Lemohai : a linguistic overview

Lemohai is a contemporary language from the planet Tekuo. Its speakers are a race of Ikhe, who call themselves the Romohai. They are found mainly on the island of Mohai, though some moved to colonies on the mainland during the island’s Imperial Era.

There are some 15.6 million native speakers in all. Around 12.1 million live on Mohai, whilst the rest live in nearby mainland countries, mostly in ports and large cities. The language is also used as a lingua franca across much of North Aheku and widely studied as a second language.

Lemohai is a member of the Dahu language family and related to several other languages along the north-west coast of Aheku. It contains a sub-stratum influence from Senduri, Mohai’s original language and was much influenced by Kemba when part of the Kemba Empire, during the late Metal Age.

It later borrowed words from other neighbours, chiefly its own colonies. Another source of loan words was Öklane. Öklan ruled much of Northwest Aheku for a short period, though not Mohai. Other modern influences include Leheiko and Loa Bateng.

The Dahu people branched of from the Proto-Dahu-Kemba following the great migration westwards. They settled in what is now Pekau. Later they expanded into the Etsuri peninsula, then, later still, crossed the channel to Mohai. Mainland and island dialects gradually moved apart. They were fully separate languages by the start of the modern era.

Lemohai currently has three main dialects: Northern, Southern and Central, though large urban areas also have their own distinct speech patterns.

The morphosyntactic alignment of Lemohai is accusative-secundative. There are also two genitive cases. Word order in the unmarked clause is Subject-Verb-Object. Phrases are consistently head-initial.

The language is analytic, as grammar is expressed through particles and word order rather than inflections, but a rich system of derivational morphology is available. The language is particularly rich in derived verb forms, especially those concerned with valence adjustment.

Lemohai phonology is characterised by nasal vowels, aspirate stops and simple syllables. The writing system is a syllabary.

Author: David Johnson

Language constructor, writer, music fan and activist.

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