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General InformationEdit

Senzengish (natively Sensohnger /sénsəŋ̊əɾ̥/)



bilabial alveolar palatal velar
nasal m̥ m n̥ n (ŋ̊) ŋ
stop p b bʰ t d dʰ k g gʰ
fricative s (z) x
approximant l̥ l j w wʰ
flap ɾ̥ ɾ
  • /ŋ̊/ is not a separate phoneme in all but the carefullest of speech.
  • A preceding consonant (except for /s/ and /ɾ/) causes /j/ to match in voicing and manner of articulation and to be coarticulated with it. ex. Hratjeh /ɾ̥ɐtjéx/ [ɾ̥ɐˈtcex] "Rachekh province"
  • Syllable-initial /s/ matches the voicing of a preceding consonant. ex. Sensohnger /sénsəŋ̊əɾ̥/ [ˈseˑnzŋ̩ŋɹ̩ɾ̥]


Front Central Back
High i ɪ̈ u
Mid e ə o
Low ɐ ɑ
  • The central vowels are so-called reduced vowels. They can only appear in unstressed syllables and "full" vowels tend not to appear in unstressed syllables except in compound words. An example of a full vowel in an unstressed syllable would be ko-, the abessive case marker, always has the full /o/ and is never stressed. ex. kosiwhelma /kosɪ̈wʰélmɐ/ [kosʊˈwʰeˑlmɐ] "without insects"
  • The correspondance between full and reduced vowel is not always clear or depends on the speaker or dialect.
  • The reduced vowels merge into [m̩] before /m/ and /m̥/, [n̩] before /n/ and /n̥/, [ŋ̩] before /ŋ/ and /ŋ̊/, [l̩] before /l/ and /l̥/, [ʊ] before /w/ and /wʰ/, and [ɹ̩] before /ɾ/ and /ɾ̥/. ex. ambher /ɑ́mbʰəɾ̥/ [ˈʔɑˑmbʰɹ̩ɾ̥] "cold"


(C)V(m, n, ŋ, p, bʰ, t, dʰ, k, gʰ, s, l, j, w, ɾ)

  • Syllable-final consonants match a following consonant in voicing except for the breathy-voice stops and semivowels. ex. pald /pɑ́l̥t/ vs. paldin /pɑ́ldɪ̈n̥/
  • Word-final consonants are voiceless except for the breathy-voice stops and semivowels. ex. moar /móɐɾ̥/
  • Syllable-final breathy-voiced consonants may change to tenuis and introduce low tone and breathy-voice on the preceding vowel or vowel cluster. ex. ungwadh /ɪ̈ŋwɑ́dʰ/ [ŋ̩ˈgwɑ̤̀ˑt]
  • An epenthetic glottal stop is appended onto the beginning of a full vowel if the full vowel begins a word or is directly after a vowel. ex. Ungwadh /úŋwɐdʰ/ [ˈʔuˑŋgwɐ̤̀t], koajsim /koɑ́jsɪ̈m̥/ [koˈʔɑˑjzm̩m̥] "spineless"
  • An epenthetic homorganic voiced stop is inserted between a nasal and approximants or flaps. ex. Henras /xénɾɐs/ [ˈxeˑndɾɐs] "(a name)"


Stress is typically placed on the first syllable of the root, but it occasionally occurs elsewhere. It is unmarked and does not distinguish words except in writing. Stressed vowels are longer than unstressed vowels.

Orthography Edit

Romanization Edit

  • The following consonants are written identically to their IPA symbols: m, n, p, b, t, d, k, g, s, l, j, and w.
  • /ŋ/ is written ng, /x/ is written h, and /ɾ/ is written r.
  • Voiceless nasals, approximant, and flap are written with a preceding h: hm, hn, hng, hl, and hr. In the syllable coda, they are written as voiced, without the h.
  • Murmured or breathy-voiced consonants are represented by a following h: bh, dh, gh, and wh.
  • In the syllable coda, the non-breathy stops are written according to etymology, despite the fact that they neutralize in that position.

Nouns Edit

Nouns decline according to case and definiteness. Case is shown by prefixes and definiteness is shown by irregular suffixes or consonant change.

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