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The Proto-Antarctican language evolved in the generations after the colonisation of the Antarctican continent. Later on, it evolved into the Antarctican language. It was influenced by a large variety of languages spoken in areas where the colonisers hailed from (Spanish and Portuguese from South America, English from Australia, and Japanese, Taiwanese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Khmer, Thai, Burmese and Indonesian from East / SE Asia).



The consonant inventory is broadly similar to that of Antarctican. The most striking difference is the lack of lateral obstruents, and with a set of palatalised alveolar consonants instead (which indeed did become lateral consonants later). There are no velar and palatal nasals at all, however the pre-stopped nasals are in existence. There are also no ejectives.

Proto-Antarctican Consonants
Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal / Placeless
plain palatalised plain palatalised
Nasals plain m n
pre-stopped pm pmʲ tn tnʲ

Stops voiceless p t c k ʔ
voiced b d ɟ g
Fricatives voiceless f s ç x
voiced z
Approximants w ɥ ɫ ʎ j


Proto-Antarctican has a simpler inventory of vowels than Antarctican. It is worth noting here that, as yet, the language has no phonation distinctions on vowels.


Front Central Back
Short Long Short Long Short Long
High i u
Mid (e) (eː) əː o
Low a

The vowel /i/ can only be followed by palatal or palatalised consonants. The vowel /e/ can never be followed by these consonants. Thus it could be said that they are allophones.


Proto-Antarctican also had 8 short diphthongs /ei ai oi ui iu eu au ou/ and 6 long diphthongs /eːi aːi oːi eːu aːu oːu/.

Nasal Vowels

All monophthongs and diphthongs in Proto-Antarctican had an phonemic contrast between oral vowels and nasal vowels. These are marked with a tilde e.g. /tẽc/ - weather.


In contrast to the smaller amount of phonemes of Proto-Antarctican compared to Antarctican, Proto-Antarctican permitted a much larger array of syllable structures.

In general, the range of permitted syllable shapes was C V (O), where O is an obstruent (fricative or oral stop). However, the first syllable of a word could begin with up to two consonants i.e. the range of permitted syllable shapes here was (C) C V (O).

/t/ cannot come before /u/. If a process such as compounding would bring them together, an epenthetic /s/ is inserted (this is an influence from Japanese).

There were also restrictions on consonant clusters. Not only did they have to be homorganic for voicing (i.e. clusters like /tb/ and /zk/ were not permitted, but /tp/, /db/, /zg/ and /sk/ were), but they also had to be homorganic for palatalisation (i.e. clusters like /spʲ/ were not permitted, but /sʲpʲ/ and /sp/ were).

Also, consonant clusters could only consist of obstruents, not sonorants. So clusters like /nt/ were not permitted.

For the purposes of Proto-Antarctican phonology, pre-stopped nasals count as sonorants and not as obstruents. Hence they could not be part of consonant clusters or form the coda of the last syllable of a word.

Consonant Gemination

There was a phonemic gemination contrast in obstruents. This could occur regardless of whether they were voiced or voiceless. However, there were a few restrictions on where such geminated consonants could occur:

  • They either had to occur between two vowels, or at the end of words. So /takː/ and /takːa/ were permitted, but not /tːak/, /takːta/ or /taktːa/.
  • They could not occur after a nasal vowel or diphthong, but could occur before them. So /takːã/ and /takːai/ ware permitted, but not /tãkːa/ or /taikːa/.
  • They could never occur after a long vowel. So words like /taːkːa/ were not permitted.
  • It was quite rare for them to occur before a long vowel either, but not impossible.
  • It was rare for a word to have more than one geminated consonant (in contrast to long vowels, where there were many words which contained multiples of them).


Stress in Proto-Antarctican was predictable, falling on the first heavy syllable of a word (one followed by a geminated consonant or a pre-stopped nasal, or one containing a long vowel, a diphthong, a nasal vowel or a coda consonant). If a word contained no heavy syllables, then stress would fall on the second syllable.



Proto-Antarctican originally borrowed its noun morphology open slather from Japanese. It used postpositions to mark nominative case /ga/, accusative case /wo/ (a spelling pronunciation), topicalisation /wa/, comitative case /mo/, genitive case /no/, and dative case /nʲi/ etc. It did have one extra case, an alienable possessive case marked with the postposition /wei/ (/no/ was used exclusively for inalienable possession).

The language also had pronominal possessive particles, borrowed from English and Spanish, though these were marked for clusivity due to influence from Austronesian languages:

  • /mi/ 1st person exclusive
  • /jau/ 1st person inclusive
  • /te/ 2nd person
  • /su/ 3rd person

However, major changes occurred to the case system. Firstly, /no/ and /wei/ stopped being interpreted as postpositions attaching to the possessor noun, and instead became prepositions attaching to the possessed noun, occupying the same syntactic "slot" as pronominal possessive prefixes.

In addition, the topic particle /wa/ was lost everywhere. Henceforth, topicalisation was indicated solely by word order. The only exception was where it was reinterpreted as a possessive particle indicating that the noun was possessed by the topic. The particle /su/ was interpreted as indicating the noun was possessed by something other than the topic.

The accusative particle /wo/ was also lost, except when it was needed to distinguish direct from indirect objects.

Now, Proto-Antarctican was still a nominative-accusative language, but one that only marked the nominative. In intransitive sentences, this was redundant, and the postposition /ga/ was dropped. Now it only marked the subject of an intransitive sentence, and was hence an ergative case marker.

At this point, the language now used prepositions more than postpositions, which triggered a massive change in the syntax to become head-initial.

