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.
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.
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.
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|
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.
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.
He took a big leap over the gap.
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.
The strong man couldn't cut down the tree.
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.
The punch knocked the wind out of him.
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:
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.
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.
All verbs can be given a negative meaning by the particle nü 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).
Oubi Kanusa uses five basic pronouns, shown in the table below.
|First Person||Second Person||Third Person|
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.
Note: rows in the following tables may appear to the sides of the preceding rows rather as separate rows beneath them.
|finger; thumb; toe||tü|
-The Natural Word
-Man Made Objects and Materials
|exception; odd one out||ydhànaut|
|polygon with more than four sides||pylegyn|
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.
|to be eager to/for||igy|
|to be the child of||bibontu|
|to cause something to move downward||dbryp|
|to chose; to select||xuz|
|to complete; to finish||fenex|
|to cover; to cast onto||kàvy|
|to create; to make||meik|
|to destroy; to kill; to obliterate||end|
|to dream of||dbrim|
|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
|to possess (a quality)||hav|
|to push; to propel||pux|
|to raise; to move something upward||ceft|
|to reject; to turn down||tandaun|
|to release something (without actively pushing it)||cetgüov|
|to repair; to fix||feksh|
|to say goodbye to||feyhec|
|to steal from||teikfbrym|
|to think of; to imagine||seck|
|to turn; to rotate||tan|
|to wake from||heik|
|long; wide; high||cyc|
|physically strong (of a person)||stbroc|
|physically weak (of a person)||hik|