Introduction

tsako language code dot

Aronmalim is the extinct language of the people who originated in Aronmim valley. Trade goods from them are widespread and loanwords from Aronmalim are present in many languages including Nyjejualin and Ylialis. This guide focuses on its influence on Nyjejualin.

There are a few records from Okekuslen explorers that indicate the sounds of Aronmalin. Most of the other sources are inventories, sales records, recipes, and other trade records. The Aronmalimaokwi word for their was 'Tsɑkø', meaning 'speech', and their word for themselves was 'Tsaŋgekii', reportedly meaning 'people who speak'. The rest of this guide will use their words.

The Tsaŋgekii came from west of the Nyjejualinaokwi nations between 2000 and 2200 SE and influenced Early Nyjejualin through trade and intermarriage. It is known that it influenced the rise of paucal in Nyjejualin as well as adding some phonemes. For simplicity's sake and to make it easier to compare to Nyjejualin, in its various versions, the orthography is the same as IPA. Tsɑkø words and phonemes will be marked like this.

Phonology

Consonants
Labials Dentals Palatals Velars
Stops p b t d k g
Fricatives f β ɣ
Affricates ts dz
Nasals m n ŋ
Liquids l r
Semivowel j
Vowels
closed neutral open
(front) i . y æ .    
e . ø
(back) ɯ .        . o ɑ . ɔ

(Vowels beside periods are: unrounded . rounded)


The scant records and reconstructions indicate that it had vowel height harmony and minor rounding harmony. All vowels must match in height and a round vowel will be followed by another round vowel, unless seperated by two consonants.

Rounding Changes:
after y
e → ø
ɯ → o
after ø
i → y
e → ø
ɯ → o
æ → ø
ɑ → ɔ
after o
i → y
e → ø
ɯ → o
æ → ø
ɑ → ɔ
after ɔ
e → ø
æ → ø

It also has long vowels and closing diphthongs.

Diphthongs
closed neutral open
starting with e ei ey
starting with ø øy
starting with o oy
starting with ɯ ɯi ɯy
starting with ɑ ɑø ɑe ɑæ
starting with ɔ ɔø

Phonotactics

Velar consonants (k g ɣ ŋ) and the semivowel j only appear medially. The labial fricatives (f β) only appear initially. The only fricative that appear medially is ɣ and no affricates appear medially.

Morphology

Verbs

Verbs end in l. Nouns formed from them simply remove the final consonant. To create a verb from a noun, l or el was added, with the needed sound changes.


Nouns

Forming Paucals

Paucals were formed by suffixing them if the word ended with a consonant with ɑt for open vowel words and in for closed vowel words, or, by replacing the final vowel, with the needed modifications as shown in the table below.

The rounding of the suffix follows the rules of vowel harmony, thus, for example: (armlet) ojmøojmɑt, not *ojmɔt. If a word has neutral vowels except for the final vowel, which would be replaced, the word takes the open suffix, for example: (chest) femɣeyfemɣɑt, not *femɣin.

end closed open examples
consonant (unround) -in -ɑt (wheat) milelmilelin,
(pan) fɑkɑætfɑkɑætɑt
consonant (vowel harmony) -yn -ɔt (leather) ɯmekjøønynɯmekjøønyn,
(basket) tøntoøntøntoønɔt
short vowel (unround) din dɑt (wool) ʣɯirøʣɯirin,
(linen) βɑɑkkɑβɑɑkkɑt
short vowel (vowel harmony) ytɯytyn ɔtæɔtɔt (crystal) tøyroymotøyroymyn,
(rice) popød popødɔt
long vowel (unround) riidin ræædɑt (mill) mɯytrøbjeemɯytrøbjin,
(interest) togɑɑmeetogɑɑmɑt
long vowel (vowel harmony) yrɯɯyryn ɔreeɔrɔt (value) enokyyenokyn,
(court) ɑegɔnønooɑegɔnønɔt
diphthong (unround) mey (round) → mein (unround)
meimein
mɯimɯin
mɯy (round) → mɯin (unround)
meæmɑt
mɑø (round) → (unround) mɑɑt
mɑemɑɑt
mɑæmɑɑt
(cloak) ɯitreiɯitrein,
(rivet) bɑækɑdɑæbɑækɑdɑɑt
diphthong (vowel harmony)
føyføyn
foyfoyn
foøfoyn
foøfɔn
fɔøfɔɔt
(tool) pɯiløypɯiløyn,
(rum) mɑøʦɔømɑøʦɔɔt
with sound change
dzd
tst
(baker) æteæʣeæteædɑt,
(grain) fɯmotyʦfɯmotytyn

