Relformaide Dictionary:Grammar/Graphemics

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Graphemics
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Orthography

Characters

Standard Latin convention, as well as English, possesses an alphabet of 26 letters:

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

In Relformaide, there are 25:

a b ch d e f g h i j k l m n o p r s t u v w x y z

The ch digraph substitutes the c, which is otherwise reserved for imported surnames and terms, as is q. Familiar examples of the two stray letters' use can be found in Cousteau and QWERTY.

Relformaide has no c in its native words, as the letter is better represented by its common phonetic equivalents of k, s, and z. Within imported names, the accented variants of ć (for /k/) and ç (for /s/ and /z/) are optional, resulting in the likes of Ćousteau and Luçiano among other forms.

Relformaide uses the same numbers as the Latin script, viz 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9.

Diacritics

In Relformaide, a variety of diacritics are used to represent various sounds and assist in letter-marking. As in French, these variants are not part of the language's standard alphabet.

Type Letters Function
a e i o u b c d f g j k l n p r s v y z
Acute á é í ó ú ć ȷ́ ń ŕ ś ý ź
  • Marks the natural sounds of the vowels at the end of syllables.
  • c denotes the /k/ sound in imported surnames and terms.
  • j is used to mutate the root-final g before another j (/dʒ/) in compounds.
  • n is attached to a vowel-initial word after a preceding termison, or the end of a native word before an imported term.
  • r is used to mutate the root-final l before morphemes containing another l as their second or later letter (i.e. in doseŕaili [educational; dosel + -ail + -i]).
  • s is used to mutate the root-final z before affixes starting with ch, h, k, m, n, p, t, or another s.
  • y denotes the /ɪ/ sound at the end of select few roots, amfiebý- (amphibian) among them.
  • z denotes the /ʒ/ (zh) sound in Aiźa (Asia) and mokeźe (landmine).
Grave è Only used when e precedes a consonant and another e at the end of some words (e.g. aumbrède [young human], toapète [small stone = pebble]). In words ending with -eche (e.g. leché [milk]), the last e is marked with an acute instead.
Breve ă ĕ ĭ ŏ ŭ Distinguishes certain root formations from other existing valid combinations. An example is the place name Jămăika, which otherwise means "a female who should be jamming" (jam- + -aik [conditional/subjunctive termison] + -a).
Circumflex â ê î Indicates that the vowel is pronounced exactly like its English literal (/eɪ/, /ɪ ~ iː/, /aɪ/).
Macron ā ē ī ō ū Signifies the start of syllables in some words.
Tilde ĩ ũ Denotes the /ɜː ~ ɝ/ sound found in English words such as herd and hurt.
Umlaut ä ë ï ö ü Placed on the first unaccented vowel of certain roots, whose last letter then becomes the next morpheme's first consonant in certain compounds.
Underdot
  • The underdotted vowels help distinguish root-final -ar/-at/-et/-id &c. from their regular conjugation/affix counterparts; and also substitute the standard -e in internationally recognised neuter nouns. Found in words such as chauklạite (chocolate), Magyạre (Hungary), praujẹte (project), kasinọ (casino), and guavạ (guava).
  • In compounds involving said international nouns, an underdotted l or r follows the root plus original vowel before the next morpheme. Thus, kasinoḷinti (in the casino); guavaṛseulu (only the guava).
  • A preceding o plus underdotted r help buffer certain consonant clusters in compounds, as in námúzoṛganar (achieve honours).
  • Underdotted s serves as epenthesis in certain compounds:
    • When -Vr precedes er-/ir-/or-/ur-, as in vousererive (letter clearance).
    • Between double instances of an: ganant (winning), dranant (being correct).
  • Underdotted y is similarly placed between two consecutive instances of on, as in fonondi (silent).
Cedilla ç Marks the sound of /s/ (and sometimes /z/) in imported surnames and terms.
Dot ġ Only used to mutate and soften the root-final j before another g (/g/) in compounds.
Hook ɓ ƈ ɗ ƒ ɠ ʝ ӄ þ ѵ
  • In compounds, the ƒ is used to mutate the root-final v before h, s, t, z, or another f.
  • Respectively transforming v before b/d/g/j/k/p are ɓ, ɗ, ɠ, ʝ, ӄ, and þ. (The first four are borrowed from the International Phonetic Alphabet, the fifth from Cyrillic, and the last from Scandinavian/Old English.[1])
  • ƈ optionally substitutes the ch diagraph in forms such as ƈúzar (cook), ƈinƈila (chinchilla), leƈé (milk), sandwiƈe (sandwich), and Ƈîna (China).
  • ѵ, which transforms f in front of another v, also originates from Cyrillic.

