The great Asta thread - not soon enough

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The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 23 Oct 2018 19:58

OK, so with some prodding, here's a thread on Asta. We'll start with the phonology, which many of you will have some idea of but here's a recap.

/p t t͡ʂ c ʔ/ <p t tr ty ‘>
/s x xʷ/ <s x xw>
/m n ɲ ŋ ŋʷ/ <m n ny ŋ ŋw>
/w ɾ j/ <w r y>

/i ə u/ <i u>
/ɛ ɑ/ <e ə a>

There are distributional restrictions on /ə/. Before a palatal consonant /c ɲ j/ is merges with /i/, while it merges with /u/ before labiovelars /xʷ ŋʷ w/.

Syllable structure is CV(C), where coda consonants are restricted to /ʔ x n/. However there are multiple phonetic realisations for the fricative and nasal. /x/ is fronted to a coronal fricative /s~sʲ~ʂ/ <s> before coronal /t t͡ʂ c n ɲ j/, with /j/ being deleted after this /s/, and /n/ assimilates to the place of articulation of a following consonant - this is written as <m> before labial /p m/ and <ŋ> before /ŋ w/, while the cluster /nx/ is simplified to /ŋ/. Additionally /ʔ/ is dispreferred immediately following another consonant - this crops up in both the abstract prefix ‘- and general nominaliser suffix -‘ə appear after a consonant, where metathesis happens, in the former case universally, the latter only with -t (min-‘uxra > mi‘nuxra "our fire", witə w-əmitrat-‘ə > witə wəmitra‘tə "a local person").

Stress is basically word-initial. Some speakers show shift to the post-initial in cases when the initial has a schwa and the post-initial a non-schwa vowel, but this isn't universal.

A final note is that one or two morphological operations which result in palatalisation of consonants.

Code: Select all

p, t > ty
x > s
m, n, ŋ > ny
ŋ > ns
xw > xuy
ŋw > ŋuy
‘ > ‘y
r > ay
tr > tay
w > uy
ty, s, y show no change
(there is lexical and speaker variation for the palatalisation of ŋ in diminutives; in verbal inflection is is universally ns)

As a result of the /r w/ sound changes some vowel contractions occur, which are schematised as such

Code: Select all

  a   u
a a   u
ə a   u
e aya ayu
i iya iyu
u uwa u
Last edited by Frislander on 20 Nov 2018 23:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by DesEsseintes » 24 Oct 2018 08:18

I like the morfofo rules you’ve shown so far very much. I look forward to seeing them in action when you get to the morphology. [:)]

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by gestaltist » 24 Oct 2018 10:11

Yay, an Asta thread! I had an idea of some of this due to translating your torch but a lot of it is new, as well.

I like the inventory, and I like your cluster resolution rules (? metathesis and palatalization).

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 24 Oct 2018 16:39

So due to the structure of the language I have decided not to start with purely nominal morphology, rather I'm gonna start with the most central part of the morphology, noun-classes, and move onto verbal morphology, and only then move onto what little there is in terms of nominal morphology.

Before I describe noun class, I'll just note that Asta lexical roots are all vowel-initial, but due to the phonotactics of the language no words are, and these noun class prefixes fill that onset slot for noun/verb root. So when you see a noun like, say, nuŋwə "worm", it can be segmented as n-uŋwə IIs-WORM.

Asta has 5 noun classes, which are marked by prefixes, which are found on both nouns and verbs. 4 of these classes may also show plural marking. The class of a given noun is pretty much lexicalised (though sometimes a single root may be found in multiple classes, but with different meanings depending on the marker), but plural marking is consistently inflectional in those noun classes which show plural marking.

The noun class markers are as follows:

Code: Select all

    SING PLUR
I   w-   y-
II  n-   ny-
III x-   s-
IV    ‘-
V   t-   ty-
For example witə "person" has a plural form yitə "people".

