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Period c. 3500-2500 YP
Spoken in Eiwəl Gourun
Total speakers unknown
Writing system none
Classification Macro-Edastean
Basic word order verb-initial
Morphology agglutinative
Alignment split-S
Created by Pocketful of Songs

Proto-Xoronic is a language that was spoken sometime between c. -3500 and c. -2500 YP somewhere in the high steppes of the Aiwa valley. It was the ancestor of the Habeo languages and Damak.


PX's probable phonemic inventory is:

 l  h
i     u
e  ə  o

Vowel length is also phonemic; there are two degrees, and the longer will be shown here with a following colon (:).

A syllable consists of an optional consonant (any), a vowel, long or short, and an optional consonant ((C)V(:)(C)). Vowels will not be in contact within morphemes.

Little can be said for certain of allophony other than that a nasal in a consonant cluster will assimilate to the other consonant's point of articulation provided it's nonglottal, and that when vowels come into contact on a morpheme boundary a certain method of elision is done: Certain vowels take precedence for retention when in contact, with u and i being highest; then o and e; next, a; and finally ə. In a meeting of two vowels of different levels, the higher one will be retained, and, when two of the same level meet, the first is retained. If either of the vowels is long, the unelided vowel will be long; if neither is, it will not be.

In a cluster of k and q, in either order, the second will assimilate to the first.

If an illegal cluster would be formed by morphology, an epenthetic ə will be inserted at each morpheme boundary within that consonant cluster progressively until it is phonologically acceptable.

Grammatical typology

PX is a split-S, VSO, agglutinative, mostly suffixing, prepositional language, with head-marking for possession and dependent-marking for case and objects of prepositions. Lexical classes are: count, mass, and collective nouns; adjectival nominal prefixes; impersonal verbs; verbs with accusative and ergative alignment times intransitive, monotransitive, and ditransitive valences; lexical verbal prefixes (preverbs) and suffixes (finals); prepositions; and classifiers (initials). A relative is fronted to the start of its clause and a matrix clause nominal argument or adverbial can be fronted to the start for topicalization. Tense is obligatorily marked, mood and aspect are not. The numbers are singular, dual, and plural. Pronominally, the first inclusive, first exclusive, second, third human, and third inhuman persons times the three numbers are distinguished with the exception of a first inclusive singular, which is semantically invalid.


PX is a split-S language -- that is, an active-stative language with lexical selection. It has two alignment systems, selected for by a lexical quality of verbs. The first is accusative in both nominal inflection for case and unmarked constituent order, and the second is ergative in unmarked order, in that the subject of a transitive verb will follow the object, and in case-marking. These case-marking systems relate morphologically like so:

S (v1 SUBJ)nominativeabsolutive
A (v2 SUBJ)nominativenominative
P (v2 OBJ)absolutiveabsolutive

The abbreviations above are S for subject (conventionally meaning, in discussing alignment, the argument of an intransitive verb), A for agent (conventionally meaning, etc.), P for patient, and v for valence, with the following number showing the lexically specified number of arguments: v0 for an impersonal, v1 for an intransitive, v2 for a monotransitive, etc. Verbs with an accusative alignment are called accusative verbs, and so for ergatives. These examples demonstrate this system with əmpi 'sit', an acc. v1; nəhtettən 'float', an erg. v1; lapenqə 'paint', an acc. v2; and anəhtu 'meet', an erg. v2:

  • a.
    • Ǝmpito: a la: lukinəq.
    • əmpi-to: a la: lukin-q
    • sit.ACC.V1-PAST 3SG.HUMAN in chair-ABS.SG
    • He or she sat in the chair.
  • b.
    • Nəhtettənto: aq la: ahəttihəq.
    • nəhtettən-to: a-q la: ahəttih-q
    • float.ERG.V1-PAST 3SG.HUMAN-ABS.SG in river-ABS.SG
    • He or she floated in the river.
  • c.
    • Lapenqəhi e əhka:təq.
    • lapenqə-hi e əhka:t-q
    • paint.ACC.V2-FUT 1SG door-ABS.SG
    • I'm going to paint the door.
  • d.
    • Anəhtuto: u:menqəheq e up kaq.
    • anəhtu-to: u:menqəh-e-q e up ka-q
    • meet.ERG.V2-PAST friend-1SG.POSS-ABS.SG 1SG at there-ABS.SG
    • I met my friend there.


