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Zãi is a conlang created by tvk. It is a sister language to Tsani.

Internal History

The most notable features of Zãi include vowel mutations and nasalization of vowels accompanying loss of the -n coda found in the protolanguage. Unlike Tsani, Zãi retains the glottalization distinction and introduces phonemic aspirated stops, but does not distinguish between voiced and unvoiced stops. However, it does distinguish between voiced and unvoiced fricatives. It also has phonemic vowel length and pitch-accent.

Fricatives undergo the following mutations:

What would develop into [l] in Tsani becomes /r\/. What would develop into [4] becomes /4_0/. /ts/ becomes /z/.

The vowels /i/ and /U/ cause mutation of the preceding vowel:


/a/ -> /aI/ /E/ -> /i/ /o/ -> /eI/ /U/ -> /y/


/a/ -> /A/ /i/ -> /y/

It should be noted that /U/ before or after a labial consonant is realized as [u] and instead causes the following mutation:

/a/ -> /o/

The -n coda to any syllable causes nasalization of the preceding vowel and is then lost. The following replacements also occur:

/a.na/ -> /a~:/ /a.nE/ -> /a~jE/ /aI.ni/ -> /a~.i/ /a.no/ -> /a~o/ /A.nu/ -> /a~o/ /i.ni/ -> /i~:/ /eI.ni/ -> /i~:/ /y.ni/ -> /i~:/

A non-glottalized stop that is between two like vowels is aspirated. Initial /ki/ becomes /k_hi/ and initial /pu/ becomes /p_hu/. /a/ and /A/ are considered "alike", and /y/ is "alike" to both /U/ and /i/. However, /U/ and /i/ are not "alike" to each other. Palatalized stops also become aspirated. Other palatalized consonants decay into C + /i/. After this change, /iE/ becomes /E:/ and /iy/ becomes /y:/.

The main drop in pitch occurs on the stressed syllable; i.e. there is high tone before the stressed syllable, and low tone on the stressed syllable and every syllable after. The two moras of a long vowel also contrast in pitch, the first being high, and the second being low. If a long vowel occurs immediately before a stressed syllable, the stress moves to the long vowel. The first and second moras always contrast in pitch.


poni "good"

  1. poni -> peini
  2. peini -> pĩĩ.
  3. pitch is high-low.

kiyu "listen"

  1. kiju -> kyju
  2. pitch is high-low.

chiru "look"

  1. chiru -> chihru
  2. chihru -> chyhru
  3. chyhru -> tyyhru
  4. pitch is high-low-low

tlerun "not need"

  1. tlerun -> lehrun
  2. lehrun -> lehrũ
  3. pitch is high-low

sekyanuwani "was a friend"

  1. sekyanuwani -> sekyonuwaini
  2. sekyonuwaini -> sekyonuwãi
  3. sekyonuwãi -> sekhionuwãi