In verbs and demonstratives these same noun class markers appear before the stem, where they serve to agree with the absolutive argument of the clause (in intransitives the subject, transitives the direct object), e.g.

məsumə‘ susti
mə-s-umə‘ s-usti
1s-IIIpl-eye IIIpl-yellow
My eyes are green/yellow

məna‘piyə namə niya
mə-n-a‘pə -yə n-amə n-iya
1-IIs-catch-PRF IIs-fish IIs-PROX
I caught this fish (in my hand)

This agreement takes place even if the absolutive argument is a 1st or 2nd person, where class I is used pretty much invariably.

ruwupupuŋwə
rə-w-VC-upən-wə
2s-Is-PROG-fall-PROG
You are falling

mesəmetyə rinyiyapə‘ə
mex-y-əmet-yə rin-y-iyapə-‘ə
1>2-Ipl-leave-PRF 2pl-Ipl-together-NOM
I abandoned all of you

A final note then on semantics. There appear to be some fairly strong semantic patternings for noun-class assignment. Class I seems to most clearly function as an animate/rational class, however like such classes the world over there some seeming exceptions to this where some apparently inanimate nouns are raised to "animate" status, e.g. waxŋa "sun". Class II seems to function as a sort of "animal" class, but again there are exceptions: netyə "river, stream". Class III could be said to be the "vegetable" class, although "wastebasket" might be more appropriate - it contains names for plants, certainly, but also body parts as well as some landscape features, e.g. xutri "mountain". Class IV is a kid of "abstract/collective" class, featuring mass nouns like ‘uxra "fire", collectives like ‘ex‘ə "crowd, group, mass", and abstract deverbal nouns like ‘ə‘re‘ə "a journey, wander". Finally Class V can be described as a sort of "concrete inanimate/neuter" class, though it can sometimes also be used for countable but non-tangible referents, for example taxŋa "day" (in contrast to ‘axŋa "daytime").

Next: verb stems and transitivity.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by DesEsseintes » 25 Oct 2018 08:45

Asta is making me want to reintroduce robust noun-class marking in Núta.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by gestaltist » 25 Oct 2018 12:45

Out of curiosity, did you work from a protolanguage or synchronically?

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 25 Oct 2018 19:06

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.

yin mə‘ansəriyintyə‘ə
yin mə-‘-ansi<ər>-intyə-‘ə
EXST 1s-IV-sing<CAUS>-INCEP-NOM
I begin to sing (very formal: the normal expression would be "muwansiyintyə"

‘inatyəruyə wexsəsə ye‘i‘(yəx) nexsən
‘i-n-atyu<ər>-yə wexsəsə ye‘i‘(-yəx) nexsən
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).

muwisatriyətixarə wiyan
mə-w-isə<atr>-yə-tixarə wiyan
1s-Is-strum<APPL>-PRF-lute child
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.

E.g. -uxwint "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.

e.g. -atə "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 "to throw".

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by gestaltist » 26 Oct 2018 09:25

Frislander wrote:
25 Oct 2018 19:06
In comparison there are no regular and productive valency-decreasing morphological processes in Asta.
What strategies are used to achieve the equivalent of the English passive? "He was killed." or "The field was burned down."

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 26 Oct 2018 11:41

gestaltist wrote:
26 Oct 2018 09:25
Frislander wrote:
25 Oct 2018 19:06
In comparison there are no regular and productive valency-decreasing morphological processes in Asta.
What strategies are used to achieve the equivalent of the English passive? "He was killed." or "The field was burned down."
Topic-prominence, indefinite pronouns, ergativity.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by gestaltist » 26 Oct 2018 19:23

Frislander wrote:
26 Oct 2018 11:41
gestaltist wrote:
26 Oct 2018 09:25
Frislander wrote:
25 Oct 2018 19:06
In comparison there are no regular and productive valency-decreasing morphological processes in Asta.
What strategies are used to achieve the equivalent of the English passive? "He was killed." or "The field was burned down."
Topic-prominence, indefinite pronouns, ergativity.
Oh, right, I forgot Asta was ergative. I guess antipassivity would pose more of an issue. "He killed." etc.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 28 Oct 2018 17:05

OK, let's look t the rest of morphological TAM. This is more consistent, thankfully, but still relatively complex.

