Features for Celinese

Share & Bookmark


Consonant Inventories WALS Moderately small
There are 18 phonemic consonants: /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/, /m/, /n/, /ɾ/, /f/, /θ/, /ð/, /s/, /χ/, /h/, /l/, /j/ and /w/ in Standard Celinese. [ʂ], [v], [ʐ] and [ç] exist as allophones of /s/, /f/, /ɾ/ and /g/ - /ɾ/ and /g/ become /ʐ/ and /ç/ in word-final position; /s/ becomes /ʂ/ in front of /e/ and /i/, and /f/ becomes /v/ intervocally.
Vowel Quality Inventories WALS Large (7-14)

/a/, /ɛ/, /e/, /i/, /ɔ/, /o/, /u/, /ə/, /ɪ/ and either /ø/ or /y/ - 10 vowels - attested in most dialects. Some have many more.

Consonant-Vowel Ratio WALS Low


Voicing in Plosives and Fricatives WALS In both plosives and fricatives

Partial - some voice/voiceless contrasts:

Contrast: /p/ and /b/, /k/ and /g/, /f/ and /v/ (<f>), /θ/ (th) and /ð/ (ð).

No contrast: In terms of most fricatives, usually, the language has the voiced consonant but not its voiceless equivalent: /s/ but no /z/, /ç/ (final -g) but no /ʝ/, /χ/ (<ch>) but no /ʁ/ and both /ʂ/ and /ʐ/ allophonically.

Voicing and Gaps in Plosive Systems WALS None missing in /p t k b d g/
Uvular Consonants WALS Uvular continuants only

Namely, /χ/, written ch.

Glottalized Consonants WALS No glottalized consonants
Lateral Consonants WALS /l/ and lateral obstruent

The obstruent being /ɬ/ (<lh>) though this is only preserved in received pronunciation and the trend with younger generations is to mix it with /l/. Sometimes, the ɬ-less variant is more common - e.g. loilot (stars) has become much more common than the traditional lheulot.

The Velar Nasal WALS No velar nasal
There is no phonemic velar nasal, though /n/ has the allophone [ŋ] before .
Vowel Nasalization WALS Contrast absent
Front Rounded Vowels WALS High and mid
In Perís and Ioðinbêr, there is /ø/, written as a short . In most dialects, there is also /y/ or /ʏ/, written as or .
Syllable Structure WALS Complex

A Celinese syllable can be as complex as (C)(C)(A)(V)(V)(A)(C)(C), whereby A signifies /l/, /ʐ/, /ɾ/, /w/ or /j/. E.g. struinc (overbearing, ruthless). Most syllables are, however, just C(C)VC.

Tone WALS No tones
Fixed Stress Locations WALS No fixed stress

The default stress location is on the penult, but over 30% of words are stressed elsewhere.

Weight-Sensitive Stress WALS Right-oriented: One of the last three
Weight Factors in Weight-Sensitive Stress Systems WALS Lexical stress

When stress is irregular (i.e. not on the penult), the stressed syllable is nearly always marked with either an acute or grave accent, unless the word ends in two separate vowels (i.e. words with aê or oê ending being particularly common), in which the antepenult is always stressed.

Rhythm Types WALS Trochaic
Absence of Common Consonants WALS All present
Presence of Uncommon Consonants WALS 'Th' sounds

Both /θ/ (th) and /ð/ (ð) are common in the language in all positions.


Fusion of Selected Inflectional Formatives WALS Exclusively concatenative
Exponence of Selected Inflectional Formatives WALS No case

Classical Celinese varieties had up to eight cases, and the vestiges of these are sometimes seen in the most formal and old fashioned language, as well as in a very few set phrases.

Inflectional Synthesis of the Verb WALS 4-5 categories per word
Locus of Marking in the Clause WALS Head marking
Locus of Marking in Possessive Noun Phrases WALS Dependent marking
Locus of Marking: Whole-language Typology WALS Inconsistent or other
Prefixing vs. Suffixing in Inflectional Morphology WALS Weakly suffixing

Both suffixes and prefixes are used regularly in Celinese, which makes the most of both to express a lot of things. Though prefixes are common, perhaps the most notable elements of the language are suffixes - í (infinitive verb ending), -oê (used to make nouns communicating after-effects), -air (for times), -g (most common adjectival ending) and more.

