Lenian languages

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The Lenian languages are a paraphyletic cultural grouping of related languages that descend from Tapilula but exclude branches that acquired divergent characteristics.


All Dreamlandic languages are included. All of the Subumpamese languages are included, as is Paleo-Pabappa and its descendants.

However, Play is not included, despite it having many of the areal characters of the Lenian languages. This is because Play is descended from Gold and acquired its distinctive characteristics over a long period of time. Thus, Poswa and Pabappa are not Lenian languages either. Nor are the Macro-Pabap languages, or Pēles, even though the speakers of Pēles considered themselves to be Lenians.

Tribal identity

All Lenians were light-skinned people, mostly with blonde hair and blue eyes. They mostly lived in cold or temperate climates, but nonetheless some Lenians came to live in compact nations in the tropics, generally having to fight for their land as they arrive. Taken as a group, they were the world's most widely dispersed people, having the southernmost and westernmost (on the mainland) areas to themselves, and controlling much of the cold areas near the poles. However, the idea of a shared Lenian identity was only supported by some Lenians; they fought against each other as much as they fought against other tribes.

For the most part, these languages do not spread to non-Lenian tribes. The only language that had a sizable non-Lenian population of speakers was Oyster.

Tapilula (0) to Proto-Dreamlandic (1320)

The original consonant inventory was

Rounded bilabials:     pʷ      mʷ  mbʷ mpʷ     w
Spread bilabials:      p   b   m   mb  mp     (Ø)         
Alveolars:             t       n   nd          l
Rounded alveolars:     tʷ      nʷ  ndʷ     
Velars:                k   ḳ   ŋ   ŋġ      h   g

Shared changes

Note that hiatus in this language is considered to be /g/. The differentiation between /Ø/ and /g/ in the other branch is due to analogy.

  1. Before a low tone, the fricatives h g shifted to kʷ kʷʕ. Before a high tone, they disappeared. Thus, the language became entirely free of fricatives.
  2. The dependent phonemes kʷ kʷʕ shifted to p pʕ if bordering any /u ə/ in either direction, and otherwise to k. Note that /o/ did not trigger this shift.
  3. Before a low tone, the lateral approximant l shifted to r. This did not affect the dental form (if there was one).
  4. Before a high tone, the voiceless stops pʷ p t tʷ k became the fricatives hʷ f s hʷ h. This did not apply to the emphatics.
  5. Voiceless prenasalized sequences were reanalyzed as nasal + fricative. Voiced prenasalized sequences were reanalyzed as nasal + stop. Thus they were no longer phonemic. Nevertheless, they continued to occur in the syllable onset rather than splitting between the onset and the preceding coda.
  6. The sequence shifted to ā.
    It is possible that /əa əu əi/ then shift to /ā ū ī/.
  7. The emphatic stops pʕ ḳ shifted to pp kk except in absolute initial position. (Since most words began with classifier prefixes, this shift produced many root-initial clusters, but the classifiers that padded these roots did not acquire initial clusters.)
  8. The voiceless alveolar stop t affricated to c before the high vowels [i ə u].
  9. The vowels a e i all shifted to palatalized forms ya ye yi. If one of the non-labialized consonants p m f t n s k ŋ h l r preceded, it became palatalized to pʲ mʲ fʲ č ň š ć ń ś ł ŕ. But palatalization of /l/ was not marked in spelling. Meanwhile, the long vowels ā ē ī shifted to yā yē yī (not *yaya, etc).
  10. The rounded alveolars tʷ nʷ became kʷ ŋʷ.
  11. The high central vowel ə shifted to i.
    Note that this shift opens up a three-way contrast of /t/~/č/~/k/ before [i], and the following shift adds [ə] and [a]. However, there was only a two-way contrast before [u]. This may be seen as related to the labialized phoneme /kʷ/ and might even trigger the loss of /u/ in some daughters.
  12. The mid vowels e o shifted to ə a. This did not affect, and was not affected by, whether the previous consonant was labialized or not; the respective allophones shifted in tandem.
  13. Tones were eliminated.
  14. Syllabic consonants were resolved as sequences of /i/ + consonant, and assimilated to the place of articulation of a following consonant.
  15. The root-initial geminates pp ppʲ ćć kk shifted to singletons p pʲ ć k if there was another heavy syllable in the word.
  16. All prenasalized consonants became voiceless with a stopped release.
  17. The sequence ʷi shifted to i.

