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Head direction
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect

General informationEdit

Bqìqqe is a language spoken by the dBaaẖka-ḇaa-ḇšèš -speaking people.


/p βʲ βˠ t ðʲ ðˠ k ɰʲ ɰˠ/ <p b ḇ t d ḏ k g g̱>
/ɸp pf θt ts ɕt̠ tʂ xk qχ/ <fp f̱p st s̱t št š̱t hk ẖk>
/mˠ mʲ nˠ nʲ ŋ ɲ/ <m̱ m ṉ n ṉ̌ ň>
/ɸ f θ s ɕ ʂ x χ/ <f f̱ s s̱ š š̱ h ẖ>
/ʋ ɹ l ɦ/ <v r l q>

/æ a ɒ ɜ ɨ/ <ę a o e i>

Palatalisation is distinctive only before /a ɜ ɨ/ and preconsonantally; the vowels /æ ɒ/ are preceded by palatalised and velarised consonants respectively.

Bqìqqe doesn't have a true tone system as much as it has an odd combination of tone and phonation: it has three tones (high, low and normal) that co-occur with voicing and are co-morbid with phonation differences; some dialects of Bqìqqe completely lose the tonal element.

The low tone implies breathy voicing and high tone implies creaky voicing. Due to the prominence of downsteps and upsteps, the orthography doesn't explicitly distinguish tones. Downsteps are marked with a grave and upsteps with an acute.
Downsteps usually occur before voiced consonants and upsteps before voiceless. This isn't a steadfast rule. The first syllable after the shift in tone preserves the tone, but the second syllable after it re-acquires normal tone.


A Bqiqqe syllable cannot have more than three consecutive consonants or more than five consonants in total; voicing is disregarded and the sonority hierarchy is ignored.


Bqiqqe nouns are immensely complex and have a mixture of inflectional and derivational morphology and lots of clitics that do not even apply to them. Their core inflections are for case, noun class, number, definiteness and distance, and they additionally inflect for veracity, frequency of use, possessedness and can receive clitic inflections that show the verb's tense and aspect (both only in the accusative).

Bqiqqe nouns have two stem forms: the basic and construct stems. The construct stem is derived from the basic stem in a plethora of ways, but is also often very irregular. Some nouns in the formation of their construct undergo an initial consonant mutation which often involves the attachment of a consonant (written in lowercase), a small amount of them have ablaut or umlaut, and some are completely suppletive. This irregular system basically implies the learning of both stem forms by heart.


Bqiqqe nouns inflect for seven cases:

  1. Nominative
  2. Absolutive
  3. Commitative
  4. Ornative
  5. Possessed*
  6. Lative
  7. Locative

*Possessedness additionally attaches the person, number and distance of the possessor

It also inflects nouns for three numbers:

  1. Singular
  2. Paucal
  3. Plural

Case-number inflections generally go hand-in-hand. While the surface shapes of the morphemes are clearly separable one from another, it just isn't practically possible to distinguish them as the number morphemes that accompany a certain case are unique to that one case. Some case combinations require a construct stem while others don't. This is indicated in the below tables with a red superscript "CONS":

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative -i/-q/-f̱f̱à -f̱f̱à=sę -f̱f̱à=s-óm
Absolutive \varnothingcons -è=técons -è=g̱ocons
Commitative -s/-š/-š̱ -š̱=ìtęcons -š̱=ìḏḇócons
Ornative -a/-qa/-ẖa -qa=fpé -qa=f̱pó
Possessed -s̱i -s̱i=tè -s̱i=g̱ò
Lative -a=sòcons -a=ňe -a=m̱g̱á
Locative -o=vòkcons -ò=ḇé -ò=g̱o

Possessed nouns also acquire a second set of suffixes on top of the possessed case:

1st 2nd 3rd
Close Mid Far
Singular -šì -ḏqe -rqàcons -rdiscons -rg̱ìcons
Paucal -šì=s̱a -dqe=s̱à -rqà=técons -rdis=écons -rg̱ì=gícons
Plural -šì=gómcons -dqe=gómcons -rqà=ḇocons -rdis=ocons -rg̱ì=ḇocons


Bqiqqe inflects its nouns for noun class, in a way slightly resembling the Bantu classificatory system; many nouns are fairly generic and can acquire class specifiers. It has nine noun classes:

  1. Male human
  2. Female human
  3. Children and small animals
  4. Fruits
  5. Meat and bodyparts
  6. Predators
  7. Sounds, tastes, scents (stimuli)
  8. Fruits, plants
  9. Inanimates

Noun class is conflated with veracity in its inflection, and the veracity levels are:

  1. Legitimate
  2. Close copy
  3. Bad copy
  4. False/Fake
  5. Opposite

The clitics that inflect for class and veracity are:

Male Female Child/critter Fruit Meat/bodypart Predator Stimulus Fruit/plant Inanimate
Legitimate -éḏe -àké -ilqé -atò -óò -šìṉ̌é -ḇaa -f̱pò -g̱aa
Close copy -édę -àkę́ -ilqę́ -atò=té -óò=té -šìňę́ -ḇabę̀ -f̱pò=té -g̱obę̀
Bad Copy -éḇḏa -àḇká -iḇlá -atò=ḏ -óò=ḏ -šìḇṉ̌á -ḇagbá -f̱pò=ḏ -g̱ogbá
Fake -éstà -àhka -iqlà -atò=q -óò=q -šìẖṉ̌a -ḇooq -f̱pò=q -g̱oḇq
Opposite -éš̱ḏì -àš̱ki -iš̱lì -atò=s̱a -óò=s̱a -šìš̱ṉ̌i -ḇseé -f̱pò=s̱a -g̱eé


Bqiqqe nouns inflect for binary definiteness and binary distance: nouns can be either definite or indefinite, and either close or far. They are conflated into one clitic:

Proximate Distant
Indefinite -àš \varnothing
Definite -ḇšèš -ḇšá


Bqiqqe verbs are polysynthetic with a complex system of semi-fusional affixes. They inflect for aspect, tense, mood, have polypersonal agreement and often also include morpho-semantic elements. They are formed by inflecting the stem, which is made from a root with attached derivations.


A Bqiqqe verbal stem is formed from a verbal root with attached derivations -- usually suffixed -- and optionally with additional mutations. Stems always have a derivation; if the root needs no direct semantic augmentation, it gets a generic filler derivational suffix attached.
There are three mutation types that roots can undergo:

  1. Blue mutation (reduplicative)
  2. Green mutation (brightening)
  3. Red mutation (softening)

Roots are cited with all three of their mutation forms alongside the base (which are usually opaquely derived from the base root).

The stem occasionally gets morphed during regular inflection, and this is usually reflected in the derivation; when it's reflected in the stem, it manifests as a change in mutation forms. The most common suffixes (along with their morphed forms) are reflected in the table below.

Base Morphed Meaning
-èq -àg̱blue generic filler
-ìs̱ -ìštred
-ę́ -ę́red
-a=kàgreen -a=g̱egreen telic
-ótè -ótèblue
-ò=k -ò=g̱eblue desiderative
(want to)
-ę́=t -ę́=ḏeblue intentive
(want to/going to)
-ìtgreen -ìg̱green


See AlsoEdit

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