Difference between revisions of "Ash"

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{{Infobox language
 
{{Infobox language
|image =  
+
|image = Ahba.svg
 
|imagesize = 100px
 
|imagesize = 100px
 +
|imagecaption = [[Verse:Ash/Onnawasta|Onnawasta]] emblem of [[Verse:Ash/Appa|Appa]]
 
|name = Ash
 
|name = Ash
|nativename = ''ahgaa''
+
|nativename = ''ạ̉hgaa''
|pronunciation = [ˈʔɑ̞ħˌqɑ̞ː]
+
|pronunciation = [ˈʔɑħˌqɑː]
 
|creator = [[User:Prinsessa|Ava Skoog]]
 
|creator = [[User:Prinsessa|Ava Skoog]]
 
|familycolor = ?
 
|familycolor = ?
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==Introduction==
 
==Introduction==
  
'''Ash''' (''ahgaa'', lit. "seaspeak", pronounced [ˈʔɑ̞ħˌqɑ̞ː]) is the anglicised name of a language mostly spoken around coastal areas, notably the town of Appa (''ahba''). Its speakers are familiar with technological advancements such as nautical vessels and steam locomotives.
+
'''Ash''' (''ạ̉hgaa'', lit. "seaspeak", IPA [ˈʔɑħˌqɑː]) is the anglicised name of a language mostly spoken around coastal areas, notably the town of [[Verse:Ash/Appa|Appa]] (''ảhba''). Its speakers are familiar with technological advancements such as nautical vessels and steam locomotives.
  
The language is mildly synthetic to polysynthetic, largely based around agglutination with fusional elements. There is a great focus on verbs, nominals being mostly uninflected, and significant pro-drop tendencies and a general focus around deixis rather than pronominal distinctions. The word order is heavily SOV.
+
The language is synthetic, largely based around agglutination with fusional elements. There is a great focus on verbs, nominals being mostly uninflected, and significant pro-drop tendencies and a general focus around deixis rather than pronominal distinctions. The word order is heavily SOV.
  
 
==Phonology==
 
==Phonology==
Line 20: Line 21:
 
===Phonemes===
 
===Phonemes===
  
The underlying sounds of Ash are few enough that a simple listing is preferable to a traditional table:
+
Due to the small number of underlying sounds in Ash and their high degree of allophonicity, a simple listing of phonemes according to phonotactic patterning is more suitable than a traditional consonant table and vowel trapezium.
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
! Vocalic
 
! Vocalic
| {{IPA|/ai~ju~w/}}
+
| {{IPA|/a i~j u~w/}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Plosive
 
! Plosive
Line 33: Line 34:
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Glottal
 
! Glottal
| {{IPA|/h/}}
+
| {{IPA|/ʔ~h/}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Nasal
 
! Nasal
Line 39: Line 40:
 
|}
 
|}
  
The reasoning for this rather unusual classification is down to phonotactic patterning: these five groups all behave somewhat differently and serve as a more useful distinction than point of articulation when describing the phonology of Ash. The pair or triplet given for each phoneme refers to an alternation between various allophonic realisations despite the relatively low number of underlying sounds, an important feature of the language that makes the variation richer on the surface. For instance, long vowels (romanised by doubling the vowel) and nasal vowels (romanised using a tilde) are not analysed as phonemic.
+
The reasoning for this rather unusual classification is down to phonotactic patterning: these five groups all behave somewhat differently and serve as a more useful distinction than point of articulation when describing the phonology of Ash. The pair given for each phoneme refers to an alternation between various allophonic realisations despite the relatively low number of underlying sounds, an important feature of the language that makes the variation richer on the surface. For instance, long vowels (romanised by doubling the vowel) and nasal vowels (romanised using a tilde) are not analysed as phonemic.
  
 
===Romanisation===
 
===Romanisation===
  
The romanisation strikes a balance between representing phonemes versus surface realisations and uses the following seventeen letters:
+
The romanisation strikes a balance between representing phonemes versus surface realisations and uses the following letters:
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
| a
 
| a
| ã
 
 
| e
 
| e
| ẽ
 
 
| y
 
| y
 
| o
 
| o
| õ
 
 
| w
 
| w
 
| b
 
| b
Line 64: Line 62:
 
| ŋ
 
| ŋ
 
|}
 
|}
 +
 +
Tilde (e.g. '''ã''') is used to mark nasalisation. Hook above (e.g. '''ả''') denotes a word-initial glottal stop. Dot below (e.g. '''ạ''') signifies otherwise ambiguous stress. An apostrophe ('''’''') is placed before a syllabic consonant.
  
 
An example of a word with its archiphonemic, phonemic and surface transcriptions as well as romanisation:
 
An example of a word with its archiphonemic, phonemic and surface transcriptions as well as romanisation:
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
| {{IPA|//ˈwat.ha.ku//}}
+
| {{IPA|//.Vʔˈuʔ.t͡si//}}
| → {{IPA|/ˈwah.taˌku/}}
+
| → {{IPA|/ʔiʔˈwuʔ.t͡si/}}
| → {{IPA|[ˈʔɔ̯ɑ̞ħ.t̠ɐˌɣʊ]}}
+
| → {{IPA|[ˈʔe̞ʍˈʍo̞ʔ.ȶ͡ɕɪ]}}
| → ''oahdago'' "during the day"
+
| → ''ẻhhodse'' "hungry"
 
|}
 
|}
  
Line 92: Line 92:
 
|}
 
|}
  
===Phonological processes===
+
===Prosody and stress===
  
Depending on the underlying nature of a cluster, various processes may take place either on a phonemic (phoneme alternation) or on a phonetic (surface allophony) level. For example, {{IPA|/t/}} merges with {{IPA|/t͡s/}} on the ''phonemic'' level before {{IPA|/i~j/}} or a plosive or an affricate, but alternates with {{IPA|[ð]}} on the ''phonetic'' level between vowels.
+
Prefixes are always unstressed. Following the last stressed syllable an iambic pattern of secondary stress on every other underlyingly light syllable follows unless an underlyingly heavy syllable intervenes, resetting the pattern. In addition, stressed syllables are forced to be heavy either by lengthening of the vowel or reduplication of the next syllable's onset consonant if they are not already underlyingly so.
  
====Alternations before glides====
+
===Clusters===
  
In addition to the aforementioned example, nasals and fricatives will geminate before consonantal glides (i.e. /j w/ when they do not surface as vocalic), assimilating to the glide and eliding it in the process.
+
Depending on the underlying nature of a cluster, various processes take place either on a phonemic (phoneme alternation) or on a phonetic (surface allophony) level. For example, {{IPA|/t/}} merges with {{IPA|/t͡s/}} on the ''phonemic'' level before {{IPA|/i~j/}} or a plosive or an affricate as well as word-finally, but alternates with {{IPA|[ð]}} on the ''phonetic'' level between vowels.
  
 +
* A nasal or fricative geminates before a glide, assimilating to and eliding it in the process.
 +
* All plosives alternate phonemically with fricatives or affricates before another plosive or an affricate.
 +
* {{IPA|/h~ʔ/}} is a fricative before vowels/glides and plosives but a glottal stop before nasals (as is the case for plosives) and affricates.
 +
* Affricates are deäffricated intervocalically, before other plosives or affricates, word-finally and before nasals (which are prestopped).
 +
* Sibilant palatalisation cascades bidirectionally through clusters; sibilants are also palatalised after {{IPA|/i/}} word-finally and cluster-initially.
 +
 +
<div style="float: left">
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
!
 
!
Line 106: Line 113:
 
|-
 
|-
 
! {{IPA|//N-//}}
 
! {{IPA|//N-//}}
| [ɲ.ɲ]
+
| {{IPA|[ɲ.ɲ]}}
| [m.m]
+
| {{IPA|[m.m]}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
! {{IPA|//h-//}}
 
! {{IPA|//h-//}}
| [ç.ç]
+
| {{IPA|[ç.ç]}}
| [ʍ.ʍ]
+
| {{IPA|[ʍ.ʍ]}}
 
|-
 
|-
! {{IPA|/t͡s-/}}
+
! {{IPA|//t͡s-//}}
| [ɕ.ɕ]
+
| {{IPA|[ɕ.ɕ]}}
| [s̠.s̠]
+
| {{IPA|[s̠.s̠]}}
 
|-
 
|-
! {{IPA|/t͡ɬ-/}}
+
! {{IPA|//t͡ɬ-//}}
|colspan="2"| <center>[ɬ.ɬ]</center>
+
| {{IPA|[ʎ.ʎ]}}
 +
| {{IPA|[ɫ.ɫ]}}
 
|}
 
|}
 
+
</div>
Before a vowel corresponding to the glide, the first consonant is simply doubled and the glide unwritten (e.g. ''-nne-'' for {{IPA|/-N.ji-/}}) but before other vowels the glide remains (e.g. ''-nya-'' for {{IPA|/-N.ja-/}}).
+
<div style="float: left">
 
 
====Alternations before plosives and affricates====
 
 
 
All plosives alternate phonemically with fricatives or affricates before another plosive or an affricate.
 
 
 
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
!
 
!
Line 132: Line 135:
 
|-
 
|-
 
! {{IPA|//p-//}}
 
! {{IPA|//p-//}}
|rowspan="2"| /h.P/ [ħ.P]
+
|rowspan="2"| {{IPA|/h.P/ [ħ.P]}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
! {{IPA|//k-//}}
 
! {{IPA|//k-//}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
! {{IPA|//t-//}}
 
! {{IPA|//t-//}}
| /t͡s.P/ [s̠.P~ɕ.P]
+
| {{IPA|/t͡s.P/ [s̠.P~ɕ.P]}}
 
|}
 
|}
 
+
</div>
====Glottal allophony====
+
<div style="float: left">
 
 
The phoneme /h~ʔ/ surfaces as a fricative before vowels and glides (geminating in the latter case as outlined in the section on alternations before glides) as well as plosives but as a glottal stop before nasals and affricates.
 
 
 
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
!
 