Eventually, the prepositions fused to the noun as prefixes. The ergative postposition /ga/ fused to the noun as a suffix. If the noun ended in a vowel, an epenthetic /u/ was inserted e.g. /bukː/ - book, absolutive -> /bukkuga/ - book, ergative. If the noun ended in a palatalised consonant, an epenthetic /i/ was inserted instead e.g. /tẽc/ - weather, absolutive -> /tẽciga/. And if the noun ended in /t/ or /d/, /o/ was inserted instead e.g. /ʔoiʎãd/ - island, absolutive -> /ʔoiʎãdoga/ - island, ergative.


Pronominal Objects

These were originally marked by prefixes (a feature borrowed from Spanish). However, early in the development of Proto-Antarctican, they underwent metathesis to become infixes (which came immediately before the first vowel). There were two separate forms of the infix, one for words beginning with a palatalised consonant, and another for words beginning with a non-palatalised consonant. The consonants inside the infix must agree with the initial consonant in palatalisation:

  • 1st Person Exclusive: /imʲ/ ~ /em/ (from Spanish "mi")
  • 1st Person Inclusive: /asʲ/ ~ /as/ (from English "as")
  • 2nd Person: /əːsʲ/ ~ /əːs/ (from Spanish "vos")
  • Reflexive: /iʎ/ ~ /eɫ/ (from Spanish "él" which underwent semantic shift)
  • 3rd Person Singular: /utʲ/ ~ /ut/ (from English "it", extended to cover both animate and inanimate objects).
  • 3rd Person Plural: /amʲ/ ~ /am/ (from English "them").

However, with the development of ergativity, the 3rd person pronominal infixes shifted in meaning to mark antipassive voice. The plural pronoun came to mean that the action happened multiple times, eventually turning into a portmanteau morpheme marking both antipassive voice and imperfective aspect. Similarly, the singular pronoun came to mark both antipassive voice and perfective aspect.

Pronominal Subjects

Subject pronouns also fused as affixes on the verb. However, since most of them were borrowed from English, which fused tense marking onto pronouns via contractions with an auxiliary verb (e.g. marking both 1st person singular subject and future tense by "I'll"), they also marked tense.

Past Present Future
1PS Exclusive ʔoi ʔomʲi ʔou
1PS Inclusive ci we wu
2PS nʲĩ jo ju
3PS zai ze zau
Who / What wo heu ɫu

Apart from this, tense and aspect were not marked on Proto-Antarctican verbs.


To change a noun into a verb, the typical suffix was /z/ e.g.

/sʲəː/ - show

/sʲəːz/ - to perform

If the verb root already ended in a consonant, one of two things happened:

  • If the consonant was a non-geminated voiced obstruent, the suffix was changed to /zu/ e.g. /doʎaːg/ - something being dragged -> /doʎaːgzu/ - to drag
  • Otherwise, the suffix was changed to /iz/ after a palatalised consonant, and /uz/ otherwise e.g. /damas/ - a scam -> /damasuz/ - to scam or /sakːʲ/ - past event -> /sakːʲiz/ - to have already occurred some time ago.

Any noun could be verbalised to a verb meaning "to be ..." or "to become ..." by simply applying either this transformation e.g.

/zuɥa/ - boat

/zuɥaz/ - to be a boat


Nouns could also be changed into adverbs. This was originally done by suffixing them with /i/. However this underwent metathesis with the final vowel, and ended up as simple palatalisation of the final consonant if it was non-palatalised, and as an infix /iʔ/ if the last consonant of the word was already palatalised e.g.

/jĩtoɫəː/ - introduction

/jĩtoʎəː/ - as an introduction

/ʔumupo/ - seat

/ʔumupʲo/ - sitting down (used as an adverb)

/sʲəː/ - show

/sʲiʔəː/ - showing off (used as an adverb)

Adaptations of Words from Present-Day Languages

Proto-Antarctican vocabulary is descended from a variety of present day languages. However, many words have undergone sound changes to fit Proto-Antarctican phonology.


A very large proportion of Proto-Antarctican vocabulary can be traced back to present day English (mainly Australian English, with some influence from New Zealand and South African English). However, they are sometimes not recognisable as such because, apart from other things, many consonant clusters have been broken up by inserting /u/ (/i/ if after a palatalised consonant, /o/ if after /t/ or /d/).


  • The diphthong in English "FEAR" has monophthongised, becoming a long vowel /iː/.
  • The monophthong in English "SEA" has diphthongised, becoming /ei/.
  • The diphthong in "SAY" corresponds to Proto-Antarctican /ai/.
  • The diphthong in "SIGH" corresponds to Proto-Antarctican /oi/.
  • The diphthong is "SOY" corresponds to Proto-Antarctican /ui/.
  • English "dark l" has vocalised, creating new diphthongs ending in /u/ e.g. /iu/, /eu/, /au/, /ou/. The sequence in English "CALL" became a long diphthong /oːu/, while the sequence in English "COAL" became a short diphthong /ou/. After a diphthong, dark l became a separate syllable /ju/ e.g. English "MILE" became /moju/.
  • The vowel in "FAIR" corresponds to Proto-Antarctican /eː/.
  • The vowel in "ADD" corresponds to Proto-Antarctican /ja/ if word initial, and /ʲa/ with palatalisation on the preceding consonant if not word initial e.g. in "LAD".
  • Since the major dialect of English which influenced Proto-Antarctican was Australian English (which has undergone the bad-lad split), the vowel in "ANNE" corresponds to Proto-Antarctican /jaː/ if word initial, and /ʲaː/ if not e.g. in the word "BAD".
  • The vowels in English "BARN" and "BURN" have merged to /aː/.
  • Short schwa has lowered to /a/.
  • The diphthong in "KNOW" has monophthongised to a long schwa /əː/.
  • The vowel in "COT" has become /o/.
  • The vowel in "COURT" or "CAUGHT" has become /oː/.
  • In some words, the vowel in English "TWO" became a diphthong /eu/ (and thus merging with "TELL"). This sound change did not happen consistently across the language. In some cases, the diphthong was lengthened, in other cases it was not, and in some cases the sound change did not happen at all, leaving the vowel as /uː/. Note that it was always blocked after /j/ or before liquid consonants.
  • The diphthong in English "SEWER" was usually split into two syllables, becoming /uɥa/. However, this was not consistent across the language, sometimes becoming /uwa/, /uː/ or /oː/.


