Repilian languages

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Use this page to see the individual language pages, as they have short, malleable, generic names that are unfit for top-level listing.

The Repilian languages were a large and internally diverse macrofamily of languages spoken across the land of Repilia, spreading across the northern half of the continent of Rilola on the planet Teppala.

The Tapilula language name for Repilia was either Yèḳi or Yèbi.

Despite their diversity, all Repilians were extremely feministic cultures, and the traits of their languages came to be seen as indicative of feminism and female empowerment.

Proto-Paleo-Repilian

See Primordial scratchpad.

This language is identical with paleo-Zenith and paleo-Andanese.

Spoken around 11000 BC; the consonant inventory was

Rounded labials:                w   hʷ mbʷ  B  
Plain bilabials:            m       
Spread bilabials:           mʲ
Rounded alveolars:      tʷ      lʷ  sʷ      rʷ         
Alveolars:              t   n   l   s  nd   r
Postalveolars:          č   ň   ł   š       ř
Palatals:               ć   ń   y   ś
Velars:                 k   ŋ  (Ø)  x
Labiovelars:            kʷ          xʷ ŋġʷ
Postvelars:                         h
 

And the vowels were /a ɜ ɨ/. Note that /ś/ is from /xʲ/, not a retention of the original.

Proto-Paleo-Repilian (11000 BC) to The Great Divorce (8000 BC)

This list of sound changes gets the language to the stage where the feminist Repilians part ways with the masculine Zeniths. The Repilians settle Kembied and thus have far more land than the Zeniths, but live at a much lower population density because Kembied is very cold.

The end time of 8000 BC is a coincidence, as they had long since lost contact with the ancestors of Tapilula. (Also, 8000 BC is a meaningless stop in Tapilula anyway, as the culture was unitary both before and after t his time.)_

If the loss of /pʷ p pʲ/ here can be equated with Tapilula's different shift, it can be pushed back to the parent language. This would mean that initial /p-/ in Tapilula has to come from /kʷ/, however, which would make it difficult to get a plain /p/ since most would be /pʷ/.

  1. The prenasalized stops mbʷ nd ŋġʷ shifted (in most cases, shifted *back*) to mm nn mm.
  2. The sequences ɜj ɨj ɜw ɨw came to be spelled ē ī ō ū. This is not a true sound change. This change also applied to sequences like /ɜkʷ/ becoming ōk(ʷ).
  3. The clusters kp kpʷ shifted to . Possibly it was /kkʷ/ but it may not matter in the long run.
  4. In clusters, the labial stop B shifted to b.
  5. Then h hʷ became Ø w. Preceding vowels were lengthened.
  6. The sequences ʷɜ ʷɨ became ʷo ʷu. The long forms probably also shifted but perhaps they broke into /ʷē ʷī/. This would help get labialized consonants to appear before all five new vowels.
  7. The vowels ɜ ɨ ɜ̄ ɨ̄ shifted to e i ē ī.
  8. The labial stops B b shifted to Ø unconditionally. Preceding vowels were lengthened, and sequences like /ūw/ were equivalent to /ū/ and /uw/.
  9. The labialized coronals tʷ sʷ lʷ rʷ shifted to kʷ f w w.
  10. The long vowels ā ē ī ō ū were shortened in closed syllables.
  11. The fricatives x xʷ shifted to h f.
  12. Probably ś shifted to š. Both might have even shifted to /y/ earlier.

At this point the consonant inventory was

Bilabials:           m   f   w   b   
Alveolars:       t   n   s   l   r    
Postalveolars:   č   ň   š   ł   ř
Palatals:        ć   ń       y
Velars:          k   ŋ   x  (Ø) 
Labiovelars:     kʷ       
Postvelars:              h

The intent is to get the vowel inventory down to just /a i u/, probably with no length contrast. The larger inventory of later Repilian languages is thus an innovation.

The large fricative inventory will need to be pared down, as proto-Repilian should have very few fricatives. It is possible that all but /s/ become voiced and thus turn into approximants, just as /p/ did.

Phonological characteristics of the modern Repilian languages

Vowels

Large vowel systems... either /aeiou/ or /aeiouə/. No tones however. The vertical vowel system expands early on in the history of the shared proto-language, yet the labialized and palatalized consonants also remain.


Consonants

Repilian languages often have multiple series of velar consonants, which affect the pronunciation of surrounding vowels. However, different consonants only appear where they are acoustically distinct in isolation. Thus, for example, there is never a distinction between a true velar-labial [w] and one that is slightly further front or back; however, distinctions of this type among stops are common.

Gender

The Repilian languages are famous for their extremely female-dominated society, and this is reflected in their grammar. Males, when allowed to speak, are forced to use longer forms of words and to avoid certain words; and males are lower on the animacy hierarchy than women and even some animals, so Repilian sentences about males are also affected. Some traits that appear in various Repilian languages are:

  1. Male speakers are required to attach evidential morphemes to every noun in a sentence, aside from their own body parts; for example, where a woman says "the book", a man must say either "the book I see" (if speaking to another male) or "the book you've shown me" (if speaking to a female). These evidential morphemes are also used by women when they are not sure what they are describing.
  2. Same as above, but applies only to objects of the feminine gender; for example, a window may be feminine, and therefore men must use the extended forms of the word when referring to it, but a chair is neuter, and therefore men are allowed to use the women's word for chair by itself.
  3. Women outrank men on the animacy hierarchy by two steps or more. Therefore, men cannot be the agents of verbs with female patients, but also cannot be the agents of verbs with patients that are small children, animals, and many other categories depending on each language.
  4. Pregnant women are a separate gender.
  5. Women and girls are two separate genders.
  6. There is a list of words that men cannot say under any circumstances, but either there is no corresponding list for women or the women's list is shorter and dependent on social status or situation.
  7. males have a closed class of verbs, like animals in Dreamlandic. Males in some languages might even have a closed class of sentences to say in some situations.

Similar traits later came to be expressed in the Icecap Moonshine language.

Contact with foreign languages

Contact with Bābākiam

Contacts with the male-dominated Swamp Kids led the Repilians into their politics, and the Repilians shifted from one alliance to another as rapidly as all of the other armies in their conflict, sometimes helping the Swamp Kids and at other times fighting them. The Swamp Kids came to call the Repilian stronghold between 32°N and 36°N Yuptaāvum.

Neo-Repilian languages

Some Repilians may have adopted the Gold language during the height of Nama's power, but then broke apart again when Nama declined and developed new dialects of Gold. These would have been considered Macro-Pabap languages, but as there were so many Repilians, they considered themselves a family fo their own.

Notes