|How it works:|
|Shaw Alphabet Description|
| The Shaw Alphabet consists of 55 letters and 8 vowel
markers. Each Shaw letter signifies only one sound, whereas almost every
Roman letter has multiple pronunciations depending on the letters around it.
For example, in the regular alphabet, a silent "e" changes the pronunciation
of earlier vowels, and an "h" following most letters will also change how
that letter is pronounced.
To use the Shaw Alphabet, you do need to learn all the letters. But as the letters are pronounced consistently, this is not that big a hurdle. In order to get you started quickly, we are going to just do direct phonetic transliteration. In other words, we are going to match up letters, where we can.
|Comparison of the Shaw Alphabet with the Roman Alphabet|
Following is a list of the 20 English consonants which match the same basic
sounds in the Shaw alphabet,
b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m,
n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, y and z.
See how these consonants sounds look as Shaw letters.
The consonant letters match up pretty well between the 2 alphabets, with the
exception of the missing Roman letter "x". It has to be replaced by 2 Shaw
letters. And as you can see above, in this list of Shaw consonant letters,
there is one duplication. Two English letters actually represent the same "k
" sound. So for example in the Shaw alphabet, the Roman letters "c" and "k
are both represented by a Kaf, And the Roman letter "x" would match up with two Shaw letters Kaf Samech, .
But the letter "q" is represented in the Shaw alphabet by the alternate " k " letter Koof,.
|Unusual Consonant Letters|
Like the Roman and Hebrew alphabets, the Shaw Alphabet has two alternate letters that represent the same sound, for special purposes. As well as the Koof,, there is the letter Tet,, which is an alternate letter for the "t" sound, because the sound is so commonly used. The alternate letter Tet is pronounced the same as Taf.
The letter Tet, looks like a double joined reversed letter Taf, , and is pronounced like Taf, .
When translating letter for letter a Shaw letter Koof, may be used to represent the Roman letter "q". When translating by sound, always use the Shaw letter See the Shaw Alphabet page for a complete list of all the Shaw Letters, including the two alternate letters, Koof and Tet .
Following is a list of 9 additional Shaw consonants for English consonant sounds that would each be represented by a pair of consonants in the Roman alphabet. Respectively, they are ts, sh, zh, ng, th, th ds, ch and ch letter pairs in the Roman alphabet. In the Shaw alphabet, these letters are called Tsadey, Sheen, Jon, Ingga, Thorn, Dhow, Dzend, Cheetch and Khet.
Note that the letter Khet,
represents the "ch" sound of "chutzpah", not of
|Shaw Vowel Letters and Vowel Markers|
The remaining 20 vowel letters and 8 vowel markers, which make up the remainder of the Shaw Alphabet, were introduced in a simpler form in the last revision of the Shaw Alphabet. Take a look at the Revisions page and the list of Shaw Letters and Vowel Markers in the Shaw Alphabet page. You can see that Vowels are paired with the larger Capital or Primary Vowel letter coming first, and the smaller Secondary Vowel Letter following immediately after.
The Primary Vowel with one exception is always used when a vowel is accentuated by a Glottal stop or begins a word. The Secondary non-capital vowel letter is used when a vowel starts a syllable without being accentuated with a Glottal Stop.
Shaw Vowel Markers are used to represent those same vowel sounds in all other circumstances. Vowels are discussed in more detail in the Revisions Page.
|Shaw Punctuation and other Symbols|
The period is not used as punctuation for the Shaw Alphabet, because it
looks like the Shaw Vowel Marker, Dot, already used for the common Schwa
The only punctuation needed for words written in the Shaw Alphabet is the Stop sign, which can represent any pause or speech break. The stop sign looks like a cross or a plus sign. It can be doubled or tripled. Generally the double stop sign "++" is used to show the end of a sentence. And the triple stop is used to show the end of a monologue or to indicate a change of speaker. The single stop is optionally used to show the end of a clause, where it is not the final clause at the end of the sentence.
All the remaining symbols are letters, vowel markers or numbers.
Please examine the Teaching Manual and the Shaw Alphabet page. If you need further information, there is also a page of frequently asked Questions with complete answers. You can post new questions there.