  • English clusters of fricative + nasal have become prestopped nasals, at the point of articulation of the nasal e.g. English "smart" -> P.A. /pmaːt/.
  • English nasals at the end of syllables have usually disappeared, nasalising the preceding vowel. Sometimes /m/ has survived by acquiring an epenthetic /u/ after it, becoming /mu/. And sometimes /ŋ/ became /gu/ with nasalisation on the preceding vowel.
  • English dental fricatives merged with their alveolar counterparts.
  • English light l became /ɫ/ (the same pronunciation as present day English dark l, which vocalised in Proto-Antarctican). The only exception to this was before /i/ or /l/, when it became /ʎ/ instead.
  • English /ɹ/ usually merged with light l, and followed the same process as above. However, sometimes it merged with /w/ instead.
  • English postalveolar consonants have become palatalised alveolar in Proto-Antarctican.
  • English /v/ merged into /b/ (or sometimes /w/), except for the cluster /vj/ (e.g. in "VIEW") which became /ɥ/.
  • English /w/ (and sometimes /v/) became /ɥ/ before the "LAD" and "BAD" vowels e.g. English "wag" -> P.A. /ɥaːg/, English "vagabond" -> P.A. /ɥagːabõd/.
  • English /h/ became /x/, except before /i/ or in the cluster /hj/ (e.g. in "HUMAN") which became /ç/.
  • If an English stressed short monophthong was immediately followed by an obstruent (with no consonants intervening), and then either a word boundary or another vowel (which could be epenthetic) after that, then that obstruent tended to become geminated e.g. English "book" -> P.A. /bukː/, English "office" -> P.A. /ʔofːʲis/. However this sound change was not consistent across the language e.g. English "brother" -> P.A. /buɫaza/, not /buɫazːa/.
  • English /t/ and /dz/ became /ts/ and /z/ before /u/.


Quite a lot of Proto-Antarctican vocabulary also comes from Japanese. In general, these words did not need to undergo many sound changes to be compatible with Proto-Antarctican phonology, since Japanese phonology is very restrictive. However, there were a few that need mentioning:

  • Japanese short /i/ and /u/ (but not /ju/) were deleted between non-geminated obstruents with similar voicing e.g. Japanese /youfuku/ - clothes -> P.A. /joːfku/., Japanese /zubon/ - pants -> P.A. /zbõ/
  • Japanese short /i/ or /u/ (but not /ju/) were deleted at the end of a word, as long as they were not preceded by a consonant cluster e.g. Japanese /sakki/ - some time ago -> P.A. /sakːʲ/, Japanese /mazu/ - firstly -> P.A. /maz/.
  • Japanese /ɯ/ became /u/.
  • Japanese /tts/ became /tːos/, or /tos/ after a long vowel or diphthong.
  • Japanese /r/ became /ɫ/, except before /i/ when it became /ʎ/.
  • Japanese palatalised /rʲ/ became /ʎ/.
  • Japanese /au/ became /əː/.
  • Japanese /ao/ became /au/ (i.e. took part in a chain shift with /au/.
  • Japanese /ae/ merged into /ai/.
  • Japanese word final /iru/, /eru/, /oru/ and /uru/ became /iu/, /eu/, /ou/ and /uː/ respectively e.g. Japanese /kanjiru/ - to feel -> P.A. /kãdʲiu/, Japanese /nagareru/ - to flow -> P.A. /nagaɫeu/, Japanese /shiboru/ - to squeeze -> P.A. /sʲibou/, Japanese /tsuru/ - to hang -> P.A. /tsuː/.
  • If the preceding sound change would create a tripthong, it was broken up into two syllables by inserting a semivowel (/w/ if the first vowel was back, and /j/ otherwise) e.g. Japanese /kazoeru/ -> to count -> P.A. /kazoweu/, Japanese /naoru/ - to get better -> P.A. /najou/.


Owing to the proximity of South America, Proto-Antarctican was heavily influenced by Latin American Spanish (which has seseo and yeísmo).

