From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Created bySally Caves
Setting and usageFantasy setting of the Teonim
Sourcesdraws on Indo-European languages: Romance, Germanic and Celtic
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

Teonaht /ˈt.nɑːθ/ is a constructed language that has been developed since 1962 by science fiction writer and University of Rochester English professor Sarah Higley, under the pseudonym of Sally Caves.[citation needed] It is spoken in the fantasy setting of the Teonim, a race of polydactyl humans who have a cultural history of worshiping catlike deities.[citation needed]

Teonaht uses the object–subject–verb (OSV) word order, which is rare in natural languages. An interesting feature of Teonaht is that the end of the sentence is the place of greatest emphasis, as what is mentioned last is uppermost in the mind.[citation needed] The language has a "Law of Detachment" whereby suffixes can be moved to the beginnings of words for emphasis and even attach onto other words such as pronouns.[citation needed]

Teonaht is often cited as an example of the genre in articles on the world of Internet-hosted amateur conlanging.[1][2][3][4]

In May 2019, the Washington Post shared audio of Caves singing in Teonaht.[5]


  1. ^ "Inventing private languages at the UR". www.rochester.edu. Archived from the original on 26 June 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  2. ^ Sprechen sie ELVISH?: 3/ 6/ 2004[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Babel's modern architects - Los Angeles Times
  4. ^ Conley, Tim and Stephen Cain (2006). Encyclopedia of fictional and fantastic languages, pg. xxv
  5. ^ "Sarah Higley, a University of Rochester professor, sings in Teonaht, the language she invented. - The Washington Post". The Washington Post.


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