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Created byBurke
  • Nawi
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Nawi is a constructed, a priori language. Nawi is created and maintained by Burke, and being incomplete it has no real speakers, and chances are it never will have any. There is hope that it will feed into some sort of project wherein it gives rise to daughter languages.


Nawi is a personal project to investigate and incorporate elements of languages that constructed languages often seem to avoid including processes of reduplication, relational nouns, and some other topics. If any form of Nawi ever does end up spoken in any degree, it will likely be the offspring of odd projects. It also will come with its own writing system behind it, hopefully.


For more information, please go to your local library

Nawi has a fairly simple and restricted sound system. One thing of interesting note is that while it has a palatal stop, it appears to be very unstable. The four vowels shift occasionally based on the preceding consonant, but the vowels changing the consonant is far more common.

Consonant Phonemes
Labial Dental Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p /p/ t /t/ c1 /c/ k /k/
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ g2 /ŋ/
Fricative s3 /s/ h4 /h/
Approximant j /j/ w5 /w/
Flap r /r/

N.B.: Orthography is noted in bold.

1. /c/ is realized as [t͡s] before /i/ and /ɛ/

2. /ŋ/ is realized as [ʔ] before /i/ and /ɛ/

3. /s/ is realized as [ʃ] before /i/

4. /h/ is realized as [ɸ] before /o/

5. /w/ is realized as [v] before /i/

Vowel Phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i /i/
Near Close o /o/
Near Open e /ɛ/
Open a /ä/

The syllable is restricted exclusively to the CV pair, where both are required. If it seems like a bare vowel is heard, it is likely a weakened /h/ or a lost velar nasal.


Nawi has a simple tonal system where one syllable in a word may be marked for high-tone or as a tonal break point, whereby the pitch falls on the syllable immediately following it. This is normally realized by having a slow build up to the high tone syllable and then a sharp drop immediately after it. While tone is the sole dividing feature of many words from each other, it is often not very important since context is typically sufficient to discern which word was meant. There are some puns that center around this difference, but they are usually relegated to grandfathers telling corny jokes.