Ín Duári

From Linguifex
Jump to: navigation, search


Ín Duári is an indigenous minority language spoken in small pockets in Minhay. The language is not related to the Minhast language, nor the Peshpeg language, another minority language in the Minhast Nation. A relationship with the extinct Corradi language, another language indigenous to Minhay, has not been successfully demonstrated. Some linguists have also tried to establish a relationship with nearby languages in Northeast Asia, including Japanese, Korean, Ainu, and various Altaic, Tungusic, and Paleosiberian languages. Others have tried to link it to the Indo-European language family, due to typological similarities between the two. Nevertheless, a relationship with other languages continues to elude scholars, and thus Ín Duári remains classified as a language isolate.

The Ín Duári have often been referred to in older literature by the name Golahát. The term is an exonym, originating from the Peshpeg word gola, meaning foreigner, and -hát, a Peshpeg suffix used to derived denonyms; the suffix -hát is itself a borrowing from the Minhast suffix -ast/-hast. The endonym ín Duari, used by native speakers to refer to themselves, means "the people", and they refer to their language as rinázi, meaning "those who speak (intelligibly)".

Like Peshpeg, Ín Duári is an endangered language; according to the 2010 census, less than one thousand people still speak the language, the youngest in their late 30's or early 40's. ín Duari has fared better than Peshpeg, which has only a few hundred speakers at most. Nevertheless, ín Duari continues to lose speakers due to several factors, such as the influx of Minhast speakers into traditionally Ín Duári-speaking areas, emigration by the younger generation to urban areas in search for employment, and the influence of the Minhast-dominated media.

Ín Duári is divided into several dialects, with various degrees of mutually intelligibility. The Anzi dialect is best attested, however an unofficial lingua franca based on the Enoţin dialect has recently spread as its speaker base has been least affected by the diaspora resulting from Wolf Speaker expansion. The Gæţwin dialect, although considered a minor dialect, is found in most linguistic literature as it is the most conservative of all the surviving dialects and is found in most native literary works and prevails in oral tradition; it is considered as the prestige dialect for these reasons and is the dialect described in this article.



Ín Duári was originally written in the native Minhast abugida called the Širkattarnaft, but as it reflected Minhast's four-vowel system, it was deficient in representing Ín Duári's, whose present-day vowel inventory distinguishes seven phonemically distinct vowels. Stress, rather than length, is phonemic and is reflected in the practical Uannar orthography, adopted with modifications from the Latin alphabet. Uannar means "Eastern Sea", a historical reminder that it was early American missionaries that developed the system before the Minhast prefectures imposed restrictions limiting Western access to Aškuan.

The Uannar, originally representing the pronunciation of the Gæţwin dialect faithfully, has now diverged from the language as it is now spoken, so silent letters have arisen, such as the definite article ðæl, which is now pronounced /dɛ/ in most dialects.

Uannar Characters
a, á, æ, e, é, i, í, o, ó u, ú, b, p, f, v, d, ð, t, ţ, g, k, n, m, l, r, z, s, h, ua, ue, w, y

The grapheme <æ> is freqently pronounced /ɛ/ and written as <e> if it falls within a stressed syllable. <y> is pronounced /ʌ/, reflected in the Uannar when it was first developed, but in contemporary speech may be pronounced /ɪ/ or /ɛ/; this change resulted as a compromise between separate sound changes that occurred in two separate dialects. /ð/ generally changes to /d/ when followed directly by a voiced nasal or liquid, or by a vowel followed by an obstruent or voiced nasal or liquid.

An example of the current orthographical representation and original pronunciation, and the current pronunciation in the Gæţwin dialect, is represented in the following example:

Divergences in Spelling and Pronunciation Over Time
Year Spelling Pronunciation Meaning
Differences c. 1897 Đæl mireli torma ueðen /ðæl 'mirɛli torma wɛðyn/ "The chair was (sitting) over there."
2003 Đæl mireli torma ueðen /dɛ 'mirli 'dɔmʌ wedɪn/


Ín Duári Consonantal Inventory
Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal Laryngeal
Nasal m n
Plosive p b t d k g ʔ
Fricative Non-Sibilant f v θ ð ç x h
Sibiliant s z
Approximants w j
Trill r
Lateral l


  Front Near- front Central Near- back Back
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg


Length and Stress

Vowel length is distinctive in Ín Duári, and is indicated in the orthography by acute accents over the lengthened vowels. Additionally, the acute accent in ú and í also signify vowel quality. Since vowel length affects the stress; the acute accent also indicates the location of the primary stress of the word.

Vowel length is almost always associated with syllable stress. As a general rule, long vowels do not occur in CVCC clusters, although some exceptions arise, as in mínþir (exhaustion). If two or more long vowels occur in a word, the final long vowel is stressed.



