Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

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Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Osia »

I'm making this thread largely to get myself to work on this language more. Comments, questions, suggestions, and criticisms are much appreciated! :mrgreen:

Ahápaké, (which I will refer to as Ahapa henceforth) is a language spoken by a small community (population of around 15,000) in a temperate, coastal, forested region by a race of fox-human hybrids. It's the main conlang I'm working on as of now, inspiration comes from heavily from Navajo, but it also takes inspiration from Cherokee, Tlingit, and some Caddoan languages. Ahapa is a strongly head-initial polysynthetic language with a large amount of verb morphology but very little noun morphology. It has a small and compact phonology but with many frequent clusters. Notable features include serial verb constructions, classifiers (no, not the Na-Dene kind), and lots of fun mood and evidentiality stuff.

Phonology

/p t k ʔ/ <p t k ’*>
/b d g/ <b d g>
/s ɕ h/ <s x h>
/m n/ <m n>
/w (l) j/ <w l y>

/a e i u/ <a e i u á é í ú>
/V˥ V˩/

(Phonetic long vowels do exist, but I prefer to analyze them as a sequence of two of the same vowel i.e. /aa/, because there are many sequences of two vowels together, but these are always two short vowels.)

*The glottal stop is not written word initially.

/l/ is in parentheses because it is an uncommon phoneme often replaced by /d/, especially among young people. Allophony is minimal, unvoiced stops can be aspirated word initially, but this is not especially strong aspiration. The realization of /h/ can vary from [x] to [ç] when before /i/, and it may even be voiced as [ɦ] word medially. The glides /j/ and /w/ can often be pronounced with frication, showing up as [β] and [ʝ], especially before high vowels.

Vowels have much more variation. In closed syllables and not adjacent to other vowels, they show up as [ɐ ɛ ɪ ʊ], and when after /ɕ/, /j/, or /s/, as [æ e ɨ ʉ]. /a/ is also backed to [ɑ] after /k/, /h/, /p/, /w/, and /ʔ/.

Phonotactics

The basic syllable structure is C(C)(C)V(V)(C), but the only consonants that can appear in codas are h, ’, s, x, n, w, and y.
Legal initial clusters are of the form
(p,t,k,s,x,b,d,g,m,n)+(y,w),
(p,t,k)+(s,x),
(p,t,k)+(s,x)+(w,y).

Medial clusters are of the form
(h,’)+(p,t,k,s,x),
(m~n)+(p,b,t,d,k,g)
(s,x)+(p,t,k)

Also, the following consonants can occur geminated medially (p, t, k, b, d, g, s, x).

Morphophonology

Ahapa has a vowel dissimilation rule, where if two high vowels occur in adjacent syllables, the first is lowered (i -> e, u-> a). This rule is productive pretty much everywhere, excluding in full reduplication. Other than that I don't have much interesting stuff figured out yet, so I'll make a post about this later which will go more in depth.

Nouns

I'm going to talk about nouns since there isn't that much to them. As mentioned previously, nouns have very little morphology. The most common affixes that attach to nouns are the topic suffix and possession affixes.

The topic suffix is -x on nouns that end with a vowel and -ax on nouns that end with a consonant
ka’ "fire" -> ka’ax
lea "lake" -> leax

Ahapa is pretty strongly topic prominent, often most sentences will look like a topicalized noun followed by a series of verbs.

Nouns come in two noun classes, animate and inanimate. These are distinguished purely on semantic grounds, there is no phonological material that can tell you what class a noun belongs to. Animate nouns include all nouns referring to people and most nouns referring to animals, save for a few na’ "ant". Many natural objects like fire, the sun, and the moon are also animate. Abstract nouns like "language" are also typically animate, along with nouns derived from verbs xayá "singer, musician". All other nouns are inanimate.

Animacy comes into play mostly with regard to verb agreement, though there are other places where animacy matters, like certain derivational affixes.

