| Name: Insular Ktarh
Type: Synthetic, Agglutinative
Head Direction: Initial
Number of genders: 2
This article describes the insular variety of Kti - or, rather, the insular varieties in general. Insular Ktarh is one of the more preserved dialect clusters as it doesn't fall under the Kikrāk (Unity laws) and has its own rich history and literary tradition.
Insular Ktarh is an innovative cluster, deviating from the standard in a handful of vital soundchanges. It divides the proto-Ktarh system of /*r *l *ʂ/ into two groups (/ð r ʂ/ and /j j s/) due to changes triggered by vowels. It also does away with some of the distinctions the standard makes, but keeps a few which were phased out elsewhere.
|Height||High||i (i)||i: (ī)||ɨ (y)||ɨ: (ȳ)||u (u)||u: (ū)|
|Mid||ɛ (e)||ɛ: (ē)||ɔ (o)||ɔ: (ō)|
|Low||æ (a)||æ: (ā)||ɒ (ą)||ɒ: (ą̄)|
|Plosive||β (b)||d (d)||t (t)||ɖ (ḍ)||ʈ (ṭ)||k (k)||ʔ ( ' )|
|s (s)||ʐ (ẓ)||ʂ (ṣ)||x (h)|
|Approximant||r (r)||j (j)||β*|
|Nasal||m (m)||n (n)||ɳ (ṇ)||ɲ (ñ)||ŋ (g)|
*Due to its realisation which varies, usually freely, between [β] and [ɣ], the phoneme /β/ counts as both a velar and a labial.
Insular Ktarh dialects usually follow a rigid phonotactical framework that is regulated and preserved through sound processes. The basic structure is as follows:
|Insular Ktarh phonotactics|
Namely, an insular Ktarh syllable can have three initial consonants and only one final. It must have at least one consonant; unlike in standard acrolectic Ktarh, there are no exceptions to that rule.
Word-initially, all nonplosives can instead be geminate and take up two consonant "slots". There can only clusters of three consonants word-medially, but geminate plosives are allowed. Geminate plosives take up three slots instead; geminate fricatives take up two slots but can only cluster with non-obstruents.
Several synchronic morphophonological processes are active in insular Ktarh. They're divided into two categories, based on what they act upon: there are three vocalic alternations and two consonant alternations.
Insular Ktarh has innovated several vocalic alternation processes.
The most common of these is ablaut, while metathesis and umlaut have a narrower scope.
Insular Ktarh ablaut is a mostly irregular morphophonological change that is word specific. It comes in two forms: the irregular qualitative ablaut, where the vowel itself changes but length is preserved, and the partially regularised and occasionally erratic quantitative ablaut, where the vowel itself doesn't change but instead its length does.
The most common qualitative alternations are:
- /ɒ/ ↔ /æ/ (sometimes also triggered by assimilation to consonants)
- /ɒ/ ↔ /ɛ/ and /æ/ ↔ /ɔ/ (matching alternations)
- /i/ ↔ /u/ (rarest alternation, erratic)
All three of these are most frequently encountered; in addition, all three have spread by analogy to a moderately small subset of otherwise regular words categories and thus have become ingrained in the variety's morphology.
Several other qualitative alternations exist but they are not as common and aren't noteworthy.
As opposed to the multiple qualitative alternations, quantitative alternations have just one gradient going from long to short vowels and ending with a deleted vowel. Most quantitative alternations are long-to-short, although deletion short-to-long happen as well.
Quantitative alternations are far more regular than qualitative alternations even though they do have infrequent pattern deviations as well as irregular applications (where they aren't supposed to be applied).
Insular Ktarh metathesis is a very regular morphophonological process that causes substitution of vowels in precisely determined environments. With a very small number of exceptions, it applies only to short vowels. The vowels it swaps must be in adjacent syllables.
Umlaut in insular Ktarh is triggered only by /u/. It changes /æ ɛ/ in the syllable preceding it to /ɔ u/ respectively. If there is an unbroken string of syllables with /æ ɛ/ before the /u/, they are all changed unless they either follow or precede /ɲ j s/, but that rule doesn't limit the rightmost syllable from being changed.
Insular Ktarh has developed two different morphophonological processes that work on the same set of phonemes giving identical results (mapping /*r *l *ʂ/ to /ð r ʂ/ and /j j s/)
The first such process is assimilation, where the consonants change based on what vowel they precede. Before a consonant or /ɨ/, or word-finally, the consonants are fully contrastive, while they change in other positions based on the vowel that follows them; the first set surfaces before back vowels and the second set before front vowels. This change is somewhat irregular in places due to vowel deletion though it is still somewhat regular.
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