OK, verb stems.
Asta verbs are either transitive or intransitive, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!
Actually that's not strictly true, there are ways to change the valency of a verb - two regular valency-increasing voice infixes, and several irregular stem alternations to produce transitive and intransitive variants of the same root.
The productive voice infixes are the causative -ər-
and the applicative -atr-
. These are inserted after the last consonant onset (note: ignoring stem-final consonants (see below): -ətreŋ
"to run away" > -ətrəreŋ
"to let run away, cause to run away"). The causative can have both direct and indirect interpretations, and is also used in special constructions characteristic of the formal register. The applicative can raise either a benefactive or a location to direct object status. In both these cases when the original verb is transitive the noun class marking on the verb tends to still agree with the original direct object, unless that noun is incorporated, in which case the verb will switch to agreeing with the new direct object.
I begin to sing (very formal: the normal expression would be "muwansiyintyə"
‘inatyəruyə wessəsə ye‘i‘(yəx) nessən
‘i-n-atyu<ər>-yə wessəsə ye‘i‘(-yəx) nessən
3-IIs-eat<CAUS>-PRF fisherman young_man.pl(-ADV) fish_catch
The fisherman let the young men eat the catch of fish
(Note the optional use of the adverbial affix to mark the causee).
I played the lute for the child
In comparison there are no regular and productive valency-decreasing morphological processes in Asta.
Verb stem alternation generally consists of the alternation of stem final consonants/clusters, in particular -t, -x, -n, -ŋ and -nt. This is highly lexicalised an idiosyncratic, however there are a few patterns that can be adduced, notably that a nasal form is generally intransitive while -t/-x are transitive. Further -nt may appear on roots which are normally vowel-final with an inchoative sense, e.g. -ənta
"be big" > -əntant
"to grow in size" (intr.) However these rules are not unbreakable by any means.
As for the actual formants themselves, they only occasionally appear as their underlying forms; often they are collapsed when word-final, or palatalised/labialised by a following glide. The various forms of these stem suffixes are summarised below:
Code: Select all
_V _C,# _y -w
-t -‘ -ty -‘w
-x -x~s -s -xw
-n -n -ny -ŋw
-ŋ -x~s -ns -ŋw
-nt -‘ -nty -unt
Note that the -unt suffix affects the preceding vowel, with au, əu and uu collapsing to u, iu becoming yu (triggering platalistion as described above) and eu breaking into ayu.
"to fly": nuxwi‘ "it flies", nuxwintyə
"it flew", nuxwuxuyuntə
"it is flying", nuxwintuxwi‘
"it flies repeatedly", nuwxintintyə
"it begins to fly".
Finally a note on vowel-final stems: these behave much more simply morphophowise. With weak stems (ending in -ə) the ə is lost before another vowel and retained elsewhere, while other vowels insert an epenthetic consonant before another vowel: -r after a, -y after i, -w after u, and e once more breaks up into ay.
"to swim" > muwatintyə
"I begin to swim", -əne
"to dream" > muwənayintyə
"I begin to dream".
DesEsseintes wrote: ↑
25 Oct 2018 08:45
Asta is making me want to reintroduce robust noun-class marking in Núta.
Nút Nút, we haven't seen our darling in ages! I hope they're making a good recovery.
gestaltist wrote: ↑
25 Oct 2018 12:45
Out of curiosity, did you work from a protolanguage or synchronically?
As with most of my a posteriori stuff, a bit of both. I have an idea of what the proto-language sort of looks like, but I don't work directly from it, and in some cases with Asta I've actually intentionally chosen to ignore it to get words which are basically impossible to derive given what we currently know about the protolanguage's phonotatics, for example -uŋŋə