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Tolsien is a conlang partly inspired by French language, though it has much evolved since. It has its own alphabet derived from Latin, Greek and, in some letters, Cyrillic, plus many original letters. The alphabet was actually the first feature created.
The Tolsian language has two genders, feminine and masculine, but a few neutral words remain as it had known a latinizing phase. Verbs are conjugated based on the same tenses, modes, persons and accordance rules than French, plus a specific tense/mode : Absolute, which is a sort of gnomic tense/mode.
The alphabet contains 37 letters and several of them can be changed by the use of diacritics. 44 phonemes are thus represented, plus four diphtongues which are written with two letters : /jo/, /ɔj/, /ja/, /aj/.
List of phonemes in the Tolsian language :
Vowels : /a/ (actually more of a /ä/), /e/, /ɛ/ (/e/ and /ɛ/ are often considered as allophones), /ə/ (has two allophones : /ø/ and /œ/, whose pronunciation is usually conditionned by their position in the word), /i/, /o/, /ɔ/, /y/, /u/, /ã/, /ɛ̃/, /ɔ̃/.
Plosives : /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/, and in "old" pronunciation : /t̪/, now pronunced /tʰ/ or /t/.
Nasals : /m/, /n/, /ɲ/, /ŋ/
Trills : /ʀ/
Flaps : /ɾ/
Fricatives : /ʁ/, /f/, /v/, /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /θ/, /ð/, /x/, /h/, /ɸ/ (allophones : /f/, /pʰ/, /p/), and, rarely, /β/. Also in fricatives is a consonnant whose I don't know the IPA symbol, if there is any, and which resembles a /ʃ/.
Approximants : /l/, /w/, /j/, and, rarely, /ɫ/ and /ɥ/.
Transliteration in Latin alphabet
Several systems were created and are still in use to transcript Tolsien in Latin letters. The latest one will be used in all samples of text shown in this page. Here are the equivalences with Tolsian script :
- Y, y will stand for a letter read /jo/ or /ɔj/. For clarity's sake, it will be precised which diphtongue to pronounce by using Ŷ, ŷ for the /oj/ sound. *
- Æ, æ will stand for a letter read /aj/. Like in Tolsian script, a diacritic transforms it to /ja/. This will be written Ǽ, ǽ.
- A, a /a/
- B, b /b/
- Š, š and Q, q /ʃ/. Q is used before Y, Ŷ, Æ and Ǽ. Š is used in every other cases.
- D, d /d/
- E, e /e/. Like in Tolsian script, some diacritics transform it to a /ɛ/ and to a /ə/ (allophones : /ø/ and /œ/). This will be written Ê, ê /ɛ/ and Ě, ě /ə/ (/ø/, /œ/).
- G, g /g/. In Tolsian script, the same letter with a diacritic gives the cluster /ŋg/. This will be represented by the letter Ŋ, ŋ (another letter can be used : Ġ, ġ, to keep more "in touch" with Tolsian system).
- Ñ, ñ /ɲ/. Though a different letter from the /g/ in Tolsian script, those are considered the same letters. **
- H, h /h/. Can be mute.
- I, i /i/
- Ƶ, ƶ /ð/. In Tolsian script, a diacritic gives a /ʒ/. The letter thus read /ʒ/ will be written Ž, ž.
- K, k /k/
- L, l /l/
- M, m /m/
- N, n /n/
- O, o /o/ and /ɔ/. Though a letter different from this one, but considered the same, the letter read /o/ only in Tolsian script will be written Ô, ô.
- P, p /p/. Though a letter different from this one, but considered the same, the letter read /ɸ/ (allophones : /f/, /pʰ/, /p/) in Tolsian script will be written Ƥ, ƥ.
- R, r /ʁ/
- C, c ; Ç, ç ; S, s /s/. C is used before e, ě, ê, i, y, ŷ and all the like letters ; Ç is used before a, o, u, æ and all the like ; S is used in the end of a word when it the mark of the plural. When it is not so, Ç will be used. Before a consonant, we use C if the first following vowel is e, i, y etc ; Ç if it is a, o, u, æ etc.
- Though a letter different from this one, but considered of the same "case", the letter read /θ/ in Tolsian script will be written S, s in the beginning or inside a word, Ƨ, ƨ in the end of a word.
