dhoklang scratchpad...3.0? NP: Bosporan
Anthologica Universe Atlas / Academia / Department of Creativity / dhoklang scratchpad...3.0? NP: Bosporan

? dhok Eastern Establishmentarian
posts: 235
, Alkali Metal, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
(shamelessly kidnapped from the Zeeb, because the Zeeb is shit at doing tables. Also, mèþru et sim.)

Bosporan (spoken in Crimea and the Krasnodar area, not the area around Constantinople) is attested over a time period spanning about 1200 years in numerous texts and inscriptions; it is about as well-attested as Tocharian. Two main stages are attested: Old Bosporan, written with the Greek alphabet, from about 400 BC to around 150 AD. A relative lull of about two centuries follows; Late Bosporan is attested from around 350 AD and shows clear signs of Gothic influence, including in the alphabet. The corpus fizzles out around 800 AD, and the last speakers probably lived around the turn of the millennium.

Bosporan comprised a branch of its own in IE, and seems to be somewhere in between Balto-Slavic and the Greek/Armenian/Phrygian group (unsurprising given its location). In line with the former, it maintains no trace of interconsonantal laryngeals, merges common IE with , and possesses instrumental/dative/ablative endings in *m. In common with the latter, Bosporan possesses an augment, a thematic 3sg in *-ei, and (in common with Armenian and maybe Thracian) a stop shift *T *D *Dʰ to Tʰ T D. Grassmann's Law is also operable, but it applies to contemporary aspirates (e.g. those from PIE *T.) Bosporan distinguishes *a from *o and is a centum language.

A brief overview of the historical phonology of Old Bosporan follows. Late Bosporan gets a little weird.

Initial *e-epenthesis. This accounts for the lengthened reflexes of word-initial laryngeals before a vowel; so where Rix's Law turns *HC- into *HeC- into Greek, the Bosporan reflex comes via *eHC-.

À la Western Romance, initial *sC- also gives *esC-—so this was probably just a general rule when a fricative was found word-initially before a consonant.

Common IE changes. The usual, but (as usual!) with some dialectal flavor.

*h₁e *h₂e *h₃e > ĕ ă ŏ
*eh₁ *eh₂ *eh₃ > ē ā ō

Initial *H treated as above, with epenthesis. Interconsonantal and word-final *H seem to have disappeared without a trace. Schwa secundum, however, merges with *e as in Greek.

*iH *uH give *ī *ū, but (as in Tocharian) *ih₂ *uh₂ > *ya *wa. Cf. ⲍⲁⲙⲟⲥ 'smoke', which must have had an intermediate *dʰwamos.

Short *o in open syllables gives ō, apparently by Brugmann's. It's entirely unsurprising that Bosporan would share some dialectal features with Tocharian and Indo-Iranian.

Szereményi's Law: Word-final *VRs gives V:R

Siebert's Law: *CCw, *CCy > CCuw, CCiy.

Thorn clusters metathesize as in Greek and II.


*ḱ ǵ ǵʰ > k g gʰ.

Glide fortition. Word-initially and after *s, *w seems to have given intermediate *b—these may not have happened simultaneously for obvious reasons. *y gives /z/ word-initially only.

*w > *b / #_, s_.

Palatalization chain shift.. Dental stops become /s/ or /z/ (this has to have been before the stop shift because *d becomes /z/) before *i, *y, *u or *w; plain velars give dentals before front vowels *i or *e.

*t *d *dʰ > s z z / _i, _y, _u, _w
*k *g *gʰ > t d dʰ / _i, _y, _e

Stop shift.

*T *D *Dʰ > Tʰ T D; this includes *b from older *w (which is reflected as /p/: ⲡⲓⲉⲭⲟⲥ 'wolf'.)

Treatment of syllabic consonants

Syllabic consonants gain epenthetic e. If they're in a word-initial syllable as *CṚ and CRe is a permissible syllable, they give that. Otherwise, they give eR. There seems not to have been any difference between regular syllabic consonants and lengthened syllabic consonants before a laryngeal.

A few vowel changes.

First, post-consonantal *w and *y metathesize with a preceding consonant, unless it's word-initial; in word-initial syllables they just drop. (After consonant clusters, Siever's Law had already applied.)

