East Yalan

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Jarene
[ʒaˈrənə]
Period c. 0 YP
Spoken in southern Tuysáfa,
Yalne plains
Total speakers unknown
Writing system unknown
Classification T1 languages
  Yalan
    East Yalan
Typology
Basic word order VSO
Morphology agglutinative
Alignment accusative secundative
Credits
Created by Pole, the
East Yalan speaking area.

East Yalan is an ethnolect spoken in southern Tuysáfa around 0 YP. Together with the West Yalan it forms the Yalan language family / dialect continuum.

Background

The term covers a group of dialects spoken in southern and southeastern Tuysáfa coast. It is also a descendant of the Old Yalan dialects spoken around -800 YP.

West Yalan is a part of the T1 language family created for the Second Reconstruction Relay, together with i.a. Cednìtıt, Hkətl’ohnim, Tumetıęk, Teyetáti and Omari.


East Yalan is known of its numerous homonyms. Frequently the meaning of a word depends on its syntactic role, inflections and sometimes on the context.

Internal phonological history

Eastern fronting

u uː → y yː → i iː / [+palatal]_

  • OY āxjūāxjī → EY axai
  • OY tūhjutūhji → EY tauhi


o oː → u uː

  • OY ņono → EY gunu
  • OY tōho → EY tauhu

Loss of aspiration

pʰ tʰ tʃʰ kʲʰ kʰ → p t tʃ kʲ k

  • OY chū → EY kai
  • OY thaī → EY tai

Depalatalization

ŋʲ kʲ ɡʲ xʲ ɣʲ → ŋ k ɡ x ɣ

  • OY hjā → EY ha
  • OY → EY ka

Apical-laminal merger

s̺ z̺ → s z

  • OY āẑa → EY aze
  • OY īŝā → EY aisa

Spirantization

b d dʒ ɡ → β ð ʒ ɣ → v z ʒ ɣ

  • OY tādū → EY tazau
  • OY tugu → EY tuhu


j → ʒ (this one did probably happen much earlier)
tʃ → ʃ

  • OY čīčā → EY caica [ʃaiʃa]
  • OY → EY ja [ʒa]

Vocalism and diphthongization

i u → ij uw / _V
æ → ə, (∅ / _V)

  • OY caba → EY keve
  • OY cimaū → EY kimau


iː uː → ɪi ʊu
ɪi ʊu → ɛi ɔu → ɛ ɔ / _[-stress] (ɛj ɔw / _V)
ɪi ʊu → ai au / _[+stress] (aj aw / _V)

  • OY thō → EY tau
  • OY čhīā → EY caya


æ: → a (aj /_V)

  • OY → EY ta
  • OY tāā → EY taya

Debuccalization

ɣ → ɦ ( → ∅ / in some dialects)

Phonology

Consonants labial dental post-alv. palatal velar glottal
nasal m n ɲ ‹ny› ŋ ‹g›
plosive p t k
voiceless fricative s ʃ ‹c› x
voiced fricative v z ʒ ‹j› ɦ ‹h›
fluid (w) r (j) ‹y›


Vowels front central back
close i u
mid ə ‹e›
open ai a au

Syllables of type (C)V.

The stress is placed on the last syllable if it contains diphthong, e.g. saxau [saˈxau̯] and on the next-to-last syllable otherwise, e.g. saxugu [saˈxuŋu].

Unaccented /ai au/ are realized as [ɛ ɔ].

/ai au i u/ followed directly by another vowel get an epenthetic glide [j w] – written as ‹y w›, e.g. awau [ɔwˈau̯], xiya [ˈxija].

Unaccented schwas are often elided in speech, e.g. akese [aˈkəsə ~ aˈkəs].

Pronouns

The personal pronouns are as follows:

1. 2. 3.
sg pl sg pl sg an. sg inan. pl
N. nai ta sai cai vai ai nai
AD. naicege tacege saicege caicege vigi igi nigi
AI. nigai tegai sigai cigai vau au nau
G. naicehe tacehe saicehe caicehe vihi ihi nihi
L. naicatau tacatau saicatau caicatau vaitau aitau naitau

1sg and 3pl nai are distinguished by the verb agreement:

  • Muxukaitai nai.
    mu-xukaitai nai
    sg.an-see 1sg
    I see.
  • Nexukaitai nai.
    ne-xukaitai nai
    pl-see 3pl
    They see.

The second one can be also omitted:

  • Nexukaitai.
    ne-xukaitai
    pl-see
    They see.

