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Nolwynn [NLN]
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Typology Functional 1,455 words
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Registered by fractalshadow on 14 December 2016
Language type Artistic Language (Artlang)
Place & SpeakersNolwynn is spoken by a population of around 5,000 in Zanobia.
Species Human/humanoid
About Nolwynn

Nolwynn is the language of a small ethnic group that live in scattered clans on the oceans of the planet Kireles. The Nolwynn people are known to be peaceful, matriarchal, & superstitious.

Their lives revolve around taboos [ Avoidance Language], ritual [such as uakulopo], & clan loyalty. They believe that speech has a powerful impact on the world. Their language reflects this: infixes are common, pronouns are an open class, there is no distinct class of adjectives or adverbs, onomatopoeia is used extensively, verbs don’t conjugate for tense, & almost anything can behave like a verb in at least some circumstances. Nolwynn uses collocations to describe things that are foreign or forbidden. There are also 10 grammatical moods, including a mourning mood & a story mood. Verbs don't conjugate for tense; there are a few nouns which are used to show if the verb happened, if it will happen, or if it is currently happening.

For centuries, Nolwynn was unwritten because of superstitions regarding the power of words. Language is considered a gift from the goddess, so it was considered dangerous to write especially if the document might later be thrown away. Although those taboos have lessened in recent years, literacy remains low.

Historically, the Nolwynn people were persecuted for their strange ways, which might be why they began living on the sea. Many generations ago, one unfortunate group of Nolwynn was captured & brought onto land to become slaves. That group became the Tulwyn. Today the two groups consider themselves cousins.

Many believe that Nolwynn is a language isolate. However, it evolved from the speech of the Oceanites.
Sample of Nolwynn[view] Ozšwi txazbxii kamoá. Lozúnikalape šorwina. Iinipe. Zwaneša zaltu.

Touch your monitor. It is warm, like flesh. But it is not flesh. Not yet.
[view all texts]
Latest vocabulary
Sound samples in Nolwynn
Some sound samples of Nolwynn. Maximum of 6 shown. Click the links to see the full texts.
Erate zwola, erate zalta.
Monkey see, monkey do.
Lorea tswesakal kula oša uapo.
Food is an important part of a balanced diet.
Luka lutšobee, tšolalxakwola zo makala lozúnerolee kweyúalanyii. Txazunó’a zo txoolasanee gibxiik. T...
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and con...
Núla! Tšopuzuro: uapo korenesaka umoma bazšiila !
Aha! Here's the problem: too many toasters!
Language family relationships
Language treeAbyssal
 ⤷  Proto-Abyssal
  ⤷ Ancient Altalian
   ⤷ Dark Altalian
    ⤷  Nolwynn
[view] About AbyssalThese are languages derived from those spoken by the Oceanites, a non-human sentient species that lives in the deepest parts of the oceans. The Oceanites had many dialects. They were mostly intelligible with each other, but clans from different ocean...
[view] Tulwyn (Tulwyn)Tulwyn is the name of a small tribe of Nolwynn people who were forced to assimilate onto land. Their language absorbed some features of their captors' [such as separate terms for male and female family members] and lost some of Nolwynn's unique features [such as the Avoidance Language] but the two remain mutually intelligible. Tulwyn also has a simpler vowel inventory, clicks, and a few other pronunciation quirks.
Nasal m mʷ     n            
Plosive p pʼ b bʼ     t tʼ       k1 kʼ g2   ʔ
Fricative   f   s sʼ z ʃ ʒ ʒʼ       [ħ]3  
Affricate       t͡s t͡sʼ            
Lateral approximant       l            
Lateral fricative       ɬ            
Approximant           j jʼ w      
Trill       r            
Click [ʘ]4   [ǀ]5 [ǃ]6            
  1. allophone of /g/, but only at the ends of words
  2. at the end of a word, it may be realized as /k/ or whispered
  3. allophone of /jʼ/
  4. Only appears in Tulwyn, allophone of /mʷ/
  5. Only appears in Tulwyn, allophone of /tʼ/
  6. Only appears in Tulwyn, allophone of /kʼ/
Close     ʉ ʉ: ʉ́  
Near-close   ɪ ɪ: ɪ́    
Close-mid e e: é   ɵ ɵ: ɵ́  
Open-mid ɛ ɛ: ɛ́      
Open       ɑ ɑ: ɑ́
Polyphthongs eɛ:
Below is the orthography for Nolwynn. This includes all graphemes as defined in the language's phonology settings - excluding the non-distinct graphemes/polygraphs.
'/ʔ/Aa/ɑ/, /ɑ/AA aa/ɑ:/Á á/ɑ́/Óó/ɵ́/Bb/b/BX bx/bʼ/Ee/e/, /e/, /e/EE ee/e:/É é/é/
Ff/f/Gg/g/1Ii/ɪ/II ii/ɪ:/Í í/ɪ́/Kk/k/2KX kx/kʼ/Ll/l/LX lx/ɬ/Mm/m/
MW mw/mʷ/Nn/n/Oo/ɵ/OO oo/ɵ:/Pp/p/, /p/PX px/pʼ/Rr/r/Ss/s/Šš/ʃ/SX sx/sʼ/
Tt/t/TS ts/t͡s/TSX tsx/t͡sʼ/TX tx/tʼ/TŠ tš/ʒ/TŠX tšx/ʒʼ/Uu/ʉ/, /ʉ/Ú ú/ʉ́/UU uu/ʉ:/Ww/w/
Yy/j/YX yx/jʼ/Zz/z/ZŠ zš/ⱱ/EEEY eeey/eɛ:/EEY eey/ɛ:/ÉY éy/ɛ́/EY ey/ɛ/Ó ó/ɵ́/
✖ Unknown alphabetical order
  1. at the end of a word, it may be realized as /k/ or whispered
  2. allophone of /g/, but only at the ends of words
Latest 8 related articles listed below.
Untranslatable words
a list
26-Jun-19 16:10
Responses to sneezing 25-Jun-19 19:45
changelog and things to work on
10-Feb-19 16:17
Gramuary 2019 07-Feb-19 15:22
ergativity 26-Jan-19 16:30
Grammatical moods
Nolwynn's moods
23-Jan-19 15:56
participles 22-Jan-19 17:29
Typological information for Nolwynn

Base counting systemQuinary (5)
Morphological typologyAgglutinative
Morphosyntactic alignmentFluid-S
Valence decreasing voicesPassive and Antipassive

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