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Pronounced: /ʒaˈjuʃ/
Timeline and Universe: here and now
Species: humans
Total speakers: 3
Writing system: syllabary
Genealogy: isolate
Basic word order: OVS
Creator: Sara, Yunta, Labas

Jayus /ʒaˈjuʃ/ is a colllang sketch by Sara, Yunta and Labas. The language started out being designed with 2 goals in mind:

  1. It was to be a secret language, used only by the three members of its team.
  2. It was to be easily usable over phone or VoIP calls.

The first goal has since been dropped, and Yúnta has become fairly inactive while Lábas and Sára are participating in conlang relays to flesh out the language.

Phoneme inventory

Bilabial Labiod. Dental Alveolar Post-alv. Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal n
Plosive b d g
Fricative f v θ ð ʃ ʒ χ ʁ
Approximants j
Lateral Approximant l
Front Near-front Central Near-back Back
High i u
Low a


With these small consonant and vowel inventories, Jayus allows quite a bit of free variation in both categories. The following consonants are useable interchangeably:

  • b~p
  • f~ɸ
  • ɡ~k~ɢ~q
  • ʒ
  • l~ɮ~ɹ~ɺ~ɭ~ɻ~ʟ
  • n~m~ɱ~ɳ~ɲ~ŋ~ɴ
  • ʁ~ʀ~ɣ~r~ɾ
  • ʃ~s
  • θ~t~
  • v~w
  • x~χ~h~ç
  • j~ʝ~ɟ
  • ð~z

The bold allophones have actually been used.

In vowels, variation is generally stricter — things like e, ɛ, y, o, ɔ, ə are forbidden, while i~ɪ and u~ʊ. An allophony map is to be added.

Syllable structure

The structure of Jayus syllables can be described in pseudo-awkwords-code as:

  • CV(N) (start of word or midword)
  • CV(M) (last syllable of the word)

with the following parameters:

  • C=b/d/ɡ/n/v/f/ð/θ/ʒ/ʃ/ʁ/χ/j/l
  • M=n/ʃ/l/f/θ/χ
  • N=A nasal consonant /n/ which is homorganic to the following consonant. For example, /ˈjun.θa/ becomes [ˈjun̪.θa] or [ˈjun̪.t̪θa].
  • V=a/i/u


Jayus has a featural syllabary.


More commonly, Jayus is simply written in the Latin alphabet. Each letter represents one phoneme:

  • <a> /a/
  • <b> /b/
  • <d> /d/
  • <f> /f/
  • <g> /ɡ/
  • <i> /i/
  • <j> /ʒ/
  • <l> /l/
  • <n> /n/
  • <r> /ʁ/
  • <s> /ʃ/
  • <t> /θ/
  • <u> /u/
  • <v> /v/
  • <x> /χ/
  • <y> /j/
  • <z> /ð/

When mixing Latin-mode Jayus into texts in other languages written in the Latin alphabet, it is surrounded by pseudo-angular brackets (less-than and greater-than signs, “<” and “>”).


The basic word order is object-verb-subject.

A notable feature of Jayus is its lack of first and second person pronouns. Since Jayus was originally intended as a secret language to only be spoken by the three members of its team, their names are never replaced by a pronoun, but frequently dropped. Someone who is involved with the Jayus language may choose a Jayus name for themself and enter it into the vocabulary. If someone does not have a Jayus name, they are always addressed by <Li> “he/she” and never by another name.

Jayus uses reduplication for multiple purposes. A word is always reduplicated in its entirety, except if its last syllable has a coda. For example, <Jani> becomes <Janijani>, but <Jayus> becomes <Jayujayus>.

  • A reduplicated noun indicates plural.
  • A reduplicated adjective indicates superlative.

Adjectives are placed after the noun. The comparative is formed by simply placing the noun to be compared to after the adjective. For example, <Li tu yunta> could be translated as “that which is taller than Yunta”.


Every word in the vocabulary is a word root. There are several suffixes for word classes. The word root is normally used by itself, but the implied word class can be explicitly expressed using a suffix for added clarity.


  • Bánrul — (adjective) broad, wide
  • Baxú — (verb) to go, to walk, etc.
  • Bilánru — (noun) river
  • Bindá — (noun) day
  • Birás — (verb) to answer
  • Bit — generic locative marker
  • Bun — speech marker
  • Dánda — (numeral) one
  • Dándul — (name) Lars Finsen who translated the relay 19 torch into Suraetua
  • Dazánga — (numeral) much/many
  • Dilú (noun) valley
  • Faví — (verb) to wonder
  • Fíbu — (verb) can, to be able
  • Firanbú — (noun) future
  • Fis — (adjective) happy
  • Fu — (numeral) two
  • Fúnda — (noun) past
  • Gadíju — (locative marker) across
  • Gíjal — (numeral) few
  • Gíju — (noun) rock/stone
  • Gúran — (temporal marker) past
    • Gúragúran — (temporal marker) distant past
  • Jáni — (verb) to greet, also used as an actual greeting (“hello”)
  • jayús — (noun) language
    • -fas — (verb) to say
  • Jínlan — (name) Sarah Hertrampf who provided the lines for the bird and the stone in the relay 19 torch
  • Jiríf — question particle
  • Júlux — (noun) tree
  • Júnyu — (verb) to agree
  • Júrada — (verb) to see
  • Labás — (name) Fenhl
  • Lanjú — (verb) to leave
  • Láril — (verb) to be, immutable like Spanish “ser”
  • Linfúna — (noun) body
    • -dúra — soul
  • Li — (pronoun) 3rd person singular (“he, she, it”)
    • Lili — (pronoun) 3rd person plural (“they”)
  • Lizánan — (noun) hill
  • Na — (adjective) genitive marker
  • Nagát — (adjective) over there
  • Nix — negative, no
  • Nixánu — never
  • Níza — (adjective) good
  • Nuníf — (adjective) the other
  • Núvu — bye
  • Ranári — (noun) nouse
  • Rasadáx — (noun) insect
  • Raxúva — (verb) to know
  • Rínza — (locative marker) to/towards
  • Rúnga — (noun) grain
  • Sa — yes
  • Sasa — yes as a reply to a negative statement or question, like «si» in French or „doch“ in German
  • Sára — (name) Deathcat13
  • Sus — and (joins phrases)
  • Táli — (temporal marker) future
  • Tánbi — all
  • Tanbíxanu — always
  • Tivás — (adjective) the same
  • Tu — (adjective) tall
  • Túru — (verb) to return
  • Tux — (verb) to be, mutable like Spanish “estar”
  • Vásaxu — (noun) slope
  • Víndu — (noun) grass
  • Visás — (locative marker) on
  • Vu — (noun) uncountable mass
  • Xánu — (noun) time
  • Yarisí — (noun) year
  • Yúnta — (name) Nina one of the team members
  • Yutíra — (adjective) green
  • Yúxi — (verb) to hear
  • Zizú — (verb) to wish
  • Zínva — (verb) to fly
    • -tári — bird


  • -dúra — abstract noun
  • -fas — verb
  • -lif — adjective 2 (property)
  • -tári — animal
  • -vun — state verb

Example texts

For an example text, see the Conlang Relay 19 torch.