Bonsyr a d-tus, e mhiaw-miaw. (Hi, everyone.
I'm open to most forms of (constructive) criticism, so feel free to say what you want. In particular, I would love to know if you think Leafoosish is too close to French or if it doesn't look very Celtic. (It's supposed to look Celtic.) Things I don't need to hear: romlangs are irritating; your language doesn't have enough depth/interestingness/whatever; you should use languages other than English and French as your starting points; you shouldn't be making an Irish/Welsh/Celtic/whatever based language because of XYZ; you need a conculture because that's, like, so vital
(Sorry about that.
So anyway, Leafoosish (or Llyffws if you like that better) is, in the currently accepted version of events, a somewhat Welsh and/or Irish and/or something-else influenced dialect of French spoken by cats in the obscure and relatively unknown country of Leafoosh (Llyffw). No one has ever been able to locate Leafoosh on a map or in real life, so we will have to rely on rumor, hearsay and the like when a Leafoosish cat is not available to inform us.
I'll start with the phonology, because I always do. The transcription's in X-SAMPA.
e [e, E, @] ([e] in open syllables, [E] in closed ones, @ in final position)
g [g, Z]
r [4, r, R\] (different dialects)
s [s, S] ([s] before a, o, u, w; [S] before e, i, y)
w [w, u] ([w] before vowels; [u] elsewhere]
y [j, I, i] ([j] before vowels; [I] elsewhere; [i] replaces [I] in some dialects)
accent égu over a vowel = long vowel
Plurals are formed using the tay-tea-tie rule. You probably don't know what that means because I just made it up yesterday; it's my little term for the main vowel shifts in English. Here's how it works: a => e => i => ai. Now I know that doesn't cover all the vowels, but what you do with the rest of them is you put a circumflex on. Examples:
ymen (human) => ŷmin (humans)
egal (equal, adjective) => ighell (equal, used w/plural nouns) (Note: this is an irregular plural.
The l => ll shift in Leafoosish corresponds to the l => u shift in French.)
conell (rabbit) => cônill (rabbits)
seat (cat) => sét (cats)
(No, I haven't yet figured out how you pronounce circumflexed vowels.)
You'll notice that the tay-tea-tie/circumflex rule affects every vowel in the word. This is supposed to be based on Welsh, but it doesn't really matter whether it is. Note, also, that the <e> in "seat" is silent in the singular but not in the plural.
Yes, and then there's the issue of consonant mutations. Unfortunately, I could never quite decide how to do them, so they go something like this (they only occur after final vowels, I think):
conell (rabbit) = le/la g-conell (the rabbit)
dw (two) => li ddw/li dhw* (the two)
lefre (hare) => le/la llefre (the hare)
fint (twenty) => le/la fhint** (the twenty)
ffw (fire) => le/la fw (the fire)
(*I haven't decided on whether to spell /D/ <dd> or <dh>, but I'm leaning toward dd. **I don't have a clue how one would pronounce this and am open to suggestions.)
In other words: Unvoiced consonants become voiced (eclipsis, I think); voiced consonants get an h after them; l becomes ll; and I don't know what ll becomes. If you think this is a terrible system or if you have suggestions, feel free to tell me how you think it should go.