The great Asta thread - not soon enough

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 28 Nov 2018 19:36

OK, some notes on distribution and frequency.

In terms of distribution, there are some rather strict restrictions, plus some fairly strong tendencies in the language. The most notable ones are that, mainly as a result of the prevalences of noun and person marking prefixes, the set of permissible word-initial consonants is limited to p, t, ty, s, x, xw, m, n, ny, r, y, w. Furthermore p and xw are restricted to particles (pa‘ "negative", pu "in this manner, like so" and xwe "prohibitive"). The velar nasals (both labialised and not) and the retroflex affricate do not occur word-initially at all.

In terms of clusters that are some interesting restrictions. The set of intervocalic clusters is listed below (in a phonetic transcription):

Code: Select all

   ʔ  x   n
p  ʔp  xp  mp
t  ʔt  st  nt
tʂ ʔtʂ ʂtʂ ɳtʂ
c  ʔc  sʲc  ɲc
ʔ  -   xʔ nʔ
s  ʔs  ss  ns
x  ʔx  xx  -
xʷ ʔxʷ xxʷ -
m  ʔm  xm  mm
n  ʔn  sn  nn
ɲ  ʔɲ  sʲɲ  ɲɲ
ŋ  ʔŋ  xŋ  ŋŋ
ŋʷ ʔŋʷ xŋʷ ŋŋʷ
w  ʔw  -   -
ɾ  ʔɾ  xɾ  nɾ
j  ʔj  -   -
It will be noted that the clusters involving post-consonantal /ʔ/ are not found in lexical roots, and only occur due to morphological processes, and furthermore the clusters with second member /ŋ/ or /ŋʷ/ are very rare indeed, likely being restricted to certain hapax legomena such as -uŋŋə "to throw" and derivatives. Dashes represent clusters which are prevented from occurring due to morphophonology: geminite glottal stops are simplified, /nx/ becomes a velar nasal, and the glides labialise/palatalise a preceding consonant and drop.

As noted in previous posts, schwa is heavily restricted as a vowel, being somewhat lesser in status relative to the "full vowels" /i ɛ ɑ u/. As noted above it is not found at all before palatal/labialised consonants and clusters including them, and when morphology would produce such an instance the schwa is fronted/rounded to /i/ and /u/ respectively. Furthermore, with a handful of exceptions a root can never contain all schwas: all roots contain at least one full vowel. The exceptions consist of the intensifier particle ‘əŋə, the generic noun tən "thing", and the reflexive pronouns məxən/rəxən, which are formed by adding the 1st and 2nd person prefixes to a base -xən (the singular personal pronouns muwə/ruwə are similarly formed as mə-wə/rə-wə, however the labial glide causes the schwa to round as described above). On the other hand most roots do contain at least one schwa: those that don't commonly are either monosyllabic, such as -un "to be similar to X", or have an environment fitting the conditions for schwa fronting or rounding, e.g. xistyi "leg". The constraint is weak though in bisyllabic roots: it is much more prevalent in trisyllabic roots. However, on the flipside the /ɛ/ is fairly strongly restricted to occurring only once in a root, the only exception being ne‘e‘ "ant".

Obviously without a fully fleshed-out language with a large corpus it's difficult to make any conclusive statements as to frequency, however the following observations can be made. tr is far in a way the most uncommon consonant (and clusters involving it are similarly rare), followed at a distance by xw, ŋw. On the flipside, the most common consonants likely include t, ‘, y, w, however I have much less of a sense of that so I can't be sure just yet. Clusters are even more difficult to guage in this respect. On the other hand when it comes to vowels /ɛ/ is the lest common vowel, which the most common vowels overall are probably /a ə/.
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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 09 Dec 2018 22:59

Some stuff on syntax, starting with particles.