!
Line 151: Line 151:
 
|-
 
|-
 
! {{IPA|//h-//}}
 
! {{IPA|//h-//}}
| [ħ.P]
+
| {{IPA|[ħ.P]}}
| [ʔ.P͡F]
+
| {{IPA|[ʔ.P͡F]}}
| /ʔ.ᴰN/
+
| {{IPA|/ʔ.ᴮN/}}
 
|}
 
|}
 
+
</div>
In addition, each plosive alternates phonemically with the glottal before a nasal, assimilating the nasal to its point of articulation.
+
<div style="float: left">
 
 
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
!
 
!
Line 163: Line 162:
 
|-
 
|-
 
! {{IPA|//p-//}}
 
! {{IPA|//p-//}}
| [ʔ.ᵇm]
+
| {{IPA|[ʔ.ᵇm]}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
! {{IPA|//t-//}}
 
! {{IPA|//t-//}}
| [ʔ.ᵈn̠~ʔ.ᶡɲ]
+
| {{IPA|[ʔ.ᵈn̠~ʔ.ᶡɲ]}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
! {{IPA|//k-//}}
 
! {{IPA|//k-//}}
| [ʔ.ᶢŋ]
+
| {{IPA|[ʔ.ᶢŋ]}}
 
|}
 
|}
 +
</div>
 +
<div style="clear: both"></div>
  
====Affricate alternations====
+
===Laterals===
  
Affricates are simplified to fricatives in much the same contexts as the plosives: intervocalically, before other plosives or affricates, word-finally as well as before nasals which in turn are prestopped.
+
The lateral affricate {{IPA|/t͡ɬ/}} patterns phonotactically just like the sibilant affricate {{IPA|/t͡s/}} but is not always produced as a fricative, but sometimes also as an approximant. In contexts where the affrication remains, regardless of voicing, so does the frication, i.e. {{IPA|[t͡ɬ~d͡ɮ]}}. In leniting contexts the realisation depends on the environment, remaining a fricative {{IPA|[ɬ]}} in a voiceless environment while defaulting to a pure lateral approximant {{IPA|[l]}} in a voiced one, but when geminated by the absorption of a following palatal glide it assimilates to it as {{IPA|[ʎ̥]}}.
  
===Prosody and stress===
+
===Syllabification===
 +
 
 +
In unstressed prefixes, colourless or epenthetic vowels may drop out in favour of syllabification of an adjacent fricative or nasal. This is represented in the romanisation by an apostrophe '''’''' placed before the non-vocalic consonant letter.
  
Prefixes are always unstressed. Following the last stressed syllable an iambic pattern of secondary stress on every other underlyingly light syllable follows unless an underlyingly heavy syllable intervenes, resetting the pattern. In addition, unless at the end of a word, stressed syllables are forced to be heavy either by lengthening of the vowel or reduplication of the next syllable's onset consonant if they are not already underlyingly so.
+
An example is the inalienable possession prefix ''n-'' becoming ''’n-''. Some word stems have inherent consonantal prefixes that get resolved the same way: ''n-doo-'' "(fire) smoke" becomes ''’ndoo-'' in the absence of a prefix, and ''ảd’ndoo-'' when the direct marker ''ảh-'' is added.
  
 
==Morphology==
 
==Morphology==
  
Ash does not mark words for number, person or case. With regards to syntactic patterning, only three significant word classes can be posited: verbs, nominals and adverbials. Nonetheless there is a degree of mobility between them.
+
Ash does not mark words for number, person or case. With regards to syntactic patterning, only three significant word classes can be posited: verbs, nominals and converbs. Nonetheless there is a degree of mobility between them.
  
 
=== Verbs ===
 
=== Verbs ===
  
The bulk of all inflection goes on verbs, making them morphemic anchors fundamental to almost any utterance in the language. The general verb template looks as follows:
+
The bulk of all inflection goes on verbs, making them morphemic anchors fundamental to almost any utterance in the language. The general verb template is as follows:
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
| colspan="4" |
+
| colspan="3" |
 
! colspan="5" | Stem
 
! colspan="5" | Stem
| colspan="3" |
+
| colspan="2" |
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Deixis
 
| Deixis
| Trans./Poss.
+
| Agency
| Preverb
 
 
| Incorp.
 
| Incorp.
| Class.
 
 
| '''Root'''
 
| '''Root'''
| Der.
+
| Deriv.
 
| State
 
| State
| Mood/Nom.
+
| Mood
| Attr.
+
| Involv.
| Adv.
+
| Converb.
| Enclitics
 
 
|}
 
|}
 
The nominalisation slot creates a deverbal nominal and the adverbialisation slot creates an adverbial and so these two serve to change the class of the word; the possession slot is only used on deverbal nominals and not on regular verbs.
 
  
 
====Stems====
 
====Stems====
  
Each verb has a set of primary stems formed more or less predictably from a combination of affixes. The first stem, the stative indicative, is used as the lemma when citing words, such as ''oada'' "to shine":
+
Each verb has a set of primary stems formed more or less predictably from a combination of affixes. The first stem, the stative (or active, if there is no stative) indicative, is used as the lemma when citing words, such as ''oada'' "to shine", also a good example of the versatile morphophonology:
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
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! Stative
 
! Stative
 
! Active
 
! Active
! Translative
+
! Inchoative
! Causative
+
! Terminative
! Passive
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Indicative
 
! Indicative
 
| '''''oada'''''
 
| '''''oada'''''
 +
{{IPA|[ˈɔ̯ɑː.ðɐ]}}
 
| ''oahda''
 
| ''oahda''
 +
{{IPA|[ˈɔ̯ɑħ.t̠ɐ]}}
 
| ''oadna''
 
| ''oadna''
| ''oasya''
+
{{IPA|[ˈɔ̯ɑʔ.ᵈn̠ɐ]}}
 
| ''oasda''
 
| ''oasda''
 +
{{IPA|[ˈɔ̯ɑs̠.t̠ɐ]}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Optative
 
! Optative
| ''oase''
+
| ''oese''
| ''oadse''
+
{{IPA|[ˈʊːɪ̯.ʑɪ]}}
| ''oadne''
+
| ''oedse''
| ''oasse''
+
{{IPA|[ˈo̞e̞̯ʔ.ȶ͡ɕɪ]}}
| ''oasdse''
+
| ''oedne''
 +
{{IPA|[ˈo̞e̞̯ʔ.ᶡɲɪ]}}
 +
| ''oesde''
 +
{{IPA|[ˈʊɪ̯ɕ.ȶ͡ɕɪ]}}
 
|}
 
|}
  
All of these terms are to an extent ad hoc. For instance the passive stem is only used to form deverbal nominals; there is no true passive construction syntactically. Some verbs are inherently stative or active and do not have two distinct stems. The active or stative stems are the ones that are generally prone to being somewhat unpredictable, whereas the other three are formed productively.
+
All of these terms are to an extent ad hoc. Some verbs are inherently stative or active and do not have two distinct stems. The inchoative and terminative are often used in a perfective sense as opposed to the imperfective or habitual active or stative.
  
====Derived stems====
+
====Derived verbs====
  
Derivational suffixes can be used to extend the root and create a new set of stems, such as the frequentative ''-(d)s-'' and the potential ''-dãã-''.
+
Derivational suffixes can be used to extend the root and create a new set of stems, such as the causative ''-j-'' or the frequentative ''-(d)s-'', which can themselves, depending on the word, be stative or active (all derived verbs are inherently one or the other or both and do not display the allomorphy of basic verbs), inchoative, terminative and so on. These are some of the words derived from ''oo'' "consume":
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
! Base
+
!  
! Frequentative
+
! Stative
 +
! Active
 +
! Inchoative
 +
! Terminative
 
|-
 
|-
| ''baa'' "hand; arm"
+
! Basic
| ''badsa'' "weave; make"
+
| colspan="2" | <center>'''''oo'''''</center>
 +
| ''oona''
 +
| ''ooda''
 
|-
 
|-
| ''oo'' "consume"
+
! Causative
| ''odsa'' "gorge; overeat"
+
| colspan="2" | <center>''oyya''</center>
 +
| ''oena''
 +
| ''oeda''
 
|-
 
|-
| ''doo'' "smoke"
+
! Frequentative
| ''dodso'' "train; locomotive"
+
| colspan="2" | <center>''odsa''</center>
 +
| ''osna''
 +
| ''osda''
 
|}
 
|}
 
Sometimes stems appear connected through no longer productive processes, such as ''ohwa'' "cook", related to ''oo'' "consume".
 
  
 
===Nominals===
 
===Nominals===
  
Nominals are mostly unmarked; the main kind of affixation, while resembling case marking, results in adverbialisation, thus changing the class of the word. Nominals can however be marked for possession or be incorporated into a verb.
+
Nominals are mostly unmarked. A handful of inherited inalienably possessed nominals are however obligatorily marked with a prefix or that disappears during incorporation into a verb. This possessive prefix ''n-'' can be preceded by a deictic prefix. Here are the possessed forms of ''mõõ'' "head; hair", an inalienably possessed nominal:
 
 
The possessive prefix ''n-'' can be preceded by a deictic prefix. Here are the possessed forms of ''mõõ'' "head; hair; top":
 
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
Line 269: Line 277:
 
! Distal
 
! Distal
 
|-
 
|-
| ''ammõõ''
+
| ''’mmõõ''
 
| ''emmõõ''
 
| ''emmõõ''
 
| ''ommõõ''
 
| ''ommõõ''
 
|}
 
|}
  
===Adverbials===
+
Any phrase can be nominalised using a classificatory topic marker (see below). When marked for the locative (see also below), these can be used to connect possessum to possessor.
  
Adverbials are used to denote a place, time or manner. Their formation sometimes resembles case marking or conjunctions more than traditional adverbs, but serves that role as well.
+
===Converbs===
  
Some prominent adverbialising suffixes:
+
Converbs are used to denote a place, time or manner. Their formation sometimes resembles case marking or conjunctions or adverbs.
 +
 
 +
Some prominent converbialising suffixes:
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
!
 
