Tropical Rim

From FrathWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a sprachbund comparable to the Lenian languages. It occupies the tropical rainforests of southwestern Rilola, and certain islands which intercept the islands of Lenia. Thus, if Lenia is "Polynesian ", TR may be Melanesian.

TR excludes the aboriginal Star languages and those of the Baeban macrofamily. In fact, TR is cladistically nested within the Lenian languages, even though the cultures were never united. This is because both are sprachbunds uniting people who are related but yet not each other's closest relatives.


The major languages are ordered from east to west: Amade, Fern, Pabahais, Southwest Tip; and then in order of prominence for the minor langiuages.

Tapilula (0) to Star Empire Amade (1900)

It is possible that a branch of this family ends up in Kxesh; see Gold_Empire#Migration. Despite the Stars' homeland being described as Lobexon, it is likely that most migrants were from Amade.

  1. Accented schwas surrendered their accent to the following vowel (not the same as a stress shift, because the tone also changes).
  2. The "labial" vowel ə disappeared, syllabified nearby consonants or turned to i if the nearby consonants were not possible to become syllabic. Note that it never occurred after labialized consonants. Sequences such as /kəh hək/ (that is, in either original order) collapsed to form aspirated consonants, though these behaved as clusters.
  3. Tautosyllabic vowel sequences òi ài èi converged to ē. This did not affect syllable-straddling words like /tùya/. Likewise, èu àu òu in the same environment converged to ō.
    In some cases, the result of ài may instead be a short o, due to memories of a still-active morpheme compounding process.
  4. Duplicate vowel sequences àa èe ìi òo ùu shifted to long vowels ā ē ī ō ū. But the same sequences with the opposite tone pattern did not shift.
  5. The sequences ṁg ṅg ŋ̇g shifted to ṁb ṅd ŋ̇ġ.
  6. The velar fricatives g gʷ shifted to Ø w.
  7. The labial stops p b merged as b.
  8. In a closed syllable, the stops b t d shifted to w Ø Ø and lengthened the preceding vowel. New ēw āw ōw merged as ō, while new īw ūw merged as ū.
  9. Word-final became k. Word-final h spread across the preceding vowel; in other clusters, the /h/ transposed across the syllable boundary to form an aspirated consonant. (This is a general shift that had occurred near the beginning of the history, but it needed to happen again due to compounding.)
  10. The sequences bh dh shifted to p t.
  11. The labialized consonants tʷ dʷ nʷ shifted to kʷ v m.
  12. The labial fricative f shifted to h.
  13. The velar ejective shifted to g.
  14. Before a hiatus, the short vowels u i shifted to ʷ y, creating a new set of labialized consonants. However, the palatalized consonants were not distinct from their components.
  15. The sequences tʲ nʲ dʲ lʲ shifted to č ň ž y. Then kʲ ŋʲ hʲ shifted to č ň š. Palatalized labials depalatalized.

Thus the consonant inventory was

Bilabials:        p   m       b   w
Alveolars:        t   n       d   l
Palataloids:      č   ň   š   ž   y
Velars:           k   ŋ   h   g  (Ø)
Labiovelars:      kʷ      hʷ


And the vowels were /a e i o u ā ē ī ō ū/.

NOTE: the writeups below essentially ignore all of the newly created labialized consonants, and it would make sense to try to derive shifts that weed them out as they will be much rarer than the primordial ones. How,ever some shifts, like /ʷi/ > /i/, depend on these new ones.

An alternative inventory in which labialization is considered phonemic is


                  PLAIN                    LABIALIZED
Bilabials:        p   m       b   v        pʷ  mʷ      bʷ  w
Alveolars:        t   n       d   l        tʷ  nʷ      dʷ  lʷ
Palataloids:      č   ň   š   ž   y         
Velars:           k   ŋ   h   g  (Ø)       kʷ  ŋʷ  hʷ  gʷ

Vocabulary

There are likely loanwords from Gold, Paleo-Pabappa (both slaves and free Pabaps), Tarise, and the languages to th ewest.

Morphological developments

There is just a single reflexive verb marker, hu- ~ hʷ-, corresponding to the many alternating forms of Oyster.

See Early Moonshine languages.

Star Empire Amade (1900) to proto-Feminine (2643)

The Star party takes control of Amade in the year 2643, so it is likely that the Oysters never completely wiped out the Stars' languages in this region. But note that these were not the aboriginal Star languages, but rather the ones that had been introduced by migrants in the pre-political era.

This branch may be the dialect of the all-female nation of Katalapa. It is also possible that the Crystals re-homogenize Amade's linguistic diversity when they take over, since Crystals needed to travel between nations frequently.

Note that this branch has /ʷi/.

The initial consonant inventory was

                  PLAIN                    LABIALIZED
Bilabials:        p   m       b   v        pʷ  mʷ      bʷ  w
Alveolars:        t   n       d   l        tʷ  nʷ      dʷ  lʷ
Palataloids:      č   ň   š   ž   y         
Velars:           k   ŋ   h   g  (Ø)       kʷ  ŋʷ  hʷ  gʷ

And the vowels were /a e i o u ā ē ī ō ū/.

  1. The voiceless fricatives h hʷ shifted to x h.
  2. The voiced sounds v b bʷ g shifted to f f fʷ x.
  3. The fricatives d dʷ ž shifted to r w y.
  4. Then the postalveolar fricative š shifted to s.
  5. The vowel o shifted to ʷo (phonetically /ʷa/).
  6. The mid front vowel e shifted to i, making palatalization phonemic. Thus only three vowels remained.
  7. The consonant clusters ll nn, which occurred primarily in loanwords, shifted to ḷ ṇ.
  8. The fricative shifted to .
  9. The labialized coronals tʷ nʷ sʷ lʷ shifted to kʷ ṇ hʷ ḷ.
  10. The nasals mʷ ŋʷ shifted to m̄ ŋ̄.

