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To Be Continued...
Thedukeofnuke is still working on this article. The contents are incomplete and likely to undergo changes.
Period c. -2100 YP
Spoken in western Lukpanic Coast
Total speakers unknown
Writing system none
Classification Tulameya
Basic word order VSO, head-initial
Morphology agglutinating, prefixing
Alignment nominative-secundative
Created by Thedukeofnuke

The Tulameya languages are a small family spoken in the northwest of Peilaš, originally in the area later known as the western Lukpanic Coast. Around -2000 YP, the Lukpanab, who had become increasingly adapted to the littoral environment, migrated southward along the coast into Tulameya lands. This resulted in the more land-bound Tulameya being either scattered inland or assimilated by the Lukpanab - strongly influencing the newcomers' language in the process.

Proto-Tulameya is the earliest member of the family that can confidently be reconstructed, and the ancestor of all the later Tulameya languages. It was spoken sometime around the end of the 3rd millennium BP. It is notable for having rigorously head-first word order, using nominative-secundative morphosyntax, and making little lexical distinction between parts of speech.


Consonant phonemes:

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive p
Fricative s h
Approximant l y w

Vowel phonemes:

Front Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

Phonotactics and morphophonology

Syllable structure was (C)V(C).

Coda consonants were restricted to stops and nasals. Coda nasals always assimilated to a following stop, but not to other consonants. Coda stops did not distinguish voicing except allophonically: they were voiced preceding another voiced stop or nasal ([ɡ] occurred in this environment only, as an allophone of k), and were unvoiced elsewhere.

h could not occur in clusters, and was deleted if it occurred adjacent to a consonant.

Any combination of a non-high vowel followed by a high vowel freely diphthongised. In the case of other vowels in hiatus, an epenthetic consonant was inserted between the two, which was y after a front vowel, w after a back vowel, and h after a.


Stress was not contrastive. However, the first syllable of every root word carried a light dynamic stress.


Morphology was strongly prefixing and agglutinative.

Nominal morphology

Proto-Tulameya had four cases marked by prefixes: the nominative, used for the subject of a sentence; the primative, used for objects of monotransitive sentences and the indirect objects (themes) or ditransitive sentences; the secundative, used for the direct objects (recipients) of ditransitive sentences; and the genitive, used to mark possession or association. Nouns always took case prefixes; adjectives used as such did not, though they were declined when nominalised.

case prefix
nominative Ø
primative lu
secundative ben
genitive da

Prepositions were also frequently prefixed to nouns, which took the nominative; some analyses treat this as forming a large (and not necessarily closed) set of locative cases.

Optional quantifiers could be added between the case prefix (or preposition) and the root. Examples are tun "many", ip "none", and tau "what? which?". (As number was not morphologically marked per se, quantifiers were the normal way of indicating it.) Numerals and the demonstrative/definite en could, but did not always, also appear in this position; in some circumstances they appeared as independent words.


Proto-Tulameya's pronouns distinguished first, second, third, and fourth persons, and marked gender and number in all but the last. The third person also had inanimate forms (which were never used for sentient referents; the masculine plural was the default for groups of people). Interestingly these was little regularity within the pronominal system, in contrast with the language's otherwise quite predictable morphology.

The "fourth person" was used for general states of affairs: for example nidaunem tek "it rains a lot".

person singular plural
masc. fem. inan. masc. fem. inan.
1st wa sep sito soto
2nd bau hem nudu webe
3rd noi sap wok leki noko wapak
4th tek

All of these took case prefixes like nouns, but took quantifiers rarely if at all.

Verbal morphology

Verbs took a number of prefixes, grouped into three slots – starting from the head and working backwards, these roughly encoded tense/aspect, mood, and evidentiality/polarity. These are illustrated here with the example of the dog (meta, with the demonstrative/definite prefix en) eating (nou) some meat (kabnam).

Tense and aspect

  • The unmarked form was used for continuous actions: nou enmeta "the dog is eating". When preceded by another prefix (except the bare imperative), it took the form e-.
  • ni- marked a habitual aspect: ninou enmeta lukabnam "the dog generally eats meat".
  • an- was used to express an undivided, completed action, prototypically in the past, and is usually referred to as the aorist: annou enmeta lukabnam "the dog ate some meat".
  • hep- was the perfect or past continuous: hebnou enmeta "the dog was eating; the dog has been eating".
  • sok- was the future tense: sognou enmeta "the dog will eat".


  • The unmarked form was the indicative.
  • o- marked the optative, which expressed that the speaker considered that the action should happen: owenou enmeta "the dog should be eating"; owannou enmeta lukabnam "the dog should have eaten meat".
  • yam- was used to express the ability to do something, sometimes referred to as the potential mood: yamenou enmeta "the dog can eat; the dog could be eating". When used with the future tense it seems to have expressed the ability to prepare for an action: yamsognou enmeta "the dog can get something to eat".
  • ku- formed imperatives. It was often used without an explicit tense/aspect prefix: kunou "eat!". However, such prefixes could be used to express a different meaning, for example with the future (kusognou "get ready to eat!") or habitual (kuninou "eat properly!").

