Assai Language

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This article is a start-class article. It needs further improvement to obtain good article status. This article is a part of Project Genesis.
This article is part of Project Genesis. This article is about the Kan-Kaijin language spoken in Western Assai. For the family of languages native to the Assai peninsular and unrelated to the Kaijin Assai Language, see Assai Languages. For the country, see Kingdom of Assai. For the people group, see Assai Kaijin. For other uses, see Assai (disambiguation).
Assai
Kórutasku-be Asai
Assai Script.jpg
Kórutasku-be Asai ('Assai Language') written in Assai script.
Assai Language Regions.PNG
Countries in Western Assai where Assai is spoken.
  Sole official language
  Co-official or secondary language
  Unrecognised regional language with significant number of native speakers
Region Western Assai (as a lingua franca), officially in several states (see below), as well as in Riden, Cadisia, and Eastern Assai as a minority language.
Ethnicity natively Assai Kaijin, widely by Asahric People.
Native speakers
198 million (c.378 million incl. L2) (5994)
Early forms
Proto-Kai
  • Alawazi Riddish
    • Old Assai
      • Middle Assai
        • Modern Assai
Assai, Old Kai (archaic texts only).
Assai Sign Language
Official status
Official language in
Assai
Euros
Kaival
Kiradai
Meridia
Myotonos
Sysenas
Upper Assai
Ves
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated by Royal Academy of the Assai Language and Applied Linguistics, Old Assai, Assai.
Language codes
ISO 639-1 as
ISO 639-2 asa
ISO 639-3 asa
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

The Assai Language (AS, in Assai: Kórutasku-be Asai), sometimes erroneously referred to as Assai Kai, is a Kan-Kaijin language spoken by approximately 378 million people, primarily in Western Assai, where it is used as a lingua franca, although also by significant minorities in Eastern Assai, Riden, and Cadisia (see Assai language in Cadisia). As the most widely spoken of the Eastern Kai Languages, Assai itself originates as one of the Riddish dialects of Eastern Riden spoken primarily throughout the Alawazi Empire in the late 38th century. The language spread to Western Assai following the Kaijin Invasion of Assai circa 3920 Ʋ. Very little remnants of the early Assai dialects of Riddish remain, meaning ascertaining at what exact time Old Assai differentiates itself from its archaic ancestor languages is uncertain. After the collapse of the Alawazi Empire and subsequent expulsion of the Riden Kaijin in 4184 Ʋ, Kaijin Assai became increasingly isolated from the other Kaijin languages. As a result, Old Assai became increasingly different from the languages of Riden as the neighbouring Northern Assai Languages increasingly influenced the language's development, particularly the now-extinct Raetai and Zhatsai languages. In the Korat, repeated Vespian invasion greatly influenced northern Assai dialects, eventually differentiating into the modern-day Emrit Language, which was greatly influenced in both grammar and vocabulary by Vespian.

Assai rose to prominence with the expansion of the First Assai Empire beginning in the 56th century, where Assai was used as an administrative division throughout both Western and Eastern Assai. In the following few centuries, as Middle Assai began to develop, Assai grew in prestige and number of speakers, briefly being the most spoken Kaijin language during the 47th century. Western Assai's Middle Period saw Assai become the language of the Ainist Church, the royal dynasties of Western Assai, and the language of education. Following the collapse of the First Assai Empire, the prestige and ubiquity of Assai began to diminish.

Classification[edit]

History[edit]

Geographic Distribution[edit]

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Consonant Phonemes of Standard Assai
Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless ⟨p⟩ p ⟨t⟩ t () (c) ⟨k⟩ k ʔ
voiced ⟨b⟩ b ⟨d⟩ d () ⟨g⟩ g
Nasal ⟨m⟩ m ⟨n⟩ n (ɲ)
Affricate voiceless ⟨ps⟩ ps ⟨þþ⟩ t͡θ
⟨ts⟩ t͡s
⟨c⟩ t͡ʃ
voiced ⟨ðð⟩ d͡ð
⟨dz⟩ dz
⟨dc⟩
Fricative voiceless ⟨f⟩ f ⟨þ⟩ θ ⟨s⟩ s
⟨ʃ⟩ ʃ
(ɕ)
voiced ⟨v⟩ v ⟨ð⟩ ð ⟨z⟩ z
⟨ɀ⟩ ʒ
(ʑ)
Trill ⟨r⟩ r
Approximant j

