Hu Shĩmyashta

From AkanaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
To Be Continued...
Corumayas is still working on this article. The contents are incomplete and likely to undergo changes.
Hu Shĩmyashta
[hu ʃĩˈmjaʃta]
Period c. -700 YP
Spoken in Siŋmeasita
(Lukpanic coast)
Total speakers unknown
Writing system Lukpanic script
Classification Lukpanic
 Siŋmeasita dialect
Basic word order head-initial
Morphology agglutinating
Alignment unknown
Created by Dunomapuka;
this dialect: Corumayas

This is a short description of the Lukpanic dialect spoken in the city-state of Siŋmeasita (local name Shĩmyashta) in about the seventh to eighth century BP. Along with the dialect of Isi, this was one of the two most prestigious Lukpanic dialects.




Labial Alveolar Post-alveolar Velar Glottal
Plosive p /p/ b /b/ t /t/ d /d/ k /k/ g /ɡ/
Affricate ts /ʦ/ dz /ʣ/
Fricative f ~ v /f ~ v/ s /s/ sh /ʃ/ h /h ~ ɦ/
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ ŋ /ŋ/
Approximant w [w] l /l/ y [j]


Front Central Back
High i /i/ ĩ /ĩ/ u /u/ ũ /ũ/
Low a /a/ ã /ã/

Phonetic detail and phonotactics

The glides [j w] (romanized <y w>) are best analyzed as allophones of /i u/ before another vowel.

The non-sibilant fricatives /f h/ are voiced to [v ɦ] except at the beginning of a word. (The voicing is reflected in the romanization for [f v], but not for [h ɦ].) In colloquial speech, intervocalic [ɦ] tends to assimilate to the preceding vowel, becoming [j] after [i], [w] after [u], and sometimes [ɰ] or zero after [a].

A distinctive feature of this dialect is its geminate plosives, which only occur in limited environments. Not only must they be intervocalic, but [pː bː] occur only before /a/, [tː dː] only before /i/, and [kː gː] only before /u/. Non-geminate [ɡ] does not occur intervocalically, so [ɡ] and [ɡː] do not contrast; non-geminate [t d] do not occur before /i/ intervocalically, so [t d] and [tː dː] do not contrast either. (The other geminates are contrastive, though: e.g. tuku 'make; do; perform', tukku 'suck'.)

/n ŋ/ only occur word-initially; elsewhere/m/ is the only nasal permitted.

/s ʃ/ are merged before /i/. /f h/ do not contrast word-initially before /u/.

Syllable structure is (C)V(C). Historically, coda consonants were strictly limited to /p b l/, and permitted only at the end of a word; however, the ongoing loss of various unstressed vowels is producing medial clusters and more varied codas, especially in colloquial speech.

Unlike in most other Lukpanic dialects, vowels in hiatus are largely avoided. This is accomplished by realizing /i u/ as glides [j w] before another vowel. (The remaining vowel sequences [ai au] seem to behave like diphthongs in some ways, and like vowels in hiatus in others.)

Stress is no longer entirely predictable from the surface form of a word. (It may still be predictable from underlying forms, but formulating a synchronic rule is tricky.)

  • Most disyllabic words, and many longer words, are stressed on the penultimate vowel: bábba, íta, tuttíbba, mitalushiwáda. Diphthongs [ai au] count as two vowels here: dwĩyã́u.
  • Many longer words stress the antepenult instead: mítali, Pwáluggũ, lúppãi, hãmwaushiwádakab. The tendency to drop certain unstressed vowels is gradually reducing the number of words with this pattern.
  • A small number of words stress the final vowel. This happens with a particular combination of nominal suffixes which always takes stress: -byu 'no; none' + -~u 'this; that'; e.g. dwibyṹ 'these no fish; none of these fish'.

When morphology brings two consonants together, they are often separated by an epenthetic vowel (usually [i]). In some environmets this vowel is elided.

When morphology brings two vowels of the same quality together, they are often separated by an epenthetic consonant: |a-a| -> [aka], |i-i| -> [iki], |u-u| -> [upu]. However, if the first vowel is (or becomes) nasalized, it instead either absorbs the following one or turns it into a glide: |ã-a| -> [ã], |ĩ-i| -> [ĩ(j)], |ũ-u| -> [ũ(w)].

The deletion of certain unstressed vowels produces alternations in many words and suffixes. Also, since the change is ongoing, many words can be heard both in syncopated and unsyncopated forms: hãmwaushihilip ~ hãmwaushi(h)lip, lĩm(i)li, dzish(i)li, twip(i)li, dyush(ĩ)maukyab...