- T, t /t/. Though a letter different from this one, but considered the same, the letter read /tʰ/ (allophones : dental /t/, /t/) will be written Ŧ, ŧ.
- U, u /y/
- V, v /v/. Though a different letter, but considered the same, the letter read /f/ in Tolsian script will be written F, f.
- Ŵ, ŵ /wi/. Like Y/Ŷ and Æ/Ǽ, it is a diphtongue letter. This one can't be "reversed" though. ***
- Z, z /z/
- Ã, ã /ã/. With some diacritics, in Tolsian script, we obtain /ɔ̃/ and /ɛ̃/. They'll be written Õ, õ and Ĩ, ĩ respectively.
- Û, û /u/
- X, x /x/. Another letter can be used : Ħ, ħ.
- ƻ, ƺ /bɾa/. Is a syllable of its own.
- Ń, ń /ŋ/
- Ş, ȿ the currently unknown sh-like letter.
- Ƀ, ƀ /β/.
- In Tolsian script, this difference isn't written and one has to know which way must be pronounced a letter in a peculiar word, with no rule proceding to this.
- In the Tolsian alphabet many letters are considered as "the same", usually some pairs of letters. Letters with a diacritic are considered the same than the non-diacritical letter but also are put together some letters depending on their sounds, wich are, in a way, considered "brother" sounds.
It is worth noting in the beginning of the existence of the alphabet some letters were considered "nobler" than the others ; most commonly Y/Ŷ, Æ/Ǽ, Ƶ/Ž, Ô, S(Ƨ), ƻ, Ń, Ş, and, one "class" under, Š, Ñ, Ƥ, Ŧ, Ŵ, Û.
- Contrarily to Y and Æ that can become Ŷ and Ǽ, Ŵ can't in any case be read /iw/.
Stress accent, /R/, /ɫ/, long vowels, diphtongues, /ɾ/, various accents and diverse old letters can be represented in Latin alphabet too :
Long vowels : in Tolsian script a diacritic is used, the same goes in the transcription :
/a:/ : Ā, ā ; /e:/ : Ē, ē ; /ɛ:/ : Ễ, ễ ; /ø:/ : Ḝ, ḝ ; /i:/ : Ī, ī ; /o:/ : Ō, ō and Ỗ, ỗ if the letter in Tolsian script is Ô ; /y:/ : Ū, ū ; /u:/ : Ṻ, ṻ
/ʀ/ : Ṙ, ṙ. In Tolsian script too it is represented by a diacritic.
Diphtongues : in Tolsian a sort of diacritic is used, the "link", between a i and a vowel to make diphtongues in /j/, or a û and a vowel to make diphtongues in /w/. It happens to be used between a u and a vowel to make diphtongues in /ɥ/. This is the same diacritic than for long vowels but in this case it "spans" both the vowels.
We'll use a J, j, a W, w and a Ỹ, ỹ for those three respective types of diphtongues.
Ṙ is considered a "double R". Æ, Ǽ and Ŵ can also be doubled : and indeed it will give /ajaj/, /jaja/, /wiwi/. This will be written : Æ･, æ･ ; Ǽ･, ǽ･ ; Ẇ, ẇ.
An "accent", actually written under the baseline, is used between two letters. Before a L, l it makes it a /ɫ/. Before any other letter, it is either mute or pronounced like a slight /ɹ/. This accent will be represented by a diacritic : ͟ (example : a͟l)
Stress accent is usually unmarked, non-phonemic and very slight, falling on the last syllable. But is sometimes marked in Tolsian script, either on a vowel with a rounded-caron-like accent, either on a syllable with a bar-like accent. It will be written, in any case, by this diacritic : ͞ (example : b͞a)
Some letters (A, O, Ô) could support some diacritics. This can be represented like that :
- Â, â ; Ȏ, ȏ ; Ổ, ổ
- Ă, ă ; Ŏ, ŏ ; Ộ, ộ
- À, à ; Ò, ò ; Ồ, ồ
An accent represented in Tolsian script by a little h letter can "lower" the sound of a letter, or be mute, or, when used on a R letter followed by a L, give the sound /ɾ/. It will be represented here too by a diacritic : ͪ (example : rͪ)
Besides, some letters, representing the sounds /ð/, /z/ and /ʒ/, have been interchanged in a modification of the Tolsian script. So, some letters are written with the now-representing /ð/ sound but pronounced with a /z/, or inversely. Those cases can be represented as follows :
- ð letter read /z/ : Đ, đ
- z letter read /ð/ : Ź, ź
- z letter with a diacritic read /ʒ/ : Ż, ż
Indeed, words created before this inversion can still be written with the "original" letter, for a will of "etymologisation". They can also be written according to their pronunciation.
