Gurene uses the following alphabet of 25 letters:

A,a  B,b  D,d  E,e  Ɛ,ɛ  F,f  G,g  H,h  i,I  K,k  L,l  M,m  N,n  Ŋ,ŋ, O,o  Ɔ,ɔ,  P,p  R,r  S,s  T,t  U,u  V,v  W,w  Y,y  Z,z.

The vowel letters U, u and I, i are used to represent two sounds each. U, u represents [u] and [ʋ], and I, i represents [i] and [ɩ]. E, e and O, o also occasionally represent [ɩ] and [ʋ] respectively, in order to avoid homographs that might cause problems in reading, but they usually represent [e] and [o].

The apostrophe (‘) is used between vowels and sometimes at the ends of words when it is considered necessary to indicate the glottal stop [?] orthographically. A hyphen is occasionally used, to distinguish the nasalized palatal [ɲ], spelled "ny", from a nasal-palatal series of two consonants (for example in the name "N-yaaba").

The Nankani dialect (unlike Gurenɛ ) has the sounds [tj] and [dʒ]. These are represented orthographically by "ky" and "gy" respectively. These sounds also occur in other dialects in a few words of foreign origin.

The sound [š] occurs occasionally in borrowed words, and is spelled "sh", as in English.


Use of the MDF largely determined the format of the entries. Each entry contains the following information, in the following order.