Thus the consonant inventory was

Rounded bilabials:     pʷ      hʷ  w       
Spread bilabials:      p   m   f           m̄
Dentals:                   ṇ       ḷ
Alveolars:             t   n   s   l   r
Palataloids:           č   ň       y
Velars:                k   ŋ   x           ŋ̄
Labiovelars:           kʷ      xʷ  
Postvelars:                    h

Star Empire Amade (1900) to proto-Masculine (2643)

Note that this branch has /ʷi/. The naming is in the intent that this is the language of the masculine Crystal nations, but realistically it is more likely that the Crystals homogenize the languages of the male and female nations because citizens of each traveled to the opposite side to find mates. Two reasons why it is difficult to assign these languages to female and male populations separately are:

  1. The Crystals may not have organized their population that way for nearly a thousand years after the evolution of these two branches of the family.
  2. It is not clear that the Crystals arose in Amade to begin with.

If this is a Crystal language at all, it must have a maturation date much later than 2643.

The initial consonant inventory was

                  PLAIN                    LABIALIZED
Bilabials:        p   m       b   v        pʷ  mʷ      bʷ  w
Alveolars:        t   n       d   l        tʷ  nʷ      dʷ  lʷ
Palataloids:      č   ň   š   ž   y         
Velars:           k   ŋ   h   g  (Ø)       kʷ  ŋʷ  hʷ  gʷ


  1. The front vowels e i shifted to ʲa ʲi.
  2. The mid back vowel o shifted to u.
  3. The voiced sounds d dʷ ž shifted to r w y.
  4. The voiceless fricatives h hʷ shifted to x h.
  5. The consonant clusters ll nn, which occurred primarily in loanwords, shifted to ḷ ṇ.
  6. The sequences tʷ lʷ nʷ shifted to ṭ ḷ ṇ.
  7. The sequence ʷi shifted to i.
    TENTATIVE
  8. The voiceless postalveolar fricative š shifted to s.
  9. The nasals mʷ ŋʷ shifted to m̄ n̄ ŋ̄.
    This language is well to the east of Pabahais, so these may be dummy sounds that later merge into /m/.

Thus the consonant inventory was

Rounded bilabials: pʷ          bʷ  w
Spread bilabials:  p   m       b   v   m̄
Dentals:           ṭ   ṇ           ḷ
Alveolars:         t   n   s   r   l
Palataloids:       č   ň           y
Velars:            k   ŋ   x   g       ŋ̄
Labiovelars:       kʷ          gʷ
Postvelars:                h


It is possible that the palataloids could be analyzed away if assuming /tia ti/ = [ča či] and /ki/ = [ki] (if /ʷi/ > /i/).

The voiceless bilabial stop /p/, and possibly certain other consonants, are very rare in citation forms, appearing only through consonant mutation as in the distantly related Andanic languages. The velar stop /k/ is affected by the same situation as /p/ but only in medial position. The hiatus changes might also be very rare since they, too, were grammatically conditioned. The language could also perform analogy in reverse and delete consonants that are etymologically justified.

United Crystal language

If the Crystals evolve a unified language from the Masculine and Feminine dialects above, it could have a consonant inventory of


Rounded bilabials: pʷ      hʷ  bʷ  w
Spread bilabials:  p   m   f   b   v   m̄
Dentals:           ṭ   ṇ           ḷ
Alveolars:         t   n   s   r   l
Palataloids:       č   ň           y
Velars:            k   ŋ   x   g       ŋ̄
Labiovelars:       kʷ      xʷ  gʷ
Postvelars:                h

And a vowel inventory of /a i u/. The sounds unique to the Masculine side of the divide are /bʷ b v g gʷ ṭ/ and for the Feminine /hʷ f xʷ/. The vowel distribution is also somewhat different, with Masculine likely using a diphthong /ai/ corresponding to no diphthong in Feminine, while Feminine has a diphthong /au/ corresponding to no diphthong in Masculine.

Alternatively, the phonology could collapse to the intersection of the two instead of the union.

A third possibility is that the expanded phonology above is merely the alphabet, and that men and women would give the letters separate pronunciations. Women would devoice men's /bʷ b v g gʷ/ to /hʷ f f x xʷ/ and read their /ṭ/ as /kʷ/. The vowels would be considerably more difficult to align, however, and the script would likely require at least five vowel symbols.

UCL to Crystal Baeba (3370)

It is unlikely that the Crystal army carried the Leaper language with them to Baeba Swamp, even though they would have spoken it fluenty. It simply was not their native language and would not have helped them even diplomatically since the Leapers were not present anywhere near Baeba at the time, and Nama was already powerless.

Star Empire Amade (1900) to Buoy (2140)

The Buoy language was a creole language incorporating words from the Lenian languages spoken by some of the Stars' slaves, even though many Buoys were actually of Star descent.

  1. The palatals ň š shifted to n s.
  2. The long vowels ē ō shifted to ī ū.
  3. The vowels e o shifted to i u.

Star Empire Amade (1900) to Central Kuhilani (2140)

This is a language for Star refugees who fled into Kuhilani. Their colonies may have created a north-south stripe of Tapilula languages, with Fern and para-Fern to the south and Blue Oyster (or possibly "Sun Country") to the north. They did not declare war on the aboriginals, but were strong enough that the aboriginals could not push them back out.

It is likely that this language is essentially identical to SEA for at least the first 200 years, and that it may not have survived much longer. If it does survive, however, it could be in the area in which TCT later settles.

