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Pʰeśin is an island-highland (team B) language, spoken in the southern Peilaš.



labial dental palatal velar glottal
plain stops p t c k ʔ <'>
aspirated stops
nasals m n ɲ <ń> ŋ
creaky nasals m̰ <ṁ> n̰ <ṅ>
fricatives s ʃ <ś> h
approximants w ɾ <r> j
creaky approximants w̰ <ẇ> j̰ <ǰ>
  • /ʔ/ is not spelled word initially.
  • Realisation of /h/ is free variation between [h] and [ɦ].
  • /w ɾ j/ are devoiced after aspirated consonants, which themselves lose aspiration in this position.


/i o ɛ ɑ/ < i o e a >

Stress is after the last of either ejectives or creaky sonorants - the glottal stop may optionally also attract stress in this manner; if neither is present, stress is in front of the last consonant in multisyllable words.

  • /ɑ о/ are realised as [æ ɵ] next to a palatal consonant or if the next syllable contains [i].
  • /i o/ are realised as [e ɔ] if the following syllable contains one of [ɑ æ ɛ ɔ ɞ].
  • /o/ is realised as [ɞ] next to a palatal consonant and if the next syllable contains [i].
  • /ɛ/ is realised as [e] if the next syllable contains [i].


Some baisc phontactic patterns are:

  • All syllables contain an onset.
  • Glottal consonants (/h ʔ/) and creaky sonorants appear only in syllable onset.
  • Glottal consonants furthermore don't occur next to another consonant.
  • Semivowels don't occur in codas.


Should two homorganic consonants happen next to each other due to a morphological process, they are seperated by an epenthetic /a/.


Abbreviations used in this section:

  • V - vowel stems
  • T - plosive stems
  • C - (other) consonant stems


Nominals include nouns, pronouns and adjectives. They have the category of animacy and case, exhibiting case concord and including seven cases:

  • Absolutive
  • Ergative
  • Dative
  • Genitive
  • Oblique
  • Illative
  • Elative

The category of animacy exists only in ergative case and for the third person singular pronoun. It is based on semantics.

Case C V
Absolutive -∅ -∅
Ergative (anim.) -o -'o
Ergative (inan.) -in ¹ -hin
Dative -ra
Genitive -o -ho
Oblique -ar -r
Illative -rakʰ
Elative -aran -ran

¹ Stem-final t tʰ n palatalise to c cʰ ń

Adverbs are formed from adjectives using the suffix -ro (allomorph -o for adjectives ending in r).

If a noun is possessed by the agent, the possession is expressed by the suffix -ṁan on the possessed noun.

Personal pronouns

Pʰeśin is split-ergative, splitting for 1. and 2. person vs. everything else.

Sg Pl
1. Excl ṅo ẇan
1. Incl paŋe
2. ta taŋe
3. Anim cʼo ṁon
3. Inan ṁa
Nom/Abs ṅo ta cʼo ṁa ẇan paŋe taŋe ṁon
Acc/Erg ṅor tor tʼo ṁin ẇahor pahor tahor ṁoro/ṁońin
Dative ṅara tara tʼara ṁara ẇaŋra paŋra taŋra ṁora
Genitive ṅo to tʼo ṁo ẇaŋo paŋo taŋo ṁoro
Oblique ṅar tar tʼar ṁar ẇaŋar paŋar taŋar ṁorar
Illative ṅarakʰ tarakʰ tʼarakʰ ṁarakʰ ẇaŋrakʰ paŋrakʰ taŋrakʰ ṁorakʰ
Elative ṅaran taran tʼaran ṁaran ẇaŋaran paŋaran taŋaran ṁoraran


thing person time place manner, quality quantity
proximal hat haco ṅapʰ pʰi o tʼan
distal ṁi ṁirjo ran / taṅakʰ ¹ kʼi
indefinite kʼam ṁǰo kʼante kʼaŋe kʼanar kʼantʼan
interrogative mi mjo ṁotʰ makʰ man mimprar
universal am piṁǰo ante aśipʰ amprar am
alternative or ormjo orcim ornar
negative miṁe mjome moṁe maṁe manme mimprarme

¹ Ran indicates time before present moment, taṅakʰ - time after present moment.

