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

General Information[]

Proto-Edalith is the protolanguage a large language macrofamily on the planet Patrona, home of the alien Patronans. The current domain of Edalith languages is all across the subcontinental peninsula of Edalith, as well as west of the Shaibest mountains and in various colonies and ex-colonies including Westos. Among its descendant languages are some very important and influential languages, including Alemarese and Barejine.


Proto-Edalith diverged into the Edalith language family. Descendants include:

  • Ngalryn family
    • North Ngalryn
    • South Ngalryn
  • Shaibest family
    • Foothill Shaibest
      • North Foothill Shaibest
      • South Foothill Shaibest
    • Mountain Shaibest
      • Shaibestyur
      • Others
    • Chiwaran Shaibest
  • White Coast family



The traditional classification and symbols are shown below.

bilabial alveolar palatal velar glottal
nasal m n
stop p pʰ b t tʰ d c cʰ ɟ k kʰ g ʔ
fricative s h
approximant l
rhotic r1 r2


front back
close i u
mid e o
open a
  • Diphthongs consist of any two vowels.
  • Triphthongs consist of any diphthong preceded by /i/ or /u/.
  • Double vowels occur only at morpheme boundaries


It is unknown how stress worked in Proto-Edalith, as nearly every daughter language treats it differently.

Sound Changes[]

V=vowel, C=consonant, S=sonorant, O=obstruent, N=nasal

Proto-Edalith to Proto-Chevin[]

  1. epenthetic a-insertion after stem-final consonants before consonantal endings
  2. plants in -i become animate with an additional -a.
  3. verbs in -i become verbs in -e
  4. removal of final /s/ in declensions
  5. development of three gender system
  6. stress on final root vowel
  7. consonant changes
    1. r2>v
    2. h>q
    3. [c, ch, j]>[s, ts, y] / _F, >[k, kh, g] elsewhere
    4. [ph, th, kh]>[f, ts, h]
  8. vowel changes
    1. ʔ > ː / V_
    2. a > ː / [e, o]_
    3. [e, o] > [j, w] / [a, e, o]_
    4. short [i, u] > [e, o] / _[i, u]
    5. unstressed iV > e / _V

Proto-Edalith to Proto-Ngalryn[]

  1. glottal stops leave compensatory vowel lengthening on the nuclear vowel, then disappear
  2. aspirates are maintained, other h-clusters reduce
  3. R's merge
  4. vowel changes
    1. o > u / V_, _V
    2. e > i unless _V
    3. V > ː / e_
    4. [i, u] > y / C_#
    5. ui, iu > y
    6. ai > eː
    7. au > oː
  5. consonant changes
    1. cʰ > ʃ
    2. c > ʃ / i_
    3. c > t
    4. N > ŋ / _[k, g]
    5. g > ŋ
    6. ɟ > j
    7. O > 0 / _S
    8. SrO > rSO

Proto-Edalith to Proto-Shaibest[]

  1. consonant changes
    1. [ɟd] > z
    2. pʰ > h
    3. p > b
    4. t > d except _ʰ
    5. k > ʔ except _ʰ
    6. cʰ > s
    7. c > ʔ / _#
    8. c > k
    9. r2 > j
    10. r1 > r
    11. nasals assimilate to following consonants' place of articulation
  2. sound loss
    1. h, ʰ > 0
    2. : > 0
    3. ʔ > 0 / C_
    4. N > 0 / before voiceless consonants
  3. vowel changes
    1. eu, ui > oi
    2. ou > u
    3. u > o / _#
    4. i > e / _#
  4. devoicing of consonants after voiceless ones

Proto-Edalith to Proto-White Coast[]

  1. epenthetic a-insertion after stem-final consonants before consonantal endings
  2. development of three gender system
  3. stress on final root vowel
  4. consonant changes
    1. N > 0 / before voiceless consonants
    2. /l/ > /e̯/
    3. /r1/ and /r2/ merge
    4. intervocalic alveolar stops flap
    5. palatals merge into velars
    6. voiced stops fricate
    7. fricatives devoice word-finally and before voiceless phones
    8. non-word-final tenuis stops voice
    9. aspirate stops deaspirate
  5. Consonant disappearances
    1. /ʔ/ disappears, leaving compensatory lengthening on the previous vowel
    2. /h/ disappears, leaving breathy voice on the preceding vowel which spreads to adjacent vowels
  6. Voicing changes
    1. all consonants devoice adjacent to breathy vowels
    2. clusters match voicing with the most sonorous member, match with closest to stressed vowel if the phones are the same sonority
  7. More consonant disappearances
    1. the voiced allophone of /ɣ/ disappears
    2. initial /n/ disappears
  8. Diphthong changes and introduction of palatalization
    1. unstressed and diphthongal /i/ becomes palatalization of the preceding phoneme
    2. diphthongal /u/ becomes /w/, /e/ becomes /e̯/
    3. palatalization becomes /j/ word initially and /ʲj/ intervocalically
    4. /i/ palatalizes a preceding consonant
    5. /e̯ʲ/ > /j/, /eʲ/ becomes /i/
  9. vowels disappear before their consonantal counterparts


Pronouns in all Edalith languages share features such as being able to be replaced by noun phrases even in the first and second persons as well as being able to take adjectives as modifiers.


