Early Kämpya

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Early Kämpya is a creole that was a predecessor to Kämpya. It developed in the future, after Antarctica was settled by a wave of refugees fleeing runaway climate change. It took most of its vocabulary from English, but was heavily influenced by a number of East Asian languages, most notably Japanese, Taiwanese and Burmese.



The vowel system is simplified compared to English, but more complex than Kämpya. There are 7 vowels /a ɛ ɔ e o i u/. Diphthongs can be formed from any non-high vowel + /i/ or /u/.


Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop pʰ p b tʰ t d kʰ k g
Fricative f θ ð sʰ s z h
Nasal m n ŋ
Approximant w l j

The fricatives /θ/ /ð/ are in free variation with the affricates [tθ] [dð].


The only syllable shapes allowed were (C) (C) V (C) (C). If a syllable onset consisted of a single consonant, any consonant could appear. In clusters in syllable onsets, the second consonant had to be more sonorous than the first. In this language's phonology, the sonority hierarchy was [Aspirated Consonant] < [Non Aspirated Obstruent / Nasal] < [Approximant]. Before a nasal, only aspirated stops and fricatives could appear. So /kʰme/ - "Cambodia" and /sʰnau/ - "snow" were permissible words, but */kme/ and */snau/ were not. Also, /ŋ/ could not occur in onset syllable clusters.

In syllable codas, approximants, voiced fricatives and aspirated consonants could not appear. The range of permissble consonant clusters was restricted by a similar sonority hierarchy as before: [Stop] < [Fricative] < [Nasal]. However, in codas the more sonorous consonant had to come first. So /list/ - "list", /dɛːns/ - "dance", /pʰaint/ - "paint" were permissible words, but */lits/, */dɛːsn/ and */pʰaitn/ were not. Many words were rearranged to fit this hierarchy e.g. /bɔsk/ - "box". Also, voiced stops could not occur in syllable coda clusters (they were lost via a sound change, so */end/ - "end" became /en/).

Except in the most careful speech, place of articulation was in free variation for voiceless fricatives in syllable codas. So /laif/ - "life" was often heard as [lais] or [laih].


One syllable of each word was stressed. The placement of this syllable was phonemic. Monophthongs in stressed syllables could be either long or short (e.g. /dak/ - "duck" vs. /daːk/ - "dark") , except word finally, when they could only be long e.g. /faː/ - "far".

Grassman's Law

Words could not have more than one aspirated consonant (note that /h/ counted as an aspirated consonant). So /saˈpʰwɔi/ - "surprise" and /sʰaˈpen/ - "to hang in the air" (from English "suspend") were permissible words, but */sʰaˈpʰwɔi/ and */sʰaˈpʰen/ were not. A similar process occured in ancient Indo-European languages (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grassmann%27s_law).

Phonological Changes from Predecessor Languages


Most of the vocabulary of the creole came from English, specifically Australian English but several sound changes took place.


Voiceless stops (and /s/) were aspirated when they either occurred at the start of a word e.g. /kʰɛt/ - "cat". They were also aspirated in the onset of stressed syllables e.g. /deˈpʰaːt/ - "to depart".

There were two exceptions to the above rule. The first was when the voiceless stop was immediately preceded by an /s/, in which case it was never aspirated, though the /s/ was lost e.g. /tɔp/ - "stop" (compare to /tʰɔp/ - "top").

The second exception occurred when two (or more) aspirated consonants occurred in a word, in this case Grassman's Law applied, and all but the last lost their aspiration e.g. /pweˈtʰen/ - "pretend" (not */pʰweˈtʰen/).

Postalveolar Consonants

Before vowels, English /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ became /dj/ and /zj/ respectively. /tʃ/ and /ʃ/ became /tj/ and /sj/ respectively, though with the same aspiration rules applying as for /t/ and /s/. So aspiration took place in /aˈtʰjei/ - "to achieve", but not in /miˈtjei/ - "mischievous".

In other cases, postalveolar consonants merged into their alveolar equivalents e.g. /beit/ - "beach".

Alveolar Approximant

The creole was descended from Australian English, a non-rhotic dialect. So there was no /r/ in words like /deˈpʰaːt/ - "to depart". In other clusters, English /r/ became /w/ e.g. /pweˈtʰen/ - "pretend". Between vowels, it also became /w/ e.g. /ˈfɔwest/ - "forest". Elsewhere, it became /zw/ e.g. /ˈzwɛpid/ - "fast" (from English "rapid").

Voiced Labiodental Fricative

English /v/ became /bw/ before a vowel, and /b/ elsewhere e.g. /ˈbwɛli/ - "valley", /aˈlɔib/ - "alive".

Voiceless /w/

This re-emerged as a spelling pronunciation, being pronounced /hw/ e.g. /ˈhwaju/ - "whale".

Dark l

This completely vocalised to /u/ e.g. /sʰmou/ - "small".


The vowel system was quite similar to Australian English.

  1. The vowel in TRAP and MARRY became /ɛ/, though in stressed syllables, it underwent the bad-lad split, becoming either /ɛː/, as in /bɛːd/ - "bad", or /ɛ/, as in /ɛt/ - "to be at".
  2. The vowel in BATH, PALM and START (Australian English is non-rhotic) became /a/ in unstressed syllables, and /aː/ in stressed syllables e.g. /deˈpʰaːt/ - "depart".
  3. The vowel in NURSE merged into the above vowel e.g. /naːs/ - "nurse".
  4. The vowel in LOT, CLOTH and HOT became /ɔ/ e.g. /ˈɔpɔsit/ - "opposite".
  5. The vowel in THOUGHT and NORTH became /o/ in unstressed syllables, and /oː/ in stressed syllables e.g. /foː/ - "four".
  6. The vowel in KIT became /i/ e.g. /ˈbiten/ - "bite" (from English "bitten"). However, before /l/ it became /ju/ e.g. /hju/ - "hill".
  7. The vowel in HEAT usually became /ei/ e.g. /deip/ - "deep". However, before /j/ it became /e/ e.g. /ˈfejod/ - "fjord". And before /l/, it became /iː/ e.g. /ˈfiːliŋ/ - "display of emotions" (from English "feeling").
  8. The vowel in DRESS and MERRY normally became /e/ e.g. /ˈenem/ - "enemy".
  9. The vowel in SQUARE and MARY became /e/ in unstressed syllables, and /eː/ in stressed syllables e.g. /kʰeː/ - "hospital patient" (from English "care")
  10. The vowel in STRUT normally became /a/ e.g. /wan/ - "one".
  11. The vowel is FOOT became /u/ e.g. /fut/ - "foot".
  12. The vowel in GOOSE became /u/ in unstressed syllables, and usually became /eu/ in stressed syllables e.g. /geus/ - "goose", /tʰeu/ - "two". However, before another vowel, it became /e/ e.g. /sʰewa/ - "sewer". In stressed syllables before /l/, it became /u/ e.g. /tʰuː/ - "tool"
  13. The vowel in FACE normally became /ai/ e.g. /naim/ - "name". However, before /l/ it became /aju/ e.g. /ˈhwaju/ - "whale".
  14. The vowel in PRICE became /ɔi/ e.g. /pʰwɔis/ - "price". However, before /l/ it became /ɔju/ e.g. /tʰɔju/ - "tile".
  15. The vowel in CHOICE became /oo/ e.g. /tʰjoi/ - "choice", except before /l/ when it became /oju/ e.g. /ˈboju/ - "boil".
  16. The vowel in GOAT usually became /au/ e.g. /sʰnau/ - "snow". However, in a stressed syllable before /l/ it became /ɔu/ e.g. /kaukakʰɔula/ - "Coca-Cola".
  17. The vowel in MOUTH became /ɛu/ in a stressed syllable e.g. /mɛuθ/ - "mouth".
  18. The vowel in NEAR became /i/ in unstressed syllables, and /iː/ in stressed syllables (causing lenition of the following consonant). Then these both merged into /i/ e.g. /fiːs/ - "fierce".
  19. As a very general rule, schwa became /a/, however in a lot of cases it developed into another vowel, being influenced by spelling e.g. /ˈbíʔtèn/ - "bite" (from English "bitten").