Star Empire Amade to Proto-Raspara (3500)

This language will likely have lots of influence from outside, perhaps mostly from Leaper. The ancestors of the Raspara spent most of their history in Crystal territory, and it is not clear to what extent the Leaper language came to be used in their area. If the Leapers conquered Taryte, then the Raspara would be nearby. If not, they would only receive Leaper influence indirectly.

Since this is Zakap, this language may shift all unstressed vowels to /a/.

Early shifts:

  1. The labiovelars pʷ tʷ čʷ kʷ hʷ shifted to p. Then shifted to f. Any gʷ lʷ was barbered as w. The nasals mʷ nʷ ňʷ ŋʷ shifted to m. Then became b.
    Need to check the above shift, as it looks like something was left out.
  2. The voiced alveolar stop d shifted to s. It may have retained a voiced allophone of [z].


Thus the consonant inventory was


Bilabials:        p   m   f   b   w
Alveolars:        t   n   s       l
Palataloids:      č   ň   š   ž   y
Velars:           k   ŋ   h   g  (Ø)


And the vowels were /a e i o u ā ē ī ō ū/.

Area between Amade and Fernland

There is yet another stretch of territory between Amade and Fernland, probably with a low annual rainfall. Kxesh conquered this area sometime after 2200 AD, but they may or may not have driven out the languages spoken there.

The name of this territory is probably NOT Tùdia, since Tudia was further west; there was also a Šŭppa, which may or may not be the same area.

Kxesh won a war against the Stars in 1753, "but little changed on the ground"; see Star Empire.

In 2661, Kxesh invaded Amade, and may have begun their invasion from this coastal territory.


  1. The accent pattern involved in certain infixes with accented schwa switched to favor the following vowel. e.g. ăpo "field", apə̀ho "field (possessive) became /ăpo apəhò/.
  2. The "labial" vowel ə disappeared, syllabified nearby consonants or turned to i if the nearby consonants were not possible to become syllabic. Note that it never occurred after labialized consonants. Sequences such as /pəh/ collapsed to form aspirated consonants, though these behaved as clusters.
  3. Tautosyllabic vowel sequences òi ài èi converged to ē. This did not affect syllable-straddling words like /tùya/. Likewise, èu àu òu in the same environment converged to ō.
  4. Duplicate vowel sequences àa èe ìi òo ùu shifted to long vowels ā ē ī ō ū. But the same sequences with the opposite tone pattern did not shift.
  5. The sequences ṁg ṅg ŋ̇g shifted to ṁb ṅd ŋ̇ġ.
  6. The velar fricatives g gʷ shifted to Ø w.
  7. The labialized consonants tʷ dʷ nʷ shifted to kʷ gʷ ŋʷ.
  8. The labial fricative f shifted to h.
  9. The velar ejective shifted to g.
  10. The voiceless stops p t shifted to b d.
  11. The clusters bh dh lh shifted to p t s.

The consonant inventory at this point was

Labials:     p  b  m  w
Coronals:    t  d  n  l  s
Palatals:             y
Velars:      k     ŋ  g  h 
Labiovelars: kʷ    ŋʷ gʷ hʷ

And the vowels /a e i o u/ on three tones.

In an earlier writeup, the /g/'s were stops. The voiceless stops /p t/ were very rare in citation forms, mostly occurring due to consonant gradation in words with /b d/.

Tapilula to Proto-Fern (~1400)

This family went with no new hiatus at least until ~1400 AD and probably longer, and so is the most conservative of all Tapilula branches. It also is the only branch of Tapilula besides Thaoa that partly preserves distinctive aspiration, and unlike Thaoa, Proto-Fern's aspiration was reflective of the original state of the language.

Because almost all words with aspirated consonants had only one, there was no Grassmann's Law in this family. This is why the distribution of aspirates better reflects the inherited situation as compared with Thaoa.

But Grassmann's law could still be triggered by words with an aspirate and an /h/. Also, aspiration might move to the stressed syllable, e.g. /pèkʰa/ "salt" could become /pʰèka/.

Shared changes

  1. Accented schwas surrendered their accent to the following vowel (not the same as a stress shift, because the tone also changes).
  2. The "labial" vowel ə disappeared, syllabified nearby consonants or turned to i if the nearby consonants were not possible to become syllabic. Note that it never occurred after labialized consonants. Sequences such as /pəh/ collapsed to form aspirated consonants, though these behaved as clusters.
  3. Tautosyllabic vowel sequences òi ài èi converged to ē. This did not affect syllable-straddling words like /tùya/. Likewise, èu àu òu in the same environment converged to ō.
  4. Duplicate vowel sequences àa èe ìi òo ùu shifted to long vowels ā ē ī ō ū. But the same sequences with the opposite tone pattern did not shift.
  5. The sequences pg tg kg shifted to pʰ tʰ kʰ.
  6. In remaining instances of hiatus, a spurious g was introduced at least sporadically due to grammatical fluctuations between /g/ and /Ø/. It is not likely that it was introduced in all such cases, however; at least word-initial vowels were preserved.
  7. The sequences ṁg ṅg ŋ̇g shifted to ṁb ṅd ŋ̇ġ.
  8. After a high tone, the fricatives f hʷ h shifted to pʰ kʷʰ kʰ.
  9. The labialized nasals tʷ dʷ nʷ shifted to kʷ gʷ ṇ.
  10. Post-tonic aspiration skips leftward to become pretonic, at least when the preceding consonant is a stop. For example, pèkʰa > pʰèka "salt". The only posttonic aspirate was /kʰ/, so this shift always involves /kʰ/ changing to /k/. It probably also occurred for at least some other preceding consonants.
  11. Aspiration in classifier prefixes also skips forward. It is not clear if the aspiration can skip forward twice, such that it would apply in both nouns (which had initial stress) and in verbs (which had final stress). Note that there are some words which would have had initial aspirates from the FIRST shift up above where e.g. tihə --> ti-ʰ-, and these definitely did skip forward.
    IT IS POSSIBLE THAT /g/ ALSO MIGRATED.
  12. Before /u/, the labial fricative f shifted to .
  13. Remaining f shifted to h .

