ou/ow has the sound of 'o' + ú -- mound/cow
oi/oy has the sound of 'aw' + 'é' -- toil/ boy
Note: if the 'r' in 'purr' is viewed as a vowel sound the total
number of sounds covered in SRS4g is 38 but no special symbol is used.
The sound of 'r' will vary automatically according to the
At issue is the problem of whether letters should change their sound as
a result of their position in a word. For instance: should the
sound of 'a' vary depending on whether it is shown as an initial letter
(ago), a final letter (tuna) or an interior letter (cat)? In
SRS4g, in the interests of uniformity and simplicity, the letter 'u'
has been chosen as the indicator of the schwa sound. It is viewed
as a brief utterance of the same sound as in 'cup'. In this
regard the practice in M-W is being followed.
Vowel + 'r
The representation of the vowel + 'r' sound is straightforward in the
case of 'i' and 'e'.
er as in terus (terrace),
ir as in pir (pier)
But in the case of 'o' followed by 'r' the appearance (or)
is at odds with TS practice. To show the word 'car' as cor would
look very strange to a TS adept.
Similarly, though 'aw' followed by 'r' (awr) is a legitimate
representation of the sound usually shown as 'or' in TS, the appearance
and length of the combination is awkward.
Therefore in SRS4g:
the sound of 'a' followed by 'r' is defined as equal to 'o' +
'r'. This preserves the appearance of words like 'car', 'far',
the sound of 'o' followed by 'r' is defined as equal to 'aw' +
'r'. This preserves the appearance of words like 'or', 'for'.
ur as in turn
The use of 'ur' as in 'turn' presents a problem when words like
'around' are considered. The respelled version would be uround.
The initial sound is schwa. To prevent the initial 'ur' being
sounded out as 'ur' a
convention is specified which states that where an initial 'ur' is
followed by a vowel the 'u' is pronounced as a separate syllable.
Therefore uround, uríz,
but urjent. 'ur' is
always as in 'turn' in the interior of a word or as an ending.
It may be that in the interior of a word the sound of 'u' is required
preceding an 'r'. And where a word ends in the 'u' sound the use
of just the 'u' letter presents a disturbing appearance with respect to
TS practice. Therefore a convention is specified which states
that 'uh' = sound of 'u' at end of word or syllable: huhras, túnuh, ídéuh
The 'c' sound
The sound of the 'c' in 'cat' presents a problem where the 'c' sound is
required before 'i' or 'e'. It would be possible to use just the
letter 'k' for the sound and thus avoid the 'ce' and 'ci' combinations
which signal the 's' sound in TS. But this would mean a
considerably changed appearance with respect to TS. kat, kop,
kut. A convention is specified which states that 'c' will be used
before a, o, and u for the sound in 'cat'. In all other cases the
letter 'k' will be used for the sound.
The 'ng' sound
The use of the digraphs 'ng' and 'nk' for the sounds in 'sing' and
'pink' present a problem when the two letters of the digraphs need to
be sounded separately. Consider 'finger', 'anger',
'congress'. A convention is specified which states:
in multi-syllable words 'n' with the sound in 'sing' is always
marked with a tilde, and an unsounded 'g' is deleted, but not in
a 'ing' ending. For instance: añgur, fiñgur,
piñking. lawñing, hañing, siñing
The ou and oi digraphs
In the case of the ou/ow digraphs the 'ou' form will be used in the
interior of words and the 'ow' form will be used at the end of words
and before a vowel. round,
In the case of the oi/oy digraphs the 'oi' form will be used in the
interior of words and the 'oy' form will be used at the end of words
and before a vowel. boil,
The 'ah' and 'eh' sounds
Where it is desired to indicate the sounds of 'e' (as in pet) and 'o'
(as in pot) at the end of a syllable, an 'h' will be appended to the
letter. sahré, ah
hah!, heh heh
'sh' shown as separate sounds
In words like 'mishap' and 'disheartend' a dash will be placed between
the 's' and 'h': mis-hap
If it is desired, an accented (stressed) syllable may be preceded by an
Normally SRS4g does not directly indicate accenting.
grapheme to sound
There are four letters or letter combinations which represent more than
The letter 'a' normally indicates the sound in 'cat', but also
indicates the sound of 'o' when followed by 'r' (car). The letter 'o' normally
indicates the sound in 'pot' but also indicates the sound of 'aw' when
followed by 'r' (for).
