Əktoś Duəmeuk

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Əktoś Duəmeuk
[əˈktʰoɕ d̥ʊ̩̃ə̃ˈmeʊ̩k]
Period c. 1 YP
Spoken in City of Ránj’a, northern Tuysáfa
Total speakers ~10,000
Writing system none
Classification Ronquian
 Əktoś Duəmeuk
Typology
Basic word order VSO
Morphology fusional/isolating
Alignment TBD
Credits
Created by Vec

Əktoś Duəmeuk (“language of the Duəmeuk”) is a Ronquian language spoken in the neolithic city of Ránj’a and neighboring areas in northern Tuysáfa around 1 YP. The language is characterized by implosives, lexical stress and prefixing, ablaut and apophony as means of inflection.

Phonology

Consonants

The language has 28 consonantal phonemes, which constitutes a moderately large inventory.

 labial   dental   palatal   velar   uvular   pharyngeal 
 aspirates  t͜ɕʰ
 plain stops  d̥͜ɕ ɡ̥ ɢ̥
 implosives  ɓ ɗ ʄ ɠ ʛ
 nasals  m n ɲ~ŋ
 fricatives  f s ɬ ɕ ħ
 glides  w ɹ l j ʕ̞

Romanization

The aspirates are romanized as p t c k q.

The plain stops are romanized as b d j g ġ.

The implosives are romanized as b’ d’ j’ g’ ġ’.
Sequences of two implosives are transliterated without an apostrophe after the first implosive (bd’, not *b’d’).

The nasals are romanized as m n ń.
As nasals only occur syllable-initially, the letter n is also be used to indicate nasal vowels (see below).

The fricatives are romanized as f s ł ś h.

The glides are romanized as w r l y x.

Phonetic Detail

The palatal pulmonic stops are phonetically palato-alveolar affricates. The implosive j', however, has no affrication.

The aspirates may lose their aspiration intervocalically and the plain stops are commonly slightly voiced between vowels, or when followed by medial. This weakening does not apply following minor syllables, and thus, the stative plural anaphor ədi is pronounced [əˈd̥i], while its ergative case udi is [uˈdi].

The implosive series is heavily voiced. The very rare ġ’ is realized as a glottal stop [ʔ] in many people’s speech.

The palatals, velars, uvulars and pharyngeals are collectively referred to as dorsal and with regards to syllable structure may be treated as a single category. (See Syllables below).

The nasal consonant ń is realized as palatal before front vowels i e en oi ea ai iən ean aen but otherwise velar.

The fricative ś is palato-alveolar, while h is in typically pharyngeal. The lateral ł is an unvoiced dental fricative, while l is generally a dental approximant, and may be somewhat velarized (dark) in codas. The rhotic r is typically an approximant but may be tapped, especially word-initially, while x is always a pharyngeal approximant.

When in medial position followed by a aspirate, r and l are realized as the corresponding fricatives s and ł (see Syllables below).

Vowels

The language has seven vowel qualities, i ı u e ə o and a. Four of those occur both orally and nasally, while the three close vowels i ı u only occur orally. Nasal vowels are indicated by a following n. Vowels are always nasal when preceding implosives and nasals. Before the latter, the n is omitted.

Monophthongs

The language has eleven phonemic monophthongs, seven of them oral and four of them nasal.

 Oral   front   center   back   Nasal   front   center   back 
 close  i ɨ u
 mid  e ə o en ən on
 open  a an

The vowel /ɨ/ is spelled ı.

Diphthongs

In addition, the language has fourteen diphthongs, bringing the vowel phoneme complement of the language to twenty five.

Mid-close oral: oi eu
Close-mid nasal: iən uən

Mid-open oral: ea oa
Mid-open nasal: ean oan

Open-close oral: ai au
Open-close nasal: aen aon

Central oral: ıə
Central nasal: əın

The oral diphthongs oi eu are falling, whereas the corresponding nasal diphthongs iən uən are rising. The central oral diphthong ıə is also rising. All other diphthongs are falling in both varieties.

Syllables

Syllable structure

Syllables (σ) in Əktoś Duəmeuk consist of two main components, the onset (ω) and the rime (ρ). The structure is quite complex and a very large number of syllables are possible.

