From Linguifex
Jump to: navigation, search

Gapauti is the native language of the Tsapeteg, a Kettek culture who live along the shores of the Tekingu Dattunga. Due to the easy trade relations the Tsapeteg have historically enjoyed with other cultures, both local and foreign, Gapauti has been used, and is still used today, as a major language in every country that borders the Tekingu Dattunga, as well as a good number of the cities that line the Kipesheye River.




Consonant inventory: /b d dz g h j k kʰ l m n p pʰ r s t tsʰ tʰ ts x z ŋ ɾ ʃ/

Bilabial Alveolar Palato-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop pʰ p b tʰ t d kʰ k g
Nasal m n ŋ
Affricative tsʰ ts dz
Fricative s z ʃ x h
Approximant l j
Tap ɾ
Trill r


Vowel inventory: /a e i u/

Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-mid e
Open a

Diphthongs: None


Syllable structure for is (C)V(C), with no fixed stress pattern.

  • /l/ turns into /s/ if before /k/
  • /a/ becomes silent if before /i/
  • /ŋ/ becomes /n/ before /i/
  • /s/ becomes /h/ if between two vowels
  • /n/ becomes /ɲ/ if before (consonant)
  • /l/ becomes /ʎ/ if before (consonant)


Word order is Subject-Object-Verb-Oblique, with adjectives placed before their nouns and postpositions used as adpositions.

  • "Mary opened the red door with a key" = "Mary the red door opened with a key"


Noun Morphology

Singular Plural
Nominative Animate child xirig /xi'rig/ children Suffix: - /-/
xirig /xi'rig/
Inanimate stone ngeki /'ŋeki/ stones Suffix: -(a)sh /-(a)ʃ/
ngekish /'ŋekiʃ/
Accusative Animate child Suffix: -(u)ki /-(u)kʰi/
xiriguki /xi'rigukʰi/
chidren Suffix: -u /-u/
xirigu /xi'rigu/
Inanimate stone Suffix: -(a)g /-(a)g/
ngekig /'ŋekig/
stones Suffix: -u /-u/
ngekiu /'ŋekiu/
Genitive Animate child's Suffix: -i /-i/
xirigi /xi'rigi/
children's Suffix: -(a)sh /-(a)ʃ/
xirigash /xi'rigaʃ/
Inanimate stone's Suffix: -(e)sh /-(e)ʃ/ ngekish /'ŋekiʃ/ stones' Suffix: -(e)r /-(e)ɾ/ ngekish /'ŋekiɾ/

Definitive Article

Singular Plural
Nominative Animate the [child] tat /tat/ the [children] tsap /tsap/
Inanimate the [stone] peg /pʰeg/ the [stones] peg /pʰeg/
Accusative Animate the [child] tsa /tsa/ the [children] ngeg /ŋeg/
Inanimate the [stone] xesh /xeʃ/ the [stones] shug /ʃug/
Genitive Animate the [child] tsi /tsi/ the [children] ngem /ŋem/
Inanimate the [stone] tsush /tsuʃ/ the [stones] tus /tʰus/

Uses of definite article that differ from English:

  • Definite article can be omitted: example, ‘I am going to jacuzzi’
  • Not used for mass (uncountable) nouns: English's ‘Walking in the mud’ would always translate to ‘Walking in mud’

Indefinite Article

Gapauti does not use an indefinite article.

Personal Pronouns

Nominative Accusative Genitive Dative
1st. Singular I tse
me tsang
mine tse gas
/tse gas/
to me tse tat
/tse tat/
2nd. Singular you ti
you tet
yours ti gas
/ti gas/
to you ti tat
/ti tat/
3rd. Singular he/she/it tsi
him/her/it tsu
his/hers/its tsi gas
/tsi gas/
to him/her/it tsi tat
/tsi tat/
1st. Plural we par
us ped
ours par gas
/pʰaɾ gas/
to us par tat
/pʰaɾ tat/
2nd. Plural you ngesh
you ngesh
yours ngesh gas
/ŋeʃ gas/
to you ngesh tat
/ŋeʃ tat/
3rd. Plural they pig
them pir
theirs 'pig gas
/pig gas/
to them pig tat
/pig tat/


Past Present Future
Perfective talked talk will talk
1st. Sg Suffix: -(a)sh /-(a)ʃ/
xash /xaʃ/
Suffix: -(a) /-(a)/
xa /xa/
Suffix: -u /-u/
xau /xa'u/
2nd. Sg Suffix: -(e)d /-(e)d/
xad /xad/
Suffix: -e /-e/
xae /xa'e/
Suffix: -i /-i/
xai /xa'i/
3rd. Sg Suffix: -u /-u/
xau /xa'u/
Suffix: -(a)xe /-(a)xe/
xaxe /xa'xe/
Suffix: -(a)d /-(a)d/
xad /xad/
1st. Pl Suffix: -(a)ng /-(a)ŋ/
xang /xaŋ/
Suffix: -i /-i/
xai /xa'i/
Suffix: -(e)s /-(e)s/
xas /xas/
2nd. Pl Suffix: -(e)n /-(e)n/
xan /xan/
Suffix: -(e)ngu /-(e)ngu/
xangu /xa'ŋu/
Suffix: -i /-i/
xai /xa'i/
3rd. Pl Suffix: -i /-i/
xai /xa'i/
Suffix: -(e)di /-(e)di/
xadi /xa'di/
Suffix: -i /-i/
xai /xa'i/
  • Perfect aspect -- uses the word shiple after the main verb -- "have talked" or xash shiple ("talked finish")
  • Progressive aspect -- uses the word dzi after the main verb -- "am talking" or xa dzi ("talk be")
  • Imperative -- uses the same conjugation as 2nd-person present-tense -- "talk!" (as a command) or xae
  • Negation -- adds the suffix -u /-u/ to the verb -- "do not talk" or xaeu
    • Tense affixes come between the root verb and the negative affix


Useful phrases

English Gapauti Pronunciation
Hello (General greeting)
How are you?
Reply to "how are you?"
What's your name?
My name is ...
Where are you from?
I'm from ...
Pleased to meet you
Good morning (Morning greeting)
Good afternoon (Afternoon greeting)
Good evening (Evening greeting)
Goodbye (Parting phrase
Good night
Good luck!
Cheers! (Toasts used when drinking)
Bon appetit/ Have a nice meal
I understand
I don't understand
Yes yud /jud/
No ru /ɾu/
Maybe nu /nu/
I don't know
Please speak more slowly
Please write it down
Do you speak English?
Do you speak Kukʉp?
Yes, a little (reply to "Do you speak...?")
Speak to me in ***
How do you say ... in ***?
Excuse me
How much is this?
Thank you
Reply to thank you
Where's the toilet?
I love you
Get well soon
Help! Dinge! /'diŋe/
Fire! Yaa! /ja'a/
Stop! Kukese! /'kʰukʰese/
Christmas and New Year greetings
Easter greetings
Birthday greetings
One language is never enough
My hovercraft is full of eels

Numeral system is Duodecimal (base 12). When using Arabic numerals, please note the following:

  • Numbers 0 - 9 are shown as normal
  • Number ten is shown as 'A'
  • Number eleven is shown as 'B'
  • Number twelve is shown as '10' (meaning 1 dozen and 0 units)
    • Continuing in this pattern, fourteen is shown as '12' (meaning 1 dozen and 2 units)

See also