Alisime and Uestin Pronunciation Guide
I’m going to keep this simple, for no matter where I say the stress should fall, still American-English speakers will prefer it one place, British-English speakers another. Ditto for where the word should be divided. These preferences are a feature of our similar and yet noticeably different language. The same holds for long and short vowels. (Witness the difference in England in the length of -a in such words as ‘path’ and ‘grass:’ northern short –a as in ‘ass’; southern long –a as in ‘arse’.) Yet there are features which might at first cause problems and which I address here.
- –n ending
When following a vowel this –n presents no problem. But because it’s used to denote the plural (one eblan, two eblann) it often follows a consonant. Here -n is barely sounded (more like it’s swallowed), a mere touch of tongue to tooth.
It is also a common male name ending (Demekn, Bukplugn) where it is sounded like an unvoiced –in, never as a voiced –en.
- –a ending
As with contemporary English, this is commonly found in female names (Alenta, Halalda). It is the schwa-sound ‘-ǝ’, exactly as in English.
- –ah ending
Again, a common ending in female names (Detah) and denotes the longer –a sound as in ‘tar’.
- –y– (initial and internal)
Found mainly in male names (Dannyn, in Priory Project); it’s sounded as in ‘yes’ and ‘yin’.
- The diaeresis (double dots)
This indicates that the second, marked, vowel is sounded separate from the vowel preceding (Liënershi = Li-en-er-shē). I have used this, also, to clarify pronunciation in the rare Uestuädik name with a run of vowels.
Occasionally found in names, it is the verb ‘to be’. It is sounded exactly as it looks.
- Initial U-
This is a tight W- sound, with the following vowel long (Uest = Weest, Uissid = Weezid).
- –i ending
Sounded as a long –ē (Beli = Bel-ee, Rizzoni = Rizzōn-ee)
- C-, -c-
C is always hard, as in ‘cat’, never soft as in ‘cent’.
I trust this quick guide has helped to untangle your tongues. Though I do confess, as Kerrid said upon her first encounter with the Erbhelmn language, it does have an excess of labials requiring a lot of lip-activity. Which probably explains why she describes the Ulmfrehemn (Feast Fables 2) as a hard-wanting (lustful) people.