This document requires a Unicode-compatible browser. If you don't see the IPA characters, download the Thryomanes font and set it as the default font for Unicode documents, or as a user-defined font. Some versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer may assume that you have the Lucida Sans Unicode font on your system and display the IPA characters improperly if you don't have that font.
Czirehlat uses a variation of the Latin alphabet, which lacks the letter "w". The digraphs "cg", "cz", "dz", "hl", "hr", "sz", and "tz" are treated as separate letters of the alphabet. The letters "c" and "h" don't appear as independent letters, but only as the initial component of digraphs. Czirehlat text is sorted according to normal Latin alphabetical order; the spelling has been carefully selected to allow this. With the exception of /ŋ/, each phoneme of the language has a unique spelling. Pronunciation is as follows:
|a||/a/||[a] when stressed; [ɐ] when unstressed.|
|e||/e/||[ɛ] when stressed; [ə] when unstressed.|
|i||/i/||[i] when stressed; [j] when unstressed adjacent to another vowel; [ɪ] when unstressed in other environments.|
|n||/n/||[n] (except before "g" or "k", where it sounds like "q")|
|o||/o/||[ɔ] when stressed; [o] when unstressed.|
|q||/ŋ/||[ŋ] (written as "n" before "g" or "k")|
|r||/r/||[ɾ] between vowels; [r] elsewhere.|
|u||/u/||[u] when stressed; [w] when unstressed adjacent to another vowel; [ɯ] when unstressed in other environments.|
Stress in Czirehlat, which is marked by an acute accent on the vowel, may be placed on any syllable of a word. Compound words may have more than one stressed syllable. In actual Czirehlat text, the stress is rarely marked, most frequently in names, in words that would otherwise be confused, and in a few special cases where stress marking is mandatory. Stress is always marked if it falls on the final letter of a word (as in iurá), or on a stressed suffix or infix (as in nejáka). Stress on the first syllable of a word of two or more syllables (as in jíra) is always unmarked in text. In other cases, stress is ordinarily unmarked, but may be marked for emphasis or resolving ambiguity.
The unstressed phonemes /i/ and /u/ may be non-syllabic when adjacent to another vowel in rapid speech, combining with the other vowel to form a diphthong. When unstressed /i/ and /u/ come together, the first of the two vowels is non-syllabic: /iu/ is pronounced as [jɯ], and /ui/ as [wɪ]. Other combinations of vowels, or sequences of more than two vowels, are considered to form separate syllables. When two identical vowels come together, either between words or in borrowed names such as Xaváii [xɐˈvajʔɪ] "Hawaii", a glottal stop is inserted between them. This glottal stop is not a separate phoneme in Czirehlat, since it is automatic.
Pronunciation examples: pa-lán [pɐˈɮan] "cloud", kuér-tiu [ˈkwɛrtjɯ] "typewriter keyboard", kiú-zi-ka [ˈkjuzɪkɐ] "dandelion", czé-lit [ˈtʃɛɮɪt] "sparrow", Ték-sas [ˈtɛksɐs] "Texas", Szi-ká-go [ʃɪˈkaɡo] "Chicago", O-xá-io [oˈxajo] "Ohio".
líja [ˈɮiʒa] "to see"; líja-và-i [ˈɮiʒɐˌvaj] "want to see"
márga [ˈmarɡɐ] "starling"; márga-dài [ˈmarɡɐˌdaj] "flock of starlings"
fáz [ˈfaz] "snow"; fáz(-e)-rètzi [ˈfaz(ə)ˌrɛtsɪ] "so-called 'snow'"
Compounds are formed by adding the stem of the modifying word before the main word. The main word gets the primary stress, and the stressed syllable of the modifying word is converted to a secondary stress (written with a grave accent). In ordinary text, the secondary stress is unwritten. (Secondary stresses may be used in borrowed names to mark unreduced vowels.)
dév [ˈdɛv] "hare"; dèv-e-piák [ˌdɛvəˈpjak] "Leporidae"
vézi [ˈvɛzɪ] "orange (color)" + rín [ˈrin] "fish" = vèzi-rín [ˌvɛzɪˈɾin] "goldfish"
dzómi [ˈdzɔmɪ] "to spin" + xáhrsz [ˈxar̥ʃ] "storm" = dzòmi-xáhrsz [ˌdzɔmɪˈxar̥ʃ] "tornado"
szúj [ˈʃuʒ] "rain" + palán [pɐˈɮan] "cloud" = szùj-e-palán [ˌʃuʒəpɐˈɮan] "rain cloud"
Infixes are used to create new roots based on a modification of the basic concept expressed by the original word. The infix is added immediately after the stressed vowel or diphthong. If the infix itself is stressed, the preceding syllable loses its stress.
núri [ˈnuɾɪ] "blue"; nú-za-ri [ˈnuzaɾɪ] "azure".
tász [ˈtaʃ] "fly"; tá-vi-sz [ˈtavɪʃ] "gnat, midge".
néka [ˈnɛka] "polecat"; ne-já-ka [nəˈʒaka] "domestic ferret".
líja [ˈɮiʒa] "to see"; li-nái-ja [ɮɪˈnajʒa] "to watch".
Possessives are indicated by adding the unstressed particle le- (my), re- (your) or je- (his, her, its) before the possessed noun. Certain nouns (such as body parts and kinship words) can only be used with a possessive particle. For instance, my nose is lehríz and your nose is rehríz, but hríz by itself doesn't mean "nose". It can be used in compounds such as hrízdáxu "nasal consonant" or hrízbiúri szóbiyazár "red-nosed reindeer". To talk about noses in general, it is necessary to say "someone's nose", using the generic possessive particle xe-.
Some names familiar in English will be given a modern American English pronunciation (or as close as Czirehlat can get). William Shakespeare, for instance, comes out as Uíliem Széikspìr, regardless of how Shakespeare himself may have pronounced the name. Only an expert on 16th century English pronunciation would care much about the correct pronunciation in this case; it's more useful to have a pronunciation that's recognizable to modern speakers.
Scientific (or "Latin") names of animals and plants, and names of trademarked products, are left in their original spelling in the Roman alphabet. The usual conventions for scientific names are followed. If the Roman alphabet spelling of a trademarked name ever differs from one language to another, the English spelling is used, although accent marks are not omitted unnecessarily. Trademarks in other writing systems may be left in the original form, but a Romanized version should also be provided; not everyone will recognize 「豐田」 as "Toyota" or 「任天堂」 as "Nintendo", for instance.
Lé kajasar me hlav. lé kája-sàr me hláv I-SUB eat -can OBJ glass "I can eat glass." Me hlav lé kajasar. me hláv lé kája-sàr OBJ glass I-SUB eat -can "Glass I can eat." Se jil hrastaxiz me lak. se jíl hrásta-xì -z me lák SUB red:fox jump -HSY-IPF OBJ area:above "The red fox jumps over something."Adjectives and adverbs typically come before the words they modify, and prepositional phrases follow.
Se tiski marvi jil hrastaxiz me lak u hlivi jeg. se tíski márvi jíl hrásta-xì -z me lák u hlívi jég SUB quick brown fox jump -HSY-IPF OBJ over GEN lazy dog "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."