Czalatian uses 27 consonant sounds, many of which are present either in English or in other European languages. It features several palatal consonants (nj, q, gj, qj and lj) - none of which are productively used in English. Uvular, pharyngeal and retroflex consonants are virtually unheard of in the language.
|Nasal||/m/ m||/n/ n||/ɲ/ nj|
|Plosive||/p/ p /b/ b||/t/ t /d/ d||/c/ q /ɟ/ gj||/k/ k /g/ g|
|Fricative||/f/ f /v/ v||/s/ s /z/ z||/ʃ/ sz /ʒ/ zc||/ç/ qj||/h/ h|
|Affricate||/ts/ c, tz /dz/ dz||/tʃ/ cz /dʒ/ dzc|
|Lateral||/l/ l||/ʎ/ lj|
Czalatian has ten vowel monopthongs and three diphthongs. The distinction between the sounds /a/ and /ɐ/ is often ambiguous and is becoming less and less distinct. /ɐ/ appears only between consonants, whereas /a/ can appear anywhere.
The Czalatian alphabet
|A a||/a/||Similar to non-rhotic "car"|
|Å å||/ɐ/||cup in RP||Only found in between two consonant sounds|
|C c||/ts/||cats||Represents the same sound as 'tz' - which one to use depends on various simple rules - see Front C vs Back TZ|
|Gj gj||/ɟ/||Similar to "had you"|
|Ï ï||-||-||The letter 'Ï' has a complex usage, and in many cases does not represent a phoneme, rather is used purely as an orthographic devise - see: Letter Ï.|
|Lj lj||/ʎ/||Similar to "million"|
|Nj nj||/ɲ/||Similar to "new" in RP|
|Q q||/c/||Similar to "get you"|
|Qj qj||/ç/||Similar to "huge" in RP|
|R r||/r/||Tapped "r"|
|Tz tz||/ts/||cats||Represents the same sound as 'c', which one to use depends on a number of simple rules - see: Front C vs Back TZ.|
|Ů ů||/u/||spoon||Used at the beginning and the middle of word roots, whereas 'ų' is used at the end.|
|Ų ų||/u/||spoon||Used only at the end of word roots.|
The digraphs cz, dz, gj, nj, qj, sz, tz and zc are all treated as letters in their own right, and represent their own sounds different to their component letters. If, for example, the consonant cluster [gj] is required, the silent auxiliary 'separation sign' ï is inserted in between the g and the j, resulting in gïj, to avoid it being pronounced as the letter gj which represents the sound /ɟ/. This is the same for all digraphs, for example the cluster cïz represents the consonant cluster [tsz]. All these digraph letters have their own place in alphabetical order, placed after their first component letter.
The trigraph dzc represents the voiced postalveolar affricate, like the sound in general. Although it represents a unique sound, it is usually considered a cluster of the letters d and zc, although future updates to the language may change this.
Front C vs Back TZEdit
The letters c and tz both represent the same sound - namely the voiceless alveolar affricate /ts/, pronounced identically to the ending of the English word cats. Which one to use depends on a few simple rules: c is used before the vowels i and e only, whereas tz is used before all other vowels, all consonants and word-finally. The only exception is in the word ac meaning "this", which allows for it to be distinguished from the identically-pronounced atz meaning "next to/adjacent to".
As a rule of thumb, the umlaut/trema/double-dot diacritic mark is used not to show frontness (as in Germanic, Turkic and Ugric languages), rather to show a very reduced vowel which is similar to the one represented by its plain letter. The letter ë represents the schwa-sound /ə/, which is a phoneme in its own right in Czalatian. Although its most common position is word finally, it is also seen word initially (ëlekriak "electricity"), within words (vën "mountain") and on its own (ë "never").
The letter ï has a relatively complicated usage. When I first started constructing Czalatian, it represented the sound /ɨ/ (like the reduced 'e' sound of roses), however after this sound was scrapped, the character was recycled for other uses.
- It's most common usage is to separate consonant clusters when they would orthographically be identical to digraph letters (cz, dz, gj, lj, nj, qj, sz, tz and zc), for example in the word mezïci "although", the ï separates the z and the c to show that they are pronounced separately as a /z/ followed by a /ts/, rather than the sound /ʒ/ that the digraph letter zc produces, resulting in the pronunciation [mɛz.tsi] as opposed to [mɛ.ʒi]. In this case it has absolutely no phonetic value.
- Secondly, and rarely, ï replaces the letter i if the use of i would result in a diphthong when a diaeresis would be needed. For example, zeïzų "woman" is pronounced [zɛ.ji.zu] rather than [zeɪ.zu] which the spelling without the ï would suggest.
