pronounce “ll” as in the English word “well”, but be aware that most foreign speakers will pronounce it as a simple “l”.

 

 

salgih : took out

 

[saldjI:] : The final “h” is unpronounced but serves to lengthen the “i”. As the “I” is lengthened, it thus bears the stress; while “i” alone at the end of the word wouldn’t have been stressed.

giowit : (he/she/it) remove

 

 

giowit : (he/she/it) remove

 

[djyOwit] : Here, the “y” may be left unpronounced by some people, the reason for this being that the presence of the “y” is indicated by the softening of “g” before.

 

 

 

2nd Series:

 

encouragend : encouraging

stieures : powers

gwaukan : determined (adjective)

reduce : reduce

nuclear : nuclear

gnohsit : (he, she, it) knew

eet : (he, she, it) was

desert : desert

khiek : failed (preterit)

sprehge : talk to, ask

 

 

encouragend : encouraging

 

[enku:rAdjënd] : “e”, standing alone as the last vowel of a word, is never stressed, except if it’s followed twice by the same consonant or “ck”. Then, the stress falls on the vowel before. “ou” is always as [u:] (a long “oo” sound) in Sambahsa (though it’s not a problem if you forget to lengthen it). At the beginning of a word, “e” is always pronounced [e], even if it’s unstressed.

 

 

stieures : powers

 

[styörs] : The final “e” is left unpronounced in Sambahsa, even if it’s followed by “t” or “s”, insofar as this last sound can be distinguished from the preceding consonant. In Sambahsa, “eu” is always pronounced [ö] as in German, or “eu” in French.

 

 

gwaukan : determined (adjective)

 

[gwaokAn] : “a” as the last vowel of a word is always stressed if it is followed by another letter (except “s”). The same system applies to “o” and “u”.  In Sambahsa, “au” is pronounced [Ao] like in German or Spanish.

 

 

reduce : reduce

 

[rëdÜts] : First, we’ve already seen that “u” is pronounced [ü] if one of the two following letters is “e”. Secondly, “c” is pronounced [ts] before “e”, “i” or “y”.

 

 

nuclear : nuclear

 

[nuklëAr] : The fact that “a” is followed by “r” makes it bear the stress. The “ë” is nearly silent.

 

 

gnohsit : (he, she, it) knew

 

[nyO:sit] : In Sambahsa, “gn” is pronounced [ny] as in French or Italian (ex: “champagne”). The presence of “h” not only lengthens the “o”, but keeps the following “s” from being pronounced  [z] (a single “s” between two vowels is pronounced [z]).

 

 

eet : (he, she, it) was

 

[Eët] : “ee” is normally pronounced [Eë], but it will often turn to [E:].

 

 

desert : desert

 

[dëzErt] : Between two vowels, a single “s” turns to [z]. The second “e” bears the stress because “de”, in Sambahsa as in Latin, is a prefix.

 

 

khiek : failed (preterit)

 

[qyek] : In Sambahsa, “kh” is always the guttural sound [q].

 

 

sprehge : talk to, ask

 

[spre:dj] : “g” is pronounced [dj] before “e”, “i” and “y”.

 

 

 

3rd Series:

 

ihes : to go

aproposs : by the way

juce : juice

taiptro : until presently

bayghend : belonging (present participle)

lyt : a little

jawieb : replied (preterit)

lyekwrntvursta : liverwursts

moquettes : moquettes

lakin : however

 

 

 

ihes : to go

 

[i:s] : the “h” lengthens the preceding “h”. A single “e” as the last vowel of a word and followed by “s” or “t” is not pronounced (unless this final “s” or “t” could not be distinguished from the penultimate consonant).

 

 

aproposs : by the way

 

[apropOs] : the stress falls on the last “o” because it is followed twice by the same consonant.

 

 

juce : juice

 

[jüts] : “u” is pronounced [ü] if one of the two following letters is “e”. “c” is pronounced [ts] before e, I and y.

 

 

taiptro : until presently

 

[tÄptro] : “ai” is always pronounced [ä], as in French.

 

 

bayghend : belonging (present participle)

 

[bAygënd] : the “h” hardens the “g” before “e”.

 

 

lyt : a little

 

[lüt] : “y”, when it does not accompany any vowel, is pronounced [ü] except as “-y” and “-ys” at the end of a word, when it turns to [-i] and [-is] respectively.

