The creator of Esperanto, L. L. Zamenhof, illustrated Esperanto pronunciation by comparing its letters with their equivalents in several major European languages and declaring a principle of "one letter, one sound". Given that the comparison languages were not completely identical, he later advised that the pronunciation of Italian could be considered a model for Esperanto.
|Consonants||Vowels and diphthongs|
Within a word, stress is on the penultimate syllable, with each vowel defining a syllabic nucleus: familio [fa.mi.ˈli.o] "family". An exception is when the final -o of a singular nominative noun is elided, usually for poetic reasons, as this does not affect the placement of the stress: famili’ [fa.mi.ˈli].