*Cw *Cy > *w(C)C *y(C)C / V_

Following this, *l becomes *y after a consonant, and *w after a vowel.

*u(:) and *o merge, then split again, based on length.

*o(:) > *u(:)
*ŭ *ū > o u

Short *i merges with *e, à la Cree/Ojibwe, as ĭ. Long then joins to give plain /i/.

*oy *ey merge with to give e. (As you can see, the length distinction is slowly but surely collapsing into oblivion).

*ew *ow *aw give o u u.

Short and long *a merge.

Nasal-stop voicing

A nasal before a stop voices the stop and then disappears.

*NTʰ *NT *ND > D

Remaining *ns gives *z. *s becomes z also before nasals and remaining voiced stops.

Loss of *w

Remaining instances of *w between vowels drop. Since vowel length is no longer phonemic, this can creates hiatuses: ⲟⲩⲓⲥ [u.is] 'sheep' (from *h₂ówis.)

*y generally stays between vowels, but original *-eye- ended up as hiatused -ⲓⲓ-, e.g. ⲟⲩⲓⲓⲥ 'sheep (pl.)' [u.i.is].

Grassmann's Law

The first of two aspirated stops deaspirates. Since Bosporan aspirates come from plain PIE voiced stops, this applies in entirely separate words than in Greek and Sanskrit. As in Sanskrit, this also occurs in clusters: ⲡⲑⲉⲣ 'father'.

Tʰ...Tʰ... > T...Tʰ...

Some other, minor developments

*sr gives dr; *sn *sm metathesized, merged as *ns, and became /z/. (E.g. ⲓⲍⲟⲥⲁ 'daughter-in-law', from *snusós.)

Word-final *m becomes /n/ as in Greek, Gaulish and Phrygian.

Accent is neutralized, though it's not clear what the details are. Since Greek without accents looks fugly, the standard transcription uses Greek miniscule, written here with a Coptic typeface.
? dhok Eastern Establishmentarian
posts: 235
, Alkali Metal, Tokyo, Japan
The Noun

The usual story: three genders, seven cases (nom/gen/acc/dat/ins/loc/voc), and several declensions. The dual is retained in that most things that come in pairs have a nominative/accusative/vocative plural deriving from the dual, and this ending also appears on any noun when it is modified by ⲍⲟⲩ 'two'.


Our masculine paradigm is ⲡⲓⲉⲭⲟⲥ 'wolf'.

	sg.     	pl.
nom.	ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲟⲥ		ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲉ
gen.	ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲉⲥ(ⲟ)		ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲟⲩⲛ
acc.	ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲟⲛ		ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲟⲩⲥ
dat.	ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲉ		ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲟⲩⲙⲟⲥ
inst.	ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲟⲩ		ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲟⲩⲙⲓⲥ
loc.	ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲉ		ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲉⲥⲓ
voc.	ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲓ		ⲡⲓⲉⲭ-ⲉ

Pseudo-duals and nouns modified by ⲍⲟⲩ have a plural ending -ⲟⲩ: ⲍⲟⲩ ⲡⲓⲉⲭⲟⲩ 'two wolves'.

The genitive singular is -ⲉⲥ(ⲟ) in the earliest extant inscriptions, but later shortens, rather irregularly, to -ⲉⲥ.

O-stem neuters have a nom./acc./voc. sg. ending -ⲟⲛ as usual, with a plural -ⲁ. Their pseudo-dual is -ⲉ.


We present ⲓⲍⲟⲥⲁ 'daughter-in-law'. There has been a lot of restructuring, particularly via suffixing *y and adding consonant-stem endings, rather as in Indo-Iranian. There is no separate vocative.

	sg.		pl.
nom.	ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁ		ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲓⲥ
gen.	ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲥ		ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲓⲟⲛ
acc.	ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲛ		ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲓⲉⲥ		
dat.	ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲓⲉ		ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲙⲟⲥ
inst.	ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲙⲓ		ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲙⲓⲥ
loc.	ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲓ		ⲓⲍⲟⲥ-ⲁⲥⲓ

Nominative, genitive, accusative, instrumental singular regularly continue *-eh₂, *-eh₂s, *-eh₂m, -eh₂-bʰi/mi. Dative -ⲁⲓⲉ suffixes the athematic ending, as *-eh₂-y-ey; similarly locative -ⲁⲓ (phonetically [a.i]) is via *-eh₂-y-i.

