Why the combined character /Jh/ instead of only /J/?
Fri, 16/05/2008 – 13:28 — Admin
It is useful to understand the characteristic structure of different Kurdish dialects, such as Dimilí (Zazakí) Kurdish. At the current stage they use mostly North Kurdish Latin based alphabet, which is functioning quite well locally on dialectal bases, but when it comes to wider perspective many typographical misspelling might occur, like Cin = Women, Jin in north Kurdish and Jhin in Unified Kurdish. The concept will provide a better spelling system cross dialects and rule out typographic mistakes. This will make it easier for one to fully pronounce the combined letter /jh/ as one cluster as [ʒ], and one write the same word but pronounce it as a single single cluster [ʤ], (further examples are listed here J > Jh)
Furthermore, the character /J/ is used for the sound /J/ as in Jajig, Jújik, Lenje, Merj, it phonologically makes sense to combine the characters /J/ and /h/ to create /Jh/ as in Jhan, Jhin, Jhi, Perjh, Tújh etc. It more easily allows the study and description of word formation (such as inflection, derivation, and compounding) in language in the morphological sense. Phonetically these phonemes are very close which makes the combination more natural to the listener. The phonetic sound based on International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) for phoneme /j/ is [ʤ] and the phoneme /jh/ is [ʒ]. This practically and logically puts the sound and the shape of the letter in more acceptable position. In some dialects of the Kurdish language, the character /J/ mixes with /Jh/. This means that only the writing system will clearly show the true position of such a word in a sentence.
This might cause a state of inconsistency in extremely rare condition such as the word “Rojhellat” (East) equivalent to “Xorhellat”. One should realise that the phoneme /jh/ is representing one cluster on phonological bases. This means the reader will pronounce tow phonemes namely /jh/+/h/ as [ʒ]+[h] rather than three phonemes. On morphological bases every orthographic system for any language will have exception of this kind. We should not aim to create a mathematically prefect coding for our language. This extreme case of orthographic representation might occur in less than 0.0001% of total cases. A simple and adjustable rule can explain the exception of spelling and pronouncing of this word. The word is a combined word of Rojh (Sun, Day) + the root Hellhatin (rise). A simple and common grammar rule will be able to explain the rare cases as:
§ If a word with final position letter /jh/ combines with a word containing initial position /h/ the rule will imply on using one /h/ in combination state but pronouncing it jh+h. Therefore the combined initial /h/ will be omitted in combination state but not in pronunciation of new combined word.
KAL proposal not only has considered a Kurdish cross dialectal flexibility but also the character of Kurdish language and not one particular dialect. Yekgirtú tread Kurdish as a Language. Words has to make sense when it is written for all speaker of Kurdish.
In the other hand there are same arguments in the case of /sh/ and more over there is no practical inconvenient writing /sh, ش/ instead of the Czecho-Slovakian /š/ (whatever, its well-known scientific convenience in connection the other special signs), or the Turkish /Ş/ (borrowed obviously from Rumanian).
Please note that this unique adaption signifies the character of Kurdish language alphabet system only, and the results shall be treated as a norm for Kurdish, and not other languages in which /jh/, /ll/, /rr/, and /sh/ might denote a different sound altogether.