  • Spanish ñ became /nʲ/ e.g. Spanish mañana - morning -> P.A. /manʲana/.
  • Obstruents immediately after a stressed vowel were geminated where possible e.g. Spanish cabeza - head -> P.A. /kabesːa/.
  • If Spanish r is not before a vowel, it is deleted with lengthening of the preceding vowel e.g. Spanish pensar - to think -> P.A. /pẽsaː/ - to be lost in deep thought.
  • If Spanish r is word initial, or doubled, then it changed to /z/ e.g. Spanish tierra - land -> P.A. /teza/ - landscape.
  • Otherwise, Spanish r merged into l.
  • Before /i/, Spanish l (and single r) was changed to /ʎ/ e.g. Spanish Lima - Lima (in Peru) -> P.A. /ʎima/.
  • Before other vowels, Spanish l (and single r) was changed to /ɫ/ e.g. Spanish palo - stick -> P.A. /paɫo/. Spanish derecha - right (as in left/right) -> P.A. /deɫetːʲa/.
  • If not before a vowel, Spanish l was vocalised. After /u/ it disappeared entirely, and after other vowels it created diphthongs ending in /u/ e.g. Spanish golpear - to hit -> P.A. /goupejaː/ - to suffer a setback.
  • Spanish /ʝ/ and non-syllabic /i/ both merged into /j/ before a vowel, and /i/ otherwise.
  • Spanish non-syllabic /u/ became /w/ before a vowel e.g. Spanish huevos - eggs -> P.A. /webːos/. However, it coalesced with /x/ to become /f/ e.g. Spanish juego - game -> P.A. /fegːo/. If it came after any other consonant, an epenthetic /u/ was inserted e.g. Spanish fuego - fire -> P.A. /fuwegːo/
  • Spanish /t/ and /d/ becomes /ts/ and /z/ before /u/.
  • Spanish /i/ always palatalised preceding consonants e.g. Spanish viuda - widow -> P.A. /bʲudːa/.
  • Spanish /e/ always depalatalised preceding consonants e.g. Spanish noche - night -> P.A. /notːe/.
  • Spanish ea and eo became /eja/ and /ejo/ respectively.
  • If not before a consonant, Spanish nasals were deleted with nasalisation on the preceding vowel.


Another language which had heavy influence on Proto-Antarctican was Burmese. Below are the sound changes of note that happened to Burmese loanwords in the language:

  • Vowels and diphthongs with low (modal) tone became lengthened word finally, and are short otherwise e.g. Burmese taungban - wing -> P.A. /tãubãː/.
  • Vowels and diphthongs with high (breathy) tone become lengthened and followed by a voiced obstruent, usually /z/ e.g. Burmese du:gaung: - knee -> P.A. /duːzgãːuz/.
  • Vowels and diphthongs with the creaky tone become are lengthened. Word finally, a voiceless obstruent is inserted e.g. Burmese thi.shi. - know -> P.A. /sʲiːçiːc/ - wise
  • Vowels and diphthongs with the checked "tone" are pronounced short, and with whatever consonant is written in the Burmese orthography e.g. Burmese amelaik - hunt, P.A. /ʔameɫaik/. In the case of a monophthong in the last syllable of the word, the consonant is geminated e.g. Burmese naywet - ear -> P.A. /naiwetː/.
  • Burmese consonants are palatalised before /i/, and depalatalised before /e/ e.g. Burmese myetsi. - eye -> P.A. /metsʲiːt/.
  • Burmese /ɔ/ centralised to schwa e.g. Burmese thittaw: - forest -> P.A. /sʲitːəːz/.
  • If a Burmese minor syllable both begins with an obstruent and is followed by an obstruent, the vowel in the minor syllable is deleted (as long as it would not violate Proto-Antarctican phonotactics), causing a consonant cluster e.g. Burmese thei na pati. - general -> P.A. /seinaptʲiːt/
  • Burmese initial aspirated consonants become clusters of consonant + /x/ if non-palatalised e.g. Burmese hpoun - dust -> P.A. /pxoːũ/, Burmese hsabin - hair (of the human head) -> P.A. /sxabʲĩ/. If they are palatalised, they become clusters with /ç/ instead e.g. Burmese hpyaun - straight -> P.A. /pʲçãːu/, Burmese yanhpyit - to fight -> P.A. /jãpʲçitː/ - battle.
  • Burmese /l/ becomes /ɫ/, unless before /i/ or /j/, when it becomes /ʎ/.
  • The alveo-palatal series of consonants become palatal e.g. Burmese yaukkya - man -> P.A. /jaucaː/ (remember Proto-Antarctican does not like geminated consonants after diphthongs).
  • Burmese voiceless hl became /sʲ/ e.g. Burmese hle: - to lie down -> P.A. /sʲaːz/.
  • Voiceless nasals become prestopped nasals e.g. Burmese hman - correct -> P.A. /pman/.
  • Burmese /h/ became /x/.
  • Burmese unaspirated /t/ and voiced /d/ became /ts/ and /z/ before /u/.


A considerable number of Thai words were also borrowed into Antarctican. They were "Antarcticanised" by the following processes:


  • Thai /i/ palatalised any preceding consonants, or turned a glottal stop into /j/ e.g. Thai /səbaːidiː/ - good health / feeling -> P.A. /sabaːidʲiː/ - "all well".
  • Thai /æ/ merged to /a/, but palatalised the preceding consonant in the exact same way e.g. Thai /bæŋ/ - separate -> P.A. /bʲã/.
  • Thai /ɨ/ merged into /u/, but palatalised the preceding consonant in the exact same way e.g. Thai /sʲɨːsat/ - faithful -> P.A. /sʲuːsad/.
  • Thai /ə/ merged with /a/ e.g. Thai /baŋʔəːn/ - by chance -> P.A. /bãʔãː/ - to stumble upon.
  • Thai /ɔː/ centralised to /əː/ e.g. Thai /luːksɔːn/ - arrow, P.A. -> /ɫuːksəː~/
  • Thai /ɔːi/ was raised and shortened to /oi/ e.g. Thai /ʔərɔːi/ - tasty -> P.A. /ʔazoi/.
  • Thai /əːi/ became /ei/ e.g. Thai /kətʰəːi/ - transsexual -> P.A. /katxei/.
  • Thai /æːu/ became /ʲaːu/ e.g. Thai /mæːu/ - cat -> P.A. /mʲaːu/
  • Thai /ia/ split into two syllables, becoming /ija/ e.g. Thai /siahaːi/ - destroyed -> P.A. /sʲijaxaːi/
  • Thai /ua/ similarly split into two syllables, becoming /uwa/.
  • Thai /ɨa/ split into two syllables, becoming /uɥa/ e.g. Thai /rɨa/ - boat -> P.A. /zuɥa/.
  • Thai /iau/ split into two syllables, becoming /ijau/ e.g. Thai /tʰiau/ - go out / go on holiday -> P.A. /tʲçijau/.
  • Thai /uai/ split into two syllables, becoming /uwai/.
  • Thai /ɨai/ split into two syllables, becoming /uɥai/ e.g. Thai /pɨai/ - falling apart -> P.A. /puɥai/.


