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Amoco

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Amoco
'
Type
Polysynthetic
Alignment
Split-S
Head direction
Final
Tonal
Yes
Declensions
Yes
Conjugations
Yes
Genders
5 featural classes
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect



General informationEdit

Amoco is a language spoken by a small community in Paraguay. Its relationship to other languages is unknown, though it is assumed to be an isolate. Its ancestral structure appears have some similarities to Guarani, and it may additionally have been influenced by some other nearby language families. It was first described by Spanish missionaries, and its modern writing system is a subset of the Latin alphabet with grapheme values based on Spanish.

PhonologyEdit

ConsonantsEdit

Amoco has 39 consonants, notable for extensive coarticulation. It historically had a simpler system with 17 consonants, but is now generally analyzed with a more complex consonant system due to mergers and a transfer of certain vowel qualities onto consonants in the form of coarticulation. In the development from Old Amoco, vowel frontness and rounding would be transferred onto the consonant, with consonants becoming palatalized before /e i/ and labialized before /o u/. Coronals and velars, as well as /h/, merged to become true palatals before front vowels. Palatalized uvular stops later became velar. /h/ became [ɸʷ] before a back round vowel and /gʷ/ became [w].

LabialAlveolarPalatalVelarUvularGlottal
Plain Labial Palatal Plain Labial Plain Plain Labial Palatal Plain Labial Plain
Aspirated tˢʷ kʷʰ kʰʲ qʷʰ
Ejective pʷʼ pʲʼ tʷʼ kʷʼ kʲʼ ʔ
Voiced b d ɟ g
Fricative ɸ ɸʷ ɸʲ s ç h
Lateral Approximant l ʎ
Approximant j w

Ejectives tend to be only weakly so, often pronounced tenuis in unstressed syllables. Voiced stops may become fricatives intervocalically. Every consonant in Amoco also has a nasalized variant. For most consonants, this takes the form of a prenasalization, but the voiced stops become simple nasal stops. Fricatives and tenuis stops become voiced in addition to prenasalization.

VowelsEdit

Amoco phonetically exhibits a five vowel system /a e i o u/. It historically had a twelve-vowel system identical to that of modern Guarani, but vowel frontness, rounding, and nasalization became transferred onto consonants. It is sometimes represented as having two vowels /a ɨ/ due to morphemic patterns of consonants with a particular following vowel grade carrying meaning. In this model, [e i o u] are analyzed as realizations of underlying /a ɨ/ after particular consonant coarticulations. [i u] are realizations of /ɨ/ after a palatal and labial consonant, respectively, and [e o] are realizations of /a/ after a palatal and labial consonant. In stressed non-word-final syllables, /e/ and /o/ may be diphthongized to [jɛ] and [wɔ], respectively. Amoco also has six diphthongs, corresponding to any combination of a high vowel followed by an offglide /j w/.

Amoco still retains an archiphoneme conventionally notated /ɨ/, though it is never pronounced as such. If it is followed by a palatal consonant, it is pronounced [i]. If followed by a labial consonant, it is pronounced [u]. Word-finally following a nasal/voiced stop, a lateral, or a sibilant, as well as a non-lateral approximant where it may be transferred to the previous syllable as an offglide, it is dropped entirely. Elsewhere, it is pronounced [e].

PhonotacticsEdit

Basic Amoco syllables follow the pattern (N)CV(G), where C is a consonant, V is a vowel, (N) represents phonemic nasalization, and G is a semivowel /j w/ that may only come after high vowels. Consonant clusters may not occur in Amoco except where original /ɨ/ has been elided.

Tone Edit

Amoco exhibits word tone in polysyllabic words. One syllable in each word carries an accent, either high or low. The accented syllable tends to be in the last three syllables. In words with high tone accent, pitch starts low, gradually rises, peaks on the accented syllable, and drops off. In words with a low tone accent, pitch starts mid, drops heavily to the accented syllable, and remains low for the rest of the rod. Low tone cannot occur word-initially.

