Old Laqar



voiced plosivesbd dzg
voiceless aspirated plosivestʰ tsʰtɕʰ
ejective plosivestsʼtɕʼʔ
voiced fricativeszʑɣ
voiceless fricativessɕxh
liquidsɾ l


closei yu
close-mide øo

Sound Changes

The following sound changes took place from Proto-Laqar:


The following romanization is used:


nasalsm ⟨m⟩n ⟨n⟩
voiced plosivesb ⟨b⟩d dz ⟨d j⟩dʑ ⟨ǰ⟩g ⟨g⟩
voiceless aspirated plosivespʰ ⟨p⟩tʰ tsʰ ⟨t c⟩tɕʰ ⟨č⟩kʰ ⟨k⟩
ejective plosivestsʼ ⟨c'⟩tɕʼ ⟨č'⟩kʼ ⟨k'⟩ʔ ⟨∅⟩
voiced fricativesz ⟨z⟩ʑ ⟨ž⟩ɣ ⟨ġ⟩
voiceless fricativess ⟨s⟩ɕ ⟨š⟩x ⟨x⟩h ⟨h⟩
liquidsɾ l ⟨r l⟩
semivowelsj ⟨y⟩w ⟨w⟩


closei y ⟨i ü⟩u ⟨u⟩
close-mide ø ⟨e ö⟩o ⟨o⟩
open-midɐ ⟨ə⟩ɔ ⟨å⟩
openæ ⟨a⟩ɑ ⟨á⟩

Orthographic Practices

Orthography is phonemic, and as stress is always the left-most of the last three syllables of a word, stress is not marked. However, there are unstressed clitics which attach to the end of a word which do not participate in the determining of stress position, so their status as being separate must be marked, which is done by separating them from the rest of a word with a hyphen.


Word Order

The basic word order is topic-comment, with object-adverbial-verb order. The noun phrase word order is basically the same as in Proto-Laqar, as:

Alignment and Person Hierarchy

Old Laqar combines aspects of fluid-S alignment and direct-inverse. Specifically, in intransitive clauses, inanimate arguments are expected to be patients and animate arguments are expected to be agents, and when this is the case said arguments are not marked for case, but if an inanimate argument is an agent it is marked with agentive case, and likewise is if an animate argument is a patient it is marked with patientive case. In transitive clauses, agents are expected to be higher in the person/animacy hierarchy than patients, but if this is violated such that an inanimate argument is an agent then it is marked with agentive case, and likewise if this is violated such that an animate argument is a patient it is marked with patientive case. If two arguments are equal with regard to the person/animacy hierarchy, then the agent is marked with agentive case and the patient is not marked for case.

The basic person/animacy hierarchy has the following order:

  1. 1st person
  2. 2nd person
  3. 3rd person pronouns
  4. People and gods
  5. Non-human, non-diety animates
  6. Inanimates

This is combined with the following other hierarchies:

  1. Named
  2. Definite
  3. Indefinite non-gerund
  4. Indefinite gerund


  1. Singular or singulative number
  2. Dual number
  3. Plural or collective number


  1. Topicality (word order)

Person, number, and gender are marked on the verb such that both agents and patients of intransitive verbs are marked with the "subject" slot, as is the higher person/animacy argument of transitive verbs, and the lower person/animacy argument of transitive verbs is marked with the "object" slot; if both arguments of transitive verbs are equal in person/animacy, then the agent is marked in the "subject" slot and the other argument is marked in the "object" slot.

Gerunds operate much like finite verbs, except they have only one slot to mark possession, agents, and patient, with priority being given first to possessors, then to the argument with the highest person/animacy, and then to the agent if there are multiple arguments with the same position in the person/animacy hierarchy. Whether a single argument to a gerund is an agent or patient is determined similarly to how it is done for intransitive finite verbs, including with regard to case-marking, with the exception that if the gerund is part of a compound verb construction it is determined in terms of the entire clause, i.e. as if it were an argument to a finite verb.

There are verbs for which the threshold in the person/animacy hierarchy between agent and patient is modified; e.g. adjectives being used predicatively always take patients, and certain verbs such as lüycə default to patients for arguments except for the 1st and 2nd persons.