Punctuation

Relformaide carries the same inventory of punctuation marks found in various Indo-European languages. Its quotation marks (wilémètes, «») are borrowed from French; other symbols ([{<- — _ , ; : . ... ? ! & @ * # % $ € £ ¥ ¢ † ‡ § ~ + × ÷ = º / \ |>}]) remain as-is. (For usage examples, see § Parts of speech: Referential pronouns and § Syntax: Quotations and punctuation.)

Phonology

Relformaide boasts a highly phonemic orthography, meaning that its graphemes correspond to the sounds they represent most of the time.

Letters

The language is pronounced in much the same way as English, as are most of its letterals. All letter names are adapted from existing roots with different meanings.

Letter Sound Name IPA symbol(s) English example(s) Relformaide example(s) Meaning(s) of example(s)
Standard
A ah ade /æ/ art, cat santaline mistletoe
/a(ː)/ ábili able to; can
/eɪ/ day flâme fire
/ɑ/ bar mongar consume
B bey /b/ bay bar, obène, roubi be, house, red
CH chu choule /t͡ʃ/ chat chimèle, ploché jelly, area
D dee dèye /d/ delight dostar, sliedar get, slide
E ey ède /ɛ/ egg esine, vúdèle this, back/posterior
/eɪ/ évitar avoid
/iː/ develop dêvelopar develop
/ɜː ~ ɝ/ herd rgim so/because/therefore
/Ø/ choose maunde world
F eff /f/ fair fásili, sif, baufale easy, if, buffalo
G gee guve /g/ go ganar, rógeli win, green
H hoal hine /h/ humble hanadu, méhoute there, kiwi
/Ø/ uh-oh flohe flea
I ee ide /ɪ/ interval, bid int in
/i(ː)/ síprane surprise
/aɪ/ ice hîdrole water
/ɜː ~ ɝ/ circle sĩrkauze circus
J jay joale /d͡ʒ/ jack jodé, plajé shoe, beach
K kay kaute /k/ kennel korte, eskole line, school
L ell /l/ long lezar, dumale read, cheetah
M em /m/ milk mólen, dúbime though/despite, bear
N en nide /n/ nest nákole, ńaistar, lubone story, make, throne
O oh oate /o/ owned ond, stúdiole, lechoṛsúkrane without/-less, studio, lactose
/oː/ óvile sheep
P pey /p/ pray puerté, sèpe door, seven
R ar roaze /ɹ/ rest ríante, jerowe, besneŕelde parent, manatee, tradition
S ess sẽrte /s/ simmer seristes, sauvar, vasiti cherries, save, intentional
T tee /t/ tote, boot toute all/every
U ub usté /u/ accuse stuk! stop!
/uː/ Tudor úlem under/below
/ɜː ~ ɝ/ hurt dũr during/while
V vee /v/ advance vieslar, suavé whistle, kiss
W wee touvvé /w/ wink weste, túwalu west, from the looks of it/seems that...
/Ø/ show chowe roof
X eks exane /ks/ exit guximi, sorèxe brave, shrew
Y yel yorbe /j/ yellow yoale, yúglane, fluyé, choyaide yawn, walnut, river, pet
/ɪ/ hairy ye tea
/i/ hockey haukýe hockey
/Ø/ choyprini about pampering
Z zed zège /z/ zone zụstime, mozé agreement, my
/ʒ/ Aiźa, mokeźe Asia, landmine
Imported
*C seeta seutène /k/ magic
/s/, /z/ cite
*Q cue kúbạ /kw/ quite

Clusters

Consonants

Another four digraphs are represented. (Even though sch uses three characters, it comprises two letters in Relformaide—s and ch.)

Combo IPA symbol English example Relformaide example Meaning of example
Digraphs
SH /ʃ/ shilling roshólar decide
SCH /ʃ/ Schultz beschérar conjugate
NG /ŋ/ sing lingaili linguistic
NY /ɲ/ Like canyon kanyaune canyon

Ten triple-consonant clusters, all sibilant, are also permitted in words:

Combo IPA symbol English example Relformaide example Meaning(s) of example(s)
Consonant triples
SCHL /ʃl/ schlepping
SCHM /ʃm/ schmaltz
SCHN /ʃn/ schnauzer
SCHR /ʃɹ/ Schroeder
SCHW /ʃw/ Schwartz
SHR /ʃɹ/ Shrove shroute collapse
SKR /skɹ/ scream skríbar write
SPL /spl/ splash resplobe refrain
SPR /spɹ/ spree strouśprini about a street
STR /stɹ/ strudel strúbar, strouze build, street
Vowels

In addition, the language possesses four monophthongs (vowel pairs represented by single sounds); eight diphthongs (vowel pairs sounded together); one semi-diphthong (which acts as either a monophthong or diphthong); one triphthong (comprising three phonemes); and nine hiatuses (vowel pairs sounded separately).

