Proto-Maritime : a linguistic overview

Reconstructing an ancient tongue.

The Proto-Maritime language, ancestor of the Maritime language family, was spoken by the Proto-Maritime people who lived on the islands of Mohai and Pheku off the north-east coast of Aheku.

The language arose as a result of the mixing of two cultures some three thousand years before the present (BP). Until that point, the islands were the sole preserve of two groups of the Yelé people.

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What did Proto-Maritime sound like?

How people used to talk on Mohai.

Proto-Maritime is reconstructed as having 20 phonemes. It was characterised by its three points of vowel articulation, a lack of voicing contrast amongst consonants and the prominence of velar, uvular and glottal sounds. Syllables were simple or moderately complex.

The standard model of PM phonology has stood the test of time, but some uncertainties remain. These are indicated below. The language was unwritten. It is believed that there were two dialects, one spoken on Mohai, one on Pheku. Little is known about them, however.

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