Phonology

LabialDentalAlveolarVelarGlottal
neutralpalatalneutralpalatalneutralretractedpalatalpalatalneutralretractedpalatalneutral
Nasalmnɳɲŋɴ
Stopp bpʲ bʲt dʈ ɖc ɟkʲ gʲk gq ɢʔʲʔ
Fricativef vfʲ vʲθ ðθʲ ðʲs zsʲ zʲxʲ ɣʲx ɣχ ʁh
ʃ ʒʂ ʐɕ ʑ
Liquidɫɫʲ
Clicksᵑʘˀᵑʘˀʲᵑǃˀᵑǃ˞ˀᵑǂˀ
  • /n̪/, /ɳ/, /ɲ/, /ŋ/, /ɴ/ are all allophones of /n/
    • /n/ becomes /n̪/ when followed by a dental consonant
    • /n/ becomes /ɳ/ when preceded by rhotacized vowel or followed by a retroflexive stop
    • /n/ becomes /ɲ/ when followed by a front vowel or palatal stop
    • /n/ becomes /ŋ/ when followed by a fronted or palatalized velar consonant
    • /n/ becomes /ɴ/ when followed by a uvular or retracted velar consonant
  • Palatalized and fronted variants of consonants are all allophones of their retracted counter parts
    • The retracted consonants occur when it is preceded, followed, or surrounded by back (non-rhotacized) vowels
    • The palatalized consonants occur when the consonant is followed by a front vowel.
    • The neutral consonants occur when preceded by a front or rhotacized vowel, when followed by a central rhotacized vowel, when preceded by a front vowel and followed by a back or central rhotacized vowel,  when followed by a palatalized liquid consonant, and when preceded by a rhotacized vowel and followed by a central rhotacized vowel.
  • Plosives are realized as their nasal counterparts when followed by a nasal consonant
  • /ɫ/ is pharyngealized and is sometimes realized as dental /ɫ̪/
FrontCentralBack
NormalColoredNormalColored
Closeʲɪʲɪ˞ˤ (jɚˤ)uu˞ˤ (wɚˤ)
Midʲeʲe˞ˤɚˤoo˞ˤ
Openʲæɑɑ˞ˤ
  • All vowels are slightly laryngealized and often use creaky voice
  • Rhotacized or ‘colored’ vowels are pharyngealized
  • All front vowels are palatalized
  • All back vowels are faucalized and pronounced with a lowering of the larynx

Syllables are constructed as the following: C(C)V(V)(C)(C)

  • The second C in onset clusters and the first C in coda clusters may only by a liquid consonant
  • The second V in nucleic diphthongs may only be the central rhotacized vowel