Vas'hehr

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Typology

Vas'hehr is a mildly agglutinative language with default VSO word order and little or no inflection. Application of singular and plural suffixes are optional, and grammatical gender is largely restricted to pronouns. The language has four primary linguistic registers: formal, informal, intimate, and authoritative.

History

Meta History

This project was my first conlang. It began as Senetari Shuril, then became Kalyeshur and closer to something worthwhile, then became Vas'hehr, a fully cultural language with a large number of revisions in store.

Several later conlangs have roots in Vas'hehr and its vocabulary, perhaps as loanwords, perhaps as actual descendants. One of my goals is to re-develop Vas'hehr to the point that I can use it as a protolang and be satisfied with a final-revised form.

In-World History

Vas'hehr was the cultural native language of the Shuril people with ample borrowings from the somewhat creolized Senetari Shuril, "common language of the Shuril".

Phonology

Vowels

Vas'hehr has a large vowel inventory of 13 monophthongs and 8 diphthongs. Breathy-voiced vowels are noted in native orthography with a digraph, checked vowels with a diacritic. Despite phonemic minimal pairs, speakers consider it a seven-vowel system with additional diphthongs: a, e, i, o, u, y (ai), and y (ɪ).

Vowels
front / unrounded central / unrounded back / rounded
SHORT LONG SHORT LONG SHORT LONG
checked modal breathy modal breathy checked modal breathy modal breathy checked modal breathy modal breathy
close í [ĭ] i [i] i̤ [i̤] i~ [i:] i̤~ [i̤:] ú [ŭ] u [u] ṳ [ṳ] u~ [u:] ṳ~ [ṳ:]
near close y [ɪ] y̤ [ɪ̤]
mid ei [e] e~ [e:] e̤~ [e̤:] r [ɚ] ó [ŏ̞] o [o̞] o̤ [o̞ʱ] o~ [o̞:] o̤~ [o̞ʱ:]
near open é [ɛ̆] e [ɛ] e̤ [ɛ̤]
open á [ä̆] a [ä] a̤ [a̤] a~ [ä:] a̤~ [a̤:]
Diphthongs oral ai [aɪ̯], iý [iɪ̭], uy [ei̯], y [ai̯], y̤ [a̤i̯]
nasal aì [ãi̯], aè [ãɛ̯], eì [ẽi̯], oì [õi̯]

The letter "r" is both a syllabic in post-consonantal word-final positions and a consonantal approximant in this language. The other two rhotics do not have syllabic forms.

Checked vowels are called "clipped" by speakers and sound as though clipped by a glottal stop. There is no difference in phonation for the breathy-voiced "o" and other breathy-voiced vowels. You just can't see the breathy-voice diacritic on it, so I used the other one.

Pronunciations of diphthongs do not always carefully preserve distinctions. Very similar sounds may be pronounced the same but are orthographically separate and have not merged in all conditions.

Consonants

Vas'hehr has 31 consonants.

Authorial Note: Non-tenuis sibilants and labial plosives are subject to change, as I've been working on the analysis to see how much is "historical" and how much currently in the language.

Phonemic Consonants
Labial Alveolar Post-Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
nasal m n (ɲ)
plosive / affricate ejective (p') k'
fortis p t k q
lenis b d g
fricative geminate s: ʃ:
fortis f s ʃ ʂ̻ x h
lenis v z ʒ (ʂ̺)
approximant central ɺ ɻ j w
lateral ɭ
flap rhotic ɾ
non-rhotic l

Consonants in parentheses are allophones. The allophonic "ɲ" occurs after a nasal diphthong. The retroflex "s" is an allophone of short "s", whereas the retroflex "sh" contrasts phonemically with the short and geminate "sh".

The phoneme "ʒ" can sometimes be realized as a retroflex. The non-rhotic alveolar flap can be realized as central or lateral.