Meó language

The Meó language is a language spoken within the nation of Meó as well as within its former colonies and throughout the Malaeze Sea. It is the official language of the Meó Amalgamate. It has millions of speakers. It is ultimately derived from Ancient Meó

Phonology

Consonants

PULMONIC Bilabial Alveolar/Dental Palatal/Post-alveolar Velar Uvular
Nasal
m mʲ
n nʲ
ɳ ɳʲ
ŋ ŋʲ
Voiceless Stops
p pʲ
t tʲ
tʂ tɕ
k kʲ
(q)
Aspirated Stops
pʰ pʰʲ
tʰ tʰʲ
tʂʰ tɕʰ
kʰ kʰʲ
Voiced Stops
b bʲ
d dʲ
dʐ dʑ
g gʲ
Voiced Continuants
β βʲ
l lʲ
ʐ zʲ
Voiceless Continuant
(ʍ~ɸ) (ʍʲ~ɸʲ)
(ɬ) (ɬʲ)
ʂ sʲ
x ç
Tap or Trill
ɾ ɾʲ

Many consonants have a high degree of allophony; The nasals /ɳ ɳʲ/ <ṇ ṇy> have the intervocalic allophones of [ɻ̃ ɻ̃ʲ~j̃] respectively in fast speech, making the preceding vowel nasal. They also have these allophones at the end of a syllable, but may also delete, leaving the preceding vowel nasal (and occasionally also rhoticised in some accents, though this is considered nonstandard), i.e. /aɳ/ -> /ã~ã˞/ /aɳʲ/ -> /ãj̃~ã˞j̃/

The voiced continuants tend to be closer to approximants, and the voiceless continuants closer to fricatives. /ʐ/ varies between [ʐ~ɻ̝~ɻ] with [ɻ̝] (a non-sibilant fricative) being considered the most correct. Q /q/ is additionally present in loanwords, and may be an allophone of /k/ before back vowels for some speakers.


PULMONIC Bilabial Alveolar/Dental Palatal/Post-alveolar Velar
Nasal
m my
n ny
ṇ ṇy
ṅ ṅy
Voiceless Stops
p py
t ty
ch chy
k ky
Aspirated Stops
ph phy
th thy
chh chhy
kh khy
Voiced Stops
b by
d dy
j jy
g gy
Voiced Continuants
v vy
l ly
z zy
(y)
Voiceless Continuant
(hv) (hvy)
(hl) (hly)
s sy
h hy
Tap or Trill
r ry

Palatalised consonants are written Cy, or C' at the end of words - mya, am'.

Sandhi

Meó consonants have two forms of sandhi, lenition and fortification. They are important as they occur primarily (almost exclusively) in the conjugation of verbs, the passive (lenition) and third person (fortification) affecting the final consonant of the verb stem. All verb stems historically ending in consonants in Proto-Meó-Hsuqliht, but a few have been lost leading to vowel-ending stems - providing conjugations that rely on changing the tones instead. These are represented primarily by ʔ. The letter ø is used to signify the placement of the floating tone. ɣ is a historic consonant that has underwent numerous sound changes resulting in irregular vowel-ending verb conjugations. Superscripts represent environment specific changes. All vowels that follow in verb conjugations are palatal (ya, yu, yo, e, i).

Consonant Lenition Fortification
m hm mp
n hn nt
hṇ ṇch
hṅ ṅk
p ph pp
t th tt
ch chh cch
k kh kk
b v p
d l/z* t
j y ch
g u,ov/ah/i,ey k
v hv up
l hl lt
z s st
y hy ich
r hr rt
s sh ss
h ø̂h ø̂
ʔ ǿh ǿ
ɣ h i,eik/aak/u,ouk
  • z derived from historic ɖʱ -> ɻ which avoided the alveolar-retroflex merger

Vowels

Vowels Front Mid Back
Close
ɨ
u
Mid
ɘ
o
Open
a

/ɘ, o/ reduce to /ɨ, u/ in unstressed syllables

/ɘ/ is written -e, /ɨ/ as y (ÿ if adjacent to another vowel, or to distinguish from the palatalising y; ty /tɨ/, tÿa /tɨa/, tya /tʲæ/. This is not necessary with i and e as they imply /ʲ/, that is yi and ye represent /ɨji/ and /ɨje/ respectively, not /ʲi/ and /ʲe/). /a/, /o/, and /u/ are written a, o, and u


Vowels Palatal Front Mid Back
Close
ʲi
ʲʉ
Mid
ʲe
ʲɵ
Open
ʲæ

/ʲi/ and /ʲe/ are written i and e, /ʲʉ/, /ʲɵ/, /ʲæ/ as yu, yo, ya.

Only palatal vowels may follow palatal consonants, and only plain vowels may follow plain consonants. Therefore /mʲʉ/ and /mu/ are allowed but */mʉ/ and */mʲu/ are not.

Tone

Meó has five tones;

  • Low - mè
  • Mid/default - me
  • High - mé
  • Rising - mě
  • Falling - mê

Vocabulary

Most vocabulary derives from the Proto-Meo-Hsuqliht Language, though much of the vocabulary traces its origin to the Fertile Tongue, especially words related to the ocean, and later through Classical Htaevic influence much of the sophisticated vocabulary of Meó comes from languages derived from the fertile tongue (cf. English and French/Latin).

Meó Word Meó Meaning Classical Htaevic Root
vtyou ocean btyuw
tyuzyouṇ bay tsëwzyuwm
tyu beach creek tyuë
vaṇ island ramë
kouṅk riptide kuwnkë
sauvelin sand sawrelën
hvaul beach sand hrawlë
hlyul reef hliwlë
toza lagoon (rarely; bay) tozaë
kya region khya
hzyan canal hzyanë
vzelyu to pray wzeliw
vzelyuhachyan Wzeliwhacan shrine wzeliwhacan
hachyan (Htaevic) shrine hacan
byunt person biwmtë
thaun to ignite tghawn
hvazú vapour hrazu
luvemá fuel luremaa
vlahot measuring stick rlahotë
lintouṅ tree lmtuwng
huboyuzna matchstick hëwboiwnzlë
tuvyu sacred flame tëwriw
samou(ɣ) to disconnect samuwyë
hyaṇvaṅ fertile ccëmfrang
  • note <r> in Classical Htaevic is /ʋ/