| Kiizwaye |
|Period||c. 500 YP|
|Basic word order||SOV|
Kiizwaye is a member of the Isles languages. Together it and its close sister language Zele form a distinct branch of the Isles family, having diverged from each other at least eight centuries after the top-level division of the Isles family first emerged. Although the name is now a unitary ethnonym, it derives from proto-Zelic káy zuylúy, meaning "Mountain Zele". The following sketch dates to about 500 YP, at which time it is spoken in a hilly savanna region in the Zeluzhian interior. Its speakers are no longer in frequent contact with the Zele, but the language has traded numerous loanwords with other neighbors.
Development from proto-Isles
The initial stage of Kiizwaye's history is from proto-Isles to proto-Zelic. Due to internal variation within the pre-proto-Zelic speech community, the list of sound changes is not identical between Zele and Kiizwaye even for the early period - but they are nevertheless so similar that a genetic relationship is undeniable.
- V1 → V2 / _(C)ħV2
- triple syllables haplologize to double
- d → l / medially
- ji → ʒi
- ħ → Ø / [+nasal]_
- ħ → h / _a
- ħ → ʁ
- gi → ji
- g → ɣ
- p t k s → b d g z / [+vcd]_[+vcd]
- s z → ʃ ʒ / except finally
- ʦ ʣ → s z
- iw uj → ju wɛ / _C, _#
- wɛ → ɛ / if accented, or after a voiced labial
- ɣ → h / #_
- ʁ → ɣ
- wɛ → wa
- w → ɣ / _j
- aj aw → iː uː / _C, _#
- V[-long] → Ø / VC_# if third syllable or later
- [+nasal] → [+homorganic]
- ʔ → Ø
- s → Ø / [+nasal]_#
- l → ɣ / u_ or _C
- l → j
- a → ɛ / _Ciː, sporadically also _Ci
- Vː → V / finally, unless only syllable
- Cː → C
- ɣg → ɣ
- V1V2 → V1ː
- tw tj → pw kj
- ʃw ʃj → hw hj
- ʒw ʒj → ɣw ɣj
- sporadic ʃ ʒ → h ɣ / near other postalveolars, in unstressed environments
Irregular changes resulting from inter-dialect borrowing:
- b → w / medially
- syncopation of some unaccented first-syllable vowels
|Stops||p b||t d||k g|
|Fricatives||s z||ʃ ʒ||ɣ||h|
|i iː||u uː|
- The voiceless stops are aspirated as well. Unaspirated stops from other languages tend to be borrowed as voiced.
- Nasals always assimilate to a following obstruent's point of articulation.
- The long vowels /ɛː/ and /aː/ occur occasionally in morphological alternations, but are rarely found at the underlying level, save for certain borrowed words that have /aː/.
- Diphthongs /wa/ and /ju/ behave like single segments in nominal ablaut, but other supporting arguments for such a status are largely lacking, so we will treat them as sequences in this sketch. All glide+vowel sequences are permitted.
- Spelling: vowels are doubled to show length; sh zh represent /ʃ ʒ/; y for /j/; and r for /ɣ/.
Kiizwaye nouns inflect for four grammatical cases in addition to the bare root, which serves as a fifth case. The inflected cases are nominative, accusative, locative, and ablative, and the uninflected (default) case is the genitive. There are four different patterns for forming the nominative and accusative cases from the nominal root, broadly corresponding to roots with different coda consonants in proto-Isles. For this historical reason, we will here term the four noun declensions plain, Q, S, and R instead of giving them numbers - but it is important to note that the etymological correspondence is not perfect. A number of nouns have drifted between declensions over time, particularly those which now end in nasals. Only the nominative and accusative cases vary by declension; the locative and ablative cases are formed in the same manner for all nouns, varying only for shape of the noun stem.
The basic set of case suffixes:
|suffix||-zh, -zhi, or Ø||-was, -wes, or -es||-as or -ːs||-ma or -m|
A plural suffix exists in Kiizwaye as well, but it is best treated as a derivational operation rather than an inflection. We note it here only because all nouns with the suffix fall into the S-declension.
There exist some irregular nouns, which do not easily fit into any declension. Generally, roots which end in consonants other than /s r m n/ will be irregular, as will many monosyllabic roots, especially those which end in long vowels. Very recently borrowed nouns often don't inflect for case at all. Other than these groups, noun roots with shapes that appear to fit into a particular declension generally do, but a small number of them are irregular as well.
The plain declension includes most nouns ending in vowels or nasals, and is the largest declension. The nominative is formed by suffixing -zh after a vowel, or -zhi after a nasal or if the root is monosyllabic. Final /m/ assimilates to form -nzhi. Additionally, some final vowels undergo ablaut before the suffix: yu, wa, and e become -izh, -uzh, and -uzh.
The accusative is formed by suffixing -wes to the root, or -es after /m/. If there is a final vowel of a or u these become uu before the suffix, while i becomes ii. This is the complementary vowel set to those which ablaut in the nominative, meaning that all vowel-final nouns in this declension undergo ablaut for the nominative or for the accusative but not both.
Nouns in the Q declension include the remainder of roots with final vowels or nasals. There is neither the -zh suffix nor any ablaut. The nominative is identical to the root, and the accusative simply suffixes -was, although this becomes -es after a root-final /m/. Loanwords typically are borrowed into the Q-declension.
The S declension includes all, and only, noun roots ending in /s/. The nominative is formed by removing the s and suffixing -zh, or -zhi in monosyllables. The accusative changes the s to r, and suffixes -was. There is no ablaut.
All noun roots ending in r, and only those, belong to the R declension. The nominative is formed only by ablaut. Additionally, if the vowel in the root's penultimate syllable is /a/, this becomes /e/ (in the nominative only). Final-syllable ablaut follows this pattern:
- ar, war, er, ir → ir
- ur, yur → yur
The accusative is formed by suffixing -was and ablauting the root's last vowel according to a different pattern:
- ar, ir → ur
- ur, yur → uur
- war and er stay the same
ablative and locative cases
The ablative is formed with the suffix -m, which replaces any root-final nasal. After any other consonant, or on monosyllabic roots, the suffix becomes -ma, and if the root has a final s this becomes zh before the suffix.
The locative is formed by suffixing -as after any consonant or -ːs after any vowel, where "ː" means lengthening the root's final vowel.
Full case table for selected nouns: