Ájnljo languages

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Ájnljo is a macro family consisting of languages spanning across Tuysáfa. It originated on the west shores of the continent, as they came from Peilaš. The people began a slow, but steady migration to the east, with small groups of people settling permanently along the way every now and then, until the last group of people reached the eastern Tuysáfa lake, where they settled.

Proto-Ájnljo language

The Proto-Ájnljo language (PÁ) originated in the far western end of Tuysáfa, with the earliest reconstructable version of it spoken probably where Nojenhíh currently is. From the descendant languages it seems that PÁ was isolating, with simple syllabic structure CV(J) and words probably consisting only of a single syllable. More complex concepts would have been expressed with set phrases. Additionaly the syllable had a bipolar contrastive feature, which is best reconstructed as a glottal stop, probably at coda position.

PÁ phoneme inventory
*p *t *c *k (*ʔ)
*m *n *r *l
*w *j
*a *e *i *o *u

Although *c is reconstructed as a stop and indeed patterns with them, most of its reflexes are lenited and some contain labial elements which are unexplainable under this reconstruction, so it might be better to reconstruct *ɥ instead and assume it fortified in most daughter languages. In the syllable structure CV(J) J is *j or *w, V is any of the five vowels and C is any consonant except for *j, *w, and *ʔ.


The Ájnljo languages have several typical characteristics; some are more prevalent in some languages than other and some may be missing. They are:

  • Two tonal prosodic system.
  • Isolating or agglutinative morphology.
  • Head final syntax.
  • Extensive classifier system.
  • The use of a lone classifier as a definite article.
  • No voicing contrast.
  • Geminated consonants.
  • Simple C(:)V(V/J) syllable structure.
  • Three way distance distinction.
  • Monosyllabic roots and/or words.

Daughter languages

The branching is hypothetical and does not apply to current states of things very well. There appears to have been much areal influence after the languages have branched off. For example, Néfelwe and Jánjéo share an innovation which neither Ájnfamo nor Nájfanó have. This can be explained only by the geographical proximity of the former. The Ájnljo languages are described in three periods, namely P1, P2 and P3. P1 spans roughly from -3000 to -2800 YP. P2 is about from -2100 to -1900 YP and the third one ranges from 0 YP to 300 YP.