Macro-Pabap languages

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Not to be confused with Paleo-Pabappa.

The Macro-Pabap languages are regional languages descended from Gold but further apart from Pabappa and Poswa than those two are to each other. They could be considered a stem group of Pabappa. However, Proto-Macro-Pabap (PMP) was spoken merely a few generations after the split between Pabappa and Khulls, so nearly all of the shared sound changes between Pabappa and the Macro-Pabap languages, and between the various Macro-Pabap languages, are due to areal influence.

Gold (1900) to Proto-Highland Poswob (2668)

This might be better if it stays united until 2856.

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
  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. In initial position, the labialized coronals tʷ dʷ nʷ shifted to t d n. In internal position, they decoupled to sequences. Thus they were no longer phonemic.
  3. The rounded bilabial approximants w ħʷ changed to spread labial approximants b f before a vowel. There are no cases in which this sound corresponds to a preservation of pre-Gold /v/; this had earlier become /d/. However, in the clusters like /tw/, the distinction between /w/ and /v/ was neutralized.
  4. Then l lʷ both became w (not */v/) in all positions.
  5. The voiced stop d shifted to l. After a nasal, it was still allophonically [d].

Thus the consonant inventory was

Rounded bilabials:             mʷ          w
Spread bilabials:      p       m   f   b  (Ø)         
Alveolars:             t       n   s       l   
Postalveolars:                     š   ž   y                                  
Velars:                k   ḳ   ŋ   h   g  (ʕ)   
Labiovelars:                   ŋʷ  hʷ  gʷ  

Proto-Highland Poswob (2668) to Wimpus (3700)

See Paba#Pabaps_move_to_Nama.

Wimpus is the first state on the north slope that came to adopt an MP language; the states on the south slope and along the continental divide may or may not have retained their earlier languages. It borders Gala language territory and may be somewhat similar.

  1. The fricatives gʷ hʷ ž shifted to w f y. The sequence /gy/ also shifted, but note that this was only present due to analogical shifts and that it had been originally a simple /y/ in Gold.
  2. The labialized nasals mʷ ŋʷ merged as m. Thus labialization was defeated. The sequence /nw/ remained.

Proto-Highland Poswob to Torushi

This branch, also called Plains Poswob, is nested within in the Wimpus branch, and like Russian soon spreads over an enormous amount of territory. However, also like Russian, it does not completely replace the previous languages because its speakers have a low population density. Torushi may be later driven out by the closely related Yeisu Kasu, or its speakers may instead absorb those of Yeisu Kasu. In either case, the speakers of Torushian languages are assumed to be the aboriginals of their territory by later settlers, and not distinguished from Repilians.

The name comes from the capital of the state of Nama, which was in the extreme north, far from the population center of Nama, but near the center of the territory that Nama had ruled when it had been much larger. Torushian languages spread through Nama as Nama's power declined, but the Torushi speakers were not the primary conquerors; they were simply the northernmost of the many troops, and therefore they came to be seen as aboriginals.

Torushian languages adopted many of the hyper-feministic characteristics of the Repilian languages, such as requiring male speakers to use evidential morphemes when using any words belonging to any of the feminine genders. They include Neo-Sakhi, the language that the defeated Sakhi nation adopted after their women switched sides and surrendered to Repilia. This is consistent with the observation that the Repilians and the later Poswob settlers spoke languages that seemed curiously similar despite their peoples having supposedly been separated for more than 15000 years.

  1. > k.
  2. All ʕ and unstressed g shifted to Ø. At this point, g~Ø~k~š all alternated grammatically, as did p~m~t~l.

Thus the consonant inventory was

Bilabials:        p   m   f   w           
Alveolars:        t   n   s   l   
Postalveolars:            š   y                                  
Velars:           k   ŋ   h   g   

There were four vowels, and the diphthongs /ai əi au əu/. The original Gold tone system (à/ă/ā) was still preserved, and just as in Gold, the schwa only occurred on the low tone.

Proto-Highland Poswob to Qoqendoq Mumba

Despite its name, the Highland Poswobs also settled the lowlands of the coast of Qoqendoq, where they met up with distantly related Macro-Thaoans and also some aboriginals.

Proto-Highland Poswob to High School Pabappa

See Paba#Paba_finds_a_purpose.

These languages are spoken on the south slopes of Nama's mountains, but may not have fullly replaced paleo-Pabappa. It is the language spoken in the alpine religious academy (hence "high school") of Pilifala.