The creole borrowed Japanese loanwords from a future version of the language, which had undergone a number of sound changes, heavily influenced by English.

Moraic n

Before another consonant, this assimilated in place of articulation e.g. /ˈmaŋga/ - "sequence of images that tell a story" (from Japanese /maɴga/).

Voiceless Vowels

These were all deleted, as long as the resulting consonants would be permitted by English phonotactics e.g. /oneˈgaisimas/ - "can you do me a favour" (from Japanese /onegaiɕimasɯ̥/ via /oneˈgaiɕimas/), /geŋk/ - "lively, healthy" (from Japanese /geɴki̥/).

Other Vowel Deletion

Japanese /sɯn/ became /sʰn/ e.g. /sʰna/ - "sand" (from Japanese /sɯna/). Likewise, Japanese /sɯm/ became /sʰm/.

Japanese sequences of obstruent + /ɯɾ/ became clusters of obstruent + /l/ e.g. /ˈsʰakla/ - "cherry blossom" (from Japanese /sakɯɾa/).


The same process that applied to English nouns also applied to Japanese nouns e.g. /ˈkʰampai/ - "cheers" (from Japanese /kaɴpai/), /ˈkebe/ - "creep" (from Japanese /sɯ̥kebe/ via /skebe/).


All Japanese gemination was lost e.g. /ˈona/ - "female" (from Japanese /oɴna/), /ˈbakiŋ/ - "blood money" (from Japanese /bakːiɴ/ - "fine"). However, if a vowel was followed by a geminate consonant, any consonant immediately preceding that vowel could not be aspirated e.g. /ˈsipai/ - "to fail a test" (from Japanese /ɕipːai/). This occurred via the following mechanism. Geminate consonants glottalised vowels immediately preceding them, and glottalised vowels blocked aspiration, before being lost themselves.


The pitch accent was lost, and replaced with a stress accent. In words which were unaccented in Japanese, the stress was placed on heaviest syllable of the word e.g. /ˈoːsaka/ - "Osaka" (from Japanese /oːsaka/). If there was a tie for the heaviest syllable, the accent was placed on the second last such syllable e.g. /ˈdaikoŋ/ - "Japanese radish" (from Japanese /daikoɴ/).

Vowel Quality

Japanese /ae/ became /ɛː/ e.g. /kʰaŋˈgɛːlu/ - "to think over" (from Japanese /kaɴgaeɾɯ/). Similarly, Japanese /ao/ became /ɔː/ e.g. /ˈkʰɔːdas/ - "to put in an appearance" (from Japanese /kaodaɕi/). Japanese /ɯi/ became /wi/ e.g. /sʰaˈmwiː/ - "cold" (to talk about weather, from Japanese /samɯi/). Also, Japanese long /ɯː/ diphthongised to /eu/ e.g. /ˈkjeuli/ - "cucumber" (from Japanese /kjɯːɾi/)

Vowel Length

Long vowels were lost outside stressed syllables e.g. /ˈtʰoːkjo/ - "Tokyo" (from Japanese /toːkjoː/). Word final short vowels were lengthened in stressed syllables e.g. /sʰasiˈmiː/ - "raw fish" (from Japanese /saɕiˈmi/).

Japanese r

Normally, this became /l/ e.g. /kʰaŋˈgɛːlu/ - "to think over" (from Japanese /kaɴgaeɾɯ/). The exception was if it was clustered with /j/, in which case it was lost e.g. /ˈjoːkaŋ/ - "inn" (from Japanese /ɾjoːkaɴ/, but with a considerably greater scope of meaning).