Notes:

Vowels[edit]

Assai vowel chart

The vowel system of Standard Assai is relatively simple, consisting of only eight sounds which are generally pronounced fairly consistently with little variation within the standard dialect. Significant variation in pronunciation exists however in non-standard dialects of Assai, particularly in those of Southern Assai. Standard Assai includes only one diphthong, [ai] (written 'ai'), with non-standard dialects sometimes exhibiting more variation in diphthongs.

Vowel Phonemes of Standard Assai
Front Back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
Close ⟨i⟩ [i]
([ɪ])
⟨u⟩ [y] ⟨u⟩ [u]
Close-mid ⟨ei⟩ [e]
Open ⟨e⟩ [ɛ] ⟨a⟩ [a] ⟨o⟩ [o]

Notes:

  • In an orthographic combination of two 'i's following each other, as in, for example, eís-edi-iʃ, the first 'i' is always rendered as the standard [i] phoneme whilst the second is lowered to a [ɪ] sound.
  • [y] and [u] are allophones in some dialects and are both represented by the letter 'u'. Generally speaking, [u] will be pronounced at the start or in the middle of a syllable and be replaced with [y] at the end of syllables. Hence, kuré (to go) is ['kurjɛ] and kísuru (teacher) is [kji'syry]. Exceptions to this rule exist.

Phonotactics[edit]

Syllables, as opposed to morae, form the basis of words in the Assai language. Generally, syllables consist of a vowel nucleus which may or may not be palatised with a preceding [j] phoneme. More accurately, the phonotactics of Assai can be described as (C)(j)V(C), or as (C)(C)(j)V(C) where the first two consonant sounds are an affricative - that is, [ps], [tθ], [ts], [tʃ], [dð], [dz], or [dʒ]. Foreign loan words which do not adhere to this phonotactic structure are altered to fit, usually by the insertion of the front-central [ɛ] vowel between impossible consonant combinations. The following phonotactic constraints exist within Assai:

  • All syllables have a nucleus.
  • An initial single consonant or affricative is optional.
  • The obligatory vowel nucleus may exist by itself or with an initial [j] phoneme.
  • The diphthong [ai] may form the vowel nucleus and may also be preceded by a [j] phoneme.
  • Only [s, n, r, ʃ, ʒ, ] can form a coda.

Orthography[edit]

Grammar[edit]

As with the other Eastern Kai Languages, Assai is an agglutinative language which features an extensive use of verb and noun inflectional morphology to convey meaning, usually in the form of affixes. Unlike the other Eastern Kai Languages however, Assai also features a prominent use of auxiliary particles that often convey the same meanings as affixes, a result of Old Assai's exposure to the native languages of Western Assai. Nouns in Assai decline according to case, gender, number, and evidentiality. Verbs conjugate according to tense, mood, number, and person. Adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns are also declined, although to a lesser extent than nouns and verbs. Assai also features a prominent use of modal verbs to convey particular meanings.

Verbs[edit]

Verbs in Assai conjugate according to grammatical number, person, and, to a lesser extent, mood. Evidentiality is also a prominent feature of verbal morphology within Assai, as is a common feature of the Kai Languages. Tense, Evidentiality and Aspect are indicated in Assai by the use of auxiliary modal verbs, and Mood may be indicated either within these auxiliary verbs or through the use of particles. Standard conjugation for the verb "kuré" ['kurjɛ], meaning "to go", is shown below:

Simple Present Conjugation of "kuré" in Assai
Person Pronoun Affix Verb Translation
Singular Masculine/Animate eís -éʃ kuréʃ he goes
Feminine/Inanimate kuró she goes
Neuter et kuré it goes
Formal utse -éce kuréce it goes
Plural Known te -éʃ kuréʃ they go
Unknown téc -as kuras they go
Formal uci -éce kuréce they go

Verbs may be negated in Assai by using the particle katþ, which always precedes the main verb of the sentence. For example, 'they are going tomorrow' would be kuras nedere bas (lit. 'go tomorrow PRES. CONT.'), whilst 'they are not going tomorrow' would be katþ kuras nedere bas. In literature and some common expressions, the negation particle katþ may also follow the noun, although this structure does not occur very often and is not standard in everyday speech except in some dialects.

