Languages of Teppala

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Humans on the planet Teppala are confined to a single continent, Rilola, and its offshore islands. Thus all human languages can be traced back to a single starting point, and have many traits in common.

Historical distribution of Teppalan languages

Human civilization on planet Teppala peaked twice: first around 1700-2600AD, and then again around 3500-4200AD. During the first peak, the human population was concentrated on the south coast of the continent of Rilola, from 10°N to about 28°N. During the second peak, humans were more spread out, but the areas with the most political and military power were in the interior of the continent, though always along major rivers and lakes, ranging from about 30°N to 37°N in the eastern (older) areas of settlement and upwards to about 45°N in the far west.

After the second peak, human civilization entered a long decline, the population decreased, and languages with small populations went extinct.

During the peaks of human civilization, it was common for every religion to have its own language. Since religions were tied to political parties, almost every political party also had its own language. This is why many Teppalan languages have unusual names, such as the Gold language and the Moonshine language; these were named after political parties rather than ethnic groups.

Since political parties (and religions) coexisted with rival parties within the same ethnic group's nation, the boundaries of a given language often hinged on tiny differences such as speech registers or a set of unique vocabulary words used only members of a particular political party. When languages such as this coexisted, they tended to evolve in parallel directions, so that mutual intelligibility might persist among a pair of languages for hundreds of years.

However, democratic governments were very rare throughout Teppalan history, and many political parties, once in power, banned and persecuted members of rival parties. In these nations, the population really did consist of just a single ethnicity since anyone not claiming membership would be arrested or killed.

Traits common to all Teppalan languages


  1. Bilabial consonants are very common, especially the stops p b and the nasal m.
  2. The commonest syllable shape is always CV, even in languages that allow dense consonant clusters and/or diphthongs and triphthongs.
  3. If a language has only one series of coarticulated consonants, they are labialized consonants.
  4. No language has more than six vowels. All vowels are one of these inventories:
    /a i u/
    /a ə i u/
    /a e i o u/
    /a e i o u ɨ/
    /a ə ɨ/
    Some differences in Romanization may appear such as writing a schwa as e or the high central vowel as schwa.
  5. Any consonant that can occur in syllable-final position can also occur in syllable-initial position.
  6. Languages are consonant-strong: consonants have greater effect on surrounding vowels than vowels have on consonants. For example, if all vowels are inherently unrounded, rounded allophones appear adjacent to labialized consonants.


Grammatical traits common to all of the languages on the entire planet throughout all of recorded history are confined to negatives.

  • For example, no Teppalan language has or has ever had a definite or indefinite article.

Traits common to most Teppalan languages


  1. The commonest stop in a language is usually /p/. However, in some languages, this is because /p/ stands alone whereas stops further back in the mouth are divided into several articulation types. For example, a language may have /p/ as its only bilabial stop but also have a distinction between a plain velar stop /k/ and an ejective /ḳ/; or there may be co-articulations such as palatalization or labialization associated with dorsal stops but not with bilabials.
  2. Languages with five or more phonemic vowels often do not permit diphthongs; those that do have a very small set. Thaoa is an outlier in that it has six phonemic vowels and several diphthongs. Note that rising diphthongs are generally parsed as a sequence of consonant + vowel since, in almost all Teppalan languages, there is no restriction on which vowels can follow an onset of [j] or [w].
  3. Dense consonant clusters do not appear, except in some languages where a certain vowel, usually /a/ or /ə/, is not distinguished at the phonemic level from silence. That is, some languages may always pronounce /tk/ as [tək], without the schwa actually being present as a phoneme.
  4. Syllables are commonly front-loaded, such that a sequence like /papsa/ is more likely to be pronounced [pa.psa] rather than *[]. This happens most often when the first element of a cluster is lower on the sonority hierarchy than any following consonants, but in many languages, nasal-stop clusters such as /mp nt ŋk/ will also be front-loaded.
  5. On the continent of Rilola, the voiced velar stop /ġ/ (IPA /g/) is rarely used even in languages with a robust series of voiced stops. This is a long-standing trait and crosses language family boundaries. On the islands of Laba, however, /ġ/ is common.
  6. There are no minimal pairs between a diphthong and a sequence of the same two vowels. Thus diphthongs can be analyzed as allophones of vowel sequences.
  7. Voiceless obstruents occur more frequently than voiced ones. In some languages, /b/ or /d/ is the only voiced stop. In others, there are no voiced stops at all but the voiced velar fricative /g/ (IPA /ɣ/) takes on a stop allophone after a nasal or a high tone.
  8. There are often marginal consonant phonemes. These mostly arise from previously existing consonant clusters that were worn down. However, some marginal phonemes arise from sound changes affecting consonants that previously were more common, which survived in only a few phonemic environments. For example, in Khulls voiced stops survived a lenition shift only after a nasal. Later, the nasal sometimes disappeared, meaning that the voiced stops could no longer be analyzed as allophones of voiced fricatives. But they remained rare.
  9. It is common to have restrictions forbidding certain consonants to appear in certain parts of a word; for example, in Khulls /r/ cannot begin a word. Most languages allow only a small subset of their consonants to appear at the end of a word


  • Polysynthesis is common, and it is nearly always fusional. It is common to find words with more morphemes than phonemes due to the prevalence of single-phoneme grammatical suffixes that represent two individual morphemes that at an earlier stage of the language were pronounced individually but combined into a new single sound after a sound change.
  • Pronouns are of limited usage, as verbs usually carry the relevant information about the person, number, and gender of the participants. In some languages, pronouns are entirely absent.


  • If there is any grammatical gender, feminine words in most semantic fields outnumber masculine ones.
  • Grammatical gender, if present, classifies people based on age and sex rather than just sex. The age categories are not firmly defined and can be used metaphorically. There are often several age categories for children, but all adults share just a single age category.
  • Many languages have a consonant-based gender system; if not grammaticalized, associated more weakly due to persistence of previously grammaticalized morphemes and contact with nearby languages.
  • Mixed gender categories are often present; a man and a woman, referred to as a unit, will take an epicene gender rather than having one gender overrule the other. If there is no epicene, a group containing both males and females will be described with words in one of the feminine genders.
  • Gender and animacy, if present, can be inherited by nouns describing syntactically inanimate objects, by borrowing from a parent object. That is, a man's arm will be animate (and masculine), and so will his books or any other possessions.

Structure of words

  • Most languages have a fixed word order, with SOV word order by far the most common. Anomalous constructions within SOV languages may require additional marking on certain words, usually those found near the beginning of the sentence.
  • Suffixes are nearly universal; infixes are common; prefixes are rare and usually confined to a single part of speech (for example, in Andanese, the only prefixes are the noun classifiers).
  • Verbs are generally the longest words in a sentence. Verbs are heavily inflected even in languages where noun inflection is absent or relatively skimpy.

Parts of speech

  • There are no adjectives or adverbs. Verbs are used instead of these. In some languages, even the nouns can be analyzed as a subset of the verbs.
  • Pronouns play only a minor role in the language, and some languages lack pronouns altogether, instead using nouns and verbs with person markers.
  • Person markers on nouns, denoting their possessor, are common. Languages that lose this system often redevelop it from grammatically unrelated words later on.