Nouns

-2 -1 0 +1
possession number root case

Prefixes

Possessive

C – before consonants
V – before vowels
C V
sg 1. ni- g- ¹
2. si- s- ¹
3. pu- p-
pl 1. te- t- ¹
2. ci- k- ¹
3. nu- n-
autuzu, tuzu "fish"
gutuzu, nituzu
sutuzu, situzu
pautuzu, putuzu
tutuzu, tetuzu
kutuzu, cituzu
nautuzu, nutuzu
akese, nekese "leg"
gekese, ninekese
sekese, sinekese
pakese, punekese
tekese, tenekese
kekese, cinekese
nakese, nunekese
¹) initial a ai au reduced to e i u

Number

P – before plosives
C – before other consonants
V – before vowels
P C V
sg anim. au- - -
pl - nu- n- ¹
sg inan. - -
pl ne- n- ¹
collective ai- ay- ¹
¹) initial a ai au reduced to e i u

Declension

East Yalan has five cases:

  • Nominative, the default form;
  • Accusative-Dative (Primative), patient or recipient; used with prepositions; in past tense can be replaced with the nominative;
  • Accusative-Instrumental (Secundative), instrument or theme;
  • Genitive, possessions and relations, used with temporal expressions;
  • Locative, location or movement;

And two declensions: familiar (proximate and definite) and unfamiliar (distal or indefinite).

1 – words ending with a e i u
2 – words ending with ai
3 – words ending with au
Familiar 1 2 3
N. aivi "ground" xikai "night" sau "language"
AD. aivege xikigi sugu
AI. aihau ¹ xikau ¹ sau ¹
G. aivehe xikihi suhu
L. aivatau xikaitau sautau
Unfamiliar 1 2 3
N. aivikau xikikau sukau
AD. aivikugu xikikugu sukugu
AI. aivihau xikihau suhau
G. aivikuhu xikikuhu sukuhu
L. aivikautau xikikautau sukautau
¹) non-initial v mutates to h

Verbs

-1 0 +1 +2
person, tense, aspect root mood voice

Person-tense prefixes

Verb prefixes mark tense, aspect and agree with animacy and number of the subject.

Where two prefixes are given, the former is used before consonants and the latter before vowels.

The definite conjugation is used when the primative object (patient or recipient) is known and definite, even if not directly mentioned.

  • Pusuja.
    pu-suja
    sg.an.aor-put
    He/she put (something).
  • Pausuja.
    pau-suja
    sg.an.aor.def-put
    He/she put it.


The definite prefixes ending with m have variants with n, now dialectal, indicating plurality of the object.

C – before consonants
V – before vowels

a ai au change to e i u after prefixes marked with an asterisk (*), namely in aorist and definite and reflexive present forms.

  • There are some exceptions, though: verbs au (be located), aunu (be place of) and auzu (be there, be got) do not change.

Aorist

Aorist is used for complete actions with no present relevance.

Subject Object C V
sg anim. pu- p- *
def. pau- pum- *
refl. puhe- puh- *
sg inan. se- s- *
def. sa- sem- *
refl. sehe- seh- *
pl xu- x- *
def. xau- xum- *
refl. xuhe- xuh- *
-aicici "require"
picici
pumicici
puhicici
sicici
semicici
sehicici
xicici
xumicici
xuhicici

Imperfect

Imperfect is used for incomplete past actions.

Subject Object C V
sg anim. pi- p-
def. pumi- pum-
refl. puhi- puh-
sg inan. si- s-
def. semi- sem-
refl. sehi- seh-
pl xai- xuw-
def. xumi- xum-
refl. xuhi- xuh-
-aicici "require"
paicici
pumaicici
puhaicici
saicici
semaicici
sehaicici
xuwicici
xumaicici
xuhicici

Present

Present is used for general utterances.

Subject Object C V
sg anim. mu- m-
def. mau- mum- *
refl. muhe- muh- *
sg inan. a- -
def. au- am- *
refl. ahe- ah- *
pl ne- n-
def. na- nem- *
refl. nehe- neh- *
-aicici "require"
maicici
mumicici
muhicici
aicici
amicici
ahicici
naicici
nemicici
nehicici

Progressive

Progressive is used for ongoing actions.

Subject Object C V
sg anim. mai- muw-
def. mumi- mum-
refl. muhi- muh-
sg inan. ai- ay-
def. ami- am-
refl. ahi- ah-
pl nai- nay-
def. nemi- nem-
refl. nehi- neh-
-aicici "require"
muwaicici
mumaicici
muhaicici
ayaicici
amaicici
ahaicici
nayaicici
nemaicici
nehaicici

Future

Future tense is used for perfective actions in future.