Mood is simple enough: there is only a basic realis-irrealis distinction, with irrealis being marked by a -ŋə- infix before the first consonant of the root/after the first vowel. This basically serves to mark any kind of mood that isn't straight up indicative or a plain interrogative.

mexwəŋənnenənnenutyi
mex-w-<ŋə>ənnen-ROOT-utyi
1>2-Is-<IRR>see-ITER-tomorrow
I might see you tomorrow

tiŋəŋiŋawə wa mintuŋwərayə
t-<ŋə>VC-iŋa-wə wa min-t-uŋwa<ər>-yə
Vs-<IRR>PROG-open-PROG CONJ 1pl-Vs-closed<CAUS>-PRF
If it (the door) is open we will close it

rəsəŋə‘runtyə ‘u pa‘ məsatyuyə
rə-s-<ŋə>ə‘runt-yə ‘u pa‘ mə-s-atyu-yə
2s-IIIpl-<IRR>mix-PRF CCONJ NEG 1s-IIIpl-eay-PRF
Even if you mixed them together I would still not eat them

(Note that while wa and ‘u are both coordinating conjunctions corresponding roughly to "and" and "but", they are used for a much wider range of constructions, including some which we wuld consider to be subordinate clauses).

Aspect is much more developed as a system. The default unmarked aspect is a kind of gnomic/habitual.

naŋwi‘ naŋwuwənta
naŋwi‘ n-aŋwə-wənta
duck IIs-quack-andative
Ducks quack

The perfective is formed from this by a -yə suffix (this causes a consonantal stem to palatalise as described in the previous post).

muwitrityəxati muwuxripu‘
mə-w-itrət-yə-xati mə-wuxrə-ipu‘
1s-Is-break.TRANS-PRF-arm 1-brother-in_law
I broke my brother-in-law's arm

The iceptive -intyə might perhaps be a combination of said perfective suffix plus a productive version of the -nt formative discussed in the post above.

məsuxatrintyə suyə‘an
mə-s-uxə<atr>-intyə suyə‘an
1s-IIIpl-dig<APPL>-INCEP bulb.PL
I began to dig for bulbs

The iterative shows simple full reduplication of the root. This aspect is ambiguous as to whether it is perfective or imperfective: all it conveys is the meaning of repeated action.

riya‘maŋa‘maxra
rə-y-a‘maŋ-ROOT-ra
2s-Ipl-count-ITER-REP
You counted them several times

mintəntayənte tuxwa‘ ‘ummiyəx
min-t-ənte-ROOT tuxwa‘ ‘ummi-yəx
1pl-Vs-cover-ITER corpse mud-ADv
We cover(ed) the bodywith several layers of mud

Finally the progressive is marked by a kind of circumfix, with V(C)C- reduplication before the root plus a -wə suffix following (again see above for how this affects consonant stems).

miyatan yityityiyuntə
mə-yatan y-VC-ityint-wə
1s-father.PL Ipl-PROG-squabble-PROG
My father and his brothers are squabbling

pa‘ mə‘əxməxmiwə mestitatrax‘ə
pa‘ mə-‘-VCC-əxmi-wə mex-t-itax<atr>-‘ə
NEG 1s-IV-PROG-be_able-PROG 1>2-V-send<APPL>-NOM
I can't send it to you right now
gestaltist wrote:
26 Oct 2018 19:23
Frislander wrote:
26 Oct 2018 11:41
gestaltist wrote:
26 Oct 2018 09:25
Frislander wrote:
25 Oct 2018 19:06
In comparison there are no regular and productive valency-decreasing morphological processes in Asta.
What strategies are used to achieve the equivalent of the English passive? "He was killed." or "The field was burned down."
Topic-prominence, indefinite pronouns, ergativity.
Oh, right, I forgot Asta was ergative. I guess antipassivity would pose more of an issue. "He killed." etc.
Again there are indefinite pronouns, and of course the stem alternation can also kinda function like a limited derivational antipassive (because not all languages with an antipassive apply it productively: see WALS)

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 01 Nov 2018 14:38

OK, time to tackle person marking I think.

Person marking in Asta is at once simple and complicated, being as it is a mix of nominative and ergative alignments depending on person, and with some markers being able to appear in several different contexts.

As we have said already the noun class prefixes on verbs agree with their absolutive argument. Correspondingly there is a prefix ‘i- which marks the presence of a 3rd person transitive agent (with no noun class agreement). This never corresponds with the argument marked by the class prefix. This agent may be marked as plural by a suffix -ax, which I am going to make a definitive statement about and say that it may appear on either side of the reported suffix -ra (which otherwise is the final suffix in the verbal complex) depending on both context and the speaker.

