Vemkha language

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Vemkha
Vəmɣə ɣuɣs, Vəŋx kuɣs, Wamx kuɣs
Pronunciation[vəmɣə], [wamx], [vəŋx]
RegionKasiiralq
Ethnicity6,430 Vemkha
Native speakersc. 6,400  (2020 census)
Language family
Language isolate or one of Sahar's primary language families
Early forms:
Proto-Vemkha
  • Vemkha
Dialects
Vemgha
Vamkh
Vengkh
CWS codeVMKH
Vemkha map.png
Approximate distribution of Vemkha speakers

Vemkha (Vemkha: Vəmɣa [vəmɣa ɣuɣs], Wamx [wamx kuɣs] or Vəŋx [vəŋx kuɣs]) is a language isolate or small language family spoken by the Vemkha people of Kasiiralq.

Languages

Classification

The classification of Vemkha has been highly controversial. It has not been conclusively proven to be related to any other language family, despite numerous attempts by linguists. Most attempts have focused on geographically proximate families, such as Tulipi-Lakup, Maakpauean, Yucho, East Mirarian or Shaelic. Other proposals have focused on more distant connections, such as the Amaian languages of eastern Vaniu, the Maithic languages of Central Miraria and even the Darkinic languages of northern Soltenna.

History

Phonology

Consonants

Vemkha consonants
Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Stop plain p t c k q
aspirated t̪ʰ
voiced (b) (d̪) (d) (ɟ) (ɡ) (ɢ)
Fricative voiceless f θ s ~ ʃ ~ ɕ x χ h
voiced v ð z ~ ʒ ~ ʑ ɣ ʁ
Approximant l j w
Trill voiceless
voiced r

Further Reading