Nouns are divided into three classes: collectives, masses, and countables, and each of these is further divided into those that are obligatorily possessed and those that are not.


Countables take the following number/case suffixes:


Masses take only the nominative null and absolutive -q of the singular, while collectives take null for the nominative and -h for the absolutive. When the syllable of a vowel lengthened by the nominative dual suffix is preceded by a syllable with another long vowel, that preceding vowel is shortened.


The possessive suffixes are:

1st Exc.-e-ikti-ik
1st Inc. -sa:kti-ikkuk
3rd Human-a-okti-ok
3rd Inhuman-su-sukti-suk

Irregular nouns

Certain nouns have irregular dual and/or plural forms. Some of these forms remain as they are in the nominative and take the normal absolutive suffixes, while others take both cases' suffixes. Examples:

a:lle, alle:ti, alle:-
a:sonqu, -, ma:sonqu
əqa:pla, əqeple:n, əqeple:-
lotə, lute:ti, lute:-
okoh, okti, ok-
sumu, sumi:-, sumi:-

A form that takes normal morphology in both cases has a suffixed hyphen in its dictionary form, used above and in the lexicon.

Noun compounding

Nouns can be compounded head-finally.


Verbs are divided into seven classes: impersonals (v0) and accusative and ergative intransitives (acc. v1, erg. v1), monotransitives (acc. v2, erg. v2), and ditransitives (acc. v3, erg. v3). v1+ each have an argument called a subject, which is prototypically an EXPERIENCER or AGENT:

  • e.
    • Ǝnkahta oh.
    • ənkahta o-h
    • sleep.ERG.V1 3PL.HUMAN-ABS.PL
    • They're sleeping.
  • f.
    • Osato: e aq.
    • osa-to: e a-q
    • I woke him or her.

Less prototypically, roles somewhat similar to those may be used:

  • g.
    • Osato: tus aq.
    • osa-to: tus a-q
    • wake.ACC.V2-PAST the.sun 3SG.HUMAN-ABS.SG
    • The sun woke him or her. (a FORCE)
  • h.
    • Utta:to: lu:pəmə aq.
    • utta:-to: lu:pəmə a-q
    • tickle.ACC.V2-PAST feather 3SG.HUMAN-ABS.SG
    • The feather tickled him or her. (an INSTRUMENT)

v2 and v3 have a direct object argument, which is centered on the PATIENT role:

  • i.
    • Ekkuto: təte:h ma:hohi:h.
    • ekku-to: təte:h ma:hohi:-h
    • kill.ACC.V2-PAST dog mouse.PL-ABS.PL
    • The dog killed (some) mice.

And v3 has an indirect object role, which is associated with a RECIPIENT or POSSESSOR role and less so with a SOURCE role. The placement of this argument is flexible:

  • j.
    • Ǝttampehi aq e əqa:toq.
    • Ǝttampehi e aq əqa:toq.
    • Ǝttampehi e əqa:toq aq.
    • əttampe-hi e əqa:to-q a-q
    • give.ACC.V3-FUT 1SG rabbit-ABS.SG 3SG.HUMAN-ABS.SG
    • I'll give him or her a rabbit.


