The Great Game: Kanhlengo Topic


British Kanhlengo

The British Kanhlengo dialect is a modern dialect of Kanhlengo as it is spoken in the United Kingdom and nearby regions. British Kanhlengo is characterized by strong influences by the English language in pronunciation, spelling, lexicon, and even syntax.

For instance, some Kanhlengi speakers in Wales retain the [ɬ] allophone of <hl> (though sometimes spelling it <ll>); however, most British Kanhlengo speakers pronounce it instead as [ɫ]. A few British Kanhlengo speakers even pronounce it as [l], removing the distinction between [ɬ] and [l] entirely. Some writers will even drop the <h> in <hl>; however, others sport the <h> as a badge of pride and introduce it into their English spellings (I'm sorry, I mean, hteir Enghlihs spehllings). This is often dubbed the Kanhlengo/Kanlengo debate, and it is fiercer than debates on the Oxford comma.

Meanwhile, British Kanhlengo sports anglicization in both its lexicon and syntax as well. For example, speakers of British Kanhlengo often use words like "teli" or "telifon" instead of Kanhlengo native words like "rodëddor" (telephone). As for syntax, the most immediately noticeable change is in verb conjugations. First, distant past tense is subsumed into past tense, while the distant future tense is subsumed into the future tense. An additional tense (the future conditional) is used in place of the irrealis mood. The future conditional tense takes the prefix wu(d)- (from English "would") and uses nominative-accusative alignment.

British Kanhlengo Phonology

Here are the sound changes that yields the British Kanhlengo dialect continuum:

ɣ > w/V_V, _#
ɣ > ɡ/( everywhere else unless itˈs part of a consonant cluster where the first sound is unvoiced where /ɣ > kʰ/ happens instead)

ʍ > h/_#_
ʍ > w

ʂ > ʃ

xC > ʃC
x > h

ɽ ɖ > d

ʈʰ > tʰ

ɳ > n

ɲ > ŋ~nj/(the letter is sometimes confused to be pronounced as /nj/ due to Spanish influence)

k > ɡ/#_

æ > eɪ/_#_[−voice]

Table 1: Consonants
  Labial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m     n (nj)⁴ ŋ  
Plosive pʰ p̚³     tʰ d   k (kʰ)⁵ ɡ  
Fricative   f v θ ð s z ʃ   h
Approximant w     (ɹ)² j (w)  
Lateral Approximant       ɫ~l¹      
  1. /l/ is an allophone of /ɫ/ in free variation.
  2. When /d/ forms a word-internal cluster it lenites to /ɹ/.
  3. /p̚/ only occurs word finally
  4. /nj/ and /ŋ/ are allophonic in free variation except word-initially where it's always /nj/.
  5. /kʰ/ only occurs when /ɡ/ is the first consonant in a consonant cluster and the second consonant is unvoiced.


Closed i u
Close Mid e (eɪ)¹ o
Open Mid ɛ ɔ
Open æ  
  1. /eɪ/ is an allophone of /æ/ when it appears next to a non-stressed, unvoiced consonant.


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