Good Enough for Folk Etymology—Part XII—A. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius SpecGram Vol CLXXXIX, No 2 Contents Extremely Amateur Mathematics Education Morphology: Renaming Mathematical Diseases—Egan J Chernoff

Inter-Lingual Personal Script

Daniel Swanson

Do you ever get annoyed that the IPA has holes in it? Do you ever wish it was a bit more featural? Do you ever get lonely while writing phonetic transcriptions?

So did I, and that’s why I’ve created The Inter-Lingual Personal Script (ILPS).



Stick figures facing left indicate voiceless consonants, while those facing right indicate voiced consonants. Direction of facing is either the side on which they hold their tool or the side toward which they are pointing both arms.

s, z, χ, v

Plosives wear top hats, trills wear halos, taps wear crowns, fricatives keep their heads uncovered, approximants have horns, and clicks wear pointy wizard hats.

p, ʙ, voiced uvular tap, ɣ, ɻ, ʘ

Nasal sounds have long beards, laterals are fat, ingressives wear boots, aspirates have ears, and ejectives have hair.

ŋ, l, 3, tʰ, tʼ

Bimanual sounds carry triangles, faciomanuals carry axes, bilabials carry swords, labiodentals carry clubs, interdentals carry torches, alveolars are unarmed, postalveolars carry balls, retroflex have canes, palatals have staffs, velars have megaphones, uvulars like balloons, pharyngeals deliver pizza, and glottals are archers.

bimanual click, faciomanual click, m, v, ð, s, ʒ, ʐ, ʝ, ɣ, ʁ, ʕ, h


Vowels are dead stick figures. Head to the left means unrounded and head to the right means rounded. Curled upwards means tense and flat means lax, if you believe in that sort of thing.

“tense” i and y for English speakers, plain i and y for sane people

Front vowels have been stabbed with a sword, back vowels have been shot with an arrow, and central vowels get both.

a, ɨ, ɯ

High vowels wear a top hat like plosives, near-high vowels wear halos like trills, high-mid vowels wear kalpaks, mid vowels wear crowns like taps, low-mid vowels wear janjins, near-low vowels wear pointy wizard hats like clicks, and low vowels go bareheaded like fricatives.

i, ɪ, e, ə, ɛ, æ, a

Other Things

Glides are written as upright vowels.

j, w

Syllabic consonants are written as prone consonants.

ɹ̩, n̩

Syllable boundaries can be written as brick walls. Primary stress is indicated by putting a double wall on either side of a syllable.


Tone is marked with birds overhead. The first bird defines the midpoint, and the other birds define the contour. A single bird may be used to indicate any hatatory components of the utterance.




The objectively superior phone is now clearly the nasalized palatal click, as can easily be seen:

voiced nasalized palatal click

There is also an online IPA-to-ILPS translator.

1 It is perfectly comprehensible to me, which should make it intuitive to everyone, but some people are weird.2

2 By “some people” I mean nearly everyone I have ever met.

3 If you aren’t familiar with double-dot wide o, see SpecGram CLXXI.1.

4 The component stick figures rebelled.

Good Enough for Folk EtymologyPart XIIA. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius
Extremely Amateur Mathematics Education Morphology: Renaming Mathematical DiseasesEgan J Chernoff
SpecGram Vol CLXXXIX, No 2 Contents