Nominative, genitive, accusative plural all suffix the athematic endings *-es *-on *-ṇs onto an extended theme *-eh₂-y- (the nominative represents a hiatus [a.is]). The dative, instrumental, and locative plural are regular from *-eh₂mos, *-eh₂mis, *-eh₂si.

The pseudo-dual ending for the nom./acc,/voc. is -ⲁⲓ, from *-eh₂-y-h₁e. (ⲍⲟⲩ 'two' has a feminine ⲍⲁⲓ.)


The merger of *u and *o means that u-stems are no longer a productive class (the nom./acc. singular, the pseudo-dual, and acc. plural have merged). Instead, there is a small subclass of masculine o-stems with a special nominative/vocative plural ending -ⲓⲓⲥ (from *-ewes): ⲧⲓⲛⲟⲥ, ⲧⲓⲛⲓⲓⲥ 'jaw, jaws' (from *ǵénus). In the oldest inscriptions these also have a special vocative singular -ⲟ.

Neuter u-stems fare a bit better. These have a special nominative/accusative/vocative singular ending -ⲟ (rather than -ⲟⲛ), and a pseudo-dual -ⲟⲩ.

'Tree' and 'knee' are common enough that they have comprise their own, highly archaic, subdeclension.

	sg.	du.	pl.
nom.	ⲧⲟⲩⲣⲟ	ⲧⲟⲩⲣⲟⲩ	ⲧⲟⲩⲣⲁ
gen.	ⲧⲣⲟⲥ		ⲧⲣⲓⲟⲛ
dat.	ⲧⲣⲓⲉ		ⲧⲣⲟⲙⲟⲥ
ins.	ⲧⲣⲟⲙⲓ		ⲧⲣⲟⲙⲓⲥ
loc.	ⲧⲣⲟⲓ		ⲧⲣⲟⲥⲓ
	sg.	du.
nom.	ⲕⲟⲩⲛⲟ	ⲕⲟⲩⲛⲟⲩ
gen.	ⲕⲛⲟⲥ	ⲕⲛⲓⲟⲛ
dat.	ⲕⲛⲓⲉ	ⲕⲛⲟⲙⲟⲥ
ins.	ⲕⲛⲟⲙⲓ	ⲕⲛⲟⲙⲓⲥ
loc. 	ⲕⲛⲟⲓ	ⲕⲛⲟⲥⲓ

The genitive, dative and instrumental singular continue regularly from *-ews, *-ewey, *-ewmi. The locatives seem to derive from the endingless locatives *dréw *ǵnéw, with the locative -ⲓ attached after the *ew diphthong had been simplified.

The duals have been reshaped, as if from *dóruh₁, *ǵónuh₁. 'Knee' has no plural separate from the dual; the plural nominative of 'tree' is probably from *dóruh₂ > *dórwa > *dówra etc., but a reshaping would be undetectable.

The oblique plurals simply attach the ending (gen. *-om, dat. *-mos, ins. *-mis, loc. *-si) onto the oblique stem in *-ew-.

Our basic paradigm is that of ⲫⲟⲩⲥⲓⲥ 'master, paterfamilias'.

	sg.	pl.	du.
nom.	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲥ	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲓⲥ	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓ
gen.	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲥ	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲟⲛ
acc.	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲛ	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲉⲥ
dat.	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲉ	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲙⲟⲥ
ins.	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲙⲓ	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲙⲓⲥ
loc.	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲓ	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲥⲓ
voc.	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓ	ⲫⲟⲩⲥ-ⲓⲓⲥ

The nominative, genitive,  accusative, dative, instrumental, vocative singular continue *-is, *-yes, *-im, *-yey, *-ih₁, *-i without issue. The locative singular should give plain -ⲓ, but has been reshaped to add the consonant-stem locative ending, presumably to prevent mergers with the dual and with the nominative/accusative of neuters.  Addition of the consonant-stem ending also explains the nom., gen., acc. plural endings (the dat., ins., loc. plural are unexceptional). The pseudo-dual continues *-ih₁ as usual.

The alternation between vocalic *i and consonantal *y has been leveled out pretty much everywhere.

Neuter i-stems show singular -ⲓ, plural -ⲁ, dual -ⲓ.

