Inventory[edit | edit source]
Consonants[edit | edit source]
Most of the consonants are intuitive to English speakers.
The letter j is pronounced like English Y, as it is in "fjord" and "hallelujah". This is also its value in languages like German (ja) and Swedish (hej då). The letter j was originally an i with a swash tail, and it is helpful to think of it as such in Toki Pona.
Vowels[edit | edit source]
According to Toki Pona: The Language of Good, the vowels are ideally more centered than their default values in the International Phonetic Alphabet. a is centralized to [ä], and e o are lowered to mid [e̞ o̞].
Allophones[edit | edit source]
- [v] becomes w, but its unvoiced equivalent [f] becomes p.
- Uvular and velar consonants are allophones of k.
- The rhotic consonants correspond to multiple Toki Pona phonemes. Tapped [ɾ] or trilled [r] becomes l. The English R sound, an often labialized approximant [ɹ⁽ʷ⁾], instead becomes w. As above, the French or German R becomes k.
- Dental fricatives can become t or s.
- Affricates are allophones of fricatives.
- Voiceless laterals become s.
Here is an attempt to chart this information:
|Trill, tap, or flap||l|
|Fricative or affricate||p · w||t~s||s|
|Lateral||—||s · l|
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