Asta is fairly non-configurational, but there is a preference for verb-initial order, and there are a number of particles which find themselves in clause-initial position. Some of these we have encountered already, such as pa‘ the sentential negative, and yin, the existential and wa and ‘u the coordinating and contrasting conjunctions respectively. However others will be less familiar, such as maya, which serves as a kind of call to attention and/or that the topic of discussion has changed.

maya weŋisə‘aŋu muwaman
maya w-eŋix-yə-‘aŋu mə-waman
DECL Is-spill-PRF-blood 1s-daughter
So my daughter has had her [first] period

Then there's the interrogatives; the polar interrogative and na the tag question (the only such particle which follows the utterance rather than preceding it).

xə yurastyəriyə?
xə yur-astyərə-yə
POL 2>1-protect-PRF
Did/will you protect me?

rinumpan riŋən yasnyə‘ə na?
rin-un-pan rin-xən y-asnyə-‘ə na
2pl-similar-DIST 2pl-REFL Ipl-two-NOM TAG
You two are very similar to each other aren't you?

It has also been mentioned that sentential negation is achieved using pa‘, and that narrower-scope verbal forms use -ra‘a, however there is a third type of negative in Asta, that being the prohibitive xwe (note that the verb still takes second person marking; this is true of imperatives as well).

xwe yurixmityə
xwe yur-ixmət-yə
PROH 2>1-show-PRF
Don't show it to me!

There is a counterfactual particle nyi‘, which occurs in conjunction with the irrealis infix, specifically for speculations about events the speaker knew did not take place. This can sometimes function as a kind of optative "if only...".

nyi‘ ruwiŋityatrə wa pa‘ wuniyə
nyi‘ rə-w-<ŋə>ityə<atr> wa pa‘ w-unə-yə
COUN 2s-Is-<IRR>walk.PRF<APPL> CONJ NEG
If you'd gone to hem they wouldn't have died

nyi‘ məmenyə
nyi‘ m-əmen-yə
COUN 1s-stay-PRF
If only I'd stayed

There is a particle pu, which is a general illocutionary force indicating that the event happened "like so", or that a state appeared "like that", and is often used for the last clause in a narrative to indicate a kind of "closing sentence" in the same manner as maya might indicate an "opening line".

pu minyessiyə nyiya nyənta
pu mə-ny-essə-yə ny-iya ny-ənta
THUS 1s-IIpl-spear-PRF IIpl-PROX IIpl-big
...and that's how I speared this big [catch of fish]

Finally there is an "intensifier", corresponding to what in many languages is identical to a reflexive in form, but has a non-reflexive meaning e.g. "by oneself".

‘əŋə rətiŋutyə taŋa təra
‘əŋə rə-t-iŋut-yə taŋa t-əra
INTENS 2s-Vs-paint-PRF house V-DIST
You pointed that house yourself

Next: I was going to do more sentence-order stuff but I realised I forgot to actually cover pronouns so I guess I'll do that, not waste this post.
Last edited by Frislander on 15 Apr 2019 01:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 15 Dec 2018 16:41

OK, time for pronominal forms!

There are three classes of pronouns morphologically speaking in Asta: personal/reflexive, demonstrative and interrogative.

Personal and reflexive pronouns are built on the same principle: a common element with personal/noun class prefixes being prefixes on. This common element is -wə for singular personal pronouns, -yə for plural personal pronouns and -xən for reflexives. With noun class prefixes in order to create the pronominal forms a schwa is epenthesised, with of course vowel colouring before the glides, however 3rd person pronouns other than the reflexive are of course very rare, even more so that personal pronouns generally, due to demonstratives being more commonly used. There is some variation in the verbal inflection used with reflexives: some continue to inflect the verb transitively, others intransitively, and of those that inflect transitively, there is uncertainty as to whether with 1st and 2nd the prefix should be doubled or whether a class I prefix (agreeing in number) should fill the "object slot".

pa‘ ‘imessəriyə wuwə nəmawə
pa‘ ‘i-m-essə<ər>-yə w-wə nəmawə
NEG 3.ERG-1s-hit<CAUS>-PRF Is-SG ox
He wouldn't let me kill the ox

mə‘aŋəstiyə rinyə ‘intə
mə-‘-<ŋə>astə-yə rin-yə ‘intə
1s-IV-<IRR>speak-PRF 2p-PL message
I will tell you the news

ministyatrux/minyistyatrux/mimministyatrux miŋən
min-istyuŋ<atr>/min-y-istyuŋ<atr>/min-min-istyuŋ<atr> min-xən
1p-recite<APPL>~1p-Ip-recite<APPL>~1p-1p-recite<APPL> 1p-REFL
We recite poetry to ourselves

