Tzapalian (IPA: /ˈtsapali/) also known as Tzapali, forms the Tzapalic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family, spoken in Tzapalia, a conminimunicipality in León, Mexico by about 261,700 people, with 144,000 2L speakers worldwide. Tzapalian has its own language family and is not related to other languages.
Over the years, it has been considered a language isolate, though current consensus and research now confirms that it has been related to Nahuatl.
History EditSpeakers used to live in Oklahoma, North America, but when the Mexicans had invaded the Apache, most of them moved to Mexico instead.
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Geographic distribution Edit
Official status Edit
Tzapalian is one of the de facto languages of Mexico, along with Spanish and other indigenous languages. Some speakers still live
Tzapalian is classified into 2 dialects:
- northern; which is the most spoken by about 172,700 people
- southern; which is spoken by 89,000 people.
Spanish-Algonquian Tzapalian Pidgin, also known as Pichingw or SATP, is a pidgin spoken by the Spanish Tzapalians of Spain. The Spanish Tzapalians were founded when the Tzapalians invaded Spain, making the use of the creole.
Sample words Edit
|matagi||Ojibwe ᒥᑎᒃ mitig||tree|
|supersonili||Spanish calque of Tzapalian achqua relī||captain|
|Nasal||m||n||ng [ŋ]||ngu [ŋʷ]|
|Plosive||p||t [t̪]||ti [tʲ]||c [k]||qu [kʷ]||h [ʔ]|
|Fricative||b [β]||d [ð]||(z [s̻])||s, ce, ci [s]||lh [ɬ]||g [ɣ]||j [h]|
|Affricate||tz [ts]||tl [tɬ]|
|Approximant||y [j]||hu [w]|
- [β] mostly appears in Spanish loanwords, but can be also found as an allophone of [w] in native words such as huatietl /ˈβɐtʲetɬ/.
- [ð] is often closer an approximant [ð̞] than a fricative.
- [s̻] (z) is only used in loanwords from Basque.
|High||ī [iː]||ū [uː]|
|Near-high||i [ɪ]||u [ʊ]|
|High-mid||ē [eː]||ō [oː]|
|Low-mid||e [ɛ]||o [ɔ]|
- [aː] is phonemically central [äː].
The default syllable structure is simple; it is (C)V(V)(C), where C stands for a consonant and V stands for a vowel.
Stress pattern Edit
Stress is usually drops from the first to the third syllables. Recent loanwords often retain their original stress.
The words of Tzapalian can be divided into three basic functional cases: verbs, nouns and particles. Adjectives exist, but they generally behave like nouns and there are very few adjectives that are not derived from either verbal or nominal roots. The very few adverbs that can be said to exist fall into the class of particles.
Tzapalian has a complex singular / dual / paucal / plural number system (as in Fijian). A paucal number of things is a very small amount of them (e.g. a few nuts, fruit, e.g.) while the dual number is two things of them (e.g. two birds, cats, e.g.). This table below shows the number types of the noun metziu 'cat'.
|the cat||those few cats||the two cats||the cats|
Tzapalian's possessedness can be formed with suffixes. This table below shows how affixes affect the possessedness of the noun metziu 'cat'.
Tzapalian has 9 tenses, far more in any Uto-Aztecan language. It features 3 basic tenses (present, past, future), and their progressive and conditional forms. This table below shows the verb conjugation of the phrasal verb niquō 'I eat'.
|I eat||I am eating||If I eat|
|I ate||I was eating||If I ate|
|I will eat||I will be eating||If I would eat|
Morphological derivation Edit
Word order Edit
As Tzapalian is highly fusional, word order is completely free. To say 'The dog catches the cat' in Tzapalian, one speaker may use any of the following orders, with slight pragmatic differences:
- SOV: Chechu metziu challe.
- SVO: Chechu challe metziu.
- VSO: Challe chechu metziu.
- VOS: Challe metziu chechu.
- OVS: Metziu challe chechu.
- OSV: Metziu chechu challe.
But the most common and default word order is SOV.
Adjective and preposition position Edit
In Tzapalian, the adjective can either go before or after the noun. To say 'the big cat' in Tzapalian, one speaker may use any of the following phrases:
- AN: huai metziu
- NA: metziu huai
However, the adjective mostly comes before the noun.
Preposition order is also free too:
- prepositions: pikē apūchēti
- postpositions: apūchēti pikē
Possession order Edit
The phrase 'Benny's coat' can be translated into Tzapalian into 2 different ways:
- Possessor-possessee: Beni capaōtl
- Possessee-possessor: Capaōtl Beni
Historical phonology and grammar Edit
Unlike Modern Tzapalian, Old Tzapalian did not contain the palatalized stop [tʲ]. Also, Old Tzapalian had a series of ejective consonants /pʼ tʼ kʼ, tsʼ/, orthographically ph, th, c·h and tzh respectively that only appeared at the end of syllables before the latter had been merged into separate phonemes /p.ʔ, t.ʔ, k.ʔ, ts.ʔ/. Thus, cutōc·hayec 'woods' /ˈkʊtoːkʼɐjɛk/ became /ˈkʊtoːk.ʔɐjɛk/.