Efenol

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Efenol
Pronunciation /e.fe.ˈnol/
Created by
Setting
Date 2010
Language family
Proto-Indo-European
  • Latin
    • Romance
      • Spanish
        • Old Efenol
          • Efenol
Writing system Latin
ISO 639-3

Efenol /e.fe.ˈnol/ is an a posteriori constructed language descended from modern Spanish. Its phonology was inspired by Sindarin and Celtic languages and the language features consonant and vowel mutation in its morphology. It was created around the year 2010.

Efenol is a pluricentric language with a wide range of dialects. Southern Efenol, the earliest variety to split off, is distinct enough to be considered a different language and will not be covered in this article. The western variety, Western Efenol or Efenol del'Oth (/e.fe.ˈnol de.ˈloθ/) serves as the main standard language.

The name "Efenol" comes from "español", one of the Spanish names for the Spanish language itself.

Contents

About Efenol dialects

In addition to Western Efenol, the standard dialect where most examples in this article will be drawn from, Efenol features several dialectal varities. The main division affecting Efenol varieties is the split between Southern Efenol (which may be considered a separate language) and the so-called North-Central Efenol, which may also be referred as Efenol proper. This article will mostly deal with North-Central Efenol varieties.

The main dialects of the North-Central Efenol ar:

  • Western Efenol, the standard variety and the largest Efenol proper dialect by number of speakers.
  • Northern Efenol, a more conservative variety and the second largest North-Central dialect by number of speakers.
  • Eastern Efenol, which features vowel reduction and palatalization of velars.
  • North-Eastern Efenol, which can be seens as a transitional variety between Northern and Eastern Efenol.
  • Central Efenol, often grouped together with Western Efenol.
  • North-Western Efenol, closely related to Western Efenol but divergent in a number of ways.
  • "Hunzad", a particularly divergent form of Northern Efenol which features vowel harmony.
  • Several "mixed" dialects which combine Western and Central Efenol features with Southern Efenol features.

Extrafictionally, many of these dialects were originally planned as revisions of the Efenol language (whose original form most closely resembles Western Efenol) before being reworked as dialects.

Despite the fact that Western Efenol is the culturally-dominant form of the language and prevails in written material, each variety has its own dialectal orthography, many of which are fundamentally different from the standard orthography used for the Western dialect.

It should also be noted that there is some intradialectal variation as well. Particularly, there are some features which vary between Standard Efenol (based on the Western dialect) and other regional forms of Western Efenol.

Phonology

Note: Unless otherwise noted, the content of this section is based on the Western Efenol standard.

Consonants

Western Efenol Labial Dental Alveolar Alv.-Pal. Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasals m n ŋ
Plosives p b t d k g
Fricatives f v θ ð s z (ʃ) (ʒ) (ç) x h
Approximants j w
Flap ɾ
Trills r ʀ
Laterals l ʎ ɫ

Notes:

  • Affecting all dialects::
    • As usual, nasal codae assimilate to neighbouring consonants. For instance, all instances of /nf/ become /ɱf/.
    • The stops /t/ and /d/ are usually dental although alveolar realizations can also be found. Most Efenol speakers fail to notice any difference between these two pronunciations.
    • Other than in Eastern Efenol, voiced stops are truly plosives in all contexts. This contrasts with Spanish where the phonemes often transcribed as /b/, /d/ and /g/ are typically realized as voiced approximants.
    • As it was also the case in Spanish, the flap /ɾ/ does not occur in word-initial position.
  • About Western Efenol:
    • A glottal stop /ʔ/ only appears as a lenited form of /g/ for some speakers. Most speakers drop it altogether.
    • The phoneme /ʃ/ is only found as a palatalized /s/ and may alternate with /sj/. Its voiced version /ʒ/ is marginal and is equivalent to the rare /zj/ sequence.
    • In Western and North-Western Efenol word-final /v/ are often realized as [β].
    • The phoneme /ç/ may only arise as a rare lenited form of /ʃ/ (where it would corresponds to a /hj/) or as an allophone of a word-final /g/, particularly after an /i/. In the latter case, some Western Efenol speakers may also use [ʝ], [x], [ɣ] or simply [g].
    • In Western Efenol, the phoneme /r/ only occurs at the beginning of a lexeme (it may appear in non-word-initial position in compounds or if preclitics or prefixes are involved). Most Western Efenol speakeres fully merge /r/ and /ʀ/ into /ʀ/, regardless of the context. This common merger, however, is not reflected in Standard Efenol.
    • All instances of word-final /l/ with a preceding /i/ are palatalized to /ʎ/. This is also true for North-Western Efenol but not for any other Efenol variety. This pronunciation isn't reflected in writing.
    • The velarized lateral /ɫ/ is in free variation with the lateral fricatives /ɬ/ and /ɮ/.
  • About other dialects:
    • Central Efenol is the only major variety to preserve /ɲ/ (Spanish <Ñ>) as a distinct phoneme. The sound may still be found in other dialects as an allophone of /n/.
    • Northern Efenol does not allow any instances of word-initial /ŋ/. Many speakers will also pronounce word-final /ŋ/ as /ŋg/ (which may also be analyzed as /ng/) or simply /n/ and thus lack [ŋ] as a distinct phoneme. This may also be found for some North-Eastern and Central Efenol speakers.
    • Dialects other than Western and North-Western Efenol lack the glottal stop /ʔ/ phoneme.
    • In Eastern Efenol voiced stops and voiced fricatives are merged into a single voiced approximant series. Thus, [b] and [v] in other varieties correspond to Eastern Efenol [β̞].
    • Eastern Efenol merges the phonemes /s/ and /z/ into /s/. This is also the case for most Central Efenol speakers and a small minority of Western Efenol speakers.
    • The phonemes /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ are only found as such in the Western and North-Western dialects.
    • The phoneme /ç/ is found in North-Eastern Efenol as a lenited form of /g/ and in Northern and North-Western Efenol as a word-final allophone of /g/ (as in Standard Efenol).
    • Eastern Efenol features the phoneme /ʝ/.
    • Central Efenol features the phoneme /ɣ/.
    • Eastern and North-Eastern Efenol merge /x/ and /h/ into /x/. Meanwhile, some forms of Northern Efenol (most notably Hunzad) merge both phonemes to /h/, although most Northern Efenol speakers keep the distinction.
    • A minority of Northern Efenol speakers feature a pharyngeal fricative /ħ/ as a phoneme arising from a lenited /g/ (typically expressed as /x/ in Northern Efenol). This subdialectal feature, once also found in North-Western and some forms of Western Efenol, is sharply falling out of use.
    • Eastern, North-Western and most forms of North-Eastern Efenol feature alveolo-palatal affricates /tʃ/ and /dʒ/.
    • Northern and North-Eastern Efenol feature an alveolar affricate /ts/.
    • Some Eastern and North-Eastern varieties feature a voiceless approximant /ʍ/.
    • Unlike Western (and North-Western) Efenol, the alveolar trill /r/ may occur word-medially in other dialects. Only Northern and Central Efenol allow a word-final trill.
    • Northern Efenol merges the trills /r/ and /ʀ/ into /r/. This is also found in some forms of Central and North-Eastern Efenol.
    • In Northern and Eastern Efenol /ʎ/ is in free variation with /lj/.
    • The phoneme /ɫ/ is merged with /l/ in Eastern, North-Eastern and Central Efenol and replaced with /ɬ/ or /ɮ/ (in free variation) in most forms of North-Western Efenol. Northern, some North-Western and a small amount of Central speakers keep the phoneme /ɫ/ unchanged. The Hunzad Northern Efenol variety replaces /ɫ/ with /gl/, a curious development as Spanish /gl/ is a common source for Efenol /ɫ/.

Vowels

While the vowel inventories vary from dialect to dialect, all varieties expand on the pentavocalic Spanish inventory, ranging from 6 to 15 different vowel qualities.

Standard Efenol, based on the most common Western Efenol varieties, distinguishes 8 different vowels:

  • A central low vowel, [ä]. For the sake of convenience (and due to the lack of a contrasting front low vowel), this phoneme is usually transcribed as /a/.
  • Mid-high phonemes /e/ and /o/. Notice that unlike Spanish <e> and <o> which are actually true mid vowels [e̞] and [o̞], Standard Efenol /e/ and /o/ are true mid-high [e] and [o].
  • High /i/ and /u/ as in Spanish.
  • The rounded front-vowel /y/.
  • Mid-low /ɛ/ and /ɔ/.

Some Western speakers may merge /e/ and /ɛ/ to /e̞/, /o/ and /ɔ/ to /o̞/ or both; yielding the minimal vowel inventory for any Efenol variety: /a e̞ o̞ i y u/ in comparison to Standard /a ɛ ɔ e o i y u/. Some speakers which preserve the /e/ vs /ɛ/ distinction may realize the latter as /ɜ/.

The Central dialect merges /o/ and /ɔ/ into /o̞/ and is otherwise identical to the Standard language: /a ɛ e o̞ i y u/.

The North-Western dialect also merges /o/ and /ɔ/ (although the result is typically still realized as a mid-high [o]) but replaces the vowel /ɛ/ with /ə/ (which also arise from a reduced vowel but may still appear in stressed position). This results in the inventory /a ə e o i y u/.

Northern Efenol merges Standard Efenol /o/ and /ɔ/ into /o̞/ and has the rounded vowel /ø/ (actually also a mid-vowel [ø̞]) instead of Standard /ɛ/. Thus the Northern vowel inventory is comprised of /a e̞ ø̞ o̞ i y u/.

The defining feature of the Hunzad variety of Northern Efenol is that it features two vowel harmony classes: 'light' (with front vowels) and 'dark' words (with back vowels). Most vowel phonemes are split into a light and a dark equivalent: Northern /a/~[ä] becomes light [a] or dark [ɒ], /e/ becomes [e] or [ɘ], /ø/ becomes [ɘ] or [ø], /o/ becomes [ʌ] (or [ɘ]) or [o], /i/ becomes [i] or [ɨ]~[ʉ] (in free variation), /y/ becomes [ɨ]~[ʉ] or [y] and /u/ becomes [y] or [u]. This results in a 11-vowel inventory comprised of /a ɒ ʌ e ø ɘ o i y ɨ~ʉ u/.

Eastern Efenol, however, features the largest vowel inventory as it features lax and tense vowel pairs due to vowel reduction. Tense vowels include /ä e ø o i y u/ while their lax equivalents can be /a ɛ œ ɔ ɪ ʏ ʊ/ although nearly all Eastern Efenol varieties merge unstressed /ɛ/ and /œ/ into /ɛ/ while some varieties also merge stressed /e/ and /ø/ into /e/. In addition to those vowels, Eastern Efenol features a schwa /ə/ as an epenthetic vowel. Thus, the vowel inventory is /a ä ɛ (œ) ɔ ə e ø o ɪ ʏ ʊ i y u/ with /œ/ being absent from most forms of Eastern Efenol. North-Eastern Efenol features the same vowel inventory (and largely with the same variations) but usually omitting the schwa /ə/ except perhaps as a reduced /ä/ in free variation with [a]: /a~ə ä ɛ (œ) ɔ e ø o ɪ ʏ ʊ i y u/.

In all dialects vowel length is phonemic and independent from stress. In Eastern and North-Eastern dialects long vowels have tense vowel qualities. Thus, a long /iː/ in Standard Efenol would always correspond to an Eastern /iː/ (rather than */ɪː/) even the stress lied elsewhere.

Clusters of short vowels are typically realized as diphthongs.

Prosody

Efenol features phonemic lexical stress. Stress typically falls on the last syllable but it is not predictable. Stress is completely independent from vowel length.

A rising intonation is associated to questions (which may be formed by intonation alone, as it is also the case in standard Spanish).

Orthography

Despite the fact that Standard Efenol (based on Western Efenol) dominates the written language, each dialect has an orthography of its own.

There are two main families of dialectal orthographies: western-like (based on the Standard, Western orthography) and northern-like (an alternative originally formulated for Northern Efenol). There are major differences between the two: western-like orthographies use a large number of digraphs and for the most part have only one pronunciation for each letter while northernlike orthographies use a reduced number of digraphs but have letters whose pronunciation vary depending on their position within a word.

It should be noted that voiced fricatives like /ð/ are more common in word-medial or word-final position than matching voiced plosives like /d/ while the opposite takes place word-initially: words beginning with /ð/ are near non-existing while words beginning with /d/ are common. Northern-like orthographies take advantage of this fact by re-using one letter representations for initial voiced stops (such as <d> for /d/) and for non-initial fricatives (<d> for non-initial /ð/). For example, the Efenol word for 'decided', decendeded from Spanish "decidido", becomes the 10-letter long Western Efenol word "dethidhidh" in a western-like orthography but is mereley 7 letters long in Northern Efenol: "dezidid" despite the word having identical pronunciation in both varieties: /de.θi.ˈðið/. It should be noted that northern-like orthographies often look closer to Spanish while western-like orthographies typically have a more ideosyncratic look.

Both kinds of orthographies are intended to be unambiguous to read although stress isn't marked realiably in all cases. On the other hand, spelling is not fully predictable from pronunciation in either orthography family since some sounds are written differently depending on whether the phoneme is the result of lenition (or another form of consonant mutation) or not. For instance, the words ban ('they go', from Spanish "van") and pban ('(made) of bread', from Spanish "de pan") are spelled differently despite both being pronounced /ban/ since the /b/ in the latter is a lenited form of the /p/ in pan ('bread', from Spanish "pan").

In addition to western-like and northern-like orthographies, Hunzad, a variety of Northern Efenol, has distinct orthography (with little commonalities to either group) devised by linguists who studied the dialect. However that orthography never caught on with Hunzad speakers themselves who'd typically use the usual Northern Efenol orthography instead.

Common features of western and northern-like orthographies

Some common features found in both kinds of orthographies include:

  • Being based on the Latin alphabet, avoiding (for the most part) unusual pronunciations.
  • Marking long vowels with a circumflex accent, e.g. <â> for the long version of <a>.
  • Using digraphs with the letter <h> as their second element.
  • Using the letter <c> for the phoneme /k/ even before /e/ and /i/ (Eastern Efenol's orthography being an exception to this).
  • Using <cg>, <pb> and <td> to mark lenited 'c', 'p' and 't'.
  • Marking stress position through the same strategy: an acute accent is placed over the stressed vowel except when it's on the last syllable of a word or when the vowel already carries a diacritic.

The last point makes it possible to distinguish words like madher /ma.ˈðeɾ/ (wood) from mádher /ˈma.ðeɾ/ (mother) although it fails to determine whether a word like mîrchël (Wednesday) would be /miːɾ.ˈxɛl/ (as expected by a lack of acute accents) or /ˈmiːɾ.xɛl/ (with a missing acute accent over the <î> as it already carries a circumflex accent). Luckily, in the case of "mîrchel", both pronunciations are valid and synonymous.

Western-like orthographies

Western-like orthographies are used for Western Efenol (the basis for Standard Efenol), North-Western Efenol and by some Central Efenol speakers (which may also choose to write in a northern-like orthography).

Key features of western-like orthographies include the usage of digraphs for most fricatives such as <ch> for /x/, <th> for /θ/ and <dh> for /ð/. Except for <r>, which is pronounced /r/ word-initially or /ɾ/ otherwise, letters and digraphs retain the same pronunciation regardless of their position within a word.

The following table shows the sound correspondences for letters and digraphs in these orthographies:

Letter Pronunciation Notes
a /a/ [ä] Also <á> if stressed and not in the final syllable.
â /aː/ [äː]
b /b/
bh /v/ Represents a lenited < b > /b/.
/v/ Word-finally, typically realized as [β] in Western and North-Western Efenol.
bw /v/ Represents a lenited <pw> /p/ (descended from a Spanish /kw/).

Not used in North-Western Efenol.

c /k/ Always represents a /k/ sound (other than in digraphs), unlike English or Spanish <c>.
ch /x/
chw /xw/, /x/ Represents a mutated <pw> /p/ (descended from a Spanish /kw/).

Not used in North-Western Efenol. The pronunciations /xw/ and /x/ are in free

variation in Western and Central Efenol, with /xw/ being preferred in the former

and /x/ in the latter.

cg /g/ Represents a lenited <c> /k/ unless the word is preceded by a determiner or possessive,

in that case the /g/ sound is spelled as <g>.

d /d/
dh /ð/
dj /dʒ/ Only found in North-Western Efenol.
e /e/ Also <é> if stressed and not in the final syllable. Some Western Efenol speakers

realize the phoneme as [e̞] and merge it with /ɛ/.

/e̯/, /j/ Non-syllabic pronunciation when next to another vowel. Pronounced as a non-syllabic

/e/ in North-Western Efenol and in some Western Efenol subdialects and as a /j/ or a

non-syllabic /i/ in most Western Efenol varieties (including Standard Efenol) and in

Central Efenol. May be written 'i' in Central Efenol.

ê /eː/ Some Western Efenol speakers pronounce /eː/ as [e̞ː].
ë /ɛ/, /ə/ /ɛ/ in Western and Central Efenol (may also be merged with /e/ into [e̞] in the former.

/ə/ in North-Western Efenol.

f /f/
g /g/
[ç] Word-finally in Western and North-Western Efenol. Other pronunciations may also be

found, including [ʝ], [x], [ɣ] or simply [g].

gh /ʔ/, Ø, /ɣ/ Represents a lenited, lexeme-initial <g> /g/. Pronounced as either a glottal stop or as a

null phoneme (silent) in Western and North-Western Efenol and as a voiced velar

fricative /ɣ/ in Central Efenol.

h /h/
hb /b/ Represents a word-final /b/ descended from a Spanish /mb/ that alternates with the

digraph <mm> /m/. Not used in North-Western Efenol.

hd /d/ Represents a word-final /d/ descended from a Spanish /nd/ that alternates with the

digraph <nn> /n/. Not used in North-Western Efenol.

hg /g/ Represents a word-final /g/ descended from a Spanish /ng/ that alternates with the

digraph <ng> /ŋ/ (or <nn> /n/ in Central Efenol). Not used in North-Western Efenol

i /i/ Also <í> if stressed and not in the final syllable.
/j/ An alternative to non-syllabic <e> in Central Efenol.
î /iː/
ij /yː/ Orthographic equivalent to <ŷ>; preferred for long /y/ in Western and North-Western

Efenol; <ŷ> is preferred in Central Efenol.

j /ʒ/ Only found in North-Western Efenol.
l /l/
/ʎ/ In Western and North-Western Efenol when word-final and preceded by an /i/.
lh /ʎ/
lw /ɫ/, [ɬ], [ɮ] All three realizations are found in free variation in Western and North-Western Efenol

while the phoneme is absent from Central Efenol.

m /m/
mh /v/ Represents a lenited <m> /m/
mm /m/ Used word-finally to represent a former Spanish /mb/.
n /n/ May assimilate to adjacent consonants.
nn /n/ Used word-finally to represent a former Spanish /nd/. Central Efenol speakers who

merge /ŋ/ and /n/ may also use <nn> /n/ to represent a former Spanish /ng/.

ng /ŋ/ Some Central Efenol speakers may merge it with /n/ or, more rarely, with /ɲ/.
ñ /ɲ/ Only found in Central Efenol.
o /o/ Also <ó> (not to be confused with <ò>) if stressed and not in the final syllable.

Pronounced as a true mid-vowel [o̞] in Central Efenol and in regional varieties of

Western Efenol which merge /o/ and /ɔ/ (it should be noted that, despite featuring such

a merger, North-Western Efenol keeps the upper-mid pronunciation [o]).

ô /oː/ Mid [o̞ː] in Central Efenol and in Western varieties that merge /o/ and /ɔ/.
ò /ɔ/ Only found in Western Efenol.
p /p/
pb /b/ Represents a lenited

/p/ unless the word is preceded by a determiner or a

possessive, in that case the /b/ sound is spelled .

ph /f/ Represents a mutated <p> /p/.
pw /p/ Represents a /p/ that descends from a Spanish /kw/. This distinction is relevant in

Western and Central Efenol as <pw> behaves different than <p> under consonant

mutation. In North-Western Efenol /p/ behaves in the same way regardless of its origin

and the digraph <pw> isn't used.

r /r/ Word-initially. Most Western and North-Western Efenol speakers merge /r/ and /ʀ/

into the latter.

/ɾ/ Non word-initially.
rh /ʀ/ Some Central Efenol speakers merge /ʀ/ and /r/ into /r/. Those speakers may replace all

instances of <rh> with <r> (if word-initial) or <rr> (otherwise).

rr /r/ Only used in Central Efenol for non word-initial /r/.
s /s/
sc /ʃ/ Only used in North-Western Efenol.
se /ʃ/, /sj/ Preceding a vowel. The phoneme /s/ palatalizes to /ʃ/ in North-Western Efenol and in

most Western varieties while the sequence is just interpreted as /sj/ in Central Efenol or

in other Western Efenol varieties.

sh /h/ Represents a lenited 's' /s/.
she /ç/ Represents a lenited <se> /ʃ/; see notes for <se>.
ss /z/ Represents a mutated /s/.
sse /ʒ/ Represents a mutated <se> /ʃ/; see notes for <se>.
t /t/
tc /tʃ/, /ʃ/, /s/ Represents the phoneme /tʃ/ in North-Western Efenol.

In Western Efenol, <tc> is used sparingly and may be pronounced as /ʃ/ or /s/.

In Central Efenol the digraph is replaced with the letter <S> /s/.

td /d/ Represents a lenited <t> /d/ unless the word is preceded by a determiner or a

possessive, then the /d/ sound is spelled <d>.

th /θ/
u /u/ Also <ú> if stressed and not in the final syllable of a word.
û /uː/
v /v/ Replaced with <bh> in word-final position.
w /w/
wh /vw/, /v/ Represents a lenited <w> /w/. Read /vw/ in most forms of Western Efenol and as /v/

in Central Efenol, North-Western Efenol and in other Western Efenol varieties.

y /y/ Also <ý> if stressed and not in the final syllable of a word (although speakers are

particularly likely not to write the acute accent if the affected vowel is an <y>).

ŷ /yː/ In Western and North-Western Efenol <ŷ> is often replaced with the digraph <ij>.
z /z/ Many Central Efenol speakers merge /s/ and /z/ into /s/. Those speakers may rewrite

words with <z> in Standard Efenol with an <S>.

With the exception of Central Efenol's <ñ> (considered a letter on its own, collated between <n> and <o>), letters with diacritics and digraphs aren't taken into account for collation purposes.

One noticeable feature of western-like orthographies and of Efenol as a whole is the usage of the interpunct or middle-dot <·>. This punctuation mark is used to separate articles from consonant-initial nouns: a (the, singular feminine definite article) + man (hand): a·mhan (the hand). North-Western Efenol also uses an interpunct for plural definite articles before vowel-initial nouns: ah (the, plural feminine definite article) + evich (bees): ah·evich. Otherwise, contractions where the second element beings with a vowel are indicated with apostrophes: l (singular definite article) + avech (bee): l'avech.

Apostrophes are also used to indicate the attributive/genitive case of nouns (typically expressed through lenition) when the initial consonant of the noun is invariable to lenition. For example, the attributive form of falth (silver) becomes 'falth (of silver, made of silver) despite keeping its pronunciation unchanged (compare cóver, 'copper' vs the lenited form cgóver, 'of copper, made of copper').

Northern-like orthographies

Northern-like orthographies are used for Northern Efenol, Eastern Efenol, North-Eastern Efenol and by some Central Efenol speakers (which may also choose to write in a western-like orthography). The orthography of the Southern Efenol language (not covered in this article) is also closest to the northern model.

Key features of northern-like orthographies include the usage single letters for some sounds represented as digraphs in western-like orthographies such as <h> for /x/ instead of Western <ch> or <z> for /θ/ instead of Western <th>.

Another salient feature of northern-like orthographies is that the letter <d> represents voiced stops word-initially but stands for voiced fricatives in other positions.

The following table shows the sound correspondences for letters and digraphs in these orthographies:

Letter Pronunciation Notes
a /a/ [ä] Also <á> if stressed and not in the final syllable. In Eastern and North-Eastern Efenol,

an stressed short <a> will be pronounced as a central [ä] while an unstressed short <a>

is reduced to a frontal [a] or, in some North-Eastern varieties, a schwa [ə].

â /aː/ [äː]
b /b/ Represents a bilabial approximant, [β̞], in Eastern Efenol.
bb /b/ Used in Central Efenol to represent a word-final /b/ descended from a Spanish /mb/,

corresponds to Western -hb.

bh /v/ Represents a lenited 'b' /b/. Not used in Eastern Efenol.
c /k/, /tʃ/ In Northern, North-Eastern and Central dialects, <c> always represents a /k/ sound

(other than in digraphs), unlike English or Spanish <c>.


In Eastern Efenol, however, the letter <c> represents the phoneme /tʃ/ before front

vowels and /k/ elsewhere. A large number of Eastern speakers prefer to sidestep this

ambiguity by always using the letter <ç> for /tʃ/ and spelling all remaining /k/'s as <k>.

ch /x/ Represents a mutated <c> /k/ (or potentially an Eastern Efenol <k> /k/).
cg /g/, /dʒ/ As /g/ (or [ɰ] in Eastern Efenol): represents a lenited <c> /k/ unless the word is preceded by

a determiner or possessive, in that case the /g/ sound is spelled as <g>.


In Eastern Efenol, a lenited <c> before a front vowel (pronounced /tʃ/) yields /dʒ/ which may

also be spelled as <j>. In this dialect, the digraph <cg> when pronounced /dʒ/ cannot be

reduced to <g>, even if the word was preceded by a determiner or a possessive.

ç /tʃ/ Only used in Eastern Efenol (although North-Eastern Efenol may also use it for

Eastern Efenol borrowings).


In Eastern Efenol <ç> may be used either to supplement <c> when /tʃ/ does not

immediately precede a front vowel or as the only representation of /tʃ/, replacing <c>.


The digraph <tç> is preferred in word-final position.

d /d/, /ð/ Represents a voiced stop /d/ in word-initial position and voiced fricative /ð/ elsewhere.

In Eastern Efenol both sounds are merged into a voiced approximant /ð̞/.

dd /d/ Represents a voiced stop /d/ in non word-initial position. Not used in Eastern Efenol.

Also used in Central Efenol to represent a word-final /d/ descended from a Spanish /nd/,

corresponds to Western -hd.

dh /ð/ Makes it possible to write words with an initial /ð/. Typically found as a lenited initial <d>.

Not used in Eastern Efenol.

dj /dʒ/ Only found in North-Western Efenol.
e /e/, /ɛ/ Also <é> when stressed if not in the final syllable of a word. In Northern Efenol, the

phoneme is pronounced as a mid vowel [e̞], in Central Efenol <e> is always an upper-mid

[e] while in Eastern and North-Eastern Efenol the vowel is upper-mid [e] when stressed or

lower-mid [ɛ] when unstressed.

