Aipán

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Aipán is a constructed language by Paul A. Daly (creator of Wistanian and ) for a collaborative world-building project. It is a proto-language with roots in the Aipanese islands, west of the Eñian peninsula. It's most prominent daughter language, Jahu Aishu, lends a number of loanwords to the Middle Eñi language.

Background

Setting

The Aipán people come from an isolated archipelago, and spoken by migrants from an unknown area (likely Klaustralia, but it could have been from the Western Continent as well). These people are avid produce farmers and extremely religious.

Goals

Aipán was created with the following goals in mind:

  1. To be naturalistic, yet unique. Aipán ought to have features unheard of in current natural languages, yet still within reason. There must be something special in the way that these people speak.
  2. To be adaptable as a protolanguage. Aipán will not stop here. Several of its features will be included with the intention to evolve it into something even more special or unique down the road, serving as a foundation for languages that its creator and others can develop.
  3. To be challenging and exciting. You learn a lot by giving yourself restrictions. Aipán was given a number of restrictions and requirements beforehand to be a challenge to the author: a limited number of verbs, multiple declension paradigms, no pronouns, and three-vowel inventory, to name a few.

Inspirations

Aipán is mostly its own unique language, but many features have been drawn from other languages. For example, it's phonology is inspired by Dravidian languages. expand once you get more inspired.

Phonology

Consonants

Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
dental retroflex
Nasal m n ɳ
Stop plain p t ʈ k
ejective p' t' ʈ' k'
Fricative s ʂ h
Liquid l ɭ ɰ

Orthographically, retroflex consonants are denoted with an accent: ⟨ń⟩, ⟨t́⟩, ⟨t́'⟩, ⟨ś⟩, ⟨ĺ⟩. The dorsal liquid, /ɰ/, is represented with ⟨u⟩.

[ʔ] is an allophone of /h/ when present at the end of a word.

  • h > ʔ / _#

Retroflex consonants assimilate into dentals when immediately preceded by a dental sound. Dental sounds likewise assimilate into retroflexes when immediately preceded by a retroflex sound.

  • R > D / D_
  • D > R / R_

Nasal sounds can be syllabic: [m̩], [n̪̍], [ɳ̩]

  • N > N̩ / C_C, C_#, #_C

Vowels

High i
Mid ə
Low a
Diphthong: /ai/

Aipán has two tones: medium and high (denoted in the orthography with an acute accent).

After retroflex consonants, /i/ and /a/ are backed.

  • i, a > ɯ, ɑ / R_

Schwas are tensed and fronted when following ejectives or articulated with a high tone.

  • ə > e / [ejective]_, _[+high]

Phonotactics

Aipán has a simple (C')(C)V/N(C) syllable structure, where C' represents an ejective, and N represents a syllabic nasal. An ejective cannot be immediately before another consonant of the same place of articulation (retroflexes and dental sounds still assimilate into the ejective sound), and /ɰ/ can only be an onset by itself. The language is syllable-timed, and stress lands on vowels with a high tone.

Possible syllable onsets:

  • m, n, ɳ, p, t, ʈ, k, p', p'n, p'ɳ, p't, p'ʈ, p'k, p's, p'ʂ, p'h, p'l, p'ɭ, t', t'm, t'p, t'k, t'h, ʈ', ʈ'm, ʈ'p, ʈ'k, ʈ'h, k', k'm, k'n, k'ɳ, k't, k'ʈ, k's, k'ʂ, k'h, k'l, k'ɭ, s, ʂ, h, l, ɭ, ɰ

Possible syllable nuclei:

  • i, ə, a, ai, m, n, ɳ

Possible syllable codas:

  • m, n, ɳ, p, t, ʈ, k, p', t', ʈ', k', s, ʂ, h, l, ɭ

Syntax

Aipán is a topic-comment, verb-final language, acting as either SOV or OSV. There are five parts of speech: noun, verb, determiner, postposition, and classifier. Morphosyntactically, it is a mostly analytic language with fusionality in its determiners and some agglutination in its verbs. Aipán is a split-S active-stative language.

Morphology

Nouns

Nouns decline for agent and patient using one of five declension paradigms determined by the noun's class. Nouns do not decline for anything else.

Verbs

There are only five true verbs in Aipán: be (stative), go (active), do (active), take (active), and hold (stative). These verbs conjugate for first person singular, perfective, imperfective, and subjunctive. Many other verbs are derived from serial verb constructions and noun incorporation.

Determiners

There is a broad inventory of determiners in Aipán that encode case, number, tense, and location. Pronouns are replaced by a determiner plus me (person).

Postpostions

Postposition encode location or directionality of a verb. These words are featured after their head.

Classifiers

Classifiers connect two words together to indicate relation. There is a broad inventory of classifiers that connect several different parts of speech for several different purposes.

Semantics

to be continued...