Tolsien is usually written as it is pronounced, but there are some exceptions, especially in the verbal declensions .
There are three principal groups of verbs in Tolsien : the ones ending in -ƺ, the ones ending in -ar and the ones ending in -ôr. Several other endings can be found, such as -ir, -ur, -or, -e ; not necessarily irregular, they can be assimilated to some of the existent groups.
There are very few irregular verbs but among them are some of the most used, the ones meaning "to be". Two verbs translate by "to be" : Çŵƺ and Sôƺ. The latter also means "to love", and in both meanings it has a very strong shade of signification. To love can also be translated by "Amƺ".
There are seven persons in Tolsien : First, Second and Third persons, singular and plural, and Seventh person, for showing respect, invariable in number.
The three last columns show the endings for verbs of first, second and third class respectively.
|I||-a /a/||-a /a/||-vêl /vɛl/|
|You||-aeç /a/||-aç /as/||-vego /vegɔ/|
|He/she/it||-at /a/||-at /at/||-vma /vma/|
|We||-mmeç /m/||-mûç /mus/||-vyd /vjɔd/|
|You||-teç /t/||-tiç /tis/||-vemi /vemi/|
|They||-aent /w/||-na /na/||-vjã /vjã/|
|You||-e /e/||-e /e/||-væ /vaj/|
|I||-tea /ta/||-ta /ta/||-loiç /lwa/|
|You||-teeç /te/||-taç /tas/||-luaç /lwa/|
|He/She/it||-teat /ta/||-tat /tat/||-liait /lije/ or /li.e/|
|We||-teômç /tɛm/||-tamo /tamo/||-limmôç /lim/|
|You||-teôtç /te/||-tati /tati/||-liat /lija/ or /li.a/|
|They||-teant /tã/||-tana /tana/||-luônt /ly/|
|You||-te /te/||-te /te/||-leiônt /le/|
|-rǽa /ʁa/||-ra /ʁa/||-gamm /gal/|
|-rǽaç /ʁa/||-raç /ʁas/||-gêmôç /gɛl/|
|-rǽat /ʁa/||-rat /ʁat/||-gora /goʁa/|
|-rǽômç /ʁ/||-ramo /ʁamo/||-gûônç /gu:/|
|-rǽôtç /ʁe/||-rati /ʁati/||-girôç /ʒir/|
|-rǽant /ʁã/||-rana /ʁana/||-ginnôç /ʒin/|
|-rǽe /ʁe/||-re /ʁe/||-gin /gin/|
|-ai /e/||-fa /fa/||-biç /bi/|
|-aç /a/||-faç /fas/||-biç /bi/|
|-at /a/||-fat /fat/||-bit /bi/|
|-amôç /am/||-famo /famo/||-bõç /bɔ̃/|
|-atôç /at/||-fati /fati/||-bez /be/|
|-rent /ʁ/||-fana /fana/||-bent /b/ or /bə/|
|-ôtôç /at/||-fe /fe/||-biôz /bje/|
Composed past : conjugated auxiliary (indicative present) + past participle. Auxiliaries are çŵƺ and vuƺ (to have).
Pluperfect : conjugated auxiliary (imperfect) + past participle.
Past perfect : conjugated auxiliray (simple past) + past participle.
Future perfect : conjugated auxiliary (simple future) + past participle.
|-a /a/||-ko /ko/||-ô (mute)|
|-aeç /a/||-koç /kɔs/||-ç (mute)|
|-at /a/||-kot /kɔt/||-t (mute)|
|-aõç /jã/||-komûç /komus/||-onç /ɔ̃/|
|-aôz /je/||-kotiç /kotis/||-ôz /e/|
|-eant /ã/||-kona /kona/||-ônt (mute)|
|-eôz /e/||-ke /ke/||-ôz /e:/|
|-aicce /es/||-ço /so/||-aiç /ɛ/|
|-acceç /as/||-çoç /sɔs/||-aiç /ɛ/|
|-acce /as/||-çot /sɔt/||-ait /ɛ/|
|-ççaônç /sjã/||-çomûç /somus/||-jonç /jɔ̃/|
|-ççaôz /sje/||-çotiç /sotis/||-jez /je/|
|-ccent /sã/||-çona /sona/||-aient /ɛ/|
|-acceôz /se/||-ce /se/||-jôz /je/|
Past : conjugated auxiliary (subjunctive present) + past participle.
