Bae Phonology

Consonants

Bilabial Labio-
dental
Inter-
dental
Dental Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar Labio-
velar
Velar-
dental
Glottal
Stop p b     t d     k g      
Fricative ɸ f v θ ð s ʃ   x     h
Affricate       ts         ks  
Nasal m     n            
Lateral       l            
Approximate           j   w    
Trill       r            

Vowels

Diphthongs do not occur frequently in Baen (except when plurals are created), but they are not a rarity. All vowels (other than i) that occur in immediate proximity with i create a diphthong. These are the only vowels that are pronounced as diphthongs when together. All others are articulated as separate vowels. The four phonemically possible diphthongs are written thus:

  • ai
  • ei
  • oi
  • ui

Phonotactics

Consonantal clusters abound in Baen, though generally they are two-consonant clusters rather than more.

Possible initial consonant clusters:

kl-
tl-
pl-
bl-
gl-
dl-
vl-
fl-
ɸl-
sl-
ʃl-
ml-
fr-
ɸr-
vr-
gr-
dr-
br-
sr-
tr-
pr-
kr-
ʃr-
st-
ʃt-
stl-

All plosives (as well as l, m, and n) can be followed by j, as this is not a full consonant (rather it is a glide or semi-vowel). It tends to palatalize t and d and sometimes l, m, and n. However, the other semi-vowel in Baen, w, cannot be used in this same way.

Possible final consonant clusters:

-st
-nd
-nt
-mp
-mb

Some consonant geminates can also be word-final:

-ss
-nn
-mm
-rr
-ll

On Medial Consonant Clusters

Almost all consonant clusters are possible medially in Baen, and very little assimilation occurs outside of word stems. There cannot be more than four consonants in immediate contact with each other, as there are no initial or final consonant clusters of more than two and no morphemes without at least one vowel.

No same consonant, however, can come in succession of more than two. Therefore, when a noun like tamass (afternoon) is to be attached to an adjective like seplass (incomplete), it must be rendered tamasseplass, not *tamassseplass.

Stress

The stress (or accent) in Baen is extremely regular.

For words of two syllables, the stress falls on the first syllable.

For words of three or more syllables, it falls on the antepenult (third from last syllable) unless the penult (second from last syllable) contains:
a) a diphthong (ui, ai, ei, oi),
b) a double vowel (any two vowels that do not make a phonological diphthong coming in immediately succession: au, eo, iu, etc.),
    or
c) if a syllable onset and coda are in immediate contact between the last syllable and the penult (i.e. if the vowel of the penult is followed by two consonants or more, except -st-, -nd-, or -nt-, to which this rule does not apply),
    or
d) if the last syllable of a word has an onset of w or j (as in almemoja).