Proto-rəgyam

Phonology

Consonants

labialalveolarpalatalvelarglottal
nasalsmnɲ ⟨ny⟩ŋ ⟨ng⟩
implosivesɓ ⟨b'⟩ɗ ⟨d'⟩
voiced plosivesbdɟ ⟨j⟩g
voiceless unaspirated plosivesptckʔ ⟨'⟩
voiceless aspirated plosivespʰ ⟨ph⟩tʰ ⟨th⟩cʰ ⟨ch⟩kʰ ⟨kh⟩
fricativessh
liquidsɾ l ⟨r l⟩
semivowelswj ⟨y⟩

⟨'⟩ is omitted at the start of words.

Vowels

Major Syllables

Monophthongs

The following monophthongs can be short:

frontcentralback
closeiɨ ⟨iu⟩u
close-mide ⟨ei⟩ɘ ⟨eu⟩o ⟨ou⟩
open-midɛ ⟨e⟩ɜ ⟨eo⟩ɔ ⟨o⟩
openæ ⟨ae⟩ɑ ⟨a⟩

or long:

frontcentralback
closeiː ⟨ii⟩ɨː ⟨iiu⟩uː ⟨uu⟩
close-mideː ⟨eei⟩ɘː ⟨eeu⟩oː ⟨oou⟩
open-midɛː ⟨ee⟩ɜː ⟨eeo⟩ɔː ⟨oo⟩
openæː ⟨aae⟩ɑː ⟨aa⟩
Diphthongs

All diphthongs are long:

front endcentral endback end
front startæi ⟨aei⟩æɨ ⟨aeiu⟩æu ⟨aeu⟩
back startɑi ⟨ai⟩ɑɨ ⟨aiu⟩ɑu ⟨au⟩

Stressed Minor Syllables

frontcentralback
closeiɨ ⟨iu⟩u
opena

Unstressed Minor Syllables

frontcentralback
near-closeɪ ⟨i⟩ɨ ⟨iu⟩ʊ ⟨u⟩
near-openɐ ⟨a⟩

Tones/Registers

There are five tones/registers, low ⟨àa⟩, low/breathy ⟨âa⟩, mid ⟨aa⟩, high ⟨áa⟩, and high/creaky ⟨ãa⟩. Breathiness and creakiness affect the vowel of the major syllable, while tone affects the entire word.

Stress

Primary stress always falls on the final syllable of a word. Words have an iambic structure, with alternating unstressed and stressed syllables, and words with an even number of syllables start with an unstressed syllable while words with an odd number of syllables start with a stressed syllable.

In minor syllables, [i] and [ɪ] reflect the same phoneme /ɪ/, [ɨ] (close) and [ɨ] (near-close) reflect the same phoneme /ɨ/, [u] and [ʊ] reflect the same phoneme /ʊ/, and [a] and [ɐ] reflect the same phoneme /ɐ/, differing only in that the former are stressed and the latter are unstressed. Note that the choice of whether to call these phonemes the stressed version or the unstressed versions phonemically is rather arbitrary; I have chosen to call them the unstressed versions to differentiate them from the phonemes found in major syllables and because these are the default, being found in the more common disyllabic as opposed to polysyllabic words.

Word Structure

Words have the structure [(CV1)CV2]C({ɾ l})V3({p t k m n ŋ}), where V1 are the vowels found in stressed minor syllables, V2 are the vowels found in unstressed minor syllables, and V3 is the vowels found in major syllables.

Morphosyntax

Basics

The basic sentence structure is topic-comment, SV/AVO, with noun-relative, noun-genitive, noun-determiner, and verb-adverb orders.

The two basic word classes are nouns and adverbs, along with an assortment of various particles. Verbs take the roles that adjectives, adpositions, and adverbs take in many other languages, and relative clauses and serial verb constructions are used very heavily to enable this.

There is prefixing morphology used for word derivation, e.g. the prefix - used to derive causative verbs and the prefix ʔɐ- used to derive agent nouns.