Irregular correlative caseforms:

  • Kʼam 'something' and am 'all, everything' use -ir and -iran for oblique and elative case respectively.
  • In addition to that, miṁe 'nothing' and ṁi 'that (inan.)' lose their final vowels before receiving a case ending.
  • Mjome 'nobody', ṁirjo 'that (anim.)' and piṁjo 'everybody' only lose their final vowels (and semivowels) before receiving a case ending.
  • In addition to that, mjo 'who', ṁǰo 'somebody' and orṁǰo 'somebody else' use -aho for genitive case.
  • Haco 'this (anim.)' uses har- for stem of cases other than absolutive
  • Mi what is wholly irregular:
Absolutive mi
Ergative meśin
Dative mera
Genitive mo
Oblique mer
Illative merakʰ
Elative meran

Case usages

  • Dative is used for recipient and beneficiaries.
  • Genitive is used for possessors and follows its head noun. It also governs the postpositions ňonaron 'behind' and wiśeron 'in front of'.
  • Elative and illative are never used on their own. Instead they only indicate the direction of movement and the spatial postposition they are governed by indicates the location to or from which the movement takes place.
  • For stative usages, most spatial postpositions govern the oblique case. Non spatial postposition also govern the oblique case and it is used only with postpositions.


Some verbs have two or three principal forms, or rather principal stems. In this section they are referred to as P1, P2 and P3. If a verb lacks P3, P2 is to be used instead in P3's morphological slots. The first two principal forms of some three principal form verbs coincide, but they are listed independently anyway for clarity's sake.

Finite verb forms

Finite verb forms have the categories of person, number, negation, tense, aspect, mood and evidentiality.

A good deal of finite verb forms are formed by circumfixes. Their prefixal parts have the following allomorphs:

  • tʼa- has an allomorph of s- in front of single stops.
  • ka- and ma- have allomorphs of k- and m- in front of single sonorants.
  • kʼ(a)- and makʼ(a)- serve as intensifiers for imperative mood, replacing the usual ka- and ma-.
Present tense
1.INCL.PERF tʼa-P3-re tʼa-P2-e tʼa-P3-rem tʼa-P2-am
1.EXCL.PERF tʼa-P2-pi tʼa-P2-pim
2.PERF tʼa-P2 tʼa-P2-pe tʼa-P2-me tʼa-P2-pam
3.PERF P1 P1-pe P1-me P1-pam
IMP.PERF ka-P2 ka-P2-pe ma-P2-me ma-P2-pam
1.INCL.IMPERF tʼa-P3-rekʰe tʼa-P2-kʼe tʼa-P3-rekʰim tʼa-P2-kʼaṁe
1.EXCL.IMPERF tʼa-P2-kʼi tʼa-P2-kʼiṁe
2.IMPERF tʼa-P2-kʰe tʼa-P2-kʼjo tʼa-P2-kʰim tʼa-P2-kʼjoṁe
3.IMPERF P1-kʰe P1-kʼjo P1-kʰim P1-kʼjoṁe
IMP.IMPERF ka-P2-kʰe ka-P2-kʼjo ma-P2-kʰim ma-P2-kʼjoṁe
1.INCL.PERF tʼa-P3-re tʼa-P2-e tʼa-P3-rem tʼa-P2-am
1.EXCL.PERF tʼa-P2-wi tʼa-P2-wim
2.PERF tʼa-P2 tʼa-P2-we tʼa-P2-em tʼa-P2-wam
3.PERF P1 P1-we P1-em P1-wam
IMP.PERF ka-P2 ka-P2-we ma-P2-em ma-P2-wam
1.INCL.IMPERF tʼa-P3-rewe tʼa-P2-ẇe tʼa-P3-rewim tʼa-P2-ẇaṁe
1.EXCL.IMPERF tʼa-P2-ẇi tʼa-P2-ẇiṁe
2.IMPERF tʼa-P2-we tʼa-P2-ǰo tʼa-P2-wim tʼa-P2-ǰoṁe
3.IMPERF P1-we P1-ǰo P1-wim P1-ǰoṁe
IMP.IMPERF ka-P2-we ka-P2-ǰo ma-P2-wim ma-P2-ǰoṁe
1.INCL.PERF tʼa-P3-r tʼa-P2-we tʼa-P3-rme tʼa-P2-wam
1.EXCL.PERF tʼa-P2-wi tʼa-P2-wim
2.PERF tʼa-P2 tʼa-P2-we tʼa-P2-m tʼa-P2-wam
3.PERF P1 P1-we P1-m P1-wam
IMP.PERF ka-P2 ka-P2-we ma-P2-m ma-P2-wam
1.INCL.IMPERF tʼa-P3-rkʰe tʼa-P2-kʼe tʼa-P3-rkʰim tʼa-P2-kʼaṁe
1.EXCL.IMPERF tʼa-P2-kʼi tʼa-P2-kʼiṁe
2.IMPERF tʼa-P2-kʰ tʼa-P2-kʼjo tʼa-P2-kʰim tʼa-P2-kʼjoṁe
3.IMPERF P1-kʰ P1-kʼjo P1-kʰim P1-kʼjoṁe
IMP.IMPERF ka-P2-kʰ ka-P2-kʼjo ma-P2-kʰim ma-P2-kʼjoṁe
Past tense
1.INCL.PERF tʼa-P2-tʼapʰ tʼa-P2-tʼi tʼa-P2-tʼapʰem tʼa-P2-tʼime
1.EXCL.PERF tʼa-P2-tʼetʰi tʼa-P2-tʼetʰime
2.PERF tʼa-P2-tʼa tʼa-P2-tʼetʼa tʼa-P2-tʼaṁe tʼa-P2-tʼetʼam
3.PERF P1-tʼe P1-tʼa P1-tʼeṁe P1-tʼam
1.INCL.IMPERF tʼa-P2-apʰ tʼa-P2-i tʼa-P2-apʰem tʼa-P2-ime
1.EXCL.IMPERF tʼa-P2-etʰi tʼa-P2-etʰime
2.IMPERF tʼa-P2-а tʼa-P2-etʼa tʼa-P2-aṁe tʼa-P2-etʼam
3.IMPERF P1-e P1-a P1-eṁe P1-am
  • Consonant stem verbs add -e- in front of the perfect aspect endings.
  • Vowel stem verbs add -'- in front of the imperfect aspect endings.
The copula

