Sheli Toj   Sheli Toj

Sheli Toj, which means "Sheli Writing System", is the name of the script used to write the Sheli language, created by David J. Peterson in 2001. Sheli is a fairly complex tone language with an inverse animacy system.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: Sheli Toj is an alphabet, but is written in syllable blocks, much like Korean Hangeul.
  • Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines.
  • Though Sheli has six tones, there are no tone characters in Sheli Toj. Instead, tones are inferred by the shape of the word, and, in some cases, the type of consonant and vowel characters used.
  • Words are not separated by spaces. Certain coda consonant characters, however, close a word, and require the next word--or syllable--to begin with a raised dot.
  • Certain consonants change their pronunciation depending on whether they occur as an onset or a coda.

Sheli Toj alphabet

Sheli Toj vowels

Vowels appear directly below the onset consonant character (vowels above shown with initial consonant /p/).

The empty vowel carrier is used for vowel-initial syllables. The approximants /j/ and /w/ are not full consonants, and can appear in conjunction with other onset consonants.

Sheli Toj initial consonants

Sheli Toj final consonants

The aspirated consonants become voiceless fricatives in syllable- final position. The aspirated velar stop has disappeared in all but word-initial position in Sheli, and does not have a coda form.

Sheli Toj consonants

A cêwtò: is a stroke below a vowel which indicates that the coda is a nasal homorganic to the coda stop, which is not pronounced. Whenever a cêwtò is used, the vowel becomes lax.

Sheli Toj consonants

The codas /n/ and /s/ are older, historically, than the rest of the codas in Sheli. These special final forms are used in words where the coda /n/ and /s/ are old codas, and not old onsets.

Sheli Toj toness

Note that zap coda words occur only with high and mid tones.

Sheli Toj tones


Sheli Toj numerals

Sample Text

Sample text in Sheli Toj


Many years ago, the whole land had one language with a small number of words.


More information about Sheli Toj and the Sheli language

If you have questions about this alphabet, you can contact David J. Peterson at

Also by David J. Peterson

Chelyesta, Kavaka o Fuvupo

Other conscructed scripts