[b]‘iyansatriyə we‘ə yiyan[/b]
‘i-y-ansi<atr>-yə we‘ə yiyan
3ag-Ipl-sing<APPL>-PRF man child.PL
[i]The man sang for the children[/i]

[b]‘inatyatyuwəmi‘xaxra~‘inatyatyuwəmi‘xərax namiyə‘ə[/b]
‘i-n-VC-atyu-wə-mi‘xə-ax-ra~‘i-n-VC-atyu-wə-mi‘xə-ra-x n-amiyə-‘ə
3ag-IIs-PROG-eat-PROG-flesh-PL-REP~3ag-IIs-PROG-eat-PROG-flesh-REP-PL IIs-125-NOM
[i]They were eating all kinds of flesh[/i]

Things become more complicated when speech-act-participants are brought in. There is only a single set of prefixes for marking SAPs:

[code] Sg Pl
1 mə- min-
2 rə- rin-[/code]

When these appear alone before a noun class prefix, they mark the nominative subject. In intransitives there is no noun-class marking and the schwa of the prefix is deleted (note that this is a change from before, where there was still noun class marking.)

[b]mexuwintyə[/b]
m-exu-intyə
1sg-sit-INCEP
[i]I sit down[/i]

[b]ri‘nəriyə ‘axxwə‘ə[/b]
rin-‘-əri-yə ‘-axxwə-‘ə
2pl-IV-ask_for-PRF IV-quite-NOM
[i]You (pl.) asked for quiet[/i]

However, when a 3rd person agent prefix is added in transitives, this prefix will mark a transitive object/recipient (note that while in monotransitives the noun class marking is again dropped, in ditransitives the noun class marking may still mark theme).

[b]‘iriŋwarax riyatan[/b]
‘i-r-iŋwa-ax rə-yatan
3ag-2sg-respect-PL 2sg-son.PL
[i]Your sons respect you[/i]

(Note here that the -ax affix does not delete or merge with the preceding stem-vowel, but instead there is consonantal epenthesis since it is appended directly onto the vowel-final stem)

[b]‘imətintyatrenyəra təŋarə‘ə tiya[/b]
‘i-mə-t-intyen<atr>-yə-ra təŋarə‘ə t-iya
3ag-1s-Vs-se_up<APPL>-PRF-REP mancala Vs-PROX
[i]It seems he set up this game of mancala for me[/i]

Finally there are two fused affixes for entirely local actions: yur(ə)- for 2nd person acting on 1st and mex- for first person acting on second.

[b]yurətresə tuxəntatreyənyəx[/b]
yur-ətrex-yə tuxəntatreyən-yəx
2>1-chase-PRF burial_ground-ADV
[i]You chased me through the burial ground[/i]

[b]pa‘ mexwiŋəmpəximpərəx muwi‘yə[/b]
pa‘ mex-w-<ŋə>impəx-ROOT<ər> mə-wi‘yə
NEG 1>2-Is-<IRR>have_sex-ITER<CAUS> 1s-sister
[i]I will not allow you to keep shagging my sister[/i]

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 07 Nov 2018 18:40

OK, next in the verbal template: noun incorporation.

Asta has at least types I-III noun incorporation according to Mithun's schema, and maybe type-IV if I can even be bothered with it (so probably not). These incorporated nouns follow the verbal stem (after it's been inflected for aspect), retaining their class prefixes, and with corresponding (singular) noun-class agreement being lost as the verb is detransitivised.

Type I noun incorporation is of course mainly lexical and just backgrounds things.

minyexsexsuwə nyesin
mə-ny-VCC-exsə-wə nyesin
1s-IIpl-PROG-stab-PROG puppy.PL
I'm killing puppies

mexsənesin
m-exsə-nesin
1s-stab-puppy
I kill puppies

However, as a side note, there are three incorporated nouns which are different from their independant counterparts. these are -nyen "water", -ru‘ "fire" and -mi‘xə "flesh" (not related to ‘axwə, ‘uxra and nantyə respectively).

mə‘uŋŋə ‘axwə
mə-‘-uŋŋə ‘axwə
1s-IV-throw water
I throw water

muŋŋuŋŋuwinyen
m-VCC-uŋŋə-wə-nyen
1s-PROG-throw-PROG-water
I am crying

Type II incorporation comes from the re-addition of a new argument. With no other marking this is usually interpreted as the possessor of the incorporated noun, however the applicative can be used to raise other roles.