Thus the consonant inventory was

Bilabials:       p   ph      b   bh  m   mh  w
Dentals:                             ṇ   ṇh
Alveolars:       t   th      d   dh  n   nh  l
Palatals:                                    y
Velars:          k   kh  ḳ           ŋ   ŋh  g  (Ø)  h   
Labiovelars:     kʷ  kʷh                     gʷ      hʷ

Retention of even a fourth "K" sound, corresponding to original /ḳh/, is possible, although it would need to shift to something else very early on, because otherwise the pronunciation would be the same as /kʰ/. Note that /kʷʰ/ has a restricted distribution because it does not come from consonant gradation the way the other aspirates do.

The aspirates could be removed from the phonology if they are analyzed as clusters, though there are a few consonants that would merge.

Proto-Fern (1900) to Purple (2800)

The consonant inventory was

Bilabials:       p   ph      b   bh  m   mh  w
Dentals:                             ṇ
Alveolars:       t   th      d   dh  n   nh  l
Palatals:                                    y
Velars:          k   kh  ḳ           ŋ   ŋh  g  (Ø)  h   
Labiovelars:     kʷ  kʷh                     gʷ      hʷ
  1. The voiced aspirates bʰ dʰ shidfted to f tʰ.
  2. The labiovelars kʷ kʷʰ hʷ gʷ w shifted to p f f b Ø unconditionally. Also, /g/ may be introduced a second time to replace the hiatus, and it may be that [g] becomes the allophone of hiatus after a stressed syllable, or after a high tone.
    It may be that /w/ shifts to /b/ instead.
  3. The voiceless aspirated bilabial stop shifted to f.
  4. All voiceless aspirate sequences merged with their plain voiceless counterparts. The sequences mh nh ŋh (there was probably no /ṇh/) shifted to mp nt ŋk, as in Andanic. Voiced aspirates became voiceless as well.

THus the inventory was

Labials:         p           b   f   m    
Dentals:                             ṇ
Alveolars:       t   tʰ      d   s   n   l 
Palatals:                                y
Velars:          k   kʰ  ḳ       h   ŋ   g

This language will probabaly need more cxhanges. Medial /p t/ could shift to /b d/ at least in nouns due to analogy from consonant gradation. Since aspiration rarely occurred in word-initial syllables, some sort of reduction could also take place in word-initial position, perhaps leaving the language with only a two-way contrast between voiced and voiceless stops. On the other hand, words with non-trivial aspirates (and historically aspirated sounds such as /f/) did exist, such as "filth, disease-bearing agent".

Proto-Fern (1900) to Red Tide (2800)

The consonant inventory was

Bilabials:       p   ph      b   bh  m   mh  w
Dentals:                             ṇ
Alveolars:       t   th      d   dh  n   nh  l
Palatals:                                    y
Velars:          k   kh  ḳ           ŋ   ŋh  g  (Ø)  h   
Labiovelars:     kʷ  kʷh                     gʷ      hʷ


  1. The velars k ḳ ŋ h g shifted to t t n s d before an /i/ on any tone.
  2. The labiovelars kʷ kʷʰ hʷ gʷ shifted to k kʰ h g unconditionally.
  3. The sequence lh shifted to s.
  4. The voiced aspirates bʰ dʰ shifted to pʰ tʰ.


Thus the consonant inventory was

Bilabials:       p   pʰ       b   m   w
Dentals:                          ṇ
Alveolars:       t   tʰ       d   n   l   s
Palatals:                             y
Velars:          k   kʰ   ḳ       ŋ   g   h

Note: this writeup previously had /tʰ kʰ/ > /t k/ and the loss of aspirated nasals as well. It may have been a mistake.

The coronals /t d n s/, but not /ṇ/, are all palatalized before any /i/. No other sounds palatalize before /i/.

This language will probably need more changes.

Proto-Fern (1900) to Clementine (2800)

The consonant inventory was

Bilabials:       p   pʰ      b   bʰ  m   mʰ  w
Dentals:                             ṇ
Alveolars:       t   tʰ      d   dʰ  n   nʰ  l
Palatals:                                    y
Velars:          k   kʰ  ḳ           ŋ   ŋʰ  g  (Ø)  h   
Labiovelars:     kʷ  kʷʰ                     gʷ      hʷ
  1. The voiced alveolar stop d shifted to r.
  2. The voiceless stop p shifted to b before any vowel.
  3. The voiced aspirates bʰ dʰ shifted to f tʰ.
  4. The voiceless labials pʰ hʷ merged as f.
    This may lead to analogical replacement of original /hʷ/ with /b/ in many words, as /f/ comes to be seen as the graduated form of /b/.
  5. The lateral sequence lh shifted to s.
  6. The voiced labiovelar fricative shifted to .
  7. The labiovelars kʷ kʷʰ shifted to k kʰ.
    Probably also /w/ > /Ø/ since it was already in a very restricted distribution.


Thus the final consonant inventory was

Labials:                    b   m   w   f
Dentals:                        ṇ   ḷ
Alveolars:      t   tʰ      r   n   l   s
Palatals:                       y
Velars:         k   kʰ  ḳ   g   ŋ       h

Note: this writeup previously had /tʰ kʰ/ > /t k/ and the loss of aspirated nasals as well. It may have been a mistake.

