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Period c. 1000 YP
Spoken in Ici Forest
Total speakers c. 25000
Writing system none
Classification Hitatc
 Eastern Hitatc
  Forest Hitatc
Basic word order SVO
Morphology isolating
Alignment NOM-ACC
Created by Cedh Audmanh

History and context

Necine is a language from the eastern branch of the Hitatc family, spoken by three related tribes in the southwestern Ici Forest, along the southern fringes of Tactak territory, around the turn of the first millennium YP. It is noted for its abundance of nasal consonant sounds, including a series of phonemic prenasalized plosives.

With the current state of research, Necine is assumed to have been the last living language of its subfamily. Its closest known relative was Pirikõsu, spoken in the Şepamã valley near the east coast of Peilaš, but the last common ancestor - Common Eastern Hitatc - is estimated to have been spoken approximately three millennia earlier, and so Necine and Pirikõsu are usually classified into different sub-branches of Hitatc. However, it may well be that close sister languages to Necine somewhere in the depth of the Ici forest have survived to this day.


  • Proto-Hitatc (c. -3000 YP)
    • Eastern Hitatc
      • Common Eastern Hitatc (c. -1800 YP)
        • Forest Hitatc
          • Necine (c. +1000 YP)
        • Coastal Hitatc
          • Pirikõsu (c. +1600 YP)
    • Western Hitatc
      • Wan-Mlir languages (Steppe Hitatc)
      • Uplands Hitatc




The consonant inventory of Necine is as follows:

labial dental postalveolar retroflex palatal velar labiovelar glottal
plain plosive p /p/ t /t/ /ʈ/ ty /c/ k /k/
prenasalized plosive mb /ⁿb/ nd /ⁿd/ ṇḍ /ⁿɖ/ ndy /ⁿɟ/ ng /ⁿɡ/
(gn) [ŋ]
ngb /ⁿɡ͡b/
nasal m /m/ n /n/ /ɳ/ ny /ɲ/ ngm /ŋ͡m/
voiceless fricative f /f/ s /s/ š /ʃ/ /ʂ/ h /h/
voiced fricative v /v/ z /z/ ž /ʒ/ /ʐ/
voiced affricate dz /ʣ/ /ʤ/
lateral l /l/ /ɭ/
approximant r /ɻ/ y /j/ w /w/
  • For the "retroflex" consonants ṭ ṇḍ ṇ ṣ ẓ ḷ r, the tip of the tongue was curled back only slightly, so that apical postalveolar might be a more accurate description.
  • All contrasting coronals were laminal, that is, pronounced with the blade of the tongue. t nd n s z dz l had a lamino-dental articulation, while ty dy ny were lamino-palatal and š ž dž lamino-postalveolar.
  • Some linguists posit voiceless affricates /ʦ ʧ/ as additional phonemes. This is represented in a common orthographic transcription scheme, where these appear as c č respectively (hence, the name of the language is phonetically ['nɛ.ʦi.nə]). However, for the purposes of this document the sounds in question will be treated as clusters.
  • [ⁿɡ ŋ] were in complementary distribution, and are therefore analysed as a single phoneme. The cluster /kⁿɡ/ [kŋ, ɡŋ] was written kgn word-initially and ggn in medial positions.
  • Similarly, medial /pm tn ʈɳ cɲ/ were written with "voiced" graphemes as well: bm dn ḍṇ dny.


Necine had vowels of eight basic qualities, five of which existed in both long and short versions:

front central back
unrounded rounded
   high i ī /i iː/ ü /yː/ u ū /u uː/
mid e ē /ɛ eː/ ö /øː/ ĕ /ə/ o ō /ɔ oː/
low a ā /a aː/
  • ĕ was always short, while ö ü were always long.
  • The quality of e o varied depending on their length: Short e o were open-mid [ɛ ɔ], while long ē ō were close-mid [eː oː].
  • /ɛ/ did not contrast with /ə/ at the end of a word. Word-final short e is therefore pronounced [ə] in all cases.

Phonological constraints

  • The basic syllable structure was (C)(C)V(V)(C).
  • No word-final consonants.
  • There were five diphtongs ai ei oi ui au [aɪ ɛɪ ɔɪ uɪ aʊ]. Other vowel sequences did not occur.
  • Cluster rules:
    (P = plain plosive; B = prenasalized plosive; N = nasal; F = voiceless fricative; V = voiced fricative; S = s š; Z = z ž; L = l ḷ; Y = y w; µ = cluster must be homoorganic)
    • All clusters involving only obstruents must agree in voicing.
    • Retroflex consonants clustered only with each other, with the exception of fṭ.
    • h r did not appear in clusters at all.
    • Legal initial clusters were: PF, FP, µPN, km, µNP, PY, BL, SL, ZL, S(m,n), ZN, FY, VY, NY.
    • In medial position, the following clusters were also allowed: F(m,n), VN, LP, LF, LV, LN, LY.
    • The only attested CCC cluster was nšt.


  • Medial PN clusters were pronounced voiced (and commonly represented with "voiced" graphemes bm dn ḍṇ dny ggn).
  • h was [ç] before front vowels, and [h] elsewhere.
  • Front vowels were slightly lowered before retroflex consonants.


  • Necine had strong dynamic stress, usually on the first syllable. Exceptions are marked with an acute accent.
  • Long vowels and diphthongs lasted about twice as long as short vowels.