yiyan miyexsiyənesin
yiyan mə-y-exsə-yə-nesin
child.PL 1s-Ipl-stab-PRF-puppy
I killed the children's puppy/puppies

miyexsatriyənesin yiyan
mə-y-exsə<atr>-yə-nesin yiyan
1s-Ipl-stab<APPL>-PRF-puppy children
I killed puppies for the children

muwuŋŋiyinyen muwatan wəstriyu‘ə
mə-w-uŋŋə-yə-nyen mə-watan w-əstriyu-‘ə
1s-Is-throw-PRF-water 1s-father 1s-deep-NOM
I cried for my father buried in his grave

For type III I will just reproduce an updated version of a short passage I posted a while back.

xə yin natyə wa taŋatrara ‘iwə. ‘inityatrəra netyə. ‘inya‘piyəra nyemenyə nyammə nyantyə ‘isatiyəx. ‘inyuntuwəntayənaməra ‘inya‘pə‘ən taŋayəx wa natyuyənaməra.
xə yin natyə wa taŋa<atr>-ra ‘i-wə. ‘i-n-ityə<atr>-ra netyə. ‘i-ny-a‘pə-yə-ra nyemenyə ny-ammə ny-antyə ‘i-s-ati-yəx. ‘i-ny-untə-wənta-yə-namə-ra ‘i-ny-a‘pə-‘ə-n t-aŋa-yəx wa n-atyu-yə-namə-ra.
DECL EXST otter CONJ house<APPL>-REP 3-SG. 3-IIs-walk.PRF<APPL>-REP river. 3-IIpl-catch-PRF-REP minnow IIpl-five IIpl-three 3-IIIpl-hand-ADV. 3-IIpl-carry-andative-PRF-fish-REP 3-IIpl-catch-NOM-NOMP Vs-house-ADV CONJ IIs-eat-PRF-fish-REP
There was an otter that lived in a house. He went to the river. He caught 8 minnows with his hands. He carried his catch home and ate it.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 16 Nov 2018 17:43

OK, adverbial suffixes! These are a somewhat open-ended class, so I'll only discuss a few of them, and likely in the future I'll create even more.

Firstly there is the distributive -pan, which normally is a true distributive, but can also have some interesting semantic effects with certain verbs.

‘ina‘wayərax ne‘mu nanə
‘i-n-a‘wa-yə-ra-ax ne‘mu n-anə
3ag-IIs-hunt-PRF-REP-PLUR pig IIs-one
They killed a pig (together)

‘ina‘wayəpanrax ne‘mu nanə
‘i-n-a‘wa-yə-pan-ra-ax ne‘mu n-anə
3ag-IIs-hunt-PRF-DIST-REP-PLUR pig IIs-one
They each killed one pig

miyitasəpan yitə‘intə
mə-y-itax-yə-pan yitə‘intə
1s-Ipl-send-PRF-DIST messenger.PL
I sent messengers to every corner of the land

The excessive -tyuxə carries a general meaning of "too much", "beyond the point of reasonableness".

yurənətrarətratyuxə nantyə
yurə-n-ətra-ROOT-tyuxə nantyə
2>1-IIs-give-ITER-excess meat
You kept giving us too much meat

The frustrative -ra‘a encodes an event which has been attempted but failed to take place.

wuyuwuyura‘a
w-uyu-ROOT-ra‘a
Is-sleep-ITER-FRUS
He tried (and failed) to get to sleep several times

The frustrative can also be used as a kind of narrow-scope verbal negation (other kinds of negation being handles by the particle pa‘), like so.

pa‘ witə wintyentyə
pa‘ witə w-intyent-yə
NEG person Is-stand.up-PRF
No-one stood up

yin yitə yintyentyəra‘a‘ə
yin yitə y-intyent-yə-ra‘a-‘ə
EXST person.PL Ipl-stand.up-PRF-FRUS-NOM
Some people did not stand up

The andative -wənta encodes the notion of "going and doing X" or "going along doing X".

wansiwəntasami
w-ansi-wənta-sami
Is-sing-AND-sometimes
Sometimes he would go along singing

The suffix -nyixə is the equivalent of the modal auxilliary "to be able to".

pa‘ məxatyatyuwinyixə
pa‘ mə-x-VC-atyu-wə-nyixə
NEG 1s-IIIs-PROG-eat-PROG-can
I can't eat it

rəxatyatyuwəra‘anyixə
rə-x-VC-atyu-wə-ra‘a-nyixə
2s-IIIs-PROG-eat-PROG-FRUS-can
You don't have to eat it

There are other suffixes as well, many with temporal meanings like "sometimes" or "tomorrow".