Subject Object C V
sg anim. mau- mat-
def. mumau- mumet-
refl. muhau- muhet-
sg inan. au- at-
def. amau- amet-
refl. ahau- ahet-
pl nau- nat-
def. nemau- nemet-
refl. nehau- nehet-
-aicici "require"
mataicici
mumetaicici
muhetaicici
ataicici
ametaicici
ahetaicici
nataicici
nemetaicici
nehetaicici

Stem classes

Verbs (and other words that are conjugated, e.g. adjectives) are divided into several groups:

  • consonantal stems
    1 – verbs ending in e i u
  • regular vocalic stems
    2 – verbs ending in a (a stems)
    3 – verbs ending in ai (i stems)
  • irregular (unpredictable) vocalic stems – ending in au:
    4 – u stems
    5 – au stems

Regarding the consonantal stems:

  • The stem is either irregular (and listed in the dictionary) or identical to the indicative form.
  • The imperative is created from the indicative, not the stem.
  • The last vowel/consonant of the stem is deleted before another vowel/consonant, e.g. tauku- + -au > taukau; saig- + -ka > saika.

The stem is needed to construct imperative, irrealis and optative mood. It can be formed knowing the group number, which is listed in the dictionary.

Mood endings

1 2 3 4 5
Indicative sigi "run" aiti "be dark" suja "put" kakai "live" timau "eat" vatau "move"
Stem saig- aiti- suja- kaki- timu- vatau-
Imperative siga aita sujaya ¹ kakiya timuwa vatawa
Irrealis saiga aita sujara kakira timura vataura
Optative saigau aitau sujarau kakirau timurau vataurau
¹) [j] appears there epenthetically

Voice suffixes

There are five voices in East Yalan:

Active -
Passive -unu ¹, -nu
Receptive -aunu ¹, -hunu ²
Indirective -teme ²
Causative -ka ²
¹) group 1 verbs (in the indicative mood)
²) added to the stem (in the indicative mood)

The endings can be likewise combined with other moods.

The indirective voice is used for promoting a monotransitive instrument or ditransitive theme to the primary object of the verb:

  • Pausaicai.
    pau-saicai
    sg.an.aor.def-give
    He gave (something) to him.
  • Pausaiciteme.
    pau-saici-teme
    sg.an.aor.def-give-ind
    He gave it (to somebody).


  • Muhexukautau nai.
    muhe-xukautau nai
    sg.an.refl-see 1sg
    I see myself.
  • Muhexukaututeme nai.
    muhe-xukautu-teme nai
    sg.an.refl-see-ind 1sg
    I see by myself.

Adjectives

Attributive

-1 0 +1 +2 +3
attributive root mood voice comparison

Adjectives, numerals and verbal attributives take no possessive or number prefixes. Usually they describe another noun and have the attributive prefix xe-, x-.

  • aukeza xexa
    au-keza xe-xa
    sg.an-man att-good
    the good man

Substantive

-1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4
person, tense, aspect root mood voice comparison case

When they are used alone (substantivized), they take the verbal agreement prefixes and inflect with their own declension paradigm:

  • muxa
    mu-xa
    sg.an-good
    the good one

The inflection depends on the stem class; the endings are added to the stem:

1 2-5
tere, tar- "red" axai "grey"
N. mutere maxai
AD. mutatege maxizege ¹
AI. mutasai maxizai ¹
G. mutatehe maxizehe ¹
L. mutatatai maxizatai ¹
¹) final a ai au reduced to e i u


There are no participles in East Yalan. Attributive forms are used instead:

  • aukeza xetimau
    au-keza xe-timau
    sg.an-man att-eat
    The eating man. / The man who eats.

Comparative suffix

Comparative/superlative form is created by adding -tetaumai (group 1) / -zetaumai (groups 2-5) to the stem. So formed adjectives can take the standard argument as their primary object.

  • muxazetaumai
    mu-xa-zetaumai
    sg.an-good-comp
    the better/best one

Numerals

Numerals are inflected like other attributives.

