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Vitaly Vetash (Russia, St-Petersburg)

THE PROJECT OF THE INTERNATIONAL PHONEMATIC ALPHABET

"INTERBET"

Publication of the site OMNIGLOT - http://www.omniglot.com/writing/interbet.htm archive (575 Kb)

 

The question about the universal international alphabet was already discussed in 18th century, and it was a popular linguistic topic in the end of 19th and in the beginning of 20th century. The idea of the unification of script became popular because of the arising of the united planetary consciousness, when the whole world became perceived accessible. The unification of the letters, like the unification of the numbers, seemed to be a natural and easily achievable task. But then this international approach was surpassed by economical problems that lead to the two world wars and returned the world thought to the national interests. And the idea of the international alphabet was realized only as phonetic script for the pure linguistic purposes (IPA).

But now wide spreading of computers and INTERNET, as well as economical globalization, is making the question of writing unification actual again. All nations, that dont use Latin alphabet, are facing the problem of adequate transcription of the words of their native language into Latin graphic. The universal script would increase the possibilities of the keyboard, now occupied by the 2nd alphabet. Many languages have their own systems of Latin writing (such as Chinese, Hindu etc.) However these systems dont become a united step for the entire transgression to Latin script.

Now only one third of the Earths population uses a Latin alphabet, because of national attachment to the traditions of their own script, and also because the modern Latin script is less convenient for the needs of concrete language, than the national alphabet, created specially for the sounds of this language. (For example, one Russian sound can now designated on Latin script by 5 letter: chtch, that caused problems for readers of any language). Correspondence 1 sign = 1 letter is the most convenient, especially for the IBM. So the problem of the creation of such a universal international script arises again.

In approaching the problem of international script we find one widespread problem. That is the mistaken identification of the national script with the language itself. The unified script is thought to be dangerous for the identity of the language. This apprehension is proper to the people that arent aware of the history of writing. Almost all nations primarily had their own primitive writings (for example, Slavs before Cyrillic alphabet has their own signs for letters, like Scandinavian runes). History shows, that the tendency of universalisation always leads to common script for the different languages in every region. National script is associated with national aesthetic styles (mostly manifested in architecture). But different types of printing, now almost infinite, give the opportunity to demonstrate graphic identity and national character of any language, even when using unified alphabet.

Nowadays national script makes languages more isolated and restricted for learning and spreading. The language restricted with the national script, became more vulnerable to the waves of globalization that pushed out all the phenomenon of national culture. This isolation prevents cultural proving through universal ways. The passive relation to the hegemony of the one language (English) and one alphabet (Latin of Europe) diminishes and annihilates influence for the development of the world communication process of the other languages and sign systems. This situation deprives the perspective of the multi-polar development. A convenient and an understandable system of script could stimulate processes in the international language area, enriching a world dictionary with only English words and notions.

National script has cultural and historical value. It could be kept in the area of art and the religious life. This area is usually the most conservative to innovations, because of impractical tendencies. It keeps the feeling of mystery as a base of future perceptions of spiritual heights. For this purpose the archaic forms of script and the languages itself works positively.

A new universal alphabet, specially made on the base of Latin, would exclude national dominance. Main non-Latin countries could adopt it. In China the project of transgression to the Latin script was developed, but the movement stopped because of the expansion of English. In Russia in the beginning of the 20-th century there were projects for the latinisation of the Russian alphabet, but they were not realized. Many suggestions were made by linguists, but no substantial decision for improving and enriching the Latin script arose. Without the international alphabet, liberated from the national mentality and sign restrictions, the process of the unification of writing will go slowly.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE

 

In the beginning of the 20th century the ideas of interlinguistics concerned not only alphabet, but also language. The first project of the international language, that we know, was invented in the 2nd century by the Rome physician Claudius Galenus /35/. The most famous Esperanto was created in the end of the 19th century by the Polish doctor L.Zamenhof /35/. Nowadays it exists as a hobby in some circles in different countries. It doesnt pretend to be a new unified language for humanity, but it has a tendency to be a mediator, easily learned and understandable (for Europe).

The progressive idea of the international language was forgotten after two world wars. Instead of looking for a compromise language of international communication, the idea of domination of one language over the others took place. English in the capitalist world and Russian in the socialist camp. But a language is not only a formal means of communication, it carries a certain mentality, a character of the nation that created and used it. If the world adopts one of the existing languages, that languages mentality becomes dominating and misleads to some deviations in the world development. That is why the wide-spread use of English doesnt solve the problems of world language. Regarding English becoming the international de facto, a famous American linguist E. Sapir replied, that the English language is not simple and clear enough to qualify for the true international language. In his works The Function of an International Auxiliary Language /37/ Sapir proved, that the pretence of English for the world expansion isnt confirmed from the scientific point of view as well as the pretence of any other national language. Sapir suggested that the movement to the true international language could be lead by China and India.

Unfortunately, Esperanto hasnt become the language of the League of Nations and of the UN. And the problem of the reconstruction of the original unity of the world languages isnt yet solved. The modern great achievement in the study of the history of language is the reconstruction of roots of the Nostratic pra-language (that embraces the majority of the Earth languages from English and Arabic to Russian and Japanese: see book V.M. Illich-Svitych The Experience of the Comparison of Nostratic languages. 3 vol. 1976-84) Probably these roots will resurrect in the new world language. In the Nostratic language words sound in the right way: when the sound itself psychologically associates with meaning or makes a hint to it (onomatopoeia remains as a rudiment of this primary cardinal way of the development of the language). The roots of the Nostratic pra-language could add the natural sound to the synthetic models of the rational grammar that was elaborated in the period of the making of creative languages.

History demonstrates the limitation of national languages for the world. In ones time Aramaic, Greek and Latin were international languages in different regions. French pretended to be the world language in the 18-19th century and German in the 20th century. But as the English historian A.Toynbee shows, the maximum hegemony of a language predicts the decay of its nation. In period of expansive influence of one nation on anothers, the dominating nations mentality has been exhausted. Consequently, its language loses its world importance and has to be changed by the other language, with more actual mentality. Therefore the humanity hasnt go out of this Babylonian circle of changing their languages. The idea of the reconstruction of the primary language returns us to the original polyphony of the sound and the mentality that has no national deviation in consciousness. So such means of communication could help the progress to go straight without declinations to the national preferences.

Therefore the question about future world language remains open. Efforts to search the right means of the international understanding must be done in linguistics as well as in the world cultural politics. And the creation of the universal script, that could promote interaction and mutual enrichment of the different languages of the world, is the necessary step in this movement.

 

THE UNIVERSAL SCRIPT

 

Linguistic projects for making a more convenient alphabet for concrete language appeared in Europe several centuries ago. Many famous people delt with this problem: for example, in the 18th century the renowned American statesman Benjamin Franklin. In the 19th century Bernard Show suggested new variants of the English alphabet. In the 20th century, the creator of the rocket, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky suggested his Alphabet for All Mankind /1, 6, 30/. Using the universal base of the Latin script, this projects a search for new signs for the sounds, not existing in Latin. During all the history of the Latin script there were few additions: only 3 Greek letters K, Y and Z in the Antic period, additional to C G (from 312 y.), and new W and J (in the Middle ages, in the same time V and U became different letters) /6/. So the number of letters became 26: but it is evidently not enough for all languages of the world.

Linguists use different signs and letters from the other alphabets for the true phonetic transcription. But there was no unified use of these systems. In the beginning of the 20th century, during the period of seeking for the world universality, this problem was solved by the creation of the alphabet of the International Phonetic Association (IPA) /24/. This alphabet on the base of the Latin and Greek lowercase letters became the result of the creation of the periodical table of phonemes (similar to the periodic table of the chemical elements of Mendeleev.) IPA fulfilled the task of becoming the universal instrument for the linguists, but it didnt solve the problem of the unification of the national alphabets. IPA cant be used as the practical alphabet, because, being the compilation of signs of the different alphabets, it doesnt have its own style and graphic correspondence of the lowercase and capital letters. From the huge number of signs that it includes, it is impossible to organize an aesthetically perfect system. The number of harmonious Latin-based forms of the script is restricted, as the history of the European script shows. On the other side, the number of the signs of IPA is superfluous for the practical use in any language.

 

The pessimism of linguists regarding the universal script resulted in many unsuccessful projects of the past, as the final aim wasnt clear enough. This script first had the task to make order in the orthography of the languages, where the writing differed too much from the sound (as in English), but it usually didnt embrace all the languages in their common use.

Some investigators (for example, I.J.Gelb in his book The Study of Writing /1/) considered, that modernization in future writing will be promoted in two ways: 1) using abbreviations (for example, without vowels, as in Semite languages) and 2) increasing of the quantity of special signs, like as figures (as @ in Internet). These ideas are surely perspective ones, but they leaved the problem of transgression to a one world sign system unsolved. Only having one system of script, the development of writing can go in the universal direction, being enriched by the ideas of representatives of different national consciousnesses all over the world.

On the other hand, seeing an impasse in solving problems of writing, the American linguist Gelb found the laws that usually lead to the improving of script, for example:

1/ modernizations of the alphabet have usually been made by a representative of a language, using foreign alphabet for this language.

2/ the innovations arent too revolutionary but additional to the existing base,

3/ the author of innovations is often a dilettante, because he has a fresh look to the problem.

The project, represented in this article, coincides with such a variant. Its author is a painter, linguistics is his hobby, his language (Russian) is based not on the Latin script, and he suggests comparatively little number of completely new signs, creating the style unity of the new alphabet on the base of the existing signs. He tried to find the optimal quantity of signs that have a perfect shape, enough for convenient using by all the populous and important languages of the world. The system of script suggests, that the same signs are used in a little different (but always in close) meaning, depending on the phonetics of a language.

This linguistic project is based not only on the phonetic, but on the phonematic meaning of a letter. A letter here is not some phonetically strict sound, but the sound in the frame of some sound zone; but it has a permanent relation to the other sounds, close to it. For example, the second sign for the vowel E signified always more opened sound, than the first E, inspite of the fact, that in different languages these sounds will be different (in French first E is the closed E, with acute, the second E is opened E, with gravis; in German E and A with Umlaut respectively; in Russian soft E (causing palatalization of previous consonants), and hard E (without palatalization) etc.)

 

 

THE PSYCHO-LINGUISTICAL ASPECT

 

Considering the connection between a letter and a sound, the linguists usually did not pay attention to the aesthetic and emotional aspects, taking into account only graphic traditions. Psychological aspect of the correspondence between a letter and a sound wasnt taken into account as not enough objective (not scientific). But we cant agree with such argumentation, because nowadays psychology has found scientific laws of the correspondence of shape and color with the sound and emotional influence. Therefore, one must consider the form of the sound not only from the traditional point of view, but in respect of psychological correspondence between it and the sound itself. The shape of the sign works not only as an abstract symbol, but also as optic resonance with some sound. That is, if we find their true correspondence, we will accelerate the reception of the writing (the informational speed).

An interesting investigation in the psycholinguistics was provided in the 70s of the 20th century in Kaliningrad University by the scientific group of A.P. Zhuravlev /10/. It proved statistically the objectivity of psychological influence of the sounds of the Russian language. By experience they found the fixed correspondance between colors and vowels. This is not strange, because colors and sounds are similar physical phenomena. Consonants have more complicated formant structure, and its more difficult to find the color coinciding with them through the method of Zhuravlev. Here the holistic view can help us.