Thus the vowel inventory at this time was /a i u ə/, and the consonants were:

                       CONSONANTS                 VOWELS
Rounded bilabials:     pʷ  mʷ      w              a i u ə
Plain bilabials:       p   m   f  (Ø)             a i u              
Spread bilabials:      pʲ  mʲ  fʲ  y              a i   ə
Alveolars:             t   n   s   l   r          a i u               (/ta ci cu/)
Postalveolars:         č   ň   š  *l  *r          a i   ə             (/ča či čə/)
(Palatals:             ć   ń   ś    )             a i   ə
Velars:                k   ŋ   h                  a i u
Labiovelars:           kʷ  ŋʷ  hʷ                 a i u ə

Thus the full set of four vowels was contrastive only after rounded consonants. However, /l/ and /r/ break this rule. There was also a sequence /mfʷ/.

At this point, around the year 1320, the language divides into two dialects: one for the western end of the peninsula, where travel between the north and south coasts is easy; and the other branch for the central and eastern areas, where travel is more difficult and daughter languages tend to divide more quickly. The eastern branch is called Nuclear Dreamlandic, but this is often shortened to just "Dreamlandic".

Dialect breakup

However, it is possible that all of the diversity arose in the western and central areas, and that the division between them was political rather than tribal. Thus North Dreamlandic would be simply a branch of one of many subgroups from the West or center.

Changes unique to Western Fojy

  1. The voiceless non-sibilant fricatives f fʲ h hʷ shifted to Ø Ø Ø w.
  2. The palatalized labials pʲ mʲ shifted to p m.
  3. The bare vowel u shifted to ʉ. Then wa shifted to wo. Neither of these shifts were phonemic.

Changes unique to Nuclear Dreamlandic (1495)

  1. The mid vowel ə, which occurred almost entirely after palatalized consonants, shifted to a. Thus, the vowel inventory was reduced to /a i u/, with frequent sequences of /ya wa yi wu/ but no others.
  2. The true palatals ć ń ś shifted to č ň š .

At this stage the language had 95 syllables, considering the clusters /mp nt nk pp kk ćć/ to be singles. The syllabary contained signs for

  a    i    u    ya   wa   yi   wu
 pa   pi   pu   pya  pwa  pyi  pwu
 ma   mi   mu   mya  mwa  myi  mwu
 ta  (ci   cu)  tya       tyi
 na   ni   nu   nya       nyi
 sa   si   su   sya       syi
 la   li   lu   lya       lyi
 ra   ri   ru   rya       ryi
 ka   ki   ku        kwa       kwu
 ŋa   ŋi   ŋu        ŋwa       ŋwu
 ha   hi   hu        hwa       hwu
 fa   fi   fu
mpa  mpi  mpu  mpya mpwa mpyi mpwu
nta (nsi  nsu  nsya      nsyi)
nka  nki  nku       nkwa      nkwu
ppa  ppi  ppu  ppya ppwa ppyi ppwu
kka  kki  kku  kkya kkwa kkyi kkwu

Nuclear Dreamlandic (1495) to Dolphin Rider (4108)

Alternate names: Ōpo, Neamaki, Pōpō. The speakers originated in "Laġo" and in the unlabeled territory next to Lago. The native name of the unlabeled state may in fact be Ōpo, but properly that is the name of the originating tribe and likely extended to areas beyond.

Note that the maturation date of this branch is much later than that of Baywatch, and that it may have early-branching varieties of its own.

  1. The labiovelars kʷ ŋʷ hʷ shifted to pʷ mʷ fʷ unconditionally.
  2. The sequences ya wa shifted to ye o.
  3. In a closed syllable, the vowels i u lowered to e o. Long vowels did not shift.
  4. The sequence āi shifted to ē.
  5. Between vowels, the sequence ta shifted to ra.
  6. The prenasals mp nt nč ŋk shifted to voiced stops b r r g.
  7. The voiceless coronals t č š shifted to s . Meanwhile ň shifted to n.
  8. The palatalized labials pʲ mʲ fʲ bʲ became f m f b. Thus palatalization was defeated.
  9. The sequences hi hu shifted to si fu. Then ŋi shifted to ni.
  10. The velars h g ŋ (including in clusters) disappeared to Ø.
  11. The sequences of ow uf uw shifted to ō ō ū ū. However, the geminate /ff/ did not participate in this shift.
  12. Any remaining singleton f disappeared to Ø.
  13. Labialization was defeated. Any remaining w shifted to b.
    It is not clear what happens to sequences like /efʷo/ > /ewo/ here. But it is likely that /b/ does not appear.
  14. The geminates pp ff ss kk shifted to p s s k . Thus /f/ was eliminated.
    At this point, the consonant inventory was /p m b n s l r k/ and the vowels were /a e i o u/. Long vowels /ā ē ī ū/, but not /ō/, were fairly common. This occurred around the year 3370. After this, the language became conservative.
  15. All vowels in hiatus became short.
  16. The vowel sequences au ao eo oa oe shifted to ō. Thus the word for dolphin became /pōpō/. /ua uo/ remained, but they were rare, mostly coming from earlier /ufa ufo/.

