Late Central Zempachi
Pronunciation (unknown)
Period ca. 1000BK
Spoken in Great Whale Island and parts of the continent of western Amutet
Total speakers Unknown
Writing system None
Classification Zempachi
Basic word order SVO
Morphology largely isolating, with some agglutinating morphological components on the verb
Alignment neutral
Created by k1234567890y

Late Central Zempachi is a language of the Zempachi peoples, it belongs to the Zempachi language family. Linguists believe that it is spoken around 1500-1000 BK by peoples of Kihan Kuka and Kihan Durisa. Most known Zempachi words are actually Late Central Zempachi words.

Late Central Zempachi is the best known language of the Zempachi peoples, as it is attested in several Amutetikam and Umbric texts with translations. Although no scripts of the Zempachi peoples have been known, there are enough documents about Late Central Zempachi by Amutetikam and Umbric peoples to let linguistics reconstruct many details about the language.

This is about the central dialect of Zempachi languages of about 1000 BK


labials dento-alveolars palatals velars/glottals
nasals *m *n
plosives *p *b *t *d *k *g
fricatives *s *z *h
sonorants *w *r *j
  • */j/ is transcripted as <y>.
  • */h/ might actually be [x].
  • it seems that */z/ and */d/ correspond to */ð/ and */l/ of some other less-known zempachi languages respectively.
front center back
high *i *u
low *a

syllable structure: (C)V(N), where N is the nasal consonant /n/, with allophones [m](before labials) and [ŋ](before velars).


Word orderEdit

Below is the word order of Late Central Zempachi:

  • Basic word order: SVO(in sentences with two arguments)/SV or VS(in sentences with one argument)
  • Adpositions are prepositions
  • Modifiers generally follow the word they modify, but in verb-noun compounds or adjecive-noun compounds that produce nouns, modifiers precede the word they modify.

Morphologically, Zempachi was largely analytic, however, several affixes, both derivational and inflectional ones, do exist.

There were Wh-movements in interrogative sentences, interrogative pronouns must start a sentence in questions, and when the interrogative pronoun is not the subject and there were no aux verbs in the corresponding declarative forms, the aux verb ŋə "do" must be used, which is very similar to the do-support in English:

  • da mitakasa zizi rəgə? - da mitaka-sa zizi rə-gə - who see-PST child POSSESSIVE-3.SG - who saw his child?
  • da ŋəsa apu mitaka? - da ŋə-sa apu mitaka? - what AUX-PST 2.SG see.INF? - what did you see?
  • yadən ŋəsa apu arə? - yadən ŋə-sa apu ar-ə? - where AUX-PST 2.SG go-INF - where did you go?
  • yadən ŋə apu tamə t'arə? - yadən ŋə apu tam-ə tə=ar-ə? - where AUX.PRES 2.SG want-INF to go-INF - where did you go?

Nominal MorphologyEdit

Nouns don't have cases or gender distinctions, but nouns have plural forms, and plural forms are obliged to be used.

Reduplication is used to form the plural of a noun:

  • kətuna "(a) dog"(singular) - kətuna-kətuna "dogs"(plural)
  • ruba "(a) fish"(singular) - ruba-ruba "fish"(plural)

Verbal MorphologyEdit

There are two kinds of verbs: consonant-stem verbs and vowel-stem verbs. The infinitive form of a consonant-stem verb is different from the present form; while the infinitive form of a vowel-stem verb is identical from the present form.

There are no agreements, but there are still inflections for Tenses and Aspects. Below is the conjugation table for Late Central Zempachi verbs:

Conjugation table
Consonant-stem verbs Consonant-stem verbs(ended with -n) Vowel-stem verbs
Present Tense -a -a
Past Tense -əsa -sa -sa
Present Particle -aya -aya -ya
Past Particle -əsa -sa -sa
  • Note:
    1. There's a tendency to replace the -ə with -a in infinitive forms of consonant stem verbs
    2. The infinitive forms of verbs was frequently preceded by the preposition .

The present particle and the past particle form of a verb can be used as adjectives.

