Calénnawn Phonology


Pronunciation guidelines

To pronounce the dental click, x, press the tip of the tongue against the front teeth, and then withdraw it sharply, at the same time dropping the back of the tongue from the soft palate. This sound may be compared with the sound you would make when sucking something from your upper teeth, or the sound of sympathy when someone says ts-ts.

Doubled consonants are pronounced longer than their single counterparts, except tt and dd, which have irregular pronunciations. To obtain the prolonged pronunciation for tt and dd, these combinations have to be written as t-t and d-d, respectively.

The letteral q is normally pronounced as a uvular stop. There are, however, situations in which it is prone to be pronounced as a uvular fricative, like in words which have two q sounds or a q close to a c or r. The affix -qoy is especially prone to this kind of change. Sometimes the change to a fricative happens also in other positions. Furthermore, this change is more likely to occur when the speaker originates from the northern regions of the planet (around Altíno) or in the (colloquial) speech of young people. q is always pronounced as fricative when it follows r or when it is final.

The letteral x is pronounced as dental fricative when it is followed by a consonant, or when it follows t.

Hyphens are a spelling aid only: they have no phonetic value.

Some disallowed clusters

It is not allowed to have a nasal followed by a stop of another series, e.g. *amc or *anp.


The latinized transcription diverts from the original alphabet only in the fact that it does not transcribe the digraphs ss and nn.

Other peculiarities in spelling are transcribed, e.g. the fact that often n is written denoting /N/ in the combinations ng, nc, nq; the spelling tt and the words h and fh.

Accents and stress

Accents, transcribed as acute accents, are used to denote stress, e.g. élmu. As a rule, accents are not used on monosyllabic words, with a few exceptions (á). Secondary stress is indicated in compound predicates and is transcribed using grave accents, e.g. rèfni-inárta. Secondary stress is not denoted for other compounds, e.g. with a multi-syllable suffix.

Author: René Uittenbogaard. The click description was taken from

Conversion date: 2005-07-31

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