A verb is built on this template:

(Preverb(s)) +(Modal(s)) + (Negativity) +(Initial) +Stem(Final(s))+ Voice Tense
OptionalOptional Optional mu-OptionalVerbal headOptionalObligatory;
  null for active,
  -s for passive,
  -asp for causative,
  -ken for reflexive
  null for pres.,
  -to: for past,
  -hi for future


Preverbs are verbal prefixes that most often describe direction, location, or time, though there are some modal-like and manner preverbs. Possibly the most commonly used preverb is atti-, perfect aspect. That and two others, ahləni- 'in the dark' and ipsi- 'toward the river', are shown here:

  • k.
    • Attipaqqəli e suq.
    • atti-əpaqqəli e su-q
    • I've gotten it. or I have it.
  • l.
    • Ahlənitehmo:kito: e əqeple:h.
    • ahləni-ətehmo:ki-to: e əqeple:-h
    • in.the.dark-search.for.ACC.V2-PAST 1SG sheep.PL-ABS.PL
    • I searched for the sheep in the dark.
  • m.
    • Ipsikenkəhi e.
    • ipsi-kenkə-hi e
    • toward-the-river.walk.ACC.V1-FUT 1SG
    • I'll go toward the river.


Modals are a group of prefixes that change the meaning of the verb without changing its arguments. The modals etlə, an atelicity marker, and kalli, a strong obligative ('must') are shown here:

  • n.
    • Ma:tato: a molate:həq.
    • ma:ta-to: a molate:h-q
    • shoot.ACC.V2-PAST 3SG.HUMAN deer-ABS.SG
    • He or she shot a deer.
  • o.
    • Etləma:tato: a molate:həq.
    • etlə-ma:ta-to: a molate:h-q
    • ATELIC-shoot.ACC.V2-PAST 3SG.HUMAN deer-ABS.SG
    • He or she shot at a deer.
  • p.
    • Kallima:tahi əto molate:həq.
    • kalli-ma:ta-hi əto molate:h-q
    • must-shoot.ACC.V2-FUT 2SG deer-ABS.SG
    • You must shoot a deer.
  • q.
    • Kallima:ta əto molate:həq.
    • kalli-ma:ta əto molate:h-q
    • must-shoot.ACC.V2 2SG deer-ABS.SG
    • You really should be shooting a deer.
  • r.
    • Kallima:tato: əto molate:həq.
    • kalli-ma:ta-to: əto molate:h-q
    • must-shoot.ACC.V2-PAST 2SG deer-ABS.SG
    • You really ought to have shot a deer.


Intials are a group of classifiers that are used in a way similar to incorporation. They indicate an object or instrument, obviate what they indicate, and show the action as done to/with the referrent as conventional. Adding an initial to a v2+ verb may remove an object argument or not, as desired. The initials and what they prototypically refer to are:

  • əkkimpo : a slender rigid object,
  • əmə : mushy matter,
  • əppol : a flat flexible object,
  • əttanqi : a soft round object,
  • kohim : a hard round object,
  • kohu : an inhuman, obviated at discourse-level,
  • mahlu : a slender flexible object,
  • mo : an inhuman, proximate at discourse-level,
  • muhə : a group of discrete items or people,
  • qo : a solid square object,
  • su : fluid,
  • tomo : a human, obviated at discourse-level.

Initials other than su and əmə can be made dual with the suffix -ti and plural with -nə. Here are some examples of initials in use:

  • s.
    • A:ttəto: molate:hhahəttihəq e əm oha:suhəpə.
    • a:ttə-to: molate:h-hə-ahəttih-q e əm oha:-su-həpə
    • keep.ERG.V2-PAST deer-meat-water-ABS.SG 1SG and now-CL:FLUID-drink
    • I saved some venison broth and I'm drinking it now.
  • t.
    • Ponqemahlu:ttə um nətəqəq ma:həhtoq əto, ənkahta la: nətəqqukəh.
    • ponqə-e-mahlu-a:ttə um nətəq-q ma:həh-to-q əto, ənkahta la: nətəqquk-h
    • thus-IMP-CL:SFO-keep.ERG.V2 from tree-ABS.SG food-2SG.POSS-ABS.SG 2SG, sleep.ERG.V1 in forest-ABS.PL
    • If you sleep in the forest, hang your food from a tree (with a rope).


