Taman pronunciation is similar to that of the Indonesian language, which has been described by Echols and Shadily (1989: xiv—xvii), and with a few exceptions, it may be adequately transcribed using standard Indonesian orthography. These exceptions are the use in Taman of elongated /a/, /i/, /l/, and /o/ sounds, represented here by /aa/, /ii/, /ll/, and /oo/, and the glottal stop, represented by /'/. With these exceptions, I have transcribed Taman speech as I would Indonesian.
The major drawback of using conventional Indonesian transcription is that it does not account for the variety of pronunciations of /e/. Sometimes it is ε, as in bed. (This pronunciation is used in the word balien.) Other times it is ∂, like the first e in decide. Unlike the pronunciation of the word prefixes /me-/ and /meng-/ in the Indonesian language, the /e/ in these prefixes is intermediate between /∂/ and /a/. At the end of a word it is E, as in say.
Barring these irregularities, the rest of Taman orthography is straightforward.
/i/ high, front, unrounded, close; like ee as in feel but shorter
/a/ low, central, unrounded, open; like o in rock
/o/ mid, back, rounded, open; like o in fold
/u/ high, back, rounded, close; like oo in tool
/b/ voiced labial stop, like b in bar
/c/ alveopalatal fricative, like ch in charge
/d/ voiced alveolar stop, like d in David
/g/ voiced velar stop, like g in girl
/h/ voiceless glottal fricative, like h in how
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Publication information: Book title: Spirits Captured in Stone:Shamanism and Traditional Medicine among the Taman of Borneo. Contributors: Jay H. Bernstein - Author. Publisher: Lynne Rienner. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 1997. Page number: xiii.
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