ê /eː/ Northern Efenol speakers pronounce /eː/ as [e̞ː].
ë /ɛ/ Only used in Central Efenol.
f /f/
g /g/ Word-initially. Pronounced as a voiced-approximant [ɰ] in Eastern Efenol.
[ç], [x], [g] Word-finally, <g> is realized as a [ç] in Northern and North-Eastern Efenol, [x] in Eastern

Efenol and simply as [g] in Central Efenol.

gg /g/ Used in Central Efenol to represent a word-final /g/ descended from a Spanish /ng/,

corresponds to Western -hg.

gh /ɣ/, /x/, /ç/, /ʝ/ Represents a lenited, lexeme-initial <g> /g/. Pronounced as a voiced velar fricative /ɣ/ in

Central Efenol; as a voiceless velar fricative [x] in Northern Efenol (with [h] and [ħ] as

regional variants), as a voiceless palatal fricative /ç/ in North-Eastern Efenol and as a voiced

palatal fricative /ʝ/ in Eastern Efenol.

h /x/ In Northern Efenol some speakers may pronounce <h> as /h/.
hw /x/, /xw/, /ʍ/ Used in Eastern, Central and certain North-Eastern Efenol varieties to represent a

mutated <pw> or <p> /p/ descended from a Spanish /kw/.

/x/ is the prevailing pronunciation in Central Efenol (where /xw/ can nonetheless also

be found); /xw/ is more commonly found in Eastern Efenol although some speakers

may use /x/ or /ʍ/ instead. Meanwhile, some North-Eastern speakers may use the

phoneme /ʍ/ although <f> /f/ remains the most usual alternative in this dialect group.

Some Eastern Efenol may conflate /kw/-derived /p/ and inherited Spanish /p/ entirely

and use <ph> /f/ instead in case of rhotic or nasal mutation.

i /i/ Also <í> if stressed and not in the final syllable. In Eastern and North-Eastern Efenol the

vowel is pronounced [i] when stressed and [ɪ] otherwise.

/j/ When next to another vowel.
î /iː/
j /dʒ/ Only found in Eastern Efenol (or, occasionally, in Eastern Efenol borrowings used by

North-Eastern Efenol speakers). Typically reduced to /ʒ/ in word-final position.

k /k/ Only used in Eastern Efenol as an alternative to <c> that always represents the /k/

sound.

kg /g/ [ɰ] Alternative to <cg> (when pronounced [ɰ]) in Eastern Efenol; not used in any other

dialect (except as a symbol for kilograms).

kh /x/ Alternative to <ch> in Eastern Efenol; not used in any other dialect.
l /l/
lh /ɫ/ Only used in Northern Efenol and by a small amount of Central speakers who haven't merged

this phoneme with /l/.

The letters may also be read individually as /lx/; an apostrophe may be used to unambiguously

break the digraph.

li /ʎ/, /lj/ The phoneme /ʎ/ and the sequence /lj/ are in free variation in Northern, North-Eastern and

Eastern Efenol. The phoneme /ʎ/, distinct from /lj/, is represented as <ll> in Central Efenol.

ll /ʎ/ Only used in Central Efenol.
m /m/
mh /v/ Represents a lenited <m> /m/
mm /m/ Used word-finally to represent a former Spanish /mb/. Only used in Central Efenol.
n /n/ May assimilate to adjacent consonants.
nn /n/ Only used in Central Efenol. Used word-finally to represent a former Spanish /nd/. Central

Efenol speakers who merge /ŋ/ and /n/ may also use <nn> /n/ to represent a former Spanish /ng/.

ng /ŋ/ Some Central Efenol speakers may merge it with /n/ or, more rarely, with /ɲ/.

Always read as /ng/ [ŋg] in Northern Efenol.

ñ /ɲ/ Only found in Central Efenol.
o /o/ Also <ó> if stressed and not in the final syllable. Pronounced as a true mid-vowel [o̞] in

Central and Northern Efenol and as either [o] or [ɔ] (depending on whether it is stressed or

not, respectively) in the Eastern and North-Eastern dialects.

ô /oː/ Mid [o̞ː] in Northern and Central Efenol; [oː] in Eastern and North-Eastern Efenol.
ö /ø/ Not used in Central Efenol. In Northern Efenol, <ö> is pronounced as a mid vowel [ø̞] while

in Eastern and North-Eastern Efenol it is an upper-mid [ø] when stressed and either an [ɛ] or

an [œ] when unstressed (with the former realization being far more common).

öe /øː/, /øi/ Both pronunciations are in free variation in Northern Efenol; the digraph isn't used in other

dialects.

ò /ɔ/ Only found in Western Efenol.
p /p/
pb /b/ Represents a lenited <p> /p/ unless the word is preceded by a determiner or a

possessive, in that case the /b/ sound is spelled <b>.

Pronounced [β̞] in Eastern Efenol.

ph /f/ Represents a mutated <p> /p/.
pv /v/ Represents a lenited <p> or <pw> /p/ that was originally a Spanish <kw>.

Using <v> is a permissible (though not as popular) alternative spelling

The digraph isn't used in Eastern Efenol where <b> or <pb> are used instead.

pw /p/ Represents a /p/ that descends from a Spanish /kw/. Not used in Northern or Eastern

Efenol and rarely used (and optional) in North-Eastern Efenol. The digraph remains

common (although also optional) in Central Efenol.

r /r/ Word-initially
/ɾ/ Non word-initially.
rh /ʀ/ Not used in Northern Efenol. Some Central Efenol speakers merge /ʀ/ and /r/ into /r/. Those

speakers may replace all instances of <rh> /ʀ/ with <r> (if word-initial) or <rr> (otherwise).

The letters may also be read individually as /ɾx/; an apostrophe may be used to unambiguously

break the digraph.

rr /r/ Only used in Central Efenol for non word-initial /r/.
s /s/
sh /h/, /x/ Represents a lenited <S> /s/. Pronounced /h/ in Northern and Central Efenol and /x/ in

Eastern Efenol; North-Eastern varieties may have either pronunciation although the latter is

slightly more typical.

In Northern and Central Efenol, the digraph <sh> is used for all instances of /h/.

ss /z/ Not used in Eastern Efenol which merges the phonemes /s/ and /z/ into /s/. Some Central and

North-Eastern Efenol varieties may also have this merger and spell accordingly.

t /t/
/tʃ/ Found only in Eastern Efenol as a word-final representation for /tʃ/.
td /d/ Represents a lenited <t> /d/ unless the word is preceded by a determiner or a

possessive, then the /d/ sound is spelled <d>.

Pronounced [ð̞] in Eastern Efenol.

th /θ/ Represents a mutated <t>, /t/.
ts /ts/ Found only in Northern and North-Eastern Efenol.
u /u/ Also <ú> if stressed and not in the final syllable of a word. In Eastern and North-Eastern

Efenol, the vowel is pronounced [u] when stressed or [ʊ] otherwise.

û /uː/
v /v/
w /w/
wh /v/ Represents a lenited <w> /w/.
y /y/ Also <ý> if stressed and not in the final syllable of a word. In Eastern and North-Eastern

Efenol, the vowel is pronounced [y] when stressed or [ʏ] otherwise.

ŷ /yː/
z /θ/

Northern-like orthographies have a more limited usage of interpuncts: they aren't used in Northern Efenol and they are only used in other dialects if the article triggers some kind of mutation on the initial syllable of a noun. Thus, in Eastern Efenol, the singular form of 'the hand', which features a lenition, is a·mhan but its plural form, 'the hands', which does not feature lenition, is a mein.

In addition to being used to mark contractions, in Eastern Efenol apostrophes are also used to indicate epenthetic schwas as in kör'n /ˈkøɾən/.

Optionally, an apostrophe may also be used to break instances where the letters <r> or <l> occur next to an <h> without forming the digraphs <rh> and <lh>. This would distinguish Central Efenol marh /maʀ/ ('lean, without fat') from mar'h /maɾx/ ('frame'). The sequence <rh> is unambiguously /ɾx/ in Northern Efenol (as it lacks the <rh> digraph) so it never requires a 'breaking' apostrophe. Similarly, word-final <rh> is unambiguously /ɾx/ in all dialects other than Central Efenol since they don not allow word-final /ʀ/. Similarly, breaking the <lh> digraph is only necessary in Northern Efenol as Central, North-Eastern and Eastern dialects lack the phoneme represented as <lh> sound.

Mutation

Efenol makes an extensive use of both vowel mutation (or ablaut) and consonant mutation. These processes occur both diachronically (in the evolution from Spanish to Efenol) and synchronically (within the modern language as part of its grammar). For the most part, the same changes are involved in both cases (dia- and synchronically).

Vowel mutation

There are three main types of vowel mutation. Two of them are the result of a now-lost front vowel (either Spanish /i/ or /e/): strong i-ablaut and weak i-ablaut. Synchronically i-ablaut is used for plural forming where strong i-ablaut affects stressed syllables while weak i-ablaut affects the rest; diachronically only only one form of i-ablaut is found, typically affecting a vowel that preceded a a /CjV/ sequence. A third type of vowel mutation from an elided rounded back vowel: u-ablaut.

The following table illustrates the results of these three kinds of synchronic vowel mutation for the most common vowel combinations in Western Efenol. Notice that in this dialect <ë> and <ij> are read as /ɛ/ and /yː/ respectively.

Vowel Strong i-ablaut Weak i-ablaut U-ablaut
a ei e ò
e î i ë
i î i y
o ë ë o
u ij y u
y ij y y
ë ëi ë ëu
ò oi ay au
â ai ai òu
ê î î ey
î î î ij
ô oi oi ou
û ij ij û
ij ij ij ij
ai ai ai ay
au ay ay au
ei î î ij

Diachronic i-ablaut mostly coincides with modern strong i-ablaut, the main differences being that an i-ablaut /e/ and /u/ yielded short vowels /i/ and /y/ (respectively). It should also be noted that Spanish /we/ (which yields <ë> in Efenol) is i-ablauted to /y/. Meanwhile, diachronic u-ablaut differs on the result of u-ablauted /o/ and /u/ (as well as Spanish /we/) being a long /u/ <û> rather than leaving /o/ and /u/ unchanged as found in synchronic u-ablaut.

Diachronically, i-ablauted /o/ yields different results depending on the source of the mutation: it becomes <oi> if the ablaut comes from the depalatalization of a following consonant (<ch> or <ñ>) or <ë> if the ablaut comes from a moving /j/ (VCiV > ViCV):

Examples: moño > *moʲn > mën, noche > *noʲts > nét, historia > ithoir, ocio > oith.

Other Efenol dialects follow a similar vowel-mutation table with the following differences:

  • The appropriate orthographic conventions are to be used. For instance, long /y/ would be written <ŷ> rather than <ij> in dialects other than Western and North-Western Efenol.
  • Northern, North-Eastern and Eastern dialects replace instances of <ë> with <ö>.
  • Eastern Efenol, North-Eastern Efenol and all varieties without a phonemic contrasts between /o/ and /ɔ/ replace <ò> with <o>.
  • Strong i-ablauted <ô> yields <öe> in Northern Efenol.
  • U-ablauted <ê> yields <eu> in Northern, North-Eastern and Eatern Efenol rather than <ey>.
  • Northern and North-Eastern Efenol do not allow diphthongs with <y> as a second element, replacing <ay> and with <ai>. This is also true for some speakers of Central and Eastern Efenol.
  • In North-Western Efenol, the diphthongs <ai>, <au>, <ey> and <oi> become <ae>, <ao>, <eo> and <oe>. The dipthong <ay> is preserved as such in writing although it's also commonly realies as /ao/ and some speakers may prefer to write it <ao>.

Consonant mutation

Efenol features three types of consonant mutation: soft mutation (usually referred to as lenition), rhotic mutation (or, perhaps more appropriately, liquid mutation) and nasal mutation.

As it was also the case for vowel mutation, consonant mutation occurs both diachronically (in the evolution of the language) and synchronically (as a morphophonemic feature of the modern language), usually with identical results. It should be noted, however, that these two processes are reflected differently in writing with the results of synchronic mutation having special spellings. For instance, a rhotic-mutated /p/ yields the phoneme /f/ both diachronically and synchronically but it will be spelled as a regular <f> /f/ in the first case (Spanish carpa > Efenol carf) but with the dedicate spelling <ph> /f/ in the latter (Efenol pan, 'bread', but e·phan, 'the bread' rather than **e·fan). In the case of lenition, mutated voiceless stops (which become voiced) are only written with the special digraphs <cg>, <pb> and <td> if there isn't a preceding article or possessive pronoun.

The following table shows consonant mutation in Western Efenol, including the special spellings used when it occurs synchronically.

Consonant Lenition / Soft Mutation Rhotic/Liquid Mutation Nasal Mutation
b /b/ bh /v/ bh /v/ mb /mb/
c /k/ cg, g /g/ ch /x/ ch /x/
ch /x/ No change
d /d/ dh /ð/ dh /ð/ nd /nd/
f /f/ No change
g /g/ gh /ʔ/ ~ Ø gh /ʔ/ ~ Ø ng /ŋ/
h /h/ No change
l /l/ No change
lh /ʎ/ No change
lw /ɫ/ No change
m /m/ mh /v/ mh /v/ m /m/
n /n/ No change
p /p/ pb, b /b/ ph /f/ ph /f/
pw /p/ bw /v/ chw /xw/ chw /xw/
r /r/ No change
rh /ʀ/ No change
s /s/ sh /h/ ss /z/ ss /z/
se /ʃ/ she /ç/ sse /ʒ/ sse /ʒ/
t /t/ td, d /d/ th /θ/ th /θ/
tc /tʃ/~/ʃ/ tdc /dʒ/~/ʃ/ tc /tʃ/~/ʃ/ tc /tʃ/~/ʃ/
th /θ/ No change
w /w/ wh /vw/ wh /vw/ ngw /ŋgw/
z /z/ No change

The result of these mutations is mostly consistent through the different dialects. Major differences include:

  • The merger of voiced stops and voiced fricatives in Eastern Efenol which results in <d> /d/ staying unaffected under lenition and rhotic mutation.
  • Eastern Efenol <ç> /tʃ/ shifting to /dʒ/ (spelled as either <cg> or <j>) under soft and nasal mutation and staying unchanged under rhotic mutation.
  • Various consonant mergers, such as Eastern and Central Efenol merger of /z/ with /s/.
  • Initial /p/ when descended from Spanish /kw/ (spelled <pw> in Standard Efenol) has a different behaviour in other Efenol varieties:
    • It behaves (and is spelled) as a regular /p/ in North-Western Efenol (lenited to /b/ and mutated to <ph> /f/ otherwise).
    • In Northern Efenol, /kw/-derived /p/ (written as a regular 'p') becomes <ph> /f/ under nasal and rhotic mutation but remains a <pv> /v/ under lenition.
    • In Eastern Efenol the pattern is identical as in Standard Efenol but the lack of distinction between /b/ and /v/ makes the distinction irrelevant under lenition.

Evolution from Spanish

The following section indicates how Efenol vocabulary can be derived from the corresponding Spanish-language terms. As elsewhere in this article, the content of this section applies to the Western Efenol dialect unless otherwise noted.

About the base Spanish variety

All forms of Efenol are based on (and supposedly descended from) the Spanish language as spoken today. The Spanish variety that serves as base for North-Central Efenol (ie excluding the Southern Efenol language) is an unspecified form of European Spanish with the following features:

  • Preserving the distinction between phonemes /s/ (spelled <S> in Spanish) and /θ/ (spelled as either <c> or <z>). This feature is known as 'distinción' and is found in most of Spain, contrasting with the merger of both sounds into /s/ ('seseo', found in most of the Spanish speaking territories) or the merger of both sounds into /θ/ ('ceceo', found in some regions of Andalusia).
  • Preserving the distinction between the phonemess /ʝ/ (spelled <y>) and /ʎ/ (spelled <ll>). This feature (sometimes referred to as 'lleísmo') is relatively uncommon but can be found in some regions of Spain and South America, contrasting with the far more common merger of both phonemes (a feature known as 'yeísmo'). On the other hand, the Southern Efenol language (not covered in this article) either descends from a variety with yeísmo or adopted a similar merger early on its evolution.

This features suggest that Efenol would probably have originated somewhere in the northern half of Spain. Accordingly, Spanish regionalisms are preferred to Latin American regionalisms although neutral vocabulary found across the Spanish-speaking world is preferred to either.

Vowels

Monophthongs

As mentioned in the phonology section, Spanish pentavocalic system [ä e̞ i o̞ u] is mostly preserved (and expanded) in Efenol. When not in an unstressed word-final open syllable (where vowels are typically subject to elision) nor affected by ablaut, these five vowels (as monophthongs) evolve in the following way:

  • Spanish 'a' [ä] remains as an <a> [ä]. This vowel is usually transcribed as /a/ in phonemic transcriptions despite it remaining a central low vowel (except for Hunzad, where it is indeed fronted to [a] or in Eastern Efenol where the vowel is fronted to [a] in unstressed position and remains central [ä] otherwise).
  • Spanish 'e' [e̞] is raised to be a true upper-mid [e], spelled <e>. This is true except for Central and Northern Efenol (where it remains as a true mid [e̞]) or in Eastern/North-Eastern Efenol where vowel height varies depending on stress placement.
  • Spanish 'i' [i] remains the same.
  • Spanish 'o' [o̞] is raised to a true upper-mid [o] except in Northern Efenol where it remains an [o̞] or in Eastern/North-Eastern Efenol where vowel height varies depending on stress placement.
  • Spanish 'u' [u] remains the same.

Examples: manzana > manthan, queso > ces, mito > mit, rosa > ros, mundo > munn.

Diphthongs and hiatus

Vowel sequences (diphthongs and certain cases of hiatus) evolve in the following way:

  • Spanish <ai> becomes <ei>: aire > eir.
  • Spanish <ae> becomes a long e, <ê>: aeropuerto > êrobërth.
  • Spanish <au> becomes an open o, <ò> /ɔ/ except in Northern Efenol, where it becomes <ou> /ow/ in stressed position or is merged with <o> /o/ otherwise and in North-Western Efenol where it is always merged with <o> /o/: pausa > pòs (N: pous, NW: pos), auténtico > òténthig (N: oténzih, NW: oténthetc).
  • Spanish <ea> becomes a long a, <â>: maestro > mêthor.
  • Spanish <ei> becomes a long i, <î>: reina > rîn.
  • Spanish <eo> and <eu> becomes <ë> /ɛ/ in Western Efenol: correo > corhë, euro > ër.
  • Spanish <ia> and Spanish <io> behave differently depending on whether they are in the first syllable of a word or not
    • If they are, they remain as /ja/ and /jo/ which, due to an earlier historical development (when they were pronounced [ɪa] and [ɪo]) are represented as <ea> and <eo> in Western Efenol orthography. The /j/ may be lost under some scenarios, such as when following an s as the combination /sj/ becomes /ʃ/. It's also worth noting that an initial s (palatalized to /ʃ/) is added to word initial /ja/ and /jo/ in Western and North-Western Efenol (but not in any other varieties). Examples: piano > pean, violín > beolin, hiato > seat (but Northern iat), ionizar > seonithar (but Northern ionizar).
    • If there is a preceding syllable, then 'the yod moves backwards' resulting in an i-ablaut of the preceding vowel while the /a/ or /o/ of the original diphthong evolves as usual. Examples: vegetariano > bechedeiran (the ei arising from an i-ablauted a), nación > neithôn (this generalizes to all Spanish words with the -ción suffix, now expressed through i-ablaut and -thôn). There is a small number of exceptions to this rule, such as colombiano > colobean and fermión > fermeôn. Additionally, the Spanish suffix -ción does not trigger i-ablaut in Northern Efenol (nación > nazôn) while both forms are found in North-Eastern Efenol (thus both nazôn and neizôn may be found in the northeast).
  • Spanish <ie> becomes a long i, <î>. In Western and North-Western Efenol, word-initial /je/ gets a prosthetic /s/. Examples: miedo > mît, hierro > sîr (but Northern irr or îrr).
  • Spanish <iu> becomes an <y> /y/. This vowel is often lengthened if the resulting Efenol word is monosyllabic (the resulting long /y/ is written as <ij> in the Western Efenol orthography). In theory, a word with an initial /ju/ in Spanish would also get a prosthetic /s/ in Western and North-Western Efenol though no such words have been attested. Examples: ciudad > thydhadh, viudo > bijdh.
  • Spanish <oe> becomes a long e in Western and Central Efenol, <öe> /øː/~/øi/ in Northern Efenol, <oe> /oe/ in North-Western Efenol and varies between <ê> /eː/ and <oi> in Eastern Efenol (in free variation, with the latter being more common in North-Eastern Efenol). Example: coherencia > cêrînth (but Northern cöerînz).
  • Spanish <oi> remains as <oi> except in Northern Efenol where Spanish /oj/ (but not the hiatus /o.i/) becomes <öe>, pronounced as either /øː/ or /øi/. Examples: boina > boin (Northern böen), oír > oir (also oir in Northern Efenol, since the word has hiatus in Spanish).
  • Much like <ia> and <io>, Spanish <ua> and <uo> behave differently depending on whether they occur in the first syllable of a word or not. This does not include the sequences <gua> and <guo> which are interpreted as corresponding to a consonantal /w/ followed by an /a/ or an /o/.
    • In the first syllable of a word Spanish <ua> and <uo> evolve to become <a> and <ô>. The missing /w/, however, can trigger a change in the preceding consonant. In all North-Central dialects (ie all Efenol varieties other than Southern Efenol) the sequenced <cua> and <cuo> become <pa> and <po>. Additionally, in Western and Central Efenol (and for some North-Western speakers as well) some voiceless onsets such as /s/ become voiced. Examples: Juan > Chan, duodecimal > dôdethimal, cuatro > páthor, cuórum > pôrum, suave > zabh.
    • If there is a preceding syllable, the /w/ is removed and the preceding vowel is u-ablauted (or lengthened if ordinary u-ablaut wouldn't result in a change). The sequence /kw/ in Spanish still evolves to /p/ (or /v/ if lenited). In Western and (most forms of) Central Efenol a preceding /s/ is still voiced to /z/ under this scenario. Examples: aduana > òdan, virtuoso > byrthô, acuarela > avarel, adecuar > adhepar, casual > còzal (alternates with còsal, derived by analogy from còs, cause).
  • Spanish <ue> becomes <ë> /ɛ/ in Western Efenol. The sequence <cue>, however, becomes /pe/ in the Northern and Western dialects. Examples: puesto > pëth, cueva > pebh (but Eastern këb).
  • Spanish <ui> becomes an <y> /y/: buitre > výther.

The first element of a hiatus in word-final position may be preserved with little change other than compensatory lengthening or, in the case of <eo>, a shift to <ë>. Examples: rocío > rothî, paseo > pahë (also found as pathë due to an early confusion with *paceo).

Elision of word-final vowels

Word-final unstressed vowels are usually elided in Efenol. Examples: mesa > mes, escape > echab, mono > mon.

Stressed word-final vowels become long vowels: Panamá > Panamâ, café > cafê, buró > burô. This is not true of monosyllables (mostly particles), where vowels remain short: de > de.

If the elision of an unstressed word-final vowel would result in an illegal consonant cluster in codal final position, the vowel is moved to break the cluster: CCV > CVC. This is the case for Spanish clusters with an L or an R as a second element (padre > pádher, cifra > thífar) except for <gl> and <gr> which evolve into Efenol <lw> /ɫ/ and <rh> /ʀ/ respectively, both of which also result in a u-ablaut of the previous vowel: siglo > sylw, tigre > *tyrh > tijr.

Other disallowed final clusters include L followed by a voiced sound (esmeralda > emeráladh, alma > álam) and, in dialects other than the standard Western Efenol, R followed by a voiced sound: barba > Western: barbh, Northern: bárav; arma > Western arm, Northern: áram.

North-Western Efenol, most Central Efenol varieties and a few Western Efenol varieties always break these clusters with the same vowel regardless of the value of the original vowel. North-Western Efenol uses the vowel <ë> /ə/ while Central and non-standard Western Efenol varieties use <a> /a/. Non-standard Western varieties also extend this behavior to the clusters that are preserved in standard Efenol. Examples: arma > Standard/Western: arm, Central and non-standard Western: áram, North-Western: árëm; padre > Standard/Western: pádher, Central and non-standard Western: pádhar, North-Western: pádhër; libro > Standard/Western: lívor, Central and non-standard Western: *lívar (alternating with lívor by influence of Standard Efenol), North-Western: lívër.

The clusters <mbr>, <ndr> and <ngr> are treated differently. In Western Efenol (and in some forms of Central Efenol) they evolve into <nv_r>, <ndh_r> and <nrh_r>, with the elided vowel moving before the R: hombre > ónver, tundra > túndhar, sangre > sánrher. Eastern, North-Western and most Central Efenol dialects preserve the /b/, /d/ and /g/ in those clusters unchanged as exemplified by Eastern ómber, túndar and sánger. Northern and North-Eastern Efenol also follow the 'Eastern' model (except for <mbr>, which yields <nv_r> in Northern Efenol) but they also lengthen the preceding vowel in these cases, resulting in Northern ônver, tûndar and sânger (often shortened to sâng).

Consonants

The lenition rule

Spanish voiceless plosives (/k/, /p/ and /t/) in intervocalic position may evolve into two different phonemes in North-Central Efenol: they may be retained as voiceless stops (/k p t/) or become voiced (/g b d/; /ɰ β̝ ð̞/ in Eastern Efenol). This is determined from their context by the 'lenition rule'.

The result depends on the vowels preceding and following the affected plosive according to the following table, where rows indicate the preceding Spanish vowel (or Vi- / Vu- for dipthongs with a final i or u) and columns indicate the following Spanish vowe (or iV / uV for dipthongs with an initial i or u).

Efenol lenition rule -a -e -i -o -u -iV -uV
a- Voiced Voiced Voiced Voiced Voiced Voiced
e- Voiced Voiced Voiced Voiced
i-
o- Voiced Voiced Voiced Voiced
u- Voiced
Vi- Voiced Voiced
Vu- Voiced Voiced Voiced

One notorious exception is that word-final <-ico> and <-ica> are always inherited as <-ig> rather than <-ic> as expected from this rule.

Spanish B and V

As it is the case in all modern Spanish varieties (aside from rare instances of spelling-pronunciation), Efenol treats Spanish <B> and <V> identically.

In word-initial position, a simple <B> (or <V>) onset is inherited as <B> /b/. Notice that Efenol <b> stands for an actual voiced plosive [b] rather than an approximant [β̞] as it's typically the case in Spanish. Under Efenol grammar, this /b/ may undergo lenition or rhotic mutation to become <bh> /v/ or nasal mutation to become <mb> /mb/.

Examples: burro > bûr, vida > bidh, la vida > a·bhidh, en vida > mbidh.

In word-initial position the clusters 'br' and 'bl' are also preserved in Western Efenol. The latter, <bl>, is reduced to <v> /v/ in Northern and North-Eastern Efenol, adding a coda <l> to the first syllable unless it already had a coda other than /s/ or /θ/ (this may result in a rhotic mutation of a neighboring plosive).

Examples: brusco > bruch, bloquear > blogâr (Northern: vol'hâr), blusa > blus (Nothern vuls), blanco > blanch (Northern: vanh).

In intervocalic position, <b> and <v> are lenited to <v> /v/ (notice that Efenol V stands for a true labiodental fricative, unlike Spanish V which is also a bilabial consonant and usually and approximant). In Western and North-Western Efenol alone, any word-final <v> (after vowel elision) changes to <bh>, often realized allophonically as [β] although coexisting with [v].

Examples: vivir > bivir, ábaco > ávag, lobo > lobh (Northern: lov).

The clusters and <rv> evolve to become Efenol <rv>. The aforementioned rule about final <v> shifting to <bh> in Western and North-Western dialects remains in effect in writing, although in the spoken language the [v] pronunciation far prevails over [β]. Notice that any final <rv> cluster will be broken in dialects other than Standard Western Efenol.

Examples: árbol > árvol, barba > barbh (Northern: bárav), arveja > arvech, ciervo > thîrbh (Northern: zîrov).

