Aynukana    Aynukana

Aynukana is a method of writing the Ainu language with half-wide Katakana devised by E.F., who finds the system currently used to write Ainu with Katakana to be somewhat unappealing, unsatisfactory and even confusing with regard to morphological structures.

The idea is to use a selection of half-wide Katakana to write Ainu alphabetically. For example Katakana KO is just /k/ in any position, including syllable-final and preceding /o/.

The five vowels of Ainu are the Katakana A I U E O. For Ainu /p/ he has chosen the katakana FU for historical and etymological reasons: the island of Iturup in the Kuriles, for example, is Etuworop in Ainu and Etorofu in Japanese. For the other ten Ainu consonants and semi-vowels he has chosen the Katakana graphemes with the least number of strokes (more or less) but he admits that one could chose other ones as well, especially for /s/ and /ts/. The semi-vowels (glides) /w y/ also have their own letters and are not written with Katakana U and I, as in the present system.

For titles, the first letter of proper names and of sentences etc. a larger size of the same Katakana is used, thereby creating a (kind of) bicameral script.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: bicameral alphabet
  • Direction of writing: left to right, horizontal
  • Used to write: Aynu itak (Ainu)

Aynukana

Aynukana

Note

  • Letters following a hyphen are optional graphemes for voiced variants, in Aynukana marked with dakuten (゙).
  • High pitch is optionally marked with handakuten (゚) in Aynukana, and with an acute accent (´)in Latin and Cyrillic.
  • Long vowels (Sakhalin dialect only) and double consonants are written with double letters in all three systems.
  • Morpheme boundaries may be marked by a middle dot in Aynukana, and a hyphen in Roman and Cyrillic.
  • The glottal stop, occuring only word-initially before accented vowels, is not represented.
  • Syllable structure is (C)V(C), disregarding the glottal stop.

Sample texts (voiced allophones and high pitch are not indicated)

Aynukana
Sample text in Ainu in Aynukana

Roman
Sineantota petetok un sinotas kusu payeas awa, petetokta sine ponrupnekur nesko uray kar kusu uraykik neap kosanikkewkan punas-punas.
(Kamuy Yukar)

Cyrillic
Синэантота пэтэток ун синотас кусу пайэас аўа, пэтэтокта синэ понрупнэкур нэско урай кар кусу урайкик нэап косаниккэўкан пунас-пунас. (Камуй Йукар)