The full syllable structure can be generalized as:

  • ((C)ə)((C)ə)((C)ə)(C)(C)(r,l)V(C)

Or more specifically as (see image for rendering):

  • [σ [ω [ζ (Cə)][ζ (Cə)][ζ (Cə)][ι (C)(C)][μ (r,l)]][ρ [ν V][κ C]]]

Onset

The onset is comprised of one or more minor syllables, an initial and a medial. All components of the onset are optional, but minor syllables do not occur without an initial. Minor syllables do not form minor pairs with any clusters – certain onset combinations result in the formation of a minor syllable while others result in a traditional cluster:

  • Minor syllables (ζ) have the structure (C)ə. The consonant may be any consonant other than ł or ś. Types of stops are not distinguished. Typically, a stop in a minor syllable is realized as a lenis stop, but if the major syllable begins with fortis stop or implosive, the minor syllable will assimilate. Minor syllables containing a glide consonant, *, *, *, * or * are realized as simple vowels: i, ı, ı, u or a, respectively.
    • Minor syllables are pronounced nasal preceding an implosive, nasal consonant or if the nucleus vowel is nasal. The close minor syllable vowels i ı u, when preceding a nasal or implosive, are realized as mid vowels [ẽ ə̃ õ], while minor syllable nasal a retains its normal open value. A syllable can in extreme cases contain up to three minor syllables, though one or two is most common.
  • The initial (ι) may be any single consonant (e.g. p, s, ń), any two stops of the same mode of articulation (e.g. kp, dg, bd’) or a nasal followed by a stop (e.g. mp, ng, nġ’). The two stops may not be the same or all be dorsal and must be epenthesized (so /tt/ is tət and /ġg/ is ġəg). Since they are phonemically vowelless, they are subject to assimilation with regards to mode of articulation (i.e. *kəg- is not permissible but gəg is).
  • The initial may be followed by a medial (µ), which can be r or l. Certain combinations are not permissible (see cluster table). Aspirates followed by a medial are pronounced as non-aspirates followed by s or ł, respectively, so tr is [ts] rather than [tʰɹ] and kl is [kɬ] rather than [kʰl]. The aspirate element [ʰ] can be thought of as transferring from the stop to the following liquid.
    • If the initial is a glide w r l j x, there cannot be a medial.

Rime

The rime is composed af a nucleus and an optional coda:

  • The nucleus (ν) may be any vowel, oral or nasal.
    • If there is no coda and a following syllable begins with an implosive or nasal, the vowel must be nasal.
  • The coda (κ) may be any of p, t, k, s, ś, h or l. In other words it may be an fortis stop except c or q, a fricative except f or a lateral glide. It cannot be a nasal or non-lateral glide.
    • While codas generally do not distinguish types of stops, and do not distinguish differences in dorsal stops, if a stop-final syllable is followed by another syllable, any stop becomes permissible.

Stress

Regular stress falls on the final syllable. Exceptions are marked with an acute accent. Differently stressed words may differ in meaning and stress is thus phonemic and lexical. Very commonly, if a word contains a cluster, the stress will move to that syllable, but this is not a hard-fast rule.

When the close central vowel ı is irregularly stressed, it is written as ï to differentiate it from í, which is stressed i. When marking diphthongs for irregular stress, the heavy element takes it, so éu, but iə́n. (As a mnemonic, all diphthongs containing ə put the stress marker on the ə except əın).

Morphophonology

Lenition

Lenition is a morphological process in Əktoś Duəmeuk, whereby initials lenite ("soften") to a morphological effect:

Fortis stop > 1. Lenis stop kıt ‘hound’ > gıt
2. Lenis stop + vowel lowering ciś ‘face’ > jeś
Lenis stop > 1. Fricative dəl ‘bat’ > səl
2. Implosive gaś ‘bowl’ > g’aś
Implosive > Nasal b’asel ‘dandelion’ > masel
Fricative > 1. Glide fəden ‘cycle’ > uden (underlying //wəden//)
2. Nasal fıət ‘egg’ > mıət
Glide or nasal > prosthesis of ə- ńən ‘nose’ > əńən

Where two results are given, the first is more common. Which one applies must be learnt from a dictionary.