It is accepted that all the variety of colors is based on the fusion of the 3 main rays of color (red, yellow and blue), light and shadow. The same law we can find in phonetics, where the variety of vowel comes from the combination of the triangle of the main sounds (A, I, U). Vowels, being the most resonant between phonemes, represent clear colors, and consonants, as more complex, represents complicate tints of colors, derivative from vowels, close to them. Colors of vowels are known (and proved by studies of Zhuravlev as well as European researchers). A is red, I blue, U green (not yellow, but green, as used in T.V.), because green is a more fixed tint, than yellow, and sound is more material, than color. According to the acoustic characteristics of consonants and corresponding vowels connected with the place of their formation, we can find color tints for the consonants.

Laryngeal and back A (red) and O (yellow) give their tints to guttural, velar and uvular (G, K, H etc.) that have colors from ochre to brown. Front (deep blue) I and more closed (daffodil-green) E give color to point and dorsal dental sounds (S, Z, T, D etc.) that have blue-green and gray tints. According labial deep-green U, labial (B, P, V, F etc.) have from warm-green to emerald tints. According the psycho-linguistic investigations of Zhuravlev, one can give to not sonorous consonants more dark colors than to sonorous, voiced have more bright colors than voiceless, fricative are more colored than plosive. That is, brightness depends on sonority: from rich colors (of sonants) to dry tints (of voiceless plosive sounds). Sonorous consonants, having more clear colors, are more close to vowels (R is ruby-colored, and burr R is orange; velar L is yellow-white and palatal L is white-rosy. Nasal vowels: mat-green M, mat-beige N, light-violet Y, dark-yellow W). see COLOR ALPHABET and Linguographic

More detailed and demonstrative description of the chromatics of sounds comes out from the frame of this article, but here it is important to stress the existing opportunity to find for a sound correspondent parallels in the other areas. As in color, so in shape: because a form also has its true analogy between colors. As famous artists noticed (V.Kandinsky, K.Malevich, and their predecessors in abstract painting), the shape of the triangle is inherent to the red color, the shape of a circle to the blue, the shape of a square to the black etc.).

(The author elaborates full systems of parallels of color, form and sound, in correspondence with their psychological influences. For example, A the red triangle, with characteristic of activity, opened, bright, present (in time) etc. More detailed color and psychological influence of the sounds, based on the example of the Russian language, was described in the book: Semira and V.Vetash Your Star Name /14/).

It is significant, that traditional A has truly shape of a triangle, and this proves that some letters historically found the way of the correspondence between the form and the meaning (on the subconscious level). For the sake of the reform of the alphabet one must take this way consciously, using achievements of psycholinguistics. Choosing the sign for the sound, one must take into account how its form resonates with the characteristics of a phoneme. Certainly, taking the traditional script as the base, one could not always find the absolutely proper sign for the sound, but criteria of color-psychology and psycholinguistics can help to choose from the different variants the sign that will be the most close to the sound.

 

A letter in the modern world is often not only the sound, but also a symbol. Ascribing the certain meaning to it, one has to systematize this process. Now the titles of letters actually became a problem. Everybody deals with spelling a world or a code (for example, e-mail) and always some problem arises, especially by phone. Names and brief titles for the letters are used (for English words), but there is often a pause to find the suitable name or to describe the letters from other languages. Titles of the letters were appropriate to every old alphabet, but then were rejected. However there is a need for them again.

Sailors and militaries, when translating texts by radio and for signalling from a distance, felt a necessity for letter-naming and first established the names for letters-flags. That is Bravo for B, Charlie for C, Foxtrot for F etc. These names are simple but have obviously marine character, causing their refusal as the universal system, especially by linguists. (Though now it would be good to learn at school these names of the letters of Latin alphabet, if nothing else, in order to use it in private life by phone etc).

Today representations of the letters as marine flags arent actual ones, but that existing model shows the possibility of using symbols of letters as a universal sign system. Based on the laws of correspondence of color and sound, we can easily assign proper colors and pictures to flags, making connection between them stronger. Such system of correspondence can be used in the areas, where visualization of the signs in a simple form is necessary. For example, in the system of primary education, logopathy, training of the development of the associative perception or in similar perspective areas of semantics.

Some letters kept their titles in linguistic circles: for example, Yot. These titles are connected with old names of the letters, so it will be right to return the names to the letters. The author has done it in his project. As the alphabet, suggested by him, is a synthesis, the titles of their letters are also synthetic, reminiscent of ancient names of letters, on the one hand, and with clear diversity between names of letters, on the other hand.

(In this article the author suggests the variant of names of letters with their historical grounds and some other variants that arose. Besides historical, psycholinguistic aspect of the correspondence of the letter titles with their sound influences, was taken into account. Below a special chapter concerns the titles of letters.)

 

 

LATIN SCRIPT AS A BASE OF THE NEW ALPHABET

 

The advantages of sound writing are clear to every linguist. (I.J.Gelb writes about it in his works "A Study of Writing"/1/.) The main advantage of such a script is the speed of perception, which is less apparent in the other systems (for example, Chinese). The second advantage is the possibility of the exact reflection all sound nuances of the language. Phonetic script became the logical descendent of the hieroglyphic, consonant and syllable writing.

Latin script became the natural base for this project, as the international role of this graphic system has recognition. And there was an opinion, that the Latin alphabet would gradually substitute all the others. But this process subsided, because of the restricted set of letters and utterly irregular use of them in different alphabets. This happened first of all because of lack of number of signs. The reforms failed, because of the deficiency and the different meanings of the same traditional combinations of letters in the different languages making the system not universal. The narrow aim of adaptation to the needs of the concrete language prevented this system from expansion into the planetary level.

American linguist Gelb writes, that wide-spreading of the Latin alphabet doesnt lead to the unification of script, as its signs are used in different meanings without limitation. He includes, that to reform writing within the national borders isnt expedient now, when the world has a tendency to unity: This is the reason, why we wont approve imposing of the Latin alphabet in the countries influenced by western civilization. From the point of view of the theory of writing, in the form in which it uses now in the western countries, it has no advantages in comparison with Arabic, Greek or Russian The true need one has is a system, accustomed to international use. /1, .231/

So a question arises about the new understanding and extending of the Latin alphabet on the base of a universal systematic approach, that would give unity and wholeness, necessary for the reform of the national alphabets. Gelb saw such an opportunity in using the international phonetic transcription IPA: We had to create the system of script, combining exactness of IPA with simplicity of forms of the system of quick writing /1, .233/. But as it was said before, the system of the IPA in its modern form is excessive and aesthetically incomplete, without unity in style.

As for systems, alternative to Latin, that was suggested in the 20th century, they as usual have extensively simplified geometrical forms, obliged by temporary technocratic influence, which fall very short of an aesthetic and pedagogical standards (for example, the project of Korvin-Veletsky, 1910 y. /28/).

Considering the Latin script structurally, one can see simple geometrical forms as a base: i.e. triangle A, square D, line I, circle O, and these forms are even more evident in the predecessor of the Latin alphabet, the Greek alphabet. From time to time the Latin recording system had been aesthetically changed, to the subtlety of Gothic script, but the Renaissance period returned it in the clarity and simplicity of the classic period, when distinctive shape of the signs dominated over aesthetical style, in the difference from too stylized Eastern writings (for example, modern Hindu scripts are more difficult to read, than their predecessor, Pali script). That is why the base of Latin remains the most favorable for creating a new alphabet.

However, as many additional signs were included from the Greek-Cyrillic alphabet, the style of the new alphabet became stricter, more close to the earlier western-Greek style. The Latin recording system has an advantage of having a convenient-to-read system of small letters (unitial), elaborated in the last centuries. But there can be certain confusion of signs due to their similarities (q and p, b and d, and especially l and I). That is why in some projects of the beginning of the 20th century it was suggested to refuse lowercase letters. But it would make the alphabet much less aesthetically expressive and less convenient for reading, because the sign, not standing out, up or down from the line, becomes less distinctive in text. (So it comes in Russian, where the majority of the lowercase letters copy the capital ones, that makes the text more blind, than the text in the Latin script, that one can read from farther away.)

 

There was an attempt to adopt a Latin script as the common recording system in Russia, when after the revolution in 1917 many languages of USSR without writing adapted an alphabet. But the process of using the Latin script was embraced only USSR (and Turkey), that is why it didnt go worldwide. Inspite of the fact, that Soviet linguistics achieved important results: there were created many new signs on the base of the Latin alphabet, especially for the Caucasian languages. But this movement wasnt always systematic, and the same new signs used for the very different sounds. However there was an attempt to unite the innovations to one system and the New Turkic Alphabet (NTA) was created for the different languages of the Turkic linguistic family. There was even the attempt to translate Russian to a Latin recording system, but it was not done not only for political reasons, but also because Latin script was not much better than the Cyrillic one, and there was no aim to create the universal writing system. After that all languages of the USSR, that had new writing, went to the Cyrillic alphabet, for the sake of the connection with the Russian script. Many new good signs for the letters were forgotten. Only some of them are now used in Latin recording systems for the Tibetan languages of China.

For the creation of the new signs of the Latin script, some modification of the Latin letters can be used, appeared in different periods in different languages. Firstly, these are Gothic forms, which has to be transgressed in more severe shapes. (For example, the variants of h became signs in IPA or modifications j and z.) The main task is to adopt new signs to the common structure of the new alphabet, aesthetically and systematically. But now a spontaneous extension of Latin alphabet occurs. Some new signs appear in the new alphabets of Africa and Asia, without a unified system of recording and using. That leads to the substitution of the letters by the combinations of letters or signs with diacritics.

 

 

THE SOUND STRUCTURE OF THE ALPHABET INTERBET

 

The main problem during the creation of Interbet was to determine the number and the set of the signs, which will be enough for using by the majority of the population of the world. All signs must have aesthetically harmonious, convenient for writing and distinctive for reading view, in the style of the Latin recording system. The variables of the creation of such signs are limited. As it was said before, during all Latin language history, only several signs were created. And two of them have an adaptative, not fully prefect shape, that is J and G. In the 19th century Isaac Pitman had made an attempt to enrich the Latin alphabet by including signs for sibilants, dentilingual and some vowels, but they all had not aesthetically perfect form or had a marked one, conjoint with diacritics /8/. There are even more such incomplete signs in the "Universal alphabet" after Charles Luthy /31/.

The last attempts of enriching of the Latin alphabet had no success, because they were intended to adopt to the existing set of the Roman letters, adding to it complicated labeled signs. They didnt envelop all the system of the alphabet, didnt suggest a new step to promote the international task of script evolution. In Interbet the problem of aesthetics and necessity of symbols is solved in the integrated way, the compromise between maximum quantity of signs and harmony of all the system is found. Based on the Latin alphabet, INTERBET adapts to it Greek and Cyrillic alphabets signs, and includes the modification of some Roman and Gothic symbols. So the style of the alphabet can be defined as Latin-Greek.

 

In order to determine the necessary quantity of signs for INTERBET, we shall divide the composite into its compounds, i.e. the signs for consonants, sonants and vowels.

First come all groups of consonants, according to the principle of articulation.

Labial (bilabial and labiodental)

Dental (point and sibilant)

Guttural (velar, uvular and laryngeal)

In these groups after the rows of obstruent consonants comes sets of the corresponding fricative (or aspirate) consonants, and composite sounds = affricate (if they are). In description below a scheme will be done, represented with Latin letters and additional in pairs ( marked with the nimber 2, such as B and B2), for the convenience of printing.

After groups of consonants, a scheme of vowels will be represented.

Now lets turn to the description of the phonemes of every group of allied sounds.