List of very early sound changes

Many minor languages have been wiped from this list; some are recorded on their own articles, but others are only in the edit history.

Pre-Mapi changes

Proto-Greater-Laban (18343 BC) to Mapi (year 14000 BC)

The Pre-Proto-Macro-Hyper-Greater-Laban (PGL) language had a consonant inventory of /pʷ p mʷ m hʷ w t c s č š j k kʷ ŋ ŋʷ h l r ř/ and a vowel inventory of /a i u ə/. Schwa is usually spelled "e". /ŋ/ was allophonically [g] and the other nasals could become stops occasionally in word-initial position. At first, "c" was homophonous with the cluster /ts/, but later /ts/ was dragged down to dental and /c/ remained alveolar.

See Primordial scratchpad for details on the language.

  1. The primordial final nasal -/n/ disappeared, but lengthened any preceding vowel (including schwa).
  2. The schwa vowel ə disappeared in all positions, creating new consonant clusters.
  3. Consonant clusters like hp ht hk flipped to put the stop first, as in ph th kh.
  4. Possibly also /ki/ > /ć/ or even just /k/.
  5. Word-final h disappeared, and also lengthened any preceding vowel. Thus, the final syllable /-hə/ had vanished completely. However, note that word-internal /h/ that was at the end of a syllable had survived this change.
  6. Syllable-final -p became the glottal stop ʔ, except before a "weak" sound such as /h/ or before a vowel-initial syllable.
  7. The consonant clusters ʔs ʔš ʔts ʔč became c č c č.
  8. The consonant clusters ks kš kts kč kh sk šk čk tsk hk all become kh.
  9. The consonant clusters ts th st ht all became th.
  10. The consonant clusters ph sp šp čp tsp hp' all become ph.
  11. Clusters of two voiceless stops were resolved in favor of the second stop, except for /pk/ and its kin.
  12. The aspirated nasal mh became h.
  13. The labialized stops kʷ kʷh changed to pʷ pʷh.
  14. The aspirated stops pʷh ph th kh changed to hʷ h h x respectively. (possibly use f f f x)
  15. The affricates c č became s š.
  16. The glottal fricative h disappeared unconditionally, leaving vowel hiatus. This included the deaspiration of to w along with any other remaining sequences such as /nh/. VOWEL HIATUS STAGE 1!!!!
  17. The vowel sequences ai au contracted into new vowels ē ō, but retained the glide if another vowel followed.
  18. The identical vowel sequences aa ii uu became ā ī ū. The vowel system was thus /a i u ā ē ī ō ū/ and a tiny bit of remaining schwa.
  19. The vowel ō was shortened to o, but ē remained long.
  20. Before another vowel, the sequences aw iw ow uw āw ēw īw ūw became ō ū ō ū ō ē ī ū.
  21. Before another vowel, the vowel u changed to w.
  22. Voiced stops disappeared unconditionally, leaving vowel hiatus. VOWEL HIATUS STAGE 2!!!!! Note that sequewnces like /sua/ now contrasted with /swa/ from the earlier change.
  23. The labialized fricative sequences sw šw xw hw changed to h. Note that there was still an /x/, from earlier /kh/. THus there was a contrast between /h/ vs /x/, but neither of them had labialized forms.
  24. The short vowels e o merged as ə (usually spelled "e"). The long vowels ē ō merged as ə̄ (usually spelled "ē").

Pre-Tapilula changes

Some languages in this section are reconstructed internally, meaning that they have the smallest possible phonology capable of developing into the phonologies of its immediate daughter languages. Marginal phonemes can thus be inserted arbitrarily into any language provided that they merge into one of the phonemes of the daughter language.
Many ideas deleted. See history for info.

There were 3 central vowels: /a ɜ ɨ/. Further back in time, each of these three could be preceded by the palatal glide /y/, even after a consonant, but later the palatal glide disappeared after labials & labialized consonants, and merged with the other consonants to form palataloids. This happened without creating any new vowels.

The daughter languages are Silatibarra (8000 BC; sometimes just called "Southeast Laban"), proto-paleo-Andanese (PPAnd), and proto-macro-Haswarabic (PMH).

All of the labialized consonants were "stops" (nasal or oral). The labialized nasals /mʷ ŋʷ/ may have been pronounced as voiced stops (as in Khulls). The lack of the expected */xʷ hʷ/ was due to a late change in the parent language, and in many ways the /h/ patterned as if it were the labialized counterpart of /x/.

Syllables were CVC at maximum, and there were limits on the coda ... a preference for nasal codas if there is one. PoA was not contrastive before another consonant. The final stops allowed were /t, kw/ and possibly /ć/. There were thus no syllables like /kʷya/ or even /pya/.

Note that Mapi is the parent language of the Paleo-Andanese languages, so called because they are the ancestral languages of the people who, 14000 years later, began to speak Tapilula and later Andanese.

Stops & frics early on came to be voiced when occurring after a nasal.

Mapi (14000 BC) to Primordial MRCA (11000 BC)

The grammar of this language almost certainly had infixes, because they are present in bothOwl and Tapilula. However, the MRCA of those is in the middle of this chart, ~11000 BC.


Rounded labials:      pʷ mʷ    w
Plain bilabials:      p  m
Alveolars:            t  n  s  l  r
Postalveolars:        č  ň  š  ł  ř
Palatals:             ć  ń  ś  
Velars:               k  ŋ  x
Labiovelars:          kʷ ŋʷ 
Glottals:                   h

  1. The fricatives š ś h shifted to y y Ø unconditionally . This created vowel sequences of /aa aɜ aɨ ɜa ɜɜ ɜɨ ɨa ɨɜ ɨɨ/ most of which occurred as the only vocoid in a word since most roots had been bisyllabic.
  2. The sequences ɨa ɨɜ ɨɨ shifted to ʕa ʕɜ ʕɨ, where /ʕ/ is a voiced stop after a nasal and otherwise a fricative(?). Thus prenasalized stops were created. rule3 might not be needed if we keep h
  3. The sequences ɨwa ɨwɜ ɨwɨ shifted to ʷa ʷɜ ʷɨ.
  4. The sequences ɨya ɨyɜ ɨyɨ shifted to ʲa ʲɜ ʲɨ . Thus new "mismatched" palatalized (pʲ mʲ ) and labialized (tʷ nʷ sʷ lʷ rʷ xʷ ) consonants were created, and they were a full set.
  5. The sequences aa aɜ ɜa ɜɜ shifted to a: a: ɜ: ɜ:. aɨ ɜɨ shifted to ɜ: ɜ: as well.
  6. mʷ nʷ ŋʷ > mbʷ nd ŋġʷ. These may have also been the reflexes of /mw nw ŋw/, but the syllable boundaries would have kept them apart even so. That is, a syllable-straddling /m-w/ would turn into /m-mbʷ/.
  7. Fricatives became weakened between vowels, and in syllable-final position: s x sʷ xʷ changed to h h hʷ hʷ.
  8. The cluster ts shifted to s.
  9. The labial consonants p pʷ pʲ became B w y.