There is one more verbal suffix I haven't properly covered, which follows the other suffixes (bar potentially the 3rd person agent plural), and that is the reported -ra. This is essentially a marker of reported evidentiality, that is, events which have been related to the speaker from other sources.

ruwityatrəra wuŋwityə
rə-w-ityə<atr>-ra wuŋwityə
2s-Is-walk<APPL>-REP moon
I heard you went to the moon
Last edited by Frislander on 23 Nov 2018 19:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Creyeditor » 16 Nov 2018 21:39

Would you also use the frustrative in sentences like "He shot at the bear" (vs. "He shot the bear") where the action was carried out, but did not result in the expected result state?
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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by DesEsseintes » 17 Nov 2018 04:52

I’m very much enjoying the aesthetic of Asta. The word wuyuwuyura‘a is adorable!

As for the adverbial suffices, I notice that they seem to stack. Is there a limit on how many adverbial suffixes can be found on a verb? Is there a hierarchy to their ordering?

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 17 Nov 2018 16:29

Creyeditor wrote:
16 Nov 2018 21:39
Would you also use the frustrative in sentences like "He shot at the bear" (vs. "He shot the bear") where the action was carried out, but did not result in the expected result state?
Yes.
DesEsseintes wrote:
17 Nov 2018 04:52
I’m very much enjoying the aesthetic of Asta. The word wuyuwuyura‘a is adorable!
Thank you so much! I really like the aesthetic too: it's the first time I feel like I've created an actual "unique" aesthetic for one of my languages, whereas before I've just kinda felt like I was ripping off certain particular natlangs (this has kinda been my perennial problem with Frislandian too).
As for the adverbial suffices, I notice that they seem to stack. Is there a limit on how many adverbial suffixes can be found on a verb? Is there a hierarchy to their ordering?
I don't think there's a limit, and as for heirarchy I think it's just a case of simply stacking them any way you like as semantically feasible. This is kinda the result of my current thinking that these are relatively recent grammaticalisations: I'm kinda imagining the language as being a bit like what I presume those polysynthetic Oceanic languages are like in this respect.

Also a further addendum: I've decided that I'm now going to make -nyen and -ru‘ the adverbial suffixes for "into water" and "into fire, by heat" respectively, rather than the incorporated forms of "water" and "fire". This would leave only one true suppletive incorporated noun -mi‘xə "meat, flesh", which I think is pretty reasonable. This allows the following word to be constructed:

minyiŋwiŋwatruwəmi‘xəru‘
min-y-VC-iŋwə<atr>-wə-mi‘xə-ru‘
1pl-Ipl-PROG-cook<APPL>-PROG-meat-by.fire
We are roasting some meat for them

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by gestaltist » 19 Nov 2018 08:43

Frislander wrote:
17 Nov 2018 16:29
Also a further addendum: I've decided that I'm now going to make -nyen and -ru‘ the adverbial suffixes for "into water" and "into fire, by heat" respectively, rather than the incorporated forms of "water" and "fire". This would leave only one true suppletive incorporated noun -mi‘xə "meat, flesh", which I think is pretty reasonable. This allows the following word to be constructed:

minyiŋwiŋwatruwəmi‘xəru‘
min-y-VC-iŋwə<atr>-wə-mi‘xə-ru‘
1pl-Ipl-PROG-cook<APPL>-PROG-meat-by.fire
We are roasting some meat for them
Love this! And I'd like to echo Des's thoughts: I love the aesthetics of Asta.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 21 Nov 2018 00:31

OK, some bits of nominal morphology. Basically the only bits of nominal morphology (outside of the noun-class prefixes outlined above) are possession and the adverbial case marker.

