Pronunciation /ʊlɪtan/
Period ca. 10000BK - 7000BK(?)
Spoken in Northern Amutet
Total speakers Unknown
Writing system None
Classification Ulitan
Basic word order SOV
Morphology Isolating
Alignment Neutral(possibly split-ergative, with Ergative-Absolutive alignment when the agent is an inanimate object)
Created by k1234567890y

Proto-Ulitan is thought to be the common ancestor of all Ulitan languages.

It is believed to have been spoken around 10000BK-7000BK, but the exact time when it was spoken may be much older or closer.


labials dento-alveolars palatals velars uvulars
nasals *m *n
plosives *p *b *t *t' *d *c *c' *ɟ *k *k' *g *q *q'
fricatives *s *z *x~*χ
lateral fricatives
sonorants *w *r *l *j
  • It is possible that */x/ had an allophone *[χ]
  • palatal consonants were not common, but it is clear that palatal consonants did contrast with velar consonants.
  • velar consonants were never followed by */e/, palatal consonants were always followed by front vowels.
  • uvular consonants were never followed by */e/ or */o/.
front back
high *i *i: *u *u:
mid *e *o
low *a *ɑ:

Diphthongs: */ai/ */au/

  • it is possible that */e/ and */o/ were actually *[i] and *[u], and */i/ and */u/ were actually *[ɛ] and *[ɔ] from the evidence suggested by the distribution of vowels following uvular consonants.

/ŋ/ is transcripted as <ng>, /ɬ/ is transcripted as <lh>, /j/ is transcripted as <y>, /ɑ:/ is transcripted as <a:>


The basic word order of Proto-Ulitan was SOV, and it was an analytic language.

It is possible that the word order was OVS when the subject was an unemphatic pronoun.

The meaning of verbs might be intensified with *mu(for singular agent) or *ai(for plural agents).


It seems that most roots are monosyllabic or bisyllabic, and currently it seems that most bisyllabic roots cannot be further analyzed into two monosyllabic morphemes.

Also, it seems that there are several derivational affixes for roots.

Click the link below to download the list of lexical words of Proto-Ulitan:

File:Proto-ulitan wordlist.ods


  • 1st sg: *ka/*wa(*ka seemed to be the emphatic form of *wa)
  • 2nd sg: *za
  • 1st pl: *ka-i
  • 2nd pl: *za-i

interrogative: *ma


  • this: *ki
  • that: *a
  • these: *ki:<ki-i
  • those: *a-i
  • here: mi:
  • there: ya


It seems that Proto-Ulitan had only three exact numerals:

  1. one: *mu-
  2. two: *ta-
  3. three: *ale-


It seems that most adpositions were postpositions:

  • of...: *ne
  • at.../to...: *mi
  • from.../for.../because.../than...: *ku
  • with/using...: *u(also used to mark the subject in relative clauses, probably also used as the agent marker in passive voices)
  • together with: *bi
  • (definite marker/topic marker): *wo(?)


  • and: e


  • No: ga(precedes the word it negates, it is preverbal also.)
  • (yes-no question marker): ga(postverbal)

Example sentencesEdit

  • za: tor mi aki - the sun shines on the sky.
  • a nax tik zaiga - that person holds a stick.
  • a nax tik zaiga, a tik pana: - that person holds a stick, (and) that stick is broken.
  • gaxi paxi bi ku: - the child goes with the father.
  • pirax u a niraisa piraʁa. - that forest was burnt in the fire/someone burnt that forest with fire.
  • a nax u zaiga tik pana:. - the stick that person holds is broken.
  • a nax a tik u su:k baxa:ta. - that person stroke huks with that stick.
  • a nax a tik u su:k baxa:ta ku, a nax u zaiga tik pana:. - because that person stroke huks with that stick, the stick that person holds is broken.
  • ai nax su:k nuxa - those people hunt huks.
  • ai nax ga su:k nuxa - those people don't hunt huks.
  • a mes - he/she is dead /it is stiff.
  • a ga mes - he/she is not dead/it is not stiff.
  • ki ta ngabi - this meat is salty.
  • a nax xeq za ga? - did you see that person?