Quechua alphabet

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The Quechua alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet. It is used to write the Quechuan languages.

Current orthography[edit]

For native words[edit]

The number of letters employed in writing Quechua highly depends on the Quechua dialect. However, the following are the core letters generally used:

Uppercase A Ch H I K L Ll M N Ñ P Q S T U W Y
lowercase a ch h i k l ll m n ñ p q s t u w y
IPA æ ɑ h ɪ ɛ k l ʎ m n ɲ p q s t ʊ ɔ w j

In Ecuador and Bolivia, however, J(j) is used instead of H(h) because ⟨h⟩ and ⟨ʼ⟩ are used to express affricate and ejective sounds:

Uppercase Chh Ch' Kh K' Ph P' Qh Q' Sh Sh' Th T'
lowercase chh ch' kh k' ph p' qh q' sh sh' th t'
IPA tʃʰ tʃʼ ʃ ʂ

In writing some dialects, the [ɪ ɛ] and [ʊ ɔ] variations are distinguished by using the letters ⟨e⟩ and ⟨o⟩, respectively, resulting in the use of five vowel letters instead of three. In some dialects, vowel lengths are distinguished by doubling vowel letters to indicate that a vowel is long:

Uppercase Aa Ii Uu Ee Oo
lowercase aa ii uu ee oo
IPA æː ɑː ɪː ɛː ʊː ɔː ɛː ɔː

In yet other dialects, with additional sounds, additional letters are employed:

Uppercase Tr' Ts Z
lowercase tr' ts z
IPA ts z

For loanwords[edit]

Quechua employs additional letters to write loanwords, mainly originating from Spanish. In careful speech, the letters may represent a Spanish sound, but generally are substituted with a native sound.

Uppercase B D Ø[citation needed] E F Ph G I Kw O R Rr Tr U V W Y
lowercase b d Ø e f ph g i kw o r rr tr u v w y
IPA /b/ /d/ /d/ // [ɛ] [ɪ] /f/ /f/ /ɡ/ /i/ /ɪ/ /kw/ // [ɔ] [ʊ] /d/~/ɾ/ /r/ /tɾ/ /u/ /ʊ/ /b/~/w/ /b/ /ɡ/

For phonetic transcription[edit]

For phonetic transcription, four additional letters are used:

Uppercase Č Ĉ Š Ž
lowercase č ĉ š ž
IPA ʃ ʒ

See also[edit]

External links[edit]