From AkanaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
To Be Continued...
Zju is still working on this article. The contents are incomplete and likely to undergo changes.
Period ~ 1000 YP
Spoken in western Tuysáfa
Total speakers unknown
Writing system none
Classification Leic
Basic word order SOV
Morphology fusional, slightly agglutinative
Alignment accusative
Created by Zju

Changes from Áżädgä

  • ɨ ɨː > ə əː
  • In cases where 1.PL ends in 2.PL is extended with .
  • Methatheses in certain word-initial consonant clusters - on euphonic principles:
    • dm > md / #_V
    • fx fs fʃ > xf sf ʃf / #_V
    • bg bgʷ > gb / #_V
    • lɲ > ɲl / #_V
    • mc mk mg mv > cm km gm vm / #_V
    • ɣb ɣd ɣdm > bɣ dɣ mdɣ / #_V
  • C Cː > əC əːC - Loss of syllabic consonants, C stands for any syllabic continuant.
  • The marker for I class nouns -b(-) is dropped when preceded by z, this makes -z(-) the regular marker of I class nouns with the few I class nouns retaining -b(-) becoming irregular. The marker -z(-) is not dropped in up-to-now class-independant case endings, creating a new declensional dichotomy.
  • V[+half long] > V[+short] - loss of half-long (long) vowels in monovocalic words.
    • This sound change occured simultaneously with the previous one, with their interaction giving rise to inconsistent correspondencies of the type TVˑTR > TVTəR ~ TVːTəR. It also created paradigmatic length alternations of the type TVT ~ TVːTV(T), where T is any number of consonants.
  • ə əː ɑ ɑː> u uː ɔ ɔː / Cʷ_ - rounding.
  • Cʷ > C - loss of labialisation.
  • ɑ > ɔ / [+stress]
  • æ ɑ > a - merger of open vowels.
  • iː uː əː ɛː ɔː æː ɑː > ii̯ uu̯ əe̯ ɛe̯ ɔo̯ aæ̯ ɑɒ̯ > iɪ̯ uʊ̯ əɪ̯ ɛɪ̯ ɔʊ̯ aɪ̯ ɑʊ̯ - diphthongisation.
    • This change turns the former alternation of quantity into one of quality.
  • j̃ w̃ ṽ l̃ > ɲj~ɲ mw mv nl / #_V
  • t͡ɕ d͡ʑ ɕ /d͡ʑz/ [d͡ʑʑ]> t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ d͡ʒʒ - reduction of the number of sibilant series.
  • ts dz > t͡ss d͡zz
  • n > ŋ / _C[+velar]
  • ɲ > n / _{t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ ʒ j}
  • əɪ̯ iɪ̯ uʊ̯ > aɪ̯ əɪ̯ əʊ̯
  • ɲ l̃ r̃ > ɪ̯n ln rn / V_#
    • Paradigmatic alternation ɪ̯n ~ ɲ when suffixes are added is changed to one of ɪ̯n ~ ɪ̯ɲ.
    • (j w > ɪ̯ ʊ̯ / V_C*%)
    • The newly created diphthongs attract the stress.
    • Somewhere around here the alternating vocalism of the present tense copula is leveled analogically somewhat.
  • ŋC[-velar -voice] ŋC[-velar +voice] ŋ# > ŋkC[-velar -voice] ŋgC[-velar +voice] ŋg# - ŋ becomes an allophone of n after this change.
  • Instrumental case is degrammaticalised to genitive + postp. . However, there are a number of instrumental case remnants in the face of adverbs ending in -aim < -aimb < -ainb.
  • j̃ w̃ r̃ ṽ l̃ > hj hw hr hv hl / V_V - rhinoglottophilia.
    • The rest of the nasalised sonorants are decomposed to oral and nasal element a bit after this change:
      • ṽ > mv / V_g
      • ṽl̃ d͡ʒl̃ > ml nd͡ʒl
      • r̃ ṽ l̃ > rN vN lN / _C where N agrees with the PoA of the following consonant.
  • There is still alternation of nj ~ ɲ word-initially for some words.


Phonemic inventory


labial dental post-alveolar
and palatal
velar glottal
nasal m n ɲ ņ
stop p b t d k g
affricate t͡s d͡z c ʒ t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ț d̦
fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ ș z̦ x ɣ x q h
sonorant w l r j


front central back
close i u
mid ə
open-mid ɛ e ɔ o
open ä a


front central back
mid əɪ̯ əʊ̯ əi əu
open-mid ɛɪ̯ ei ɔʊ̯ ou
open aɪ̯ ai ɑʊ̯ au
  • There are sporadical examples of other diphthongs, such as ɛʊ̯, ɔɪ̯ - these are rather few individual exceptions and can be considered phonemically as /ɛw ɔj/ but are still written as <eu oi>.