Evidentiality and polarity

  • The unmarked form implied reasonable surety.
  • mu- indicated absolute certainty, generally from direct participation or sensory evidence: muwenou enmeta "the dog is definitely eating; I can see the dog eating". In some dialects it might have been used as an intensive.
  • ip- formed negatives: ipenou enmeta "the dog isn't eating"; ipyamebnou enmeta "the dog wasn't able to eat".
  • le- marked doubt: leyenou enmeta "maybe the dog is eating".

Compounding and derivation

Compounding was quite productive, although compounds with more than two elements were very rare. All attested compounds were head-initial.


Proto-Tulameya was strongly head-initial, and VSO was the default sentence order; in transitive sentences, the recipient (secundative) followed the theme (primative). Case marking allowed a relatively free sentence order, but within a nominal phrase the head noun was always first.

It's hot. (referring to general conditions)
He gave (some) meat to the dog.
The gods of fire are all hungry.
Of course my mother is Tulameya.


Note that in many cases, a word could act as more than one part of speech (for instance, a verb or adjective could easily function as a noun and take case prefixes), and transitivity was expressed through the case system rather than being intrinsic to the verb. As a result the "parts of speech" listed should be considered more like guidelines.

word p.o.s. definition notes
aisim v. die
aisu adj. good
anken n. wind
anso n. god, spirit
apken v. know
aplek n. root
aptain n. beach
apu det. 1
asep n. smoke
ayo v. stand
baket v. kill
baya pp. between, in the middle
benki n. head
betau v. drink
betka n. tooth
bo pp. on (top of)
buksek adj. full
buni n. bee
dahe v. hear
dakmo n. spear
dasa n. father
daulau adj. long
daunem n. rain
dayat v. cook
dendu n. wall
desa det. all
dilen n. ear
dimlu n. child
doip adj. big
donya n. world
dupki adj. new
egnit n. heron
eipki v. sit
ekya v. burn
elak n. dust
emba n. dream
en det. this, that; definite
etsi n. ice
haignu v. walk
halak n. (land) animal
hebu n. nose
heke det. 4
hena n. wife
henka n. hill
het det. 2
hipta n. liver
hita pp. (made) of
hode pp. through
hoson n. tree
i conj. and
idmum n. canoe possibly related to PPL
ilim n. moon
imbak n. goat
inte n. star
ip det. not; none
kabnam n. meat, flesh
kalat n. forest
kam pp. up, above
katlam n. fruit
kaumni adj. green
kayo n. wood
kedno n. seed
kenam n. milk
kenop n. knee
kentom n. village
keseu v. hunt
kesu n. feather
ketye n. grape
kikla n. year
kinai adj. dry
koile v. come
kuboi v. bite
kupli n. flower
kute n. night
kuya n. bird
lagno n. arm
lam v. exist
lasop n. grass
lautop n. sea, ocean
lem det. 3
lewet n. neck
liham n. tongue
linye n. person
lisat n. sand
lomet n. mouth
lubde n. heart
lun det. some
mau n. mother
mauka v. lie (down)
meklo n. earth, soil
meta n. dog; wolf possibly related to PPL
metsu n. husband
meya pp. down, below
min pp. with, together
mun n. buckwheat possibly related to PPL
munnap n. hair
muwe n. breast
nadip adj. yellow
nadne n. insect, bug
nakso v. want, desire
naubbin v. take (by force)
nayido n. chief, leader
nebda n. baby
nei adj. white
noba adj. hot
nou v. eat
nouda adj. round
nukau n. snow
nukya n. man
ohoi pp. around
oma adj. red
padop n. belly, stomach
pata n. roof
pednou v. give
pente n. skin
petup n. door
peupe v. swim
pewu n. own
peyo n. leaf
pil det. 5
pilen n. hand
puka n. nail (of finger or toe)
pukwa n. wine possibly related to PPL
puwu n. road possibly related to PPL
sabda n. crab
saip n. wing
salik n. foot
samik n. hair
sau n. cloud
sauk v. see
sayi v. be (by nature)
sepun n. egg
sibi n. eye
sipya n. throat
so conj. relativiser
sotlok n. horn
subat v. get, acquire
sulai n. blood
sumat n. day
taksep n. bean
takto n. sign; symbol
tamsep v. make
tanla n. lake
tau det. what?
tehi n. cow
teppo n. leg
tetwo n. back
time adj. small
togdu n. stone
toi v. be (currently)
tula n. sun
tun det. many
tuyon v. fly
ubim n. knife possibly related to PPL
udam n. fish
udin adj. black
ugdo n. mountain
uso n. bone
uwa n. fire
wabak n. onion
waku n. house possibly related to PPL
wek pp. with, using
wenta n. woman
wudai n. fig possibly related to PPL
yabnu v. sleep
yalin n. salt
yatkam n. tribe
yau det. who?
yelem n. garden, field
yepe adj. cold
yihe n. water
yikket v. say
yotye v. hold
yulu n. name

173 words.