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Arâta Sawîyaran
[əˈɹɑː.tɨ səˈwiː.jə.ɹɨn]
Period c. 1000 YP
Spoken in Thabīa valley
(southern Xōron Eiel)
Total speakers c. 100,000
Writing system adapted
Tjakori script
Classification Edastean
  Central Dāiadak
    Sawîyaran dialect
Basic word order SVO, head-initial
Morphology fusional
Alignment NOM-ACC
Created by RHaden;
this dialect: Cedh

This is a short description of Arâta Sawîyaran [əˈɹɑː.tɨ səˈwiː.jə.ɹɨn], the northernmost dialect of Aθáta, which was spoken in the upper reaches of the Thabīa valley (local: pâra sawîya < Ad. pāda thabīa) north of Zophīs around the turn of the first millennium YP. The number of native speakers of this dialect is estimated somewhere between 50,000 and 150,000, mostly concentrating along the Sawîya river and in the towns of Îlomo (< Ad. Eielomo) and Mâsa (< Ad. Malaza). In contrast, the fairly dry off-river regions (after all, the valley is part of the Xōron Eiel) were sparsely populated, and the dominant speech there after the fall of the Empire of Athalē was a variety of Plains Habeo.

Differences from Aθáta

Compared to the standard language spoken in Rathedān proper and the middle Milīr valley, the Sawîyaran dialect includes more loanwords from Habeo languages and from northern Dāiadak varieties such as Mavakhalan or Old Kozado, while the number of borrowings from Æðadĕ and most significantly from languages of the Hitatc family is much lower. The lexical difference is high enough to cause some confusion, but all in all the varieties are sufficiently close to allow for fluent conversation if spoken slowly. Sawîyaran is not, however, mutually intelligible with the southernmost dialects of Aθáta, e.g. those from the upper Milīr.

Phonological differences

  • Unlike standard Aθáta, the Sawîyaran dialect has distinct reflexes for all three of Adāta's plosive series, as the voiced stops b d g became w r y instead of merging with former aspirates into f θ x.
  • Adāta th kh became s h instead of θ x.
  • Word-final p t k are preserved as plosives.
  • Initial consonant clusters are greatly simplified, allowing only p t k s š followed by w r l y or the affricates pf c č.
  • h r l are deleted in coda position, with compensatory lengthening of preceding vowels.
  • r is an approximant [ɹ] instead of a tap or trill.
  • k h are not palatalised after front vowels.
  • h before front vowels merges into š.
  • n is palatalised to ň before front vowels.
  • Any s from Adāta th does not palatalise to š before i
  • t is fricated before u as well as i, but remains distinct from palatalised k before front vowels: c vs. č.
  • Long diphthongs dropped the offglide instead of being shortened. As a result, the Sawîyaran dialect has no phonemic diphthongs.
  • All vowels are lengthened in stressed open syllables.
  • e o are pronounced more open compared to the standard language, the short versions often approaching [æ ɒ] while the long variants are usually [ɛː ɔː].
  • a ā are normally realised as [ɑ ɑː]. However, short a in unstressed positions is raised considerably to [ə] or even [ɨ].
  • Allophonic fricative voicing happens only between two unstressed vowels.

Here follows a comparison of the consonant inventories of Standard and Sawîyaran Aθáta, with the corresponding orthography:

  • Standard Aθáta: /p t c k f θ s ʃ x h m n l ɾ j/ p t ti/c c f θ s si x h m n l r i
  • Sawîyaran: /p t k pf ʦ ʧ f s ʃ h m n ɲ l ɹ j w/ p t k pf c č f s š h m n ň l r y w

Grammatical differences

Under influence from neighbouring languages, Sawîyaran has developed a few grammatical idiosyncrasies that are different from Standard Aθáta.

