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II. General Rules of Spelling

In Adelic the spelling of word-stems hinges mostly on vowel-length. Each vowel has either a long or a short form, with the exception of the vowel æ which is always short, and the vowel ø which is always long.

1. Short Vowels

There are three simple rules concerning short vowels:

Rule # 1:    A short vowel is always written as a single letter.

i-, æ-

Rule # 2:    A short vowel is always followed by a double consonant, except when followed by a compound consonant.

ibb-, æch-

Rule # 3:    Words containing a single-syllable stem with a short vowel are always ended with an unstressed -e, unless followed by a fricative or a continuant (f,v,,,j,ch,s,z).

ibbe, ch

2. Long Vowels

There are just two rules concerning long vowels:

Rule # 1:    A long vowel is always written as a double letter unless followed by a compound consonant (with the exception of which is always long).


Rule # 2:    A long vowel is always marked with a dieresis when followed by a compound consonant, or when it ends the word (again, with the exception of which is always long).

vrd, dr

3. Irregular f and v

There are rules governing the irregular spelling of words ending with the sounds of f and v:

Rule # 1:    The letter v never ends a word. It is replaced by a single f when it comes at the end of a word. This replacement does not affect pronunciation, however.

always spell pleef, never pleev.

Rule # 2:    To avoid mispronunciation due to the above rule, sounded f is always doubled at the end of a word.

always spell lauff, never lauf

Rule # 3:    Because it is followed by a double letter, a long vowel preceding ff is always spelled with a dieresis.

always spell lïff, never liiff

Rule # 4:    Because of rules 2 & 3, when v is replaced by f at the end of a word, it can not be doubled after a short vowel.

always spell vif, never vivv or viff.

4. Unstressed -e and other irregulars

Normally, if a vowel is left open at the end of a word, it is long. There are three notable exceptions, the most common one the unstressed -e ending.

Unstressed -e: Adelic is made up of mostly small, one- or two-syllable word stems. One-syllable stems with short vowels are usually made longer to pronounce by adding an unstressed -e to the end, which is pronounced like the schwä sound. But if the shortened stem ends with a continuant there is no need for this, since the continuant itself is drawn out in pronunciation.

always spell sekke, never sekk
always spell ræff, never ræffe

Inflected -i and -u endings: There are some words in Adelic, that due to their derivation from Old Adelic and High Dythonic, end with unstressed -i and -u endings that are also pronounced like schwä after short syllables, but are usually silent after long. The letters i and u are replaced by the letters y and w respectively in the inflected forms of these words.

maddi becomes inflected maddyer in the plural
indirect object ænne mæddu becomes inflected mæddwen in the direct object

Unstressed small words: There are a few small words that have open vowels at the end, but are unstressed in pronunciation. They are usually said as the schwä sound.

always spell de, se, ðo, never dë, së, ðö.

Unstressed endings: Adelic is replete with inflective endings that are pronounced as unstressed syllables. Therefore, they are spelled with short vowels, but do not require double consonants after.

always spell -en, -er, -es, -et, etc.

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