Nuclear Dreamlandic (1495) to Baywatch (3370)

These languages were spoken in colder climates, rubbing up against Thunder and Moonshine settlements. The speakers were generally of blonde hair and blue eyes, perhaps even more so than the stereotypically blonde Thunderers.

Initial phoneme inventory:

Rounded bilabials:     pʷ  mʷ      w              a i u  
Plain bilabials:       p   m   f  (Ø)             a i u              
Spread bilabials:      pʲ  mʲ  fʲ  y              a i     
Alveolars:             t   n   s   l   r          a i u               (/ta ci cu/)
Postalveolars:         č   ň   š   ł   ř          a i                 (/ča či čə/)    
Velars:                k   ŋ   h                  a i u
Labiovelars:           kʷ  ŋʷ  hʷ                 a i u  

  1. The sequences ya wa shifted to ye wo.
  2. In word-initial position, the sequence su shifted to hu.
  3. The sequences ti tu shifted to si su. (This includes all /č/.)
  4. The velars k ŋ shifted to t n. Then ň also became n.
  5. The sequence āi shifted to ē.
  6. The sequences ha hu shifted to a u. However, any new eu iu shifted to ē ī (not /ō ū/).
  7. The sequence hi shifted to si.
  8. Before a consonant, the sequences nu tu lost their vowel, creating prenasalized and geminate consonants, which always assimilated. Triple consonant sequences reduced to doubles; the specific sequence tussi became tti due to the [č] allophone of /t/ in this position.
  9. The spread labials pʲ mʲ fʲ shifted to p m b unconditionally.
  10. The labial fricative f shifted to b in all positions.
  11. The sequences ai ei oi merged as ē.
  12. The palatal glide y shifted to w if after /u/, and otherwise to Ø.
  13. The sequences au eu ou merged as ō.
  14. The sequences wo wu shifted to o u. Any other /w/ also disappeared.
  15. Long vowels followed by geminate consonants became short. But not prenasals.
  16. In root-initial position, the sequences bap bep bip bop bup (but not the long-vowel counterparts) shifted to pap pep pip pop pup. This also applied to /bVt/, but not to /bVs/.

If both labialized consonants and prenasalized consonants are analyzed as clusters, the phonology would be

Bilabials:       p   m           b   
Alveolars:       t   n   s   l   r     

And the vowels /a e i o u/ in both short and long forms. The geminates /pp ss tt/ still remained, and there were sound gaps of */te so bo lo ro/, except in a few rare words where contraction of long vowels before geminates had created new short vowels there.

The coronal stop /t/ was allophonically [k] before any /o u/. Unlike the neighboring Dolphin Rider language, however, it remained [t] before /a/, and therefore [t] is considered the primary allophone. It was not palatalized before /e i/.

Baywatch (3370) to Nunabetari

  1. The sibilant sequences sa se si so su shifted to pa te ti o u . Any new hiatus lengthened the preceding vowel.
  2. Remaining r shifted to b.

The consonant inventory had thus become merely

Bilabials:       p   m   b   
Alveolars:       t   n   l

Baywatch (3370 AD) to Playwatch (4138 AD)

This is the language spoken in the eastern corner of Dreamland, traditionally vulnerable to invasion. The Dolphin Riders invaded and conquered it in 4108, but their reign was short-lived, as the Players invaded in 4138 and subdued the entire native population. The Players also lasted only 40 years, so the native language persisted as they were conquered by the Matrix, who survived for about 30 years.

  1. The long vowels ē ī ō ū (but not /ā/) shortened to e i o u.
    This was originally below.
  2. Before a vowel, the sequences om um shifted to ōm ūm.
  3. The alveolar nasal n shifted to m unconditionally.
  4. The alveolar flap r shifted to l in word-initial position, and disappeared to Ø elsewhere.
  5. The sequences ma me mi mo mu shifted to nasal vowels ã ẽ ĩ õ ũ before a singleton consonant UNCONDITIONALLY!!!!!!!!!!.
  6. Prenasalized consonants bled into the preceding vowel and then denasalized.
  7. The sequences uoa uoe uoi uoo uou shifted to uwa uwe uwi uō ūō.
  8. The sequences ii uu shifted to ī ū. This included shifts from triplets like /auu/, etc.
    The Baywatchers who invaded and conquered the Thunder Empire spoke this stage of the language.
  9. After any vowel, the sequences oa oe oi (independent of nasalization) shifted to wa we wi. Nasalized w shifted to .
  10. After a vowel, the sequences ua ue ui uo (independent of nasalization) shifted to wa we wi wo.
  11. All consonants became labialized before any /u/.
  12. Before a nasal vowel, the labial approximant w shifted to .
  13. Geminates became simple.
    NOTE, this shift is only here because it appears in the dictionary; i never wrote it down.

