The Domran ['dɔm.ɹən] language (δόμρα ['dɔ̃:.ra] or ['dɔm.ra]) is a language spoken by the inhabitants of a small island group in the Mediterranian - roughly half-way between Italy and Greece.
Domran is a language isolate without any related languages, however, due to centuries of Greek and Roman influences, a large number of loan words from both of these languages have found their way into Domran.
Notable treats of the Domran language are its tripartite nature as well as its unusual numbers and the existance of a 4th person. The language is written using an adopted form of the Greek alphabet.
The Domran vowel system consists of the 7 oral vowels /a ɛ e i ɔ o u/ and the nasal vowel /ɔ̃:/. Additionally, Domran uses the oral vowel /y/ which was imported from Ancient Greek (and therefore is usually only found in Greek loan words as well as names).
All close vowels have near-close allophones which are used in closed syllables.
The vowels /ɛ e/ can be reduced to [ə] in unstressed syllables - the usual practice is to pronounce them "correctly" in word stems but to reduce them in inflectional endings.
The vowel /ɔ/ is only pronounced [ɔ] in closed syllables. In open syllables, it is pronounced [o].
Historically, both /ɔ/ and /o/ had nasal counterparts but over time, /õ/ has merged with /ɔ̃/, with both being pronounced [ɔ̃:]. It is the only true long vowel Domran has - all other vowels are usually short. The difference is still retained in spelling.
If the nasal vowel is followed by another vowel, an [m] is inserted between them. Additionally, the nasality is dropped. Some people also do this when an /r/ or /l/ follows the nasal vowel.
Vowel lenght is traditionally not phonemic. However, due to assimilation processes of the phoneme /x/, there are instances in which vowel length is contrastive.
Domran has two sets of diphthongs: One set ends with [ɪ̯] and the other with [ʊ̯]. The oral vowels /a e o u/ can form diphthongs; /u/ cannot form a diphthong with [ʊ̯].
|Plosive||p b||t d||k g|
|Fricative||f (v)||s (z)||(ç)||x|
The nasal /n/ is pronounced [m] before bilabial plosives and [ŋ] before velar plosives.
The fricative /x/ is pronounced [ç] when it is neighbored by a front vowel. If /x/ is between a front and non-front vowel, it is pronounced [j].
All fricatives are subject to assimilation when they are followed by a voiced plosive. /f/ and /s/ are simply changed to their voiced counterparts ([v] and [z] respectively). /x/ (only when it is also pronounced [x]) is changed to a chroneme [:] if the preceding vowel can be lengthened (aka is not nasal, open-mid or a diphthong), else it is pronounced [g].
Due to assimilation, a number of consonant clusters are realized as geminated consonants.
- /l/ and /r/ assimilate each other. The assimilation is regressive meaning that the second sound stays the same and the first one is assimilated
- unvoiced plosives and their corresponding fricatives (only in this order) are realized as geminated fricatives
- nasals and voiced plosives are realized as geminated nasals
The primary stress is distributed according to the following priorities:
- Last nasal vowel in the word stem
- Last long vowel or diphthong in the word stem
- Last vowel of the word stem
Syllables in Domran are of the type (C₁L)V₁(V₂)(C₁C₂). The clear tendency is either CV or CVC.
Domran has adopted the Greek alphabet and changed it slightly. It is completely phonemic, which means that each letter corresponds to a phoneme (yet the status of μ is disputed). However, not every phoneme has its own letter - some are written as digraphs.
The following digraphs exist:
A trema is put on ι or υ (ϊ or ϋ) if they are not part of a diphthong but rather represent /i/ or /u/.
An apostrophy is inserted if ο or ω are followed by μ (ο'μ or ω'μ) and don't represent a nasal but a vowel + /m/ (in the next syllable).