Possessive phrases in Ahapa are head initial and marked by a possessive affix. Possession of nouns is done using one of two sets of possessive affixes, depending on whether the noun is alienable or inalienable. Inalienable nouns are a closed class, which include family members and body parts. All other nouns are inalienable.

sapa-xi "my foot"
sapa-’ "their foot"
sapa-na "someone's foot"

Some Sample Sentences

nánáxxi amésséépa yadúúya’te gyun.
ná-ná-x-xi a-més-xéép=a y-a-dúúya-’-te
maternal_grandmother~DIM-TOP-1s.INAL 3.AN.SUB-corn-grind.PFV=CNJ TRANSL-3.AN.SUB-put.PFV-3.INAN.OBJ-CL:liquid bowl
"My grandma ground up corn and put it in a bowl."

unax ahéége’eu lúú’ xikxáá’ta?
un-ax a-héég-e’-i-u lúú’ xi-kxáá-’-da
boy-TOP 3.AN.SUB-not_want.PFV-3.INAN.OBJ-IRR-YNQ fish 1SG.SUB-hunt.PFV-3.INAN.OBJ-REL
"Did the boy not want the fish I caught?"

dúún wisééhax axexisaskei atsa’ehu seyá’.
dúún wi=sééh=ax a-xexi-saskei a-tsa’i-hu seyá’.
moon COM=sun=TOP 3.AN.SUB-dance.GNO-move_in_curve.GNO 3.AN.SUB-stand.GNO-AREA sky
"The moon and sun dance in arcs in the sky."
Last edited by Osia on 24 Jun 2021 04:54, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by teotlxixtli »

Osia wrote: 23 Jun 2021 04:28
Phonology

/p t k ʔ/ <p t k ’*>
/b d g/ <b d g>
/s ɕ h/ <s x h>
/m n/ <m n>
/w (l) j/ <w l y>

/a e i u/ <a e i u á é í ú>
/V˥ V˩/

(Phonetic long vowels do exist, but I prefer to analyze them as a sequence of two of the same vowel i.e. /aa/, because there are many sequences of two vowels together, but these are always two short vowels.)

*The glottal stop is not written word initially.

/l/ is in parentheses because it is an uncommon phoneme often replaced by /d/, especially among young people. Allophony is minimal, unvoiced stops can be aspirated word initially, but this is not especially strong aspiration. The realization of /h/ can vary from [x] to [ç] when before /i/, and it may even be voiced as [ɦ] word medially. The glides /j/ and /w/ can often be pronounced with frication, showing up as [β] and [ʝ], especially before high vowels.

Vowels have much more variation. In closed syllables and not adjacent to other vowels, they show up as [ɐ ɛ ɪ ʊ], and when after /ɕ/, /j/, or /s/, as [æ e ɨ ʉ]. /a/ is also backed to [ɑ] after /k/, /h/, /p/, /w/, and /ʔ/.

Phonotactics

The basic syllable structure is C(C)(C)V(V)(C), but the only consonants that can appear in codas are h, ’, s, x, n, w, and y.
Legal initial clusters are of the form
(p,t,k,s,x,b,d,g,m,n)+(y,w),
(p,t,k)+(s,x),
(p,t,k)+(s,x)+(w,y).

Medial clusters are of the form
(h,’)+(p,t,k,s,x),
(m~n)+(p,b,t,d,k,g)
(s,x)+(p,t,k)

Also, the following consonants can occur geminated medially (p, t, k, b, d, g, s, x).

Morphophonology

Ahapa has a vowel dissimilation rule, where if two high vowels occur in adjacent syllables, the first is lowered (i -> e, u-> a). This rule is productive pretty much everywhere, excluding in full reduplication. Other than that I don't have much interesting stuff figured out yet, so I'll make a post about this later which will go more in depth.
Excellent phonology here. I can definitely see the Caddoan influence with the lack of /o/, and the tone system is very reminiscent of several Native American languages out west, which I really like. The sound of it (as best as I can do without butchering tones) is really distinctive and fun. Not to mention all the cool polysynthetic grammar!
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Osia »

teotlxixtli wrote: 23 Jun 2021 04:44 Excellent phonology here. I can definitely see the Caddoan influence with the lack of /o/, and the tone system is very reminiscent of several Native American languages out west, which I really like. The sound of it (as best as I can do without butchering tones) is really distinctive and fun. Not to mention all the cool polysynthetic grammar!
Thanks! The phonoaesthetics are probably the reason that this is one of my most highly developed languages, to be completely honest. If you like cool polysynthetic stuff there is plenty more coming!
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Creyeditor »

I like the vowel dissimilation process. Does it also apply inside roots?

