Chiifə /ˈʈʰiː.fə̤/  audio is a conlang that I made in an hour in 2017 for The Great CBB Speedlanging Weekend VI Thread (my post here)


Constraints and theme

The constraints given in the thread were:

The theme of the challenge is... "Cloud"



HeavyVoiced stops/b/ ⟨b⟩/d̪/ ⟨d⟩/ɖ~ɖʐ/ ⟨j⟩/ɡ/ ⟨g⟩ audio
Plain stops/p/ ⟨p⟩/t̪/ ⟨t⟩/ʈ~ʈʂ/ ⟨c⟩/k/ ⟨k⟩ audio
LightAspirated stops/pʰ/ ⟨ph⟩/t̪ʰ/ ⟨th⟩/ʈʰ~ʈʂʰ/ ⟨ch⟩/kʰ/ ⟨kh⟩ audio
Fricatives/f/ ⟨f⟩/s̪/ ⟨s⟩/ʂ/ ⟨sh⟩/x/ ⟨h⟩ audio


High/i/ ⟨i⟩, /iː/ ⟨ii⟩/u/ ⟨u⟩, /uː/ ⟨uu⟩ audio
Mid/e/ ⟨e⟩, /eː/ ⟨ee⟩/o/ ⟨o⟩, /oː/ ⟨oo⟩
Low/a/ ⟨a⟩, /aː/ ⟨aa⟩

Syllable structure is CV (the consonant is not optional)

Stress is on the penultimate syllable

Unstressed syllables have only /a i u/ as short vowels (distinction between i-e and u-o is neutralized). In unstressed syllables starting with an aspirated consonant or fricative, all short vowels are neutralized to /ə̤~ə̥/ ⟨ə⟩  audio (breathy voice or voiceless). Long vowels remain unneutralized.

Native non-compound words have the constaint that they only have either voiced and plain stops ("heavy" consonants), or only aspirated stops and fricatives ("light" consonants), with the exception that words with heavy consonants can include s.

Morphology and syntax


Two genders: masculine and feminine. For humans, this corresponds to their gender (male/man/boy or female/woman/girl), with masculine used for mixed groups of people or unknown people. For inanimate objects, feminine is used for anything that typically flies, swim, or floats, including clouds, rain, birds, flying bugs, and fish, and also for abstract concepts; masculine is used for things that tend to stay on the ground.

Feminine nouns use light consonants, and masculine nouns use heavy consonants. Adjectives change their consonants to agree with nouns, with voiced stops changing to aspirated and plain stops changing to fricatives.

Other noun stuff

Nouns mark plurality by reduplicating the first syllable, with vowels changing to account for stress. Noun phrases are head-initial (noun adj prep-phrase). Genitives are marked with the preposition .

Pronouns are:

First personExclusive ko  audio ho  audio kogu  audio hokhə  audio
InclusiveN/A kopa  audio hofə  audio
Second person pa  audio fa  audio paba  audio faphə  audio
Third personAnimate ke  audio su  audio bosə  audio phosə  audio
Inanimate gu  audio khu  audio


Verbs mark, as suffixes, in this order:

  1. gender of subject and object (for ditransitive verbs, receiver is considered the object):
    IntransitiveFeminine objectMasculine object
    Feminine subject su  audio su  audio see  audio
    Masculine subject ke  audio kuu  audio ke  audio
  2. tense:
    • pa  audio : non-past
    • ∅: past

Word order

Word order is VSO, except in sentences of being, which put the noun first, then the copula "fe" (which doesn't change), and then the predicate.

Some words

fe  audio
to be
boo  audio
phuusaa  audio
kigu  audio
chiisə  audio
cogee  audio
pho  audio
seedu  audio

Example sentences

boosupa phuusaa /boː.ˈs̪ ˈpʰuː.saː/  audio
boo-su-pashine-F-npst phuusaasun
the sun is shining; it is sunny
seedusupa pho /seː.du.ˈ ˈpʰo/  audio
seedu-su-pashade-F-npst phocloud
it is cloudy
ko fe kigu /ˈko fe ˈki.ɡu/  audio
ko1s.M febe kiguhappy.M
I am happy (spoken by someone male)
ho fe hikhə /ˈxo fe ˈxi.kʰə̤/  audio
ho1s.F febe hikhəhappy.F
I am happy (spoken by someone female)
cugeekuu ko chiisə /ʈu.ˈɡeː.kuː ˈko ˈʈʰiː.sə̤/  audio
cugee-kuusee-M›F ko1s.M chiisəbird
I see a bird (spoken by someone male) [update 2020: looks like this should actually be "I saw a bird, and "I see a bird" should be "cugeekuupa ko chiisə"]
cugeesə ho chiisə /ʈu.ˈɡeː.sə̤ ˈxo ˈʈʰiː.sə̤/  audio
cugee-səsee-F ho1s.F chiisəbird
I see a bird (spoken by someone female) [update 2020: looks like this should actually be "I saw a bird, and "I see a bird" should be "cugeesupa ko chiisə"]

Use of theme

I sort of intended the use of voiceless consonants to sound cloud-like, and one of the genders is used (aside from humans) mainly for things in the sky, like clouds.

Spent ~1 hour, and probably less than an hour before that thinking.