 

Bilabial and labiodental consonants:

B - B2 V

P - P2/F2 F

The need of second row of labial (B2 P2) is not obvious for Europeans, but this row is necessary for the reflection of aspirates in the Hindu languages which have many millions of native speakers, in Korean and in Caucasian languages. They can mean labial spirants and a special row of the African labial sucking sounds. F2 can play the part of the unvoiced W (in English) and an affricate Pf (in German). One can also use the sign B2 as an affricate gB.

The construction principle of Interbet is such that it has more strict structure of main signs and additional signs with more diffused meaning these signs in this scheme and in further description are marked by letters with the number -2. However the area of use of these marked letters is close, and always, in contrast to a main sign, is spread to the direction from a plosive to a fricative or a aspirate sound.

 

Point and sibilant consonants:

D - D2 - Z - Zh Dz - Dzh

T - T2 - S - Sh Ts - Tsh

On the scheme the second row of blade (D2 T2) signifies aspirates in Hindu, Caucasian and other languages, or interdental spirants, where they are (for example, in English and Arabic). There is no need to explain the necessity of sibilants: the lack of them is the main default of the Roman alphabet. The affricates Dz, Ts, Tsh Dzh are also very popular. (Besides, in some languages: for example, Semitic, the signs for Dz, Ts can fulfill the role of emphatic pairs to S and Z, and in other languages the role of dorsal plosives. Tsh Dzh can also designate dorsal plosives in the languages where dorsal are lisping.

In variants of the alphabet the question about Tsh2 is also examined: it is necessary for Hindu and Caucasian languages (where there are also the second s). For Slavic languages this sign could play part of the composite sound Shsh/Shtsh. Also for the definite languages this sign can determine unvoiced sibilant Yot. In favor of this letter speaks also the presence of the convenient sign for this purpose (like Greek psi). But then it was decided to refuse from it considering its graphical similarity of such a sign to Greek phi (which is necessary for P2/F2) and convenient use lowercase letter from Tsh2 meant "sh". For enough rare second (aspirate) Tsh2 and Dzh2 it was decided to use combinations T+Sh and D+Zh (or Tsh +Sh and Dzh+Zh), in contrast to pure Tsh and Dzh (also for aspirate s use combination Cs, as among the variants of signs, suggested below in the special list there is the sign for this sound). For Slavic ligature Shsh/Shtsh one can use combination Sh+Tsh, in Russian we can change it by the combination SSh and to add voiced ZZh, actually heard at its site (see below). The reflection of such complex sound by the combinations is quite well taken, as it is adopted in IPA, because these sounds with difficult articulation are associated with more difficult writing.

 

Velar, uvular and guttural consonants:

G - G2 (G2)

K - Q - 2/2 ? - H

The set of these consonants is the most problematic, but seems satisfactory, being considered attentively. The presence of the aspirates or spirants to the velar sounds is understandable, but the lack of the voiced parallel to the uvular is explained by the fact that there is no languages, where velar and uvular voiced pairs had the phonematic difference. So G2 may take part as velar spirant (Gh in Slavic, Greek, Caucasian and other languages), so as uvular spirant (Gqh in Arabic and others). Also it could be used as uvular obstruent (Gq = voiced Q, inspite of having an acceptable sign for this purpose among the variants of symbols), and as voiced H, which is necessary very rarely.

The need for a voiceless pair of uvular (Q - X2) along with the velar pair (K - X) is very frequent in Semitic, Caucasian and other eastern languages. The sign is used in Interbet as usual in the quality of velar or uvular spirant and only as exclusion as aspirate sound (Kh). The presence of one plosive guttural (?) is quite enough, because in the languages, where there is the second guttural, more week sound can be depicted by apostrophe (). Among the variants there is the full pair, but it is not a completely harmonic form from the aesthetical point of view.

The area of using the sign 2/2 (or 2/Q2) is wide. It is aspirate h or Qh, and uvular voiceless spirant (Qh = rigid ), and voiceless upper-pharyngeal spirant (hh) in Arabic. (An example of using of the signs of Interbet for this row of sounds in the Arabic language: 2 unvoiced upper-pharyngeal spirant, the sign ? for voiced sound, lower-pharyngeal unvoiced spirant, and uvular voiceless sound, ' guttural occlusion (laryngeal plosive sound). For making narrower the zone of the application of the sign 2 (=2/2/Q2) the signs for velar aspirate were created as double, mirror K (=Kh) and uvular ( rounded below) see pictures of variants. But then they were rejected because first letter is cumbersome and second one is not clearly distinctive. The area of 2 is wide enough, but these sounds are close. Their difference is used rarely and only in remote languages, for example north-Caucasian, where we can use additionally convenient sign with a cedilla as velar voiceless spirant, in distinction of uvular. (First one is sounded softer and thats why a cedilla as the symbol of softness is well taken here). with a cedilla also if necessary could be used as dorsal fricative, voiceless pair to Yot (Ich laut). The sign Q in some languages can be used as clicked velar or even as the affricate kp.

 

Sonants and semi-vowels:

W - J M - N - N2 - L - R - R2

Between sonants, the presence of two semi-vowels W and J is doubtless (narrow labial semi-vowel is excessive from the phonematic point of view, it has no phonematic opposition to the correspondent vowel Ue (U with Umlaut), but if necessary it could be denoted by letter W with trema). The sign W can rarely play part of V2, where there is the phonematic difference between one-labial and two-labial consonant V.

Between nasal sonants, the sign for N2 = Ng appeared, this sound is widespread in the world. Besides, in some languages, where there is no such sound, but there is the second N (more hard or surd, then the main), this sign can denote it also.

The presence of one liquid and two vibrants is explained by the fact, that the difference between velar and point L almost nowhere plays the phonematic role (in Polish velar L is now substituted by sound W). Where such difference exists, double LL could denote velar L. That is why one sign for liquid is enough (though the existence of the pair to L could give the opportunity to use it in some languages as unvoiced L or affricate tL/dL).

As for R2, this sign is necessary in some languages where week and strong R differ, or for the aspirate Rh, or for the sound like as Czech Rz. The presence of this sign for week R also will take part of indicator to eritization of the sound (for example, the English and Chinese R at the end of syllable). Existing of the convenient sign for this purpose also influenced the choice of this sign.

During selection of the set of phonemes an idea arose to mark out with a special signs frequent dorsal Nj Lj, but for these purposes there wernt found enough perfect signs. It was decided that the combinations of L and N with Yot could denote them. Besides, in some languages its possible to depict them through corresponding letters with a cedilla (in the east-European, where the signs with a cedilla are convenient for denoting dorsal for S, Z, Ts, Dz). The presence of some diacritics in Interbet is not possible to escape, especially for vowel (see below).

 

Vowels:

I - Ue - U2 - U

E - Oe - E2 -

(E2) - A - A2/2

 

Ue and Oe here denote front labial (U O with Umlaut). The same signs can depict soft Russian u and o after palatalized consonants, as these sounds are close in this position. (One can find this idea of depicting of the Russian vowels after palatalized consonants in the works of the alphabet reformers of the beginning of the 20th century L.Morohovets and Korvin-Veletsky). In the languages, where vowels with Umlaut can stay as after unpalatalized, also after palatilized consonants (Finno-Urgean), one of the pairs (more rare) can be denoted by diacritics. For example, soft Ue and Oe by the sign trema (colon) or an inverted circumflex (haczek) above them, in contrast to hard ones (or on the opposite: hard sounds with ^, and soft ones without). Also its possible in French to write more rare closed Oe with trema, and the main opened Oe remains plain (or closed vowel can be indicated by a double letter because its always long, in contrast to opened short ).

As for A after palatalized consonants, its depiction through Ae (=E2) is problematic enough, because this sign is drawn to the position of the hard E, and not soft A, thats why for eastern Slavic languages A with a cedilla after palatalized consonants is suggested (see variants). In Ukrainian E with a cedilla can denote the soft e after consonants, and plain E the hard e.

Besides the main set of vowels, there are two signs for the mixed row of vowels. They have a more wide application area: E2 can denote the neutral vowel of the middling row (shwa) and also A with Umlaut (in Germanic languages, languages of Ural family and others) i.e. this vowel is more opened or more back, than plain E, medium between E and A. Among the variants there is a letter (overturned round E) for one more sign of the A-E area, because it could be useful in many languages. But we could not find a perfect sign for it, thats why one can use signs E and A with a cedilla, when necessary.

The sign A2/O2 takes part of the more back A or the opened O or the unstressed sound of the back row, the medium between O and A (opened O in French and many other languages, where two Os differ, also transcriptional letter in the form of ^ for the second A in English or neutral U, named yer in Bulgarian language).

The sign U2 is used first of all for the vowel of the middling row (like as wide I or unround U) in Slavic, Turk or languages of Indo-China, and for the similar sounds of the middling row in the other languages.

 


CHANGES IN THE INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ALPHABET

 

As the new alphabet assigns to some letters meanings not existing in the Roman script, on the base of which the International Phonetic Transcription was created, in the table of sounds some changes arose. (The necessity to retain this table for the needs of linguists is obvious.)

First of all substitutes concerning sibilants, their own original signs are assigned to them, there is also a new sign for G. It would be good to correct the signs for interdental, making them closer to D2 and T2, and to make changes in the lines of velar and guttural. The author in the previous article (International practical alphabet Interbeto". Leningrad, 1988 /25/) suggested a new considerably extended table of IPA, but its not represented here, because of the difficulty to transmit it to the simple computer script, accessible for everybody).

(In manuscript variant of the article considerable more quantity of the new signs is suggested than in the given set. Thats why people, interested in these signs, can write the author, for the demonstration of these signs or of the new, considerably enriched table of the IPA).

 

 

 

DIACRITICS

Even with an extensive alphabet, its not possible to completely escape additional signs for letters, in order to denote modification of sounds, not very frequent but nevertheless existing in different languages. Even the universal IPA hasnt avoided diacritics. The variety of vowels are the biggest, not all of their tints have their own sounds, that is why using of diacritics are necessary, for example, for the transcription of the long or nasal vowel. Acute (or double letter) is used for long and tilde for nasal letters. Also its possible to use the transcriptional sign of briefness for short nasal, in distinct to long nasals (with tilde ~) in Hindu languages. For labialized consonants one can use the transcriptional letter ^ or composition with W or neutral 2 (similar to ^). The palatalization of a consonant can be marked by a circumflex or the Czech haczek (overturned ^) above it, or by the combination with J, or by the apostrophe. The point under a consonant can define cacuminal, retroflex, emphatic (here a double letter can be used) or other modifications of consonants, which differ in the concrete language.

Also a set of signs with a cedilla remains. In Interbet these letters even have their own names, different from the main by adding s on the end (from the word cedilla): for example, A alfa with a cedilla has the name alfas. E with a cedilla is used when lack of the set of letters for the sound, close to E. Consonants with a cedilla are used for blade S, Z, and palatalized sounds from Ts and Dz. Modification of L and N with a cedilla for dorsal is possible: in such a way it will be more convenient to overturn sign N as Russian I, for the cedilla attached to it nicely.

The denoting of tones also requests diacritics, which are used in transcriptions systematically enough. We can add that it would be useful for some languages to include additional signs for meaningful categories (for example, for Japanese, where many words sound identically. Hieroglyphic writing differentiated them, but when using phonemic writing the difference disappears, and now its suggested to introduce codes of figures to denote main categories of meaning. Such little figures in the upper corner of the word would help to specify the meaning of the word when necessary).

