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Last updated Sep 18, 2023

%% What are the significant features which make this relevant to the plot? What patterns are there when it comes to description and properties? What does it look like, what is its relevance, and what is it used for? %%

# Introduction

Proto-Central, also known as Proto-Morello-Nethic, is a reconstructed proto-language that was native to the northern steppe of the central continent. Its living modern descendants are Modern Morellic, Modern Nethic, and it’s extinct descendants include Sarvaran and Stonechild Imperial.

# Phonology

# Phonotactics

# Syllable Structure

Proto-Central syllable structure is defined by a CCVC structure. More specifically, it has a C(S)V(N) structure, where S stands for any continuant and N stands for any nasal, any lateral, /i̯/, or /u̯/.

# Nasal-Consonant Clusters

When in coda position, nasals must agree in place with the following consonant. It is apt to describe medial nasal codas as a moraic nasal phoneme (/N/), as they can have any place of articulation when in word-final or syllable-onset position.

# Stress

Syllable stress in Proto-Central was that every other syllable preceding the last heavy syllable (syllable with a coda) would be stressed. Early Proto-Central was stress-accented, but later dialects such as the Morellic dialect proved to be pitch-accented. When a word features no heavy syllables, the final syllable is stressed. Syllables with a schwa-nucleus can’t be stressed.

# Consonants

Breathybʱ (bh)dʱ (dh)gʱ (gh)
FricativeVoicelessfsx (h)
Voicedv (v)z (z)ɣ (y)
Breathylʱ (lh)
NasalPlainmnŋ (ng)
Breathymʱ (m)nʱ (nh)ŋʱ (ngh)

Proto-Central has 22 phonemes. It has 9 plosive phonemes, 6 fricatives, 2 laterals, and 6 nasals. It has a phonetic /h/ phone, which is inserted to illegalise vowel hiatus and make sure a words cannot begin with a vowel; it serves to reinforce the mandatory consonant at the beginning of a syllable.

# Plosives

The plosives of Proto-Central have three voices, plain, voiced, and breathy.

The plain plosives are pronounced like the p, t, and k of words such as ’spot’ or ‘mop’, ’stand’ or ‘gnat,’ and ’skid’ or ‘pick.’ They are romanized /p/ <p>, /t/ <t>, and /k/ <k>.

The voiced plosives are pronounced in the same way, but with the vocal cords vibrating while they are produced. they are pronounced like the b, d, and g of words such as ‘bad,’ ‘den,’ or ‘grey.’ They are romanized /b/ <b>, /d/ <d>, and /g/ <g>.

The breathy plosives are trickier, they are pronounced like voiced plosives, but with the vocal cords allowing more air to pass through them. This gives them a breathy quality. They are romanized /bʱ/ <bh>, /dʱ/ <dh>, and /gʱ/ <gh>. In the Morellic dialect, they are pronounced /v/, /ð/, and /j/, like the v, th and y of words such as ‘vent’, ‘that’, and ‘you.’

# Fricatives

The voices of Proto-Central fricatives are voiceless and voiced.

The voiceless fricatives are pronounced like the f, s, and ch of words such as ‘find’, ‘sand’, and ’loch.’ They are romanized /f/ <f>, /s/ <s>, /x/ <h>.

The voiced fricatives are pronounced like the v, z, and gh of words such as ‘vandal’, ‘zigzag’, and ‘ugh.’ They are romanized /v/ <v>, /z/ <z>, /ɣ/ <gh>. In the Morellic dialect, they are pronounced /w/, /r/, and /j/, like the w, r, and y of words such as ‘wish’, ‘random’, and ‘yard.’

# Laterals and Nasals

The voices of Proto-Central nasals and laterals are plain and breathy.

The plain laterals and nasals are pronounced like the n, m, ng, and l of words such as ‘van,’ ‘mouse,’ ‘sing,’ and ‘land.’ They are romanized /n/ <n>, /m/ <m>, /ŋ/ <ng>, /l/ <l>.

The breathy nasals and laterals are pronounced similar to the breathy plosives, in the same way as their plain counterparts but with more air let through the vocal cords. They are romanized /nʱ/ <nh>, /mʱ/ <mh>, /ŋʱ/ <ngh>, /lʱ/ <lh>.

# Vowels

Mideə (ë)o
Lowä (a)

Proto-Central has 6 vowel phonemes, a five-vowel system (/a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, and /u/) plus schwa (/ə/), the vowel in ‘about,’ or ‘bythol.’

# Morphology

# Derivation

# Nominalisation

Proto-Central nominalisation takes three forms, and all of them only apply to verbs.

