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In 1175BC, when the Trojo-Latin scholar/adventurer, Tivasis visited Atlantis for the first time, he recorded two of the four known Atlantean tongues in a modified Greek alphabet. In addition to this, documents survive in the Vatican library of Atlantean texts in a native writing system. Though the two tongues, spoken in the eastern prairies and deciduous forest, are notably different, careful study reveals strong correspondences between the two, making a common ancestor highly likely. Decipherment was aided by the fact that the native Atlantean writing system is a featural system, which means that the shape of the letters encodes phonological information, as opposed to using pictures to represent sounds, as the Phoenicians did. The Linguistics department at Leipzig has reconstructed a hypothesized Proto-Atlantean language which will be outlined below.

Proto-Atlantean Phonology

One of the most important distinctions of Proto-Atlantean is between the “strong” and “weak” categories. The language has three pairs of strong and weak vowels, and three paired series of strong and weak consonants.

The PA vowel system is actually very simple: a, i, and u, pronounced roughly as they would be in Latin. Their weak counterparts are marked with grave accents: à, ì, ù. All vowels may also be pronounced as retroflex vowels with the tongue curled back as with the English “r” as pronounced in American and Irish dialects. The actual pronunciation of the weak vowels is unknown, as the two known daughter languages, Kiyatsic and Parpòic, differ greatly in their reflexes. The daughter languages will be discussed later.

The consonant system is a bit more complex. Consonants are grouped into three paired sets of consonants which we will call labial (pronounced with the lips,) apical (pronounced with the tip of the tongue, as t, d, or n) and dorsal (pronounced with the back of the tongue, as k or g.)

These three groups are further subdivided into strong and weak series. The apical and dorsal series are weakened by yotation or the adding of a following “y,” EG. “ky” or “ty.” The labials, by contrast, are divided into two distinct categories, bilabials (pronounced with both lips, as p, b, or m) and labio-velars (dorsals with a following “w” sound as in “qu.”)

Each of these series can have as many as five consonants, a sonorant (a nasal or semi-vowel: y, m, n, etc,) a fricative (f, th, h, etc,) a voiceless stop (p, t, k,) a voiced stop (b, d, g,) and a voiceless sonorant (mh, nh, ngh.) So the consonant scheme is as follows:

  • Bilabials: m, mh, f, p, b
  • Labio-Velars: w,(wh), (hu), qu, gu
  • Apicals: n, nh, th, t, d
  • Soft Apicals: ny, nç, sy, ty, dy
  • Dorsals: ng, ngh, h, k, g
  • Soft Dorsals: y, ç, (hy) ky, gy
  • Miscellaneous Consonants: lh, s, r, l

Parentheses indicate a missing phoneme. It it believed that hy merged with ç, and wh and hu both merged with f before any dialects split, as no known language distinguishes these.

Only m, w, n, ng, y, and s may end a syllable. W and y may only end a syllable if the main vowel is a, in which case the diphthongs ai (as in the English word “eye”) and au (as in the English word “ow”) are formed.

Sound Changes

The two known daughter languages, Kiyatsic and Parpòic, both show marked departures from the mother tongue.

Proto-Deciduic

The languages of the southern nations, Kiyatso and Parpòyo, share a common ancestor, named “Proto-Deciduic” by linguists. The name is derived from the word “deciduous” used to distinguish the deciduous forest which marks Parpòic territory, as distinct from the pine forest further north.

PD is marked by the transformation of the voiceless sonorants into pre-aspirated stops; mh->hp, nh->ht, ç->hky, etc. The exception to this rule is lh, which turned into an affricate, ts. Evidence for the voiceless sonorant comes from fragmentary evidence from further northern languages.

Kiyatsic

Kiyatsic is the more conservative of the two Deciduic languages, preserving the two series of vowels. The weak vowels centralized: ì->e, ù->o, à->(disappeared.) This produced a five vowel system similar to the Latin/Spanish/Japanese standard a, i, u, e, o.

À disappeared in most cases, producing a new series of closed syllables, allowing p, t, and k to appear as final consonants, all of which assimilate to match the following consonant in voicing. The exceptions to this rule are when à follows a weak consonant. quà->quo, tyà->chi, kyà->kye

The main change in the consonant system is to the pre-aspirates and fricatives, which underwent a chain-shift; the fricatives became voiced, and the pre-aspirates, with an intervening stage of normal aspiration, took the place of the fricatives. This change affected ts and s as well; ts->s, s->z

Syllable final nasals (m, n, ng) all assimilated to the following consonant. PA kanghanfì (change) -> Kiyatsic kahamve.

Weak apicals changed into a palato-alveolar series (ñ, sh, zh, ch, j). PA tyùkà (bird) -> Kiyatsic chok.

Parpòic

Parpòic underwent much more extensive sound changes, expanding the strong/weak vowel distinction into no less than five series.

Stressed Vowels: These are the result of strong vowels in stressed syllables. In virtually all cases, the stress falls on the last strong vowel. a->o, i->ai, u->au

Relaxed Vowels: The rest of the strong vowels changed similarly, but were weakened somewhat. a->e, i->ai->á, u->au->à

Weak Vowels: PA weak vowels took the place of the now altered strong vowels. à->a, ì->i, ù->u. All weak vowels disappeared from the end of all words, except for single syllable words. This contrasts with Kiyatsic where only à was affected.

Checked Vowels: Strong vowels in closed syllables remained unchanged, though PA final s was lost. as->â, is->î, us->û

Trapped Vowels: Weak vowels in closed syllables all weakened further. às->ä (as in “cat,”) ìs->ï (as in “sir,”) ùs->ë (as the u in “butt.”)

Diphthongs: The two diphthongs became single vowels. ai->é, au->ò

Retroflex Vowels: High retroflex vowels became glides. ir->yar, ur->war

Note that except for the umlauts over the trapped vowels, the various accent marks are optional, and serve only to differentiate between the sources of otherwise identical vowels; a, á, à, and â are all pronounced identically.

In Parpòic, the Deciduic pre-aspirates correspond to a cluster of s+voiceless stop; compare Kiyatsic fashai (angry) with Parpòic spesché (PA: mhançai). The affricate, ts assimilated to a long ss sound.

A more significant change was the merging of the two yotated series into a single palato-alveolar series (ty->ch, ky->ch) and the merging of the two labial series into one (qu->p.) Compare Kiyatsic quona (truth) to Parpòic pano, Kiyatsic kyai (falcon) to Parpòic ché, and Kiyatsic chansa (virgin) to Parpòic changsso (PA tyanglha).

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