Tēlvo

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Introduction

Tēlvo languages use a consonantal root system for vocabulary and word building. Throughout this document, these are referred to by the letters A, B, C, D, and E for the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth letters in these roots.

Phonology

Tēlvo

Vowels

Tēlvo has four primary vowel sounds—each with long and short variants—and one exclusively short vowel, for a total of nine vowels:

  • a [ɑ], ā [ɑː]
  • o [ɔ], ō [ɔː]
  • e [ɛ], ē [ɛː]
  • i [i], ī [iː]
  • y [ɯ]

Consonants

Rules

  • ∅ → j / V __ V
  • ∅ → y / C __ C (where CC cluster is ungrammatical (more to come))

Stress

Without going into metrical theory, it can be summarised that the stressed syllable in a Tēlvo word is the last uneven-numbered syllable.

Historical Phonology

Čelwu

  • Vowel changes:
1 2 3
y y y
ā a a
a ä æ
ō u u
o o
i ɪ y
ī i je
ē ie,e
e e,ɛ e
  • Cj → C[+pal]
  • (v → w)
  • Palatal remapping (certain palatalised consonants were remapped as new phonemes):
    • (wj → v)
    • tj → č
    • sj → š
    • dj → ǰ
    • zj → ž
  • Velar Fricativisation (velar stops spirantised between a vowel and the end of a syllable):
    • k → x / V __]σ
    • g → ɣ / V __]σ
  • y → ∅ / __ r]σ

Tæĺf

  • o → u / __ X[+labial]
  • Short vowels reduce:
1 2
a ɐ
o ʊ
u
e ɪ
i
y
  • Reduced-vowel fun
    • ɐ → ∅ / __ #
    • ɪ → ə
    • ə → əu / __ ]σ
  • In stressed syllables, long vowels shifted down; long low vowels diphthongised:
1 2
ī ē
ē ǣ
ā au
ō ā
ū ō
  • Long vowels shorten in a closed syllable ( Vː → [-long] / __ C]σ ):
1 2
ī i
ē e
ā a
ō o
ū u
  • Consonants devoice at the end of a word ( C → [-voice] / __ # )
  • Consonants devoice before a devoiced consonant ( C → [-voice] / __ C[-voice] )

Tielvo

  • n → m / __ C[+labial]
  • Vα[+long,-high,-low] → Vα[+high]Vα
    • ō → uo
    • ē → ie
  • Labial-influenced vowel changes
    • o → u / __X[+labial]
    • i → ü / __X[+labial] (ii → üü / __X[+labial])
    • e → ö / __X[+labial]
  • Other vowel shifts
    • a → ä
    • ā → a
    • y → ö
  • Consonant shifts
    • d → Cα / Cα __ C
    • C[dental,-stop] → [alveolar] / V __
      • þ → s / V __
      • ð → z / V __
    • C[dental,-stop] → [+stop]
      • þ → t
      • ð → d
    • C[+voiced,-sonorant] → [-voiced,+long] (this is a weird/unrealistic rule; maybe I'll figure out something else)
      • g → kk
      • z → ss
  • Clean-up (also weird)
    • CC → C / # __
    • CC → C / __ #
  • Stress to first syllable
  • Orthographical Conventions
    • ŋ → ng
    • ü → y

Grammar & Morphology

Pronouns

Final-bound

(Note that j- is inserted between non-diphthongising combinations of vowels, so these forms may frequently appear with an initial j)

Singular Plural
1st -o -āŋ
2nd -as -āþ
3rd -að -ān

Medial- & Initial-bound

Singular Plural
1st o- āŋgi-
2nd asi- āþi-
3rd aði- āni-

Verbs

Word Forms

Verbal
  • pre-bound form
-ABiCā(Dō(D))
  • post-bound form
AīBC(ēD(E))-
  • citation/infinitival form
AāBaCa(Dī(E))
Participial

Followed by a medial-bound pronoun (/initial-) and then the pre-bound verb. I think I might want to have the pronoun come before the participial form.

  • present: (liri-)
  • past: laj-
  • future āre-
  • passive ke-
Imperative
  • post-bound verb + saŋa | final-bound pronoun

Tenses

Present
  • post-bound verb + final-bound pronoun, e.g.:
    • sīrn + ān = sīrnān, "they listen", "they are listening"
Past
  • post-bound verb + (y)tja + final-bound pronoun, e.g.:
    • sīrn + tja + ān = sīrnytjajān, "they listened"

Nouns

Word Forms

Singular
  • pre-bound form
-ABo(Ce(D))
  • post-bound form
AiB(Cō(D))-
  • citation form
AēB(Co(D))
Plural

First vowel becomes ela

Cases and Postpositions

Systematic Chart
Tēlvo postposition system
location "located at" "moving away from" "moving towards"
in in - vir out of - sjir into - iðir
on on - vuj off of - sjuj onto - iðuj
at at - veā from - sjeā to - iðeā
now during - vrer after, since - sjrer before, until - iðrer
near near - vojv away from - sjojv up to - iðojv
far from far from - vadil ~towards - sjadil ~away from - iðadil
cause ? - vōŋ because - sjōŋ in order to - iðōŋ
benefit ? - vīhī because of - sjīhī for the benefit of - iðīhī
Other postpositions
  • þa - ACC
  • zmōv - with
  • zmōvnit - without
  • ðīhī - for, on behalf of
  • snaðē, mij - INST
  • zmōv - COM
  • ljāstir - about
  • ljā - GEN
  • ðek - like, as

Vocabulary

Orthography