Thaoa

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Thaoa is a language, descended from the Gold language and spoken in southeastern Rilola and many islands. The formal date of separation from the other dialects of Gold is 1085, the date that the rulers of Thaoa seceded politically and became hostile to their western neighbors. Classical Thaoa was spoken around the year 2668.

Pre-Gold (1085) to Thaoa (2668)

Initial consonant 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 vowels were

Short vowels:          a  e  i  o  u  ə
Long vowels:           ā  ē  ī  ō  ū 
Falling diphthongs:      ae ei ao ou 
                            əi    əu


  1. High tone developed into the glottal stop ʔ at end of syllable. Thus, tones were eliminated.
  2. The voiceless stops p t k ḳ shifted to the aspirated stops ph th kh kh in initial position. All were asps.
  3. The voiced stops b d ġ became the voiceless stops p t k in initial position. In the same environment, the voiced fricatives v g ʕ became f x h.
  4. The diphthongs əi əu shifted to oi eu.
  5. ALL LONG VOWELS WERE DELETED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It is possible that the longs could survive, since there are some gaps in the distribution of the long vowels that arise later. For example, voiced stops cannot occur after long vowels because of the shift of ʔb ʔd ʔǯ > p t č.
  6. mh nh ŋh > mph nth ŋkh.
  7. bh dh gh > ph th kh.
  8. Clusters like kʰn (in tʰikʰnan "vomit") become all voiceless and aspirated --- so tʰikʰtʰan (or tʰiktʰan), etc.
    NOTE ON POLITICS: Most Andanese words entered around this time.
  9. The semivowels y w became t p between a voiceless stop and a vowel; thus word-initial clusters were created.
  10. The semivowels y w became s f between an aspirated stop and a vowel.
  11. The semivowels y w became d b between a voiced stop and a vowel.
  12. The semivowels y w became š f between a voiceless fricative and a vowel. Then, fricatives disappeared before /š/.
  13. The sequences vy ly gy merged as z. Then, hw vw gw shifted to f v.
  14. The labialized nasals mʷ nʷ ŋʷ merged as mm. Then, any nasal followed by a /j/ shifted to ň .
  15. The sequence ʔh (only in Andanese loanwords) shifted to qh.
  16. The sequences tp db shifted to pp bb.
  17. The sequences kp kt (unaspirated) shifted to simple p t. Then, ks (phonemically /kʰs/) shifted to s.
  18. Word-initial geminates simplified to singles; however, in most words, classifier prefixes were retained and therefore root-initial geminates, most commonly /pp bb mm/, still appeared. Likewise, /kf/ and /kš/ remained.
  19. The voiced consonants b d ǯ v g shifted to p t č f x if preceded by a voiceless consonant, even if over a vowel. This entails /ʔb ʔd ʔǯ/ > /ʔp ʔt ʔč/.
  20. Final ʔ > long vowel.

Thus the final phonology of Thaoa was

Labials:        pʰ   p   b   m   f   v   w
Alveolars:      tʰ   t   d   n   s   z   l
Palataloids:         č   ǯ   ň           y
Velars:         kʰ   k       ŋ   x   g
Postvelars:     qʰ               h

The deaspiration similar to Grassman's Law had not taken place yet.

Orthography

Thaoa was primarily written with the ornate Andanese syllabary, despite it being poorly suited to the language. However, Thaoans had retained the usage of their inherited Gold language alphabet, and this was more common especially in the northern dialects that became Sakhi and had little Andanese influence. As in the parent language, vowels and consonants were considered to belong to two different alphabets, and either of them could be placed first, but consonants were more commonly found first.

Letter order for consonants

 l  j  h  k  kʰ ŋ  p  pʰ m  t  tʰ  n  s  x  š  b  ž  č  ň  ʔ


(etymology of above:

ʕ  l  j  h  ḳ  k  ŋ     p  m     t  w  n  hʷ g  s  d  ġ  b  z  č  ǯ
   l  j  h  k  kʰ ŋ  p  pʰ m  t  tʰ    n  s  x  š        b  ž  č  ň  ʔ
)

Letter order for vowels

a i u y e o

Culture and history

See here.

Thaoa's people believed in racial separation based on climate and vegetation. They classified themselves as cold people, and despite being south of 30N, Thaoa's vegetation consisted mostly of boreal species such as pine trees. This was because they were cut off by the Gold Sea from the equatorial latitudes but had glaciers in the mountains not far to the north.

The Thaoans declared a racial war against all Repilian peoples, saying that the Thaoans were destined to rule all cold climates. They promised never to waste their time with diplomacy and ordered their army to kill all Repilians on sight. However, they wanted to grow slowly, and therefore allowed Repilians who fled further north to live in peace.

Beneath the Repilians, the Thaoans placed the Zenith people, and offered awards for men who killed the Zeniths, who were often better fighters than the Repilians.

Andanic habitation

Large scale immigration of Andanese people began in the year 1848. Thus, there is an East Andanic family. Thaoa's government was unable to stop the Andanese migrations, and the Andanese became a permanent minority in Thaoa's society. The Andanese lived on the edge of society, and in such poor conditions that the Thaoan army could not withstand the long camping excursions necessary to reach them. Yet Andanese people led raids of Thaoan towns that the Thaoans could not predict or protect themselves from.

The Thaoans came to refer to the Andanese people as Vampires, and the Vampires accepted that name.

Oyster War

When Thaoa lost the Oyster War, they came to be occupied by a Merari military elite, and the Merar promised that they would never leave. Thaoa persisted as an underclass language, but the rulers retained Merar and also learned the language of Paba, which by that time was a branch of Gold that later became Babakiam.

Notes