Proto-Fern (1900) to Aspire (2800)

The consonant inventory was

Bilabials:       p   pʰ      b   bʰ  m   mʰ  w
Dentals:                             ṇ
Alveolars:       t   tʰ      d   dʰ  n   nʰ  l
Palatals:                                    y
Velars:          k   kʰ  ḳ           ŋ   ŋʰ  g  (Ø)  h   
Labiovelars:     kʷ  kʷʰ                     gʷ      hʷ

Unlike all other branches of the family, aspiration came to function as a distinctive phonation type rather than just being a cluster of a consonant plus /h/.

It may make sense to spell the aspiration with a full-size /h/, since there was no contrast between the aspirates and sequences of a plain consonant plus /h/.

  1. The sequences mh nh ŋh (there waas probably no /ṇh/) shifted to mp ntʰ ŋkʰ, but the aspirated stops remained as such. Note the lack of aspiration on /mp/.
  2. The labiovelars kʷ gʷ hʷ shifted to k w f.
    /kʷʰ/ probably also shifts to /f/, but perhaps it is /kʰ/. This could open up an analogical replacement of /hʷ/ > /k/ competing with the /hʷ/ > /p/ below.
  3. The sequence lh shifted to s.
  4. The voiceless aspirated bilabial stop shifted to f.
    This may lead to analogical replacement of original /hʷ/ with /p/ in a large number of words, but at least after a high tone some of these words would have already been fit with a /k/.
  5. The alveolar stop d shifted to r when not part of a cluster. /dʰ/ remained.
  6. The voiced aspirates bʰ dʰ shifted to b d. This ended the consonant gradation involving /b/, because unlike other languages of the family, there was never a b~p alternation to take its place. However, if the /w/ by this stage is only weakly rounded, it is possible that /b/ > /w/ and thus the alternation is preserved.

Thus the consonant inventory was

Bilabials:       p           b   m   w   f
Dentals:                         ṇ
Alveolars:       t   tʰ      d   n   l   s   r     
Palatals:                            y   
Velars:          k   kʰ  ḳ       ŋ   g   h  

Note that the voiced and voiceless aspirates effectively evolve in opposite directions: the voiceless aspirates become voiceless fricatives (at least one of them), but the voiced plain stops become voiced fricatives.

It is highly possible that there are no vowel shifts at all, and this may be true of other Fern languages as well.

Shared characteristics

The Fern languages were very conservative. Their grammar resembled the Andanic branch, even though Andanic was not closely related. This was simply because Andanic was also very conservative.

Fern is the only one of the five main branches of Tropical Rim that did not shift /p/ to /b/, and one of only two that did not shift /t/ to /d/ by around 1900 AD. Thus Proto-Fern pàto "map" and pădo "boat" correspond to bàdo and bădo in Kxesh-strip, Pabahais, and SW Tip. It is also the only major branch that did not delete primordial /g/.

There were some unetymological changes, such as /hʷ/ > /p/ or /hʷ/ > /b/, due to analogy resulting from consonant gradations. Thus, some words arrive with unexpected forms, and there is no pattern to which words change and which do not.

It is possible that all languages develop palatalization of coronals before any /i/. It could be said that velars also palatalize, but it never merges the velars with the coronal series.

These languages may borrow words from each other more often than do most other languages of the planet, and thus fill in phonemic gaps. For example, a language with /p/ and /h/ but no /pʰ/ may nonetheless borrow words with /pʰ/ intact, as they hear it as a sequence of two familiar phonemes, but a language with just /b/ may borrow /pʰ/ as /f/ or even as /b/.

It is possible that there are a few word roots that begin with prenasalized stops, if shifts like /màkʰa/ > /mʰàka/ > /mpàka/ are real. Note that these roots would still usually be padded by classifier prefixes.

Culture of Fernland

It is not clear what happened to Fernland in the period after 2200 AD. It is possible that Kxesh conquered all of Fernland, not just the eastern part where they had previously been close to Amade. It is probably no longer independent by the time of the founding of the Oyster Empire.

Pabahais

These are the languages spoken east of HP-3 ("Green Crab" etc) and west of Fernland. It is possible that the two groups butt right up on each other and that this section simply does not exist.[1]

It is unlikely that the migrants would (separately) conquer both Fernland and the Crab zone, and yet leave the area in between to the aboriginals. Thus it is likely that the migrants also settled the land in between, either cooperatively (as they were ambivalent to the politics of the wider world), or in competition with each other.

Pabahais may be the unorganized territory referred to as Tùdia in Star Empire or Gold Empire, and if so, it would likely be part of Fernland's sphere of influence rather than the Crabs. (There is also a second unorganized territory not given a name.) On the other hand, if the western migrants were able to become Oysters when they moved to Kxesh, perhaps they also became part of the Gold Empire by moving to it. Even the other Gold people would have had difficulty telling the two groups of migrants apart, as they had similar appearance and similar languages, though perhaps not similar lifestyles (one ocean-based and the other hunting-based).

Vowel hiatus, deriving from primordial /g/ > /Ø/, is probably still very frequent and may shift to something else.

Pabahais never developed consonant gradation.

There could be as many as seven Pabahais languages ... the world map shows parts of three separate nations, with seven subnational entities between them, and it is likely that these would be genuine tribal divisions rather than jurisdictional divisions within a tribe at least when they were each created. But note that the date of maturation of Pabahais is quite late, around 2100 AD, and that Pabahais speakers were settling in and wresting control of preexisting aboriginal nations from the original inhabitants. Thus it is not necessary for there to be a separate language for each original nation.

