Domoutsan Language

Domoutsan is a language isolate spoken primarily on the island realm of Domoutso, from which it is named. Though it has no genetic relationship with surrounding languages, it does have influences from other languages in the region, namely Obrexian and Trade Common. This influence consists mainly in loanwords, especially to concepts foreign to Domoutso prior to the return of the Great Comet. Domoutsan had developed mostly in isolation between the first and second comings of the Great Comet. Most speakers are inhabitants of Domoutso or merchants originating from the realm, and there are few L2 speakers of the language.

Domoutsan phonology is relatively simple. It consists of 21 consonants, 5 monophthongs, (long and short), and 3 diphthongs. The phonotactics are simple as well, with a structure of (C)V(l/N). The language has a pitch accent system, with stressed morae having a higher pitch than the rest of the morae in the word. Domoutsan has a raised alveolar trill, which is known to occur as a phoneme in only a few other languages, represented by <ry>.

Domoutsan grammar is a synthetic language. Nouns are divided into two noun classes, animate and inanimate, and are inflected for case and gender.

Native speakers100 thousand
L2 speakers: 1 thousand
Language familyLanguage isolate
Early formsProto-Domoutsan
Writing systemsDomoutsan script
Common Script (Domoutsan Alphabet)

Domoutsan is a language isolate. Domoutsan has been proposed to have shared ancestry with the language of the Arcosians, but it is more likely the similarities are from loanwords or chance.

The language has undergone several changes in the last thousand years. Much new vocabulary has been created to describe the unique habitat of Domoutso.

The language is mostly homogeneous, due to the psychic link between the inhabitants of Domoutso due to the fungal hivemind. Regardless, major population centers have unique vocabulary and pronunciation differences. The most prominent is the l/r split, the difference in pronunciation of intervocalic /r/ as either [l] or [ɾ].

Domoutsan is spoken by several dozen thousand people, primarily the inhabitants of the island of Domoutso. It is limited in its usage outside the island. The long history of isolation of Domoutso has allowed for little exposure of the language to neighboring realms. Regardless, there are a few L2 speakers of Domoutsan, primarily traders from Obrexia or Ornthas.

Main article: Domoutsan Phonology

Standard Domoutsan has five basic vowel phonemes, and two diphthongs.Vowel length is phonemic, with each having both a short and a long version. Elongated vowels are usually denoted with an acute accent over the vowel. The vowels are /a/, /ɛ/, /ɪ/, /o/, and /u/, and their long counterparts /aː/, /ɛː/, /iː/, /oː/ and /uː/. The diphthongs are /ou̯/ and /au̯/.

In Domoutsan orthography, the vowels are spelled as follows:

Domoutson vowel chart. Credit Wikipedia.

Short: a, e, i, o, u

Long: á, é, í, ó, ú

Additionally, any vowel (excluding i, í, and diphthongs) can be proceeded by /j/ <y>, which palatalizes the preceding consonant.

Domoutsan has 21 consonants, which are categorized as “hard”, “neutral”, or “soft”:

Hard: /t/, /d/, /t͡s/, /s/, /n/, /r/, /h/

Neutral: /p/, /b/, /m/, /k/, /ɡ/, /w/, /j/

Soft: /c/, /ɟ/, /t͡ʃ/, /ʃ/, /ɲ/, /r̝/, /ç/

In Domoutsan orthography, the consonants are spelled as follows:

Hard: d, g, ts, s, n, r, h

Neutral: p, b, m, k, g, w, y

Soft: ty, dy, ch, sh, ny, ry, hy

Hard consonants cannot be followed by /i/ or /i:/, and are converted into their soft counterparts. The soft consonants were likely palatalized consonants in older forms of Domoutsan. This can still be seen by the palatalized versions of the neutral consonants preceding i, í, and j.

Labial Alveolar Post-Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ
Plosive Voiceless p t c k
Voiced b d ɟ k g
Affricate t͡s t͡ʃ
Fricative Unvoiced f s ʃ h
Voiced (v) (z) (ʒ) w
Trill Plain r
Tap (ɾ)
Approximant (l) j

Domoutsan consonant chart.

The syllabic structure and the phonotactics are very simple: the only consonant clusters allowed within a syllable consist of one of a subset of the consonants plus /j/. This type of cluster only occurs in onsets. However, consonant clusters across syllables are allowed as long as the two consonants are a nasal followed by a homorganic consonant, or a rhotic consonant followed by any other consonant.

Each word usually has primary stress on its first syllable, except for enclitics (minor, monosyllabic, unstressed syllables). In all words of more than two syllables, every odd-numbered syllable receives secondary stress. Stress is unrelated to vowel length; both long and short vowels can be stressed or unstressed. The language has a tonal stress system, with stressed vowels having a higher pitch than the rest of the morae in the word. Domoutsan is often described as “song-like” due to the tonal rhythm of the language.

Main Article: Grammar

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  • Last modified: 2020/03/05 06:00
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