Nanese

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Nanese
Native name utrai su-mim su-neilem
Verdurian nanřon
Characteristics
Location Nan
Family Western
Subfamily North Rafsani
Standard o-Dayevu
Writing system syllabary
Info available lexicon (~250 words)
Sample wordlist
one ɛi
two ne
three sâm
river nei
town lai
people mim
big da
little mɔi

Nanese [næn ˈiz] is the language of Nan, the major civilization of Ereláe’s tropical rain forest. It's a member of the North Rafsani branch of the Western family, and direct ancestor of the languages of the Little Kingdoms, Moreo Ašcai, and Lascita.

The full native name of the language is utrai su-mim su-neilem ‘speech of the people of the littoral’, though it’s usually enough to say that something is utrairo ‘in our speech’ as opposed to the gabble of foreigners. Each major city has its own dialect, and immigrants but not visitors are expected to assimilate to it. The dialect of the main city, o-Dayevu, is widely understood but there is no social pressure for outsiders to speak it.

Since 3170 it has been written using a syllabary devised by the court of king o-Seutsɛ.

Phonology:

  • Stops p t k b d g
  • Affricates ts tr ty
  • Fricatives f s ȟ (these have voiced allophones)
  • Nasals n ny m
  • Liquids r l y
  • Vowels i ü e ö ɛ â a ɔ o u; diphthongs ending in u ü i

Final consonants are limited to m (with various nonstandard and dialectal allophones). Stress is on the first syllable of the root (i.e. after any prefixes).

Highlights:

  • Syntax and compounds are rigorously head-first, including VSO order.
  • There is an extensive agglutinating morphology, using both prefixes and suffixes; many of these are recognizable from comparative studies as formerly independent morphemes.
  • Verbs mark 'subject' and 'object'— really ergative and absolutive.
  • There is no morphological plural; but pluralization is indicated for both main arguments on the verb.
  • Sound changes has rendered many morphemes homophonous— e.g. tyɔ means ‘mouth’ or ‘near’ or ‘hearth’; often compounds are used to eliminate ambiguity; e.g. ’hearth’ is tyɔpâi.

Sample text

Fityarɛlityaȟa kɔmli ȟero ro-duvu anyɔutsâ tyarɛtyaya.
still-3s.f.abs-past-neg-leave never grandmother-our from-village loc-there 3s.f.abs-past-born
Our grandmother has never left the village where she was born.