From Wikipedia's article on Modern Hebrew:
Long vowels occur where two identical vowels were historically separated by a pharyngeal or glottal consonant, and the first was stressed. (Where the second was stressed, the result is a sequence of two short vowels.)
This is the exact pattern that I used in Babakiam, without knowing it had occurred in the real world.
- 1 culture
- 2 Relationship to other languages
Relationship to other languages
Cultural contacts between the Pabaps and Andanese
The Andanese people were fellow immigrants from the islands of Laba. They came from a different part of Laba, and had historically not been in close contact with non-Andanese peoples in their ancient habitats and thus had not learned the concept of diplomacy and maintaining good relations with neighboring cultures.
In Paba, Andanese people practiced what they called "handful culture", meaning that anything that an Andanese person could grab with their hands and carry with them automatically became their property, and could not be taken from them by a non-Andanese person. When the Andanese heard that Paba had established a pacifistic empire with no active military, they moved en masse to Paba in order to set up parasitic colonies in Pabap cities.
Andanese culture was largely male-oriented. Andanese boys were taught from a young age how to wield a sword, and by the time they were able to write they were strong enough to defend their elderly and infirm family members from outside intruders and protect any property they had stolen from their neighbors. Andanese mothers taught their children that their duty as Andanese people was to prey on the Pabaps they lived among and to steal enough food and belongings from them to keep the Andanese people healthy and happy without them ever having to join the workforce. Andanese girls were taught that their duty was to give birth to an army of strong, aggressive Andanese boys, but that they too should know how to wield a sword and shield and take part in raids on Pabap property to remind the Pabaps that they were so weak, even Andanese women could kick them around.
For most of their history, the Pabaps appreciated that the Andanese were simply very difficult to get along with and did not seek to pacify them or try to get them to stop stealing property. Early on, a new tax was enacted in order to provide Pabaps who had been victimized by an Andanese raid with new property equal in worth to what had been stolen. The Pabaps were very happy for this new law because the Andanese realized that if they did not kill their victims after stealing their belongings, the victims would soon be resupplied with even more furniture and clothes for the Andanese to draw from. Thus, violence committed by Andanese against the Pabaps soon diminished.
As the Andanese population swelled, the amount of property they could steal from Pabaps declined as a proportion of their population. Further, as time went on, Paba was increasingly crippled by invasions of its territory from enemy nations both near and far. Because of Paba's firm commitment to pacifism, they refused to fight back against any of these invasions except in indirect ways such as sending young Pabap women out to greet the enemy soldiers in the hopes that some of the enemy soldiers might fall in love with them and agree to settle down and start a family. Despite Paba's high birthrate, so many Pabaps were abducted, killed, or adopted into foreign cultures that the Andanese worried that the people they preyed on might be in danger of being completely wiped out.
Thus many Andanese decided to join the military, perversely seeking to protect the very people they abused, simply because they wanted the Pabap people to be their property only rather than splitting the spoils with all of the other parasitic invaders the Pabaps had allowed to creep around inside their borders. Because the Pabap military was pacifistic, the Andanese people were not even supplied with weapons, and were told that if they were approached by an enemy battalion their job was to run up and greet the soldiers with gifts and hope that they could make friends with their enemies. Few Andanese people were interested in this sort of war, and many joined paramilitary organizations that pledged allegiance not to Paba but to the interests of the Andanese people and the protection of Andanese property, by which they meant the Pabap people they preyed upon.
Influence of cultural contacts on language
While one might expect two cultures with such a hostile relationship to have little in common linguistically, in fact Andanese and Pabappa influenced each other greatly, and in both directions.
Cultural interactions with Thaoa
The Pabaps' relationship with Thaoa was very strained. For most of their history, the Thaoans used the Pabaps as slaves and prostitutes, and when food supplies in Thaoa ran low, Thaoans invaded Paba to carry home more slaves to replace the ones the Thaoans had eaten. For 1600 years, Paba's ruling royal family refused to fight back against Thaoa, insisting that Paba was a pacifistic empire that would only engage in economic competition with its enemies and not use its military even for self-defense. However, in 2668, after Paba was invaded by a third party claiming allegiance to Thaoa, Paba joined an invasion of Thaoa led by a multinational alliance including both historical allies and historical enemies of Paba, and since Paba was the closest empire to Thaoa, it was Pabap soldiers who did the most fighting. Although the Pabap soldiers were very poorly equipped for battle, the government of Thaoa had become so accustomed to its invincibility that their military leaders refused to believe that the war was real, and did nothing at all to resist as Paba's soldiers conquered not only Thaoa, but many nations to the east of Thaoa that the Thaoans had previously subjugated.
In the wake of their military victory, Paba decided to surrender unconditionally all of the territorial gains it had made during the war, claiming once again that they were a pacifistic empire and could not engage in military conquest under any circumstances. Before long, relations between the two empires returned to normal as Thaoan slavemasters were once again roaming the streets of Pabap cities looking for the most enticing slaves to abduct.
Relations of culture and language
Because of Thaoa's abusive relationship, Paba absorbed nearly nothing from the Thaoa language into Babakiam. The only Thaoan loanwords that appeared in Babakiam were a few obscenities and words for animals' body parts. Even the otherwise submissive Pabap royal family refused to speak to Thaoan diplomats in Thaoa; they insisted that any Thaoans entering Paba must speak to Pabaps in Babakiam.
There are a few linguistic traits shared between Babakiam and Thaoa, but most of these are also shared with third-party languages as well and can be attributed to cultural osmosis. For example, both Babakiam and Thaoa changed the Gold language labiovelar stops kʷ ḳʷ ġʷ into pure labials p p b (in Thaoa, the first sometimes became pʰ). Another trait shared by both languages is the retention of /b/ as the only voiced stop in the language. Here, again, both languages had held onto this sound as a voiced bilabial fricative before later changing it to a stop. Both languages also had only one voiced fricative, /ž/, and in both languages this sound had arisen from palatalizations of previously existing voiced sounds (both stops and fricatives). However, all of these traits were shared with minor languages spoken in the same area, and cannot be attributed to direct contact between Thaoa and Babakiam in either direction.