Akachenti

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Akachenti is the most commonly spoken major dialect of the Kachan language, spoken by the Ogunn people. It is an incorporating fusional polysynthetic language with fluid-S active morphosyntactic alignment and relatively free word order with default OVS.

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Phonology

Orthography

The phonemic inventory of Pre-Modern Akachenti was somewhat captured at the adoption of the Tongchan writing system, a series of glyphs for the perceived phonemes of the language. In particular, the current ae diphthong was considered a vowel, length was distinguished for five of the six vowels, and several current consonantal phonemes were and are considered consonant clusters.

  • Vowels: a, a:, o, o:, u, u:, ae, e, e:, i, i:
  • Consonant "Clusters": nl, hl, tl, dl, ngl, khl, kl, gl

The above are all clicks with pre-glottalized allophones in glottalic tone syllables.

Vowels

The phonemic vowel inventory contrasts five qualities, three heights, and length.

Vowels
Short Vowels Long Vowels
front central back front central back
close i u i: u:
mid e o e: o:
open a a:
PHONEMIC DIPHTHONG aɛ - aɪ

Long vowels are pronounced with a low tone. The phonemic diphthong in the bottom row is the only one treated as a phonemic vowel in Akachenti's orthography and is romanized as ae. Other diphthongs are treated orthographically as vowel clusters.

Diphthongs
Front Back
unrounded rounded rounded
close iɪ - ij ui
mid ie ue
open ia ua

The close diphthongs in the top row are typically falling diphthongs, with the first vowel more prominent, though can realize as rising "diphthong" . The remaining four diphthongs are typically rising, with e and a being prominent.

Consonants

Phonemic Consonants
Labial Alveolar Post-Alveolar Velar Glottal
voiced voiceless murmured voiced voiceless murmured voiced voiceless murmured voiceless murmured
nasal m n ŋ
click nasal ᵑǃ ᵑǁ
simple gǃ ǃ gǁ ǁ
fricated release (sgǃˡ) sǃʱˡ sǁʱˡ
stop/affricate b d t g k ʔ (ʔh)
fricative f-v s ʃ x ɦ
tap/approximant ɺ ɹ - ɾ

Consonants in parentheses are allophones. The only true consonantal approximant in Akachenti is an allophone of the rhotic tap. The lateral tap has the allophone of a voiced fricated alveolar click.

Akachenti disallows clicks in coda positions or multiple clicks appearing in a single lexical root.

Clusters

Consonant Clusters
n ŋ ɹ ɦ x d
nonlabial click/stop/affr. n(C) ŋ(C)
labial (m, b, v) + g (C)ɹ
v (C)ɹ (C)ɦ (C)x
ʃ (C)d

Regional dialect variations may allow , ʃɹ, , or ɹɦ and ɹx, but this is disfavored in most Akachenti dialect regions.

Allophones

Consonant Allophones
Syllable Midtone (default) Glottalic Tone Low Tone
Onset Intervocalic Coda Word-Final Onset Intervocalic Coda Onset Intervocalic Coda
Q Dialect k k k k
S Dialect k k q q k̬x̆

Prosody

Register

Tone goes hand in hand with variations in quality, duration, and phonation of affected syllables.

Verbs

Verbal Agreement Case Marking

Akachenti's pronominal case agreement system is similar to that of natlang Kotiria, where argument/slot order initially determined case and marked case eventually permitted free order constrained by topicalization.

Unmarked Order

Synchronically, unmarked order is:

topic/patientive + VERB ROOT + agentive

In cases where topic is not conflated with one of the first two core arguments—nominative or accusative—the default order shifts to:

topic + patientive + VERB ROOT + agentive

indicating a diachronic conditioned merger of the topic and patientive slots. Significantly, this order is only valid for intransitive and transitive verbs. Verbs with more than two referents marked on the verb utilize various hierarchical combinations of person and case marking across all available slots to indicate multiple objects.

Even in cases where only two core arguments are marked on the verb, unmarked order is not always possible.

Accusative-Possessive

The modern accusative-possessive is marked by a glottalic accent vowel in the case of simple markers. This is a reduced form of the original accusative-possessive affix.

Patientive-Oblique

The modern patientive-oblique is marked by a raised mid-tone vowel. This may be an actual alternation fallback or a reduced form of an original dative affix. In its marking of relative clauses, there is evidence it may have also reduced from a genitive affix.

The Copula

Thus far, we posit Pre-Modern Akachenti copular forms of se:, "to be", and the nominalized sen, "what (one) is". The fact that the copula almost always takes alternate vowel forms rather than glottalic tone indicates an underlying long vowel affecting neighboring syllables despite being mutable, pronounced with a mid-tone and short.

Diachronic Reconstruction
lexeme gloss part of speech
se: to be verb
se:n what (one) is nominalized verb
Synchronic Examples
lexeme sample definition translation alignment
se: hese: how are (you)? how be? denuded
se: ise: ganche it is beautiful it's beautiful i-agentive
se ise ganchá it, I am (experiencing), (it) does beauty (to) me.PAT it's beautiful to me e-patientive, á-patientive
se isikachan evagonchan it is, Kachan, my home voice Kachan is the language I speak at home e-patientive
se igonar isiganchanta it, my home, it is beautiful my home is beautiful i-agentive
se sa gudá I am an experiencer of home-want I'm a shut-in OR I don't get out much á-patientive
se usa iba:sh (with) you, I am that, a lover with you, I am a lover i-patientive
se huede esef (huede esev) and that is (going to be)? and that is too? e-patientive
sen isen ís it.AGT, what (it) is, (it) is that.PAT it is what it is í-patientive
sen hesen what is (it)? what is it? denuded

Affixation and Derivation

Compounding and Incorporation

Akachenti is an incorporating language and frequently creates compound nouns, compound adjective-nouns, compound serial verbs, and incorporated "compound" noun-verbs.

Rules of Compounding

  1. Identical or near-identical adjacent syllables are merged, e.g. a + kacha + chan + enti = Akachenti, not *Akachachanenti

Inflectional Affixes

Inflectional affixes appear to all be postpositions, in keeping with an OVS language and verbs tending to fuse at the end of a word. Unlike evening constructions, inflectional affixes have fused sufficiently that they no longer attract glottalic tone to their first and last syllables. Inflectional affixes serve as a compounded extension of the root.

The Verb Base

There are two primary verb bases, demonstrated below.

Synchronic Examples
unmarked + agentive affix optative + agentive affix
baga: baga:v(a) baga:sha
ashi ashik(a) ashiv(a)

Constructions