Their island is located in the Caribbean, off the southern shore of Puerto Rico, does not appear on most commercially available maps.
The community was once very accepting of outsiders, but closed itself entirely away from Western influence in the fall of 2,000. The reasons are not entirely clear, but seemed to have involved a terrible cultural misunderstanding between the people of the island and a young, idealistic linguist with adorable children now living, for some mysterious reason, in Northwest Ohio. Working diligently and under incredibly difficult field conditions, previous attempts to document the language met with failure as the would-be documentarians always seemed to become confused and distracted and had difficulty organizing their thoughts, writing grammatically, and filing paperwork on time.
Liqupans are a pastural, communal, highly synesthetic people whose village life centers around pine tree worship, folk music and the telling of fanciful stories.
The vowel system is the smallest known to exist. Liqpupa vowels are not, in and of themselves unusual.
ashes qa-qaqu is realized as ka-kaqu (end of)-wildfire
child miqi is realized as mici-ya person-small
cloud qa-susu-siqu is reealized as ka-susu-siqu end--water-snow (kasusu = sky) (na class)
snow siqu is realized as Siqu
day naqu-di is realized as naqu-di bright-continuous
good siq is realized as Siq adj
water susu is relized as Susu
daq mici u-nini
duck person 3-touch
The person touches the duck
mana-ya i-mi i-nu-naqu-sia
sun-small 1p-pl 1p-fu1-lifgt-ingest
we will see the star tonight. ... ... ...
Noun Classes. Liqupa has two noun classes called m class (Tangible) and na class (intangible). Most living things, solid objects, liquids and most sounds go into the first class. Abstract concepts, smoke, light, shadows and some other living things go into the second. There is no marking on noun class in the singular. In the plural, m-class nouns are marked with a regular allomorph conditioned by the last vowel in the stem. Na-class nouns take a -na suffix (see discussion of number below).
Number All singular nouns are zero marked. For nouns in the m class, the plural has three regular allomorphs: -ma, -mi, and -mu conditioned by the last vowel of the stem. If the stem ends in [a], -ma is used. If the stem ends in [i], -mi is used. If the stem ends in [u], -mu is used. -na is the plural suffix for all na class nouns regardless of ending vowel. In accordance with phonotactic rules, word-final /q/ is deleted before the ending is added.
|Liqupa Form with Morpheme Breaks||Gloss||Translation|
alive piqu adj
ashes (of a wildfire) qa-qaqu (end of)-wildfire
ashes (of a campfire) qa-qu-mana-ya (end of)-captive-sun-small (qumanaya = campfire)
branch palama (not related to the word for tree)
bright naqu adj
child miqi-ya person-small
cloud qa-susu-siqu end-water-snow (qasusu = sky) (na class)
dark muda adj
day naqu-di bright-continuous (note this is m class)
dragon qi-nala-piq hardened-sand-incarnate (qi-nala = stone
egg pipa-qiq bird-seed
(wild) fire qaqu (na class)
(camp)fire qu-mana-ya captive-star-small
good siq adj
heart qasi (m class; physical heart: tangible)
heart qasi (na class) emotion or center (Note that one cannot use 'qasi' to mean emotion or love).
house qi-dusi hardened-tent (houses are relatively new on the island: people traditionally lived in yurts of woven fabric)
idea, thought haha (na class)
know -li-ha spirit-know to have wisdom, to be wise (verb)
know -qi-ha hardened-know; to be educated, to know facts
Leaf pimala-yaqu tree-hand (this is the formal word for 'leaf'; there are many other, simpler, more specific forms)
live -piqu (verb)
night muda-di dark-continuous (na class)
pine tree maimai
pine cone mai-qiq pine-seed (m class). Note that maiqiq (na class) means shamman who is yet to be born.
river li-sa spirit-go * further grammatical note (NB: This is a verb not a noun.) ** Etymological Note
root nui Polysemous with nui: bedrock/foundation
sand -nala (bound root) It was once reported that Liqupa has over 400 words for sand!
shaman, sage; (while living) li-ha-sa spirit-know-go (verb) *
shamman, sage (yet to be born) mai-ciq pine-seed (na class) Note that maiqiq (m class) means pine cone.
shamman, sage (of ages past) li-mai spirit-pinetree (na class)
sky qa-susu (end of) water (na class)
small -ya bound derivational suffix: from adj yaya 'small'
smoke li-qaqu spirit-wildfire (from a wild fire (na class)
smoke li-qu-mana-ya spirit-captive-sun-small, white smoke from a campfire (m class)
snow siqu (NOte that snow occurs only on the peak of an unclimbable mountain in the center of the island.)
spirit li- bound derivational prefix: most but not all words that contain li- are na class
star mana-ya sun-small
stone qi-nala hardened-sand
story li-qasi spirit-center
strawberry mana-pila sun-food
tree pimala (not related to branch)
captive/confined/subjugated qu- bound derivational prefix
continuous -di bound derivational suffix
end of qa- bound derivational prefix
go -sa bound derivational suffix (verb)
incarnate -piq; denotes the prototype or essence of a thing, bound derivational affix from verb/adj piqu
**2 Note to the PrenLanger: the creator of Liqupa might not necessarily have known about negating verbs at the phonetics step. S/he must have come back later to add this.
**3 The compiler has no clear idea why duckface is considered
worse than fatal-face, but the difference in pronunciation is indicated only by stress placement. Perhaps, one should not judge the young linguist so harshly.
**3 The compiler has no clear idea why duckface is considered worse than fatal-face, but the difference in pronunciation is indicated only by stress placement. Perhaps, one should not judge the young linguist so harshly.