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Oubi Kanusa is a distant descendant of Obiquaʒic, which is itself a remote ancestor of English. It has roughly 16,000,000 speakers, roughly half of who are human. The remaining half are mostly trollspawn, zoktrikons and plasmitroids, with one speaker known to be of Nemuẅeya descent.

The language is spoken in the Meterhyle (from mḗtēr = mother; origin + hýlē = forest), the infinitely wide forest surrounded by the five Apeirohyles, other infinite forests grown from the five seeds released from the Cardiodendron at its centre. It is believed to have first been established as a language separate from Obiquaʒic around 130,000 CE, after deliberate efforts were made to change its grammar and vocabulary following the War of the Forests. Around this time the present day speakers of Oubi Kanusa wished to distance themselves from Obiquaʒic speakers, who they had been fighting for the past several centuries.

Oubi Kanusa is considered endangered by most linguists, as its speakers are rapidly dying out due to large forest fires in the Meterhyle. Forensic evidence has suggested that these fires may have been lit by the Aðɛⅎbuk (Obiquaʒic speakers), however this cannot yet be confirmed.

Etymology

The name Oubi Kanusa has no cognate in Obiquaʒic, the language's ancestor. It bears superficial resemblance to the Gozorian phrase o'pi kanucha, meaning forest language, and to the Hontor word oubicänuja, meaning ally. Though no contact is known to have occured between Oubi Kanusa and either of these languages, one or both of these possible etymologies are likely correct.

Dialects

There are four dialects of Oubi Kanusa, most of them only slightly different from each other.

Speakers in the north of the Meterhyle pronounce the bilabial trill /ʙ/ as /r̪/ (with the tongue extending between the teeth into one of the cheeks) in all positions, while in other dialects this is an allophone only occuring intervocalically.

In the center of the Meterhyle the pronounciation of front vowels approaches the diphthong /øɜ/, while the diphthong /ai/ becomes /ɛ/ when syllable final. This is considered a separate phomeme rather than an allophone by many linguists.

In the eastern parts of the Meterhyle, the particle køt is placed after verbs and adjectives to nominalise them rather than before them, all voiced stops are labialised when occuring before other consonants in clusters, and /a/ and /ɐ/ tend to merge, becoming /æ~ɜ/. While this last feature is uncommon, it is still generally included when listing the features of the eastern dialect.

Though it isn't specific to any one location, a fourth 'dialect' also exists, often considered the standard variety of the language by linguists (though not by native Oubi Kanusa speakers, who don't consider any of the dialects to be 'standard'). This dialect, whose features are described in the following sections of this article, is also sometimes considered a sociolect, as it is most common among guild members and members of the Meterhyle's extensive royal family.

Descendants

Oubi Kanusa has two descendants, Úphicanuçan, a daughter language of the eastern dialect, and Tànghava, a creole of standard Oubi Kanusa and Nemuẅeya.

Phonological Shifts from Obiquaʒic

While the relationship between the phonemes of Obiquaʒic and its parent language English are loose, the sounds of Oubi Kanusa show a much more direct relationship to those of English (Recieved Pronounciation), as this table demonstrates.

English Phoneme Oubi Kanusa Phoneme Latin Orthography
æ a A a
ɑ a A a
ʌ ɐ À à
ai Ai ai
au Au au
b b B b
d d D d
ð ɣ H h
ɭ̆ R r
e e E e
ə ə Y y
ɜ a A a
a A a
ei Ei ei
əʊ lu Ü ü
f f F f
g g G g
h h H h
i i I i
ɪ e E e
ɪə ia Ia ia
j j J j
k k K k
l ɴ C c
m m M m
n n N n
ŋ ɴ C c
ɔ o O o
ɒ ə Y y
ɔɪ ɯ̈ Ø ø
p p P p
ɹ̠ ʙ Br br
s x Sh sh
ʃ X x
t t T t
θ S s
X x
u u U u
ʊ u U u
ʊə ɯ̈ Ø ø
v v V v
w ɣ H h
z Z z
ʒ ɭ̆ R r

Phonotactics

All consonants are allowed in all positions in Oubi Kanusa, and though the number of consonants in clusters rarely excedes three, there are no set rules that determine what syllable structures are allowed.

The phonemes /h/ and /ɣ/ don't contrast for many speakers, and may even be in free variation. Generally though, /h/ is only used where it was once used in a word's English cognate, while /ɣ/ is used in place of English /ð/ and /w/.