The consonant inventory at this time could be analyzed as

Bilabials:    p   b       w   w̃
Alveolars:    t       s   l

All syllables were CV. Thus a syllable chart can be created:

  a   e   i   o   u   ã   ẽ   ĩ   õ   ũ
 pa  pe  pi  po  pu  pã  pẽ  pĩ  põ  pũ
 ba  be  bi  bo  bu  bã  bẽ  bĩ  bõ  bũ
 wa  we  wi  wo      
 w̃a  w̃e  w̃i  w̃o      w̃ã  w̃ẽ  w̃ĩ  w̃õ 
 ta  te  ti  to  tu  tã  tẽ  tĩ  tõ  tũ
 sa  se  si  so  su  sã  sẽ  sĩ  sõ  sũ
 la  le  li  lo  lu  lã  lẽ  lĩ  lõ  lũ

Longs are analyzed as sequences here and thus not shown. Longs can either be aa or aã~ãã; there is no *ãa.

The Baywatchers who invaded and conquered the Thunder Empire in 3844 were overthrown and enslaved in 3884. They retained their language even while enslaved, as their slavery lasted only seventy years. Their language then rejoined the main branch of Playwatch. Thus, there is very little evidence that the split ever existed.

Daughter languages of Playwatch include Mysticeti and probably others spoken by very small populations. Shifts include ĩ ũ > e o, ẽ ã õ > a, and w~ y~ > m n. Note, though, the languages that merge the nasal vowels retain the original allophones of preceding consonants. Thus, for example, becomes ka, not *ta. Thus, the distinction between /t/ and /k/ becomes phonemic. /l/ might have been [n] before a nasal vowel even in Playwatch, and this could phonemicize too, but /y~/ also shifts to /n/.

Another possibility is that before vowel nasalization disappears, it first spreads out to the entire word, or to at least everything between the original nasal vowel and the stressed syllable. This assumes that Playwatch still has stress at all.

There are other languages descended from proto-Baywatch; these are spoken in areas outside Dreamland, and may not survive beyond 4138, since the Players used this territory to invade Dreamland, and their language became the common language when further invasions pushed the Players into the same position as their earlier victims.

Playwatch to Mysticeti (~5100 AD)

  1. The sequences eu oi shifted to iu ui.
  2. The vowel sequences ai ei merged as ē. Then au ou merged as ō.
  3. The sequence tui shifted to pi .
  4. The nasalized approximant shifted to m.
  5. The the coronal stop t came to be spelled k before any of /a o u/. (This was a long-standing allophonic variation.)
  6. The nasal vowels ĩ ũ ẽ õ shifted to e o a a.
    This may need to be more finely detailed. For example, /ũ/ might shift to /ʷo/ at least conditionally.

Playwatch to Maple Rag

This language is spoken along the north coast. "Like Seattle".

Note that the orthography here uses grave accents for low tone, unlike Moonshine and most related languages which use grave accents for checked syllables, which are typically short and allophonically high-toned. Nasalized /l/ may have reverted to plain /l/ in this branch.

  1. The glide y (the surface manifestation of some /i/) shifted to before any nasal vowels.
  2. The glides w̃ ỹ shifted to m n.
  3. The nasalized vowels ã ẽ ĩ õ ũ shifted to low tone à è ì ò ù.
    It is possible that some quality shifts, as in Mysticeti, happened before this shift.
  4. The plain vowels a e i o u became high tone á é í ó ú, except that a sequence of two high tones collapsed into high-low.

Other Dreamlandic languages

For Western and other minor branches, see Dreamlandic languages. and Minor Lenian languages

Non-Dreamlandic languages

Tapilula (0) to Proto-Subumpamese (1700)

