Star languages

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The Star languages are the aboriginal languages of the dark-skinned Sukuna peoples who inhabited the central tropics of the continent of Rilola prior to the arrival of the other dark-skinned tribes such as Hipatal, Pabahais, etc, as well as the blonde, light-skinned Mumba people. The most famous tribe later formed the Star Empire; however, the Stars were just one of more than a dozen such tribes; the other tribes mostly blended with the Mumba settlers whereas the Stars stayed isolated. Even the Star Empire had mostly switched to speaking the Gold language, however, so the Star languages had been nearly wiped out by the year 1900 AD and today survive only in placenames.

Phonology

A possible minimal consonant inventory is such as

Labials:       p   m            
Alveolars:     t   n       l   r
Velars:        k   ŋ   h
Vowels:        a   i   u

But it could perhaps be significantly larger.

A much larger phonology could have been present, perhaps with as much as :

Labials:           p   m   b   w
Dentals:           ṭ   ṇ   ḍ   ḷ       ṣ
Alveolars:         t   n   d   l   r   s
Postalveolars:     č   ň   ǯ   λ   ř   š
Palatals:          ć           y
Velars:            k   ŋ   ġ           h

Note the presence of a true voiced stop column, unlike almost all other languages in later times, where approximants, voiced fricatives, and voiced stops were all grouped together, usually with the velar member being a fricative and usually with no /d/.

A few "exotic" consonants might also appear, being pronounced almost the same as those listed but with effects on nearby vowels. These would merge with the others when found in certain environments where the effects were not audible.

The vowels were /a i u/, even under the maximal plan. This is morphologically significant, and the vowel inventory would likely be /a i u/ in nearly every Star language, not just the Ekwebe capital city language, and would remain so for thousands of years. However, vowel sequences occurred, including two of the same vowel in a row.

If the maximal inventory above is taken, sequences like /ny/ would be disallowed.

As indicated below under the grammar section, whatever the phonology might be, the morphology behaves as though the phonology is much larger, a trait shared with the Owl languages to the north and perhaps with the much later Moonshine which also edged into this territory.

Grammar

Star languages were SOV, like nearly all other languages of Teppala. However, the grammar of the Star languages was less fusional than most, and there were more small words in each sentence to play with.

The core vocabulary was based on biconsonantal roots, and all of the inflections (but not the derivations) were slates of vowels. Sometimes there were more than two vowels, which resulted in either a sequence of vowels or a reduplication of one of the root consonants. Also, there were consonantal prefixes and suffixes which could be considered as pseudo-allophones of these vowels, and which were written with separate letters in the Star script.

There were also pairs of consonants that stuck together, and which were forbidden to occur together when a vowel is left out. Thus /mp/ was not /m/+/p/, but rather behaved as though it were a single consonant. Most and perhaps all of these sticky sequences are homorganic.

Cultural contacts

Many Stars married into the Lenian families, meaning that in later periods, the Lenians of this area such as the Players were slightly darker than their original close kin, the Dreamers. But actually, this was primarily due to intermarriage with Andanese and not with the Star aboriginals. On the other hand, the Stars also married into Andanese families.

Notes