Consonant stems

Not that unusual. We've been seeing bits and pieces of them imported into other paradigms, anyways. ⲙⲉⲥ m. 'moon' (oblique stem ⲙⲉⲍ-) is our paradigm.

	sg.	pl.	du.
nom.	ⲙⲉⲥ	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲓⲥ	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲓ
acc.	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲉⲛ	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲉⲥ
gen.	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲓⲥ	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲟⲛ
dat.	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲉ	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲙⲟⲥ
ins.	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲙⲓ	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲙⲓⲥ	
loc.	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲓ	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲓⲥⲓ
voc.	ⲙⲉⲥ	ⲙⲉⲍ-ⲓⲥ

The accusative, genitive, dative, locative singular endings add the expected reflexes of *-ṃ, *-es, *-ey, *-i to the oblique stem. The instrumental occasionally adds an epenthetic (schwa secundum merging with *e). The nominative singular usually adds an -ⲥ that may or may not be absent in the vocative, though not here. When it is absent, the vocative usually adds -ⲓ, imported from the o-stems, though not always.

Nominative, accusative, genitive plural are normal, adding *-es, *-ṇs, *-om. Schwa secundum appears on occasion in the dative and instrumental plurals and basically always in the locative plural if not after a stop or *n (as *-n-si > ⲍⲓ.

Pseudo-dual is regular from *-h₁e.

Neuters, of course, have a uniform nom./acc./voc., usually without *-s, with plural in -ⲁ and pseudo-dual in -ⲉ (*-eh₁).

Sub-paradigm of consonant stems: r-stems. Example is ⲙⲁⲑⲉⲣ, which needs no gloss.

	sg.	pl.	du.
nom.	ⲙⲁⲑⲉⲣ	ⲙⲁⲑⲓⲣ-ⲓⲥ	ⲙⲁⲑⲓⲣ-ⲓ
acc.	ⲙⲁⲑⲓⲣ-ⲉⲛ	ⲙⲁⲑⲓⲣ-ⲉⲥ
gen.	ⲙⲁⲑⲣ-ⲓⲥ	ⲙⲁⲑⲣ-ⲟⲛ
dat.	ⲙⲁⲑⲣ-ⲉ	ⲙⲁⲑⲉⲣ-ⲙⲟⲥ
ins.	ⲙⲁⲑⲉⲣ-ⲙⲓ	ⲙⲁⲑⲉⲣ-ⲙⲓⲥ
loc.	ⲙⲁⲑⲣ-ⲓ	ⲙⲁⲑⲉⲣ-ⲥⲓ
voc.	ⲙⲁⲑⲓⲣ	ⲙⲁⲑⲓⲣ-ⲓⲥ

Apparent lengthened-grade before the m-endings and loc. pl. is from syllabic *ṛ. Otherwise, regular.

'Sister' has an irregular paradigm because of the change of *sr to dr. Note the application of Brugmann's Law in the nominative and accusative; by analogy with 'mother', this spread to endings before consonants (where we should see e.g. expected **ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲉⲣ-ⲙⲓ in lieu of reshaped ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲩⲣ-ⲙⲓ). Brugmann's is blocked in the dual by the laryngeal of *-h₁e.

	sg.	pl.	du.
nom.	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲩⲣ	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲩⲣ-ⲓⲥ	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲣ-ⲓ
acc.	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲩⲣ-ⲉⲛ	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲩⲣ-ⲉⲥ
gen.	ⲥⲡⲓⲇⲣ-ⲓⲥ	ⲥⲡⲓⲇⲣ-ⲟⲛ
dat.	ⲥⲡⲓⲇⲣ-ⲉ	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲩⲣ-ⲙⲟⲥ
ins.	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲩⲣ-ⲙⲓ	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲩⲣ-ⲙⲓⲥ
loc.	ⲥⲡⲓⲇⲣ-ⲓ	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲩⲣ-ⲥⲓ
voc.	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲣ	ⲥⲡⲓⲥⲟⲩⲣ-ⲓⲥ

Neuter s-stems

One more paradigm before bed. Neuter s-stems present no real surprises (except for the strange plural), but they do maintain e~o ablaut. Paradigm is ⲛⲓⲃⲟⲥ 'cloud'.