Like English and Obiquaʒic, Oubi Kanusa has a stress accent, placing stress on the first syllable of all polysyllabic words. In some speakers, stress can instead be rendered as a high tone, however this is excedingly rare.

The phoneme /ʙ/ becomes /r̪/ when intervocalic, and is prononced with the tongue projecting between the teeth into one of the cheeks.

Grammar

-Syntax

Oubi Kanusa uses the OSV word order, with a sentence's indirect object placed before the main object. While a verb can be placed after the direct object representing the action it performs on the indirect object, this isn't required. Both the sentence

Mauntyn meni caixü sàn meik.

(The sun cast a lightshow [over] the mountains.)

and the sentence

Mauntyn meni caixü kàvy sàn meik.

(The sun cast a lightshow which illuminated the mountains.)

are grammatically correct in Oubi Kanusa. If a verb needs to be added in this position to avoid a sentence being ambiguous however, it is generally put there to avoid confusion.

-Adjectives and Nominalisation

Oubi Kanusa places adjectives after the nouns they modify, and does not allow adverbs. If one wishes to use an adjective to describe a verb, it must first be nominalised by the preceding particle køt, eg:

Gap hi beg køt ràmpyd.

Translation:

He took a big leap over the gap.

Literally:

Gap he big (nominaliser) jump.

Though this particle converts verbs (and any other words) into nouns, it does not prevent them from still being used as if they were verbs. This can be seen in the sentence above, where the verb ràmpyd is used as a noun despite filling the verb 'slot' of the sentence after the subject.

This is the same for adjectives that have been nominalised, eg:

Tbri gavyry køt stbroc nü kàt.

Translation:

The strong man couldn't cut down the tree.

Literally:

Tree man (nominaliser) strong not cut.

Here the adjective stbroc is still used as an adjective despite having been nominalised.

Though nominalised verbs and adjectives can still be used as verbs and adjectives, they can also be used as nouns, eg:

Hi køt vego køt pànx kecød.

Translation:

The punch knocked the wind out of him.

Literally:

He (nominaliser) vigourous (nominaliser) punch killed.

Here both the adjective vego (vigourous) and the verb pànx (to punch) are used as nouns.

All verbs (which are naturally transitive) can be made intransitive by the suffix -secf, eg:

Zei faitsecfyd.

Translation:

They fought.

Literally:

They (masculine) fight (intransitivity marker) (past tense marker).

Note the suffix -secf is placed before the past tense suffix -yd. Tense markers are always placed after this suffix in Oubi Kanusa.

-Tense

All verbs can be given tense by the suffixes -ød (past), -øc (present) and -uc (future). If left tenseless, all verbs represent theoretical rather than actual actions by default. The verb kàny, for example, ordinarily means 'could destroy; has the potential to destroy', but can mean either destroyed, destroying or will destroy depending on which suffix it's given.

-Negation

All verbs can be given a negative meaning by the particle placed before them. This is a cognate to English 'no', but unlike in English, it cannot be used as an interjection. It has roughly the same meaning as the English word 'not'.

-Grammatical Features Absent in Oubi Kanusa

There are no apositions or articles in Oubi Kanusa, nor is there the ability to integrate clauses into sentences. Though the language lacks plurals, the distinction between singular and plural can still be shown by the adjectives secgyc and meni respectively (the former only ever used to emphasise the fact that a noun or pronoun is singular). Number can be shown in the same way, using numerical adjectives rather than numerical classifiers. All nouns and are naturally singular unless modified by a numerical adjective. The inherent state of pronouns is more complicated (see Pronouns).

Vocabulary

-Pronouns

Oubi Kanusa uses five basic pronouns, shown in the table below.

First Person Second Person Third Person
Masculine Ai Ju Hi
Femenine Ai Ju Xi
Neuter Ai Ju Zei

These can be joined together using the interfix -yn- to create 'compound' pronouns, such as aiynxi (she and I) and zeiynju (you and them). This brings the total number of pronouns in Oubi Kanusa up to twenty-five.

All numerical adjectives can be placed after pronouns to give them number, except the adjective meni. The word ju can therefore mean either you (singular) and you (plural) in Oubi Kanusa.

-Nouns

Note: rows in the following tables may appear to the sides of the preceding rows rather as separate rows beneath them.