Compound Tenses:

  • Present continuous is formed by using the past particle form of the verb and the aux verb na("to be"), or is formed by using the infinitive form of the verb with the preposition ma("at") and the aux verb na("to be")
  • Future Tense is formed by using the infinitive form of the verb and the aux verb kan-ə("will")

Passive voice is formed by using the past particle form of the verb and is used with the aux verb tu("to be"), na("to be(state)") or narat-ə("to get"). The agent is introduced by the preposition hata/ta

One can reduplicate the verb to indicate the stative meaning of a verb, and for consonant-stem verbs, the last vowel of the first component becomes -a(in examples below, mitaka "to see" is a vowel-stem verb, mad-ə "to die" is a consonant-stem verb):

  • mitaka "to see"(dynamic) - mitakamitaka "to look"(stative)
  • mad-ə "to die"(dynamic) - madamad-ə "to be dead"(stative)

Evidence shows that there are several verbs with singular and plural forms, which suggested the existence of pluractionality(in infinitive forms) in several verbs:

  • sit: ŋəb-ə(singular) - ŋip-ə(plural)
  • stand: kun-ə(singular) - kin-ə(plural)
  • die: mad-ə(singular) - mayd-ə(plural)

There's a tendency to suffix certain words to verbs, forming applicative-like structures, in order to emphasize words of different thematic roles:

  • apu hətusanən ta gəda nəma gə - apu hətu-sa-nən ta gə-da nəma gə - 2.SG make-PART-purpose with 3.PRON-PL of 3.SG - it is made for you by them(equivalent sentence: gə ar-əsa hətu-sa nən tə pu ta gə-da)

Also it is pretty common to incorporate nouns into verbs, and it is also common to use compound verbs consisting of several verbs.



Click here for the word list of Late Central Zempachi: File:Late zempachi word list.ods

Personal PronounsEdit

  • 1st person(singular or exclusive): an/na/ana/anda
    • 1st person inclusive: napu
  • 2nd person: a-pu/pu
  • 3rd person: gə
  • personal plural suffix: -da
  • reflexive(self): ena
  • someone/something: han

possessive pronouns can be formed by using the prefix rə-


  • this/these(proximal deixis): kə~hə
  • that/those(distal deixis): ara
  • the(definite article): daw(emphatic form)/da/a(frequently procliticized to the front of the noun)(also used as relativizer)
  • that(nominal clause marker): daraw(from daw raw)/daw raw/da raw/a raw
  • here: hədin
  • there: adin


  • who: da
  • what: də
  • where: yadən
  • when: wadən(can also be used as a conjunction)
  • why: tawdən
  • how: mandən


It seems that there are two forms of two and three, the longer forms are used as independent words; while the short forms are attached to other words:

  1. 1:yara
  2. 2:nari
  3. 3:gutay
  4. 4:pəgu
  5. 5:kawda
  6. 6:kətə
  7. 7:bihaza
  8. 8:dama
  9. 9:rəgusa
  10. 10:tada
  • 20: tada-ən~tadan
  • 30: tadazi
  • hundred: kaba
  • thousand: məka
  • ten thousand:rəpə


  • with(instrumental): hata~ta
  • to: tə(might be contracted to t' and cliticized to the following word)
  • towards: na(-na = -ward)
  • at: ma
  • from/of: nəma(from nə "root/origin" + ma "at")
  • for: nəntə(from nən "purpose/cause" + tə "to")

Other wordsEdit

  • Negation(no/not): ŋama(present tense, used with the infinitive form of a verb)(contracted from ŋə ama)(maybe further contracted to ŋan or ma in some varieties)/ŋəsama(past tense, used with the infinitive form of a verb)(contracted from ŋəsa ama)(maybe further contracted to sama in some varieties)/ama(particle form)
  • and: ŋa
  • Question marker(an aux verb, used for polar questions, or interrogative sentences with wh-movements): ŋə(present tense, used with the infinitive form of a verb)/ŋəsa(past tense, used with the infinitive form of a verb)
  • to be: tu(present tense)/tusa(past tense)/tu(infinitive)
  • to be(refer to states): na(present tense)/nasa(past tense)/na(infinitive)


  • gəda kəru nəma dakusan nəma Bətu ŋanda - gə-da kvru-Ø nəma da=kusan nəma Bətu ŋanda - 3.PRON-PL come-PRES from the=land from/of people mountain.- they come from the land of Mountain people(Bətu ŋanda can be used to refer the Handapachi people or the Songke-speaking peoples).
  • dakətuna na ma kurə - da=kətuna na ma kur-ə - the=dog be.PRES at eat-INF - the dog is eating
  • dakətuna na kuraya - da=kətuna na kur-aya - the=dog be.PRES eat-PRES.PART - the dog is eating
  • gə tu situha - gə tu situha - 3.SG be.PRES red - it is red(describing characteristics)
  • gə na situha - gə na situha - 3.SG be.PRES red - it is red(describing the state)
  • mandən ŋə pu ŋə? - mandən ŋə pu ŋə? - how AUX 2.SG do? - how do you do(a common greeting phrase of Late Central Zempachi, frequently shortened to "mampun")