	sg.	pl.	du.
nom.	ⲛⲓⲃⲟⲥ	ⲛⲓⲃⲟⲩⲥ-ⲁ	ⲛⲓⲃⲓⲥ-ⲓ
gen.	ⲛⲓⲃⲓⲥ-ⲓⲥ	ⲛⲓⲃⲓⲥ-ⲟⲛ
dat.	ⲛⲓⲃⲓⲥ-ⲉ	ⲛⲓⲃⲓⲍ-ⲙⲟⲥ
ins.	ⲛⲓⲃⲓⲍ-ⲙⲓ	ⲛⲓⲃⲓⲍ-ⲙⲓⲥ
loc.	ⲛⲓⲃⲓⲥ-ⲓ	ⲛⲓⲃⲓⲥ-ⲓ

Entirely unexceptional— /z/ for underlying /s/ before /m/ is regular—except for the nominative/accusative plural. Here the usual neuter -ⲁ was added to the reflex of the Szereményi-lengthened original plural *nebʰōs.

There should be a few really irregular paradigms—'cow',  'water' are coming to mind. I'll tackle them tomorrow.
? dhok Eastern Establishmentarian
posts: 235
, Alkali Metal, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
Decided "cow" is not irregular; strong stem *gʷow generalized, and Brugmann's + Szerémenyi's yielded a uniform stem ⲕⲟⲩ-.

"Water" (ⲡⲟⲩⲧⲉⲣ) shows an irregular singular paradigm. The nom./acc./voc. shows the reflex of *wódṛ; elsewhere the oblique stem *uden- appears.

nom.	ⲡⲟⲩⲧⲉⲣ
gen.	ⲟⲧⲉⲥ
dat.	ⲟⲧⲓⲛⲉ
ins.	ⲟⲧⲓⲛⲙⲓ
loc.	ⲟⲧⲓⲛⲓ

'Earth' shows a highly irregular paradigm. Note that the instrumental continues the original *ǵʰmeh₁ and adds the usual *-mi.

nom.	ⲅⲇⲟⲩⲛ
gen.	ⲅⲙ-ⲓⲥ
acc.	ⲅⲇⲟⲩⲛ-ⲉⲛ
dat.	ⲅⲙ-ⲉ
ins.	ⲅⲙ-ⲉⲙⲓ
loc.	ⲅⲙ-ⲓ
voc.	ⲅⲇⲟⲛ

Other archaic paradigms mostly got levelled out, e.g. ⲫⲟⲣ 'fire' is an unexceptional neuter consonant stem,
? dhok Eastern Establishmentarian
posts: 235
, Alkali Metal, Tokyo, Japan
how do I change the post title

Too hot and sticky to do any real work, and Chinese air conditioning is extremely milquetoast, so time for an a priori Thing. First, the inventory of Pre-Proto-Thing.

*p *t *tʃ *k *ʔ
*b *d *dʒ *g
*ᵐp *ⁿt *ⁿtʃ *ᵑk
*ᵐb *ⁿd *ⁿdʒ *ᵑg
*m *n *ŋ
*θ *s *x *h
*ð *z *ɣ *ɦ
*w *r *y
*w̃ *ỹ

*i *ɯ *u
*e *ɤ *o

Pre-Proto-Thing (let's say the root for 'speak' was *sat, with 'speech' being *sɯlat—so Pre-Proto-Sylatic) roots of the form C(R)VC. Words were generally up to three syllables long, as Pre-Proto-Sylatic allowed prefixes CV- infixes -VC- and suffixes -V(C) on roots. Thus:

*sat 'speak (singular object)'
*sotat 'speaker' (agentive)
*satVk 'speak (plural object)'
*sinat 'speak using' (instrumental applicative)

and so on and so forth.

Between Pre-Proto-Sylatic and Proto-Sylatic, a number of changes take place.

- Prenasalized stops and nasalized sonorants merge with their non-nasalized counterparts, becoming nasalization on a preceding vowel. Seven nasal vowels soon collapse to three— *ę *ǫ merge to *į *ų, *ɤ̃ becomes *ą, and *ɯ̃ merges with *ų if next to a labial and *į otherwise.

- *tʃ *dʒ become *ts *dz but change a following *ɯ *ɤ to /i e/ (this postdates the above change).