Sound changes from Proto-Lukpanic

Siŋmeasita Lukpanic belongs to the East Lukpanic branch that also includes the Kpitamoa and Naəgbum dialects. It shares several similar developments with the neighboring dialect of Kpitamoa, but also shares some with the West Lukpanic dialect of Isi (the other prestige dialect). Its distinctive features include a vowel system with just three vowel qualities (most other Lukpanic dialects have expanded this to five), contrastive gemination for intervocalic stops, and medial consonant clusters (which are avoided in most other dialects) resulting from syncope of certain unstressed vowels.

  • Non-initial [m n ŋ] disappear, nasalising the previous vowel; [ŋm] also causes nasalisation, but instead of being deleted it becomes [m]. (This change is shared by all East Lukpanic dialects.)
  • Word-initial [β] devoices to [ɸ]. (Different reflexes for initial vs. intervocalic [β] is also an East Lukpanic feature.)
  • Alveolar obstruents [t d s] palatalize to [ʦ ʣ ʃ] before [i]. (A very similar change occurs early on in the dialect of Isi.)
  • Intervocallic [ɡ] and [h] merge as [ɦ]. (This is similar to some changes in Isi and Kpitamoa.)
  • The diphthongs [iə uə] become [ja wa] after a vowel. Otherwise [aə iə uə] merge with [a i u]. (This is somewhat like what happens in Kpitamoa.)
  • Two consecutive vowels of the same quality (produced by deletion of a nasal) merge into a single (nasalized) vowel. But before another vowel, the second of two close vowels is preserved as a glide: [ĩi ũu] > [ĩj ũw].
  • The close vowels tend to first lose stress, then become semivowel glides:
    • Close vowels always become glides before another vowel; [ea oa] (phonemically /ia ua/) become [ja wa]. If the first vowel was stressed, the stress shifts to the second vowel. E.g. tóaba > twába, tukúigba > tukwígba > tuttíbba.
    • In a sequence of three close vowels in hiatus, the middle vowel becomes a semivowel; if it was stressed, the stress moves to the following vowel.
    • When a nasalized vowel becomes a glide, the nasalization moves to the preceding vowel, if there is one; if not, to the following vowel. (Nasalization probably also spreads to both members of the sequences [ãi ãu aĩ aũ].)
  • Secondary palatalization: [tj dj sj hj] > [ʦ ʣ ʃ ʃ].
  • [ɸ] and [h] merge before [u w]; [ɸu hu] > [hu], [ɸw hw] > [ɸ].
  • [ɸ β] become labiodental [f v].
  • Labiovelar shift:
    • [kw ɡw ŋw] merge with [kp ɡb ŋm] (much as in Kpitamoa, but the results are different).
    • Labiovelar plosives [kp ɡb] merge with the other plosives, but produce geminates intervocalically. The reflex is conditioned by the following vowel: [kp ɡb] > [p(ː) b(ː)] before [a], [t(ː) d(ː)] before [i j], and [k(ː) ɡ(ː)] before [u w].
    • Initial [ŋm] becomes [m] unconditionally (as in Kpitamoa).
  • In words stressed on the antepenult, the penult tends to be deleted when it's a close vowel. This change occurred first between two voiceless, non-geminate consonants; but it's also spreading to other unstressed penults. Unstressed close vowels in other positions may be deleted as well: for example, sporadically in the pre-stress syllable in longer words, and word-finally (especially after a voiceless consonant, and/or when the stress is on the antepenult and the penult is not deleted).

Example phrases

  • *gbagba lukpani "the people facing toward the sea" > babba luppãi
  • *mitalai iəta "the river flows" > mitalai ita
  • *hupusi sumi "it's raining" > hupshi swĩ
  • *gbiusi liŋmili "[they] are building the wall" > dyushi lĩm(i)li
  • *tukuigba vinitali "[they] are performing a ceremony" > tuttibba fĩtali
  • *ŋanaigba... "[someone] is saying..." > ŋãibba
  • *gbikiŋibita neamali "He builds boats [apparently; so I heard]" > dikĩb(i)ta nyãli
  • *gbiusiŋmaukeab "one who isn't going to build a boat." > dyush(ĩ)maukyab
  • *haŋmoausigilip daəb disili "I don't think the woman will stab her husband" > hãmwaushih(i)lip dab dzish(i)li
  • *naəpal nali "the vomiting baby" > napal nali
  • *daəb huəsadai "the woman [that I see is] singing" > dab husadai
  • *pamigbaul ŋma tuipili "I witnessed the hunting" > pãibbaul ma twip(i)li