The consonant inventory of Tapilula 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       h   g
  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 superheavy syllable with both a two-vowel sequence and a coda consonant. 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.
  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 remaining double-vowel sequences aa ee oo, which occurred only in open syllables, shifted to the long vowels ā ē ō.
  9. The sequences ai ei oi merged as ei; the sequences au eu ou merged as ou.
  10. The vowels /u i e/ caused adjacent consonants, in both directions, to become labialized, palatalized, and prepalatalized. The last shift applied only to velars. Labialization and palatalization could stack.
  11. The sequences ìa ìo ìə shifted to ī.
  12. The sequences ùa ùo ùə shifted to ū. ə̄ also shifted to ū.
  13. The sequences ei ou, in both open and closed syllables, shifted to ē ō.
  14. Syllable-final h shifted to x.
  15. Any fw>hw,then f>h
    Note on politics: Vuʒi split off here.
  16. The three syllabic nasals ṁ ṅ ŋ̇ all merged to ən.
  17. The velar ejective became q. Then kq qk shifted to qq.
  18. The cluster xhʷ became .
  19. All tones on unstressed syllables are released by spreading the tone of the accented syllable across the word.
    In a two-syllable root, the unstressed syllable acquires the opposite tone from the accented syllable.
    Classifier prefixes and auxiliary verbs all become low tone.
    In compounds, there is no sandhi.
  20. The fricative śʷ s̀ʷ šʷ shifted to s. Then ś s̀ became š.
  21. The nasals ń ǹ shifted to ň. Then mʷ nʷ ňʷ ŋʷ all merged as m.
  22. The sequences km qm shifted to kʷ qʷ.
  23. Voiced palatal stops and fricatives all merged as y.
  24. The sequences iy ey, on any tone, shifted to ī ē. <---QUESTIONABLE. most of this would have been from ĭg.
  25. The labialized palataloids čʷ ǯʷ became the velars kʷ ġʷ.
  26. The labialized approximants lʷ łʷ merged as w.
  27. The labialized alveolar stops tʷ dʷ shifted to pʷ bʷ.
  28. Unaccented final short schwas were deleted. (In nouns, they were retained because they were not always final. Therefore, this shift applies mostly to inflections.)
  29. The sequences ʷe ʷi ʷə ʷu, on any tone, shifted to e i ə u. Thus labialization remained distinctive only before /a/ and /o/.
  30. Mismatched diphthongs such as /eī/ shifted to /ēi/. Generally these were from a lost final -g.

Thus the proto-Subumpamese language had the consonants

Rounded bilabials:    pʷ  bʷ          w 
Bilabials:            p   b   m                   
Alveolars:            t   d   n   s   l             
Postalveolars:        č   ǯ   ň   š   ł           
Palatals:             ć               y
Prevelars:            c̀        
Velars:               k   ġ   ŋ   x   g
Labiovelars:          kʷ  ġʷ      xʷ  gʷ
Uvulars:              q           h              
Rounded uvulars:      qʷ          hʷ

All consonants were labialized before any /u/ and palatalized before any /i/. However, sequences like si~ši remained distinct. Consonants were also labialized *after* any /u/, so there is no contrast between /upwa/ vs /upa/, even over morpheme boundaries. This means that labialization was contrastive only in a very restricted environment, since the consonant, the following vowel, and the preceding vowel must all be on the list.

The voiced velar stop /ġ/ was a conditional alternant of /ġʷ/, appearing only before vowels that /ġʷ/ could not appear before.

The high vowel sequences were / yi ə yə wu/. Thus, it is almost but not quite analyzable as a single vowel /ɨ/.

See Subumpamese languages for details of the languages that do not survive the Vegetable War.

Proto-Subumpamese (1700) to Oyster (3141)

Note on culture

It is possible that some Oysters actually spoke Olati-A, since this was the language of Yuenan, in western Subumpam. If so, it's possible that they spoke a very conservative dialect of it which changed little from 1700.

This idea is based on the idea that while the Oysters represented Subumpam and Subumpamese culture, they originated from a peripheral area of Subumpam rather than the capital state of Bipabum.

The designation of Oyster as an eastern Subumpamese language may have arisenated from a confusion between Bipabum (the capital) and Yuenan (the most linguistically pure state), in turn caused by the fact that a third state exists somewhere that rejected the Oyster language ... and this state cannot have been Yuenan if Yuenan *is* the Oyster state (even if it had dialects).

