|Parent systems:|| Elven|
Early High Elven
|Language:|| Classical High Elven|
Wood Elven (only in Artaburro)
The High Elven alphabet is a writing system used to render various spoken languages. It originally evolved in 800 BEKE, replacing it's predecessor, the Early High Elven alphabet, roughly corresponding to the shift from spoken Archaic High Elven to Classical High Elven. The alphabet was unique and cutting-edge in the respects that it introduced the distinction between capital and miniscule, it pioneered the usage of diacritics for vowel length distinction, and eventually more innovations would follow.
The original High Elven alphabet was little different from it's predecessor, other than the shapes of the letters. However, around 700 BEKE, diacritics were invented to distinguish between long and short vowels. The Early High Elven alphabet did not distinguish between long and short vowels at all, whatsoever. The Classical High Elven alphabet between 800 BEKE and 700 BEKE used various systems to dinstinguish betwene short and long vowels.
- Writing the short vowels /ɐ ɛ ɔ ɪ ʊ y/ as 「a e o i u y」 and the long vowels /aː eː oː iː uː yː/ as digraphs 「ah ei ou ih uh yi~yu」.
- Writing the short vowels /ɐ ɛ ɔ ɪ ʊ y/ as 「a e o i u y」 and the long vowels /aː eː oː iː uː yː/ as doubled 「aa ee oo ii uu yy」.
- Writing the short vowels /ɐ ɛ ɔ ɪ ʊ y/ as 「a e o i u y」 and the long vowels /aː eː oː iː uː yː/ with diacritics, as 「á é ó í ú ý」.
- Not distinguishing between long and short vowels in writing at all, forcing the reader to figure them out from the context.
Eventually, by 700 BEKE, diacritics have won and became the standard, although several words and personal names retained the alternate spellings 「ei」 and 「ou」. Roughly during the same period - between 800 and 700 BEKE - most of the archaic, now-unused letters were also being thrown out. Out of the 25 letters of the Early High Elven alphabet only 22 were kept. However, the addition of diacritics have inceased the total number of letters from 22 to 28.
Unlike later variants, the Classical High Elven alphabet did not distinguish vowels and semivowels. As such, the same letter was used to write /ɪ/ and /j/, the same letter was used to write /ʊ/ and /w/. Distinction between close vowels and semivowels was an innovation that came later, around 200 BEKE with Middle High Elven.
The aspirated consonants /pʰ tʰ kʰ/ were written as 「ph th ch」.
Around 200 BEKE, Vulgar High Elven gave way to Middle High Elven. Unlike it's predecessor, Middle High Elven however was more than the language of the common rabble. It was also embraced as the language of nobility and royalty, and as such, it warranted the need of a standardized way to write. The sound shifts however rendered the Classical High Elven alphabet ill-suited to properly represent Middle High Elven, and as such, the writing was reformed.
One of the most important reforms is the introduction of two new letters for the vowel /u/. While Classical High Elven did not distingusih between the vowel /u/ and the semivowel /w/ (which has hardened into /v/ in Middle High Elven) in writing, Middle High Elven introduced a new letter for /u/, and it's longer variant /uː/, keeping the original letter reserved for the consonant /v/ only. The usage of 「u」 for the glide /w/ persisted however, for example in the digraphs 「qu」 and 「gu」.
Previously, 「i」 was used for the front unrounded /i/, and 「y」 was for the front rounded /y/, but by Middle High Elven, /y/ got unrounded to /i/, rendering the letter 「y」 redoundant - it was recycled to represent the semivowel /j/, but usage for vowel sounds still persisted - for /i/ in etymological spellings and /y/ in foreign words.
All around, the most important innovation of the Middle High Elven alphabet was the introduction of (partial) distinction between vowels and semivowels. The total number of letters was 30, three new letters being added to and one being dropped from the original 28 of the Classical High Elven alphabet.
