tɬɯ́qʈɤ (Tlueqto)

tɬɯ́qʈɤ is a constructed language (a “conlang” for short). I’m making it for fun, mostly. This is my third conlang, after dapiica and dwi~ (which doesn’t have any page on this site yet). tɬɯ́qʈɤ is what’s known as an “a priori naturalistic artlang”, which means that:

  1. The language is not based on any real world languages, however it is constructed in such a way that it could have emerged naturally.
  2. The language is created for amusement as a piece of art/fiction, rather than as an experiment into “what languages can be”.

The name tɬɯ́qʈɤ is what the speakers call the language, “Tlueqto” is a romanisation invented so that you can type the name of it more easily. “Tlueqto” is not an accurate guide on how to pronounce the name of the language.

The rest of this page (excluding the Log) is a work of fiction.


(WIP note: this section is half-finished – I’ve yet to name any places, and the map is not yet ready for uploading)

Tlueqto has 4 major dialects:

The Distant dialect is the most distinct from the others, due to a lack of direct contact.

Phonology and Phonotactics

Syllables have an onset of 0–2 consonants, a nucleus of 1 vowel, and a coda of 0–2 consonants.


The consonant phonemes:

labial dental alveolar retroflex palatal uvular laryngeal
nasal m ɳ
stop p ʈ c q ʔ
affricate ʈʂ
fricative ʂ ç
approximant ʋ ɻ
trill ʀ
lateral affricate
lateral fricative ɬ
lateral approximant ɭ

Voicing is entirely allophonic. Note the large number of retroflex consonants.

To avoid confusion between similar looking symbols, the rest of the guide will omit the ◌̪ mark on the dental consonants.

Allophones (Voicing)

Voiced word initially: p t ʈ c q s ʂ ç (becoming [b d ʈ ɟ ɢ z ʐ ʝ])

Voiced when followed by a vowel: ʈ͡ʂ t͡ɬ (becoming [ɖ͡ʐ d͡ɮ])

Other Allophones

/ʀ/ becomes [r] when in a consonant cluster.

/ɻ/ becomes [ɽ] when in between 2 vowels.

/ç/ becomes [x] when word final.


There are 9 vowel qualities, divided into 3 categories: unrounded front, unrounded back, and rounded

front rounded back
close i y ɯ
mid ɛ ø ɤ
open a ɒ ʌ

Vowel Harmony

The vowel harmony system in this language is 2-dimensional. At the core is the rule words may only contain front unrounded vowels or back unrounded vowels, but not both. The rounded vowels are neutral vowels, and may be included in any word, regardless of what other vowels are in the word.

Unlike many vowel harmony systems, however, this one is productive. Each vowel is associated with the others at its height (close, mid, or open), and switching all the front vowels in a word for the equivalent back vowels (or visa-versa) actually has a grammatical effect. See the section on Harmony Swaps for more info.For example, in nouns the front vowel form is singular, and the back vowel form is plural: pɛɬá [bɛ.ɬá] is “cat”. Changing the vowel qualities to back produces pɤɬʌ́ [bɤ.ɬʌ́] “cats”

Vowel harmony is triggered by the first vowel in the word (even if that’s a prefix.)


There are 2 tones: high and low. Orthographically, high tone is marked with an acute accent over the affected vowel, and low tone is unmarked.

Tone is for the most part lexical rather than functional (that is, it indicates the content of the phrase rather than the grammar).

Restrictions on consonant clusters

Consonant clusters are a maximum of 2 consonants long.

Affricates ( and ʈʂ) cannot be in a cluster with a stop or a nasal, and may not be followed by a fricative or affricate.


Before we get into the details, here’s a simple sentence:

sácini søsýː ci

∅–sácin–i søsýː ci

PST.recent–burn–1.DIR milk 1SG

“I burnt some milk”

Word order is (usually) VOS. Tense and aspect are typically indicated on the verb, rather than with auxilliaries. Mode is yet to be decided.

Somewhat unusually, the unmarked form of a verb doesn’t typically appear in conversation – evidentiality, person, and epistemic modality are explicitly marked at the end of the verb. For example, the verb stem meaning “to go” is just t, which can’t be pronounced by itself:

ti ci

∅–t–i ci

PST.recent–go–1.DIR 1SG

“I went”


The tenses are:

Past (ɛ́-), Recent Past (implied a-), Present (ʌ-), and Future (ɯ́-)

Note that the Recent Past is the unmarked form of a verb. The prefix is an implied front vowel, since it triggers vowel harmony (and thus the unmarked form of verbs is front voweled).

