Gala language

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Galà is a North Andanic language. Sometimes spelled Gala or Galai (exonyms). Galai is very conservative, and there is very little allophony or sandhi.


Open syllables predominate overwhelmingly over (C)VC. Even so, the consonants p t k m n ŋ l all occur in the coda in a few words, and the high tone ` sometimes adds a glottal stop to the end of the syllable, depending on what follows.


Bilabials:         p   b   m        
Alveolars:         t   d   n   l   s
Palatals:                      y
Velars:            k       ŋ       h
Uvulars:           q

There is very little allophony.


Voiceless stops are weakly aspirated.

The voiceless stops p t are mostly found at word edges, and b d mostly intervocalically. Thus they are almost in complementary distribution. But distinctions still occur, such as the classifier prefix du- and word-internal voiceless stops from collapse of earlier /bəh/ and /dəh/ sequences.

The velar stop k is by far the most common stop.

The uvular stop q occurs mostly after a high tone, but in a few words, analogy has led to isolated /q/. For example, heqŏ "bass (fish)", which was transferred from a different noun class.

The voiced stops b d are often lenited to fricatives (IPA [β ð]) after a low tone.


The voiceless fricative h is not usually found after a high tone. Its pronunciation varies from velar to uvular to glottal. It is never palatalized.

The voiceless fricative s has no significant allophony. Like the /s/ of Late Andanese, it arose from contraction of earlier sequences /ti hi ki/ before vowels, and is therefore as rare as these syllable sequences once were.


The vowels are /a e i o u/ on three tones: ă, à, and ā. There is relatively little allophony. The uvular stop /q/ backs the /i/ to a central vowel, [ɨ], when occurring adjacent in either direction.



The grave tone (à è ì ò ù) indicates a short high tone. When it precedes another vowel, a glottal stop is inserted between them. All following unstressed syllables are allophonically lowered.


The breve tone (ă ĕ ĭ ŏ ŭ) indicates a short mid tone, although because it is considered to be identical to the tone of unstressed syllables, it is also called the low tone. All following unstressed syllables are allophonically lowered.


The macron tone (ā ē ī ō ū) indicates a long falling tone. The pitch begins high and ends low. All following syllables are allophonically lowered, and the last syllable preceding the macron, if there is one, is also allophonically lowered.

Galà distinguishes between the macron tone and sequences of two short vowels; òo "horse", ō "ring", hōo "cloud", and "border" all have distinct vowel sequences.

Syllable structure

Most syllables are open and hiatus is common. The clusters mp nt appear as medial voiceless alternants of /m n/ in the same manner that p t replace /b d/. This occurs in the genitive of most CVCV nouns.



The inherited classifier system is expanded slightly further by splitting of classifiers, primarily before vowel-stems, and by reanalysis of previously existing bare stems as classifier+stem compounds, producing new prefixes such as ko- "young boy". This same prefix also means "ocean" and is used in the names of fish. Galà is among the languages with the most classifiers in the world.

Case marking with classifiers

The masculine agent prefix ki- changes to hi- to mark the accusative. This, however, becomes a simple -h- before most consonant-initial stems, and since coda /h/ is not permissible, this /h/ metathesizes across the syllable boundary and creates aspirated consonants. Thus, stems beginning with b d Ø instead come to have p t h. A small number of vowel-initial stems instead shift the /h/ to -s-; these are the words which were vowel-initial even in the parent language. However, this distinction has not been inherited faithfully. Stems beginning with m n ŋ shift this to mp nt ŋk.

Climate and geography

Galà is located on the continental divide, within the highest terrain of the Hykwus Mountains, with even the lowest valleys having an elevation above 4000 feet. It shares this natural environment with the Pabap state of Blip to its east and the independent nation of Wimpus to its north.

Gala is spoken in upland Nama, for which the lingua franca is Khulls, and freely loans words from Khulls.

Despite being surrounded on all sides by nations with violent histories, Galà itself was not affected by most of these wars because of its highland location and terrain even more mountainous than those of its neighbors.


THe wind in Galà blows mostly from the south. Despite the high elevation, the climate is broadly similar to sea-level sites located a few hundred miles to the north, both in temperature and in precipitation. However, valleys can get very cold in winter, with temperatures below —30°F having been recorded in many towns, and it is in valleys where the greatest human population concentration is found. On the other hand, wind is generally calm during extremely cold winter nights, so even here the coldest weather is found in the mountains.

Relations with neighboring nations

Galà bordered Litila. The Galà word for crab was hekăba, and they referred to the crabs of Litila with this name.

Galà-Paba relations

The Pabap conquest of the state of Blip occurred during Paba's Thousand Year Peace, and thus was not conquered by force. They may have instead signed a tripartite alliance with Galà and the Repilian aboriginals in which Blip was opened to Pabap settlement as it was in a strategic military position but offered a poor natural environment for human habitation. In other words, Blip was open to anyone party to the treaty who wanted it, and as Pabaps moved in, aboriginals moved out, likely in both directions (into Paba proper and also into their still-free arctic homeland).

This also assumes Galà ēa > yā, but īa > ya. As in Japanese, the shfit fails if the second element is /e/ or /i/.