Stress is phonemic and is marked with acute accent. Due to diachronic reasons it falls on a diphthong if there is one. Again due to diachronic reasons there is no more than one diphthong in a word. Stress is not marked when:

  • It falls on the first syllable.
  • It falls on a diphthong.



Certain vowels alternate with certain diphthongs throughout paradigms. The alternating pairs are:

Vowel a a o o e ə u i
Diphthong au ai ou au ei ai əu əi

The rarer diphthongs alternate with a vowel corresponding to their vocalic part, e.g. oi - o.


Stress is dynamic and phonemic. Suffixal syllables may attract stress if immediately after the stressed syllable - that is a property of the suffix. If the stress is attracted and the formerly stressed nucleus was a diphthong, it undergoes monophthongisation and the newly stressed nucleus diphthongises.


Nominal morphology

Nouns have four classes, two numbers, and seven cases: nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, lovative, ablative and vocative. Nouns have also a emphatic form, which has a few other usages as well.

Noun classes

Noun distribution in classes is partially based on semantic criteria, although for a large part of the nouns their class is arbitrary. In particular, the first two classes are rather well defined semantically.

  • First class includes humans and personified animals and things. It is split in two subclasses: Ia - regular I class nouns ending in -z in nom.sg. and Ib - irregular I class nouns ending in -b in nom.sg.
  • Second class includes animals and animated objects.
  • Third class includes plants, natural objects and phenomena, processes, abstracts, phenomena and concepts, some collective nouns, mass nouns (uncountables) and some others. It is split in two subclasses, the only difference between them being the vowel they end in in nom.sg.
  • Fourth class includes man-made artefacts and objects, body parts, abstracts and a few natural objects and plants. It's the go-to class for inanimate objects.

There's a semi-productive process by which inanimates become second class and animals become first class should they go up in the animacy hierarchy.

Noun declension

Some of the case endings depend on the noun class, and some don't. Ia nouns decline slightly differently. They are presented seperately.

Only the most general ending is given and afterwards case-individual pecularities are looked at.

Class-dependant cases

They are nominative, accusative, genitive and instrumental singular.

Case 1b. class 2. class 3. class 4. class
Nominative -b / -bə -x / -∅ -g / -gə / -ga -təm / -əm
Accusative -bən -xən / -(ə)n -gən -tən / -(ə)n
Genitive -bain -xain / -ain -gain -tain / -ain
  • Some class II and IV use reduced versions of the class dependant case endings, eliding their initial consonant.
  • When the stem ends in -b or -g, initial b or g of endings change respectively to v or ɣ.
  • If the last stem syllable is stressed, it loses stress to the genitive ending and undergoes reverse ablaut. Otherwise the genitive endings coincide with the accusative. This will be referred to as the reverse ablaut rule (RAR).

Class-independant cases

Case Singular Plural
Nominative -() -(ə)n
Accusative -() -lən / -əln
Dative -(ə)r -(ə)ndər
Genitive -() -ailn / -lain
Locative -bər -(ə)lmbər
Ablative -vən -(ə)hvlən
Vocative -(ə)lņó -(ə)nəlņó
  • RAR applies in genitive plural.
  • When the stem ends in a continuant (sonorant or a fricative) a homorganic epenthetic stop of the same voicing is inserted before the dative singular ending. f v x ɣ are an exception to this rule and require no epenthetic stop.
  • In some endings -ə- is inserted to break up consonant clusters. Some other endings have two allomorphs depending on if the noun stem ends in a consonant or a vowel.
  • When preceded by -f or -v, ablatibe singular ending drops its own v.
  • If the stem ends in an obstruent, -bər and -vən agree in voicing. If it ends in -p or -b, -bər changes respectively to -fər and -vər, forming a bilabial affricate at the morpheme boundary.

Class Ia endings

Case Singular Plural
Nominative -z -(z̦)ən
Accusative -zəm -(z̦)əlm
Dative -(z̦)dər -(z̦)əndər
Genitive -zaim -(z̦)ailm
Locative -(z)bər -(z̦)əlmbər
Ablative -(z)vən -(z̦)əhvləm
Vocative -(z̦)əlņó -(z̦)ənəlņó
  • The RAR rule applies for genitive singular and plural.
  • -z-/-z̦- tends to drop out outside of NAG singular, except for when that would create vowel hiatus.

Irregular plural forms

A small amount of nouns have irregular plural forms. There are two kinds of irregularity: suppletive plural stems and a somewhat different set plural endings called g plural endings.

Those nouns which end in a nasal consonant in their plural stems take -(ə)l -ldər instead of -(ə)n -ndər.