And the vowel inventory was probably

a   ɜ   ɨ
ā  ai  au
ɜ̄  ɜi  ɜu
ɨ̄   ī   ū

Primordial (11000 BC) to Southeast Laban (8000 BC)

  1. The fricatives h hʷ (including the newly generated ones) in syllable-final position voiced to Ø w. ś had been shifted to /y/ earlier. Thuis frics no longer occured at end of tillable.
  2. rh > h.
  3. > mb.
  4. Possibly, also hʷ h ś > vless stops when after a nasal, but they later become voiced in Tapilula.
  5. The voiceless stops č ć shifted to s₂ s₃ (cover symbol: $) between vowels.
  6. Most postalveolar consonants trapped in final positions become plain alveolars: č ñ ł become t n l. Note that there were no longer any palatals in the language.
  7. ć ń ś > s₄ ň s₅.
  8. Probably > w; maybe ł > y.
  9. s₅ s > s₁.
  10. Probably > .
  11. The sequences ɜ̄ ɜi ɨ̄ ī shifted to ē ē ī ī unconditionally.
  12. The high vowel ɨ shifted to ū before a labialized consonant in a closed syllable. (This is a dummy shift to make it easier to understand changes that happen in Tapilula, but it may be of use in other daughter languages as well.)
  13. Final after a labialized consonant shifted to u. Final after a palatalized consonant shifted to i. These are both dummy shifts as well.

And the vowel inventory may have been /a ɜ ɨ/ for short vowels and /ā ē ī ō ū/ for long vowels.

The prenasals contrast with syllable-straddling sequences of nasal + *voiceless* stop, and with nasal + prenasal (that is, /mmb/ etc).

Southeast Laban (8000 BC) to Tapilula (500 AD)

Rounded labials:                  w      mbʷ
Plain bilabials:          m              mb  B                        
Alveolars:            t   n       l   r  nd  $
Rounded alveolars:                   (rʷ)
Postalveolars:        č   ň       ł   ř  
Palatals:                         y  
Velars:               k   ŋ   h              G 
Labiovelars:          kʷ      hʷ         ŋġʷ

Tentative consonants are in parents. Note that /nʷ/ is not inherited from MRCA, so it's possible that /tʷ/ > /p/ and that all /tʷ/ in Tapilula is secondary just as all nʷ must be.

There may be a few other consonants not listed here resulting from the creation of new labialized and palatalized consonants in the parent language.

The cover symbol B can be used for "a consonant that needs to disappear" since there is so much vowel hiatus required to get things the way they are in Tapilula. The cover symbol $ can likewise be used for any consonant that ultimately ends up as /h/, since there is so much /h/ in Tapilula as well. Lastly, G indicates any consonant that ends upo as /g/, though this might be adqeuately covered by grammatical reanalysis from hiatus and not need a new consonant.

The vowel inventory was

a ɜ ɨ
ā ɜ̄   ē ī ō ū

These are spelled inconsistently however, and there may have also been a fourth pair of long vowels for primordial /ai au/.

  1. Final short ɜ ɨ shifted to ɨ Ø unconditionally.
  2. Word-final clusters became simple, losing their second element.
    Note that this implies there will be little or no final /ə/ in Tapilula.
  3. Probably all $G > $.
  4. Intervocalically, the geminate nasals mm nn ňň ŋŋ shifted to the prenasalized voiced stops mb nd ňǯ ŋġ .
  5. An h or after a nasal also switched to a voiced stop, thus creating a prenasalized voiced (not voiceless) consonant.
  6. The sequences pm tn čň kŋ shifted to mm nn ňň ŋŋ.
  7. A prenasalized voiced stop following a closed syllable became denasalized; any such preceding coda became voiced. This was allophonic, so that for example [bb] was still underlyingly /pmb/. Or, maybe they were devoiced.
  8. Word-initial approximant w became .
    NOTE ON POLITICS: This is 3770 BC, a point of no political significance, but where the language suddenly began changing very rapidly instead of very slowly.
  9. Before a vowel, the sequences ɜy ɨy ɜw ɨw changed into i i u u.
    NOTE, another way of saying this (more in line with how i write now) is that /ē ī/ merged into a new short /i/ before hiatus; the /u/ shift may have been separate.
    the resulting sequences are treated as new coarticulates... also, the high vowel probably disappears before some consonants, creating clusters such as /kl/, and these can contrast labialization.
  10. The vowel ɨ became u before a labial in a closed syllable, or after a labialized consonant. That is, ʷɨ > ʷu.
  11. The vowel ɨ became i when adjacent of a palatal in either direction (though in compounds, this did not always apply progressively).
  12. The labialized consonants w mbʷ kʷ hʷ ŋġʷ delabialized to Ø mb k h ŋġ before /i/.
    try saying püa etc and remmeber syllable integrity ... earlier, there was a rule a bit below this one that would have these going to /w/, essentially deleting the /i/.
  13. The cluster tl shifted to kl. Other similar shifts of clusters almost certainly followed.
    An earlier idea was to do /kp kt/ > /pʕ tʕ/, but there is no /tʕ/ in the target phonology currently.
  14. Syllable-final stops t k before a "strong consonant" changed into the glottal stop ʔ, which itself was generally silent except for changing the tone of the syllable to high.
  15. Before a vowel, the sequences ti ki shifted to č.
  16. Syllabic nasals were created: im ɨm um > , ɨn > , and ɨŋ > ŋ̇.
    Possibly the sequences mbṁ ndṅ ŋġŋ̇ and others like them shift to simple syllabics ṁ ṅ ŋ̇.
  17. Syllable-initial clusters such as kl changed into pharyngealized consonants such as . <--- note that a previous shift (not listed here) did things like pl>xl>kl, thus this shift produces mostly the velar ejective /ḳ/, not the others.
  18. The palatal approximant y was changed to ʕ in all positions. Between vowels, this became silent but used to show diphthongs' separation. Thus the palatalized consonants pʲ mbʲ mʲ became the pharyngealized clusters pʕ mbʕ mʕ .
  19. The postalveolar nasal ň changed to ŋ.
  20. The voiced approximants ł ř r changed to y .
  21. The vowel sequences aɨ ɨa changed to ɜu ʷɜ. Note that the /ɨa/ covers all such sequences that did not previously have an intervening /y/ sound ... therefore, this was probably allophonically a back vowel even if it were not always rounded.
  22. The sequences ʷa ʷɜ changed to ʷo.
  23. > y, thus the word for hand is just "yò". This did not affect č.
    It may be better if it DID affect č, and one word in the dictionary (hahòha) assumes it.
  24. The sequences au ɜu now both become o. ai ɜi changed to ɛ unconditionally.
  25. The true mid vowel ɜ, in a syllable adjacent to an /ɛ/ or /o/, changed to match that vowel. Some double schwa words also changed, e.g. mɜčɜ > močo "fire".
  26. The "clear" labialized consonants kʷ ŋʷ became the rounded bilabials pʷ mʷ. (There was little or no /kʕʷ/.)
  27. The pharyngealized nasals mʕ mʕʷ shifted to mb mbʷ.
    This may incorporate early shifts like /mh/ at morpheme boundaries. Thus for example, hàga "fairy" could actually be /hàmba/.
  28. The voiceless fricatives h hʷ became voiced to g w unconditionally.
  29. Remaining ɜ ɨ in open syllables shift to ə i, respectively. This new schwa vowel is IPA /ɨ/but is spelled "ə" or "y", since it is never ambiguous with IPA /j/.
  30. The voiceless affricate č shifted to h. (This probably had shifted to /s/ during depalatalization. if not, /hy/ etc also switched.)
  31. Syllables *preceding* heavy syllables became LOW tone.
  32. Other final nasals also change into nasal vowel markers, thus changing syllable weight.
  33. The nasals m mʷ became mf mhʷ before a vowel facing another labial. This did not affect the pharyngealized versions. (The other nasals may have participated in this shift, but only appeared in the "Fojy" branch.)

