Proto-West Persian'

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The branch further divides into the Bustaxoid and Tsonboid languages.

Changes from Proto-Persian'

  • high vowels
    • ɪ ʊ ɪː ʊː → i u əj əw
    • ɪw ɪj ʊj → iw iː uj
  • loss of difthongs in _w
    • (ʰ)k → (ʰ)kʷ / w_
    • iw → yː
    • ew → e₂ː
    • æw → æː
    • ow → uː
    • əw → o₁ː
  • more labiovelars
    • kw → kʷ (what happens with qw?)
    • k(ʰ)uj → k(ʰ)ʷiː
    • k(ʰ)o₁ː → k(ʰ)ʷe₁ː
    • k(ʰ)ɒː → k(ʰ)ʷaː / before a coronal consonant
  • /i u/ lost initially before a single consonant; any newly initial velars occurring after /u/ labialized
  • phonation/MOA changes
    • intervocalic lenition: b d → β ð
    • intervocalic voicing: p t s ɬ k(ʷ) q χ → b d z ɮ ɡ(ʷ) ɢ ʁ
    • loss of aspiration
      • ʰp ʰt ʰk(ʷ) ʰq → p t k(ʷ) q
      • pʰ tʰ kʰ(ʷ) qʰ → ɸ θ x(ʷ) χ
      • hh → χ
    • stop clusters with a 2nd voiced member become voiced thruout
  • lo vowels
    • æ ɐ æː ɒː → a ə aː o₂ː
  • development of an initial mutation system from prefixation + partial or total elision of various function words
    • t-mutation: P → B, b d r w j → tw tr tr tw tj, aspirates (??), other consonants unaffected
    • q-mutation: (from Vq)
    • p-mutation: (from pV)
    • w-mutation: (from Vw or perhaps u) k x → gʷ xʷ, b d → β ð, P → B, other consonants unaffected (some relict cases of χ₂ → ʁ exist)
    • null mutation: (from Vh) B → P, F → P (but s, ɬ, χ₂ unaffected), h → χ, r w j → χr xʷ x, other consonants unaffected
    • m-mutation: initial /m/ occurs as syllabic; |mb mw| → /mm/, |mn md| → /nn/, |mr ml| (regularly) → /ms mɬ/

Intermediate form


p t k q
b d ɡ ɡʷ ɢ
ɸ θ s ɬ x χ h
ð z ɮ] ʁ
m n r l j w

No evidence pointing to labialized uvulars exists.

[β ð z ɮ] are best analyzable as intervocalic allophones of their unvoiced counterparts. /χ/ and /ʁ/ do contrast, tho intervocalic /χ/ occurs only in inflection and is usually somewhat longer [χˑ].

Carrying over from Proto-Persian' was the feature that both nasals could occur before just about any consonants, apparently without any POA assimilation taking place. The existence of a separate, prenasal onglide for the folloing consonant has been proposed.

Cluster/sandhi table

Color key
Plain consonant clusters; may occur morpheme-internally
Plain consonant clusters with regular subphonemic modifications
Contrast neutralization
Intermorphemic only
Intermorphemic sandhi
Interword (?) sandhi
Epenthetic /u/

K, G, X are cover symbols for dorsals /k kʷ q/, /ɡ ɡʷ ɢ/, /x xʷ χ/.

Coda →
Onset ↓
p t K h m n
ɸ N/A p β
p N/A tp Kp mp np b
b N/A db Gb m β
θ t ð
t pt qt Kt mt nt d
d bd tr Gd n ð
X pX tX tX K mX nX -
K pK tK tK mK nK G
χ2 χ (mχ) (nχ) (ʁ) Exception class from original *χ.
s N/A qs Ks hs ms ns z
ɬ N/A ql Kl ɮ
ʁ N/A ʁ
h p t K χ mh nh h
m N/A m hm m m
n N/A n hn n n
r pr tr Kr hr ms ns r
l pl ql Kl hl l
j pj tj K(ʀ)j hj mj nj j
w N/A tw K(w) hw m nw w


The short vowel inventory is /a e ə o i u/, the long vowel inventory /aː eː oː iː yː uː/. Difthongs are /aj ej əj uj/.

Two distinct types of /eː oː/ are reconstructed for PWP'. Most likely these are /eː oː/ and /ɛː ɔː/, but it remains unclear which are which. An alternate theory proposes a roundedness distinction insted with /øː ɤː/, but with little additional clarification.