This post always contains the most recent update of Iriex. Later posts in the thread may be reffering to things that have since changed.1 Phonology1.1 Inventories
Note: These charts are currently incomplete.1.2 Diphthongs
Iriex only contains closing diphthongs.
Diphthongs may only form between two short vowels or a long and a short vowel. The latter case is then realised as a 'long diphthong'.
A sequence of a more closed vowel to a more open vowel, or of two long vowels, is pronounced with a hiatus between each vowel.1.3 Syllable Structure and Phonotactics
Iriex has a syllable structure consisting of an optional consonantal onset, a mandatory vocalic nucleus and an optional consonantal coda with no special restrictions on the occurrence of any permissible syllable structure, which the exception that all free root-morphemes must contain at least one consonant.
Open syllables with a short monophthong as a nucleus are considered ‘light syllables’ and are monomoraic, whereas closed syllables or syllables containing a long monophthong or any diphthong as a nucleus are considered ‘heavy’ and are bimoraic; this becomes important when determining the location of the accent.
Lone intervocalic consonants are always analysed as being in onset position.
Iriex’s syllable structure disallows word initial and word final consonant clusters; it also disallows word internal clusters of more than two consonants. However, morphological processes may cause these illegal clusters to occur; should this be the case, elision of one of the consonants in the cluster will take place, following a strict hierarchy: rhotics elide first, followed by laterals, nasals, fricatives and then plosives.
If all consonants are of equal ‘rank’, then the right-most consonant in the cluster will be elided.
Glottal fricatives may never appear in coda position. Morphological processes that force this to occur cause it to become the glottal stop, before voiced consonants, or become preaspiration of succeeding unvoiced consonants.
Glottal stops may only appear once within a single syllable. Morphological processes that force this to occur cause the onset stop to become the glottal fricative.1.4 Allophony and Clustering
When two identical vowels occur next to each other within a word for any reason, elision of the second vowel takes place. When this occurs across a word boundary, both vowels are pronounced with a brief hiatus between them.
Similarly, homophonic consonants occurring in adjacent positions within a word cause elision of the second consonant. When this occurs across a word boundary, the consonants merge to form a single geminate.
An alveolar nasal preceding a velar plosive across a syllable boundary becomes a velar nasal.
A velar plosive becomes a uvular plosive when following a uvular fricative.
Uvular fricatives following alveolar nasals, plosives or fricatives, or following velar plosives become velar fricatives.
Alveolar trills followed by uvular fricatives 'merge' into unvoiced uvular trills.
Word final alveolar trills preceded by long vowels, or coda alveolar trills that are preceded by a long vowel and succeeded by an unvoiced or devoiced consonant, become devoiced.
Any plosive followed by a nasal across a syllable boundary exhibits a nasal release and causes the nasal to become devoiced.
Alveolar lateral approximants following alveolar stops become unvoiced alveolar lateral fricatives.
Plosives are always aspirated provided they precede a vowel.
Plosives followed by homorganic or near homorganic fricatives across a syllable boundary merge to form an affricate. These affricates aspirate in the same environments as plosives.
Non-accent bearing vowels preceded by any consonant that has lost its voicing due to another morphological process will itself become devoiced.1.5 Harmony
Words in Iriex are required to harmonise vocalically.
There are no stems in Iriex containing back and front vowels together.
If a word stem contains either of the back vowels, then attached suffixes cannot contain a front vowel; they may only contain central vowels or more back vowels.
Similarly, suffixes attaching to stems containing no back vowels can only contain central vowels or front vowels.
Each suffix therefore has two separate forms, a back- and a front-form. The vowels in these separate forms are paired such that if the front-form of the suffix contains the either of the vowels [ i y ] then the back-form contains [ u ] and vice versa (which pairing is used must simply be memorised on an individual basis).
Similarly, if the suffix contains [ e ] in the front-form, then it contains [ ɑ ] in the back-form and vice versa.