Demonstrative pronouns encode a simple two-way distance contrast of proximal -iya vs. distal -əra and take noun class prefixes to agree with their referant. They can be used both adnominally and pronominally, with adnominal demonstratives following their heads.

mə‘iŋə‘ti‘tuwə rətiŋu‘tə tiya
mə-‘-<ŋə>VCC-i‘tə-wə rə-t-iŋut-‘ə t-iya
1s-IV-<IRR>PROG-like-PROG 2s-Vs-paint-NOM Vs-PROX
I want you to paint this

‘inya‘wa‘wawə nyutura nyəra
‘i-ny-VCC-a‘wa-wə nyutura ny-əra
3.ERG-IIp-PROG-hunt-PROG swamp_rat.PL IIp-DIST
They are hunting those swamp rats

Interrogative pronouns are much simpler, in that they do not inflect for noun class at all, aside from an animate-inanimate contrast wa‘ vs. ta‘ respectively. These appear utterance-initially, and serve to mark the sentence as specifically interrogative, such that one could almost count them as part of the list of sentence-initial particles (see below).

wa‘ ‘iyaxi‘nyəriyə yiyə?
wa‘ ‘i-y-axi‘nyə<ər>-yə y-yə
ANI.INT 3.ERG-Ip-angry<CAUS>-PRF Ip-PL
Why are they angry?/Who has made them angry?

ta‘ rə‘eŋisə?
ta‘ rə-‘-eŋix-yə?
INA.INT 2s-IV-spill-PRF
What have you spilt?
Last edited by Frislander on 15 Apr 2019 01:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 31 Dec 2018 19:07

OK, so in order to make a post on this language before the new year, I'm going to discuss the core points of Asta syntax.

Asta, like many polysynthetic languages, is relatively non-configurational. There is a tendency towards verb-initial word-order, however the only firm placement rule is that particles (on which more later) are fixed, mainly to clause-initial position, but in two cases instead between two constituents and in one case to clause-final position. After clause-initial particles, nominal constituents may precede the verb, generally as a function of topicality (though the standard notions of "topic" and "focus" are somewhat vague and hazy, and to describe Asta as "topic-prominent" would be to imply a similarity of this system to that of languages like Japanese, when it is significantly less fixed than those versions of it). On the other hand, particularly long or heavy phrases are nearly always placed after the main verb. Clauses with mutiple free noun phrases are uncommon, but when they do occur there is generally only one at most before the verb - SOV and OSV orderings are generally dispreferred, however there is no absolute restriction to either subject-object or object-subject order, i.e. SVO, OVS, VSO and VOS are all grammatical. Similar points can be made about adverbial arguments marked with the -yəx, though these tend to be classified as "heavy" and are thus more likely to find themselves at the end of the clause.

The above only really applies to clauses headed by a finite verb, however. In non-finite clauses (which in Asta entirely consist of nominalisations, see above), there are more strict constraints. Notably in a nominalised clause the nominalised verb always appears first, followed by its nominal arguments. Additionally, having multiple overt core nominal arguments in a nominalised clause is almost unheard of, meaning that no concrete statements can or need be made about the relative ordering of arguments in such clauses. Such nominalised clauses also tend to drift towards the end of the finite clause.

To illustrate these ideas I've given the following short dialogue, which shows these in action.

"maya muwuxrə wepepuwəxunimə."
maya mə-wuxrə w-VC-epə-wə-xunimə
DECL 1s-granddad 1s-PROG-empty-PROG-belly
"OK so my granddad is hungry"

"məxə‘ratreyə xi‘siyən."
mə-x-ə‘re<atr>-yə xi‘siyən
1s-IIIs-wander<APPL>-PRF forest
"I'll go foraging in the woods"

"nantyə ‘inəriyəri wa ra‘wayəmi‘xəŋa‘tə."
nantyə ‘i-n-əri-ROOT wa r-a‘wa-yə-mi‘xə-ŋa‘tə
meat 3.ERG-IIp-ask_for-ITER CONJ 2s-hunt-PRF-meat-ought
"He keeps asking for meat, so you ought to get some"

"ta‘ nantyiyəx ‘ini‘tə?"
ta‘ nantyə-yəx ‘i-n-i‘tə
INA.INT meat-ADV 3.ERG-IIs-like
"What kind of meat would he like?"

