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|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Ashouctian is a fusional nominative-accusative mostly head-intial language. Word order is strictly SVO. It is mostly head-initial in that adjectives follow the nouns they modify, adverbs follow the verbs they modify, but the language has prepositions and genitive phrases preceed the head noun. Despite it's fusional nature, the language makes heavy use of infixing, and soforth makes extensive use of consonant modification when infixing.
Nouns decline for four cases: nominative, oblique, genetive, and adverbial, as well as to indicate plurality. Verbs conjugate for person, number, tense (past, present, and future), aspect (imperfect, perfect, and progressive), mood (indicative, interrogative, imperative, and conditional), and voice (active and passive). Some of these are expressed periphrastically, however. Adjectives agree with the noun they modify in case and number, and adverbs simply follow the verb they modify.
- Nasal assimilation does not occur, therefore /nk/ and /ŋk/ are contrastive. Clusters such as /ŋm/ are permitted across syllable boundaries as well.
|Close||i i:||u u:|
- There are also three diphthongs, treated as long vowels /ai/, /au/, /ei/.
- After (but not before) a labialized consonant or in between two labialized consonants, unrounded vowels are often rounded
- Word-final labialized consonants are often, but not always, pronounced as a plain consonant
- Short and long vowels are often more centralized in the vicinity of a uvular consonant
- Velar consonants are palatalized before /i/ or /e̞/
- /ʁ/ and /ʁʷ/ are respectively pronounced [j] and [w] syllable-finally and, by some speakers, are replaced entirely by the latter phonemes.
- The short vowels have many realisations in stressed syllables
- /i/ is realised as [ɪ] interconsonantally, and [i] elsewhere
- /e̞/ is realised as [ɛ] interconsonantally, and [e̞] elsewhere
- /u/ is realised as [ʊ] interconsonantally, and [u] elsewhere
- /a/ is realised as [a] regardless of placement
- The pronunciation of short vowels change in unstressed styllable as well
- /i/ is realised as [ɪ] interconsonantally, and as [ə] in an open syllable
- /u/ is realised as [ʊ] interconsonantally, and as and as [ə] in an open syllable.
- /a/ and /e̞/ are realized as [ə] when unstressed regardless of syllable structure
- The pronunciation of long vowels does not change due to stress or syllable structure
Syllable structure is (C)(r, l, F)V(C) where C is any consonant, F is a fricative sans /h/, and V is any vowel or diphthong. Onsets of (N)(F) where N is a nasal and F is a fricative do not occur. /h/ may only occur syllable initially and by itself, i.e. it is not allowed in a cluster or in the syllable coda.
Stress is always on the first syllable of the word. The vowel quality of short vowels is affected interconsonantally in a stressed syllable as well as in any unstressed syllable, with many vowels being reduced to [ə]. The vowel quality of long vowels, however, is not affected regardless of stress or syllable structure.
- Main article: Ashouctian Orthography
Ashouctian uses the Latin alphabet and employs a complex orthography using only the following letters:
- a á b c d e é f g h i í l m n o p r s t u ú
- Main article: Ashouctian consonant mutation
Ashouctian consonants undergo multiple forms of mutation during conjugation, suffixing, or infixing. This generally only effects word-final consonants or ultimate consonants, but it can effect other consonants due to infixing as well. Different conjugations, suffixes, and infixes trigger different mutations.
Nouns in Ashouctian decline differently for a multitude of word structures, deemed "classes" for convenience. There is a hierarchy of endings, beginning at -VCVC, -VVCV, -VVC, -V and -C. If a noun does not end in the first three, it will decline for simple ending in a vowel or consonant, where a consonant final ending is simply suffixation. Nouns decline in four cases: nominative, oblique, genitive, and adverbial.
A noun in the nominative case is the subject of a sentence. A noun in the oblique case is either the direct object, indirect object, or the object of an oblique preposition. A noun in the genitive case shows ownership of the noun, or it is the object of a genitive preposition. The usage of the adverbial case is severely limited. It is used to describe a noun adverbially (i.e. how a verb was performed), as the object of a few prepositions, or a state of being (the function of the essive case).
-VCVC nouns The pattern of -VCVC noun declension is in the table below (in IPA), followed by an example declension, in which IPA is available by hovering over the word.
|example declension of taiseut - crown|
|example declension of fidhaisea - hill|
This declension is nearly identical to the -VVCV, but there is no final vowel truncation.
|example declension of sedhun - woman|
|example declension of siuecua - queen|
|example declension of sais - sister|
Ashouctian is not a pro-drop language, that is, pronouns are necessary in order to distinguish the personal meaning of a verb. There are no distinct adverbial case pronouns. Adverbial case pronouns are formed using the archaic preposition ámh before the oblique pronouns.
Ashouctian verbs conjugate for person (not number), 3 tenses (past, present, and future) 3 aspects (imperfective, perfective, and progressive), 4 moods (indicative, conditional, interrogative, and imperative), 2 voices (active and passive) and polarity. There are three conjugations depending on the verbs syllable structure. The perfective and progressive aspects are conveyed by verbal suffixes that are suffixed onto the verb before the personal ending, each of which triggers consonant mutation.
Imperatives are usually given without pronouns despite only conjugating for number. The first person imperative is only used with the plural (i.e. let us __). Without a pronoun, the second person imperative refers to a singular person. The third person imperative is usually translated as the "special subjunctive", i.e. a sentence such as long live the king!
All Ashouctian verbs end with -ae or -e in the infinitive. This ending (pronounced as /ə/) is usually not pronounced in speaking unless it follows a consonant cluster.
The first conjugation encompasses verbs which have roots ending in -VCVC, such as abháise, which means to play. The conjugations below are simply patterns written in IPA, without stress rules applied.
The second conjugation encompasses verbs that have roots ending in two consonants, such as leacne, which means to bother.
Verbal aspect is the same regardless of the conjugation. It exists as a suffix between the verb root (even modified VCC roots) and the personal ending.
The progressive aspect is indiated by -uk and triggers wide mutation in the preceeding consonant(s).
The perfective aspect is indicated by -a:m and triggers soft mutation in the preceeding consonant(s)