-Animals

badger bary
bird bad
cat kat
chicken xeken
crab kbrab
dog dyg
dragon dbragyn
horse hosh
lizard cezyd
lobster; crayfish cybshty
monkey màcki
mouse; rat brat
ox buc
pig peg
sheep xip
slug; worm ham
snail shneic
snake shneik

-People

enemy
friend fbrend
grandfather gbrandfàhy
grandmother gbrandmà
human hjumyn
man gavyry
parent pebrynt
plasmitroid pcazmytbrød
queen khin
relative ken
sibling shebcec
trollspawn tbrylshpon
woman aixy
young boy
young girl gac
zoktrikon zyktbrykyn

-Anatomy

abdomen shtàmyk
back bak
blood bcàd
bone bün
brain sybribbrym
chest xesht
ear ey
eye nahi
foot fut
finger; thumb; toe
hair hey
hand gashà
heart teky
intestines gàtsh
lip cep
lung càc
lower leg xen
neck nek
nostril nyshtbryc
organ ogyn
pelvis pecvesh
skeleton shkecetyn
skull aken
tail teic
thigh sai
tooth tus
tongue tàc
vein; artery vein
windpipe tbrakiy

-The Natural Word

bush/shrub bux
cave keiv
desert dezyt
fire faiy
grass gbràsh
hill hec
ice aish
lake ceik
leaf cif
log cyg
marsh; bog byg
moon mun
mountain mauntyn
mountain range breinr
peat pit
river brevy
river delta decty
sand shand
snow shnü
star shtà
stick shtek
stone shtün
sun shàn
tree tbri
vine vain
water hoty

-Man Made Objects and Materials

anvil anvec
axe aksh
bed bed
candle kandyc
cart; chariot kàt
chair xey
clothes; fabric kcys
coin køn
farm fàm
fence fensh
grindstone gbraindshtün
hammer hamy
hauberk hobak
helmet hecmet
building haush
lantern cantyn
mace meish
metal metyc
spear shpey
sword shod
table teibyc
trident; pitchfork pexfok
wax haksh

-Intangible Concepts

confusion kynfjuryn
courage; bravery kàbryr
exception; odd one out ydhànaut
failure feicjy
fear fey
jealousy recysh
joy; hapiness
kindness kaind
pain pein
poverty po
repetition brepytexyn
sacrifice shakbrefaish
sadness shad
understanding nycer
vigour; liveliness vego
wealth hecs

-Shapes

circle boc
diamond daimynd
polygon with more than four sides pylegyn
rectangle ybcyc
square shkhey
triangle tbraiacgyc

The suffix -tand causes the six flat shapes above to change into three dimensional forms, created by rotating them around their central axes. A triangle, for example, becomes a cone when spun on its central axis, while a square becomes a cylinder.

-Random

branch; division pàt
darkness dàk
explosion ekshpcüryn
food fud
group gbrup
light cait
lightshow caixü
part; component bet
poison; toxin pøzyn
spike; spine kün

-Verbs

to be eager to/for igy
to be the child of bibontu
to burn ban
to cause koz
to cause something to move downward dbryp
to chose; to select xuz
to clean kcin
to close xàt
to complete; to finish fenex
to cover; to cast onto kàvy
to create; to make meik
to damage brek
to destroy; to kill; to obliterate end
to dream of dbrim
to enter enty
to fight fait
to greet gbrit
to hear hey
to hold (in both hands) tugbràshp
to hold (in one hand) gbràshp
to hold in place; to prevent from moving hycd
to hold (using a part of the body that isn't the hands,

even if the hands are still used to hold another part

of it)

kcàx
to kick kek
to leave civ
to open üpyn
to own ün
to possess (a quality) hav
to punch pànx
to push; to propel pux
to raise; to move something upward ceft
to recieve bryshiv
to reject; to turn down tandaun
to release something (without actively pushing it) cetgüov
to repair; to fix feksh
to say shei
to say goodbye to feyhec
to see shi
to smell shmec
to spill shpec
to steal shtic
to steal from teikfbrym
to think of; to imagine seck
to turn; to rotate tan
to wake from heik

-Adjectives

-Numerical

none nàn
one hàn
two tu
three sbri
four fo
five faiv
six sheksh
seven shevyn
eight eit
nine nain
many meni

-Colour

beige beir
black bcak
blue bcu
green gbrin
grey gbrei
orange ybrenr
purple papyc
red bred
white hait

-Random

brittle; fragile fbraraic
cold kücd
distant
familiar sheim
hot hyt
jagged ragyd
large; big beg
long; wide; high cyc
short; narrow xot
small shmoc
smooth shmuh
physically strong (of a person) stbroc
physically weak (of a person) hik
unfamiliar ànfymecjy
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