Part One

The Delasoni Writing System

1.1 Delasoni Scripts

Delason is written using two scripts: the Delasoni alphabet and Delasoni ideograms. The former is a phonemic system in which a direct correspondence exists between writing and speech. The latter is a set of ideographic symbols that accessorize the written alphabet.

1.2 The Delasoni Alphabet

The Delasoni alphabet alefbeta delasoni alefbeta delasoni has 20 consonants and five vowels. The following table provides two styles of writing: the traditional engraved style PONTA MARCINI ponta marcini and the modern style ponta navoni ponta navoni.

A. Consonants
Delason Transliteration Pronunciation


P p p pen
B b b big
T t t ten
D d d door
C c c show
J j j measure
F f f foot
V v v very
K k k kiss
G g g gas
S s s so
Z z z zoo
H h h hello
X x x Scottish loch
M m m more
N n n no
L l l low
R r r root
W w w will
Y y y yes

B. Vowels
Delason Transliteration Pronunciation
Stressed Unstressed

A a a father idea
I i i feet fit
E e e fate bet
U u u root put
O o o road look

C. Alphabetical order

The order used to present the consonants and vowels is intended to show the similarity between different letters. The actual order of letters is as follows:

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

D. Pronunciation notes

  1. It is important to remember the following when using transliteration as a guide for pronunciation:
  2. a. The symbol c stands for sh as in shop not s as in mercy or k as in cat.

    b. The symbol x stands for ch as in the Scottish pronunciation of loch not ch as in check or ks as in exercise.

  3. Word stress in Delason falls on the last syllable of the word if it ends with a consonant. Otherwise, the stress falls on the next to last syllable. If the word ends with two vowels, neither receives the stress. Hyphenated postpositions are always unstressed and are not considered part of the word when determining stress.
  4. cta cta city only syllable
    cta-bi cta-bi in the city with postpositions
    ceca ceca house next to last syllable
    latfi latfi beautiful next to last syllable
    ceca-li ceca-li to the house with postpositions
    soton soton singer last syllable
    sotin sotin song last syllable
    soton-vi soton-vi with the singer with postpositions
    havua havua spirit ending with 2 vowels
    fransia fransia a French person ending with 2 vowels
    havua-bi havua-bi in the spirit with postpositions
  5. As for intonation, a falling pitch denotes the completeness of the thought being uttered. Wh-questions have a falling pitch, too. A rising pitch, on the other hand, denotes incompleteness. A rising pitch is also used with exclamations and yes/no questions.
  6. aruma di te kuti en.
    aruma di te kuti en (falling, complete utterance).
    This is a good person.

    ize ta na oben, ta sa alen na-vi.
    ize ta na oben (rising, incomplete), ta sa alen na-vi (falling, complete).
    If you love me, you will go with me.

    et ceca-si ta aven?
    et ceca-si ta aven (falling, wh-question)?
    Which house is yours?

    hu miru en!
    hu miru en (rising, exclamation)!
    She is Miru!

    es ta kucu en?
    es ta kucu en (rising, yes/no question)?
    Are you Kushu?

E. Numbers

Numbers in Delason are represented using a decimal system similar to Arabic numerals.
æ 0 0 ë 5 5
ç 1 1 í 6 6
è 2 2 í 7 7
é 3 3 î 8 8
ê 4 4 ï 9 9
Examples

365 365
40,000 40,000
98.7 98.7
1/2 = .5 1/2 = .5
F. Punctuation Marks
? Question mark ( ? )
! Exclamation mark ( ! )
, Comma ( , )
. Period ( . )
- Hyphen ( - )
1.3 Delasoni Ideograms

Delasoni ideograms are a small set of symbols that are used in addition to the alphabet. These symbols are used mainly for ornamental reasons. For example, the symbol for knowledge is displayed at the top of diplomas, and the symbol for health is displayed on get-well cards. One practical usage of these symbols is to mark public facilities on maps. For example, the ideogram for money marks banks and that for knowledge marks schools. Part Four of this book includes several greeting card captions utilizing Delasoni ideograms.

Each ideogram is a unit that stands for a specific concept or object. Some ideograms are constructed from the combination of two or more ideograms. For example, the ideogram for Happiness and that for Body are combined to create the ideogram for Health.

Ê + Â = Î
Happiness Body Health
The following is a list of some of the most common ideographs in Delason.
Ideogram Meaning Symbol

 Body, Physiology "Face and Arm"
Æ Heart, Emotion "Big Heart"
Å Mind, Intellect "The Eye"
Í Soul, Spirituality, Light "Holy Fire"
É Money, Possessions "Money Jar"
À Beginning, Birth "Point One"
Ä End, Death "Point Two"
Ê Happiness, Satisfaction "Three Lucky Feathers"
Ø Universal Unity "Circle of Life"
Õ Ambition "Fly High"
à Stability, Peace "Tight Loop"
È Positive Change, Success "Broken Loop"
Ç Male, Masculinity "Man"
Á Female, Femininity "Woman"
Î Health, Happy Body Ê + Â
Ó Love, Happy Heart Ê + Æ
Ï Prosperity, Happy Money Jar Ê + É
Ò Wisdom, Happy Mind Ê + Å
Ñ Knowledge, Light of Mind Í + Å


All images and text are ©1998 Nizar Habash. All Rights Reserved.
Page Master: habash@cs.umd.edu
Last updated 1999.01.29