Xi’an alphabet

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The word Xi'an written in kyexiin in xiinthle'a.

The Xi’an alphabet ( kyexiin: kẽxÌN(Proper); SRX: kyexiin (Proper); literally script / alphabetic letter; ) is a writing system to write the Xi’an language.

The alphabet has over 200 "letters", symbols or glyphs. Each letter has more than one form (basic, block, corner). Kyexiin has also a hyphen, 'comma' (epentheses and pause), quotation and a period (full stop) mark. Proper nouns are also marked in the Xi’an script. There are a special glyph for vowel muting and a glyph equal to the ampersand (&).

Some glyphs can occur in different shapes or variants. Glyphs are grouped into blocks and form 'words'. The block format is always:

  • V, Vowel
  • VC, Vowel - Consonant
  • CV, Consonant - Vowel
  • CVC, Consonant - Vowel - Consonant

Therefore some words can be written differently. Xi’an tries to minimize the number of blocks.

It is important to note that pitch diacritics can fundamentally change the meaning of a word. It can be sometimes very tricky to distinguish these diacritics from each other.[1]

Components

Vowels

SRX Basic Block Corner Pronunciation
A a á à [ɑ] (About this sound listen) - long a - in father /fɑː.ðə*/
Ā A Á À [ɑː] (About this sound listen) - extended long a - in father /fɑː.ðə*/
 % [ʌ] (About this sound listen) in but /bʌt/, cut /kʌt/
O o ó ò [o] (About this sound listen)
Ō O Ó Ò [oː] (About this sound listen) - long o
E e é è Somewhere between [ɛ] (About this sound listen) in set /sɛt/, net /nɛt/, met /mɛt/ and [e]
Ē E É È Somewhere between [eɪ] or [ej] in day /deɪ/, say /seɪ/ and slay /sleɪ/ and [eː]
I i í ì [i] (About this sound listen) in spree /spɹiː/ only slightly shorter
II I Í Ì [iː] (About this sound listen) - long i - in spree /spɹiː/
U u ú ù [u] (About this sound listen) in Flu /fluː/, or when leading other vowels in the same syllable [w] (About this sound listen)
Ū U Ú Ù [uː] (About this sound listen)

Consonants

SRX Basic Block Corner Pronunciation
P p [p] (About this sound listen)
K k K [k] (About this sound listen)
T t [t] (About this sound listen)
S s [s] (About this sound listen)
H h [h] (About this sound listen)
M m M [m] (About this sound listen) in him /ˈhɪm/, alt: /əm/
N n N [n] (About this sound listen)
NG g G [ŋ] (About this sound listen) in Song /sɒŋ/ alt: /sɔŋ/, /sɑŋ/ and singing /ˈsɪŋɪŋ/
TH þ Þ [θ] (About this sound listen) or [ð] (About this sound listen) n with /wɪð/, thin /ˈθɪn/
L l R [l] (About this sound listen) in tell /tɛl/ or /tɛɫ/ , lit /ˈlɪt/ ; in dialect: [r] (About this sound listen)
R r R [ɾ] (About this sound listen) or [r] (About this sound listen) in ital. 'rosa' /ˈrɔ.za/
THL ð Ð [θ] (About this sound listen) + [l] (About this sound listen) = with love
X x [ʂ] (About this sound listen)
XY X [ʃ] (About this sound listen)
CH ç [ʈʂ] (About this sound listen)
CHY No discret glyph. CH in "Cheat"
KL ļ /kl/
KR ŗ /kɾ/ or /kr/
Y ĩ j [j] (About this sound listen) in PYU /pjuː/ , KYU /kjuː/, HYUN /hjuːn/, NYU /njuː/ or /nju/, mutant /ˈmjuːtənt/ or /ˈmjuʔn̩(t)/

Diphtongs

SRX Basic Block Corner Variant Pronunciation
AO w /ɑo/
ĀO W /ɑːo/
OA ő ȯ ŏ /oɑ/
ŌA Ő Ȯ Ŏ /oːɑ/
AI y ý å /ɑi/
ĀI Y Ý Å /ɑːi/
EA ě Ě Ĕ ĕ /ɛɑ/

U-Diphtongs

SRX Basic Block Corner Pronunciation
UA ä â /wɑ/
Ä Â /wɑː/
UO ö ô /wo/
Ö Ô /woː/
VU v q /vu/βu/ - Unclear whether this is the bilabial fricative or the labiodental fricative
UE ë ê /wɛ/
Ë Ê /wɛː/
UI ï î /wi/
UII Ï Î /wiː/
UAO ŵ /wɑo/
UĀO Ŵ /wɑːo/
UOA ø œ æ /woɑ/
UŌA Ø Œ Æ /woːɑ/
UAI ÿ ŷ /wɑi/
UĀI Ÿ Ŷ /wɑːi/
UEA ùĕ /wɛɑ/

Y-Diphtongs

SRX Basic Block Corner Pronunciation
YA ã ā /ja/
à Ā /ja:/
YO õ ō /jo/
Õ Ō /jo:/
YU ũ ū /ju/
Ũ Ū /ju:/
YE ē /yɛ/
Ē /yɛ:/
YI ĩ ī /ji/
YII Ĩ Ī /jiː/
YAO z ź ż /jɑo/
YĀO Z Ź Ż /jɑːo/
YOA c b d /joɑ/
YŌA C B D /joːɑ/
YAI ȳ /jɑi/
YĀI Ȳ /jɑːi/
YEA /jɛɑ/

Special glyphs

SRX Glyph Pronunciation
UTH &
E’E ė
0 (Vowel muting)

Numbers

SRX Basic Pronunciation SRX Basic Pronunciation
1 1 6 6
2 2 7 7
3 3 8 8
4 4 9 9
5 5 0 0

Puncuation and pitch

SRX Symbol Example Notes
. (as full stop) . Full stop
, Pause.
Epenthesis
@ Proper name
“ ” “á” Quotation
# á# Low pitch
 » á» High pitch
á’ Normal Fall
$ * $á* Normal Rise
# á’ k# Fall-to-low
$  » $á» Rise-to-high
$ ’ $á’ Rise-to-fall

See also

References