|Spoken in:||Lamona Continent|
|Conworld:||Dhamashi, a circumbinary planet|
|Total Speakers:||~ 60,000,000|
|Genealogical classification:|| Proto-Lamona|
- Old Lortho
|Basic word order:||Verb-Subject-Object|
|Brian Bourque|| Conceived in 2003|
Manifested in March 2016
Lortho is an a priori constructed language created by Brian Bourque in the beginning of 2003. It originally started as a prop for a strategy board game where only the script was created for aesthetics. It is an agglutinating language with some minor fusional aspects.
The people (Kalanune) who speak Lortho live on Dhamashi, a circumbinary planet which has two natural satellites. The planet's surface has many similarities to Earth where it has oceans, mountains, deserts, and forests. The planet has three major continents: Mashonu, Kashti, and Lamona. The Kalanune live on Lamona.
- 1 Inspiration
- 2 Etymology of Lortho
- 3 Goals
- 4 Phonology
- 5 Orthography
- 6 Morphology
- 7 Syntax
- 8 Example texts
- 9 Resources
A friend was creating a board game similar to Risk; however, instead of taking place on Earth, this new game was to take place on an inter-planetary scale. The game creator wanted to develop an extraterrestrial theme and requested a fictional script. The name of the race on this game is "Lortho" and thus the seed was planted. Brian was unable to work on this piece for quite sometime until he joined the CONLANG mailing list and observed both seasoned and novice conlangers discussing all aspects of linguistics. Since then he decided to move forward and bring Lortho into fruition. The language itself was not invented until the spring of 2016.
Much of the language stems from the languages that Brian knows, namely Persian, French, and Korean. Although the language is a priori, much of its construction resembles that of an Indo-European flavor; albeit unintentionally. The phonology is largely inspired by Persian (Farsi) in that each letter is strictly pronounced regardless of their position in the the syllable/word. The agglutinating aspect of the language was largely influence by both Hungarian and Finnish. The orthography was inspired by Central/East Asian orthographies which is further expounded below.
Another source of inspiration is Brian's daughter. Through her development of learning how to make speech sounds leading to coherent speech and communication, she "created" words to communicate her wants and needs. Some of these words found their way into the Lortho lexicon.
Etymology of Lortho
Lortho is a combination of Lor, the god from which their story of life stems, and -tho, the inalienable form for the genitive case. It has since become a noun and can take other case endings (e.g. konpharin lorthome - I speak Lortho-ACC).
The mountain whence Lor is said to originate is called Malhi Dharakhi, "Great Mountain," and is located in the coastal mountain range on the west coast of Lamona.
The goal is to create the gradual progression of Lortho which will lead to the development of daughter languages and, eventually, create sister languages which have developed on different parts of the planet.
There are 18 consonants in Lortho and all are strictly pronounced the same regardless of placement.
|Plosive||p pʰ||b||t tʰ||d dʰ||k kʰ|
|Lateral Approximant||l lʰ|
|Tap or Flap||ɾ|
|Front||Near- front||Central||Near- back||Back|
There are four diphthongs in Lortho: [aɪ], [eɪ], [aʊ], and [ɔɪ].
The syllable structure is (C)V(V)(C).
- The syllables can be constructed as:
- V (at this time only used in 3 person singular)
There are no consonant clusters allowed in onsets or codas; however, clusters formed from adjacent syllables (i.e. coda + onset) are allowed. These clusters are:
- /nk/ (normally pronounced [ŋk])
- /np/ (colloquially it is sometimes pronounced [mp] e.g. the verb konpharo to speak)
Stress in Lortho is handled as follows:
- Stress is always on the penultimatae syllable of the root or infinitive except:
- -n verbs will always receive stress on the final syllable of the infinitive or root.
- Pluralized nouns will shift the stress to the penultimate syllable.
- If the word is two syllables long, then the stress is on the first syllable.
- Stress is neither given to prefixes nor suffixes.
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The Lortho alphabet contains 21 letters, one of which is a vowel. The writing system behaves in a similar manner to an abugida; however, there are no conjunct consonants. Ligatures are formed by the combination of consonants and vowels (other than the vowel [i]). Lortho's script was inspired by the Devanagari, Uchen, and Tengwar writing systems.
Vowels and Vowel Constructs
Vowels (except [i]) are attached to the preceding consonant forming ligatures.
The diphthongs are written as seen below.
Word-Initial Vowels and Diphthongs
For word-initial vowels, the letter [i] will be used as the place holder (unless the [i] is the vowel) and the additional vowel will be added as one would on a consonant-vowel ligature.
Since Lortho has its own script, a romanized version has been set up to make it easy to read and pronounce as shown in the tables below.
