Lortho

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Lortho
Lortho
['loɾ.tʰo]
Spoken in: Dhamashi
Conworld: A circumbinary planet
Total Speakers: 6,000,000
Genealogical classification: under development
Basic word order: Verb-Subject-Object
Morphological Type: Agglutinating
Morphosyntactic Alignment: Nominative-Accusative
Created by:
Brian Bourque March 2017

Introduction

Lortho (IPA:[ˈloɾ·tʰo]) 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. Fast forward about 13 years and it has now evolved into a agglutinating language with some minor fusional aspects. The verbs and nouns are modified with affixes.


Inspiration

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.

Another inspirational source is Brian's daughter. Through her development of learning how to make speech sounds leading to coherent speech, Brian found certain "words" to use in Lortho which he used to develop its phonology.

Setting

work in progress

The people who speak Lortho live on a circumbinary plant which has two satellites in an alternate universe. The planet's surface has many similarities to Earth where it has oceans, mountains, deserts, and forests.

Even though there are two stars, neither one can be seen separate from one another during daylight hours. At dawn and dusk, however, both can bee seen due to light refraction through the world's atmosphere much like our own atmosphere makes the optical illusion that the sun is bigger at these times.

Goals

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.


Phonology

Orthography

Writing System

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.

Lortho Alphabet
Lortho Alphabet

Vowels and Vowel Constructs

The vowels are written similarly to the vowels seen in Devanagari. Each vowel (except [i]) are attached to the preceding consonant forming ligatures.

Lortho Vowels
Lortho Vowels

Sample Text

Below is a sample text with the conscript described above.

Sample Text
konpharin lorthome I speak Lortho

Further Reading

For more information on creating scripts, see Guide: Writing System.

Consonant Inventory

There are 20 consonants in Lortho and all are strictly pronounced the same regardless of placement.

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Postalveolar Velar Glottal
Plosive   p   pʰ   b   t   tʰ     d   dʰ     k   kʰ          
Nasal   m   mː   n   nː
Tap or Flap ɾ
Fricative f s ʃ h   
Lateral Approximant l lʰ

Vowels and Diphthongs

Vowel Inventory

There are five vowels in Lortho and are strictly pronounced regardless of placement:

Front Near-front Central Near-back Back
Close
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
i • 
 • 
 • u
 • 
 • 
• 
 • 
 • 
 • o
 • 
 • 
ɛ • 
 • 
 • 
 •
 • 
ɑ • 
Near‑close
Close‑mid
Mid
Open‑mid
Near‑open
Open

Diphthongs

There are only four diphthongs in Lortho; one of which is a ligature:

Lortho Diphthongs
Lortho diphthongs

Syllable Structure

The syllable structure is (C)V(V)(C).

Prosody

Stress

There are a few rules that govern stress (with exceptions):

  1. Stress is always on the second to the last syllable of the root or infinitive except:
    • -n verbs will always receive stress on the last syllable of the infinitive or root.
  2. If the word is only two syllables long, then the stress is on the first syllable.
  3. Stress is never given to prefixes or suffixes, except
    • Pluralized nouns will move the stress to the second to the last syllable

Intonation

Under Development

Phonotactics

Consonant Clusters

Consonant cluster onsets and codas are not allowed; however, clusters are allowed in certain adjacent syllables (e.g. CVC.CVC).

Morphophonology

Under Development

Romanized Text

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. From here throughout the rest of this page, the romanized version will be used.

Alphabet
IPA d k l t p ʃ s n m h b f i ɾ
Romanization dh d kh k lh l th t ph p sh s n nn m mm h b f i r
Vowels
IPA ɑ ɛ u o
Romanization a e u o
Diphthongs
IPA ɔɪ
Romanization ai au oi ei

Morphology

Nouns

Gender

Nouns in Lortho have three distinct features:

  1. They are one of three genders: masculine, feminine, or neuter
  2. All nouns are modified to denote case
  3. All nouns end in a vowel
Masculine Feminine Neuter
-i
dharakhi
mountain
-u
dhammu
chair
-a
hadikha
country, land

Exceptions:

There there is one noun that does not follow the above rules for gender (this will increase as Lortho's lexicon grows):

Masculine Feminine Neuter
dhi
water

Grammatical Case

Lortho has ten cases. The vowels in parentheses are added if the word ends in a consonant.