The clusters <lb> and <lv> are inherited as <lv> except in word-final position (after eliding a final Spanish vowel) where Efenol phonology mandates that the cluster must be broken as mentioned in the evolution of vowels section.

Examples: albañil > alveinil, alba > álabh, malvado > malvadh, calvo > cálobh.

Non-initial Spanish 'br' and 'bl' clusters are broken by moving the second element to the coda of the same syllable. If the syllable already had a non-fricative coda, an echo vowel is added. This also results in the lenition of the original <b> to <v> /v/. Notice that the sequences <mbr> and <mbl> are treated irregularly in some dialects.

Examples: abrazo > avarth, abril > *avirl > aviril, cobre > cóver, hablar > avalar, tabla > tával, hombre > ónver, emblema > envelem.

In Western Efenol, the Spanish clusters <mb> and <nv> become <b> /b/ in word-medial position and <mm> /m/ in word-final position (after eliding final vowels). The latter alternates with <hb> /b/ in Efenol grammar, particularly in the formation of plurals.

Examples: tambor > tabor, invierno > ibîron, bomba > bomm, bombas > bëhb.

Spanish C

The Spanish letter C can represent three different sounds: a fricative /θ/ (which is merged with /s/ in most Spanish varieties but not in the ancestor of Efenol), a stop /k/ and an affricate /tʃ/ when in the digraph <ch> (which will be covered in the following section).

Before a Spanish E or I, where C is pronounced as a fricative, the phoneme is inherited as a /θ/ sound, spelled <th> in western-like orthographies (including Standard Efenol) and <z> in northern-like orthographies.

Examples: cielo > thîl (Northern: zîl), maceta > mathed (Northern: mazedd).

The cluster <sc>, when pronounced /sθ/, is simplified to /θ/: escena > ethen.

It should be noted that the Spanish suffix -ción (corresponding to English -tion) always corresponds to -thôn with an i-ablaut on the preceding vowel (although Northern Efenol consistently omits the i-ablaut for this suffix). It's plural, however, becomes -thën rather than the expected -thoin.

Elsewhere, Spanish C is pronounced as a /k/. This phoneme evolves in different ways depending on its context. The following notes will assume that the phoneme is not followed by a /w/ (a Spanish 'u' forming a rising dipthong) as /kw/ has a particular behaviour that will be discussed in a subsection of its own.

Word-initially, when not followed by a consonant, Spanish /k/ is retained as /k/, spelled <c> in Efenol varieties other than Eastern Efenol (which may optionally use <k> instead):

Examples: calma > cálam (Eastern: kálam), cómo > com (Eastern: kom), curva > curbh (Eastern: kúrav).

Word-intial <cr> is also retained (optionally spelled as <kr> in Eastern Efenol). Example: cruz > cruth (Eastern kruz).

Intervocalic C is normally inherited as either voiceless <c> /k/ or voiced <g> /g/ according to the lenition rule. As mentioned before, Spanish words ending in <-ico> or <-ica> are an exception to this rule as they yield the ending <-ig> rather than the expected <-ig>, although the former can still be found in some excaptions such as rico > ric and México > Méchic (although the latter coexists with Méchig). Derivations of words with '-ico' typically preserve the /g/ or /k/ of the base word: música > músig => musical > musigal, but México > Méchic => mexicano > mechican.

Examples: opaco > obag (lenition rule indicates that the stop is voiced between a and o), ecología > ecolochî (lenition rule indicates that the stop isn't voiced between e and o), mítico > mítig (contrary to the lenition rule).

The above isn't true if the <c> is brought in contact with an <r> or <l> due to break of a preceding Cr or Cl cluster. In such cases, <c> undergoes rhotic mutation and becomes <ch> /x/.

Examples: república > *repúbhilca > repúvilch.

The same behaviour applies to instances of <c> preceded by <l>, <n> or <r> and followed by a vowel:

Examples: alcohol > alchôl, calco > calch, manco > manch, arco > arch.

Non word-initial <crV> (where V represents an arbitrary vowel) and all instances of <clV> are broken becoming <chVr> or <chVl> respectively. Notice that when this happens in the last syllable of a word some Efenol dialects may replace the original vowel (with /a/ in Central Efenol and with /ə/ in Eastern and North-Western Efenol). If the syllable already had a coda other than a fricative, the final <l> or <r> may be deleted.

Examples: ocre > ócher (Central: óchar), clave > chalbh, clima > chílam.

The cluster <sc>, when pronounced /sk/, becomes <ch> /x/:

Examples: mosca > moch, escape > echab.

In Eastern Efenol, any resulting /k/ followed by a front vowel (e, i, ö or y) are palatalized to <ç> /tʃ/. This does not affect instances of /k/ which were followed by a /w/ in Spanish (see next subsection).

Examples: coche > *cötc > çötç /tʃøtʃ/ (cf. Western Efenol cët, /kɛt/); cuerno > *cwörn > kör'n.

This does not affect i-ablauted plural nouns unless they also feature the /tʃ/ sound in it singular form. Some Eastern Efenol speakers, however, may palatalize all instances of /k/ before /y/, including those originated from an i-ablauted /ku/.

Examples: cama > kam, plural keim (not *çeim); cuna > kun, plural kŷn (for most Eastern Efenol speakers), çŷn (for a minority of Eastern Efenol speakers).

Spanish C as a non-word-final coda (particularly in the cluster <ct>) is elided and lengthens the preceding vowel. Any following consonant is unaffected by lenition. Word-final /k/ (found only in loanwords) is retained as a <c> /k/ except when preceded by an <l>, <n> or <r> which mutates the /k/ to /x/ as usual.

Examples: acto > ât, acceso > âthes, bistec > bithec, bloc > volch.

Evolution of /kw/

As in the evolution of many other languages, Spanish /kw/ (represented in Spanish orthography by <cu> followed by another vowel) evolves into a labial stop /p/ in Efenol. In most Efenol varieties the resulting /p/ (spelled <pw> in Standard Efenol) behaves different than a regular /p/ under consonant mutation.

Examples: cuatro /ˈkwa.tɾo/ > pwáthor /ˈpa.θoɾ/.

One key west/east isogloss across Efenol dialects concerns the evolution of the sequences /kwe/ and /kwi/. Northern, North-Western and Western Efenol (the standard language) apply the /kw/ -> /p/ rule first and have these sequences yield /pe/ and /pi/. However, in Central, Eastern and North-Eastern Efenol the diphthongs /we/ and /wi/ are simplified to /ø/ and /y/ before the rule applies, removing the necessary /w/ to trigger the change.

Reflex of "cuerno" /ˈkweɾ.no/ Reflex of "cuidado" /kwi.ˈda.do/
Western (Standard) pwern /peɾn/ pwidhadh /pi.ˈðað/
North-Western pérën /ˈpe.ɾən/ pidhadh /pi.ˈðað/

or pidhao /pi.ˈðao/

Northern péron /ˈpe.ɾon/ pidad /pi.ˈðað/
North-Eastern cöron /ˈkø.ɾɔn/ cydad /kʏ.ˈðäð/
Eastern kör'n /ˈkø.ɾən/ kydad /kʏ.ˈðäð/

or çydad /tʃʏ.ˈðäð/

Central cëran /ˈkɛ.ɾən/ cydhau /ky.ðau/

It should be noted that the resulting /kø/ and /ky/ sequences in Eastern Efenol originally did not undergo palatalization as usual for a /k/ preceding a front vowel. However, an icreasing number of Eastern Efenol speakers have indeed shifted even these occurrences of /ky/ to /tʃy/.

Outside word-initial position, these /p/ phonemes evolved in a similar way to other voiceless consonants. When in intervocalic position, the phoneme is lenited to /v/ if affected by the lenition rule (although still considering that the following vowel is a uV dipthong).

Examples: acuarela > *apwarela > avarel (lenition rule indicates that the stop is voiced between a and uV), adecuar > *adepwar > adhepar (lenition rule indicates that the stop is not voiced between e and uV).

Any instances of these /p/ preceded by an <l>, <n> or <r> (including diplaced l's and r's from broken clusters) evolved to <chw> /xw/ which was then simplified to <ch> /x/ but affecting the preceding vowel with u-ablaut. The same change can also be found in words wher the original /kw/ is preceded by an /s/.

Examples: circuito > *cirpwito > thyrchit, encuentro > *enpwéntor > ënchénthor, frecuencia > *ferpwencia > fërchînth, escuadra > ëchádhar.

These words with a medial /kwe/ or /kwi/ in Spanish may often be found in forms like their Western and Northern equivalents (west of the isogloss) in dialects east of the isogloss. This is mostly explained through inter-dialectal influence. Thus, an Eastern Efenol speaker may use the inherited zir'hyt, enhönz'r and fer'höinz' (which resolve /kwe/ and /kwi/ as /kø/and /ky/), the western-like zyr'hit, önhénz'r and för'hînz or even clear inter-dialectal borrowings like fer'hînz from Western Efenol fërchînth.

Spanish Ch

As in English 'church', the Spanish digraph <ch> represents a an affricate /tʃ/. This phoneme is mostly lost in Efenol, although it later reemerged in many Efenol varieties (most notably in Eastern Efenol as a palalized Spanish /k/).

In Western and North-Western Efenol, a word-initial Spanish <ch> is inherited as <tc>, a combination that may be pronounced as /tʃ/ or /ʃ/. The same word-initial onset is inherited as /tj/ in Northern Efenol and as /sj/ in other varieties.

Examples: choza > tcoth (Northern tioz, Eastern sioz), China > Tcîn (Northern Tîn, Eastern Sîn).

Elsewhere (even when preceded by an <l> or <r>), Spanish <ch> triggers i-ablaut on the preceding vowel and becomes one of the following sounds:

  • In Western, North-Western and Central Efenol: <t> /t/.
  • In Eastern Efenol: /tʃ/ (spelled <tç> word finally or <c>~<ç> otherwise)
  • In Northern and North-Eastern Efenol: <ts> /ts/.

Examples: noche > nët (Northern: nöts, Eastern: nötç), ochenta > ëtenth (Northern: ötsenz, Eastern: öçenz), marcha > meirt (Northern: meirts, Eastern: meirç), colcha > cëlt (Northern: cölts, Eastern: çöltç).

Some Western and Central Efenol speakers may replace the resulting 'lt' and 'rt' with <lth> and <rth>.

Spanish D

In word-initial position, a simple <D> onset is inherited as <D> /d/. Notice that Efenol <d> stands for an actual voiced plosive [d] rather than an approximant [ð̞] as it's typically the case in Spanish. Under Efenol grammar, this /d/ may undergo lenition or rhotic mutation to become <dh> /ð/ or nasal mutation to become <nd> /nd/.

Examples: dama > dam, la dama > a·dham, dólares > dëler, en dólares > ndëler.

In word-initial position the cluster <dr> is also preserved in Western Efenol.

Examples: dragón > draun, drama > dram.

In intervocalic position, <d> is lenited to <dh> /ð/.

Examples: dado > dadh, duda > dudh.

The clusters <rd> evolves to become Efenol <rdh>. Notice that any final <rdh> cluster will be broken in dialects other than Standard Western Efenol.

Examples: ardilla > ardhîl or erdhîl, gordo > gordh (Northern górod).

The cluster <ld> is inherited as <ldh> except in word-final position (after eliding a final Spanish vowel) where Efenol phonology mandates that the cluster must be broken as mentioned in the evolution of vowels section.

Examples: maldad > maldhadh, saldo > sálodh.

Any occurrence of
is replaced by <rl> /ɾl/. Non-initial Spanish <dr> clusters are broken by moving the second element to the coda of the same syllable. If the syllable already had a non-fricative coda, an echo vowel is added. This also results in the lenition of the original <d> to <dh> /ð/. Notice that the sequence <ndr> and <mbl> are treated irregularly in some dialects. Examples: edredón > edherdhon, madre > mádher, ladrón > ladhoron, almendral > alvendharal. Exceptionally, the name of the city of Madrid is rendered as Madirth rather than the expected *Madhiridh or *Madhiridh. In Western Efenol, the Spanish cluster <nd> becomes <d> /d/ in word-medial position and <nn> /n/ in word-final position (after eliding final vowels). The latter alternates with <hd> /d/ in Efenol grammar, particularly in the formation of plurals. Examples: comandante > comadanth, mundo > munn, mundos > mijhd.
Spanish participles -ado/-ido

In most Efenol varieties (including standard Western Efenol), Spanish participles (which typically end in -ado or -ido) evolve as expected: to -adh or -idh respectively.

Examples: cantado > canthadh, corrido > corhidh, partido > parthidh.

This is not the case in Central, North-Western and in a few non-standard varieties of Western Efenol, however. In Central Efenol, -ado and -ido in participles evolve into -au and instead. The same applies to non-standard Western Efenol (with the endings -au and -ij).

Examples: cantado > canthau, corrido > corrŷ (non-standard Western corhij), partido > parthŷ (non-standard Western parthij).

In the North-Western dialect both -ado and -ido participles are regularized to -ao.

Examples: cantado > canthao, corrido > curhao, partido > parthao.

There is some variation in these dialects regarding whether nouns ending in -ado/-ada and -ido/-ida should be affected by this development or not. In general, Central Efenol tends to apply the change to nouns ending in -ado (-au, cuidado > cydhau) and -ada (, parada > parâ, but nada > nadh) while the written North-Western norm tends to only use the -ao ending for participles themselves.

Spanish F

When not followed by another consonant, Spanish <f> /f/ remains unchanged.

Examples: febrero > feverer, afeitar > afîdar, ánfora > ánfor.

Word-initial <fr> is avoided whenever possible: the cluster is broken (moving the <r> to the coda) as long as this does not result in an illegal coda.

Examples: fruta > furth, frescura > ferchur, francés > franthê (breaking the cluster would have resulted in *farnthe, with an illegal <rnth> cluster).

The cluster <fl> and non word-initial <fr> are always broken. If moving the <l> or <r> after the vowel would result in an illegal coda this consonants are deleted, often trigger a compensatory lengthening on the vowel.

Examples: África > Áfirch, zafral > *thafarl > thafâl, flotar > folthar, flor > *for'r > fôr, afluente > *afëlnth > afënth.

Spanish G

The Spanish letter G can represent two different phonemes: a fricative /x/ and a voiced stop (or approximant) /g/~/ɰ/. Additionally, /g/ next to a non-syllabic /u/ is often indistinguishable from [w] and is treated as such in Efenol.

Readers who aren't used to Spanish orthography should bear in mind that the sequences <gue> and <gui> represent /ge/ and /gi/; a diaeresis must be placed over the 'u' to prevent it from being silent: <güe> /gwe/~/we/ and <güi> /gwi/~/wi/.

Spanish G as /x/

Before a Spanish E or I, where G is pronounced as a fricative, the phoneme is inherited as a /x/ sound, spelled <ch> in western-like orthographies (including Standard Efenol) and <h> in northern-like orthographies.

Examples: generoso > chenerô (Northern heneros), ágil > áchil (Northern áhil).

Spanish G as /gw/

The sequences <gua>, <güe>, <güi> and <guo> are typically inerited as /wa/, /we/, /wi/ and /wo/.

Examples: guante > wanth, cigüeña > thiwîn, güisqui (also 'whiskey' or 'whiski') > wîch or wisci,

A word final /w/ (after vowel elision) is elided after lengthening and triggering u-ablaut on the preceding vowel.

Examples: antiguo > *anthiw > anthij, desagüe > *dehaw > dehòu, yegua > *sîw > sij.

The word "agua" is an exception to the above rule. It is inherited as au except in Northern Efenol where it is inherited as auz.

When following as Spanish <n>, the resulting <ngu> /ngw/ is inherited as <ng> and inherits u-ablaut on the preceding vowel. The Spanish word 'pingüino' (penguin) is an exception, as the expected result pyngin is mostly replaced by irregularly-derived pingijn. When the resulting <ng> is word-final (after vowel elision) in a Western Efenol noun, its plural form ends with <hg> /g/ instead.

Examples: lingüística > lyngíthig, lengua > lëng, lenguas > lëihg.

Spanish G as /g/

In word-initial position, a simple <g> onset is inherited as <g> /g/. Notice that Efenol <g> stands for an actual voiced plosive [g] rather than an approximant [ɰ] as it's typically the case in Spanish. Under Efenol grammar, this /g/ may undergo lenition or rhotic mutation, the result of which is subject to much variation across Efenol dialects, yielding either a glottal stop or a null phoneme in Western Efenol (written <gh> in either case). Under nasal mutation, <g> becomes <ng>.

Examples: gato > gad, el gato > e·ghad, guerra > gêr, en guerra > ngêr (or en gêr).

Intervocalic /g/ is lost, often resulting in a variety of diphthongs. The sequences /Vge/ and /Vgo/ also result in a change in vowel quality to /Vi/ and /Vu/.

Examples: mago > mau, a gusto > auth, aguerrido > airhidh, agarrar > *aarhar > ârhar.

The sequences <gr> and <rg> are turned into velar trills /ʀ/. In Northern Efenol (as well as some Central Efenol varieties) this phoneme is later merged with the alveolar trill /r/.

Examples: grueso > rhës (Northern: rös), gracias > rheith (Northern: reiz), mugroso > murhô (Northern: murros), órgano > órhan (Northern: órran).

Word-final /ʀ/ (after vowel elision) is only allowed in Central Efenol (except in varieties which merge the phoneme with /r/, as it's also the case in Northern Efenol). In other dialects (including the western standard) the trill is reduced to an alveolar flap <r> /ɾ/ and the preceding vowel is mutated: lengthened if a back vowel or u-ablauted otherwise.

Examples: magro > *marh > mòr (Central marh, Northern marr), logro > *lorh > lôr (Central lorh, Northern lorr), jerga > chër (Central cherh, Northern herr).

Similarly, the sequences <gl> and <lg> become <lw> /ɫ/ (as noted in the phonology section, the realization of this phoneme may vary). Most Central Efenol speakers and virtually all Eatern and North-Eastern Efenol speakers merge this phoneme with <l> /l/.

Examples: gloria > lwoir (Eastern: loir), alga > alw (Eastern al).

In Western Efenol, the Spanish cluster <ng> becomes <g> /g/ in word-medial position and <ng> /ŋ/ in word-final position (after eliding final vowels). The latter alternates with <hg> /g/ in Efenol grammar, particularly in the formation of plurals.

Examples: ángulo > águl, manga > mang, mangas > meihg.

The sequences <ngr> and <ngl> develop irregularly:

Examples: sangre > sánrher, inglés > inlê.

Spanish H

Spanish H, being silent, leaves no trace in Efenol.

The letter <h> is often found before word-initial dipthongs with /j/ as a first element which in Western and North-Western Efenol are treated the same as having a word-initial <y>, getting a prosthetic /ʃ/ or /s/ as a result.

Certain foreign words often spelled with <h> in Spanish may be inherited in Efenol with an /x/: hockey > chóci.

Even though the word 'hora' (hour) in inherited in all dialects as or, the letter <h> remains a common abbreviation or symbol for 'hour'.

Spanish J

The Spanish letter <j>, representing the /x/ sound, are inherited as /x/, spelled <ch> in western-like orthographies and <h> in northern-like orthographies.

Examples: juego > chëu, ajo > ach, mejor > mechor, aljibe > alchibh, forja > forch.

Any instances of a foreign <j> originally representing a /dʒ/ or /ʒ/ sound are treated as beginning with <y>. See the corresponding section for more information.

Examples: jacuzzi > seacijs, jeans > sîz.

Spanish K

Instances of Spanish K are treated the same as the corresponding regular spellings for /k/: <qu> (before 'e' or 'i') and <c> (elsewhere). See the corresponding sections.

Examples: kilómetro > cilómethor, Kaliningrado > Calininrhadh (or Calininrhardh).

Although the letter 'K' is not used in most Efenol orthographies (Eastern Efenol being the exception), the letter is still used in symbols for metric units (particularlly km for kilometers and kg for kilograms which may also be informally abbreviated k, although this latter use is often seen as incorrect).

Spanish L

Other than in the digraph <ll> (covered in the next section) and when next to <g>, Spanish L is inherited as an /l/ in Efenol.

Examples: león > leôn, lobo > lobh, balada > baladh.

When next to the letter <g>, be it in the clusters <gl> or <lg>, Spanish L becomes <lw> /ɫ/ as mentioned in the section about Spanish G.

When next to another consonant, L typically triggers rhotic-mutation (hence why it might also be referred to as liquid mutation). Clusters involving <l> as a second element are often broken by moving the <l> to the coda of the syllable; this is further explained in the relevant sections for other consonants (for instance, the section for P for the cluster <pl>).

The cluster <sl> is simplfied to <l> unless word-final (after vowel elision), in which case the cluster is broken:

Examples: eslavo > elabh, isla > ísal, muslo > músol.

In Western Efenol alone, instances of a word-final <l> /l/ preceded by an /i/ are pronounced as palatal lateral /ʎ/. This is not reflected in writing (where /ʎ/ is elsewhere found as <lh>). Thus mil (one thousand, from Spanish mil) is phonetically /miʎ/.

Special developments

The Spanish letter <L> developed irregularly in a limited number of grammatical words.

Most prominently, the Spanish definite articles 'el', 'la', 'los' and 'las' lose the L in all dialects other than Northern Efenol becoming e (which triggers rhotic mutation, as a side effect of the lost /l/), a (which triggers lenition) and plural 'o' and 'a' (which do not trigger any kind of consonant mutation). On the other hand, only the original /l/ is preserved in singular definte articles preceding a vowel initial noun: <l'>.

Examples: el caso > e·chas, la casa > a·gas, los casos > o·ceis, las casas > a·ceis.

This does not affect the third-person singular pronoun <él>, which is inherited as el in all Efenol varieties.

Meanwhile, the accusative third-person plural pronoun 'los' becomes lho by influence of the <ll> in the nominative form 'ellos'.

Spanish Ll

The Spanish digraph <ll>, pronounced /ʎ/ (and regarded as different from Spanish <y>, see the note about the base Spanish variety above) is mostly retained as /ʎ/ although written <lh> instead. In Northern, Eastern and North-Eastern Efenol /ʎ/ (written 'li') is in free variation with /lj/.

Examples: llorar > lhorar, hallazgo > alháthog.

In word-final position (after vowel elision), /ʎ/ becomes /l/ and triggers i-ablaut on the preceding vowel. This is not the case in Central Efenol (and in some non-standard Western Efenol varieties) where word-final /ʎ/ remains unchanged. Additionally, some speakers of these varieties use transitional forms where the final /ʎ/ is kept a palatal but the preceding vowel is affected by i-ablaut.

Examples: malla > meil (Central malh or meilh), cepillo > thebîl (Central thebilh or thebîlh).

It should be noted that, due to a later shift, word-final <l> /l/ preceded by an /i/ are pronounced as palatal lateral /ʎ/ in Western Efenol (regardless of whether they originated as such or not). This change, not reflected in writing, makes it so that meil and thebîl indeed retain a /ʎ/ sound. This is not true for other dialects, such as Northern meil and zebîl realized with alveolar /l/.

Spanish M

Spanish M /m/ is usually inherited as such.

Examples: mamá > mamâ, marco > march, América > Amérig, arma > arm (but áram in other Efenol varieties).

Exceptions include:

  • When next to a <p>, as /p/ is nasal-mutated to /f/ when next to /m/ and the resulting [ɱf] is spelled as <nf>: tiempo > tînf.
  • In the sequence <mb> which, as explained under the section about Spanish B, may yield /b/: tambor > tabor.
  • In the cluster <mn>, where the /m/ is lost: himno > in.
  • Next to an <l> (which might have moved from a cluster at the beginning of the previous syllable); only in this case /m/ is mutated to <v> /v/: finalmente > finalventh, clemencia > *chelmencia > chelvînth. This mutation doesn't take place if there is an epenthetic vowel between the L and the M: clima > *chilma > > chílam.

It should be noted that -menth, from the Spanish adverbial suffix '-mente' (similar to English -ly when used to form adverbs), is often added to the Efenol form of the adjective rather than inheriting the adverb directly from Spanish. Thus 'slowly' is not *lenthamenth as expected from Spanish 'lentamente' but rather lenthmenth, combining lenth (the expected outcome from Spanish 'lento'~'lenta') and -menth. For adjectives ending in <l> as final, the form -venth is used instead. This is even the case for adverbs that didn't have a final L in Spanish: 'bellamente' (beautifuly) becomes bîlventh, from 'bella' > bîl and the suffix -venth.

The sequences <mn> and <nm> yield their second component: /n/ and /m/ respectively: amnesia > anîs, himno > in, inmenso > imez, inminente > iminenth.

Spanish N

As with M, Spanish N /n/ is mostly inherited as such.

Examples: nieto > nît, Ana > An, caimán > caiman.

Many consonants change due to nasal mutation when next to /n/. In some cases (such as <nd> and <ng>) the nasal might be elided. The place of articulation may also assimilate (for instance, /n/ becomes [ŋ] when next to other velars). See the respective sections (such as Spanish D for <nd>) for more information.

Examples: andén > aden, enjambre > enchánver, antología > antholochî.

The sequence <nn> is simplified to a single <n> /n/: innato > inad.

Spanish Ñ

Spanish Ñ, representing the palatal nasal /ɲ/, is only preserved as such in Central Efenol. In all other varieties it becomes /nj/ word-initially (usually spelled <ne> in Western Efenol) and /n/ with an i-ablaut on the preceding vowel instead. Some Central Efenol speakers may conflate word-final Ñ (after vowel elision) with N and apply i-ablaut on the preceding vowel as other Efenol varieties do. A transitional form which uses i-ablaut but retains word final <ñ> /ɲ/ also exists.

Examples: ñandú > neadû (Central: ñadû), gnomo ~ ñomo > neom (Central: ñom), mañana > meinan (Central: mañan), año > ein (Central: añ', eiñ or ein), niño > nîn (Central: niñ, nîñ or nîn).

Spanish P

Spanish P /p/ evolves in different ways depending on its context.

Word-initially, when not followed by a consonant, Spanish /p/ is retained as 'p' /p/.

Examples: pez > peth, pelota > pelod.

Word-intial <pr> is also retained. Example: primo > prim.

Intervocalic P is normally inherited as either voiceless 'p' /p/ or voiced 'b' /b/ according to the lenition rule.

Examples: opaco > obag (lenition rule indicates that the stop is voiced between o and a), equipo > egip (lenition rule indicates that the stop isn't voiced between i and o).

The above isn't true if the 'p' is brought in contact with an <r> or <l> due to break of a preceding Cr or Cl cluster. In such cases, 'p' undergoes rhotic mutation and becomes /f/.

Examples: increpar > *incherpar > incherfar

The same behaviour applies to instances of 'p' preceded by <l>, <m> or <r> and followed by a vowel:

Examples: pulpo > pulf, alpino > alfin, lámpara > lánfar, carpa > carf.

Non word-initial <prV> (where V represents an arbitrary vowel) and all instances of <plV> are broken becoming <fVr> or <fVl> respectively. Notice that when this happens in the last syllable of a word some Efenol dialects may replace the original vowel (with /a/ in Central Efenol and with /ə/ in Eastern and North-Western Efenol). If the syllable already had a coda other than a fricative, the final <l> or <r> may be deleted.

Examples: apreciar > afirthar, plomo > fólom, plata > falth, plan > *faln > fân.

The cluster <sp> also becomes /f/:

Examples: avispa > avif, especial > efithal.

