The Mirad alphabet has both lower-case and upper-case letters. The alphabet has the same base letters as Latin or English, except that the letters Qq, Xx, and Yy are considered non-native and are used only in foreign names and borrowings. Also, the letters Hh and Ww are additional to Agapoff's original Unilingua alphabet and are unique in that they have no inherent semantic values; they are used for various grammatical-only purposes. A unique feature of Mirad is that every native letter is a semantically- or functionally-significant atom in the language and can be thought of as a brick in word-building. See Word-building
The order of the native alphabet is as follows:
a á à â b c d e é è ê f g h i í ì î j k l m n o ó ò ô p r s t u ú ù û v w z
The above lower-case letters can also be represented as upper-case letters. In Unicode representations and indexing, the uppercase graphemes precede the lowercase values. Uppercase letters are used much as in American English, that is, for the first letter in sentences, proper nouns, etc. See #Orthography for more details. As mentioned above, the Mirad graphemes Ww and Hh are additional to the letters in the original Unilingua and are used to form the passive voice of verbs and the correlative deictics, respectively. Foreign names and borrowings sometimes also incorporate Hh, Qq, Xx, and Yy.
The following letters are classified as consonants:
b c d f g h j k l m n p r s t v w z
*Note: The author of Unilingua did not include the letters Hh or Ww as native graphemes. They have been added in Mirad in order to encompass word structures not included by Agapoff, in addition to interjections and foreign names. See more on this under #Vowels.
Vowels, or more accurately, vowel nuclei consist of plain vowels and iotated vowels, that is, vowels that have a y-glide sound (iota) before, after, or around them. A synonym of iotated is palatalized.
The plain vowels are (only miniscules listed here):
a e i o u
The iotated vowel nuclei are:
á é í ó ú (pre-iotated)
à è ì ò ù (post-iotated)
â ê î ô û (circum-iotated)
Note: The author of Unilingua used non-Roman letters to represent some of the pre-iotated vowels (я = á, е = é, ø = ó, and ю = ú. The author employed a hacek (called ille in French) over the vowel to represent post-iotation (ă = à, ě = è, etc.). This revised Mirad textbook, however, uses the acute accent (as in French été) for the pre-iotated vowels, the grave accent (as in French père) for the post-iotated vowels, and the circumflex accent (as in French fête) for the circum-iotated vowels. It must be remembered, however, that á, ô, and other iotated vowels are considered single vowels or vowel nuclei in any analysis of the language, not dipthongs or tripthongs). In other words, the accents are merely graphemic devices to distinguish vowels qualitatively, and thereby semantically.
Capitalization in Mirad follows the same rules as in English. European learners need to be especially careful to capitalize the first letter of the names of languages, nationalities, and inhabitants, which in most European languages are left in lowercase.
Note the following examples. The words are all capitalized because the root word is the name of the country China:
A closed syllable is one that ends in a consonant or a y-glide (i.e., a post- or circum-yodified vowel). A syllable consists of [C]V[C], where V, the vowel nucleus, can begin or end with a y-glide, but contain only one of the set of vowels [aeiou], and where C consists of one or two homorganic consonants, i.e. [bcdfgjknpstvz]+[lrwy].
The rule for stress is: If a word ends in a closed syllable, then the last syllable receives the stress, otherwise, the penultimate (next-to-last) syllable receives the stress.
(Israeli town of) Haifa
to be extreme
Every vowel in Mirad is given its full syllabic pronunciation, even when juxtaposed in what English or European speakers might consider dipthongs: