Ín Duári

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Ín Duári is an indigenous minority language spoken in small pockets in Minhay, a member of the small Duaric language family that includes Nidâri. Linguists have determined that the Duaric languages do not belong to a larger grouping related to the Minhast language, or 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 inferior, 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. Particularly devastating to the language in recent years was when the Ín Duári fled to Horse Speaker territory after suffering numerous punitive attacks by the Wolf Speakers during the Three Speakers War. The Ín Duári suffered heavy casualties and as a result lost many native speakers.


Ín Duári is divided into several dialects or væhir, with various degrees of mutually intelligibility. The Brægyn dialect has historically been the dominant dialect, 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 Viránt Gæţwin dialect, although considered today a minor dialect among native speakers, 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.

The Anzi dialect is currently experiencing an interesting split between older and younger speakers. The subdialects emerging from this split, the Old Speech and the Young Speech, show increasing morphological complexity and phonological mergers among the speakers of the latter subdialect. The Old Speech is more conservative and thus retains a degree of mutual intelligibility with the other dialects, while the innovations in the Young Speech has rendered it unintelligible to the other dialects. For this reason, many linguists, particularly Drs. Iyyaħmi and Naħkuy of the University of Minhay at Aškuan, argue for classifying the Young Speech as a separate language.

It has been argued that the Young Speech is polysynthetic, particularly by Dr. R.M Adams of the University of Tennessee. Indeed, there are certain characteristics that the Young Speech displays considered essential in canonical polysynthetic languages:

  1. Verbs are polymorphemic.
  2. Productive holophrasis occurs alongside alternative analytic structures with the same meaning; the choice between holophrastic versus analytic expressions are driven by pragmatic and other discourse considerations
  3. Polypersonal agreement affixes has developed from the agglutination and fusion of once-independent pronouns; as a result, the Young Speech allows pro-drop in extended discourse.

However, these characteristics alone, as argued by the majority of scholars specializing in comparative and theoretical linguists in polysynthetic languages, are not sufficient in classifying the Young Speech as polysynthetic. Adams' thesis rests primarily on the Young Speech's polymorphemic attributes. However, using polymorphemic attributes as a defining feature of polysynthetic languages is problematic as this would include Turkish, Finnish, and German, three languages that are decidedly not polysynthetic, as several prominent members of the field, Drs. Iyyaħmi and Naħkuy included as well as Dr. N. Tashunka of the University of the Lakota Nation at Three Pipes, Dr. A. Francobaldi at the Sapienza University of Rome, and Dr. Jaeng Tae-Moon at the Department of Linguistics in Beijing Imperial University have mentioned. Dr. Francobaldi observes:

  1. In canonical polysynthetic languages, argument marking is obligatory, even if the referents of the agreement markers are overt. The Young Speech, however, obligatorily suppresses an agreement marker when an overt argument surfaces: if an overt direct object appears, its corresponding verbal agreement marker is disallowed from surfacing, and the converse is true when an overt subject appears. If both an overt subject and object referent appears, the verb's agreement markers are barred from surfacing;
  2. The Young Speech displays neither noun incorporation (as in the Iroquoian languages) or lexical verbal affixation (as in the Eskaleut languages);
  3. Verbal affixes are restricted to tense-aspect marking and the Purposive mood. Other features, such as modals, valence marking, evidentials, etc., are lacking in the holophrastic verb.

Nevertheless, the aforementioned linguists agree that the Young Speech, while not polysynthetic, shows incipient signs that it is developing in that direction.

Bélar veiţ geţir eli geðyn fæţ (Gæţwin Spelling)
Bélar vi gæţyr lgædn fæţ (Reformed Spelling)

'bɛlar igɛθrilɪ'gɛdniɦ
belar iv-geţr-li-gedn-ih
prisoner 1S.NOM-speak-PURP-help

I spoke on behalf of the prisoner.