Combo IPA symbol(s) English example(s) Relformaide example(s) Meaning(s) of example(s)
Monophthongs
AU /ɔ(ː)/ caulk, gauze maunde world
/ʌ/ Like mull saume sum
IE /iː/ Bernie, fiend mietire metre
OU /ʊ/ ghoul bouklar, woufe defend, woof
Diphthongs
AI/É /eɪ/ aim Paipo, livré Pope, book
EU /juː/ feud pleuve, jeure rain, rude/offensive
Î /aɪ/ nice sîgloane cyclone/hurricane/typhoon
OA /oʊ/ foal poartar carry
OI /ɔɪ/ boil pointe point
UA /wa/ squad tuami female
UE /wɛ/ pueblo kuelendar torment/torture
UI /wɪ/ squid kuibiène thief/robber
Semi-diphthong
EA /ɪə/, /iː/ appeal, jeans voaŕineale, gleazar, musíkeande airplane, order/arrange, musical instrument
Triphthong
UE /wɛə/ Like swear suertide luck
Hiatuses
AO /a.o/ Like aorta Bilbaone Bilbao
EI /eɪ.ɪ/ deity mâyoneiz mayonnaise
ÉO /eɪ.o/ eon déoze awe
ÍA /iː.æ/ industrial tevolíaku on the table
ÍE /iː.ɛ/ Diego veyne, póliezíena watcher, policewoman
IO /i(ː).o/ lion raidiole radio
ÍU /iː.u/ diurnal díuve kite
OE /o(ː).ɛ/ poem pze poem

Inventories

Relformaide carries almost the same individual phonemes as those of English—26 for consonants and 16 for vowels. (Corresponding graphemes are bolded.)

Consonants Labial Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m [m] n [n] ny [ɲ] ng [ŋ]
Stop Voiceless p [p] t [t] k [k] - [ʔ]
Voiced b [b] d [d] g [g]
Affricate Voiceless ch [t͡ʃ]
Voiced j [d͡ʒ]
Fricative Voiceless f [f] th [θ] s [s] sh [ʃ] h [h]
Voiced v [v] z [z] ź [ʒ]
Approximant Plain l [l] r [ɹ] y [j] w [w]
Labial ui [ɥ]
Vowels Front Central Back
Close i/í/ie/ea [i(ː)] ú [uː]
u [u]
Near-close i [ɪ] ou [ʊ]
Mid e [ɛ] é [e] V [ə] /ĩ/ũ [ɜː] o/ó [o(ː)] au [ʌ/ɔ/ɒ]
Open a [æ] a/á [a(ː)] ar [ɑ]

IPA correspondence

IPA a æ ɑ ɒ b d e ɛ ɜː ə f g h i ɪ j ju k ks l m n ŋ ɲ o ʌ ɔ(ː) ɔɪ p ɹ s ʃ t θ u ʊ v w ɥ z ʒ
Grapheme(s) a a a au á î b d j é e/è ẽ/ĩ/ũ ai/â/é a/e/i/o/u f g/ġ h i i ea/ê/ie/í/ý y eu k x l/ḷ m n/ń ng ny o oa ó au au oi p r/ŕ/ṛ s/ś sch/sh t ch th u ú ou v u/w ui z ź

Termisons

Relformaide has six uniliteral termisons, of which five (a, i, o, s, and u) are always pronounced in full at the end of words. Depending on the word, e is either pronounced or left silent, as shown in these tables for the roots ed-, ótr-, lapin-, strouz-, lech-, and sandwich-. S always follows a vowel termison (except for u) in plural forms.[2]