Alveo-Palatal Consonants

Before /i/, these merged into the alveolar consonants e.g. /sʰasiˈmiː/ - "raw fish" (from Japanese /saɕiˈmi/). Elsewhere, they became sequences of alveolar consonant +/j/ e.g. /ˈtjeutohampa/ - "to leave half done" (from Japanese /tɕɯːtohaɴpa/).

Alveolar Affricates

Japanese /ts/ became /θ/ via a two-stage process. First it fronted to a dental affricate /tθ/. Then it became a fricative. For example, /ˈθeujaksja/ - "interpreter" (from Japanese /tsɯːjakɯ̥ɕa/).

Likewise, the affricate allophone of Japanese /z/ (heard word initially) became /ð/ via a similar process e.g. /ðaˈbutoŋ/ - "triangular Japanese-style cushion" (from Japanese /zabɯtoɴ/, pronounced /dzabɯtoɴ/).


A number of words were borrowed from Burmese, especially postpositions. Stress was always placed on the last syllable of Burmese loanwords, and if monophthongs, such vowels were usually long.

Glottal Stop Codas

These were borrowed into the creole with spelling pronounciations, of how the glottal stops were pronounced before they debuccalised e.g. /pʰauk/ - "to ferment" (from Burmese /pʰauʔ/).

If a glottal stop came after a monophthong, it was pronounced short (one of the few exceptions to the rule that all Burmese loanwords had long vowels in stressed syllables) e.g. /laˈpʰet/ - "pickled leaves" (from Burmese /ləpʰeʔ/).

Nasal Codas

These were also borrowed with spelling pronunciations e.g. /aˈsiŋ/ - "religious leader" (from Burmese /aɕiɴ/).

Voiceless Nasals

These were borrowed as clusters of homorganic aspirated nasal + nasal e.g. /pʰma/ - locative particle (from Burmese /m̥a/)

Voiceless l

This was borrowed as /sʰl/ e.g. /sʰlaik/ - "to feel empty due to grief" (from Burmese /l̥aiʔ/ - "hollowed out")


Breathy phonation was borrowed into the creole as a coda /h/ e.g. /bwuːnh/ - a type of fish trap that uses the tides to trap fish (from Burmese /bəwṳɴ/).

On syllables ending in nasals, creaky phonation was borrowed into the creole as a homorganic voiceless stop after the nasal. If the preceding vowel was a monophthong, then it was always short (the other exception to the rule that Burmese loanwords always had long vowels in stressed syllables) e.g. /miŋk/ - "definitely" (from Burmese /mḭɴ/). In other cases, creaky phonation was borrowed as a /d/ after the vowel e.g. /gɛːd/ - "already" (from Burmese /gɛ̰/).


The Spanish speaking migrants who influenced the creole were overwhelmingly from Central America. This is reflected in the loanwords that the creole borrowed.


After the migration to Antarctica, Central American migrants wished to differentiate themselves from the more numerous South American migrants (who mostly settled to the east of where the creole was spoken). Ceceo pronunciation (presently used only by a small number of rural Costa Rican speakers) became fashionable, with the result that all Spanish words containing soft "c", "s", or "z" were borrowed into the creole with /θ/ e.g.

/amaneˈθjoː/ - "beginning of the period of midnight sun" (from Spanish "amaneció") /θaˈlaðo/ - "ruined" (from Spanish "salado") /ˈθwabe/ - "relaxed" (from Spanish "suave")

Deaffrication of ch

Spanish "ch" first became /ts/, and then deaffricated to either /sʰ/ (before stressed syllables or at the start of words), or /s/ (elsewhere) e.g.

/ˈsʰoθa/ - "house" (from Spanish "choza") /kʰeˈdisa/ - "thankfully", "luckily" (from Spanish "qué dicha")

Grassman's Law applies to aspirated /sʰ/ (as to all aspirated consonants in the creole) e.g.

/suˈsʰiŋa/ - "wife beater" (from Spanish "chuchinga")

Velar Nasal

Word final nasal consonants all became /ŋ/ e.g. /ebaˈθjoŋ/ - "great migration south to Antarctica" (from Spanish "evasión").

The Spanish consonant cluster "ng" also became /ŋ/ e.g. /suˈsʰiŋa/ - "wife beater" (from Spanish "chuchinga").

Spanish r

In codas, Spanish "r" was lost e.g. /toˈtʰija/ - "tortilla" (from Spanish "tortilla"). However, in stressed syllables, a coda r resulted in a lengthened vowel e.g /ˈhwaːθe/ - "to put something at risk" (from Spanish "jugarse").

After most consonants, Spanish "r" became /w/ e.g. /ˈbwete/ - "job" (from Spanish "brete"). The only exception was after Spanish non-word initial "d" and "g", when it was lost, but blocked the lenition of /d/ to [ð] e.g. /ˈpʰjeda/ - "pebble" (from Spanish "piedra") and of /g/ to /ɣ/ e.g. /ˈlagima/ (from Spanish "Lágrima").

Elsewhere, Spanish "r" and "rr" became /z/ e.g. /ˈpʰuza/ - "pure" (from Spanish "pura"), /zaˈhaðo/ - "incredible" (from Spanish "rajado"), and /foˈzaðo/ - "rich" (from Spanish "forrado"). If "rr" came immediately after a stressed vowel, then that vowel was lengthened e.g. /ˈtʰaːzo/ - "container for water" (from Spanish "tarro").

Velar Fricatives

Spanish /x/ became /h/ e.g. /ˈhupa/ - "head" (from Spanish "jupa"). Except after a nasal, [ɣ] was lost e.g. /aˈza/ - "to gather" (e.g. shellfish, from Spanish "agarrar"). However, a lost /ɣ/ adjacent to a stressed vowel did often lengthen it e.g. /ˈaːwa/ - "sea water" (from Spanish "agua").


A sequence of /a/ and /e/ (in any order) coalesced to become /ɛ/, or /ɛː/ in stressed syllables e.g. /mɛː/ - "fellow" (from Spanish "mae"), /pʰɛː/ - "stick" (from Spanish "pega"). Likewiese, a sequence of /a/ and /o/ (in any order) coalesced to become /ɔ/, or /ɔː/ (in stressed syllables) e.g. /ˈɔːja/ - "crew" (from Spanish "argolla").


Chinese loanwords came overwhelmingly from Taiwanese, since most other Chinese speakers fled to refuges in the Northen Hemisphere when the runaway global warming crisis hit.

Alveolar Affricates

Aspirated /tsʰ/ was deaffricated to /sʰ/, still preserving its aspiration e.g. /sʰau/ - "lawn" (from Taiwanese /tsʰau˥˧/). Unaspirated /ts/ was fronted and deaffricated to /θ/ e.g. /sjuˈθwiː/ - "swim" (from Taiwanese /ɕiu˨˩tsui˥˧/). Voiced /dz/ was deaffricated to /z/ e.g. /zuˈhoː/ - "method" (from Taiwanese /ʣu˨˩ho˧˥/).

Alveopalatal Consonants

Alveopalatal affricates were first unpacked to a sequence of alveolar affricate +/j/ (if not before /i/). Then the alveolar affricates underwent the same sound changes as discussed above e.g. /sʰjɛt/ - "sliced thinly" (from Taiwanese /tɕʰiɛt˩˩/), /ˈθiːŋhkʰak/ - "proper" (from Taiwanese /tɕiŋ˥˧kʰak˩˩/).


If a polysyllabic word is borrowed into the language, then the syllable with the highest pitch has stress e.g. /tɔŋˈbuːht/ - "animal" (from Taiwanese /tɔŋ˨˩but˥˥/. In the case of a tie, the first syllable gets stress e.g. /ˈbuːsʰinh/ - "goddess" (from Taiwanese /bu˥˥tɕʰɪn˥˥/). In the case of contour tones, the highest point of the contour tone counts for determining stress e.g. /ˈsʰwiːhθi/ - "informant" (from Taiwanese /tsʰui˥˧tɕiʔ˥˥/).

