Symbols and sounds

The following is Toaq's alphabet in the native order. Below each letter is the letter name, which originally only described the letter of the native script, but is also used to talk about the romanized graphemes.

Lower case ⟨ı⟩ is written without the dot above. This is to increase the visual contrast between an unaccented ⟨ı⟩ and one that carries a tone diacritic.

⟨Ch⟩, ⟨Nh⟩ and ⟨Sh⟩ are digraphs. The ⟨h⟩ signals palatization.

The glottal stop ⟨'⟩ is normally only written word-internally.

Words are generally lower case. The upper case letters are only used as the first letter of a sentence, and as the first letter of a proper name.

Tone diacritics

Vowels are either written unaccented or take one of 6 tone diacritics, according the following table:

Tone Diacritic
Rising glottal
Low glottal

Alternative tone marking

Due to the fact that all words are either verbs or particles, it is possible to infer the presence of a tone on a word even if the tone mark has been omitted. A toneless word carries the tone if it is a verb or a verbal particle, and the tone if it is a non-verbal particle. Thus, omission of the tone mark does not technically introduce any ambiguities. While an experienced reader will have little difficulty reading texts composed in the so-called sparse tone marking style, the explicit marking of the tone serves as a helpful reading aid for less experienced readers. Therefore, this practice is acceptable in informal writing but is discouraged in educational materials.

Native script

Toaq also features a non-Latin script, called Hoelaı (”sun glyphs”), which is still being developed. Its most recent version is described here.

The logo at the top of the frontpage is written in handwritten stylized cursive Hoelaı, and simply reads “Toaq”.

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