!
! Suffix
+
! Long
 +
! Short
 
! Example
 
! Example
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Locative
 
! Locative
 
| ''-da''
 
| ''-da''
| ''mehda'' "by the fire"
+
| ''-s''
 +
| ''’nsooda'' "where they live; by the house; at home"
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Durative
 
! Durative
| ''-go''
+
| ''-wo'', ''-go''
| ''oadnago'' "in the morning"
+
| ''-h''
 +
| ''oadnah'' "when it gets bright; in the morning"
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Benefactive
 
! Benefactive
| ''-ba''
+
| ''-wa'', ''-ba''
| ''eaba'' "in order to see"
+
| ''-o''
 +
| ''eawa'' "in order to see"
 +
|-
 +
! Semblative
 +
| ''-ya''
 +
| ''-e''
 +
| ''ảyya'' "sea-like; blue; green"
 
|}
 
|}
 +
 +
The shorter forms are used unstressed vowels and in a few irregular instances, and are for example always used with the reduced forms of locative verbs (e.g. ''ảhba las'' "in Appa"); irregular instances include the contractions ''eas'' "here" and ''eah'' "now".
  
 
===Deixis===
 
===Deixis===
  
The language lacks true pronouns and due to its pro-drop tendencies commonly avoids alternatives as well. What does get commonly marked is deixis: whether something is close to or far away from the speaker or a previous referent; unspecified deixis is also possible. On nominals deixis is generally spatial while on verbs it is temporal (proximal working roughly as a present tense and distal as a non-present one); adverbial deixis can be either depending on the characteristics of the adverbial in question.
+
The language lacks true pronouns and due to its pro-drop tendencies commonly avoids alternatives as well. One thing that does get marked is deixis: whether something is close to or far away from the speaker or a previous referent; unspecified deixis is also possible. On nominals deixis is generally spatial while on verbs it is temporal (proximal working roughly as a present tense and distal as a non-present one); converbial deixis can be either depending on the characteristics of the converb in question.
  
 
The deictic stems are as follows:
 
The deictic stems are as follows:
Line 315: Line 336:
 
|}
 
|}
  
Deixis occurs in the form of isolated nominals ''ee'' and ''oo'' as well as verbal and possessive prefixes ''e-'' and ''o-''. Neutral deixis sometimes surfaces epenthetically as ''a-'' due to phonotactic constraints, but is not underlyingly explicitly marked.
+
Deixis occurs in the form of isolated nominals ''ea'' and ''oa'' (reduced from ''eyya'' and ''owwa'' still used for emphasis), generally shortened and tending to blend into the next word, often as {{IPA|[-ɛ(ː~ˑ)-]~[-e̞(ː)ɪ̯]~[-e̞j-]}} and {{IPA|[-ɔ(ː~ˑ)-]~[-o̞(ː)ʊ̯]~[-o̞w-]}}, but also with the glide assimilating, leading to forms such as {{IPA|[-ɪw-]}} and {{IPA|[-ʊj-]}}. In verbs with some form of agency marker, the prefixes irregularly assimilate to it, retaining the initial glottal stop but displacing the vowel, e.g. ''*e-ả-'' becomes ''-''.
 +
 
 +
===Conjunct and disjunct verbs===
 +
 
 +
While Ash lacks a set of first, second and third person pronouns, a system of so called conjunct versus disjunct verb forms can be used in combination with transitivity markers and deixis in order to more or less unambiguously cover the same ground. This concept is also known in the literature as assertor's involvement marking, which might give the reader a clearer idea of the concept: verbs are marked for whether the one making an assertion is involved in the action (conjunct) or not (disjunct).
 +
 
 +
In simple statements the assertor defaults to the speaker (i.e. first person) but in questions to the addressee (second person). In reported speech the assertor defaults to the source of the quote and may therefore also take on a third person role. First and second person roles are associated with proximal deixis while third person is associated with distal deixis or an explicit nominal.
 +
 
 +
Conjunct is marked by the suffix ''-s'' and disjunct is unmarked.
 +
 
 +
====Simple intransitives====
 +
 
 +
In simple statements proximal deixis combined with a conjunct verb denotes a first person, while combined with a disjunct verb it denotes a second person, whereas in questions this is flipped. Distal deixis or an explicit nominal denotes a third person in both cases. Note that there is no number distinction and so for example first person can imply both "I" and "we" but for the sake of space only one translation is given for each example.
 +
 
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
! rowspan="2" |
 +
! colspan="2" | Declarative
 +
! colspan="2" | Interrogative
 +
|-
 +
! Proximal
 +
! Distal
 +
! Proximal
 +
! Distal
 +
|-
 +
! Conjunct
 +
| ''(ea go) oada<u>s</u>''<br />"I am pale"
 +
| -
 +
| ''(ea go) oada<u>s</u> no''<br />"are you pale?"
 +
| -
 +
|-
 +
! Disjunct
 +
| ''(ea go) oada''<br />"you are pale"
 +
| ''(oa go) oada''<br />"they are pale"
 +
| ''(ea go) oada no''<br />"am I pale?"
 +
| ''(oa go) oada no''<br />"are they pale?"
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
====Simple transitives====
 +
 
 +
Simple transitive clauses work much the same way but the choice between a direct transitive or inverse transitive marker affects the meaning as well and is the only way to differentiate between agent and patient roles when the referents are first and second person.
 +
 
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
! rowspan="3" |
 +
! colspan="4" | Declarative
 +
|-
 +
! colspan="2" |  Proximal
 +
! colspan="2" |  Distal
 +
|-
 +
! Direct
 +
! Inverse
 +
! Direct
 +
! Inverse
 +
|-
 +
! Conjunct
 +
| ''(ea go) ảhhea<u>s</u>''<br />"I look at you"
 +
| ''(ea go) ảssea<u>s</u>''<br />"you look at me"
 +
| ''(oa go) ảhhea<u>s</u>''<br />"I look at them"
 +
| ''(oa go) ảssea<u>s</u>''<br />"they look at me"
 +
|-
 +
! Disjunct
 +
| ''(ea go) ảhhea''<br />"you look at them"
 +
| ''(ea go) ảssea''<br />"they look at you"
 +
| ''(oa go) ảhhea''<br />"they<sub>1</sub> look at them<sub>2</sub>"
 +
| ''(oa go) ảssea''<br />"they<sub>2</sub> look at them<sub>1</sub>"
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
The interrogative patterns the same way except for the first and second person again being flipped. As the last two examples show, the choice of transitivity marker can also serve as a proximate-obviative distinction.
 +
 
 +
====Reported speech====
 +
 
 +
In quotations the conjunct versus disjunct distinction instead focuses on the source of the quote, but only in the subclause. Again this may serve as a proximate-obviative distinction. This means that it is possible to mark distal referents as conjunct in such subclauses.
 +
 
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
! rowspan="2" |
 +
! colspan="2" | Proximal
 +
|-
 +
! Conjunct source
 +
! Disjunct source
 +
|-
 +
! Conjunct target
 +
| ''(ea go) oada<u>s</u> (ea go) ogaa<u>s</u>''<br />"I said I am pale"
 +
| ''(ea go) oada<u>s</u> (ea go) ogaa''<br />"you said you are pale"
 +
|-
 +
! Disjunct target
 +
| ''(ea go) oada (ea go) ogaa<u>s</u>''<br />"I said you are pale"
 +
| ''(ea go) oada (ea go) ogaa''<br />"you said I am pale"
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
====Indirect involvement====
 +
 
 +
As the conjunct form denotes merely whether the assertor is somehow involved in the action, the assertor need not necessarily be the agent. A conjunct form would still be used to denote first person involvement as a patient in some statements.
 +
 
 +
{{gloss
 +
|phrase=emmõõ bo ảo ẻhbadsas
 +
|IPA=[ɪmˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbo̞ ˈʔɑːʊ̯ ʔe̞ħˈpɑʔ.t̠͡s̠ɐs̠]
 +
|gloss=PROX-INAL-head=TOP:CRESC ao PROX-DIR-hand.FREQ.IND-CONJ
 +
|translation=Ao is braiding my hair
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
Despite a third person being the agent of the action, the focus is on the first person (the assertor) and the verb is therefore conjunct.
  
 
==Syntax==
 
==Syntax==
  
The word order is fairly strictly SOV, with adverbials generally preceding the nominals followed by the verb.
+
The word order is fairly strictly SOV, with converbs generally preceding the nominals followed by the verb.
  
 
===Valency===
 
===Valency===
  
====Transitivity and inversion====
+
====Agency====
  
Transitivity is explicitly marked and through an inversion marker on the verb the roles of agent and patient can be swapped without a change in word order, the purpose of which is topicalisation, leaving the topic in the subject position. The glosses saying TOP are a simplification of a concept that will be explained in detail in the section on locative verbs.
+
Transitivity and volition are tied up in a single grammatical category termed agency. Direct agency is explicitly marked and through an inversion marker on the verb the roles of agent and patient can be swapped without a change in word order, the purpose of which is topicalisation, leaving the topic in the subject position. The subject requires a topical marker, the details of which will be explained in detail in the section on locative verbs.
  
