|Info available||grammar (1250 words)|
Lé [le24] has three related meanings:
- An ethnonym for the people of Belesao; compare Bé, the name of the Beic language family and cultural zone of northern Arcél. The Lé are only one of the Bé peoples.
- The standard language of Belesao; in this sense it may also be called Létɔ̌ŋ ‘Lé speech’.
- The ancient dynasty which first unified Belesao, and ruled for about three centuries starting in the late 1600s. This is the original meaning of the word, and the source of the previous two senses.
The Lé language, part of the Beic family, is isolating, SVO, and head-final. (E.g. the word nɔŋǎ ‘spirit world’ is a compound of nɔ ‘in, inner’ + ŋǎ ‘world’.)
There are five tones. In the capital, Jansɛ̀, the base contours are a = 22, á = 24, à = 52, â = 453, ǎ = 213; these vary widely dialectally. There is fairly extensive tone sandhi, e.g. áá = 24 34; áa = 24 44. There are seven vowels, i e ɛ a ɔ o u. There are 15 consonants, p t č k b d j m n ŋ s ł h r l. The stop system is notable for having no g; ł is pronounced as a lateral fricative, similar to Welsh ll. The syllable structure of Lé is (C)(C)V(C). Initial consonant clusters include stop + r, and final consonants can be r s n or ŋ.
|Article begun by Dunomapuka, largely rewritten by Zompist|