Pazeh (also spelled Pazih, Pazéh) is the extinct language of the
Pazeh, a Taiwanese aboriginal people. It was a
1 Phonology 2 Phonotactics 3 Sound changes 4 Grammar
4.1 Morphology 4.2 Affixes 4.3 Syntax 4.4 Pronouns
5 Numerals 6 References
6.1 Notes 6.2 General references
7 Bibliography 8 Further reading 9 External links
Phonology Pazeh has 17 consonants, 4 vowels, and 4 diphthongs (-ay, -aw, -uy, -iw).
Labial Coronal1 Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Stop p b t d
k ɡ3 (ʔ)2
l j w
/t/ and /d/ do not actually share the same place of articulation; /d/ is alveolar or prealveolar and /t/ (as well as /n/) is interdental. Other coronal consonants tend to be prealveolar or post-dental. The distribution for the glottal stop is allophonic, appearing only between like vowels, before initial vowels, and after final vowels. It is also largely absent in normal speech /ɡ/ is spirantized intervocalically /z/ is actually an alveolar/prealveolar affricate [dz] and only occurs as a syllable onset. /h/ varies between glottal and pharyngeal realizations ([ħ]) and is sometimes difficult to distinguish from /x/
Although Pazeh contrasts voiced and voiceless obstruents, this contrast is neutralized in final position for labial and velar stops, where only /p/ and /k/ occur respectively (/d/ is also devoiced but a contrast is maintained). /l/ and /n/ are also neutralized to the latter. Voiceless stops are unreleased in final position.
Front Central Back
Mid (ɛ) ə (o)
Mid vowels ([ɛ] and [o]) are allophones of close vowels (/i/ and /u/ respectively).
Both lower when adjacent to /h/. /u/ lowers before /ŋ/. [u] and [o] are in free variation before /ɾ/ Reduplicated morphemes carry the phonetic vowel even when the reduplicated vowel is not in the phonological context for lowering.
/mutapitapih/ → [mu.ta.pɛ.taˈpɛh] ('keep clapping').
/a/ is somewhat advanced and raised when adjacent to /i/. Prevocally,
high vowels are semivocalized. Most coronal consonants block this,
although it still occurs after /s/. Semivowels also appear
The most common morpheme structure is CVCVC where C is any consonant
and V is any vowel.
*C, *S > s *D, *Z > d *k, *g > k *j, *s > z *S2, *H > h *N, *ñ > l *r, *R > x
Pazih also split some Proto-Austronesian phonemes:
*S > s (merged with *C); *S2, *H > h *w > ø, w *e > e, u
Like Bunun, Seediq, Squliq Atayal, Mantauran Rukai, and the Tsouic
languages, Pazeh does not distinguish between common nouns and
personal names, whereas Saisiyat does (Li 2000). Although closely
related to Saisiyat, the
Agent-focus (AF): mu-, me-, mi-, m-, ma-, ∅- Patient-focus (PF) -en, -un Locative-focus (LF): -an Referential-focus (RF): sa-, saa-, si-
The following affixes are used in Pazeh verbs (Li 2000).
-in- 'perfective' -a- 'progressive' -ay 'actor focus, irrealis', -aw 'patient focus, irrealis' -i 'non-agent-focused imperative'
The following are also used to mark aspect (Li 2000).
Reduplication of the verb stem's first syllable – 'progressive' lia – "already"
Affixes The Pazih affixes below are from Li (2001:10–19).