Possession is rather simple: possessive affixes attach to the noun, with any nominal (as opposed to pronominal) possessors following the possessed noun in addition to this. There is no appreciable alienable-inalienable distinction. For speech act participants the set of markers is identical to the verbal subject/object markers (though of course always in the full forms since the possessed nouns retain their noun class prefix), while the 3rd person forms are identical to the 3rd person agent prefix/circumfix. These are repeated below as a reminder:

Code: Select all

  SING PLUR
1 mə-  min-
2 rə-  rin-
3 ‘i-  ‘i--ax
muwaman
mə-waman
1sg-mother/daughter/aunt
my mother/daughter/aunt

(note that Asta kinship terms merge alternate generations, and moreover follow an Iroquoian system: I've previously only given one possible translation when using these terms, but I thought I should make this clear).

‘isuxwə xi‘sə sinyu‘ə
‘i-suxwə xi‘sə s-inyu-‘ə
3-root.PL tree IIIpl-long-NOM
The tree's long roots

The other bit of nominal morphology is the adverbial suffix -yəx, which is used to mark any kind of oblique case role other than genitive, including locatives, instrumentals and so on (though typically not benefactives or comitatives, since the former tend to be marked using the applicative while the latter use verbal constructions). It can also sometimes be used with certain kinds of agent-like inanimates. This suffix precedes the 3rd plural possessor suffix -ax.

wiŋu‘sə ‘ityisisuwə tyutri tiŋu‘siyəx
wiŋu‘sə ‘i-ty-VC-isə-wə tyutri tiŋu‘sə-yəx
painter 3ag-IVpl-PROG-brush-PROG rock.PL paintbrush-ADV
The painter is brushing/caressing the rock with their paintbrush

wupinyə wexsəsə netyiyəx
w-upən-yə wexsəsə netyə-yəx
Is-fall-PRF fisherman river-ADV
The fisherman fell into the river

minnyintyəmi‘xə nupə‘iyəx
m-innyənt-yə-mi‘xə nupə‘ə–yəx
1-chill-PRF-flesh wind-ADV
The wind chilled me to the bone

Next time I'm gonna discuss nominalisation, because it is literally everywhere in this language.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 23 Nov 2018 19:16

OK, time to talk about nominalisations.

Basically there are four nominalising suffixes in Asta: -‘ə, -sə, -n(ə) and -yən. I will discuss each of these in turn, explaining their semantics more than their syntactic functions (which are many and varied and would be a post unto themselves).

The -‘ə is the most general: it is used to form a kind of abstract noun, which can then be applied in many different syntactic situations. It shows some allomorphy: when it touches -t it metathesises, and is simply realised as after -nt.

‘uxə‘ə
‘-uxə-‘ə
IV-dig-NOM
digging

wə‘rə‘rewə ruwuxrə wu‘ya‘ə
w-VCC-ə‘re-wə rə-wuxrə w-u‘ya-‘ə
Is-PROG-wander-PROG 2sg-grandad Is-old-NOM
Your old grandad's gone walkabout

The other three suffixes are more lexicalised. -sə tends to form agents or instruments depending on the accompanying noun class.

wa‘wasə
w-a‘wa-sə
Is-hunt-AGT
hunter

turu‘sə
t-urut-sə
Vs-cut-AGT
blade, scythe

Similarly -n(ə) forms patients or results, but occasionally also experiencers (the vowel only appears when following a consonant).

xəpiŋun
x-əpiŋu-n
IIIs-flip-PAT
pancake

tuxən
t-uxə-n
Vs-dig-PAT
hole in the ground

Finally the -yən nominaliser can mark either place or time depending on the noun class (places take either class III or class V, times typically class IV).

təmayən
t-əma-yən
Vs-make-PLACE
workshop

‘uwintyən
‘-uwənt-yən
IV-bear.fruit-PLACE
fruiting season

xi‘siyən
xi‘sə-yən
tree-PLACE
forest, wood

Any of the final three nominalisers can concatenate with -‘ə to mark the role of arguments in a relative clause when ambiguity would otherwise arise.

pa‘ ‘iya‘ma‘maŋwinyixə yitə yimpəx‘ən
pa‘ ‘i-y-VCC-a‘maŋ-wə-nyixə yitə y-impəŋ-‘ə-n
NEG 3ag-Ipl-PROG-count-PROG-be.able person.PL Ipl-have.sex-NOM-PAT
He can't count how many people he's shagged

yin witə mətux‘əsə
yin witə m-ətux-‘ə-sə
EXST person 1sg-follow-NOM-AGT
Someone is following me

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