|Native speakers||42 million (no date)|
Old High Dumaric
|Writing system||Runic , Legonic|
|Official language in||Nordjaelm|
Legim [ʎeɟɪm̥] is a Dumaric language of the West Alpic family spoken by around 42 million people, mostly in the Central-Western region of Alpa, largely concentrated in the country of Nordjaelm, but also spilling into the neighbouring countries of Shalorja, Raktharia and Cohelia.
It is a Dumaric language, so it is closely related to other languages in the same family, such as Legjok, Thaljan and Edynj. It is more distantly related to other languages in the West Alpic language family, such as Shalorjan, Rakthar and Cohelian.
Legim has a fairly complex phonological inventory, with much variety in dialects, but the following description being of the Old Kjonnjar standard
Legim has a very rich consonantal system, with many consonants varying in both voicedness and degree of palatalisation. All sonorants have voiceless counterparts, a relatively rare feature cross-linguistically.
|Nasal||m̥ m̥ʲ m mʲ||ɱ̥ ɱ||n̥ n||ɲ̥ ɲ||ŋ̥ ŋ||ɴ̥ ɴ|
|Plosive||p pʲ b bʲ||t tʲ d dʲ||c ɟ||k g||q ɢ|
|Fricative||ɸ ɸʲ v vʲ||f fʲ v vʲ||θ θʲ ð ðʲ||s sʲ z zʲ||ʃ ʒ||ɕ ʑ||ç ʝ||x ɣ||χ ʁ||ħ ʕ||h|
|Affricate||t͡s t͡sʲ d͡z d͡zʲ||t͡ʃ d͡ʒ||t͡ɕ d͡ʑ||c͡ç ɟ͡ʝ|
|Lateral Approximate||l̥ ɫ̥ l ɫ||ʎ̥ ʎ|
|Approximant||j̥ j||ɥ̥ ɥ||ʍ w|
|Trill||r̥ r̥ʲ r rʲ||ʀ̥ ʀ|
All non-approximant palatal consonants are in fact allophones of velar sounds in front of front vowels, apart from [ɲ̥ ɲ] which are allophones of [n̥ n], and [ʎ̥ ʎ] which are allophones of [l̥ l]. [c] is an allophone of [k], [ɟ] is an allophone of [g], [ç] is an allophone of [x] and [ʝ] is an allophone of [ɣ].The affricates [c͡ç ɟ͡ʝ] are a result of the clusters [kj gj]. The alveolo-palatal consonants are allophones of post-alveolar consonants before front vowels. Therefore [ɕ] is an allophone of [ʃ], [ʑ] is an allophone of [ʒ], [t͡ɕ] is an allophone of [t͡ʃ] and [d͡ʑ] is an allophone of [d͡ʒ]. [ɥ̥ ɥ] are allophones of [ʍ w] before front vowels. All palatalised consonants are allophones of their respective plain consonants before the vowels [i y ɛ ɛː].
All voiceless sonorants may be found allophonically adjacent to other voiceless phonemes, or word-finally. Phonemically they are only found word-initially, and written with a <h> before the corresponding cosonant.
So <hm> [m̥], <hn> [n̥], <hl> [l̥], < hr> [r̥], <hj> [j̥], <huV> [ʍV] (where V is any vowel), <hṇ> [ŋ̥]. [χ] is an allophone of [h] adjacent to plosives and word-finally.
|Close||i y||ɨ||ɯ u|
|Near-Close||ɪ ɪ:||ʊ ʊ:|
|Close-Mid||e ø||ɤ o|
|Open||a a:||ɑ ɒ|
Morphology and syntax
Legim grammar is fairly complex, with a high degree of inflection in nouns, verbs and adjectives.
Nouns decline according to case, number and definitiveness. All this is shown through an inflected suffix to the noun, with the root noun itself staying unchanged. The specific suffix depends of the noun's class, of which there are 6, which are usually named N, VVC, VR, CC, VK and VZ.
N-class includes all nouns that end in a nasal. All nouns in N-class are feminine
VVC-class includes all nouns that end in 2 vowels and a consonant. All nouns in VVC-class are feminine apart from those that end in -r.
VR-class includes all nouns that end in a vowel and -r, -l or -ll. All nouns in VR-class are masculine.
CC-class includes all nouns that end in 2 consonants. All nouns in CC-class are masculine.
VK-class includes all nouns that end in a vowel and a plosive or affricate. All nouns in VK-class are neuter.
VZ-class includes all nouns that end in a vowel and a fricative or approximant. All nouns in VZ-class are neuter.
Nouns that end in vowels are fairly rare, the most common being -a, and all of these are considered feminine grammatically, but decline according to the noun class that they belong to if the final vowel was removed. There are 8 nominal cases: nominative, genitive, accusative, dative, ablative, locative, instrumentative and vocative. Noun suffixes trigger phonological change in the root noun, dependent on type of vowel in the suffix. Front vowels in the suffix trigger a fronting in the final vowel of the root noun, whereas back vowels in the suffix trigger a backing in the root noun.
The dative, ablative and locative cases also trigger a phonological change in the root noun by mutating the initial consonant if used without a preposition. This only affects certain consonants.