Comparison of different plurals

Case n plural
regular plural
l plural
nasal stems
g plural
irregular plural
Nominative -(ə)n -l -ga
Accusative -lən / -əln -gən
Dative -ndər -ldər -gər
Genitive -ailn / -lain -gain
Locative -(ə)lmbər -ŋgər
Ablative -(ə)hvlən -ŋgvən
Vocative -(ə)nəlņó -gənəlņó

Plural stems

A number of nouns have differing singular and plural stems. Some are due to regular or semi-regular alternations and some are irregular. When the plural stem differs and it's not due to regular alternation, it's also listed.

Regular alternations:

  • Classes 1a. and 3.:
    • Stem final -m -n -ŋ change to -b -ż -g or -p -c -k ¹.
    • -b -d -g change to -p -c -k or -b -ż -g ¹.
    • -v -z -ɣ to -f -ś -x or --v -ź -ɣ ¹.
    • -lŋ -lm to -l - only for a few irregular nouns.
  • Class 2. :
    • -s > ¹ ²
    • Stems ending in a nasal consonant regularly take l plural.
  • Class 4. :
    • -b -d -g -p > -b -ż -g -v / -p -c -k -f ¹ ²
    • -t -k > -c -k / -ż -g ¹ ²
    • -s > / ¹ ²
    • Stems ending in a nasal consonant regularly take l plural.

¹ Voicing harmony is at play: The final consonant harmonises with the voicing of the last preceding obstruent. Should the first preceding consonant not be an obstruent, the stem final consonant changes to a consonant from the former set.
² Only when the short ending is used, so when in nom. sg. they end in -s, -bəm, -dəm, -gəm, etc.

Some of the more common irregular alternations are:

  • Change of the last stem consonant: ņənb - ņairən 'neighbour - neighbours'
  • Vowel insertion: d̦əvóɣb - d̦əvóɣon 'adult - adults'
  • A combination of those two: țéŋb - țékan 'enemy - enemies'
  • Consonant insertion: caņb - cauņəln 'comrade - comrades'
  • There is also suppletion: səupəm - ʒaidəln 'arm - arms'

Although the stems are called singular and plural, their distribution is not always based on number:

  • The aforementioned changes, excluding suppletion, may sporadically occur in dative singular and vocative singular, except when the change involves dental obstruents from classes 1., 3. and 5. (-d -z > -ʒ -c / -ș z̦) or vowel insertion, in which case it's particularly common.
  • Consonant alternating class 4. nouns follow a different pattern, in which the plural stem is also used for loc. sg. and abl. sg. in addition to dat. sg. and voc. sg. Also unlike the other ones, this usage is completely regular.

Emphatic form

Nouns have a emphatic form, which besides indicating emphasis, is also used for switch-reference, contrast and sometimes indefiniteness. Words, which answer content questions, are more often than not emphatic.

If a noun has differing singular and plural stems, focus forms use the plural stem. The only exception is when the plural is suppletive.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative -ló
Accusative -Caicu ¹ -laicu / -ailcu
Dative -ró -naró; -(ə)ndró
Genitive -Cnaicu ¹ -(ə)lnaicu
Locative -bró -(ə)lmbró
Ablative -vaicu -(ə)hvlaicu

Ia emphatic endings

Case Singular Plural
Nominative -zə -zló
Accusative -zaicu -zailcu
Dative -zdró -znaró; -zəndró
Genitive -zmaicu -zəlmaicu
Locative -zbró -zəlmbró
Ablative -zvaicu -zəhvlaicu

¹ C is the class consonant, respectively b, x, g, t, g.

Other than in nominative singular, stress invariably falls on the suffix and the stressed suffixal nucleus is always short. In nominative singular stress is again always short and invariably falls on the last stem syllable.

Dative plural has two endings in concurrent use.

The copula

With the copula the continuous tenses are used for locations and temporary states, whereas the simple tenses are used for permanent states.

  • Present continuous & present simple
PrC Sg Pl Neg Sg Neg Pl
1. jaim jainc mnaim mnainc
2. aiņa jac maiņa mnac
3. ain ja main mna
PrS Sg Pl Neg Sg Neg Pl
1. jausəm jausma bəjosəm bəjosma
2. jauș jausta bəjoș bəjosta
3. jaus jausa bəjos bəjosa
  • Past continuous & past simple
PaC Sg Pl Neg Sg Neg Pl
1. pafkəm paufkma bəpofkəm bəpofkma
2. pafəs paufksa bəpofəs bəpofksa
3. pafk paufka bəpofk bəpofka
PaS Sg Pl Neg Sg Neg Pl
1. bavəm bauvma bəbovəm bəbovma
2. bav bauvʒa bəbov bəbovʒa
3. bav bauva bəbov bəbova
  • Deontic moods
PaS Sg Pl Neg Sg Neg Pl
Hortative - əmvaimc - məmvaimc
Imperative əm əmc məm məmc
Optative aimva maimva
  • The negative forms beginning in b- may occasionally be extended with unstressed əm-.