Compound Verbs

Compound verbs are formed by combining a finite verb with one or more gerunds. In a typical compound verb construction, the finite verb agrees with an agent or experiencer and with a gerund, which in turn if the overall construction is transitive agrees with a patient. However, passive compound verb constructions can be formed by using two patients with the finite verb - both the overall patient, and the gerund.

Conditional Forms

Conditional forms are formed by linking two clauses together, with the protasis being connected by the following apodosis with yåk'-re, the genitive of the complementizer, or more lengthily by pa yåk'ri-re, the genitive of 'reason' inalienably possessed by the complementizer.


Forms formed by subordinating conjunctions in other languages typically have the form of [subordinate clause] [noun]-[case] [main clause], derived from lengthier forms of the form [subordinate clause] [noun]-[case] [main clause], where is the complementizer and it is being inalienably possessed by the noun (the shorter forms lose the and the person/number marker on the noun). Examples of these include:

so thatyåk'-čareason-DAT


Old Laqar inherits the cases of Proto-Laqar, but has innovated allative and ablative cases from combining locative and dative and locative and instrumental cases respectively, and then simplifying them, resulting in the following case inventory:


Note that dative case is normally used for recepients (commonly translated 'for' or 'to') whereas allative case is normally used for spatial constructions (sometimes translated 'to', or 'into' or 'onto'). Ablative cause is typically used to translate 'from'. Genitive case is used both to express alienable possession (combined with person/number/gender marking on the possessed noun) and to form adverbial constructions with nouns.

Dual Number

Dual number has been lost.

Compound Postpositions

Compound postpositions are formed through combining a relational noun with a postposition. Unlike in subordination, the person/number/gender marker is not omitted, and it agrees with the ultimate object. Relational nouns are normally used as indefinite even when their meaning would actually be definite. Also, relational nouns often agree with their objects in number, and not doing so often has specific meanings. The most common cases to use with relational nouns are locative, allative, and ablative, with many relational nouns being used with all three of these, but other cases can be found as well of, such as mawwə-ča place-SG.M=DAT 'instead of (sg. m.)'. Furthermore, the instrumental/comitative case can be used to use mean 'by way of', and relational nouns that can be used with the locative, allative, and ablative cases can normally be used with this.

The following are examples of relational nouns that may be used freely with locative, allative, ablative, and instrumental/comitative cases:

base3rd sg. m.3rd sg. f.3rd pl. m.3rd pl. f.gloss
before, in frontkeykeywəkeyrikåyokeyxåchest
after, in backc'üc'üwəc'üric'iwoc'öxåback
over, abovebukbukwəbukribukobukxåhair
on top ofloxloxwəloxriloxoloxxåhead
on the bottom ofmirrəmirrəwəmirrərimirrəwomirråxåbuttocks
under, belowk'ičək'ičwək'ečrik'ičwok'ečxåfeet
in, into, out ofnannanwənanrinanonanxåstomach
on, onto, off ofdåwədåridåwodåxåskin

The following are examples of relational noun-case combinations that are more fixed, with it not being possible to arbitrarily use other cases:

base3rd sg. m.3rd sg. f.3rd pl. m.3rd pl. f.gloss
instead ofmawe-čamawwə-čaməwri-čamawwo-čaməwxå-čaplace=DAT
because ofyåk'-loyåk'wə-loyåk'ri-loyåk'o-loyåk'xå-loreason=INST

The base forms are commonly used with adverbial meaning, like the use of adverbial particles in Germanic languages.


Attributive Possession

Attributive possession is expressed by preceding the noun possessed, including any nouns compounded with it, with the possessor if it is 3rd person, while marking the possessee with the person, number, and gender of the possessor. Alienable possession differs from inalienable possession in that the possessor in alienable possession, if it is 3rd person, is marked for genitive case, whereas for inalienable possession the possessor is not marked for case.

Predicative Possession

Predicative possession is marked by putting the possessee as a patientive argument to ġácə and marking the possessor as dative argument. Alienable versus inalienable possession are not distinguished here.

Locative Nouns

Locative nouns are formed by combining Proto-Laqar *-kʰæ and *-him into either -kim or -kem depending on whether the last syllable of the stem was light, for the former, or heavy or superheavy, for the latter. When pluralized, this takes the form of -kimmu or -kimlə depending on the gender of that being referred to.

Example Paradigms


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