 
{|
 
{|
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=ao go bahbo e<u>hh</u>ea
+
|phrase=ảo go bahba ẻ<u>hh</u>ea
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑ̞ħ.pʊ‿je̞çˈçɛ̯ɑː]
+
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑħ.pɐ ʔe̞çˈçɛːɑ̯]
|gloss=ao TOP:ACT dog PROX-<u>TR</u>-see.ACT.IND
+
|gloss=ao=TOP:ACT dog PROX-<u>DIR</u>-see.ACT.IND
 
|translation=Ao is looking at the dog
 
|translation=Ao is looking at the dog
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=ao go bahbo e<u>ss</u>ea
+
|phrase=ảo go bahba ẻ<u>ss</u>ea
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑ̞ħ.pʊ‿jɪɕˈɕɛ̯ɑː]
+
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑħ.pɐ ʔɪɕˈɕɛːɑ̯]
|gloss=ao TOP:ACT dog PROX-<u>INV</u>-see.ACT.IND
+
|gloss=ao=TOP:ACT dog PROX-<u>INV</u>-see.ACT.IND
 
|translation=Ao is being watched by the dog
 
|translation=Ao is being watched by the dog
 
}}
 
}}
Line 350: Line 470:
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=ehhea
+
|phrase=ẻhheas
|IPA=[ʔe̞çˈçɛ̯ɑː]
+
|IPA=[ʔe̞çˈçɛːɑ̯ɕ]
|gloss=PROX-TR-see.ACT.IND
+
|gloss=PROX-DIR-see.ACT.IND-CONJ
|translation=I am looking at it
+
|translation=I am looking at them
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
|{{gloss
 +
|phrase=ẻsseas
 +
|IPA=[ʔɪɕˈɕɛːɑ̯ɕ]
 +
|gloss=PROX-INV-see.ACT.IND-CONJ
 +
|translation=they are looking at me
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
====Reflexivity====
 +
 
 +
A verb can also be made reflexive by using a deictic marker in the transitivity slot, meaning a distinction is made between proximal and distal reflexivity, corresponding to the spatial deixis of nominals rather than the normally temporal deixis of verbs.
 +
 
 +
{|
 +
 
 +
|{{gloss
 +
|phrase=oadnah ảesããs
 +
|IPA=[ˈʔɔ̯ɑʔ.ᵈn̠ɐħ ħɐɪ̯ˈz̠ɑ̃ːs̠]
 +
|gloss=shine.INCH.IND-CVB:DUR REFL.PROX-LOC:LIQ.STAT/ACT.IND-CONJ
 +
|translation=I wash in the morning
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=essea
+
|phrase=oadnah ảo go ảosãã ma
|IPA=[ʔɪɕˈɕɛ̯ɑː]
+
|IPA=[ˈʔɔ̯ɑʔ.ᵈn̠ɐħ ħɑːʊ̯‿ɣo̞ ʔɐʊ̯ˈz̠ɑ̃ː‿mɐ]
|gloss=PROX-INV-see.ACT.IND
+
|gloss=shine.INCH.IND-CVB:DUR ao=TOP:ACT REFL.DIST-LOC:LIQ.STAT/ACT.IND NEG
|translation=it is looking at me
+
|translation=Ao doesn't wash in the morning
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
Reflexivity can be used to disambiguate between cases when the first and second person implications of the proximal deixis would otherwise collapse or as a proximate-obviative distinction.
 +
 
 +
{|
 +
 
 +
|{{gloss
 +
|phrase=emmõõ bo ea ảhbadsas
 +
|IPA=[ɪmˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbʊ ˈjɛˑ ʔe̞ħˈpɑʔ.t̠͡s̠ɐs̠]
 +
|gloss=PROX-INAL-head=TOP:CRESC PROX PROX-DIR-hand.FREQ.IND-CONJ
 +
|translation=you are braiding my hair
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
|{{gloss
 +
|phrase=emmõõ bo ea ẻebadsas
 +
|IPA=[ɪmˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbʊ ˈjɛˑ ʔe̞ɪ̯ˈβɑʔ.t̠͡s̠ɐs̠]
 +
|gloss=PROX-INAL-head=TOP:CRESC PROX PROX-REFL.PROX-hand.FREQ.IND-CONJ
 +
|translation=I am braiding my hair
 
}}
 
}}
  
Line 370: Line 532:
  
 
{{gloss
 
{{gloss
|phrase=ao go bahbo od<u>sãmm</u>oyya
+
|phrase=ảo go bahba ỏd<u>s</u>oyya
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑ̞ħ.pʊ‿wo̞ʔˈt̠͡s̠ɑ̞̃mˌmʊʝ.ʝɐ]
+
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑħ.pɐ wo̞ʔˈt̠͡s̠ʊj.]
|gloss=ao TOP:ACT dog DIST-TR-<u>water</u>-consume.CAUS.IND
+
|gloss=ao=TOP:ACT dog DIST-DIR-<u>water</u>-consume.CAUS.IND
|translation=Ao gave the dog water to drink
+
|translation=Ao was giving the dog water to drink
 
}}
 
}}
  
====Adverbialisation====
+
====Converbialisation====
  
The other method is to completely remove the valency of the nominal by turning it into an adverbial, which is why this process sometimes resembles case marking.
+
The other method is to completely remove the valency of the nominal by turning it into a converb, which is why this process sometimes resembles case marking.
  
 
{{gloss
 
{{gloss
|phrase=ao go bahbo meh<u>da</u> odsãmmoyya
+
|phrase=ảo go bahba mea<u>da</u> odsoyya
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑ̞ħ.pʊ‿ˈme̞ħ.t̠ɐ‿wo̞ʔˈt̠͡s̠ɑ̞̃mˌmʊʝ.ʝɐ]
+
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑħ.pɐ ˈmɛːɑ̯.ðɐ wo̞ʔˈt̠͡s̠ʊj.]
|gloss=ao TOP:ACT dog fire-<u>LOC</u> DIST-TR-water-consume.CAUS.IND
+
|gloss=ao=TOP:ACT dog fire-<u>CVB:LOC</u> DIST-DIR-water-consume.CAUS.IND
|translation=Ao gave the dog water to drink by the fire
+
|translation=Ao was giving the dog water to drink by the fire
 
}}
 
}}
  
Line 397: Line 559:
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Animate
 
! Animate
| ''bahbo go ahhoo'' "dogs eat it"
+
| ''bahba go ảhhea''<br />"dogs watch it"
| ''bahbo go assoo'' "dogs are eaten"
+
| ''bahba go ảssea''<br />"dogs are watched"
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Inanimate
 
! Inanimate
| ''sãã sa ahhoo'' "water is drunk"
+
| ''sãã sa ảhhea''<br />"water is watched"
| ''*sãã sa assoo'' (ungrammatical)
+
| ''*sãã sa ảssea''<br />(ungrammatical)
 
|}
 
|}
  
 
===Topicalisation===
 
===Topicalisation===
  
New non-verbal information is focused by fronting, i.e. introducing the word or phrase earlier in the sentence. This means that the order of subject and object might shift in order to focus on the object. When the object is inanimate inversion is not possible nor necessary, while for an animate object it is. The nominal in focus will also receive a topic marker, explained in detail in the section on locative verbs.
+
New non-verbal information is focused by fronting, i.e. introducing the word or phrase earlier in the sentence. This means that the order of subject and object might shift in order to focus on the object. When the object is inanimate inversion is not possible nor necessary, while for an animate object it is. The nominal in focus also receives a topic marker, explained in detail in the section on locative verbs.
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
Line 415: Line 577:
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Animate
 
! Animate
| ''ao go <u>bahbo</u> ohhea'' "Ao was looking at the dog"
+
| ''ảo go <u>bahba</u> ỏhhea''<br />"Ao was looking at the dog"
| ''<u>bahbo go</u> ao ossea'' "it was the dog Ao was looking at"
+
| ''<u>bahba go</u> ảo ỏssea''<br />"it was the dog Ao was looking at"
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Inanimate
 
! Inanimate
| ''ao go <u>sãã</u> ohhoo'' "Ao who was drinking water"
+
| ''ảo go <u>sãã</u> ỏhhoo''<br />"Ao was drinking water"
| ''<u>sãã sa</u> ao ohhoo'' "it was water Ao was drinking"
+
| ''<u>sãã sa</u> ảo ỏhhoo''<br />"it was water Ao was drinking"
 
|}
 
|}
  
Line 428: Line 590:
  
 
{{gloss
 
{{gloss
|phrase=[oo oahdago bahbo go ossoyya]<sup>1</sup> [ee oahdago esseana]<sup>2</sup>
+
|phrase=[owahdah bahba go ỏssoeda]<sub>1</sub> [ewahdah ẻsseanas]<sub>2</sub>
|IPA=[ˈʔu̯oː‿ˈwɔ̯ɑ̞ħ.t̠ɐˌɣʊ ˈβɑ̞ħ.pʊ‿ˌɣo̞‿wʊs̠ˈs̠ʊʝ.ʝɐ‿ˈji̯eː‿ˈwɔ̯ɑ̞ħ.t̠ɐˌɣʊ‿jɪɕˈɕɛ̯ɑː.n̠ɐ]
+
|IPA=[o̞ˈwɑħ.t̠ɐħ ˈpɑħ.pɐ‿ɣo̞ ʔʊs̠ˈs̠ʊːɪ̯.ðɐ jɪˈwɑħ.t̠ɐ.wo̞ħ ħɪɕˈɕɛːɑ̯.n̠ɐs̠]
|gloss=[DIST shine.ACT.IND-DUR dog DIST-INV-consume.CAUS.IND]<sup>1</sup> [PROX shine.ACT.IND-DUR PROX-INV-see.TRANS.IND]<sup>2</sup>
+
|gloss=[DIST shine.ACT.IND-CVB:DUR dog DIST-INV-consume.CAUS.TERM.IND]<sub>1</sub> [PROX shine.ACT.IND-CVB:DUR PROX-INV-see.INCH.IND-CONJ]<sub>2</sub>
|translation=[today I saw]<sup>2</sup> [the dog that you fed yesterday]<sup>1</sup>
+
|translation=[today I saw]<sub>2</sub> [the dog that (you) fed yesterday]<sub>1</sub>
 
}}
 
}}
  
===Attributes===
+
This is also how stative verbs are used to assign qualities to nominals.
  