It is possible that speakers of Pabahais settled Lobexon in the late 2600's, becoming the ruling class, and were then swept out of power by the Oysters in the 3100's. Pabahais could even have been the source of the main population of Tarwas.

Pre-independence shifts

These sound changes are not transcluded and so may fall out of date. See Hipatal.


  1. The high central vowel ə shifted to match the next vowel in the word. This also included the labialization of the initial consonant; thus, for example, /təpʷu/ > /tʷupʷu/.
  2. The velar fricatives g h shifted to Ø ḥ unconditionally.
  3. The voiceless aspirated velar stop k shifted to h unconditionally. Ejectives and labialized forms were unaffected by this change.
  4. The labialized alveolars lʷ tʷ nʷ ndʷ shifted to w kʷ m mm.
  5. The vowel o shifted to a.
  6. The prenasalized labial stops mbʷ mb merged as mm.
  7. The prenasalized sequence nd shifted to nn.
  8. The labial stops p pʷ b bʷ all merged as b. This includes the creation of /mb/ from earlier /mp mpʷ/.
  9. The voiceless alveolar stop t shifted to d.

Early independent changes

These are the changes that occurred after Hipatal split and the settlers reached Pabahais.

  1. The velar stops ḳ kʷ shifted to t k.
  2. The geminate nasals mm nn came to be spelled m̄ n̄.
  3. The voiceless velar fricative became voiced to g.
  4. The voiceless velar stop k shifted to t before any /e i/. Note that it was already rare in this position. A similar change may have affected /g h/, but it is not clear that it would be phonemically significant.
  5. The cluster mb came to be spelled .

Pabahais (~2100) to ????

This assumes that Pabahais either derives from HP-3 or is an early-branching variety of it that would thus need to derive from Hipatal. Even if it does branch early, the last few sound shifts in HP-3 were likely to have occurred in both branches of the family as they involved filling gaps in the phonology. This means that they could also be interleaved with other unrelated shifts.

The front vowels /e i/ probably palatalized any preceding consonants.

The consonant inventory was

Labials:          b   m   m̄   w       b̲
Alveolars:    t   d   n   n̄   l
Palatals:                     y
Velars:       k       ŋ   ŋ̄   g   h

The vowel inventory may have been /a i u e/ or /a i u ə/. If /e/ is analyzed as /ʲa/, then the vowel inventory is just /a i u/. It is not clear if palatalization was distinct for all consonants, however.

The /mb/ character can be spelled . There is apparently no b character with a line through the body of the letter in Unicode.

  1. The voiced stops b d shift to v r unconditionally.
  2. The fortis voiced stop shifted to b.
  3. The fortis nasal shifted to .
  4. The vowel sequences uà uì uù shifted to ʷò ʷì ʷù.
    /e/ participates too if it exists.
  5. The vowel sequences ià iù shifted to ʲè ʲì.
    Remember that other vowel sequences must also be eliminated, perhaps by creating more long vowels.
  6. The labialized sequences lʷ rʷ gʷ shifted to w v.
  7. The voiceless labialized alveolar stop shifted to .
  8. The voiced velar fricative g disappeared to Ø unconditionally.
  9. Labialization was eliminated, thus phonemicizing a new /o/ vowel. (It is irrelevant whether /o/ in hiatus was still preceded by a [w] or not.)

Thus the final consonant inventory was

Labials:        b   m           v       m̄
Alveolars:      t   n   ṇ   l   r
Velars:         k   ŋ               h   ŋ̄

Since /te ti/ are [če či], all palatal sounds may simply be spelled as /ti/ + vowel, etc. Thus they are not listed here. It could also be argued that the vowel system is something like /a o u ye yi/. However, note that there is a contrast between /ki/ and /či/ which would require the separation of /i/ and /ʲi/ if not for the fact that /či/ is analyzed as /ti/ instead of /kʲi/.

Voicing is not distinctive for any sounds, but the bilabial stop b is a true stop, and is characteristically voiced while the other stops are voiceless. It is likely that they spelled their words using the glyphs for /p/, but languages which made a distinction would borrow Pabahais words with /b/ for the bilabial stop and /t k/ for the other two stops.

The fortis nasals /m̄ ŋ̄/ are unlikely to survive as such.

The syllabic nasals may have persisted throughout all this time. But since they were always analyzed as vowels, the language is entirely CV and can be written in a syllabary with less than 100 glyphs, depending on how vowel length is spelled and whether separate signs exist for each of the consonants combined with each of the syllabic nasals.

Late Pabahais to Obstacle Course

The starting time here may be around 3300 AD, very late compared to the surrounding languages. It may be that this is a second wave of expansion after the collapse of the Oyster Empire.

Labials:        b   m           v       m̄
Alveolars:      t   n   ṇ   l   r
Velars:         k   ŋ               h   ŋ̄

  1. The voiced labial sounds b v shifted to p b.

Late Pabahais to She Fell Asleep

Labials:        b   m           v       m̄
Alveolars:      t   n   ṇ   l   r
Velars:         k   ŋ               h   ŋ̄

Note that /v/ is much more common than /b/.

  1. The voiced labial fricative v shifted to b, primarily an approximant but with a stop allophone at least word-initially.

Late Pabahais to Monarchy

Labials:        b   m           v       m̄
Alveolars:      t   n   ṇ   l   r
Velars:         k   ŋ               h   ŋ̄
  1. The voiceless velar fricative h shifted to s when bordering an /i/ in either direction.
    If the language still has classifiers, this shift could lead to free variation in word-initial position.
  2. The voiced labial fricative v shifted to g.