Tense and Aspect[edit]

Tense and mood are indicated through the use of auxiliary verbs in the Assai language, a feature itself evolving from the verb structures of Proto-Kai. Tense and aspect are semantically realised by the auxiliary verb used, whilst mood is indicated by either bound affixes attached to this auxiliary verb or through separate particles. The auxiliary verbs for tense and aspect are shown below, as are their conjugations, with every auxiliary verb being irregular:

Conjugations of Auxiliary Tense Verbs in Assai
Future Present Past
Near
"I will go (soon)"
Distant/Unspecified
"I will go (at some point)"
Progressive
"I am going"
Simple
"I am"
Perfect
"I went"
Imperfect
"I was going"
Pluperfect
"I had gone"
Infinitive vuréc kéréc beiéc iʃéc redzéc raiéc cetséc
eís vur redz rei cets
vure ketsa is re raiʃ ceí
et i ri
utse ic
te vurce beián riʃ can
téc kéréc bas i
uci ic
†This auxiliary verb is not used to indicate an event that is currently happening, rather the present simple tense is the default form of the verb without an auxiliaries to indicate tense. For example, kuró kó means She goes, and does not require an auxiliary verb. As such, the verb iʃéc is normally used to mean to be, as in, for example, she is a woman (kó ebéta-is). For more information, see Assai Language#Copulas.

The Assai language, as with the other Eastern Kai Languages, distinguishes between the perfective and imperfective aspects (ie, whether or not an action was completed or is ongoing/habitual). This is achieved in two ways in conversational and written Assai, principally through the usage of aspect particles or by using tense verbs wherein the aspect is implied (for example, the perfect and imperfect past verbs redzéc and raiéc). Distinctions between various grammatical aspects in Assai exist in both the past and future tenses, although more commonly in the past tense.

Generally speaking, aspect is only conveyed in spoken Assai through the usage of auxiliary tense verbs (see table above), of which two of the three past tense verbs - redzéc and raiéc correspond to the past perfective and past imperfective aspects respectively. Aspect particles are normally used to either emphasise the continuity of an action having in the past (ie, to emphasise that the action was finished) or to convey a perfective/imperfective aspect outside of the past tense, for example, the English sentence "tomorrow he will have gone", which is an example of the perfective aspect in the future tense, would utilise the near future tense modal verb vuréc in conjunction with the perfective particle mar, becoming kuréʃ-nederi (eís) mar vur, literally [goes-tomorrow+ADV MASC. (he) PER FUT-NEAR]. Such structures can also be built in the pluperfect tense, although are uncommon (sentences such as "She had been going to go" in English, which uses the imperfective aspect in the pluperfect tense, would be rendered kuró (kó) áve ceí [goes (she) IMPERF. PLUPERF.]). Consider the following sentences, which depict how verbs and particles can be combined to create more complex meanings and tenses:

  • kuró - (she) goes
  • kuró vure - (she) will go
  • kuró mar vure - (she) will have gone
  • kuras - (they) go
  • kuras kéréc - (they) will go (in a long time)
  • kuras áve kéréc - (they) will be going (in a long time)

It is also important to note that whilst a continuous present auxiliary verb exists (beiéc), the imperfective present may also be indicated by using a simple present verb conjugation with the particle áve. For example, kuréʃ te (they go) can be rendered into the imperfective aspect either as kuréʃ te beián or as kuréʃ te áve (the later of which is normally shorterned to kuréʃ t'áve). In standard spoken Assai, the usage of the particle áve to form the continuous present tense occurs far more commonly than the use of the verb beiéc, which is considered to be more formal and is more prevalent in archaic texts and literature.