  • Final stops became voiced in syllables with low tone e.g. Thai /sàːk/ - pestle -> P.A. /saːg/. Otherwise they became voiceless e.g. Thai /sâːk/ - carcass -> P.A. /saːk/.
  • Word final stops were geminated after short vowels e.g. Thai /ʔaːtʰít/ - week -> P.A. /ʔaːtʲçit/.
  • Final /m/ had an epenthetic /u/ added after it e.g. Thai /jɔːmpʰæː/ - give up -> P.A. /jəːmupʲçaː/ - surrender.
  • Other nasals disappeared at the end of syllables, nasalising the preceding vowel e.g. Thai /ʔajakaːn/ - prosecutor -> P.A. /ʔajakãː/ - to prosecute.
  • The evolution of affricates is unpredictable. Sometimes they became palatal, sometimes palatalised alveolar. The aspirated affricate either became a fricative or a voiceless stop. The unaspirated affricate either became a voiced or a voiceless stop.
  • Apart from this, aspirated consonants behaved like in words from Burmese. They tended to become clusters of consonant + /x/ (or /ç if before /i/ or /j/) e.g. Thai /tʰai/ -> P.A. /txai/, Thai /kʰəjan/ - hard-working -> P.A. /cçã/.
  • Outside of clusters, Thai /r/ fricativised to /z/ e.g. e.g. Thai /ʔərɔːi/ - tasty -> P.A. /ʔazoi/.
  • In a cluster, Thai /r/ became /aɫ/ e.g. Thai /kròːt/ - angry, P.A. /kaɫoːd/. However, before /i/, /ɨ/ and /æ/, it became /ʎ/ instead e.g. Thai - /priau/ - sour -> P.A. /paʎijau/.
  • Outside a cluster, Thai /l/ became /ɫ/ e.g. Thai /leːu/ - bad, naughty -> P.A. /ɫeːu/. However, before /i/, /ɨ/ or /æ/, it became /ʎ/ e.g. Thai /kʰiːlɨːm/ - forgetful -> P.A. /cçiːʎuːmu/ - absent-minded.
  • In a cluster, Thai /l/ became /eɫ/ normally e.g. Thai /pluːk/ - to plant -> P.A. /peluːg/. However, it became /eʎ/ before /i/ and /æ/ e.g. Thai - /plianplæːŋ/ - to change -> P.A. /peʎijãpeʎãː/.
  • In a cluster, Thai /w/ became /aw/ e.g. Thai /kʰwaːi/ - water buffalo -> P.A. /kxawaːi/.
  • /ŋ/ became /ŋg/ and then /g/ before a vowel, and disappeared with nasalisation of the preceding vowel otherwise e.g. Thai /ŋoŋŋuai/ - astonished -> P.A. /gõguwai/.
  • While voiceless nasals are no longer a feature of spoken Thai (only being found in the written language), they were revived via spelling pronunciations and became prestopped nasals in Proto-Antarctican e.g. Thai /maːk/ - betel nut -> P.A. /pmaːg/.
  • Thai /h/ became /x/.
  • Thai unaspirated /t/ and voiced /d/ became /ts/ and /z/ before /u/.


Given the restrictive nature of the phonology of these languages, words borrowed from these languages did not need to go undergo many sound changes in order to become Antacticanised. The most significant changes were the fricativisation of /r/ to /z/, the insertion of /j/ and palatalisation of consonants before /i/, the loss of /j/ and depalatalisation of consonants before /e/, and the loss of syllable final /n/ and /ŋ/, with nasalisation on the preceding vowel.

Also, vowels in Tagalog with irregular stress were borrowed in as long vowels, otherwise they were borrowed in as short vowels.

And since Proto-Antarctican did not permit alveolar stops before /u/, in this situation, /t/ and /d/ became /ts/ and /z/ respectively.


Apart from general "Antarctification" of loanwords e.g. palatalisation before /i/, turning aspirate stops into clusters with a fricative, the change of /h/ into /x/ etc., there are a few changes that applied especially to Vietnamese words.


  • As a rule, vowels were adapted into the language in the same way as Thai.
  • The vowels a and o' always became long /a/.
  • The vowels ă and â always became short /a/.
  • The length of the rest of the vowels depended on the tone of the word. In the case of the ngang and huyền tones, they were lengthened. Otherwise, they were shortened.
  • Vowels with the ngã tone were split into two syllables separated by a glottal stop e.g. Vietnamese nhẵn - smooth -> P.A. /nʲaʔã/.


  • Word final consonants were pronounced voiced in words with the nặng tone, and voiceless in words with the sắc tone.
  • Vietnamese ng(h) and g(h) are both pronounced /g/ before a vowel.
  • There is a lot of inconsistency in consonants in borrowed words. This is due to the fact that some words were borrowed from Hanoi Vietnamese, while others were borrowed from Ho Chi Minh Vietnamese.
  • Aspirated consonants generally behaved like those from Burmese.
  • Vietnamese unaspirated /t/ and voiced /d/ became /ts/ and /z/ before /u/.