Shortly after the famine of 2543, Pabap sailors settled the icebound peninsula of Plumbiam.

Gold (1900) to Proto-Soap (2412)

This is the language of a people who settled in the area that later became Blop; at the time of first settlement, the lake was dammed by glaciers and the climate was hot in summer but very cold in winter. Many Subumpamese people also moved here, and it is possible that their languages are preserved in this area after being wiped out in their original homeland in the late 2600's.

Note that the sound changes listed here might become incorrect, as they are not linked to the template at Babakiam/Sound changes.

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
  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. In initial position, the labialized coronals tʷ dʷ nʷ shifted to t d n.

The Soapies survive for at least 1300 years. Their language may be passed down to the Raspara, but the primary Raspara language was from the Meromo branch of Kava.

Neo-Repilian languages

It is possible that some Repilian tribes in the highlands of Nama converted to speaking Gold when the Naman capital territory did, and that they then lost contact when Nama declined and therefore split into various tribal languages once again. If so, these could be considered to be a branch coordinate with Highland Poswa.

Cosmopolitan Play languages

See Cosmopolitan Play languages.

Proto-Gold to Yeisu Kasu

Note that the sound changes listed here might be incorrect, as they are not linked to the template at Babakiam/Sound changes. This language may not even exist.

  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, 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).

Yeisu Kasu (3100) to Mevumep (4100)

Spoken in Mevumep.


Thus the language now had the consonants

Bilabials:      p   ṗ   b   m   f   β   w
Alveolars:      t       d   n   s   z
Palataloids:    č       ǯ           ž   y
Velars:         k   ḳ   ġ   ŋ   h   g
Pharyngeals:                    ħ   ʕ

Voiced stops had an odd distribution, occuring almost entirely in word-initial position. Word-internally, the contrast was not between voiced and voiceless stops but between single and double voiceless ones. These two contrasts were not related to each other, but loans from Babakiam into CV languages often treated the single voiceless stops as voiced stops in intervocalic position.

There may have also been a marginal /š/ and /x/.

  1. Inherited schwa comes to be spelled ə. (A spelling change to distinguish it from IPA /e/).
  2. The inherited voiced spread bilabial fricative β shifted to v.
  3. The voiceless ejective stops ṗ ḳ became plain voiced stops b ġ between vowels or after a nasal. The voiced velar stop /ġ/ was not contrastive with the voiced velar fricative /g/, however, because they occurred in complementary environments. Therefore, in some word roots, they merged.
  4. Vowel sequences collapse: ài àu became ē ō, and əi əu become ī ū. Likewise, ăi ău became ĕ ŏ; there was no fourth set because all diphthongs containing schwa had been moved to the low tone during the changes of the parent language. The sequences ăa əa shift to ă.
    This relies on the idea that a short rising tone is likely to become low, and a short falling tone is likely to become high.
  5. Further collapse: àə ìə ùə əə shifted to ā ī ū ə̄. (Nasal?)
  6. The voiceless fricatives f þ s h ħ became v d z g Ø between vowels. This also removes ʕ.
  7. The clusters sf ss sh became the single consonants f s h. (Note the lack of */sþ/ and */sħ/ inherited from the parent language.)
  8. The voiced fricative g became v adjacent to a labial vowel in either direction.
  9. The voiced fricatives d z g became ž adjacent to a palatal vowel in either direction.
  10. The voiced stops d ġ became the approximants r g unconditionally (not just intervocalically).
  11. The voiceless stops p t č k became the voiced stops b d ǯ ġ intervocalically. This shift was ignored in compounds because the only compounds in which it could occur were those which also had a grammatical alternant form with a doubled stop, which did not undergo the shift.
  12. The voiceless ejective stop became p before another stop.
  13. The clusters pp pt ps pk changed to p t c k unconditionally. These could not occur after a breve tone.
  14. The voiced velar fricative g disappeared between vowels.
  15. The clusters mb nd ŋġ became mm nn ŋŋ.
  16. The voiced velar stops ǯ ġ became ž g unconditionally. /d/ was also a fricative in some environments, but this was not a phonemic contrast.
  17. The clusters mp nt nč ŋk became mb nd nǯ ŋg.
  18. The voiceless fricative s disappeared before any stop or nasal.

