Early Ájnfamo

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Early Ájnfamo
Period -3000 YP to -2800 YP
Spoken in area around Do Anjake
Total speakers unknown
Writing system unknown
Classification Ájnljo
Basic word order unknown
Morphology unknown
Alignment unknown
Created by unknown

Early Ájnfamo, or Nnájfamo (Nfm) is a descendant of PJÁ (Proto-Jánjéo-Ájnfamo). It is a rather conservative language, retaining many of the Ájnljo features. Although only recently seperated from PJÁ, it in itself shows some dialectal varieties.


Early Ájnfamo is one of the first and few Ájnljo languages to develop a voicing opposition.

"Lenis" consonants

m n
p t͡p <tp> t k
s ʃ <x>
r l

"Fortis" consonants

mː <mm> nː <nn>
b d͡b <db> d g
z ʒ <xz>
rː <rr> lː <ll>


i u
ɛ <e> ɔ <o> ɑ <a>

Other nucleuses

iː <ii> iu
ju uː <uu>
ɛj <ej> ɛu, ɛʊ̯, ɛɔ̯ <eu>
jɔ <jo> ɔw <ow>
ɑj, jɑ <aj> ɑu, ɑʊ̯, ɑɔ̯ <au>

Each syllable is consisted only of a single consonant onset and a nucleus. Therefore the possible syllables are CV, CVJ, CJV and CVː. Additionally, each syllable has either high or low tone. Low tone is unmarked, high tone is marked with acute accent. Words are all either monosyllabic or disyllabic. In disyllabic words in which the second syllable has a high tone, the first vowel is lengthened. Lengthened ii and uu are realised as [iːj] and [uːw] respectively. This lengthening is not phonemic. Lenis and fortis consonants are called so because of a former sound change. Fortis consonants occur only in syllables with high tone and lenis in syllables with low tone.

Developments from PJÁ

A round vowel and j swap their place through a series of sound changes:

  • uj > yj > y(ː) > jy > ju
  • ɔj > œj > œ(ː) > jœ > jɔ

Western Nfm dialects do the same metathesis with aj:

  • aj > æj > æ(ː) > jæ > ja

Closed diphthongs change:

  • ij, uw > iː, uː
  • iw > iu

Though those might have had these values in PJÁ already.

ɑw and ɛw change in the same vein as iw:

  • ɑw, ɛw > ɑu, ɛu (> ɑʊ̯, ɛʊ̯ (> ɑɔ̯, ɛɔ̯))

The last two changes happen only in some of the dialects.

  • PJÁ Obstruent fortis consonants become plain voiced ones: Tˀ > D
  • Sonorant fortis consonants geminate: Rˀ > Rː
  • PJÁ tonal difference is still manifested in the same way - high/low tone opposition.
  • PJÁ <c> becomes t͡p or d͡b, depending ot the glottalisation.