Like fully lenis sounds like glides and nasals, double initial clusters like kp or nk undergo prosthesis of ə- rather than phonetic lenition. Medials do not factor in onset lenition, i.e. tr > dr, just like t > d.

Vowel Lowering and Raising

Vowel lowering can sometimes be seen in cognate pairs where one has a fortis stop and another related word or form of the word has a lenis stop. The most noticeable place this happens is in the construct state of some nouns once lenited. Only the following vowels are affected:

ıə > i
i > e
ı > ə
oa > u
u > o
aen > en
aon > on
on > oan

The vowel u is sometimes not affected by this change, remaining u in the cognate.

The flipside of lowering is raising, particularly seen in the perfective stems of verbs. Raising has occurred after most aspirates {p t c k q} and is straightforward for mid vowels, which raise by one level, becoming close vowels:

  • e > i
  • ə > ı
  • o > u

Close vowels break:

  • i > ıə
  • u > oa

The close vowel ı remains unchanged.

The open vowel a may raise to one of e, ə or o.

The diphthongs oa and ıə sometimes are subject to raising and become u and oi respectively.

Nasal vowels generally do not change, except ən becomes either en or on, or occasionally ın. As with the oral vowel a, the pattern is not predictable and must be learned from the lexicon.

Morphology & Categories

Nouns

Nominal Categories

Each noun belongs to a class which can be thought of as an animacy scale:

  • sentient (sen.), living (liv.), dynamic (dyn.), portable (por.) and stative (stat.).

The first two are collectively called animate and the last two inanimate. The dynamic class is a hybrid of the two. For morphological purposes, only these three high-level categories are relevant. Only when it comes to deixis, indexing, and other types of syntax-level grammar do the subcategories of sentient and living, and portable and stative become important.

The sentient class contains all humans, deities and spirits. Living contains any animals besides humans. Dynamic contains any object capable of movement without assistance, including periods of the day and natural phenomena. Portable contains all things that can be moved by a person. Stative contains things that typically do not move. Abstract concepts typically belong to one of the last three classes – most commonly the stative class.

Nouns are inflected for state:

  • indefinite (ind.), definite (def.) or construct (cnstr.)

number:

  • singular (sg.) or plural (pl.)

and case:

  • ergative (erg.) or absolutive (absv.)

Animate and inanimate nouns (but not dynamic nouns) may either be countable or collective in meaning. Often words come in pairs of countable vs. collective:

  • b’ıət ‘house’
  • b’ant ‘village’ (collection of houses)

Based on the meaning of a collective noun, it may or may not be pluralized. Words referring to liquids, gels, grains and powders cannot be plural.

The citation form of a noun is the indefinite absolutive singular.

State

The most primitive morphological category of a noun is the state and is thus applied first. The noun has three states: definite, indefinite and construct.

Indefinite State

The indefinite state is unmarked:

  • gık – a woman (human)
  • dəl – a bat (living)
  • məmis – daytime (dynamic)
  • fıət – an egg (portable)
  • tral – leaves (stative)

Definite State

The definite state is derived from the indefinite through a prefix. In animate (human and living) and dynamic nouns, that prefix is: g(ə)-

  • gəgık ‘the woman’
  • gdəl ‘the bat’
  • gəməmis ‘the daytime’

The prefix assimilates to a following stop, becoming fortis or implosive like the stem onset, whether or not the prefix surfaces as a minor syllable or not. If the stop is dorsal, schwa is epenthesized:

  • kplu ‘the noon’
  • g’əg’al ‘the baby bird’

It also prefixes without the minor syllable schwa when there is no initial, but only a medial (l or r) or vowel:

  • gleguś ‘the dove’
  • gıdok ‘the sage’

In words that start with s- or ł- (not followed by any medial), k- is prefixed and s, ł are written as r, l, respectively:

  • kronp ‘the tongue’ (from sonp ‘a tongue’)
  • klup ‘the snail’ (from łup ‘a snail’)

Note however, the pronunciation of the medials remains fricative as kr is pronounced /gs/ and kl is pronounced /gł/.

