|Downriver Ekuosia, Lahan|
|Linguistic classification:||One of Sahar's primary language families|
Ekuo-Lahiri is a proposed macro-family uniting the well-established Adzo-Neviric and Lahiri language families of Lower Ekuosia and Lahan, as well as the Yona languages of Puzimm and the extinct Halarian language of Upper Ekuosia. The relation of the four families is widely accepted by linguists although efforts to reconstruct the proto language have been met with difficulty due to few direct records of earlier stages of Lahiri languages.
Over 100 million people speak Ekuo-Lahiri languages as their native language and many more speak them as secondary languages. Ekuo-Lahiri languages are official or recognized regional languages in Azerin, Barradiwa, Kaiyyo, Nevira, Povania, Tabiqa, and Tuyo.
Most historical linguists believe that the Urheimat of Proto-Ekuo-Lahiri was in Puzimm, although some argue that it originated directly in downriver Ekuosia, or even in South Baredina.
The Adzo-Neviric languages were spread successfully across downriver Ekuosia by early agricultural technology invented or otherwise possessed by those people; later, both branches were spread across Ekuosia by the Adzamic and Neviric empires.
The spread of the Lahiri languages is less well-documented, but after reaching Lahan, Lahiri people displaced large numbers of pre-existing ethnic groups, especially along the southern shoreline.
The Second Neviran Empire colonized much of the continent of Lahan, leading to mingling between the two branches in terms of loanwords and the formation of various creoles (which further confuses many restoration attempts).
Although the phonology of the languages has greatly diverged, many morphological and syntactic features that are otherwise rare on Sahar unite them.
Typologically, most Ekuo-Lahiri languages use an animacy-based, direct-inverse, hierarchical alignment. They tend towards agglutination. Many languages feature a large animacy hierarchy ranging from six tiers to over twenty; the largest inventories are found in Lahiri languages, and the smallest in Yona.
Lahiri languages have a number of features that are not present in Adzo-Neviric (and vice-versa), some of which are found to detract from the Ekuo-Lahiri theory.
Most importantly, most Lahiri languages use three grammatical numbers — either SG/PL/COL or SG/PAU/PL — while Adzo-Neviric languages exclusively use two.
The animacy hierarchies employed by the two branches differ in the number of levels as well as the ordering of similar levels, and many concepts do not fall into the same tier; sometimes even supposed cognate words occupy different levels.