Chechen/Keyboard

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Existing Resources

We did not find any widely used keyboard layout for Chechen language for any operating system, except several for Android phones. And many virtual online Chechen keyboards are available that allow people to type in Chechen on screen but not on a physical keyboard, like this one.
These keyboard layouts seem to have a standard format. Although the Chechen alphabet is almost exactly the same with the Russian one, except one extra letter, this standard format is completely different from the modern Russian one. Also taking into consideration that most population in Chechen-speaking regions also speak Russian and it would be convenient for people who are familiar with Russian keyboard (which already exist in all operating systems) to get used to the Chechen one, I think it is quite weird not to design based no the Russian variation.
Online Chechen keyboard layout
Modern standard Russian keyboard layout

Keyboard Layouts

IPA Chechen keyboard layout (based on US English keyboard layout):


◌̥


ɪ


ə


ʒ


ɥ


ʃ


ʁ


ʔ


æ


ʡ


ø


ʜ


◌ʰ

       

q


w


e


r


t


y


u


i


o


p


[


]

|
\

        

a


s


d


f


g


h


j


k


l


◌ː


◌ʼ

           

z


x


c


v


b


n


m


◌̞


◌ˤ


/

(Combining diacritical marks are in green)

Combinations of inputs that result in other inputs include the following:

  • r ◌̥ =
  • p ◌ʰ =
  • i ◌ː =
  • t ◌ʼ =
  • e ◌̞ =
  • w ◌ˤ =
  • t ◌ː ◌ˤ = tːˤ
  • o ◌̞ ◌ː = o̞ː


Cyrillic Chechen keyboard layout (based on the modern Russian keyboard layout):

Ё
ё

!
1

"
2


3

;
4

%
5

:
6

?
7

*
8

(
9

)
0

_
-

+
=

|
       
Й
й

Ц
ц

У
у

К
к

Е
е

Н
н

Ш
ш

Щ
щ

З
з

Х
х

Ъ
ъ

ӏ
I

\
        
Ф
ф

Ы
ы

В
в

А
а

П
п

Р
р

О
о

Л
л

Д
д

Ж
ж

Э
э

           
Я
я

Ч
ч

C
с

М
м

И
и

Т
т

Ь
ь

Б
б

Ю
ю

,
.

Justification

For the Chechen phonetic keyboard layout

When designing the IPA keyboard layout for Chechen language, we chose to modify the existed layout of US English keyboard because many IPA symbols are the same with English letters and therefore already exist on the US English keyboard. It is more convenient for users who are already familiar with the English keyboard to get used to this IPA one if we just add some changes to the previous to create the latter. Because people do not use punctuations and numbers in US English keyboard when they are typing in IPA, except “[”, “]” and “/”, we replace all the unnecessary punctuations and numbers with IPA symbols that do not exist in English alphabet, diacritics and prosodic notations. Also, we arrange the keys so that even SHIFT is rarely used in order to type Chechen in IPA. Since all the IPA symbols do not have upper case versions and the amount of IPA symbols that exist in Chechen sound system are relatively small, it is possible to make a keyboard layout that basically have one level only.

For [ɪ] and [ʜ]: Since they are actually a little different from the upper case forms “I” and “H” in English and we do have enough empty keys left in the layout, we arrange separate keys for them, instead of making them the second level of "i" and "h". Also, it is more convenient to type them when only need to press a single key.
For all the strange-looking IPA symbols that are not in English keyboard: We replace with them the ten numbers on the first row, according to their similarity between appearances. For instance, we replace <3> with <ʒ> and <4> with <ɥ>. In this way, it is easier for new users to remember locations of these new members.
For diacritics and prosodic notations: We try to keep all of them on the right-hand side of the keyboard. Some of them are arranged in a way also based on the similarity between themselves and punctuations they replace. For example, <;> is replaced by <◌ː>. The only diacritic that we put on the left side is <◌̥> because it only appears when being combined with [r] in Chechen sound system while others all have more than one combination. Due to this lack of frequency, we decide to put it on the upper left position.

For the Cyrillic Chechen keyboard layout

Different from all the virtual online keyboards for Chechen language I found online, we chose to just modify the Russian one by adding that one extra letter "l" (called Palochka in the Cyrillic script) to it. To start with, as mentioned before, the only difference between Cyrillic Chechen alphabet and Cyrillic Russian one is only one extra letter and therefore it would be convenient for people who are already familiar with Russian keyboard to use the Chechen one. Moreover, as shown on the Ethnologue page of Chechen language, most population speaking Chechen also speak Russian [1]. Because of the similarity I mentioned above, it is safe to assume that a lot of Chechen speakers probably use the Russian keyboard currently. Therefore, we expect that this keyboard would be more convenient for the language community to use especially.

Installation

Steps to install new keyboard layouts to the operating system

1. If on your own system, first install IBus and the m17n module:

sudo apt-get install ibus-m17n

2. Enable IBus as your default input method:

im-config -n ibus

3. Restart X11 (log out and log back in, or potentially just xfwm4 --replace && xfce4-panel -r &, and you should have a hard-to-see language switcher icon somewhere near the time on your panel. If you don't seen the icon, try adding the notification area to your panel. Right click on the edge of the panel, click "Add new items", and find "notification area".

4. Create a new directory ~/.m17n.d/

5. Make a copy of one of the keyboard layout file that you want to install (che-phonetic.mim or che-cyrillic.mim) and put it in ~/.m17n.d/

6. Restart IBus (right click on status bar icon, click "restart")

7. Right click on that icon mentioned in step3 and click preferences. Go to the "Input Method" tab and you can add various keyboard layouts. Note that you have to press the "..." button at the bottom to see all the categories supported and find the new keyboard layout that you just add.

8. Switch to the desired keyboard and start typing!

License

Ling073-sp19/lin073-che-keyboard is licensed under the GNU General Public License v3.0 [2]

References

</References>
  1. https://www.ethnologue.com/language/che
  2. https://www.gnu.org/licenses/.