Pluperfect : conjugated auxiliary (subjunctive imperfect) + past participle.
|-rǽea /ʁa/||-o /o/||-raiç /ʁɛ/|
|-rǽeeç /ʁe/||-oç /ɔs/||-raiç /ʁɛ/|
|-rǽeat /ʁa/||-ot /ɔt/||-rait /ʁɛ/|
|-rǽeômç /ʁɛm/||-omûç /omus/||-rjonç /ʁjɔ̃/|
|-rǽeôtç /ʁe/||-otiç /otis/||-rjez /ʁje/|
|-rǽeant /ʁã/||-ona /ona/||-raient /ʁɛ/|
|-rǽeôz /ʁe/||-e /e/||-rjôz /ʁij/|
Past, first form : conjugated auxiliary (conditionnal present) + past participle.
Past, second form : conjugated auxiliary (subjunctive imperfective) + past participle.
|-ŷh /joʰ/||-ŷ /jo/||-ç (mute)|
|-ŷƨ /jɔθ/||-ŷç /jɔs/||-ç (mute)|
|-ŷŧ /jɔtʰ/ or /jɔt̪/||-ŷt /jɔt/||-çt (mute)|
|-ŷƥ /jɔɸ/||-ŷf /jɔf/||-mmôç /m/|
|-ŷž /jɔʒ/||-ŷz /jɔz/||-tôç /t/|
|-ŷŵ /jowi/||-ŷn /jɔn/||-nt (mute)|
|-ŷƶ /jɔð/||-ŷô /jo:/||-tôç /ta/|
|You||-aç /a/||-kal /kal/||-oiç /wa/|
|He/She/it||-at /a/||-kat /kat/||-oit /wa/|
|We||-awônç /jɔ̃/||-kamo /kamo/||-wonç /jɔ̃/|
|You||-awôz /je/||-kati /kati/||-wôz /je/|
|They||-awent /wa/||-kana /kana/||-oiônt /wa/|
Past : conjugated auxiliary (imperative present) + past participle.
|-ant /ã/||-tãt /tã/||-eṙ /eʀ/|
|Singular Masculine||-ê /e/||-te /te/||-ô /e/|
|Singular Feminine||-êô /e/||-tee /te/||-ôç /e/|
|Plural Masculine||-êç /e/||-teç /te/||-ôe /e/|
|Plural Feminine||-êôç /e/||-teeç /te/||-ôeç /e/|
There is also a surcomposed "mood", despite it actually be not a mood in the proper meaning. Surcomposed isn't used with the seventh person.
Present : conjugated auxiliary (indicative composed past) + past participle.
Past : conjugated auxiliary (indicative past perfect) + past participle.
Future : conjugated auxiliary (indicative future perfect) + past participle.
Conditionnal : conjugated auxiliary (conditionnal past) + past participle.
One can asks a question by using the following construction :
"Çatše ke" + Subject + Verb (subjunctive mood) + ?
The intonation arises on the "çatše ke".
To ask a question there is also another construction, that allows questions to different tenses and modes :
Affirmative interrogative question : Verb (conjugated) + Subject + "ŵ" + ?
Negative interrogative question : Verb (conjugated) + Subject + "no" + ?
The intonation arises in the end of the sentence.
To answer positively to an affirmative interrogative question, you must say "ŵ" /wi/ ; to answer negatively a like question, you must say "no" /no/ ; to answer positively a negative interrogative question, you must say "si" /θi/ ; to answer it negatively, you must say "no".
"Ne" /ne/ + Subject + Verb (conjugated).
Though not mandatory, you can add a "i" /i/ between the verb base and its desinence if they are both consonants, or a "n" /n/ if they are both vowels.
After a stative verb, Tolsien used to add "ke?" (inanimate or everlasting beings/things) or a "dake?" (animate or temporary beings/things). The "?" had no influence on the intonation. Nowadays, modern Tolsien has usually got rid of this rule.
Verbs agree both in gender and number with their subject.
Adjectives agree both in gender and number with the noun they qualify.