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Conversational Speaker, [ˈaɪwə] message
Okay so let's finally talk about Proto-Taol.
The linguists at Chásur reconstruct Proto-Taol something like this:
p t kʲ k
ˀp ˀt ˀkʲ ˀk
pʰ tʰ kʲʰ kʰ
f? s ʃ h
n l r ʁ
i e a ɑ o u
ī ē ā ɑ̄ ō ū
î? ê â ɑ̂? ô û?
The existence of *f is uncertain; it is largely reconstructed to explain Maotic words which have /h/ (instead of Ø), however, it has been noted that most such instances precede /a/, e.g. *fālu > hálu "female human".
kʲ ʃ will be spelled *c *š.
The second vowel series is the long counterpart of the first. The third vowel series, marked with a circumflex, is infrequent; its properties are uncertain, but it was preserved into the earliest stages of all Taol languages (including Eastern Taol, which lost length) long enough to be invariably marked in the standard orthographies. In Maotic both the second and third series collapsed into the first; in Dálx the second and third series are both pronounced as long; additionally, the circumflex marks vowels compensatorily lengthened by the loss of a consonant (e.g. *lek-ši > lês. In Eastern Taol the third series is pronounced long (usually analyzed as doubling of the vowel, e.g. âcasi /a.a.tʃa.si/, etc.) The origin of the third series in Proto-* shows several apparent contractions in *VyV, among scattered other sources.
The Taol empire that held Maotel as its seat led Maotic to become the literary language of much of Talócár at an early date, and as a result of the language's standardization, it showed relatively little change for a long period.
Maotic is spoken throughout the majority of Talócár, and is to some degree a lingua franca for Elmincár in general.
A rough sketch of changes from Proto-Taol to the earliest literary period looks like so:
short *ɑ merges with /o/, long *ɑ̄ breaks to /ao/
long *ū breaks to /ue/
preglottalized consonants become voiced and lose preglottalization
loss of final *i
loss of *š universally
loss of *h universally? debuccalization of *f > h
shift of /n/ to /m/ when initial or preceding nearby /n/+a very strange change to be sure, but the distribution bears it out
loss of gemination
*kʲ > [ts] allophonically before front vowels /e i/; gʲ > /dz/ universally
Later final /e/, /a/ were lost (compare literary fíre with modern fír "tree"), and more importantly the entire length contrast.
There may be some more rules later.
to be done later, probably in this post (watch this space)