Proto-Western

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Proto-Western
Period c. -3500 YP
Spoken in West Coast
Total speakers unknown
Writing system none
Classification Western languages
 Proto-Western
Typology
Basic word order SOV
Morphology agglutinating
w/ some fusion
Alignment ERG-ABS
Credits
Created by Dewrad

Proto-Western is the reconstructed ancestor of the Western languages, a family spoken for the most part in the western areas of Peilaš (hence the designation). It is estimated to have been spoken around -3500 YP.

Features

Proto-Western is reconstructed with 28 consonants (*p t c č k kʷ ʔ pʰ tʰ cʰ čʰ kʰ kʷʰ b d dz dž s š γ γʷ l ł m n ñ y w), four oral vowels (*i e a u) and four nasalised vowels (*ĩ ẽ ã ũ).

The most distinctive class of morphemes in Proto-Western was a set of classifiers, which formed a core element of the language's morphosyntax. These classifiers could function e.g. as verbal argument markers, "phoric" pronouns, obligatory classifiers on determiners, and bases for pronouns, to list but the most important uses.

Proto-Western nominals inflected for case, number, possessor, and for edibility of their referent. Lacking a separate class of adjectives, derivational morphemes were used to refine and extend the meanings of nouns in a similar way to adjectives in orther languages. Verbs inflected for both the agentive and patientive arguments of the action, and for evidentiality (with a total of eight reconstructible markers). Patientive arguments (in monotransitive sentences) or Themes (in ditransitive sentences) could be incorporated into the verb, reducing the valency by one. Word order was usually SOV, with several transformations available, e.g. topic fronting.

Descendants

Petroglyphs from the West Peilaš steppe showing horsemen and game animals.

Proto-Western is the ancestor of a large language family, which dominates most of the western regions of Peilaš. While most of its descendants remain in the Great Western Plain, one branch has migrated eastwards into the Edastean sphere, giving rise to two languages there, Gezoro and Tjakori.

The major divisions of the Western linguistic stock are the Coastal family of the southern west coast of Peilaš; the Steppe family that dominates the Plain; the Wañelin family based around the large Wañelin lake; and the Plateau family (to which Gezoro belongs). Together these four branches account for around two thirds of all Western languages. There are also few Western isolates not belonging to any of the four main branches; all of the above are believed to have diverged in the prehistoric Western Diaspora.

Sample

  • Γʷeyeʔu tabe łãšiʔi mẽγuk čeldawata. ʔašẽʔi takʷaduʔu mẽγuʔu tʰula besawakʰiw, kʷelaʔi šiduʔu mẽγuγ γlaʔtawata, laʔi nałtuduʔu mẽγuγ wadžedzakata. Yawaʔu kʰayaʔu nat mẽcaduʔu mẽγuγ kʷekʷuta.
  • [ ˌɣʷɛ.jɛ.ʔu ˌta.bɛ ˈɬã.ʃi.ʔi ˌmɛ̃.ɣuk ˈʧɛl.da.wa.ta ‖ ˌʔa.ʃɛ̃.ʔi ˈta.kʷa.du.ʔu ˌmɛ̃.ɣu.ʔu ˌtʰu.la ˈbɛ.sa.wa.kʰiw | ˌkʷɛ.la.ʔi ˈʃi.du.ʔu ˌmɛ̃.ɣuɣ ˈɣɫaʔ.ta.wa.ta | ˌla.ʔi ˈnaɬ.tu.du.ʔu ˌmɛ̃.ɣuɣ ˈwa.ʤɛ.ʣa.ka.ta ‖ ˌja.wa.ʔu ˈkʰa.ja.ʔu ˌnat | ˈmɛ̃.ʦa.du.ʔu ˌmɛ̃.ɣuɣ ˈkʷe.kʷu.ta ]
  • hill-CONS on horse-ERG sheep-PL.ABS see-3.ABS.{I}-3.ABS.{III}. woman-ERG first-CONS sheep-CONS wool-ABS cut-3.ABS.{I}-3.ABS.{VII}, child-ERG second-CONS sheep-ABS.{edible} milk-3.ABS.{I}-3.ABS.{III}, man-ERG third-CONS sheep-ABS.{edible} kill-3.ERG-3.ABS.{III}. ANAPHOR-{human}-CONS fire-CONS above fourth-CONS sheep-ABS.{edible} cook-3.ABS.{III}

(taken from The horse and the sheep)

See also