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Template:Engineered language

Latejami (natively [laˈted͡ʒami]; 'speech-system')[1] is an engineered language intended as a speakable machine-translation interlanguage. It was developed by Rick Morneau in his 1995 paper The Lexical Semantics of a Machine Translation Interlingua, and developed over a number of years under different names, including Nasendi, Katanda, Ladekwa and Latenkwa.





Phonology and orthography

Latejami has 26 phonemes: 21 consonants and five vowels.

Consonant phonemes
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p b t d t͡ʃ d͡ʒ k g
Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ h~ʔ~x
Nasal m n
Lateral l
Rhotic r
Semivowel w j

/r/ may be realized as any rhotic, and /h/ may be realized "as a glottal stop or as any unvoiced velar, uvular, pharyngeal, or glottal fricative."

Vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

Three phonetic diphthongs are present: /aj aw oj/. They are treated as vowel-semivowel sequences and spelled ⟨ay aw oy⟩.

The Latejami alphabet
Grapheme a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
Phoneme a b t͡ʃ d e f g h~ʔ~x i d͡ʒ k l m n o p ʒ r s t u v w ʃ j z

(Differences from the IPA are highlighted.)


Morpheme classes

Word structure

Proper names, etc.





Case tags

Case-role semantics


Tense, aspect and modality


Abstract relationships

Literalness and metaphor




  1. Stress placement in Latejami depends on word-internal syntax. Here stress goes on the syllable te because te is a Modifier morpheme.


Morneau, R. 2007. The Lexical Semantics of a Machine Translation Interlingua. Accessed from (19 June 2021).