|From:||Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, May 7, 2000, 0:03|
I'm working on earlier protolanguages for Watakassí. I've long ago
devised Common Kassí, but that wasn't a protolanguage, as it was written
However, Common Kassí was descended from Proto-Kassi-Plia, which in turn
was derived from Proto-South-Kashic, derived from Proto-Kashic [altho
unwritten, a small vocabulary list *does* exist for PK; a Trader
recorded a little over a hundred words from a language that was either
PK or was very closely related].
I've been working on Proto-Kassi-Plia (henceforth PKP), so here's a
brief description of what I have. Comments would be welcome.
Stops p t k q '
b d g (g')
p' t' k' (q')
Nasal m n ñ n'
Fric f s h
Apr w r,l y
i ü ï u
e ö ë o
äi, äü, aï, au
ü and ö are front-rounded, ä is front low, ï is high central unrounded,
and ë is schwa
G' and Q' are in parentheses because they only existed in an later stage
of PKP, sometime after the split between the Kassi and Plia branches.
They were formed from g and k' when near n'. When no more than a single
vowel separated velar consonants from n', the velars became uvular, and
when no more than a single vowel separated uvular consonants (other than
n') from ñ, they became velar. (Thus, tagän' became tag'än')
Later, g' became devoiced (to q), and q' became /h/
Ejectives (other than q') became sequences of stops followed by ë' (so
t'áskonë became të'áskonë).
Glottal stops became /h/ between vowels, otherwise lost, and final
schwas were lost under certain conditions, thus të'áskonë became
tëháskon [ancestor of modern ta-, and dialectal watáskun]
Ï became u when adjacent to uvular sounds, otherwise ë (stressed ï is
the source of *all* stressed schwas in Common Kassí). When adjacent to
uvular consonants, ü, ö, and ä became respectively u, o, and a.
Otherwise, they became i, e, and e. The diphthongs äi, äü, aï, and au
became ei, ei, ou, and ou.
Sequences of vowels were later broken up with /h/, including the
diphthongs ei and ou (becoming ehi and ohu).
L became r [which in W became l again]
There was also a period of nasalization, and subsequent denasalization.
Also, sequences of consonant-liquid were broken up with schwa (except
when between vowels, in that case resyllabification occurred, sequences
such as /a.fra/ becoming /af.ra/), and consonant-glide sequences were
broken up by vocalizing the glide and adding /h/, thus /kwa/ -> /kuha/.
There were a number of other sound-changes as well.
PKP had no case in nouns, and only a few cases in pronouns. Nouns and
pronouns both distinguished between singular, dual (-rü), paucal (-fëf),
and plural (-n'a). Pronouns had absolutive, ergative (-ka), genitive
(-wa), and dative (-fö), as well as (in first and second person) having
separate forms for absolutive and other cases. For instance, second
person singular absolutive was fönë, but the oblique stem was yär. The
absolutive forms later became clitics, and then suffixes on the verb
[except for 1st singular, whose absolutive form was hë, -hë became null,
so the oblique stem qo was drafted]. The oblique stem by itself
replaced the absolutive when used as a free form.
Word order was generally AVE or AEV [A=absolutive, E=ergative],
postpositions were used, and modifiers preceded their head. Pronouns
had a tendency to follow the verb or auxiliary (later PKP used aspectual
The verb was inflected with suffixes for tense (remote past, past,
present, future, uncertain future), evidentiality (sensory, report,
cognitive, contrafactual, and hypothetical), and mood (imperative,
jussive, question, declarative [zero prefix]). Aspect and voice were
indicated by auxiliary verbs. The "future" tense was lost, replaced by
"uncertain future", the "sensory" and "report" suffixes were lost, while
"cognitive" became "then", and hypothetical became "if"; imperative and
question were lost, and the jussive took over from the imperative.
Thus, a verb would appear in the form AUX-TENSE-EVID-MOOD ABS (AUX)
(ERG) VERB - two auxilaries could be used because they distinguished
both aspect and voice.
The suffixes became less tightly connected to the auxiliary. Meanwhile,
the absolutive pronoun tended to move to immediately before the first
auxiliary, dragging the second auxiliary to immediately after the
first. The suffixes (now free morphemes) sometimes moved around, but
rarely. Some postpositions became linked to the following verb rather
than the preceding noun (e.g., house-in live became house in-live),
thus, when the verb began to be increasingly sentence-initial, the
postposition was separated from the noun; frequently restated on the
noun as well (in-live house-in). These ex-postpositions were usually
placed on the first auxiliary. The former verbal suffixes became
prefixes on the main verb. Thus, at this point the normal order was
ABS POSTPOS-AUX1 AUX 2 TENSE-EVID-MOOD-VERB
The ex-postpositions (now applicative prefix) migrated to the actual
verb, and the first auxiliary and the absolutive became a tightly-bound
unit, moving towards the END of the verbal complex. Eventually, the
second auxiliary became a prefix, and the abs-aspect unit became
suffixes. Thus, creating the early CK form
VOICE-APPL-TENSE-IF/THEN-OPTATIVE-Verb-Person-Aspect [VOICE = old AUX2,
APPL = ex-postposition, IF/THEN = old EVIDENTIALITY, OPTATIVE = old
The old punctual aspect was replaced by a zero ending. Meanwhile, an
auxiliary verb meaning "able to" became attached to the verb. In
Standard W, "able to" was only the first of a number of modal prefixes.
In Standard W, all of the old applicatives were lost with two
exceptions, the causative (which changed from indicating a stated cause
to simply indicating change and moved to immediately before the verb)
and the commitative, which fused with the reflexive pronoun becoming a
new voice, reciprocative.
"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men
believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of
the city of God!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor