Ghosts were just one of many groups. This is a direct sister language of Ogili II, with no more recent non-shared common ancestor on either side, meaning that any other languages in their shared family must be either early-branching forks of Ogili or of Ghost.
Leaper (~4700 AD) to Ghost (~6000 AD)
The consonant inventory of Leaper was
Rounded bilabials: pʷ ṗʷ bʷ hʷ w Spread bilabials: p ṗ b m Alveolars: t ṭ d n s r l Postalveolars: č ǯ š ž (ł) y Velars: k ḳ ŋ x g Labiovelars: kʷ ḳʷ ġʷ xʷ gʷ Postvelars: q h ʕ Labialized postvelars: qʷ
And the vowels /a e i o u/ on six tones: à ă ā á â a͆, where the last two differ in sandhi effects only.
All five vowels are unrounded except when following a labialized consonant. Because /u/ almost always follows a labialized consonant, its unrounded form is very rare unless analyzed as /Ø/. This can be spelled /ʉ/.
A rare palatal lateral ł (IPA /ʎ/) can be added, which occurs only in environments where /y/ can also occur. Unlike the other five palatal consonants /č ǯ š ž y/, however, it is entirely of secondary origin, arising entirely from the sequence /ly/, and it cannot contrast with the sequence /ly/, even over a morpheme boundary.
- The high vowels i u, ambivalent to tone, shift to ʲɨ ɨ. Meanwhile pharyngealized î û merge as ɨ̄, and this is almost the only /ɨ/ in the language that was not preceded by a labialized consonant.
- And as such, it is possible that /ʷɨ/ is actually /ʷʉ/ from the beginning.
- The mid vowels e o, ambivalent to tone, shift to ʲʉ ʉ. Meanwhile pharyngealized ê ô merge as ʉ̄.
- The longs and phars may actually target to ā, and cause vowel harmony shifts with unstressed /o/ also moving to /a/ when this happens.
- Palatalization is lost after ejectives and if the vowel is pharyngealized. It is important that palatalization is minimized in every way possible, perhaps even being restricted to tonic syllables, because it mostly contrasts with labialization instead of with plain articulation.
- The sequence ʷɨ (on all tones) shifted to ɨ.
- The velar ejectives ḳ ḳʷ shift to uvulars q qʷ.
- There needs to be at least one environment in which they remain velar, and this spreads analogically to most unstressed syllables. Alternatively, the ejectives could shift to plain voiceless stops in unstressed positions, though it would be traditional for the language to allow at least some unstressed uvulars, so the reverse type of analogy would need to then take place.
- All voiceless stops lost their aspiration.
- The pharyngeal approximant ʕʷ shifted to ʀ.
- Possibly shift /g/ > /Ø/ here, and while ʀ still remains ʀ, it fills the fricative column rather than the approximant column. Instead, /h/ could drop.
- The ejectives ṗʷ ṗ ṭ shifted to pʷ p t.
- The voiceless fricative hʷ shifted to f.
- All syllabic consonants gained a prosthetic ɨ unless before a vowel.
- All unstressed ɨ was lost; alternatively, this rule can be united with the above and all resulting clusters declared syllabic.
- The long high tones ā á merged as ā.
- The short high tone à shifted to aʔ.
- Final glottal stops were lost.
- d > r. Note that this was a merger, since they were not in complementary distribution.
- Labialization was lost in the coda.
- Likely the voiced stops ġ ġʷ merge with g gʷ (meaning that primordial /g gʷ/ do not delete after all), with the distinction between stop and fricative being allophonic.
- Palatalized labials, if they ever existed, likely shift to plain ones.
Possibly long vowels shorten in closed syllables, but superheavy syllables were common in neighboring languages as well.
In one daughter language, palatalization of all velars occurs, with an early shift of kʷi > ćʷi, and then uvulars turn into velars. This language then shifts the mid vowel to /u/. It probably also does /r/ > /d/.
- See edit history for more information about the Lamu subgroup of the Ghosts.
At least some Ghost languages border Moonshine territory, but the capital and center of population of the Ghost Empire is well within the tropics.
Though the Ghosts were racially diverse at the time of the founding, the decline of transportation led to the concentration of power in the tropics, and thus the Ghosts by 6000 AD were a dark-skinned tribe similar in appearance to the Crystals with some traits of the aboriginals of Kxesh.
It is not clear whether the Ghosts retained any significant following in the areas of the northwest that came to represent one of the three strips of Cosmopolitan Play languages. The Ghosts had in fact been founded in this region, but the dominant powers were Baeba Swamp to the west, and the Moonshine Empire to the east.