What happens if affixation would create illegal consonant clusters? Do all suffixes have a vowel initial allomorph?

I would also like to see more on possessive suffixes and how they work in more detail.
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Omzinesý »

Interesting!
Waiting for aspects and other verb morphology, which I'm struggling with.

Can the topic marker appear with a clause or do other interesting things?
My meta-thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5760
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Osia »

Creyeditor wrote: 23 Jun 2021 11:16 I like the vowel dissimilation process. Does it also apply inside roots?
So there are no roots that violate the vowel dissimilation rule, but there are some places where it does not apply. One is when forming diminutives, which are formed by full reduplication.

"older sister" -> kíkí (not kékí)

Compounds also ignore this rule:

gyún "seed" + twi’ "oak" -> gyúntwi’ "acorn" (not gyántwi’)

There are also certain clitics that don't abide by this rule:

akxi wiunax
akxi wi=un-ax
girl COM=boy-TOP
"the boy and the girl"
(not akxi weunax)
Creyeditor wrote: 23 Jun 2021 11:16 What happens if affixation would create illegal consonant clusters? Do all suffixes have a vowel initial allomorph?

I would also like to see more on possessive suffixes and how they work in more detail.
So most affixes I've made thus far have vowel initial allomorphs, but I also have some assimilation rules worked out. A voiced stop will become devoiced when preceded by a s, x, h, or ’, and x will assimilate to s. Two stops together will usually become a geminate, the first one assimilating to the second.

Consonants will also merge word finally:
p, t, k -> ’
b, d, g -> w, n, y
m, l -> n

My next post should concern person markers so you'll see stuff on possessive affixes too.
Omzinesý wrote: 23 Jun 2021 16:16 Interesting!
Waiting for aspects and other verb morphology, which I'm struggling with.

Can the topic marker appear with a clause or do other interesting things?
Thanks! There's lots of fun Navajo style aspect stuff coming up!

So the topic marker can appear on a noun phrase at most, even one that isn't a constituent in the sentence, but can't appear with a verb phrase.

gyunax asin més wikún.
gyun-ax a-sim més wi=kún
pot-TOP 3.ANIM.SUB-sit corn COM=bean
"(In) the pot, there's beans and corn."
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

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The reduplication/compound/clitics stuff looks very realistic.
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Osia »

Creyeditor wrote: 23 Jun 2021 20:09 The reduplication/compound/clitics stuff looks very realistic.
Thanks, my idea is that it was fully productive at an earlier date so the newer morphology doesn't abide by it.



Pronouns & Person Marking

Independent pronouns in Ahapa are pretty rare, mostly due to its polypersonal agreement. There are only really 2 pronouns, xi "I" and ha "you". These are used regardless of number, but if number is necessary you can add the associative plural suffix -áá’ forming xáá’ "we (exclusive)" and háá’ "you plural" (this suffix can also be used on animate nouns and names, I forgot to mention it when talking about nouns). There are also inclusive forms xiha "me and you" and xiháá’ "me, you, and others". For 3rd person pronouns, a generic noun will usually be used, such as tsaa "person" or e’ "thing".

The person markers on verbs are more versatile:

Code: Select all

1s      -x~xi-
2s      -h~ha-
1.INC   -tu~ta-
1.EXC	-ge-
2p      -ki~ke-
3.ANIM  -a-
3.INAN  -’~0~e-
4       -na-
Area    -hu~ha-
Refl    -pah-
Recip   -ine-
These are used for both subject and object marking, the former going in front of the verb and the latter following it. The animate and inanimate third person forms agree with noun class, and personal names use animate marking as well, unless you are trying to insult someone. The 4th person marker is used to refer to an unspecified or irrelevant subject, usually translating to English "(some)one". It is also used for a formal "you", used for elders, teachers, (grand)parents, and when talking to deities. It also has a special use in narratives, where it is used to refer the main character where the first person marker is used for the speaker.

