Happy March, and congratulations to Avlönskt and Xynder, our new LotM. Xynder is our very first LotM winner that is a mixed language - part a priori, part a posteriori, and allllll very Avlönskt. Let's learn some, shall we?
Xynder has a rather hefty inventory of sounds, crawling with 36 phonemic consonants and and at least 25 phonemic vowels - and did I mention that many of them have allophones? Being designed to look and sound Germanic, many voiceless stops are aspirated, and front rounded vowels abound. There are also tons of fricatives, scattered at almost every point of articulation, only bilabial being without a fricative at its disposal.
Vowels are diverse and all over the spectrum, with many (but not all) coming in long-short pairs. Most interestingly, and something not too commonly seen, does Xynder have /ə:/ but only [ə] as an allophone.
And for the first time, we can talk about syllable structure! Being that Avlönskt kindly already outlined it, here ya go:
P - Any plosive.
S - Any fricative
C - Any plosive or fricative or any digraph used to created any of the latter.
L - Any liquid consonant or <n>.
J - Any approximant, liquid consonant, or non-syllable vowel.
N - Any nasal consonant
V - Any vowel or vowel blend where the second vowel is higher and/or more advanced than the first.
L is never <l> when preceded by a coronal plosive or palatal consonant and is never <r> when preceded by a coronal fricative or dorsal consonant. It can also be <n> when preceded by coronal fricatives or velar plosives.
P can only be when C is a fricative and can only be proceeded by <t> when it's a <k> though can be <t> itself.
J cannot be <r> when proceeded by a dorsal consonant and cannot be <l> when proceeded by a palatal consonant.
N must match the place of articulation as the consonants that proceed it.
There is a ton to be said about phonology in Xynder, which you can study here.
Xynder inflects nouns, verbs, adjectives, and pronouns in varying degrees of complexity.
Verbs are refreshingly simple and complex at the same time - Xynder really only distinguishes past and non-past for tenses, which with the three persons/two numbers gives 12 forms (plus the extraneous forms for mood/derivation, though there are only three: infinitive, imperative, and past participle). Much like any good Germanic language, Xynder does have stem changes (I mean ablaut, my experience with Romance languages belies me) that occur from past to non-past, for example in the verb skönsel, to eat, shifts from ö in the non-past to a in the past. Stolen from one of Avlönskt's articles, these changes (orthographically) are:
A is umlauted to AE or the short E
AE and E are rounded to Ö
EU and A are lowered to Ö
I is rounded to EU
IJ and UI become Ä and Ö respectively
O is umlauted to Ö
U is umlauted to EU
Y is rounded to U or the short EU
Ö is lowered to A
Nouns come in four cases and two numbers (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive; singular and plural) and decline differently dependent on gender: masculine and neuter act as one class, feminine as another. Adjectives, however, treat masculine and feminine as one common gender, while neuter is treated as its own separate class.
Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Xynder that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Hate my guts and want to tell me? Feel free to shoot me (argyle) a PM with your thoughts, suggestions, and hate mail. Also feel free to drop by the LotM clan if you have other feedback, want to join in the voting process, or nominate a language!