Klai (pronounced /kˡaj/) no longer exists and now I am doing Souk, which is an improved version of Klai.
Klai is a syllable-timed language: each syllable receives the same amount of emphasis and/or stress as the last, whether short or long. Tone is a phonemic feature of Klai, meaning that two identical words can be distinguished solely by difference in tone.
|Plosive||p pˡ b||t̪ t̪ˡ d̪||c cˡ ɟ||k kˡ g||ʔ|
Plosive consonants (minus /ʔ/) carry three levels of contrast: voiceless, voiced, and lateral-released. The lateral-released plosives can be best described as positioning the mouth to make /l/, but making a plosive. Note that the lateral-released plosives are always voiceless.
/ð/ only appears in word-coda. It is more approximant than fricative; the tongue is in the proper position, but no air is blown (unreleased)
/ɬ/ was originally lateral-released /sˡ/, but now closer resembles /ɬ/
Clusters can appear word initially as CG (C = any consonant except /ɾ, l, ɬ, j, w, ʔ/ and lateral-released; G = /ɾ, w, j, m, n, ɲ/)
Any nasal can also from a cluster as N(ɾ); eg. /mɾul/, /ɲɾõm/
/m, n, ɲ, ŋ, p, b, t, c, k, ɾ, l, ʔ/ are permitted for syllable coda; all plosives are unreleased stops when in coda
All vowels can be short or long, and vowel length is phonemic; there are 18 total monophthongs
Diphthongs are permitted as the j-diphthongs (/ʉj, uj, ej, ɛj, o̞j, aj/) and the w-diphthongs /ɨw, iw, ew, ɛw, aw/
The diphthong /ea/ is the only "true" diphthong; it is realized by many speakers as [ɨə] or [eə] (Khmer influence)
The only "true" tones of Klai are the middle and low tones. The other tones are in fact phonation constrasts: creaky voice, breathy voice, and nasalized; each one of these phonation constrasts usually receives a middle tone. For the sake of explanation, these constrasts along with the true tones are normally described as tones. Here is a list of the five tones:
|Tone name||IPA on /a/||Example||Meaning|