 

However using the words with diacritics has a technical difficulty, from the point of view of keyboard and printing. Thats why its necessary to have a substitution of a letter with a diacritic by a combination of letters: as its done, for example, in the European languages, where the vowel with Umlaut can be substituted by a combination of the main vowel and e. Its important that such substitutions are coordinated and systematic. In the other cases diacritics can be omitted or substituted by the apostrophe as a common symbol for all the diacritics (i.e. the symbol pointed to some sound change of a letter).

 

The picture of the letters for the INTERBET is given below, with the international transcription of the meaning of letters. After it the signs for letters with their origin are described. A special chapter and a table are devoted to the names of letters (see below).

 

 

 

PPOJECT of the INTERNATIONAL PHONEMATIC ALPHABET

INTERBET

 

Interbet alphabet

 

About the last changing of some signs in the alphabet see

NEW VARIANT of the INTERBET with the last corrections

 

 

 

GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF THE LETTERS OF INTERBET AND THEIR ORIGIN

 

(The letters of Interbet for simplicity of understanding of their linguistic meaning are itemized here by the symbols of the ordinary Latin letters, the letters with the additional number 2, and underlined combinations of letters denoting one complicated sound.)

 

A historically this sign, with little changes came to Latin script through the Greek from the first phonetic Phoenician alphabet, in which it originates from Egyptian hieroglyph the bows head, that is Aleph (one can recognize a bow in this letter just now, if inverted).

And in Interbet there is no problem about this letter, only its lowercase form is changed a little to make it more clear-cut. Among the variants for the lowercase letter a more simplified one, close to the manuscript form, is suggested. But it was rejected because this form of A is not distinctive in a text, mixing with O.

The sign A with a cedilla can be used in a different meaning, as additional to A (for example, for Russian as A after palatalized consonants).

A2/O2 the sign for the capital letter is taken from IPA (this is a simplified variant of A, which had been used in ancient Rome in the script named Rustic). Among the variants there is one rounded at the upper side of the letter like as overturned U, similar to Omega: this variant was considered if using letter ^ (big form of circumflex) for velar L2, but then it was decided to be refused, because it is not quite necessary and not very convenient to write.

The lowercase letter is the sign from IPA for the opened O; this sign has been used in the Latin alphabets for the African languages. It reminds us of the capital letter (big form of ^ in the lateral position) and it is convenient in writing. But as a capital letter, its not harmonious; in this case it mixes with the sign for Dzh and Ts (=C).

B historically this letter originates from the Phoenician sign Beth, represented by a picture of a house on floorplan. In Interbet the sign for the capital letter came from the Latin alphabet with no change, and small letter is changed. It was created in order to make it similar to the capital letter, because when having a new letter for B2, ordinary lowercase letter from , b is similar to B2. Besides, the traditional lowercase b, which tends to mix with d, therefore complicates learning. And it was decided that for the lowercase form of B the up-rounded letter would be better. (In such a variant this letter is used in Latin alphabet for Zulu language, and the capital letter with the other lowercase one is used in Latin alphabet in Tibet.) But the author has some doubt about this letter because of the not enough strict style of these lowercase letters (and in the table below another variants are given).

B2 for that sign the Cyrillic form of B is used, which has its prototype in the Samaritan alphabet, directly originated from the Phoenician script. There was a problem to find the best sign for the lowercase letter; one can see different versions of it among the variants. If using the lowercase for the B, then for lowercase 2 the variants remain (from which the first was chosen the sign b with the upper horizontal serif).

C (Ts) historically the sign C is the round form of Greek Gamma, but in Latin script it had voiceless and voiced pronounciaton (k and g). Later in Latin alphabet the modified sign for G was introduced for the voiced sound, and C had not-palatalized phonation K, and palatalized phonation K=TS before the vowel of the front row. In linguistic and late Latin scripts this letter keeps meaning of the palatal whistling affricate TS in all positions. (For the similar sound in Phoenician script there was a letter tSadhe, a form which Cyrillic Ts and Tsh originated.)

Now the sign for the sound Ts is quite a traditional linguistic designation. But one cant consider it as an ideal one, because this affricate is not often met in world languages. So the use of this convenient sign is very restricted. This sign is very successfully used in the Cyrillic alphabet for the very frequent sound s. But when trying to use it in this sence (or as sh as it was suggested in some projects at the beginning of the 20th century), a problem arises with the designation for a sound ts. Only Z is associated with this sound, then for the sound z we must take the letter S, so the whole system deviates strongly from the tradition of the Latin alphabet. This deviation causes question, though it would be right from the point of view of strengthening of the connection between the sound and its image. More so, that in Interbet we have a more wide sign for the sibilant sh, the form of C looked more harmonious, than S, as a whistling pair to it.

Also among the variants one can find the sign for Ts2 (aspirated or strengthened "Ts"). One can deal without this sign, change it by the convenient combination CS or T. The sign C with a cedilla indicates dorsal unvoiced affricate or obstruent sound. (As for its place in the alphabet, the letter Ts can stay after S, having linguistic and graphic connection with it (as the pair Z and Dz). But the last sequence is too unordinary. It creates a monotone line of sounds B-B2- D-D2, which isnt convenient to remember, thats why the habitual order of the sounds was kept.)

D historically this Roman and Greek letters originates from Phoenician sign Daleth (door, alike to this letter even now). Here a traditional variant of the sign is adopted, though the small letter in its development deviated from the capital one. But its difficult to find for it a convenient symbol more close to D (for example, like as mirror writing of the figure 6), thats why we has kept the existing variant.

D2 the author created the sign for this letter on the base of the Island rune for thorn. But this rune doesnt adjust well to the Latin alphabet, thats why it was modernized and received another (voiced) meaning. Voiced meaning for this sign is explained by the fact that this sign is more close to D, than to T (spirant for the last is made from T). The rune itself originates from Latin D /7/. One more proof the inverted sign for D2 is like a sign, which is used for this meaning in Latin script for Tibet languages (here it generated from the modernized lowercase d, with a small horizontal line above). There was even an idea to use this Tibetan sign, but it strictly reflects a mirror B2, that is not good for two different sounds. A mirror similarity of the signs would be mixed in study. For the better differentiation of this lowercase letter from the small for P, the variant with the upper horizontal serif was selected.

2 the sign for this sound is taken from the table IPA, also it is used in some Cyrillic and Latin alphabets (in Turkish, African and Tibetan). In respect to the classic construction of the uppercase letter, the shape of the Russian capital letter as a mirror and rounded would be better, but this sign is too close to the sign, used in Interbet for Zh, thats why it was rejected.

The form of the sign 2 explains its position in the alphabet before the main sign E. Behind the main E it would disrupt the whole graphic movement in the sequence of the letters of the alphabet. Another consideration is that the sign 2 denotes more opened sound, and the more closed naturally follows it.

E historically this sign originated from Phoenician consonant letter He (bar, frame) the Greeks began to use, as vowel Epsilon. Here this sign is used traditionally, though among the variants there is a lowercase letter like the Greek one, and one more sign for 3 (like the Ukrainian je-e), the small letter for this is e or the inverted variant of it. This sign could be an enlargement of the base of the main vowel, but later it was decided to substitute it by the sign E with a cedilla, because of the possibility of its mixing with the sign for 2.

F historically this sign came to the Latin alphabet from western-Greek script, where it sounded as W (and had a name digamma), and originated from the Phoenician sign Waw (nail). The Greek Y psilon originated from another modification of the same sign.

Now its a traditional sign for the Latin alphabet, though graphically it doesnt reflect enough the properties of the sound. To a certain extent the small rounded shape associates with it, especially in cursive writing, when the main vertical line (stanchion) reminds us of the sign of integral (as a Gothic sign). So the lowercase letter has a form with a long stanchion and a serif below. From the point of view of associaton of a sign and a sound, the Greek letter phi fits better for this sound. But in Interbet this sound is used for the letter with a close meaning: for bilabial spirant or aspirate. In this meaning in some languages its better to use phi and not F: for example, in Japanese, where this sound is bilabial, as well as in the Latin alphabet for Japanese W (and not V) is used for the parallel voiced sound.

G for this sound Greek Gamma was elected, which generates directly from the Phoenician symbol, unlike the Latin sign (that arose from the adaptation of C). This Greek sign extremely well associates with the sound itself. Historically this Greek sign originates from Phoenician Giml, that meant a picture of the corner (or a hump), or as its translated more often a camel.

This Greek sign was already used in the Latin alphabets for some eastern and African languages (as fricative G or X=hh). Here arose a problem of its similarity to the traditional small letter r that, after all, isnt very convenient in writing, because the longitude of the stanchion is not defined. Thats why it was decided to change the lowercase letter for R, and for the lowercase G several versions were suggested. We selected a variant according a natural form sequence of letters of Interbet. Its form is the middle one between the lowercases for F and for G2.

But during manuscript writing this sign doesnt strictly fix on line, thats why there are variants with a long stanchion and with a serif (sharp edge) below, like as for the lowercase F. Other versions are also possible, but its important for this sign to have obvious difference from the small letters for f and r. The problem must be decided integrally.

G2 this sign comes from the Gothic form of H, included in the table of IPA, this graphical sign also coincided with the similar letter for the sound of this area in Cyrillic alphabets for Abkhase and Yakut languages, which generates from the Greek gamma. (Also this sign, similar to the sign for the capital, was used in some projects, extending the Roman alphabet, though as sound Th, after I.Pitman, C.Luthy and Schleyer).

historically this sign originates from the Phoenician letter Heth (fence, stairs). Here the meaning of the sign is traditional for Latin script.

2/2 the author created the sign on the base of the main H in the same manner of duplication as W was generated from V. Also, one of the sounds, embraced by this sign, in the Latin script for Arabic languages is indicated by double HH-hh. This sign is connected graphically with a modification of the sign H (with a crossed mid-line), used in the Latin alphabet for Caucasian languages. (The similar letter was in Karian alphabet for the sound kh).

I historically this sign originated from the simplified Greek Phoenician sign Yodh (arm). Now this is a traditional sign for the vowel I, here its liberated from mixing with the lowercase L (=l), which is changed in Interbet. Nevertheless its similarity with the figure 1 remains, and this is not good however in this case the letter associates very well with the narrow-mouthed sound (tensive, strained like as string). Thats why here the recommendation to write the figure 1 more distinctly (with a definite hook) would be natural.

Dzh this sign in Interbet originates from the Gothic form of J. Latin J is a new letter in the alphabet, historically it comes from the letter I. This modified letter appeared only during the Middle Ages in order to differ the vowel and semi-vowel pronounciation of I. In many languages this sign obtained different spirant pronounciation (j, h, kh, zh, dzh, dz, dj), but now the most colloquial is the English pronounciation of Dzh, thats why it has such a meaning in Interbet. But the form of this sign here has, unlike J in the late Latin script, a more complete view.

The similar form was already used in Latin alphabets for Caucasian languages, but in another meaning (tsw or dj).

Zh here this sign also comes from one of the Gothic forms of J (with a horizontal cross-bar) and it reminds us of the sign from the table IPA, for the voiced dorsal obstruent consonant. This sign also has something in common with the sign of Interbet for Sh in the lateral position. The sign for Zh is more complicated, than the sign for Dzh, as the last reflects a phoneme, much more common in world languages. The variant of the letter Zh generated from the sign Z in Interbet is necessary for a sibilant affricate (dz) and is more psychographic (i.e. harmonious in respect to coincidence of shape and sound) in this meaning. The Russian letter for Zh as the double mirror K is too bulky for the style of Interbet and is difficult to write, though psychographically associates with this sound.

K historically this sign originates from the Phoenician sign Kaph (hand, and maybe from Egyptian hieroglyph sprouts). Primarily in Latin script there was not such a letter, but it came from the Greek alphabet long ago, in Antiquity for transcription of Greek words with K before front vowels, as Latin C (=k) before them transformed into the sound Ts.