Possessive Markers


There are two sets of possessive markers, one used for alienable nouns and the other for inalienable ones.

Code: Select all

          AL        INAL
1s      -ix~x-     -xi~x
2s      -ih~h-     -ha~h
1.INC   -etu-      -tu
1.EXC	-ige-      -ge
2p      -eki-      -ki
3.ANIM  -ya-       -a
3.INAN  -ye’~e’-   -e’~’
4       -ina~in-   -na
Refl    -ipah-     -pah
Recip   -yene~ene- -ene~ine
Possessive phrases are head initial, that is they are in noun-genitive order.

búbúa akxi
búbú-a akxi
older_brother-3.ANIM.POSS girl
"the girl's (older) brother"

gyuna ána’
gyun-a ána’
pot-3.ANIM.POSS man
"the man's pot"

Demonstratives

Demonstratives have a two way distance contrast, between proximal and distal. They also contrast between animate and inanimate.

Code: Select all

       ANIM    INAN
PROX   tsagá   higá
DIST   tsasé   hisé
These can be used in attributive position and as head of a noun phrase.

yíxax xebi’ higá.
yíx-ax x-e-bi’ higá
bone-TOP PASS-3.INAN.SUB-be_broken.IPFV PROX.INAN
"This bone is broken. (Lit. concerning bones, this one is broken")

kúuh tsaséx akxááyééxka ma’i.
kúuh tsasé-x a-kxáá-y-ééxk-a ma’i
woman DIST.ANIM-TOP 3.ANIM.SUB-hunt.PFV-CAUS-die.PFV-3.ANIM.OBJ wolf
"That is the woman that killed the wolf."

Equivalents of English 'here' and 'there' are formed through compounds with hu "place, area".

huhigá "here"
huhisé "there"

These are pretty much universally shortened to hugá and husé except in very formal speech

hugáx ekéén twi’ eyééxka bábáx.
hugá-x e-kééd twi’ e-y-ééxk-a bábá-x
here-TOP 3.INAN.SUB-fall.PFV oak_tree 3.INAN.SUB-CAUS-die.PFV-3.ANIM.OBJ father-1s.POSS
"This is where the oak tree fell and killed my father."
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by DesEsseintes »

Must give this a proper read soon. I like everything I see.

The voicing contrast in stops is interesting and unexpected. Was Caddo an inspiration there?
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

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What does Area mean in your first chart?
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Osia »

DesEsseintes wrote: 24 Jun 2021 06:06 Must give this a proper read soon. I like everything I see.

The voicing contrast in stops is interesting and unexpected. Was Caddo an inspiration there?
The voiced stops were mostly just because I like the aesthetic of them, though I'm glad you like them!
Creyeditor wrote: 24 Jun 2021 12:40 What does Area mean in your first chart?
This is an affix I stole from Navajo, it corresponds to the space affix ha~ho-. It's used for areas and times and acts somewhat like the English impersonal "it". I'm not sure on the exact details of Navajo usage but I'll give some examples here for how Ahapa uses it.

dúúnax asemehu seyáwa hunix (wi’).
dúún-ax a-semi-hu seyá’=wa hu-nix (wi’)
moon-top 3.ANIM.SUB-sit.GNO-AREA.OBJ sky=COND AREA.SUB-be.nighttime (time)
"The moon is in the sky at night."

pwásax hukááte' (hugá).
pwás-ax hu-káát-e' (hugá)
rain-TOP AREA.SUB-drop-3.INAN.OBJ here
"It's raining." (Literally, "here is dropping rain")

hugá is optional in this case because it is implied.
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Creyeditor »

Ah that looks similar to that Bantu noun class I forgot the number of.
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

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Verb Basics

Verbs are the main workhouse of Ahapa, this post will focus on the verb template, root structure, and aspect suppletion. Verbs are very complex morphologically, conjugating for the person of the subject and the object of the verb, as well as for aspect, mood, evidentiality, and more. Tense is not marked, if necessary it is expressed by adverbs and the perfective aspect usually implies a past tense reading. The verb template is given below:

preverb–directional–evidential–incorporated_noun–subject–negative–voice–root+aspect–object–classifier–aspect2–applicative–irrealis–relative–mood

Many of these are self explanatory but I'll go through all of them just to be safe.

