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Comparison of Existing Wa Orthographies

Based on Watkins, The Phonetics of Wa, Table 7-12, with revisions




Marking the register contrast in Wa Government orthography since 2001

Syllables which begin with an aspirated consonant, h-, or glottal stop (i.e., no orthographic initial consonant) do not have a breathy/clear (lax/tense) contrast. All these syllables are treated as clear and unmarked in the Chinese orthography (no macron) and marked with a colon or unvoiced final stop in the Revised Bible orthography. Also, note in the chart above that syllables with a final -h or glottal stop (-x) do have a breathy/clear (tense/lax) contrast which is marked in the Chinese orthography but not in the Revised Bible orthography.

For help with the sounds of IPA, try this International Phonetic Alphabet page, complete with sound clips. And here is a helpful discussion and charts of "The International Phonetic Alphabet in Unicode".

Arts and Humanities Research Council School of Oriental and African Studies

The Wa Dictionary Project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and hosted at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Please send suggestions, queries or comments to Justin Watkins or Richard Kunst.