Greg's Place Unifon page

James Torck, on the creation of the UNIFON font:
     Unifon was invented in 1959 by Chicago economist John Malone. It is a phonetic alphabet for English, with each of its forty characters representing a single phoneme (sound). The characters are derived mostly from the capital letters of the Roman alphabet.


     Only the shift key is used as a modifier. I have tried to follow a certain logic in the shift-key assignments.  Most of the vowel sounds and their shift-key variations should be fairly obvious; the others follow. I chose shift-Y for the sound in "Few." Although the sound is perhaps more related to the character "U", both U and shift-U were already in use, and the "Y" sound at the beginning of the sound ("Y" as in "You", or "Yard") seemed a good second choice. The Roman letters C, Q, and X are unused in Unifon, but there was no reason not to use these keys. I employed C and shift-C for two sounds which I think are similar: the vowels of "Earth" and "Look". Similarly, Q and shift-Q are used for the dipthongs in "Ouch" and "Oil". X was used for the vowel in "Ball", for no other reason than to avoid wasting a key.
     The consonants also require a bit of explanation. For example, the "hard c" sound is represented by K; the "ch" sound is shift-K. A similar pattern is followed by shift-S and shift-Z, which create "Sure", and "Measure".  I chose Shift-D and shift-T for  the voiced and unvoiced "th" sounds. [This allows an easy recall: D (voiced)= "Dis" is great; T (unvoiced)= I "Tink" so. -GTW]
                                                             - James Torck

Keymapping update
    Newer fonts include C, Q & X to provide "backwards compatibility" to the font. Those keys are still used by UNIFON characters, so:
"C" is found at shift-V
"Q" is found at shift-R
"X" is found at shift-X