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Amoco
'
Type
Polysynthetic
Alignment
Split-S
Head direction
Final
Tonal
Yes
Declensions
Yes
Conjugations
Yes
Genders
No
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect



General information[edit | edit source]

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.

Phonology[edit | edit source]

Consonants[edit | edit source]

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].

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
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.

Vowels[edit | edit source]

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].

Phonotactics[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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]

Grammar[edit | edit source]

Nouns[edit | edit source]

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.

Verbs[edit | edit source]

Syntax[edit | edit source]

Vocabulary[edit | edit source]


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
47cat
48dog
49louse
50snake
51worm
52tree
53forest
54stick
55fruit
56seed
57leaf
58root
59bark
60flower
61grass
62rope
63skin
64meat
65blood
66bone
67fat
68egg
69horn
70tail
71feather
72hair
73head
74ear
75eye
76nose
77mouth
78tooth
79tongue
80fingernail
81foot
82leg
83knee
84hand
85wing
86belly
87guts
88neck
89back
90breast
91heart
92liver
93drink
94eat
95bite
96suck
97spit
98vomit
99blow
100breathe
101laugh
102see
103hear
104know
105think
106smell
107fear
108sleep
109live
110die
111kill
112fight
113hunt
114hit
115cut
116split
117stab
118scratch
119dig
120swim
121fly
122walk
123come
124lie
125sit
126stand
127turn
128fall
129give
130hold
131squeeze
132rub
133wash
134wipe
135pull
136push
137throw
138tie
139sew
140count
141say
142sing
143play
144float
145flow
146freeze
147swell
148sun
149moon
150star
151water
151rain
152river
153lake
154sea
155salt
156stone
157sand
158dust
160earth
161cloud
162fog
163sky
164wind
165snow
166ice
167smoke
168fire
169ash
170burn
171road
172mountain
173red
174green
175yellow
176white
177black
178night
179day
180year
181warm
182cold
183full
184new
185old
186good
187bad
188rotten
189dirty
190straight
191round
192sharp
193dull
194smooth
195wet
196dry
197correct
198near
199far
200right
201left
202at
203in
204with
205and
206if
207because
208name


Example text[edit | edit source]

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