The copula is rather irregular and doesn't have the category of aspect.

1.INCL tʼapʰ kʼe tʼapʰim kʼim
1.EXCL cʼi cʼime
2 tʼa cʼo tʼahim cʼome
3 he kʼjo hehim kʼjome
IMP katʼa kacʼo matʼahim macʼome

The copula uses he as past stem and the imperfective past affixes to form its past tense.

Other morphology of finite verbs

Verbs are obligatorily marked for evidentiality. Evidentiality markers are stacked on top of TAM-person-number-negation (TAM-PNN) markers. In this table C, T, V marks the type of sound the suffix is added to, not the type of verb stem.

Direct visual -i -i -r
Direct (other senses) -kʼa -wa -wa
Indirect, inferred -ce -ace -s
Hearsay -ke -ake -ke
Renarrative -ki -aki -wi

Verbs can also optionally be marked for some sort of clausal relationship. These markers are stacked on top of TAM-PNN and evidentiality markers. Again, C and V mark if the suffix is added to a wordform ending in a consonant or a vowel.

because ... -ar -'ar
when ... -iwe -we
before ... -iẇan ẇan
after ... -iwa -wa
in order to ... -war
absolutive relativiser -o -'o
erg. & oblique relativiser -a'o -'a'o

Inifinite verb forms

There are three infinite verb forms, derived from the bare verb stem:

  • P1-mence is the verbal noun / nominaliser.
  • a-P2-cʼin (C) / a-P2-in (T) / a-P2-hin (V) is used to derive adverbs from verbs. It denotes that another action is done by doing the action of the verb, from which the form has been derived.
  • a-P2-tʼan (C) / a-P2-ran (T/V)denotes that the agent is doing another action simultaneously while also performing this action.


The numeral system is base 10.

1 pʰen
2 or
3 tʰar
4 pʰar
5 ar
6 arpʰen
7 aror
8 keror
9 kewan
10 ran
12 raṁor
100 aṁan
  • Teens are formed by ran- + a number from 1 to 9 (except for 12, which has a seperate form).
  • Tens are formed by a number from 2 to 9 + -ran / -an - the latter suffix is used when the numeral ends in r.
  • Tens and units are joined by a suffix -ke onto the ten.


  • Ability is expressed by the conjugated verb kʰre (P2 ṅe, P3 ṅo) 'to be able to', followed by a deverbal noun in -mence.
  • Permission is expressed by the suffix -cʼo. Lack thereof is expressed by the suffix -cʼom.
  • Necessity is expressed by the suffix -kʼa. Lack thereof is expressed by the suffix -kʼam.
  • Obligation is expressed by the adverb ňirke, which follows the verb. Lack thereof is expressed by the suffix -kʼam. No distinction is made between lack of necessity and lack of obligation.


Word order is SOVX with absolutive morphosyntax. Word order of noun phrases is:

  1. Relative clause
  2. Determiner
  3. Numeral
  4. Noun
  5. Adjective
  6. Genitive NP
  7. Postposition

Relativisation of oblique arguments is done with retention strategy and the relativised argument directly before the relative verb. Evidentiality is optional on relativised verbs - if omitted, it's understood to be the same as the one of the main clause.


Pʰeśin Lexicon