Gabyrian language

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Language: English
Gabyrian alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3

The Gabyrian language is the official language of the Principality of Gabyr (as well as the native language of the city-state's Nereid population), and also the lingua franca of maritime trade between the Occident and the Orient.


Words in the Gabyrian language are made up by combining roots and templates, the earlier consisting of consonants, the latter of (mostly) vowels. A peculiar feature of Gabyrian is the intolerance of diphthongs: one would think that the root /g-w-r/ and the template /_a__aː/ would result in [gawɾaː], but it actually results in [gɔːɾaː]. The only exception to this rule is rarely used loanwords - on the other hand, neutralized and/or frequently used loanwords tend to have all diphthongs monopthongized.


Labial Dental Alveolar Palata Velar Laryngeal
Nasal <m> [m] <n> [n] <ň> [ɲ] (ŋ)
Obstrudent Tenuis <p> [p] <t> [t] <c> [t͡s] <č> [t͡ʃ] <k> [k] <q> [q]
Lenis <b> [b~β] (v) <d> [d~ð] <z> [d͡z~z] <ž> [d͡ʒ~ʒ] <g> [g~ɣ] <`> [ʕ]
Aspirate <f> [f] <ţ> [θ] <s> [s] <š> [ʃ] <ȟ> [x] <h> [h]
Sonorant <l> [l] <r> [r~ɾ] <j> [j] <w> [w]
  • /v/ appears only in loanwords, and they tend to pronounce it as [β]
  • The lenis obstrudents are pronounced as stops/affricates word-initially, after nasals and other consonants, as fricatives in all other positions.
    • There has been a growing tendency to pronounce word-initial /d͡ʒ g/ as fricatives [ʒ ɣ], leaving the plosive pronunciations [d͡ʒ g] only after nasals
  • /r/ is normally pronounced as a flap [ɾ], but geminated /rː/ is pronounced as a trill [rː]. Word-initial /r/ may be either a flap [ɾ] or a trill [r], depending on speaker preference.
  • /ʕ/ often becomes silent, leaving a laryngeal colouring on the preceding or proceeding vowel. For this reason, many may not consider it a true consonant phoneme.


- Front Central Back
Short Long Short Long Short Long
Close <i> /ɪ/ <ij, yj> /iː/ <y> /ɨ/ <iw, uj> /ɨː/ <u> /ʊ/ <uw, yw> /uː/
Close-Mid <ej, ëj> /eː/ <ë> /ə/ <ow, ëw> /oː/
Open-Mid <e> /ɛ/ <aj, oj> /ɛː/ <o> /ɔ/ <aw, ew> /ɔː/
Open <a> /a/ <á> /aː/ (ɒ) (ɒː)
  • While /a aː/ are always unrounded [ä äː], /ə ɨ ɨː/ vary between unrounded [ə ɨ ɨː] and rounded [ɵ̞ ʉ ʉː], depending on context.
  • [ɒ ɒː] are allophones of /a aː/ before and after the laryngeal /q ʕ/.
  • The Gabyrian language has no diphthongs, and any would-be diphthong is automatically monophthongized:
    • /iw/ and /uj/ merge as [ɨː]
    • /ɨj/ becomes [iː]
    • /ɨw/ becomes [uː]
    • /ɛj/ and /əj/ merge as [eː]
    • /aj/ and /ɔj/ merge as [ɛː]
    • /ɔw/ and /əw/ merge as [oː]
    • /aw/ and /ɛw/ merge as [ɔː]
    • Diphthongs may exist in recently borrowed or infrequently used loanwords. In neutralized or frequently used loanwords, these diphthongs tend to get monophthongized, just like in native vocabulary.
  • While the Gabyrian language does have vowel length distinction, the majority of long vowels originate from the monophthongization described above, and are not inherent parts of templates. Hennce it could be said that the only widely occouring phonemic vowels are /a aː ɛ ə ɔ i ɨ u/, with phonemic /ɛː eː ɔː oː iː ɨː uː/ being marginal in native Gabyrian vocabulary, being largerly restricted to loanwords.