|Conworld:||A circumbinary planet|
|Genealogical classification:||under development|
|Basic word order:||Verb-Subject-Object|
|Brian Bourque||March 2017|
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Phonology
- 2.1 Orthography
- 2.2 Consonant Inventory
- 2.3 Vowels and Diphthongs
- 2.4 Syllable Structure
- 2.5 Prosody
- 2.6 Phonotactics
- 2.7 Morphophonology
- 2.8 Romanized Text
- 3 Morphology
- 4 Syntax
- 5 Example texts
- 6 Resources
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.
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.
|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.
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.
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
The vowels are written similarly to the vowels seen in Devanagari. Each vowel (except [i]) are attached to the preceding consonant forming ligatures.
Below is a sample text with the conscript described above.
|konpharin lorthome I speak Lortho|
For more information on creating scripts, see Guide: Writing System.
There are 20 consonants in Lortho and all are strictly pronounced the same regardless of placement.
|Plosive||p pʰ||b||t tʰ||d dʰ||k kʰ|
|Nasal||m mː||n nː|
|Tap or Flap||ɾ|
|Lateral Approximant||l lʰ|
Vowels and Diphthongs
There are five vowels in Lortho and are strictly pronounced regardless of placement:
There are only four diphthongs in Lortho; one of which is a ligature:
The syllable structure is (C)V(V)(C).
There are a few rules that govern stress (with exceptions):
- 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.
- If the word is only two syllables long, then the stress is on the first syllable.
- Stress is never given to prefixes or suffixes, except
- Pluralized nouns will move the stress to the second to the last syllable
Consonant cluster onsets and codas are not allowed; however, clusters are allowed in certain adjacent syllables (e.g. CVC.CVC).
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.
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 is one noun that does 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.
|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|
- dhammu n. fem. chair; plural dhammune
Each noun is pluralized by adding a suffix:
- Feminine nouns (-u): simply add the plural ending -ne.
- Example: kansaphu (n. fem) tree; pl kansaphune
- 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.
- olakhi (n. masc) boat; pl olakheni
- phorenni (n. masc) peak, summit; pl phoɾennemi
- 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 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.
| konpharo [kon.'pʰɑ.ɾo] to speak|
| phramit ['pʰɾɑ.mit] to push|
| 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|
Adjectives behave a little differently from other words in that they:
- must be placed in front of the noun which they modify
- must agree in gender, but not in number or grammatical case
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.
The three following rules govern agreement between words:
- Verbs must agree in gender and number with the subject (explicit or implied)
- Nouns are not pluralized when counted (e.g. there are trees vs there are two tree)
- Adjectives must agree with the noun which they modify in gender, but not in grammatical case or number
| 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
International Phonetic Alphabet
Glossika Phonics - YouTube channel for IPA pronunciation
NativLang - YouTube channel about the history of written and spoken language
Online Etymology Dictionary (English)
Wikitongues - A not for profit YouTube project to help preserve the world's living languages
World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS)
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
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Fiat Lingua - an online archive of conlang articles
Language Creation Society (LCS)
LCS on YouTube
Reddit: Neography (Constructed Scripts)
Speculative Grammarian - A satirical periodical on linguistics and conlangery
Zompist Bulletin Board (ZBB)