Section 1: Phonology
Anthologica Universe Atlas / Universes / Emily / Language of the Book / Section 1: Phonology


The pronunciation of the Language of the book should not be too difficult, though it does contain some sounds that may be unfamiliar to the English speaker. These sounds are presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet; please consult that link if you are unsure of their meaning.

The native script of the Language of the Book is highly intricate and can take a great deal of time to master. However, the lower-level incantations such as those presented at the end of this guide require only verbal recitation, not textual inscriptions; accordingly, the Language has been transcribed into the Latin alphabet for ease of use.


The Language of the Book has twenty consonants:
  • Stops: /p b t d k g/ <p b t d k g>
  • Fricatives: /ɸ β θ s z x ɣ/ <f v th s z kh gh>
  • Nasals: /m n ŋ/ <m n ng>
  • Liquids: /l r j w/ <l r j w>
The spelling <ng> only indicates /ŋ/. The combinations /ŋg/ and /ŋk/ are written <ngg> and <ngk>.


The Language of the Book has six vowels:
  • /a e i o u y/ <a e i o u y>
The vowels have "short" forms used when unstressed or when in closed syllables; these forms are [ɑ ɛ ɪ ɔ ʊ ʏ].

Vowels may also combine to form diphthongs. The three legal diphthongs are ai, au, and ou.


The stress is always on the penultimate syllable in a word.

Syllable structure

All syllables have a vowel or diphthong at their nucleus. They may begin and end with various consonants and clusters. The structure of a syllable is as follows:
  • (K)(C)V(L)(G), where K is a plosive or fricative; C is any consonant; L is a nasal, l, or r; and G is a stop, fricative, or nasal (nasals are not allowed in the G position, however, if L is also a nasal).
Consonants cannot geminate within a syllable. If both consonants in a KC cluster are stops and/or fricatives, they must match in voicing.