Thus the final phonology was:

Rounded bilabials:     pʷ      mʷ  mbʷ mhʷ~hʷ  w
Spread bilabials:      p   pʕ  m   mb  mf ~f  (Ø)         
Alveolars:             t       n   nd          l
Rounded alveolars:     tʷ      nʷ  ndʷ     
Velars:                k   ḳ   ŋ   ŋġ      h   g

The (f) was pronounced [mʰ] in some dialects. Pharyngealization consonants can be spelled with voiced stop letters.

Fojyan changes

These changes applied only to the Fojy branch.

  1. The nasals mʷ m n nʷ ŋ become prenasalized voiceless stops mpʷ mp nt ntʷ ŋk when facing a labial. (This includes the "mf" type above.)

Nuclear Tapilula

NOTE: the following changes apply only to the Andanese/Gold branch of the family (which also includes minor families like Subumpamese).

  1. The aspirated nasals mhʷ mh become hʷ f, where /f/ patterns as a spread version of /hʷ/. (The other aspirated nasals either never arose, or deaspirated.)
  2. The prenasalized voiced stops mb nd ndʷ changed to plain voiced stops b d dʷ ; ŋġ shifted to the fricative g.
  3. The glottalized stops pʕ pʕʷ kʕ changed to b bʷ ḳ unconditionally.
  4. The rounded labials pʷ bʷ mʷ became plain labials p b m .

The consonant inventory was:

Rounded bilabials:                     hʷ  w
Spread bilabials:      p       m   b   f  (Ø)
Alveolars:             t       n   d       l
Rounded alveolars:     tʷ      nʷ  dʷ         
Velars:                k   ḳ   ŋ   ġ   h   g

It is possible that prenasalization was preserved into the early history of Nuclear Tapilula, and then lost in the Gold/Subumpamese branch. However, this loss would need to be very early on, since it did not interfere with changes that were restricted to open syllables. This would leave only Andanese.

These sound changes do not account for what happened to the inherited /ŋġʷ/, except for when it delabialized. It is possible that it could be /w/, though, since /gʷ/ and /w/ were allophones of each other in the other branch.

Post-Tapilula changes

Tapilula to Gold (year 1900)

Alternate names: Medium, Walking Girls, Wolf in Wool, Soft Hands, Slingshot, Broken Shields, Ukieipi, G̣ʷidiʕìləs

Although Gold is the proper name of the language, the Gold party survives for thousands of years, and therefore these names can be used to give a more precise definition of the stage of the language being referred to.

Note on politics: It is not clear whether the Tapilula language split apart in 0 AD or in 500 AD. If 500, the various Subumpamese languages are almost independent branches since they begin diverging not long after 600 AD. However, Sub and Gold share much more in common than either of them does with Andanese, despite being supposedly only 100 years closer together. So perhaps the true date is 0 after all.

Tapilula to Gold (proper)

  1. The aspirated velar stop k became č before the vowel /i/. If another vowel followed, the /i/ disappeared. This happened even if the /i/ was accented.
  2. When a "velaroid" consonant (/k ḳ ŋ h g l/) followed an accented high tone vowel, the vowel metathesized, leaving a closed syllable. Thus, for example, /àli/ > /ail/. These closed syllables were all high-toned, and are thus written without tone marks. Thus, for example, aa implies àa. Later, daughter languages introduced tone contrasts and independent sequences.
  3. A schwa before another vowel in any syllable disappeared. Thus əa əe əi əo əu əə shifted to a e i o u ə. This happened in both open and closed syllables.
  4. The sequences iu and ui shifted to ə̄.
  5. The double-vowel sequences aa ee ii oo uu əə shifted to the single vowels a e i o u ə in closed syllables only.
  6. The sequences ii uu əə (which now occurred only in open syllables) shifted to əi əu ə.
  7. The sequences ie uo shifted to i u in open syllables only.
  8. The sequences ai ei oi merged as ei; the sequences au eu ou merged as ou.
  9. The sequences ea eə shifted to ee; meanwhile, oa oə became oo. Then, shifted to aa. Thus, the sequences /ee aa oo/ once again appeared in both open and closed syllables. Note, however, that much inherited /ea oa/ had participated in grammatical alternations with /əa/, which had become a simple /a/ by this time, and this is the form that was usually generalized.
  10. The sequences ia ie io iə shifted to ī . Then ua ue uo uə shifted to ū.
  11. In absolute final position, syllable-final ŋ changed to n. (But see below.)
  12. Accented vowel-initial syllables gained a pharyngeal ʕ as an onset. Then the clusters nʕ kʕ shifted to g ḳ.
  13. After long vowels, all consonants became voiced. Also, consonants occurring after initial vowels also became voiced. This created the new consonants v ǯ . Thus, final -h in words like hʷīh became -g. However, analogy made it so that the change was confined to open syllables in most words. This sound change did not affect diphthongs. There was no voiced velar stop, as all four velars simply shifted to fricatives.
  14. After initial unstressed /u/, all consonants other than palatals became labialized. This change extended even to clusters. Because of the voicing rule, however, all of these consonants were voiced. > w.
    probably also shifted to w.
  15. Initial vowels were deleted unless an illegal consonant cluster would have resulted. Sometimes root-initial vowels were retained due to classifier prefixes.
  16. All schwas and diphthongs became low tone.
  17. Labialized consonants lost their labialization when occuring after another labial or labialized consonant.
  18. After a stressed syllable, intervocalic ʕ ʕʷ became g gʷ. This is due to reanalysis, not a true sound change.
  19. The glottal fricatives h hʷ became velar; there was no spelling change.


The consonant inventory was:

                       BASIC                         LABIALIZED

Bilabials:             p   b   m   f   v                     mʷ      w  
Alveolars:             t   d   n       l             tʷ  dʷ  nʷ            
Postalveolars:         č   ǯ           y                       
Velars:                k       ŋ   h   g   ḳ                 ŋʷ  hʷ  gʷ

The vowel inventory was

Short vowels:          a  e  i  o  u  ə
Long vowels:           ā  ē  ī  ō  ū 
Falling diphthongs:      ae ei ao ou
                            əi    əu

The long vowels /ā ē ō/ can be spelled aa ee oo, but the high vowels /ī ū/ are usually not, because /i u/ before another vowel would indicate a glide.

Nuclear Gold

Gold's unconditional shift of /f v b/ > /s z d/ sets it apart from all related languages.

