This is a sketch of a conlang that I made on November 6, 2004; back then, I tended to make a lot of these, and I feel this is one of the more interesting ones. See the original wording
CL11062004 uses a variation of the Roman alphabet.
|A||a||/ə/ (about)||/ɑ/ (father)||·a|
|C||c||/k/ (even before e, i)||·ci|
|E||e||/ɛ/ (bet)||/eɪ/ (weigh)||·e|
|G||g||/ɡ/ (even before e, i)||·ga|
|I||i||/ɪ/ (bit)||/i/ (ski)||·i|
|R||r||/ɾ/ (AmE ladder)||·ra|
|U||u||/ʊ/ (book)||/u/ (who)||·u|
The following are not considered separate letters:
|í||/j/ (yes)||In many of my conlangs around that time, ´ turned a vowel into a semivowel. I also used this in Súiⱥcúili.|
|ā||/aɪ/ (light)||¯ turns vowels into diphthongs|
|ē||/eʊ/ (not in English; ai in hair + u in ouch)|
Vowels change their pronunciation depending on whether they're at the end of a syllable. Vowels at the end of a syllable use their long sound, whereas vowels followed by a consonant in the same syllable use their short sound (actually a vowel quality rather than length distinction).
Each word must end in a vowel (a, e, i, o, u, ḷ, ṃ, or ṇ). However, a word can begin with consonants to add to the previous syllable. This means that the pronunciation of the vowel at the end of a word often depends on the following word. If a word with such consonants appears at the beginning of a sentence or after punctuation (. , ; : — ? !), a short a is inserted.
Ṃ and ṇ at the end of a word may be changed to ma and na if the next word starts with certain consonants
· separates syllables, which, as described above, is necessary for determining what a vowel will sound like. · must come before any vowel, but a word doesn't have to start with a ·; consonants before the first · are part of the previous syllable.
· is a letter; it is the same capital as lowercase. If a sentence starts with a ·, the letter after the · is not capitalized. Because · is so common at the beginnings of words, it is not counted as a letter for abbreviations or alphabetical orders.
Along with the syllabification stuff mentioned above, the numeral system is the main unusual thing I came up with for this language; it's based on what I'd heard about how humans process small numbers. There are five basic numbers (intended to be the same as the subitizing range); for larger numbers, these basic numbers can be combined with addition and multiplication to show how the items one is counting are grouped. In other words, the number for six objects divided evenly into two groups is different from the number for six objects divided into a group of four and a group of two.
The five basic numbers are as follows:
To add two numbers together (e.g., 2 + 3), take the first number (2, ·du), duplicate the last consonant on the end (+d = ·dud), and then append the second number (+·ru = ·dud·ru). When adding multiple numbers together, all but the last number get a duplicated consonant (e.g., 2 + 3 + 4 = ·dud·rur·cu).
To multiply two numbers together (e.g., 2 × 3), take the first number (·du), append the second number (+·ru = ·du·ru), and change the last u to an i (·du·ri). When multiplying multiple numbers together, all but the first have their final u changed to an i (e.g., 2 × 3 × 4 = ·du·ri·ci).
For a complex expression involving multiplication done before addition, the expression in parentheses is treated as if it were a single number:
Complex expressions involving addition done before multiplication are treated similarly, except that the vowel of the first number in the addition is changed to a.
Usually the lowest number is put first; for instance, ·dud·ru (2 + 3) is more common than ·rur·du (3 + 2).
There is also a separate set of numbers used when counting, using a base 10 system:
|11-14||·fof + number - 10|
|16-19||·fef + number - 10|
|20, 30, …||number / 10 + ·fof·i|
|21-99||10’s place (with ·fof·i) + 1’s place|
0 is always ·ni·hi, and cannot be used with other numbers.
·sr̄a and ·tla I came up with because I felt those consonant clusters should exist in English and they didn't.
At some point before this, I'd come up with a set of pronouns /kɑ/ = 1st person, /tɪ/ = 2nd person, /pi/ = 3rd person; I used variations of this system in various conlangs, including this one and Súiⱥcúili (as carā and tirā). The idea was that the first-person pronoun had sounds near the back of the throat, thus pointing inwards; the second-person pronoun had sounds farther in the front of the mouth, pointing outwards towards the listener; and the third-person pronoun had sounds even farther in the front of the mouth, pointing even farther away. However, I hadn't exactly figured out where vowels were in the mouth, and thought /ɪ/ was closer to the center than it actually is. The t at the end of ·tit is to make the i short.
A lot of my words around this time were based on English words, or sometimes words in the few other languages I knew about. ·ā·ru is either based on air or Spanish aire. ·du·hid·oc·su is a shortening of dihydrogen monoxide, a chemical name for water.
These are derived from long phrases:
water condense in air ·du·hid·oc·su g·lis·cúi ·in·o ·ā·ru ·d' id·o' g·li' n' ·ā'
water out cloud ·du·hid·oc·su ·ic·o ·d'id·o'g·li'n'·ā' ·d' oc·' d' o'g·' ā
Snow: ·d'oc·'d'o'g·'ā ·si·li ·úi·o ·ā·ru
rain solid with air ·d'oc·'d'o'g·'ā ·si·li ·úi·o ·ā·ru
It’s snowing. ·doc·dog·ā ·si·li ·úi·o ·ā·ru ·sa ·sr̄a ·don·o.
I’m chri d. d. ·ca ·sa ·tsri d·i·di