1. nau 11. naneza
2. gehe 12. geheneza 20. gaka
3. sa 13. saneza 30. sena
4. keve 14. keveneza 40. kapa
5. ha 15. haneza 50. hena
6. tuku 16. tukeneza 60. tauka
7. muru 17. mureneza 70. mauna
8. kepahe 18. kepaheneza 80. kepaka
9. aura 19. auraneza 90. aurena
10. aneza 100. anezena

Higher numbers are constructed by agreement (addition) and attributives (multiplication), e.g.:

  • nanezena xaura
    n-anezena x-aura
    pl-hundred att-nine
    nine hundred
  • naura nanezena / nanezena naura
    n-aura n-anezena
    pl-nine pl-hundred
    one hundred and nine

When a numeral describes a noun, the former word order is preferred to avoid ambiguity:

  • tuzu xanezena xaura
    ∅-tuzu x-anezena x-aura
    pl-fish att-hundred att-nine
    nine hundred fish
  • tuzu xaura xanezena
    ∅-tuzu x-aura x-anezena
    pl-fish att-nine att-hundred
    one hundred and nine fish

Syntax

The East Yalan is a strictly head-initial language. The adjectives are placed after nouns and nouns after verbs.

The usual word order is VSO.

In ditransitive clauses, recipients are placed before themes:

  • Maisaicai nai saicege ai.
    mau-saicai nai saic-ege ai
    sg.an.def-give 1sg 2sg-acc.dat 3sg.acc.ins
    I give it to you.

Subjects can appear actually everywhere in clauses, but their usual place is after the verb.

Adverbs are placed before verbs and agree in tense (but not in person) with the verbs:

  • Sipatege pitimau hina.
    si-patege pi-timau hina
    sg.in.ipf-continuous sg.an.ipf-eat woman
    The woman was still eating.

Existence

There are three verbs equivalent to English "to be" in East Yalan.

The first one, pa is used for expressing existence of the subject:

  • Mupa xaupexai.
    mu-pa xaupexai
    sg.an-exist lion
    (The) lion exists.

It inflects regularly, as follows:

Subject Aorist Imperfect Present Progressive Future
sg anim. pupa pipa mupa maipa maupa
sg inan. sepa sipa apa aipa aupa
pl xupa xaipa nepa naipa naupa

Location

The locational verb is au. It has only definite forms and requires the location as direct object:

  • Pumau amenai pitigi.
    pum-au amenai pit-igi
    sg.an.aor.def-be.located deer forest-acc.dat
    The deer was in the forest.

It inflects slightly irregularly – its initial diphthong is never reduced (the same is true also for its other forms):

Subject Aorist Imperfect Present Progressive Future
sg anim. pumau mumau mumetau
sg inan. semau amau ametau
pl xumau nemau nemetau


It has also passive form aunu "to be location of":

  • Paunu pitai amenihi.
    p-au-nu pitai amen-ihi
    sg.an.aor-be.located-pass forest deer-gen
    The forest was location of the deer.
Subject Aorist Imperfect Present Progressive Future
sg anim. paunu maunu muwaunu mataunu
sg inan. saunu aunu ayaunu ataunu
pl xaunu xuwaunu naunu nayaunu nataunu

Copula

The third verb, the copula is ahe.

It requires the predicative as its direct object:

  • Mumehe xaurau amenigi.
    mum*-ahe xaurau amen-igi
    sg.an.def-be.copula animal deer-acc.dat
    The animal is deer.

It is conjugated regularly. It has only definite forms, though.

Subject Aorist Imperfect Present Progressive Future
sg anim. pumehe pumahe mumehe mumahe mumetahe
sg inan. semehe semahe amehe amahe ametahe
pl xumehe xumahe nemehe nemahe nemetahe


However, it is not used with adjectives and other attributive nouns – those are conjugated instead.

  • Muxaita xaurau.
    mu-xaita xaurau
    sg.an-big animal
    The animal is big.

Possession and introduction

There is an intransitive verb auzu expressing possession. Its subject is a noun with appropriate possessive prefix:

  • Mauzu nivautau.
    m-auzu ni-vautau
    sg.an-be 1sg.poss-cow
    I have a cow.


Additionally, it can be used for introducing a subject – with distal inflection on the noun:

  • Mauzu xaupexikau.
    m-auzu xaupex-ikau
    sg.an-be lion-dist.nom
    There is a lion.
  • Pauzu amenikau pitaitau.
    p-auzu amen-ikau pitai-tau
    sg.an.aor-be deer-dist.nom forest-loc
    There was a deer in the forest.

Rarely, the proximate inflection can be used.


It inflects irregularly.

Subject Aorist Imperfect Present Progressive Future
sg anim. pauzu mauzu muwauzu matauzu
sg inan. sauzu auzu ayauzu atauzu
pl xauzu xuwauzu nauzu nayauzu natauzu

Sample text

The sample text is xaupehai xexukau ("the young lion"), the text used in comparative linguistics of the T1 language family.

