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Posted: 23 Jun 2022 13:02
Ast-amu, [ɑst.ʔɑ'mu], the language of the Amu people, is my newest project. I don't know if it will go on or not.
I' also recycling the ideas I have been playing with lately.
- French-style stressing of phrases instead of words
- Allows many consonant clusters
- a small-scale vowel harmony between ɑ and æ
- Some Semitic-style transfixes (not as much as in Semitic)
- Cases Nominative/Direct, Partitive, and (maybe) genitive cases.
- VSO (relatively strict)
- Verbs agree with subject and object
- Split alignment (pronouns vs. nouns)
- Most verbs consist of a simple verb and a coverb* that are phonologically a compound. (I don't know if they can be discontinuous in some constructions.)
- Some simple verbs can also incorporate nouns ('eat'+'coffee' => 'to drink coffee'), which is morphologally like simple verb + coverb, but only some simple verbs do that.
*Coverbs are a word class that always appears with a simple verb. They don't inflect like nouns. They express the specific meaning of the verb, while the simple verb has some very broad semantics.
I'm happy to receive comments, questions, and corrections of typos!
Re: Ast-amu (Verbs)
Posted: 23 Jun 2022 13:28
An ast-amu predicate can either have a simple verb, (1), a complex verb of a simple verb and a coverb, (2), or a simple verb with an incorporated object, (3).
'I went to the town.'
'I walked to the town.'
Coverbs do not inflect and they are always compounded with a simple verb. Pä is, for example, always used with all motion to some destination.
The simple verbs that productively incorporate an object are: 'to be an N', 'to have an N', 'to eat/drink N', 'to behave like N', 'to cook/prepare N', 'to hunt N', 'to begin/become an N', 'to stop (being) an N'
'I'm drinking alcohol.'
Coverbs and incorporated nouns are alternative. No complex predicate can incorporate a noun.
Re: Ast-amu (Simple Verbs)
Posted: 23 Jun 2022 14:14
Preliminary morphology of simple verbs
I have started dozens of lang with verbs as a closed class. Because they are a closed class, I decide that they can be morphologically very irregular, like the most used verbs in many languages. Then I run into trouble.
Ast-amu simple verbs have a polypersonal agreement with the subject and the object. Beside person, verbs also agree gender and number of the subject and object.
There are some tenses (present, past, and future (?)), some moods Indicative, Uncertain, Conditional/Subjunctive, Optative (could be formed from Uncertain + Conditional/Subjunctive, if morphologically possible), Reported, Imperative. Negation and question can also affect the sysntem somehow.
Aspect is not expressed morphologically.
There are 11 person/gender/number forms
pl1 excl. (we)
pl1 incl. (we)
sg Masc. (he)
sg. Fem (she)
pl. Amin. (they)
sg. NeuterI (it)
sg. NeutherII (it)
pl. Neuter/Inanim. (they)
For a (morphologically) intransitive verb, we don't have to think about alignment. Those affixes are usually infixes that appear before the first vowel.
<s> sg1 (I)
<l> sg2 (you)
<mu> pl1 excl. (we)
<mul> pl1 incl. (we)
<ul> pl2 (you)
<z> sg Masc. (he)
<v> sg. Fem (she)
<g> pl. Amin. (they)
<m> sg. NeuterI (it)
<n> sg. NeutherII (it)
<uv> pl. Neuter/Inanim. (they)
Transitive verbs with animate third-person subjects
Code: Select all
pl1 excl. (we) pmuä
pl1 incl. (we) pmulä
pl2 (you) pumä
sg Masc. pzä
sg. Fem pvä
pl. Amin. pgä
sg. NeuterI pmä
sg. NeutherII pnä
pl. Neuter/Inanim. puvä
(Morphologically) transitive verbs with animate third-person objects are formed from a correspondin the corresponding intransitive verbs by adding a prefix for the subject.
Those prefixes are
s- 'sg Masc'
f- 'sg. Fem'
x- 'pl Amin.'
The object markers are the same infixes that appear in (morphological) intransitive verbs. Those verbs are thus morphologically ergative.
Spsä kkrhëhi. 'He takes me to the town.'
Fpsä kkrhëhi. 'She takes me to the town'
Xpsä kkrhëhi. 'They take me to the town.'
(Morphological) transitive verbs with inanimate subjects do not exist. Instead of saying 'The falling tree killed her.' you say 'She died because of the falling tree.'
(Morphological) transitive verbs with first and second person subjects
(Morphological) transitive verbs with first and second person subjects are morphologically nominative-accusative. That is the infixes above code the subject of the verb, and the object markers are suffixes. Those suffixes appear at the right edge of the (complex) verb. Those suffixes have an /i/.
- mi pl1 excl.
-mil pl1 incl.
-zi sg Masc.
-vi sg. Fem
-gi pl. Amin.
-i sg. NeuterI
-i sg. NeutherII
-iv pl. Neuter/Inanim.
Code: Select all
Psäsi kkrhëhi. 'I brought me to the town.'
Psäli kkrhëhi. 'I brought you to the town.'
Psämi kkrhëhi. 'I brought us to the town.'
Psämil kkrhëhi. 'I brought us to the town.'
Psäil kkrhëhi. 'I brought you to the town.'
Psäzi kkrhëhi. 'I brought him to the town.'
Psävi kkrhëhi. 'I brought her to the town.'
Psägi kkrhëhi. 'I brought them to the town.'
Psäi kkrhëhi. 'I brought it to the town.'
Psäi kkrhëhi. 'I brought it to the town.'
Psäiv kkrhëhi. 'I brought them to the town.'
