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

General information[]

Abashe is a language isolate spoken in the outskirts of the Shinsali Confederacy.



Bilabial Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive p t c k
Implosive ɓ ɗ
Affricate t͡ʃ
Fricative s ʃ x h
Approximant l ʎ
  • Consonant gemination is contrastive in all places but word-initially


Front Central Back
Close i y ɨ u
Close-mid e ø o
Near-open æ
Open a
  • There are three diphthongs /ai/ /au/ and /ɨi/, the latter of which occurs only due to umlaut of oi
  • Any other sequences of two vowels is pronounced with hiatus


  • /n/ assimilates in place: becoming [ɲ] before palatal consonants and [ŋ] before velar consonants
  • /m/, in contrast, does not assimilate
  • When /h/ occurs word-finally or before another consonant, there is a slight pharyngeal frication
  • /ɓ/ and /ɗ/ are realized as [b] and [d], respectively, word-finally and before other consonants
  • The cluster /ɓɗ/, which appears across morpheme boundaries or intervocalically, is realized as [bd]
  • Palatal-velar assimilation occurs, meaning if a palatal consonants precedes a velar consonant, it will become velar and vice versa. For example, /xc/ is realized as [çc] and /ck/ is realised as [kk]. 
  • /ʎ/ is realised as [l] before alveolar and post-alveolar consonants and as [ɫ] before velar consonants
  • Geminate /t͡ʃ/ is realised as [t͡ʃ:], never [t͡:ʃ]
  • The cluster /tʃ/ is contrastive with /t͡ʃ/ across morpheme boundaries
  • /i/ and /u/ are realized as [j] and [w], respectively, before other consonants


In Abashe, there are three productive types of umlaut: i-umlaut, a-umlaut, and u-umlaut. The table below describes the vocalic changes due to each type of respective umlaut and diachronic sound changes that followed. In the article, a morpheme that triggers i-umlaut in a preceding syllable is notated with +I, a-umlaut is notated with +A and u-umlaut is notated with +U

Vowel i-umlaut a-umlaut u-umlaut
i e ü
ü ö
y e a o
u ü o
e i ä ö
ö a
o ö a
ä a ö
a ä o
au eu
ai ei oi
eu iu au
iu eu
oi yi ai
ei ai oi


The basic syllable structure in Abashe is (C₁)(F)V(C) or (C₂)(L)V(C). /t͡ʃ ɓ ɗ/ never occur in a cluster in the syllable onset. (C₁) cannot be a nasal and (C₂) cannot be /n/. V can be any vowel or diphthong. 


Primary stress always occurs on the initial syllable of a word. Secondary stress, however, is sensitive to syllable structure but is nonetheless regular. Secondary stress falls on the first heavy syllable after the primary stress. A heavy syllable is a syllable with a diphthong or with a coda consonant. If every syllable following the primary stress is light, then the secondary stress falls on the second syllable of the word.

Writing system[]


Aa Ää Bb Dd Ee Xx Hh Ii
/a/ /æ/ /ɓ/ /ɗ/ /e/ /x/ /h/ /i/
Kk Ll Yy Mm Nn Oo Öö Pp
/k/ /l/ /ɨ/ /m/ /n/ /o/ /ø/ /p/
Ss Šš Tt Cc Uu Üü Ťť Ľľ
/s/ /ʃ/ /t/ /t͡ʃ/ /u/ /y/ /c/ /ʎ/


ai au eu iu ei oi yi
/ai/ /au/ /ø/ /y/ /e/ /u/ /ɨi/

Digraphs in Abashe historically all represented diphthongs. The original spelling of each diphthong-turned-monophthong is kept to differentiate homophones and also because of the high prevalence of umlaut in the language. Diaresis are used on Ee and Ii to distinguish digraphs using those letters from seqeunces of the same vowel. For example, eu always represents /ø/ and is distinguished from /eu/ by placing diaeresis on the Ee, i.e. ëu.


Nouns in Abashe belong to one of 7 noun classes and take on multiple suffixes, including number, demonstratives, postpositionals, possessives, and derivational morphemes, which includes diminutives and augmentatives, each of which has its own separate noun class

Noun class and pronouns[]

In Abashe, nouns are arranged into a number of classes. Noun class is not apparent on noun other than from its semantic meaning. Any biological word concerning a human or animal, such as hair, tail, blood, etc., is a class III noun. The pronouns in the third column are third-person pronouns and decline regularly.

Class Meaning Pronoun
I Adults and large animals ähen
II Children inyk
III Other animate nouns esso
IV Nature oïd
V Proper nouns eundo
VI Other inanimate nouns ibes
VII Diminutives and augmentatives yton

The first and second person pronouns are listed in the table below. They decline irregularly for number and in the nominative, accusative, and genitive cases but otherwise regularly.

Nominative Accusative Genitive
First Second First Second First Second
Plural Inclusive

Nominal Morphology[]

Abashe nouns are largely agglutinitive and can take on multiple different suffixes. Noun suffixes ultimately follow a set order. The order of suffixes is as follows:

Root • Derivation • Number • Case • Determiner • Postposition


Most roots used nominally will be nouns, but a verb root or an adjectival root can be used with a derivational morpheme to form an entirely new root.


Derivation is productive in Abashe and roots can take on multiple derivational morphemes. Common derivational suffixes are listed in the table below with examples.

Name Suffix Example
Agent -os+A eum (to travel) > aumos (traveller)
Gerund -e eum (to travel) > eume (travelling)
Consequence -odu eum (to travel) > eumodu (trip)
Language -xe+I Abaš (Abash tribe) > Abäšxe (Abashe)
Abstract noun -ottol okša (angry) > okšauttol (anger)
Diminutive -en+I siok (girl) > siöken (little girl)
Augmentative -los+U mahsi (boy) > mahsülos (big boy)


Number in Abashe is formed differently according to each noun class.

Class I nouns form their plurals using the a-umlauting suffix -o. Nouns that end in -a take -u as a plural. 

Class II nouns form their plurals with -y. This plural morpheme does not appear word finally or before a resonant consonant. In these contexts, the only way to recognize a plural class II noun is by adjectival or verbal agreement. Abashe speakers call this ninľotmyin - "ghost plural".

Class III nouns form their plural by a reduplicating i-umlauting suffix -iCCV wherein the final CV combination of the root is reduplicated after -i with the consonant geminated. The vowel in the plural morpheme is not umlauted like the root vowel. For example, the Abashe word for bird, ontas, forms it's plural as ontäsitta. 

Class IV nouns form their plurals with -(o)t. If the root being pluralized ends in a vowel, the suffix is a simple -t. If the root ends in a consonant, the suffix is an a-umlauting suffix -ot

Class V nouns appear only in the singular.

Class VI nouns form their plurals with the reduplicating suffix -Ca, wherein the final consonant from the root is reduplicated before the vowel.

Class VII nouns form their plurals with the suffix -te


Abashe nouns decline for 5 cases. All nouns decline regularly. Below is an example declension of the class III noun ľolau (cat) in the singular and plural. The case endings are in bold. If there an optional vowel for words ending in consonants, the second case ending is given in the third column.

Singular Plural Consonant-final suffix
Nominative ľolau ľoleuille
Accusative ľolaus ľoleuilles -üs
Dative ľolauho ľoleuilläho
Genitive ľolauma ľoleuillema
Instrumental ľolaunke ľoleuillenke -anke
  • The dative case triggers a-umlaut




Abashe is an exclusively suffixing agglutinative language. The language is highly inflected and occasionally exhibits some aspects typical of a polysynthetic language. It most often follows SOV word order.


Example text[]