Hand-book of Volapük/4

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SOUNDS AND LETTERS[edit]

The Alphabet of Volapük consists of the following letters: a ä b c d e f g h i j k i m n o ö p r s t u ü v x y z.


These are the same as in English, omitting q and w and adding ä ö ü.

The following have their English sounds:

b, in book.

d, in dog.

f, in fame.

h, in hat.

k, in keep.

l, in low.

m, in me.

n, in no.

r, in ray.

t, in tea.

v, in vain.

x, in box.

g is sounded as in go, never as in George.

s is usually sounded as in sole ; but in such

combinations as bs, ds, gs, ls, it is softened to a z-sound as in rose ; just as happens in the English

words, tubs, eggs.

y is always a consonant, as in yet.

j is sounded like sh.

c is sounded like j in judge.

z is sounded like ts.

<A NAME="p002"></A>The vowels have one invariable sound each ; not as in English, where each vowel has several sounds and each sound has many representatives.

a as in papa, psalm, far, father.

ä as in care, fair.

e as in they, obey.

i as in machine, be.

o as in go.

ö as in word, sir.

u as in rude, rood.

ü has nothing like it in English. The lips being protruded as if to say u (oo), try to say i (ee).

Some English words spelt, as nearly as possible, in Volapük letters:

A public functionary, cöc. A fowl, gus. The act of selling, sel. Parts of the hand, pam, nels. Animals, jip, got, käz.

The accent is always on the last syllable, exclusiv, however, of a syllable joined to it with a hyphen. -li and -la are the only syllables so hyphenized. Ex.: getòm ; getòm-li ? getòm-la.

Two vowels coming together are sounded in separate syllables ; as laut (la-ut), geil (gay-eel), sied (see-aid).

In writing and printing Volapük a system of punctuation is employed which differs slightly from ours, as follows:

The quotation-marks are ,,--- instead of "---".

The exclamation-point is used after a simple address, as well as after an ejaculation. Where we write

Dear Sir,
Volapükists would write Dear Sir !

The use of capitals is the same as in English, except that nouns and adjectivs derived from proper nouns do not begin with capitals, nor do any pronouns. In our language we print

Frenchman, France, French."
in Volapük ,,flentel, Flent, flentik."

In this book, we print Volapük words and sentences in heavier type.
In learning to pronounce Volapük, the first difficulty is to avoid sounding the vowels a e i o u like their English names A E I O U.

Always think of them and speak of them by their Volapük names. Originally they had the same sounds in English.

The Volapük syllables pa pe pi po pu
are not to be read pay pea pie Po pew
but like the English syllables, pa pay pea Po poo (shampoo)

Read them over carefully seyeral times, then drop the p sound and repeat

a e i o u

The adding of another consonant at the end does not change the vowel sound ; therefore, pet is pronounced pate (not pet) ; pit is pronounced pete (not pit) ; pot rhymes with goat, not with got

put rhymes with boot, not with but, nor with foot.

When you meet with a new Volapük word do not "jump" at its pronunciation by guessing what the letters might spell in English, but consider each sound. If necessary to analyze it, do so in the following manner: begin at the last vowel ; sound it alone ; prefix a consonant ; affix another consonant, if any until the last syllable is sounded ; then build up another syllable in the same way ; sound the two together, accenting the last, then the next syllable, sounding all three, and so on.

Thus, to read the word Volapükatidel:

e,
A.
de,
day.
del,
dále.
i,
E.
ti,
tea.
tidel,
tea-dále.
a,
ah.
ka,
kah.
katidel,
kah-tea-dále.
ü,
---
pü,
pü.
pükatidel,
pükáh-teadále.
a,
ah.
la,
lah.
lapükatidel,
lah-pükáh-teadále.
o,
oh, owe.
vo,
vo.
Volapükatidel,
voláh-pükáh-teadále.