In Interbet this sign is traditional, psychographically its one of the best signs. Only one correction in the manuscript writing of the lowercase letter is made: it must not be like R, i.e. small k will be like the Russian small letter (stanchion + c), but with a long stanchion.

X this letter was probably invented by Greek, as the modification of K, with a similar phonation then X is pronounced as aspirate Kh, later it had a meaning of spirant (x), though in traditional Latin script it has the phonation ks, but the linguists dont use it in this quality.

In Interbet the sign is linguistically traditional, i.e. its phonemic meaning comes from Greek origin, as in the IPA. Its location is connected with the previous sign K, from which an inscription of the sign X in Greek was likely originated. In the Greek alphabet it had fallen at the end of the alphabet as an innovation of that time. In Interbet the position of this sign after K is stylistically and phonetically consequent. If at the end of the alphabet it breaks the sequence of the historic and graphic development of the signs from Y to V and W.

L this form of the letter of the western-Greek origination arose from the Phoenician sign Lamedh (rope, whip). In Interbet the capital letter is traditional, and the lowercase is changed in order to differ more distinctly from the capital I, and to resemble the form of a capital letter. In the lower bend of the lowercase letter there is a horizontal line with a serif.

Also a variant reminding a manuscript form was considered, with a round bend and a vertical serif, that makes a more fixed writing of this letter by a flourish (see the list of variants for the lowercase letter).

M historically this is a Phoenician sign Mem (water, depicted by crests of waves). Here the letter is traditional, though for the lowercase letter a variant arose to copy the uppercase one, because a small m can be mixed with the combination ni. But the author refused from this idea for the sake of the style unity.

N historically this is a Phoenician sign Nun (water serpent, which was depicted by more curvilinear lines). The main decision for this letter is traditional, though it was a variant to change small n with the reduction of the capital one (as for m). This was justified in the view of the similarity of one of the variant for the sign Ng, considered before, with a small n. But because of selection of the another sign for Ng, it was decided to keep the traditional variant N-n without changing.

Among the variants there are signs suggested for dorsal nasal Nj. However its not so necessary to include unperfected signs. The variant of N with a cedilla is quite proper for the purpose, but for the sake of convenience of juncture with a cedilla its turned mirror-like, as the Russian I (=).

N2 It is mirror N with lower horizontal line, similar to the Russian letter for joined with inverted Greek Gamma, which psychographically associates well with the sound NG. Though among the variants there are other modifications, but in respect to convenience and distinction they arent quite perfect. It was difficult to select among the variants the sign for the lowercase letter: which would associate well with the capital letter. Though straight letter n with a long second stanchion is more close to the shape of the capital one, we decided to elect the traditional sign for this sound from the IPA. Its already used in Latin alphabets for African and Tibetan languages as a regular lowercase letter, though for the capital one there is no regular form.

O historically it is a Phoenician sign Ayn (eye), which the Greeks began to use as vowel O. Here the meaning of the sign is traditional.

(Apropos, for distinguishing the letter O from the figure zero, its convenient to use a horizontal line above the figure 0: like an upper hook of a figure 1, but more long. This is more distinctive variant, than in use now, when one crosses zero by an oblique line. It makes 0 alike to the figure 8, that can cause serious mistakes.)

(the sound O with Umlaut) this sign, originated form O, with a horisontal cross-bar, is used in Cyrillic alphabet, in Latin alphabets for African and Tibetan languages, and in IPA too. In the Latin alphabet for the Danish language a diagonal crossbar is used, that in respect of readability is justified, but aesthetically such a variant is more questionable. For the lowercase letter it was decided to withdraw the edges of the horizontal cross-bar of the contour of a circle -o- in order to distinguish it better from e and e2.

P this is a Latin form of the writing of the Phoenician sign Pe (mouth), more round and closed, than the Greek one. In Interbet this letter is used in a traditional way.

2/F2 this sign was invented by the Greeks by turning the letter Theta/Thita sideways, that also has aspirate meaning and originates from the Phoenician sign Theth (tied up bale of wares).

This sign of Interbet generates from the Greek alphabet. The shape of the uppercase letter is changed (the circle is raised up) to make it close to the sign P. In the lowercase letter a long upper stanchion ends on the same upper level as the other letters with similar heads. The sign is already used in the Latin alphabet for Tibetan languages (Lisu). And in the Latin alphabet for Caucasian languages for an aspirate Ph, Greek form of the plain P was used, mixing with the lowercase letter for N.

Tsh is taken from the Cyrillic alphabet. Its a modification of the other Cyrillic letter Tsy, that originated from the Samaritan writing of the Phoenician letter Tzade. In Phoenician this letter was sounded as acute S, and the meaning of its name is hook. Another version is that this Cyrillic sign Cherv generated from the ancient Greek letter Qoppa, that disappeared from the Classic Greek alphabet.

In the meaning of Tsh this sign is used in the Latin alphabets for Tibetan and Caucasian languages. (In the Latin alphabet for the Syrian-Circassian language this sign is used for the sound X=hh.) In Interbet the lowercase letter was changed in order to adopt it to the style of the Latin alphabet. The location of the letter is explained by the fact, that in alphabets, previous to the Latin one, the letters with the similar meaning (tSadhe in the Phoenician alphabet and Sampi in the Greek one), were located at this site.

Sh the pattern of this letter is ancient enough; it was in Hebraic and Coptic alphabets, and here it is taken from the Cyrillic alphabet and modified to make it close to the Latin alphabet. Historically this is the Phoenician sign Shin (teeth, hills), from which Greek Sigma originates. Though in Greek there was one more letter, similar to Sh in Interbet, that is Sampi (from the Phoenician letter Samekh skeleton of a fish, prop).

Today in the Latin alphabet this sign is used for Tibetan languages (however more likely for the vowel of the middling row (like as wide I or unround U), than for Sh). In Interbet the lowercase for this letter is chosen with a long lower stanchion (similar to the Coptic one), it was done in order not to mix it with m when the script is small. Also this sign establishes the systematic parallel of changing the inscription from Tsh to Sh and from Dzh to Zh.

The location of the letter at this site is not habitual, but its explained by the graphic and phonetic sequence of letters, and by the analogy with the site of Zh behind Dzh (see before).

If considering the other versions for this letter, the most interesting is the sign, created by the author from the capital Greek Sigma and adapted to the style of Latin script (where the letters are more round, than in the Greek one). This sign is good because of proximity to S and economy of space, but is quite difficult in writing (unlike the usual Greek Sigma, which is discordent with the style of Latin script. Isaac Pitman /8/ and others tried to use it in this meaning, and now it is used in the Latin script for the African languages (with a lowercase letter from IPA, similar to the sign of integral). But in respect of psychographic resemblance, a wide double sign for this bifocal sound would be the best.

? this sign is represented here with a question-mark, because it originated from it. It is included in the alphabet as the sign, necessary for many eastern languages. Its form is connected with transcriptional signs from the IPA, derivated from the question mark for the sounds of the same area, and they are close to the Arabic signs for similar phonemes. This sign reminds us of Japhetic signs for Caucasian languages, used in 1920-1940 in the Soviet Latin scripts. Also a similar sign is used in the Latin alphabets for Tibetan and African (Ojibwe) languages.

The position of the letter in the Interbet is connected with its phonetic and graphic closeness with the next Q (the question mark originates from the first letter of the word Question /6/). This sign has the same location in the Tibetan alphabets.

Q historically this is Phoenician sign Qoph (a face, a back of the head or a monkey). As distinct from Latin Qu, in Interbet the shape of the sign is changed to make it more classic, reflecting its Greek prototype (Qoppa). However this form copies the sign as a mirror makes difficulties for learning. But, first of all, this sign is quite rare, and secondly the capital letters arc is considerably larger, than in . It is especially evident when seeing the variants of the sign, suggested in the table. For the lowercase letter its supposed to sharpen additionally the lower stanchion by an oblique serif, as it is made usually in manuscript writing. Also among the variants in the table the sign for voiced uvular consonant was suggested (as it was mentioned above in the description of the phoneme set of Interbet).

R2 the sign for this letter is a mirror form of the main sign, and of the Cyrillic letter Yacreated from the modification of I+A. Here it was adopted analogically with the sign of IPA for a modification of R. The lowercase letter is made analogically with the small from the main R in Interbet. The location of the additional R before the main letter is connected with the principle of intensification, because R2 is a more faint variant of the sound R. Also it follows graphically better from the previous sign to the next, and the sound of the faint R is close enough to the uvular Q. This sign is used in Latin script for Tibetan languages.

R historically this is a Phoenician sign Resh (a head). In Latin script, in contrast to the Greek one, this letter acquired a prop under the circle that also wasnt in the original Phoenician sign.

In Interbet the capital letter is traditional, with some marked difference with the previous letter. The stand under the circle of the first one has the view of a tongue, and the straight R has a stand with a rigid serif. For the lowercase letter, as we have said in the description of the sign for G, here such a variant of writing was found, which reminds of the Gothic lowercase K. It is well associated with the capital R, not mixing with the capital for G.

S this Latin letter arose from the small Greek letters Sigma and Stigma, originated from the Phoenician letter Shin (see above). In Interbet this sign is traditional, if used in the habitual meaning, but in some cases it is different (see description of Ts=). Among the variants there is the sign with a cedilla for the dorsal sibilant consonant.

T historically it was a Phoenician sign Taw (sign, cross, with the crossed horizontal bar). Here the capital letter is traditional, and it is natural, as this sign psychographically is perfect. The lowercase letter is changed a little to the austerity of the new Greek-Latin style: it is without a lower bend, for the sake of more clear distinction from the lowercase L. The height of the upper stanchion is kept a little lower than the main row of the upper stanchions (in letters b, d, k and others). But its the same height, that Zh, F and I have; its done for the better distinction of the lowercase from the lowercase R and R2.

T2 the author created this sign, influenced by the letter, made for this purpose in Latin alphabets for Turkic languages in 1920th in USSR (NTA), and by the Greek theta. The similar letter is in Devanagari (=cerebral Th); it was in the ancient Georgian script but in the meaning of D ("don"). Thats why an idea arose to use it as D2, and on the contrary D2 for T2: as the sign, similar to D2, in the ancient Georgian script reminds of the letter tar, that means T. But similarity of the shapes of T2 and T had decisive importance in the final choice.

We had been seeking the small letter to this sign for a long time; and the variants show it. We had chosen the most similar letter to S, which is phonetically the most close to this interdental spirant.

U the form of this letter arose in Latin script (possibly under the influence of the small letter from Greek Ypsilon) only in the Middle Ages, before this the letter V took vowel and consonant roles. In Interbet its a traditional sign.

U2 there was a long search for this letter. Finally one of the small signs of the IPA was taken and adopted to the style of the capital letters of Latin script. But for the lowercase, the prototype form IPA didnt fit because of its horisontal line, which made it looked like marked (or crossed out). Lowercase manuscript forms of Russian letters (yery) and (yu) helped to find the decision, having offered several signs.

It was a variant to use this sign for the sound Ue, where crossing of the letter is connected with its more narrow pronunciation (analogous to the sign for ). But then the next letter will be used for U2 (U of the neutral row). In this case the lowercase is changed according to its similarity with the lowercase for . That is crossed O with an oblique crossing line from the vertical stanchion to o (as the Russian letter yu, but with an oblique conjunctional line). But finally the author reserved for this sign the meaning of the wide U2, the small u with a little circle on the right side.