  • Sawîyaran has retained SVO as the unmarked word order for affirmative clauses.
  • If the subject of a sentence is more complex than {(determiner) noun (adjective)}, the basic word order is VSO.
  • Oblique arguments may be topic-fronted, causing the subject to move to the position immediately after the verb, which results in XVSO order.
  • The 2nd person plural pronoun (and the corresponding verbal and possessive affixes) derives from analogical *dok instead of the standard Adāta lākhok, giving rok.
  • Free-standing subject pronouns continue to be obligatory despite person marking on the verb. They may only be omitted if the subject is explicitly named. The forms of these pronouns are i ro a in the singular and ik rok ak in the plural.
  • Nouns inflect for definiteness, which is marked with a prefixed š(e)- (< "this").
  • The shortened habitual stem has been regularized in most verbs.
  • There is no morphological passive voice. Instead, a periphrastic construction using the gerund in -yen preceded by an inflected auxiliary ûla (< eul, eula- "to take") is used.
  • A parallel construction with sâsa (< thō, thaza- "to cause") forms a telic-causative voice, and another with âse (< athe "to be") forms an atelic-inchoative voice.
  • The obligative mood does not exist. Most speakers use the optative instead.
  • A subjunctive mood has been created from the quotative particle . The subjunctive prefixes are re(y)- for affirmative and ra-, rem- for negative sentences.
  • The indicative mood in affirmative sentences is unmarked only for verbs beginning with a consonant. For vowel-initial verbs, the indicative is marked with a prefix r- (< affirmative marker ro)


Standard Aθáta

  • Áfsian sif Síncan, θíscesor, θíscān Câθlas, méxθāx Sáma 'n Θálo: Ílnu ápin of-pacátiān mésein, ése θísclas rúlas ir écon ilín.
  • [ ˈav.ʒan ʃɪf ˈʃɪŋ.kan ˈθɪs.ce.zɔɾ ˈθɪs.kaːn ˈkaːð.las ˈmeʝ.ðaːx ˈsa.man ˈθa.lo ‖ ˈɪl.nu ˈa.pɪn ɔf.paˈka.caːn ˈme.zeɪn ˈe.ze ˈθɪs.klas ˈɾu.las ɪɾ ˈe.cɔn iˈlɪn ]
  • speak-IMP-3SG thus Síncan king=great king-3SG Cāθ=land brother-3PL Sun and Moon: before sit-HAB-1SG on throne-3SG father-1SG all country foreign be-PERF hostile to-1SG

Sawîyaran dialect

  • Ráwšan šip Šínkan, še-rísčesō, še-rískān Kâlas, še-mêtāk Sâma on Sâlo: Înu i râsin pêyen š-opakâcān še-mêsēn, êse rísklas rûlas asûkak êkon ilín.
  • [ ˈɹɑw.ʃɨn ʃip ˈʃiŋ.kɨn ʃæˈɹis.ʧɛ.zɔː ʃæˈɹis.kɑːn ˈkɑː.ləs ʃæˈmɛː.tɑːk ˈsɑː.mɔn ˈsɑː.lɔ ‖ ˈiː.nu i ˈɹɑː.sin ˈpɛː.jɛn ˌʃɔ.pəˈkɑː.ʦɑːn ʃæˈmɛː.sɛːn ˈɛː.sɛ ˈɹis.kləs ˈɹuː.lɨs əˈsuː.kɨk ˈɛː.kɔn iˈlin ]
  • IND-speak-IMP-3SG thus Šínkan DEF-king=great DEF-king-3SG Kā=land DEF-brother-3PL Sun and Moon: before 1SG IND-be-HAB-1SG acquire-GER DEF-throne-3SG DEF-father-1SG all country foreign NEG-BEN-confront-HAB-3PL hostile to-1SG

Lexical differences:

  • pêyen: gerund of pêla "to acquire; to have" < Plains Habeo peʔɨla
  • asûkak: 3PL antibenefactive of ûka "to confront" < Plains Habeo ulak "to oppose, to resist"

Philological note

Sawîya is the dialect's own name for Aθ. Θafîa < Ad. Thabīa < Plains Habeo Tawɨʔɨya "white-stone (river)", ultimately from Proto-Xoronic *Ǝtoha:quhi (ahəttih). The meaning is the same as that of Cīrosê < Adāta Tikhōdōzē (local Cexotúri), a town at the confluence of this river into the Eigə.

See also