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Tow is a language spoken in Southeastern Exhpazixh, in the area near Putvå Iāltuxhe. It is spoken by the Tow, who are a minority group whose origins are separate from those of the Rumzquze people with whom they have had close contact for many years.

Overview[]

Tow is largely isolating and tonal, with up to six contour distinctions depending on dialect.

Phonology[]

Consonants[]

Bilabial Alveolar Alveopalatal Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ŋʲ ŋʷ
Plosive t kʲ ŋgʲ k ŋg
Fricative ɸ s ɕ x
Approximant l j w
  • /kʷ ŋgʷ/ are rare and generally found only in loan words.

Vowels[]

/i e ɛ a ə ɔ o u/ < i e eh a uh oh o u>

Syllabic Consonants /m̩ ʑ̩/ <mm zz>

Tones[]

  • Low-flat (11) flat bar below (m̱m)
  • Mid-high-flat (44) flat bar above (m̄m)
  • Mid-falling (31) grave accent below (m̖m)
  • High-falling (51) grave accent above (m̀m)
  • Low-rising (14) acute accent above (ḿm)
  • Mid-contour (254) circumflex above (m̂m)
  • Rising (previous, previous+1) none (mm)


Phonotactics[]

(C)V(F,A,N)(P)

  • final plosives can only be present if a (F,A,N) consonant precedes it.
  • final plosives cannot be palatals, and no prenasalized stops
  • long vowels are present only in final syllables or in final syllables of compounds
  • stress is final
  • words containing syllablic consonants do not have codas
  • Vowels are lowered before palatalized, palatal, and alveopalatal consonants.


Semantics[]

Nouns[]

Pronouns[]

Subject Pronouns

Sing. Dual Plu.
1st Person āx āx ku̱h āx m̀m
2nd Person óhwk óhwk ku̱h óhwk m̀m
3rd Person le̱h le̱h ku̱h le̱h m̀m

Object Pronouns

Sing. Dual Plu.
1st Person cān āx cān km̖m āx cān m̀m āx
2nd Person cān óhwk cān km̖m óhwk cān m̀m óhwk
3rd Person cān le̱h cān km̖m le̱h cān m̀m le̱h

Patient Pronouns

Sing. Dual Plu.
1st Person cìl āx cìl kẕz āx cìl z̄z āx
2nd Person cìl óhwk cìl kẕz óhwk cìl z̄z óhwk
3rd Person cìl le̱h cìl kẕz le̱h cìl z̄z le̱h

Noun Classes[]

Number Description Gloss Name IndefArt DefArt
Class 1 Males, thin objects, trees, assorted (.)C1 ngyí ngyù
Class 2 Females, bulgy objects, assorted (.)C2
Class 3 Square/angular, Buildings (.)C3
Class 4 marine/air anim, empty, light objects,small plants (.)C4 nyí nyù
Class 5 White objects, land animals (.)C5 yéct
Class 6 Congregated objects (ie books) (.)C6 nyín nyùn
Class 7 Ephemeral Qualities, Ideas (.)C7 íf ùf
Class 8 Neuter, Other (.)C8 wāft wàst
the man
ngyù
DEF.C1 person
a girl
ì
INDEF.C2 person DIM
the box
géhy
DEF.C3 box
a silverfish
nyí tāw
INDEF.C4 tāw


Verbs[]

Verbs are not inflected. Clitics/Particles/Affixes are used to denote various verbal usages. The default is progressive aspect.

āx às wòhl
1sg.SBJ TEMP eat
I am eating.
āx às wòhl an
1sg.SBJ TEMP eat PERF
I ate. (and finished)

Intransitive[]

Intransitive sentences have the formation S-(TEMP)-V

  • āx às wòhl
  • 1sg.SBJ TEMP eat
  • I am eating.

Transitive[]

Transitive sentences have structure O-S-(TEMP)-V

  • cōììm̀m āx às wòhl
  • person DIM DIM PLU 1sg.SBJ TEMP eat
  • I am eating babies.

Ditransitive[]

Ditransitive sentences have structure O-S-(TEMP)-V-Patient

  • cōììm̀m cītm̱m nústasan cìlāx
  • person DIM DIM PLU Satan have PROG PERF 1sg.PAT
  • Satan gave me babies to eat.


Particles[]

Particle Abbreviation Function
an Perf indicates perfective aspect
ca̱ EVID indicates a general truth
às TEMP indicates a temporal occurrence, as opposed to a theoretical one

Evidentials[]

Mundane Evidentials

  • ca̱ - “I know that it is true based on my own past knowledge”
  • u̱hf - “I know it is true because someone told me.”
  • nwo̖h - “I know it is true because it is happening now.”
  • nwa̱ - “I think it may be true because I remember something related to it.”
  • té - “I have no evidence to back it up, but I’ll say it anyway.”
  • nyèh - “It may or may not be true, but you have to figure that out yourself.”

Spiritual Evidentials

  • ās sā “It is true because a whisper brought it to me.”

Samples[]

āx às wòhl cōìm̀m

1sg.SBJ TEMP eat person DIM PLU

I am eating children.


cōìm̀m às wòhl cānāx

person DIM PLU TEMP eat 1sg.ACC

Children are eating me.


āx núst tōhw e̱xt ca̱

1sg.SBJ have speak ability EVID

I can speak.


āx núst wòhl cōìm̀m e̱xt ca̱

1sg.SBJ have eat person DIM PLU ability EVID

I can eat children.


cōììm̀m āx às wòhl

person DIM DIM PLU 1sg.SBJ TEMP eat

I am eating babies.


cìlóhwk cōììm̀m às wòhl

2sg.PATIENT person DIM DIM PLU TEMP eat

Babies are eating you.


cītm̱m cōììm̀m às wòhl

Satan person DIM DIM PLU TEMP eat

Babies are eating Satan.

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