Ue (the sound U with Umlaut) is the cursive variant of the Ypsilon (Y), similar as to the round U, so to the narrow Y, that corresponds with the sound quality of this letter. It was another variant for this sign, if using this one as the vowel of the neutral row (U2).

Y (J) historically this sign was included in Latin script in Antiquity in order to transcript Greek words with such a letter (sound Ue, i.e. U with Umlaut) that is why its name was I-graecus. In Latin and other languages it began to sound as I, J, uI and very rarely as Ue. Now the sign Y for Jot has already became international, not only because of English influence, but because of psychography, i.e. coincides with the sound. (Traditional J also has the connection with the sound, but its resonance with this sonant is less, when it designates a semi-vowel variant of this sound after vowels. As it was said above, this sign is not quite complete).

The capital letter was changed a little. The upper embranchment was made more narrow and rose higher than mid-level (as distinct from tradition, where its lowed because of origin from the V). Also the lowercase letter is changed to distinguish it more from the previous letter from Interbet (U2). This variant (with a lower serif instead of a rounded drop) used before in some Latin scripts. Its manuscript form reminds of the small Greek Gamma (like a long loop) in order to differ from the manuscript U2.

The location of the letter in the alphabet is moved for the sake of stlistic rapprochement with the previous sign (which is the cursive form of Y, but phonetically connected with U) and for the form development to the next V (which also originated from Y, as it was said above, see ).

V this sign, as well as F and Greek Y originated form the Phoenician sign Waw (nail, knob). Here its meaning is traditional for the Latin alphabet.

W this new sign in Latin script arose in the Middle Ages from the double V. Here its a traditional sign.

Z this sign in Antiquity was included in the Latin alphabet for transcription of Greek words (where it sounded as Dz). In Latin script the same sign (S) took part of voiced and voiceless whistling spirant, as well as in many modern European languages. In Greek this letter originates from the Phoenician sign Zayin (with meaning of weapon, arrow, and similar to the Egyptian hieroglyph looking man).

In Interbet it is a traditional sign from the linguistic point of view. The sign Z with a cedilla one can be used for a dorsal voiced whistling fricative consonant (for example, in Polish).

Dz the sign in this sence is taken from Latin and Cyrillic scripts for the Caucasian languages, the origin of the symbol one can meet as in Gothic, so in old Cyrillic script, as a cursive and capital form of Z. In order not to mix this sign with figure 3, its necessary to fix always round inscription of figure 3 with the points on the edges, as distinct from the capital letter, that has upper horizontal line and serifs on the ends. Among the variants there is the overturned form of the sign, it is suggested if using the main sign in another meaning (for example, Zh).

 

 

 

The VARIANTS

for the main sign for letters

 

[the main variant of writing: the other rejected versions phonetic mark (linguistic area of phonem), with a cedilla and name adopted additional letter is given (with its phonem meaning) is given, after the sign + rejected additional letter (and its phonem meaning) is given]

 

table 1

 

 

The VARIANTS

(continuing)

table 2

 

 

During construction of the alphabet, a question appeared about the sequence of their letters. As previous description shows, in general the sequence is traditional. The changes are moderate enough in order to achieve more linguistic, aesthetic and graphic harmony of the whole alphabet. But all the system is not changed for the sake of more logical phonetic construction (as it is made in Devanagari). This decision is determined by the principle of Interbet: a harmony between innovations and tradition.

As it is known, the Latin script inherited the sequence of letters from the first world Phoenician alphabet through the Greek one. The mystery of the sign sequence is not considered to be entirely solved, and still remains to be designed by investigators (we are not considering here esotheric inputs in this area). Being one of the ancient discoveries of humanity, it obviously brings an inner harmony of anthropomorphic construction. For example, one can notice a regularity: i.e. a vowel a labial a velar which can be substituted to point consonant (as often as it occurs in languages) = -B-(G); E-(W)F-(Z)G; I-/-K; O-P-(S)Q; and even new in Latin script U-V-X, Y-/-Z. One can discern some harmony in this, so lets not disturb it, as a myth, the meaning of which is not completely clear.

* * *

The author had also elaborated manuscript forms of letters, which differ distinctively one from another. He used Latin and Cyrillic signs, and created a part of new ones.

 

THE MANUSCRIPT LETTERS OF THE INTERBET

 

* * *

For the block letters and their variants, suggested in this article, the author created computer scripts ttf, by means of the program FontLab.

 

THE CHOICE OF NAMES FOR THE LETTERS

 

As it was said above, we have a need to return the names to the letters. To apply for information, one can consult with a table, where in different columns names of letters in ancient and modern alphabets are given, and some versions of the new names concerned in seeking the proper variant.

As its seen, the choice of names in Interbet is mainly founded on the ancient phonetic Phoenician alphabet, and on some names, traditional for linguists. If we couldnt find the proper name, we created it according to the principle of analogy with a prototype, euphony and distinctivity from the other names. It could be given a reason for the choice of every name, but the table is eloquent enough for everyone, who is interested in such a question. Here the same principles are used, as for selection of the signs of letters: 1) history and linguistic tradition, 2) difference between the names for their clear distinction, 3) aesthetic harmony and psycholinguistic connection of the name with phonation and a shape of a sign; 4) overall convenient sound combination with the shape of the letter, and 5) as far as possible preservation of the common style between given names.

In the table the names, which became the base for the final choice of the name of the letter, is marked with a bold script (the final name is given in the first column, in English manner of transcription of the Roman script).

 

 

NAMES OF LETTERS INTERBET

AND THEIR CORRESPONDENCE WITH THEIR HISTORIC NAMES

 

Names of

letters

INTERBET

(letter-sign)

graphic prototype of letter form, its Phoenician & other Semitic names

Greek (clas-sic, ancient and modern) Latin names

Caucasian, Slavonic and some Eastern

Names

German. runes Ogham (celtic), Westfalian and Gothic names

flagwaving, Europaen and linguistic names

other versions, having

concidered for the

new names of letters

of Interbet

LFA

(A)

ph.Aleph/Alef

estranglo Alepha

arabic Alif

assyrian Alap

greek lpha

new greek Alfa

 

armenian Ajb

georgian An

slavic Az

 

rune As, Aza

Ar, Ansur, ogham. Ailm,

westfal. Alma

flag

lpha

(army Able)

(bard Akay)

Ayf, Ayva

 

 

AIN

(A2)

form from

phoenic. Alef,

arab. Alif, Ain

greek

(O mega)

 

(arm. Ajb, Vo, slavic On, Jer)

(rune A, Os

ogham. Ailm,

bard.Avel,Oiv)

 

 

 

Aun, Ave, Aul, Ael,

Auf, Alef, Olef, Aus, Omega, Alt,Aur, Aut

BETA

(B)

 

phoen. Beth/Bait

estrangelo Beta

assyrian Bit

 

greek Beta

 

 

 

armenian Ben

georgian Ban

slavic Buki (Vedi)

rune Biarkan,

Bar Beorc(na), Birith, Bria, ogham Beath Beth, west.Bina

flag Bravo

(army US,

UK Baker, Boy, bard Boybel)

Bota, Boda, Bent,

Bond, Buda, Bona,

Ben, Bon, Ban, Bad

BUKI

(B2)

(slavic) form from phoenician Beth

new greek Bheta=Vita

(slavic form from Buki)

(rune Beorc)

 

 

 

Bantu, Beyt, Bekut,

Boda, Budda, Bhuto

TSOL

(TS)

form from ph. Giml, phoen. Sadhe/Saw(i)

arabic Jim (=dzh)

afghan.Cim (=ts)

(old greek

Stigma)

 

armenian Ca, Co, georgian Can, Cil,

slavic Tsy

rune Sol, Calc, en(k)Chozma

ogham Calltuinn Coll, (Ccailen)

flag harlie

(UK army Cast)

Tsimi, Tsolli, Tsade,

Tsimel, Tsum, Tsim,

Tsoil, Tsoim, Tessa,

Tsoi (DtsTtsil)

DELTA

(D)

phoen.Daleth, arab. Dal, ethiop.Dent

estrangelo Dalta

greek Delta

 

armen. Da

georg. Don

slav. Dobro

rune Dag, Daez ogham Duir,Doir

westfal. Dotta

flag Delta

(bard

Daybayz)

Dont

 

DORN

(D2)

 

germ.rune from form of ph.Daleth, arab. Dal, ethiop.Dappa

new greek Dhelta

 

(georg. Don

form from Tar)

rune Thorn Thurs (th=dh) ogham (Doir)

icelandic

Edh (dh), Thorn (th)

Dalet, Dol, Dal, Don,

Durs, Dent, Doren,

Dorin, Dorne, Deil

EYT

(E2)

 

linguistic and slavic from form phoen.He
name from ph.H
th

greek Heta

 

armen.Eth(ae)

(georg. Hey)

slav. Jat, Jer

rune Eoh, Ear Aesc, Aihus

(Eges, Erda)

linguistic from jew. Shwa

Edo, Edda, Eden,Etva Eshva, Eza, Est, Eget, Eyva, Evel, Elef, Elvi

YEGE

(E)

 

 

phoenician He/Hai

(iranian from arab. Elif, Eyin)

estrangelo He-ta

greek

E psilon

(Heta = e)

 

armen.Yetsh

georg.n indian Ekar

slavic Jest

rune Egeis, Eyz, Ehwaz Eho, ogham - Eadha, Eubh

westf. Emera

flag Echo

(bard

Esu)

Yeve\i,Yeva,Eya,Yeda,

Egi\e\o,Eta,Epta,Elfi Elli,Eyni,Egil,Yeil,Yeti, Yezu, Epsi,Yela,Yeggi,

Yega, Yego\u,Yetli

FAU

(F)

 

west-greek form (& site) of ph. Waw,

coptic Fai, old greek form (double Giml)

old greek Wau, also Digamma

/new gr.Fi/

at this site (armen.Vew)

georgian Vin,

slavic Fert

rune Feoh,

Feu, Frey,

ogham Fearn,

(germ.Vau=f)

flag Foxtrot

(bard Foran)

sign Florin

Feil, Fil, Fin, Fini,

Fen, Feyn, Florin, Fimel, Fiv, Fide, Fal

GAMMA

(G)

 

phoen.Gimel/Gaml

estrangelo Gamal

arab. Jim (iran.name Gaf form arab.Kaf)

greek Gamma

(cyprian Komela?)

armen. Gim

georg. Gan

slav. Glagoli

runeGyfu,Giba Gewa, Gebo\r\

ogham.Go(a)rt

westf. Gess

flag Golf

(bard Gaz)

 

Gemma, Gayt, Gar,

Gim, Gart

 

GEIN

(G2)

 

 

gothic form form ph. Hth and cyrillic modificat.from phn. Giml, arab.Ghayin

new greek Ghamma

 

 

arm.Ghat(<LL) georg.Ghan (serb. form of Gjerv = dj/gj)

rune /Gefn,

Haegl, Ger
(h=g=gh)

 

 

 

 

 

Gain, Geba, Hagl,

Geym, Gum, Guin,

Gemmi, Gummel,

G (uvular): Gummel

HAGEL

(H)

 

phoenic. Hait/Heth

He, ethiopian Hoi,

coptic Hori

(greek

Heta)

latin.Ha

armen. Ho

georg. Hae, Hoe, Hse

rune Hagal,

Hagl, Haal

ogham. Huath

flag Hotel

germ. Asch

italian. Aca

Hay, Haks,Hade,Hat, Hayk,Hayn,Hail,Haus Hayt,Hash,Hesh

HETUM

(H2)

 

form from ph. Hth

(name of Het+mem)

ethp.Haut, estr. Xeta

(greek

Heta, Khi)

armen. Khe, geo.Qhar, Khan

/slav. Kholm?/

rune Helahe

/westfal.

