Lakovic languages

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Not to be confused with the Lahob languages.

Swadesh lists for the Lakovic languages

Lakovic languages/Sketchbook

Setting Tricin
Originally Bjeheond, Talma and Txapoalli; today worldwide
Linguistic classification: One of Tricin's primary language families
Proto-language: Proto-Lakovic
Western Bjeheondian

The Lakovic languages (/ləˈkoʊvɪk/ lə-KOH-vik; Windermere: fi imbrits Lăcof) are a major Trician language family, originally native to Bjeheond. The family is inspired by Semitic, Mon-Khmer and Austronesian languages.

The family is named after *ləkof, the PLak reconstructed word for 'human'.

Some people put Arpalan, Lakovic, Pategic, and Clofabosin into a macrofamily.

Roots from Netagin (to be used in PLak)

  • n-s-d: learn
  • w-x-s: love
  • b-n-s: hide
  • l-z-f: poke
  • z-ħ-m: praise, honor
  • ŋ-þ-w: new
  • x-3-f: reason
  • h-ŋ-c: empty, null
  • ħ-d-x: warm
  • c-ŋ-t: garden, horticulture
  • g-m-z: letter, element
  • ŋ-b-ś: compassion, sympathy
  • f-ś-r: agree, blend
  • n-b-ś: courage
  • þ-f-x: know
  • y-r-f: roll
  • f-c-m: read
  • l-x-r: write
  • z-r-b: true, firm
  • ś-d-l: half, split
  • f-s-t: step, stage
  • ʔ-b-l: mind
  • w-t-f: die
  • þ-ŋ-b: measure
  • z-m-z-m: hesitate
  • s-w-ħ: king, rule
  • ħ-c-g: value
  • ʔ-t-r: punish
  • g-b-n: say
  • k-l-k-l: tile
  • b-s-ŋ: clan, family
  • b-c-3: force, coerce
  • r-ʔ-b: criticize
  • f-s-k: beast
  • k-l-d: agree
  • z-l-n: comfort, solace
  • ʔ-ś-þ: light, color
  • y-d-ś: compare, similar, metaphor
  • s-f-l: dear
  • w-d-r: equal, same
  • ħ-g-r: different
  • m-g-þ: assign
  • k-b-ć: shield, fortress
  • k-z-r: hand over
  • c-b-s: show, exhibit
  • ħ-r-x: open
  • þ-k-s: good, great
  • ħ-n-b: use
  • s-n-l: help
  • f-þ-ʔ: proud
  • s-f-n: bold
  • x-r-r: young
  • x-l-n: eternity
  • l-n: come
  • l-r-y: wait
  • n-m-y: fall
  • k-z-n: stop, settle
  • ś-n-ħ: near
  • ħ-t-r: swim
  • ś-r-g: develop, evolve
  • r-x-m: dwell
  • ć-h-k: cold
  • d-ħ-s: strong
  • t-k: to sit on
  • s-b-d: form, become
  • ŋ-z-ʔ: pure
  • d-ŋ-n: lowly, debased, humiliate
  • ŋ-þ-ħ: stretch, deform
  • r-ŋ-b: precious
  • b-ħ-d: round
  • z-n: grasp


Lakovic should be huge

Urheimat: Talma

Language with dissimilated reduplicated plurals/verbs

some confusion between derivational affixes and trigger/applicatives in Ashanic

an ergative Lakovic language

a Txapoallian Lakovic language with a possessed classifier system




The reconstructed phonology of PLak


Labial Dental Domed Palatal Velar Laryngeal
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ ŋ /ŋ/
Plosive voiced b /b/ d /d/ g /ɡ/
voiceless p /p/ t /t/ k /k/ Q
Affricate c /t͡s/ ć /t͡ʂ/
Fricative f /f/ s /s/ ś /ʂ/ š /ʃ/ X, H
Resonant w /w/ l /l/ r /r/ y /j/


i u e o ə a

There is some disagreement about the vowel ə - it may have been /æ/ or /ə/.


Dominated by CV or CVC syllables. Some prefixes and infixes resulted in CC-'s.

