Mirad Grammar/Pronunciation

Consonants edit

Consonant graphemes and phonemes edit

The following chart shows the correspondence of the consonants and their phomemic values in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA):

Correspondence of Consonant Graphemes and Phonemes
Grapheme b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v x z
Phoneme /b/ /t͡ʃ/ /d/ /f/ /g/ /h/ /ʒ/ /k/ /l/ /m/ /n/ /p/ /k/ /ɽ/ /s/ /t/ /v/ /ʃ/ /z/

Pronunciation of Consonants edit

The following chart shows the Mirad consonants with their phonemic values in the IPA:
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/ /n/
Plosive voiced /b/ /d/ /g/
unvoiced /p/ /t/ /k/
Affricate voiced
unvoiced /t͡ʃ/
Fricative voiced /v/ /z/ /ʒ/
unvoiced /f/ /s/ /ʃ/ /h/
Approximate /l/
Flap /ɽ/
The phonemes /r/ and /l/ are consonant liquids and behave in a special way in forming words in Mirad.
In Mirad, every consonant has a one-to-one correspondence with a single phoneme (ideal sound). Mirad does not use digraphs like sh or ph to represent consonant sounds. There are no double consonants, although sometimes a consonant will come together with the same consonant in the same word, but not the same syllable. There are no silent consonants. Also, there are no letters in "native" Mirad with diacritical marks like é or ñ.
Here are the letters that are pronounced somewhat differently from English:
  • The letter x is pronounced like an sh in English, or a ch in French.
  • In native Mirad words, h is pronounced like the h in English hand. It is sometimes used to simulate foreign sounds like the ch in Yiddish lachayim (to life!), or German Bach. If h comes at the end of a word, it is silent, but, being a consonant, it can serve to move the stress to the word-final syllable, as in Allah, pronounced a-LA.
  • The letter j is pronounced like the zh in Russian Zhivago or the ge in English mirage.
  • The letter s is always unvoiced as English ss and never sounds like a z.
  • The letter g is always a hard sound as in English gap, not as in English wage.
  • The letter c represents the unvoiced affricative sound t͡ʃ like the ch in English church. Some chemical names and metric units use the letter c, such as calilk (chlorine).
  • The unvoiced plosives p, t, and k are pronounced without the puff of breath that sometimes follows them in their English counterparts. The corresponding consonants in French are exact equivalents.
  • The consonant r should be a flap or trill like the r in Brit. Eng. very or the single, intervocalic r in Spanish pero.
  • The consonant q is usually pronounced as a k, but in foreign borrowings or proper names, it may be pronounced according to context.
  • The consonants in the Mirad alphabet correspond one-to-one with phonemes. There are no cases of consonant sounds being represented in native words by digraphs as in English ph, sh, ch, or th. For example, the sh sound in English is represented by x in Mirad. The English ch sound is represented in Mirad with the letter c. There are no equivalents in Mirad for the English sounds th in this or the th in think, but the combination th in foreign borrowings is pronounced as it is in the source language.
Here is a chart showing the phonetic values of Mirad consonants:
b [b] unaspirated voiced bilabial plosive French bon, English boy
c [tʃ] unvoiced palato-alveolar affricate English child, Spanish chico (only used in foreign words, proper names, or chemical formulae).
d [d] unaspirated voiced alveolar plosive French de, English dog
f [f] unvoiced labio-dental fricative English fog
g [g] unaspirated voiced velar plosive French gare, English good (always hard, even before e and i).
h [h]
glottal fricative English house
(used in some foreign words and names as a kh-like sound like German Bach. Not pronounced at the end of foreign borrowings like Allah or Arkansah.
j [ʒ] voiced palatal fricative French je or English mirage.
k [k] unaspirated unvoiced velar fricative French carte, English skip (without aspiration).
l [l] voiced post-alveolar lateral approximant English love or French bel (never a dark l as in English bell.
m [m] voiced bilabial nasal English mother.
n [n]
voiced alveolar nasal English nobody
Before g or k, like English fang.
p [p] unvoiced bilabial plosive French pain, English span (without aspiration).
q - - (Only used in foreign words, or some chemical names, where it has various k-like or guttural pronunciations).
r [r] alveolar flap Spanish mira or Italian Roma or British Eng. 'very.
s [s] unvoiced alveolar fricative Always hard as in English safe (never a z sound as in rose).
t [t] unaspirated unvoiced alveolar plosive French tous, English stop (without aspiration).
v [v] voiced labial-dental fricative English very. Spanish and German speakers need to beware: this is not a bilabial consonant, nor is it an f sound.
x [ʃ] unvoiced post-alveolar fricative English shape or French cher
z /z/ voiced alveolar fricative English zone. German speakers, beware. Mirad z is pronounced like a German s, as in sehr, not like z as in zehn, which sounds more like ts.