Reduplication WALS No productive reduplication
Case Syncretism WALS Core and non-core
Syncretism in Verbal Person/Number Marking WALS Not syncretic

Nominal Categories

Number of Genders WALS Three

Commonly referred to as masculine, feminine and neuter, though this is somewhat misleading since physical gender has no implication on Celinese's grammatical gender.

Sex-based and Non-sex-based Gender Systems WALS Non-sex-based
Systems of Gender Assignment WALS Semantic and formal

Actually entirely formal, because neither semantic categories, nor physical gender, have any effect on grammatical gender in Celinese. Thus taðír and maiðír (father and mother) are both neuter, mildë (friend) is feminine even if one's friend is a man, and garys (boy) takes the feminine -ot plural because it ends in an s.

Coding of Nominal Plurality WALS Plural suffix

Nearly always, an -ím, -ot or -ain suffix denotes the plural form, but the stem is sometimes changed as well - consider lauth>leuthot (person>people) or the many examples of where diacritics must be introduced or removed upon the addition of the plural suffix.

Occurrence of Nominal Plurality WALS All nouns, always obligatory
Plurality in Independent Personal Pronouns WALS Person stem + nominal plural affix

The feminine plural is added to ergative singular pronouns to pluralise:

Ais (I) becomes aisot (exclusive we) Ana (you) becomes anot (you plural) Sà (she, he, it) becomes saiot (they).

This is not true in other circumstances, such as the absolutive, used for direct object pronouns:

Mé (me) but fair (us) Ané (you) but anaith (you plural) Sé (him, her, it) but seith (them)

The Associative Plural WALS Unique periphrastic associative plural

There are two ways to express the associative plural, depending on whether the person or thing with which the others are associated is included or excluded.

If included, the form 'ar geiot' is used after the name of the person or thing being associated with. 'Ar seiot' is used for objects. Examples:

Sím langofig Maríe ar geiot - Maríe and her lot are boring.

Cé dyscasyrthog ar seiot né polío - S/he can't operate things like computers.

If the associate is excluded, 'geiot go' or 'seiot go' are used in front. Example:

Sím muireg geiot go b-Pafel, mair mereð-séilig rychtío - Pafel's associates are gloomy, but he remains cheery.

Definite Articles WALS No definite or indefinite article
Indefinite Articles WALS No definite or indefinite article
Inclusive/Exclusive Distinction in Independent Pronouns WALS Inclusive/exclusive

'We' is translated in two ways into many idiomatic dialects of Celinese - fyr, which includes the person spoken to, and aisot, 'plural I', which excludes them. This distinction is rare in the written language.

Inclusive/Exclusive Distinction in Verbal Inflection WALS Only inclusive

In many colloquial dialects, there is a distinction between inclusive and exclusive we, fyr and aisot, but both use the inclusive verbal inflection, -ím, and so the pronoun must be included if one wants to differentiate and specify inclusive or exclusive.

Byrím fyr/aisot - we(inclusive)/we(exclusive) go.

Distance Contrasts in Demonstratives WALS Three-way contrast

There is a distinction between something near the speaker, the listener, and something remote from both.

Twys - here; naint - there; echtor/aðgaint - yonder.

Netwys - this one; aitwys - that one; echtwys/aðwys - yonder one.

Pronominal and Adnominal Demonstratives WALS Different inflection

Sorair aich - that evening

Aichsé syrí - I like that

Aitwys syrí - I like that (one)

Third Person Pronouns and Demonstratives WALS Unrelated
Gender Distinctions in Independent Personal Pronouns WALS No gender distinctions
Politeness Distinctions in Pronouns WALS Pronouns avoided for politeness

Because the conjugation system makes the subject of each verb clear, pronouns generally are only used for distinction:

Thon esfotheg né syrís; mair [sé] syrí ais. You don't like Jinyer food, but /I/ do [like it].

As a consequence, using a pronoun in a non-comparative sentence sounds brusque, particularly when used with a request, and is avoided.

Tyllús mair ana! - "bequiet.SBJV-2SG but you" would usually be translated as "shut up."

Indefinite Pronouns WALS Generic-noun-based

Usually created using the prefix elic, "some":

some + how = elicelð, somehow, some way some + place = elicloith = somewhere some + person-suffix = elicír = someone

Intensifiers and Reflexive Pronouns WALS Differentiated
Person Marking on Adpositions WALS Pronouns only

Reduced pronouns are attached to many propositions in the acrolect and most mesolects.