"nutura rənessiyə. pa‘ runəriyə rəxən ‘a‘wa‘iyəx ne‘mu!"
nutura rə-n-essə-yə. pa‘ r-unə<ər>-yə rə-xən ‘-a‘wa-‘ə-yəx ne‘mu
swamp_rat 2s-IIs-stab-PRF | NEG 2s-die<CAUS>-PRF 2s-REFL IV-hunt-NOM-ADV boar
"Get (him) a swamp rat. Don't get yourself killed trying to get a wild boar!"

"pu miriyə."
pu m-irə-yə
thus 1s-act-PRF
"I'll do that."
Last edited by Frislander on 15 Apr 2019 01:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by shimobaatar » 03 Jan 2019 19:14

Frislander wrote:
23 Oct 2018 19:58
/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 like the way /t͡ʂ c/ in particular are romanized, and the lack of /k/ is intriguing.
Frislander wrote:
23 Oct 2018 19:58
/i ə u/ <i u>
/ɛ ɑ/ <e ə a>
This is just a minor nit-pick, but… (emphasis mine).
Frislander wrote:
23 Oct 2018 19:58
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/.
I like this. To clarify, /ə/ is allowed after palatals and labiovelars?
Frislander wrote:
23 Oct 2018 19:58
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").
What happens if -‘ə appears after a consonant other than -t?
Frislander wrote:
23 Oct 2018 19:58

Code: Select all

[…]
xw > xuy
ŋw > ŋuy
[…]
r > ay
tr > tay
w > uy
[…]
(there is lexical and speaker variation for the palatalisation of ŋ in diminutives; in verbal inflection is is universally ns)
I'm a fan of your palatalization rules (and those regarding vowels below) in general, but these stood out to me in particular.
Frislander wrote:
24 Oct 2018 16:39
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.
[+1] I like the ways these are used, the semantics of the classes, and the forms of the markers themselves.
Frislander wrote:
25 Oct 2018 19:06
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.
Huh, interesting.
Frislander wrote:
28 Oct 2018 17:05
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.
Is there any way to specify, or is it left up to context?
Frislander wrote:
01 Nov 2018 14:38
OK, time to tackle person marking I think.
This is trivial, and you've probably already noticed, but it looks to me like the bolding and italicizing brackets, or whatever you'd call them, have refused to work for this particular post.
Frislander wrote:
01 Nov 2018 14:38
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.
What contexts might affect its placement?
Frislander wrote:
01 Nov 2018 14:38
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).
To clarify, looking at the examples, do you mean that, when a 3rd person agent prefix is added to a transitive verb, a SAP prefix also present will mark a transitive object/recipient?
Frislander wrote:
01 Nov 2018 14:38
pa‘ mexwiŋəmpəximpərəx muwi‘yə
pa‘ mex-w-<ŋə>impəx-ROOT<ər> mə-wi‘yə
NEG 1>2-Is-<IRR>have_sex-ITER<CAUS> 1s-sister
I will not allow you to keep shagging my sister
That's fair.

(I'm definitely a fan of the variety of sentences you come up with for your examples.)
Frislander wrote:
07 Nov 2018 18:40
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
Interesting difference in meaning here!
Frislander wrote:
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.
These are fun! I look forward to more that may come in the future.
Frislander wrote:
28 Nov 2018 19:36
Obviously without a fully fleshed-out language with a large corpus it's difficult to make any conclusive statements as to frequency,
Yeah, that can be quite frustrating, for me at least.
Frislander wrote:
09 Dec 2018 22:59
Some stuff on syntax, starting with particles.
Frislander wrote:
15 Dec 2018 16:41
OK, time for pronominal forms!
Frislander wrote:
31 Dec 2018 19:07
OK, so in order to make a post on this language before the new year, I'm going to discuss the core points of Asta syntax.
[+1] I'm afraid I don't have any specific questions or comments on the most recent posts, but I look forward to seeing more of Asta.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Creyeditor » 03 Jan 2019 20:19