Finals are verbal suffixes that indicate manner or means. Here are two examples, with ə:kate:h 'by horse' and komma:h 'by speech':

  • u.
    • Ohtu:kate:hto: ohoha:q ekə.
    • ohtu-ə:kate:h-to: ohoha:-q e-kə
    • here-ABS.SG 1SG-DUAL
    • We (two) came here by horse.
  • v.
    • Kanqətətu:nkomma:h aq.
    • kanqətətu:m-komma:h a-q
    • be.powerful.ERG.V1-by.speech 3SG.HUMAN-ABS.SG
    • He or she is a powerful speaker. or He or she amasses power by his or her speech.


A verb-verb pair can be compounded to form a verb that has the arguments of the second member and means 'to X to Y' or 'to X Ying' (from the compound XY).

  • w.
    • Simo:tohi e muppəma:h.
    • simo:-to-hi e muppəma:-h
    • enjoy.ERG.V2-eat.ACC.V2-FUT 1SG eel-ABS.PL
    • I'm going to enjoy eating the eels.

These verbs may share affixes, as above, and also have their own, in this way:

Verb 1
Verb 1
Verb 1
Verb 2
Verb 2
Verb 2
  • x.
    • Qahpəmmonosimo:ppəhmamonənamokkə:slə:tahto: a.
    • qahpəm-mono-simo:-appəhma-mo-nə-namo-əkkə:s-lə:tah-to: a
    • 3SG.HUMAN
    • I saw last year that he or she seemed to somewhat like hunting those (animals) on foot.

Proverbal o

o 'do, make', an acc. v2, can be used as a proverb, a dummy (semantically null) verb that deictically indicates an action or state mentioned or implied in discourse.

  • y.
    • Enaqətta peq simo:to əto muppəma:h e ətas mumahluno.
    • Enaqətta peq simo:-to əto muppəma:-h e ətas mu-mahlu-nə-o
    • know.ERG.V2 NOM'IZER enjoy.ERG.V2-eat.ACC.V2 2SG eel-ABS.PL 1SG but NEG-CL:SFO-PL-PROVERB
    • I know you like to eat eels but I don't.


See Proto-Xoronic/Lexicon.

Kinship terms

 ♂Aho:kon=♀Aho:muh ♂Mitkon=♀Ǝ:muh
  ┌────┬────────── ┌──────────┬────  
♂Mitkon=♀Ha:mu   ♂Mi:pohi=♀Ǝ:muh   ♂Mi:pohi=♀Ǝ:muh   ♂Mitkon=♀Ǝ:muh   ♂Mitkon=♀Ǝ:muh
♂Menqəh ♀Ǝ:h♂Məlkonqət ♀Umə:h♂Məlkonqət[Ego]♀Umə:h♂Menqəh ♀Ǝ:h♂Menqəh ♀Ǝ:h
♂Menqəh ♀Ǝ:h♂A:hapə ♀A:ha♂A:hapə ♀A:ha♂Menqəh ♀Ǝ:h♂Menqəh ♀Ǝ:h

The culture is patrilineal, meaning all relatives who are connected to ego by only males are in his lineage. The terms are applied in this way:

 Within lineageOutside lineage
-1+ gen.mi:pohiha:mumitkonə:muh
own gen.məlqonkətumə:hmenqəhə:h
+1 gen.a:hapəa:ha
+2+ gen.mi:hapəmi:ha

There are exceptions in ego's direct male ancestors and their wives above his parents' generation:

-3+ gen.umi:konumi:muh
-2 gen.aho:konaho:muh

Basic color terms

Lapenqə-Nemo:hi-Usma:q-  Ospi-    Ha:-