Ghosts were just one of many groups.
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.
- 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/.
At least some Ghost languages border Moonshine territory, but the capital and center of population of the Ghost Empire is well within the tropics.
Interaction with Repilians and allied peoples
Lamuans were more masculine than the Poswobs and Pabaps they lived among. This was a long-standing cultural trait, but was backed by distinct physical characteristics as well. The Lamuans were originally racially diverse, because they were continuations of previously existing tribes of various origins who had all adopted the Khulls language and (mostly) the Crystal religion. But their diversity was drawn mostly from tribes who shared in common a robust body type and a tendency for men to be much taller than women.
The Lamuans saw that all around them lived people who tended to be physically frail, with men scarcely any stronger than their wives, and seemingly acceptive??? of women holding power at the highest levels of society.
The Lamuans did not allow the "effeminate" tribes they lived among to marry into their culture, and Lamuan men who married Poswob or Pabap women were expelled from Lamuan settlements and forced to live the remainder of their lives as members of the culture from which they had taken their wife.
The Lamuans referred to all of the people believed to be too effeminate as Repilians, since Repilia was near the geographical center of the effeminate peoples' homelands and because they saw the Repilians as the most effeminate people of all. This was true in the sense that nearly all of the effeminate peoples had acquired some Repilian blood due to genetic drift, but the Repilians remained as a distinct culture and considered themselves to be just one of many tribal groups in their part of the world. Nevertheless, the term Repilian, when used by Lamuans, soon came to refer to all of the tribes of people whom the Lamuans considered too effeminate.
The Lamuans understood basic genetics and they worried that if Lamuan men were allowed to indulge in their temptations to mate with the often more visually appealing Repilian women, those women would then give birth to sons that would be less masculine than their fathers. The Lamuans went so far as to imprint on their children that a female body type was unattractive, and that their women should be embarrassed if they developed secondary sex characteristics such as large breasts and wide hips as they matured into teenagers. For Lamuans, the ideal female body type was one that mixed masculine and feminine characteristics, such that they were not seen merely as "failed males", and thus retained a distinct identity of their own, but at the same time were distinct from the much more feminine women of the Repilians they lived among.
Treatment of crimes against Repilians
Although they considered Repilians to be unwelcome, they did not consider them morally inferior or subhuman. Lamuan men who wandered into Repilian settlements to have fun beating up Repilians were considered criminals by the Lamuans, and could be punished with expulsion, which would force them to live among the Repilians they had abused. However, Lamuan criminals deported into Repilian territory often found that the Repilians would refuse to punish them for their crimes, as the Repilians were worried that if they tried, they would get beat up even more badly than before.
Intertribal rape was considered a more severe crime than assault. Lamuan men who entered Repilian settlements and raped their women would be arrested when they attempted to return to their homes, since the Lamuans assumed that a Repilian woman would have no reason to lie about being raped. This was considered a crime both against the victim and against the Lamuan people's honor, since they believed that only morally depraved men would even be tempted by the more visually appealing body types of the Repilian women. Thus, such a rapist would not be imprisoned in Repilian territory, where the soft, timid Repilian people would be afraid of being subject to even more rapes, but among the Lamuans themselves, where they would be considered among the least of all prisoners and given the most painful labor to perform in prison.
Abortion was generally legal among the Repilian tribes, although many women who were rape victims chose to carry the baby to term and then raise the child as their own.
Homosexual rape was much less common, but was treated similarly. Repilian men were remarkable for their lack of embarrassment in reporting having been raped by a Lamuan man; this was due to the common cultural trait among Repilians of both sexes to see themselves as weak, and therefore equally rapable by an aggressive intruder.
However, despite the Lamuans' seeming invincibility, they were not as powerful as they often pretended. The Repilians, despite being effeminate and pacifistic, were not as physically small as the Andanese people who had been the majority thousands of years earlier; this was because the Andanese had blended with other tribes. Thus a Lamuan man wandering around a Repilian village beating people up was able to do so primarily because the Repilians were afraid of violence and typically focused on protecting themselves rather than fighting back. On the rare occasions when the Repilian victims did fight back, they often took the Lamuan intruder by surprise and often "won" in the sense that the Lamuan man chose to run away rather than risk injury. It was particularly humiliating for Lamuans to lose a fight in this manner against a Repilian woman. Such a fight was generally assumed to be attempted rape, and was punished as though it had been an actual rape.