WORLDKINGS - Worldkings News - Australia Records Institute (AURI) Rotokas alphabet: World’s shortest alphabet

20-07-2023

(WorldKings.org) Rotokas alphabet is the world’s shortest alphabet. The alphabet consists of twelve letters, representing eleven phonemes.

Rotokas is a North Bougainville language spoken by about 4,320 people on the island of Bougainville, an island located to the east of New Guinea, which is part of Papua New Guinea.

 

According to Allen and Hurd (1963), there are three identified dialects: Central Rotokas ("Rotokas Proper"), Aita Rotokas, and Pipipaia; with a further dialect spoken in Atsilima (Atsinima) village with an unclear status. Central Rotokas is most notable for its extremely small phonemic inventory and for having perhaps the smallest modern alphabet.

Rotokas alphabet is the world’s shortest alphabet. The alphabet consists of twelve letters, representing eleven phonemes. The letters are A E G I K O P R S T U V. T and S both represent the phoneme /t/, written with S before an I and in the name 'Rotokas', and with T elsewhere. The V is sometimes written B. Rotokas has a vowel-length distinction (that is, all vowels have a short and long counterpart) but otherwise lacks distinctive suprasegmental features such as contrastive tone or stress. There are no nasal tones in Rotokas. 

The numbers of native Rotokas speakers are in decline. A simpler alphabet has been proposed, using only A E I O U Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū P T K B D G, (16 letters) using macrons for long vowels and arguably simpler spelling rules. However, it has never been put into common use.

According to the Internet


Brian (Collect & Edit) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos : internet )

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