Preverb: This contains a number of modifiers that are expressed with auxilliaries in English: to try to, to want to, to be able to, etc. along with some adverbial affixes. I haven't decided the full inventory or the forms for these yet, so that will hopefully be forthcoming.

Directional: There are 2 markers here, a cislocative -tá-, and a translocative -e~y-. These are pretty common, many verbs have two English translations which are expressed by using the cislocative or the translocative, like to bring and to take (e~y-sun- and tá-sun- respectively).

Evidential: There is a 3 way evidential contrast, between direct -0-, inferred -si-, and reported -pád-.

Incorporated Noun: Noun incorporation is pretty frequent and acts as a way to separate old and new information, where a noun when it is first introduced will be unincorporated but will usually stay incorporated for the rest of the discourse unless it is focused, topicalized, or modified. All nouns have the ability to be incorporated. If the noun is inalienable a possessor will appear in the object slot if the verb is transitive and the subject slot if it is intransitive.

Subject: Marking of the person and number of the subject of the clause.

Negative: The negative marker is -bi-, many verbs however have suppletive negative forms. Using the negative also requires irrealis marking.

Voice: This is inspired by the "classifier" system of Na-Dene languages, there are 4 markers here. The active -0-, the passive -x-, the causative -i~y-, and the causative-passive -s-. Any verb can theoretically take any of these markers, but some combinations are uncommon. The causative-passive is very rare and is almost entirely used as a formal active voice.

Root: Roots are usually either monosyllabic or disyllabic and have only short and low tone vowels. Roots form stems for 4 aspects, imperfective, perfective, perfect, and gnomic/habitual.

Object: Marking of the person and number of the object of the clause.

Classifier: This is not like the Na-Dene classifiers, but by the classificatory verbs of Navajo and Cherokee. A closed class of verbs will take a marking that indicates the shape and structure of the subject of intransitive verbs and object of transitive verbs.

Aspect 2: This slot includes an inceptive/inchoative, a cessative, a durative, an iterative, and a distributive.

Applicative: There are three of these, a locative/dative applicative, an ablative/instrumental applicative, and a lative/benefactive applicative.

Irrealis: The irrealis marker -i- is used whenever an event did not or may not have happened. It is mandatory in negatives, questions, commands, and most descriptions of future events. When used in other cases it expresses doubt as to the occurrence of the action described.

Relative: The relative marker -da- is used in relative clauses. Adjectives can also take this marker and since they are verb like and occur unmarked in predicate position, they must take this marker to directly modify a noun.

Mood: There are 4 moods marked here. The indicative which is unmarked, the polar interrogative -u, the content interrogative, and the imperative.

Verb Roots and Aspect

Verb roots form one of 4 stems depending on aspect, through mostly non-concatenative processes. A handful of verbs form these stems irregularly, and they will be discussed here. Most roots are monosyllabic, but a good number are disyllabic. All verb roots (except for one irregular one) have short vowels that are low tone.

The base form of the root is used as the imperfective stem, this refers to an action conceptualized as a process with internal complexity. Since Ahapa lacks tense, the imperfective on its own is usually used to refer to the present tense.

The perfective is formed by taking the last vowel of the root and lengthening it and giving it a high tone.

-ksa- "look at" -> -ksáá-
-nix- "work" -> -nííx-
-kihku- "ask a question" -> -kihkúú-

The perfect is formed from the perfective root by prefixing the first consonant + /a/. If the root begins with a vowel then h, y, or w is inserted depending on the following vowel.

-ksa- "look at" -> -kaksáá-
-nix- "work" -> -nanííx-
-kehku- "ask a question" -> -kakehkúú-
-an- "be named" -> -haháán-
-ip- "spit on" -> -yayííp-
-uma- "think (about)" -> -wawúúma-

The gnomic is formed by suffixing -i, along with lowering the last vowel (i -> e, u -> a). It also it used with a habitual or iterative sense.

