) is an extinct variety
of the Valley Yokuts language
(of the Yokutsan
family) formerly spoken in southern California
by the Yawelmani
Yawelmani has 8 vowel phonemes:
- There are 4 short-long vowel pairs.
- Short high vowels may become more centralized in fast speech: , .
- Long high vowels are almost always lower than their short counterparts: , .
- All long vowels may be shortened by a phonological process. Thus, a single long vowel has two different phonetic realizations:
- Note that the high long vowel /uː/ is usually pronounced the same as /ɔ/ and /ɔː/.
As can be seen, Yawelmani vowels have a number of different realizations (phones) which are summarized below:
The Yawelmani syllables can be either a consonant-vowel sequence (CV), such as deeyi- 'lead', or a consonant-vowel-consonant sequence (CVC), such as xata- 'eat'. Thus the generalized syllable is the following:
Word roots are bisyllabic and have either one of two shapes:
When long vowels are in closed syllables, they are shortened:
|| 'mourn (passive aorist)'
|| (/aː/ remains long) |
|| 'mourn (aorist)'
|| (/aː/ is shortened) |
|| 'urinate (aorist)'
|| (/uː/ remains long) |
|| 'urinate (passive aorist)'
|| (/uː/ is shortened) |
Yamelmani has suffixes that contain either an underspecified high vowel /I/ or an underspecified non-high vowel /A/.
- Underspecified /I/ will appear as /u/ following the high rounded vowel /u/ and as /i/ following all other vowels :
|| (aorist suffix) |
|| 'swear (aorist)' |
|| 'touch (aorist)' |
|| 'take care of infant (aorist)' |
|| 'eat (aorist)' |
- Underspecified /A/ will appear as /ɔ/ following the non-high rounded vowel /ɔ/ and as /a/ following all other vowels :
|| (nondirective gerundial suffix) |
|| 'take care of infant (nondir. ger.)' |
|| 'touch (nondir. ger.)' |
|| 'swear (nondir. ger.)' |
|| 'eat (nondir. ger.)' |
Yawelmani adds vowels to stems, when suffixes with an initial consonant are affixed to word with two final consonants in order to avoid a triple-consonant-cluster.
- deeyi 'to lead'
- deeyen 'he will lead'
- deyhin 'he led'
- diyhatinhin 'he wanted to lead'
- diyee’iy 'place where one got the lead' (subjective)
- diyaa’an 'he is leading'
- deydiyen 'he will lead repeatedly'
- diyidyiisaahin ’anam 'they led each other repeatedly'
- diyeediyic’ 'one who is leading repeatedly' (subjective)
- deyday 'act of leading repeatedly' (subjective)
- ’ɔɔṭ’hun 'he stole' - ’ɔɔṭ’uṭ’hun 'he stole often'
- ’ɔɔṭ’al 'he might steal' - ’ɔɔṭ’uṭ’al 'he might steal often'
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