- 1 Introduction
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Morphology
- 4 Syntax
- 5 Example texts
- 6 Other 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 fusional-agglutinating language. The verbs are conjugated with suffixes and nouns are declined to denote case.
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 alien theme and requested a fictional script. The name of the race on this game is "Lortho" and thus the seed was planted. The author 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.
The people who speak Lortho live on a planetary system which orbits a binary star.
The vowels are written similarly to the vowels seen in Devanagari.
Below is a sample text with the conscript described above.
|[konpʰɑɾin loɾtʰomɛ] I speak Lortho|
There are 21 consonants in Lortho and all are strictly pronounced the same regardless of placement.
|Plosive||p pʰ||b||t tʰ||d dʰ||k kʰ||ʔ|
|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:
The following diphthongs exist in Lortho:
- [aɪ], [aʊ], [eɪ], [ɔɪ]
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.
Lortho is still in development and has not enough information to explain the rules of intonation.
Consonant cluster onsets are not allowed. Consonant cluster codas are allowed only if they are followed by a vowel onset of the next syllable; otherwise, typically codas are a single consonant or vowel.
Nouns in Lortho have three distinct features:
- They are one of three genders: masculine, feminine, or neuter
- All nouns are declined to denote case
- All nouns end in a vowel
Lortho has ten cases.
|Accusative||-mɛ||kɑnsɑptʰɑmɛ||forest (direct obj.)|
|Dative||-mɛlɑ||kɑnsɑptʰɑmɛlɑ||forest (indirect obj.)|
|Genitive||-nɑlo||kɑnsɑptʰɑnɑlo||of the forest|
|Sublative||-ɪnɑ/-ɛnɑ||kɑnsɑptʰaɪnɑ||in/into the forest|
|Ablative||-(ɛ)nɑt||kɑnsɑptʰɑnɑt||out of/from the forest|
|Allative||-dɑn||kɑnsɑptʰɑdɑn||to/towards the forest|
|Prolative||-dɑnɑɾ||kɑnsɑptʰɑdɑnɑɾ||through/via/by way of the forest|
|Instructive||-lɛn||kɑnsɑptʰɑlɛn||using the forest|
|Vocative||fɑ-||still in development|
Personal Possessive Prefix
The personal possessive is formed using a prefix which is gender and number specific.
Each noun is pluralized by gender and in some cases, the plural ending is changed for ease of pronunciation.
- Feminine nouns (-u): simply add the plural ending -nɛ.
- Example: [kɑnsɑpʰu] (n. fem) tree; pl [kɑnsɑpʰunɛ]
- Masculine nouns (-i): subtract the -i and add the plural ending -ɛni except :
- Masculine nouns that end in -ni, the plural ending will be changed to -ɛmi.
- [olɑkʰi] (n. masc) boat; pl [olɑkʰɛni]
- [pʰoɾɛnːi] (n. masc) peak, summit; pl [pʰoɾɛnːɛmi]
- Neuter nouns (-ɑ): simply add the plural ending -nɛ (many neuter nouns are collective nouns such as [hɑmːunɑ] weather)
- Example: [hɑdikʰɑ] (n. neut) land, country; pl [hɑdikʰɑnɛ]
Verbs are conjugated in gender and in number which is all governed by the noun.
| -o verbs [konpʰɑɾo] to speak
verbal root: konpʰɑr
| -t verbs [pʰɾɑmit] to push
verbal root: pʰɾɑmid
| -n verbs [ʃaɪlɑn] to sit|
verbal root: ʃaɪlɑn
|The people are known as people of the lanterns and they lived in that forest.|
In Lortho, the word order is verb, (subject), object. 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 unnecessary except for emphasis. 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
- Nouns are not pluralized when counted
- Adjectives must agree with the noun in gender, but not in grammatical case or number