The Vallés  Constructed Language

Orthography and Phonology

The details of an alternate proposal for the orthography, and maybe some alternate presentations of the phonology, have been moved to a separate chapter, Alternate Orthography. Sections which are different are marked with *.

Phonetic Symbols Used

Phonetic Symbols For Consonants
  stop affricate fricative nasal lateral trill approx.
VL Vd VL Vd VL Vd Vd Vd Vd Vd
bilabial [p] [b] [m]
labiodental [f] [v]
dental [td] [dd] [nd] [ld]
alveolar laminal [ta] [da] [tdsL] [ddzL] [sL] [zL] [na] [la]
apical [tasA] [dazA] [sA] [zA] [r]
postalveolar [S] [Z]
retroflex postalveolar [trSr] [drZr]
palatal [C] [jf] [J] [j]
velar [k] [g] [N]
labiovelar [kW] [gW] [NW] [w]

Possibly a labiovelar nasal [NW] as well, instead of [Nw].

Phonetic Symbols For Vowels
  front central back
unrounded rounded unr. rounded
oral close [i] [u] 
close mid [I]   [o]
mid [eo] [8o]
open mid   [V] [O]  
open [&]
full open [A]  
nasal close [iN]
close mid   [oN]
mid [8oN]
open [&N]
full open [AN]  

Prosodic and Other Phonetic Symbols

The only tone marking symbols used here are:
[H] indicating a steady higher tone (H), and
[F] indicating a higher-to-lower tone (HL);
a steady lower tone (L) is indicated by the lack of such marking.

The other symbols used in phonetic transcriptions here are these:
[X] indicates that the vowel is very short. In Vallés  this applies always, and only, to [I].
[:] indicates additional length; a preceding vowel is long and a preceding consonant is geminate
["] indicates primary stress; precedes the stressed syllable
[.] indicates syllable division; occurs between syllables not otherwise separated (e.g. with stress marker)
[#] indicates word juncture; may precede an initial phone or follow a final phone


Vallés  syllables come in 2 varieties, long and short, with long syllables having about twice the duration of short syllables. A short syllable must end in a short vowel (written with a single vowel letter which can't take a diacritic except for the breve). Notice, however, that most voiced consonants don't count as part of the syllable when occuring as the last phoneme of a word. The stressed syllable of a word is long.


Alphabet *

The letters used are:
Vowels: a, æ, e, i, o, u
Consonants: b, c, d, f, g, h, j, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, x, z
Not Used: k, w, y
Diacritics: ˘, `, ́, ˆ
When necessary, the sequence ae may be used as a substitute for æ.
The use of the symbol & as a substitute for æ is obsolete.

Consonant Orthography

Under Doubled, only those entries shown can occur. Dashes (---) show other non-occurring entries.

Consonant Letter Pronunciation
Letter Basic Quality Before i/e/æ Intervocal Doubled
[k] (1) [tasA] (1)
ce [tasA] (1) ---
dr [drZr]
dz [ddzL]
[f] (1)
[g] [dazA]
ge [dazA] ---
gu [gW] [g]
[ld] ll [jf] (1)
lh [C] (1)
[m] mm [m] (2)
[nd] nn [N] (2)
nh [J] (2)
nu [Nw] (3) nnu [Nw] (2,3)
[p] (1)
qu [kW] (1) [k] (1)
[r] rr [r:]
[sA] [zA] ss [sA] (1)
str [SrtrSr]
[td] (1)
tr [trSr] (1)
tz [tdsL] (1)
[S] (1)
[sL] [zL] zz [sL] (1)
(1) Any preceding vowel is automatically long.
(2) The preceding vowel is automatically long and has the oral vowel which corresponds to the nasal vowel which would have occurred.
(3) Only before a vowel

The letters s and z represent voiceless phones when double, when adjacent to other voiceless phones, or when initial. Otherwise, they represent voiced phones. After s, t becomes [ta].
The voiceless fricatives are "fortis" (increased airstream and/or tension). However, initial s and z are lenis when preceding vowels, and may sporadically become partially or even totally voiced.
There may be additional phonetic variations not given here.
Possibly use k instead of qu before i/e/æ? If so, should replace other qu with cu.
Also, I'm not completely satisfied with the assignments of lh and ll. Reverse them?