Example 1: ed- (young/youth)
Form IPA English meaning
ède ɛd youngster, kid, lad, tyke
èdes ɛds youngsters, kids, lads, tykes
edo ɛ.do boy
eda ɛ.dɑ girl
edi ɛ.di young
edu ɛ.du youngly (Rare)
Example 2: ótr- (other/different)
Form IPA English meaning
ótré oː.tɹeɪ another one
ótrés oː.tɹeɪs others
ótro oː.tɹo another one (masculine)
ótra oː.tɹɑ another one (feminine)
ótri oː.tɹi different
ótru oː.tɹu differently
Example 3: lapin- (rabbit)
Form IPA English meaning
lapine læ.pɪn rabbit
lapines læ.pɪns rabbits
lapino læ.pɪ.no rabbit buck
lapina læ.pɪ.nɑ rabbit doe
lapini læ.pɪ.ni rabbit-associated
lapinu læ.pɪ.nu like a rabbit
Example 4: strouz- (street)
Form IPA English meaning
strouze stɹʊz street
strouzes stɹʊ.zɪs streets
strouzi stɹʊ.zi street-associated
strouzu stɹʊ.zu like a street
Example 5: lech- (milk)
Form IPA English meaning
leché lɛ.tʃeɪ milk
lechés lɛ.tʃeɪs servings of milk
lechi lɛ.tʃi milk-associated
lechu lɛ.tʃu like milk
Example 6: sandwich- (sandwich)
Form IPA English meaning
sandwiche sænd.wɪtʃ sandwich
sandwiches sænd.wɪ.tʃɪs sandwiches
sandwichi sænd.wɪ.tʃi sandwich-associated
sandwichu sænd.wɪ.tʃu like a sandwich

Stress

In most Relformaide words, stress falls on the final or lone syllable, and also with long vowels (represented by grave accents): nâye (dog), touvarde (two million), pla (beach), koulibré (hummingbird), telar (deceive/trick).

In some words like nemnonde (something unsilent), the focus is on the syllable with the accent/long vowel. Many causative verbs exhibit stress before the -inz suffix used to form them, as in frólinzar (enlighten).

Morphophonology

Ablaut

A handful of Relformaide roots exhibit ablaut, a morphophonological process otherwise known as apophony. Ablaut involves the change of vowel sounds to form different words.

Indo-European

The more predominant type, Indo-European ablaut, uses i [ɪ] ~ a [æ] ~ au [ɔ] to convey deixis.

Base root (e) Proximal (i) Medial (a) Distant (au) Etymon(s)
English meaning
*aubem aubim aubam aubaum Iteri lʌboli (little)
size small midsized big
aulxem aulxim aulxam aulxaum French ault + Latin proximus (nearest)
height short medium tall
esen esin esan esaun Estonian ese/Finnish esine
thing this that yon
*hen hin han haun Basque hemen (here)/han (there)
place/location here there yon(der)
proxem proxim proxam proxaum Latin proximus
distance/length near far beyond
woxem woxim woxam woxaum Lower Sorbian wob (during) + Latin proximus
duration short medium long
Gender-based

This pattern, involving e [ɛ] ~ o [o] ~ oa [oʊ] ~ a [a], is only found in the gender adjective series.

Base root (i) Neuter (e) Masculine (o) Unisex (oa) Feminine (a) Etymons
English meaning
sugim sugem sugom sugoam sugam Estonian/Veps/Võro sugu; cf. Finnish suku
grammatical gender
*tuim tuom tuam À priori root
natural gender

Allomorphy

Relformaide's most predominant allomorph is the neuter noun marker, -e, and its plural counterpart -es.

  • -e itself is unvoiced (/Ø/) in many nouns, such as paundale (zebra; /pɔn.dæl/), proximade (vicinity; /prok.sɪ.mæd/), and esène (thing; /ɛ.sɛn/).
  • It takes on the pronunciation of /eɪ/ as in French, when marked as in words like nèke (cat; /tʃo.neɪ/), ábilídé (ability; /aː.bɪl.iː.deɪ/), and leché (milk; /lɛ.tʃeɪ/).
  • The plural -s (/s/) is always pronounced: paundales (zebras; /pɔn.dæls/), bevaurdes (beverages; /bɛ.veɪds/); esènes (things; /ɛ.sɛns/); nèkes (cats; /tʃo.neɪs/).
  • In certain words whose roots end with z, -e remains unvoiced in the singular, but is sounded as a soft i (/ɪ/) in the plural: strouze (street; /stɹʊz/) → strouzes (street; /stɹʊ.zɪs/).
  • As already mentioned, -és is mandatory for plurals of roots ending in -ech: leché (/lɛ.tʃeɪ/) → lechés (/lɛ.tʃeɪs/). Those ending in -ich adhere to the normal rules for -e(s): sandwiche (/sænd.wɪtʃ/) → sandwiches (/sænd.wɪ.tʃɪs/).
  • Except in the case of -èCe forms, verbal nouns always end with (/eɪ/): manké (eating; /mæn.keɪ/), sauté (jumping; /sɔ.teɪ/), lèze (reading: /lɛz/), noagèle (swimming; /noʊ.gɛl/).