If a word contains neither front nor back vowels but takes a suffix with alternate front or back forms, then the back form is used; it is the default.
Compounds are the only occasion where disharmonious vowels may exist within a 'single' word; in this case, suffixes harmonise with the morpheme to which they are attached.
The central vowel is referred to as the middle vowel. Front and back vowels are referred to as slender and broad vowels respectively, by extension, words that take the slender forms of morphemes are referred to as slender and words that take the broad forms are referred to as broad.
As words containing only the middle vowel take the broad forms of attached morphemes, they are also referred to as broad words.1.6 Romanisation and Orthography
The following Romanisation of the Iriex language is for the convenience of real-world readers only; it does not exist in the universe of which Iriex is a part.
Long vowels are represented with a digraph consisting of the short vowel twice. i.e. <o> is [ ɑ ] so <oo> is [ ɑː ].
Syllables carrying a low tone bear a grave accent over the vowel. The high tone is unmarked and its identification is explained elsewhere. Only the first letter in a digraph carries the grave.
While Romanised, Iriex follows the standard punctuation rules for the RP dialect of the English language. To avoid confusion, a space should be left between a glottal stop and an apostrophe or quotation marks.
As the glottal stop lacks its own majuscule form, the letter following it should be capitalised when the glottal stop would normally be required to do so.Romanisation
Note: The linked chart is currently incomplete.
Iriex is written using a logo-syllabary, using a set of characters for full words or concepts in addition to separate characters for each vowel and each CV combination. In the case of the latter, a null vowel diacritic is used to indicate that the vowel normally represented by the character should be ignored; this allows coda consonants to be represented without potential confusion.
Accents are also represented orthographically.
A simplified pictorial representation of an object is used for each character.
It is worth noting that the pronunciation of an Iriex morpheme will alter in certain environments. While this is represented orthographically when romanised, these are allomorphs and are not represented orthographically in the Iriex syllabary.1.7 Accent and Intonation
Iriex has a left-edge pitch accent system, where at most one syllable in a word carries one of two contrasting tones; high and low.
The accented syllable must be one of the first two within the word, the heavier of the two receiving the tone.
If both syllables are of equal weight, the tone defaults to the initial syllable.
The high tone is realised as a high-to-mid falling tone, whereas the low tone is realised as a mid-to-low falling tone.
Certain monosyllabic words, such as articles and numerals, need not be accented in fast speech.2 Nouns2.1 Cases
Iriex is a head marking language in noun phrases but a dependant marking language in verb phrases.
The subject of an active sentence takes a suffix indicating it is in the nominative case.
For noun stems ending in <k x>, this suffix is <-os>. All other stems take <-ox>.
Direct objects take a suffix indicating that they are in the accusative case.
Noun stems ending in <t> takes the suffix <-os> while all others take <-ot>.
Indirect objects take the suffix <-an> to indicate that they are in the dative case.
While these allophonic variants are noted in the Romanisation, this is not the case for Iriex's native orthography.2.2 Number
Iriex's number system is trivially simple, distinguishing only two levels of number, singular (one) and plural (more than one).
The plural indicator is the suffix <-p>, applied to the stem before the case marking is applied.2.3 Pronouns and Animacy
Pronouns denote person and animacy and take the nominative and accusative cases as other nouns do.
Animate nouns include gods, beings, spirits (excluding wisps), animals (excluding small invertebrates and the like) and water.
All other nouns fall under the inanimate class.
3INM <ra->2.4 Possession
Nouns fall into two classes relating to possession; those optionally possessed, such as jewellery or a home, and those obligatorily possessed, such as body parts or relatives.
Those nouns that fall into the latter category must be described as having a possessor. i.e. "There lies a severed arm." is incorrect; the sentence must be "There lies someone's severed arm." or similar.
Nouns of the former category need not be described as having an owner, thus "That's a house." and "That's someone's house." are both correct.
Possession is indicated by a suffix on the possessed noun that agrees in person and animacy with the possessor. This suffix appears after all other suffixes.