Attributive verbs are formed using the connector suffix ''-s'' and go before the noun phrase.
+
{{gloss
 +
|phrase=oasya bahba go ẻsseanas no
 +
|IPA=[ˈɔ̯ɑɕ.ɕɐ ˈβɑħ.pɐ‿ɣo̞ ʔɪɕˈɕɛːɑ̯.n̠ɐz̠‿ᵈn̠ʊ]
 +
|gloss=dog=TOP:ACT shine.STAT.IND PROX-INV-see.INCH.IND-CONJ Q
 +
|translation=have you seen the white dog?
 +
}}
  
{|
+
===Unstressed words===
 +
 
 +
In addition to unstressed locative verbs used as topicalising classifiers (see below) there are a few other words that can be unstressed to serve various purposes, mostly after verbs.
 +
 
 +
====Modality====
 +
 
 +
Perhaps the most grammatically significant are ''ma'' for negation and ''no'' for interrogation. There is also ''yo'' for emphasis.
 +
 
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
! Declarative
 +
! Negative
 +
! Interrogative
 +
! Emphatic
 +
|-
 +
| ''ebadsa''<br />"weaving"
 +
| ''ebadsa ma''<br />"not weaving"
 +
| ''ebadsa no''<br />"weaving?"
 +
| ''ebadsa yo''<br />"(really) weaving!"
 +
|}
  
|{{gloss
+
====Evidentiality====
|phrase=boonas bahbo go
 
|IPA=[ˈbu̯oː.n̠ɐs̠‿ˈpɑ̞ħ.pʊ‿ˌɣʊ]
 
|gloss=grow.TRANS.IND-ATTR dog TOP:ACT
 
|translation=a large dog
 
}}
 
  
|{{gloss
+
Reduced forms of some verbs can function as evidential markers, such as ''e'' for observation and ''ga'' for hearsay.
|phrase=oadas ao ammõõ bo
 
|IPA=[ˈʔɔ̯ɑ̞ː.ðɐz̠‿ˈɑːʊ̯‿ʔm̩ˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbʊ]
 
|gloss=shine.STAT.IND-ATTR ao POSS-head TOP:CRESC
 
|translation=Ao's fair hair
 
}}
 
  
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
! Declarative
 +
! Observational
 +
! Quotative
 +
|-
 +
| ''ebadsa''<br />"weaving"
 +
| ''ebadsa e''<br />"(evidently) weaving"
 +
| ''ebadsa ga''<br />"(allegedly) weaving"
 
|}
 
|}
  
 
==Locative verbs==
 
==Locative verbs==
  
An important part of Ash grammar is an extensive set of so called locative verbs which are used almost like a noun classification system and cover location, motion and related concepts while providing specific information about the referent at hand, such as specifying whether liquid is involved.
+
An important part of Ash grammar is an extensive set of so called locative verbs which are used almost like a noun classification system and cover location, motion and related concepts while providing specific information about the referent at hand, such as specifying whether liquid is involved. These also have reduced clitic forms used as topic markers.
  
 
These are some of those verbs:
 
These are some of those verbs:
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
! Lemma
+
! Locative
 +
! Topic
 
! Gloss
 
! Gloss
 
! Semantic range
 
! Semantic range
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ''laa''
 
| ''laa''
| LOC:STAT
+
| ''la''
 +
| :STAT
 
| General stative (indefinite or permanent)
 
| General stative (indefinite or permanent)
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ''goo''
 
| ''goo''
| LOC:ACT
+
| ''go''
 +
| :ACT
 
| General active (temporary or dynamic)
 
| General active (temporary or dynamic)
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ''sãã''
 
| ''sãã''
| LOC:LIQ
+
| ''sa''
 +
| :LIQ
 
| Water and other liquids
 
| Water and other liquids
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ''see''
 
| ''see''
| LOC:AER
+
| ''se''
 +
| :AER
 
| Air and weather
 
| Air and weather
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ''boo''
 
| ''boo''
| LOC:CRESC
+
| ''bo''
 +
| :CRESC
 
| Growth (hair, plants et c.)
 
| Growth (hair, plants et c.)
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ''doo''
 
| ''doo''
| LOC:PART
+
| ''do''
 +
| :PART
 
| Particles (powder, sand, dust, smoke, spores et c.)
 
| Particles (powder, sand, dust, smoke, spores et c.)
 
|-
 
|-
| ''mee''
+
| ''mea''
| LOC:PYR
+
| ''me''
| Fire
+
| :PYR
 +
| Fire (by extension core or centre)
 +
|-
 +
| ''baa''
 +
| ''ba''
 +
| :MAN
 +
| Hand and instrumental (things held; implements and tools)
 
|}
 
|}
  
===Disambiguation===
+
===Classificatory topicalisation===
  
One function of locative verbs is to resolve potential ambiguities. When used solely for classification in its unmarked form, a locative verb is unstressed and thereby shortened, resembling a particle.
+
An unstressed locative verb is required as a topical marker following a fronted nominal, resembling a particle. The choice of verb functions much like a noun class classifier and can be used to differentiate between various meanings of a single nominal lexeme.
  
 
{|
 
{|
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=ammõõ bo
+
|phrase=ʼmmõõ bo
|IPA=[ʔm̩ˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbʊ]
+
|IPA=[m̩ˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbʊ]
|gloss=POSS-head TOP:CRESC
+
|gloss=POSS-head=TOP:CRESC
 
|translation=hair (on the head)
 
|translation=hair (on the head)
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=ammõõ la
+
|phrase=ʼmmõõ la
|IPA=[ʔm̩ˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ⁿd͡ɮɐ]
+
|IPA=[m̩ˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ⁿd͡ɮɐ]
|gloss=POSS-head TOP:STAT
+
|gloss=POSS-head=TOP:STAT
 
|translation=head (on the body)
 
|translation=head (on the body)
}}
 
 
|{{gloss
 
|phrase=ammõõ go
 
|IPA=[ʔm̩ˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵑɡʊ]
 
|gloss=POSS-head TOP:ACT
 
|translation=head (detached from the body)
 
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
|}
 
|}
  
Further verbs can be serially connected after indicating the nature of a nominal using a locative verb.
+
Used this way they nonetheless remain verbs with the accompanying syntactic implications. Since they create subclauses, a nominal specified for category with a locative verb cannot be used in object position and so will always precede any agent. However, since this is in line with the normal rule of topicalisation by fronting, it has no actual implications for the syntax.
  
 
{{gloss
 
{{gloss
|phrase=ao ammõõ bo oada
+
|phrase=emmõõ bo ảo ẻhbadsas
|IPA=[ʔɑːʊ̯‿ʔm̩ˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbo̞‿ˈwɔ̯ɑː.ðɐ]
+
|IPA=[ɪmˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbo̞ ˈʔɑːo̞ ʔe̞ħˈpɑʔ.t̠͡s̠ɐs̠]
|gloss=ao POSS-head TOP:CRESC shine.STAT.IND
+
|gloss=PROX-INAL-head=TOP:CRESC ao PROX-DIR-hand.FREQ.IND-CONJ
|translation=Ao's hair is fair
+
|translation=Ao is braiding my hair
 
}}
 
}}
  
Used this way they nonetheless remain verbs with the accompanying syntactic implications. Since they create subclauses, a nominal specified for category with a locative verb cannot be used in object position and so will always precede any agent.
+
===Conjunction===
 +
 
 +
In addition to serving as a topical marker, an unstressed locative verb can also be used as a nominal conjunction. As subject and object are never both topically marked, a series of topicalised nominals serves as a single noun phrase in the fronted subject position.
  
 
{{gloss
 
{{gloss
|phrase=emmõõ bo ao ehbadsa
+
|phrase=ảo go bahba go oas egoo
|IPA=[ʔɪmˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbo̞‿ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿je̞ħˈpɑʔ.t̠͡s̠ɐ]
+
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑħ.pɐ‿ɣo̞ ˈwɔˑʑ ɪˈɣu̯oː]
|gloss=PROX-POSS-head TOP:CRESC ao PROX-TR-hand.FREQ.ACT.IND
+
|gloss=ao=TOP:ACT dog=TOP:ACT DIST-CVB:LOC PROX-CVB:LOC:ACT.STAT/ACT.IND
|translation=Ao is braiding my hair
+
|translation=Ao and the dog are over there
 
}}
 
}}
  
Since the locative verbs are only necessary when introducing new information, this ties neatly into the established system of topicalisation by fronting and so the net effect is that this limitation does not make much of a difference to normal syntax. Nominals can then be unambiguously reüsed without the classifying verb, as the information is thenceforth known from the previously established context. Note that if the classified nominal had been animate in the above example (''mõõ'' is not) inversion would have been necessary in order to specify it as the patient rather than the agent as usual.
+
===Use with converbs===
  
Unstressed locatives are only less commonly applied to the pronominal-like ''ee'' "this", ''oo'' "that", ''nõõ'' "what" and ''mao'' "none".
+
Converbial location is generic and locative verbs can be used to specify the meaning.
 
 
===Specification===
 
 
 
To denote motion, an andative ("going") or venitive ("coming") prefix is placed into the verbal classifier slot.
 
  
 
{|
 
{|
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=ao go algoo
+
|phrase=ảo sas sãã
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣo̞‿ʔɬ̠̩ˈku̯oː]
+
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿z̠ɐz̠ ˈd̠͡z̠ɑ̃ː]
|gloss=ao TOP:ACT AND-LOC:ACT.STAT.IND
+
|gloss=sea=TOP:LIQ-CVB:LOC LOC:LIQ.STAT/ACT.IND
|translation=Ao moves (away)
+
|translation=(be) in the ocean; at sea
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=ao go aŋgoo
+
|phrase=ảo sas laa
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣo̞‿ʔŋ̩ˈɡu̯oː]
+
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿z̠ɐz̠ ˈd͡ɮɑ̃ː]
|gloss=ao TOP:ACT VEN-LOC:ACT.STAT.IND
+
|gloss=sea=TOP:LIQ-CVB:LOC LOC:STAT.STAT/ACT.IND
|translation=Ao moves (hither)
+
|translation=(be) by the sea
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
|}
 
|}
  
The preverb slot can be used to specify manner, location or direction.
+
===Possession===
  
{|
+
Unstressed locative verbs marked with the locative converbialiser ''-s'' serve to mark the possessor of a possessum.
  
|{{gloss
+
{{gloss
|phrase=ao go negoo
+
|phrase=ảo gos ʼmmõõ la
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ɲɪˈɣu̯oː]
+
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ‿z̠m̩ˈmũ̯õː‿ⁿd͡ɮɐ]
|gloss=ao TOP:ACT SUB-LOC:ACT.STAT.IND
+
|gloss=ao=TOP:ACT-CVB:LOC INAL-head=TOP:STAT
|translation=Ao is below
+
|translation=Ao's head (lit. "head at Ao")
 
}}
 
}}
  
|{{gloss
+
==Pragmatics and conventions==
|phrase=ao go nelgoo
 
|IPA=[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ɲɪɬˈku̯oː]
 
|gloss=ao TOP:ACT SUB-MOT-LOC:ACT.STAT.IND
 
|translation=Ao moves down
 
}}
 
  
|}
+
===Modality===
  
===Use with adverbials===
+
Wants, needs, desires and possibilities are often just expressed through morphological means in Ash, such as optatives, potentials and interrogatives.
 