  1. All remaining e o shifted to a. This included elements of diphthongs. Resulting /aa/ was spelled as /ā/; thus, ae ao eo oe ee oo all shifted to ā. Thus there were only four vowels. In some cases, a short vowel was formed instead due to grammatical analogy, though unlike the /ea oa/ > /əa/ shift above, there was no etymological basis for this shift.
  2. The velar fricatives h g were rounded to hʷ gʷ before /u/.
  3. The plain labials f v b shifted to s d d. This happened by intermediate palatalization, and therefore the sequences /fj vj bj/, which were very rare, also shifted to /s d d/. The sequence /fʷ/ remained, but was often spelled ħʷ.
    This apparently includes a shift of bh to dh, meaning that the devoicing of aspirates did not happen until the Gold language split apart.
  4. In absolute final position, syllable-final h changed to s.
  5. The postalveolar affricates č ǯ shifted to š ž.

The consonant inventory was:

Bilabials:             p           m      (ʕ)  w   mʷ  ħʷ         
Alveolars:             t       d   n   s       l   nʷ      tʷ  dʷ
Postalveolars:                         š   ž   y                                  
Velars:                k   ḳ       ŋ   h   g   gʷ  ŋʷ  hʷ 

The vowel inventory was

Short vowels:      a  i  u  ə
Long vowels:       ā  ī  ū
Diphthongs:          ai au
                     əi əu

Notes on Play and Leaper

Note that both Play and Leaper often show reflexes implying a shift of /hi gi/ > /s d/ between vowels, but in different places; this change was grammatically conditioned and did not occur within the history of the Gold parent language. This shift was later analogized with the preexisting true sound change of f v > s d to replace intervocalic /s si/ of any origin with /d d/ when the preceding vowel was originally long. When a vowel did not follow, there was no shift. The shift also did not occur after a vowel that became long in Leaper but was a diphthong in Gold.

Gold (1900) to Khulls (4700)

Alternate names: Kuroras, Leaper

Alternate names: Khulls

This language was originally spoken in AlphaLeap. It is the scriptural language of the Ridiam religion, although many scriptures were originally written in earlier forms of the language, going back to a stage where it was united with other neighboring languages as the Gold language.

  1. The velar fricatives h hʷ came to be spelled x xʷ.
    As /tanči/ "wine" demonstrates, a preceding coda /n/ did *not* assimilate to the /x/.
  2. tʷ dʷ nʷ shifted to tl dl nl.
  3. When not occurring after a labialized consonant, the vowel u, in all tones and lengths, changed to o of the same tone and length.
  4. The diphthongs əi ai changed to ĕ ē . əu au became ū ō .
  5. The plain schwa (which was always low tone) disappeared to Ø and labialized any consonant that preceded it. This was considered an allophone of /u/. Following consonants became syllabic. Where /ə/ collapsed, stress shifted syllables to the nearest adjacent one. This tone was mid-tone (ă), which was sometimes called the low tone since it behaved as such when joined to any other morpheme that carried stress. Thus all morphemes that had once contained a schwa came to be pronounced entirely with low tones.
    Note that any syllabic formed here always assimilated to a following consonant because they arose from a non-syllabic nasal, which had already been assimilated to a following consonant. By contrast, the primordial syllabic nasals /ṁ ṅ ŋ̇/ still did not assimilate, and thus words like /mṅpà/ "to ask" still existed.
  6. Sequences like aʕa became pharyngealized vowels; these could still have tones, but later all pharyngealized tones merged with each other except for sandhi effects. Pharyngealized vowels are spelled â ; though there is only one pharyngealized surface tone, pharyngealized vowels exhibited different sandhi effects depending on their origin, and this is not reflected in the Romanization. Note that /iʕV/ did not create pharyngealization, but /uʕV/ did.
  7. The cluster sg shifted to x.
  8. After a high tone, the voiced stop d shifted to .
  9. The clusters mh nh ŋh dh became mp nt ŋk t, except that replaces /nt/ before any /i/. These clusters were often morphologically /s/ + a voiced consonant, but the [h] pronunciation is actually the more archaic one.
  10. After the vowel [u] (any tone, any length), k ḳ in a syllable coda became coarticulated labial-velar stops kp ḳṗ . This change also took place after the /Ø/ that had replaced earlier schwa, since this was behaving as an allophone of /u/. The result of this was that words could end in unusual clusters; for example, a word could end in the cluster /-tp/, but no word could end in /-t/. The /p/ here still behaved as if it were a syllabic consonant.
  11. After a syllabic nasal, the final stops k ḳ (which was the only ones that did occur) changed to match the position of the nasal. However, these were written with the letters for "p ṗ".
  12. The voiced coronal stops d dʲ dʷ became r ž gʷ.
  13. In word-initial position, r shifted to l except when facing another /l/ across a vowel.
    This rule might be void .... I only created it to avoid having to call the name of the continent "Lilòla" ... but it would be more odd for Leaper to have /r/ only before /l/ than to have words with three /l/'s.
  14. Labialized coronals became velar.
  15. Labialization disappeared before any syllabic consonant.
    This shift makes it possible to interpret the syllabic consonants as sequences of short low-tone /u/ + C. Previously, this would have failed because there was a contrast between /ʷC/ and /ʷuC/.
  16. The sequences mmṡ ŋŋṡ shifted to mpṡ ŋkṡ.
  17. The sequences gp gṗ shifted to kp ḳṗ.
  18. In unstressed position after a vowel, the syllabic consonants ṁ ṅ ŋ̇ ḷ ṡ shifted to plain consonants m n ŋ l s. Thus unstressed closed syllables were created.
  19. Final raised the preceding vowel to a high tone à (á if it was long) and then disappeared, though it left an allophonic glottal stop in some positions. Then, final k disappeared and changed the preceding vowel to the long high tone á. The surface tone change did not apply to pharyngealized vowels, but the sandhi effects did. Thus there were two pharyngealized tones .... both pronounced the same, but with different effects on surrounding unstressed syllables.
  20. The labialized fricative šʷ became ħʷ . The ħ is a spelling convention to distinguish it from /x./.
    NOTE ON POLITICS: The Proto-Moonshine language breaks off here. (Year 3958) The tropical survivor language must have also broken off shortly afterward; what remains is for the language of the ruling class of Baeba Swamp.
  21. ya yo (on all tones) shifted to ye.
  22. The velar-palatal sequences ky ḳy ŋy hy xy gy shifted to č č ny š š ž.
  23. Nasal consonants followed by /y/ hardened to voiced stops: my ñy became by ǯy . (This includes the reflexes of /ny/ and /ŋy/.)
  24. The palatal glide /y/ was deleted when not before a high vowel (it was only /e i u/ by now anyway).
  25. sl>q, which is an allophone of /h/. This probably also shifts /lh/.
  26. The voiceless bilabial stops p pʷ shifted to h hʷ except after a high tone. The plain /p/ had a brief intermediate of /ɸ/ but this stage lasted mere years before shifting to /h/. The labialized stop shifted directly. This shift excludes /kp/ and any other context in which the stops were part of a cluster; note that since the high tone always ended in a glottal stop, this environment can be considered to be a cluster as well.
    NOTE THAT THE SPELLING OF /h/ as ħ is for clarity only, because in many names, /x/ is spelled with the plain "h".
  27. The sequence hy (from /py/) shifted to š again.
  28. The clusters ml nl ŋl nd changed to bl dl ġl d, thus restoring voiced stops to a marginal phonemic position. WHAT ABOUT PALATALS?
  29. The labialized consonants mʷ ŋʷ changed to bʷ ġʷ .
  30. The sound /l/ disappeared after a voiced stop: the clusters bl dl ġl changed to b d ġ .
    The velar is here for symmetry, but it's not clear that the required earlier sequence /ŋl/ would ever have occurred. /ml/ might not have existed either, but /b/ also comes from other sources.
  31. Lastly, /l/ also disappeared after any other stop, even over a morpheme boundary.
  32. The coarticulated stops kp ḳṗ shifted to p ṗ. (If there ever was a voiced /ġb/, it too would shift.)

