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Wichita language

Wichita is a moribund language spoken in Oklahoma. It is agglutinative, but surface forms often differ to actual morphemic shapes due to the usage of a series of unusual phonological processes at morpheme boundaries.

The phonemes of Wichita are as follows:

              Stop  Affricate  Fricative  Approximant
Alveolar      t     c          s          r
Velar         k                           y
Labio-velar   kw                          w
Glottal       ?                h

Vowels i e a (+ length, + overlength) (+ high tone)

Oddities about this phoneme set are instantly apparent: Wichita utterances can include single words that would require a full sentence in English: kiya:kíriwa:c?árasarikita?ahí:riks he brought the big quantity of meat up to the top by means of many trips.

Syllables in Wichita can theoretically be up to CCCCVCCCC in size; however, syllables are generally much shorter than this, more commonly CV or CVC. Initial consonant clusters noted include rhinc?a trousers, ckha:r?a night and kskha:r?a hip joint. The largest cluster noted in Wichita is five terms: nahi?inckskih while sleeping.

Wichita is spoken now by very few people. Less than a dozen fluent speakers remain, and the language is spoken very rarely, even among those who can still hold conversations in Wichita. It is generally agreed that, for the moment at least, there is no hope of saving the language.