Spanish P as a non-word-final coda (particularly in the cluster <pt>, when not already simplified to <t> in Spanish as in 'septiembre'~'setiembre') is elided and lengthens the preceding vowel. Any following consonant is unaffected by lenition. This results in a complete merger with the cluster <ct>; exceptionally the word 'apto' becomes òt rather than the expected *ât to avoid confusion with ât, derived from Spanish 'acto'. Word-final /p/ (found only in loanwords) is retained as a /p/ except when preceded by an <l>, <m>~<n> or <r> which mutates the /p/ to /f/ as usual. The cluster <ps> simplifies to /s/ word-initially.

Examples: rapto > rât, sinapsis > sinâsis, psicología > sicolochî, séptimo > sêtim, septiembre > setiembre > sedînver (rather than septiembre > sêtînver), rap > rap.

Spanish Q

Aside from loanwords, Spanish Q only appears in the trigraphs <que> and <qui>, pronounced /ke/ and /ki/ respectively (the 'u' being silent). In words from foreign origin, Q may appear in other positions but is also pronounced as /k/. This /k/ phonemes evolve as detailed in the section about Spanish <c> (which represents /k/ before other vowels). The result is typically either /k/, /g/ or /x/.

Examples: queso > ces, pequeño > pegîn, moquette ~ moquet > mocet, ataque > adag, toque > toc, tanque > tanch, alquitrán > alchithân, arquero > archer, esquina > echin, Qatar ~ Catar > Cadar.

Since native occurences of Spanish Q involve a /k/ followed by a front vowel, its reflex is often <ç> /tʃ/ instead of <c> /k/ in Eastern Efenol:

Examples: quedo > çes, moquette ~ moquet > moçet.

As an exception, the words 'qué' and 'que' ('what' and 'that') evolve to and ke (or <k'>) in Eastern Efenol rather than the expected çê and çe. This is explained as an effort to dissimilate these words from the reflex of 'quien' ('who'): çîn.

Spanish R

The Spanish letter R has two pronunciations: an alveolar trill /r/ and an alveolar flap /ɾ/. The former (the trill /r/) is represented by a single <r> word-initially and after the consonants <l> and <n> and as a double R (<rr>) between vowels. The flap, /ɾ/, doesn't occur in word-initial position (nor after <l> or <n>) and is represented as a single <r> elsewhere.

It should be noted that there are some compounds which retain a trilled /r/ in positions where a flap /ɾ/ would be expected. Spanish orthography fails to account for this; compare the 'br' cluster in 'cubra' /ˈku.bɾa/ (with a flap, as expected) vs 'subrayado' /sub.ra.ˈʝa.do/ (with a trill, as in the prefixless word 'rayado' /ra.ˈʝa.do/).

Spanish R as a trill (r or rr)

During its evolution, Efenol, in addition to preserving the alveolar trill /r/, developed a velar trill /ʀ/ (typically from /g/ being in contact with a rhotic, usually the flap /ɾ/). However, many varieties later merged the resulting alveolar and velar trills at least in some positions.

Word initially, Spanish R is inherited as an alveolar trill <r> /r/. Outside the official standard language, most Western Efenol speakers (as well as nearly all North-Western speakers) merge this sound with the velar rhotic /ʀ/ but this is not reflected in writing. In other dialects (as well as in standard Western Efenol) the trill remains alveolar /r/.

Example: rosa > ros (pronounced /ʀos/ by North-Western and many Western speakers and /ros/ by speakers of other Efenol varieties).

Elsewhere, the trill is fully merged with velar <rh> /ʀ/ in Western and North-Western Efenol.

Examples: arrendar > arhedar (compare 'agrandar' > arhadar, showing the merger), Enrique > Enrhig, alrededor > alrhedhedhor (also found as alrhôr).

In other dialects, these instances of /r/ remain an alveolar trill /r/, written <rr>.

Examples (in Eastern Efenol): arrendar > arredar (compare with 'agrandar' > arhadar, showing the lack of merger), Enrique > Enrrig, alrededor > *alrrededor > alrrôr.

In word-final position (after vowel elision) trills are only allowed in Northern and Central Efenol. Elsewhere, /r/ becomes a flap /ɾ/ and the preceding vowel gains compensatory length.

Examples (in Standard/Western Efenol): guerra > *gerr > gêr (but Central: gerr), burro > *burr > bûr (but Central: burr).

Uncommon clusters such as the /br/ found in 'subrayado' are reduced to /r/ before evolving as usual: subrayado > *surrayado > surheisadh (but Eastern surraijad).

Spanish R as a flap (r)

Spanish /ɾ/ remains an alveolar flap (written <r>) in most contexts.

Examples: aro > ar, amar > amar, orfebrería > orfeverî.

Clusters involving /ɾ/ and another consonant evolve as explained in the section for the other consonant (for instance, see Spanish D for the evolution of <dr> or <rd>).

Spanish S

Spanish S /s/ evolves in a number of ways depending on its context.

Word-initially, 'S' is preserved as such. Under Efenol grammar, this /s/ may undergo lenition o become <sh> /h/ or rhotic/nasal mutation to become <ss> /z/.

Examples: burro > bûr, vida > bidh, la vida > a·bhidh, en vida > mbidh.

Examples: sábana > sávan, la sábana > a·shaban, sol > sol, el sol > e·ssol, al sol > *en sol > en sol or ssol.

Word-finally (after vowel elision; corresponding to a word final -sV in Spanish), /s/ is also retained as 's'. Spanish adjectives ending in the suffix '-oso', however, end in except in Northern Efenol (and transitional forms of Northern-Efenol) which have -os as expected. Word-final /s/ is also kept in a limited number of monosyllables like 'mes' and 'gas'.

Examples: queso > ces, grueso > rhës, mes > mes, gas > gas, hermoso > ermô (but Northern ermos).

Intervocalic /s/ (other than in word-final position after vowel elision) evolves into /s/, /h/ or Ø depending on stress position:

  • If the syllable before the /s/ is stressed, then the /s/ remains an /s/: música > músig.
  • If the syllable after (including) the /s/ is stressed, the /s/ is lenited to an <h> /h/. In Northern and in most forms of North-Eastern Efenol /x/ is used instead, also written <h>. Example: limusina > limuhin.
  • If the primary stress of the word does not fall on either the syllable before nor the syllable after the S, the /s/ is lost: visitar /bi.si.ˈtaɾ/ > *biitar > bîtar.

There are several exceptions to these developments. For instance, clear derivations with a different stress placement often develop the /s/ as in the original word: musical > musigal (rather than expected *muigal or *muical). This is also true for verb conjugations: visita (present tense form of 'visitar') > bît (as in the infinitive bîtar rather than the expected bihit). The word bihit does exist however as a noun (also 'visita' in Spanish). Spanish verbs ending in '-sar' and '-ser', however, do have alternating paradigms: pasar (to pass) > pahar but pasa (3s passes) > pas, toser (to cough) > toher but tose (3s coughs) > tos.

The Spanish 'superlative' suffix '-ísimo' (used as an intensifier rather than an actual superlative) is also affected by an irregular development, yielding -îm. This new suffix can be regularly applied to words with irregular 'superlatives' in Spanish: fuerte > fërth > fërthîm (rather than fortísimo > *forthîm), pobre > póver > póverîm (rather than traditional 'pauperrimo' which is instead inherited as a less-common adjective on its own: pòpérhim ~ 'lacking quality').

The cluster <ls> develops as <lz> /lz/. In dialects other than Western Efenol, word-final <ls> (after vowel elision) is either broken or replaced with the similar-sounding (and more common) /lθ/. The latter is occasionally also found in Western Efenol as well.

Examples: salsa > salz (Central: sálaz), Alsacia > Alzeith, bolsa > bolz (Central: bólaz or bolth, Eastern bolz /βolθ/), balsa > balth (shifted to /balθ/ in all dialects).

The cluster <sl> is simplfied to <l> unless word-final (after vowel elision), in which case the cluster is broken. In the latter case, the first element may be found as either /s/ or /z/; 's' is preferred in Standard Efenol.

Examples: eslavo > elabh, isla > ísal (or ízal), muslo > músol (or múzol).

The cluster <sm> may evolve in three different ways:

  • If the syllable before <sm> is not stressed, the /s/ is dropped: esmeralda > emeráladh.
  • The suffix '-ismo' (corresponding to English -ism) is typically left as '-îm': atletismo > athledîm, comunismo > comunîm, electromagnetismo > elêthormanedîm.
  • Otherwise, <sm> is usually broken after voicing the /z/: smV > zVm: asma > ázam, istmo ~ ismo > ízom.

The cluster <ns> develops to <z> /z/ in Western Efenol, North-Western Efenol and some Central Efenol varieties. Elsewhere, <ns> develops to [nz]. Some words may alteranate a medial /nz/ with /z/ in Western Efenol.

Examples: manso > maz (Central maz or manz, Northern mans /manz/, Eastern mans /mans/), insecto > izêt or inzêt (Central izêt or inzêt, Northern insêt /in.ˈzeːt/, Eastern insêt /in.ˈseːt).

The cluseter <sn> is typically conflated witih Spanish <zn> and thus evolves to /θVn/:

Examples: asno > *azno > áthon, fresno > *frezno > férthon.

The cluster <rs> develops into <rz> /ɾz/.

Examples: persa > perz, arsenal > arzenal.

The cluster <sr> simplifies to /s/. The name of 'Sri Lanka', the only word with an initial <sr> in common Spanish usage, becomes Sirilanch.

Example: Israel > Irhêl, disruptivo > dirhûtibh.

The clusters /sk/, /sp/ and /st/ turn to fricatives /x/, /f/ and /θ/.

Examples: escuplir > echulfir, esclavo > echálob, especial > efithal, resplandor > refaldor~refaldhor, estorno > ethóron, maestro > mêthor.

Other clusters such as the <sb> in 'esbozo' are commonly reduced by eliminating the /s/; this usually prevents the following consonant from undergoing lenition: esbozo > eboth, lesbianismo > lîbanîm, rasgar > ragar.

In Western and Central Efenol (and also for some North-Western Efenol speakers), a Spanish /s/ followed by a non-syllabic /u/~/w/ who would otherwise evolve to /s/ evolves to /z/ instead: suave > zabh.

Special developments

Some Spanish affixes involving the letter <S> are subject to irregular developments.

Most prominently, the Spanish plural suffix for nouns ('-s' for most nouns ending in a vowel and '-es' otherwise) is replaced by i-ablaut. This is justified by the following chain of changes:

  1. The singular form of a Spanish word loses the final vowel (if any): mano > *man.
  2. The '-es' ending is applied to the new consonant-ending noun (even though the '-s' suffix might have been used originally): mano ~ manos > *man ~ *manes.
  3. The '-es' ending is reduced: mano ~ manos > *man *manɪ.
  4. The reduced /i/-like ending triggers apophony (the i-ablaut) before being elided: mano ~ manos > *man ~ *manɪ > *man ~ *maʲn > man ~ mein.
  5. The new pluralization strategy is generalized.

The Spanish antonym-forming prefix 'des-' (correspond to the English prefixes dis- and un-) is inherited as de- in all contexts unless analyzed as part of the verbal stem. Thus 'desteñir' (to fade, antonym of 'teñir', to dye) becomes detînir (de- + tînir, the later being the reflex from 'teñir') rather than the expected *dethînir.

Verbs not affected by this rule include 'descargar' > decharhar (which was analyzed as a single lexeme rather than des + cargar, which would have yielded *decarhar) or 'despertar' > deferthar (whose stem is also monomorphemic in Spanish rather than des + *pertar).

Suffixes (including /s/) with irregular development include:

  • Adjectival '-oso' becoming in dialects other than Northern Efenol: perezoso > perethô (Northern : perezos).
  • Superlative mark -ísimo and nominal -ismo which become -îm: grandísimo > rhanîm, liberalismo > liveralîm.
  • The suffix -sión /sjon/ is replaced with the more common -ción /θjon/ by analogy: misión > *mición > mîthôn, pasión > *pación > peithôn.

Spanish T

Spanish T /t/ evolves in different ways depending on its context.

Word-initially, when not followed by a consonant, Spanish /t/ is retained as 't' /t/.

Examples: todo > todh, tabla > tával.

Word-intial <tr> is also retained. Example: tren > tren.

Intervocalic T is normally inherited as either voiceless 't' /t/ or voiced 'd' /d/ according to the lenition rule.

Examples: atorar > adorar (lenition rule indicates that the stop is voiced between a and o), hospital > ofital (lenition rule indicates that the stop isn't voiced between i and a).

The above isn't true if the 't' is brought in contact with an <r> or <l> due to break of a preceding Cr or Cl cluster. In such cases, 't' undergoes rhotic mutation and becomes <th> /θ/.

Examples: plata > *phalta > falth, concreto > *concherto > concherth.

The same behaviour applies to instances of 't' preceded by <l>, <n> or <r> and followed by a vowel:

Examples: alto > alth, alterar > altherar, antena > anthen, carta > carth.

Non word-initial <trV> (where V represents an arbitrary vowel) is broken becoming <thVr>. Notice that when this happens in the last syllable of a word some Efenol dialects may replace the original vowel (with /a/ in Central Efenol and with /ə/ in Eastern and North-Western Efenol). If the syllable already had a coda other than a fricative, the final <r> may be deleted.

Examples: estrusco > ethurch, otro > óthor, astral > *atharl > athâl.

The cluster <st> also becomes /θ/:

Examples: hasta > ath, estadio > etheidh.

The sequence <tl> (which in European Spanish always occurs across a syllable boundary, /t.l/) becomes <thl> /θl/.

Examples: atlántico > athlánthig, atleta > athled.

The clusters <ct> and <pt> simplify to /t/ with compensatory lengthening on the preceding vowel. Exceptionally, 'apto' yields òt to avoid confusion with acto > ât.

Examples: rapto > rât, actor > âtor.

Spanish V

See the section on Spanish B.

Spanish W

The letter <W> isn't used natively in Spanish but appears in several borrowings where it is pronounced either as a <v> /b/ (where it evolves the same as any other /b/, see the section on Spanish B) or as /w/ where it evolves the same as the sequence <gu> /gw/~/w/ (see the section 'Spanish G as /gw/').

Examples: web > webh, Wálter > Walther.

Spanish X

Natively, the Spanish letter <x> has three different pronunciations in standard Spanish: /x/, /s/ and /ks/.

The pronunciation /x/ (identical to a Spanish <J>) is only found in a few words, most notably México and Oaxaca. These words evolve as expected for their phonemic respellings 'Méjico' and 'Guajaca': Méchic and Wachag.

Word-initially, <x> is realized as /s/ (except in the surname 'Ximénez', which may also be pronounced with an initial /x/ as mentioned before). As usual for word-initial /s/, the phoneme is preserved in Efenol:

Examples: xilófono > silófon, xenofobia > senofoibh, xerografía > serorhafî.

Between vowels and word-finally <x> is pronounces as /ks/. In these cases, the /k/ is elided, the preceding vowel is lengthened and the /s/ sound is preserved. In Western and Central Efenol (and also for some North-Western Efenol speakers), a this /ks/ when followed by a non-syllabic /u/~/w/ to <z> /z/ instead.

Examples: axioma > eisom, anexo > anês, (tiranosaurio) rex > rês.

In clusters, the <x> is treated the same as an /s/, much like in usual European Spanish pronunciation.

Examples: texto > *testo > teth, extraño > *estraño > ethéiron, explicación > *esplicación > efilcheithôn.

Spanish Y

The Spanish letter Y appears both as a vowel (where it's equivalent to /i/~/j/) and as a consonant.

As a vowel (word-final Y), it evolves the same as 'i'.

Examples: y > *i > i, rey > *rei > , Paraguay > *Paraguái > Parawai.

Elsewhere, Spanish Y is treated as a consonant (typically transcribed as /ʝ/), with wide variations on its exact pronunciation. This is also reflected in Efenol, as different dialects handle this phoneme differently.

In Western and North-Western Efenol, consonantal Y is treated as a palatal sibilant /sʲ/ although this palatal quality is resolved by affecting the neighbouring vowels. Word initially, /ʝ/ becomes /sj/~/ʃ/, written <se>.

Examples: yate > sead, yunque > seunch, yin y yang > */sʲin i sʲang/ > sîn i seang, yeso > sîs.

Elsewhere, /ʝ/ evolves into /s/ and the preceding vowel is i-ablauted.

Examples: mayor > meisor, ayuntamiento > eisunthamînth, rayo > reis.

This also extends to the cluster <ny> /nʝ/, although the resulting /ns/ is often pronounced /nz/. However, it's common for the resulting words to lack the usual i-ablaut.

Examples: enyesar > ensîsar (influenced by yeso > sîs), inyección > insîthôn.

The following table illustrates the development in other Efenol varieties:

Efenol dialect Word initial /ʝ/ Medial /ʝ/ Final /ʝV/ Cluster /nʝ/
Western /sj/ ~ /ʃ/

yunque > seunch

i-ablaut + /s/

mayor > meisor

i-ablaut + /s/

rayo > reis

/ns/~/nz/

inyectar > insêtar

North-Western /sj/ ~ /ʃ/

yunque > seunch

i-ablaut + /s/

mayor > meisor

i-ablaut + /s/

rayo > reis

/nz/

inyectar > enzetar

Central /i/~/j/

yunque > iunch

/s/

mayor > masor

i-ablaut + /s/

rayo > reis

/ns/

inyectar > insêtar

Eastern i-ablaut + length

yunque > ŷnh

/ʝ/

mayor > maghor

/jʒ/

rayo > raij

/nʝ/

inyectar > inghêtar

North Eastern /ç/

yunque > ghunh

/ç/

mayor > maghor

/jç/

rayo > raigh

/nç/

inyectar > inghêtar

Northern /j/

yunque > iunh

/j/

mayor > maior

/j/

rayo > rai

i-ablaut + /n/

inyectar > înêtar

Other sequences such as <by> are simplified to <y>: abyecto > *ayecto > Western eisêt, Eastern aghêt, Northern aiêt, etc.

Spanish Z

The Spanish letter <z> (in the European Spanish variety that serves as a base for Efenol) is pronounced /θ/ and is preserved as such in Efenol, written <th> in western-like orthographies (including the one used in Standard Efenol) and as <z> in northern-like orthographies.

Examples: zeda (the name for the letter, preferred to 'zeta') > thedh (Northern: zed), zorro > thôr (Northern: zorr), azafrán > athafân (Northern: azafân).

Certain consonant clusters involving Spanish <z> are broken, including word-final <zn> (after vowel elision) and all instances of <zg>:

Examples; graznar > rhathnar, tizne > títhen, hartazgo > artháthog, juzgar > chuthagar (also simplified to chuthâr).

Grammar

Being based on (and intrafictionally descended from) Spanish, Efenol retains much of Spanish grammar. Typical Romance features, such as arbitrary feminine vs masculine gender in nouns and verbs conjugating for person and tense intermix with less usual developments such as nominal plural formation based on ablaut or the usage of lenition to form genitives.

As its the case for the natural languages that inspirated it, Efenol features several irregularities and exceptions. Many irregular Spanish words are simplified and brought into a regular paradigm (for instance, all future tense verbs are regular in Efenol, something that cannot be said of Spanish) but at the same time many verbs which used to be regular in Spanish (such as 'hablar') evolve to be irregular in Efenol.

As in the preceding sections, statements and examples can be assumed to apply to the standard form of the language, Western Efenol, unless otherwise noted.

Grammar

Nouns

Just as in Spanish, Efenol nouns are divided into two nominal classes or genders: feminine and masculine. While these grammatical genders may correspond to the biological/sociological gender of their referents for some nouns, grammatical gender is mostly arbitrary even for words describing people (for instance, perzon, from Spanish 'persona' and meaning 'a person' is feminine even when describing male individuals). Terms for professions, on the other hand, typically shift genders to agree with their referent: pechadhor is masculine for a fisherman and feminine for a fisherwoman. In these cases, masculine is used as the default gender, as it is also the case in Spanish.

Whereas grammatical gender can usually be guessed in Spanish nouns looking at their endings (such as -a for feminine nouns and -o for masculine), Efenol nouns, having lost those endings during its evolution, typically show no indication of their grammatical gender. It is often the case that two different Spanish nouns may be conflated into a pair of homophones in Efenol which are distinguished by gender alone. For instance, 'mesa' (table) and 'mes' (month) both yield mes, but the noun is feminine when meaning 'a table' and masculine when meaning 'a month'. Similarly, 'casa' (house) and 'caso' (case, as in a lawsuit) yield feminine and masculine cas respectively. With little to no exception Efenol nouns retain the same grammatical gender than their Spanish equivalent which, in turn, typically agrees with the respective case in other Romance languages and in Latin.

The main effect of grammatical gender is determining which set of definite articles must be used for each noun. In singular, feminine nouns take the article (derived from Spanish 'la', triggers lenition on the following consonant) while masculine nouns take the article (derived from Spanish 'el', triggers rhotic mutation on the following consonant). Nouns which begin with a vowel sound always use l' as a singular article regardless of gender, although the underlying gender may still show up in other circumstances.

Examples: Es. casa (feminine) > cas (house), a·gas (the house); Es. caso (masculine) > cas (case), e·chas (the case); Es. herencia (feminine) > erînth (inheritance), l'erînth (the inheritance); Es. árbol (masculine) > árvol (tree), l'árvol (the tree); pescador, pescadora (masculine and feminine, respectively) > pechadhor (fisherman or fisherwoman), e·phechadhor (the fisherman), a·bechadhor (the fisherwoman).

As in Spanish, Efenol nouns also inflect for number: singular or plural. As in other Romance languages, plural marking is mandatory, may be used alongside numerals and plural number is preferred for zero. Singular is considered the base form of a noun while plural is formed through apophony, that is, a change within the sounds of the stem. More specifically, 'the plural form of a noun is formed by applying i-ablaut to its vowels, strong i-ablaut in the case of a stressed vowel and weak i-ablaut otherwise. This pluralization strategy, although far from usual Romance usage, actually descends from the Spanish plural-marker '-es' as mentioned in the above section about the evolution of Spanish S.

Examples: cas (house, case) > ceis (houses, cases), erînth (inheritance) > irînth (inheritances), árvol (tree) > éirvël (trees), pechadhor (fisherman or fisherwoman) > pichedhër (fishermen~fishers or fisherwomen).

The results of applying i-ablaut can be found in the section titled 'Vowel mutation'. Since i-ablaut works differently depending on whether a vowel is stressed or not nouns that only differ by stress position may become more distinct in plural:

Example: sávan (bedsheet, from Spanish 'sábana') > seiven (bedsheets); savan (savanna, from Spanish 'sabana') > sevein (savannas).

This synchronic i-ablaut does not necessarily affect all the syllables of an Efenol noun. Standard Western Efenol follows the 3-syllable rule: only the three last syllables of a noun are affected by i-ablaut when forming a plural. Other dialects may apply different rules, such as a '2-syllable rule' found in Central Efenol (and some close non-standard forms of Western Efenol) or the 'all syllables rule mostly found in Northern dialects. Since most Efenol words are three syllables long or shorter, the 3-syllable rule has a limited effect.

Examples: alvirantháthog (admiralty, the office of being an admiral, from Spanish 'almirantazgo') > alvirenthéithëg (standard 3-syllable rule plural), alviranthéithëg (non-standard 2-syllable rule plural; cf. Central: alvirantháthag > alviranthéitheg), elvirenthéithëg (non-standard all syllables plural; cf. Northern: alviranzázog > elvirenzéizög).

For some nouns, the plural form coincides with the singular after the ablaut. One such example is (foot, from Spanish 'pie'), whose only vowel remains a long <î> after i-ablaut. The difference in number may be conveyed through differences in definite article (e·phî for 'the foot' but o·pî for 'the feet') but it may just be ambiguous in other contexts.

Western Efenol (the basis for Standard Efenol) features a limited amount of irregular plurals for nouns ending in -mm, -ng or -nn whose finals become -hb, -hg and -hd respectively, in addition to going through the usual i-ablaut: munn (world, from Spanish mundo) > mijhd (worlds), bomm (bomb, from Spanish bomba) > bëhb (bombs), mang (mango) > meihg (mangoes).

In addition to inflecting nouns for number, Efenol innovates what might be considered a simple case system, contrasting a nominative case (the base form) with a 'genitive or attributive case formed by applying lenition to the first consonant of the noun. This genitive forms corresponds to a now lost Spanish 'de' (a preposition similar in usage to English 'of') that triggered the lenition and which remains as a prefixed <d'> for nouns which start with a vowel. It should be noted that some consonants remain the same after lenition, in that case an apostrophe might be used in writing to indicate that the genitive case was intended.

Example: cóver (copper.NOM) > cgóver (copper.GEN); or (gold.NOM) > d'or (gold.GEN); falth (silver.NOM)> 'falth (silver.GEN); peanith (pianist.NOM.SG), pêinith (pianist.NOM.PL) > pbeanith (pianist.GEN.SG), pbêinith (pianist.GEN.PL).

The usage of this genitive case is limited to the following scenarios:

  • For proper nouns only, indicating possession or origin: cët Cgárol for "Cárol's car", a·gabital Pbanamâ for "the capital of Panama", dipërthith Dhinamarch (sportspeople from Denmark). For other nouns, the possessive will be expressed through a determiner.
  • For indicating the material of an object: anîl d'or (golden ring), cável cgóver (copper wire), aburhês pbechadh (fishburger, hamburguer made of fish), thum mhang (mango juice).
  • After a quantifier: dos líthir bhin (two litters of wine), u·monthôn pbichedër (a lot of fishers).
  • When forming compounds, with the genitive noun serving as a descriptor: chòl pbeicher (a cage of birds ~ a birdcage), galerî pbinthyr (a gallery of paintings ~ an art gallery), minithîr bhivînn (ministry for housing), cytîl cges (knife for cutting cheese), aitër tdâthor (theatre actors), curz bheolochî (biology course), mein pbeanith (pianist-like hands), eth animal ehtéiron tîn pic pbad i col cgathor (this strange animal has a duck's beak and a beaver's tail).
  • With certain prepositions (whose Spanish equivalent also requires "de"): therch mhar (near the sea or near a sea), anth cgënfer (before the purchases). In this contexts it is also possible to use articles with genitive marking, which might add clarity (therch de·mhar for near the sea versus therch du·mhar for near a sea) but the determiner-less form is allowed in all dialects and distinctly preferred in Western Efenol.

It should be noted that lenition may also be found in nouns in other than when marking this genitive case, such as when preceded by certain determiners (such as the feminine singular definite article 'a·' or singular possessive pronouns such as mi or su). The genitive case forms explained above are not found when the noun is affected by a determiner although the determiners themselves may be made genitive through the same strategy: lenition (mi ~ my > mhi ~ of my) and <d'> (eth ~ this, d'eth ~ of this): S'ërîch d'eth elefanth son ma rhan cas'ërîch mhi elefanth ~ "The ears of this elephant are bigger than the ears of my elefant".

A limited number of nouns may also be affected by nasal mutation to form adverbs with a roughly locative meaning resulting from an elided en (in). These are however few in number and aren't found in all Efenol varieties (being completely absent from Northern and North-Eastern dialects). Examples include mbidh (from bidh, life, roughly meaning 'in life' ~ 'while living') or shortened ndeil (from en dedeil, 'in detail', detailedly).

Proper nouns

Proper nouns, such as personal names, work similarly personal names in English or Spanish. One main difference between proper and common nouns are that the former do not need a determiner in contexts a regular name would.