-ksa- "look at" -> -ksai-
-nix- "work" -> -nexi-
-kehku- "ask a question" -> -kehkai-
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Omzinesý »

Osia wrote: 06 Jul 2021 04:21 Verb Basics

Verbs are the main workhouse of Ahapa, this post will focus on the verb template, root structure, and aspect suppletion. Verbs are very complex morphologically, conjugating for the person of the subject and the object of the verb, as well as for aspect, mood, evidentiality, and more. Tense is not marked, if necessary it is expressed by adverbs and the perfective aspect usually implies a past tense reading. The verb template is given below:

preverb–directional–evidential–incorporated_noun–subject–negative–voice–root+aspect–object–classifier–aspect2–applicative–irrealis–relative–mood

Many of these are self explanatory but I'll go through all of them just to be safe.

Preverb: This contains a number of modifiers that are expressed with auxilliaries in English: to try to, to want to, to be able to, etc. along with some adverbial affixes. I haven't decided the full inventory or the forms for these yet, so that will hopefully be forthcoming.

Directional: There are 2 markers here, a cislocative -tá-, and a translocative -e~y-. These are pretty common, many verbs have two English translations which are expressed by using the cislocative or the translocative, like to bring and to take (e~y-sun- and tá-sun- respectively).

Evidential: There is a 3 way evidential contrast, between direct -0-, inferred -si-, and reported -pád-.

Incorporated Noun: Noun incorporation is pretty frequent and acts as a way to separate old and new information, where a noun when it is first introduced will be unincorporated but will usually stay incorporated for the rest of the discourse unless it is focused, topicalized, or modified. All nouns have the ability to be incorporated. If the noun is inalienable a possessor will appear in the object slot if the verb is transitive and the subject slot if it is intransitive.

Subject: Marking of the person and number of the subject of the clause.

Negative: The negative marker is -bi-, many verbs however have suppletive negative forms. Using the negative also requires irrealis marking.

Voice: This is inspired by the "classifier" system of Na-Dene languages, there are 4 markers here. The active -0-, the passive -x-, the causative -i~y-, and the causative-passive -s-. Any verb can theoretically take any of these markers, but some combinations are uncommon. The causative-passive is very rare and is almost entirely used as a formal active voice.

Root: Roots are usually either monosyllabic or disyllabic and have only short and low tone vowels. Roots form stems for 4 aspects, imperfective, perfective, perfect, and gnomic/habitual.

Object: Marking of the person and number of the object of the clause.

Classifier: This is not like the Na-Dene classifiers, but by the classificatory verbs of Navajo and Cherokee. A closed class of verbs will take a marking that indicates the shape and structure of the subject of intransitive verbs and object of transitive verbs.

Aspect 2: This slot includes an inceptive/inchoative, a cessative, a durative, an iterative, and a distributive.

Applicative: There are three of these, a locative/dative applicative, an ablative/instrumental applicative, and a lative/benefactive applicative.

Irrealis: The irrealis marker -i- is used whenever an event did not or may not have happened. It is mandatory in negatives, questions, commands, and most descriptions of future events. When used in other cases it expresses doubt as to the occurrence of the action described.

Relative: The relative marker -da- is used in relative clauses. Adjectives can also take this marker and since they are verb like and occur unmarked in predicate position, they must take this marker to directly modify a noun.

Mood: There are 4 moods marked here. The indicative which is unmarked, the polar interrogative -u, the content interrogative, and the imperative.

Verb Roots and Aspect

Verb roots form one of 4 stems depending on aspect, through mostly non-concatenative processes. A handful of verbs form these stems irregularly, and they will be discussed here. Most roots are monosyllabic, but a good number are disyllabic. All verb roots (except for one irregular one) have short vowels that are low tone.

The base form of the root is used as the imperfective stem, this refers to an action conceptualized as a process with internal complexity. Since Ahapa lacks tense, the imperfective on its own is usually used to refer to the present tense.

The perfective is formed by taking the last vowel of the root and lengthening it and giving it a high tone.

-ksa- "look at" -> -ksáá-
-nix- "work" -> -nííx-
-kihku- "ask a question" -> -kihkúú-

The perfect is formed from the perfective root by prefixing the first consonant + /a/. If the root begins with a vowel then h, y, or w is inserted depending on the following vowel.