Elsewhere, the prefix appears with a schwa:

  • gəktoal ‘the squid’

The definite state of inanimate (portable and stative) nouns is formed using the indefinite using f(ə)-. The schwa is omitted before vowels and medials.

  • fak ‘the rock’ (< ak)
  • frən ‘the plain’ (< rən)
  • fətral ‘the leaves’ (< tral)

Words of any class that begin with a fricative which in the construct state is nasalized in lenition, also undergo this nasalization in the definite state (see below):

  • gəńe ‘the heron’ (< śe, living)
  • fəmıət ‘the egg’ (< fıət, portable)

Construct State

The construct state is used irrespective of definiteness to indicate control over a subordinated phrase. Most typically this indicates possession but other types of nominal subordination exist. The construct state is formed the same in all classes using lenition or by prefixing of a minor syllable ə-. The process is described above in the morphophonology. Below are examples of the nouns given above:

  • łık ‘woman of’ (irregular)
  • səl ‘bat of’
  • əməmis ‘daytime of’ (prosthesis)
  • mıət ‘egg of’
  • dral ‘leaves of’

Unfortunately for the student of Əktoś Duəmeuk, there are often two possible outcomes of the lenition process. Which one applies to any given noun must be learnt from a dictionary. In addition, construct states are commonly irregular and thus completely unpredictable (such as gık/łık above).

Number

There are two numbers, singular and plural. Animates form the plural through a sound change called nasal breaking:

a, e > oan
i > uən
o > an
u >  on
ı, ə >  əın
en > uən
ən > oan
an > on
on >  iən

[Diphthongs TK]

Dynamic and inanimate nouns prefix n(ə)- which assimilates to any stop (before labial stops it is m-, before dorsal stops it is ń-).

Case

The noun has two cases, ergative and absolutive, the latter of which is the less-marked citation form of the noun. The case prefix is applied last, after any plural or state markers.

The ergative case is formed from the absolutive by prefixing d(ə)- (if animate) or u- (if dynamic or inanimate) to the noun.

  • dgık ‘by a woman’
  • ugənt ‘by some food’

Ergative in Animate Nouns

A lot of the following rules will be familiar by now, as they are very similar to the rules for forming the definite state. Like the definite prefix, the animate prefix assimilates to a following stop, becoming fortis or implosive like the stem onset, whether or not the prefix surfaces as a minor syllable or not:

  • tpon ‘by a head’
  • db’aga ‘by a stingray’
  • d’əgb’aga ‘by the stingray’

The schwa does not appear when the initial of the onset has a single labial, velar or uvular stop, or when there is no initial (i.e. only a medial (r, l) or vowel).

  • dgróagık ‘by the queen’ (róagık ‘a queen’)
  • tıta ‘by a termite’

Before a coronal fricative (not followed by a medial), s or ł, t- is prefixed and s, ł become r, l, respectively:

  • trołénd’as ‘by a grass snake’ ([d̥soˈɬẽɗas], sołénd’as ‘a grass snake’)
  • tlup ‘by a snail’ ([d̥ɬup], łup ‘a snail’)

If the word begins with n, the d is infixed after it and stress moves forward by one major syllable, if applicable:

  • ndénənen ‘by the kid’ (nenənen ‘a kid’)

When a word begins with a consonantal minor syllable (often in the definite state, for example), it is converted to a major syllable with a cluster, which also moves the stress, if a legal cluster can form:

  • dgə́mən ‘by the lip’ (gəmən ‘the lip’, mən ‘a lip’)

Note especially the stress and syllable changes in the word bəba ‘a maternal uncle’ (final stress). In the indefinite ergative, it becomes dbə́ba ‘by a maternal uncle’, while the definite ergative is dəgbə́ba ‘by the maternal uncle’.