Mumehe
mum*-ahe
sg.an.def-be.copula
xaupehai
xaupehai
lion
caigemege
caig-em-ege
rule-er-acc.dat
pa
pa
all
nuxauruhu,
nu-xaur-uhu
pl.an-animal-gen
The lion is the ruler of all animals,
tau
tau
because
acihi
a-cihi
sg.in-very
muheva,
mu-heva
sg.an-strong
apexaze
a-pexaze
sg.in-thick
puxamau,
pu-xamau
3sg.poss-chest
akai
a-kai
sg.in-thin
pauhu,
p-auhu
3sg.poss-belly
axukau
a-xukau
sg.in-fast
musigi.
mu-sigi
sg.an-run
because he is very strong, his chest is thick, his belly is thin and he runs fast.
Ka
ka
behold
mauzu
m-auzu
sg.an-be
xaupexai
xaupehai
lion
xexukau.
xe-xukau
att-young
Look, there is the young lion.
Muceje
mu-ceje
sg.an-come
pitaitau
pitai-tau
forest-loc
aigi
aigi
every
tatehe,
tat-ehe
morning-gen
sai
sai
and
maukupau
mau-kupau
sg.an.def-compare
nuhaurugu
nu-haur-ugu
pl.an-animal-acc.dat
xahe
x-ahe
att-other
hevezau.
hevez-au
strength-acc.ins
He comes to the forest every morning and compares to the other animals with regard to strength.
Sai
sai
and
apautusu
a-pautusu
sg.in-always
maikainau
m-aikainau
sg.an-return
xepitaisici.
xe-pitaisici
att-win
And he always returns winning.
Napame
na-pame
pl.def-hear
sai
sai
and
nasaketai
na-saketai
pl.def-know
mekege:
mek-ege
news-acc.dat
maucaigi
mau-caigi
sg.an.def-rule
xaupehai.
xaupehai
lion
All the animals hear and know the news: the lion rules them.
Sai
sai
and
maikainau
m-aikainau
sg.an-return
xepitaisici
xe-pitaisici
att-win
aigi
aigi
every
saxuhu,
sax-uhu
day-gen
sai
sai
and
maumaxeta
mau-maxeta
sg.an.def-praise
paimegai:
p-aimegai
3sg.poss-mother
And he returns winning every day, and his mother praises him:
“Mumehe
mum*-ahe
sg.an.def-be.copula
sai
sai
2sg
guxazege!
g*-auxaz-ege
1sg.poss-child-acc.dat
Apexaze
a-pexaze
sg.in-thick
sexeke!
s*-axeke
2sg.poss-neck
Akai
a-kai
sg.in-thin
suhu!
s*-auhu
2sg.poss-belly
Axaita
a-xaita
sg.in-big
sixamau!
si-xamau
2sg.poss-chest
“You are my child! Your neck is thick! Your stomach is thin! Your chest is big!
Mauxausuka
mau-xausu-ka
sg.an.def-be.named-caus
nai
nai
1sg
saicege
saic-ege
2sg-acc.dat
‘Muhevezau’!”
mu-heva-*zau
sg.an-strong-acc.ins
I name you ‘The Strong One’!”
Apate
a-pate
sg.in-now
apahasete
a-pahasete
sg.in-repeat
maucayaka
mau-caya-ka
sg.an.def-stretch-caus
punekesege
pu-n*-ekes-ege
3sg.poss-pl-leg-acc.dat
tatehe,
tat-ehe
morning-gen
sai
sai
and
maumaxeta
mau-maxeta
sg.an.def-praise
paimegai:
p-aimegai
3sg.poss-mother
Now he stretches his legs again this morning and his mother praises him:
“Apehaze
a-pehaze
sg.in-thick
sexeke!
s*-axeke
2sg.poss-neck
Akai
a-kai
sg.in-thin
suhu!
s*-auhu
2sg.poss-belly
Aheva
a-heva
sg.in-strong
sixamau!
si-xamau
2sg.poss-chest
“Your neck is thick! Your stomach is thin! Your chest is strong!
Mausake
mau-sake
sg.an.def-own
sai
sai
2sg
pesazege
∅-pesaz-ege
pl-arm-acc.dat
xetesakaixiki
xe-tesakaixiki
att-mighty
xaupehihi!”
xaupeh-ihi
lion-gen
You own the mighty arms of lion!”

Source of the sample text: Roy S. Hagman, Nama Hottentot grammar, Bloomington/Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1977.

Lexicon

Main page: East Yalan/Lexicon