Monday, January 5, 2009
New Ik Alphabet!
Ik has never been a ‘written’ language; instead, it has been only an ‘oral’ language, spoken by the people for thousands of years, but not inscribed on paper, rock, or papyrus. Much of what I (Terrill) did for work last year was study the sounds of the Ik language so I could match alphabetic letters with those sounds. In the last two weeks before Christmas, I slaved away on a written description of the phonology (sound system) of Ik. This was to provide a scientific basis for the alphabet. We are at the stage in the project where we’re about to start using what’s called a ‘trial orthography’, meaning: a new alphabet ready to be tested in actual use. As we try out this new alphabet, we’ll probably have to make some changes over time. But for now, it’s an exciting milestone in our language development work among the Ik!
IK TRIAL ORTHOGRAPHY
(One symbol was left out and one changed to accommodate this font.)