Bakom can be written using several alphabets. What follows are details for writing in the Arabic script (Bakom: jiarap).
Pangsekji (alphabetical order)
There are 21 letters in the Bakom Arabic alphabet. The alphabetical order is different than that of most languages which use the Arabic alphabet, and follows more closely the order of Devanagari, used to write Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, and Sanskrit.
Following is the alphabetical order with letters in brackets ⟨⟩, an IPA pronunciation guide in slashes //, and the name of each letter written in Arabic and Roman.
⟨ا ااا⟩ /a/ خيا jia
⟨ئ ئئئ⟩ /e̞/ جیئ jie
⟨ی ییی⟩ /i, j/ جیی jii
⟨ؤ ؤؤ⟩ /o̞/ خيؤ jio
⟨و وﻮ⟩ /u, w/ خيو jiu
⟨ک ککک⟩ /k/ خيكا jika
⟨ت تتت⟩ /t/ خيتا jita
⟨پ پپپ⟩ /p/ خيپا jipa
⟨چ چچچ⟩ /tʃ/ خيچا jica
⟨گ گگگ⟩ /g/ خيگا jiga
⟨د⟩ /d/ خيدا jida
⟨ب ببب⟩ /b/ خيبا jiba
⟨ج ججج⟩ /dʒ/ خيجا jija
⟨ه ﻫﻬ⟩ /h/ خيها jiha
⟨س سسس⟩ /s/ خيسا jisa
⟨ف ففف⟩ /f/ خيفا jifa
⟨م ممم⟩ /m/ خيما jima
⟨ن ننن⟩ /n/ خينا jina
⟨ڠ⟩ /ŋ/ جیاڠ jiang
⟨ل للل⟩ /l/ خيلا jila
⟨ر⟩ /r/ خيرا jira
The letter ی is written without the two dots below when final or isolated, but with them when initial or medial, as in Persian.
The letter ه doesn’t occur at the end of a word, so the final form of the letter is not used. Likewise the letter ڠ doesn’t occur at the beginning of a word, so the initial form is not used.
It should be noted that the vowel-consonant sequence /uj/ is written ⟨ؤی⟩, because ⟨وی⟩ could represents /wi/.
Likewise, the sequence /iw/ is written ⟨ئو⟩, because ⟨یو⟩ represents /ju/.
Raba delmuy (compound words)
Bakom commonly uses compounds words, where multiple roots or compounding elements are combined to form new words, like English football from foot and ball.
There are a few rules for where to include spaces in compound words:
If the describing word is a stative verb, a space is written.
For instance ⟨سیم بؤ⟩ sim bo “contentment”, from ⟨سیم⟩ “heart” (a noun) and ⟨بؤ⟩ “good” (a stative verb).
Words like this are always written after a space.
For instance ⟨جی دؤمیؤ دا⟩ ji domyo da “capital letter”, where ⟨دؤمیؤ دا⟩ “large version” is written after a space because ⟨دا⟩ “large” is a stative verb.
If the compound could easily be replaced with a phrase using a stative verb such as ⟨ئ⟩ e “of/to/for” or ⟨تا⟩ ta “on” or ⟨سؤ⟩ so “as”, it is written with a space.
The compounding base ⟨ؤ⟩ o is never followed by a space.
Compounds with the prefixes ⟨نؤ⟩ no “un-, non-” or ⟨تئ⟩ te “more, -er” are treated as one compounding element for the purposes of spacing.
Lojipon (rules of punctuation)
The only obligatory punctuation marks are the period (Bakom: jipon hol “complete punctuation mark”) and the comma (Bakom: jipon so del “partial punctuation mark”).
The period ⟨.⟩ is used after every sentence. It is not used between letters in acronyms.
The comma ⟨،⟩ has two main uses.
One is before a subordinate clause with ⟨وا⟩ wa or ⟨وان⟩ wan. This does not mean that a pause is pronounced, but simply serves to increase readability.
(Because of formatting issues, in the following examples the period is appearing at the far right when it should be on the far left.)
می ا ؤن سی تا واک، وا گؤ می مئ وئ.
Mi a on si ta wak, wa go mi me we.
“I saw you when I was walking along the street.”
می ا با ئ سی پئ جؤ، می وان پؤ وا سا باساپان.
Mi a ba e si pe jo, mi wan po wa sa basapan.
“I told you that I don’t speak Spanish.”
The other use is between items in a list. A comma is placed after each item, akin to the Oxford Comma in English. (Note that no word translating English “and” is used.)
کؤمال ی پؤجؤنیو یؤ سیلدئ، رؤنهاو، رؤناو
komal i pojoniw yo silde, ronhaw, ronaw
“renewable resources such as sun, wind, and hydroelectric”
تؤ ین ا ی هاک کای، هام، کابؤت
To in a i hak kay, aw, ham, kabot.
“Every person has a right to food, water, shelter, and dignity.”
A comma can also be used in any other circumstance in order to mark an important division of the sentence, such as before a quotation or to interject a comment.
ؤگیجان می، وا ئ گیمئن بؤ ری دا، ا یاپ کیتاپ تا.
Ogijan mi, wa e gimen bo ri da, a yap kitap ta.
“My teacher, who is very helpful, is writing a book.”
The exclamation mark ⟨!⟩ (Bakom: jipon bepak, “command punctuation mark”) is optionally used to mark commands, which always have the particles ⟨یا⟩ ya or ⟨یان⟩ yan.
The question mark ⟨؟⟩ (Bakom: jipon bejan, “question punctuation mark”) is optionally used to mark yes-or-no questions, and questions with a question word like ⟨مؤ⟩ mo “what”.
There are also quotation marks ⟨“”⟩ (Bakom: ji mal baway “quote mark”) which are placed before and after a quotation. They are always placed within other punctuation marks.
A quote-within-a-quote uses the same quotation marks, which can result in two of the same mark, for instance ⟨””⟩, appearing side by side.