-ksa- "look at" -> -kaksáá-
-nix- "work" -> -nanííx-
-kehku- "ask a question" -> -kakehkúú-
-an- "be named" -> -haháán-
-ip- "spit on" -> -yayííp-
-uma- "think (about)" -> -wawúúma-

The gnomic is formed by suffixing -i, along with lowering the last vowel (i -> e, u -> a). It also it used with a habitual or iterative sense.

-ksa- "look at" -> -ksai-
-nix- "work" -> -nexi-
-kehku- "ask a question" -> -kehkai-
Good conlangs are never commented, so it looks nice!
I don't quite understand Navajo aspect system, but it surely is good material for conlangs.
Is, say, perfective formation always regular or are there irregularities?
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Osia »

Omzinesý wrote: 06 Jul 2021 15:04 Good conlangs are never commented, so it looks nice!
I don't quite understand Navajo aspect system, but it surely is good material for conlangs.
Is, say, perfective formation always regular or are there irregularities?
There are a handful of irregular verbs I've come up with so far, but I'm still changing their forms, so expect a post on irregular verbs soon.
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by All4Ɇn »

I love the look and feel for this conlang and hope to see more of it [:)] . Particularly a fan of /l/ being a rare phoneme replaced by /d/. Do you have any sample words with this phoneme? Are there any phonological changes that specifically made it rare?
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Osia »

All4Ɇn wrote: 14 Jul 2021 15:38 I love the look and feel for this conlang and hope to see more of it [:)] . Particularly a fan of /l/ being a rare phoneme replaced by /d/. Do you have any sample words with this phoneme? Are there any phonological changes that specifically made it rare?
So far I have 5 words with /l/:
-kal- "be black/dark"
lagé "tongue"
lea "lake"
lúú’ "fish"
melu "honey"

Here's a sentence with all of them.
lúú’ ekaddax esemida nilea lagéiheti wimelu.
lúú’ e-kal-da=x e-semi-da ni=lea lagé-0-iheti wi=melu
fish 3.INAN.SUB-be_black-REL=TOP 3.INAN.SUB-sit.GNO-REL LOC=lake tongue-3.INAN.SUB-please.GNO COM=honey
The dark-colored fish that live in the lake taste* great with honey.

*To taste literally translates as "to please (my) tongue".

My idea is that /l/ disappeared between vowels (melu is a recent loanword) and became rare enough that there weren't many minimal pairs that distinguished /l/ with /d/. The change is common among younger speakers in my mind.

Transitivity, Valency, and Noun Incorporation

Verb roots in Ahapa are strictly transitive or intransitive. However, when forming a verb stem from a root the valency can be changed pretty easily through one of 3 methods, adding a valency marker, adding an applicative, or by incorporating a noun.

Transitivity and Valency Changing Operations

As discussed previously, there are 4 valency markers that occur before a verb root, the active -0-, the passive -x-, the causative -y-, and the causative-passive -s-.

The causative is the most common, there are many verb roots which translate into 2 English words depending on whether they contain a causative, like -exk- "to die" vs -y-exk- "to kill" -’in- "to not exist" vs -y-’in- "destroy". This is purely a morphological causative, although there are a few transitive verbs that appear to have a fossilized causative marker (-ihit- "to please" from *-y-hit- vs -hitit- " to be happy" (reduplicated)). Any intransitive verb root can take a causative marker, but only some transitive verbs may do so. These form a closed class of ditransitive verb stems, the only place where ditransitives appear in the language. Here are some examples:

-ik- "to have" -> -y-ik- "to give"
-gi- "to see" -> -y-gi- "to show"

These verbs mark the former agent with the instrumental preposition káy, while the former object and new agent act as normal objects and subjects respectively.

The passive is used on transitive verb roots only and there are many verb stems derived using the passive, but its main use is in relative clauses. Ahapa only allows relative clauses where the shared argument is the subject of the subclause, so passives are used when one would want to relativize the object.

The causative-passive is pretty rare, there are some causative verbs that can take it, but usually removing the causative inflection is more common. The main use of this inflection is to mark formality, this arose from using two separate morphemes sandwiched together that then merged into /s/.

