Speculative fiction writer, translator, and editor

A NEW ZODIAC BASED ON IPA SYMBOLS: because I am procrastinating on an essay

March 21–April 19

ejective velar stop

  • aggressively audible
  • often happens in english when people are speaking enthusiastically, especially in valley girls
  • so h*ckin pushy with ur airstream that you made a sound most anglophones don’t know exist

April 20–May 20


  • literally the sound that happens when you put the least effort into articulating a vowel
  • also what happens in english when a vowel isn’t stressed
  • curled up cozily in the vowel space
  • goes up to the drive-thru and says “can I get uhhhhhhh”

May 21–June 20

labial–velar approximant

  • is it a vowel? is it a consonant? is it labial? is it velar? We Just Don’t Know™
  • is perceived as an Intellectual when /ʍ/
  • is happy to be whatever the environment needs, including morphing into /v/ or /ʋ/ or even /ʔ/

June 21–July 22

high back rounded vowel

  • adaptable to many moods
  • can express delight (“ooh!”), schadenfreude, (“ooooooOOOOO”), sadness (“boohoo”), dismay (“oof”), and so much more
  • closest to a klaxon call when emotional

July 23–August 22

voiceless alveolar affricate

  • being the fricative with the highest-frequency formant wasn’t enough for you; u had to become an even louder affricate
  • couldn’t just be one sound, had to have two
  • goes around saying “uhn-tiss-uhn-tiss”

August 23–September 22

alveolar stop

  • somehow manages to show up everywhere
  • forgiving, but absolutely WILL change meaning if you move your tongue tip a millimeter and make it dental or dental–alveolar
  • excellent for research

September 23–October 22

velarized alveolar lateral approximant

  • tries to go for airflow from both sides of the tongue, but sometimes goes with only one side
  • somehow manages to balance being at the front AND back of the mouth
  • so harmonious it can become a vowel

October 23–November 21

voiced uvular fricative

  • perceived as difficult despite existing in several major languages
  • challenging for many people to master
  • but oh-so-rewarding when it is indeed tamed
  • shows off ability to articulate /ʁ/ as a sexy party trick

November 22–December 21

voiceless labiodental fricative

  • super chill
  • is cool with it if you turn it into a /p/ or /b/ or /v/ or /ʋ/ or /ɸ/ or /β/
  • willing to let others be louder than them
  • says the word “fuck” excessively

December 22–January 19

voiced alveolar lateral affricate

  • how tf are you actually four symbols crammed into one IPA symbol????
  • impossible edge case
  • complex but also fussy
  • is exactly the type to take mastering pronunciation of /d͡ɮ/ as a challenge

January 20–February 18

nasal-ingressive voiceless velar trill

Invented IPA symbol
  • not supported by the official IPA
  • ABSURDLY quirky
  • willing to debate you in total good faith over a completely made-up premise
  • waiting for someone to get the joke

February 19–March 20

closing diphthong (low to high)

  • not technically an IPA symbol
  • will not stop reminding you that it’s a diphthong
  • has emotions so big they have to shout about it (“¡ay!”, “aiyah!”, “ai-yai-yai”…)
  • can be codependent or symbiotic

thank you, thank you, if you enjoyed this thread, please find your local linguist and tell them you don’t judge them for making strange sounds while sitting alone with their brow furrowed. it means a lot.

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