  1. The high front vowel i, on all tones, shifted to ʲi. This had already happened in the proto-language, but was not phonemic. Note that this is different from earlier shifts that moved the consonant. For example, /ki/ became /kʲi/ here, but not /ći/. Also, this shift applied to labials.
  2. All consonants bordering a /u/ in either direction became labialized. That is, u > ʷuʷ. This shift had also happened in the proto-language but was not represented in the orthography. However, the simple spelling /u/ remained, so "u" implied "ʷuʷ". There was, at this time, no /u/ that occurred outside this environment.
  3. The high central vowels ə ə̄ changed to i ī unconditionally.
    Note that around this time, the classifier prefix /yi-/ was dropped from the grammar except in bare form. (That is, e.g. bo-yi- became just bo-.) This was not a sound change, but expanded the environments in which palatalized consonants could occur.
  4. When bordering a uvular in either direction, the vowel i (on any tone) shifted to ʉ~u, which are the same phoneme, but the ʉ spelling indicates specifically that the surrounding consonants are not labialized.
  5. Syllable-final nasals ŋ ň changed to match the place of a following consonant, and changed to n if word-final.
    Note on politics: this may be 2371.
  6. The prevelar stop changed to ć.
  7. The high tone vowels à è ì ò ù came to be spelled á é í ó ú. (That is, they were no longer automatically followed by a glottal stop.)
  8. The mid vowel sequences o ʲo shifted to ʉ ʲe.
    Plain e apparently also shifted to ʲe.
  9. ea ae>ʲa ā.
    If the actual Oyster language is Andanic, this language and its entire family is probably wiped out at this point and never replenished by any closely related language
  10. On a low tone, the high vowels i u (including all ʉ) become ultra-short and are sometimes dropped.
  11. The long vowels ā ē ī ō ū shifted to á é í ó ú, thus merging with the primordial high tones. (This is why the orthography was changed.)
  12. The palatalized alveolar nasal shifted to ň.
  13. The sequences čʲ ǯʲ ňʲ šʲ łʲ shifted to č ǯ ň š y.
  14. The sequences ŋʲ xʲ gʲ hʲ shifted to ń ś y ś. Then ġʲ shifted to ǵ.
  15. The palatalized rounded bilabials pʷʲ bʷʲ mʷʲ simplified to pʷ bʷ mʷ. These had appeared from sequences like /mumi/+vowel.
  16. The sequence hʷɨg shifted to .

Palatalization can be analyzed as consonant + /j/ or as a property inherent to the consonant. Since some palatalized consonants occur in the coda, this analysis is most convenient:

                      PLAIN                      PALATALIZED
Rounded bilabials:    pʷ  bʷ          w 
Bilabials:            p   b   m                  pʲ  bʲ  mʲ 
Alveolars:            t   d   n   s   l          tʲ  dʲ      sʲ   
Postalveolars:        č   ǯ   ň   š   ł           
Palatals:             ć   ǵ   ń   ś   y         (ć   ǵ   ń   ś   y)
Velars:               k   ġ   ŋ   x   g          kʲ   
Labiovelars:          kʷ  ġʷ      xʷ  gʷ         
Uvulars:              q           h                         
Rounded uvulars:      qʷ          hʷ

All consonants are labialized before and after any /u/ (not /ʉ/); the labialized consonants listed in the table above are those that can appear in other contexts. If the u~ʉ contrast is neutralized by analyzing labialization as phonemic, then all consonants would have labialized variants, even the palatalized ones.

Unlike most other languages, inflections in FILTER did not change the stress pattern, since there was no stress pattern ... e.g. kʉ́pʉ "pine", genitive kʉ́pʉs, rather than e.g. Khulls-like kàpa~kapas.

Note the four-way contrasts between t~tʲ~č~ć, d~dʲ~ǯ~ǵ, and s~sʲ~š~ś. These were distinguished by tongue shape as well as place of articulation.

There were five vowels, /a e i o u/. In major syllables, all five vowels could occur. In minor syllables, only /a i/ could occur.

Proto-Thaoa (1085) to Patuupʷto (~1678 AD)

Alternate names: Paleo-Pabappa, Big Hearts, Lazy Palms, Protection, Diver

Paleo-Pabappa was the language of the Patuupʷto tribe, which split into many separate branches due to migrations both voluntary and involuntary. Most of these branches soon adopted the languages of the surrounding populations, however. For example, the Lazy Palms likely assimilate into the Oysters, while the enslaved Divers take on the languages of their masters.

The Soft Hands spoke Gold.

See Paleo-Pabappa#Šàno for a related language also spoken here.

Initial phoneme inventory:

                       PLAIN                         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

Note that the inherited /h/ sound was a true /h/ in the onset, but variable in the coda.

The vowel inventory was

Short vowels:          a  e  i  o  u  ə
Long vowels:          aa ee  ī oo  ū 
Falling diphthongs:      ae ei ao ou
                            əi    əu

This list may have to be cut somewhere in the middle, with the full list applying to just one subbranch and ending around the year 2668.

  1. The voiced coronal obstruents d ǯ merged as r.
  2. The sequences ae ao shifted to ai au.
  3. The labialized obstruents tʷ dʷ gʷ shifted to pʷ w w.
  4. The velar ejective merged to k.
  5. The sequences č kč merged as s; preceding vowels retained their tones.
  6. In word-initial position, the voiced velar fricative g shifted to y.
  7. The labialized nasals mʷ nʷ ŋʷ merged as .
    NOTE ON POLITICS: Highland Pabappa breaks off here.
  8. In syllable-final position, the sequences uk un uh shifted to ukʷ umʷ upʷ . (This is called the "uh-oh" shift because it shifts /uh/ and some primordial /oh/.)
  9. In syllable-final position, the sequences ik in ih shifted to iš iň iš .
  10. In all positions, the voiced velar fricative g disappeared and lengthened the preceding vowel. This often occurred in the second element of a diphthong or intervocalically.
  11. The velars h hʷ came to spelled x xʷ.
  12. f fʷ v shifted to h hʷ g.
  13. The clusters kx kh (and their labialized counterparts) shifted to k.

