|𐤔𐤌𐤉𐤕 / ⵙⵎⵉⵜ / (ta)Šimiyata|
This is my attempt at making a conlanger-oriented pseudo-reconstruction of "some stage" of Proto-Afroasiatic. By "Conlanger-oriented" I mean it incorporates a few extra bits that may not have actually existed or been widespread or common in the Proto-Afroasiatic stage, but I kept them in because I thought they look fun - mimation/nunation is a good example.
|Stop/Affr.'s||Voiced||b||d||ᵈź (ź)||ᵈz (z)||g|
|Unvoiced||p||t||ᵗś (ć)||ᵗs (c)||k||ʔ|
|Emphatic||t’||ᵗś’ (ć’)||ᵗs’ (c’)||ᵗɬ' (ƛ’)||k’ (q)||ʕ|
|Fricatives||Unvoiced||f||š (s)||ɬ (ɬ~ƛ)||χ||ħ||h|
Note the lack of standard IPA conventions.
The laminal series represents what ends up as (in the case of /ᵈź/) /ð/ in Semitic, /d/ in Egyptian, /z/ in Berber and Cushitic, and /dʒ/ in Chadic. In contrast, the apical series represents what ends up as (in the case of /dz/) /z/ in Semitic, Egyptian, Berber and Cushitic and /dz/ in Chadic.
The laminal and apical series of affricates act like stops in terms of distribution, and some daughter languages yield affricates from emphatics (Chadic is unreliable in that it yields dental affricates across the board, and merges /š/ with /ɬ/, implying that it simply merged non-laminal fricatives with affricates).
The exact nature of emphatics is fairly unimportant - daughter languages either eliminated them (leaving traces of their presence sometimes in vowel quality) or use pharyngealisation or ejectives. The important point is that they involve disrupted airflow from behind where the consonants are being made in the mouth/vocal tract area.
Phonotactics (refer to Grammar)
The feminine marker -(a)ta may end up as -ta, or where case erosion takes place, -at or even -a.
|Primary word order|
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
The base gender system is unmarked for male and marked for female.
This gender marker is normally suffixed onto the end of a noun, and is, depending on the speaker, joined with an epinthetic vowel (thus, -t- > -at-). However, the gender marker can appear in other places due to derivational processes.
There are two main noun cases in CJ-Afroasiatic. Only one is effectively marked, and that is the nominative. There is also a debatable adjectivo-genitive marker, but this is a bit more versatile than a case marker, and can apparently be used for implying plurality. They are normally suffixed after gender, but like the gender marker, derivational processes can change this.
State and Definitivity
In addition to gender and case, state is also used to clarify the syntactic and semantic role of a noun and contributes to the overall form of it. The construct is used like in Semitic languages, to indicate that the noun is part of a greater phrase. It essentially involves the phonological erosion of any important final vowels that aren't part of the noun root - e.g., case.
In necessary cases we can assume an epinthetic vowel -ə resulting from these reductions.
In addition, there is the Mimation/Nunation, which is essentially chucking a nasal consonant onto the end of the case ending (and thus making this contrasted with the construct state). This seems to serve an emphatic role of emphasising a complete or unbound (whatever that is) phrase.
There appears to be no stable system of making plurals. Egyptian appears to use -w and -wt for its external plural markers. Semitic appears to use vowel lengthening instead. Internal (vowel-grade) plural marking seems to orient around making the noun look different in whatever easy way is possible, at least in some cases.
Berber nouns appear comparitively neat when it comes to vowel alterations however, and the -n- marker appears to have some parallels (at a glance) in Arabic. Since we're doing this for conlanging, and not proper reconstruction purposes, let's just assume that -n- was used in some plural formation, alongside appropriate vowel shifts. Another thing worthy of note: feminine -t- appears to be dropped in some plural constructions (both broken and affixed).
In the following tables, e/ə = a short vowel. ə in many cases may become /u/, /i/ or /a/ (conditions not known yet). External plural marker seem to possess some concatenating abilities. Depending on the source language, I'll use é and è to indicate if it tends to /i/ or /u/ respectively. In both the Berber and Arabic derived parts, there appears to be a tendency for u/a > u, but i > i, when vowel reductions occur in some cases, but other times this doesn't happen.
|External #1||ROOT- > ROOT-ən-||a-ROOT- > é-ROOT-ən-|
|External #2||ROOT- > ROOT-aw-|
|External #3||ROOT- > ROOT-v: (-ū, -ā)||ROOT- > ROOT-ī|
|Broken External #1||a-CəCəC- > é-CəCC-an||a-CəC- > é-CaC-ən-|
|Broken External #2||éCvC- > aCC-aw-||éCvC- > aCC-aw-ən|
|Broken #1||CvCC- > CèCaC-||CiCC- > CéCaC-|
The broken plurals of Arabic appear to stem from multiple systems, while the broken plurals of Berber (largely adopted above) appear to be mostly prosodic in nature. It is possible the chaos in Arabic is caused by biradical roots. Regardless, avoiding infixing, here are some possibly applicable broken plurals:
|Broken External #1||CvCC > ʔa-CCāC||CvCv:C > ʔa-CCéCa|
|Broken #1||CvCv:C > CèCèC|
|Broken #2||CvC(v)C(a) > CəCa(:)C|
Overall, some tendencies emerge: 1. The heavier the final syllable is in a root, the more likely it is to redistribute the vowels towards the front or even them out across the entire root. 2. Roots with a vowel in the first syllable but not the second will be more likely to have the first syllable reduced and the second given an /a/ 3. Suffixes then contract adjacent syllables as phontactics allow. Thus, CəCa:C > ʔa-CCāC, and (a-)CəCəC > (é-)CəCC-an. 4. Suffixes can also act as if part of the root when dealing with vowel assignment
Thus, bringing this affair to close of sorts, plurals may probably resemble the following:
|Singular Form||Plural Form||Plural with -n||Plural with -w||Plural with -v:||Plural with v-|
In addition to all the above, and working in with gender, case and number, there are the nominal prefixes. These are rather optional, being representative mostly of Berber. They change according to case and number. They appear to be innovated from pronouns formed by gender and case markers.
The reason for the female prefix being reduced could be either an underlying tu- and ti- that has lost its vowel quality due to a heavier syllable later on in the word (such as the noun's own case marker), or because the marker predates case innovation (or was established during a lull in case marking?).