H = Helled/

(bard

Hyuiria)

 

Hatel, Hadel, Haesh, Hatesh, Harm, Hash,

Haut, Helash

IDI

(I)

phoenic.Yodh/Yad

ethiopianYaman (=j)

greek Iota

 

armen. Ini

georgian In

slavic Izhe

rune Heiz, Isa Is(s), ogham.

Ih, Iubnar

flag India

(bard

Ianhim)

Ida, Izi, Idis, Idin,

Indi, Idit

DJOTA

(DZh)

 

form from Yodh

arab. Jim (dzhim)

(new greek

j = Ghota,

latin.J=Jota)

armen. Dzhe

georg.Dzhan

(serb. Djerv)

(rune Jer, Jera, Jara, Gar,

Gear (=g)

flag Juliet

portuguese

Jota (zhota)

Djou, Djout, Djut

Djoda

ZHEU

(Zh)

 

 

(gothic) form from phoen.Yodh

(aramaic Saw)

copt.Djandja, Shima

(new greek Zita)

(latin. Jota)

 

armen. Zhe

georg. Zhan

slav.Zhivete

(rune Gewa Gyfu =g,

Ziu)

 

czech,slovk.

Zet (zhet)

portuguese Jota (zhota)

Zhimi, Zhivi, Zhita, Zhift Zhanti, Zhef, Zhief, Zheif Zhefa, Zhiva, Zhel, Zheta

KAPPA

(K)

 

ph.Kapp/Kaph

estrangelo Kapha

arabic Kaf

assyrian Kap

greek Kappa

 

 

armenian Ken

georgian Kan

korean Kiok

slavic Kako

rune Kaun,

Gilh, Calc

westfal.Kana

flag Kilo

ital. Cappa

(bard Caoy)

Kauf, Kaun, Kan,

Kappi, Kirk

 

HHIVI

(X)

 

 

greek form,

created from phoen. Kaph/Kaf

ethiopian Xarm

greek Khi

new greek Khi, (lat. form Iks)

armen. Khe

georg. Khan,

(Har)

slavic Kher

rune Elhaz,

Eolx

/=form of rune Gyfu/

(flag

X-ray)

spanish

Jota (khota)

Khafet, Kafiks, Haffi,

Hift, Hhiv,Hivvi, Hayf, Khan, Hanni,Hifs,Hiks Hish, Hhina, Hhif

LIMA

(L)

 

phoenic.Lamedh

arabic Lam

ethiopian Lawi

estrangelo Lamda

greek Lambda

(Lamda)

 

armen. Lun

georg. Las

korean Liul

slavic Ludi

rune Lagu,

Logr, Lagus

ogham. Luis

westfal Lida

flag Lima

 

(bard Loz)

 

Lepta; tL - Tlam

L(velar) - Lamed,

Lj Liel, Limas

MEM

(M)

 

ph. Mem/Maim

arabic Mim,

ethiopian Mai

 

greek Mu/My

new greek Mi

armen. Men

georg. Man

korean Miom

slav. Myslite

rune Madhur Man, ogham. Muin, Min

westfal Miss

flag Mike

 

(bard

Monria)

Man,Men, Muni,

Mim Maya, Mey,

Meim, Meu, Meyn, Manu

NUN

(N)

 

 

ph. Nun/Nahs ?

estrang. Nuna ethiop. Naxash

greek Nu(n)/Ny

new-greek. Ni

armen. Nu

georg. Nar

korean Niun

slavic Nash

rune Nyd, Not, Naut, Noicz,

ogham. Nuin

westfal Non

Flag November

(bard

Neyagadon)

Nuin, Non, Nonna

Nou, Nuna, Noy

(Nj- Nuenj, Nunas)

NOING

(Ng)

 

modified form,

created form

phoenic. Nun

greek (Nu/Ny)

 

korean

ng = Heing

(n = Niun)

rune Ing, Enguz

ogham. Ngetal

(n=Nuin, Noin)

(bard

Ngaymar)

 

Eninng, Nuing, Nung Nangel, Nugel,

Ngumel, Nungel

OYNA

(O)

 

phoenic.Ayin,

egyptian Oyin

estrangelo Ayna

greek

O mikron

(O mega)

armen. (V)o

georg. On

slav. On, Ot

rune Odhal, Os ogham.On, Oir

westfal Ota

flag

Oscar

(bard Ose)

Onna, Omega, Oyn,

Oun, Omna, Ovna,

Omma, Omo, Owin

YONE

(Oe)

 

linguistic modifi-cation from ph. Ayin/Oyin

 

 

 

 

 

 

rune Erda, Ior

Ethel, Odil, Eoh ogham Oir

 

 

 

Yole, Yona, Yoni, Yota

Yonel, Yodel, Yonli

PIT

(P)

 

 

phoen. Pe /Beth/ assyrian Pi /Bit/

aram. Pum, estran. Pata, ethiop. Eps

greek Pi

 

 

armen. Pe

georg. Par

korean Piup

slavic Pokoi

rune Peorth,

Pertra, ogham Pethbhog

westfal Ponta

flag Papa

 

 

Petra, Pey, Pan, Peya, Pent, Pep, Papua

FUT

(P2)

 

greek form of ph. Teth (sideways), ethiop. Pait

greek Phi

new greek Fi (or Thita)

armen. Phur

georg. Phar

slav.Fert(Fita)

(gothic Whaer

ogham Phagos, westf. Faweta)

 

 

 

Fita, Feyt, Fide, Fini, Feya, Fiva, Faer, Futa, Fitum, Pefi, Pont, Pout

CHAD

(TSh)

 

 

ph. Sadhe/Sadai Sai, Saw, arabic. Sad, ethiop. Sat

egypt.(tsh) Shima

(at the site of old greek San, Sampi

etrusc. San)

armen. Che, Cha, georg. Chin, Char

slavic Cherv

(westfal. Calda, rune STan, ogham. Straif)

flag

harlie

(bard

cailen)

Char, Chade, Cherf, Chan (hh Champi, Chang,Chani,Chameh Chima, Chimi, Shanti)

SHIN

(Sh)

ph Shin/Shan? estrangelo Shina,

ethiopian Shaut

(old greek Sampi,

Sigma)

armen. Sha

georg. Shin

slavic Sha

 

 

 

 

 

Shien, Shain, Shein, Shah

HAKS

(?)

phoenic. Ayin,

arab. sign Hamza

(latin. Iks)

 

(georg. Hse)

 

(rune Asc =a Hagal = h)

(dane Stoed,

german knacklaut)

Ayza, Haysa,Hayk, Ayn, Hagel,Hamza

KOF

(Q)

 

ph.Qoph/Qawpp

hebraic Qof

estrangelo Qopha

 

old greek Qoppa,

latin. Qu

( Quadro)

georgian Qar

 

 

rune Chon,

Cweordh,

ogham Quert

westfal Quinon

flag

Quebec

 

Kuf, Kofa, Kvon,

Koppa, Koef, Koup,

Kopf, Kvin, Kovn

ROU

(R2)

 

mirror-like form of phoenic.Resh Rosh/Rash

greek Rho

 

 

armen. Ra

(form of

slavic Ja)

rune Yr, Aur

Erez (-R)

 

linguistic term

rota-tism

Rota, Rout, Retur,

Roil Roul, Reir,Reya Ezer Erou ErroYaro

RESS

(R)

 

phoen. Resh/Rash ethiopian Res

 

greek Rho

 

 

armen. Re

georg. Rae

slavic Rtsy

rune Rad, Reit ogham. Ruis

westfal Rorot

flag

Romeo

bard Ryben

Res(t), Rou(s), Roma Reiz,Resh,Runa,Rum

Rez, Reds,Reyd,Rayd

SIGMA

(S)

 

 

phoen.Shin/Shikm? Samekh,

arabic Sin,

assyrian Simat

greek Sigma

(+old greek

Stigma)

armen. Se

georg. San

korean Sios

slavic Slovo

rune Sigel,

Ssol, Sugil

ogh.Saille, Suil

westfal Sisso

flag Siera

 

(bard Salia)

Sim, Sedi

 

 

TAF

(T)

 

ph.Taw/ hebr.Tov

estrangelo Tava, /Arabic Taun/

 

greek Tau,

new-greek Taf

 

armen. Tun

georg. Tar

korean Tikut

slavic Tverdo

runeTir,Tyz,Tac Teiws, ogham Tinne, Teine

westfal.Tonta

flag Tango

(bard Teylmon)

Tag, Tat, Tayt, Tau

Tavi, Taft,Tur, Tir,Ter Tan, Tin, Tal, Tar, Tet

TEO

(T2)

 

form from phoen.

Taw+Teth;ethiopTait, estrang. Teta

/n-gr.Taf/ + greek Theta

(n-gr. Thita)

armenian Tho

georgian Than

(slavic Fita)

rune Thurs Thorn,Thyth

ogham Tharan

icelandic

Thorn

 

Torn, Tift, Teva,

Turs, Tida, Tadi, Tode, Tod, Tef, Ton

UNA

(U)

 

latin form of phoen.Waw

(name from Ayin)

greek Y(u)psilon

armen. Hun

georg. Un

hindi Ukta

slav.Uk, Onik

rune Ursache Ur, Uraz, Urus, Utal, ogh.Uhr

westfal. Jugon

flag Uniform

 

(bard Ura)

Uni, Uva, Upi, Uvi

Ukta

URMI

(U2)

 

 

linguist.sign from latin U(<ph.Waw)

+ cyrillic form

of the letter Yery

 

 

 

(armen. Hun)

slavic Yery

 

(rune Hyri,

Aur, Yr, Odil

ogham. Uhr,

westf. Y= Ir)

(flag Uniform)

 

Urri,Vuri,Udu,Urda

Idum,Yery,Urm,Uref Uru,Urdu,Uyro,Und, Uden,Unda,Urin,Urd

YULLA

(Ue)

 

 

(gothic and slavic)

kursiv form of Y

from phoen. Waw

 

(greek

Y psilon,

latin

I graecus)

(armen. Yev

georg. Vi)

slavic

Ik, Izhitsa

rune Ul (<yule) Yr, (westfal.

U=Jugon,Y=Ir) ogh. Uinllean

german

linguistic

term Umlaut

Yuvi(-n),Yumi,Yum(-a) Yul, Yuel, Yuvel, Yuta,

Yus(-i), Yumla,Yumel,

Yudu,Yuri,Yugri Yudel

YOT

(J)

 

greek form of phoenic.Waw;

name from Yodh

ethiop.Yaman

greek Iota,

Y psilon,

fren. I grec

latin Jota

armen. Yi

georg.Ye, In

slavic Izhei

rune Jera, Yr

(Jara, Iiz, Ior)

 

flag Yankee

german. Jot

italian I-linga

(bard Yda)

Yod, Yoti, Yodin,

Yus, Yuz, Yut

 

VITA

(V)

latin form of phoenic.Waw

 

new greek Vita

(<Bheta)

armen. Vew

georg. Vin

slavic Vedi

(rune Ur)

germ.Vau =(f)

flag Victor

(=transcrip. Vikta)

Veya, Vef, Viva, Vini, Vin

VAYT

(W)

 

europ.form from double Waw, name

from W+Yodh/Yad) ethiop. Wawe

old greek Wau (form of Omega)

new greek Vita <Bheta

armen. Vew

georg.Vi, Vin, (slavic

form Ot)

rune Wunjo Wen Wynn(e), Winja

(English name

Y - way)

flag Wiskie ital. Vu don-nia, europ.

duble Vu

Van, Vod, Vud,Vuda Vef, Vaf, Veyn, Ven Vini, Vay,Vau, Wota

ZET

(Z)

 

phoen.Zayin/Zayit?

estran.Zait, assyr.