- Finally, the language develops sequisyllables. The root vowel remains stressed, and a preceding syllable developing from an infix or prefix becomes a sequisyllable. In sequisyllables any high vowel collapses to /ɯ/, and any non-high vowel collapses to /a/. However, the vowels spit out glides, so *C[i į] > Cyɯ, *C[u ų] > Cwɯ, and Ce Co > Cya Cwa. Nasalized vowels are oralized without a trace. Final syllables also become semi-sequisyllabalized insofar as their vowels undergo the same collapse (but without the glide development).

Thus, in Proto-Sylatic proper:

*p *t *ts *k *ʔ
*b *d *dz *g
*m *n *ŋ
*θ *s *x *h
*ð *z *ɣ *ɦ
*w *r *y

*i *į *ɯ *u *ų
*e *ɤ *o
*a *ą

with a word structure (σ₁)σ₂(σ₃), where σ₁ is C(w j)[a ɯ] and σ₃ is [a ɯ]C.

Proto-Sylatic can be described as generally isolating. There is a small amount of inflection: verbs with plural objects take the ending -ak, and pronouns show signs of an earlier accusative ending . They also have object clitic forms on verbs with no final sequisyllable, preceded by -ɯ- (the plural -ak seems to be older and irregular). Nouns have no morphological plural (their plurality will be marked on the verb if they're objects, however).

nom acc clitic possessive
1sg *sap *sąp *=s *paŋ
2sg *dɤ *dɤŋ *=d *dɤŋ
3sg *ha *haŋ *=ʔ *haŋ
1pl *θaw *θoŋ *=t *θoŋ
2pl *ye *yeŋ *=y *yeŋ
3pl *ka *kaŋ *=k *kaŋ


The syntax is strongly head-initial and VSO, but the clitic system suggests that this may have been a recent development, perhaps with an earlier VOS stage.

θaŋak-ak tsįg wa myo dzi
kill-pl man the cow PST
'The man killed (some) cows.'

za=s tsįg wa dzi
see=1sg man the PST
'The man saw me'.

Topics may be brought to the front with the marker ney.

myo ney θaŋak-ak tsįg wa dzi
cow TOP kill-pl man the PST
'As for cows, the man killed some.'

Adjectives are stative verbs:

myo wa lɤŋ
cow the big
'The cow is big.'

Both relative clauses and attributive adjectives are formed with the subordinator kya:

θaŋak-ak tsįg wa lɤŋ kya myo dzi
kill-PL man the big SUB cow PST
'The man killed some big cows'.

za θaŋak-ak myo dzi kya tsįg wa prɤj dzi
see kill-PL cow PST SUB man the fire PST
'The man who killed some cows saw fire.'

Negation is accomplished with the verb θe, which takes any object marking or clitics and changes the rest of the sentence to SVO:

θe myo wa θaŋak paŋ hų dzi
not cow the kill my father PST
'The cow didn't kill my father.'

θe=s zaza paŋ hų
not=me look my father
'My father isn't looking at me.'

Questions are formed with the sentence-initial (but non-syntax-changing) particle naʔ:

naʔ zaza=k dɤ myo wa
Q look you cow the
'Are you looking at the cows?'

Further aspects of syntax are difficult to reconstruct. It's known that aspectual and tense particles came sentence-finally, as we've seen with dzi. The clitic system in verbs is based only on a single descendant; there may have been other inflectional categories which were not preserved in any daughter.
? dhok Eastern Establishmentarian
posts: 235
, Alkali Metal, Tokyo, Japan
Here is an Map, showing two major unnamed continents and a pseudo-India that is about ten million years away from crashing into the bigger continent in the east; it has already raised a shit Tibet which may be too big.


The map represents a sizeable portion of the world from 20 to 50 degrees South. The short black lines on the eastern edge represent 30 and 40 degrees, respectively. Assuming an equirectangular projection (which we will), this map represents a slice of the world about 56 degrees wide. Pretending that this world is about Earth-size, the equivalent area is more or less equivalent to this:


except that less of it is desert.

Cradles of civilization are likely to be in "Asia" in the river valleys coming off of Shit Tibet. Later on agriculture moves west into the large and fertile peninsula of Shit Europe, and southeast into Shit Kazakhstan in the river valleys flowing into the Aral. The bright red line represents a latitude north of which the original farmers' grain crops cannot grow.

