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Four-segment Alphabet    Four-segment Alphabet

Four-segment Alphabet was an IPA-based writing system invented by Julius Alfred Cordova of Iloilo City, Philippines. The best thing about this writing system is that it can fill all the areas of pulmonic consonant chart of the IPA, even the shaded areas with fewer diacritics, by simply combining two angles which indicate the articulation of a consonant. The upper angle indicates the manner of articulation and the lower angle indicates the place of articulation. For vowels the upper three segments indicate openness and the lower three segments indicate backness and roundness, and centralization. In addition, the numeral system is used to write and read fractions and decimals correctly and to avoid writing zeros.

Julius created this writing system to spell words phonetically and to identify the articulation of each letter. He also proposes that it could be used for other languages.

Notable features

Pulmonic Consonants

Pulmonic consonants

Pulmonic consonants

Co-articulated consonants

Affricates, implosives, vowels and numerals


  1. Voiced nasals, trills, flaps, approximants, lateral approximants and lateral flaps have their voiceless forms just flip them leftward.
  2. Glottal is the center piece of the four quadrants because it was aspirated in release.
  3. The velar lateral flap and rounded close front vowel have the same symbol. This is a coincidence like l (lowercase L) and 1 (one) are similar in shape.
  4. A challenge for Omniglot fans: shaded areas of consonant chart also have their own symbols but it is not necessary to put them in the chart. If you are curious what they look like, guess them.

Sample Text in English

Sample text in the Four Segment Alphabet

Transliteration in International Phonectic Alphabet

ɔl hjumən biɪŋs ər bɔrn fri ənd ikwəl ɪn dɪgnɪti ənd raɪts. ðeɪ ər ɛndaʊd wɪθ rizən ənd kɒnʃəns ənd ʃʊd ækt toʊrdz wʌn ənʌðər ɪn spɪrɪt əv brʌðərhʊd.

Transliteration in Roman Alphabet

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Numeral Examples

Samples of numerals in the Four Segment Alphabet

If you have questions about this alphabet you can contact Julius at

Other phonetic/universal scripts

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