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1.1  Synchronic view

1.1.1  Consonant inventory

These are the consonants of Talmit:

 labial & & c.velar & c.glottal
plosivep, b [p, b]t, d [t, d]k, g [k, g] 
affricate θ, tl, dl [ʧ, t͡ɬ, d͡l]  
fricativeϕ [f]s, z, hj [s, z, ç]χ [x]h [h]
nasalm [m]n [n]n [ŋ] 
liquid l, r, hl, hr [l, ɾ, ɬ, r̥]  
approximantw, hw [w, ʍ]j [j]  


In final position, only the dentals r, l, s, n, t are permitted (similar to Finnish, Ancient Greek and Quenya).

Talmic scholars distinguish three types of sounds: obstruents, sonorants and vowels. Obstruents are called baχómnemit, lit. ’pillar-sounds’, while sonorants are called kwepleχómnemit ’twine-sounds’ for their ability to easily combine with the former. To the baχómnemit belong the stops and fricatives p, t, k, b, d, g, ϕ, θ, χ. To the kwepleχómnemit belong l, r, w, j, s. The sounds z, m have a dual role and belong to both groups.

1.1.2  Vowel inventory

Talmit has five to six vowel phonemes and seven to nine quantities. There are no long vowels.

i [i] ι [ɨ] u [u]
 e [ε, æ] o [ɔ] 
  a [a] 

More properly, e is halfway between [ε] and [e], and o is halfway between [ɔ] and [o] (as in Spanish). The realization of e as [æ] only appears in the combinations ae, ea [aæ, æa].
For many speakers, stressed e and o are more closed, thus tébne ’theory, concept’ tends towards [’tebnε] rather than [’tεbnε] and kódro ’wheel’ tends towards [’kodrɔ] rather than [’kɔdrɔ].

The vowel ι should perhaps not be counted as a separate phoneme, as it appears as modification of either i or u, especially in jι, wι for *ji, *wu. A common phenomenon across languages is the palatalization of consonants before [i] or [j] – Japanese /si/ and /ti/ are for instance realized as [ɕi], [tɕi], not to mention what Polish and Czech do to /r/ before /i/. Talmit speakers take a completely different approach here and just change the vowel to ι [ɨ], so that only sι, zι and are permitted (which is reflected in the transcription unless I forget about it). Some dialects go all the way, and pronounce [i] as [ɨ] after velars as well (kι, gι, χι), simultaneously fronting *kj, *gj, *khj > [ʦ, z, ʧ] and thereby eliminating any palatalized allophones.

The diphthongs are:

 ιu, ιi ui
  au, ai 

Some speakers distingush iu from ιu, but this has become very archaic.

1.1.3  Vowel mutations

In verbal conjugations and word derivation, several vowel-altering processes are employed: i-infixion, u-infixion and a-infixion. They change the vowels in the following fashion:


where eo, ea, ae, ao are dissyllabic. Colloquially, ae is often pronounced as ai or metathesized to ea, but educated speakers influenced by the spelling prescribe ae as the ”correct” sound.

When appending some endings containing e, one finds e-umlaut which changes high and low vowels to mid:


The historical process is called evening-out, see 1.2.3.

1.1.4  Stress

Stress generally remains on the root syllable in Talmit, but can shift to the penultimate in long words. Details are too boring to present; it suffices to say that it is explicitly marked on every polysyllabic word by an acute (unless I forget about it).

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