Khulls is a name for a language spoken on planet Teppala by the Crystals, their allies, and many of their enemies.
- See Khulls phonology.
Consonant-based gender system
- See Khulls nouns#Gender.
Khulls inherited the consonant-based gender system of the Gold language. The genders are:
Conso Applies to ----- ---- p Pregnant women; couples ʕʷ Babies t Adult men and sometimes boys r Boys l Young children n Girls and young women m Adult women s Epicene (groups of humans of all genders and ages) ʕ Neuter (nonliving things)
The gender of a compound noun is determined by the rightmost member of the compound that has a non-neuter gender. Thus, inanimate objects can be promoted to animate simply by being joined in a compound by an animate noun, even if the animate noun is not the head noun.
Note that unlike its contemporary neighbors Andanese and Babakiam (and their descendants Pabappa and Poswa), Khulls usually distinguishes between men and boys. In the other languages, men and boys are grouped into the same gender as if there were no important difference between them, whereas women and girls are always carefully distinguished. Khulls has also revived the distinct gender for babies, which is unisex, despite having merged it early in history with the /p/ gender for pregnant women and couples.
Additionally, it is not common in Khulls to casually refer to an adult male with one of the pronouns for young boys, even in a friendly manner. Instead, it is more common to hear boys referred to as men, particularly in terms of praise. Khulls speakers historically believed that this showed that their culture appreciated men's natural masculine powers whereas the peoples around them seemed to be ashamed of their male population and wished to keep them forever as boys.
Khulls is approaching becoming a monosyllabic language. It is the "Pfalz" to the neighboring languages' "Palatinate". In fact, Khulls even goes further than simple monosyllabicity, since it also has suppletive forms for many noun plurals (e.g. "eye" and "eyes" are unrelated words), and subsyllabic morphemes clamped on to the root syllable such as the single-consonant words listed above. However, a lot of the resultant consonant clusters reduce to single consonants: ʕʷ + lŏpṡ = ʕʷŏpṡ "sun, sunshine"; p + ḳā = pā "school", meaning that not many new words can be built this way. Also, Khulls does not go nearly as far as its daughter language Moonshine in compressing unstressed vowels: the only actual sound change that reduced syllable count in Khulls affected only /u/ (from the schwa /ə/), which had been the rarest vowel anyway. Thus Khulls stands out from its neighbors, but not from its descendants.
Much of the character of Khulls is due to the presence of the three labial stops that can stand alone as weords, and their use to make new words from others. This means Khulls has a lot of useless hypothetical compounds like pʷŋ̇ḳ "salt water clam's eye", yṅt "teacher of sleep camels", and bżġʷ "cold spring apple" that are rarely if ever used. The syllabic nasals also appear in many words like this, such as hʷṅ "sleeping chair" (ṡ "sleep" + ʕʷṅ "chair").
- See Khulls nouns.
Noun compounds behave in unusual ways. xî "wine" + bê "in a bottle" gives xîbe "wine in a bottle", but this is also used to mean "bottle of wine", i.e., the bottle itself. Khulls' other relatives would all use something cognate to xîmī, which uses two nominatives. Xîmī is not incorrrect, but it is less commonly used except when emphasis is needed. The reason why xîbe is preferred over xîmī is because despite being ambiguous, it fits the preferred stress pattern of Khulls nouns: first syllable accented, second unaccented.
Like its neighbors, Khulls is predominantly an SOV language.
Permittence of nonsyllabic words
Note that, although syllables within words have moderately tight restrictions on consonant clusters, it is common to find extrasyllabic morphemes across word boundaries. For example, the nonsyllabic word hʷ "man, human being" is very often the subject of a sentence, and is pronounced very quickly, with no epenthetic vowel, as if it were merely a grammatical particle rather than the subject of the sentence.
The same is true of the less common noun p "teacher". In some positions, p can even be considered to be silent, although in proper speech it must be pronounced, at the very least, as a lengthening of the first consonant of the next word, which is often the object of the sentence. Note that this word is not confused with ṗ "eye" or b "pine tree" because neither of these words are animate.
Khulls is unusual in that it has preserved and greatly strengthened its tone system while also retaining noun and verb inflections that involve change and collision of tones. The parent language, Diʕì (also called "Gold"), also had a complex noun case system, but its tones had a much milder functional load and could even be analyzed as a two-tone setup where the other two tones are simply sequences of the first two. Because of a fairly recent sound change that caused final /ḳ/ and /k/ to disappear, changing the tone of the vowel that preceded, many homophones appeared in the language, and many of these were in monosyllabic words, because final consonants were more common in monosyllabic words all along. For example, lì "thorn" comes from Gold dì, but lì "dust" comes from Gold diḳ. In Gold, the accusatives of these two words were diḳ and diḳiḳ. In Khulls, one would expect the accusatives to be respectively lì (thus merging with the nominative) and liḳì, but because of analogy, both are now liḳì. Thus, even though the accusatives of these homophones are also homophones, they are at least distinct from the nominative form and this still useful and intelligible.
From the accusative, one could believe that Khulls resolves the aḳ --> à problem by always assuming a following ḳ, but this is not so. The locative case, for example, simply split into two cases depending on whether the ḳ was assumed previously present or not. This is why one can say mô "in the lake" instead of *moḳô. However, apart from compounds and some very common words such as mô, the longer locative form is indeed preferred, because the short form conflicts with the locatives of three other tones (all except the á tone).
Note that final -k (the aspirated form) changed a preceding tone to á instead of à, but is not used as a bare noun case, and so is much less common.
Khulls preserves the original vowel alternations in noun cases fairly well, though some meanings are changed. Also, occasionally they lead to disruptive consonant sequences where the vowel /ə/ is lost instead of changing to /u/:
- pàpo (nominative)
- păp (accusative; pəḳ > pəḳṗ > pəṗ > p)
- papol (genitive)
- papos (possessive)
- papon ("around, because of, affected by")
- papô (locative: "in the student", etc)
- papū (instrumental)
- păpʷ (essive/partitive: "made of", but also used as a possessive)
A fwe other forms exist ,like papʷṅ (īn / î )
pʷŋ pʷn pm
Note that, unlike verbs, the stress shifts to the final syllable when inflected for case.
- See Khulls verbs.
Although Khulls is a relatively compact language, its verbs are generally much longer than its nouns. This is due to the very large number of inflections that are placed on them, by comparison to the nouns. Khulls verb inflections are very similar to those of the Gold language and therefore include many infixes and suffixes. These are less fusional than the noun inflections, but are still highly fusional when taken together, and therefore learning verb inflection is very difficult.
One unusual trait of verbs in Khulls is that "please" is translated by using a second form of the imperative mood, and that this is formed by actually removing a fusional element from the imperative rather than adding one. That is to say, the original form of the imperative was the polite form, and the less polite form was formed from it. This seemingly unnatural trait has remained in the language for thousands of years. However, the difference between the two forms is very small, and the "softer" feeling of the polite form is helped by the fact that the element it lacks is a voiceless ejective stop, ṭ, which is otherwise a very rare sound in Khulls.
I swear I made a page for this. I write on this wiki only now. Khulls script. I even remember stressing out what to call it since it is the alphabet for the whole world and not just Khulls.
Khulls languages are spoekn everywhere. See Moonshine, Taryte, Ogili, Amade, Šima, Nama for major descendants. Also Gold Empire, an early fork of the Khulls people which evolved into most of these descendants.
See Khul languages.