Galà is a North Andanic language. Sometimes spelled Gala or Galai (exonyms). Galai is very conservative. /q/ > /ʔ/ > /0/ unconditionally; labialization was mostly dropped; intervocalic voicing became phonemic (because the consonants were restored to voiceless if stressed); the voiced fricatives /g gʷ/ hardened in initial position into stops.
CV syllables predominate overwhelmingly over CVC. Even so, the consonants p t k m n ŋ l all occur in the coda in a few words.
Bilabials: p b m Alveolars: t d n l s Palatals: y Velars: k ŋ g h Uvulars: q
There is very little allophony.
Voiceless stops are weakly aspirated.
The voiceless stops p t are mostly found at word edges, and b d mostly intervocalically. Thus they are almost in complementary distribution. But distinctions still occur, such as the classifier prefix du-.
The velar stop k is by far the most common stop.
The uvular stop q occurs mostly after a high tone, but in a few words, analogy has led to isolated /q/. For example, heqŏ "bass (fish)", which was transferred from a different noun class.
The voiced stops b d are often lenited to fricatives (IPA [β ð]) after a low tone.
The voiced velar fricative g is extremely weak, best represented by IPA [ɰ], and is often omitted in casual speech. When /g/ is omitted, the resulting vowel sequences are spoken with true hiatus rather than inserting the glottal stop [ʔ] after every high toned vowel. Thus kohài "mermaid, undine" is not homophonous with kohàgi "hole in the sea".
The voiceless fricative h is not usually found after a high tone. Its pronunciation varies from velar to uvular to glottal. It is never palatalized.
The voiceless fricative s has no significant allophony. Like the /s/ of Late Andanese, it arose from contraction of earlier sequences /ti hi ki/ before vowels, and is therefore as rare as these syllable sequences once were.
The vowels are /a e i o u/ on three tones: ă, à, and ā. There is relatively little allophony. The uvular stop /q/ backs the /i/ to a central vowel, [ɨ], in both directions.
The grave tone (à è ì ò ù) indicates a short high tone. When it precedes another vowel, a glottal stop is inserted between them. All following unstressed syllables are allophonically lowered.
The breve tone (ă ĕ ĭ ŏ ŭ) indicates a short mid tone, although because it is considered to be identical to the tone of unstressed syllables, it is also called the low tone. All following unstressed syllables are allophonically lowered.
The macron tone (ā ē ī ō ū) indicates a long falling tone. The pitch begins high and ends low. All following syllables are allophonically lowered, and the last syllable preceding the macron, if there is one, is also allophonically lowered.
Galà distinguishes between the macron tone and sequences of two short vowels.
The classifier system is expanded slightly by splitting of classifiers, primarily before vowel-stems, and by reanalysis of previously existing bare stems as classifier+stem compounds, producing new prefixes such as ko- "young boy". This same prefix also means "ocean" and is used in the names of fish.
Climate and geography
Galà is located on the continental divide, within the highest terrain of the Hykwus Mountains, with even the lowest valleys having an elevation above 4000 feet. It shares this natural environment with the Pabap state of Blip to its east and the independent nation of Wimpus to its north.
Gala is spoken in upland Nama, for which the lingua franca is Khulls, and freely loans words from Khulls.
Despite being surrounded on all sides by nations with violent histories, Galà itself was not affected by most of these wars because of its highland location and terrain even more mountainous than those of its neighbors.
THe wind in Galà blows mostly from the south. Despite the high elevation, the climate is broadly similar to sea-level sites located a few hundred miles to the north, both in temperature and in precipitation. However, valleys can get very cold in winter, with temperatures below —30°F having been recorded in many towns, and it is in valleys where the greatest human population concentration is found. On the other hand, wind is generally calm during extremely cold winter nights, so even here the coldest weather is found in the mountains.
Relations with neighboring nations
Galà bordered Litila. The Galà word for crab was hekăba, and they referred to the crabs of Litila with this name.
The Pabap conquest of the state of Blip occurred during Paba's Thousand Year Peace, and thus was not conquered by force. They may have instead signed a tripartite alliance with Galà and the Repilian aboriginals in which Blip was opened to Pabap settlement as it was in a strategic military position but offered a poor natural environment for human habitation. In other words, Blip was open to anyone party to the treaty who wanted it, and as Pabaps moved in, aboriginals moved out, likely in both directions (into Paba proper and also into their still-free arctic homeland).
This also assumes Galà ēa > yā, but īa > ya. As in Japanese, the shfit fails if the second element is /e/ or /i/.