I like the general feel of your conlang, in syntax and orthography/phonology. The only thing that bugs me is the (my?) font that is displayed in this forum. All schwas look really wide and it looks better in other fonts. That's not really something you should care about though [:D]
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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 03 Jan 2019 20:28

shimobaatar wrote:
03 Jan 2019 19:14
Frislander wrote:
23 Oct 2018 19:58
/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 like the way /t͡ʂ c/ in particular are romanized, and the lack of /k/ is intriguing.
Thank you! I basically was kind of going for a vague Micronesian feel I think, but of course as I've said elsewhere the phonology was basically "something that can be romanised without ascenders".
Frislander wrote:
23 Oct 2018 19:58
/i ə u/ <i u>
/ɛ ɑ/ <e ə a>
This is just a minor nit-pick, but… (emphasis mine).
Oops, will fix.
Frislander wrote:
23 Oct 2018 19:58
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/.
I like this. To clarify, /ə/ is allowed after palatals and labiovelars?
Yes it is, in fact diachronically that's kind of the whole point. Basically I am currently imagining something like a proto-vowels system *i *a *u plus length and the diphthongs *aj *aw and that in unstressed syllables *i *u broke into *jə *wə and created the palatal and labiovelar series respectively.
Frislander wrote:
23 Oct 2018 19:58
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").
What happens if -‘ə appears after a consonant other than -t?
Neither metathesis nor deletion of <‘>, they just remain as is, subject to the resctrictions on coda consonants, so <ŋ‘> become <x‘>.
Frislander wrote:
23 Oct 2018 19:58

Code: Select all

[…]
xw > xuy
ŋw > ŋuy
[…]
r > ay
tr > tay
w > uy
[…]
(there is lexical and speaker variation for the palatalisation of ŋ in diminutives; in verbal inflection is is universally ns)
I'm a fan of your palatalization rules (and those regarding vowels below) in general, but these stood out to me in particular.
Yeah basically again this is a relic of the original *u which produced the labiovelars, and I think I guess the *r did get turned into /a/ when it became "syllabic".
Frislander wrote:
24 Oct 2018 16:39
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.
[+1] I like the ways these are used, the semantics of the classes, and the forms of the markers themselves.
Thanks!
Frislander wrote:
25 Oct 2018 19:06
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.
Huh, interesting.
I've also since added a sense of "once more", as in -i‘xənt "to return" from -i‘x "to walk".
Frislander wrote:
28 Oct 2018 17:05
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.
Is there any way to specify, or is it left up to context?
It's left to context.
Frislander wrote:
01 Nov 2018 14:38
OK, time to tackle person marking I think.
This is trivial, and you've probably already noticed, but it looks to me like the bolding and italicizing brackets, or whatever you'd call them, have refused to work for this particular post.
Yep, and I don't know why.
Frislander wrote:
01 Nov 2018 14:38
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.
What contexts might affect its placement?
Well, just thinking on the fly here, probably -ra will be more likely to come second in ritual contexts, since it's the more recent grammaticalisation.
Frislander wrote:
01 Nov 2018 14:38
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).
To clarify, looking at the examples, do you mean that, when a 3rd person agent prefix is added to a transitive verb, a SAP prefix also present will mark a transitive object/recipient?
Yes.
Frislander wrote:
01 Nov 2018 14:38
pa‘ mexwiŋəmpəximpərəx muwi‘yə
pa‘ mex-w-<ŋə>impəx-ROOT<ər> mə-wi‘yə
NEG 1>2-Is-<IRR>have_sex-ITER<CAUS> 1s-sister
I will not allow you to keep shagging my sister
That's fair.