Note that the only /y/ is before /i/ and unlabialized /u/, the latter of which was rare. The only other clusters in the language had initial elements unmarked for place of articulation, possibly aside from a few marginal holdovers across morpheme boundaries involving inherited syllabic nasals.

Thus the final consonant inventory was

Rounded bilabials:       pʷ  ṗʷ  bʷ      hʷ          w
Spread bilabials:        p   ṗ   b   m   
Alveolars:               t   ṭ   d   n   s   r   l
Postalveolars:           č       ǯ       š   ž  (ł)  y
Velars:                  k   ḳ       ŋ   x   g
Labiovelars:             kʷ  ḳʷ  ġʷ      xʷ  gʷ
Postvelars:              q               h       ʕ
Labialized postvelars:   qʷ

And the vowels /a e i o u/ on six tones: à ă ā á â a͆, where the last two differ in sandhi effects only.

All five vowels are unrounded except when following a labialized consonant. Because /u/ almost always follows a labialized consonant, its unrounded form is very rare unless analyzed as /Ø/. This can be spelled /ʉ/.

A rare palatal lateral ł (IPA /ʎ/) can be added, which occurs only in environments where /y/ can also occur. Unlike the other five palatal consonants /č ǯ š ž y/, however, it is entirely of secondary origin, arising entirely from the sequence /ly/, and it cannot contrast with the sequence /ly/, even over a morpheme boundary.

Macro-Pabap languages

See Macro-Pabap languages for all non-Babakiam stem groups.

Gold (1900) to Play (4100)

The Play language evolved from the Soft Hands dialect of Gold, also known as Wolf in Wool, Broken Shields, and perhaps at least one other name. It drove out the Lazy Palms language and took relatively few loanwords. There were also several other languages spoken in this territory, including one language spoken by Star immigrants, probably a branch of Amade.

Wolf in Wool had not yet evolved its characteristic sound, so the relative scarcity of loanwords was not due to the acoustics of the language, but rather a cultural identification with the new language being imported from overseas. Any loans that were taken in had /e o/ shifting to /ə/ for the entire time period of this language, though /ē ō/ may have been borrowed as /əi əu/ or /ai au/ or either.

  1. At the end of a syllable, the pharyngeal fricative ʕ disappeared and changed the previous vowel to a high tone. It also voiced the following consonant.
  2. Syllable-final k ḳ ŋ changed to kʷ ḳʷ ŋʷ. A few compound words in which the second element began with a vowel or a suppressed consonant split into doublets depending on whether the free (labiovelar) or bound (plain velar) version of the morpheme was generalized in the compound.
  3. In initial position, the labialized coronals tʷ dʷ nʷ shifted to t d n. Elsewhere, even in clusters, they decoupled to the sequences tu du nu.
  4. The bilabial approximant w changed to v (in internal reconstructions, also spelled "β") before a vowel.
  5. Then l lʷ both became w (not */v/) in all positions although it retained a rhotic allophone.
    NOTE ON POLITICS: Proto-Highland Poswa breaks off here.
  6. The labiovelar consonants kʷ ḳʷ hʷ gʷ became p ṗ f v unconditionally.
  7. Sequences of two vowels in which the first vowel was i or u became rising diphthongs. Then all clusters of a consonant followed by a semivowel came to be pronounced as coarticulated single consonants. Thus pua became pʷa, pia became pʲa, and so on. ñ was assimilated as .
  8. Stressed syllabic nasals were opened to sequences containing a schwa.
  9. The voiced fricative g assimilated to a neighboring glide /j/ or /w/, thus creating sequences of /jj/ and /ww/. The shift thus was gj jg gw wg > jj jj ww ww. This includes g after /ī/ and /ū/.
  10. The cluster dh shifted to ð.
  11. The voiced fricatives ð z g became silent between vowels and occasionally in initial position (due to compounding).
    NOTE ON POLITICS: This time period is around 3100 AD, near the beginning of the "Era of Happiness" (Yeisu Kasu: 3138 - 3302 AD). The branches of the language that fork off from mainline Bābākiam in 3138 all die out, and therefore all of their names in the history are written in Babakiam, but they could be revived as minor local languages, and there would be quite a lot of them.
  12. A voiced consonant in a cluster after a voiceless consonant (nearly always /p/ or /s/) changed briefly to ʕ and then disappeared.
    This shift is responsible for important consequences in verb morphology in Poswa more than 5000 years later. Note that the inherited clusters gh hg had been merged as h already in Gold; /hg/ was morphologically equivalent to /sg/, which explains why /sg/ shows up in Play as š instead of s like the others. Lastly, this shift explains why the Play toponym Fanašasa corresponds to Leaper Xʷanaxanta.
  13. The voiced fricatives v z ž g changed to b d ǯ ġ before a high tone. Unlike other languages, Play considered the long vowels to be high tones here.
  14. The post-velar fricative consonants ħ ʕ, which had been developing labial compression, changed unconditionally to f v.
  15. The velar fricatives h g were fronted to š ž unconditionally. šʲ žʲ became š ž. This includes the /čʲ/ sequence, which had long ago become [šʲ] but was maintained in spelling because of its importantly distinct grammatical behavior.
  16. The labialized voiced stops bʷ dʷ ǯʷ ġʷ changed to b.
  17. The palatalized voiced stops bʲ dʲ ǯʲ ġʲ changed to ǯ.
  18. Any remaining voiced stops b d ǯ ġ changed unconditionally to p t č k (except when in clusters).
  19. The voiced fricative žʷ changed to v.
  20. Tones were eliminated. However the stress accent (nouns on the penultimate syllable, verbs on the ultimate) remained and became regularized.
  21. The voiced stops d ǯ ġ (now found only in clusters) changed to n nʲ ŋ unconditionally.
  22. Remaining v changed to b.
  23. Remaining z changed to s.
  24. Newly created vowel sequences beginning with i or u collapsed into rising diphthongs, thus creating a new series of palatalized and labialized consonants.
    Note, however, that the reflex of /buya/ is still /buya/; it did not become /bʷia/ and then /bia/.
  25. The labialized consonants bʷ žʷ changed to b unconditionally. (Despite the fact that a nearly identical sound change had occurred only shortly before this one, this rule was very common in verb forms that were created by the shift of /bua/ > /bʷa/ > /ba/, and likewise for other vowels.)
  26. The palatalized consonants bʲ žʲ changed to ž unconditionally. (The above shift also applies here; many verbs underwent a shift of /bia/ > /bʲa/ > /ža/.)
  27. A schwa ə in a word in which the following syllable had /a/ changed also to a. Note that this is the only vowel change in the entire history of the language going back 3500 years, even before the Gold language, except for a few diphthongizations such as /ua/ > /wa/. However, the vowel system became very unstable in the succeeding period as the language developed into Poswa and Pabappa.
  28. The stress was shifted to the first syllable in all words.