Thus the final consonant inventory of proto-paleo-Pabappa was

Rounded bilabials:    pʷ  mʷ      hʷ  w
Spread bilabials:     p   m   b
Alveolars:            t   n   r   s   l
Palataloids:              ň       š   y
Velars:               k   ŋ   g   x        
Labiovelars:          kʷ          xʷ    
Postvelars:                       h   

And the vowel inventory was

Short vowels:          a  e  i  o  u  ə
Long vowels:          aa ee ii oo uu 
Falling diphthongs:         ai    au
                            ei    ou
                            əi    əu

Patuupʷto (1678) to Puroupwa (2672 AD)

This language derives its name from the Patuupʷto word oroupʷa "limestone", as it is spoken in a mountainous area filled with many steep limestone cliffs.

  1. The velars k ŋ x shifted to č ň š.
  2. The postalveolars ň š depalatalized to n s except before /i/.
  3. The sequence ʷoo shifted to ʷuo.
  4. ʷa ʷe ʷi ʷo ʷu ʷə > o o i o u u, including in diphthongs.
  5. In closed syllables, all diphthongs and double vowels were reduced to their first vowel.

Thus the consonant inventory was

Labials:         p   m   b       w  
Alveolars:       t   n   r   s   l 
Palataloids:     č   ň       š   y  
Velars:          k           h   g       

The vowel inventory was

Short vowels:          a  e  i  o  u  ə
Long vowels:          aa ee ii oo uu 
Falling diphthongs:      ae    ao  
                      oa oe oi    ou
                            əi    əu

Patuupʷto (1678) to Pombi (2672 AD)

This language will need a new name.

  1. The velars k ŋ x shifted to č ň š.
  2. The postalveolars ň š depalatalized to n s except before /i/.
  3. The sequence ʷoo shifted to ʷuo.
  4. ʷa ʷe ʷi ʷo ʷu ʷə > o o i o u u, including in diphthongs.
  5. In closed syllables, all diphthongs and double vowels were reduced to their first vowel.

Patuupʷto (1678) to Pipaippis (3200 AD)

The starting date is very vague because the four languages split apart slowly.

  1. The velars k ŋ x shifted to č ň š.
  2. The postalveolars ň š depalatalized to n s except before /i/.
  3. The sequence ʷoo shifted to ʷuo.
  4. ʷa ʷe ʷi ʷo ʷu ʷə > o o i o u u, including in diphthongs.
  5. In closed syllables, all diphthongs and double vowels were reduced to their first vowel.
  6. Frics became stops after a high tone.
  7. The schwas ə ə̄ changed to u ū unconditionally.
  8. All labialized consonants change to plain bilabials.
  9. Voicing distinction disappears entirely. This was actually triggered by a new voicing of stops after low tones, but because this change removed the last remaining environment that could host a minimal pair, there was no longer any phonemic contast.
    NOTE ON POLITICS: This is 1900 AD.
  10. Prevocalic sequences pi mi fi shifted to t n s (with no following glide). Thus the prevocalic glide /j/ was completely eliminated except in isolation.
  11. Intervocalically, bʷ b ž g shifted to w Ø y Ø.
    Note, there is no /ž/ at present because the source language was changed.

Pipaippis (3200) to Haswaraba (8773 AD)

As described currently, this language far outlasts the extinction of all other Paleo-Pabap languages, and may need to be cut down at a very early stage.

The name of the language used here is a repurposing of that of the unrelated Haswaraba language.

  1. All word-final vowels became short.
  2. Tones were eliminated.
  3. Before any /i/, the consonants p m t n l r k shifted to pʲ mʲ č ň ł ř ć.
  4. Before any /u/, the consonants p m t n l r č ň k shifted to pʷ mʷ tʷ nʷ w bʷ kʷ ŋʷ kʷ.
  5. The short vowels a i u ə all merged as a.
  6. The long vowels ā ī ū ə̄ shifted to a i u ə.

Pre-Gold (1095) to Pēles

It is possible that the Pelesians maintained friendly contact with one of the dark-skinned tribes and thus spoke the same language as of 2175 ad. However , it is not clear if these neighbors were monolingual themselves .... Wax had acted alone when it seceded in 1905, and may not have truly spoken Gold. Tarise spoke a single language in 1905, but this may have been due to subsequent assimilation.