Clause Structure

Clause have the following structure:

  1. Introductory particle
  2. Topic
  3. Coverbs
    1. Coverb objects
  4. Main verbal complex
  5. Non-topic core arguments
  6. Coverbs
    1. Coverb objects

Word order is rather free, with both the agent and object being able to be placed before and after the main verbal complex, as can a non-core argument topic. Topics may be any noun phrase in a clause; if the topic is not a core argument of the main verb it is replaced in its original location with a demonstrative. In main clauses only one argument may precede the main verb complex and any coverbs preceding the main verb complex; any other core arguments must come after the main verb complex. True adverbs may be placed directly after the main verb complex or may be located later in the clause, and coverbs, including ones that are primarily adverbial in function, and their objects normally are placed after any core arguments of the main verb. Normally coverbs and their arguments are placed after the main verbal complex and the non-topic core argument, but sometimes they may be placed before it, particular with regard to motion coverbs that are conceptually before the main verb or stative verbs that modify any other coverbs before the main verb in addition to the main verb.

Vocatives may be located anywhere in a sentence, even though they tend to be located at the beginning of a sentence, and are introduced with the particle ʔɑ́ followed by the vocative argument.

By default the agent of a transitive verb is the core argument that is higher on the person (1 > 2 > 3), animacy (human/god/force of nature > non-human animate > inanimate), and topicality (more topical > less topical) hierarchies, in that order, unless the inverse marker is present, where then the opposite is true.

ník
man
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
cʰǣp
tiger
sí.
DIR

The man killed a tiger.

cʰǣp
tiger
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
ník
man
sí.
DIR

The tiger was killed by a man.

ník
man
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
nɨ̄
INV
cʰǣp
tiger
sí.
DIR

The man was killed by a tiger.

cʰǣp
tiger
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
nɨ̄
INV
ník
man
sí.
DIR

The tiger killed a man.

Arguments of nominalized verbs are specified by making the argument an inalienable possessor. For transitive verbs by default this argument will be the patient except for patient nouns; to specify an agent for a nominalized transitive noun other than a patient noun the verb is marked as being antipassive.

cʰǣp
tiger
ŋɑ́
equal
ʔa-
AGT-
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
ʔṵ
POSS.3S
ɓo̰k
human
tʰɛ̀.
REP

The tiger is a man-killer.

ník
man
ʔɪ-
RES-
kʰæ̰m
dead
ʔɔ̤m
because
nɪ-
ACT-
mi-
AP-
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
ʔṵ
POSS.3S
cʰǣp
tiger
tʰɛ̀.
REP

The man died in a tiger-killing.

wóŋ
pig
kʰæ̰m
dead
ŋɑ́
equal
mɨ-
PAT-
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
ʔṵ
POSS.3S
cʰǣp
tiger
tʰɛ̀.
REP

The dead pig is a tiger's kill.

The following particles introduce clauses:

híattributive transitive relativizer
lǣcomplementizer
nɑ̰nominal relativizer/interrogative particle
hæ̀time relativizer/interrogative particle
ɗi̤place relativizer/interrogative particle
wɛ̤truth relativizer/interrogative particle
bōreason relativizer/interrogative particle
jèmanner relativizer/interrogative particle
ŋūmethod relativizer/interrogative particle

The nominal relativizer/interrogative particle is always followed by the appropriate classifier. Subclauses except for attributive relative clauses are preferentially placed at the end of the containing clause, even if it means changing the overall word order from that which is normally preferred.

cʰǣp
tiger
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kín
eat
wóŋ
pig
hí
REL
ʔɛ̰ɛ
GEN
hɐ-
PERSON-
wóŋ
pig
sí
DIR
ʔɔ̤m
because
lǣ
COMP
lɨ́
DIST.S
bɑ̰
CLASS
ɗɾɛ̄k.
lazy

The tiger ate the pig farmer's pig because they were lazy.

nɑ̰
what
bɑ̰
CLASS
ɾɛ̰ɛ
FUT.PFV
kín
eat
nɨ̄
INV
cʰǣp
tiger
kɑ̤?
DED

Who will the tiger eat?

cʰǣp
tiger
kín
eat
nɑ̰
what
cík
CLASS
ɡɑ̄
PROX.S
cæ̰i
CLASS
kɘ̤
want
kɑ̤.
DED

The tiger eats what it wants.

Non-Core Argument Topicalization Syntax

When non-core arguments are topicalized, the argument is moved to the start of the clause, a proximal demonstrative is left in its original place, and the original initial core argument is moved after the main verb complex; note that this results in two core arguments being after the main verb complex in the case of transitive verbs, and the order of these does still determine their relative topicalization with respect to the person/animacy/topicalization hierarchy. Take, for instance:

ɟɑ̤u
house
dɨ́
PAST.IPFV
pɘ̤ɘ
walk
ʔɛ́k
1S
lōo
towards
ɡɑ̄
PROX.S
sɛ̤k
CLASS
mæ̀.
EGO

It is the house that I walked towards.

sò
woman
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
ɟḛe
take
ʔɛ́k
1S
mɐlḛk
box
ʔɛ̰ɛ
DAT
ɡɑ̄
PROX.S
bɑ̰
CLASS
mæ̀.
EGO

It is the woman that I gave the box to.

Question Syntax

Yes/no questions are introduced with wɛ̤, which takes the position before the main verb complex and any core arguments, which are moved after the main verb complex:

wɛ̤
INT.YES.NO
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kín
eat
hɑ̀
2S
mɨ-
PAT-
kín
eat
mæ̀.
EGO

Did you eat the food?

Nominal wh-questions where the wh-argument is not a qualified noun are introduced with nɑ̰, followed by a classifier, which take the position before the main verb complex and any core arguments, which are moved after the main verb complex:

nɑ̰
INT.NOM
hṳu
CLASS
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kín
eat
hɑ̀
2S
mæ̀.
EGO

What did you eat?

A proximal demonstrative is inserted when the nominal wh-argument is not a core argument:

nɑ̰
INT.NOM
bɑ̰
CLASS
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
ɟḛe
take
hɑ̀
2S
mɐlḛk
box
ʔɛ̰ɛ
DAT
ɡɑ̄
PROX.S
bɑ̰
CLASS
mæ̀.
EGO

Who did you give the box to?

Non-nominal wh-questions are introduced with particles such as jè, which take the position before the main verb complex and any core arguments, which are moved after the main verb complex:

jè
INT.MANNER
glɑ́
like
hɑ̀
2S
mɨ-
PAT-
kín
eat
mæ̀.
EGO

How do you like the food?

Nominal wh-questions where the wh-argument is a qualified noun have the qualified noun moved to the head of the sentence and qualified with a following ʔɔ́ɔ, and any other core arguments are moved after the main verb complex, as in:

mɨ-
PAT-
kín
eat
ʔɔ́ɔ
INT.WHAT
glɑ́
like
hɑ̀
2S
mæ̀.
EGO

What food do you like?

As with non noun-qualifying nominal wh-questions, if the qualified noun is not a core argument a proximal demonstrative is inserted in its original location:

sò
woman
ʔɔ́ɔ
INT.WHAT
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
ɟḛe
take
hɑ̀
2S
mɐlḛk
box
ʔɛ̰ɛ
DAT
ɡɑ̄
PROX.S
bɑ̰
CLASS
mæ̀.
EGO

Which woman did you give the box to?

Dative Syntax

Dative statements have the following general syntax: agent aux take-action patient give-action indirect-object evidential. Examples include:

ʔɛ́k
1S
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
ɟḛe
take
mɨ-
PAT-
kín
eat
ʔɛ̰ɛ
DAT
wóŋ
pig
mæ̀.
EGO

I gave food to the pig.

ʔɛ́k
1S
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
ɲìit
carry
mɨ-
PAT-
kín
eat
ʔɛ̰ɛ
DAT
wóŋ
pig
mæ̀.
EGO

I carried the food and gave it to the pig.