Play (4100) to Poswa (8700)

Alternate names: Blossom, Pavopa, Wupupa

NOTE that this section is outdented for prominence. Poswa is a daughter language of Bābākiam, not of Gold.
  1. Long vowels in initial syllables became double: ā ī ū became aa ii uu. This shift did not happen if the long vowel was supported by another following vowel. Meanwhile double vowels in final syllables became long: aa ii uu shifted to ā ī ū. Medial syllables followed morpheme boundaries.
  2. The double vowels ii uu became ʲi ʷu in all positions.
  3. Any bʷ žʷ created by the previous shift changed to b. Likewise any bʲ žʲ changed to ž.
  4. Between two consonants in a single syllable, the diphthongs au ai əu əi changed to o ae u e. iu ui ii uu > y y i u. The change was bypassed whenever a consonant cluster was frontloaded onto the next syllable, however.
  5. ā aa changed to aba in all positions.
  6. At the beginning of a syllable and after /p m/, the semivowels w j shifted to r l.
  7. The medial clusters pt mt mn shifted to tt nt nn. Then pk mk mŋ became pt mpt mn . ms mš became mps mpš.
    The shift of /pt mt mn/ > /tt nt nn/ might need to be back-dated because it affects the way vowels were compressed. For example, Play /pk/ front-loaded onto a following syllable, but Play /pt/ did not. This would make more sense if the contrast was either /pk/ vs /tt/ or /pt/ vs /tt/.
  8. The cluster sf changed to ff.
    In most words where an /sf/ cluster might be expected, only a single /f/ was found due to a much earlier shift that occurred in the Gold language. This had been maintained through analogy. Likewise, where one might expect /pf/, there was often just a /p/. The words where these clusters did occur were newly coined compounds.
  9. The labialized alveolar stop shifted to in word-initial position or after one of /r l s/, and to pt between vowels.
  10. The labialized consonants šʷ sʷ nʷ shifted to pš ps bʷ. There was also a rare word-initial /bʷ/, from earlier /bū/ > /bu/ > /bʷ/.
  11. The consonant clusters mr ml shifted to br bl unconditionally.
  12. In initial position before a vowel, the voiceless labial fricatives f fʷ changed to w. It also happened often to a word-internal -f- preceded by a /w/ of any origin, but note that the sequence /fVf/ only appeared in words that were originally compounds. This shift did not affect .
  13. After a labialized consonant (except /w/), the schwa vowel y changed to u.
  14. Labialized consonants lost their labialization when they occurred before /u/.
  15. The vowels i u changed to e o in closed syllables.
  16. The vowel y in closed syllables changed to either i or u depending on the other vowel in the root. The default choice was /u/, unless it followed a /w/. /i/ appeared only when it followed a /w/ or was in a word in which an /i/ or /e/ was in an adjacent syllable and that was the only other vowel in the word.
  17. The sequences wu wo changed to wi we.
  18. Then, p s disappeared before nasals and sporadically in stem-final position due to back-formation from plurals.
  19. Unaccented i changed to e unless the accented syllable of the word contained an /i/.
  20. Then unaccented y changed to i unless the syllable ended in a labial or the accented syllable of the word contained a /y/.
    NOTE ON POLITICS: Politically, the proto-Poswobs became independent here (5547), but the language remained unified through physical contact for another 450 years or so.
  21. The consonant cluster ŋʲ assimilated to .
  22. Then unaccented u changed to y except when the syllable ended in a labial or the accented syllable also contained a /u/.
  23. Before a vowel, unaccented y yb changed to u.
  24. Before a vowel, unaccented a ab changed to i.
  25. Next, i changed to y if the next syllable had /u/.
  26. The palatalized consonants pʲ mʲ sʲ lʲ rʲ changed to f v š ž b before a vowel. šʲ žʲ bʲ also became š ž b.
  27. In stressed syllables, in only a few words, ol ul or ur changed to we wi wa wa. The conditioning environment was that the syllables had to be unstressed and have only one consonant before them; in other words, they occurred in compounds only, in a syllable which would be stressed if it weren't a compound.
  28. In an accented syllable, ar shifted to o, except after /w/.
  29. Simultaneously, syllable-final r in most words changed to . Aquatically, it was f/v before coronals, b in absolute final position, stays r before šž + labials + velars (but really pronounced as /w/). rl > vl. rr > rw. Sometimes au+labial > o even so, no particular rule.
  30. The surviving final r changed to vʷ fʷ before labials.
  31. became w before a vowel (that is, everywhere except before a labial).
  32. In words not affected by the previous shift (mostly due to grammatical analogy), syllable-final ar yr shifted to o, and er ir shifted to u.
  33. In unstressed syllables, the sequences el il merged as i and or ur merged as u.
  34. Unstressed ol ul became e before a consonant or at the end of a word.
  35. i y shifted to u before a labial in a closed syllable, or before a syllable beginning with a labial cluster (in this case, even /pʷ/ etc counted as "clusters"). Thus for example /tipwu/ > /tupwu/. However, other labialized consonants such /tʷ/ did not trigger the shift, so /titwu/ stays /titwu/.
  36. ŋ ŋʷ were denasalized to g gʷ in all positions.
  37. The palatalized velar consonants kʲ gʲ became the postalveolar affricates tš dž.
  38. The labialized velar consonants kʷ gʷ pʷ bʷ were decomposed to the clusters kw gw pw bw.
  39. Final y in trisyllabic words disappeared. Due to analogy, it disappeared in some shorter words as well. However, consos that now occurred at the end of a word because of the dropped y became labialized, though this is not shown in Romanizaiton.
  40. The remaining palatalized consonants became labiodental fricatives: fʲ tʲ merged as f, and changed to v.
  41. The cluster pf, when straddling a syllable boundary, became ff.
  42. Medial vowels in trisyllabic words disappeared if the resulting consonant cluster was acceppable ("the Debra shift"). wr > rw (distinct from earlier shift). Here again, labialization hung around if the deleted vowel was o u or y. Thus there were minimal pairs such as puppa "salamander" vs pupʷpa "kind, humanitarian". This period (around the year 7300) is the beginning of what is often considered "Classical Poswa".
    Poswobs invaded Pabappa territory beginning around 7414, and the language was essentially unchanged at that time. The next few changes never occur in native words because they would have appeared in compounds only, and grammatical reanalysis eliminated the clusters that fed the shift; however, they occur in opaque loanwords and names.
  43. The clusters tm km fm vm shifted to vb. šm žm sm šb sb shifted to žb.
  44. The clusters pn bn shifted to . šn sn became žv.
  45. The sequences pm tn shifted to mm nn. tp became pp.
  46. The clusters pk and bg became pw and bi respectively. mk became mw (not mpw). Similar changes applied to other clusters ending in velars.
  47. The voiced velar stop g was fronted to unless it occurred in a cluster after another consonant and before /a o u/.
  48. The clusters šb bš were devoiced to šp pš respectively.
  49. The clusters žp pž became žb bž respectively.
  50. The cluster nr shifted to ng (IPA [nd]). This probably means nl > ng too.
  51. The clusters pl bl became p b respectively when overlaying two unaccented syllables. The same also happened for other stop + nonstop clusters such as pr br pš ps bž pt pf bv, althoiugh pš, pf, and ps survived as aspirates pʰ for long enough to survive a particular subsequent shift. Clusters like mž mdž shifted to mb.
  52. The sequences yw ww wy changed to ʷu in all positions.
  53. When unaccented, the sequence wi shifted to i before another vowel.
  54. iy ii > ia ie.
  55. In wholly unstressed syllables, except when preceded by /a/, the clusters rl lr changed to al ar respectively, and raised the preceding vowel.
  56. The cluster rgw shifted to vbw, with both consonants labialized.
  57. A velar-onset syllable preceded by another changed to alveolar if the vowel was a back vowel, but postalveolar if it was a front vowel. The affected consonants were k g kw gw r.
  58. The diphthongs al yl shifted to ae e. These did not affect /lʷ/.
  59. Geminate stops overlaying two unaccented syllables reduced to single if there was another geminate earlier in the word.
  60. The cluster mp shifted to mb when occuring after a voiceless stop.
  61. Initial ps pš shifted to p, also sometimes if overlaying two unaccented slabs just as /pl bl/ had.