Like in Spanish, names are written with a capitalized first letter but words derived from names are not. Thus Franth (France) but franthê (French); Markov (Ма́рков, foreign names may keep their original spelling or internationally accepted transcriptions) but cedhîn markovean (Markov chains). Names (even if foreign) may be affected by lenition to indicate possession: cedhîn Mharkov (another alternative rendering for 'Markov chain'), governadhor Kgansas (the governor of Kansas).

Days of the week, months, seasons and religions aren't considered proper nouns for orthographical purposes and aren't capitalized other than at the beginning of a sentence. Languages are capitalized only if their name isn't understood as being a descriptive adjective (such as fanthê, French, seen as describing the language as being from France); capitalized languages include Ladîn (Latin, as the name is no longer commonly used for Lazio natives anymore), Sánchirth (Sanskrit) and most constructed languages (such as Eferanth for 'Esperanto'). In case of doubt, it is permissible to capitalize tha language name. Titles for books, films, and other media are typically capitalized in the first word and in each content word although other styles (such as only capitalizing the first word and any other proper noun) may be used as well: L'Ethéiron Cas de·Dhotor Jekyll i e·Shinor Hyde or L'ethéiron cas de·dhotor Jekyll i e·shinor Hyde for "Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde".

Unlike English, surnames are never pluralized in Efenol. A family consisting of several individuals with the surname 'Péreth' wouldn't be referred to as 'o·Pîrith' (the corresponding plural form, 'the Pérethes') but rather as 'o·Péreth' ('the Péreth') or, more commonly, a·famîl Péreth (the Péreth family).

Articles and other determiners

As in Spanish, Efenol differentiates definite and indefinite articles, both singular and plural. Definite articles agree with the gender of the corresponding noun while indefinite articles have lost this distinction.

In Western Efenol, definite articles (corresponding to English 'the' or Spanish 'el', 'la', 'los' and 'las') involve two of the language's signature features: interpuncts (the middle dot <·>) and consonant mutation. For nouns with an initial consonant all articles consist of a single vowel separated from the noun itself by an interpunct and, in the case of singular "a·" and "e·", the first consonant of the noun is mutated as shown in the consonant mutation table in the 'Mutation' section. Nouns with an initial vowel, on the other hand, are preceded by an <l'> (in singular) or an <s'>.

Singular Plural
Feminine

(triggers lenition)

(no consonant mutation)

Masculine

(triggers rhotic mutation)

(no consonant mutation)

Before a vowel l' s'

The intervening consonant mutations might be the only way to tell the number of a noun, as seen in the feminine noun pîth (piece, from Spanish 'pieza'): lenited a·bîth for singular and non-lenited a·pîth for plural.

Definite articles vary slightly in other dialects. Most notably, Northern Efenol preserves the Spanish <l> in the articles, yielding feminine la (with lenition for singular, lenition-less for plural), singular masculine el (with rhotic mutation) and plural masculine lo (no lenition). While <l'> is used in all dialects for vowel-initial singular nouns, its plural equivalent becomes <as'> or <os'> in Northern and North-Eastern Efenol (depending on the gender of the noun) while North-Western Efenol has <ah·> and <oh·> instead. There is also a certain orthographic variation concerning the usage of interpuncts: Northern Efenol doesn't use interpuncts at all while Eastern and North-Eastern Efenol (as well as Central Efenol if using the alternate northern-like orthography) only use an interpunct for singular articles which could trigger consonant mutation (even if the mutation does not have an effect in the noun that follows, such as mutation-invariant <f> /f/).

Singular Plural
Feminine Masculine Feminine Masculine
Spanish la pieza la oveja el perro el hombre las piezas las ovejas los perros los hombres
Translation the piece the sheep the dog the man the pieces the sheeps the dogs the men
North-Western a·bîth l'ovech e·phêr l'ómber a·pîth ah·ëvîch o·pîr oh·ëmbir
Western (Std.) a·bîth l'ovech e·phêr l'ónver a·pîth s'ëvîch o·pîr s'ënvir
Central

(W and N orthographies)

a·bîth l'ovech e·pherr l'ónver a·pîth s'ëvîch o·pirr s'ënvir
a·bîz l'oveh e·pherr l'ónver a pîz s'ëvîh o pirr s'ënvir
Eastern a·bîz l'oveh e·phêr l'ómber a pîz s'övîh o pîr s'ömbir
North-Eastern a·bîz l'oveh e·phêr l'ônver a pîz as'övîh o pîr os'óinvir
Northern la bîz l'oveh e·pherr l'ônver la pîz as'övîh lo pîr os'óinvir

Indefinite articles (corresponding to English 'a' and Spanish 'un', 'una' in singular and roughly to English 'some' and Spanish 'unos', 'unas' in plural) remain the same for nouns of either grammatical gender but their exact form varies depending on the initial sound of the following noun:

  • For nouns whose first consonant is either a nasal or a consonant that would be affected by nasal mutation, the singular indefinite article becomes <u·> and triggers nasal mutation: munn (world) > u·munn (a world), pan (bread) > u·phan (a bread).
  • For nouns which begin with a vowel or a non-nasal consonant that wouldn't be affected by consonant mutation, the singular indefinite article becomes <un>: árvol (tree) > un árvol (a tree), (king) > un rî (a king).
  • Indefinite plural articles always become <yn> and do not trigger nasal mutation: yn mijhd (a few worlds), yn pein (some bread), yn éirvël (some trees), yn rî (some kings).

In northern-like orthographies (used in Northern, North-Eastern, and Eastern Efenol and optionally in Central Efenol) the singular indefinite article is always written as <un> as exemplified by Northern un mund (a world), un phan (a bread), etc. In these orthographies, initial <mb>, <nd> and <ng> is avoided as well: un barh (a boat, Western: u·mbarch), un demoin (a demon, Western: u·ndemoin), un gad (a cat, Western: u·ngad).

Efenol usage of articles lies somewhere in between those of Spanish and English. All three languages mostly agree on when to use definite articles although Spanish also uses definite articles for generalized statements while English doesn't: "Los gatos son animales" or "el gato es [un] animal" (literally 'the cats are animals') for "Cats are animals". Efenol, however, deviates from Spanish usage and dispenses with articles for these general statements: "Geid son enimeil." (literally 'cats are animals'). However, Efenol usage is closer to Spanish when it comes to abstract nouns: l'amor ê bîl for "love is beautiful" (literally 'the love is beautiful', cf. Spanish "el amor es bello"). Another Spanish-like usage is found with body parts and articles of clothing (when worn) which are often marked with definite articles rather than a possessive as an English-speaker may expect. The possessor may be expressed in dative case or be left to context:

Examples: Me dël a·gaveth (my heart aches, literally 'the head hurts to me'), Tîn roch a·gar (he/she is blushing, literally '(he/she) has the face red'), Sòg o·thebeid (I take my shoes off, literally '(I) remove the shoes').

Singular indefinite articles remain similar in usage to English 'a'~'an'. The plural indefinite article yn (closest to English 'some' or 'a few') is mostly optional yet still commonly used for referring to a bunch of previously unadressed objects (it should be noted however that yn is somewhat less common than its Spanish equivalents 'unos' and 'unas'). Adding indefinite articles is often required to prevent a statement from looking like a generalization: Geid son beloth (cats are fast)vs Yn geid son beloth (some cats are fast).

Although nouns immediatly following articles is the norm, it is acceptable to place adjectives between. This is found in poetic usage (o bîl ëch as a variation of s'ëch bîl, 'the beautiful eyes') and with the adjectie rhan often precedes the noun if meaning grand~great rather than literally big~large (e rhan ónver for 'the great man' but l'ónver rhan for 'the big man' although also valid for the former). In these cases the form of the article is chosen according to the following adjective (observe the change in l'ónver > e rhan ónver, e·mharidh > l'anthij maridh) and any consonant mutation affects the first consonant in the adjective rather than the noun as usual. In western-like orthographies interpunct is left out if an adjective lies between the article and the noun; in northern-like orthographies (other than in Northern Efenol itself which doesn't use interpuncts) interpuncts are still only used if the article is not 'un' and triggers consonant mutation.

Other than nouns, articles are also used for predicative superlatives (in the English sense, 'the most X'), expressed as 'definite_article + ma + adjective' (literally 'the most ADJ') or, in the case of 'good' and 'bad', with the irregular comparatives mechor (better) and pëur (worse). The word ma is excempted from the usual consonant mutations, but mechor and pëur may still be mutated if preced by singular articles.

Examples: e ma rhan (the largest; a singular masculine noun), a ma beloth (the fastest; feminine, ambiguosly singular or plural), o pëur (the worst ones; plural masculine), a mhechor (the best, feminine singular as indicated by the presence of lenition).

The genitive form of personal pronouns also works as a determiner: mi· (my), tu· (your; belonging to singular you), su· (belonging to 3s or 3p: his, her, its or their), nëthor and nëthar (our) and bëthor and bëthar (your, belonging to plural you, y'all, blopt). In Western and Central Efenol nëthor/nëthar and bëthor/bëthar agree with the gender of the noun they apply to (o-forms for masculine, a-forms for feminine and usually o-forms for mixed or unknown gender); other varieties use the equivalent to nëthor and bëthor in all cases. While none of these possessive determiners changes form according to number, singular-referent mi, tu and su trigger lenition while they do not trigger any lenition when applied to plural nouns. Interpunct usage follows the same rules as with articles. Some speakers may add a final /s/ to mi, tu and su when followed by a plural noun as long as it begins in a vowel.

Examples: mi·gas (my house), mi·ceis (my houses), nëthor cas (our case), nëthar cas (our house), mi emî or mis'emî (my friends).

Less commonly, possessive determiners may come after the noun, taking the forms mhî (mine), tdî (yours), nëthor/nëthar (ours), bëthor/bëthar (yours) and de + third person pronouns (del, delha and delho for his, hers and theirs). This usage is stereotypically linked to a somewhat archaic vocatives. These words may also be used as adjectives, along with other determiners.

Examples: pádher nëthor (our father ~ father ours), Echytar, ich mhî! (Listen, my children!), yn emî tdî (some friends of yours).

Other determiners include the demonstrative eth ('this', from Spanish 'este' but also equivalent to Spanish 'ese'), the considerably rarer distal demonstrative cel ('that one yonder'; most instances of English 'that' would use eth instead), negative nigûn (none; always followed by singular nouns), its correlative alwun ('some~any', also found in the plural form elwyn), myt (many), pog (few), cadh (each) and thîrth (certain). Notably, óthor (other, from Spanish 'otro') does not really work as a determiner on its own and it's often used along proper determiners: un óthor gad (another cat), l'óthor geid (the other cats). None of the demonstratives mentioned in this paragraph display any gender agreement nor do they trigger any consonant mutation (including nigûn and alwun, despite their similarity with indefinite article u·/un).

Determiners often form contractions with preposition. Apostrophes separate consonants belonging to prepositions from the demonstratives themselves except for articles where both words are fully merged.

  • The genitive preposition <de> contracts to <d'> before vowels, becomes del and des (dialectally dos, das) when contracted with <l'> and <s'> and is reflected as lenition otherwise: da·gas (of the house), d'eth lwar (of/from this place), d'elwyn paî (from/of some countries), del'etheidh (of the stadium), mhi amî (of my friend), 'nëthar chenth (of our people).
  • The dative preposition <a>, used to mark indirect objects, forms contractions with true articles but is otherwise preserved as 'a' (a eth perzon ~ to this person, a tu irmein ~ to your siblings). Notice that a + e only differs from regular feminine singular article a in triggering rhotic mutation rather than lenition. It should be noted that, unlike Spanish, Efenol never uses a for direct objects.
Article "A" + article
e· (triggers rhotic mutation) a· (triggers rhotic mutation)
a· (triggers lenition) â· (triggers lenition)
l' al'
au·
â·
s' as'
u· (triggers nasal mutation) nu· (triggers nasal mutation)
un nun
yn nyn
  • The locative preposition en becomes <n'> before determiners which begin with a vowel; otherwise remains as en but triggers nasal mutation on the following word: na·gas (in the house), n'eth lwar (in this place), n'elwyn paî (in some countries), en chel cas (in that house), en thu·bheir (in your neighbourhood).
  • In Western and North-Western Efenol only, con (with, either associative or instrumental) becomes <ng'> before vowels: nga·berzon (with the person), ng'eth chenth (with this people).
  • The preposition pâr (equivalent to English 'for') is informally abbreviated to <p'> in all dialects but this is only considered standard in Central, Northern and North-Eastern Efenol.

In Western Efenol speakers will often use gendered contractions before the genderless articles <l'> and <s'>: ngo s'emî (with the friends, rather than), na l'ofithin (in the office). This requires speakers to also learn the gender of vowel-initial nouns which wouldn't show up otherwise (the possessives nëthor/nëthar/bëthor/bëthar being another exception). Most other dialects use con s'emî or en l'ofithin (or equivalent wordings) instead.

Efenol lacks an equivalent to the Spanish "ese/esa/esos/esas" demonstrative pronoun series (merged with the "este/esta/estos/estas" series as eth) and the 'neuter pronoun' "lo" which is usually paraphrased with cos, cës (thing, things): "lo bueno" (the good) > a·gos bën, a·cës bën (literally: the good thing, the good things), "lo que siempre quisiste" (that which you always wanted) > a·gos shînfer cerith (lit. the thing you always wanted).

Personal pronouns

Efenol pronouns are based on the set of informal pronouns found in European Spanish: "yo" (I), "tú" (you, 2s), "él" (he), "ella" (she), "nosotros" (we; 'nosotras' is used if all the referents in the group are grammatically feminine), "vosotros" (plural you, 'vosotras' is used in all addressed people are gramatically feminine) and "ellos" (they, "ellas" if all referents are feminine). Formality distinctions such as the usage of "usted" and "ustedes" is no longer manteined. Gender differences in pronouns (aside from third person singular) are lost in most Efenol varieties. The nominative pronouns in each Efenol dialect are:

Pronouns North-Western Western (std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s - I - "yo" seo seo io jo gho io
2s - you - "tú" tu tu tu
3s - he - "él" el el el êl êl êl
3s - she - "ella" lha lha lha lia lia lia
1p - we - "nosotros" nóthor noth, nóthor nóthor noz noz noz
1p - we - "nosotras" nóthar noz, noz'r
2p - you - "vosotros" bóthor both, bóthor both, bóthor boz boz boz
2p - you - "vosotras" both, bóthar boz, boz'r
3p - they - "ellos" lho lho lho lio lio lio
3p - they - "ellas" lho, lha lia lia

Noth and nóthor are in free variation in Western Efenol; it's not uncommon for speakers to even alternate them. The same can be said for Western both and bóthor and Central both vs the gendered forms bóthor and bóthar. Some Eastern Efenol speakers observe a distinction between masculine noz and boz vs feminine noz'r and boz'r but many use noz and boz in all cases (using noz'r and boz'r for non-masculine referents is not unheard of either although it is considerably rarer). A similar situation is found for third person plural in Central Efenol where some speakers may use lha for groups of feminine referents while others may use lho in all cases. Varieties which distinguish 3p.MASC lho~lio and 3p.FEM lha~lia merge the latter with the singular feminine 3s pronoun lha~lia.

This nominative case forms are mostly found as the subjects of a verb: Seo ávol Efenol (I speak Efenol). It should be noted, however, that Efenol is a pro-drop language and speakers are encouraged to drop pronouns if verb conjugation and context are enough for the other part to understand the result: Ávol Efenol (I speak, the verb conjugation already indicates that the subject must be 1s). Eastern Efenol speakers have a tendency not to drop their pronouns even if context renders them unnecessary. Otherwise, using a nominative pronoun may provide a certain sense of emphasis: Seo ávol Efenol ~ I speak Efenol (not someone else).

As in most Romance languages, Efenol pronouns retain a more extensive case system than nouns. This includes an accusative case used when the pronoun is the direct object of the sentence. In this case, most gender distinctions are lost but speakers come to distinguish between reflexive third person (if the third-person object coincides with the subject) and regular third person (if the third-person subject does not coincide with the subject).

Accusative pronouns North-Western Western (std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s - me - "me" me, m' me, m' me, m' me, m' me, m' me, m'
2s - you - "te" te, t' te, t' te, t' te, t' te, t' te, t'
3s - him - "lo" le, l' lo, l' lo, l' le, l' le, lo, l' lo, l'
3s - her - "la" la, l' lha, lh', l' lha, la, lh', l' le, la, l' la, l'
3s/3p REFL - "se" se, s' se, s' se, s' se, s' se, s' se, s'
1p - us- "nos" noth noth noth, nô noz noz, nô noz, nô
2p - you - "os" bo, b' both ô boz, os os os
3p - them - "los~las" lho, lh' lho, lh' lho, lh' lio, li' lio, li' lio, lia, li'

As in most other Romance languages, acusative pronouns precede verbs in Efenol rather than coming after them as most direct objects. Forms with an apostrophe are used before vowel-initial verbs unless they are only one syllable long, in which case the full pronoun may be used for euphony: te cijr (I'm fond of you) vs t'adhor (I adore you) but te òm (I love you). Some forms are in free variation such as and noz for 'us' in some varieties (noz is increasingly common and displacing in all such varieties). Northern Efenol lio vs lia correspond to accusative non-reflexive forms of masculine and feminine third person plural respectively.

Infinitives, gerunds, imperatives and compound verb tenses which include such verbforms (progressive tenses with gerunds, simple future with infinitives), however, require accusative pronouns to follow the verb (optional in Eastern and North-Eastern dialects). These post-verbal accusative pronouns are subject to rhotic mutation if preceded by an -r (as in all infinitives) or an /l/ and nasal-mutation if preceded by a nasal (as in all gerunds other than in Northern Efenol). In all cases, these pronouns are separated from the preceding verb with a hyphen.

Examples: dethir-the (to tell you), thë mirann-lho (I am looking at them), bë ather-lo (I am going to do it), Defîrth-te! (Wake [yourself] up!).

Efenol pronouns also feature an oblique form used along prepositions. These oblique forms only differ from the nominative for first person singular (I) and second person singular (you): and respectively. Reflexive may be expressed through or, far more commonly, by a regular third person pronoun (Spanish "para sí" meaning 'for himself', may be reflected as pâr sî but is more likely to shift to "pâr el"). A large number of Eastern Efenol speakers (as well as a minority of Northern Efenol speakers), however, use the nominative forms for all pronouns along prepositions. Additionally, dialectal Western Efenol, Central Efenol and some forms of Eastern Efenol use mij/mŷ and thij/thŷ along with the preposition con (preserving Spanish 'conmigo' and 'contigo'). It should be noted that prepositions may form contractions with vowel-initial pronouns.

Examples: pâr mî (for me; Eastern pâr jo or pâr mî), pâr el (for him; also contracted to p'el), con mî (with me, also con mij, Eastern con jo or con mŷ).

Proper dative pronouns (used for indirect objects) are identical to the corresponding accusative forms except in Northern Efenol (and for some speakers of Central and North-Eastern Efenol) were the third person non-reflexive dative forms become le: Northern lo doi (I give it) vs le doi (I give to him); Western lo doi for both. In case both an accusative and a dative form co-occur on verb then they shall be written in that order (direct object first, then indirect object): (tu) lo me dith (you say it to me, unlike Spanish 'tú me lo dices'). A combination of two non-reflexive third person pronouns is replaced by the contracted pronoun sël (from Spanish 'se lo'): (tu) sël dith (you say it to him/her, Spanish 'tú se lo dices'). However, most speakers use 'improper' dative pronouns formed by the dative particle 'a' and the oblique form of the pronoun (or, for third person pronouns alone, the oblique form on its own, which coincides with the nominative). This is particularly common to avoid a combination multiple pronominal preclitics before a verb: "you say it to me" > (tu) lo me dith > (tu) lo dith a mî; "you say it to him" > (tu) sël dith > (tu) lo dith el. The latter example shows that pronoun-verb order is relevant: in el dith (he says) <el> is unambiguously the subject while in dith el (you/he/she says to him), <el> is necessarily the indirect object.

Efenol pronouns also have possessive forms which were explained in the 'Articles and determiners' section. Attent readers may notice that some post-nominal possessives such as mhî and tdî are actually lenition-based genitive-case variants of the corresponding oblique pronouns.

Other pronouns

In addition to personal pronouns and its inflections, Efenol features the following pronouns:

  • One demonstrative pronoun eth (this, this one), identical to the demonstrative determiner eth. The distal demonstrative cêl might also be used as a pronoun but is much rarer.
  • Other determiner on their own such as nigûn (none), alwun and elwyn (someone and some), todh (everyone), etc.
  • Relative pronouns:
    • Ce (ke in Eastern Efenol), from Spanish 'que', equivalent to English 'that/which' in relative clauses. Contracted to <c'> before vowels. Examples: a perzôn ce bë (the person [that] I see), a perzôn ce me bë (the person that sees me). May sometimes be elided entirely and expressed through lenition, particularly when followed by an adverb: a·gos [ce] shînfer dij (the thing which I always say).
    • Cîn (çîn in Eastern Efenol), from Spanish 'quien', equivalent to 'who/whom', seen as a more formal replacement to ce when applied to people: a perzôn cîn bë (the person whom I see). Also used in genitive form as cgîn (replacing Spanisih 'cuyo'): a perzôn cgîn pàdher ê mi amî (the person whose father is my friend). Unlike Spanish,
    • Don, dhon, com, pwanth and pwann, corresponding to Spanish '(a) donde', 'de donde', 'como', 'cuan/cuanto/cuantos' and 'cuando' (where, from where, how, how many/how much and when): e·phaî don nathî (the country where I was born), e·phaî don bë (the country where I am going), e·phaî dhon bëng (the country where I come from), a·mhaner com seo l'òth (the way [how] I do it), pwann irê a Madhirth (when I [shall] go to Madrid), gatharâ pwanth darâs el (he will spend however much you give him).
  • Interrogative pronouns (identical to relative pronouns except for vs ce):
    • ( in Eastern Efenol), never contracted to <c'>: 'what' as in Cê dith? (What do you say?). Never applies to people (where cîn, 'who', is used instead).
    • Cîn (who), cgîn (whose), don (where, where to), dhon (where from), com (how), pwanth (how much, how many), pwann (when): Cîn ê a·berzon ma beloth? (Who is the fastest person?), Cgîn son eth lheibh? (Whose keys are those?), Pwann i don serâ a·fîth? (When and where will the party be?), Dhon bînz i don bas? (Where do you come from and where are you going?), Com lh'arâs? (How will you make them?), Pwanth în tînz? (How old are you?, literally 'how many years do you have?').
    • In Eastern, North-Eastern and Northern Efenol: pwal/pal (plural pweil/peil) for 'whose', from Spanish 'cuales'. Merged with 'cê' in Western, North-Western and Central Efenol. Western Cê pethîl prefîrz? vs Northern Peil pezîl prefîrs? for 'Which cakes do you prefer?'.

Adjective and adverbs

Unlike Spanish, where adjectives agree with their nouns in number and gender, adjectives are invariant in Efenol: a·mhanthan delithô (the delicious apple, a feminine noun; Spanish "la manzana deliciosa"), a·menthein delithô (the delicious apples; Spanish "las manzanas deliciosas"), e·mhelôn delithô (the delicious melon, a masculine noun; Spanish "el melón delicioso"), o·miloin delithô (the delicious melons; Spanish "los melones deliciosos"). Adjectives typically come after the noun they describe although they precede their nouns in poetic usage or in the case of rhan when meaning 'grand/great' rather than literally 'large'. The adjective anthij (old, ancient, antique; not used for elderly people) may also precede its noun.

Examples: l'ónver alth (the tall man), **l'alth ónver (the tall man; this wording wouldn't be used in the ordinary language but may occur in poetry), l'ónver rhan (the large man), e rhan ónver (the great man), Rhîth anthij~l'anthij Rhîth (Ancient Greece).

Adjectives which would have yielded different forms for feminine and masculine use the form derived from the Spanish masculine: Spanish "macabro"~"macabra" (gruesome) > magávor~*magávar > magávor.

With the exception of the adjectives bën (good, from Spanish "bueno") and mal (from Spanish "malo"), adjectives form comparatives and English-like superlatives with the word ma (more, most; from Spanish más; also doubles as meaning 'plus'). Definite articles are needed to form superlatives.

Examples: e·chët ê rhan (the car is large), u·chët rhan (a large car), e·chët ê ma rhan (the car is larger), u·chët ma rhan (a larger car), eth cët ê e ma rhan (this car is the largest), e·chët ma rhan (either 'the larger car' or 'the largest car').

Comparisons use 'ce' (never contracted to <c'>): e·chët ê ma rhan ce a·bithilchet (the car is larger than the bicyle).

The adjectives bën and mal use the irregular comparative forms mechor and pëur instead of *ma bën or *ma mal. Additionally, the irregular comparativse meisor and menor may be used for 'larger/greater' and 'smaller/lesser', coexisting with the synthetic forms ma rhan and ma pegîn.

Examples: e·chët ê mechor (this car is better), e pëur cët (the worst car), eth cët ê e meisor (this car is the largest; equivalent to eth cët ê e ma rhan), u·chët menor (a smaller car; equivalent to u·chët ma pegîn).

Other historical irregular Spanish comparatives and superlatives may be preserved as adjectives on their own: ótim (optimal, from Spanish "óptimo", originally a superlative of 'bueno'), pòpérhim (lacking quality, originally a superlative of Spanish "pobre", poor), supiror (superior, originally a comparative form of Spanish "alto" ~ high/tall).

The suffix -îm (from the old Spanish superlative ending '-ísimo') may be used to intensify an adjective: rhan (large), rhanîm (very large, huge); fërth (strong) > fërthîm (very strong).

Adjectives can be turned into adverbs by adding the suffix -menth (or -venth if the adjective ends in /l/). The adverbial forms of bën and mal (good and bad; from Spanish "bueno" an "malo") are bîn and mal (from Spanish "bien" y "mal") rather than *bënmenth and *malventh. Adjectives related to speed are often used as adverbs without any intevening suffix: adjective beloth (quick) > adverb beloth or belothmenth (quickly). Mechor and pëur (better/worse) may also be used as adjectives while meisormenth and menormenth are used as adverbs meaning 'mostly' and 'least; in a lesser way'.

Examples: El cothin delithômenth (he cooks deliciously), Fë ahî orichinalventh (it was like that originally), Avalei lenth ~ Avalei lenthmenth (you speak slowly), Chwarê mechor (I will play better), Son meisormenth erthith (they are mostly artists).

Adverbs typically precede adjectives and follow verbs: imezmenth felith (immensely happy), lho camínan lenthmenth (they walk slowly). However, it's not rare for adverbs which modify an entire clause to appear at the beginning or at the very end: Orichinalventh, mi erman cith ir a Madhirth (originally, my brother wanted to go to Madrid), Enthar' â·ceis ineferadhmenth (they break into the houses unexpectedly).

Other adverbs include:

  • My for 'very' and pog for 'litle' (these adverbs correspond to the determiners myt, many, and pog, few): my bën (very good), pog beloth (not very fast). Exceptionally, myt replaces my for modifying mechor and pëur: Eth ê myt mechor (This one is much better).
  • Sôl (only): Lha sôl com cáren (she only eats meat).
  • Cgî and lhî for 'here' and 'there': E·bhin cgî ê myt mechor ce lhî (the wine is better here than there).
  • Ahî meaning 'this way, thus': N'eth cas cothinam ahî (in this house we cook like this).
  • Therch, lech (near, far). May be followed by a genitive noun: therch pbarch (near the park), lech da·tyhdhadh (far from the city).
  • Enthim~sóver (above), devach~bach (below), fénther (in front), thâr (on the back, behind). May be followed by a genitive noun: enthim mhes (above [the] table), bach tdîr (below the ground).