ʔɛ́k
1S
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
mīn
say
lɨ́
DIST.S
dɨ̤
CLASS
ʔɛ̰ɛ
DAT
lɐgæ̀k
mother
ɗí
POSS.1S
mæ̀.
EGO

I said that to my mother.

Movement Syntax

Movement statements have the following general syntax: subject aux movement-action to/from/through location-type location evidential. Examples include:

lɨ́
DIST.S
bɑ̰
CLASS
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
pɘ̤ɘ
walk
sɔ́ɔ
to
tʰɑ̀
at
lɨ́
DIST.S
mḛ
CLASS
sí.
DIR

They walked over there.

lɐgæ̀k
mother
ɲìit
carry
jɔ̀ɔ
baby
ʔṵ
POSS.3S
lɨ́
DIST.S
bɑ̰
CLASS
ŋō
through
tʰɑ̀
at
kòp
field
sí.
DIR

The mother is carrying her baby through the field.

Comparison Syntax

Comparative statements have the following syntax: subject aux bɨ-stative-verb hō compared-object evidential. Examples include:

cɑ̀iŋ
mountain
bɨ-
COMP-
ʔɐkɾì
tall
hō
than
jɛ̀m
hill
tʰɛ̀.
REP

The mountain is taller than the hill.

hɐkéen
bear
bɨ-
COMP-
ŋɑ́i
fast
gḛt
bird
hō
than
ɡɑ̄
PROX.S
cæ̰i
CLASS
sí.
DIR

It is the bear that the bird is faster than.

Resultative Syntax

There are two types of resultative, one where a state is a result of an event taking place where the event is closely tied to the state, and the other where a state is the result of an event specified by a separate transitive verb taking place. The latter are similar to normal serial verb constructions, except that the subject of the result state is the object of the main verb. The former have the syntax: subject aux ʔɪ-stative-verb evidential. The latter have the syntax: agent aux main-verb patient ʔɪ-stative-verb evidential. Examples include:

wɔ̄ɔn
sky
dɨ́
PAST.IPFV
ʔɪ-
RES-
ɗɾèn
dark
sí.
DIR

The sky grew dark.

cʰǣp
tiger
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
sʊkɑ̰
maul
wóŋ
pig
ʔɪ-
RES-
kʰæ̰m
dead
sí.
DIR

The tiger mauled the pig to death.

Note that the causative of a stative verb takes on a resultative meaning with regard to the patient of the causative verb, as in:

ʔa-
AGT-
kɐse̤k
farm
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kɐ-
CAUS-
pɔ́k
full
ne̤e
trough
sí.
DIR

The farmer filled the trough.

This can also be used without an agent in a passive fashion, similar to a normal resultative, except indicating that it was due to some agent:

ɟɑ̤u
house
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kɐ-
CAUS-
wɑ̀ɑ
clean
sí.
DIR

The house got cleaned.

Contrast this with the use of ʔɪ-, which does not imply the existence of any agent:

ɟɑ̤u
house
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
ʔɪ-
RES-
wɑ̀ɑ
clean
sí.
DIR

The house became clean.

Verbal Morphosyntax

All verbs are present/imperfective by default, and any other TAM is determined by auxiliary verbs.

Verbal Complex

  1. Nominal derivation prefix
  2. Negative auxiliary verb
  3. Inchoative/cessative/continuative auxiliary verb
  4. Tense/perfectivity auxiliary verb
  5. Modal auxiliary verb(s)
  6. Negative auxiliary verb (when it is the verb referred to by a modal verb that is being negated rather than the modal verb itself)
  7. Preceding coverbs
    1. Preceding coverb arguments
  8. Verbal derivation prefix
  9. Main verb
  10. Inverse marker

Evidential coverbs are not part of the verb complex, and come after the object, and even after other coverbs.