Ín Duári was originally written in the native Minhast abugida called the Širkattarnaft, but as it reflected Minhast's four-vowel system and lacked several Ín Duári phonemes, 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.

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 Uannar, originally representing the pronunciation of the 1897 Gæţwin dialect faithfully, has now diverged from the language as it is now spoken, so silent letters have arisen. One such example is the definite article ðæl, which is now pronounced /dɛ/ in most dialects, including Modern Colloquial Gæţwin, although purists emulate the 1897 pronunciation. This pronunciation is called the Viránt Gæţwin ("Elevated Gæţwin").

The grapheme <æ> is frequently 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 preceded 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 in the Viránt Gæţwin, and the current pronunciation in the Modern Colloquial Gæţwin, is represented in the following example:

Divergences in Spelling and Pronunciation Over Time
Spelling Pronunciation Meaning
Form Viránt Gæţwin Đæl mìreli torma ueðen /ðæl 'mɪrɛli torma wɛðyn/ "The chair was (sitting) over there."
Modern Colloquial Gæţwin /dɛ 'mɪrli '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 mínţir (exhaustion). If two or more long vowels occur in a word, the final long vowel is stressed.



The Gaeţwyn 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. evaţæwyn 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. 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 esaraţa mane emanţea vannea evaţænwyn dioneiða edioþwyðas tænzyca etænţycæn fwyðneas efwyţinwas naërwyð enaërţyfa berfwyn iberţyfwa
Accusative sarianai esaraţnai manead emanţeada vanin evaţæn dioneið edioţwyð tænzyc etænţyca fwyðen efwyţin
Genitive nasarian nesaraþa namane nemanţea navannea nevaţænwyn nadioneiða nedioţwyðas natænzyca netænţycæn nafwyðneas nefwyţinwas
Instrumental saraţe esarţea manaţe emanţea vanţea evanţae dionţe edionţae tænzyţa etænzyţe fwyðinţea efwyţinţa
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
Accusative viţnai
Genitive viţian
Instrumental vaţe



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 possesses three non-finite forms, namely the gerund and participle, and a verbal noun (sometimes called infinitive). The verbal noun may take additional derivational suffixes.

Tense-Aspect Marking

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

Verb Tense-Aspect Marking
Active Passive
Past Habitual varántir azvaráltir
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 varánuiţ n/a

Unlike the surrounding Peshpeg and Minhast languages, Ín Duári, with the exception of the Anzi Young Speech subdialect, is not a pro-drop language; if an explicit subject or object is dropped, the corresponding pronominal forms must appear. Thus Veiţ vara ţin is a well-formed sentence. Neither the first person or Class 3 forms may be dropped from a clause, unless their referent noun, or a proxy noun, appears.

(Anzi Dialect, Old Speech subdialects)

Veiţ vara ţin elir veiţ jora ţin
vɪ vaɾ tɪn 'elɪɾ vɪ 'd͡ʒoɾi tɪn
veiţ vara ţin elir veiţ jora ţin

I saw her and I smiled at her.

(Anzi Dialect, Young Speech subdialect)

Veiţ vara ţin elir veiţ jora ţin
ɪ'vaɾtn'el vɪ'd͡ʒoɾtɪn
vi-var-tn-el vi-jor-tin

I saw her and I smiled at her.

Non-Finite Forms

The non-finite forms inflect for case and number:

Type Affix Example Translation
Verbal Noun var-a sight, to see
Gerund -ein var-ein seeing
Participle -is var-is seen

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 renzuiţ Haţluada men Kirmaţanaida
kɛl ɾɛn'varjɛn ɛ'vaɾ 'anzi 'renzwɪθ haθlu'ada mɛn kɪɾma'θanɪda
kel renviar-an evára haţlua-da men kirmaţ-anai-da
PST.NEG PN-CL1.NOM go.PST.PRF wolf-CL2.P.ACC CONN minhast.speaking.tribe-DEN-CL2.P.ACC

Renviar did not go to Anzi to kill Wolf Speakers


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.

Constituent order

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