Yakhat language

At present, the Yakhat language exists only as a sketch sufficient to provide place names and personal names.



Here is the chart of consonant phonemes. Where the IPA symbol differs from the orthographic symbol, the orthographic representation is given in parentheses:

p       t       tʃ (ch) k
b       d       dʒ (j)  g
bʱ (bh) dʱ (dh)
                        kʰ (kh)
        s       ʃ (sh)
m       n
        l, r 
                j (y)

To note:

There is a single series of aspirated stops, but the labial and dental members are phonetically voiced, while the velar member is voiceless. At a featural level, all of these stops are unspecified for voice, but the labial and dental members are phonetically voiced because they lie further forward in the oral cavity and thus fall prey to spontaneous voicing.

The aspirated affricate is lacking. There once was an aspirated affricate /tʃʰ/, but that this member became deaffricated and gives the /ʃ/ phoneme shown above.

The syllable structure is CVC. In coda positions, voice and aspiration are neutralized on stops, and all coda consonants are voiceless unaspirated stops, with the exception of the palatal series which is reduced to the fricative sh /ʃ/.


Short (IPA) Orthography Long (IPA) Orthography
ə a a: aa
ɛ e e: ei
ɪ i i: ii
ɔ o o: ou
ʊ u u: uu

There are vowel alternations between long and short vowels which are triggered by syllable weight constraints, as illustrated by the pair of names Keishul, Keshlik , which are built from the same stem.


Yakhat is largely isolating, with very limited derivational morphology and no inflectional morphology. The most significant morphological element which is currently conceived is the collective plural formed through reduplication. In collective reduplication, the rime of the last syllable of the stem is repeated with its vowel reduced from long to short. This may be illustrated with a few of the tribe names:

Stem Reduplicated plural
khaat khaatat
bhut bhudhut

Note that the underlying final consonant in bhut is actually dh, which resurfaces in the reduplicated form.


Almost nothing is known about the syntax of the Yakhat language. It's assumed that it has an isolating syntax and a classifier system of a sort which is similar to many Southeast Asian languages.