Lüota (loo-OH-tah)

Lüota is the predominant language of the halflings of Eden. Brought here by said halflings during the First Interregnum, it has been the third-most spoken language during most Interregnums since (behind only English and Moldése).

 

By all accounts, it is the primary Edenian language during the periods between Interregnums—when all sapient beings except the halflings are off trying to get reality right for the umpteenth time.

 

History & Defining Characteristics

Lüota originated during the Earth-1 iteration of reality, where the halflings were a migrant sea-faring people who shared the Pacific islands with other Austronesians of the time. As such, it shares much in common with languages such as Hawaiian. Lüota features entirely open syllables, a glottal stop, and more words for wayfinding than you can shake a stick at. There are separate verbs, for instance, for going east, going west, going north, and going south.

 

Phonology

Consonant Inventory

Bilabial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Stop p, b t, d k, g ʔ
Fricative h
Approximant w
Lateral approximant l
 

Vowel Inventory

Front Central Back
High i u
High-mid e o
Low-mid ʌ
Low a
 

Syllable Structure

(C)V

 

Stress Pattern

In words with three or fewer syllables, stress falls on the penultimate (second-to-last) syllable. In words with four or more syllables, stress is not predictable. That said, if such a word can be divided evenly into three-syllable units, each unit is typically stressed as an amphibrach.

 

Spelling & Pronunciation

  • ʔ is spelled ‘
  • ʌ is spelled u
  • u is spelled ü
 

Lüota has no dipthongs. Every vowel is pronounced as an individual syllable. For instance, “hoi” is pronounced hoh-ee.  

Phonotactics

  • Only single-consonant onsets are permitted.
  • Codas and consonant clusters are prohibited.
  • Every possible CV syllable occurs.
  • Every possible V syllable occurs.
 

Grammar

 

Word Order

The main word order is verb–subject–object. Adjectives come after the noun, adpositions come before the noun (prepositions), and possessors come before possessees.

 

Nouns

There are five grammatical numbers in Lüota: singular, dual, plural, paucal, and collective. For example:

 
  • ki: person
  • a‘ki: two people
  • o‘ki: people
  • u‘ki: some people
  • e‘ki: all people
 

Nouns also have 7 cases: ablative, accusative, allative, genitive, instrumental, locative, and nominative.

 

There are 3 grammatical genders: feminine, masculine, and neuter. Feminine nouns begin with the vowel ü and masculine nouns begin with the vowel i; all other nouns are considered neuter.

 
Singular Dual Plural Paucal Collective
Nominative ki a‘ki o‘ki u‘ki e‘ki
Ablative ki‘i a‘ki‘i o‘ki‘i u‘ki‘i e‘ki‘i
Accusative ki‘e a‘ki‘e o‘ki‘e u‘ki‘e e‘ki‘e
Allative ki‘a a‘ki‘a o‘ki‘a u‘ki‘a e‘ki‘a
Genitive ki‘u a‘ki‘u o‘ki‘u u‘ki‘u e‘ki‘u
Instrumental ki‘o a‘ki‘o o‘ki‘o u‘ki‘o e‘ki‘o
Locative ki‘ü a‘ki‘ü o‘ki‘ü u‘ki‘ü e‘ki‘ü
 

Verbs

Verbs in Lüota have a past, present, and future tense. For instance, here is how you would conjugate the verb (to walk):

 
Past Present Future
First Person bümu büta büwi
Second Person bütemu büte bütewi
Third Person bütomu büto bütowi
 

Numbers

Lüota has a base-10 number system.

 
  1. ha
  2. aha
  3. hüa
  4. kie
  5. tutu
  6. oho
  7. uti
  8. pipo
  9. ago
  10. luli
 

Derivational Morphology

  • Adjective → adverb = add suffix -pe
  • Adjective → noun (the quality of being X) = add suffix -pu
  • Adjective → verb (to make something X) = add prefix pa-
  • Noun → adjective = add suffix -po
  • Noun to verb = add prefix du-
  • Verb → adjective (result of doing X) = add suffix -e
  • Verb → noun (the act of X) = add suffix -hu
  • Verb → noun that verb produces (e.g. know → knowledge) = add suffix -ho
  • Verb → noun used to accomplish X = add suffix -ku
  • One who Xs (e.g. paint → painter) = add suffix -ki
  • Place where the verb is enacted = add suffix -we
  • Place where things are = add suffix -wa
  • The stuff something is made of = add suffix -ba
  • The smallest unit of X = add prefix hü-
  • Diminutive = add suffix -hü
  • Augmentative = add suffix -bü
  • To form the ordinal number from the cardinal number, add suffix -po

Dictionary

137 Words.
Common Phrases
Wo o‘ta‘i ni Duki
We’re off to see the Wizard.
 
Dita ta pupo li Kaliki
Love me like a Quadling.
 
Lüto ho nünü O‘muniki!
Munchkins never say die!

Comments

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Grandmaster zpires
jyliet +& maddy zpires
31 Dec, 2021 05:14

awesome! this has an elegant phonemic inventory, and i love a dual. the cardinal system is really interesting. are gi/ka/mu/wi standard words for describing movement or are they used only to emphasize direction?

love, jyliet & maddy
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
31 Dec, 2021 05:23

Thanks! My intent is that they're standard verbs for describing direction. Do you think that works? I'm imagining them at sea, shouting single-syllable directions.

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Grandmaster zpires
jyliet +& maddy zpires
31 Dec, 2021 05:39

that makes sense! i was just wondering if they would use those verbs more generally to create a sort of cardinal-based system like kuuk thaayorre or if those would be sea-faring-specific words, if that makes sense.

love, jyliet & maddy
7 Jan, 2022 13:43

Nice work, I love the idea of the Halflings being Polynesians, and the language difinitely has that Polynesian feeling to it (the little that I know of them haha). Maybe we could see even a bit more how their culture can be seen in the languge? Also glad to learn what a Quadling is, after the discussion in the Discord earlier lol

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Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
7 Jan, 2022 15:28

Thank you so much for the feedback! I would definitely like to expand this one more in the future, especially around the question you ask about culture being reflected in the language. That was definitely something I wanted to expand on more, before I ran out of time.

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Daskalarch
Benjamin B
2 Apr, 2022 23:54

Mine has verb-subject-object as well; I quite enjoy that! I also appreciate the use of glottals, and I enjoy the sentences you created. Have you tried testing out your words on your own?

Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
2 Apr, 2022 23:58

I haven't tried them out that much yet. I made this one mostly during World Anvil's "WorldEmber" event and then haven't picked at it much since. Any tips/strategies you can think of for playing around and expanding it?

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Daskalarch
Benjamin B
5 Apr, 2022 00:11

Certainly! Considering the format and dictionary size, I assume that you have the free version of Vulgar Lang. If you re-enter the elements of the language (possibly just reentering the seed? It's been a while) multiple times, you can generate additional sets of words. Refine as needed. I recommend editing your conlang outside the World Anvil template, editing it as a .csv file instead (via Numbers, if you use a Mac, lest your IPA characters lose cohesion. Your command terminal or a text editor might also work). I strongly recommend reducing the length of your words as much as you can while keeping them unique, so that it's easier to remember and pronounce. Also, Vulgar Lang will tack on derivational morphology from your conlang into your words. Watch out for that; I always try to reduce words to their base form for easier access and understanding by the reader.

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