(I'm definitely a fan of the variety of sentences you come up with for your examples.)
I am a great proponent of the entertaining example sentence.
Frislander wrote:
07 Nov 2018 18:40
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
Interesting difference in meaning here!
Yeah only now I've just realised I should probably change because -nyen is now "in water" not "water", so it really should mean "throw into water", which doesn't work with "crying" in the same way, so I should create another term. I think I'll use -eŋix-‘axwə spill-water, while -eŋi-‘axwə shed-water could mean "to sweat" (the difference between the two verbs is a matter of control). So the pairs of sentences would be

mə‘eŋix ‘axwə
mə-‘-eŋix ‘axwə
1s-IV-spill water
I spill water

meŋeŋixwə‘axwə
m-VCC-eŋix-wə-nyen
1s-PROG-spill-PROG-water
I am crying
Frislander wrote:
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.
These are fun! I look forward to more that may come in the future.
I'll keep you posted, I have several new ones.
Frislander wrote:
28 Nov 2018 19:36
Obviously without a fully fleshed-out language with a large corpus it's difficult to make any conclusive statements as to frequency,
Yeah, that can be quite frustrating, for me at least.
I'll have to make some stuff
Frislander wrote:
09 Dec 2018 22:59
Some stuff on syntax, starting with particles.
Frislander wrote:
15 Dec 2018 16:41
OK, time for pronominal forms!
Frislander wrote:
31 Dec 2018 19:07
OK, so in order to make a post on this language before the new year, I'm going to discuss the core points of Asta syntax.
[+1] I'm afraid I don't have any specific questions or comments on the most recent posts, but I look forward to seeing more of Asta.
I will keep up with this!
Creyeditor wrote:
03 Jan 2019 20:19
I like the general feel of your conlang, in syntax and orthography/phonology. The only thing that bugs me is the (my?) font that is displayed in this forum. All schwas look really wide and it looks better in other fonts. That's not really something you should care about though [:D]
I know it bugs me too I guess I should change my display font.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by gestaltist » 06 Jan 2019 20:10

I enjoyed your post on distribution and frequency. I feel like it brought some things together for me (for example realizing that there is a limited number of morphemes that can appear word-initially.)

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 10 Feb 2019 00:16

OK, two minor phonological edits.

Firstly the palatalised version of tr is tyər rather than tay as it was before.

Secondly, schwas assimilate to the quality of a following vowel over a glottal stop, so e.g. it's now mi‘irən "my habits, practices" rather than mə‘irən.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by DesEsseintes » 10 Feb 2019 05:33

Frislander wrote:
10 Feb 2019 00:16
schwas assimilate to the quality of a following vowel over a glottal stop, so e.g. it's now mi‘irən "my habits, practices" rather than mə‘irən.
Love this. Words with i‘i u‘u look oh-so pretty, and mi‘irən proves it. [<3]
Spoiler:
Limestone 4.0 is full of words ending in stuff like -ii’i -ao’o, etc., because of echo vowel rules, so I’m a bit partial. [:P]
Also just wanted to post sth because I always enjoy updates to this thread, but rarely comment.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 10 Feb 2019 16:40

OK, let's discuss relative clauses at last.

So relative clauses are formed from nominalisations. These are basically formed from the generic nominaliser -‘ə. In the case of intransitive subjects and also transitive core arguments where the other argument is clear from context this is all that is required.

wəmux we‘xwə‘ə
wəmux w-e‘xwə-‘ə
woman Is-young-NOM
the young woman

wa‘wasə ma‘piyə‘ə
wa‘wasə m-a‘pə-yə-‘ə
hunter 1s-catch-PRF-NOM
the hunter that saved me

we‘i‘ wəra ruwimpəsə‘ə
we‘i‘ w-əra rə-w-impəx-yə-‘ə
young_man Is-DIST 2s-Is-have_sex-PRF-NOM
that young man you shagged

However in other circumstances with transitive verbs some disambiguation may be required. In these cases the agent nominaliser -sə or the patient nominaliser -n is appended after the -‘ə suffix as appropriate. Additionally, when the agent nominaliser is used the ergative prefix is dispreferred.

nuŋwe ‘inatyu‘ən nə‘pex
nuŋwe ‘i-n-atyu-‘ə-n nə‘pex
worm 3erg-IIs-eat-NOM-PAT lizard
worms that lizards eat

wixpəssə watyu‘əsə witə
wixpəssə w-atyu-‘ə-sə witə
clown Is-eat-NOM-AGT person
the man-eating clown

Benefactors and locations may be permitted to be the head of a relative clause using the applicative.

