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RegionKeze flag.png Kėzėpölān
Egdo.png Chėda-dorėdi
& emigrant communities worldwide
Native speakersc750,000 (as first language) (as of 2014)
Language familyCoastal Antarephian
Early formsMotʰpëny
  • Kzîqhenklenon
    • Kʰaní
      • San'ėkin'a
Writing systemHolitė ꗤꔒ (native symbology)
N'ė ߒߋ (native script)
Zwrė (Romantian-type script)
Signed formsSigned San'ėkin'a
Official status
Minority language in

San'ėkin'a (ߛߊߒߍߞߌߒߊ߱), properly chanjėkinja /ɕaɬɛkiɳaʜ/, (also known as kika /kikɔ/ and kikāpė /kikɔpiʜ/) is the language of Kėzėpölān and Chėda-dorėdi in southern Antarephia.

General description

San'ėkin'a is a Southern Antarephian language, a member of the Köpā language family. Its relation to other language groups, particularly to Mahhalian and its suggested ancestor languages, is debated.

Little is known of the language's prehistory, or when it first appeared in the area. Mahhalian documents from the early centuries recorded a few san'ėkin'a words, but substantial texts did not appear until after the 10th century.


San'ėkin'a is an indigenous language of Southern Antarephia which is usually placed in a distinct linguistic group. It is the only extant language in the group, although other related languages were spoken up until the mid 20th century. Modern Kika has less than half a million speakers, most of them in Kėzėpölān.

Modern San'ėkin'a probably developed over the course of around 150 years in settlements in coastal Kėzėpolān. The language shows some influences from other southern Antarephian languages and incorporates a few loanwords from the Ulethan languages Ingerish and Castellanese. Aside from this, its vocabulary and grammatical structures are highly distinctive. It was only standardized and stabilized in the early twentieth century.

Related or ancestral languages may have been spoken in other coastal areas of Southern Antarephia. These languages were known by the Castellanese name línguas generales Antaréficas (general Antarephian languages) and by the Mahhalian ‘Mobobodo’ (north language). Late twentieth-century linguistic studies have placed San'ėkin'a in its own group, the Hheiabodo or 'Coastal Antarephian' group.


The population in which the language is of mixed origin. Speakers include a large proportion of non-indigenous people, an interesting anomaly in Antarephia where language shift towards colonial languages has otherwise been a nearly universal cultural and identity marker of people of mixed ancestry. Today it is the most commonly spoken and written language in Kėzėpolān. San'ėkin'a is generally considered a difficult language to learn.

An early dictionary of the language was made in 1856 by the Ortholic priest Cabral Ruiz de Mijon, who described it as:

... a despicable language this kikapi, characterised by incomprehensible nonsense words and idiosyncrasies of chattering which make it sound like dogs in a kennel; even when the words can be translated there are so many obscure idioms that nothing can ever be discussed or decided. There is no word for yes, yet at least fifty ways of saying no.

The first grammar of San'ėkin'a was published in 1904 and the first San'ėkin'a-Ingerish dictionary in 1908. It included a word for "yes", as well as three words for "no".

Until the early twentieth century the language was known as Kîqhapí. Transliterations of the language employed a number of accented letters to indicate stress within words. The romanised transcription of the language was rationalised in the 1960s and stress-markers were superseded. Accents are retained on two vowels to indicate the language's pronunciation of these letters.

Language structure


San'ėkin'a uses seven vowels:


Four of these (a,ɛ,i and o) are close to cardinal OGFL vowels, the others are slightly divergent. Gemination of vowels is not permitted. There are no diphthongs.

In Romantian-style script (zwrė) the following notation is used:


Additional symbols were formerly applied on vowels to indicate accent and stress within a word. These symbols are no longer standard.


Pulmonic consonants

San'ėkin'a has fourteen discrete pulmonic consonants. Gemination of consonants is not permitted:

Nasals (1):


zwrė notation:


Stops (5):


zwrė notation:


Sibilant fricatives (2):


zwrė notation:


Non-sibilant fricatives (1):


zwrė notation:


Trill (2):


zwrė notation:

r (ʜ was formerly notated by adding an accent to the preceding (final) vowel; this has been superseded; the consonant occurs at the ends of words only and is not generally written)

Lateral fricative (1)(+1):

ɬ|ʟ̝̊ (ʟ̝̊ is a rare variant)

zwrė notation:

s/ch|lj (lj is a rare variant)

Lateral flap (1):


zwrė notation:


Non-pulmonic consonants

San'ėkin'a has three discrete non-pulmonic consonsants. These are a single dental click and two ejectives:

Click (1):


zwrė notation:


Ejectives (2):


zwrė notation:



N'ė (native script)

The native script ߒߋ n'ė is used universally in Kėzėpölān.

Zwrė (romantian script)

The romantian zŵrë script is used in Kėzėpolān for international communication. It is not standardised, which has resulted in a number of discrepancies, particularly with regard to the letters "s" and "ch", "ny", "nj" and "n'", and "gb" and "g".

  a e i o u ɔ ɛ
a e i o w ā ė
ɳ (n) ‑ na ne ni no nw
p (p) ‑ pa pe pi po pw
t (t) ‑ ta te ti to tw
ɖ (d) ‑ da de di do dw
k (k) ‑ ka ke ki ko kw
ʡ (h) ‑ ha he hi ho hw
z (z) ‑ za ze zi zo zw
θ (j) ‑ ja je ji jo jw
rr (rr) ‑ ra re ri ro rw
ɕ (ch) ‑ sa se si so sw
ɬ (nj) ‑ va ve vi vo vw
l (l) ‑ la le li lo lw
ʘ (gb) ‑ ga ge gi go gw
'cʎ̝̥ (m) ‑ ba be bi bo bw
ǃ (kp) ‑ ma me mi mo mw
  a(a) e(ee) î(i) o(o) w(u) ā(aa) ė(e)