Baba (~6000) to Old Pabappa (~6500) ... too early?

Alternate names: Pespimbesa

  1. Debra shift I. (But rV and wV didnt compress). ("ae" and "al" remained distinct here). If the deleted vowel was y, o or u, the preceding consonant became a labial. If a consonant was already labialized or palatalized, it did not contract.
    This shift must be broken into steps because it does not turn /tut/ > /pt/.
  2. In the syllable coda, lʷ rʷ shifted to u.
  3. shifted to f.
  4. ŋ was denasalized to g in all positions, except bound clusters such as /ŋp ŋt ŋr/ which behaved as prenasals.
    NEED to check dictionary to make sure this rule has been followed properly
  5. Following a consonant, diphthongs of all types were resolved in favor of the first vowel. Thus, all palatalized consonants shifted to the corresponding plain form (unlike in Poswa, where most had distinct reflexes).
  6. Triphthongs with a high middle element were collapsed to two-vowel sequences along the opposite pattern; thus, for example, iwa> ua.
  7. Stops occurring before a nasal assimilated fully.
  8. Clusters of two fricatives of differing points of articulation were assimilated in favor of the second consonant.
  9. The clusters žbž špš sps shifted to žž šš ss, and likewise for mismatched pairs.
  10. Clusters of fricatives and stops of dissimilar voicing were resolved in favor of the second consonant.
  11. The clusters gv kf became bv pf.
  12. Word-initial pš tš shifted to š while word-initial ps ts shifted to s. The clusters with /t/ had arisen from earlier sequences like /pəs/ where the initial schwa disappeared, or from other sequences like /pas/ where the initial vowel dropped out in the second element of a compound, but was analogized to the free form of the same word.
  13. The fricative š changed to h in initial position and to s elsewhere.
  14. The voiced sequences ž dž came to be pronounced z.
  15. The cluster rr was reduced to r.

Old Pabappa (6500?) to Pabappa (8700)

  1. Double nasals were reduced to singles.
  2. The vowel ə either disappeared or became i or o (governed by the surrounding vowels' HEIGHT (not backness)). If it disappeared, it also labialized the new final consonant.
  3. The fricatives v z shifted to d Ø in all positions.
  4. The velar stops k g changed to the fricatives š ž in all positions.
  5. The labialized consonants sʷ šʷ zʷ shifted to f f b.
  6. The clusters šs sš became ss šš.
  7. The fricative f changed to p in initial position and s elsewhere. This also triggers a shift of all pf to ts, even though /ps/ remained as such.
  8. This was around the year 7000. Note that the Play 1st and 2nd person past passive participle endings /-su -si/ had become /-s -se/ by this stage; it is unlikely that Pabappa would preserve them since the 1st person would have become silent, but other daughter languages may preserve both.
  9. The voiceless stops p t became the geminates pp tt when following a voiceless stop plus a vowel.
  10. The postalveolar fricatives š ž became the labiodental fricatives f v in all positions.
  11. The glottal fricative h shifted to f before /u/.
  12. The voiced stops b d became the voiceless stops p t in all positions. Adjacent fricatives also devoiced.
  13. Word-final s disappeared to Ø.
  14. Word-final e disappeared, except after a consonant cluster; in this case it changed to i.
  15. Before a nasal, p s t n assimilated completely.
  16. Clusters of a nonlabial stop followed by a labial stop were resolved in favor of the nonlabial one.
  17. Final o was were lowered to a except if the accented vowel was mid-height (e or o).
    NOTE ON POLITICS: This is considered to be the classical stage of Middle Pabappa.
  18. The clusters tl ttl both changed to ll.
  19. The sequences mr sr lr became mpr spr rr. Any other nonlabial consonant before /r/ became labial.
  20. Clusters of a nasal followed by any other consonant of differing point of articulation were assimilated in favor of the point of articulation of the second consonant. Thus surviving mn shifted to nn.
  21. ml became mpl.
    NOTE ON POLITICS: This occurred around 7414 AD.
  22. The voiceless labiodental fricative f changed to w in initial position.
  23. The voiceless glottal fricative h shifted to Ø.
  24. Unstressed syllables of the form CVCC where the two latter C's were a geminate or one of a few other types of consonants changed the vowel to a very short schwa /ə/.
  25. Intervocalic voiceless stops became voiced.
  26. The cluster pl became bl in all positions.
  27. The cluster pr became b in word-initial position, and br elsewhere.
  28. The geminatespp tt ss became p t s in all positions.
  29. The cluster sp became ss.
  30. The rare vowel sequences ei ou (found almost entirely in verb conjugations) shifted to e o.
  31. Initial v became f.
  32. The labiodental fricatives f v became the bilabial stops p b in all positions.
  33. The marginal schwa phoneme disappeared, creating some new clusters and geminates. (Debra shift II.)
  34. The bilabial stop b, between two identical unaccented vowels (e.g. -aba, -obo), turned to m sporadically as the result of analogy from various noun declensions.

Sister languages of Pabappa

For sound changes, see Macro-Pabap_languages#East_of_Paba.

Sister languages split off from Pabappa in several waves, and could arguably include tiny, relic branches that are older than the Poswa-Pabappa split as well as those that are younger. The arbitrary breaks at around 6500, 7000, 7414, and the unlabeled Andanese Pabappa split do not correspond to wars, as the Pabaps had long since ceased fighting wars.

See also