Dyrel

From Linguifex
Jump to: navigation, search


Background

Dyrel was created by Marlowe Clark.

Goals

My goal with Dyrel, by comparison to my first conlang ametdantar, was to create a language with a more developed conculture and conworld. Dyrel is a priori.

Setting

Dyrel is spoken in Dyrellion, a primarily human city-state situated on a plateau on top of a mountain on the northern half of the continent, overlooking the ocean to the west. Dyrellion is a constitutional monarchy with relatively laissez-faire policies. To the east is a forest, part of which is within the domain of Dyrellion, where the Gurim live, though some Gurim live inside Dyrellion proper. To the north is §aı̊yunq̄, where elves live and speak nátr̀ȳ (Natarye). The northern mountains are Tharvast, where dwarves speak both Thurin and Aɣfalen (Angfalen). Dragons reside to the east of these mountains, in tısum iqqol, where they speak Nasraqqor. To the east of the forest, near the center of the continent, is another human kingdom, Xictor. The eastern coast is where the Nokppoddarra live. The southern half of the continent is the Goromic region where the various descendants of Goromul are spoken. Somewhat off the coast of Dyrellion is an island where Odreli, a descendant of Dyrel, is spoken.

Inspiration

As with ametdantar, the Constructed Languages group on Facebook was my primary inspiration.


Phonology

Dyrel has a rather small phonology, consisting of only 14 phonemes -- 8 consonant phonemes and 6 vowel phonemes, though allophony produces between two and five additional phones depending on dialect.

Consonants

Bilabial Labio-dental Alveolar Palatal
Nasal m n
Plosive p (t) d
Fricative v s
Approximant ɹ (j)
Lateral app. l (ʎ)
  1. [t] is an allophone of /d/ and occurs word-finally.
  2. [j] is an allophone of /i/ that occurs in Low Dyrel following /l/.
  3. /l:/, /l:+i/ or /l:+ɪ/ all merge to [ʎ] in High Dyrel.

Vowels

Front Near-front Central Back
Close i u
Near-close ɪ
Close-mid e ɵ
Open a
  1. High Dyrel has three diphthongs, [aɪ], [ɵɪ], and [eɪ].

Phonotactics

/p/ occurs only in onset position, alone or as the first element in a cluster.
Onset clusters are /pɹ/ or /dɹ/.
Coda clusters are /l/ or /ɹ/ + any non-approximant consonant except /p/, including [lt] and [ɹt] word-finally.
Except for [ʎ]-coalescence, all homorganic clusters merge (consonants and vowels).
/ɪi/ and /iɪ/ merge to [i].

Orthography

Dyrel is mostly phonemic. Most graphemes are the equivalent of IPA. Non-IPA equivalents are listed here:

d = [t] word finally
r = /ɹ/
i = [j] (allophone; normally /i/)
y = /ɪ/
o = /ɵ/
ll, lli, lly = [ʎ]
ï = [ɪ̯] (in diphthongs)
' = [u] (marks the vocative case)

In Dyrel, in addition to case markers, case is usually indicated by placing an acute accent (´) over the first letter of the case marker.

Some orthographic rules apply only to High Dyrel. These are as follows:

Root-final orthographic l (/l/) is doubled before an element beginning with a vowel. This triggers the allophonic variant [ʎ].
Diphthongization is indicated by placing a diaresis over the second element in the diphthong, which is always /i/ (ï). The diaresis disappears if the morpheme that triggers diphthongization is the genitive case marker, since this is indicated by í.

Grammar

Morphology

Dyrel is an agglunative, but not polysynthetic language. Compounding occurs, however, compound words usually contain only two roots, though some roots are frequently treated as affixes or clitics which can increase the total number of roots in a word.

Dyrel has seven cases:

  1. Nominative (-ŕy)
  2. Accusative (unmarked)
  3. Construct State (unmarked)
  4. Dative (-śa)
  5. Instrumental (-ńe)
  6. Genitive (-í)
  7. Vocative ('-)

The plural of nouns and pronouns is indicated by the prefix i-.

Verbs inflect for person and aspect, but not tense (except future) or number. The infinitive is marked by eï- (Low Dyrel: e-). The prefixes indicating person are identical to the singular personal pronouns in their unmarked form (see Pronouns and Demonstratives section below).

The tense and aspect markers are as follows:

perfect: al-
progressive: so-
future: sir-

Syntax

Default word order in Dyrel is SOV, though in theory word order is relatively free because of the extensive case marking. Modifiers precede the element that they modify, except genitives, which follow their construct state referents. Elements in the construct state do not take the nominative case marker even if in the nominative; i.e. on veí "my house" regardless of whether it is the subject or an object.

Pronouns and Demonstratives

As indicated above, the singular unmarked personal pronouns are equivalent to the verbal person marking, and their plural and case marking is the same as with nouns. These are the personal pronouns:

1st person: ve/ive
2nd person: su/isu
3rd person common: ma/ima
3rd person neuter: do/ido

Dyrel has a simple proximate vs. distal distinction in demonstratives. Demonstratives are not marked for number, and among most speakers are not marked for case, even when used alone, and never when followed by a noun. The proximate demonstrative is era and the distal demonstrative is vera.