Movable Ń

Relformaide employs a special character, ń, which buffers hiatuses between words in similar fashion to Ancient Greek's "movable nu", and carries no semantic meaning.

  • When native words are involved, the ń is placed at the start of the following word: boavondi ńagrotabode (farm without cows), un'eda ńeskoladi (a girl at school), Prósimu ńaistait les pastèles (Please make the cakes).
  • If imported or capitalised terms follow native words, then ń is attached to the latter's termison: Senoroń Obama (Mr. Obama), Jaunoń Updike (John Updike), Guimbrovrageń: Aulttemi Pleuƒfoareste (FernGully: The Last Rainforest).
  • Vice versa, the regular procedure applies: Clementine ńättrúlat mozo jurèke ńoid naulótra nalhaizat. (Clementine warms my heart like no other lady can.)

Phonotactics

Relformaide's syllable structure is (s)(C)2(V|M|D)2(C)2(s|z); common syllable patterns include CVC, CDC, CV, CCV, sCCV, VC, VCC, and VCCs. Standalone roots and affixes follow a (s)(C)2(V|M|D)2(C)2(z) pattern; CVCVC, CVC, CVVC, CDC, and VC are prevalent. Standalone termisons are either an s (plural) or (V|D)(C(C)).

All words must have at least one vowel; abbreviations and uniliteral roots are exempt. Words cannot start with /ks/ (⟨x⟩) or /ŋ/ (⟨ng⟩).

Onset

The onset of a Relformaide word can only reach up to three consonants ( (s)(C)C ), with /b t͡ʃ d f g h d͡ʒ s v ks z/ ⟨b ch d f g h j s v x z⟩ prohibited as the second one in any given cluster; words and roots beginning with vowels omit onsets.

Permitted onset clusters in Relformaide
First consonant Second consonant
/k/ ⟨k⟩ /l/ ⟨l⟩ /m/ ⟨m⟩ /n/ ⟨n⟩ /p/ ⟨p⟩ /ɹ/ ⟨r⟩ /t/ ⟨t⟩ /w/ ⟨w⟩ /j/ ⟨y⟩
/b/ ⟨b⟩ /bl/ ⟨bl⟩ /bɹ/ ⟨br⟩ /bw/ ⟨bu + V⟩ /bj/ ⟨be+u⟩
/t͡ʃ/ ⟨ch⟩ /t͡ʃw/ ⟨chu + V⟩ /t͡ʃj/ ⟨che+u⟩
/d/ ⟨d⟩ /dɹ/ ⟨dr⟩ /dw/ ⟨du + V⟩ /dj/ ⟨de+u⟩
/f/ ⟨f⟩ /fl/ ⟨fl⟩ /fɹ/ ⟨fr⟩ /fw/ ⟨fu + V⟩ /fj/ ⟨fe+u⟩
/g/ ⟨g⟩ /gl/ ⟨gl⟩ /gɹ/ ⟨gu⟩ /gw/ ⟨gu + V⟩ /gj/ ⟨ge+u⟩
/h/ ⟨h⟩ /hj/ ⟨he+u⟩
/d͡ʒ/ ⟨j⟩ /d͡ʒw/ ⟨ju + V⟩ /d͡ʒj/ ⟨je+u⟩
/k/ ⟨k⟩ /kl/ ⟨kl⟩ /kɹ/ ⟨kr⟩ /kw/ ⟨ku + V⟩ /kj/ ⟨ke+u⟩
/l/ ⟨l⟩ /lw/ ⟨lu + V⟩ /lj/ ⟨le+u⟩
/m/ ⟨m⟩ /mw/ ⟨mu + V⟩ /mj/ ⟨me+u⟩
/n/ ⟨n⟩ /nw/ ⟨nu + V⟩ /nj/ ⟨ne+u⟩
/p/ ⟨p⟩ /pl/ ⟨pl⟩ /pɹ/ ⟨pr⟩ /pw/ ⟨pu + V⟩ /pj/ ⟨pe+u⟩
/ɹ/ ⟨r⟩ /rw/ ⟨ru + V⟩ /ɹj/ ⟨re+u⟩
/s/ ⟨s⟩ /sk/ ⟨sk⟩ /sl/ ⟨sl⟩ /sm/ ⟨sm⟩ /sn/ ⟨sn⟩ /sp/ ⟨sp⟩ /st/ ⟨st⟩ /sw/ ⟨su + V⟩ /sj/ ⟨se+u⟩
/ʃ/ ⟨s(c)h⟩ /ʃl/ ⟨schl⟩ /ʃm/ ⟨schm⟩ /ʃn/ ⟨schn⟩ /ʃɹ/ ⟨s(c)hr⟩ /ʃw/ ⟨s(c)hu + V⟩ /ʃj/ ⟨s(c)he+u⟩
/t/ ⟨t⟩ /tɹ/ ⟨tr⟩ /tw/ ⟨tu + V⟩ /tj/ ⟨te+u⟩
/v/ ⟨v⟩ /vl/ ⟨vl⟩ /vɹ/ ⟨vr⟩ /vw/ ⟨vu + V⟩ /vj/ ⟨ve+u⟩
/z/ ⟨z⟩ /zl/ ⟨zl⟩ /zw/ ⟨zu + V⟩ ⟨zw⟩ /zj/ ⟨ze+u⟩