More of the refugees who came to Antarctica were from Taiwan rather than the mainland. Therefore, Taiwanese has influenced Proto-Antarctican far more than Mandarin. Aspirated consonants generally behaved like those from Burmese. Syllable final stops were pronounced voiced in words with tone 4, and voiceless in words with tone 8. Vowels in words with tones 1, 2, 5 and 6 were pronounced long, otherwise they were short. Taiwanese unaspirated /t/ and voiced /d/ became /ts/ and /z/ before /u/.

Evolution into Antarctican

Proto-Antarctican further evolved into Antarctican, with several sound changes having a large effect on the language. These sound changes happened in a number of stages:

Development of Velar and Palatal Nasals

  • If a glottal stop was preceded by a nasal vowel, it changed to a prestopped velar nasal /kŋ/, with denasalisation of the preceding vowel e.g. /wãʔaːtʲçit/ - Sunday -> /wakŋaːtʲçit/.
  • If /g/ was preceded by an oral vowel, and followed by another vowel, then it changed to /ŋ/ e.g. /doʎaːgõ/ - dragon -> /doʎaːŋõ/.
  • The palatalised alveolar nasals (both plain and prestopped) became palatal nasals.

Origin of Glottal Codas

  • Clusters which ended in a non-alveolar fricative were broken up by inserting an epenthetic /a/ e.g. /pxõːu/ - dust -> /paxõːu/, or /ʔaːtʲçit/ - week -> /ʔaːtʲaçit/
  • Voiceless consonants that were not followed by a vowel became a glottal stop e.g. /seinaptʲiːt/ - general -> /seinaʔtʲiːʔ/. Note that this did not affect prestopped nasals, since they counted as a single consonant.
  • Voiceless geminate consonants became sequences of glottal stop + consonant e.g. /kucːik/ - a female given name -> /kuʔciʔ/ (the above sound change also applies, changing the final /k/ into a glottal stop.
  • Voiced consonants that were not followed by a vowel became a glottal fricative /ɦ/ e.g. /zbõ/ - pants -> /ɦbõ/, or /saːg/ - pestle -> /saːɦ/
  • Voiced geminate consonants became sequences of /ɦ/ + consonant e.g. /ɫedːo/ - red -> /ɫeɦdo/.


The next step was for /ʔ/ and /ɦ/ to influence the pitch and phonation of the preceding vowels.

Breathy Phonation

  • /ɦ/ put breathy voice on the vowel that preceded it, and lowered the pitch e.g.

/kaːɦ/ - membership card (the final /d/ had debuccalised to /ɦ/) -> /kàːɦ/

  • This breathy voice would spread through voiced consonants to affect multiple syllables e.g. /ʔunaɦ/ - eel (the final /ɟ had debuccalised to /ɦ/) -> /ʔùnàɦ/.
  • If the breathy voice would "spread" through an initial consonant, then that word acquired floating phonation e.g. /ɫeɦdo/ - red -> /`ɫèɦdo/.
  • Word initial clusters beginning with /ɦ/ also created floating phonation e.g. /ɦbõ/ - pants (the initial /z/ had debuccalised to /ɦ/) -> /`ɦbõ/.

Tense Phonation

  • Similarly, the glottal stop put tense voice on the vowel and raised the pitch e.g. /webːoʔ/ (the final /s/ had debuccalised to a glottal stop) - eggs -> /webːóʔ/.
  • In some cases, this tense voice spread through consonants and affect multiple vowels. Consonants that permitted this spreading were voiced sonorants and voiceless stops (other than the glottal stop) e.g. /ʔameɫaiʔ/ - hunt (the final /k/ had debuccalised to a glottal stop) -> /ʔáméɫáiʔ/.
  • If the tense voice would "spread" through an initial consonant, then that word acquired floating phonation e.g. /tẽʔ/ - weather (the final /c/ had debuccalised to a glottal stop) -> /'té~ʔ/.
  • Word initial clusters beginning with glottal stops also created floating phonation e.g. /'ʔcidáʔ/ - drawers (from /çcidasʲ/).

Vowel Changes

After vowel phonation became phonemic, a series of major changes occurred to the vowels of Proto-Antarctican:

Chain Shifts

While Antarctican has a great deal more vowel phonemes than Proto-Antarctican, the first vowel shifts to occur actually took the language in the other direction, causing the loss of /o/. What happened depended on whether or not the vowel was preceded by /j/ or a palatalised consonant. These two sound changes below are the reason why vowels in Antarctican change if their preceding consonant changes from soft to hard or vice versa.

After /j/ or a Palatalised Consonant

This chain shift began with the fronting of /a/ to /e/ after /j/ or a palatalised consonant e.g. /'máʎájáːʔ/ - manners -> /'máʎéjéːʔ/ (notice how the first /a/ was unaffected, since it was preceded by /m/).

In the same situation, /jo/ and /ʲa/ lowered to /jo/ and /ʲa/ respectively e.g. /'tʲókóɫéːʔ/ - chocolate -> /'tʲákóɫéːʔ/.

Also, the vowel /iu/ became /uː/ (though the palatalisation of the preceding consonant was retained) e.g. /paxaʔcaçiːʎiu/ - tripe -> /paxáʔceçiːʎu#720;/ (notice how /ca/ changed to /ce/ as well).

After a Non-Palatalised Consonant

After this, a second, anti-clockwise chain shift began with the fronting of short /u/ to /i/ e.g. /zuɥa/ - boat -> /ziɥe/ (the /a/ shifted to /e/ because of the preceding sound change). The diphthong /ui/ became long /iː/ e.g. /pmui/ - cold (weather) -> /pmiː/ (note that these never created any new homophones because previously /i/ had only occurred before /j/ or a palatalised cononant.). Short /o/ was then raised to /u/ e.g. /doko/ - where -> /duku/.

