Aranzech language

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Damsest
Damseşt
Pronunciation/dam.ˈseʃt/
RegionVaniua
Native speakers26.000.000 approximately.  (no date)
Language family
Vaniuan
  • Southern Vaniuan
    • Damsest
Early forms:
Proto-Vaniuan
  • Proto-Southern-Vaniuan
    • Cirnese
      • Damsest
Writing systemVaniuan
Official status
Official language inArkamka
CWS code


Classification

Damsest is the official language of Arkamka. It belongs to the Southern Vaniuan branch of the wider Vaniuan family. It is the most widely spoken language of the Southern Vaniuan branch.

History

The first ever Damsest writings are found from the Cirnese period (1200-1700),in which is referred to as Cirnese.


Developments from Proto-Southern-Vaniuan

Like in other South Vaniuan languages,the various stop series of Proto-Southern-Vaniuan.

- The retroflex stops *ʈ *ɖ became /t͡ʃ d/ <ç d> at onset and intervocally,but seem to have lenited to *ɭ and later /l/ in coda position

- The palatal stops *c *j lenited to /ç z/,probably becoming */ç ʝ/ at first. This change was also accompanied by a shift from *ç to /s/,which had occured before palatal stop’s lenition,else the modern palatal fricative /ç/ would not have come to be.

- The post-alveolar stops *č *dž mutated into regular alveolar stops /t d/,with *dž also becoming /j/ in certain environments. However,evidence from Cirnese texts show that they might have went through a stage of being dental fricatives /θ ð/. However,other sources claim they instead became some sort of palatalised alveolar consonants /tʲ dʲ/,which would explain the shift of *dž to /j/ everywhere except in coda positions.


Rhotisization.

- The voiced fricatives *z *ž are theorised to have become some sort of rhotic sound. While *z is reflected in the modern day as /r/,*ž seems to have dissapeared in 3 various ways: • /j/ before the front vowels *i *e *æ

 and their long correspondents

• /ɣ/ before the back vowels *u *o *ɒ

 and their long correspondents

• /l/ in a coda position.

  • ž has been theorised to have become some sort of approximant,likely /ɹ/ or /ɻ/. However,some theories suggest it became a velar approximant,such as /ɰ/,which would explain the fortition to /ɣ/ and /ʟ/ →/l/. However,there isn't strong evidence to back this up,so the rhotic approximant version is the most accepted one.

- The voiced alveolar stop *d rhotisized to /r/ intervocally,but not it's retroflex correspondent *ɖ.


Vocalic simplifications

- While the long vowels have been preserved in most environments,the 7 vowel qualities of Proto-Southern-Vaniuan have been reduced to only 5 (/a e i o u/),with *æ *ə having been merged with /e).

- However,dipthongs were mostly reduced into long vowels:

  • *iw,*ew,*əw were reduced to /ew/ um 
    Cirnese,and /o/ in Damsest
  • *æw,*ɒw were reduced to /aː/
  • *ow,*uw were reduced to /uː/
  • *ey simplified to /e/
  • *oy,*ɒy fronted to /ey/

- Vowels were pharyngeal coloured following *h. This caused the loss of lenght and a lowering of the vowels *i *e *u into /e a o/,respectively.


Sonorant series.

-*l was kept unchanged

-*w fortified into /v/,and *j into /ʒ/

-*ɥ lost it's palatal articulation and became *w (→/v/)

-*ɰ seems to have become either /j/ or /w/,depending on the following vowel.

-*m,*n remained unchanged

-*ŋ merged with /n/ syllable-finally,and with /g/ elsewhere. However,this phoneme was still distinct in Cirnese,written using


Lenition

-*b and *g lenited into /v ɣ/ intervocally.

Phonology

Fortition

-*N.{s,ʃ} clusters seem to have fortified into affricates,as demonstrated by Damsest “/maː.t͡ʃe/”,where other languages like Jamshir /moːn.ʃi/,with the same meaning.


Phonemes

Damsest has 22 consonant phonemes:

Labial Alveolar Post-Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m <m> n <n> ŋ¹
Plosive p b

t d <t d> k ɡ <k g>
Fricative f² v <f v> s z ʃ ʒ <ş j> ç <c> x ɣ <x ğ> h³ <h>
Affricate t͡ʃ <ç>
Approximant r l <r l> j ʎ <y ly>

¹ = Allophone of /n/ when preceding velar obstruents: Inx /inx/ [iŋx]. ² = Only found in loanwords. ³ = Only exists word initially.

Damsest also possesses 10 vowel phonemes,5 long and 5 shprt:

Front Back
Close i iː u uː
Mid e eː <e ē> o oː <o ō>
Open a aː <a ā>

Phonotactics

Damsest’s syllable structure is (C)(C)V(C)(C) max. However,most uninflected roots are (C)V(C),and most -CC clusters occur due to inflection,although there are exceptions,like <i>Tids</i>,meaning cppper.. Rarely,-CCC clusters can occur,though again,they are rare and a result of inflection. Such a clsuter is <i>Nōrms</i> “May they work” [work-3PL.OPT] CC- clusters are rarer. An example is <i>Drel</i>,meaning “Land”


Morphology and syntax

Vocabulary

Writing and literature