Although the Pelesians were surrounded by dark skinned tribes, their language initially formed a speech continuum with the tribes in both directions. It was simply that more of the blonde settlers moved to Pēles than elsewhere, so the dark skinned tribes borrowed the settlers' language but did not absorb appreciable numbers of the people.

Initial phoneme inventory:

                       PLAIN                         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

Note that the inherited /h/ sound was a true /h/ in the onset, but variable in the coda.

The vowel inventory was

Short vowels:          a  e  i  o  u  ə
Long vowels:          aa ee  ī oo  ū 
Falling diphthongs:      ae ei ao ou
                            əi    əu

Long vowels could be followed by /g/ (from k/k'/h/g), /n/, or /l/. They could also be followed by some clusters.


  1. All consonants occurring after the vowel /u/ (any length, any tone) became labialized.
  2. All consonants occurring after the vowel /i/ **EXCEPT in the sequence /əi/** became palatalized.
  3. The high vowels i ī ə u ū shifted to yi yī i i ī.
  4. When an /a/ was in an adjacent syllable, the sequences e ē ei o ō ou shifted to ya yā yai a ā au.
  5. The sequences eḳ oḳ (on any tone) shifted to aḳ.
  6. The sequences e ē ei əi shifted to yi yī yi ī.
  7. The sequences o ō ou əu shifted to u ū u ī.
  8. The sequences aa ae ao merged as ā.
  9. The labial fricative f shifted to h.
    What happened to /v/?
  10. Any consonant that was both labialized and palatalized became labialized alone.
  11. The labialized consonants kʷ ḳʷ čʷ tʷ pʷ merged as p. Then, mʷ nʷ ŋʷ shifted to m. The voiced labialized stops dʷ bʷ merged as b. Lastly, xʷ gʷ shifted to f w.
  12. The sequences kʲ ḳʲ ŋʲ xʲ gʲ shifted to č č n s y.
  13. The clusters kp kb km kf shifted to pp pp pm p. Then kt kd kn shifted to tt tt tn . (/ks/ did not occur.) Then became čč. (/kŋ/ remained, and kh, kg, kk, etc had been eliminated in the proto-language although those shifts are not listed.)
  14. The voiced alveolar stop d shifted to r.
    What about /dʲ/?
  15. possibly i,u>e,ə in closed slabs (see here.)
    If this happens, it means that the Tropical Rim V culture had strong influence on Pēles, and it would likely mean that Pēles also loses its tones. If tones are preserved, then Pēles would be the only three-vowel language with a three-way tone contrast.

There is still lw,g,ł,etc

Many word roots begin with labials because of classifier prefixes ending with /u/. The situation is similar to Subumpamese and Bābākiam.

The final phonology was:

Bilabials:               p   b   m   f       w
Palatalized labials:     pʲ  bʲ  mʲ
Alveolars:               t       n   s   r   l
Postalveolars:           č                   y
Velars:                  k       ŋ   x   g
Postvelars:                          h  (Ø)

And the vowels /a i u/ on three tones (high, low, long).


See Hipatal.


Lenian languages began to decline around by year 1900[1] when settlers from AlphaLeap spread the Gold language into Paba. Shortly thereafter, Nama invaded Subumpam due to a famine, and after the famine was over, the Star Empire invaded Subumpam and occupied it for several generations. Then, yet another nation, Litila, also invaded Subumpam and crushed the native population. Subumpam was only rescued from their catastrophe when the Tarpabap people, speaking a Gold-derived language, invaded Subumpam one last time and completely drove out the native Lenian languages.

Meanwhile, by this time, Lenian languages had spread into colder climates and begun driving out the aboriginal Repilian tribes, but they were being chased around by other tribes also growing northwards, and these tribes happened to speak Gold and Tarise languages. AlphaLeap invaded Paba again in the 3800s, and the submissive Pabaps allowed them to use Paba as a base to invade a much larger range of habitats, eventually controlling more than half of the humanly habitable land on the planet. AlphaLeap did not hold their empire for long, but when it collapsed, it was to a new tribe of people calling themselves the Paaapa, who spoke the language that would soon evolve into Pabappa. These people were mostly of Lenian ancestry but identified themselves as Paaapa only, and did not seek alliances with Lenians. Importantly, they were known for having dark hair, and blondes were uncommon.

Linguistic characteristics

The Lenian languages retain the classifier prefixes of Tapilula and have generally simple rules of grammar. Even the most complex nominal morphology is simpler than that of Pabappa. Verbal morphology is highly variable; some languages are extremely simple, while others retain much of the early Tapilula system, which is, nevertheless, fairly simple by comparison to that of Gold and the Tarise-Thaoa supergroup.


  1. or earlier