|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Lashi is a language in the Western family, a descendant of Proto-Western, in the world of Stasu.
- /n/ becomes [ŋ] adjacent to /k, h/
- /k/ is a recent development, and mostly appears in borrowed words
- /ɸ/ (written "f") has a voiced allophone [β] intervocalically
- /ʋ/ has [ʋ] as its most common, and standard, pronunciation, but can appear as [β], [ʙ], [w], or, in the far north, [ɰ].
The consonants are written as k t p h c s f n m y r w.
The vowels are i /i/, é /e/, e /ɛ/, a /ɐ/, o /ɔ/, ó /o/, u /u/.
The language is strictly CVC. The only consonant clusters are CC clusters, with each C interpreted as a part of its adjacent syllable. Vowels may appear in any order, although neighboring vowels i-é, é-e, o-ó, ó-u without an intervening consonant occur rarely. There are no diphthongs.
Stress can occur on any of the last three syllables of a word, and is lexical. On some words, stress is distinguished by a diaresis ¨ on the stressed syllable.
Yaci nouns decline for number and case, and fall into any of three genders. The genders are masculine, feminine and neuter; gender is not predictable by phonology of the word, and is not always predictable by semantic meaning (e.g. ener "person" is masculine, regardless of the gender of the person being referred to).
Nouns decline for four cases using syllabic prefixes. The cases are:
- The base case, with no prefix, which is used for subjects, direct objects, and with some prepositions.
- The genitive case, with the prefix no-, which indicates possession or quality and is also the primary way of turning nouns into adjectives. It appears as n- on nouns beginning with the vowels o or ó.
- The dative case, with the prefix se-, which is used for some indirect objects, some locations, and with some prepositions. It appears as s- on nouns beginning with the vowels e or é.
- The locative case, with the prefix mi-. With no preposition, it generally means "on" or "on top of", but has numerous meanings with a plethora of prepositions. It appears as m- on nouns beginning with i or é.
Any noun can be made plural by adding -ic following a consonant. Following the vowels i, u, ó, o, or a, -c is appended. If a word ends in é, that vowel turns into -ic; final e becomes -éc.
The following table gives a sampling of nouns and forms, and their most common usages in Yaci.
|Person (m.)||ener "person"||noener "of the person, person's"||sener "to the person"||miener "on (one's) person"||eneric "people"|
|Animal (f.)||tu "animal"||notu "the animal's"||setu "to/at the animal"||mitu "on an animal"||tuc "animals"|
|Land (n.)||otnoyus "the land"||notnoyus "of the land"||seotnoyus "to that area"||miotnoyus "on the land"||otnoyusic "lands"|
|Storehouse (n.)||tósé "a storehouse"||notósé "of/in the storehouse"||setósé "at the storehouse"||mitósé "on top of the storehouse"||tósic "storehouses"|
There are a few nouns for which the base case is identical to one of the oblique cases. These are:
- mimmóm "day, daylight" is both base and locative
There are separate pronouns for each person and number in each gender and case, except that there is no first person neuter pronoun.
Pronouns are optional where clear from context, although in colloquial speech are never dropped.
In the table below, alternate cases are shown where relevant.
|Masculine Singular||ehip (dat. sehip)||ru||mu|
|Feminine Singular||api||o (gen. no)||ro|
|Feminine Plural||nuhayic||isnoyic (loc. misnoyic)||wahoyic|
Adjectives accord with their nouns in gender, number and case. All adjectives follow the same fusional rules for case as nouns.
Neuter nouns have no additional ending and their adjectives accord for the plural in the same way nouns do.
Other nouns take the following endings (note: still coming up with vocab examples of other endings):
|Plural Masculine||Singular Feminine
tétu curnom "new sky"
tétuc curnomic "new skies"
tétoyi tésre "new plant"
tétoyic tésréc "new plants"
|Ends with a, e, é, i
|Ends with o
|Ends with ó
|Ends with u
sopu curnom "good sky"
sopuc curnomic "good skies"
sopuyi tésre "good plant"
sopuyic tésréc "good plants"
Verbs conjugate largely agglutinatively for three tenses (past, present and future) in two aspects (perfect and progressive) and two moods (indicative and conditional), as well as the number of the subject. They do not conjugate for person or gender.
The conditional mood is used for conditions, including after some conjunctions (see below), and in some instances is used as an irrealis mood. It is also used in some questions to emphasize that a speaker does not know the answer to a question; rhetorical or obvious questions are always posed in the indicative.
Some verb endings (marked with an *asterisk) cause mutations or mergers in verbs ending in vowels; others (marked with a **double asterisk) cause mutations or mergers in those ending with consonants.
|Tense||Indicative Singular||Indicative Plural||Conditional Singular||Conditional Plural|
Vowel stem verbs are affected by endings in -i or -u just like their adjectival counterparts. For example, the verb cuyi "love" in the indicative progressive has its final i merge with the initial i of the ending:
- Api cuyim up.
