|Pronounced:|| Native: /ʃi.təːʟ/|
|Timeline and Universe:||Alternate Earth|
|Morphological type:||Somewhat Isolating|
|Basic word order:||Typically VSO|
|Creator:||Thrice Xandvii | ✎|
Śitaal has 22 consonants and 7 distinct vowels (if you include the syllabic rhotic). It also has a system that was once phonemic tone, but is now most commonly seen as combination of phonational qualities and vowel lengths.
|Nasal||m /m/||n /n/||ń /ɲ/||ŋ (ng) /ŋ/|
|Plosive||b /b/||t /t/||k /k/|
|d /d/||g /g/|
|Fricative||v /β/ ~ [ɸ]||s /s/||ś /ʃ/||h /x/ ~ [ɣ]|
|z /z/||ź /ʒ/|
|Affricate||bv /b͜β/ ~ [p͜ɸ]||ts /t͜s/||tś /t͜ʃ/|
|dz /d͜z/||dź /d͜ʒ/|
|Approximant||l /ɺ/||ll (ļ) /ʟ/|
|High||i /i/||a /ə/||u /ɯ/|
|Middle||e /e/||o /ɔ/|
|Low||ạ /æ/ ~ [a]|
|Approximant||ŗ (r) /ɹ̩/ ~ [ɚ]|
|Tone||a /ə/ ~ [ə˦]||ã /ə̰/ ~ [ə˥˩]||aa /əː/ ~ [ə˨˩˦]|
Tones in Shitullian are not always rendered strictly as tone. Some speakers use length and different phonation qualities to render the same phonemic distinctions for which others would use more traditional tonal contours. Falling tone (which may also be a low tone in some dialects), when pronounced this way, is seen as a creaky-voiced phonation while the dipping tone would exist as increased vowel length with no presence of tone or alternate phonation. A syllable with a level tone in this situation would be "plain," that is with no noticeable alternate phonation and an unlengthened vowel.
The building of a syllable in modern Shitullian is governed by this basic expression: (C)V(K)τ, where V is any vowel, C is any consonant, K is any velar consonant. Finally, τ stands for the tone applied to that syllable.
The system of stress is one of weight governed on the moraic level. By that, it is meant that a syllable can only be stressed if it is the heaviest syllable in the word, or else is the backmost heavy syllable in the word (should there be multiple of the same weight). Heavy, here, means that the syllable has the most morae. In addition, a noun class suffix, or a separable verb suffix will never receive stress.
Morae are counted in Shitullian according to the following system:
- A bare vowel or an initial consonant and vowel count as a single mora
- Coda consonants add one additional mora
- Long vowels count as an additional mora
- Creaky voiced phonation adds an additional ½ mora (due to it relating to a tonal contour vs. a level tone)
Due to this system, many stressed syllables will either end in a coda consonant or contain a long vowel.
One of the most marked places of allophonic variation in Shitullian, is with the "tones." At this point, it might be more accurate to describe them instead as plain, long and creaky voiced vowels. However, they can also be described as high level tone, a falling tone, and a "dipping" tone akin to the third tone in Mandarin.
- If /ɲi/ would occur, it is instead pronounced as [ɲə]. (This change does not result in a change in spelling.) Other consonants in the "palatal" group do not have similar synchronic changes.
- The "vowel" [ɹ̩] alternates with [ɚ] depending upon if that syllable is stressed and the position in the word, when in unstressed initial or final position [ɚ] surfaces. However, in all other cases, the sound remains [ɹ̩].
The native script is called Tśaaśuŋ (interpreted as "paper-speak" and anglicized as Chaashung). Chaashung is similar to an abugida, except that a letter's location can impact the status of its inherent vowel, and separate glyphs exist to represent the vowels in isolation as well as to write a long vowel. The following table lists all of the glyphs used to write Shitullian and their meaning as bare phonemes.
Chaashung is ordinarily written in two horizontal rows from left to right. Consonants have an inherent vowel, a. In order to over-ride that vowel, a sign can be added to indicate what vowel stands in its place. There are two types of signs: strong signs, and weak signs. Strong signs are always written above the consonant glyph that is affected and never change positions. However, weak signs are generally written below the consonant glyph. That is, except when that syllable contains a following coda consonant. In that case, the weak sign is instead written above the consonant glyph. It is that movement that distinguishes weak and strong signs. (Also, in general, weak signs are simpler in appearance.) Each vowel, except the inherent a, has a sign to indicate it. The following table uses the "null" glyph to illustrate which vowels take which signs.
There is one way in which Chaashung is a defective script. That way is that tone is underspecified in the written language. Only long vowels are indicated, whereas the falling/creaky tone is never noted. This is rarely confusing, as context is usually sufficient to determine what is meant. (This is shown in the first example below.)
The following are a series of words and phrases written in Shitullian script.
Śitaall-ńạśe is spelled in Chaashung as in the above sample.
And ollńa sạ̃-tsaamũ (which means "(There) exists a phrase/sentence") is written above.
tuukõ·nạh — (n. cl:S) stone, rock
tśạạll·u — (n. cl:Æ) bird, ptero-
Nouns in Shitullian all have what is referred to as a "separable suffix" appended to them. These suffixes do not carry (much) inherent meaning, but are loosely tied to the remnants of a much older (and more complex) noun class system. There are 15 total suffixes that make up this category. Whenever a noun is incorporated into a verb (among some other occasions) the separable suffix is dropped. The table to the right is grouped into columns based on to which noun class each suffix now refers, but they are not completely uniform and there are exceptions.
Also of note, is that when a noun is used as a personal name, the suffix is also dropped. However, should someone wish to be very formal and respectufl, it may be re-added only if it agrees with the person's preferred gender where solid generally refers to males, liquid generally refers to females, and aether could refer to either.
Shitullian nouns are inherently collective in number. Should a single entity of something need to be referred to, a singulative (sgv) suffix must be added between the stem, and the separable suffix. What this means, is that the noun tuukõ·nạh, it does not simply mean "stone" but rather, "stones" in general. Should one single rock or stone be meant, for example in: "he flung a rock with his sling" the singulative suffix would need to be used. This means that as a direct consequence, any noun that is incorporated will automatically be using the collective form of the noun without its suffix as a noun in singulative cannot be incorporated. The singulative suffix is -(i)l. The i only makes an appearance when the stem ends in a consonant. This also means that it has the following allomorphs depending on its environment: -ill, -il, -ll or -l.
Stuff will go here...
- —For a full list of words in Śituul, see: Lexicon.
The word list for Śituul is small at the moment, but expanding.
I have worked on many different conlangs in the past, and all have died a slow painful death. This one was meant to be one I could focus on for the long haul and finally move from being a "scrapper" (i.e. someone who creates the skeleton of a language and then immediately stops working on it in favor of a new language) into being more of a "completist." I have had some success, but my attention has wandered still. What I aimed to do here, was to create a mostly naturalistic language that integrates features from some of my scrapped languages over the years, as well as develop a language that is pleasing to me. This page will likely be slow to update, but rest assured that the script, at the very least, will be described fully here! (Scripts tend to be the feature of languages that I work on the hardest and enjoy creating the most.)
Since my original work on this language, it has gone through a goodly number of changes. The script has, of course, been altered yet again. But, it does seem as though I have something that I like. The entirety of the lexicon needs to get re-done, as the phonology and the rules to construct a syllable have changed significantly. Also, I have changed how things work in terms of incorporation as well as serial verb constructions. What this means, is that I can now have a finite list of verbs (19 total, I believe) that forms a closed class. With luck, I can maintain a bit of focus on this project and continue plugging away at it.