There are 3 applicatives in Ahapa, a benefactive applicative, an instrumental applicative, and a locative applicative (I haven't decided their forms yet). When an applicative is used with a transitive verb, the object must be incorporated. The benefactive applicative can also be used with an allative meaning, and the instrumental applicative with an ablative meaning. Like the passive, these are common in relative clauses to make the shared argument the subject of the subclause, by combining an applicative with a passive.

Noun Incorporation

Noun incorporation is very productive and has many uses in Ahapa. It's most common use is for discourse purposes, a noun that is not incorporated is usually perceived as being focused, depending on the context of the sentence. It's common for an noun to be unincorporated when it is first introduced and then incorporated for as long as it doesn't undergo major changes. Since incorporated nouns can't be modified externally, a noun is usually described with modifiers like adjectives, quantifiers, determiners, etc. when it is first introduced. It is also common for an incorporated noun to be a more general and simpler noun than the original noun used to refer to something externally.

Noun incorporation also carries a semantic meaning. While animate nouns can be incorporated, nouns referring to people usually can't. When they are it implies that the person in question has very little control over their environment. Proper names of any kind can also never be incorporated.

Noun incorporation is also used for simple noun + verb compounding, sometimes with a shift in meaning from the original meanings of the words in question. Some verb roots even don't occur without an incorporated noun, such as -déín-xak- "to dig" from déín "earth, soil" and the obsolete root -xak-, which used to mean "to press (into)".
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Omzinesý »

Osia wrote: 16 Jul 2021 18:48
Noun Incorporation

Noun incorporation is very productive and has many uses in Ahapa. It's most common use is for discourse purposes, a noun that is not incorporated is usually perceived as being focused, depending on the context of the sentence. It's common for an noun to be unincorporated when it is first introduced and then incorporated for as long as it doesn't undergo major changes. Since incorporated nouns can't be modified externally, a noun is usually described with modifiers like adjectives, quantifiers, determiners, etc. when it is first introduced. It is also common for an incorporated noun to be a more general and simpler noun than the original noun used to refer to something externally.
So, incorporated nouns are usually definite?
I think that is very uncommon. Usually indefinite or nonspecific nouns are incorporated.
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Osia »

Omzinesý wrote: 18 Jul 2021 23:36
Osia wrote: 16 Jul 2021 18:48
Noun Incorporation

Noun incorporation is very productive and has many uses in Ahapa. It's most common use is for discourse purposes, a noun that is not incorporated is usually perceived as being focused, depending on the context of the sentence. It's common for an noun to be unincorporated when it is first introduced and then incorporated for as long as it doesn't undergo major changes. Since incorporated nouns can't be modified externally, a noun is usually described with modifiers like adjectives, quantifiers, determiners, etc. when it is first introduced. It is also common for an incorporated noun to be a more general and simpler noun than the original noun used to refer to something externally.
So, incorporated nouns are usually definite?
I think that is very uncommon. Usually indefinite or nonspecific nouns are incorporated.
This specific use of noun incorporation is based on Mithun's Type III, where noun incorporation is used to "background old or established information". I might have explained this poorly though. My idea was to replicate this behavior:
Mithun (1984) http://mithun.faculty.linguistics.ucsb.edu/pdfs/1984%20The%20evolution%20of%20noun%20incorporation.PDF wrote: In the short conversations below, each new entity is first introduced by an external N-but once it is old information, it is incorporated:
(58) A: askeman ti-'-kwa nakatl.
never you-it-eat meat
'You never eat meat.'

B: na' ipanima ni-naka-kwa.
I always I-meat-eat
'I eat it (meat) all the time.'

The IN is not necessarily non-specific and indefinite. It is simply unmarked for these features. In many cases, its identity has been clearly established by the preceding context:
(59) A: kanke eltok kocillo? Na' ni-'-neki amanci.
where is knife I I-it-want now
'Where is the knife? I want it now.'

B: ya' ki-kocillo-tete'ki panci.
he (he)it-knife-cut bread
'He cut the bread with it (the knife).
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Re: Ahápaké: The Language of the Foxes

Post by Omzinesý »

Ok, thanks
I have never quite understood incorporation. Must read and learn.
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