E.g. cêim and soir (with me; to it) instead of cé mé or lo sé.

Number of Cases WALS No morphological case-marking
Asymmetrical Case-Marking WALS No case-marking
Position of Case Affixes WALS No case affixes or adpositional clitics
Comitatives and Instrumentals WALS Differentiation

Lo r-athlë cé r-Elys anðoí. I went to (the town) with Elys.

Ichrand b-petholog sé foí. I made it with a hammer.

The instrumental is marked by using ichrand "using" rather than cé "with".

Ordinal Numerals WALS One-th, two-th, three-th

-at is the regular ordinal number ending:

1, 2, 3, 4 - Ainh, ðys/ðwy, trín, hyðor. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th - ainhat, ðysat, trínat, hyðorat.

Distributive Numerals WALS Marked by preceding word

Paraim, sêlm befíthot efroín Sara ar Orthí. = they carried six boxes between them (paraim deriving from parom, amongst/between)

(Elm), sêlm befíthot efroín Sara ar Orthí. = they carried six boxes each (elm, "each", can be omitted.)

Numeral Classifiers WALS Optional

Confined to poetic use, except for when used as quantifiers for uncountable objects.

Conjunctions and Universal Quantifiers WALS Formally different
Position of Pronominal Possessive Affixes WALS No possessive affixes

Nominal Syntax

Obligatory Possessive Inflection WALS Absent
Possessive Classification WALS No possessive classification
Genitives, Adjectives and Relative Clauses WALS Highly differentiated
Adjectives without Nouns WALS Marked by preceding word

"An" is used:

Leuthain brafast - brave people An brafast - The brave

Action Nominal Constructions WALS No action nominals
Noun Phrase Conjunction WALS 'And' different from 'with'
Nominal and Verbal Conjunction WALS Differentiation

Verbal Categories

Perfective/Imperfective Aspect WALS No grammatical marking

The distinction between perfect/imperfective is made clear by using different tenses or phrasings instead:

Séilhetor ag lyfrí foím/foím ag lyfrí - I was reading the newspaper (imperfective)

Séilhetor lyfroí - I read the newspaper (perfective)

The Past Tense WALS Present, 2-3 remoteness distinctions
The Future Tense WALS No inflectional future

The future is grammaticalised but not inflectional. It can be produced in either one of two ways:

  • Conjugating 'fyðí' ('to move towards') and attaching it to an infinitive.
  • Putting the clipped particle fyð next to a conjugated verb.

Thus, we shall go for a walk would be fyðím byrí or byrím fyð.

The Perfect WALS From 'finish', 'already'

The verb tasí (to be after, to follow) in the present tense, or the expression tyrú (already) with a past tense verb convey the present in Celinese.

Lyfir lyfroí - I read the book.

Lyfir lyfrí canthí - I'm after reading the book.

Tyrú lyfrir lyfroí - I (have) already read the book.

Position of Tense-Aspect Affixes WALS Tense-aspect suffixes
The Morphological Imperative WALS Second singular and second plural

The imperative is formed by removing the present infinitive ending (-í) and then adding the imperative infinitive (-ú) in its place. Fú, from fí, means 'to have to do' and 'I must do'. Personal endings like those of every other tense and mood are added to this infinitive that apply not only to the 2nd person but to all - byrús (walk! or you must walk!), byrúot (ye must walk!), byrún (they must walk), byrúm (we must walk.)

The Prohibitive WALS Normal imperative + special negative
Imperative-Hortative Systems WALS Neither type of system
The Optative WALS Inflectional optative absent
Situational Possibility WALS Verbal constructions
Epistemic Possibility WALS Verbal constructions
Overlap between Situational and Epistemic Modal Marking WALS No overlap
Semantic Distinctions of Evidentiality WALS Direct and indirect
Coding of Evidentiality WALS Modal morpheme
Suppletion According to Tense and Aspect WALS Tense
Verbal Number and Suppletion WALS None

Word Order

Order of Subject, Object and Verb WALS OVS

Word order in Celinese is flexible, but for ordinary statements, OVS is the most common order, though there is no one 'usual order' but rather dozens, depending on context. Other orders are frequently used, but have different nuances.

Order of Subject and Verb WALS VS

Despite the language's flexibility, it is rare to see SV outside of poetry.

Order of Object and Verb WALS No dominant order
Order of Object, Oblique, and Verb WALS No dominant order
Order of Adposition and Noun Phrase WALS No dominant order

Celinese has both prepositions and postpositions.