Finally, /oi/ and /oːi/ shifted to /ui/ and /uːi/ respectively e.g. /kamoːi/ - thief -> /kamuːi/, or /ʔazoi/ - tasty -> /ʔazui/.

Vowel Splits

The previous two chain shifts left the vowel system profoundly unbalanced, with two front vowels /e/ and /i/, two central vowels /a/ and /ə/ (the latter only long), but only one back vowel /u/. It was not long before this was corrected by another vowel shift, which also dramatically increased the number of vowel phonemes in Antarctican.

This split depended on the phonation of the syllable containing the vowel, and also in some cases the phonation of the following syllable. Tense voiced vowels were lowered and/or fronted (if they were high, they also diphthongised). Breathy voiced vowels were raised and/or backed. If both the vowel and the one in the syllable after it had modal voice, the first vowel was also shifted depending on the voicing of the intervening consonant. Voiced consonants lowered the vowel, voiceless ones raised and/or centred it. The glottal stop had no effect.

Original Vowel Tense Voiced Vowel Breathy Voiced Vowel Modally Voiced Vowel
Following Syllable has Voiced Consonant Followed by Modally Voiced Vowel Following Syllable has Voiceless Consonant Followed by Modally Voiced Vowel Other Cases
i ei ɨ i ɨ i
ɘi ɨi ɨː
e(ː) ɛ(ː) ɘ(ː) e(ː) ɘ(ː) e(ː)
e(ː)i ɛ(ː)i ɘ(ː)i e(ː)i ɘ(ː)i e(ː)i
e(ː)u ɛ(ː)u ɘ(ː)u e(ː)u ɘ(ː)u e(ː)u
a(ː) a(ː) ɜ(ː) a(ː) ɛ(ː) a(ː)
a(ː)i a(ː)i ɜ(ː)i a(ː)i ɛ(ː)i a(ː)i
a(ː)u a(ː)u ɜ(ː)u a(ː)u ɛ(ː)u a(ː)u
u ou u o u u
eu ɨu ou
u(ː)i o(ː)i u(ː)i o(ː)i u(ː)i u(ː)i
o(ː)u ɔ(ː)u o(ː)u ɔ(ː)u o(ː)u o(ː)u
əː ɜː o ɒ ɔ ɔ

This is the source of the vowel mutations that happen in Antarctican when a vowel changes its phonation.

Other Consonant Changes


Clusters of glottal stop + obstruent became ejectives before a vowel with tense voice e.g.

/'ʔkóuʔ/ - a little bit -> /kʼouʔ/.

/ʔóuʔfʲéiʔ/ - office -> /ʔóufʼʲéiʔ/


The velarised alveolar lateral /ɫ/ lost its laterality and became uvular /ʁ/. The palatal lateral /ʎ/ became alveolar /l/ (which still has /ʎ/ as an allophone before high vowels).

Antarctican also acquired lateral obstruents /tɬ/, /dɮ/, /ɬ/ from the palatalised alveolar consonants /tʲ/, /dʲ/ and /sʲ/ respectively. This was via an intermediate sound change to clusters of /tʎ/, /dʎ/ and /ʎ/ The voiced palatalised fricative /zʲ/ was lost, merging into /dʲ/, which then became /dʎ/ and finally /dɮ/.

Loss of Voicing Contrasts

After this, phonemic voicing was lost in most places in the language. The only consonants for which it was retained were either:

  • Those between two instances of modal phonation (vowels or floating phonation), or:
  • Those between two instances of breathy phonation (vowels or floating phonation).
Prestopped Nasals

Except for these two cases, prestopped nasals became plain e.g. /ʔɛtetnɜɦluɴɦ/ - heart -> /ʔɛtenɜɦluɴɦ/

Stops / Affricates

Stops and affricates usually became voiceless e.g. /dámá/ - victim of a scam -> /támá/.

The only exception were those preceded by breathy phonation, and followed by another kind of phonation, which became voiced e.g. /`mʲɨbõ/ - my pants, which underwent no change.

Stops and affricates between two instances of breathy phonation usually became voiceless e.g. /`mʲɨ`bɨ`lɨ`ɦ/ - my bridge -> /`mʲɨ`pɨ`lɨ`ɦ/ The exception was those clustered with /ɦ/, which became voiced e.g. /`mʲɨ`ɦbʲɨ`ɦ/.


/s/ and /z/ patterned with stops and affricates here e.g. /`zɜ`;mɨ`ɦ/ - (major wife) -> /`sɜ`mɨ`ɦ/

Spirant Lenition

However, in similar circumstances, non-sibilant fricatives (i.e. everything other than /s/ and /z/) became approximants e.g. /teiɬɛ'ːʔ/ - shirt -> /teilɛ'ːʔ/.

This sound change did not apply to ejective fricatives, which (apart from /sʼ/), became plain voiceless fricatives e.g. /ʔóufʼʲéiʔ/ - office - /ʔóufʲéiʔ/

Glottal Codas

Finally, /ɦ/ was lost everywhere, and /ʔ/ was lost everywhere before a vowel.

Case Marking

Ergative Case

The ergative case suffix /ga/ underwent some developments. After a modally voiced back vowel, it lowered the vowel (all voiced consonants did this to a preceding back vowel as long as they were followed by a modally voiced vowel) and then disappeared. If this sound change could not apply, but the preceding vowel was oral, then it became nasal. This was done via the suffix changing to /ŋa/ as an intermediary.

Comitative Case

As similar development happened to the comitative case marker /mo/ -> /pmu/. After a modally voiced non-back vowel, it shifted the vowel and then vanished. Otherwise it remained as /pmu/ or /ʔu/.