The letter 'u' normally indicates the sound in pup, but also
indicates (approximately) the sound of 'û' when followed by 'r' (turn). 'th' represents both
the sound in 'thin' and the sound in 'then'.
There are five sounds which are represented by more than one letter or
letter combination, not in association with 'r':
The 'o' sound (pot) is
represented by both 'o' and 'ah'. The 'u' sound (pup) is represented by both 'u' and
'uh'. The 'ng' sound (sing)
is represented by ñ (añgur) or ng (sing) or n
(pink). The 'c' sound (cat)
is represented by both 'c' and 'k'. The 'e' sound (pet) is represented by both 'e' and
It will be assumed that in the reading of what appears to be an
unfamiliar word that 'citation' pronunciation will be attempted in the
effort to recognize the word.
Sight words: the I
There are three possible variations which I would view as acceptable in
the SRS4g system, but at present I am staying with the standard version
as produced by the FEWL dictionary conversion program.
1) terminal vowels letters e, i, o, u could be defined as equal
to é, í, ó, ú -- me, mi, go, tu
2) the û sound before a consonant other than 'r' could be
shown as 'eu' -- weud, sheud, peut
3) err and irr could be used in place of er and ir -- herr, firr
Samples of SRS4g
It wuz on the furst
dá uv the nú yir that the unounsmunt wuz
thré ubzurvutoréz, that the móshun uv the
planit Neptún, the outurmóst uv awl the planits that
whél ubout the Sun, had bécum veré ihratic. A
rétardáshun in its vulosuté had bin suspected
in Désembur. Then, a fánt, rémót spek uv
lít wuz discuvurd in the réjun uv the purturbd
planit. At furst this did not cawz
ené veré grát eksítmunt.
Síuntific pépul, howevur, found the intelujuns
rémarkubul énuf, évun béfor it
bécám nón that the
nú bodé wuz rapidlé gróing
larjur and brítur, and that its móshun wuz kwít
difurunt frum the ordurlé progres uv the planits.
The Late Arrival
Bob stróld up
the path. Hé wuz lát and wuz cunsiduring hiz
alubí. Hé lisund tú the uthur carz in
the strét, heding hóm. The dawg, with paw rázd,
gréted him at the dor. Molé cûd awlwáz
tel when hé urívd. Shé wuz a
fáthful kréchur, and the sensitivité uv that
nóz wuz not a mith. The hous wuz kwíet.
Hé lûkt doun at the vínul tíl. It
cûd stand sum polish but hé wûd rézist
the impuls tú cumplán.
Hé saw hiz fothur
in the gardun nir the fens but didun't bothur tú cawl
him. Hé wuz
tú mó the lawn. Hé cûd
sé the nábur'z cow in the medó and the
dens wûdz béond. It sémd a trivéul matur but
hé awlwáz lûkt tú sé if
ther wuz enéthing on the kichun tábul. Hiz wíf
mít rít a nót. Ther wuz a nú novul
ther, probublé hurz. It had a pikyúlyur
simbul on the cuvur. The títul sed sumthing ubout
núronz. Hé didun't nó whut that
wuz ubout but simplé didun't ker.
tú rémúv the lábul now frum the pakij
hé wuz keréing. Hé hópt
that Murtul wûd not huhras him ubout the cawst uv the
nú fur cót hé had bawt hur.
Hé had a ferlé gûd réplí.
At lést it wuz pád for. And the furst uv the yir
wuz awlmóst hir and the er wuz cóld.
Hé found the
pápur partlé ópun, óvur a cher. It had
ránd in the morning. The pápur awfun got wet.
Hé turnd the rádéó on but
didun't ker for the siñing.
Hé red ubout the
síklón which had awlmóst hit the sivik sentur. The
skí had lûkt thretuning.
Hé gáv a sí. Ther wûd hav bin the
devul tú pá if the storm had bin wurs. The nolij
mád him wins. Hé thawt, "Wé ar
só helples in the fás uv bad wethur."
Hé gáv sum thawt tú sólur
powur, but klung tú hiz yúzhúul rigur, which
ment discusing this with hiz wíf béfor máking a
désizhun. Shé ikspekted this
cunsiduráshun. Hé had bin thiñking ubout
imurjunsé powur and had an ídéuh. Sum mezhur
uv akshun mít bé prúdunt.