Their language is intriguing in that it has a great number of words with very complex consonant clusters, for example; a word ʂq'òːht'èː means 'to gather', notice the retroflex with the ejective occlusive, also in the word haʔmqn which means 'coast'.
Most important about this language is the grammar, which includes a system of evidentials, namely, a dubitative, a surprisive, and a certitive. This, along with the pronominal prefixes can create quite a mouthful. The language does not take any markings for gender, but the certitive ending varies according to gender or neutrality, for example;
jah t-ahjqe-nn, I see (him), masc.In fact the same endings are also applied to the tense particles, so if we have xenn 'to come', and nèj 'present particle'.
jah t-ahjqe-èn, I see (her), fem.
jah h-ahjq-n, I see it, neut.
xe-nn nèj-j čonn, the man comes.
to.come-CERT.masc. PRS-CERT.masc. manBut this last mark in the tense particle is not added when the pronoun is left last.
xe-nn nèj jah, I come (male).
to.come-CERT.m PRS 1stThis suffixes can also be appended to the negative particle and other tense particles as well. Another interesting aspect of the language is the different lemmatas used in word-formation. I will discuss other interesting features of Selk'nam verbs and morphology in new posts.