| Ktacwa |
|Period||c. 0-200 YP|
|Spoken in||lower Milīr valley|
|Total speakers||c. 200,000|
|Classification|| Hitatc |
|Basic word order||(X)VSO|
Ktacwa (Ad. itatizan) was a language of the Hitatc family that was spoken in the lower Milīr valley during the first few centuries YP, immediately before the rise of the Empire of Athalē. During the Itatizan War of 229-231 YP, the Ktacwa-speaking territories were conquered by Athalē, and the language disappeared within a few centuries, leaving traces only as a substrate in the local varieties of Adāta and descendants thereof (e.g. Aθáta and Pencek).
No original documents written by native Ktacwa speakers have been found. However, several Dāiadak scholars, travellers, and merchants wrote detailed reports about the culture of the Itatizan, often including lists of common words and useful everyday sentences in Ktacwa. The great Dāiadak historian Saphamīx even produced a short grammatical sketch in 208 YP, upon which much of this description is based.
The main characteristic of the Ktacwa language as perceived by every single of our Dāiadak sources was its remarkable tolerance to consonant clusters, not just compared to the almost cluster-free Adāta language, but compared to most other known languages of Peilaš. Saphamīx starts his chapter on the pronunciation of Ktacwa as follows:
- XA KOIA AX ĀITATIZAN RO ATHE BAXA ON HONULAK, ON IAL RO ĀPAZATHI MABA IAKHO. NIN RO ZŌMA ĪRAKĒMEIEN.
That speech of the Itatizan is rough and unclear, and it makes a hard mouth. Therefore it is difficult to learn.
He proceeds to explain that Ktacwa, like Adāta, has both long and short vowels, but does not pronounce the short ones at all, with the exception of <u> and the syllables <ti> <si> <zi> before a long vowel. When comparing his transcriptions with the wordlists from other sources, most importantly with the short list given by the Buruya merchant Mɛña, who wrote in the Fáralo alphabet, it becomes obvious that what Saphamīx and most other Dāiadak writers, biased by the nature of their own syllabic writing system, call "short vowels" are in fact consonant clusters; that "short u" refers to the semivowel [w] or a syllabic [v̩]; and that <ti>, <si> and <zi> represent [ʦ], [ɕ] and [ʑ] (or similar phones) respectively.
|plosives||p · b||t’ · t · d||k’ · k · g||q’ · q|
|affricates||ʦ’ · ʦ · ʣ||ʨ’ · ʨ · ʥ|
|fricatives||f · v||s · z||ɕ · ʑ||x||h|
|liquids||r · l||ʀ|
The phonemic status of several consonants is doubtful:
- Labial stops were found only in clusters (and in the geminate [pː], which may of course be analyzed as a cluster as well). [p] was apparently more frequent than [b]; however, the latter clearly contrasted with [v], whereas [p] appears to have been mostly in complementary distribution with [f]. The only indication that [p] and [f] might indeed have been separate phonemes comes from a single word on Meña's list with a double <ff>, which seems to refer to a geminate [fː] as distinct from [pː].
- [w] appeared only in the form of labialization on preceding obstruents and is probably best analyzed as an allophone of /v/.
- [j] seems to have been an allophone of /ʑ/ word-initially and in intervocalic position before vowels other than /i/; however, some Dāiadak transcriptions appear to indicate that [ʑ] was also found between vowels, which might make [j] phonemic.