Vowel Orthography *

The following table shows the pronunciations of each vowel letter and digraph. The specific diphthongs beginning with [j] and [w] aren't listed here.

Vowel Letter Pronunciation
Oral Qualities Nasal Qualities
[i] (1) [j]  in [iN]
[eo] (1) [I] (2)  en [&N]
ĕ  [eo] (2)
æ [&]
[A] (1) [V] (2)  an [AN]
au [O]
ŏ  [O] (2)
[u] (1) [O] (3)  on [oN]
[8o] (1) [w]  un [8oN]
ŭ  [w] (4)
ei [eoi]
ai [Ai]
ao [&u] aon [&oN]
(1) Can occur in both long and short syllables.
(2) Occurs only in short syllables.
(3) Occurs only before rr or rC.
(4) Occurs only before another vowel.
  All others occur only in long syllables.

The oral diphthong ao comes from /a/ (rarely /E/) + /l/ velarized before /k/ or /g/; other Vo diphthongs are similar.
The diacritical marks are placed above the vowel letters and are used, except for the breve, exclusively for length, stress, and intonation. They are:
˘ breve used as shown in the Vowel Pronunciation table, above. Specifically, the breve
ŏ makes sure that o is [O], not [u]
ŭ makes sure that u is pronounced after g and before i or e
ĕ makes sure that e is short, rather than silent, in certain unstressed unblocked syllables
` grave marks the syllable as unstressed, but with a long vowel (ì è à ò ù); it isn't needed before a voiceless consonant or a doubled consonant letter
́ acute marks the syllable as stressed and as having H tone (but see note below) (í é á ó ú); it's used only when the stress would otherwise be placed on another syllable
ˆ circumflex marks the syllable as stressed and as having HL tone (î ê âe (= æˆ) â âu ô û);
Note: a final stressed syllable will normally have HL tone, regardless of how stress is marked.
Rather than use ŭ in the indefinite article to mark it as short (ŭna), ú is used in the numeral (úna).
Where necessary, w may be substituted for ŭ.
This is awkward due to the problem of diacritics on æ . Also, there's a problem with e lowered to æ before r when the preceding consonant is c or g (e.g. ceær ). Possibly don't write the vowels as raised in this situation? Another inconsistency! Another possibility is to treat æ as a front vowel; in this case, original qu and gu must be retained, instead of simplifying to c and g . Æ is now a front vowel orthographically.

Determining Stress

Orthographic Summary

This section is provided as an aid for those who already speak Vallés  in using the current orthography.

Consonant Orthography, Arranged Phonetically
  stop affricate fricative nasal lateral trill approx.
VL Vd VL Vd VL Vd Vd Vd Vd Vd
bilabial p b m
labiodental f v
dental t d n l
alveolar laminal tz dz z(z) z
apical c(e) g(e) s(s) s r
postalveolar x j
retroflex postalveolar tr dr
palatal lh ll nh i
velar c/qu g/gu n(n)
labiovelar qu/cu gu/gŭ nu u

Possibly, nu is a digraph representing a labiovelar nasal instead of a cluster.

Vowel Orthography, Arranged Phonetically *
  front central back
unrounded rounded unr. rounded
oral close i
close mid e     o
mid e/ĕ u
open mid   a au/o/ŏ 
open æ
full open a  
nasal close in
close mid    on
mid un
open en
full open an  

page started: 2004.Jul.28 ???
last modified: 2004.Aug.27 ???
last modified: 2008.Mar.11 Tue
content and form originated by Jeffrey S. Jones

Previous   Table of Contents   Next (Morphology)
Home Page of Jeffrey S. Jones

2004.Aug.27: (preliminary upload)
2008.Mar.11: corrections