Proto-Lakovic morphology

Root structure

Roots consisted of a sequence of consonants plus an inherent vowel. Schwebeablaut was used, so the vowel could change places. The roots could be of the form

  1. biconsonantal roots alternating between CVC and CCV. Example: sep ~ spe 'to walk'
  2. triconsonantal roots alternating between CCVC, CVCC, and CVCVC. Example: ptsun ~ putsn ~ putsun 'to live'
  3. 4-consonant roots like cpalg ~ cplag 'to cry out'

Statistically, biconsonantal roots in Lakovic are somewhat more common than in Semitic; triconsonantal roots are derived from biconsonantals via root extensions.

Various prefixes, infixes and suffixes were added to derive words. Infixes can have 2 allomorphs, either as an infix or as a prefix: C<əC>CVC or C-CVC/C-CVCC.

Three-consonant roots had 3 ablaut grades, traditionally called:

  • Verbal grade: CCVC
  • Nominal grade: CVCC
  • Long grade: CVCVC

The CVCC grade had some reflexes with either the first C assimilating into V or the second C (explain some words like muad, yar or -b, -d finals)

Weak roots

Weak roots such as *yriš 'to hear' and *sap' 'to pull' have irregularities in their allomorphs, like weak roots in Semitic. The weak consonants are y, w, H, and Q.

With week roots, either the verbal stem (e.g. yriš > riš) or the nominal stem (sap' > sap 'to pull, to drag') or both are shortened, and either drops or assimilates the weak consonant.


Nouns were pluralized by total reduplication:

  • lakof 'person' > lakof-lakof 'people'
  • ptek 'flesh' > ptek-ptek 'a large quantity of flesh'

There was a feminine suffix -is/-s.

Nouns had no morphological case; genitive noun phrases were formed by concatenation.

Ashanic developed a new associative plural suffix -am, from päm 'that; those' (the -am in Modern Windermere plural pronouns łănam, ănam).

Case markers

Case markers came before the noun:

  • xu = direct case
  • Hit = indirect case


Most branches of Lakovic show evidence for the following PLak pronouns:

  • *riH = I
  • *bəŋ = we (dual inclusive)
  • *śen = thou (m)
  • *śens = thou (f)
  • *Qin = he
  • *Qins = she

PLak had no plural pronouns; it made do with associative plurals or demonstratives instead.

Possessive prefixes

Verbs and adjectives

Proto-Lakovic was a verb-heavy language: verbs contained enough information that a sentence could consist of just a verb, and context made sense of the meaning.

Verbs inflected for triggers, TAM, pluractionality, evidentiality, and gender agreement. Present-day Lakovic languages preserve these inflections to varying levels.


  • wa- = feminine


  • unmarked: imperfective (current state for stative)
  • -H: perfective (dynamic for stative)
  • various reduplifixes for other TAMs:
    • C1V- = iterative, habitual action


Triggers (giving the noun in the direct case specific semantic roles) were marked by adding infixes to the verbal grade of the root. The original trigger system usually became a set of derivational affixes in daughter languages, much like binyanim (originally marking voice) in Semitic languages.

Proto-Lakovic had eight triggers:

  • agent trigger: unmarked?
  • patient trigger: əp
  • destination trigger: əŋ
  • locative trigger: it
  • ablative/cause trigger: əm/nəm
  • instrument trigger: əg
  • benefactive trigger: əkəm
  • comitative trigger: əw, lis

In most branches (Ashanic, Tseeric, Tumhanic, Pfiunic, Häskä, Tsrovesh), the original trigger system became a set of derivational affixes. Txapoallian Lakovic reinterpreted the trigger system into a more head-marking, polysynthetic system. Only some modern Eta-Lakovic languages retain a trigger system today.


The most common ways to form deverbal nouns were:

  • Using the nominal grade CVCC of the root
  • The ay infix
  • using instrument, place and agent affixes.

In some descendant languages such as Häskä, the nominal grade retained productivity as a derivational method, in fact there arose a triconsonantal root system.

Derivational morphology

Root extensions

There is much evidence that the truly basic roots were CVC~CCV roots, and CVCC~CCVC roots were derived from CVC~CCV via suffixing a third root consonant.