Nasal Vowels

These were borrowed into the creole with a coda /ŋ/ e.g. /tʰiːŋh/ - "heaven" (from Taiwanese /tʰĩ˥˥/).

Coda h

Words with the high yin level tone (55) were always borrowed into the creole with a coda /h/ e.g. /tʰiːŋh/ - "heaven" (from Taiwanese /tʰĩ˥˥/). Non-final syllables with high checked tones (yang entering) and high falling (51) tones were also borrowed with a coda /h/ e.g. /ˈsʰwiːhθi/ - "informant" (from Taiwanese /tsʰui˥˧tɕiʔ˥˥/).

Vowel Length

Stressed monophthongs were borrowed as long vowels if they had a tone at the top of the speaker's vocal range e.g. /tɔŋˈbuːht/ - "animal" (from Taiwanese /tɔŋ˨˩but˥˥/, or if they rose to or fell from this point e.g. e.g. /ˈsʰwiːhθi/ - "informant" (from Taiwanese /tsʰui˥˧tɕiʔ˥˥/), /pɔˈhiːŋ/ - "pilgrimage" (from Taiwanese /pɔ˨˩hiŋ˧˥/).


Thai borrowings into the creole came from a mixture of Central Thai (as spoken in Bangkok), and NE Thai (very similar to Lao) e.g. /pʰwan/ - "friend of the family" (from Central Thai /pʰʉ̂an/- "friend"), /mwanh/ - "to have a party" (from NE Thai /muan/ - "fun").


Stress was always on the last syllable of the word e.g. /jahˈphʰeuŋ/ - "premature, hasty" (from Central Thai /jàː pʰʉ̂ŋ/ - "not yet").


The Central Thai low tone and the NE Thai mid tone both surfaced as a /h/ in the syllable coda e.g. /daːh/ - "to become angry and speak rudely" (from Central Thai /dàː/), /sʰaˈtih/ - "mindfulness" (from Central Thai /satìʔ/), /mwanh/ - "to have a party" (from NE Thai /muan/ - "fun").


/ʉ/ became /eu/ e.g. /jahˈphʰeuŋ/ - "premature, hasty" (from Central Thai /jàː pʰʉ̂ŋ/ - "not yet").

/ia/ became /ja/ e.g. /sʰja/ - "wrecked / broken" (from Central Thai /sǐa/).

/ua/ and /ʉa/ both became /wa/ e.g. /mwanh/ - "to have a party" (from NE Thai /muan/ - "fun"), /pʰwan/ - "friend of the family" (from Central Thai /pʰʉ̂an/- "friend").

/ə/ became /a/ e.g. /baˈŋaːn/ - "useful piece of flotsam" (from Central Thai /baŋ ʔəːn/ - "by chance")


Thai /tɕ/ was borrowed as /tj/ e.g. /tjaiˈjen/ - "calm" (from Central Thai /tɕai jen/), while /tɕʰ/ was generally borrowed as /sʰj/ (it is already commonly pronounced as /ɕ/ in Bangkok Thai) e.g. /sʰjɔː/ - "small spoon" (from Central Thai /tɕʰɔ́ːn/)

/s/ was generally borrowed as aspirated /sʰ/, and aspirated stops were generally borrowed as such e.g. /sʰaˈtih/ - "mindfulness" (from Central Thai /satìʔ/), /pʰwan/ - "friend of the family" (from Central Thai /pʰʉ̂an/- "friend").

However, Grassman's Law applied to loanwords which would have had more than one aspirated consonant e.g. /sihˈtʰih/ - "right, privilege, authority" (from Central Thai /sìttʰìʔ).

/tr/ was lenited to unaspirated /s/ (via an intermediate /ts/) e.g. /swaht/ - "inspect" (from Central Thai /trùat/). In other clusters, /r/ was lost e.g. /kʰjat/ - "overly serious" (from Central Thai /kʰrîat/).

Outside clusters, /r/ was merged with /l/ e.g. /ruˈtjahk/ - "to know someone" (from Central Thai /rúː tɕàk/).