Derivation

mɪ-antipassive voice
kɐ-causative voice
ʔɪ-resultative verb derivation
hɨ-reflexive voice
dɐ-reciprocal voice
bɨ-derive a comparative intransitive verb from a verb
ɾʊ-derive a superlative intransitive verb from a verb
ɓɪ-derive a quality intransitive verb from a verb
nɪ-derive an action noun from a verb
lɐ-derive a result noun from a verb
tɨ-derive a quality noun from a verb
ʔɐ-derive an agent noun from a verb
mɨ-derive a patient noun from a verb
sʊ-derive an instrument noun from a verb
ɾɐ-derive a locative noun from a verb

Note that derivation prefixes such as the antipassive voice and causative voice prefixes can be combined; mikɐ-/mɪka- only marks the causer and no causee or object, whereas with transitive verbs kamɪ-/kɐmi- marks both the causer and the causee but not the object, as in:

ʔɛ́k
1S
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
mi-
AP-
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
mæ̀.
EGO

I killed.

ʔɛ́k
1S
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
ka-
CAUS-
mɪ-
AP-
kín
eat
cʰǣp
tiger
mæ̀.
EGO

I fed the tiger.

Objects of causative verbs are marked with the coverb sæ̤u, as in:

ʔɛ́k
1S
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kɐ-
CAUS-
kín
eat
cʰǣp
tiger
sæ̤u
OBJ
wóŋ
pig
mæ̀.
EGO

I fed the tiger the pig.

Auxiliary and Modal Verbs

Auxiliary Verbs
cʰɑ̄past perfective
dɨ́past imperfective
lɔ̤inchoative
ɓéecessative
nɜ̰continuative
ɾɛ̰ɛfuture perfective
nùfuture imperfective
jínegative

Past and future perfective)auxiliaries are frequently combined with inchoative or cessative auxiliaries, and past and future imperfective auxiliaries are frequently combined with the continuative auxiliary, as in:

ʔɛ́k
1S
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
lɔ̤
INCH
kín
eat
wóŋ
pig
mæ̀.
EGO

I started to eat a pig.

ʔɛ́k
1S
nù
FUT.IPFV
nɜ̰
CONT
kín
eat
wóŋ
pig
mæ̀.
EGO

I will still be eating a pig.

Note that inchoative and cessative auxiliaries can be combined with past and future imperfective auxiliaries as well, as in:

ʔɛ́k
1S
dɨ́
PAST.IPFV
lɔ̤
INCH
kín
eat
wóŋ
pig
mæ̀.
EGO

I was starting to eat a pig.

ʔɛ́k
1S
nù
FUT.IPFV
ɓée
CESS
kín
eat
wóŋ
pig
mæ̀.
EGO

I will be finishing eating a pig.

The negative auxiliary can go both before or after inchoative, cessative, and continuative auxiliaries, to specify whether it is the auxiliary being negated or the main verb being negated, as in:

ʔɛ́k
1S
jí
NEG
lɔ̤
INCH
kín
eat
wóŋ
pig
mæ̀.
EGO

I am not starting to eat a pig.

ʔɛ́k
1S
lɔ̤
INCH
jí
NEG
kín
eat
wóŋ
pig
mæ̀.
EGO

I am starting to not eat a pig.

The negative auxiliary can negate coverbs, unlike other auxiliaries that may only qualify the main verb. However, this is only done when it is specifically the coverb which is being negated, and not the clause as a whole. Take, for instance:

ʔa-
AGT-
kɐse̤k
farm
kɐ-
CAUS-
ɾúu
grow
wʊ-
COLL-
wóŋ
pig
jí
NEG
ɾɑ̤
like
ɓɔ̄ɔk
lord
ʔṵ
POSS.3S
ɡɑ̄
PROX.S
bɑ̰
CLASS
kɑ̤.
DED

The farmer raises pigs, unlike his lord.

