Transcription of Australian Aboriginal Languages - Modern Practical Orthography

Modern Practical Orthography

Linguists working with Australian languages today purposely use unambiguous phonemic orthographies based on detailed phonological analysis of the language in question. In orthographies of this kind each spoken word can only be written one way, and each written word can only be read one way.

Usually, but not always, practical orthographies use just the letters of the basic Roman alphabet. This necessitates the use of digraphs for sounds that do not have a standard character. In some cases this can lead to ambiguities, for example where the single sound /ŋ/ and the consonant cluster /nɡ/ could both be written as ng. These are commonly distinguished by writing the cluster n.g (inserting a full stop), n’g (inserting an apostrophe), or nk.

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