In clusters, /l/ was deleted e.g. /naˈkjaht/ - "ugly, disgusting" (from Central Thai /nâː klìat/).

Minor Syllables

When permitted by the creole's phonotactics, minor syllables lost their schwa e.g. /sʰniht/ - "to be close to someone" (from Central Thai /sənìt/).


The creole was mostly influence by the Hanoi variety, rather than Southern Vietnamese.


Vietnamese vowels were borrowed with the same changes as Thai vowels, and stress likewise always fell on the final syllable of polysyllablic words.


Vietnamese /v/ was borrowed as /j/ e.g. /jeuŋ/ - "sesame" (from Vietnamese "vững").


Words with the nặng tone were borrowed into the creole with short vowels e.g. /tjaŋˈjat/ - "Vietnamese language" (from Vietnamese "tiếng Việt"). Otherwise, words were borrowed with long vowels.

Words with the huyền tone were borrowed with a /h/ in the coda e.g. /baːh/ - "old lady" (from Vietnamese bà).



Pronouns were mostly borrowed from English, and displayed a nominative-accusative alignment.

Nominative Accusative Possessive
1st Person Singular ɔi mi mɔi
1st Person Plural wei lan ɛu
2nd Person jeu ŋi jo
3rd Person ðai swi ðe
Reflexive N/A se N/A
Interrogative ke zwe

The interrogative pronouns could be used to mean either "who" or "what".

Like English, the possessive pronouns came before the nouns they modified e.g. /jo=sʰip/ - "your ship". However, due to Spanish influence, the accusative pronouns came before the verbs they modified, not afterwards e.g. /mi=hit/ - "hit me".

There is also an anti-logophoric 3rd person possessive pronoun /ði/ (descended from English "the"). It is used to indicate that the possessor is not someone already mentioned in the sentence e.g.

/ðai hit ðe=dɔg/

3PS.NOM hit 3PS.POSS=dog

He hit his (his own) dog.


/ðai hit ði=dɔg/


He hit his (someone else's) dog.

Emphatic Pronouns

There are two emphatic pronouns. /bwos/ is a second person emphatic pronoun, really only used when accusing the listener of something. /kjen/ is an interrogative emphatic pronoun, corresponding to English "who the hell" or "what the hell".


The earliest stages of the language lacked articles. However, within a few generations of speakers, the numeral for "one" - /wan/ had grammaticalised to an indefinite article, and lost the /n/ before another consonant e.g. /wa=sʰip/ - "one ship".


Originally, there was a 3-way distance contrast in demonstratives, borrowed from Burmese. /da/ - "this" vs. /hou/ - "that" vs. /huˈlaːns/ - "over there". However, two more adjectives became grammaticalised as demonstratives, /tʰek/ for things uphill from / above the speaker, and /auk/ for things downhill from / below the speaker. /huˈlaːns/ underwent a semantic shift, only referring to things that the speaker could not see.


Posessors were marked with the enclitic /zu/, and preceded the nouns that they modified e.g. /dɔg=zu baun/ - "the dog's bone".


In the very earliest stages of the creole, some speakers marked plural using the suffix /s/, where it was phonotactically permissible e.g. /kʰɛt/ - "cat", /kʰɛts/ - "cats". However, this was lost quite quickly, and the language stopped marking number.


All verb phrases had to begin with an auxiliary verb, that marked transitivity. Orginally, this had to agree with the subject in number, so there were four such particles.

Singular Subject Plural Subject
Intransitive gest get
Transitive ˈizu

These derived from English "get", "gets", "is" and "are" respectively.

However, these auxiliary verbs went through a number of stages.

First, except for pronouns number agreement was lost. The singular forms began to be used regardless of the number of the subject.

Secondly, the intransitive forms were lost.

After that, the stress on the transitive auxiliary verb shifted to the final syllable, so it became /iˈzu/.

It wasn't long before the first syllable on /iˈzu/ was lost. So transitivity was now marked by /zuː/, except for plural pronouns when it was /aː/.