 
Adverbial location is generic and locative verbs can be used to specify the meaning.
 
  
 
{|
 
{|
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=ahda sa
+
|phrase=ẻhhodses
|IPA=[ˈʔɑ̞ħ.t̠ɐ‿ˌz̠ɐ]
+
|IPA=[ʔe̞ʍˈʍo̞ʔ.ȶ͡ɕɪɕ]
|gloss=ocean-LOC TOP:LIQ
+
|gloss=PROX-DIR-consume.FREQ.ACT.OPT-CONJ
|translation=in the ocean; at sea
+
|translation=I want/need to eat; I am hungry
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=ahda la
+
|phrase=ẻhhodses no
|IPA=[ˈʔɑ̞ħ.t̠ɐ‿ˌɮɐ]
+
|IPA=[ʔe̞ʍˈʍo̞ʔ.ȶ͡ɕɪʑ‿ᵈn̠ʊ]
|gloss=ocean-LOC TOP:LIQ
+
|gloss=PROX-DIR-consume.FREQ.ACT.OPT-CONJ=Q
|translation=by the ocean
+
|translation=perhaps I should eat something
}}
 
 
 
|}
 
 
 
==Pragmatics==
 
 
 
Being a verb-heavy language, Ash often lacks direct nominal counterparts to nouns in more analytic languages, instead expressing many common (and uncommon) concepts descriptively through its rich morphological and derivational verb system rather than by lexicalising deverbal nominals (although this also happens), one key factor again being the locative verbs.
 
 
 
{|
 
 
 
|{{gloss
 
|phrase=nendsãndsada
 
|IPA=[ɲᶡɪn̠ˈd̠͡z̠ɑ̞̃n̠.d̠͡z̠ɐˌðɐ]
 
|gloss=SUB-VEN-LOC:LIQ.FREQ.ACT.IND-LOC
 
|translation=by the (bottom of the) waterfall (lit. "where water comes gushing down")
 
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
|{{gloss
 
|{{gloss
|phrase=neldsãndsada
+
|phrase=bahba go ẻhhodse no
|IPA=[ɲᶡɪɬ.t̠͡s̠ɑ̞̃n̠.d̠͡z̠ɐˌðɐ]
+
|IPA=[ˈbɑħ.pɐ‿ɣo̞ ʔe̞ʍˈʍo̞ʔ.ȶ͡ɕɪ‿n̠ʊ]
|gloss=SUB-AND-LOC:LIQ.FREQ.ACT.IND-LOC
+
|gloss=dog=TOP:ACT PROX-DIR-consume.FREQ.ACT.OPT=Q
|translation=by the (top of the) waterfall (lit. "where water goes gushing down")
+
|translation=maybe the dog is hungry
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
|}
 
|}
  
As this example demonstrates, there is no one lexicalised nominal for the concept of a waterfall, but a fitting verb is used depending on the context. Nonetheless the phrase is possible to nominalise if grammatically necessary and sometimes this does result in lexicalisation.
+
===Colour terms===
 
 
{{gloss
 
|phrase=<u>dodso</u> go nõŋgo oŋgoone?
 
|IPA=[ˈd̠o̞ʔ.t̠͡s̠ʊ‿ˌɣʊ ˈn̠õ̞ŋ.ɡo̞‿wʊŋˈɡu̯oː.ɲɪ]
 
|gloss=<u>smoke.FREQ.ACT.NOM</u> TOP:ACT Q-DUR DIST-VEN-LOC:ACT.TRANS.OPT
 
|translation=when does the <u>train</u> arrive?
 
}}
 
  
In such cases there may be a clear-cut distinction between such lexicalisations and productive formations.
+
Colours are mainly expressed through semblative converbs, likening the appearance of the referent to something else, such as ''mee'' "fire" → ''meyya'' "red; yellow; orange; brown" or ''ảo'' "sea" → ''ảyya'' "blue; green".
  
 
{{gloss
 
{{gloss
|phrase=noldodsada
+
|phrase=meyya bahba go
|IPA=[n̠ᵈʊɬ.ˈt̠o̞ʔ.t̠͡s̠ɐˌðɐ]
+
|IPA=[ˈme̞j.jɐ ˈβɑħ.pɐ‿ɣʊ]
|gloss=SUP-AND-smoke.FREQ.ACT.IND-LOC
+
|gloss=fire-CVB:SEMB dog=TOP:ACT
|translation=(at the) chimney (lit. "where lots of smoke goes up")
+
|translation=a brown dog
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
[[Category:{{PAGENAME}}]]
 
[[Category:{{PAGENAME}}]]
 
[[Category:Languages]]
 
[[Category:Languages]]

Revision as of 21:31, 11 January 2020

Ash
ạ̉hgaa
Ahba.svg
Onnawasta emblem of Appa
Pronunciation [ˈʔɑħˌqɑː]
Created by Ava Skoog
Setting
Language family
?
  • Ash
ISO 639-3

Introduction

Ash (ạ̉hgaa, lit. "seaspeak", IPA [ˈʔɑħˌqɑː]) is the anglicised name of a language mostly spoken around coastal areas, notably the town of Appa (ảhba). Its speakers are familiar with technological advancements such as nautical vessels and steam locomotives.

The language is synthetic, largely based around agglutination with fusional elements. There is a great focus on verbs, nominals being mostly uninflected, and significant pro-drop tendencies and a general focus around deixis rather than pronominal distinctions. The word order is heavily SOV.

Phonology

Phonemes

Due to the small number of underlying sounds in Ash and their high degree of allophonicity, a simple listing of phonemes according to phonotactic patterning is more suitable than a traditional consonant table and vowel trapezium.

Vocalic /a i~j u~w/
Plosive /p~β t~ð k~ɣ/
Affricate /t͡ɬ~ɬ t͡s~s/
Glottal /ʔ~h/
Nasal /m~˜ n~˜ ŋ~˜/

The reasoning for this rather unusual classification is down to phonotactic patterning: these five groups all behave somewhat differently and serve as a more useful distinction than point of articulation when describing the phonology of Ash. The pair given for each phoneme refers to an alternation between various allophonic realisations despite the relatively low number of underlying sounds, an important feature of the language that makes the variation richer on the surface. For instance, long vowels (romanised by doubling the vowel) and nasal vowels (romanised using a tilde) are not analysed as phonemic.

Romanisation

The romanisation strikes a balance between representing phonemes versus surface realisations and uses the following letters:

a e y o w b d g l s h m n ŋ

Tilde (e.g. ã) is used to mark nasalisation. Hook above (e.g. ) denotes a word-initial glottal stop. Dot below (e.g. ) signifies otherwise ambiguous stress. An apostrophe () is placed before a syllabic consonant.

An example of a word with its archiphonemic, phonemic and surface transcriptions as well as romanisation:

//iʔ.Vʔˈuʔ.t͡si// /ʔiʔˈwuʔ.t͡si/ [ˈʔe̞ʍˈʍo̞ʔ.ȶ͡ɕɪ] ẻhhodse "hungry"

Syllable structure

A cluster cannot exceed two consonants and must be of one of the following configurations:

CC Both consonants are the same
FP Fricative followed by plosive
NP Nasal followed by plosive
PN~FN Plosive or fricative followed by nasal

Prosody and stress

Prefixes are always unstressed. Following the last stressed syllable an iambic pattern of secondary stress on every other underlyingly light syllable follows unless an underlyingly heavy syllable intervenes, resetting the pattern. In addition, stressed syllables are forced to be heavy either by lengthening of the vowel or reduplication of the next syllable's onset consonant if they are not already underlyingly so.

Clusters

Depending on the underlying nature of a cluster, various processes take place either on a phonemic (phoneme alternation) or on a phonetic (surface allophony) level. For example, /t/ merges with /t͡s/ on the phonemic level before /i~j/ or a plosive or an affricate as well as word-finally, but alternates with [ð] on the phonetic level between vowels.

  • A nasal or fricative geminates before a glide, assimilating to and eliding it in the process.
  • All plosives alternate phonemically with fricatives or affricates before another plosive or an affricate.
  • /h~ʔ/ is a fricative before vowels/glides and plosives but a glottal stop before nasals (as is the case for plosives) and affricates.
  • Affricates are deäffricated intervocalically, before other plosives or affricates, word-finally and before nasals (which are prestopped).
  • Sibilant palatalisation cascades bidirectionally through clusters; sibilants are also palatalised after /i/ word-finally and cluster-initially.
/-j/ /-w/
//N-// [ɲ.ɲ] [m.m]
//h-// [ç.ç] [ʍ.ʍ]
//t͡s-// [ɕ.ɕ] [s̠.s̠]
//t͡ɬ-// [ʎ.ʎ] [ɫ.ɫ]
//-P//
//p-// /h.P/ [ħ.P]
//k-//
//t-// /t͡s.P/ [s̠.P~ɕ.P]
//-P// //-P͡F// //-N//
//h-// [ħ.P] [ʔ.P͡F] /ʔ.ᴮN/
//-N//
//p-// [ʔ.ᵇm]
//t-// [ʔ.ᵈn̠~ʔ.ᶡɲ]
//k-// [ʔ.ᶢŋ]

Laterals

The lateral affricate /t͡ɬ/ patterns phonotactically just like the sibilant affricate /t͡s/ but is not always produced as a fricative, but sometimes also as an approximant. In contexts where the affrication remains, regardless of voicing, so does the frication, i.e. [t͡ɬ~d͡ɮ]. In leniting contexts the realisation depends on the environment, remaining a fricative [ɬ] in a voiceless environment while defaulting to a pure lateral approximant [l] in a voiced one, but when geminated by the absorption of a following palatal glide it assimilates to it as [ʎ̥].

