Phonologically, Talossan is similar in its pronunciation to a Romance language, but exhibits some Germanic sounds (such as the English “sh” sound, and the vowel sound heard in English “cash”), and even some Slavic and Celtic pronunciation tendencies.
The Talossan language is written using thirty-two letters. Eight of these letters are vowels and each of these can be marked to indicate stress. The letters in the Talossan alphabet are listed below.
- Vowels: a ä e i o ö u ü
- Consonants: b c ç d ð f g h k l m n p q r s ß t v x z þ
- Indicated Semivowels: j w (these letters are used only in certain words where they stand for i and u, respectively, in polyphthongs)
The same alphabetical order as English is used in Talossan, except that ð (called “eth” in English) follows d, and þ (called ‘thorn’) follows z. In alphabetical ordering, ç (called tze cediglha or tze caßat) is not distinguished from c, nor is ß (called eseta) distinguished from s, nor any marked vowel from its unmarked counterpart.
The Talossan alphabet is pronounced: ah, be, tze, de, eð, eh, ef, ge, hal (or hasch), ih, txota, ka, ell, em, en, oh, pe, cü, er, es, te, uh, ve, ve Tütsch, üx, tzet, þorn.
Notice that the letter y is not a letter of the Talossan alphabet. It appears in Talossan texts only in foreign words, such as proper names.
Three Talossan letters not found on the QWERTY keyboard (þ, ð, and ß) can alternatively be represented by other letters. Either form is used in Talossan texts interchangeably as a matter of personal taste or convenience. It is not uncommon to see uses of both orthographies for a single letter in the same work.
- The Letter þ is often seen written using the digraph tg. In practice, the letter þ is used as often as, or even more often than, the tg digraph, and it is preferred to the digraph for formal texts.
- The Letter ð is often written using d for convenience.
- The Letter ß. The letter ß is interchangeable with the digraph ss and is widely used, though it is customary to avoid using ß in the word Talossa and words derived from it. Additionally, the words fossent (= we must, they must), qissen (= whose), qissenevri (= whosoever), and Vossençia (= Your Excellency) are typically seen spelled using ss (but it is not incorrect to use ß in these words). This letter is used as ß in both upper- and lowercase; no Talossan word begins with this letter.