ha-: stative ka-: inchoative kaa-: nominal kai-: to stay at a certain location kali- -an: susceptible to, involuntarily m-: agent focus ma- (ka-): stative ma- (pa-): to have (noun); agent-focus maa[ka]- (paa[ka]-): – mutually, reciprocal maka- (paka-): to bear, bring forth mana- (pana-): to wash (body parts) mari- (pari-): to bear, to give birth (of animal) maru- (paru-): to lay eggs or give birth masa-: verbal prefix masi- (pasi-): to move, to wear mata-: (number of) times mati- (pati-): to carry, to wear, to catch matu- (patu-): to build, erect, set up maxa- (paxa-): to produce, to bring forth; to become maxi- (paxi-): to have, to bring forth; to look carefully me-, mi- (pi-), mi- (i-): agent-focus mia- (pia-): towards, to go mia- which one; ordinal (number) mu- (pu-): agent-focus (-um- in many other Formosan languages); to release pa-: verbalizer; causative, active verb paka-: causative, stative verb papa-: to ride pu-: to pave pu- -an: locative-focus, location sa- ~saa-, si-: instrumental-focus, something used to ..., tools si-: to have, to produce; to go (to a location) si- -an: to bring forth, to have a growth on one's body ta-: agentive, one specialized in ...; nominal prefix; verbal prefix tau-: agentive tau- -an: a gathering place taxa-: to feel like doing; to take a special posture taxi-: to lower one's body taxu-: to move around ti-: to get something undesirable or uncomfortable tu-: stative xi-: to turn over, to revert
-a-: progressive, durative -in-: perfective
-an: locative-focus, location -an ~ -nan: locative pronoun or personal name -aw: patient-focus, future -ay: locative-focus, irrealis -en ~ -un: patient-focus -i: patient-focus, imperative; vocative, address for an elder kinship CV- -an: location
Syntax Although originally a verb-initial language, Pazeh often uses SVO (verb-medial) sentence constructions due to influence from Chinese. There are four case markers in Pazeh (Li 2000).
ki Nominative ni Genitive di Locative u Oblique
Pazeh has the following negators (Li 2001:46).
ini – no, not uzay – not kuang ~ kuah – not exist mayaw – not yet nah – not want ana – don't
Pronouns The Pazeh personal pronouns below are from Li (2000). (Note: vis. = visible, prox. = proximal)
Pazeh Personal Pronouns
Type of Pronoun Neutral Nominative Genitive Locative
1s. yaku aku naki yakuan, yakunan
2s. isiw siw nisiw isiwan
2s. (prox.) imini mini nimini iminiyan
3s. (vis.) imisiw misiw nimisiw misiwan
3s. (not vis.) isia sia nisia isiaan
1p. (incl.) ita ta nita (ta-) itaan
1p. (excl.) yami ami nyam(i) yamian, yaminan
2p. imu mu nimu imuan
2p. (prox.) yamini amini naamini yaminiyan
3p. (vis.) yamisiw amisiw naamisiw yamisiwan
3p. (not vis.) yasia asia naasia yasiaan
Pazeh and Saisiyat are the only
1 = ida adang 2 = dusa 3 = turu 4 = supat 5 = xasep 6 = 5 + 1 = xaseb-uza 7 = 5 + 2 = xaseb-i-dusa 8 = 5 + 3 = xaseb-i-turu 9 = 5 + 4 = xaseb-i-supat
The number "five" in Pazeh, xasep, is similar to Saisiyat Laseb,
Taokas hasap, Babuza nahup, and Hoanya hasip (Li 2006). Li (2006)
believes that the similarity is more likely because of borrowing
rather than common origin.
Laurent Sagart considers these numerals to
be ancient retentions from Proto-Austronesian, but Paul Jen-kuei Li
considers them to be local innovations. Unlike Pazeh, these Plains
Aboriginal languages as well as the
^ a b Li, Ren-gui.( 李壬癸),/
Academician of the Academia Sinica
(Which language will be extinct next in Taiwan?)", United Daily
News,2010.10.29/01:39am. (in Chinese)
^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds.
Li, Paul Jen-kuei. 2000. Some Aspects of Pazeh Syntax. Oceanic
Blust, Robert (1999). "Notes on Pazeh Phonology and Morphology". Oceanic Linguistics. 38 (2): 321–365. doi:10.1353/ol.1999.0002
Li, R., & Tsuchida, S. (2002). Pazih Texts and Songs. Taipei: Institute of Linguistics (Preparatory Office), Academia Sinica. ISBN 957-671-888-0
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Luilang Kulon Saisiyat Pazeh Kaxabu Thao Hoanya Papora Babuza Favorlang Taokas
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Tsou Kanakanabu Saaroa
Saisiyat Pazeh † Kulon † Thao Babuza † Favorlang †
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Puyuma Paiwan Bunun
Bold indicates languages with more than 1 million speakers ? indicates classification dispute † indicates extinct status