The negative coverb can also negative stative verbs being used without a relativizer, as in:

ʔa-
AGT-
kɐse̤k
farm
jí
NEG
tʰùu
scared
dɨ́
PAST.IPFV
ʔɪɗɑ̤
stare
lōo
towards
cʰǣp
tiger
sí.
DIR

The fearless farmer stared down the tiger.
Modal Verbs
kɾíwould
ʔḭshould
cɛ́ɛmight/may
nɑ̄ɨmust/have to
mèbe supposed to
dóneed to
tʰæ̤can/be able to
blɑ́want to
ʔɔ̰ttry to

Auxiliary verbs and modal verbs can be ordered such that auxiliaries or modals precede that which they qualify, and both multiple modal verbs and multiple auxiliary verbs, and even in cases multiples of the same modal or auxiliary verb may be present, as in:

ʔɛ́k
1S
jí
NEG
tʰæ̤
able_to
jí
NEG
kín
eat
wóŋ
pig
mæ̀.
EGO

I was not able to not eat a pig.

Adverbial Particles

nɨ̄inverse
ɓɑ̤ualso, too
lɑ̄iemphatic
jɑ̤nmore
ɗɔ́mtoo (degree)
wǽioften
pʰṵsome

These are usually placed immediately after the verb they qualify, before any arguments to that verb, as in:

ʔɛ́k
1S
ɾɛ̰ɛ
FUT.PFV
kín
eat
nɨ̄
INV
cʰǣp
tiger
mæ̀.
EGO

I will be eaten by a tiger.

Evidential Coverbs

mæ̀egophoric
sínon-egophoric direct knowledge, lit. know
kɑ̤deductive, lit. think
tʰɛ̀reportative, lit. hear
ɗṵassumption
tōodubitative

These usually are placed at the end of a clause, unless there are any complement clauses, where then they are placed immediately before the complement clause or, if the complement clause is the argument of a coverb, the coverb the complement clause is an argument of, as in:

hɑ̀
2S
ʔḭ
should
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
cʰǣp
tiger
kɑ̤
DED
ʔɔ̤m
because
lǣ
COMP
hɑ̀
2S
ɾɛ̰ɛ
FUT.PFV
cɛ́ɛ
may
kín
eat
nɨ̄
INV
cʰǣp.
tiger

(I deduced that) you should kill the tiger, because you may be eaten by the tiger.

Nominal Morphosyntax

Nouns, pronouns aside, are not marked for number or definiteness. However, collectives are expressed via reduplication of the first syllable of the major syllable. Numbers are associated with classifiers, which follow numbers. Also there is some nominal derivation to form nouns and verbs from nouns.

* Reduplication takes the form of a minor syllable with the first consonant of the major syllable and a near-open front, central, or back vowel for any close or close-mid vowel in the major syllable or a near-open central vowel for any open or open-mid vowel in the major syllable.

Transitive relative clauses are introduced with hí, and intransitive relative clauses come before transitive relative clauses.

cʰɐ-
COLL-
cʰǣp
tiger
kɾæ̀
two
lɘ̄
CLASS
hí
REL
nɨ̰
in
kòp
field
kín
eat
wóŋ
pig
sí.
DIR

Two groups of tigers in the field are eating pigs.

Derivation

REDUPcollective
jʊ-diminutive
gɐ-augmentative
cɨ-related language variety
hɐ-related person
tʊ-related place
bɪ-related thing
lɪ-derive a making intransitive verb from a noun
bɨ-derive a transitive verb involving a noun as an instrument
ʔɨ-derive a quality intransitive verb from a noun
ŋɪ-derive a place intransitive verb from a place
kɨ-derive an ordinal number intransitive verb from a cardinal number noun


gɐ-
AUG-
cʰǣp
tiger
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kín
eat
hɐ-
PERSON-
wóŋ
pig
nɨ̰
in
tʊ-
PLACE-
wóŋ
pig
sí.
DIR

The big tiger ate the pig farmer in the pig farm.

Demonstratives and Other Determiners

The demonstratives and other determiners below also act in the place of third-person pronouns.

Demonstratives and other determiners are normally associated with classifiers when used pronominally.

Demonstratives may take the comparative and superlative prefixes that intransitive verbs can take.