Nucleus

A nucleus consists of either a vowel (V), a monophthong (M), or a diphthong (D). Vowels end all Relformaide articles, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. One diphthong, /eɪ/ (⟨é⟩), is found in all basic tense augments ( (C)CD ) and neuter nouns containing it at the end ( (s)(C)CD ).

Coda

The coda consists of at least one consonant; as with onsets, up to three are allowed ( C(C)(s|z) ). In clusters, /ɹ w j/ ⟨r w y⟩ are prohibited as the last possible letter. All bare roots end with codae, as do adpositions, conjunctions, and some interjections.

Permitted coda clusters in Relformaide
Penultimate consonant Last consonant
/b/ <b> /t͡ʃ/ ⟨ch⟩ /d/ ⟨d⟩ /f/ ⟨f⟩ /g/ ⟨g⟩ /d͡ʒ/ ⟨j⟩ /k/ ⟨k⟩ /l/ ⟨l⟩ /m/ ⟨m⟩ /n/ ⟨n⟩ /p/ ⟨p⟩ /s/ ⟨s⟩ /t/ ⟨t⟩ /v/ ⟨v⟩ /ks/ ⟨x⟩ /z/ ⟨z⟩
/b/ ⟨b⟩ /bs/ ⟨-bes⟩
/d/ ⟨d⟩ /ds/ ⟨-des⟩
/f/ ⟨f⟩ /fs/ ⟨-fes⟩ /ft/ ⟨ft⟩
/g/ ⟨g⟩ /gs/ ⟨-ges⟩
/k/ ⟨k⟩ /ks/ ⟨-kes⟩
/l/ ⟨l⟩ /lb/ ⟨lb⟩ /lt͡ʃ/ ⟨lch⟩ /ld/ ⟨ld⟩ /lf/ ⟨lf⟩ /lg/ ⟨lg⟩ /ld͡ʒ/ ⟨lj⟩ /lk/ ⟨lk⟩ /lm/ ⟨lm⟩ /ln/ ⟨ln⟩ /lp/ ⟨lp⟩ /ls/ ⟨-les⟩ /lt/ ⟨lt⟩ /lv/ ⟨lv⟩ /lks/ ⟨lx⟩ /lz/ ⟨lz⟩
/m/ ⟨m⟩ /mb/ ⟨mb⟩ /mt͡ʃ/ ⟨mch⟩ /mf/ ⟨mf⟩ /mg/ ⟨mg⟩ /md͡ʒ/ ⟨mj⟩ /mk/ ⟨mk⟩ /mp/ ⟨mp⟩ /ms/ ⟨-mes⟩ /mt/ ⟨mt⟩ /mv/ ⟨mv⟩ /mks/ ⟨mx⟩ /mz/ ⟨md⟩
/n/ ⟨n⟩ /nb/ ⟨nb⟩ /nt͡ʃ/ ⟨nch⟩ /nd/ ⟨nd⟩ /nf/ ⟨nf⟩ /ŋ/ ⟨ng⟩ /nd͡ʒ/ ⟨nj⟩ /nk/ ⟨nk⟩ /np/ ⟨np⟩ /ns/ ⟨-nes⟩ /nt/ ⟨nt⟩ /nv/ ⟨nd⟩ /nks/ ⟨nx⟩ /nz/ ⟨nz⟩
/p/ ⟨p⟩ /ps/ ⟨-pes⟩ /pz/ ⟨pz⟩
/ɹ/ ⟨r⟩ /ɹb/ ⟨rb⟩ /ɹt͡ʃ/ ⟨rch⟩ /ɹd/ ⟨rd⟩ /ɹf/ ⟨rf⟩ /ɹg/ ⟨rg⟩ /ɹd͡ʒ/ ⟨rj⟩ /ɹk/ ⟨rk⟩ /ɹl/ ⟨rl⟩ /ɹm/ ⟨rm⟩ /ɹn/ ⟨rn⟩ /ɹp/ ⟨rp⟩ /ɹs/ ⟨-res⟩ /ɹt/ ⟨rt⟩ /ɹv/ ⟨rv⟩ /ɹks/ ⟨rx⟩ /ɹz/ ⟨rz⟩
/s/ ⟨s⟩ /sk/ ⟨sk⟩ /sp/ ⟨sp⟩ /st/ ⟨st⟩
/t/ ⟨t⟩ /ts/ ⟨-tes⟩ /tz/ ⟨tz⟩
/v/ ⟨v⟩ /vs/ ⟨-ves⟩