Vowels edit

Mirad vowels are divided into simple and glided vowels. The simple vowels are single letters, while the complex vowels have one or more semi-vowel glides (y or w) prefixed or suffixed.

Simple Vowels edit

The Mirad graphemes (alphabetic letters) used to represent the simple vowel phonemes (minimal meaningful sounds) are as follows:

Vowel Graphemes and Phonemes
Grapheme a e i o u
Phoneme /a/ /e/ /i/ /o/ /u/

Pronunciation of Simple Vowels edit

The simple vowels are pronounced as they are in many European Latin-based languages. The table below gives their phonetic values and some close examples in Spanish and French, and not-so-close examples in English.
Simple Vowels
a [a] mano à
e [e] hecho et
day 2
i [i] si si
o [o] no de l'eau
u [u] tu ou

Glided Vowels edit

Glided vowels are those preceded or followed by the semi-vowel glides y or w. This chart shows the possible glided vowels, their IPA equivalents, and their approximate pronunciations using English and other languages.

Glided Vowels
ya [ja] Eng. yacht, Fr. hiacinthe (there is)
ye [je] Eng. yet, Fr. grillé (grilled)
yi [ji] Eng. yeast*, Fr. bouilli
yo [jo] Eng. yoke*, Fr. maillot
yu [ju] Eng. you*, Fr. piou-piou
wa [wa] Eng. water, Fr. gouache (poster paint)
we [we] Eng. wet, Fr. ouais (yes)
wi [wi] Eng. wee2, Fr. oui (yes)
wo [wo] Eng. woke2
wu [wu] Eng. woo2
ay [aɪ] Eng. sight, Sp. hay (there is)
ey [eɪ] Eng. day, Sp. rey (king)
iy [iɪ] Eng. see, Fr. bille (marble)
oy [oɪ] Eng. boy, Sp. hoy (today)
uy [uɪ] Eng. gooey, Sp. muy (very)
aw [ɔ] Eng. awe
ew [eʊ] Br. Eng. beau, colloq. Eng. Tell me!
iw [iʊ] Eng. eew! (sound of disgust), Du. niew
ow [oʊ] Eng. know, foe
uw [uʊ] Eng. goo
yay [jaɪ] Eng. yikes
yey [jeɪ] Eng. yea!
yiy [jiɪ] Eng. yeesh! (sound of disgust)
yoy [joɪ] Eng. yoink ( = New Jyoizy )
yuy [juɪ] Eng. Hughie
way [waɪ] Eng. wise, Fr. ouailles (flock)
wey [weɪ] Eng. way
wiy [wiɪ] Eng. wee! (sound of fun)
woy [woɪ] Eng. woy (rhymes with boy)
wuy [wuɪ] Eng. wooish (rhymes with gooey)
In Mirad, the above glided vowels are considered single vowels for the purposes of grammar, syllabification, and stress.
Note 1: International Phonetic Alphabet. See chart and click on sounds at [[1]].
Note 2: Without the typical y-glide at the end of the English vowel. The vowel should be pure, as in the Romance languages of Europe.
Note 3: Without the typical w-glide at the end of the English vowel. The vowel should be pure, as in the Romance languages of Europe.