There is likely to be a fair amount of agriculture in the northern half of Shit Tibet, but it's not clear to me how high or, indeed, big Shit Tibet is going to be. It is not likely to be easily conquerable by flatlanders (cf. Tibet, Ethiopia, Afghanistan). Shit Tibet should, if I'm getting my climatology right, be getting rain from the northeast (possibly including the occasional hurricane; my assumption was that you'd get desert inland, but maybe not) and also from the southwest, because the 30 S parallel, where the prevailing winds reverse, runs right through it. If so there should also be a fertile strip of land running right down the coast which may possibly act like Italy or Greece, though probably with a climate more akin to the American East Coast than to the Mediterranean (probably the large peninsula of fertile land that forms the western part of the continent will have a climate very much like the American South—rice farmers? corn farmers?

"America" is close enough to be crossed by, probably, the Bronze Age. There are probably some island chains between "Asia" and "America" that I haven't drawn, so possibly even earlier. Maritime empires?
? dhok Eastern Establishmentarian
posts: 235
, Alkali Metal, Tokyo, Japan
New map. Climates should baaasically remain the same. Shit Tibet has been ensmallened. The "highland" areas are generally speaking areas truly inaccessible to organized, dense agricultural civilization—there may be control over these areas, but rarely real domination.

We arbitrarily set the date for the development of agriculture at -6000 BW (before writing). Here's a map of the area around -7000 BW, just before that point. The scratchy color indicates that they have not yet developed agriculture.


The speakers of the Sylatic languages were probably the first to develop agriculture, around -6000, in the upper tributaries of the Myà river. They are vaguely like Sino-Tibetan.

Yaravic is first encountered in the western half of Shit Europe. Proto-Yaravic has not been worked out but is likely Siouanish or Caddoanish aesthetically.

Shit Nahuatolian is spoken on the northern coast of Shit Asia, around the <name> mountains.

Shit Turkoskogean is spoken along the far western coast of Shit Europe.

Shit Japonic is spoken in Shit Kazakhstan.

Shit Athabantu is spoken in the southeastern extremity of Shit America.

Shit Quechuanesian is spoken on the coastal plateau of Shit America, which is vaguely reminiscent of Brazil.

Shit India is uninhabited at the moment, but this will change. There are likely other isolates or families in the area that survive to be documented, but they have not been worked out.
? dhok Eastern Establishmentarian
posts: 235
, Alkali Metal, Tokyo, Japan
-5500 BW:


Intensive agriculture has developed in the upper tributaries of the Myà river (Proto-Sylatic *myah 'wide'), though it has not yet translated to urban centers or civilization; it won't for some time yet.

Implements and tools consistent with earlier finds around the small peninsula on the northern coast (if the Myà is the Nile, Shit Carthage?) are now being found in the coast around the lower Myà valley. This is consistent with an eastward migration of Nahuatolians.

Not much happens for the next few centuries. By around -4000, however, agriculture (consisting mainly of maize [Proto-Syletic *tɯdzą́), black beans (PS *madrɤ́ŋ) and barley (*tyák) has migrated around the Shit Tibetan foothills and down the Myà.


Note that the Syletics are not the only people to be farming, by now. (Grey areas are those where somebody is farming, but we don't know who.) Both the Nahuatolians and the Steppe Weebs are farming by now: the Nahuatolians along the lower Myà and the Steppe Weebs along the, let's say, Rannako (meaning to be established). Contact between the Syletics and the Nahuatolians is reflected in a very old and deep layer of borrowed vocabulary: Proto-Eastern-Nahuatolian *tɨtsa:n 'maize', matalɨ:ŋ 'beans', ča:k 'barley', though this layer is not reflected in the Steppe Weeb languages.

We'll end with the -3000 BW map.


This is the last snapshot of the world before things really get interesting: by -2000 BW we see the first evidence of copper working among the Syletics, and the Steppe Weebs will have domesticated the horse and invented the wheel. Agriculture continues its relentless march; it is now more than a footnote among the Steppe Weebs, and has spread to the less thickly forested portion of Shit Europe, including Yaravic speakers. Agriculture has also spread across the fertile northern coast and down the (river) and (river) to other varieties of Nahuatolians.