Ndak Ta->Adāta- >Æðadĕ->Yād->Zhaj->Aríe- >Arie->Aghiyi

The Core! Shoot the Core!

Phonemes & Romanization

  Labial Alveolar Post-Alveolar,
Palatal Velar Velar
Plosives p (p) t (t)     k (k) kʷ (kw) ʔ (?)
Affricates   ʦ (ts) ʧʷ (tshw)        
Fricatives ɸ (f) s (s) ʃʷ (shw)       h (h)
Nasals m (m) n (n)     ŋ (ng) ŋʷ (ngw)  
Glides & Liquids   l r (l r)   j (y) ɣ (gh) w (w)  

Close i (i) y (ü) ɯ (ï) u (u)
Mid e (e) ø (ö) ɤ (ë) o (o)
Open æ (ä) ɑ (a)
Diphthongs ai (ai) ay (aü) ɑɯ (aï) ɑu (au)
Triphthongs eai (eai) øay (oaü) ɤɑɯ (eaï) oɑu (oau)

There are also creaky-voiced counterparts to every vowel; these are written with a circumflex if the regular vowel has an umlaut, and a grave accent otherwise. Creaky-voiced diphthongs and triphthongs take the grave on the "a" only.

Stress always falls on the initial syllable. Every second syllable after this has a very light secondary stress, which does not affect the quality of either the vowels or the consonants in those syllables.

Vowel Harmony, : all vowels following the first vowel (i.e., all unstressed vowels) must match it in backness, roundness, and creakiness. There are thus only five phonemic vowels in unstressed vowels: close, mid, open, diphthongal (open->close), and triphthongal (mid->open->close), with no determined backness, roundness, or creakiness. In actual words, these unstressed vowels are written "i/u" (close), "e/o" (mid), "a" (open), "ai/au" (diphthongal), and "eai/oau" (triphthongal), i.e., marking roundness but omitting the diacritics placed on stressed vowels of the same quality (since they are redundant due to vowel harmony). In this document, the phonemic form of suffixes will be written "i e a ai eai" (omitting "u o au oau"); thus, the 1st person absolutive suffix is written "?aghe", though it can also be realized as "agho".


Labialization loss before "u,ü" /u,y/
kʷ ʧʷ ɸ ʃʷ ŋʷ w k ʦ h s m 0

/j/ is deleted in front of /i,y/; e.g., */eji/ -> /e.i/. When the deletion of /j/ or /w/ results in an open vowel preceding the close vowel that triggered the deletion, the two vowels merge into a diphthong; e.g., */æwy/ -> */æ.y/ -> /ay/.

Allophony in stressed vs. unstressed syllables
Phonemes Stressed Allophones Unstressed Allophones
? f h m n ng ngw l ʔ ʦ h m n ŋ ŋʷ l ʔ ʦ h m n ŋ ŋʷ l
p t k kw ts tshw pʰ tʰ kʰ kʷʰ ʦʰ ʧʷʰ p t k kʷ ʦ ʧʷ
s shw r gh w y s ʃʷ r ɣ ɣʷ ʝ* z ʒʷ ɹ ɰ w j
i ü ï u i: y: ɯ: u: i y ɯ u
e ë ö o ɛ: œ: ʌ: ɔ: e ø ɤ o
a ä ɑ: æ: ɑ æ
ai aü aï au a:i a:y ɑ:ɯ ɑ:u aɪ ɶʏ ɑə ɒʊ
eai oaü eaï oau ɛai œay ʌɑɯ ɔɑu e(a)ɪ ø(ɶ)ʏ ɤ(ɑ):ə o(ɒ) ʊ

Case and Declension

Nouns have three cases : Absolutive (subject of intransitive verbs and patient/recipient of transitive verbs), Ergative (agent of transitive verbs), and Possessed (object noun in a possessive relationship). The possessor follows the noun in the Possessed case; if the possessed noun is syntactically a subject or object of a verb, the possessor is marked for its case. E.g., if the possessed noun is the subject of an intransitive verb, the possessing noun will be in the Absolutive; if the possessed noun is the agent of a transitive verb, the possessing noun will be in the Ergative. If necessary, the 3rd person suffix is used as a "dummy" possessor. Prepositions take the Absolutive.

The Absolutive case is unmarked. When the Ergative and Possessed endings are added, either the last vowel of the Absolutive is dropped, or another consonant is added between the last vowel and the ending. The lexicon will mark this by putting the dropped vowel or added consonant in parentheses. Fourth declension nouns undergo a stem change in the final syllable of the Absolutive.

Declension Absolutive Ergative Possessed
First - -e -ai
Second - -e -eai
Third - -i -eai
Fourth-A -fe -we -pa
Fourth-B -se -shwe -ta
Fourth-C -he -we -ka

An important subset of the 1st declension has "?" as an augment: e.g., "fà"/"fà?e"/"fà? ai". Many 3rd declension nouns have a stem augment "y" or "w", which is deleted before some allomorphs of the Ergative suffix; this suffix can merge with the last vowel of the stem, e.g., */miji/ -> /mi/, */kåji/ -> /kai/.