Syllabification

In unstressed prefixes, colourless or epenthetic vowels may drop out in favour of syllabification of an adjacent fricative or nasal. This is represented in the romanisation by an apostrophe placed before the non-vocalic consonant letter.

An example is the inalienable possession prefix n- becoming ’n-. Some word stems have inherent consonantal prefixes that get resolved the same way: n-doo- "(fire) smoke" becomes ’ndoo- in the absence of a prefix, and ảd’ndoo- when the direct marker ảh- is added.

Morphology

Ash does not mark words for number, person or case. With regards to syntactic patterning, only three significant word classes can be posited: verbs, nominals and converbs. Nonetheless there is a degree of mobility between them.

Verbs

The bulk of all inflection goes on verbs, making them morphemic anchors fundamental to almost any utterance in the language. The general verb template is as follows:

Stem
Deixis Agency Incorp. Root Deriv. State Mood Involv. Converb.

Stems

Each verb has a set of primary stems formed more or less predictably from a combination of affixes. The first stem, the stative (or active, if there is no stative) indicative, is used as the lemma when citing words, such as oada "to shine", also a good example of the versatile morphophonology:

Stative Active Inchoative Terminative
Indicative oada

[ˈɔ̯ɑː.ðɐ]

oahda

[ˈɔ̯ɑħ.t̠ɐ]

oadna

[ˈɔ̯ɑʔ.ᵈn̠ɐ]

oasda

[ˈɔ̯ɑs̠.t̠ɐ]

Optative oese

[ˈʊːɪ̯.ʑɪ]

oedse

[ˈo̞e̞̯ʔ.ȶ͡ɕɪ]

oedne

[ˈo̞e̞̯ʔ.ᶡɲɪ]

oesde

[ˈʊɪ̯ɕ.ȶ͡ɕɪ]

All of these terms are to an extent ad hoc. Some verbs are inherently stative or active and do not have two distinct stems. The inchoative and terminative are often used in a perfective sense as opposed to the imperfective or habitual active or stative.

Derived verbs

Derivational suffixes can be used to extend the root and create a new set of stems, such as the causative -j- or the frequentative -(d)s-, which can themselves, depending on the word, be stative or active (all derived verbs are inherently one or the other or both and do not display the allomorphy of basic verbs), inchoative, terminative and so on. These are some of the words derived from oo "consume":

Stative Active Inchoative Terminative
Basic
oo
oona ooda
Causative
oyya
oena oeda
Frequentative
odsa
osna osda

Nominals

Nominals are mostly unmarked. A handful of inherited inalienably possessed nominals are however obligatorily marked with a prefix or that disappears during incorporation into a verb. This possessive prefix n- can be preceded by a deictic prefix. Here are the possessed forms of mõõ "head; hair", an inalienably possessed nominal:

Neutral Proximal Distal
’mmõõ emmõõ ommõõ

Any phrase can be nominalised using a classificatory topic marker (see below). When marked for the locative (see also below), these can be used to connect possessum to possessor.

Converbs

Converbs are used to denote a place, time or manner. Their formation sometimes resembles case marking or conjunctions or adverbs.

Some prominent converbialising suffixes:

Long Short Example
Locative -da -s ’nsooda "where they live; by the house; at home"
Durative -wo, -go -h oadnah "when it gets bright; in the morning"
Benefactive -wa, -ba -o eawa "in order to see"
Semblative -ya -e ảyya "sea-like; blue; green"

The shorter forms are used unstressed vowels and in a few irregular instances, and are for example always used with the reduced forms of locative verbs (e.g. ảhba las "in Appa"); irregular instances include the contractions eas "here" and eah "now".

Deixis

The language lacks true pronouns and due to its pro-drop tendencies commonly avoids alternatives as well. One thing that does get marked is deixis: whether something is close to or far away from the speaker or a previous referent; unspecified deixis is also possible. On nominals deixis is generally spatial while on verbs it is temporal (proximal working roughly as a present tense and distal as a non-present one); converbial deixis can be either depending on the characteristics of the converb in question.

The deictic stems are as follows:

Neutral Ø- (unmarked)
Proximal e-
Distal o-

Deixis occurs in the form of isolated nominals ea and oa (reduced from eyya and owwa still used for emphasis), generally shortened and tending to blend into the next word, often as [-ɛ(ː~ˑ)-]~[-e̞(ː)ɪ̯]~[-e̞j-] and [-ɔ(ː~ˑ)-]~[-o̞(ː)ʊ̯]~[-o̞w-], but also with the glide assimilating, leading to forms such as [-ɪw-] and [-ʊj-]. In verbs with some form of agency marker, the prefixes irregularly assimilate to it, retaining the initial glottal stop but displacing the vowel, e.g. *e-ả- becomes ẻ-.

Conjunct and disjunct verbs

While Ash lacks a set of first, second and third person pronouns, a system of so called conjunct versus disjunct verb forms can be used in combination with transitivity markers and deixis in order to more or less unambiguously cover the same ground. This concept is also known in the literature as assertor's involvement marking, which might give the reader a clearer idea of the concept: verbs are marked for whether the one making an assertion is involved in the action (conjunct) or not (disjunct).

In simple statements the assertor defaults to the speaker (i.e. first person) but in questions to the addressee (second person). In reported speech the assertor defaults to the source of the quote and may therefore also take on a third person role. First and second person roles are associated with proximal deixis while third person is associated with distal deixis or an explicit nominal.

Conjunct is marked by the suffix -s and disjunct is unmarked.

Simple intransitives

In simple statements proximal deixis combined with a conjunct verb denotes a first person, while combined with a disjunct verb it denotes a second person, whereas in questions this is flipped. Distal deixis or an explicit nominal denotes a third person in both cases. Note that there is no number distinction and so for example first person can imply both "I" and "we" but for the sake of space only one translation is given for each example.

Declarative Interrogative
Proximal Distal Proximal Distal
Conjunct (ea go) oadas
"I am pale"
- (ea go) oadas no
"are you pale?"
-
Disjunct (ea go) oada
"you are pale"
(oa go) oada
"they are pale"
(ea go) oada no
"am I pale?"
(oa go) oada no
"are they pale?"

Simple transitives

Simple transitive clauses work much the same way but the choice between a direct transitive or inverse transitive marker affects the meaning as well and is the only way to differentiate between agent and patient roles when the referents are first and second person.

Declarative
Proximal Distal
Direct Inverse Direct Inverse
Conjunct (ea go) ảhheas
"I look at you"
(ea go) ảsseas
"you look at me"
(oa go) ảhheas
"I look at them"
(oa go) ảsseas
"they look at me"
Disjunct (ea go) ảhhea
"you look at them"
(ea go) ảssea
"they look at you"
(oa go) ảhhea
"they1 look at them2"
(oa go) ảssea
"they2 look at them1"

The interrogative patterns the same way except for the first and second person again being flipped. As the last two examples show, the choice of transitivity marker can also serve as a proximate-obviative distinction.

Reported speech

In quotations the conjunct versus disjunct distinction instead focuses on the source of the quote, but only in the subclause. Again this may serve as a proximate-obviative distinction. This means that it is possible to mark distal referents as conjunct in such subclauses.

 Proximal
Conjunct source Disjunct source
Conjunct target (ea go) oadas (ea go) ogaas
"I said I am pale"
(ea go) oadas (ea go) ogaa
"you said you are pale"
Disjunct target (ea go) oada (ea go) ogaas
"I said you are pale"
(ea go) oada (ea go) ogaa
"you said I am pale"

Indirect involvement

As the conjunct form denotes merely whether the assertor is somehow involved in the action, the assertor need not necessarily be the agent. A conjunct form would still be used to denote first person involvement as a patient in some statements.

emmõõ bo ảo ẻhbadsas
[ɪmˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbo̞ ˈʔɑːʊ̯ ʔe̞ħˈpɑʔ.t̠͡s̠ɐs̠]
PROX-INAL-head=TOP:CRESC ao PROX-DIR-hand.FREQ.IND-CONJ
Ao is braiding my hair

Despite a third person being the agent of the action, the focus is on the first person (the assertor) and the verb is therefore conjunct.

Syntax

The word order is fairly strictly SOV, with converbs generally preceding the nominals followed by the verb.

Valency

Agency

Transitivity and volition are tied up in a single grammatical category termed agency. Direct agency is explicitly marked and through an inversion marker on the verb the roles of agent and patient can be swapped without a change in word order, the purpose of which is topicalisation, leaving the topic in the subject position. The subject requires a topical marker, the details of which will be explained in detail in the section on locative verbs.

ảo go bahba ẻhhea
[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑħ.pɐ ʔe̞çˈçɛːɑ̯]
ao=TOP:ACT dog PROX-DIR-see.ACT.IND
Ao is looking at the dog
ảo go bahba ẻssea
[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑħ.pɐ ʔɪɕˈɕɛːɑ̯]
ao=TOP:ACT dog PROX-INV-see.ACT.IND
Ao is being watched by the dog

Inversion is especially important when the subject is being omitted as person markers do not exist.