Yeisu Kasu (3100) to LSL (~3700)

This assumes that there is yet another importation of slaves, in this case from Paba to Tarise, which was at the time under the control of the Leapers. The Leapers also interfaced with free Pabaps, however, and it is not clear how the two groups of Pabaps would see each other. It is possible that the Leapers simply taught their slaves to speak Leaper, but this was the language of world diplomacy and the Leapers might not have trusted their slaves with knowledge of that language. Slave operations traditionally had involved the use of separate languages for slaves to wall them off from society.

Pēles and Oyster are probably both gone by this point, so would not likely be the basis for a slave language.

Alternatively, the slave language might be of the Tropical Rim or Tarise family, as these languages would have been well-known to the Leapers but not to Pabaps who might want to free the slaves; this assumes that the other tribes in the area would not also want to free the slaves, however.

East of Paba

In Greater Paba, several languages split off. Arbitrary cutoff points at about 6500, 7000, and 7414 AD were given in an early sketch, as well as one very late split that affected only "Andanese Pabappa".

All of these daughter languages underwent the same medial vowel syncope that Pabappa did. If there are any languages anywhere without syncope, they can only have been forks of Poswa, whose vowel syncope occurred around 1,300 years later than Pabappa's.

Baba at 6000

When Pabappa and Poswa split apart, the phonology had changed only slightly from the original language nearly 2,000 years earlier.

The consonant inventory was

                         PLAIN                        LABIALIZED                    PALATALIZED
Bilabials:               p   b   m   f   v  (Ø)       pʷ  bʷ  mʷ  fʷ  vʷ  w                     fʲ
Alveolars:               t       n   s       l        tʷ      nʷ  sʷ      lʷ        tʲ      nʲ
Postalveolars:                       š   ž                        šʷ  žʷ         
Velars:                  k       ŋ           r        kʷ      ŋʷ          rʷ        kʲ

And the vowels /a e i o u ə/. There was no vowel length. The palatalized and labialized consonants could occur only before a vowel, and thus can be analyzed as sequences.

Pabappa at 6500

Pabappa began changing rapidly after it broke off. At 6500 AD, Pabappa's phonology was

                  PLAIN                        LABIALIZED 
Labials:          p   b   m   f   v  (Ø)       pʷ  bʷ       fʷ  vʷ  w
Alveolars:        t       n   s   z   l        tʷ           sʷ  zʷ
Velars:           k   ġ       h       r        kʷ  ġʷ         

And the six vowels /a e i o u ə/.

The inherited labialized consonants had disappeared, but a new distinction quickly appeared in the coda and in a few rare initial clusters. Thus, there is no continuity between the old and new labialized consonants. /v/ may have been dental (IPA /ð/), but note that the shift of /nʲ/ > /ð/, which was an intermediate step on the way to /v/ in Poswa, did not happen here.

There were no longer any postalveolar consonants, but the velars /k ġ/ were allophonically [č ǯ] before an /i/ of any origin. (Some of these had arisen from palatalization, but others were directly inherited.)

The glottal fricative /h/ was found only in word-initial position; even in compounds it was replaced by /s/.

There were still many clusters, including /pr pl br bl/ in both medial and initial position, and /ps ts pf bv/ in medial position only. Other medial clusters included geminates and nasal+stop combinations.

Rare clusters

An allophonic [d] occurred as the first element in the clusters /tb tġ/. This cluster was resolved in many different ways in the daughter languages. Pabappa shifted it to /tt/ (as if from /dd/), while others show reflexes of /dw/, /bb/, and /řb/.

An allophonic [ŋ] occurred in the rare clusters gg gk gr, which, though spelled with the glyph for /g/, could also be analyzed as /ng nk nr/.

Pespimbesa (Pabappa at 7000)

Alternate names: Pespimbesa

At 7000 AD, Pabappa's phonology would have been

Labials:       p   b   m           w
Alveolars:     t   d   n   s       l
Postalveolars:             š   ž
Dorsals:                   h       r

And the vowels /a e i o u/.

Wet syllables

Very rare word-initial pš- ps- had reappeared, unrelated to the inherited clusters which had shifted to h s. These appeared only in words related to sleep because they had arisen only from sequences of earlier /sə/ "sleep" plus a word beginning in a voiceless fricative. The process was similar to that which had occurred in Khulls thousands of years earlier, whereby words that had come to consist of just a single consonant were prepended to established words, many of which had become homophones, to disambiguate their meanings.

Note that the reflexes of /səs-/ and /səš-/ are both ps-; the /pš/ prefix comes from earlier /sək/, where /k/ had become a voiceless fricative in the interim. This is why some words with inherited initial /h-/ (from primordial /š-/ and /pš-/) come to unexpectedly have ps- in Pespimbesa. It is mere coincidence that /ps-/ would have been the expected reflex if the primordial /pš-/ had behaved "normally".