The suffix "?e" added to the Absolutive is used as a more specific Possessive case, and shows alienable possession of inanimate nouns. Like in the other possessive construction, the possessor follows and takes the case of the possessed noun (see above).

Quantifiers & Gender

With the advent of vowel harmony, Arie's quantifier prefixes wrought even more havoc with noun stems. The quantifier system has been relegated to three words: man, woman, goddess, and time which mark quantity respectively for male and female humans, non -human physical nouns and non-physical nouns. More accurately, the last category contains nouns considered to be instances as opposed to concretions; whereas there can be amounts and/or groups of the latter, there can only be durations and iterations of the former.

A note on etymology: Proto-Aghïyï spread over a large area as a trading language, and the currency used for such commerce was stamped with the visages of various goddesses. Coins were referred to as "goddesses", a usage which spread from quantities of merchandise to all (non-human) quantities. These quantifiers immediately precede the nouns they modify.

Quantifiers Masculine Feminine Non-Human Concretions Instances
Plural 1
"some, few"
upo upomau uyoau ugha?au
Plural 2
"many, a lot"
neni nenaime nenayeai nenara?ai
räpe räpemai räpayeai rägha?ai
"no, none of"
nape napemai napayeai nara?ai
"all of"
?ighi ?ighaime ?ighayeai ?i(ghe)gha?ai
"all, every"
?aïghi ?aïghaimai ?aïghayeai ?aï(ghe)gha? ai

Syllables in parentheses are often deleted, especially in casual speech. The Total quantifier can be used with a semantically singular noun to show its gender.

Pronominal Suffixes

There are no independent pronouns in Aghiyi; rather, Aghiyi uses pronominal suffixes, which are attached to verbs, nouns, and prepositions. These pronominal suffixes show person and case, but not number; they can however be attached to quantifiers, e.g., "nenaghe"--"many of us, a lot of us (masc.)", "?aïghaimawina"--"every one of you, you all (fem.)". As these examples show, the last vowel of the quantifier is dropped before a prefix beginning in a vowel. As with nouns, the Total quantifier can be used in semantically singular contexts. In effect, these "Quantifier"+"Pronoun" constructions create independent pronouns showing person, number, case, and gender. Very interesting developments, yes...

Pronouns Absolutive
Ergative Null 1st 2nd 3rd
Null   -aghe -awina -ena
1st -rara   -rarawina -rarena
2nd -raghi -raghighe   -raghina
3rd -era -eraghe -erawina -erena
Reflexive   -i?aghe -i?awina -i?ena

Pronouns suffixed to verbs indicate core arguments: Absolutive for intransitives, and Ergative and/or Absolutive for transitives. 3rd-person suffixes are unnecessary if there is a noun phrase already marked as a core argument; in this situation, the pronominal argument is left blank (see "Null" in the table). The 3rd-Abs.+3rd-Erg. suffix includes two distinct 3rd-person referents, while the 3rd-Refl. suffix is used if the Abs. and Erg. are the same referent.

Pronouns suffixed to nouns indicate possession of the noun by the pronoun's referent. Like with other possessive noun phrases, the possessor is marked with the case (Erg. or Abs.) that the possessed noun is syntactically; e.g., an ergative 1st-person suffix indicates that "my/our X" is the ergative argument. The possessed noun is usually represented by a 3rd- person pronoun; however, it is sometimes represented by the person of the pronoun possessor. If a possessed noun is syntactically reflexive, the 3rd-person reflexive pronoun is used on the verb.

Pronouns suffixed to prepositions indicate the object of the preposition.

Auxiliary Verbs

In ?Aghiyi, verbal prefixes indicate tense and mood. However, only a select group of auxiliary verbs can take them...

Meaning Infinitive Progressive Perfect Past Future
be: Intransitive,
râ(?) râ(?) öng(a) gheng(a) kangin(a)
räghe(?) ong(a) otang(a) fongun(a)
become: Denominative,
po(?) sèpa(?) üpa(?) ghepa(?) käna
?eghapa(?) ouaghopa(?) utapa(?) kughopa(?)
do: Transitive ?ekan(a) sè?aka(n) ò?aka(n) ghâ?aka(n) känaka(n)
?eghaka(n) ouaghaka(n) utaka(n) kughaka(n)
make: Causative ?ain(a) sè?ai(n) ò?auyu(n) ghâ?ai(n) känai(n)
?eghai(n) ouaghauyu(n) utauyu(n) kughauyu(n)
go/come: Motive,
hu(?) sèwe(?) üwo(?) ghewe(?) känawe(?)
?eghawe(?) ouaghowo(?) utawo(?) kughowo(?)
begin: Inceptive ?ekw(e) sè?akw(e) ò?akw(o) ghâ?akw(e) känakw(e)
?eghakw(e) ouaghakw(o) utakw(o) kughakw(o)
say: Indirect
?en(a) sè?e(n) ò?o(n) ghâ?e(n) käne(n)
?eghe(n) ouagho(n) uta(n) kugho(n)