Proto-Midrean

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Proto-Midrean is the (intrafictionally) reconstruced common ancestor of the Midrean language family constructed by Jörg Rhiemeier.

In a family like Midrean, reconstruction is more difficult than in such families as Indo-European due to the great time depth (about 7,000 to 8,000 years, if one assumes that Proto-Midrean was the language of the Linearbandkeramik culture) and the lack of ancient written records. Also, the family consists only of a few very small and poorly studied languages. There are not many good cognate sets and often, only the roots match while the stem-forming suffixes differ.

Phonology

Consonants

  Labial Dental Sibilants Palatal Velar Glottal
Front Mid Back
Stops and
affricates
Voiceless *p *t *c   *k  
"Emphatic" *p' *t' *c' *ć' *č'   *k'  
Voiced *b *d *dz *dź *dž   *g  
Fricatives Voiceless     *s     *h
Voiced     *z      
Nasals *m *n            
Laterals   *l            
Rhotics   *r            
Semivowels *w         *j    

The exact quality of the "emphatic" stops is hard to ascertain. In both Midori and Kreluri, they have merged with the voiceless stops; in the Nonian languages, their reflexes vary, while in Trypillian they are pharyngealized.

Consonant clusters

In a syllable onset, a stop or affricate may be followed by a liquid (*l, *r). Any consonant except a labial may be followed by *w (possibly, these were labialized consonants rather than clusters). A stop/affricate+liquid cluster may also be followed by *w.

In a syllable coda, no clusters may appear.

Vowels

  Front Central Back
High *i   *u
Mid *e  
Low   *a  

The vowel *e may have been [ə]. The vowel *o appears to have been missing.

Morphology

Proto-Midrean is reconstructed as a head-final agglutinating language. The morphosyntactic alignment is split: in clauses with a perfective verb, case marking is ergative, in clauses with an imperfective verb, it is accusative. Verb inflection, however, always follows an accusative pattern.

Nouns

Nouns are inflected for case and number. The cases are nominative, genitive and dative. The genitive also functions as an ergative in clauses with a perfective verb, while the dative also functions as an accusative in clauses with an imperfective verb. Further case relationships are expressed by postpositions, which govern either the genitive or the dative case. The numbers are singular and plural.

The paradigm is thus (example word: *midre 'person'):

  Singular Plural
Nominative *midre *midreta
Genitive *midreśi *midretaśi
Dative *midresa *midretasa

Adjectives

(to be done)

Verbs

(to be done)

Syntax

(to be done)