# *sa

# Pronunciation

Early Proto-Central: /sa/

# Etymology

Contraction of ‘*sayamu’

# Particle

  1. Agent nominaliser
# Patient Nominalisation

Patient nominalisation is like agent nominalisation, but the other way around. It gets ‘doee’ noun from a verb. I.e. employ > employee, train > trainee, etc.

In Proto-Central, there is no patient nominaliser. Rather, the verb stem can be used as a noun, as the patient nominaliser is unmarked.

# Action Nominalisation

Action nominalisation is the term for when you refer to what a verb does. I.e. verbal nouns in welsh, know > knowledge, act > action, etc.

In Proto-Central, the action nominaliser is formed with the particle ‘-zon,’ a contraction of ‘*ughezon,’ meaning ‘do, make’

# Person

Proto-Central has 6 persons;

  1. 1st person, I, me,
  2. 2nd person, you,
  3. 3rd person minikin, he, she, they,
  4. 3rd person animal,
  5. 3rd person plant,
  6. 3rd person deity. The 1st person is marked with ‘*ësa,’ the 2nd ‘*dho,’ the Minikin 3rd ‘*mu,’ the animal 3rd ‘*elya,’ the plant 3rd ‘*api,’ and the deity 3rd ‘*eli.’

# Nouns

Nouns in Proto-Central are relatively unchanged from position-to-position, but do have to be inflected for possession and number. The possession agreement particle precedes the root, and the number particle succeeds the root.

# Number

Nouns have 3 numbers;

  1. Singular,
  2. Paucal,
  3. Plural. The singular is unmarked, the paucal is marked with ‘*aki,’ and the plural is marked with ‘*itu.’

Singular forms are the lemma forms and refer to one unit of the noun. Paucal forms refer to a few of the noun, such as a handful, but not a collective amount. Plural forms are used to refer to many of the noun, the collective concept of the noun, or simply a large non-singular amount.

# Verbs

Verbs in Proto-Central carry the bulk of the meaning in a sentence. They agree in person and number for the subject and all objects, and also have a complex tense, aspect, mood system in combination with a set of auxiliaries.

# Tense

Proto-Central verbs have 3 tenses;

  1. Past
  2. Present
  3. Future The past tense is marked with ‘*avë,’ the present is unmarked, and the future tense is marked with ‘*ya.’

# Aspect

Proto-Central has 3 aspects;

  1. Progressive
  2. Simple
  3. Stative The progressive aspect is marked with ‘*so,’ the simple is unmarked, and the stative aspect is marked with ‘*il.’

# Mood

Proto-Central has 3 moods;

  1. Indicative
  2. Subjunctive
  3. Imperative The indicative is unmarked, but the subjunctive is marked with ‘*ngu’ and the imperative is marked with ‘*dul.’

# Auxiliaries

Proto-Central has a few auxiliaries. For example;

  1. ‘have,’ the perfect aspect
  2. ‘could,’ the conditional mood
  3. ‘do, make,’ the interrogative mood
  4. ‘see,’ the witness evidential
  5. ‘hear,’ the hearsay evidential
  6. ‘say,’ the quotative evidental

Auxiliaries are formed with an inflected auxiliary and a preceding ‘*zën’ nominalised verb.

# Syntax

# Word Order

Proto-Central word order is largely head-final. It has;

# Personal Agreement

Heads have to agree in person with their dependents. I.e. ’the man’s dog’ > ‘The man his-dog,’ ’the sheep ate the bush’ > ’the sheep the bush animal-plant-ate,’ etc.

# Semantic fields and pragmatics

# Writing system

# Examples

# The Tower Of Babel Story (ESV)

# Genesis 11:1

’esim kvezelh unhi li-gzaufu-il dhalihu suilë baulu-itu unhi mu-azyun-il mu-atso’ Early-Proto-Central: /ˈhe.sim ˈkve.zelʱ ˈhu.nʱi ˈli.gzau̯.ˈfil ˈdʱa.li.ˈxu ˈsui̯.lə ˈbau̯.li.tu ˈhu.nʱi ˈma.zɣu.ˈnil ˈma.tso/ Morellic Dialect: /é.sim kwé.rel ú.nʱi ri.gráu̯.fir ðái̯.ʎu sui̯r ba.wír.d̪u ú.nʱi má.ʒu.nir má.t̪so/ now world DEF 3.DEI-be_entire-STV language one word-PL DEF 3.MNK-be_same-STV 3.MNK-with

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.

# Genesis 11:2

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.

# Genesis 11:3

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.”

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.

# Genesis 11:4

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens,

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

# Genesis 11:5

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.

# Genesis 11:6

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do.

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.

# Genesis 11:7

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

# Genesis 11:8

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.

# Genesis 11:9

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth.

’’ Early-Proto-Central: // Morellic-Dialect: // ``

And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

# Lexicon

Here is a link to the Proto-Central lexicon.)