Graphotactics

Initial letters

A native Relformaide word can begin with any of 24 letters, but never x (outside of imports).

a b ch d e f g h i j k l m n o p r s t u v w x y z

Final consonants

There are 19 consonants that roots can end with; the vowels and s are reserved as termisons.

a b ch d e f g h i j k l m n o p r s t u v w x y z

Bigrams

With 25 letters in its alphabet, the maximum number of possible two-letter combinations in Relformaide words and syllables is 625 (25²).

  1. Unlike most natural languages, and in similar fashion to Lojban's gismu, Relformaide does not allow double letters (e.g. bb, dd, ee, ff, nn, ss) in its base roots.
    1. Double vowels only occur in surname imports, as in Boorman and Deere.
    2. Double consonants are permitted in native compounds, such as addez (tell; ad-, to object + dez-, say).
  2. In compounds, the final z of a root becomes ś before ch, h, k, m, n, p, s, and t.
  3. Similarly, v becomes ƒ before ch, s, t, z, or another f; f turns into ѵ before another v.
  4. The letter x cannot begin any word apart from surname imports (most notably Xavier); nor can roots end with s (the plural marker).
  5. Among consonant-only bigrams ending with x, only lx/nx/rx/yx are allowed within words; the rest are disallowed outside imports.
  6. chh is not permitted in base roots, but permitted in compounds and imports. Also following this rule are homophones gh (= f/g), ph (= f), th (= d/f), rh (= r), wh (= w), wr (= r), sw (= sui) (only in imports), and tw (= tui).
  7. kh is conditionally permitted in base roots like lakh (an Indian term for 10,000); otherwise, it turns into k.
  8. These pairs are strictly prohibited:
    1. xk/xs/xz (within standalone roots; = xoṛk/xoṛs/xoṛz in compounds)
    2. sz/ae (except in imports)

After excluding double vowels aa/ee/ii/oo/uu and double consonants ss/xx, one is left with 618 (25² - 7) possible bigrams in native roots. From here, the remaining number depends on various factors as shown in the table below:

Elimination rule Combos left
Base Compound
At start Within At end At start Within At end
Rest of double consonants (bb, dd, ll, tt, &c.) 600 600 600 600 618 600
Pairs xk, xs, and xz 597 597 597 597 618 597
Rest of x-initial pairs (e.g. xd, xg, xn, xt) 576 576 576 576 618 576
sz 575 575 575 575 617 575
Pairs chh, gh, ph, rh, th, and wh 569 569 569 569 617 569
hch/vch/zch 566 566 566 566 617 566
Rest of C + ch pairs (except sch) 552 566 566 552 617 566
l/r + b/d/f/g/j/v 540 566 566 540 617 566
Rest of C + b/d/f/g/j/v pairs 444 566 470 444 617 470
lx/nx/rx/yx 440 566 470 440 617 470
Rest of C + x pairs 425 551 455 425 602 455
Rest of C + s/C + z pairs 390 551 420 390 602 420
sh 390 551 419 390 602 419
Rest of C + h pairs (except kh) 380 551 409 380 602 409
lk/rk 378 551 409 378 602 409
Rest of C + k pairs (except sk) 363 551 394 363 602 394
C + l pairs (except [b/f/g/k/p/s]l) 351 551 394 351 602 394
C + m/n/p/t pairs (except sm/sn/sp/st) 283 551 394 283 602 394
C + r pairs (except [b/d/f/g/k/p/t]r) 272 551 394 272 602 394
C + w pairs (except zw) 255 551 394 255 602 394
ae 254 550 393 254 601 393
ih, iy, and uy 251 550 393 251 601 393
iu and oe 249 550 391 249 601 391
ua, ue, and uo 246 550 388 246 601 388
uw 245 550 388 245 601 388
pe/le/fe 245 550 385 245 601 385
Rest of C + V pairs 245 550 293 245 601 293
Rest of V + V pairs 245 550 274 245 601 274

Therefore, one is left with 245 possible opening bigrams, or 39.2% of the initial maximum (as seen in the bigram chart).

