Latin writing system

From The Toaq Wiki

Toaq is most commonly written using a modified Latin writing system, with diacritics on the vowels to mark tone.


The alphabet, in native order, is:

m b p f n d t z c s r l nh j ch sh q g k ' h a u ı o e
/m/ /b/ /pʰ/ /f/ /n/ /d/ /tʰ/ /d͡z/ /t͡sʰ/ /s/ /ɾ/ /l/ /ɲ/ /d͡ʑ/ /t͡ɕʰ/ /ɕ/ /w~j/ /ŋ/ /ɡ/ /kʰ/ /ʔ/ /h/ /a/ /u/ /i/ /o/ /ɛ/

Not all fonts and keyboards have the letter . The refgram suggests using v as a replacement. People also commonly use w or vy or y.

In semi-native order, the consonants are ordered in the Latin/Unicode way (b, c, ch, d…) while the vowels are still at the end, in a, u, ı, o, e order.

In non-native or Latin order, the whole alphabet is ordered like the Latin alphabet: a, b, c, ch, d…

The vowel ı is written without its dot to avoid confusion with the tone diacritics listed below.


Tone marking

The following diacritics are placed on the first vowel (a, u, ı, o, e) of a word to mark non-default tone on the whole word:

Nr. Mark On "a" Diacritic Unicode Tone name
1 falling tone a falling tone
2 rising tone á acute accent U+0301 rising tone
3 glottal tone ä diaeresis U+0308 falling-glottal tone
4 hiatus tone â circumflex U+0302 rising-falling tone

Prefix marking

In addition, the underdot (, U+0323) is used to mark the presence of a prefix, more specifically the last in a run of prefixes if any are present. It may be replaced by the ASCII hyphen (-) in case the underdot isn’t available on your keyboard. While the underdot falls on the first vowel of the prefix raku (so where a tone mark would’ve gone), the hyphen should be placed between the last prefix and the word’s stem. For example, kı- + ne- + shı may be written as kınẹshı or kıne-shı; hao- + chuq = hạochuq or hao-chuq.

Tone–underdot combos

The new Delta orthography poses a slight challenge for fonts trying to render it as there isn’t a uniform set of precomposed tone+underdot characters to choose from and one has to rely on using a combining diacritic. Specifically, ı̣ (ı underdot) comes out janky in some fonts because the ı glyph may be missing an anchoring mark. In fact, out of the 20 possible vowel+diacritic combinations, only 7 have precompositions:

falling tone rising tone glottal tone hiatus tone
a ạ́ ạ̈
u ụ́ ụ̈ ụ̂
ı ı̣ ị́ ị̈ ị̂
o ọ́ ọ̈
e ẹ́ ẹ̈

The grapheme clusters in the cells in bold red consist of a precomposed vowel+underdot glyph and a combining tone diacritic. Each cell was normalized with Unicode normalization form C.

It appears that the most consistent as well as font- and input-friendly approach is to precompose the vowel with the tone mark and then add a combining underdot (U+0323):

falling tone rising tone glottal tone hiatus tone
a ạ́ ạ̈ ậ
u ụ́ ụ̈ ụ̂
ı ı̣ ị́ ị̈ ị̂
o ọ́ ọ̈ ộ
e ẹ́ ẹ̈ ệ
MediaWiki note: The wiki software has been normalizing all page content since time immemorial, meaning that the above table has had to use HTML entities to get the desired effect (e.g., ị́ for ị́. Template:T will do this for you.

See also