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Period c. 1600 YP
Spoken in Şepamã valley
Total speakers c. 5000
Writing system none
Classification Hitatc
 Eastern Hitatc
  Coastal Hitatc
Basic word order SVO
Morphology agglutinating
Alignment NOM-ACC
Created by Cedh Audmanh

History and context

Pirikõsu is a language spoken by about 5000 people on the banks of the Şepamã river near the east coast of Peilaš, south of Kasca. It was long believed to be a language isolate, but recent research has discovered a genetic relationship to the Hitatc languages. In fact, Pirikõsu as the only remaining language of the coastal branch of this family provided several important clues for the reconstruction of Proto-Hitatc. Its nearest known relative is Necine, spoken in the heart of the Ici forest, separated by a time depth of at least 3000 years. During this period Pirikõsu has picked up influences from various neighbouring languages; most notably southern Miwan and northern Peninsular dialects, but also the language of the Fáralo colony at the mouth of the Şepamã which was established in the early 4th century. This sketch describes the Pirikõsu of the late 16th century, based on information gathered by the Kuaguatian ethnographer Manau Vondoar between 1578 and 1591 YP.


  • 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


Pirikõsu had a simple but distinctive phonology with pure CV syllable structure and phonemic nasal vowels, both of which are features not found in any other Hitatc language.



Pirikõsu had the following sixteen consonant phonemes:

labial dental postalveolar palatal velar glottal
plosive p /p/ t /t/ k /k/ /ʔ/
fricative f /f/ s /s/ ş /ʃ/ h /h/
nasal m /m/ n /n/ ņ /ɲ/ ŋ /ŋ/
approximant w /w/ l /l/ y /j/
trill r /r/


The six basic vowel qualities of Pirikõsu were as follows:

front central back
   high i /i/ ı /ɨ/ u /u/
mid e /e/ o /o/
low a /a/
  • All vowel phonemes also existed in a nasalized version, written with a tilde above the letter: ã ẽ ĩ õ ũ ỹ. (Note the use of for /ɨ̃/).
  • Stressed oral vowels are indicated with a circumflex accent on syllables other than the penultimate: â ê î ô û ŷ.

Phonological constraints

  • The syllable structure of Pirikõsu was strictly CV. That is, all syllables must begin with exactly one consonant, and end with exactly one vowel.
  • /ʔ ŋ/ did not occur in word-initial or stressed position.
  • Oral /i/ did not occur in word-initial syllables that began with /h/.


  • Plosives were usually voiced after a nasalized vowel, but not if they themselves belonged to a stressed syllable.
  • Plosives following an oral vowel were pronounced aspirated if the next vowel was stressed.
  • t was pronounced [ʦ] before i and ĩ, except following a nasalized vowel.
  • ã ẽ õ ỹ were pronounced as [ɑ̃ ɛ̃ ɔ̃ ə̃] respectively.
  • ı became [ə] if the next syllable contained a ã or stressed ẽ õ.
  • After stressed non-high oral vowels (â ê ô), the sequences ‘i ‘ı ‘u were commonly reduced to a diphthongal offglide. For instance, â‘i was pronounced [aj], and ô‘u was pronounced [ow]. The central vowel ı reduced to [j] in such environments. The reduction did not happen if the next syllable would begin with the same glide, e.g. pê‘ıya [ˈpeʔəja].


  • Pirikõsu had a dynamic stress accent, which was usually located on the last nasalized vowel in a word, or else on the penultimate syllable. Exceptions are marked with a circumflex accent.
  • All in all Pirikõsu was a syllable-timed language; however, stressed syllables lasted about twice as long as unstressed ones.