Aspectually, the past and future tenses are considered to be perfect (the event happened before the reference time) by default. Present tense is progressive by default. Other aspects are yet to be decided.


The ending of a verb is marked to indicate what evidence the speaker has for the statement: direct evidence (directly saw/perceived), reported (told by someone), or inferred (it must be true). This ending also changes form to indicate the speakers level of belief in the statement (certain vs dubious vs surprised but believes to be true).

Verbs have a special ending for when the speaker is the subject – since reports of your own actions are always direct.

Direct Reported Inferred
Sure Dubious Surprised Sure Dubious Surprised
Ending: –(á/ʌ́)tɬ –(ǿ)ʂ –(ǿ)qʂ –(ǿ)xøʔ(á/ʌ́)ʂ –(ǿ)t –(á/ʌ́)ʈʂ –(á/ʌ́)ʈ
Ending (1SG): –i/ɯ

The bracketed vowels are optional, and are only ever inserted if not inserting them would make the final syllable of the vowel break pronounciation rules. (so for example, if the verb stem ends with n, then a vowel would have to be inserted before and ʈʂ (as affricates are not allowed to be in a consonant cluster with a stop) and before (as a 3 consonant cluster like nqʂ is not permitted in the language), but not before any of the other endings.

A couple of examples, with English equivalents:

Direct Reported Inferred
Verb Stem Sure Dubious Surprised Sure Dubious Surprised
sácin sácinátɬ sáciɳʂ sácinǿqʂ sácinxøʔáʂ sácint sácináʈʂ sáciɳʈ
“burn” “I saw them burn (it)” “I was told they burnt (it)” “Someone claims they burnt (it)” “I was told they burnt (it)!” “They must have burnt (it)” “I think they have burnt (it)” “They must have burnt (it)!”
ʌt ʌtʌ́tɬ ʌtʂ ʌtǿqʂ ʌtxøʔáʂ ʌtǿt ʌtʌ́ʈʂ ʌtʌ́ʈ
“going” “I see them going” “I am told they are going” “It is claimed that they are going” “I was told they’re going!” “They must be going” “I think they are going” “They must be going!”

(Note that /n/ assimilates to /ɳ/ when in front of a retroflex consonant.)

Harmony Swaps

In verbs, the specific vowels used are dependent on tense – as mentioned above, front vowels are used for the Past and Recent Past tenses, whereas back vowels are used for the Present and Future tenses. Vowel Harmony in these cases helps to emphasise what the tense actually is, and doesn’t convey any information on its own.

In nouns, however, the difference is important. The unmarked form of a noun is singular, the marked form is plural, and in modern tɬɯ́qʈɤ this is signified with a vowel harmony swap:

Singular Plural
pɛɬá [bɛ.ɬá] pɤɬʌ́ [bɤ.ɬʌ́]
to do: more examples

Uncountable words, like søsý “milk”, often only have neutral vowels, but not always.

The distinction betwen singular and plural was a prefix in Middle Tlueqto: nɯt- (PL). Since it was a prefix with a back vowel, it forced the rest of the vowels to be back vowels. Slowly, the prefix was dropped, but the vowel shift stayed.

In Distant Tlueqto, the prefix was not dropped from the language, it became an adjective meaning “many”. It is the only adjective that occurs before the noun.


This log is here to document my process, read ahead if you’re interested.


Work done before the dailies:

Day 1 (18–12–23)

Day 2 (18–12–24)

The removed sounds were: [tɹ], [ɹ], [ʈɭ̊˔], [L]

The sounds that became allophones were /R/ (becomes [r] when in a consonant cluster); /ɻ/ (becomes [ɽ] when between 2 vowels)

ɒ́- Present
ɒ- Recent Past
ǿ- Past
ý- Future

Day 3 (18–12–25)

Was a holiday day, so no work was done.

Day 4 (18–12–26)

Day 5 (18–12–27)

Days 6, 7, 8


Day 9 (18-12-31)

Day 10, 11


Day 12 (19-01-01)

Days 13–25

Day 26 (19-01-15)