Fijian/Keyboard

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Existing Resources

Since Fijian uses a subset of English letters, except the letter x, in both lower and upper cases, there is no separate keyboard for Fijian on Linux, MacOS, or Windows. In fact, Fijian has an additional character (U+2019), which does not have an upper case, and a digraph dr. To make typing Fijian easier, I adjusted the English keyboard to include the additional character (U+2019).


Justification

Fijian Keyboard

Since the English QWERTY keyboard does not contain the character (U+2019) used in Fijian script, I created a separate Fijian keyboard for MacOS with Ukelele, based on the US Extended keyboard.

under the option/alt key
All the letter keys are kept the same; the only changes are the two keys added for the character (U+2019) and the digraph dr through the option/alt key, as seen in the screen shot. The assignments are listed below:

option/alt key + ' key = (U+2019);

option/alt key + d key = dr.


IPA Keyboard for Fijian

IPA Keyboard.png

The IPA keyboard is designed only for tying Fijian phonemes in IPA. There are 20 consonants in Fijian, as listed in the table below. The letters in the table are Fijian orthography and the corresponding IPA symbols are in the square brackets.

Consonants Labial Interdental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m[m] n[n] g[ŋ]
Voiceless stop p[p] t[t] k[k] ’[ʔ]
Prenasalised stop b[ᵐb] d[ⁿd] q[ᵑɡ]
Trill r[r]
Prenasalised trill dr[ⁿr]
Voiced fricative v[β] c[ð]
Voiceless fricative f[f] s[s]
Affricate j[tʃ]
Approximant l[l] y[j] w[w](/[ɰ])

Since there is an one-to-one correspondence between most letters and phonemes, most letter keys in the Fijian IPA keyboard are reassigned the corresponding IPA symbol, with some exceptions:

  • h key = [ʔ]
  • z key = [ⁿr].

Besides consonants, there are 5 vowel letters: a[a], e[e], i[i], o[o], u[u], corresponding to the 5 short monophthongs.

under the shift key

In addition, since /t/ and /d/ are realised as [tʃ] (ti = [tʃi]) and [ⁿdʒ](di = [ⁿdʒi]) before /i/ (instead of [t] and [ⁿd]), and /j/ has realisations of both [tʃ] and [dʒ] (DIxon, 1988), I assigned these additional IPA symbols on the corresponding keys with the shift key pressed:

  • shift key + d key = ⁿdʒ
  • shift key + t key = tʃ
  • shift key + j key = dʒ.

With the shift key pressed, I also assigned i̯ and u̯ to i key and u key respectively, which are used in the seven diphthongs: ei̯, eu̯; oi̯, ou̯; ai̯, au̯; i̯u.:

  • shift key + i key = i̯
  • shift key + u key = u̯

(Note: For the Fijian letter w, the wikipedia page transcribes it as [ɰ], while the reference grammar book transcribes it as [w]. So, I included both in the keyboard:

  • w key = w
  • shift key + w key = ɰ)
under the shift key

Last, since every monophthong can be in a lengthened form as well, I added another AltGr key for the length mark:

  • option/alt key + ; key = ː



Install

1. Download the Fijian.dmg file and the Fijian.bundle file onto MacOS.

2. Open the disk image of Fijian.dmg file after downloading.

3. Drag the Fijian.bundle file to the folder "Drag here to install" in the Finder window.

4. It will ask for permission to install and then install.

5. Once the keyboard layout is installed, go to the Input Sources tab in Keyboard preference.

6. Click the + button in the lower left, which then brings up a list of available keyboards.

7. Start typing in Fijian in the search box in the lower left and the keyboard will appear on the right after a few keystrokes.

8. Click the Fijian keyboard on the right and then click Add.

9. Close the window and the Fijian keyboard will appear in the input menu on the upper right corner of the screen.

10. Repeat the same process for Fijian IPA keyboard.

License

I used MIT license, which permits commercial use, modification, distribution, and personal use. I created a file named LICENSE on the repository created for keyboard layout on github, and copied the text of the license given on the MIT license website [1] into that file.

References

https://github.swarthmore.edu/hwang11/ling073-fij-keyboard

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fijian_language

Dixon, R. M. W. 1988. A grammar of Boumaa Fijian. The University of Chicago Press.