On Tuesday, January 22, 2002, at 07:28 , Elliott Belser wrote:

> Right then.  I do not know how to classify letter sounds, so help me
> with that...

Peter Ladefoged's *A Course in Phonetics* is what we used in school. I
found it to be accessible to the beginner and also one of those books that
grows with you as you learn more. A worthy purchase.

> ae (pronouced like the 'ay' in 'way')
> a (pronounced like the 'a' in 'father')
> e (like the 'e' in 'left')
> i (like the 'ee' in 'see')
> o (like the 'o' in 'know')
> u (like the 'oo' in 'food')
> y (like the 'i' in 'sigh'), sometimes spelled 'ay'

In terms of classification, you've got:

ae    /ej/    mid front unrounded to high front unrounded diphthong
a     /a/     low back unrounded
e     /e/     mid front unrounded
i     /i/     high front unrounded
o     /o/     mid back rounded
u     /u/     high back rounded
y     /aj/    low back unrounded to high front unrounded diphthong

The first column is your orthography, the second is International Phonetic
Alphabet (IPA) phonemic notation, and the third is a simplified list of
the articulatory features of each phone. You can probably figure out what
the terms mean by introspection, although people at the bus stop might
look at you strangely. ;)

> V       >       B
> K       >       Q  (Like the 'Ch' in Chanuka)
> D       >       T
> F       >       P
> G       >       NG  (Like the Ng in Ring, but is it's own letter.)
> H  (Must be used at the end of a word that would have a vowel end.)
> L
> M       >       N
> R       >       RH (Rolled R - the infamous 'kitty purr' as Terran
> linguists have it.)
> S       >       Z (Sometimes pronounced J)

You call the right-hand sides "gutteral", but there are several different
phonetic phenomena happening, which is phun. A Google search or the
Ladefoged book will help out--if you do indeed want to describe your
language using the linguistic lingo. I don't have time right now (almost
bed time!) to explain phonetic jargon, but I will tomorrow night if nobody
else does by then.