- 1sf. love-prog. it.
- "I'm loving it."
The verb só is likewise affected by the endings in -u:
- Api sut.
- 1sf wave-cond.
- "I may wave." or "I should wave.
The final -n of the perfect indicative singular does not appear following a consonant, but does have some effects.
If a verb root ends in one of the consonants [m, p, f], it turns into [n, t, s] in the perfect or imperfect tense due to coloration from the adjacent n.
- Ehip im. Ehip in.
- "I go." "I went."
The present indicative plural or future perfect indicative singular ending -c disappears following most consonants. The exceptions are final [n, t, s, h, r, y], which disappear in favor of the -c.
- Ru urfós. Mutic urfóc.
- "You move." "Y'all move."
In front of either the "past n" or the ending -c, final w turns into u, which may have effects earlier in the root.
- still need an example of this
There is no verb "to be". Instead, a noun phrase is placed in the genitive case, with the adjective preceding the noun:
- nounu nomu.
- gen-Tall-m gen-3.s.m
- "He is tall."
Adpositions & Conjunctions
All prepositions come before the noun. The distinction between prepositions and conjunctions is fuzzy at best; many prepositions can also introduce clauses, whose subject and object are in the case the preposition takes.
ét "above" takes the locative case: ét miumohopoya "above the ground".
ohe plus a noun in the dative case means "for": ohe sefete "for nothing". If it takes a dative clause it means "in order that": .
et can mean "with" or "and" and takes the case of the other item: tésre et tu "plants and animals"; inémó noremra et noipopumnéc "the tree (made) of bark and branches", lit. "tree of-bark with of-branch-es". It can also connect clauses, with the subject in the base case: .
ec means "because of" with the dative: ec seipum "because of the chaos". It means "because" with a dative clause: .
ce means "except" with any case: ce fawóra "except air", ce misi "except at night". With a base clause, it means "but": .
cecó means "before" with a locative phrase or clause: cecó mimmóm "before the day (i.e. before dawn)", .
curu means "in the manner of" or "in the way of" with the base case: curu uc "like (in the way of) the sea". With a base clause, it means roughly what a "by doing" or "doing" clause would in English: .
só with a base noun means "with the effect of": só ic "with the effect of (making) language". With a base clause it means "thus, so, therefore": .
sumpó with a base noun means "simultaneous with" or "together with": sumpó ipum "simultaneous with chaos". With a base clause it means "once, since, when": .
etar means "at the time of": etar ipum "at the time of chaos". With a base clause it means "when" or "during": .
memmaho with the locative means "inside": memmaho mitósé "inside the storehouse". With a locative clause it means "within which": .
sé with the locative means "into": sé miumohopoya "into the ground". With a locative clause it means "until": .
sut with a clause or phrase of any case means "or": ener sut tu "human or animal", .
Adverbs & Particles
Adverbs typically come before the verb, and often are the same form as a corresponding adjective. E.g. ait "all, entirely"; ayop "bad, poorly"; ron "current, now".
Verbs are negated by adding the negative particle ra, e.g. Mu rasturmin ra "He didn't do (it)." Imperatives appear just like a regular indicative sentence: Ru im "You go; Go!" Negative imperatives replace ra with the postverbal particle nipé: Ru im nipé! "Don't go!"
All questions take the sentence-final particle u. Sometimes speakers will place u at the end of every clause of a question; this is technically hypercorrect. For content questions, the interrogative phrase is moved to the front of the sentence.
Clauses are strictly SVO in order. Adverbs typically come before the verb, either at the start of the sentence or after the subject. Clauses subordinate to the sentence typically go before the main clause if they happen temporally or sensically before it, and after if they happen after it, e.g.
- Ro womarces, cecó ic.
- she sit-pf. before speak-pf.
- "She sat before she spoke."
- Ec sefawóra ayop tiwerenim, ro ansinran oc minémó.
- because dat.-air bad(ly) exist-impf., she fail-pf. climb loc.-tree
- "Because the air was bad, she failed to climb the tree."
Note that the commas in the above sentence are for clarity and are not obligatory.
Noun Phrase Syntax
Nouns are always final in their noun phrases except for a few circumstances.
- A noun in the genitive case modifying a noun in any case other than the genitive is placed after the main noun: sényumic notésre (root-pl. gen.-plant) "the roots of the plant"
- If both nouns are genitive, the main noun is final: notésre nosényumic "of the roots of the plant"
- A subordinate clause that occurs temporally after the noun is placed after the noun: Ener, só mu en, ansin (person, thus he bleed, succeed) "The man who (makes it so that he) bleeds, succeeds."
- Note that a noun phrase introduced by the same conjunction occurs before the noun: Só ipum ener en (thus chaos person bleed) "The man causing chaos (lit. with the effect of chaos) bled."