Egueoguzai (國語; /ɛkuəkuzaɪ/) is a Sinitic language spoken in eastern Siberia by descendents of settlers from the Han Empire following successful campaigns against the Xiongnu in the 2nd century BCE. It is a direct descendant of Old Chinese, of which it is closer to in lexicon than other Chinese dialects. So if spoken Egueoguzai is written using Chinese characters word for word, it would closely resemble Classical Chinese, the main written language of all of East Asia until the 19th and 20th centuries CE. Phonologically speaking, it is very divergent from Sinitic dialects in China. Old Chinese was a monosyllabic, nontonal language rich in features such as consonant clusters lost today in languages such as Mandarin and Cantonese. In such Sinitic languages, tones were developed to make up for the lost distinctions between previously nonhomophonous morphemes, but their development in themselves was not enough in preventing homophones from becoming a problem in Sinitic languages, so polymorphemic compound words were created to maintain phonological distinction between two different concepts. However in Egueoguzai, the monosyllabic words in Old Chinese became polysyllabic, so previously complex monosyllabic morphemes became increased in length due to processes such as the introduction of vowels where there previously was none between consonant clusters. For example, the cognate for "Egueoguzai" in written Chinese would be 國語 (national language), pronounced "guóyǔ" [kuɔ.jy] in Mandarin. However 國語 would have been [*kʷˤək *ŋaʔ] according to reconstructed Old Chinese pronunciation, the Egueoguzai pronunciation bearing more similarity to its cognate in Old Chinese than Mandarin's does to Old Chinese, albeit where there were two syllables, there now are four in Egueoguzai.
| Name: Egueoguzai
Number of genders:
|Flaps / taps|
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