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I needed a naming language for this year's NaNoWriMo. So far I have a
phonology and orthography sketched out, which I'd appreciate feedback
on. This conlang has no name yet. It's *inspired* by Irish and Turkish
features, but it's actually a priori and I'm picking and choosing as
strikes my fancy. :)

You can see some randomly generated words that (mostly) fit the
phonology & orthography described below by visiting
http://www.arthaey.com/conlang/conlang2010/lexicon/ , and I've listed
a couple words without meaning here to show you the flavor:

erçëalé /Et`s`je'le/
çelhísie /tSE'Zisi/
koecölú /kotswV'lu/
àçoecarşú /'AtSotsA"s`u/ *1
èrçaená /'Et`s`a"na/
şótonasò /'SotVnA"sV/

*1: Those secondary stress syllables may actually be equally stressed,
not sure yet.


CONSONANTS

m/ m    /n/ n                        /N/ nh
/p/ p
/f/ f    /t/ t             /t`/ rt    /k/ k
         /s/ s    /S/ ş    /s`/ rş    /x/ h
         /r\/ r                       /j/ y*2
         /l/ l                        /L/ lh*2

         /ts/ c   /tS/ ç   /t`s`/ rc

*2 A merger is progress with /j/ and /L/, which are both moving toward
[Z] (like Argentinian Spanish). Yes, that's [Z] spelled <lh>. :)


VOWELS

CXS Front      CXS Back
/i/ í, ie      /u/ ú, ue
/I/ ì, i       /M/ ù, u *3
/e/ é, ea      /o/ ó, oe
/E/ è, e       /V/ ò, o
/a/ á, ae *4   /A/ à, a

*3 /u/ and /M/ have merged into [u]

*4 I personally seem incapable of pronouncing [a], so I realized /a/ as [&].


The language has vowel harmony, where suffixes trigger vowel changes
in the stem. The set of front vowels /i I e E a/ map to back vowels /u
M o V A/. When a front vowel (say, unstressed /i/ <ie>) becomes a back
vowel through harmony, it is written as the harmonized vowel + a
diaersis, macron, or breve (depending on what diacritics the original
vowel carried). For example:

í => ū
ie => üe
ì => ŭ
i => ü

A fronted vowel is pronounced with a [j] before it; a backed vowel is
pronounced with a [w] before it. This means that you can tell from
both the pronunciation and the spelling when a vowel has been
harmonized. For example:

mel /mEl/ + -in /In/ => melin /mElIn/
mel /mEl/ + -an /An/ => mölan /mwolAn/

mol /mVl/ + -in /In/ => mëlin /mjElIn/
mol /mVl/ + -an /An/ => molan /molAn/

Stressed vowels are written with a grave or acute accent. Unstressed
vowels are written as plain letters or as digraphs.

Retroflex consonants are written with an rC digraph (eg, /t`/ <rt>).
For a /r\/ + retroflex consonant cluster, two <r>s are written (eg,
/rt`/ <rrt>).

I think I want to make some consonant mutations based on morphology or
syntax, but I haven't worked that out yet. For a naming language, most
words are in isolation. :)


--
AA