Written Wosite is a syllabic script of 48 basic characters plus some special forms to enhance meaning, such as for emphasis, numerals, or clarification. Each character is read as a syllable, consonant first and vowel second. There are only two sounds in each syllable, a single consonant and a single vowel. Of course, for pure vowels, there is no consonant sound at all.
There are five vowels in Wosite. The vowel sounds are A, I, U, E, O. They are pronounced as in Hawaiian or in Spanish. Vowels can stand alone or can be combined with a consonant to form a syllable. Each vowel represents a cosmic energy or a process of creation. Although their names seem to be “things” or “elements,” they are really “actions” or “movements.” Universe creates through movement.
There are five basic vowel glyphs, each shown here with its vowel sound, Wosite name, translation of name in quotation marks, and cosmic energy / creative process.
The translated names are given for mnemonic purposes, not as literal meanings; meanings are given succinctly in the last column.
Exercise: Pronounce the vowels out loud. Imagine the type of process each vowel represents.
There are ten glyphs indicating nine consonants plus no consonant sound (i.e., pure vowel sound). The null consonant is indicated by a dot. Consonant sounds are indicated by glyphs which are superimposed on vowel glyphs to be sounded as syllables. Consonants are always sounded before vowels. There would be five times ten = 50 characters but there are only 48 ordinary syllables in the Wosite syllabary since two are missing.
Exercise: Learn the consonants in the given order by sounding the syllables above.
The result of combining the vowels with the consonants produces syllables. In this special case, the written character for the sound a is composed of the utuho glyph and the dot. Thus,
Similarly, to form the syllable ka, superimpose the utoho glyph and the k glyph:
Following this procedure for all but two combinations of vowel and consonant glyphs, we obtain the chart of basic syllable characters below, to be read from right to left and top to bottom. The characters are very regular, following the above rules except for a few irregularities. This chart resembles a mathematical table, an array of five columns and ten rows. The columns represent cosmic creative energies and the rows symbolize transformative processes. Herein lies the cosmogony of the Wosite people.
Wosite Syllabary Chart
Reading down the first column, we have:
A KA HA NA MA TA RA SA YA WA
This sequence symbolizes creation of the world from Cosmos A to Earth WA. (Notice that WA is not written with a circle.) With this chart, you will be able to read Wosite literature except for special symbols (allographs such as the cosmic A).
The second column reads:
I KI HI NI MI TI RI SI YI
We note that current Nihongo pronounces chi for ti and shi for si. These sounds changed after the introduction of the Chinese language. Similarly, tsu for ti.
U KU HU NU MU TU RU SU YU WU
We notice that ru and wu have modified shapes. For the E column:
E KE HE NE ME TE RE SE YE
For the O column:
O KO HO NO MO RO SO YO WO
Frequently, wo is written with a dot in the center. This completes the entries in the syllabary.
Exercise: Write the Wosite syllables in the form of the syllabary chart. Compare your chart with Matsumoto’s.
The rule in Wosite is that consonant goes before vowel to form a syllable. This is very important because Wosite is a kototama language. This is a rule of kototama, the power of sound, the Spirit in speech.
Kototama refers to vowels as “mother sounds” and consonants as “father sounds.” A prominent myth of Isanagi (“father”) and Isanami (“mother”) reminds us that “father goes before mother.” As a kototama language, Wosite is powerful, as evidenced by tales in Hotsuma Tsutae.
Another rule of kototama is the avoidance of voiced consonants (called dakuon) which darken energy and make it more negative. Thus, even the name kototama is preferred over the modern version, kotodama. Dakuon rarely appears in Wosite literature except when necessary.