Southwestern Tip languages

See Hipatal#HP-3.

If these languages correspond directly to the nations west of Kxesh, Fernland, and Pabahais, the maximum number of languages is five. Their territories would be somewhat larger than those of Fernland and Pabahais, perhaps explainable by a drier climate.

Note that the settlement date is very late by comparison to the families to the east.

The consonant inventory was

Labials:          b   m   m̄   w
Alveolars:    t   d   n   n̄   l
Palatals:                     y
Velars:       k       ŋ   ŋ̄   g   h

Culture

It is possible that the Blue Oysters settled in the area that much later on was home to the TCT campground for orphans. But survival of the language for such a long period of time in an empire which enforced monolingualism is unlikely. If there is any survival of the language here, it must be due to a second wave of refugees who fled to the area after the Oyster government became weaker.

HP-3 (~2600) to Green Crab

The language names of this section and below are temporary, patterned after Blue Oyster, of which at least the Oyster part of the name is canonical. It is not clear where this language is spoken other than that it is not in the Oysters' territory, which was politically united.

The consonant inventory was

Labials:          b   m   m̄   w       b̲
Alveolars:    t   d   n   n̄   l
Palatals:                     y
Velars:       k       ŋ   ŋ̄   g   h
  1. The voiced stop became a voiced velar stop ġ.
  2. The nasals m̄ n̄ ŋ̄ shifted to m ṇ ŋ.
    Either /n/ or /ṇ/ might later shift to /r/ at least conditionally; this would prevent /d/ from doing so.

The consonant inventory thus became

Labials:          b   m       w
Alveolars:    t   d   n   ṇ   l
Palatals:                     y
Velars:       k   ġ   ŋ       g   h
Culture

Even if the Blue Oyster language detailed above dies out quickly, this language should survive, because the Green Crab settlers moved to an area far out of reach of the Oysters. The Green Crab territory was a rainforest that favored small, independent settlements, and was difficult to control from outside. The Oysters likely held some control over the surrounding seas, but this too would disappear if the Oysters were to ever break ties with the ancestors of the Green Crab colonists (that is, the HP-3 settlers).

This language has hiatus, so it is unlikely for it to develop any new hiatus from e.g. /g ġ/ > /Ø g/ unless the original hiatus is first done away with.

Pejo

see pejo language.


Tarise

Though in the tropics, Tarise is included with the Trout Lakes languages. See Tarise for sound changes.

The verb markers for past tense were ki/xi/hyi/syi for 1,2,♀️,♂️. Those are for weak verbs. Passives are xi xi myi xyi zyi, where the fifth is epicene...that is, epicene was only distinct for passive verbs and in some daughters may replace the masculine. a variant masc replces both /yi/ withj /i/.


              PAST TENSE
              ACTIVE       PASSIVE
1st person     -ki         (-xi)
2nd person     -xi         (-xi)
Feminine  ♀️    -hyi         -myi
Masculine ♂️    -si~-syi     -xyi
Epicene   ♁                 -zyi

languages of Gekira

bait language

The consonant inventory was:

Rounded bilabials:                     hʷ  w
Spread bilabials:      p       m   b   f  (Ø)
Alveolars:             t       n   d       l
Rounded alveolars:     tʷ      nʷ  dʷ         
Velars:                k   ḳ   ŋ   ġ   h   g
  1. Accented schwas surrendered their accent to the following vowel (not the same as a stress shift, because the tone also changes).
  2. The "labial" vowel ə disappeared, syllabified nearby consonants or turned to i if the nearby consonants were not possible to become syllabic. Note that it never occurred after labialized consonants. Sequences such as /pəh/ collapsed to form aspirated consonants, though these behaved as clusters.
  3. Tautosyllabic vowel sequences òi ài èi converged to ē. This did not affect syllable-straddling words like /tùya/. Likewise, èu àu òu in the same environment converged to ō.
  4. Duplicate vowel sequences àa èe ìi òo ùu shifted to long vowels ā ē ī ō ū. But the same sequences with the opposite tone pattern did not shift.
  5. The sequences ṁg ṅg ŋ̇g shifted to ṁb ṅd ŋ̇ġ.

Geography and climate

All TR zones are either tropical rainforests or deserts on the border zones of other TR cultures. The northern limit was 31N, but this was reached very late and was not the occupying army's base of power. Other Tropical Rim cultures stayed south of 18N.

Shared culture and history

The Tropical Rim tribes are of diverse appearance due to their mixed ancestry.

Gold Empire

Only a few blonde Lenian people moved to this area as ordinary citizens; most Lenians in the tropics were either slaves or traders. However, sometime around 2400, a Lenian army arrived in Lobexon, an area northeast of the Tropical Rim, and slaughtered the many dark-skinned people they found there. Having won their war, they declared themselves Oysters and moved into the tropics to extend their war. They found the tribes in the tropics much hardier than their earlier adversaries, and in the end the two sides declared peace and the Lenian Oysters absorbed the tropical tribes into their empire.

Oyster Empire

The Oyster Empire contained the Tropical Rim countries and some much colder ones; internal migration within the Empire led to an increase in diversity, although the Oyster War, beginning as an ideological conflict, quickly turned into a racial war, and the Lenian Oysters fled to safety as their empire collapsed. At first, the apparent winner of the war was AlphaLeap, but unexpected events delivered the greatest gains in power to the Merari tribes who had immigrated from Paba, and the Leapers focused their attention on holding the equatorial zone.