Nouns in Lortho have three distinct features:
- They are one of three genders: masculine, feminine, or neuter
- All nouns are modified to denote case
- All nouns end in a vowel
There there are a couple nouns that do not follow the above rules for gender (this will increase as Lortho's lexicon grows):
Lortho has ten cases. The vowels in parentheses are added if the word ends in a consonant. The following word will be used for demonstration:
kansaptha (n. neut.) woods, forest
|Accusative||-(i)me||kansapthame||forest (direct obj.)|
|Dative||-(i)mela||kansapthamela||forest (indirect obj.)|
|Genitive1||-(i)nalo||kansapthanalo||of the forest|
|Sublative||-ina/ena||kansaptaina||in/into the forest|
|Ablative||-(e)nat||kansapthanat||out of/from the forest|
|Allative||-(e)dan||kansapthadan||to/towards the forest|
|Prolative||-(e)danar||kansapthadanar||through/via/by way of the forest|
|Instructive||-(i)len||kansapthalen||using the forest|
1 -nalo is the alienable genitive whereas -tho is the inalienable genitive as seen in the endonym Lortho.
dhammu (n. fem.) chair
Each noun is pluralized by adding a suffix:
- Feminine (-u) and Neuter (-a) nouns add the plural suffix -ne:
- Feminine: kansaphu (n. fem) tree; pl kansaphune
- Neuter: hadikha (n. neut) land, country; pl hadikhane
- Masculine nouns (-i):
- Regular masculine nouns will add the infix -en- before -i:
- Masculine nouns that end in -ni will add the infix -em-.
- olakhi (n. masc) boat; pl olakheni
- phorenni (n. masc) peak, summit; pl phoɾennemi
- If the noun ends in a consonant, the suffix -eni will be added:
- Example: tapas (n. masc) pasta; pl tapaseni
Verbs are conjugated in gender and in number which are governed by the subject (written or implied). For the most part the conjugations are simple and are formed through agglutination; however, there are slight fusional changes that occur when denoting aspect.
There are three main verbs in Lortho: -o verbs, -t verbs, and -n verbs. The conjugation tables below show a preview of how the regular verbs conjugate in each category. Conjugation in other tenses includes more fusional aspects.
The root is formed by subtracting the final "o."
| konpharo [kon.'pʰɑ.ɾo] to speak|
The root is formed by changing the final "t" to a "d."
| phramit ['pʰɾɑ.mit] to push|
The root is the same as the infinitive.
| shailan [ʃaɪ.'lɑn] to sit|
Although labelled irregular, the verbs still have a regular feel in that they still use the same personal endings; however, the root is derived slightly differently. One example is the verb harlan.
| harlan [hɑɾ.'lɑn] to be|
The indicative mood is the simplest of the moods and requires no extra suffixes.
The imperative form of the verb is simply the root with the vocative case (which can be either implied or explicit). Currently, this is still in development. I must discover the explanations of the imperative mood in first person plural and second person plural.
- famannu, konphar!
- Hey you, speak!
- fanamin, nathar namineme!
- Hey you, be quiet! (lit. quiet yourselves)
- fabrian, shailan!
- Brian, sit!
- konpharo (konphar-) v. to speak
- natharo (nathar-) v. to quell, pacify
- mannu pronoun you (fem. sing.)
- namin pronoun you (masc. pl.)
- shailan (shailan-) v. to sit
The subjunctive mood has many different facets. For now, we will talk about wants/wishes.
In the present tense, the expression of want is done by using the verb hankhan to want + infinitive.
hankhan-in kilikho kansaptha-me
want -1MSG see.INF forest.N -ACC
I want to see (the) forest
The passive voice is formed by adding the suffix -im after the root before any other additional suffixes. The passive voice does not apply to the present tense at this moment.
- madhit (madhid-) v. to give
madhid-ikh-i i khanishu-me u -mela
give- PST-3MSG PN.3MSG book.F -ACC PN.3FSG-DAT
He gave the book to her
- The verb agrees with the subject he (i).
madhid-im -ikh-u khanishu u -mela
give -PASS-PST-3FSG book.F PN.3FSG-DAT
The book was given to her
- The verb agrees with book since there is no subject initiating the action; however, book is still affected by the action, hence the accusative case.
Adjectives behave a little differently. All adjectives are roots since they must agree in gender with the noun which they modify. For placement, adjectives must be placed in front of the noun which they modify.
Verb-Subject-Object (VSO). Lortho contains a lot of information in the verb and the noun or noun phrase. The verb is conjugated by person and gender and thus pronouns are largely unnecessary except for emphasis or clarification. The nouns are altered to denote case, removing almost entirely the need for prepositions.
There are four basic rules which govern agreement between words:
- Verbs must agree in gender and number with the subject (explicit or implied)
- Cardinal numbers do not take case nor gender
- Nouns are not pluralized when counted
see -1MSG tree.F -PL-ACC
I see trees
kilikh-in bon kansaphu-me
see -1MSG two tree.F -ACC
I see two trees (lit: I see two tree)
- Adjectives must agree with the noun which they modify in gender, but not in grammatical case nor number
Examples of grammatical case, verb conjugation, and word order.
|konpharin lorthome||I speak Lortho|
| kalanune denimanimu kalanune khonaminalo
hana tomidikhimu ma kansapthaina
| The people are known as people of the|
lanterns and they lived in that forest.
| lharidikhin kansapthanat hana tharnidikhin
dharakhime. konpharinin toshanimela hana
semanikhin, "hankhanin malhiro
danadanar." remedikhi toshani,
| I ran out of the forest and climbed the mountain.|
I was speaking to the dragon and said, "I want
to walk through here." The dragon replied,
"You will not walk through here."
|Source: Brian's Instagram post|
Endangered Alphabets - YouTube channel about 14 of the world's writing systems threatened with extinction
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