/ɛː/ and /ɔː/ were written 「ae」 and 「ao」. 「c g sc」 normally stand for the velar /k g sk/, except before 「i í e é」, where they stand for the palatal /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ/. 「ch gh sch」 are used to represent the velar /k g sk/ before these front vowels, just as 「ci gi sci」 are used to represent the palatal sounds before the back vowels 「a á o ó u ú」.
The current High Elven alphabet is little diferent than it's predecessor, leaving little to be said. Just like in its predecessor, 「c g sc」 normally stand for the velar /k g~ɣ~ʝ sk/, except before 「i í e é」, where they stand for the palatal /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ~ʒ ʃ/. 「ch gh sch」 are used to represent the velar /k g~ɣ~ʝ sk/ before these front vowels, just as 「ci gi sci」 are used to represent the palatal sounds before the back vowels 「a á o ó u ú」.
/ɥ/ is written 「yw」, even though it is typically pronounced [jyβ] or [wyβ].
The dental fricatives /θ ð/ were written as 「th」.
The front rounded vowels /œ øː/ were written as 「eo eu」. /y yː/ were written as 「y ý」 , even though those letters stood for /i iː/ in Middle High Elven, and also for the semivowel /j/. Since 「y」 stood for both the vowel /y/ and the semivowel /j/, a new convention was made for /jy/ and /ju/ - the earlier would be written 「yu」 , the latter as 「iu」 .
While in Middle High Elven, the preferred way to write /t͡ʃa t͡ʃɛ t͡ʃi t͡ʃo t͡ʃu/ was 「cia ce ci cio ciu」, in Middle Etrandish, the preferred way was 「cha che chi cho chu」 (except in High Elven loanwords). The same way, the preferred way to write /d͡ʒ/ was 「j」 instead of 「gi」, not just word-initially. Likewise, the preferred way to write /ka kɛ ki ko ku/ may be 「ca che chi co cu」 in Middle High Elven, as opposed to the Etrandish 「ca ke ki co cu」 (except in High Elven loanwords).
The velar nasal /ŋ/ is written as 「ng」.
The dental fricatives /θ ð/ are written as 「th」.
The front rounded vowels /œ øʏ̯/ are written as 「eo eu」. /ʏ yː/ are written as 「y ý」 , even though those letters stood for /i iː/ in Middle High Elven, and also for the semivowel /j/. Since 「y」 stands both the vowel /ʏ/ and the semivowel /j/, a special convention is used for /jʏ/ and /jʊ/ - the earlier would be written 「yu」 , the latter as 「iu」.
While in Middle High Elven, the preferred way to write /t͡ʃa t͡ʃɛ t͡ʃi t͡ʃo t͡ʃu/ was 「cia ce ci cio ciu」, in Etrandish, the preferred way is 「cha che chi cho chu」 (except in High Elven loanwords). The same way, the preferred way to write /d͡ʒ/ is 「j」 instead of 「gi」, not just word-initially. The same way, the preferred way to write /d͡ʒ/ was 「j」 instead of 「gi」, not just word-initially. Likewise, the preferred way to write /ka kɛ ki ko ku/ may be 「ca che chi co cu」 in Middle High Elven, as opposed to the Etrandish 「ca ke ki co cu」 (except in High Elven loanwords).
All in all, the spellings did not change from Middle Etrandish, except that several letters that formerly stood for (long) monophthongs now stand for diphthongs.
The velar nasal /ŋ/ is written as 「ng」.
The dental fricatives/approximants /θ ð/ are written as 「th」.
The Etrancoasti orthography is based off Etrandish, but unlike in all other languages that use the High Elven alphabet, the letters normally standing for voiceless stops - 「p t k c qu」 - are used for the aspirated stops /pʰ tʰ kʰ t͡ʃʰ kʷʰ/, while the letters normally standing for voiced stops - 「b d g」 - are used for the unaspirated /p~b t~d k~g t͡ʃ~d͡ʒ/.
