Tydotsuy phonology


The following table shows all the consonants. Between slashes is the IPA sound, and between angle brackets is the romanization that I'm using.

StopVoiceless aspirated/pʰ/ ‹ph›/tʰ/ ‹th›
Voiceless unaspirated/p/ ‹p›/t/ ‹t›/ʔ/ ‹'›*
Voiced/b~m̆b/ ‹b›/d~n̆d/ ‹d›
NasalVoiced/m/ ‹m›/n/ ‹n›
ApproximateVoiced/w/ ‹w›/l/ ‹l›/j/ ‹j›
FlapVoiced/ɾ/ ‹r›
FricativeVoiceless/f/ ‹f›/θ/ ‹þ›/s/ ‹s›/ʃ/ ‹sh›/ɬ/ ‹lh›/h/ ‹h›

* The glottal stop exists only as one possible realization of the underspecified stop, described below.

Underspecified stop

The end of a syllable may have an underspecified stop, which takes its place of articulation from the following sound, and, depending on the following sound, may be unreleased. This sound is represented differently in the romanization depending on its realization.


High/i/ ‹i›/y/ ‹y›/u/ ‹u›
Mid/ɛ/ ‹e›
Low/ɑ/ ‹a›/ɔ~o/ ‹o›

Diphthongs allowed: ai, ei, ie, ea, oy, uy, yu, uo. Despite being written differently, in most dialects, ie and ea are both pronounced [iə]; likewise, yu and uo are both pronounced [yʊ]~[yø]. The other diphthongs are pronounced as expected.

Non-diphthong vowels may be long. This is romanized by doubling the vowel (aa, ee, ii, oo, uu, yy).


Syllable onset

A syllable onset can be:

With the additional restriction that r cannot occur at the beginning of a word, after an underspecified stop, or after any sound articulated with the tip of the tongue. (So it can occur between two vowels or after f.)

w before rounded vowels is often not pronounced. Likewise, j is often not pronounced before i and y.

Syllable coda

A syllable coda can be:

Syllables with long vowels can't have codas.

Vowel harmony

Each word usually has either all rounded vowels or all unrounded vowels. At a labial consonant (p, ph, b, f, w), the word can switch between rounded and unrounded vowels. Affixes usually take the vowel roundedness from the root of the word, except for a few that are explicitly specified as triggering vowel harmony, in which case the root takes the roundedness from the affix. When vowels switch roundedness, they switch to the other vowel in the same row below:


Fricative harmony

Each word has only one of the sounds þ, s, sh. If an affix is added to a word, and both words have one of those sounds, the sound used is taken from the root of the word.



Stress always occurs on the second-to-last syllable in each word, excluding clitics, unless the last syllable has a long vowel (not a diphthong), in which case the last syllable gets stress. (Syllable, not mora.) If a word is one syllable long, stress occurs on the only syllable. Tydotsuy uses a pitch accent: the stressed syllable of a word is pronounced at a high pitch (relative to the surrounding syllables), syllables after the stressed syllable are pronounced at a low pitch, and syllables before the stressed syllable are pronounced at a medium pitch. Examples (not real words, just made up for demonstration):

Some function words, such as focus particles and article-like determiners, behave like proclitics with regards to stress (they have medium pitch), but do not otherwise behave like clitics (e.g., they don't participate in vowel harmony).


Tydotsuy is mora-timed; each syllable is either one or two morae long, and each mora takes about the same time to say. Syllables that end in a short, non-diphthong vowel are one mora long, and any other syllable is two morae (including syllables that have both a diphthong and a coda consonant; in that case, the diphthong takes up one mora and the coda consonant the other). The underspecified stop always counts as one mora, regardless of its realization; the stop isn't released during its mora.

In determining whether a consonant goes with the next or previous syllable, Tydotsuy prefers syllables that start with a single consonant, or a single consonant followed by w, when allowed by the phonotactics. Word boundaries are always syllable breaks. Examples:


Clitics are things that behave like words with respect to how they're placed in a sentence, but affixes with respect to phonology. Tydotsuy has two types of clitic: enclitics (clitics that attach to the word before, like a suffix) that mark the case of a noun phrase, and proclitics (clitics that attach to the word after, like a prefix) that are articles. Behavior of clitics in Tydotsuy:

Foreign words

Foreign words may violate the phonology and phonotactics in the following ways:

Other notes on the romanization

· separates syllables between vowels (e.g., ie is a diphthong, i·e is two syllables), and separates digraphs when necessary. In pure ASCII, this can be written -.

In pure ASCII, þ can be written c (there's no good way to make a pure-ASCII romanization of this...)

Accent marks (´) can be used to indicate the stressed syllable, when it's different than usual (due to clitics).