Later history

In later years, the diversity of the population increased once more. The Crystals conquered much of the tropics and soon restructured the population so that national borders no longer corresponded to tribal identities; to some, it seemed that the Crystals' nations had more in common with corporations than with traditional nations. Leaper-controlled[2] Taryte nearly came to have a Lenian majority, and people of mixed Lenian-Merari ancestry came to dominate the areas eastward of Taryte (though this area had not been traditionally considered part of the Tropical Rim). However, the focus of civilization had by this time shifted far to the north, and little economic activity took place in the tropics.

In 4162, the Firestone army invaded Amade and, with assistance from AlphaLeap, began exploiting the native population. The Firestones outnumbered the native Crystals by more than five to one, and quickly suppressed the Crystals' languages and culture. In just two years, Amade became a Firestone nation, and the Crystals never retook it.

Note, it is possible that the entity referred to as Amade here also includes Taryte, and perhaps Fernland and parts of Kxesh. Taryte last appears in history in 3957 as they were losing a war against Dreamland, so it is possible that they were swallowed up. This would not mean that Amade conquered Taryte, just that a single geographical name came to be used for the many defeated tropical nations.

This is important because the Firestones' invasion was successful, and if it included these other territories, it would mean that a large area of the tropics no longer has a dark-skinned majority. The Firestones may have been as many as 150,000 people, given that they were 7% of the population in Anzan and that Anzan's population was close to two million at its peak. Play speakers in total were more than one third of the population of the world. Thus the Firestones would have completely dominated the population of the areas they settled.

Assuming the Firestones make peace with their victims and slowly mingle, they would become somewhat darker over time, but still stand out from their neighbors to the west. Even 4,500 years on, the population of the area would likely change little in appearance. The Firestones' small stature would be the primary barrier to mixed marriage, and it's possible that they would mix with the short dark-skinned aboriginals who by this time had been pushed into unfavorable habitats, while avoiding intermarriage with the taller dark-skinned tribes that had come to dominate the coastal areas. Even so, consider the male-female height gap, as the taller tribes were also the ones whose women tended to be taller than their men.

Cosmopolitan Age

It is likely that the Tropical Rim entered the Cosmopolitan Age with all of its major language families intact, even if most languages within those families had given way to regionally dominant powers. The Leapers were unable to suppress the languages such as River People, meaning that even this branch survives.

Some Leapers fled into Firestone territory during the brief period in which the Leapers and Firestones maintained a cross-tribal ideological alliance. These Leapers were true refugees, however, and therefore could not exert pressure on the Firestones. Thus, the Leaper language disappeared from the area, with the possible exception of AlphaLeap's historical heartland territory, where it is possible that even the native tribes had long since learned to speak the Leaper language.

Tribal warfare soon replaced ideological conflicts, making meaningful political discourse impossible. However, as the tropics were now completely cut off from the economy of Baeba Swamp, little organized fighting took place, and the remaining languages of the area continued to evolve naturally. Likewise, since the living standards in the north had also declined, there was no attempt at invasion from outside.

Firestone independence

The Firestones completely removed all enemy powers from within their territory in Amade. It is not clear how much, if any, outside territory was within the borders of the region they called Amade. It is possible that Amade had by this time grown eastward to border AlphaLeap, westward to border Atlam or even Kxesh, or both.

Contact with Dreamland

Little contract with Dreamland occurred; it is not clear whether Dreamland became linguistically homogeneous or not, but although they survived as a unitary alliance, they were unable to defend their settlers in the east or even in Baeba Swamp.


Tribal boundaries

Firestone area

The Firestones were light-skinned immigrants from Paba, and achieved a firm population majority such that even after 4500 years of peace in their new territory, their descendants still had a visibly different physical appearance from their neighbors.

Two invasions from the north (one around 3050, the other around 3400) brought the Oyster tribes into the territory of Lobexon, with a southern border around 20°N. Because this territory bordered both AlphaLeap and Taryte, it is possible that it came to border the Firestone territory in later years. This would imply that the Firestones were not in fact surrounded by dark-skinned tribes. However, it is also possible that the Oysters were pushed back from at least part of their territory, since they are not mentioned in later writeups, and their descendants lost a war against Taryte.

On the other hand, it seems plausible that an unrelated (and unrecorded) population movement caused the language of Lobexon to shift to Play since Play was the language spoken by the uprising armies such as the Daisies and the Flower Bees. This could have caused the Firestones to reach out to these people regardless of their tribal affiliation, as peaceful relations with surrounding tribes were common in the Cosmopolitan Era even though tribal wars were also common.


Taryte

Taryte did not reach the Cosmopolitan Age as a single political entity. It can only have been incorporated into Amade, into AlphaLeap, or split between them. This does not imply the extinction of the Tarise languages, however.

Linguistic characteristics

Most Tropical Rim languages were grammatically and phonologically conservative and thus showed ample evidence of their relationships. The most conservative languages were those of the Fern branch, which happened to also be the area with the warmest and wettest climate, as it was closest to the Equator. Thus Fernland was the area from which the characteristics of the Tropical Rim languages seemed to radiate from.

The dominant syllable type is CV, and languages that allow coda consonants only allow certain ones.

Voiced stops are used more frequently in TR languages than in most other languages, and some languages lack /p/ or /t/ or both. This trait is most typical of the zone just north of the equatorial rainforests, and is associated by the people with hot sunshine. By contrast, the languages of the rainforests sound very similar to the Andanic languages, which are spoken well to the north in much cooler climates. This is again because both the Andanic languages and the Fern languages of the rainforest are extremely conservative.

Syllabic nasals are often preserved, and those languages which do not retain the syllabic nasals often have a series of fortis nasal consonants which reflect the original syllabic nasals. This is shared with Hipatal.

Notes

  1. source of name is #4838
  2. tentative; see Taryte#Relations in the tropics.