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Proto-Taremba is the reconstructed ancestor of the Taremba language family, which includes Classical Kasshian.


When Kasshian linguists first began to study languages related to Classical Kasshian, they did not initially give a name to the family or the ancestral language. Related languages were simply referred to as wafsagachii wafnestuçasai ("related languages"). Sometimes the whole group was collectively referred to as the "Kasshi family". Once work began on reconstructing the ancestor itself, the term waskachi wachika ("old language") was used, eventually translated into the protolanguage itself as tara Táremba tobán. Táremba was then used for the family itself.



Bilabial Labiodental Dental Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Stop Prenasalized mb nd ŋg
Voiced b d g
Voiceless t k q
Nasal m n ŋ
Fricative Voiced v z
Voiceless f s h
Aproximates r y
Laterals l

/j/ was a highly restricted phoneme. It only occurred word-initially preceding /a/.


Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e ə o
Low a


Syllables were more restricted than in Classical Kasshian. Syllables could start with:

  • Any vowel
  • Any consonant
  • A stop followed by an l or r

Syllables could end with

  • Any nasal
  • Any voiceless fricative
  • L or R

In addition, no word could have more than one prenasalized stop or one voiced stop.


Any syllable could be stressed. The stressed syllable was indicated with an acute.


Nouns took number and case suffixes, and noun phrases were preceded by article-like classifiers, traditionally referred to as genders based on how they developed in most descendants. The gender markers agreed with the noun in number and case.


The "gender" system of Proto-Taremba was actually a classifier system. There is some uncertainty over the exact number, as some classifiers may have disappeared from all descendants before they were written, and some branches may have created new classifiers. The most common reconstruction contains 39 classifiers, on the assumption that, with the exception of gender III in the Kasshian languages, no new classifiers/genders were developed after the protolanguage began to breakup. Most linguists believe that by that point, classifiers had already become obligatory for all nouns. The classifiers are believed to have been derived from free nouns, in some cases phonetically simplified. A few had no clear cognate, most likely because the source word was lost by this point. There was no system of gender agreement in Proto-Taremba. These classifiers were placed before nouns, after numbers and demonstratives but before any other adjectives. They could also be used as pronouns. The classifiers took the same case and number suffixes as the nouns.

Classifier Presumed origin Use Kasshian
bəra mbərá (thing) Generic tangible nouns
bihu mbihú (uninhabited place[n 1]) Places
bite mbisté (lump) Irregularly-shaped objects, mass nouns VII
bitu bíftu (shape) Spatial relationships, shapes
dake odáske (swarm) Swarming creatures
daza ndázətə (root) Beginnings, sources, origins
era erá (star) Celestial objects
hasna tuhásnə (box) Containers
hatu quháftu (sword) Violence
heka héka (fish) Fish
hevo tuhévo (tail) Generic animal classifier
hitu hikaŋgətú (rock) Hard objects
hona kahóna (handle) Instruments and tools VIII
isa yasági (clothing) Coverings
karə efkárə (book, scroll) Long, narrow, objects
katə bikátə (wing) Birds XII[n 2]
kira kərágənos? (body) body parts
kita kíltas (beast of burden) Domesticated animals IV
kodi kódiŋgəte (thought) Emotions, mental states/actions
kula kuláta (house) Groups of humans, buildings, trade, objects used in trade, interpersonal relationships XI[n 2]
laŋes yalaŋés (idea) Concepts, abstractions, generic non-physical
lase laséte (prayer) Sacred objects, religious practices, religion X
makis maqís (leaf) Plants
mase agəmáses (cart) Vehicles
nade ndáde (change) Change of state
nako nakósə (man) Male human II
nano nálo (fruit[n 3]) Food
nika maníka (ball) Round objects
ŋuhas teŋuhás (hear) Sounds
quha qúha (burn) Water and fire VI
raka ráqə (grain of sand) Small objects, objects that come in large numbers
raza raqəzás (day) Events, time
rəba rəblá (strength) Large animals V
sagan sáŋgən (sky) Weather phenomena
tara tárba (word) Words, languages, grammatical concepts, etc.
teba [n 4] Female human I
tokan trokám (glory) Deities, supernatural beings, spiritual concepts IX
zega dazéŋga (shadow) Physical states
zəde ŋəzəndé (table) Objects with flat surfaces
  1. Presumably originally just "place"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Old Kasshian
  3. Thought to have originally been more generally "food"
  4. Unknown, probably a word that had been lost by the Proto-Taremba stage


Proto-Tareba had four numbers, singular, dual, paucal, and plural, with the following suffixes:

  • Dual: -li
  • Paucal: -(ə)f
  • Plural: -na

-li and -na became -l and -n after vowel-final classifiers


  • Topic: -la[1]
  • Patient: -he
  • Agent: -arə, -ka
    • -arə was used on nouns and adjectives, -ka on pronouns and articles
  • Genitive: -afə
  • Dative: -azə


These postpositions had case-like functions. In the earliest form of the language, they are believed to have been placed at the end of the entire noun-phrase, later becoming clitics on the head noun. The nouns would be in various cases:

  • Patient
    • Commitative: ran
    • Locative: qavə
    • Inessive: ka
    • Circumlocative: nde
  • Genitive
    • Ablative: ta
    • Circumablative: ŋgos
  • Dative
    • Allative: sə
    • Illative: mba
    • Perillative: mbaba
    • Circumallative: ma
    • Circumperlative: mama
    • Benefactive: ŋa
  • Ergative
    • Perlative: ne
    • Elative: ndu
    • Instrumental: li



Personal Clitics

These were prefixed either to verb or the auxilary.

Singular Dual Paucal Plural
(later qo-)
lopə taqe ne
2nd fen feni fenəf fana
3rd sapient[2] tas tehi taf tan
3rd non-sapient li ləf ləna


  • ko-

This was attached immediately to the beginning of the verb-phrase



Trigger in Proto-Tareba was a voice-like system that dictated the role of the topic (marked by -la)

  • Agent: so-
  • Patient: qə-
  • Allative: sar-
  • Ablative: ta-
  • Locative: qavə-
  • Benefactive: na-


  • Past: fa-
  • Future: naqe-


  • If: ve(h)-
  • Counter-factual: gula-
  • Then: hos-


Mood was suffixed to both the main verb and the aspectual auxiliary

  • Indicative: Ø
  • Irrealis: -ko
  • Imperative/hortative: -kə
  • Prohibitive: -ral


These typically followed the verb, with personal clitics attaching either to the free verb or to the auxiliary, or sometimes both.

  • Prospective: flamá
  • Inceptive: túŋgə (Also a free verb meaning "open")
  • Progressive: faqé(l) (Also a free verb meaning "go")
  • Habitual: válnas (Also a free verb menaing "walk")
  • Cessative: gará (Also a free verb meaning "close")
  • Retrospective: ŋókə (From the verb leŋókə "finish")

The lack of an auxiliary typically indicated a perfective meaning


Singular Dual Paucal Plural
1st Qo Sa əná Ti
2nd Ŋgil Ndre Ŋgíləf Ŋgílna

In addition, the gender-markers listed earlier were used as 3rd person pronouns These pronouns took the following cases

  • Nominative: no suffix
  • Accusative: -he
  • Genetive: -wa
  • Dative: -tuf
  • Postpositional: -in

Third person pronouns took null for absolutive and -ka for ergative


Proto-Taremba was strictly verb-final, with modifiers typically following their head, with the major exception of demonstratives, numbers, and genitives, which typically preceded nouns.


  1. Overrode other cases
  2. Humans and gods, whether pteranthropans would've been classified thus is unknown