The schwa in the animate prefix appears in all remaining contexts: If the word begins with a double-initial cluster, a coronal stop, a palatal stop, a non-coronal fricative or nasal (i.e. any of f, ś, h, m or ń), or a coronal fricative (s, ł) followed by a medial:

  • təktoal ‘by a squid’
  • dədaip ‘by a bug’
  • d’əj’i ‘by a thrush’
  • dəflásat ‘by a duck’
  • dəmironk ‘by a grasshopper’
  • dəslagah ‘by a bitch’

The ergative prefix does not trigger nasalization of indefinites, but definite nouns whose roots nasalize are nasal in the ergative:

  • dəflásat ‘by a duck’
  • dgəmlásat ‘by the duck’

Ergative in Inanimates and Dynamics

The inanimate/dynamic prefix u- is much more straightforward:

  • ułeśónbgıə ‘by a cloud’

If the word begins with an open schwa minor syllable, it is replaced by u-:

  • umoh ‘by the sea’ (< əmoh)

The prefix becomes w- before oral vowels, or m- before nasal vowels:

  • wak ‘by a rock’
  • miən ‘by an adze’

Vocalic minor syllables are unpacked following the u- prefix. This requires a learner to memorize whether ı- comes from underlying - or -. In these words, the stress moves forward by one major syllable, if the word contains two or more (cf. the second example):

  • uwəlidg’en ‘by a spear-shaft’ (ulidg’en ‘spear-shaft’)
  • urəwúciś ‘by a mask’ (ıwuciś ‘mask’, final stress)
  • uləgrah ‘by a size’ (ıgrah ‘size’)
  • ujəráġrik ‘by a jewel’ (iraġrik ‘jewel’)
  • uxəqlı ‘by gypsum’ (aqlı ‘gypsum’)

Pronouns, Anaphors and Deictics

The language is somewhat poor of pronouns, only having true pronouns in the human class.

Human pronouns, in addition to the expected singular and plural, have a dual number. They also decline for person and case but have no state.

Human Singular Dual Plural
Absolutive Ergative Absolutive Ergative Absolutive Ergative
1st Person na nda nat ndat anś dənś
2nd Person mon dəmon mənt dəmənt oas doas
3rd Person tən dəji gut dgut kıə dg’ə́kıə

Anaphors

For reference to nouns of other classes than human, the following anaphors are used:

Singular Plural
Living sak trak soank troank
Dynamic euś deuś neuś ndeuś
Portable tih utih ntih untih
Stative dıə udıə ədi udi

Clauses may be referred to by use of the verbal anaphor do.

Deictics

The deictic particles duənt ‘here’, ła ‘there’ and su ‘the other place’ may be used with nouns in the definite state for deixis:

  • gdreh duənt ‘this boy here (hum. absv.)
  • dəgb’ənb’a ła ‘by that baby there (hum. erg.)
  • fugənt su ‘by the other food (port. erg.)

These particles can become pronouns by prefixing them with an appropriate definite state marker for the class; su becomes nasalized. In the animate and dynamic classes they are gduənt ‘this one’, kla ‘that one’ and gənu ‘the other one’; with inanimates fəduənt, fəła, fənu.

Modifiers

Modifiers include adjectives, adverbs, numerals and indefinite quantifiers. Modifiers appear before nouns and cannot stand independently without an anaphor. In addition, the language has subordinators, nominalizers and relativizers, which can be seen as types of modifiers. All modifiers are closed classes, in that there is no method of producing new ones.

Adjectives

There is a small closed class of true adjectives, such as roa ‘big’ and ngrat ‘small’, bon ‘long, tall’ and en ‘short’, b’on ‘good’ and us ‘bad’. Adjectives precede the noun they modify:

  • bon gık ‘a tall woman’
  • ngrat gəme ‘the little boys’
  • ndrop gonbg’ık ‘the weak elder’
  • ıəh ragdah ‘a meaty animal’ (lit. ‘deep’)

Each adjective has a separate inanimate form to show congruence with portable and stative nouns. It is commonly formed with the prefix g(ə)-:

  • groa ǵəfa ‘big shoes’
  • gəsu rə́nb’ant ‘a nearby village’

but many are irregular:

  • bon anh ‘a long shadow’
  • mben ən ‘a little vase’
  • ədrop fəglu ‘the weak wall’
  • hah fronoh ‘a deep well’ (cf. ıəh above)

Any adjective in its unmarked (animate/dynamic) form may be used as an adverb by placing them before the verb:

  • b’on fóansən na ‘I sing well’ (lit. ‘I sing good’)

Adverbs

Adverbs form a closed class of words that do not decline. Adverbs precede verbs they modify:

Numerals

The Duəmeuk use a a mixed base-6/base-24 counting system. Additionally, it has words for seven through eleven which are based on adding ła to the lower numerals, albeit in slightly different form. The ordinals for first and second are irregular (fık and kro) but others are formed with the prefix nik- (note the minor allomorphy and the irregular nikən for fifth). The basic numerals are:

cardinal ordinal
1 bek fık
2 kuś kro
3 dok nigdok
4 pel nikpel
5 fən nikən
6 ła nikla
7 łəmb’ek niklənb’ek
8 łagoś niklagoś
9 łənd’ok niklənd’ok
10 łabal niklabal
11 ławən niklawən
12 łat niklat
18 qul nikqul
24 trən niktrən

Indefinites

Indefinite quantifiers include:

  • With plural: ni ‘many’
  • With singular: da ‘any’, g’aś ‘few’
  • With plural (dual if pronoun): nat ‘both’, dat ‘either’, sədat ‘neither’
  • With collective: ńaś ‘a little of’, əsi ‘a lot of’
  • With any number: se ‘no’

For expressing totality, different quantifiers are used for different classes.

sg. pl./coll.
an./dyn. d’a noa
in. ant awat

These are used adnominally:

  • ni mb’aut ‘many villages’
  • da deanh ‘any man’
  • ńaś iraġrik ‘a few jewels’

Each of these can be substantivized by having them follow a personal pronoun or anaphor. The personal pronouns must be in an appropriate number, e.g.:

  • dat nat ‘either of us’
  • nat nat ‘both of us’
  • əsi ntih ‘both of us’
  • na se ‘not me’

For unknowns, the animate/dynamic ısoa and inanimate əkroa are used. They may be used with any number, most commonly singular or collective.

Typically they are simply followed by an appropriate anaphor:

  • ısoa tən ‘someone’
  • ısoa sak ‘some animal’
  • əkroa tih ‘something’
  • əkroa dıə ‘something that cannot be moved’

Any noun may be also used:

  • əkroa goan ‘somewhere’ (some place)

They can also be followed by nominalizers and thus entire clauses:

  • əkroa hoan caucah nat ‘some place where we stay warm’

Subordinators

Nominalizers

Nominalizers are used to turn clauses into nouns. The most common nominalizer and neutral nominalizer is denp, but specialized ones abound, see Syntax.

Relativizers

To form relative clauses, a relativizer is used which agrees with the relativized noun; animate/dynamic gb’on, inanimate gbah. The relative clause must contain a coreferential anaphor in the appropriate place.

TKTK

Verbs

Verbal Categories

The most primitive categories of the Əktoś Duəmeuk verb is transitivity. While pairs of transitive and intransitive verbs are fairly common, both their occurrance and form are to irregular to posit an inflectional system. Transitivity, therefore, is considered a lexical category.

Verbs inflect for mood:

  • declarative and interrogative

aspect:

  • imperfective and perfective

and tense:

  • present and past

In addition, each verb has a non-finite form called the attributive which comes in absolute and construct states.

Each verb has 10 forms. The following verb, hah ‘sit’ exemplifies both the system and the two stems which may be found in certain verbs, the imprefective -hah and the perfective -ńah which is also used for the attributive.

Declarative Interrogative Attributive
Imperfective Perfective Imperfective Perfective
Present hah əńah hısah əńısah gəńah, həńah
Past əhah ərəńah əhısah ərəńısah

Aspect

The perfective is formed from the imperfective through a series of sound changes collectively termed perfective mutation, which affects the onset and in some cases the vowel. At the heart of perfective mutation is fortition, however, the process is more convoluted than that would suggest.