ɡɑ̄proximal singular
mo̰proximal plural
lɨ́distal singular
ɟūdistal plural
ʔɔ́ɔinterrogative determiner
mɛ̀negative determiner
ŋæ̀some
lúall
jo̰every
ʔǣɨany
nɔ̤much
cæ̀many
kɛ̤less
sūfew
pæ̤both, together

Note that proximal and distal demonstratives and possessive determiners can be combined with other determiners.

cʰǣp
tiger
mo̰
PROX.P
kín
eat
wʊ-
COLL-
wóŋ
pig
lɨ́
DIST.S
tʰɑ̀
at
lɨ́
DIST.S
mḛ
CLASS
tʰɛ̀.
REP

(I heard that) the tigers are eating the group of pigs there.
Possessive Determiners

Earlier on possessive determiners are only used for attributive inalienable possessors. Alienable and predicative possessors in earlier Proto-rəgyam rather are expressed with the dative/benefactive/genitive verb ʔɛ̰ɛ.

singularplural
1st (excl.)ɗíŋæ̀
1st incl.-tɪŋæ̀
2ndɲótē
3rdʔṵsɜ̀n


jɨhɑ̰ɑ
father
ɗí
POSS.1S
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
cʰǣp
tiger
tʰɛ̀.
REP

(I heard that) my father killed the tiger.

Third person inalienable possessors are expressed by placing the possessor, which must be present (pronominal possession being expressed via a demonstrative), after, depending on the number of the possessor, ʔṵ or sɜ̀n, as in:

lɔ̄ŋ
son
ʔṵ
POSS.3S
hɐ-
PERSON-
wóŋ
pig
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
ka-
CAUS-
mɪ-
AP-
kín
eat
wʊ-
COLL-
wóŋ
pig
sí.
DIR

The pig farmer's son fed the pigs.

In later Proto-rəgyam alienable possessive determiners developed; these have the following forms, derived from the personal pronouns prefixed with hɪ-, itself derived from the relativizer hí.

singularplural
1st (excl.)hɪʔɛ́khɪʔṵn
1st incl.-hɪnṵn
2ndhɪhɑ̀hɪnɔ́

There are also third person possession markers, unmarked for number, in later Proto-rəgyam, derived from hɪ- prefixing the dative ʔɛ̰ɛ:

singularplural
3rdhɪʔɛ̰ɛhɪʔɛ̰ɛ

Coordinating Conjunctions

ʔīand
ɾæ̀or
nɛ́contrast (e.g. English "but", "yet")
sɑ̰rationale (e.g. English "for")
tɜ̤consequence (e.g. English "so")

Note that when strung together, each individual NP is separated by a coordinating conjunction, unlike in English.

ʔa-
AGT-
kɐse̤k
farm
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
ka-
CAUS-
mɪ-
AP-
kín
eat
ɟɔ̤p
cat
ʔī
and
ʔɐjɑ̄m
dog
ʔī
and
wʊ-
COLL-
wóŋ
pig
sí.
DIR

The farmer fed the cat, the dog, and the pigs.

Classifiers

Classifiers are placed immediately after cardinal numbers, demonstrative pronouns, other pronouns derived from determiners, and the nominal relativizer/interrogative particle. They are also optionally placed after determiners other than possessive determiners.