 

 

jawieb : replied (preterit)

 

[jawiyEb] : As the conjunction of two semi-vowels may be hard to pronounce, a [i] can be added between [w] and [y].

 

 

lyekwrntvursta : liverwursts

 

[lyëkurntvUrsta] : “w”, between two consonants, is pronounced like a very short [u]. In difficult consonantic clusters, the pronounciation of “t” can be omitted. 

 

 

moquettes : moquettes

 

[mokEts] : Remember here that the final “e” is left unpronounced. This final “e”, as well as the double “tt”, indicates that the stress falls on the central “e”. “qu” is pronounced [k] before e, i and y, and [kw] before a, u and o.

 

 

lakin : however

 

[lakIn] : Remember that, as an exception, a final “-in” takes the stress, but not a final “-ing” !

 

 

 

4th Series:

 

exspectet : (you) expect

simple : simple

mathmoun : content (substantive)

vasya : all the (plural)

ghianshiek : rock, boulder

hamrahn : accompanied (past participle)

torche : torch

vanscho : I wish

muzlim : faint

lusit : (he/she/it) undid/lost

 

 

exspectet : (you) expect

 

[ekspEktët] : here, the last “e” has to be pronounced, since it helps to distinguish the final “e” from the preceding one.

 

 

simple : simple

 

[sImplë] : the pronounciation of the final “e” depends on whether the next word in the sentence will begin with a consonant or not.

 

 

mathmoun : content (substantive)

 

[ma§mU:n] : In Sambahsa, “th” is pronounced as in English “thin”, except when it stands close to a consonant (ex: s, sch, z…) incompatible with it. Then it turns to [t].

 

 

vasya : all the (plural)

 

[vAsya] : “y” is a semi-vowel, not a vowel. Thus, “s” is not pronounced [z] when it stands between it and a vowel.

ghianshiek : rock, boulder

 

 

ghianshiek : rock, boulder

 

[gyanxyEk] : “sh” is always pronounced [x].

 

 

hamrahn : accompanied (past participle)

 

[hamrA:n] : the last “h” lengthens the last “a”.

 

 

torche : torch

 

[tortc] : “ch” is pronounced as in English, except before a consonant, where it turns to [k].

 

 

vanscho : I wish

 

[vAnco] : “sch” is always pronounced [c].

 

 

muzlim : faint

 

[mUdzlim] : “z” is always pronounced [dz].

 

 

lusit : (he/she/it) undid

 

[lUzit] : “s” is pronounced [z] because it stands between two vowels.

 

 

 

5th Series :

 

saanskyur : umbrella rack

linoleium : linoleum

wahid : only (adjective)

scenes : scenes

botel : bottle

identifie : identify

aghyern : morning

silhouette : silhouette

argwrnten : silvern

bureau : bureau, office

 

 

saanskyur : umbrella rack

 

[sa-anskyUr] : Beware of pronouncing both “a” of “saan” distinctively.

 

linoleium : linoleum

 

[linolEyum] : Endings in “-um” do not bear the stress, as those in “us”.

 

 

wahid : only (adjective)

 

[wAhid] : Here, the “h” ought to be pronounced, since it stands between two vowels.

 

scenes : scenes

 

[sens] : “sc” is pronounced [sk], except before e, i or y where it turns to [s].

 

 

botel : bottle

 

[botEl] : The ending “el” of words is stressed if one of two preceding letters is a “o”. Examples: forel, colonel, personel, pomel…

 

 

identifie : identify

 

[idëntifI:] : as a long vowel, “ie” is stressed even at the end of a word. When followed by another letter, it is pronounced [ye], before [i:] without.

 

 

aghyern : morning

 

[Agyërn] : “y” is a semi-vowel, thus “e” alone cannot be stressed.

 

 

silhouette : silhouette

 

[silhu:Et] : « ou » is always pronounced [u :] and remains thus unaffected by the following « e ».

 

 

argwrnten : silvern

 

[Argurntën] : « w », even when it serves as a vowel, can never be stressed, thus the stress goes on the beginning of the word.

 

 

bureau : bureau, office

 

[bürO :] : « eau » is always pronounced [o :], and the « e » affects the preceding « u », which turns to [ü].

 

 

c. Dr. Olivier Simon

 

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