Mbuko Provisional Orthography

Date Created:
10 pages
The orthography of Mbuko is at an early stage of development. At the time of writing the symbols for each phoneme have been chosen and a set of spelling rules has been established. These resulted from tests carried out during July 1997 involving around 160 participants, organised by Sue Gravina and the Mbuko Translation Committee of the UEENC. Technical decisions were made by an ad hoc ‘small committee of experts’ covering various interest groups in the community. The members of the committee were: Robert Nelezek, the UEENC translator; Sali Muna Jean, President of the UEENC Translation committee; Amboh, Catechist of the Catholic church and primary school teacher; and Gizime, secretary of the Mbuko development association and member of the Seventh Day Adventist church. A full account of the testing procedures by Sue Gravina is forthcoming. The main issues in the design of the orthography for Mbuko are the following: • Whether to write the isolation form, mid-phrase form or the phonemic form of words. • Whether to write labialised velars and other consonants, and the /é/ phoneme phonemically or according to their surface forms. Other issues include the symbols to be used for each phoneme, rules for word breaks and the spelling rules for compound or reduplicated words. Tone is not marked, though diacritics are used to mark grammatical distinctions where tone is the only differentiator.
Publication Status:
Draft (posted 'as is' without peer review)
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