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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

Common Usage


The numeral system used 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)

Useful phrases

English Gapauti Pronunciation
Welcome Meyit /'mejit/
Hello (General greeting) Xeze /'xeze/
How are you? Ti lue puyi /ti 'lue pu'ji/
Reply to "how are you?" Tsuash, pukna /tsu'aʃ 'pʰukna/
What's your name? Shid ming ti gas ruknexe? /ʃid miŋ ti gas ɾukˈnexe/
My name is ... ... tse gas ming rukne /tse gas miŋ ɾukˈne/
Where are you from? Ti din dzer tue? /ti din dzeɾ 'tʰue/
I'm from ... Tse din ... tu /tse din ... tʰu/
Pleased to meet you Rupe tugem /ɾu'pe 'tʰugem/
Good morning (Morning greeting) Rupe tat xinsag /ɾu'pe tat xin'sag/
Good afternoon (Afternoon greeting) Rupe tat kas /ɾu'pe tat kas/
Good evening (Evening greeting) Rupe tat kilash /ɾu'pe tat 'kilaʃ/
Goodbye (Parting phrase) Tsuash tatsuti /tsuˈaʃ tat'sʰuti/
Good night Rupe tat kuke /ɾu'pe tat 'kukʰe/
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

Swear Words

Gapauti Pronunciation English Notes
tie /ti'e/ you pronoun, conveys annoyance, may be used with affection
die /di'e/ you pronoun, vulgar, commonly used by younger folk
tedzii /tedzi'i/ you pronoun, conveys hatred and/or disgust
ada kuris /a'da 'kʰuris/ crap, damn exclamation, "hot sand"
renghunsadulap /reŋhunsa'dulap/ a foolish, awkward, or clumsy person noun, "a cracked shell"
kilat /kʰi'lat/ gross, cool (fashionable) adjective, mild, versatile, difficult to translate
kues mitash /kʰu'es 'mitaʃ/ fucking fantastic exclamation, a vulgar way to express happiness, "rotten eyeballs"
renghunsagad tsulengaki /reŋ'hunsagad tsʰu'leŋakʰi/ idiot, asshole noun, "a cracked egg"
tsulengaki tsalere seyyush ripeta /tsʰu'leŋakʰi tsa'leɾe 'sejjuʃ ri'petʰa/ fuck off verb, "lay an egg in a fish", often shorted to 'tsulengaki tsalere'
tsulenga renghunsagin /tsʰu'leŋa reŋ'hunsagin/ --- noun, vulgar, offensive, "an egg cracker"
tsulenga taten /tsʰu'leŋa 'taten/ --- noun, vulgar, very offensive, frequently used to start a fight, "an egg eater"

Common names

Name Pronunciation Translation Notes
Beyigi /'bejigi/ little sound "sound" + diminutive suffix
Dexiting /de'xitiŋ/ sea-sky
Dureng /'dureŋ/ ocean
Durengzash /du'reŋzaʃ/ ocean-power
Kuyi /'kuji/ beautiful
Kurisashpele /kurisaʃ'pele/ sandy shore "sand" + (N > Adj) suffix + "shore"
Luku /'luku/ current
Milee /mi'lee/ treasure "precious" + (Adj > N) suffix
Mukeiyaad /mukei'jaad/ brightest star "bright" + augmentative suffix + "star"
Nuyen /nu'jen/ warrior
Palad /pa'lad/ joy
Payegapa /Pajega'pa/ cool breeze
Pege /'pege/ young one "young" + (Adj > N) suffix
Pidag /'pidag/ gift
Puda /'puda/ pearl
Tettee /tet'tee/ clever one "clever" + (Adj > N) suffix
Ting /tiŋ/ sky
Xukee /'xuhee/ calm one "calm" + (Adj > N) suffix
Xulang /'xulaŋ/ song
Yaa /ja'a/ fire
Zae /'zae/ good one "good" + (Adj > N) suffix
Zitsakesh /zitsa'keʃ/ sweetheart
Nge /ŋe/ friend
Ngeki /'ŋeki/ stone
Ngelerin /'ŋeleɾin/ trickster "trick" + (one who Xs) suffix
Ngeyish /ŋe'jiʃ/ home
Shatyakabus /ʃatjaka'bus/ storm winds
Shiy /ʃij/ strong
Atad /a'tad/ famous one "well" + "know" + (V > Adj) suffix
Ebu /e'bu/ flower

See also