Red Laqi language/Phonology

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Labial Alveolar Postalveolar Alveolopalatal Retroflex Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
plain lab. plain lab. plain lab. plain lab. plain lab. plain lab.
Nasal m n
Plosive voiceless p t q ʔ ʔʷ
voiced b d
ejective p' pʷ' t' tʷ' kʷ'
Affricate voiceless t͡s t͡sʷ t͡ʃ t͡ʂ
voiced d͡z d͡zʷ d͡ʒ
ejective t͡s' t͡ʃ' t͡ʂ'
Fricative voiceless f s ɬ ʃ ʃʷ ɕ ʂ x χ χʷ ħ
voiced z ɮ ʒ ʒʷ ʑ ʐ ɣ ʁ ʁʷ
ejective ɬ' ʃ' ʃʷ'
Approximant j w
Trill r


Close-mid ə
Open ä äː

Red Laqi's vowel system highly reduced, especially in comparison with its extensive consonant inventory. Correlations with related varieties suggests that the labialized consonants derive from ancestral Consonant-Back Vowel syllables, with the roundness converted into labialization. Similarly, the broad range of palatalized consonants derive from ancestral Consonant-Front Vowel syllables.

Depending on the subvariety, Red Laqi's three remaining vowel phonemes are either interpreted as above, two ranks in which there is a distinction between long and short in the Open rank, or as below, of three ranks.

Close-mid ə
Open-mid ɜ
Open ä

This latter interpretation is the source of Red Laqi's orthographic style, despite the former interpretation reflecting a more common pronunciation as well as longstanding morphological patterns (i.e. two e vowels combining to form a).


Character Phoneme Examples
A a /äː/ aban "hole"
B b /b/ be "a lot (of)"
C C c /t͡s/ cage "rib", cy "body hair"
C° c° /t͡sʷ/ c°y "ox"
C' c' /t͡s'/ c'yfy "person"
Ć ć /t͡ʃ/ ćefy "cheerful, pleased"
Ć' ć' /t͡ʃ'/ ć'ymafe "winter", ćase "late", ćyg°e "land"
Ĉ ĉ /t͡ʂ/ ĉy'e "cold"
Ĉ' ĉ' /t͡ʂ'/ ĉyfe "debt"
D D d /d/ dedźe "bitter"
Dz dz /d͡z/ dzeue "bag", dze "combat, war"
Dz° dz° /d͡zʷ/ ḥandz°e "rick, 1.208 m3"
Dź dź /d͡ʒ/ dźane "dress, robe, shirt", łamydź "bridge"
E e /a/ 'eneẑ, neneẑ "grandmother"
F f /f/ fyžy "white"
G G g /ɣ/ gyć'yġ "laundry", ge "gonad"
G° g° /gʷ/ g°y "heart"
Ġ ġ /ʁ/ ġathe "spring", -ġe "-ity, -ness"
Ġ° ġ° /ʁʷ/ ġ°yneġ°y "neighbour"
H H h /x/ -he "-s (plural marker)"
Ḥ ḥ /ħ/ ḥe "dog"
I i /j/ iai "theirs", iat'e "dirt"
K K° k° /kʷ/ k°y "cart"
K°' k°' /kʷ'/ k°'akle "strong", -k°'e "-er"
L L l /ɮ/ ly "meat"
Ł ł /ɬ/ łaše "weak"
Ł' ł' /ɬ'/ ł'y "man"
M m /m/ maze "moon", mepy "sheep"
N n /n/ ne "eye", ny "mother"
P P p /p/ plyžy "red" paie "for, in order to"
P' p' /p'/ p'e "bed"
P°' /pʷ'/ p°'yr "apprentice"
Q Q q /q/ qek°'eḥyn "to stroll, roam" maq "voice"
Q° q° /qʷ/ q°yŝe "mountain", q°e "-son (patronymic)"
R r /r/ rezeġen "to become content"
S S s /s/ se "I, me", seśh°e "sabre"
Ś ś /ʃ/ śy "horse, brother"
Ś' ś' /ʃ'/ ś'yn "to do"
Ś° ś° /ʃʷ/ ś°y- "you all (imperative plural marker)"
Ś°' ś°' /ʃ'ʷ/ ś°'yc'e "black"
Š š /ɕ/ šy "three"
Ŝ ŝ /ʂ/ ŝe "hundred", ŝabe "soft, meek"
T T t /t/ te "we"
T' t' /t'/ nyt'e "yes"
T°' t°' /tʷ'/ t°'yrys "old"
U u /w/ uyben "to tamp, make smooth"
X X x /χ/ xyien "to move"
X° x° /χʷ/ -x°y "male ___"
Y y /ə/ zy "one"
Z Z z /z/ -bze "female ___, -speech"
Ź ź /ʒ/ bźyḥe "autumn"
Ź° ź° /ʒʷ/ ź°aġ°e "star"
Ž ž /ʑ/ žaua "shadow"
Ẑ ẑ /ʐ/ ẑy "old", ẑaẑe "slow"
' ' /ʔ/ 'e "hand"
/ʔʷ/ '°yćen "to meet"


In 1689 AN, an alternative orthography, known as Dolorś'yć', came into use among the Ŝḥenĉeł'yh and the Laqi holdings in Brookshire and the Guttuli, i.e. the Dolorets community. Developed by the Dirâsat-an-Nûr for the purpose of increasing knowledge of written and spoken Laqi at the Imperial court and among Imperial staff, it was designed to reflect the distinct pronunciation found in Dolorbze.

The primary differences of Dolorbze are in vowel quality and syncope.

For the former, vowels assimilate with preceding labialized consonants, resulting in a 6-vowel system based upon height and rounding contrast.

Rounded vowels with zero onset can be pronounced with a leading semivowel /w/, e.g. wn (/wʊn/), "house", vs si wn (/sɨ.jʊn/) "my house". The latter example also shows a spelling change, which renders /ɨj/ as < i >, allowing the character to have two interpretations.

Close-mid ɨ ʉ~ʊ
Open a a: ɔ ɔ:
Vowel Example
y /ɨ/ ł'y /ɬ'ɨ/ "man"
w /ʊ/ cw /t͡sʊ/ "ox"
e /a/ ne /na/ "eye"
o /ɔ/ -k'o- /k'ɔ/ "-er"
a /a:/ pai /paj/ "for, in order to"
oe /ɔ:/ źoeġu /ʒɔ:ʁɔ̆/ "star"

Dolorbze also features a more pervasive degree of end-word vowel syncope than other varieties of Red Laqi.

For /a/, it is only retained at the end of monosyllabic words, or when such a reduction would produce an end-word consonant cluster. In turn, this reduces causes the Indefinite Absolutive and Ergative-Oblique case forms to match that of the Adjectival Case, for Instrumental case endings to become -ć'/-mć'e and the plural marker to become -(e)h. < e > in these conditions is left unwritten.

For /ɔ/, it is reduced to a supershort length, marked with a breve in the phonetic transcriptions, and written as < u > to relate it to the labiovelar approximant, ćatequ (/t͡ʃa:taqʷ/) "a son of the sword" vs ćateqor (/t͡ʃa:taqɔr/) "the son of the sword".

The other vowels are unaffected by this process.

Another orthographic difference involves representing possessive prefixes as independent possessive pronouns, e.g. uyiuyne vs wi wn, "your house"; uyłaq°e vs w łaqo "your leg".