Baitaar languages

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Eastern Vaniua
Western Parshita
Linguistic classification:One of Sahar's primary language families
CWS code

The Baitaar languages are a language family native to eastern Vaniua and western Parshita, primarily in areas surrounding the Zwazwan Gulf. X, with the greatest concentration of speakers of Baitaar languages is in Baghazan, and smaller communities in Amaia, Balakia, and other areas in western Parshita.

The most spoken Baitaar language is Ashkay, with at least 15 million L1 speakers. In contrast, many Baitaar languages - such as Voont and Daikhra - are endangered to some extent.


The Baitaar languages are not known to be directly related to any other language family on Sahar. Within the family, there are two primary branches - Aneeric and Macro-Ashkay - which create a more or less west-east divide in the family.


  • Aneeric
    • Old Aneer
      • Daikhra
      • X
  • Macro-Ashkay
    • Ashkayic
      • Ashkay
      • X
    • Voontic
      • Voont
      • X

Typological characteristics


Two sets of consonants common across Baitaar languages are a series of uvular consonants and lateral consonants. Across most languages, both of these series are preserved in one form or another, though usually in a reduced form in the case of laterals.

Baitaar languages tend to have relatively simple syllables, typically with a maximal syllable structure of CVC. In languages with otherwise complex consonant clusters on a phonemic level - such as Ashkay or Voont - vowel epenthesis is a highly productive process, with the epenthetic vowel typically being a central vowel such as [ə] or [ɨ].

While Proto-Baitaar possessed a system of front-back vowel harmony, modern Baitaar languages vary significantly in their modern systems of vowel harmony. Voont and Daikhra, for example, gradually lost their vowel harmony systems, whereas Ashkay vowel harmony developed into a system of ATR harmony.


The following vowel phonemes are reconstructed:

Front Back
High *i *y *ɯ *u
Mid *e *ø *ɤ *o
Low *a

The following consonantal phonemes are reconstructed:

Labial Coronal Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal *m *n
Prenasalised plosive *ᵐp *ᵐpʲ *ⁿt *ⁿtʲ *ᵑk *ᵑkʲ *ᶰq *ᶰqʲ
Plosive *p *pʲ *pʰ *t *tʲ *tʰ *k *kʲ *kʰ *q *qʲ *qʰ
Fricative *s *h
Affricate *ts *tsʲ *tsʰ
Lateral fricative
Lateral affricate *tɬ *tɬʲ *tɬʰ
Other *w *r *l *j


Baitaar languages all feature predominantly agglutinative and head-final typology, as well as a degree of ergativity and pluractionality. Some of the family's notable features have spread into unrelated languages such as Balak as a result of language contact.

Noun classes based on animacy are a common feature in Baitaar languages, with animacy agreement typically reflected in personal endings on verbs. Baitaar animacy has implications on number and case marking; inanimate nouns do not typically inflect for number, and often exhibit differential subject marking where animate agents of a transitive verb would be indicated through an ergative case or equivalent; Daikhra inanimate agents are marked with the instrumental case, as an example. Sex-based gender distinctions are absent from much of the family, but a masculine-feminine distinction has developed in Ashkay animate nouns as a result of contact with Rartakan languages.

With the exception of select Aneeric languages, Baitaar verbs typically inflect for aspect instead of tense, and feature a degree of person marking. Verbs can undergo initial reduplication, usually with an iterative or pluractional interpretation.


Most Baitaar languages have SOV as their default word order, and are largely suffixing.

In common with other languages in the region, such as the Amaian languages and Balak, stative verbs fill the role of adjectives, constituting a subclass of intransitive verbs. ...



Language contact

Comparison chart

Further reading

See also

Further Reading