In the seldom used Czalatian Cyrillic alphabet, the letter ï is represented by the 'Hard Sign' ъ, and the name of the letter is i stų ("short i").
The u with ogonek ų represents the vowel /u/ when found at the end of a word. It represents the same sound as u with ring ů, and the reason that they are both retained is that ų represents the loss of the word-final cluster /ug/ into simple /u/, whereas ů continues from the old vowel /u/ which has always been present in the language (which was never seen word-finally).
Czalatian declines nouns for a few cases, article and number, and many nouns can be conjoined to other nouns to produce compounds (for example njiak "house" + szyri "wife" = njiakszyri "housewife".
Article and NumberEdit
Indicators of article and number are both added to the end of the noun. The plural marker is -i. The endings to use are shown in the
So for example, the word myzcak "beer" can take on the following forms: myzcak "beer", myzcaki "beers", myzcakkų "two beers", myzcakëgj "the beer", myzcakëgji "the beers", myzcakagjų "the two beers", myzcakën "a beer", myzcakëni "some beers", myzcakanų "some/any two beers".
There exist only five cases in Czalatian: the Nominative, Accusative, Dative, Genitive and Prepositional. Other cases are shown by prepositions coupled with the noun taking on its prepositional case form.
- The Nominative Case (gjårond nomynatyczi) is used to show the agent of an intransitive verb, or a subject of a transitive verb. In Czalatian, like many other languages, the Nominative Case is the unmarked dictionary form.
- The Accusative Case (gjårond akusatyczi) is used to show the subject of a transitive verb. The accusative case has the ending -eq.
- The Dative Case (gjårond datyczi) is used to show an indirect object of a transitve verb. For example, "I gave the book to you". The dative case ending is -otzë.
- The Genitive Case (gjårond dzcenityczi) is used to show possession, for example "He gave me back my book". The genitive ending is -äszk.
- The Prepositional Case (gjårond pryzcgjyzcgyczi) is used to show that a noun is being modified by a preposition. For example, "next to the book". The prepositional ending is -(ë)käqj.
Case endings are placed after article and plural endings. So for example the word myzcakëgjiäszk "of the beer" is formed by the noun myzcak "beer" + the definite marker -ëgj + the plural marker -i + the genitive "of" marker -äszk.
Using the above information, the below table shows the regular declension of the noun huno "man".
Czalatian nouns can be compounded both with other nouns, as well as certain adjectives. For example, bůczip "second" is added to tzůn "day" to form bůcziptzůn "Tuesday" (second day). negjegj "nothing" can be added to feizgot "doer" to become negjegjfeizgot "nothing-doer" (i.e. someone who does nothing), and then negjegjfeizgot to zmyngot "maker" to make negjegjfeizgotzmyngot "nothing-doer-maker" (i.e. someone who causes people to do nothing).
Adjectives are widely used, and are put after the noun that they are describing. They can be modified into five degrees of intensity and comparison, each by using various prepositions. Adjectives (and adverbs) also take on one of two prepositional "markers" (so called a 'Negative' and 'Positive' Prepositional Markers), and also a non-restrictive marker.
Positive Prepositional MarkerEdit
The positive prepositional marker takes the form of a clitic -oik. This is added whenever the comparative and superlative prepositions are used before the adjective, similar to the use of the prepositional noun case used in Czalatian. In cases where the adjective ends in a vowel or diphthong, the vowel/diphthong is lost and replaced with -oik. So for example legi "most" + majei "nice" > legi majoik "nicest".
Negative Prepositional MarkerEdit
The positive prepositional marker takes the form of a clitic -obs. This is added whenever the prepositions zbų "less" or zbůsan "least" are used before the adjective, similar to the use of the prepositional noun case used in Czalatian. In cases where the adjective ends in a vowel or diphthong, the vowel/diphthong is lost and replaced with -obs. So for example zbų "less" + majei "nice" > zbų majobs "nicest".
In Czalatian, the restrictive form of the noun is the most common assumed form. For example, gebsëgj majei "the nice table". However, for the non-restrictive form, the marker -såk is added to the adjective. For example, gebsëgj majeisåk "the table, which is nice".
Czalatian adjectives are compared using the preposition meg. Comparisons are made using the four prepositions eq "more", legi "most", zbų "less" and zbůsan "least". To compare something to something else, as in the sentence today is colder than yesterday, the word mog is used. I.e. atzůn ("today") eq ("more") subojak ("is cold") mog ("than") pryzctzůn ("yesterday) = atzůn eq subojakoik mog pryzctzůn "today is colder than yesterday".