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Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plain Ejective Plain Ejective Palatalised Plain Ejective
Stop b [p] p [pʰ] [p’] d [t] t [tʰ] [t’] [tʲ] [tʲʰ] g [k] k [kʰ] [g’]
Affricate z [t͡s] [t͡s’] ź [t͡sʲ]
Fricative v [v] s [s̠̻] ś [s̠̻ʲ] h [h]
Nasal m [m] n [n] ń [nʲ]
Approximants l [l] ĺ [lʲ] y/j [j] w [w]
Trills r [r]


  1. /j/ is written with <y> before u, a, o but <j> everywhere else.
  2. The consonants r, l, w can all stand in for a vowel in a syllable core.
  3. The consonants s and n, have the following retroflex allophones after r: [ʂ], [ɳ]; e.g. prsaḏi ['pʰrʂat’i]
  4. The plain plosive stops, that is b, d, g may become semi-voiced between vowels and after n, m and l.


Five vowels: a, e, i, o, u with long doublets aa, ee, ii, oo, uu.


Syllables can take one of three tones: rising, falling, plain or mid, indicated respectively by the acute, the grave and no accent.

Plain Rising Falling
ḡaaj ḡááj ḡààj
[k’āːj] [k’ǎːj] [k’âːj]
"rock" "who" "elk"






Pronouns come in primarily two shapes, independent and enclitic versions. The independent pronouns are used to emphasise and in certain syntactic constructions. The enclitic versions are used everywhere else. Furthermore, as this is a pro-drop language, they may be dropped from any given sentence if context allows it.

singular plural
inclusive exclusive
first har haryań hammeḏ
second yań yaańńeḏ
third jee, śi jeemeḏ


  1. Different pronouns are used for the third person depending on the referent's animacy. The word jee can only be used for animate referents and can be pluralised to jeemeḏ, whereas inanimate śi can solely appear with inanimates, e.g., úúlem śi … "the country, it…", and cannot be pluralised.

The proclitic versions are ha-, ńa-, je-, śi- in the singular and hee-, ńee-, mee- in the plural.


Nouns are relatively simple, being marked for possession and number. The only major difference between animate and inanimate nouns is that only animate nouns may be pluralised. Inanimate nouns need to use a periphrastic construction to express plurality.


Animate nouns are pluralised simply by affixing the correct prefix or circumfix, which in turn varies depending on whether the noun refers to a human or not, on whether the noun is respected by the speaker. For all parts where a V is written, replace this with the same vowel that is found in the word.

human non-human
neutral -míít -ta
respective Vz-_-t Vr-_-ta
disrespective Vl-_-t Vm-_-ta
tak chief ḡààj elk
human non-human
neutral tagmíít rulers ḡààt́a elks
respective assaht just rulers àrkààt́a noble elks
disrespective aldaht treacherous rulers àmkààt́a wretched elks

All nouns change for possession, which can be broadly divided into alienable and inalienable possession. The marking for alienable possession is achieved by means of certain prefixes which indicate the person and their number.

1P u- hù-
2P a- ẕè-
3P ya- yú-

The noun is then followed by its possessor, either a pronoun or a noun. Pronouns are always in the singular in the third person, even if the noun has a possessive plural marker.

yadnald jee
"He has a dog (lit. his-dog he)"
yúdnald jee
"They have a dog (lit. their-dog he)"
yaḡaaj ẕal yùśi jee
"They have some rocks (lit. 3sg.poss;rock many 3pl.poss;it he)"
hùhassat haryań
"Our noble rulers"

To show inalienable possession, which is reserved for family members, body parts, etc., the word gains the enclitic version of the relevant pronoun as a prefix.

"My mother (lit. I-mother)"
"Her nose (lit. she-nose)"
je-wel yaśi ha-pàs
"My mother's nose (lit. 3sg-nose 3sg.poss;it 1sg-mother)"


In transitive sentences: verb-patient-agent. Also permits fronting of agent for emphasis, leading to agent-verb-patient. In intransitive sentences, verb-subject is the norm.