Dapiica: Locatives and Aspiration

Posted on July 23, 2017
Tags: dapiica


Aspiration, for my non-linguist readers, is a phonetic feature of consonants - you breathe out a puff of air as you pronounce the sound. In English, this isn’t phonemic - English speakers consider [pʰ] (aspirated p) and [p] to be the same sound. You can hear the difference if you pronounce “percent” [pʰeːsɛnt] and then “super” [sʉpə].

Allophones like this always occur in predictable ways - in English, /p/ is pronounced [pʰ] at the start of a word, and [p] elsewhere.

Thus far, I’ve been considering them to be allophonic in dapiica as well, but what I haven’t decided is where a sound is aspirated, and where it’s not.


In English, we have prepositions and Prepositional Phrases. For example, in the phrase “she’s at the potionmaker’s home”, at the potionmaker’s home is a Prepositional Phrase, indicating where she is. at is the preposition, and is called a preposition becuase it comes before the position.

In Dapiica, we have circumpositions - instead of being before the position, they surround the position.

Since they are attached to roots instead of existing as seperate words, linguists prefer to call these “Locatives” [citation needed].

The first locative to talk about is the “at” locative (also known as “the Locative”, somewhat confusingly):

ŋiiŋ dinadacaʃtip’aβguβiʃdonoba

ŋii -ŋ dina- da- caʃti- p’a -β -gu- βiʃ -don -oba


“They are at the potionmaker’s home”

As you can see, it can get a bit lengthy!

For more details, check out the prepositions section on the dapiica page.