kǣgeneral inanimate object classifier
gɛ̤ɛgeneral abstract concept classifier
lɘ̄general collective classifier
mḛgeneral place classifier
bɑ̰general classifier for humans
cʰɑ́classifier for markedly higher-status humans
mɘ̤classifier for markedly lower-status humans
ʔíiclassifier for children
cíkgeneral classifier for animals and other things that move or act on their own
ɟæ̀uclassifier for domesticated animals (e.g. dogs, cats, cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens)
cæ̰iclassifier for "higher" animals (e.g. lions, tigers, elephants, bears)
ɗǣɨclassifier for trees
múuclassifier for plants other than trees
lɘ̰classifier for body parts of both humans and animals
ɓɜ̤classifier for flat, wide objects
dɾɔ̰ɔclassifier for sheet-like objects
lǽkclassifier for clothing
sɑ́uclassifier for long, thin objects (e.g. sticks)
hṳuclassifier for edible things
hæ̀classifier for globular or chunky objects (e.g. rocks, fruit)
léclassifier for liquids and powders (e.g. water, sand)
ɾóclassifier for distinct units of liquids, powders, small pieces
ʔɨ̰ɨclassifier for collectives of small pieces (e.g. pebbles)
dɨ̤classifier for things that have been or will be said
sɔ̄mclassifier for matters, topics, ideas, thoughts
bǽŋclassifier for compositions (e.g. stories, songs, pieces of literature, but not physical books)
tæ̀classifier for language varieties
nɨ̄ŋclassifier for periods of time
kʰùclassifier for events and processes
sɛ̤kclassifier for buildings, especially large ones
mɑ́tclassifier for smaller areas of land (e.g. areas of farmland)
hìclassifier for larger areas of land (e.g. larger islands, continents) along with larger bodies of water (e.g. larger lakes, seas, oceans)
tʰɛ̄ɛclassifier for distinct landforms (e.g. hills, valleys, slopes, plains, mountains, ravines, streams, rivers, ponds, smaller lakes, smaller islands)
ɗɜ̤ɜnclassifier for villages and towns
lɑ́iclassifier for cities
cɑ̀pclassifier for polities
pímclassifier for weather phenomena and celestial bodies


wóŋ
pig
ɗæ̰i
hundred
ɟæ̀u
CLASS
ʔɛ̰ɛ
DAT
hɐ-
PERSON-
wóŋ
pig
tʰɑ̀
at
lɨ́
DIST.S
mḛ
CLASS
sí.
DIR

The pig farmer has a hundred pigs over there.

nɑ̰
what
ɟæ̀u
CLASS
ŋɑ́
equal
lú
all
ɟæ̀u
CLASS
sí?
DIR

What are all (of those) animals?

Pronouns

Personal Pronouns

The demonstratives serve as the third-person pronouns, but there are also the following first and second-person pronouns:

singularplural
1st (excl.)ʔɛ́kʔṵn
1st incl.-nṵn
2ndhɑ̀nɔ́

Third Person and Non-Personal Pronouns

Demonstratives and other determiners, combined with classifiers, are used without nouns as third person and non-personal pronouns, as in:

ɟū
DIST.P
mɘ̤
LOW
cʰɑ̄
PAST.PFV
kǽ
come
kɐ-
CAUS-
kʰæ̰m
dead
wʊ-
COLL-
wóŋ
pig
kín
eat
ɟū
DIST.P
ɟæ̀u
DOMESTIC_ANIMAL
sí.
DIR

They (low) came and killed the pigs and ate them.

Registers

2nd person pronouns and demonstratives are commonly followed by the high-status classifier cʰɑ́ to form a respectful pronoun for speaking to another person or about another person of higher status. Likewise, 1st person pronouns are commonly followed by the low-status classifier mɘ̤ to form a humble pronoun for when speaking to another person of higher status. For example:

hɑ̀
2S
cʰɑ́
HIGH
jí
NEG
ŋɑ́
equal
hɐ-
PERSON-
wóŋ
pig
hí
REL
jí
NEG
ɾɑ̤
like
nɨ̄
INV
ʔɛ́k
1S
mɘ̤
LOW
kɑ̤.
DED

You (high) are not a pig farmer like me (low).

The high-status classifier cʰɑ́ and the low-status classifier mɘ̤ can be placed after arbitrary nouns referring to people even without any associated number or determiner to indicate respect (of a higher status) or despectiveness, as in:

ɓɔ̄ɔk
lord
cʰɑ́
HIGH
cʰḭk
own
ʔɐtʰḭm
land
hí
REL
kɐse̤k
farm
sʊlæ̰i
peasant
mɘ̤
LOW
kɑ̤.
DED

The lord (high) owns the land that the peasant (low) farms.

Proto-rəgyam Vocabulary

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