Sample Vocabulary

Below is a list of words in Proto-Antarctican, along with their etymology and their counterparts in Antarctican:

Proto-Antarctican Vocabulary
Source Language Word in Source Language Meaning in Source Language Proto-Antarctican Word Antarctican Word Meaning in Antarctican
English mile mile moju muju mile
English vagabond vagabond ɥagːabõd ʱɥɘʱgɜʱpuʱ vagabond
English book book bukː peiˤ book
English office office ʔofːʲis ʔouˤfʲeiˤ office
English brother brother buɫaza biʁaza brother
Japanese youfuku clothes joːfku ˤjaːˤki clothes
Japanese zubon pants zbõ ʱboɴ pants
Japanese sakki some time ago sacː saˤ some time ago
Japanese mazu firstly maz ʱmɜʱ firstly
Japanese shiboru to squeeze sʲibou ɬibou squeeze
Japanese kanjiru to feel kãdʲiu kaɴdɮuː to feel
Japanese kazoeru to count kazoweu kazoweu to count
Japanese nagareru to flow nagaɫeu naŋaʁeu to flow
Japanese naoru to get better najou najou to get better
Spanish mañana morning manʲana maɲana morning
Spanish cabeza head kabesːa kapɛˤsa head
Spanish pensar to think pẽsaː pɘɴsaː lost in deep thought
Spanish tierra land teza teza landscape
Spanish lima Lima (in Peru) ʎima lima Lima (in Peru)
Spanish palo stick paɫo paʁu stick
Spanish derecha right (as in not left) deɫetːʲa tɛˤʁɛˤtɬe right (as in not left)
Spanish golpear to hit goupejaː goupejeː to suffer a setback
Spanish huevos eggs webːos ʱwɘʱpouˤ egg
Spanish juego game fegːo wɘʱgu game
Spanish fuego fire fuwegːo wɨʱwɘʱgu fire
Spanish viuda widow bʲudːa pʲuʱda widow
Burmese taungban wing tãubãː tauɴbaː wing
Burmese du:gaung: knee duːzgãːuz ʱtɨuʱgɜːu knee
Burmese thi.shi. to know sʲiːçiːc ɬiːjɘiˤ wise
Burmese amelaik to hunt ʔameɫaik ʔaˤmɛˤʁaiˤ prey
Burmese naywet ear naiwetː ˤnaiˤwɛˤ ear
Burmese myetsi eye metsʲiːt ˤmɛˤɬɘiˤ eye
Burmese thittaw: forest sʲitːəːz leiˤtoʱ forest
Burmese tei na pati. general seinaptʲiːt sɛiˤnaˤtʼɬɘiˤ general
Burmese hpoun dust pxoːũ pɛχoːuɴ dust
Burmese hsabin hair (on the head) sxabʲĩ saxabʲiɴ hair (on the head)
Burmese hypaun straight pʲçãːu pʲɘçaːuɴ straight
Burmese yanhpyit to fight jãpʲçitː jɘɴpʲejeiˤ battle
Burmese yaukkya man jaucaː jauceː man
Burmese hle: to lie down sʲaːz lɘːʱ to lie down
Burmese hman correct pmã pmaɴ correct
Thai /sʲɨːsat/ faithful sʲuːsad ɬuːsɜʱ faithful
Thai /səbaːidiː/ good health / feeling sabaːidʲiː sabaːidɮiː all well
Thai /bæŋ/ separate bʲã bʲaɴ separate
Thai /baŋʔəːn/ by chance bãʔãː bɛkŋaːɴ to stumble upon
Thai /ʔərɔːi/ tasty ʔazoi ʔazui tasty
Thai /kətʰəːi/ transsexual katxei kɛtɛxei transsexual
Thai /siahaːi/ destroyed sʲijaxaːi ɬijɛxaːi to destroy
Thai /rɨa/ boat zuɥa ziɥe boat
Thai /mæːu/ cat mʲaːu mʲeːu cat
Thai /tʰiau/ go out / go on holiday tʲçijau tɬɛçijeu go out / go on holiday
Thai /pɨai/ falling apart puɥai piɥei to fall apart
Thai /sàːk/ pestle saːg sɜːʱ pestle
Thai /sâːk/ carcass saːk saːˤ carcass
Thai /ʔaːtʰít/ week ʔaːtʲçit ʔɛːtɬejeiˤ week
Thai /wanʔaːtʰít/ Sunday wãʔaːtʲçit wɛkŋɛːtɬejeiˤ Sunday
Thai /jɔːmpʰæː/ give up jəːmupʲçaː jɔmɨpʲɘçeː surrender
Thai /ʔajakaːn/ prosecutor ʔajakãː ʔajɘkaːɴ to prosecute
Thai /kʰəjan/ hard-working cçã cɘçaɴ hard-working
Thai /kròːt/ angry kaɫoːd kɜʱʁuːʱ angry
Thai /priau/ sour paʎijau palijeu sour
Thai /kʰiːlɨːm/ forgetful cçiːʎuːmu cɘçiːloːmi absent-minded
Thai /leːu/ bad, naughty ɫeːu ʁeːu naughty
Thai /plianplæːŋ/ to change peʎijãpeʎãː pelijɛɴpeleːɴ to change
Thai /kʰwaːi/ water buffalo kxawaːi kɛxawaːi water buffalo
Thai /ŋoŋŋuai/ astonished gõguwai goɴgiwai astonished
Thai /maːk/ betel nut pmaːg mɜːʱ betel nut
Vietnamese nhẵn smooth nʲaʔã ɲeʔaɴ smooth