Verbs

As in most Romance languages, Efenol verbs feature a somewhat complex conjugation scheme which includes inflections for tense, personal agreement with the subject and, to some extent, aspect and mood. Conjugation is mostly fusional (with affixes which indicate several grammatical categories at the same time). Most verbs belong to one of three 'regular' conjugation classes (-ar verbs like canthar, -er verbs like comer and -ir verbs like parthir) but a significant number of verbs feature irregular paradigms.

Key verbs include ser and thar (to be; corresponding to Spanish "ser" and "estar" respectively), ir (to go, also used as an auxiliary verb for future tense), ather (to do, to make), aver (an auxiliary verb roughly matching English 'to have') and tener (to have something). All of these verbs are notoriously irregular.

The dictionary form of verbs is the infinitive which also works as a nominalization of the verb. As in Spanish, infinitive verbs may end in a stressed -ar, -er or -ir or, more rarely, the long equivalents -âr, -êr and -îr or, in a handful occassions, -yr.

Examples: canthar (to sing, Spanish "cantar"), comer (to eat, Spanish "beber"), parthir (to leave, Spanish "partir"), avytâr (to boo, Spanish "abuchear"), lêr (to read, Spanish "leer"), sonrhîr (to smile, Spanish "sonreír"), conthirvyr (to contribute, Spanish "contribuir"); Me guth lêr ('I like reading'; infinitives are used for nominal usages like this rather than the gerund as in English), Fërvidh fumar ('Smoking not allowed', literally "forbidden to smoke").

The infinitive is one of three non-finite forms, the others being the gerund (typically formed with -ann or -înn) and participles (featuring a final -dh except in North-Western and Central Efenol). Many verbs have irregular participles such as ather (do, make) > ît (done, made). All of these forms are used along auxiliary verbs for compound tenses.

The different Efenol dialects feature differences in the number of tenses they include as well as their usage as shown in the following table:

North-Western Western (Standard) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
Habitual present

"I sing (often)"

Simple present

cònth

Simple present

cònth

Simple present

conth

Simple present

kanz

Simple present

cánzu

Simple present

canz or cánzo

Progressive present

"I am singing"

Progressive present

thë cganthan

Progressive present

thë canthann

Progressive present

zö canzand

Present perfect

"I have sung"

Compound past

ê·cganthao

Simple past

canthê

Simple past

canthê

Simple past

kanzê

Simple past

canzê

Compound past

ê canzad

Distant past

"I sang (back then)"

Compound past

ê·cganthau

Simple past

canzê

Near past

"I've (just )sang"

Compound past

e·cganthadh

Imperfective past

"I was singing"

Progressive past

thabh canthan

Imperfective past

canthabh

Simple past

canthê

Progressive past

zav canzan

Progressive past

zav canzand

Habitual past

"I used to sing"

Imperfective past

canthabh

Imperfective past

kanzav

Imperfective past

canzav

Simple past

canzê

Perfect past

"I had sung"

Pluperfect

avî·cganthao

Plup. or S. Past

avî·cganthadh ~ canthê

Pluperfect

avî·cganthau

Simple past

kanzê

Progressive perf.

zuv canzan

Pluperfect

û canzad

Near future

"I am going to sing"

Compound future

bë cganthar

Compound future

bë cganthar

Simple and

compound future

in free variation

bë cganthar ~ cantharê

Simple future

kanzarê

Simple future

canzarê

Compound future

bö cganzar

Distant future

"I will sing (eventually)"

Simple future

cantharê

Simple future

canzarê

Conditional

"I would sing (if...)"

Conditional

cantharî

Conditional

cantharî

Conditional

kanzarî

Conditional

canzarî

Conditional

canzarî

Imperative - 2s

"Sing!"

Imperative

Canth!

Imperative

Canth!

Imperative

Canth!

Imperative

Kanz!

Infinitive

Canzar!

Imperative

Canz!

Imperative - 2p

"Sing, all of you!"

Infinitive

Canthar!

Infinitive

Canthar!

Infinitive

Canthar!

Imperative plural

Canzad!

Negative imperative

"Don't sing!" (2s)

"Don't sing!" (2p)

Subjunctive

No canth!

No canthî!

Negation of imp.

No canth!

No canthar!

Negative imp.

No canth!

No canth!

Negative imp.

No kanz!

No kanz!

Negative inf.

No canzar!

No canzar!

Negation of imp.

No canz!

No canzad!

Subjunctive

"(if) we sang" vs

indicative "we sing"

Subjunctive

canthem

vs cantham

Same as indicative

cantham

Same as indicative

cantham

Same as indicative

kanzam

Same as indicative

canzam

Same as indicative

canzam

It should be noted that Efenol dialects can be thought as a continuum and thus transitional forms may exist mixing features of two or more varieties. Thus, an Eastern-like dialect may use a Central-like compound past despite such tense not being found in the most common Eastern Efenol varieties.

In the following sub-sections these tenses will be further explained and exemplified. Western Efenol examples will be used for tenses found in the variety.

Verb stems and conjugation classes

As in Spanish, the stem of an Efenol verb typically coincides with their infinitive form removing the infinitive ending -ar, -er, -ir.

Verbs whose Spanish stem would end in a disallowed Efenol cluster (such "habl-" from "hablar") evolve to form a 'broken' verb class which features a 'broken' stem with an unespecified vowel which varies according to person and tense: "hablar" > avalar (to speak), stem "habl-" > av_l (with forms like "hablo" > ávol and "hablé" > avêl). This is a source of Efenol irregular verbs which might have been regular in Spanish. Conversely, some Spanish irregular verbs such as the 'inchoative' verbs like "aparecer" (with irregular "aparezco" rather than the expected "*aparezo") become regular in Efenol: abarether, abarëth (corresponding to "*aparezco" instead of "aparezco" > *abarëch).

Some sample infinitives, stems, gerunds and participles (the irregularity of some of verbs may not be apparent for these nonfinite forms):

Conjugation class English Spanish Efenol
Infinitive Infinitive Stem Infinitive Stem Gerund Participle
-ar to sing cantar cant- canthar canth- canthann canthadh
-er to eat comer com- comer com- comînn comidh
-ir to leave partir part- parthir parth- parthînn parthidh
-ar, broken to speak hablar habl- avalar av_l avalann avaladh
-ar, e~ie alternation to think pensar pens-, piens- pezar pez-, pîz- pezann pezadh
-ar, o~ue alternation to roll rodar rod-, rued- rodhar rodh-, rëdh- rodhann rodhadh
Irregular: -ear to boo abuchear abuche- avytâr avyt(a) avytânn avytâdh
Irregular: -eer to read leer le- lêr l(e) lîsînn lîdh
Irregular: -uir to contribute contribuir contribuy- conthirvyr conthirvys- conthirvijnn conthirvydh
Irregular: -eír to laugh reír rí- rîr r(i) rînn rîdh
Irregular: Ser to be ser - ser - sînn sidh
Irregular: Estar estar est- thar th- thann thadh
Irregular: Haber to have (aux) haber hab- aver av- avînn avidh
Irregular: tener to have tener ten-, tien- tener ten- tenînn tenidh
Irregular: Hacer to do, to make hacer haz-, hag- ather ath- athînn ît
Irregular: Ir to go ir (i) ir (i) sînn~înn idh
Notes on transcription

Generalized conjugations use the following symbols:

  • (ʷ): U-ablaut on the stem.
  • (ʲ): I-ablaut on the stem.
  • Ø: Null, no ending is added to the stem.
  • -s: /s/ or /z/ when forming a valid coda (ber > bes, morir > mërz), Ø otherwise.
  • V: a vowel matching the infinitive ending ('a' for -ar verbs, 'e' for -er verbs, etc).
  • ʲV: I-ablauted V: ei for -ar verbs and î otherwise.
Simple present

Simple present is the most basic of Efenol tenses. It is found in all Efenol varieties and mostly corresponds to English present tense.

In Western, North-Western and Central Efenol this tense is unique for using synchronous u-ablaut: first person singular (I) present tense is typically expressed by the stem with an u-ablaut on its last vowel: canthar > stem canth > cònth, orhanithar > orhanyth. Broken verbs use the vowel /o/ instead: avalar > stem av_l > ávol.

Regular endings (exemplified with dialectal variants of canthar) are:

North-Western Western (Std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) (ʷ)Ø, cònth (ʷ)Ø, cònth (ʷ)Ø, conth Ø, kanz -u, cánzu Ø or -o, canz, cánzo
2s (you) -s, canth -s, canth -s, canth -s, kanz -s or Vs, canz, cánzas -s, canz
3s (he/she/it) Ø, canth Ø, canth Ø, canth Ø, kanz Ø, canz Ø, canz
1p (we) -Vm, cantham -Vm, cantham -Vm, cantham -Vm, kanzam -Vm, canzam -Vm, canzam
2p (you) -ʲV, canthei -ʲV, canthei -ʲV, canthei -Vs, kanzas -V, -ʲV, canza, canzei -ʲV, canzei
3p (they) -Vn, -', cánthan, canth' -', -Vn, canth', cánthan -Vn, cánthan -Vn, -', kánzan, kanz' -Vn, cánzan -Vn, cánzan

Examples in Western Efenol:

Conjugation class Infinitive 1s 2s 3s 1p 2p 3p Translation
-ar canthar cònth *canths > canth canth cantham canthei canth', cánthan sings
-er comer com *coms > com com comem comî com', cómen eats
-ir parthir pòrth *parths > parth parth parthim parthî parth', parthen leaves
-ar, broken avalar ávol *ávals > ával ával avalam avalei ával', ávalan speaks
-ar, e~ie alternation pezar pijz *pîzs> pîs/pîz pîz pezam pezei pîz', pîzan thinks
-ar, o~ue alternation rodhar rëdh *rëdhs > rëdh rëdh rodham rodhei rëdh', rëdhan rolls
Irregular: -ear avytâr avytë avytâs avytâ avytâm avytai avytân boos
Irregular: -eer lêr lês lêm lên reads
Irregular: -uir conthirvyr conthirvys conthirvys conthirvys conthirvijm conthirvij conthirvys', conthirvýsen contributes
Irregular: -eír rîr rij rîs rîm rîn laughs
Irregular: Ser ser erz, er ê som soi son is
Irregular: Estar thar tham thas eth, tha tham thei, thai than
Irregular: Haber aver ê (+ lenition) a, as a (+lenition) e (+nasal mut.), em, avem ei, avei a (+nasal mut.), an has
Irregular: Tener tener tëng tînz, tîz tîn tenem tenî tîn, tîn', tînen
Irregular: Hacer ather òth *aths > ath ath athem athî, athei ath', áthen does, makes
Irregular: Ir ir bas ba bam bei ban goes
Progressive present

Progressive present mostly corresponds in form and usage with English present continuous. This tense is mostly found in Western (Standard) Efenol, North-Western Efenol and Northern Efenol.

The tense is constructed with an auxiliary simple-present form of thar (progressive 'to be') followed by the infinitive form of the main verb. In North-Western Efenol alone the infinitive is affected by lenition (thus thë cganthan for 'I am singing' rather than Western thë canthann and Northern zö canzand).

Simple past

Simple past is, along with compound past, one of the most commmon forms of expressing past tense in Efenol. It is found (with slightly different rules) in all varieties other than most forms of North-Western Efenol.

Regular endings for simple past vary depending on whether the verb belongs to the -ar class or the -er and -ir verb classes. The endings for -ar class verbs (exemplified with dialectal variants of canthar) are:

North-Western Western (Std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) N/A -ê, canthê -ê, canthê -ê, kanzê -ê, canzê -ê, canzê
2s (you) -ath, canthath -ath, canthath -az, kanzaz -az, canzaz -az, canzaz
3s (he/she/it) -ô, canthô -ô, canthô -ô, kanzô -ô, canzô -ô, canzô
1p (we) -Vm, cantham -am, -árom, cantham, canthárom -am, kanzam -am, canzam -am, canzam
2p (you) -athʲV, cantháthei -athʲV, cantháthei -ázi, kanzázi -ázi, canzázi -azʲV, canzázei
3p (they) -áron, cantháron -aron, cantháron -Vr'n, kanzar'n -Vron, canzáron -áron, canzáron

Regular simple past endings for -er and -ir class verbs (exemplified with dialectal variants of comer and parthir) are:

North-Western Western (Std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) N/A -î, comî, parthî -î, comî, parthî -î, comî, parzî -î, comî, parzî -î, comî, parzî
2s (you) -ith, comith, parthith -ith, comith, parthith -iz, komiz, parziz -iz, comiz, parziz -iz, comiz, parziz
3s (he/she/it) -eô, comeô, partheô -(ʲ)ô, cëmô, peirthô -(ʲ)ô, kömô, peirzô -(ʲ)ô, cömô, peirzô;

-iô, comiô, parziô

-iô, comiô, parziô
1p (we) -Vm, comem, parthim -im, comim, parzim;

-îrom, comîrom, parzîrom

-Vm, komem, parzim;

-im, komim, parzim

-Vm, comem, parzim;

-im, comim, parzim

-im, comim, parzim
2p (you) -îthi comîthi, parthîthi -îthî, comîthî, parthîthî -ízi, komízi, parzízi -ízi, comízi, parzízi -ízî, comízî, parzízî
3p (they) -îron, comîron, parthîron -îron, comîron, parthîron -Vr'n, komer'n, parzir'n -Vron, coméron, parzíron

-îron, comîron, parzîron

-îron, comîron, parzîron

Notice that Central and Eastern Efenol use i-ablaut to form their third-person singular simple past verbforms. North-Eastern Efenol varieties may use Eastern-like conjugations, Northern-like conjugations or both in free variation.

More examples in Western Efenol:

Conjugation class Infinitive 1s 2s 3s 1p 2p 3p Translation
-ar canthar canthê canthath canthô cantham cantháthei cantháron sang
-er comer comî comith comeô comem comîthi comîron ate
-ir parthir parthî parthith partheô parthim parthîthi parthîron left
-ar, broken avalar avêl avalath avôl, avalô avalam avaláthei avaláron spoke
-ar, e~ie alternation pezar pezê pezath pezô pezam pezáthei pezáron thought
-ar, o~ue alternation rodhar rodhê rodhath rodhô rodham rodháthei rodháron rolled
Irregular: -ear avytâr avytê avytâth avytau avytâm avytâthei avytâron booed
Irregular: -eer lêr lîth lijs lîm, lêm lîthi liséron, lisîron read
Irregular: -uir conthirvyr conthirvij conthirvijth conthirvysô, conthirvijs conthyrvijm conthirvijthei, conthirvýthei conthirvijron, conthirvýron contributed
Irregular: -eír rîr rîth rij, riô rîm rîthi rîron laughed
Irregular: Ser ser fy, fij fyth, fijth fym, fijm fijth, fijthi fëron was
Irregular: Estar thar thubh thuvith, thijth thubh thuvim, thávam thuvîthi thuvîron
Irregular: Haber aver ubh uvith ubh uvim uvîthi uvîron had
Irregular: Tener tener tubh tuvith tubh tuvim tuvîthi tuvîron
Irregular: Hacer ather ith ithith, thith yth ithim, thim ithîthi, thîthi ithîron, thîron did, made
Irregular: Ir ir fy, fij fyth, fijth fym, fijm fijth, fijthi fëron went
Compound past

Compound past is, along with simple past, one of the most commmon forms of expressing past tense in Efenol. It is found (with slightly different rules) in dialects other than Eastern Efenol and and most North-Eastern Efenol varieties.

Efenol compound past works has the same structure as English present perfect (although its usage is usually different; see the table on dialectal variation of tenses above). The tense is formed by a conjugated present-tense form of the auxilliary verb aver (from Spanish "haber", comparable to English 'have') followed by a the participle of the intended verb. Other than in Northern Efenol, the participle may be subject to different consonant mutations depending on the grammatical person.

North-Western Western (Std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) ê + lenition

ê·cganthao

ê + lenition

e·cganthadh

ê + lenition

e·cganthau

No compound past No compound past ê + no mutation

e canzad

2s (you) a + no mutation

a·canthao

a + no mutation

a·canthadh

a + no mutation

a·canthau

as + no mutation

as canzad

3s (he/she/it) a + lenition

a·cganthao

a + lenition

a·cganthadh

a + lenition

a·canthau

a + no mutation

a canzad

1p (we) em + nasal mutation

e·chanthao

e/em + nasal mutation

e·chanthadh

em + no mutation

em canthau

em + no mutation

em canzad

2p (you) ei + lenition

ei·cganthao

ei + no mutation

ei·canthadh

ei + no mutation

ei·canthau

ai + no mutation

ai canzad

3p (they) a/an + nasal mutation

a·chanthao

a/an + nasal mutation

a·chanthadh

a/an + nasal mutation

a·chanthau

an + no mutation

an canzad

More examples in Western Efenol (see avalar for an example of auxiliary aver before a vowel, which are typically also used before /l/):

Conjugation class Infinitive 1s 2s 3s 1p 2p 3p Translation
-ar canthar e·cganthadh a·canthadh a·cganthadh e·chanthadh ei·canthadh a·chanthadh has sung
-er comer e·cgomidh a·comidh a·cgomidh e·chomidh ei·comidh a·chomidh has eaten
-ir parthir e·pbarthidh a·parthidh a·pbarthidh e·pharthidh ei·parthidh a·pharthidh has left
-ar, broken avalar ê avaladh âs avaladh â avaladh em avaladh ei avaladh an avaladh has spoken
-ar, e~ie alternation pezar e·pbezadh a·pezadh a·pbezadh e·phezadh ei·pezadh a·phezadh has thought
-ar, o~ue alternation rodhar e·rodhadh a·rodhadh a·rodhadh e·rodhadh, em rodhadh ei·rodhadh a·rodhadh, an rodhadh has rolled
Irregular: -ear avytâr ê avytâdh âs avytâdh â avytâdh em avytâdh ei avytâdh an avytâdh has booed
Irregular: -eer lêr ê lîdh, e·lîdh âs lîdh, a·lîdh â lîdh, a·lîdh em lîdh, e·lîdh ei lîdh, ei·lîdh an lîdh, a·lîdh has read
Irregular: -uir conthirvyr e·cgonthirvydh a·conthirvydh a·cgonthirvydh e·chonthirvydh ei·conthirvydh a·chonthirvydh has contributed
Irregular: -eír rîr e·rîdh a·rîdh a·rîdh e·rîdh, em rîdh ei·rîdh a·rîdh, an rîdh has laughed
Irregular: Ser ser e·shidh a·sidh a·shidh e·ssidh ei·sidh a·ssidh has been
Irregular: Estar thar e·thadh a·thadh a·thadh e·thadh, em thadh ei·thadh a·thadh, an thadh
Irregular: Haber aver ê avîdh âs avîdh â avîdh em avîdh ei avîdh an avîdh has had
Irregular: Tener tener e·tdenidh a·tenidh a·tdenidh e·thenidh ei·tenidh a·thenidh
Irregular: Hacer ather ê ît âs ît â ît em ît ei ît an ît has done/made
Irregular: Ir ir ê idh âs idh â idh em idh ei idh an idh has gone
Imperfective past

Imperfective past is very rare in Central and Northern Efenol but relatively common elsewhere.

This tense has markedly different endings for -ar class verbs and -er/-ir class verbs. The endings for -ar class verbs (exemplified with dialectal variants of canthar) are:

North-Western Western (Std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) -abh, canthabh -abh, canthabh N/A -av, kanzav -av, canzav N/A
2s (you)
3s (he/she/it)
1p (we) -ávam, canthávam -ávam, canthávam -ávam, kanzávam -ávam, kanzávam
2p (you) -ávei, canthávei -ávei, canthávei -ava, kanzava -ava, canzava

-avei, canzavei

3p (they) -ávan, canthávan -ávan, canthávan;

-abh', canthabh'

-ávan, kanzávan -ávan, canzávan

Regular simple past endings for -er and -ir class verbs (exemplified with dialectal variants of comer and parthir) are:

North-Western Western (Std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) -î, comî, parthî î, comî, parthî N/A -î, komî, parzî -îv, comîv, parzîv N/A
2s (you) -îs, comîs, parthîs -î, comî, parthî;

-îs, comîs, parthîs

3s (he/she/it) -î, comî, parthî î, comî, parthî
1p (we) -îm, comîm, parthîm -îm, comîm, parthîm -îm, komîm, parzîm;

-î, komî, parzî

-îv, comîv, parzîv;

-îm, comîm, parzîm

2p (you) -î, comî, parthî -îi, comîi, parthîi -î, komî, parzî -îv, comîv, parzîv;

-î, comî, parzî

3p (they) -în, comîn, parthîn -în, comîn, parthîn -în, komîn, parzîn;

-î, komî, parzî

-îv, comîv, parzîv;

-în, comîn, parzîn

More examples in Western Efenol (pay special attention to irregular verbs like ser and thar):

Conjugation class Infinitive 1s 2s 3s 1p 2p 3p Translation
-ar canthar canthabh canthabh canthabh canthávam canthávei canthávan, canthabh' sang
-er comer comî comî, comîs comî comîm comîi comîn ate
-ir parthir parhî parthî, parthîs parthî parthîm parthîi parthîn left
-ar, broken avalar avalabh avalabh avalabh avalávam avalávei avalávan, avalabh' spoke
-ar, e~ie alternation pezar pezabh pezabh pezabh pezávam pezávei pezávan, pezabh' thought
-ar, o~ue alternation rodhar rodhabh rodhabh rodhabh rodhávam rodhávei rodhávan, rodhabh' rolled
Irregular: -ear avytâr avytâbh avytâbh avytâbh avytâvam avytâvei avytâvan, avytâbh' booed
Irregular: -eer lêr lî, lîa lî, lîs, lîa, lîas lî, lîa lîm, lîam lîi, lîei lîn, lîan read
Irregular: -uir conthirvyr conthirvij conthirvij, conthirvijs conthirvij conthirvijm conthirviji conthirvijn contributed
Irregular: -eír rîr rî, rîs rîm rîi rîn laughed
Irregular: Ser ser er erz, er er éram érei éran was
Irregular: Estar thar thabh thabh thabh thávam thávei thávan
Irregular: Haber aver avî avî, avîs avî avîm avîi, avîei avîn had
Irregular: Tener tener tenî tenî, tenîs tenî tenîm tenîi tenîn
Irregular: Hacer ather athî athî, athîs athî athîm athîi athîn did/made
Irregular: Ir ir ibh ibh ibh ívam ívei ívan went


Progressive past

Progressive past is typically found in North-Western, Northern and North-Eastern Efenol although it might also be found in other dialects, including non-standard Western varieties.

Much like progressive present, this tense is formed by an auxiliary form of thar followed by a gerund although, in this case, thar is conjugated in imperfect past (despite this tense not being used elsewhere in Northern Efenol). The gerund is never affected by any sort of consonant mutation in this tense.

Sample conjugation (exemplified with dialectal variants of canthar):

North-Western Western (non-standard) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) thabh canthan thabh canthann N/A N/A zav canzan zav canzand
2s (you)
3s (he/she/it)
1p (we) thávam canthan thávam canthann závam canzan závam canzand
2p (you) thávei canthan thávei canthann zava canzan;

zavei canzan

závei canzand
3p (they) thávan canthan thabh' canthann;

thávan canthann

závan canzan závan canzand
Pluperfect

The pluperfect tense is commonly found in North-Western Efenol, Central Efenol and Northern Efenol and less commonly in Western Efenol (where it might be replaced with simple past).

Like compound past, this tense is formed by using the auxiliary verb aver and the participle for the intended verb. Like in English past perfect, however, the auxiliary is conjugated in a past tense form: imperfective for Western, North-Western and Central Efenol and simple past for Northern Efenol. Other than in the last one, participles are affected by consonant mutations (just as in compound past).

North-Western Western (Std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) avî + lenition

avî·cganthao

avî + lenition

avî·cganthadh

avî + lenition

avî·cganthau

N/A N/A uv + no lenition

uv canzad

2s (you) avî/avîs + no mutation

avî·canthao, avîs canthao

avî + no mutation

avî·canthadh

avî + no mutation

avî·canthau

uviz + no lenition

uviz canzad

3s (he/she/it) avî + lenition

avî·cganthao

avî + lenition

avî·cganthadh

avî + lenition

avî·cganthau

uv + no lention

uv canzad

1p (we) avî/avîm + nasal mutation

avî·chantao

avî/avîm + nasal mutation

avî·chanthadh

avîm + no mutation

avîm canthau

uvim + no lenition

uvim canzad

2p (you) avei + lenition

avei·cganthao

avei + no mutation

avei·canthadh

avei + no mutation

avei·canthau

uvízî + no lenition

uvízî canzad

3p (they) avî/avîn + nasal mutation

avî·chantao

avî/avîn + nasal mutation

avî·chanthadh

avî/avîn + nasal mutation

avî·chanthau

uvîron + no lenition

uvîron canzad

Progressive perfect

The progressive perfect tense is rarely found outside North-Eastern Efenol. It is very similar to progressive past but uses simple past forms for the the auxiliary verb thar (zar) rather than imperfect as in the usual progressive past.

Verbs in this tense are composed of the auxiliary verb (zuv, zuviz, zuv, zuvim, zuvízi, zuvîron~zuvíron for 1s, 2s, 3s, 1p, 2p and 3p respectively) followed by the unmutated gerund of the main verb (zuv canzan for "I had sung").

Compound future

Compound future is the preferred way of constructing future tense in the standard form of the language, Western Efenol. The construction is also used in Northern and North-Western Efenol for near future and is in free variation with simple future in Central Efenol.

In all dialects, this tense is constructed by using a simple present tense form of ir followed by a lenited infinitive. The construction is analogous to English 'be going to' and descend from Spanish "ir a INF" (the missing "a" being the historical reason why the infinitive undergoes lenition).

North-Western Western (Std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) bë cganthar bë cganthar bë cganthar N/A N/A bö cganzar
2s (you) bas cganthar bas cganthar bas cganthar bas cganzar
3s (he/she/it) ba cganthar ba cganthar ba cganthar ba cganzar
1p (we) bam cganthar bam cganthar bam cganthar bam cganzar
2p (you) bei cganthar bei cganthar bei cganthar bei cganzar
3p (they) ban cganthar ban cganthar ban cganthar ban cganzar
Simple future

Despite not being used in the standard Western Efenol dialect, simple future is a common way to for the future tense in the language, being the only future tense commonly used in Eastern and North-Eastern Efenol and a remote future tense for Northern and North-Western Efenol.

Despite being an inflectional tense, simple future is completely regular even for verbs like ser and thar. Without exception, simple future verbforms are formed by adding the same suffixes to the infinitive form of a verb. This is even the case for the descendants of verbs with irregular future verbforms in Spanish (such as "salir", whose irregular future conjugations such as "tendré" are regularized to *teneré).

The following table shows the suffixes added to the infinitive (in contrast to other conjugation tables whose suffixes are to be applied to verb stems).

