Rajo-Faraneih Languages

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The Rajo-Faraneih Language Family is a large block of languages spread through out northwestern Lescealh which derive from Proto-Rajo-Faraneit. Because of the enormous diversity within the family, categorization is difficult, although not impossible.


Central Group

The Central Group is the most diverse of the main groups. The main reason for the grouping of these three distinct branches from PRF into one supragroup is that they all allow the existance of a phoneme /g/. Of the remaining languages, there is no /g/ and only a few examples of [g]. In other words, the split recognition of voice has been replaced by a full voiced/voiceless distinction for the plosives, and in most cases the fricative series as well.

Another principle commonality is the preservation of having a pitch-stress system (although not perfectly preserved from PRF in any case) but not a full tonality system, like the Southern Group.

The final principle commonality is the complete dissolution of the retroflex liquids from PRF, and with the creation of no alternative retroflex consonants. This, however, occurs through a variety of means.

Within this group, RF1 is known for extensive fricative deletion, as well as an extreme shift towards SVO and SOV constructions, notably deviating from the VSO dominance of PRF. Here, *l and *ɭ are preserved, yet *ɻ and *r merged, then became [ɖ] word initally, [z] between vowels, and [ɻ] in clusters.

RF2 is notable for its extensive number of vowel qualities (as many as eleven) and its preservation of the voiceless affricates in some dialects, as well as the more universal reanalysis of voiced affricates as voiced aspirates. Grammatically, RF2 is much more conservative and preserves the majority of the isolating features of PRF while maintaining the VSO word order. In this group, *ɻ also became a (usually nasal) flap, but *r deteriorated into /ʔ/ then deleted in many dialects. On the other hand, the *l - *ɭ distinction remained, but *ɭ shifted into /ɬ/

On the other hand, RF3 is rather innovative grammatically, evolving terminal mutations in relation to plurality and adjectives following the noun. It also developed SVO word order, reduced *l and *r to /ɺ/ and changed *ɭ *ɻ into /l/ and /r/, respectively, after leniting the affricate series.

Southern Group

The Southern Group contrasts with the chaotic Central Group with its extreme homogeneity. All of the three descendent languages have dissolved the partial voice distinction, instead of having a Central Group complete distinction, extreme lenition of the voiced stops and fricatives destroyed the instances of distinction. The areal influence of the indigenous Sjisia dialects is believed to have resulted in tonogenesis, in tandem with a sudden period of notable Kelsiut influence creating certain conditions aiding this process.

Original syllable terminal *w became [ɣ] or [g] dependent on language, which in turn produced low tone and high tone respectively. Contemporaneously, syllable terminal *j became [ʒ] or [ʔ] again dependent on dialect, and later deleted and produced low or high tone. The sudden formation of [g ɣ ʒ ʔ] is believed to have been the result of sudden interaction with the Kelsiut speakers, which during the time period had recently evolved phonemic /g ɣ ʒ/, even if the contrast was admittedly limited.

The deletion of these voiced phonemes producing tone is only one example from various influences of the Sjisia speakers. Originally a mere allophonic distinction, *k split into phonemes /k kp) c/ showing influence from both High Sjisia, which has phonemic /k c/, and Low Sjisia, which has phonemic /k kp)/.

There is also ample evidence of dramatic phonetic influence from the local Héhà speakers, which potentially gave areal support to the tonogenesis process due to its fairly tonal nature. In addition, the frequent preference of /ʌ/ as a middle back vowel over /o/ was directly absorbed from this group.

While showing the least tonogenesis, Tiijaato arguably shows by far the most Sjisia influence as far as phonotactics, visible from the complete adoption of a (C)V syllable structure, while the other two modern languages still maintained (C)V(C).

Grammatically, all of the languages show compromise between preserving Proto-Rajo-Faraneit and Sjisia influence. All of them are extremely similar in the notably isolating tendencies. The historical future tense has ceased usage and has been replaced with the same historically modal construction in all three. A copula form has also developed, although its use is somewhat restricted.

Another notable innovation, this time independently created, is the inchoative "voice" which appears to have been modeled from a combination of the copula form and imperfect tense.

Northern Group

The Northern Group is the most widely spoken and one of the more conservative branches of the Rajo-Faraneit Language Family. Hana and the various pieces of the Faraneit dialect spectrum are united by a variety of morphological, syntactic, and phonetic similarities.

Phonetically, this group has been prone to highly specific but extreme innovations, such as (generally) universal deletion of *ɑ and the maintenance of a voicing distinction in the alveolar and labial series, but the failure to development of one in the velar or uvular series. Notably the absolute lack of [g ɢ] was maintained by the Hana subset while the vast majority of Faraneih dialects did the same.

The two strains differ, however, in their approach the sudden increase in clusters caused by the wholesale deletion of *ɑ. Hana relied heavily on torsion, while Faraneit used both epenthetic vowels and deletion. Both strains are also notable for their unusual development of front rounded vowels (only in Kupmec and other Faraneit dialects, within the Faraneit subset), which can not be explained by areal influence, since exposure to Bokeih speakers, the Malaba speakers, and various other groups universally did not include those with either /y ø/.

Syntactically, both subsets where less conservative, although compared to the other main branches they were still lacking extreme innovation. Faraneit in particular strengthened the VSO constructions, while Hana maintained the originally more free word order, which other descendants, including Faraneit restricted more frequently. In full, however, this entire group maintained the freer word order much more readily, even within Faraneit.

Morphologically, both groups created interesting verb couplets regarding intentionality. The infix *ɑs was incorporated into a variety of verbs resulting in a number of pairs. In Faraneit, these were reanalyzed as a distinction between sensing something or sensing a certain characteristic of something. Needless to say, Faraneit failed to preserve any of the couplets aside from those for sensation verbs.

Hana, on the other hand, expanded the distinction to include several motion verbs among others, while also maintaining the distinction as one of intention-"unintention".

Both reduced to original auxilaries to verbal suffixes, ultimately resulting in highly synthetic verb forms. They differed dramatically however in terms of nominal grammar, where Faraneit preserved the extremes of isolation that Proto-Rajo-Faraneit practiced, while Hana developed some level of synthesis, although not a significant amount.

Eastern Group

The now-extinct Eastern Group contained only one language !suta, which was remarkable for developing an extreme level of vowel harmony and gaining an entire class of click consonants while maintaining a strange level of conservatism concerning grammatical innovation - maintaining the aspect-tense system almost purely from Proto-Rajo-Faraneit.

General Similarities and Patterns

Notable patterns emerge among the living descendants of Proto-Rajo-Faraneit in multiple contexts. While these languages usually adopted the phonetic qualities of more localized linguistic regions, most retained a few shared grammatical traits, which the spread of RF languages helped normalize throughout the Measceineafh and beyond. The most widespread of these is the particular mapping of the cases (or in certain languages, nearly cliticized positions that constitute pseudo-cases) to additional spatial meanings, using this system:

description exact linguistic term "typical" Indo-European language (Russian) "typical" Rajo-Faraneih language (Faraneih)
Destination (to) Lative Accusative Dative
Origin/Source (from) Venitive Genitive Ablative
Path (through/across) Perlative Dative Instrumental
Space, location (in) Locative/Inessive "Prepositional"/Locative Genitive