Forming Plurals

Plurals had more steps.

  1. The last consonant in the word is doubled and followed by either the vowel (either short or long) right after it, or if the word ends in the consonant, by the vowel right before it.
  2. If the geminated consonant was preceded (or followed) by a diphthong, the diphthong is changed to a pure vowel of the first vowel.
  3. Illegal consonant clusters are changed:
    dzdz → dd
    tsts → tt
    ŋŋ, nn, ll, jj → j
    rr → r
    ɣɣ → kk
    mm → m
  4. Final neutral vowels are changed to the appropriate open or closed vowel (words with all neutral vowels are open), matching the vowel length:
    vowel to closed vowel to open vowel
    ø y ɔ
    o o ɔ
    e ɯ ɑ
  5. If necessary to avoid three consonants in a row, the final vowel is added before the geminated or altered consonant.
Examples illustrating the entire process:
(storage chest) femɣey → 1. femɣɣey → 2. femɣɣe → 3. femkke → 4. femkka → 5. femɑkkɑ
(amber) øyloyr → 1. øyloyrry → 2. øylorry → 3. øylory (done)
(basket) tøntoøn → 1. tøntoønnø → 2. tøntonnø → 3. tøntojø → 4. tøntojɔ (done)
(seam) feroøddee → 1. feroøddee → 4. feroøddɑɑ

Adjectives

Not many adjectives are known, but what is known is that adjectives end in edz and agree with the noun in number. Adjectives follow the noun.

Examples:
dzɯmeytjo fokkeʣ rich winemaker
ætetɑt βiibleʣ poor beader
tænɑt yylømedin valuable rings (paucal)
ʦøpɔkkɔ ɑɑtjeddɑ well-made blankets (plural)

Derivation

A handful of derivational prefixes are known. As above, some sounds have to be changed because they can't appear medially.

dz → dd
ts → tt
f, β → ɣ
if the stem starts with a vowel, the prefix drops its final vowel
ɯti- / æte = person who does something as an occupation
(money) teløy → (banker) ɯtiteløy
(judgement) βeŋor → (judge) æteɣeŋor
dzɯme- / tsome = person who makes (x)
(leather) ɯmekjøøn → (leather maker) dzɯmɯmekjøøn
(basket) tøntoøn → (basket maker) tsometøntoøn

Borrowings into Nyjejualin

Many of the words borrowed into Nyjejualin started with vowels, which isn't possible in Nyjejualin. Therefore, the nouns were prefixed with mor or fɯje while the verbs were prefixed with tin (all of these vary depending on whether it's an open or closed vowel word - see the tables below). These prefixes are strong indicators that a Nyjejualinoakwi word was borrowed from Tsɑkø.

Gloss singular plural open plural closed
'the' mor morrɔ morro
Gloss closed open plural
'a' or 'one'? / 'some'? fɯje fɑje ped
verb marker * tin ten --

* It's not known for sure what the meaning of this verb prefix was. Theories include it being a tense or aspect marker, an emphasis particle, or dozens of other things. There don't exist enough texts to be sure.

Adjectives beginning with a vowel are preceded with n if they're closed or t if they're open, presumably by taking the consonant from a paucal noun.

View the list of known words