The Gaețwyn dialect, although not considered the "standard" dialect, best represents the phonotactics of all the Ín Duári dialects and is found in most references of the language.

  • In nominal and verbal roots, final /n/ elides to /ð/, and sporadically, /θ/, e.g. evaþæwyn instead of expected evanþænwyn "clouds" (NOM.PL).



Ín Duári is a fusional language with some agglugination.


Nouns inflect for gender, number and case. The gender system contains eight classes, descended from an earlier system that distinguished animacy through noun classifiers. In time these classifiers became bound morphemes, accounting for the disparate patterns found across the present noun class system. Animacy is still correlated with noun classes, with animacy tending to decrease from left to right across the noun classes. However, the animacy distinctions have blurred, with some of the nouns in the protolanguage being reassigned to another class due to syncretism.

The Class I and Class II nouns are unmarked in the nominative, but take accusative suffixes. Nouns from Class III to Class VI all exhibit suffix marking on the nominative, with null marking on the accusative. These nouns are referred to as the unmarked accusative nouns, or marked nominative nouns. Based on this type of case marking, linguists have classified Ín Duári's morphosyntactic alighnment as nominative-absolutive , a subtype of the more familiar nominative-accusative morphosyntactic alighment. Nominative-absolutive languages occur rarely throughout the world. However, Ín Duári exhibits nominative-absolutive alignment only in Class III-Class VIII. Class I and Class II exhibit the prototypical nominative-accusative pattern though, so Ín Duári is highly unusual as it appears to exhibit a split alignment system between the nominative-accusative and the nominative-absolutive morphosyntactic alignment classifications.

Class VII and Class VIII nouns have merged the nominative and accusative cases into a single, direct case. The plural forms originally reduplicated the initial syllable with the CV- pattern followed by and infixed -θ-, but through phonological erosion initial consonants were lost, leaving behind the vowel of the original reduplicated syllable. Through time the vowels were leveled to an e- prefix in all noun classes, save for the plural in the form VIII direct case, which changed to initial i- prefix.

Case Noun Classes
Class I Class II Class III Class IV Class V Class VI Class VII Class VIII
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative sarian esaraþa mane emanþea vannea evaþænwyn dioneiða edioþwyðas tænzyca etænþycæn fwyðneas efwyþinwas naërwyð enaërþyfa berfwyn iberþyfwa
Accusative sarianai esaraþnai manead emanþeada vanin evaþæn dioneið edioþwyð tænzyc etænþyca fwyðen efwyþin
Root sari- man- vani- dion- tænz- fwyð- naër- ber-
Meaning man hand cloud leaf knife water desire stone


Case Noun Classes
1st 2nd Class I Class II Class III Class IV Class V Class VI Class VII Class VIII
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative veiţ fwyţ caen ðaes naei ðaes ani ðaen ðaene ðaen faeţwyn faeţ rauţa rauţ laenţen laenţ riaţa riaţ faeðaen faeð


The Ín Duári verb is moderately synthetic, capable of indicating voice, tense, and aspect. Three tenses, a present, past, and future are distinguished. Additionally, three aspects are marked, namely the habitual, imperfect and perfect. However, person is not marked and requires a pronoun or an overt noun preceding the verb. Pro-drop is allowed only in embedded clauses and only if the subject of the embedded clause is the same as that of its matrix clause. Mood is for the most part indicated by particles preceding the main verb; however, an inflectional Purposive mood exists. The Purposive exists only in the Active voice and is uninflected for tense, instead inheriting its tense marking from the verb in the matrix clause.

Ín Duári lacks an infinitive but possesses three non-finite forms, namely the gerund and participle, and a verbal noun, which may take additional derivational suffixes.

The following table demonstrates the conjugation of the regular verb vára (to see):

TAM Active Passive
Past Habitual varántir izvaráltir
Non-Past Habitual evarán azeváralan
Past Perfect vará azvarál
Past Imperfect evára azevarál
Present Perfect vára azvarál
Present Imperfect evárae azevaráli
Future Perfect varái azvarál
Future Imperfect evaráien azvaraiél
Purposive varánuiþ n/a

The non-finite forms inflect for case and number:

Header text Header text Header text
Example Gerund Participle
Nominative Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example

Unlike its relative Nidâri, Ín Duári does not have a negative verbal affix; negation is indicated by the particle kel which must come before the verb, although other constituents may intervene between the negator and the verb:

Kel Renviaran evára Anzi renzuiþ Haþlua men Kirmaþanai (Renviar did not go to Anzi to kill Wolf Speakers).


Constituent order

Canonical word order is VSO. Nevertheless, SVO, SOV, VOS, OSV, and OVS may appear as the case system allows such flexibility since it explicitly marks syntactic roles. Modifiers for the most part follow their heads, although determiners and deictics precede their heads.

Noun phrase

Verb phrase

Sentence phrase

Dependent clauses

Example texts

Other resources