Where pronouns are shown in pairs, the first being the nominative and the second the accusative. If the roots differ, other cases are built on the nominative roots. However, possessive determiners are based on the accusative roots.

sg pl
1 *ceo/sar2is *napʰit/naʔpʰs
2 *tar2/taʔhis *tiur2ohu(r2)
3 prox *cʰor2(r1/r2/ta) *cʰor2ait
obv *tir2(r1/r2/ta) *tir2ait


Nouns in Proto-Edalith are formed with a root, derivational suffixes, and a grammatical ending. Nouns declined for gender, case, and number.


The two genders were the animate and inanimate. In Proto-Edalith, animate stems always ended in a consonant whereas inanimate stems always ended in a high vowel.


Eight cases can be reconstructed, more than any daughter language has. Each case has a suffix associated with it. Some case suffixes also change for gender and/or number. The nominative singular suffixes are subject to a confusing number of alternative forms, interpreted differently in the daughter language families.

sg pl sg pl
NOM r1/r2/ta t 0/r2/ti t
ACC s s
GEN ai au i ou
INSTR me me
ALL ns ns
ABL io au i eu
LOC hul hul
VOC ʔ t ʔ t


Pluralization is shown by pre-case suffixes -ai for animates and -i for inanimates. These were absent from the genitive and ablative cases. Edalith languages as a rule treat all nouns as count nouns.


*hr1eʔ-n(t)- "person, being" (an.)

sg pl
NOM hr1eʔ-n(t)-r1/r2/ta hr1eʔ-n(t)-ai-t
ACC hr1eʔ-n(t)-s hr1eʔ-n(t)-ai-s
GEN hr1eʔ-n(t)-ai hr1eʔ-n(t)-au
INSTR hr1eʔ-n(t)-me hr1eʔ-n(t)-ai-me
ALL hr1eʔ-n(t)-ns hr1eʔ-n(t)-ai-ns
ABL hr1eʔ-n(t)-io hr1eʔ-n(t)-au
LOC hr1eʔ-n(t)-hul hr1eʔ-n(t)-ai-hul
VOC hr1eʔ-n(t)-ʔ hr1eʔ-n(t)-ai-t

*kor1eʔmu- "straight stick, walking stick" (inan.)

sg pl
NOM kor1eʔmu-(r2) kor1eʔmu-i-t
ACC kor1eʔmu-s kor1eʔmu-i-s
GEN kor1eʔmu-i kor1eʔmu-ou
INSTR kor1eʔmu-me kor1eʔmu-i-me
ALL kor1eʔmu-ns kor1eʔmu-i-ns
ABL kor1eʔmu-i kor1eʔmu-eu
LOC kor1eʔmu-hul kor1eʔmu-i-hul
VOC kor1eʔmu-ʔ kor1eʔmu-i-t

*tepʰuʔr2i- "article of clothing" (inan.)

sg pl
NOM tepʰuʔr2i-(r2) tepʰuʔr2i-i-t
ACC tepʰuʔr2i-s tepʰuʔr2i-i-s
GEN tepʰuʔr2i-i tepʰuʔr2i-ou
INSTR tepʰuʔr2i-me tepʰuʔr2i-i-me
ALL tepʰuʔr2i-ns tepʰuʔr2i-i-ns
ABL tepʰuʔr2i-i tepʰuʔr2i-eu
LOC tepʰuʔr2i-hul tepʰuʔr2i-i-hul
VOC tepʰuʔr2i-ʔ tepʰuʔr2i-i-t


Verbs were definitely marked for person (1st, 2nd, and 3rd), number (sg and pl), and tense (nonpast and past). No early Edalith language marked grammatical voice on finite verbs, and grammatical aspect is as a rule never marked via inflection. As for non-finite forms, there is no direct equivalent to an infinitive. Another peculiarity of Edalith verbs is that most can be used both transitively and intransitively. Verbs are exceedingly regular, as there are only a dozen or so irregular verbs.

Verbs conjugated for person and number of their subject. Verbs also have imperative forms. Infixes for evidentiality are present in some daughter families. Non-finite forms include participles which distinguish nonpast and past tense and active and passive voice.

Person markers[]

Two sets of present plural suffixes are reconstructed, with different language families inheriting different ones. The Chevin and White Coast families inherited the first set, whereas the Syaibest family inherited the second set. Ngalryn languages lost their person markers.

sg pl
1 -gi -im/dim
2 -k -r1ut/dr2u
3 -s -his/duis


1 kʰenu-
2 dinsu-, ten-
3 hr2or1u-
4 mir1u-
5 dor1s-
6 peks-
7 dr2eɟ-
8 ʔonu-, -cinhu
9 genu-
10 ʔenh-
64 kʰiedu-


Proto-Edalith was probably a broadly head-initial VSO language, like many of its ancient descendants.