  • ngit = to happen
    • ngitw~ngtiw = new


  • -s: feminine
    • Source of breathy voice ablaut in Wdm.
  • r prefix or infix: non-volitional or passive verbs
    • Ashanic *àr, Wdm. , năr/măr
  • ay = deverbal noun
  • ang = place noun
  • aH = agentive
  • b- = agentive
    • Wdm. pă- (not productive)
    • Tseer ba-
  • ha- = resultative (passive in Windermere)
  • t- = causative
    • Wdm. th- (not productive)
  • lä- = denominal verbs
  • Qu- = intensive
    • Wdm. th-u-
  • ya- = adjectivizer; from ya 'with'
    • Wdm. yă-, Tseezh xi-, Häskä yə-
  • Q = negative; the opposite or undoing of X
    • not productive in Wdm

Proto-Lakovic syntax

Proto-Lakovic had flexible word order, but the most common word order was VSO.


  • spe-H Hit Qopr-is Xu riH (walk-PFV DIR height-FEM DIR 1SG) = I walked up high (neutral)
  • s<əŋ>pe-H Hit riH Xu Qopris (<DEST>walk-PFV DIR 1SG DIR high) = I walked up high (emphasis on "up high")

Copular sentences

Proto-Lakovic was zero-copula (different descendants use different etymologies for the copula).

This caused some triggers to be reinterpreted as noun-deriving affixes in some daughter languages. Demonstration by contrived example, with the instrument trigger:

pəktuś Hit riH Hit Qin Xu məHokis.
INSTstab IND 1SG IND 3SG.M DIR stone-F
I stabbed him with the stone.

was reinterpreted as something like "The stone was a stabbing-instrument for me".


  • päm: this; that
  • sey: here
  • piy: there
  • √bric: speak
  • √Qoŋ: good
  • √daQ: to get together
    • Wdm to 'good'
  • √blek: shine, radiate
    • Wdm pleach
  • √Qked: soft
  • √snok: 'to separate'
    • Wdm snoach: 'to learn'
  • √snek: 'to bite'
  • √ŋac: 'in front'
  • √ŋic: 'empty'
  • √yriš 'hear'
    • Wdm. riș 'hear ye!'
  • √Qpor 'high'
    • Wdm. ăfur 'noble'
    • Tseer ofør 'high'
  • √mnot 'to produce, to grow, to give birth'
    • *mont-is
      • Wdm muad
  • √ptek 'to inhabit, to occupy, to be at'
    • *paHtek
      • Wdm fteach 'body'
  • √dmäy 'to drop, to grant'
    • PAsh dàrmày 'rain'
      • Wdm. trămäy
  • *√ptsun 'to live'
  • *ləkof = human, person
  • √mdəŋ 'to struggle, to fight'
    • Wdm. mătäng 'war'
  • *ṛ-: nonvolitional
    • Wdm -ră-, -năr-
  • √tkä' 'to go'
    • Proto-Ashanic àrtka < *ṛ-tkä
      • Windermere răchta 'to die'
      • Tseer adhka 'to go'
      • Tsjoen tjo
  • ksìH
    • Wdm. csie 'star'
  • śkey
    • Wdm. scey 'bark'
  • məmə 'mother'
    • Wdm. ăma
  • Qeb 'father'
    • Wdm. ep
  • lban 'water'
    • PAsh àlbon
      • Wdm. blon
      • Tseer olban, Modern nban
    • Häskä əlfon
  • √žän 'to say'
    • PAsh šan 'to utter, to say'; šàn 'word'
      • Proto-Tumhanic hjàn 'word'
        • Schong jahn
        • Æ jov?
      • Wdm. șän
  • √lgän 'straight, upright'
    • PAsh àlgan
      • Wdm. glan 'straight'
      • Tseer ookhan
  • mi 'general oblique marker'; became 'in, at' in many daughter languages.


1-6: aHdan, aHrət, atsiw, amsHək, amsHut, dək

Feminine forms for 1-5: Hadna, Hərta, tsiwa, msəHka, msuHta