The letter 「g」 stands for three sounds - the approximant /ɣ/ in native Etrancoasti words, and the unaspirated velar and palatal stops /k~g/ and /t͡ʃ~d͡ʒ/ in loanwords, mainly from Etrandish and High Elven. The digraph 「gh」 is used for both /ɣ/ and /k~g/ before front vowels.
The velar nasal /ŋ/ is written as 「ng」.
The front rounded vowels /ø̞ øy̯ œø̯/ are written 「eo eu oe」 respectively. The diphthong /ɛe̯/ is written 「ae」.
Since 「y」 stands both the vowel /ʏ/ and the semivowel /j/, a special convention is used for for /jʏ/ and /jʊ/ - the earlier would be written 「yu」 , the latter as 「iu」.
Wood Elven (Artaburro) Edit
In Principality of Artaburro, the most spoken language is Wood Elven, but the preferred writing script is the High Elven one. The spelling conventions are very similiar to that of Middle High Elven, but with slight differences. One example is the usage of 「sh ch j」 in for coda-position /ʃ t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/, which in turn came from the deletion of word-final /i/ and /u/ in Wood Elven, leaving palatalizated consonants in the syllable coda that previously only appeared before /i/ and /j/. Another inconsistency is the usage of both 「k」 and 「ch」 for the very same function - to distinguish between /k/ and /t͡ʃ/ before front vowels. Generally, /ky/ is written 「ky」, while /kɛ keː ki/ are written 「che ché chi」.
Since 「y」 is used for both /y/ and /j/, the same convention takes place as in Etrandish: 「yu」 for /jy/, 「iu」 for /ju/. The only exception is when /j/ between a consonant and a vowel. For example, /gʲy/ is written 「ghiy」, not 「ghyu」.
Likewise, /kʲaɔ/ and /gʲaɔ/ are wirtten as 「chiao」 and 「ghiao」 respectively, instead of 「chyao」 and 「ghyao」.
/t͡s/ is generally written as 「th」, causing it to be very often mispronounced as /t/ by High Elves and /θ~ð/ by Humans. The people of Artaburro in turn mispronounce the Etrandsih /θ/ as /t͡s/, as opposed to the /f/ and /t/ of High Elven accents and /s/ of Wood Elven accents. Hence, the Dragoc Wood Elven 「tura」 (Tsura, /t͡sɨᵝɾa/) gets rendered as 「Thyra」 (Thyra, /t͡syɾa/). This spelling convention is also employed by Dragoc Wood Elves who migrate to other countries like Etrand and Froturn, which is why 「ituriku」 (Itsuriku) gets rendered as 「Ithric」 (Ithric) or 「Ithrik」 (Ithrik).
The orthography largerly follows the customs of Etrandish and Artaburro Wood Elven, with several differences regarding the consonants:
- 「c」 always stands for /ʃ~ɕ/, never for /k/. 「tc」 is used for /t͡ʃ~t͡ɕ/ (for the sake of simplicity, they are Romanized as 「sh ch」 instead of 「c tc」)
- 「j」 is used for /ʒ~ʑ/, 「dj」 is used for /d͡ʒ~d͡ʑ/ (for the sake of simplicity, they are Romanized as 「zh j」 instead of 「j dj」)
- 「g」 always stands for /g/, never for /d͡ʒ~d͡ʑ/
- 「q」 stands for /q/, not /k/
The fronted vowels /æ æː ɜᵝ ɘᵝː ɨᵝ ɨᵝː/ are written 「ae áé oe óé y ý」.
- See also: Template:HE/doc
- Template:HE: generic text in this alphabet
- Template:HE1: text in Classical High Elven
- Template:HE2: text in Middle High Elven
- Template:HE3: text in High Elven
- Template:MET: text in Middle Etrandish
- Template:ET: text in Etrandish
- Template:ETR: text in Etrancoasti
- Template:WEA: text in Artaburran Wood Elven
- Template:DELF: text in Dark Elven