Re: Ast-amu (Infinitive and Complement Clauses)
Posted: 23 Jun 2022 15:09
Infinitive and complement clauses
Complement clause is a clause that is the object (or some other obligatory argument) of the matrix clause. In Ast-amu, they are nonfinite, i.e. the verb form can code less categories than that of the other clauses. The verb form of complement clause is called Infinitive.
If the verb is (morphologically) intransitive, Infinite is the bare stem.
pä 'to go'
Ksuhë [pä kkrhëhi].
k<s>uhë pä k-krhëhi
want<sg1> go DEF-town
'I want to go to the town.'
If the verb is (morphologically) transitive, it takes the i-suffixes that and agrees the object, (2).
Ksuhë [päli kkrhëhi].
k<s>uhë pä-li k-krhëhi
want<sg1> go-sg2 DEF-town
'I want to take you to the town.'
In the examples (1) and (2), the subjects of the matrix clause and the complement clause / infinitive, are the same. 'I want that I go to the town.' If there is a different subject, it is positioned after the infinitive. The infinitive does not agree it, (3a).
Ksuhë pä pprum kkrhëhi.
k<s>uhë pä p-prum k-krhëhi
want<sg1> go DEF-man DEF-town
'I want that the man goes to the town.'
It can also be positioned before the infinitive, as the object of the matrix verb. Then, the matrix verb agrees it, (3b).
Ksuhëzi pprum pä kkrhëhi.
k<s>uhë-zi p-prum pä k-krhëhi
want<sg1>-him DEF-man go DEF-town
'I want the man to go to the town.'
I is also possible to say (3c).
Ksuhëzi pä kkrhëhi.
want<sg1>-him go DEF-town
'I want him to go to the town.'
Re: Ast-amu (Nouns)
Posted: 23 Jun 2022 15:39
Nouns have six gender-number classes
Masculine singular (animate nouns that refer to males)
Feminine singular (animate nouns that refer to females)
Animate plural (plural of masculines and feminines)
NeuterI singular (some of inanimate nouns)
NeuterII singular (the other inanimate nouns)
Inanimate plural (plural of NeuterI and NeuterII)
It is of course language-specific what is considered animate, but I'm not thinking about it now.
Putting words to NeuterI and NeuterII is usually arbitrary. There might be some rules, which I come up with later.
Gender is usually not coded in the noun. Verbs just agree it.
Most nouns have five forms: singular nominative, singular partitive, plural nominative, plural partitive, and an incorporatable form.
They are formed with changing the vowels of the root. Ast-amu vowels are /ɑ æ ə i u/, but ɑ and æ cannot appear in the same word, so in respect with case/number forms, there are four possible vowels /A ə i u/. My current orthography is /ɑ æ ə i u/ <a ä ë i u>.
prum 'man NOM'
përëm 'man PART'
param 'men NOM'
përamë 'men PART'
prëm 'man INCORP'
'to grow a man'
There are some declension classes of nouns with different numbers of consonants.
Prum follows the pattern: CCuC, CëCëC, CaCaC, CëCaCë, CCëC.
Krhëhi 'town' follows the pattern: CCëCi, CCuCa, CCaC, CCaCë, CCiC
Re: Ast-amu (Uses of the Cases and some Prepositions)
Posted: 23 Jun 2022 16:23
There are two noun cases: Nominative and Partitive.
Partitive is the case of direct objects that are not affected completely or that do not participate in the event as whole. In (1), the case codes resultative vs. irresultative aspect.
Tsut-vëtkimi i ëssa.
t<s>ut-vëtki-mi i ëssa
prepare<sg1>-write-N1 INDEF book.NOM
'I wrote a book.'
Tsut-vëtkimi i ussë.
t<s>ut-vëtki-mi i ussë
prepare<sg1>-write-N1 INDEF book.PART
'I was writing a book.'
Static verbs usually take a partitive object, because they are not telic, (2).
'I love the man.'
Intransitive subjects have Partitive if the noun refers to a mass noun, (3).
'(Some) water is flowing.'
Animate transitive subjects can have the ergative preposition lhu. It can also be dropped, (4).
Fpzä (lhu-)ttgirn pppun (ri-)kkrhëhi.
f-p<z>ä (lhu-)t-tgirn p-ppun (ri-)k-krhëhi
F-take<M> (ERG-)DEF-woman.NOM DEF-man.NOM (LOC-)-DEF-town.NOM
'The woman took the man to the town.'
Prepositions of location govern Nominative if they express location or goal and Partitive if they express source. When they express goal, they can be though dropped. The most common preposition of location is ri-, (5).
Pvä ttgirn ri-kkrhuha (ri-)hhëppë.
p<v>ä t-tgirn ri-k-krhuha (ri-)h-hëppë
go<F> DEF-woman.NOM LOC-DEF-town.PART (LOC-)DEF-village.NOM
'The woman went from the town to the village.'
Re: Ast-amu (Dictionary)
Posted: 23 Jun 2022 17:22
kër 'see', kur 'saw'
pil 'eat/drink', pul 'ate'
tulh 'move about'
tut 'cook, prepare'
ëssä 'book' (ëCCa, ëCCë - - (ëCCë)
hëppë 'village' (CëCCë, - - - )
ih 'water' (äCä,ih, no, no)
krhëhi 'town' (CCëCi, CCuCa, CCaC, CCaCë, CCiC)
prum 'man' (CCuC, CëCëC, CaCaC, CäCaCë, CCëC )
tgirn 'woman' (CCiCC, iCCëCëC, CaCëCC, CaCëCCë)