This shift only occurred before fricatives. Thus, the 6000-AD word /səbaka/ "sleep flower" did not produce a form like *ppaka here; instead the word is sopša.

Although this shift took place before some of the sister languages split with standard Pabappa, standard Pabappa shows no evidence of words beginning with /ps- pš-/ at this stage because all such words were eventually either discarded or analogized to begin with /pis-/ instead. This is because of a preexisting /ps~pis/ alternation that occurred only word-internally, where vowel syncope sometimes happened and sometimes did not.

Pespimbesa (7000) to Hide in the Pines (8773)

  1. The voiced stops b d shifted to p t in word-initial position.
  2. The geminate bb became pp.
  3. The clusters pr tr merged as k; meanwhile br dr merged as ġ.

Pespimbesa (7000) to A Perfect Fit (8773)

  1. The clusters pr tr shifted to ph th.

It is possible that /th/ could occur in initial position if another proto-form can be found, but /tr/ was only found medially.

Words with initial r- evolved alternate forms with ph- here, and this spread analogically to some words that had had initial h-, which had otherwise evolved into /ps/.

Middle Pabappa (7286)

Alternate names: Papafa, Middle Pabappa

At around 7286 AD, the phonology was

Labials:       p   m   f   v   w
Alveolars:     t   n   s       l
Dorsals:               h       r

This is also the phonology in 7414 AD when Poswobs recontacted the Pabaps.

There were still no standard words with internal /h/, but some speakers formed compounds that no longer respected the historical shift to /s/ in medial position.

Daughter languages would be spoken in territory that had not yet broken from the speech community in Paba, and possibly also in cities resettled by sailors from Paba.

Middle Pabappa grammar

There may still have been many irregular nouns like vunor "dream", genitive vupos. Standard Pabappa regularized all of these over the next 1,500 years.

final -e

Because final /-e/ had been lost by this point, it is possible that all nouns have been analogized so that consonants no longer alternate when attaching the possessive suffixes, except for a few irregulars as above. For example, standard Pabappa has ponti for both "money" and "her money", even though the inherited paradigm would have yielded ponti~*ponsi because there was never a padding vowel in this word and therefore the consonants were affected by the inflections.

In the year 7000, the final -e was still present, and analogy of this sort would be unlikely. It is possible that the analogy took a long time to spread, however, and so Middle Pabappa would likely have had a mixed system where some words had been analogized but most had not. Those with final -e would almost all be analogized since they were the source of the same-consonant paradigm.

Middle Pabappa (7286) to Silly Bill (8773)

There was no word-final /e/; the word-final vowels were /a i u/ with a few double /o/ words like /poto/ that resisted the shift.

  1. The cluster ŋr shifted to ŋġ. This was the only /g/ in the language, so it was still written with the glyph for /r/. The /ŋ/ was not phonemic either.
  2. The clusters pf tp tf shifted to ph th th.
  3. The sequences ar or ur shifted to ā ō ū.
  4. The sequences el il shifted to ē ī. The rare sequence ei also became ē.
  5. The clusters pr mr mpr shifted to pw mw mw.
  6. Geminates in wholly unstressed syllables became singletons.
  7. In word-initial position, the sequences he hi shifted to se si.
  8. All remaining f v shifted to h b.
  9. Word-final long vowels became short.

The final phoneme inventory was

Labials:       pʰ  p   b   m   w
Alveolars:     tʰ  t       n   l   s
Dorsals:                       r   h

As in standard Pabappa, there were no dorsal stops. And like Pabappa, the /r/ consonant was a velar/uvular approximant. But Silly Bill had retained and even expanded the range of its /h/ phoneme, which came to be seen as the voiceless counterpart of /r/.


Because Babakiam was already spoken throughout the whole of greater Paba in 4268, these languages need not have sprung out from Paba in a wave or tree model. Rather, a more comparable situation may be that of Romance, where three or more branches diverge at the exact same time.

There was no particular event that occurred around 6500 AD that led to Pabappa breaking up. There seems to have been strong national cohesion at least up until around the year 6000, however, as the Poswob people remained part of Pabappa's speech area for 450 years after their secession. It could thus be that the centralization of the state declined and the branches began to break up.

By 6800 the highlands were occupied by speakers of Icecap Moonshine.