Verbs that begin with a vowel undergo nasalization of the first syllable:

  • ubraś ‘hear’ > uənbraś ‘have heard’
  • agoan ‘come back’ > əngoan ‘have come back’

Verbs that begin with a glide or nasal undergo fricativization:

  • ma ‘die’ > fa ‘be dead’
  • len ‘lie’ > łen ‘have lain’
  • ńen ‘it must be that’ > śen ‘it must have been that’

Verbs that begin with implosives undergo fortition to a plain stop:

  • b’ond’on ‘fix’ > bond’on ‘have fixed’

Many verbs which begin with a lenis stop receive the prefix ə- and pull the stress forward if the verb is polysyllabic:

  • dadı ‘be easy to’ > ədádı ‘have been easy to’

However many, perhaps more than half, undergo fortition and a raising of the initial vowel (see Morphophonology):

  • darəgən ‘bury’ > torəgən ‘have buried’
  • bənəns ‘wash, clean’ > penəns ‘have washed, cleaned’
  • dausri ‘cut through’ > teusri ‘have cut through’

If the verb begins with a fricative, ə- is also simply prefixed, and stress is moved forward if the verb is polysyllabic:

  • sıəp ‘rest’ > əsıəp ‘have rested’

Some fricative-initial verbs additionally nasalize the fricative:

  • faġrəma ‘murder, slay’ > əmáġrəma ‘have murdered, slain’

Verbs that begin with any other type of onset, including aspirates and all clusters, simply prefix ə- and pull the stress forward:

  • drond’a ‘do, make, create’ > ədrónd’a ‘have made’

Some verbs are wholly irregular:

  • u ‘stop, prevent’ > on ‘have stopped’
  • iənləsas ‘meet, be introduced to’ > enlənas ‘know, have met, recognize’

Tense

The past is formed from the present in both aspects using the prefix ə(r)- (which unlike many similar prefixes does not pull stress):

  • qoanb’ah ‘eat’ > əqanb’ah ‘ate’
  • ajen ‘reflect’ > ərajen ‘reflected’
  • fa ‘be dead, have died’ > əfa ‘had died’

Verbs that show no consonantal change in the perfective distinguish between the present perfective and the past imperfective only by stress:

  • ədeandean ‘was wet‘
  • ədéandean ‘has been wet’

Interrogative

The interrogative mood is derived from the declarative using an infix after the first major syllable onset. The infix takes the form <ıs> before oral vowels or <ır> before nasal vowels::

  • mısa ‘dies?’
  • sısıep ‘rest?’
  • ajıren ‘reflects?’
  • əqıranb’ah ‘ate?’

The attributive is never interrogative.

Attributive

The attributive is either formed regularly using the prefix g(ə)-. There is no schwa before non-dorsal stops, medials or vowels:

  • gdıəh ‘captured’
  • gd’ren ‘rubbed’
  • gb’ondon ‘fixed’
  • gajen ‘reflected’
  • ktek ‘taken’

A few verbs which begin with ł also receive the plain k- (in which case the ł is spelled l), noted in the lexicon:

  • klep ‘poured’ (from łep ‘pour’)

All other regular cases render the prefix as a minor syllable which pulls stress, including all dorsal stops:

  • gəsıep ‘rested’
  • kəqóanbah ‘eaten’

Fricative-initial verbs whose fricative becomes nasal in the perfective retain the nasal in the attributive:

  • gəńah ‘sitting’ (from hah ‘sit’)

When the attributive modifies a noun in the construct state, it exhibits agreement. This construct state of the attributive is regularly formed using the prefix h(ə)-:

  • hədıəh ‘captured’
  • həb’ond’on ‘fixed’
  • həłep ‘spilled’
  • həńah ‘sitting’

Syntax

The basic word order in Əktoś Duəmeuk is verb – absolutive – ergative. The language is a mixed head-first, head-last language.

Simple Sentences

Intransitive Clauses

The simplest clause structure in Əktoś Duəmeuk is an intransitive verb followed by its subject in the absolutive case.

  • eniənp na ‘I wake up’
  • fóansən Drən ‘Zhang sings’

Transitive Clauses

Clauses with a transitive verb add a second, agent-like argument in the ergative to the end of the sentence:

  • ərəńonp na dənd’a ‘mommy woke me up’
  • foan ‘Rəmoan ə́nrent kaon’ Dədrən ‘Zhang sings ‘The Song of the Hero of the Gate’

Lexicon