Case Affix Example Translation
Nominative - kansaptha woods, forest
Accusative -(i)me kansapthame forest (direct obj.)
Dative -(i)mela kansapthamela forest (indirect obj.)
Genitive -(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
Vocative fa- Under Development

Personal Possessive

The personal possessive is formed using a prefix which is gender and number specific. We will use the following word:

  1. dhammu n. fem. chair; plural dhammune


Person Singular Plural
1st person nidhammu nudhammu - nimadhammu numadhammu -
2nd person lindhammu lundhammu - nanidhammu nanudhammu -
3rd person lidhammu ludhammu ladhammu limidhammu limudhammu limadhammu

Pluralization

Each noun is pluralized by adding a suffix:

  1. Feminine nouns (-u): simply add the plural ending -ne.
    • Example: kansaphu (n. fem) tree; pl kansaphune
  2. Masculine nouns (-i): subtract the -i and add the plural ending -eni except :
    • Masculine noun roots that end in -n, the plural ending will be changed to -emi.
    • Examples:
    1. olakhi (n. masc) boat; pl olakheni
    2. phorenni (n. masc) peak, summit; pl phoɾennemi
  3. Neuter nouns (-a): simply add the plural ending -ne (many neuter nouns are collective nouns such as hammuna weather)
    • Example: hadikha (n. neut) land, country; pl hadikhane

Verbs

Introduction

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.

Conjugation

Regular Verbs

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.

-o verbs
Present Tense
konpharo [kon.'pʰɑ.ɾo] to speak
root: konphar-
Singular Plural
masc fem neut masc fem neut
1st pers konpharin konpharun - konpharinan konpharunan -
2nd pers konpharanni konpharannu - konpharamin konpharamun -
3rd pers konphari konpharu konphara konpharimi konpharimu konpharima
-t verbs
Present Tense
phramit ['pʰɾɑ.mit] to push
root: phramid-
Singular Plural
masc fem neut masc fem neut
1st pers phramidin phramidun - phramidinan phramidunan -
2nd pers phramidanni phramidannu - phramidamin phramidamun -
3rd pers phramidi phramidu phramida phramidimi phramidimu phramidima
-n verbs
Present Tense
shailan [ʃaɪ.'lɑn] to sit
root: shailan-
Singular Plural
masc fem neut masc fem neut
1st pers shailanin shailanun - shailaninan shailanunan -
2nd pers shailananni shailanannu - shailanamin shailanamun -
3rd pers shailani shailanu shailana shailanimi shailanimu shailanima
Irregular Verbs

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.

Present Tense
harlan [hɑɾ.'lɑn] to be
root: harl-
Singular Plural
masc fem neut masc fem neut
1st pers harlin harlun - harlinan harlunan -
2nd pers harlanni harlannu - harlamin harlamun -
3rd pers harli harlu harla harlimi harlimu harlima

Adjectives

Adjectives behave a little differently from other words in that they:

  1. must be placed in front of the noun which they modify
  2. must agree in gender, but not in number or grammatical case

Syntax

Morphosyntactic Alignment

The morphosyntactic alignment of Lortho is Nominative - Accusative.

Word Order

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.

Word Agreement

The three following rules govern agreement between words:

  1. Verbs must agree in gender and number with the subject (explicit or implied)
  2. Nouns are not pluralized when counted (e.g. there are trees vs there are two tree)
  3. Adjectives must agree with the noun which they modify in gender, but not in grammatical case or number

Example texts

Lortho Sample
Text Translation
kalanune denimanimu kalanune khonaminalo
hana tomidikhimu ma kansapthaina
The people are known as people of the
lanterns and they lived in that forest.
Longer Sample
Text Translation
lharidikhin kansapthanat hana tharnidikhin
dharakhime. konpharinin toshanimela hana
semanikhin, "hankhanin malhiro
danadanar." remedikhi toshani,
"dhamalhirianni danadanar."
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

Resources

Linguistics

Endangered Alphabets - YouTube channel about 14 of the world's writing systems threatened with extinction
International Phonetic Alphabet
Glossika Phonics - YouTube channel for IPA pronunciation
NativLang - YouTube channel about the history of written and spoken language
Omniglot
Online Etymology Dictionary (English)
Reddit: Linguistics
Wikitongues - A not for profit YouTube project to help preserve the world's living languages
World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS)

Constructed Languages

Conlang Atlas of Language Structures (CALS)
Conlang Bulletin Board (CBB)
Conlang Critic - A YouTube vlogger who offers insight on conlangs
Conlang Mailing List
Conlang Relay Museum on CALS
ConWorkShop - an online one-stop-shop for cataloging your conlang
Fiat Lingua - an online archive of conlang articles
Language Creation Society (LCS)
LCS on YouTube
Reddit: Conlangs
Reddit: Neography (Constructed Scripts)
Speculative Grammarian - A satirical periodical on linguistics and conlangery
Zompist Bulletin Board (ZBB)

Lortho

Lortho on CALS
Lortho in the 24th Conlang Relay (8th Position)
Lortho on ConWorkShop
Lortho on FrathWiki

Miscellaneous

Sajem Tan (Common Honey) Collaborative Conlang Discord Server