taŋa muwəmatretyə‘ə muwi‘yə
taŋa mə-w-əmet<atr>-yə-‘ə mə-wi‘yə
house 1s-Is-leave<APPL>-PRF-NOM 1s-sister
the house I left my sister in

Finally there are some syntactic differences between restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses. Both restrictive and non-restrictive relatives may behave as described above, however non-restrictive relative clauses may additionally be expressed instead by paratactic clauses, particularly in regular speech.

ruwaman waxi‘nyəmatrə ‘u ‘iwa‘əxa‘əx muwusərə
rə-waman w-axi‘nyə-matrə ‘u ‘i-w-ROOT-a‘əx mə-wuxrə-DIM
2s-mother Is-angry-difficult CONT 3erg-I-ITER-beat 1s-brother-DIM
My mother, who is slow to anger, beat up my brother
Last edited by Frislander on 15 Apr 2019 01:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 02 Mar 2019 17:16

OK, let's just go over other kinds of clausal conjunction quickly, caus there isn't really that much too it.

Asta is one of those languages that doesn't go in for complex subordination strategies or a plethora of conjunctions. In fact there are only two true conjunctions in the entire language, and they are both coordinating - the "conjunctive" wa and the "contrastive" ‘u. These share the load of clause-coordination with nominalisation. As discussed before the semantics of the two are simply that the former marks when the coordinated events are corresponding in some way and the latter when they contrast.

yuyuyuwə wa minyu‘miyə
y-VC-uyu-wə wa min-y-u‘mə-yə
Ip-PROG-sleep-PROG CONJ 1p-Ip-raid-PRF
We will attack them while they sleep

yu‘tə‘ə ‘i‘ənnənneŋwəra’ax ‘ənnun wa yu‘piyuwastrəsə ‘irinyəx
y-wu‘tə‘ə ‘i-‘-VCC-ənnen-wə-ra’a-ax ‘ənnun wa y-u‘pi-yə-wastrəsə ‘irən-yəx
PL-sage 3.ERG-IV-PROG-see-PROG-FRUS-PL land CONJ Ip-inspect-PRF-star habit-ADV
The sages could not see land so they consulted the stars as is customary

wuniyə ‘u nyi‘ ri‘iŋityatrə ‘əra
w-unə-yə ‘u nyi‘ rə-‘-<ŋə>ityə<atr> ‘-əra
Is-die-PRF CONTR COUN 2s-IV-<IRR>come.PRF<APPL> IV-DIST
He would have died even if you had been there

Causative senses can also be conveyed by this means, though nominalisation is also used for this.

minəmataŋa səturisiyəx wa pa‘ minunyə
min-əma-taŋa y-xəturisə-yəx wa pa‘ min-unyə
1p-make-house PL-ironwood-ADV CONJ NEG 1p-be_afraid
We are not worried because we build our houses out of ironwood

‘i‘axəntaxəntə ‘imuntəriyuwənta wəpu‘siyəx
‘i-‘-ROOT-axənt-‘ə ‘i-m-untə<ər>-yə-wənta wəpu‘sə-yəx
3.POSS-IV-ITER-cough-NOM 3.ERG-1s-carry<CAUS>-PRF-AND healer-ADV
Because he kept coughing I had to go fetch the doctor

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by Frislander » 15 Apr 2019 01:00

You know what, it's a stupid that I've allowed xx but instead of ss I've had xs (why does the palatalisation not spread here when it does literally everywhere else?), so from now on <xs> will be replaced with <ss>.

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Re: The great Asta thread - not soon enough

Post by gestaltist » 19 Apr 2019 14:40

Frislander wrote:
02 Mar 2019 17:16
OK, let's just go over other kinds of clausal conjunction quickly, caus there isn't really that much too it.

Asta is one of those languages that doesn't go in for complex subordination strategies or a plethora of conjunctions. In fact there are only two true conjunctions in the entire language, and they are both coordinating - the "conjunctive" wa and the "contrastive" ‘u. These share the load of clause-coordination with nominalisation. As discussed before the semantics of the two are simply that the former marks when the coordinated events are corresponding in some way and the latter when they contrast.
I like this semantic minimalism. It caught my eye when I was working on the Asta translation in the relay.

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