User:Dendana/Ziimen languages

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Ziimen languages
(ethnically defined)
Ethnicity:Manatak people
Gynnyn, Amaia and Balakia
Linguistic classification:Amaian languages
  • Ziimen languages
CWS code

The Ziimen languages (Amaian: zìimen 'of the West') are a paraphyletic group of languages all descended from the Proto-Amaian language, defined as those varieties spoken by the Manatak people, who were forced to migrate from Balakia to Amaia in the mid 20th century, though many have returned.. They are all endangered, with some on the brink of extinction, and are collectively spoken by about 2000 mostly elderly in the city of Gynnyn, Amaia, and by a few tens of thousands in Balakia.

The languages represent various divergences from the rest of Amaian-Zwazwan, beginning around 500 BCE to 300 CE with Language 2 and Language 3, which exhibit remarkable conservatism in their stress systems and morphophonology. Language 4 is perhaps a mix of an earlier-diverging language variety with several later ones closer to modern Amaian-Zwazwan- the morphology and stress system are quite distinct but lexically it is somewhat closer to Amaian-Zwazwan. Language 5 is a variety of the Western Amaian-Zwazwan dialect that has relexified substantially under Balaki influence. Manajon Gynnyn dialect 'the Gynnyn dialect of the return' is a version of Gynnyn dialect that differs mainly lexically, with innovation in the pronominal system and different idiomatic expressions.

Language 2 and 3 are spoken solely in Balakia and have more speakers. Language 4 is spoken by a few hundred in Gynnyn and by more in Balakia. Language 5 is almost extinct and is spoken only in Gynnyn. Manajon Gynnyn dialect has over a thousand speakers in Gynnyn, with median age of around 75 although there are a couple less-fluent speakers in their fifties and some semi-speakers in their twenties and thirties.