North-Western Western (non-standard) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) -ê, cantharê -ê, cantharê -ê, cantharê -ê, kanzarê -ê, canzarê -ê, canzarê
2s (you) -âs, cantharâs -âs, cantharâs -âs, cantharâs -âs, kanzarâs -âs, canzarâs -âs, canzarâs
3s (he/she/it) -â, cantharâ -â, cantharâ -â, cantharâ -â, kanzarâ -â, canzarâ -â, canzarâ
1p (we) -êm, cantharêm -em, cantharem -em, cantharem -êm, kanzarêm -êm, canzarêm -em, canzarem
2p (you) -ei, cantherei -ei, cantharei -ei, cantharei -â, kanzarâ -ei, canzarei -ei, canzarei
3p (they) -ân, cantharân -ân, cantharân -an, cantharan -ân, kanzarân -ân, canzarân -ân, canzarân
Conditional

The conditional tense is found in all dialects except North-Western Efenol, where simple future verbforms are used instead.

Much like the simple future tense, all conditional verbforms are regular and are formed by adding the following suffixes to the infinitive:

North-Western Western (Std) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern
1s (I) -ê, cantharê -î, cantharî -î, cantharî -î, kanzarî -î, canzarî -î, canzarî
2s (you) -âs, cantharâs -î, cantharî,

-îs, cantharîs

-îs, cantharîs
3s (he/she/it) -â, cantharâ -î, cantharî -î, cantharî
1p (we) -êm, cantharêm -îm, cantharîm -îm, cantharîm -îm, kanzarîm,

-î, kanzarî

2p (you) -ei, cantherei -îi, cantharîi -îei, cantharîei -î, kanzarî
3p (they) -ân, cantharân -în, cantharîn -în, cantharîn -în, kanzarîn,

-î, kanzarî

Imperative mood

All Efenol varieties distinguish indicative verb usages from the imperative (giving commands). The simplest and most commonly used form of the imperative mood is the second-person singulare imperative, to issue a non-negative command to one listener (singular you). This is formed by using the bare stem (Canth! ~ 'Sing!') except in Northern Efenol where it is far more common to use the infinitive form to issue commands (Canzar!). The imperative forms for ser and thar become and thê. Additionally, the verb ir has two imperative forms, the polite ('Go', please go) and the impolite bêt ('Go away!').

Non-negative orders for groups of people (addressed to a plural you) typically use the infinitive form (Canthar! ~ 'Sing, all of you!'), the exceptions being Eastern Efenol (which also uses the bare-stem imperative in this case, Kanz, boz!) and Northern Efenol (which preserves the Spanish plural imperative which replaces the '-r' from the infinitive with a 'd': Canzad!).

Negative imperatives ('Dont sing!') are identical to positive imperatives but preceded by the negative marker no except in North-Western Efenol which uses subjunctive present forms: Western No canth! and No canthar! (Don't sing 2s! Don't sing 2p!) but North-Western No canth! and No canthî! (cf. Spanish "¡No cantes!" and "¡No cantéis!").

Imperatives issued to a person other than 'you' or 'plural you' are rarer but possible. For suggestions to the first person, the usual construction is a followed by the unmutated infinitive: A canthar! ~ 'Let's sing!'. For the third-person, the construction is ce followed by the appropriate simple present verbform (subjunctinve in North-Western Efenol); subjects (even if in pronoun form) are often said after the verb: Ce canth el! (Let him sing!), Ce cánthan o·centheinth!(Let the singers sing!; North-Western Ce canthen o·centheinth!, cf. Spanish "¡Qué canten los cantantes!").

In all varieties, adding porfavor ('please') will make these commands more gentle.

Examples of the mentioned structures:

Conjugation class Western Efenol Northern Efenol North-Western Efenol English
Infinitive Singular Imperative Plural imperative Negative singular imperative Negative plural imperative 3s imperative 3p imperative Translation
-ar canthar Canth! Canzad! No canth! No canthî! Ce canth! Ce cánthen! Sing!
-er comer Com! Comed! No com! No comei! Ce com! Ce cóman! Eat!
-ir parthir Parth! Parzid! No parth! No parthei! Ce parth! Ce párthan! Leave!
-ar, broken avalar Ával! Avalad! No ável! No avelî! Ce ável! Ce ávelen! Speak!
-ar, e~ie alternation pezar Pîz! Pensad! No pînz! No penzî! Ce pînz! Ce pînzen! Think!
-ar, o~ue alternation rodhar Rëdh! Rodad! No rëdh! No rëdhî! Ce rëdh! Ce rëdhen! Roll!
Irregular: -ear avytâr Avytâ! Avytsad! No avytês! No avytei! Ce avytê! Ce avytên! Boo!
Irregular: -eer lêr Lê! Lêd! No lâs! No lai! Ce lâ! Ce lân! Read!
Irregular: -uir conthirvyr Conthirvij! Conzirvyd! No conthirvys! No conthirvysei! Ce conthirvys! Ce conthirvýsan! Contribute!
Irregular: -eír rîr Rî! Rîd! No rîs! No rî! / No reai! Ce rî! Ce rîn! Laugh!
Irregular: Ser ser Sê! Sed! No sâs! No sai! Ce sâ! Ce sân! Be!
Irregular: Estar thar Thê! / Thâ! Zad! No thês! No thî! Ce thê! Ce thên!
Irregular: Haber aver *Ê! *Aved! *No eis! *No eisei! Ce eis! Ce éisan! Have!
Irregular: Tener tener Tên! / Ten! Tened! No teng! No tengei! Ce teng! Ce téngan!
Irregular: Hacer ather Ath! Azed! No ath! / No âs! No athei! / No ais! Ce ath! / Ce â! Ce áthan! / Ce ân! Do! Make!
Irregular: Ir ir Bê! / Bêt! Id! / Bed! No beis! No beisei! / No beisî! Ce beis! Ce béisan! / Ce béisen! Go!
Subjunctive mood

The subjunctive mood is only preserved in the North-Western standard Efenol variety and in a few dialectal varieties elsewhere. Of the speakers that preserve this mood, most only do so for the present tense while a few may also preserve the simple past subjunctinve tense.

Subjunctives usually resemble what the corresponding indicative verbform would look like if an -ar verb was an -er verb or, conversely, if an -er or -ir verb was an -ar verb.

The following table shows subjunctive present and past tense forms for various verbs in North-Western Efenol.

Conjugation class Infinitive 1s 2s 3s 1p 2p 3p Translation
-ar canthar canth

canthas

canth

canthas

canth

canthas

canthem

canthásem

canthî

canthásî

cánthen

canthásen

sing
-er comer com

comîs

com

comîs

com

comîs

comam

comîsem

comei

comîsî

cóman

comîsen

eat
-ir parthir parth

parthîs

parth

parthîs

parth

parthîs

partham

parthîsem

parthêi

parthîsî

párthan

parthîsen

leave
-ar, broken avalar ável

avalas

ável

avalas

ável

avalas

avelem

avalásem

avelî

avalásî

ávelen

avalásen

speak
-ar, e~ie alternation penzar pînz

penzas

pînz

penzas

pînz

penzas

penzem

penzásem

penzî

penzásî

pînzen

penzásen

think
-ar, o~ue alternation rodhar rëdh

rodhas

rëdh

rodhas

rëdh

rodhas

rodhem

rodhásem

rodhî

rodhásî

rëdhen

rodhásen

roll
Irregular: -ear avytcâr avytcê

avytcâs

avytcês

avytcâs

avytcê

avytcâs

avytcêm

avytcâsem

avytcei

avytcâsî

avytcên

avytcâsen

boo
Irregular: -eer lêr

lises / lês

lâs

lises / lês

lises / lês

lâm

lisésem / lêsem

lai

lisésî / lêsî

lân

lisésen / lêsen

read
Irregular: -uir conthirvyr conthirvys

conthirvyses

conthirvys

conthirvyses

conthirvys

conthirvyses

conthirvysam

conthirvysésem

conthirvysei

conthirvysésî

conthirvýsan

conthirvysésen

contribute
Irregular: -eír rîr

rîs

rîs

rîs

rîs

rîm / rîam

rîsem

rî / reai

rîsî

rîn

rîsen

laugh
Irregular: Ser ser

fër / fës

sâs

fërz / fës

fër / fës

sâm

fëram / fësem

sai

fërei / fësî

sân

fëran / fësen

be
Irregular: Estar thar thê

thuvîs

thês

thuvîs

thê

thuvîs

thêm

thuvîsem

thî

thuvîsî

thên

thuvîsen

Irregular: Haber aver eis

uvîs

eis

uvîs

eis

uvîs

eisam

uvîsem

eisei

uvîsî

éisan

uvîsen

have
Irregular: Tener tener teng

tuvîs

teng

tuvîs

teng

tuvîs

tengam

tuvîsem

tengei

tuvîsî

téngan

tuvîsen

Irregular: Hacer ather ath / â

ithîs / ithîr

ath / âs

ithîs / ithîrz

ath / â

ithîs / ithîr

atham / âm

ithîsem / ithîram

ais / athei

ithîsî / ithîrei

áthan / ân

ithîsen / ithîran

do / make
Irregular: Ir ir beis

fës

beis

fës

beis

fës

beisam / beisem

fësem

beisei / beisî

fësî

béisan / béisen

fësen

go
Reflexive verbs and passive

As in Spanish, many Efenol verbs are reflexive. These verbs are characterized by always having an accusative pronoun affix which matches their subject: me for 1s, te for 2s, reflexive se for 3s and 3p, noth for 1p and both for 2p (and the corresponding dialectal variants; post-verbal pronoun forms are used for infinitives, gerunds and compound tenses with these nonfinite verbforms).

This kind of construction appears in the following scenarios:

  • True reflexives where the subject and the direct object a transitive verb coincide: me bhë for 'I see myself'.
  • As a passive construction for transitive verbs where the promoted object becomes a third-person reflexive subject: Noth cantham a·cînthën (We sing the songs) -> A·cînthën se cánthan (The songs are sung, literally 'the songs sing themselves').
  • Some verbs simply require reflexive construcitons by default as they were inherited as such from Spanish. These verbs sometimes come in pairs with a non-reflexive equivalent. For instance, the verb dërmir (from Spanish "dormir") is used as follows:
    • Non-reflexively: as an intransitive verb meaning 'to sleep': seo dërm (I sleep)
    • Non-reflexively: as a transitive verb meaning 'to make someone sleep': A·mhádher dërm l'ich (The woman has [her] child sleep).
    • Reflexively: to fall sleep: Me dërmî (I fell asleep).

Dialect overview

Efenol can be seen as a dialect continuum with six main varieties (aside from the markedly different Southern Efenol): the Western dialect which serves as the basis for Standard Efenol, North-Western Efenol, Central Efenol, Eastern Efenol, North-Eastern Efenol and Northern Efenol.

The purpose of this section is to sum up the most important features which differentiate dialects other than Western Efenol from the standard.

Western Efenol

Western Efenol is the main Efenol proper dialect and the basis for Standard Efenol. This dialect has a few peculiarities when compared to the rest such as the usage of gendered contracted prepositions before the gender-neutral articles <l'> and <s'> (nge l'ónver vs con l'ónver) or the shift of word-final /v/ to [β]. It is also the only dialect that realiably contrasts the reflexes of Spanish /o/ and /aw/ as o /o/ and ò /ɔ/.

Overview:

  • Phonology:
    • Vowels: /a ɛ ɔ e o i y u/ (some non-standard varieties may have inventories as small as /a e̞ o̞ i y u/).
    • Broken clusters CRV# yield CVR#: Spanish "tabla", "padre", "otro" > tával /ˈta.val/, pádher /ˈpa.ðeɾ/, óthor /ˈo.θoɾ/.
    • Contrast between voiced plosives /b d g/ and voiced fricatives /v ð/.
    • Word-intial /bl/: /bl/, Spanish "blanco" > blanch /blaŋx/.
    • Final /ɾm/, /ɾb/: not broken, Spanish "arma", "barba" > arm /ˈaɾm/, barbh /ˈbaɾβ/.
    • Palatalization: none.
    • Word final /g/ pronounced /ç/ (still spelled as <g>).
    • Lenited 'g' becomes <gh>, pronounced as a glottal stop /ʔ/ or silent.
    • Spanish /gl/: [ɫ]~[ɬ]~[ɮ].
    • Development of /ʝ/: Spanish "yunque", "mayor", "rayo", "inyectar" > seunch /ʃuŋx/, meisor /mei.ˈsoɾ/, reis /reis/, inzêtar /in.seː.ˈtaɾ/.
    • Spanish /mb/: Spanish "bomba", "bombas", "reembolso", "hombre" > bomm /bom/, bëhb /bɛb/, rêbolz /reː.ˈbolz/, ónver /ˈon.veɾ/.
    • Spanish /ɲ/: shifts to /n/, Spanish "año" > ein /ein/.
    • Spanish /kw/ becomes 'pw' /p/, lenited 'bw' /v/, nasal/rhotic mutated 'chw' /xw/.
    • Spanish /kwe/ yields /pe/.
    • Lateral palatal /ʎ/ merged with /l/ in word-final position but all instances of word-final /l/ after a front vowel become palatal (not reflected in writing): Spanish "llave", "pollo", "mil" > lhabh [ʎäβ], pëlh [pɛl], mil [miʎ].
    • Spanish /tʃ/ yields initial /sj/~/ʃ/~/tʃ/ (spelled <tc>) and non-initial /ʲt/: Spanish "China", "noche" > Tcin /si(ː)n/~/tʃin/, nët /nɛt/.
    • Rhotic trills: /r/ and /ʀ/ are merged into /ʀ/ for most speakers but the distinction is kept word-initially in the standard language and in writing; neither trill may appear word-finally: Spanish "rueda", "grueso", "arroz", "agresivo", "barro", "magro" > rëdh /rɛð/, rhës /ʀɛs/, arroth /a.ˈroθ/, arhehibh /a.ʀe.ˈhiv/, barr /bar/, marh /maʀ/.
  • Grammar:
    • Definite articles e· a· l' o· a· s'.
    • Pariticiples: -adh and -idh for Spanish "-ado" and "-ido".
    • Pronouns: pro-drop, 1p noth (or nóthor), 2p both (or bóthor), 3p lho.
    • Verb tenses:
      • Simple present vs progressive present contrast.
      • Past tense typically expressed through simple past, compound past and imperfect.
      • Only compound future is used.
      • Imperatives canth! and canthar!
      • Conditional tense preserved.
      • Subjunctive mood lost; indicative forms used instead.
  • Other:
    • Orthography: western-like.
    • Nominal affix -ción: -thôn with i-ablaut; Spanish "nación" > neithôn /nei.ˈθoːn/.
    • Adjective affix -oso: , Spanish "hermoso" > ermô /eɾ.ˈmoː/.

North-Western Efenol

North-Western Efenol is by far the closest dialect to Western Efenol to the point it might be grouped alongside it as a subdialect.

The main three features that tell North-Western Efenol apart are differences in vowel development, palatalization of coronal consonants after a /i/ and -ao participles.

Vowels had the following differences in development when compared to Standard Efenol:

  • Merger of Western <o> /o/ and <ò> /ɔ/ into North-Western <o> /o̞/ (a feature also shared with non-standard Western Efenol varieties). The original distinction, however, remains relevant for developments after velars.
  • Use of the schwa <ë> /ə/ for 'broken clusters' in nouns and adjectives: Spanish "otro" > Proto-Efenol *othr~*othro > North-Western óthër (but Western óthor).
  • Merger of Western <ë> /ɛ/ with the aformentioned schwa <ë>: Western nët /nɛt/ > North-Western /nət/; Western ënvir /ˈɛn.viɾ/ (plural of ónver) > North-Western ënvir /ˈən.viɾ/. Notice that this schwa phoneme /ə/ can occur in stresed position.
  • The vowels <a> and <e> may be reduced to /ə/ in unstressed position. This is not reflected by writing: alanvàr /ə.ˈlan.vəɾ/. This is common in North-Western varieties but by no means universal.
  • Unstressed /i/ becomes <e> /ə/: Western gitâr > North-Western getcâr /ge.ˈtʃaːɾ/.
  • Unstressed long vowels become short: Western tênolochî (with a non-stressed long <ê>) > North-Western tenolochî /te.no.lo.ˈxiː/.
  • Unstressed /o/ is raised to /u/ after a velar except when it was originally an /ɔ/: Western corathôn (dialectally also corthôn), chòrî > North-Western curthôn, chorî.
  • Diphthongs other than /ei/ have their second component lowered from /i/ to /e/ or from /u/ to /o/: Western ithoir, áunig > North-Western ethoer /e.ˈθoeɾ/, áonitc /ˈao.nitʃ/.

Palalization after historical /i/ (which might have then become /e/~/ə/ in North-Western Efenol):

  • Western /t/ becomes <tc> /tʃ/: Western mítig > North-Western mítcetc /ˈmi.tʃetʃ/.
  • Western /d/ becomes <dj> /dʒ/: Western idê> North-Western edjê /e.ˈdʒeː/.
  • Western /s/ becomes <sc> /ʃ/: Western camis > North-Western camisc /ka.ˈmiʃ/
  • The phoneme <tc> /tʃ/ is also found for historical Spanish <ch> /tʃ/ and as a equivalent to Western Efenol word final /k/ or /g/: Western Tcin, nët, únig > North-Western Tcin /tʃin/, nëtc /nətʃ/, únetc /ˈu.netʃ/.

Participles: all verb participles which end in "-ado" or "-ido" in Spanish end in -ao in North-Western Efenol, a generalization of the -au ending (from Spanish "-ado") found in Central and dialectal Western Efenol: Spanish "cantado" > North-Western canthao (Western canthadh and non-standard canthau), Spanish "querido" > North-Western cerao (Western ceridh and non-standard cerij), Spanish "hecho" (an irregular participle with an -ado or -ido ending) > North-Western îtc, Western ît.

Overview:

  • Phonology:
    • Vowels: /a ə e o i y u/, with various vowel shifts in unstressed position.
    • Broken clusters CRV# yield CəR#: Spanish "tabla", "padre", "otro" > távël /ˈta.vəl/, pádhër /ˈpa.ðəɾ/, óthër /ˈo.θəɾ/.
    • Contrast between voiced plosives /b d g/ and voiced fricatives /v ð/.
    • Word-intial /bl/: /bl/, Spanish "blanco" > blanch /blaŋx/.
    • Final /ɾm/, /ɾb/: broken, Spanish "arma", "barba" > árëm /ˈa.ɾəm/, bárëbh /ˈba.ɾəv/.
    • Palatalization: coronals /t/, /d/ and /s/ palatalized after /i/.
    • Word final /g/ becomes <tc> /tʃ/.
    • Lenited 'g', <gh>, is silent.
    • Spanish /gl/: [ɫ]~[ɬ]~[ɮ].
    • Development of /ʝ/: Spanish "yunque", "mayor", "rayo", "inyectar" > seunch /ʃuŋx/, meisor /mei.ˈsoɾ/, reis /ʀeis/, enzetar /en.ze.ˈtaɾ/.
    • Spanish /mb/: Spanish "bomba", "bombas", "reembolso", "hombre" > bom /bom/, bëm /bəm/, rembolz /ʀem.ˈbolz/, ómbër /ˈom.bəɾ/.
    • Spanish /ɲ/: shifts to /n/, Spanish "año" > ein /ein/.
    • Spanish /kw/ becomes 'p' /p/, lenited 'pb' /b/, nasal/rhotic mutated 'ph' /f/.
    • Spanish /kwe/ yields /pe/.
    • Lateral palatal /ʎ/ found non-finally: Spanish "llave", "pollo", "mil" > lhabh [ʎäβ], pël [pəl], mil [mil].
    • Spanish /tʃ/ yields initial /tʃ/ and non-initial /ʲtʃ/: Spanish "China", "noche" > Tcin /tʃin/, nëtc /nətʃ/.
    • Rhotic trills: /r/ and /ʀ/ merged in pronunciation, distinguished in writing word-initially; not allowed in final position: Spanish "rueda", "grueso", "arroz", "agresivo", "barro", "magro" > rëdh /ʀəð/, rhës /ʀəs/, arhoth /a.ˈʀoθ/, arhehibh /a.ʀe.ˈhiv/, bâr /baːɾ/, mor /moɾ/.
  • Grammar:
    • Definite articles e· a· l' o· a· ah· oh·.
    • Pariticiples: -ao for Spanish "-ado" and "-ido".
    • Pronouns: pro-drop, 1p nóthor, 2p bóthor, 3p lho.
    • Verb tenses:
      • Simple present vs progressive present contrast.
      • Past tense typically expressed through compound past and imperfective.
      • Near future vs distant future distinction.
      • Imperatives canth! and canthar!
      • Conditional tense merged with simple future.
      • Subjunctive mood retained.
  • Other:
    • Orthography: western-like.
    • Nominal affix -ción: -thôn with i-ablaut; Spanish "nación" > neithôn /nei.ˈθoːn/.
    • Adjective affix -oso: , Spanish "hermoso" > ermô /eɾ.ˈmoː/.

Central Efenol

Central Efenol is one of the most conservative dialects (preserving word-final trills and the Spanish nasal palatal Ñ). The dialect is closest to Western and Northern Efenol.

One characteristic feature of Central Efenol is its usage of participles ending in -au and for verbs whose Spanish participles endind in "-ado" and "-ido" respectively. This feature is also found in non-standard Western Efenol varieties and in a more extreme form in North-Western Efenol (where both endings are merged into -ao).

Uniquely for one of the major six Efenol dialects, Central Efenol still has two competing orthographies, a western-like orthography based on that of the Western Efenol and a northern-like orthography mostly modelled after Eastern Efenol's. The former is slightly more popular and is used to illustrate most Central Efenol examples in this article.

Overview:

  • Phonology:
    • Vowels: /a ɛ e o̞ i y u/.
    • Broken clusters CRV# yield CaR#: Spanish "tabla", "padre", "otro" > tával /ˈta.val/, pádhar /ˈpa.ðaɾ/, óthar /ˈo.θaɾ/ (also óthor due to the influence of other Efenol varieties).
    • Contrast between voiced plosives /b d g/ and voiced fricatives /v ð ɣ/.
    • Word-intial /bl/: /bl/, Spanish "blanco" > blanch /blaŋx/.
    • Final /ɾm/, /ɾb/: broken, Spanish "arma", "barba" > áram /ˈa.ɾam/, bárabh /ˈba.ɾav/.
    • Palatalization: none.
    • Word final /g/ stays <g> /g/.
    • Lenited 'g' becomes <gh> /ɣ/.
    • Spanish /gl/: /l/ for most speakers, some may retain /ɫ/ as in Northern and Western Efenol.
    • Development of /ʝ/: Spanish "yunque", "mayor", "rayo", "inyectar" > iunch /juŋx/, masor /ma.ˈsoɾ/, reis /reis/, insêtar /in.seː.ˈtaɾ/.
    • Spanish /mb/: Spanish "bomba", "bombas", "reembolso", "hombre" > bomm /bom/, bëhb /bɛb/, rêbolz /reː.ˈbolz/, ónvar~ónver /ˈon.vaɾ/~/ˈon.veɾ/.
    • Spanish /ɲ/ is preserved: Spanish "año" > ~eiñ /aɲ/~/eiɲ/.
    • Spanish /kw/ becomes 'pw' /p/, lenited 'bw' /v/, nasal/rhotic mutated 'chw' /x/~/xw/.
    • Spanish /kwe/ yields /kɛ/.
    • Lateral palatal /ʎ/ found in any position when etymological: Spanish "llave", "pollo", "mil" > lhabh [ʎäβ], polh~pëlh [poʎ]~[pɛʎ], mil [mil].
    • Spanish /tʃ/ yields initial /sj/~/ʃ/ and non-initial /ʲt/: Spanish "China", "noche" > Sîn /siːn/, nët /nɛt/.
    • Rhotic trills: /r/ and /ʀ/ are distinguished by most speakers (although some may merge both to alveolar [r]) and both are allowed in final position: Spanish "rueda", "grueso", "arroz", "agresivo", "barro", "magro" > rëdh /rɛð/, rhës /ʀɛs/, arroth /a.ˈroθ/, arhehibh /a.ʀe.ˈhiv/, barr /bar/, marh /maʀ/.
  • Grammar:
    • Definite articles e· a· l' o· a· s'.
    • Pariticiples: -au and for Spanish "-ado" and "-ido".
    • Pronouns: pro-drop, 1p.M nóthor, 1p.F nóthar, 2p.M bóthor, 2p.F bóthar, 3p.M lho, 3p.F lho or lha.
    • Verb tenses:
      • Simple present typically replaces progressive present.
      • Past tense typically expressed through simple past and compound past.
      • Simple future and compound future in free variation.
      • Imperatives canth! and canthar!
      • Conditional tense preserved.
      • Subjunctive mood lost; indicative forms used instead.
  • Other:
    • Orthography: western-like or northern-like.
    • Nominal affix -ción: -thôn with i-ablaut; Spanish "nación" > neithôn /nei.ˈθoːn/.
    • Adjective affix -oso: , Spanish "hermoso" > ermô /eɾ.ˈmoː/.

Eastern Efenol

Eastern Efenol is the third largest Efenol proper dialect after Western (including Standard Efenol) and Northern Efenol.

The Eastern dialect is characterized by three major features:

  • Palatalization of /k/ to /tʃ/ before front-vowels: Spanish "cantar", "quemar" > kanzar (non palatalized, Western: canthar), çemar (palatalized, Western cemar).
  • Different qualities for tense vowels (stressed or long) and lax vowels (unstressed and short).
  • A merger of the voiced stops /b d/ and the voiced fricatives /v ð/ into the voiced approximants /β̞ ð̞/.

Eastern Efenol speakers may choose to write the phonemes /k/ and /tʃ/ in their dialect as 'k' and 'ç' (respectively) or to follow a historical convention and use <c> for /tʃ/ before front vowels and for /k/ elsewhere (reserving 'k' and 'ç' for the opposite, for words where /k/ appears before a front vowel or /tʃ/ occurs elsewhere respectively). Throughout this article the first style is preferred (writing all /k/ as 'k' and all /tʃ/ as 'ç').