Order of Genitive and Noun WALS Noun-Genitive

Taðír go Mycha = father of Mycha = Mycha's father

Order of Adjective and Noun WALS Noun-Adjective
Order of Demonstrative and Noun WALS Mixed

Aich (that) can be used before or after the noun. Neis (this) and aðgaint (yonder) usually come after the noun exclusively.

Order of Numeral and Noun WALS Numeral-Noun
Order of Relative Clause and Noun WALS Noun-Relative clause
Order of Degree Word and Adjective WALS Degree word-Adjective
Position of Polar Question Particles WALS No question particle
Position of Interrogative Phrases in Content Questions WALS Initial interrogative phrase
Order of Adverbial Subordinator and Clause WALS Internal subordinator word
Relationship between the Order of Object and Verb and the Order of Adposition and Noun Phrase WALS Other
Relationship between the Order of Object and Verb and the Order of Relative Clause and Noun WALS Other
Relationship between the Order of Object and Verb and the Order of Adjective and Noun WALS Other
Order of Negative Morpheme and Verb WALS NegV
Position of Negative Morpheme With Respect to Subject, Object and Verb WALS More than one position

Simple Clauses

Alignment of Case Marking of Full Noun Phrases WALS Neutral
Alignment of Case Marking of Pronouns WALS Nominative - accusative (standard)
Alignment of Verbal Person Marking WALS Neutral
Expression of Pronominal Subjects WALS Subject affixes on verb
Verbal Person Marking WALS Only the A argument
Third Person Zero of Verbal Person Marking WALS No zero realization
Order of Person Markers on the Verb WALS A and P do not or do not both occur on the verb
Ditransitive Constructions: The Verb 'Give' WALS Indirect-object construction
Reciprocal Constructions WALS Distinct from reflexive
Passive Constructions WALS Present

Thúl eðelío - s/he built a house. Eðelín thúl - a house was built (literally they built a house.)

Antipassive Constructions WALS No antipassive
Applicative Constructions WALS No applicative construction
Periphrastic Causative Constructions WALS Both
Nonperiphrastic Causative Constructions WALS Compound but no morphological
Negative Morphemes WALS Variation between negative word and affix
Symmetric and Asymmetric Standard Negation WALS Symmetric
Subtypes of Asymmetric Standard Negation WALS Non-assignable
Negative Indefinite Pronouns and Predicate Negation WALS No predicate negation
Polar Questions WALS Interrogative intonation only
Predicative Possession WALS 'Have'
Predicative Adjectives WALS Nonverbal encoding
Nominal and Locational Predication WALS Different
Zero Copula for Predicate Nominals WALS Impossible
Comparative Constructions WALS Exceed

Complex Sentences

Relativization on Subjects WALS Relative pronoun
Relativization on Obliques WALS Relative pronoun
'Want' Complement Subjects WALS Subject is left implicit
Purpose Clauses WALS Deranked

Purpose clauses are usually expressed by 'dero' (in order to, for the purpose of) and end with an infinitive:

Mereð toroío, dero troðolofot tarochí polúo - he acted good, in order to play football. (Lit. good act.PST-3SG in-order-to foot-ball play.INF can.SBJV-3SG

'When' Clauses WALS Balanced
Reason Clauses WALS Balanced
Utterance Complement Clauses WALS Balanced


Hand and Arm WALS Different

Hand - flarë (or destë in the West) Arm - brach

Finger and Hand WALS Different

Hand - flarë (or destë in the West) Finger - teið

Numeral Bases WALS Decimal
Number of Non-Derived Basic Colour Categories WALS 6
Number of Basic Colour Categories WALS 11
Green and Blue WALS Green vs. blue
Red and Yellow WALS Red vs. yellow
M-T Pronouns WALS No M-T pronouns

Only partially:

Mo (my), ano (your)

Mé (me), ané (you-ABS)

Moir (to me), toir (to you).

Mo (my), to/ano (your)

N-M Pronouns WALS No N-M pronouns
Tea WALS Words derived from Sinitic cha

Tea - tahàr.

Sign Languages

Irregular Negatives in Sign Languages WALS None
Question Particles in Sign Languages WALS One


Writing Systems WALS Alphabetic
Para-Linguistic Usages of Clicks WALS Other or none


Conlang type Artlang


No comments yet