Writing System Edit

The writing system of Amoco is based on Spanish orthography. It does not reflect word tone or the distinction between aspirated and ejective stops.

a [a]

b [b]

c [kʰ],[kʼ] (used before <a o u>)

ch [cʰ],[cʼ]

d [d]

e [e]

f [ɸ]

g [g] (used before <a o u>)

hi [j]

hu [w]

i [i]

j [h]

l [l],[ʎ]

m [m]

n [n]

ñ [ɲ]

ng [ŋ]

o [o]

p [pʰ],[pʼ]

q [qʰ],[qʼ]

qu [kʰ],[kʼ] (used before <e i>)

s [s]

sh [ç]

t [tʼ]

ts [tˢ]

u [u]

y [ɟ]

GrammarEdit

NounsEdit

Nouns in Amoco belong to one of five featural classes optionally marked by prefixing. The prefixes carry grouping information, being marked for singular, dual, or collective grouping, and can be used for derivation or establishing a referent for anaphora. Some of the prefixes decline according to a historical paradigm of alternation between aspirates and nasals.

Class No. Semantics Sing. Dual Coll.
1 males, tools sʷo sʷulʷu ʔa
2 females, plants, places, large objects mʲe mʲiʎi ɸʲe
3 fire, water, alcohol, fluids a ɨlɨ -
4 food, objects nʷo nʷulʷu tˢʷo
5 containers, units ŋʲe ŋʲiʎi qʼɨ

The quantities marked by prefixes are not true grammatical numbers. They are called groupings because of the way that they behave with quantifiers. Inflecting the prefix indicates a pair or group of things, and any cardinal number or other quantifier will count the number of pairs/groups rather than the number of objects.

VerbsEdit

SyntaxEdit

VocabularyEdit


No. English
1I
2you (singular)
3he
4we
5you (plural)
6they
7this
8that
9here
10there
11who
12what
13where
14when
15how
16not
17all
18many
19some
20few
21other
22one
23two
24three
25four
26five
27big
28long
29wide
30thick
31heavy
32small
33short
34narrow
35thin
36woman
37man (adult male)
38man (human being)
39child
40wife
41husband
42mother
43father
44animal
45fish
46bird
47dog
48louse
49snake
50worm
51tree
52forest
53stick
54fruit
55seed
56leaf
57root
58bark
59flower
60grass
61rope
62skin
63meat
64blood
65bone
66fat
67egg
68horn
69tail
70feather
71hair
72head
73ear
74eye
75nose
76mouth
77tooth
78tongue
79fingernail
80foot
81leg
82knee
83hand
84wing
85belly
86guts
87neck
88back
89breast
90heart
91liver
92drink
93eat
94bite
95suck
96spit
97vomit
98blow
99breathe
100laugh
101see
102hear
103know
104think
105smell
106fear
107sleep
108live
109die
110kill
111fight
112hunt
113hit
114cut
115split
116stab
117scratch
118dig
119swim
120fly
121walk
122come
123lie
124sit
125stand
126turn
127fall
128give
129hold
130squeeze
131rub
132wash
133wipe
134pull
135push
136throw
137tie
138sew
139count
140say
141sing
142play
143float
144flow
145freeze
146swell
147sun
148moon
149star
150water
151rain
152river
153lake
154sea
155salt
156stone
157sand
158dust
159earth
160cloud
161fog
162sky
163wind
164snow
165ice
166smoke
167fire
168ash
169burn
170road
171mountain
172red
173green
174yellow
175white
176black
177night
178day
179year
180warm
181cold
182full
183new
184old
185good
186bad
187rotten
188dirty
189straight
190round
191sharp
192dull
193smooth
194wet
195dry
196correct
197near
198far
199right
200left
201at
202in
203with
204and
205if
206because
207name


Example textEdit

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