ẻhheas
[ʔe̞çˈçɛːɑ̯ɕ]
PROX-DIR-see.ACT.IND-CONJ
I am looking at them
ẻsseas
[ʔɪɕˈɕɛːɑ̯ɕ]
PROX-INV-see.ACT.IND-CONJ
they are looking at me

Reflexivity

A verb can also be made reflexive by using a deictic marker in the transitivity slot, meaning a distinction is made between proximal and distal reflexivity, corresponding to the spatial deixis of nominals rather than the normally temporal deixis of verbs.

oadnah ảesããs
[ˈʔɔ̯ɑʔ.ᵈn̠ɐħ ħɐɪ̯ˈz̠ɑ̃ːs̠]
shine.INCH.IND-CVB:DUR REFL.PROX-LOC:LIQ.STAT/ACT.IND-CONJ
I wash in the morning
oadnah ảo go ảosãã ma
[ˈʔɔ̯ɑʔ.ᵈn̠ɐħ ħɑːʊ̯‿ɣo̞ ʔɐʊ̯ˈz̠ɑ̃ː‿mɐ]
shine.INCH.IND-CVB:DUR ao=TOP:ACT REFL.DIST-LOC:LIQ.STAT/ACT.IND NEG
Ao doesn't wash in the morning

Reflexivity can be used to disambiguate between cases when the first and second person implications of the proximal deixis would otherwise collapse or as a proximate-obviative distinction.

emmõõ bo ea ảhbadsas
[ɪmˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbʊ ˈjɛˑ ʔe̞ħˈpɑʔ.t̠͡s̠ɐs̠]
PROX-INAL-head=TOP:CRESC PROX PROX-DIR-hand.FREQ.IND-CONJ
you are braiding my hair
emmõõ bo ea ẻebadsas
[ɪmˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbʊ ˈjɛˑ ʔe̞ɪ̯ˈβɑʔ.t̠͡s̠ɐs̠]
PROX-INAL-head=TOP:CRESC PROX PROX-REFL.PROX-hand.FREQ.IND-CONJ
I am braiding my hair

Incorporation

There is a limit on two unmarked nominal arguments of a verb. There are two ways to introduce more arguments, one of which is to incorporate the third nominal into the verb.

ảo go bahba ỏdsoyya
[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑħ.pɐ wo̞ʔˈt̠͡s̠ʊj.jɐ]
ao=TOP:ACT dog DIST-DIR-water-consume.CAUS.IND
Ao was giving the dog water to drink

Converbialisation

The other method is to completely remove the valency of the nominal by turning it into a converb, which is why this process sometimes resembles case marking.

ảo go bahba meada odsoyya
[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑħ.pɐ ˈmɛːɑ̯.ðɐ wo̞ʔˈt̠͡s̠ʊj.jɐ]
ao=TOP:ACT dog fire-CVB:LOC DIST-DIR-water-consume.CAUS.IND
Ao was giving the dog water to drink by the fire

Animacy

While there is no explicit marking for animacy, an underlying hierarchy ranging roughly from natural forces at the top to people and animals in the middle and inanimates at the bottom governs certain parts of the grammar. The main aspect of this hierarchy is that inanimate referents cannot act as agents which affects how transitive and inverse marking is interpreted in their presence.

Transitive Inverse
Animate bahba go ảhhea
"dogs watch it"
bahba go ảssea
"dogs are watched"
Inanimate sãã sa ảhhea
"water is watched"
*sãã sa ảssea
(ungrammatical)

Topicalisation

New non-verbal information is focused by fronting, i.e. introducing the word or phrase earlier in the sentence. This means that the order of subject and object might shift in order to focus on the object. When the object is inanimate inversion is not possible nor necessary, while for an animate object it is. The nominal in focus also receives a topic marker, explained in detail in the section on locative verbs.

Normal Fronted
Animate ảo go bahba ỏhhea
"Ao was looking at the dog"
bahba go ảo ỏssea
"it was the dog Ao was looking at"
Inanimate ảo go sãã ỏhhoo
"Ao was drinking water"
sãã sa ảo ỏhhoo
"it was water Ao was drinking"

Subclauses

Relativisation is done simply by chaining phrases one after another, with no special marking. Subclauses go before main clauses, in which the deictic context is centered around the subject of the subclause.

[owahdah bahba go ỏssoeda]1 [ewahdah ẻsseanas]2
[o̞ˈwɑħ.t̠ɐħ ˈpɑħ.pɐ‿ɣo̞ ʔʊs̠ˈs̠ʊːɪ̯.ðɐ jɪˈwɑħ.t̠ɐ.wo̞ħ ħɪɕˈɕɛːɑ̯.n̠ɐs̠]
[DIST shine.ACT.IND-CVB:DUR dog DIST-INV-consume.CAUS.TERM.IND]1 [PROX shine.ACT.IND-CVB:DUR PROX-INV-see.INCH.IND-CONJ]2
[today I saw]2 [the dog that (you) fed yesterday]1

This is also how stative verbs are used to assign qualities to nominals.

oasya bahba go ẻsseanas no
[ˈɔ̯ɑɕ.ɕɐ ˈβɑħ.pɐ‿ɣo̞ ʔɪɕˈɕɛːɑ̯.n̠ɐz̠‿ᵈn̠ʊ]
dog=TOP:ACT shine.STAT.IND PROX-INV-see.INCH.IND-CONJ Q
have you seen the white dog?

Unstressed words

In addition to unstressed locative verbs used as topicalising classifiers (see below) there are a few other words that can be unstressed to serve various purposes, mostly after verbs.

Modality

Perhaps the most grammatically significant are ma for negation and no for interrogation. There is also yo for emphasis.

Declarative Negative Interrogative Emphatic
ebadsa
"weaving"
ebadsa ma
"not weaving"
ebadsa no
"weaving?"
ebadsa yo
"(really) weaving!"

Evidentiality

Reduced forms of some verbs can function as evidential markers, such as e for observation and ga for hearsay.

Declarative Observational Quotative
ebadsa
"weaving"
ebadsa e
"(evidently) weaving"
ebadsa ga
"(allegedly) weaving"

Locative verbs

An important part of Ash grammar is an extensive set of so called locative verbs which are used almost like a noun classification system and cover location, motion and related concepts while providing specific information about the referent at hand, such as specifying whether liquid is involved. These also have reduced clitic forms used as topic markers.

These are some of those verbs:

Locative Topic Gloss Semantic range
laa la :STAT General stative (indefinite or permanent)
goo go :ACT General active (temporary or dynamic)
sãã sa :LIQ Water and other liquids
see se :AER Air and weather
boo bo :CRESC Growth (hair, plants et c.)
doo do :PART Particles (powder, sand, dust, smoke, spores et c.)
mea me :PYR Fire (by extension core or centre)
baa ba :MAN Hand and instrumental (things held; implements and tools)

Classificatory topicalisation

An unstressed locative verb is required as a topical marker following a fronted nominal, resembling a particle. The choice of verb functions much like a noun class classifier and can be used to differentiate between various meanings of a single nominal lexeme.

ʼmmõõ bo
[m̩ˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbʊ]
POSS-head=TOP:CRESC
hair (on the head)
ʼmmõõ la
[m̩ˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ⁿd͡ɮɐ]
POSS-head=TOP:STAT
head (on the body)

Used this way they nonetheless remain verbs with the accompanying syntactic implications. Since they create subclauses, a nominal specified for category with a locative verb cannot be used in object position and so will always precede any agent. However, since this is in line with the normal rule of topicalisation by fronting, it has no actual implications for the syntax.

emmõõ bo ảo ẻhbadsas
[ɪmˈmũ̯õ̞ː‿ᵐbo̞ ˈʔɑːo̞ ʔe̞ħˈpɑʔ.t̠͡s̠ɐs̠]
PROX-INAL-head=TOP:CRESC ao PROX-DIR-hand.FREQ.IND-CONJ
Ao is braiding my hair

Conjunction

In addition to serving as a topical marker, an unstressed locative verb can also be used as a nominal conjunction. As subject and object are never both topically marked, a series of topicalised nominals serves as a single noun phrase in the fronted subject position.

ảo go bahba go oas egoo
[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ ˈβɑħ.pɐ‿ɣo̞ ˈwɔˑʑ ɪˈɣu̯oː]
ao=TOP:ACT dog=TOP:ACT DIST-CVB:LOC PROX-CVB:LOC:ACT.STAT/ACT.IND
Ao and the dog are over there

Use with converbs

Converbial location is generic and locative verbs can be used to specify the meaning.

ảo sas sãã
[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿z̠ɐz̠ ˈd̠͡z̠ɑ̃ː]
sea=TOP:LIQ-CVB:LOC LOC:LIQ.STAT/ACT.IND
(be) in the ocean; at sea
ảo sas laa
[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿z̠ɐz̠ ˈd͡ɮɑ̃ː]
sea=TOP:LIQ-CVB:LOC LOC:STAT.STAT/ACT.IND
(be) by the sea

Possession

Unstressed locative verbs marked with the locative converbialiser -s serve to mark the possessor of a possessum.

ảo gos ʼmmõõ la
[ˈʔɑːʊ̯‿ɣʊ‿z̠m̩ˈmũ̯õː‿ⁿd͡ɮɐ]
ao=TOP:ACT-CVB:LOC INAL-head=TOP:STAT
Ao's head (lit. "head at Ao")

Pragmatics and conventions

Modality

Wants, needs, desires and possibilities are often just expressed through morphological means in Ash, such as optatives, potentials and interrogatives.

ẻhhodses
[ʔe̞ʍˈʍo̞ʔ.ȶ͡ɕɪɕ]
PROX-DIR-consume.FREQ.ACT.OPT-CONJ
I want/need to eat; I am hungry
ẻhhodses no
[ʔe̞ʍˈʍo̞ʔ.ȶ͡ɕɪʑ‿ᵈn̠ʊ]
PROX-DIR-consume.FREQ.ACT.OPT-CONJ=Q
perhaps I should eat something
bahba go ẻhhodse no
[ˈbɑħ.pɐ‿ɣo̞ ʔe̞ʍˈʍo̞ʔ.ȶ͡ɕɪ‿n̠ʊ]
dog=TOP:ACT PROX-DIR-consume.FREQ.ACT.OPT=Q
maybe the dog is hungry

Colour terms

Colours are mainly expressed through semblative converbs, likening the appearance of the referent to something else, such as mee "fire" → meyya "red; yellow; orange; brown" or ảo "sea" → ảyya "blue; green".

meyya bahba go
[ˈme̞j.jɐ ˈβɑħ.pɐ‿ɣʊ]
fire-CVB:SEMB dog=TOP:ACT
a brown dog