Zein, arabic Zai

greek Dzeta new greek Zita

armen. Za

georg. Zen

slavic Zemla

rune Ziu

(Sig, Sigel)

flag Zulu

europ. Zet

(engl. Zed)

Zed, Zeta, Zayt, Zig Zayn, Zil

(Z=Ts -- Tsigel)

DZEDA

(DZ)

 

gothic and cyrillic form of phoen.Zayin (Sade) assyr.Zein

greek Dzeta

 

 

armen. Dza

georg. Dzil

slavic dZelo

(rune-gothic Ziu, Zin)

(amer.name Z= Izzard, engl. Zed)

Dzade, Dzain, Dzeu

Dzeva, Dzil, Dzena, Dzail, Dzeya, Dzay

 

The historical names, from which the final name of Interbet letters are produced, in the table are marked with a bold script. The most appropriate variants between the other versions are marked with underline.

 

The name of INTERBET comes from abbreviation International Alphabet.

Originally, in 1977, when the author began to deal with the problem of the international alphabet, he named his project Interbeto (from abbreviation in Esperanto Internacia Alfabet). It was first introduced in the article "The International Practical Alphabet INTERBETO" (V.Vetash. Leningrad, 1988 /25/). That was a manuscript version, and only a small circle of linguists were acquainted with it, though a famous phonetician L.R. Zinder was among them.

Since then, a new notion of Internet arose, and this name is being considered by them. On the one hand it is a favorable variant, but on the other hand there may arise some confusion. Thats why a new name for the alphabet appeared ALPHONET: as abbreviation from Alphabet Phonematic. But some vagueness in sound and meaning of the name keep this variant open for additional proposal.

 

 

ONE OF THE PREVIOUS PROJECTS OF INTERBETO1998 /25/

 

 

 

 

TRANSLITERATION OF THE RUSSIAN ALPHABET TO INTERBET

 

The new alphabet is created not only to transfer the existing alphabets to a universal script. It also provides a stimulus to the reform of the orthography of languages, which must not keep only a traditional principle as the most retrograde: as said L.R.Zinder in the Essay on the common theory of writing /12/. It had to transfere to the phonetic-phonematic principle.

The rules of the Russian language would simplify, if existing unstressed (reduced) vowels had their signs in contrast to stressed ones (as in XVIII century Tredyakovsky suggested). As in Interbet there is a sign A2, one can use it for unstressed A and O in every case, besides inflexions, where vowels must be written according to the rules, in order to make the meaning clear. An unstressed vowel after palatal consonants (I, E, YA) one can transcript by the sign of simple E, as distinct from stressed E with a cedilla. Soft stressed vowels, forming syllables, are suggested to transfer by Y with correspondent vowels (YA, YO, YU and YE-with a cedilla, and unstressed soft is transferred as simple Y). Stressed vowels after palatal consonants would be transferred as A = A with a cedilla (it would be used rarely, because an unstressed variant could be denoted by E), O = Oe (with Umlaut), U = Ue (with Umlaut), E = -with a cedilla. The sign of palatalization in Russian is transferred by the sign apostrophe, though it is quite possible from linguistic point of view to denote it by the sign Y (it is not efficient for Russian, but it is quite possible for the other languages).

The proper way to denote unvoiced consonants in Russian would be to keep writing of the voiced ones in such words, where morphologic prototype of the word with voiced consonant could easily be found. If a voiced consonant is written only traditionally and has a voiceless phonation, the letter for an unvoiced one must substitute it. The same could be done in the case of vocalization in Russian, as well in the other languages (to use a voiceless consonant, if one can easily find a root word with it). The difference of phonetic principle for vowels from morphologic ones for consonants is explained by the fact, that consonants constitute the structure of the word, promoting its recognition and cognation (semantic connections). The only exception for the new principle of transcription of unstressed vowels is to keep writing of the proper (personal) names: in the cases, where it is justified from linguistic and historical point of view (as an allusion to the origination of a name). The personal names, as distinct from other words, have a special semantic status and a cultural role, so tradition and initial meaning are much more important for them.

Including the signs for the unstressed vowels in Russian restores their former existence in writing (yerys), as the characteristic feature of the Slavic phonetics. Besides, writing of unstressed vowels represents the main difficulty from orthographic point of view. Rules for consonants are simpler; though they also had to be simplified, where its possible. Instead of the sign for Shsh and combinations SCh, ZCh and ZhCh it would be proper to use -ssh-, actually sounded in this position, with a soft vowel after it or apostrophe ' at the end of a syllable; and to use combination -zzh- with the next soft vowel for the voiced palatal sibilant, denoting now ZhZh-.

 

If considering the perspectives of writing development, according to the ideas of Gelb (described in his book A Study of Writing in the chapter The Future of Writing/1/), one can see, that the part of vowels would be reduced. There would be two kind of writing: full and brief (in which vowels, besides the first ones, would be missed). For Russian it would be proper to keep in the brief variant the stressed vowels, and in transitional period (of the assimilation of brief form of writing) at the site of the unstressed vowel to use a convenient mark, like as the point under the previous consonant or a point in the middle of the line, in position of a missed vowel. The usual point would indicate the abbreviation of a word as now. For brief writing special rules had to be elaborated: for example, besides those formerly described, that is keeping unstressed vowels in the little known words and in position of joining of disyllabic words, in conjunctions, prepositions and other short speech units.

 

 

Examples of a Russian phrase in Interbet

 

Here is the example of a Russian phrase, by which a graphic of Interbet is shown, as well as the principle of transition to it with the synchronous reforming of the orthography.

Full variant:

Brief variant:

 

Translation of the text in English: Vitaly Vetash, an artist and a linguist, is the author of the universal phonematic alphabet Interbet. He created it, having worked from 1977 to 1999.

 

 

An example of an English phrase in Interbet

 

 

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

 

There is one more question arising from the unification of letters. Being a complex systematization of script according to the universal and psychographic principles, Interbet appeals to develop the same relation to other signs beyond letters (like as an ampersite @), that in the future would probably be spread more and more. One can only welcome the augmentation of such (pasygraphic) signs, inheriting the achievement of the hieroglyph system on the new stage. But the appearance and affirmation of these signs must not rest on an anarchic input. They should be introduced in a very controlled systematic way, otherwise their chaotic insertion would discredit the idea, that symbols could partially substitute words and notions. For this purpose it would be useful to take into account the age-old experience of hieroglyph writing and its reforms (Chinese script), as well as the achievement of psychology in the research of influence of shape and color on the human psychic, and the searches of the 20th century (for example: pasygraphic system Isotype: "International System of Typographic Picture Education" etc./1, .231/).

 

The final variant of the project of Interbet doesnt mean that all question are solved once and for all. Some doubts in selection of some lowercase letters and the quantity of signs remain. But at this stage, results are satisfactory and ready for publication and discussion. Now, as at the end of the 19th century, when this question arose, the world is again opened for the perception of the universal ideas (if they dont infringe upon national interests and dignity that manifest itself in such questions, as language and writing).

Spreading of Interbet will make reading words and names of any language instantly accessible, even most exotic one, removing the first barrier of international communication, which confronts everybody, who studies foreign language or goes abroad.

 

 

V.Vetash, Russia S.-Petersburg 2001 (work upon this topic with breaks from 1977 to 1999)

Translation into English Semira 2005

E-mail of the author Semiravet@yandex.ru

 

The author continues working upon this topic:

see the NEW VARIANT of the INTERBET with the last corrections

 

LITERATURE:

 

/1/ Gelb I.J. "A Study of Writing" Chicago & London, 1963

/2/ Diringer D. "The Alphabet" London, 1949

/3/ Ionchev V. Script through Ages Sofia, 1975 in Bulgarian

/4/ Istrin V.A. The Development of Writing Moscow, 1961 in Russian

/5/ Pennick N. "Magical Alphabets" Russian translation Kiev, 1996

/6/ Foley J. "Guinness Encyclopedia of Signs & Symbols" Russian translation, Moscow 1997

/7/ Friedrich J. "Geschichte der Schrift" Heidelberg, 1966 Russian translation, Moscow 1979

/8/ Faulmann K. "Illustrierte Geschichte der Schrift" Wien, 1880

/9/ Volkov A.A. "Grammatology" Moscow, 1982 in Russian

/10/ Zhuravlev A.P. "Sound and Meaning" Moscow, 1981 in Russian

/11/ Zinder L.R. "General Phonetics" Leningrad, 1960 in Russian

/12/ Zinder L.R. "An Outline on the General Theory of Writing" Leningrad, 1987 in Russian

/13/ Nadelyaev V.I. "Methodical Indication for the International Phonetic Transcription" 1977 in Russian

/14/ Semira & Vitaly Vetash "Your Star Name". S.-Petersburg, 1992; 1998 in Russian

/15/ Serebrennikov B.A. "Probabilistic Grounds in Comparative Linguistics " in Russian ., 1974

/16/ Frieling H., Auer X. "Mensch-Farbe-Raum" Russian translation Moscow, 1973

/17/ Shcherba L.V. "Theory of Russian Writing" Leningrad, 1983 in Russian

/18/ "An Issue on Perfection of the Alphabets of Turkic Languages of the USSR" Academy of Science of the USSR, Moscow, 1972 in Russian

/19/ "The Experience of Perfection of Alphabets and Orthography of the Nations of the USSR." Academy of Science of the USSR, Moscow, 1982 in Russian

/20/ "The Patterns of the Eastern Scripts of the Academic Printing-house" Leningrad, 1928 in Russian

/21/ Gilyarevsky R., Grivin V. "Language Identification Guide" Moscow, 1973

/22/ Marr N.Y."An Issue on the Reform of Grammar and Writing" and "Abkhasian Analytic Alphabet" selected works vol.2 in Russian

/23/ Serdyuchenko G.P. "The Russian Transcription for Foreign Eastern Languages" Moscow, 1967 in Russian

/24/ Passy P. "Petite phone'tique compare'e" Leipzig-Berlin, 1912

/25/ VitalyVetash "An International Practical Alphabet Interbeto" Leningrad, 1988 (manuscript) in Russian

/26/ Yezersky "An International ABC" S.-Petersburg, 1915 in Russian

/27/ Yenko P. "Sound Alphabet" S.-Petersburg, 1905 in Russian

/28/ Korvin-Veletsky " An International Alphabet" Tbilisi, 1910 in Russian

/29/ Morokhovets L. "Main Sounds of Human Speech and the Universal Alphabet" Moscow, 1906 in Russian

/30/ Tsiolkovsky K.E. "ABC for All Mankind Kaluga, 1927 in Russian

/31/ Luthy C.T. "Universal Alphabet" USA, 1918

/32/ Schmidt P.G. "L'Anthropos Alphabet" Salzburg, 1907

/33/ "The Problems of Interlinguistics" Academy of Science of the USSR, Moscow , 1976 in Russian

/34/ Drezen E. "An Outline on the History of International Language" Moscow, 1922 in Russian

/35/ Svadost E. "How the Universal Language will arise?" Moscow, 1968 in Russian

/36/ Yakushin B.V. "Hypothesis about the Origin of Language" Moscow, 1984 in Russian

/37/ Sapir E. "The Function of an International Auxuliary Language" USA, 1958

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