Overview:

  • Phonology:
    • Vowels: /a ä ɛ (œ) ɔ ə e ø o ɪ ʏ ʊ i y u/, tense vs lax contrast depending on stress and vowel length.
    • Broken clusters CRV# yield CəR#: Spanish "tabla", "padre", "otro" > tav'l /ˈtä.βəl/, pad'r /ˈpä.ðəɾ/, oz'r /ˈo.θəɾ/.
    • No contrast between voiced plosives /b d/ and voiced fricatives /v ð/: merged to /β̞ ð̞/.
    • Word-intial /bl/: /bl/, Spanish "blanco" > blanch /βläŋx/.
    • Final /ɾm/, /ɾb/: broken, Spanish "arma", "barba" > áram /ˈä.ɾam/, bárav /ˈβä.ɾav/.
    • Palatalization: voiced velar stop /k/ palatalized before front vowels.
    • Word final /g/ pronounced /x/ (still spelled as <g>).
    • Lenited 'g' becomes <gh> /ʝ/.
    • Spanish /gl/: merged with /l/.
    • Development of /ʝ/: Spanish "yunque", "mayor", "rayo", "inyectar" > ŷnh /yːŋx/, maghor /ma.ˈʝoɾ/, raij /räiʒ/, inghêtar /ɪn.ʝeː.ˈtaɾ/.
    • Spanish /mb/: Spanish "bomba", "bombas", "reembolso", "hombre" > bom /βom/, böb /βøβ/, rêbols /reː.ˈβols/, ómber /ˈom.βɛɾ/.
    • Spanish /ɲ/: shifts to /n/, Spanish "año" > ein /ein/.
    • Spanish /kw/ becomes 'p' /p/, lenited 'pb' /β/, nasal/rhotic mutated 'hw' /xw/~/x/~/ʍ/.
    • Spanish /kwe/ yields /kø/.
    • Lateral palatal /ʎ/ in free variation with the cluster /lj/; not found word-finally: Spanish "llave", "pollo", "mil" > liav [ʎäβ]~[ljäβ], pöl [pøl], mil [mil].
    • Spanish /tʃ/ yields initial /sj/ and non-initial /ʲtʃ/ (spelled <tç> word-finall): Spanish "China", "noche" > Sîn /siːn/, nötç /nøtʃ/.
    • Rhotic trills: /r/ and /ʀ/ are distinguished but neither is allowed in final position: Spanish "rueda", "grueso", "arroz", "agresivo", "barro", "magro" > röd /røð/, rhös /ʀøs/, arroz /a.ˈroθ/, arheshiv /a.ʀɛ.ˈhiv/, bâr /baːɾ/, mor /moɾ/.
  • Grammar:
    • Definite articles e· a· l' o a s'.
    • Pariticiples: -ad and -id for Spanish "-ado" and "-ido".
    • Pronouns: usually not dropped (even if clear from context and verbal endings), 1p noz, 2p boz, 3p lio; some speakers may distinguish 1p.M noz and 2p.M boz from 1p.F noz'r and 2p.F noz'r.
    • Verb tenses:
      • Simple present typically replaces progressive present.
      • Past tense typically expressed through simple past and imperfective.
      • Only simple future is used.
      • Imperative kanz! for both 2s and 2p.
      • Conditional tense preserved.
      • Subjunctive mood lost; indicative forms used instead.
  • Other:
    • Orthography: northern-like.
    • Nominal affix -ción: -zôn with i-ablaut; Spanish "nación" > neizôn /nei.ˈθoːn/.
    • Adjective affix -oso: , Spanish "hermoso" > ermô /ɛɾ.ˈmoː/.

North-Eastern Efenol

North-Eastern Efenol is often considered a transitional variety between the Northern and Eastern dialects although it also features some developments not found in either.

The North-Eastern dialect shares Eastern Efenol's distinction between tense vowels (stressed or long) and lax vowels (unstressed and short) but not its palatalization of /k/ before front vowels nor its merger between voiced stops and voiced fricatives.

Overview:

  • Phonology:
    • Vowels: /a~ə ä ɛ (œ) ɔ e ø o ɪ ʏ ʊ i y u/, tense vs lax contrast depending on stress and vowel length.
    • Broken clusters CRV# yield CVR#: Spanish "tabla", "padre", "otro" > tával /ˈtä.vəl/, páder /ˈpä.ðɛɾ/, ózor /ˈo.θɔɾ/.
    • Contrast between voiced plosives /b d g/ and voiced fricatives /v ð/.
    • Word-intial /bl/: /v_l/, Spanish "blanco" > vanh /väŋx/.
    • Final /ɾm/, /ɾb/: broken, Spanish "arma", "barba" > áram /ˈä.ɾəm/, bárav /ˈbä.ɾəv/.
    • Palatalization: none.
    • Word final /g/ pronounced /ç/ (still spelled as <g>).
    • Lenited 'g' becomes <gh> /ç/.
    • Spanish /gl/: merged with /l/.
    • Development of /ʝ/: Spanish "yunque", "mayor", "rayo", "inyectar" > ghunh /çuŋx/, maghor /mə.ˈçoɾ/, raigh /räiç/, inghêtar /ɪn.çeː.ˈtäɾ/.
    • Spanish /mb/: Spanish "bomba", "bombas", "reembolso", "hombre" > bom /bom/, böbb /bøb/, rêbols /reː.ˈbols/, ônver /ˈoːn.vɛɾ/.
    • Spanish /ɲ/: shifts to /n/, Spanish "año" > ein /ein/.
    • Spanish /kw/ becomes 'p' /p/, lenited 'pv' /v/, nasal/rhotic mutated 'hw' /ʍ/ or 'ph' /f/.
    • Spanish /kwe/ yields /kø/.
    • Lateral palatal /ʎ/ in free variation with the cluster /lj/; not found word-finally: Spanish "llave", "pollo", "mil" > liav [ʎäv]~[ljäv], pöl [pøl], mil [mil].
    • Spanish /tʃ/ yields initial /sj/ and non-initial /ʲts/: Spanish "China", "noche" > Sîn /siːn/, nöts /nøts/.
    • Rhotic trills: /r/ and /ʀ/ are distinguished but neither is allowed in final position: Spanish "rueda", "grueso", "arroz", "agresivo", "barro", "magro" > röd /røð/, rhös /ʀøs/, arroz /ə.ˈroθ/, arhehiv /ə.ʀɛ.ˈxiv/, bâr /baːɾ/, mor /moɾ/.
  • Grammar:
    • Definite articles e· a· l' o a as' os'.
    • Pariticiples: -ad and -id for Spanish "-ado" and "-ido".
    • Pronouns: pro-drop, 1p noz, 2p boz, 3p.M lio, 3p.F lia.
    • Verb tenses:
      • Simple present typically replaces progressive present.
      • Past tense typically expressed through simple past and imperfective.
      • Only simple future is used.
      • Imperative canzar! for both 2s and 2p.
      • Conditional tense preserved.
      • Subjunctive mood lost; indicative forms used instead.
  • Other:
    • Orthography: northern-like.
    • Nominal affix -ción: -zôn with i-ablaut; Spanish "nación" > neizôn /nei.ˈθoːn/ (Northern Efenol's non ablauted forms such as nazôn may also be found).
    • Adjective affix -oso: or -ôs, Spanish "hermoso" > ermô /ɛɾ.ˈmoː/ or ermôs /ɛɾ.ˈmoːs/.

Northern Efenol

Northern Efenol is the second largest Efenol proper variety, behind Western Efenol.

Northern Efenol can be considered to be one of the most conservative varieties as evidenced by preserving the /l/ in the definite articles el, la, lo, la (Spanish "el, la, los, las", e, a, o, a in other Efenol varieties).

Overview:

  • Phonology:
    • Vowels: /a e̞ ø̞ o̞ i y u/.
    • Broken clusters CRV# yield CVR#: Spanish "tabla", "padre", "otro" > tával /ˈta.val/, páder /ˈpa.ðeɾ/, ózor /ˈo.θoɾ/.
    • Contrast between voiced plosives /b d g/ and voiced fricatives /v ð/.
    • Word-intial /bl/: /v_l/, Spanish "blanco" > vanh /vaŋx/.
    • Final /ɾm/, /ɾb/: broken, Spanish "arma", "barba" > áram /ˈa.ɾam/, bárav /ˈba.ɾav/.
    • Palatalization: none.
    • Word final /g/ pronounced /ç/ (still spelled as <g>).
    • Lenited 'g' becomes <gh> /x/ (regionally also realized as [h] or [ħ]).
    • Spanish /gl/: <lh> /ɫ/.
    • Development of /ʝ/: Spanish "yunque", "mayor", "rayo", "inyectar" > iunh /juŋx/, maior /ma.ˈjoɾ/, rai /rai/, înêtar /iː.neː.ˈtaɾ/.
    • Spanish /mb/: Spanish "bomba", "bombas", "reembolso", "hombre" > bomb /bomb/, bömb /bømb/, rêbols /reː.ˈbols/, ônver /ˈoːn.veɾ/.
    • Spanish /ɲ/: shifts to /n/, Spanish "año" > ein /ein/.
    • Spanish /kw/ becomes 'p' /p/, lenited 'pv' /v/, nasal/rhotic mutated 'ph' /f/.
    • Spanish /kwe/ yields /pe/.
    • Lateral palatal /ʎ/ in free variation with the cluster /lj/; not found word-finally: Spanish "llave", "pollo", "mil" > liav [ʎäv]~[ljäv], pöl [pøl], mil [mil].
    • Spanish /tʃ/ yields initial /tj/ and non-initial /ʲts/: Spanish "China", "noche" > Tîn /tiːn/, nöts /nøts/.
    • Rhotic trills: /r/ and /ʀ/ merged into /r/, which is allowed in final position: Spanish "rueda", "grueso", "arroz", "agresivo", "barro", "magro" > röd /røð/, rös /røs/, arroz /a.ˈroθ/, arrehiv /a.re.ˈxiv/, barr /bar/, morr~marr /mor/~/mar/.
  • Grammar:
    • Definite articles el la l' lo la os' as'.
    • Pariticiples: -ad and -id for Spanish "-ado" and "-ido".
    • Pronouns: pro-drop, 1p noz, 2p boz, 3p.M lio, 3p.F lia.
    • Verb tenses:
      • Simple present vs progressive present contrast.
      • Past tense typically expressed through simple past and compound past.
      • Near future vs distant future distinction.
      • Imperatives canz! and canzad!
      • Conditional tense preserved.
      • Subjunctive mood lost; indicative forms used instead.
  • Other:
    • Orthography: northern-like.
    • Nominal affix -ción: -zôn without i-ablaut; Spanish "nación" > nazôn /na.ˈθoːn/.
    • Adjective affix -oso: -os, Spanish "hermoso" > ermos.

Hunzad

Hunzad (literally 'run-together') is a divergent variety of Northern Efenol which developed vowel harmony. All Hunzad words belong to one of two vowel harmony classes determined by their stressed vowel in Northern Efenol: 'light' (for words with a stressed /a/, /e/, or /y/) and 'dark' (for words with a stressed /o/ or /u/). Words with a stressed /ø/ are ambiguous, but most speakers pattern them as 'dark'.

Hunzad has a distinct orthography which reflects the various vowel quality shifts to accommodate to vowel harmony although most Hunzad speakers simply write in the standard Northern Efenol orthography. Since most vowels in the alternate orthography bear diacritics vowel length is expressed by doubling the vowel instead.

The following table shows the main vowel developments:

Northern Efenol vowel Hunzad class In 'light' words In 'dark' words
a /ä/ Light a /a/ à /ɒ/
e /e/ Light e /e/ è /ɘ/
i /i/ Light i /i/ y /ɨ/~/ʉ/
o /o/ Dark ò /ʌ/ o /o/
ö /ø/ Either è /ɘ/ ø /ø/
u /u/ Dark ù /y/ u /u/
y /y/ Light ù /y/ (stressed)

y /ɨ/~/ʉ/ (else)

ù /y/ or u /u/

Overview:

  • Phonology:
    • Vowels: /a ɒ ʌ e ø ɘ o i y ɨ~ʉ u/, features vowel harmony.
    • Broken clusters CRV# yield CVR#: Spanish "tabla", "padre", "otro" > taval /ˈta.val/, paðer /ˈpa.ðeɾ/, ozor /ˈo.θoɾ/.
    • Contrast between voiced plosives /b d g/ and voiced fricatives /v ð/.
    • Word-intial /bl/: /v_l/, Spanish "blanco" > vanh /vanh/.
    • Final /ɾm/, /ɾb/: broken, Spanish "arma", "barba" > aram /ˈa.ɾam/, barav /ˈba.ɾav/.
    • Palatalization: none.
    • Word final /g/ becomes <h> /h/ (but may be realized as [ç]).
    • Lenited 'g', becomes <h> /h/.
    • Spanish /gl/: <gl> /gl/.
    • Development of /ʝ/: Spanish "yunque", "mayor", "rayo", "inyectar" > ùùnh /uːnh/, màjor /mɒ.ˈjoɾ/, rai /rai/, iineetar /iː.neː.ˈtaɾ/.
    • Spanish /mb/: Spanish "bomba", "bombas", "reembolso", "hombre" > bom /bom/, bøm /bøm/, rèèbol /rɘː.ˈbols/, oonvèr /ˈoːn.vɘɾ/.
    • Spanish /ɲ/: shifts to /n/, Spanish "año" > ein /ein/.
    • Spanish /kw/ becomes 'p' /p/, lenited 'v' /v/, nasal/rhotic mutated 'f' /f/.
    • Spanish /kwe/ yields /pe/ (or /pɘ/).
    • Lateral palatal /ʎ/ in free variation (but typically replaced) with the cluster /lj/; not found word-finally: Spanish "llave", "pollo", "mil" > ljav [ljav], pøl [pøl], mil [mil].
    • Spanish /tʃ/ yields initial /tj/ and non-initial /ʲts/: Spanish "China", "noche" > Tiin /tiːn/, nøts /nøts/.
    • Rhotic trills: /r/ and /ʀ/ merged into /r/, which is allowed in final position: Spanish "rueda", "grueso", "arroz", "agresivo", "barro", "magro" > røð /røð/, røs /røs/, àrroz /ɒ.ˈroθ/, arrehiv /a.re.ˈxiv/, barr /bar/, morr /mor/.
  • Grammar:
    • Definite articles el~èl la~là l~l lò~lo, la~là, as~às òs~os (pairs correspond to light and dark words respectively).
    • Pariticiples: -að/-àð and -id/-yð for Spanish "-ado" and "-ido".
    • Pronouns: pro-drop, 1p noz, 2p boz, 3p.M ljo, 3p.F lja.
    • Verb tenses:
      • Simple present vs progressive present contrast.
      • Past tense typically expressed through simple past and compound past.
      • Near future vs distant future distinction.
      • Imperatives kanz! and kanzað!
      • Conditional tense preserved.
      • Subjunctive mood lost; indicative forms used instead.
  • Other:
    • Orthography: neither northern-like nor western-like (although most speakers would actually use the northern-like Northern Efenol orthography instead).
    • Nominal affix -ción: -zoon~-zòòn without i-ablaut; Spanish "nación" > nàzoon /nɒ.ˈθoːn/.
    • Adjective affix -oso: -os, Spanish "hermoso" > èrmos.

Comparative table

North-Western Western (Std.) Central Eastern North-Eastern Northern Hunzad
Phonology
Evolution of Spanish /we/ ë /ə/ ë /ɛ/ ë /ɛ/ ö /ø/~/œ~ɛ/ ö /ø/~/œ~ɛ/ ö /ø/ ø /ø
Spanish /aw/ vs /o/ Merged, o /o/ ò /ɔ/ vs o /o/ Merged, o /o/ Merged o /o/~/ɔ/ Merged o /o/~/ɔ/ Merged o /o/ Merged /o/
Vowels in general Various shifts Conservative Conservative Tense vs lax Tense vs lax Conservative Vowel harmony
CRV# clusters (e.g. "padre") CəR, pádhër CVR, pádher CaR, pádhar CəR, pád'r CVR, páder CVR, páder CVR, páder
Voiced plosives and fricatives Contrast Contrast Contrast Merged Contrast Contrast Contrast
Word initial clusters like 'bl' Retained, bl Retained, bl Retained, bl Retained, bl Broken, v_l Broken, v_l Broken v_l
Word final clusters like -rm, -rb Broken Retained Broken Broken Broken Broken Broken
Palatalization of consonants Coronals after /i/ None None /k/ before

front vowels

None None None
Word-final g <tc> /tʃ/ <g> /ç/ <g> /g/ <g> /x/ <g> /ç/ <g> /ç/ <s> /s/
Lenited g Ø /ʔ/ or Ø /ɣ/ /ʝ/ /ç/ /x/~/h/ /h/
Spanish /gl/, /lg/ /ɫ/ [ɫ]~[ɬ]~[ɮ] /ɫ/ [ɫ]~[ɬ]~[ɮ] Merged with /l/ Merged with /l/ Merged with /l/ /ɫ/ /gl/
Spanish #ʝV /sj/ /sj/ /j/ i-ablaut + length /ç/ /j/ /j/
Spanish VmbV /mb/ /b/ /b/ /β/ /b/ /b/ /b/
Word final mb; SG and PL m /m/ mm /m/ hb /b/ mm /m/ hb /b/ m /m/ b /β/ m /m/ b /β/ mb /mb/ m /m/
Spanish mbrV mb_r nv_r nv_r mβ_r length + nv_r length + nv_r length + nv_r
Spanish Ñ Not preserved Not preserved Preserved Not preserved Not preserved Not preserved Not preserved
Spanish /kw/, lenited, mutated /p/ /b/ /f/ /p/ /v/ /xw/~/x/ /p/ /v/ /x/~/xw/ /p/ /β/ /xw/ /p/ /v/ /ʍ/~/f/ /p/ /v/ /f/ /p/ /v/ /f/
Spanish /kwe/ /pe/ /pe/ /kɛ/ /kø/ /kø/ /kø/ /kɘ/~/kø/
/ʎ/ vs /lj/ Different Different Different In free variation In free variation In free variation In free variation
Word final /ʎ/ None Non-etymological Etymological None None None None
Initial Spanish /tʃ/ /tʃ/ /tʃ/~/sj/ /sj/ /sj/ /sj/ /tj/ /tj/
Medial Spanish /tʃ/ i-ablaut + /tʃ/ i-ablaut + /t/ i-ablaut + /t/ i-ablaut + /tʃ/ i-ablaut + /ts/ i-ablaut + /ts/ i-ablaut + /ts/
Initial /r/ and /ʀ/ Merged to /ʀ/ Distinguished (std)

Merged to /ʀ/

Distinguished

Merged to /r/

Distinguished Distinguished Merged to /r/ Merged to /r/
Medial /r/ and /ʀ/ Merged to /ʀ/ Merged to /ʀ/ Distinguished

Merged to /r

Distinguished Distinguished Merged to /r/ Merged to /r/
Final /r/ and /ʀ/ Not allowed Not allowed Allowed Not allowed Not allowed Allowed Allowed
Grammar
Singular definite articles e·, a·, l' e·, a·, l' e·, a·, l' e·, a·, l' e·, a·, l' el, la, l' el~èl la~là l
Plural definite articles o·, a·, oh·, ah· o·, a·, s' o·, a·, s' o, a, s' o, a, os', as' lo, la, los, las lo, la, los, las
Participles (Spanish -ado/-ido) -ao, -ao -adh, -idh -au, -ŷ -ad, -id -ad, -id -ad, -id -að~àð, -ið~yð
Pro-drop whenever possible Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Gender distinction in 1p and 2p No No Yes Varies No No No
Gender distinction in 3p No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Progressive present Used Used Not used Not used Not used Used Used
Simple past Not used Used Used Used Used Used Used
Compound past Used Used Used Not used Not used Used Used
Imperfective Used Used Not used Used Used Not used Not used
Simple and compound future Near vs remote Only compound Free variation Only simple Only simple Near vs remote Near vs remote
Conditional Not used Used Used Used Used Used Used
Subjunctive mood Preserved Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost
Singular imperative Imperative Imperative Imperative Imperative Infinitive Imperative Imperative
Plural imperative Infinitive Infinitive Infinitive Sg. Imperative Infinitive Pl. Imperative Pl. Imperative
Other
Orthography type Western-like Western-like Both Northern-like Northern-like Northern-like Neither
Suffix "-ción" Triggers ablaut Triggers ablaut Triggers ablaut Triggers ablaut Either No ablaut No ablaut
Suffix "-oso" -ôs -os -os~òs

Example texts

Schleicher's fable

In Western Efenol

Nu·cholîn, un ovech ce no tenî lan beô cevîl.
/nu.xo.ˈliːn u.no.vex ke no te.ˈniː lan bjoː ke.ˈviːʎ/
n-u-colîn un ovech ce no ten-î lan b-eô caveil(i)
loc-indf-hill indf sheep that neg have-impf.3s wool see-pst.3s horse/pl
On a hill, a sheep that had no wool saw horses.
Un delho tirabh du·châr pehadh,
/un ˈde.ʎo ti.ˈɾaβ du.ˈxaːɾ pe.ˈhað/
un delho tir-abh d-u-câr pehadh
one 3p.gen pull-impf.3s gen-indf-wagon heavy
One of them was pulling a heavy wagon,
un lhevabh u·chòr rhan,
/un ʎe.ˈvaβ u.xɔɾ ʀan/
un lhev-abh u-còr rhan
one carry-impf.3s indf-load big
one carried a big load,
i un óthor lhevabh belothmenth un ónver.
/i un ˈo.θoɾ ʎe.ˈvaβ be.loθ.ˈmenθ un ˈon.veɾ/
i un óthor lhev-abh beloth-menth un ónver
and another carry-impf.3s quick-adv indf man
and another carried a man quickly.
L'ovech dich au·cevîl:
/lo.ˈvex dix au.ke.ˈviːʎ/
l'-ovech dich au-caveil(i)
def-sheep say.pst.3s dat.def.pl-horse/pl
The sheep said to the horses:
«Me dël e·chorathôn pwann bë un ónver arhânn cevîl».
/me dɛl e.xo.ɾa.ˈθoːn pan bɛ un ˈon.veɾ a.ʀan ke.ˈviːʎ/
me dël e-corathôn pwann un ónver arha-ann caveil(i)
1s.acc hurt.prs.3s def-heart when see.prs.1s indf man herd-ger horse/pl
"My heart pains me seeing a man driving horses."
O·cevîl dichéron:
/o.ke.ˈviːʎ di.ˈxe.ɾon/
o-caveil(i) dichéron
def.pl-horse/pl say.pst.3p
The horses said:
«Echyt, ovech!
/e.ˈxyt o.ˈvex/
echyt sheep
listen.imp.sg sheep
"Listen, sheep!
O·cërethoin dël' a noth pwann bem eth.
/o.kɛ.ɾe.θoin dɛl a noθ pan bem eθ/
o-corathôn(i) dël' a noth pwann bem eth
def.pl-heart/pl hurt.prs.3p dat 1p.obl when see.prs.1p this
Our hearts pain us when we see this.
Un ónver, l'am, ath nga·lan da l'ovech un avijr pâr el.
/un ˈon.veɾ lam aθ ŋa.ˈlan da lo.ˈvex un a.ˈvyːɾ paːɾ el/
un ónver l'-am ath ng-a-lan d-a l'-ovech un avijr pâr el
indf man def-master makes.prs.3s ins-def-wool gen-def.(fem) def-sheep(fem) indf warm_garment for 3sM
A man, the master, makes the wool of the sheep into a warm garment for himself.
I òr l'ovech no tîn lan».
/i ɔr lo.ˈvex no tiːn lan/
i òr l'-ovech no tîn lan
and now def-sheep neg have.prs.3s wool
And now the sheep has no wool."
Pwan echytô eth, l'ovech s'echabô â·lhenijr.
/pan e.xy.ˈtoː eθ lo.ˈvex se.xa.ˈboː aː.ʎe.nyːɾ/
pwan echyt-ô eth l'-ovech s'-echab-ô â-lhanur(i)
when hear-pst.3s this def-sheep refl-flee-pst.3s dat.def.pl-plain/pl
Having heard this, the sheep fled to the plains.

In other dialects

North-Western Northern North-Eastern Spanish (for reference)
Nu·chulîn, un ovech ce no tenî lan a·bhith

cevîl. Un delho terabh du·châr pehao, un

lhevabh u·chor rhan, i un óthër lhevabh

belothmenth un ómbër. L'ovech a·dhîtç

au·cevîl: «Me dël e·churthôn pan bë un

ómbër arhân cevîl». O·cevîl a·ndîtç:

«Echytç, ovech! O·cyrthoin dëlen a noth

pan bem eth. Un ómber, l'am, ath cun

a·lan del'ovech un avijr p'el. I or

l'ovech no tîn lan». Pan a echytçao eth,

l'ovech s'a echabao â·lhenijr.

Nun cholîn, un oveh ce no tuv lan biô

cevîl. Un delio tirav dun chârr pehad, un

lievav un chorr ran, i un ózor lievav

belozmenz un ônver. L'oveh dih au cevîl:

«Me döl el chorzôn pan böe un ônver

arrând cevîl». O cevîl dihéron: «Ehyts,

oveh! O cörzoin dölen a noz pan bem ez.

Un ônver, l'am, az con a·lan del'oveh

un avyrr pâr el. I n'ez or l'oveh no

tîn lan». Pan ehytsô ez, l'oveh s'ehabô

â·lienŷr.

Nun cholîn, un oveh ce no tenî lan biô

cevîl. Un delio tirav dun châr pehad, un

lievav un chor rhan, i un ózor lievav

belozmenz un ônver. L'oveh dih au cevîl:

«Me döl e·chorzôn pan bö un ônver

arhân cevîl». O cevîl dezíron: «Ehytsar,

oveh! O cörzoin dölen a noz pan bem ez.

Un ônver, l'am, az con a·lan del'oveh

un avŷr p'el. I nezor l'oveh no tîn lan».

Pan ehytsô ez, l'oveh ehabô â·lienŷr.

En una colina, una oveja que no tenía

lana vio unos caballos. Uno de ellos

tiraba de un carro pesado, uno llevaba

una carga grande y otro llevaba veloz a

un hombre. La oveja dijo a los caballos:

"Me duele el corazón cuando veo a un

hombre arreando caballos". Los caballos

dijeron "¡Escucha, oveja! Nos duelen

los corazones cuando vemos esto.

Un hombre, el amo, hace con la lana de

la oveja un abrigo para sí mismo.

Y ahora la oveja no tiene lana".

Cuando escuchó esto, la oveja huyó

a las llanuras.

Western Central Eastern Hunzad (northern)
Nu·cholîn, un ovech ce no tenî lan beô

cevîl. Un delho tirabh du·châr pehadh, un

lhevabh u·chòr rhan, i un óthor lhevabh

belothmenth un ónver. L'ovech dich

au·cevîl: «Me dël e·chorathôn pwann bë

un ónver arhânn cevîl». O·cevîl

dichéron: «Echyt, ovech! O·cërethoin

dël' a noth pwann bem eth. Un ónver,

l'am, ath nga·lan da l'ovech un avijr

pâr el. I òr l'ovech no tîn lan».

Pwan echytô eth, l'ovech s'echabô

â·lhenijr.

Nu·cholîn, un ovech ce no tubh lan beô

ceveilh. Un delho tirô du·charr pehau, un

lhevô u·charh rhan, i un óthor lhevô

belothmenth un ónver. L'ovech dich

au·ceveilh: «Me dël e·chorathôn pwann

bë un ónver arhânn ceveilh».

O·ceveilh a·ndît: «Echyt, ovech!

O·cërethoin dëlen a nóthor pwann bem

eth. Un ónver, l'am, ath con a·lan

del'ovech un avyrh p'el. I n'eth or

l'ovech no tîn lan». Pwan a echytau eth,

l'ovech s'a echabau â·lhenŷr.

Nun kholîn, un oveh ke no tenî lan biô

kevîl. Un delio tirav dun khâr peshad, un

lievav un khor rhan, i un óz'r lievav

belozmenz un ómber. L'oveh dih au kevîl:

«Me döl e·khorzôn pan bö un ómber

arhân kevîl» O kevîl dezír'n:

«Ehytç, oveh! O körzoin dölen a noz

pan bem ez. Un ónver, l'am, az kon a·lan

del'oveh un avŷr p'el. I or l'oveh no

tîn lan». Pan ehyrçô ez, l'oveh

ehabô â·lienŷr.

Nun hòliin, un òveh ke no tuv lan bjoo

keviil. Un dèljo tirav dùn haarr pehad, un

lievav un horr ran, i un ozor lievav

bèlozmènz un oonvèr. L òveh dih a lò

keviil: «Me døl èl horzoon pan bøø un

oonvèr arraand keviil». Ò keviil diheròn:

«Ehùts, òveh! O kørzoyn dølèn noz pan

bem ez. Un oonvèr, l am, az con a lan

de l òveh un avùrr peel. I nèzor l òveh

no tiin lan». Pan ehùtsòò ez, l òveh

s ehabòò aa lienùùr.