CLS I: Sounds

I’d apologize for not posting for two weeks, but I have no doubt you’ve heard it all before. Anyway, this is the first post of me diagramming my language, CLS.

Okay. First off, here are the various sounds that make up CLS:

Vowel Sounds:
a – as in “bar”
e – as in “lend”
u – as in “bun”
ä – as in “lay”
ë – as in “bean”
ü – as in “boon”

Consonant Sounds:
p – as in “put”
t – as in “take”
k – as c in “cat”

b – as in “bun”
d – as in “dog”
g – as in “god”

f – as in “far”
th – as in “thin”
s – as in “sat”
sh – as in “shut”
kh – as ch in german “Bach”

v – as in “vanguard”
dh – as th in “they”
z – as in “zap”
zh – as s in “pleasure”
gh – no english/german equivalent, voiced ‘kh’. Form sound by going through the unvoiced fricatives (f, th, s, sh, kh) and then going through the voiced fricatives (v, dh, z, zh, gh)

pf – combination of p and f, as german “pferd”
ts – combination of t and s, as german z at beginning of word
ch – combination of t and sh, as in “chain”

bv – combination of b and v, no english/german equivalent
dz – combination of d and z, no english/german equivalent
j – combination of d and zh, as in “jail”

r – as in “red”
l – as in “lore”

If you’ll notice, the consonants are sorted into seven sections: unvoiced stops, voiced stops, unvoiced fricatives, voiced fricatives, unvoiced affricates, voiced affricates, and approximants. I know those words don’t mean anything to you unless you’ve got some knowledge of linguistics, so I’ll explain: stops are consonants that stop the airflow entirely. Fricatives only partially block it. Affricates are combinations of stops and fricatives. Approximants barely stop the airflow. The difference between a voiced and an unvoiced consonant is whether or not your vocal cords are vibrating. There are also nasals, like n, m, and ng, but I don’t have any of those in my language.

Anyway, those are the sounds that make up my language. Next post I’ll begin with some common words and some elementary grammar.



  1. Esty said,

    December 21, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Approximants are those consonants I like to call vowels.

    You. Are. Awesome. *glomp*

    The problem with “gh” is, “kh” sounds voiced already. I guess it’s just a really harsh sound then.

  2. tuskedchimp said,

    December 21, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    The difference is noticeable in speaking; I’ll point it out to you at Daniel’s party. It’s hard to describe using the words and not the noises.

  3. Daniel said,

    December 23, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    …And I’m going to be utterly lost. 🙂 I’ve never taken formal grammar or language structure, or any foreign languages. I might actually want to some time—it seems interesting.

  4. pieboy said,

    December 24, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    This would be mystifying, but I have linguistics in my blood, so it’s cool.

    Also, congratulations, my parents now think I have a disorder after hearing me run through all the sounds.

  5. tuskedchimp said,

    December 24, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    That made me giggle.

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