After removing bigrams which end with vowels and s (per language rules), and factoring in the tense markers /plé//péfé, there are 134 potential biliteral morphemes (or 21.44% of the initial maximum, or 54.694% of all legal combos). Of these, 10 (or 7.463%, not counting plural markers) are documented in Relformaide.[3]

Native roots can also end with one of 274 possible combinations.

Intra-letter changes

In forming compound words, several letter combinations may appear awkward if not checked. As a result, Relformaide has several insertion/mutation rules to prevent them from surfacing, as the table below demonstrates:

  • -z and -v before certain initial letters
  • -v-C ̡ before b, d, g, j, k, and p
  • -f before another v
  • Insertion of -oṛ- between difficult consonant clusters
Last letter in compound root #1 First letter in compound root #2
a b ch d e f g h i j k l m n o p r s t u v w y z
b ba bb bch bd be bf boṛg bh bi boṛj bk bl bm bn bo bp br bs bt bu bv bw by bz
ch cha choṛb choṛch choṛd che chf choṛg chh chi choṛj chk chl chm chn cho choṛp chr choṛs choṛt chu chv chw chy choṛz
d da db dch dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dr ds dt du dv dw dy dz
e[mut 1] era éb éch éd ere éf ég éh eri éj ék él ém én ero ép ér és ét eru év éw éy éz
f fa foṛb fch foṛd fe ff foṛg fh fi foṛj foṛk fl fm fn fo foṛp fr fs ft fu ѵv fw fy fz
g ga goṛb goṛch goṛd ge goṛf gg gh gi ȷ́j gk gl gm gn go goṛp gr gs gt gu goṛv gw gy gz
h[mut 2] ha hb hoṛch hoṛd he hoṛf hoṛg hh hi hoṛj hk hl hm hn ho hp hr hs hoṛt hu hoṛv hw hy hz
j ja joṛb joṛch joṛd je joṛf ġg jh ji jj joṛk jl jm jn jo joṛp jr joṛs joṛt ju joṛv jw jy joṛz
k ka koṛb koṛch koṛd ke koṛf koṛg kh ki kj kk kl km kn ko kp kr ks kt ku kv kw ky kz
l la lb lch ld le lf lg lh li lj lk ll lm ln lo lp lr ls lt lu lv lw ly lz
m ma mb mch md me mf mg mh mi mj mk ml mm mn mo mp mr ms mt mu mv mw my mz
n na nb nch nd ne nf ng nh ni nj nk nl nm nn no np nr ns nt nu nv nw ny nz
p pa pb pch pd pe pf pg ph pi pj pk pl pm pn po pp pr ps pt pu pv pw py pz
r ra rb rch rd re rf rg rh ri rj rk rl rm rn ro rp rr rs rt ru rv rw ry rz
t ta tb tch td te tf tg th ti tj tk tl tm tn to tp tr ts tt tu tv tw ty tz
v va ɓb ƒch ɗd ve ƒf ɠg vh vi ʝj ӄk vl vm vn vo þp vr ƒs ƒt vu vv vw vy ƒz
w wa wb wch wd we wf wg wh wi wj wk wl wm wn wo wp wr ws wt wu wv ww wy wz
x xa xoṛb xch xoṛd xe xf xoṛg xh xi xoṛj xoṛk xl xm xn xo xp xr xoṛs xt xu xoṛv xw xy xoṛz
y ya yb ych yd ye yf yg yh yi yj yk yl ym yn yo yp yr ys yt yu yv yw yy yz
z za zoṛb śch zoṛd ze zoṛf zoṛg śh zi zoṛj śk zl śm śn zo śp zr śs śt zu zv zw zy zz
  1. Only in the tense augments pé-, plé-, fé-, and péfé-.
  2. Found mainly in foreign place names.

For roots which end with a consonant followed by l or r, a regular -i- interfix is added before another consonant. Root-final clusters following this rule include bl, fl, kl, pl, sl, br, fr, kr, pr, and tr.

Notes

  1. Þ is otherwise represented by Ƥ/ƥ, which does not display on some browsers or operating systems.
  2. A special variant, -uez, precedes roots in complex case-oriented inflections.
  3. Comprising 4 roots, 6 affixes, and 0 affixoid; 3 of them are case markers.
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