Qotsian language

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Qotsian
Qotsic
Hucup
Pronunciation /hut͡ɕup/
Region Atsiq
Ethnicity Qotsians
Native speakers 6.5 million  (2017)
Language family
Osveraali
  • Greater Osveraali
    • Thargo-Qotsian
      • Qotsian
Early forms:
Old Qotsian
  • Middle Qotsian
    • Qotsian
Writing system Osveraali script
Official status
Official language in Qotsia
CWS code QTS


Qotsian is an Osveraali languages of the Thargo-Qotsian languages branch, spoken on the continent of Atsiq as the official language of Qotsia by roughly 6.5 million people. It is a close relative of Thargian, although the two are not mutually intelligible.


Classification

History

Phonology

The phoneme system of Qotsian is small compared to other Atsiq languages and shows clear influence from its southern neighbour, the Qatilla language. There is a conspicuous absence of velar and uvular sounds; the former has been the defining trait of the Qotsian branch since Old Qotsian while the latter is a more recent development. Qotsian also lacks voiced fricatives and has collapsed the lateral consonantsinto /ɮ/.

The vowel system has experienced a similar reduction, although not as radical as in Qatilla. There are six vowels, four of which distinguish length, and no diphthongs. Qotsian is the only Osveraali language outside of Imperial Osveraali with the rounded central vowel /ɞ/.


Phonemes

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Postalveolar Alveolo-palatal Labio-velar Glottal
Nasal m n ȵ
Plosive p b t d
Fricative f s ʃ ɕ h
Affricate t͡ɕ d͡ʑ
Lateral fricative ɮ
Approximant w
Front Central Back
Close i i: u u:
Open-mid ɛ ɞ
Open a a: ɒ ɒ:

Phonotactics

Morphology and syntax

Qotsian shows the typical traits of the Thargo-Qotsian branch, namely a major loss of inflection and its replacement with pronouns, auxiliaries and particles. Qotsian is more extreme than Thargian in this regard, having abandoned case inflection on nouns entirely and reducing the number of verb forms to a handful of stems. Serial verbs play a greater role than in most Osveraali languages and are prominent in subordination or marking of location. Like Thargian and the Osveraalic languages, Qotsian has tense-based word order and expresses aspect on the verb.

A unique characteristic of Qotsian, not shared by Thargian, is the use of noun classifiers with numerals, in relative clauses and some pronominal constructions. This is an innovation that has no parallel in other Osveraali languages and arose from the merger of retained relative pronouns in Old Qotsian.


Vocabulary

The percentage of non-Osveraali material in the lexicon is comparatively low, and Qotsian is actually the Osveraali language with the smallest amount of loans from overseas languages, most of which entered the language through Thargian. Despite their phonological differences, the vocabulary of Qotsian and Thargian is remarkably similar, sharing many idioms, collocations and phraseologisms, which reflects the long common history of the two countries. What sets Qotsian apart from Thargian is the much more pronounced influence of Qatilla words and constructions, introducing a South Osveraali element not found in its northern neighbour.

Osveraalic languages have always been a major contributor of loans to Qotsian. Like all languages of Atsiq, Imperial Osveraali vocabulary is found at every turn, with an overwhelming number of scientific, political and generally formal terms directly traceable to the official language of the Empire. In recent times, Modern Standard Osveraali has assumed this role due to the dominance of Dachashk on the continent.

There is no single official body in Qotsia that strives to regulate the influx of loans, prescribe rules of usage or otherwise engages in linguistic purism.

Writing and literature