|Timeline and Universe:||Lorech|
|Spoken:|| National language in: Κέμεστον Ιόλενυ (Kémeston Iólenu)
|Genealogy:|| Alumair languages
|Basic word order:||OSV is the most common in most contexts.|
The Ioleni language (Ιόλενι - /ˈʝo̞le̞ni/) - which is sometimes referred to inaccurately as Olenic – is the most commonly spoken Olenic language in Lorech, and is one of the languages of Lorech with the longest attested history. A modern descendant of the ancient Alumair languages that developed in the Iolen isles, it is still spoken in the Kemeston Iolenu by 900,000 people. It is more widely spoken in the Ioleni diaspora – it is one of the four official languages of Ochrís (alongside Ochrocelinese, Okri and Ochrish), spoken by around 7 million there, and by an additional 5 million in Teilaro and Olldair. There are sizeable Iolenophone communities in a number of other nations too, particularly in the central Northern hemisphere.
"Ioleni" comes from the Ancient Alumair word for island, οͅλεν /joːlen/ (Modern Ioleni: όλον /ˈo̞ːlo̞n/); this is due to the fact that Ioleni was the form of Ancient Alumair that developed and diverged in the Xedor archipelago after it was populated by Alumair people, one of several "Olenic" (also from island) variants that emerged during Alumair expansion. The continental Alumair language died - and the nation of Alumair got absorbed into Modern day Olldair - but the island varieties survived. Ioleni and Oleni variants - as spoken on the Old Alumair Peninsulas - are largely mutually comprehensible, but variants spoken in the diaspora are becoming more and more distant from one another, both in terms of vocabulary, grammar and phonology - partially due to the influence of neighbouring languages. This article will mostly concentrate on Ioleni as it is spoken in the Xedor Peninsula.
|Lateral Approximant||l ɫ|
The consonant inventory of Ioleni is quite considerably divergent from that of some other Olenic languages. One notable difference is the survival of voiced plosives solely at the beginning of words - elsewhere, they become fricatives. Compare γε̣νυο (foreign - pronounced [ge̞nɫo̞]) with λέγνα (untruth - [ˈle̞ːɣnæ]). In Modern Ioleni, /b/ has disappeared, replaced in all positions by /v/.
The semivocalic /j/ and /w/ in other dialects have been replaced by /ʝ/ and /ɫ/ respectively - /ɥ/ is still extant.
There are a fair few allophones. As well as the voiceless plosives to voiced fricatives mentioned above, /v/ has the intervocal allophone /ʋ/, and /ʀ/ is pronounced /ʁ/ in final position,.
The vowel system of Ioleni is quite simpler than that of other Olenic languages - compare its seven phonemic vowels to the fourteen of some others in the language branch, which have a different vowel for stressed and unstressed vowels; for instance, the pairs /ɛ/ and /e/, /ɔ/ and /o/ in Tysom Neo-Olenic are merged to /e̞/ and /o̞/ in Ioleni by most speakers (though, in the diaspora, the split is common). One curiosity is the pronunciation of <α> - pronounced as stressed /a/ and unstressed /ɐ/ in most other Olenic languages, it is pronounced /ɒ/ - except in word-final position, where it is /æ/ in Ioleni.
One feature that Ioleni has that other Olenic languages don't is vowel nasalisation. If a vowel is marked with an underdot, it is pronounced nasally: compare ολύ [o̞ˈluː] (every in the singular) with its plural oλύͅν [o̞ˈlũːn].
Generally, stress is prosodic: the stress falls on the last syllable of a phrase or clause. If acute accented vowels appear in the clause, stress falls on each acute-accented vowel and on the last syllable of the clause.
|Orthography||Pronunciation and notes|
|Αα||Pronounced /ɒ/ - except for at the end of words, where it is /æ/.|
|Εε||Pronounced /e̞/ generally – though some speakers may pronounce it as /ɛ/ or /e/ instead.|
|Ηη||/ɨ/ - though some speakers do not make a distinction between the sounds of H and I.|
|Οο||/o̞/ - though sometimes pronounced as /ɔ/ or /o/|
Consonants and semi-vowels
|Orthography||Pronunciation and notes|
|Β β||Pronounced /v/, except between vowels, where it is /ʋ/ - though many speakers have moved towards /v/ in all positions.|
|Γ γ||/g/ initial and /ɣ/ elsewhere. Some pronounce <g> initial before e, i and y as /ɣ/ too. <γγ> is used to represent /g/ in other positions.|
|Δ δ||/d/ initial, /ð/ elsewhere. <δδ> is used to represent /d/ in other positions.|
|Ζ ζ||/z/ (pronounced /dz/ and even /s/ in some dialects).|
|Ι ι||When a semi-vowel, /ʝ/.|
|Κ κ||/k/. Some dialects see a change to /c/ or /ç/ before e, i and y.|
|Ρ ρ||Diverges considerably. In the Kemeston itself, it is /ʀ/ with /ʁ/ in final position. In the diaspora, it is usually /r/.|
|Ϲ, ϲ||Pronounced /ç/. Also written as <ς> by some speakers.|
|Υ υ||When a semi-vowel, /ɫ/|
|Χ χ||Ranges from /x/ to /χ/, to even /ʁ/.|
There are four principal diacritics used in Modern Ioleni. The first is the acute accent, which traditionally denoted that the vowel is stressed and pronounce long, such as in the example δέ̣ρι /ˈde̞ːʀi/. In the diaspora, it is not uncommon for acuted vowels to be pronounced long or stressed, but not both - Ioleni in Elitho would pronounce the example /ˈdɛɾi/.
The second is the diaeresis, used to divide two vowels: e.g. τρεϊσσιρ is pronounced [tʀe̞ˈisːiʀ], rather than [tʀe̞isːir].
Thirdly, the underdot that nasalised vowels - ηρω̣μ /ɨʀũm/ - and denotes an unpronounced consonant in writings in the acrolect - beauty, pronounced [ˈlyːno̞θ] is written λώνοθ by most, but λώνοθτ̣ by academics and in some publications.
The fourth is the subscript i, which inserts a <j> or <ʝ> between the vowel and the consonant that precedes it. λᾳρα - silence - is pronounced [lʝɒʀæ].