Mood[edit]

Assai, much like its relative Kai and the other Central and Eastern Kai Languages, features a significant number of verbal moods. In Assai, however, the way particular moods are rendered varies for different verbs. Generally speaking, moods are indicated in Assai through the following ways:

Most moods in Assai are indicated through the use of an affix attached to an auxiliary tense verb, or, less commonly, through the sole use of a mood particle. When both a particle and affix are used together, the intensity of the mood's conviction is increased. For example, the phrase kuréʃ vur (he will go) can become kuréʃ vurián (he might go, least probable), kuréʃ aram (he might go, more probable), or kuréʃ aram vurián (he might go, most probable). Note that in spoken Assai, modal constructs involving only particles are largely uncommon, the exception being in the present tense when auxiliary verbs are not needed or used. Note that if a particle is used, it immediately follows the main verb. The only exception to this is in the interrogative mood, where the particle ko is always at the end of a sentence. The various particles and/or affixes used for each mood are shown below:

Affixes and Particles used to indicate Mood in Assai
Conditional Optative Neccessitative Desiderative Imperative Interrogative
Affix -ián -ác -man -esa (all affixes omitted, '-e' added if root then ends in an unacceptable syllable-final consonant)
Example (Kai) kuréʃ cetsián kuréʃ cetsác kuréʃ cetsman kuréʃ cetsesa kur!
Example (English) He might have had gone He had hoped to go He had had to go He had wanted to go Go!
Particle aram veá ʃor emí tsu ko
Example (Kai) kuréʃ aram kuréʃ veá kuréʃ ʃor kuréʃ emí kur tsu! kuréʃ ko?
Example (English) he might go he hopes to go he must go he wants to go go! is he going?

Subjunctive?

Copulas[edit]

As in the other Kai languages, the copula verb is normally rendered as a clitic affix in Assai. In modern Assai, the irregular verb iʃéc (see Assai Language#Tense and Aspect for its conjugation) is used as a copula, although in some archaic texts the verb berá may be used. Generally, a clitic derived from the verb iʃéc will be used which agrees with the gender of the noun which the copula is attached to (that is, the subject), as shown in the table below. The copula affix or verb remains unchanged regardless of tense or mood, which is instead indicated by an auxiliary verb (see above).

When the predicate is a prepositional or adjective phrase, as in, for example, "the woman is tall" or "the child was there" in English, a conjugation of iʃéc instead of a clitic is employed, taking the position of the principle verb. For example, the woman is tall would become is ebéta kóra (lit. 'is woman tall'), and the child was there would become i tþeraké ru ri (lit. 'is child there PAST PERF.). Compare this to "he is a man" (a pronoun-noun construct) which uses the clitic copula structure, becoming deru-iʃ (lit. man-is, note that Assai often omits singular pronouns). It is important to note that the copula, whether a particle or a clitic, must always agree with the subject. The various clitics for the different pronouns in Assai are shown below:

Clitical Affixes for the Clitic iʃéc in Assai:
Pronoun Affix Example Translation
eís -iʃ deru-iʃ (he is a) man
-is ebéta-is (she is a) woman
et -i tþeraké-i (it is a) child
utse -ic ranako-ic (it is a) professor (formal)
te -ac amiri-ac (they are) friends
téc -i tþeraka-i (they are) children
uci -ic ranake-ic (they are) professors (formal)

In two-noun phrases, as in "the man is a professor" or "the woman is a friend" in English, a zero-copula is usually employed in Assai. As such, these aforementioned sentences would be best rendered as deru ranako (lit. 'man professor') and ebéta amir (lit. 'woman friend') respectively. It is important to note the difference between the formation of zero-copula sentences as above and the formation of compound nouns. For example, deru ranako means the man is a professor, whilst deruranako would mean professor of men (ie, a professor who studies men). Context is normally used to distinguish between compounds and zero-copula sentences in spoken Assai.

Evidentials[edit]

As a Kai Language, Assai also conjugates its verbs according to evidentiality, that is, whether or not an event is known or witnessed to have happened. Evidentials in Assai exist as affixial clitics adding to the auxiliary verb at the end of the sentence. If no auxiliary verb is being used, the affix is instead used independently as a particle at the end of the sentence. Broadly speaking, there exist two classes of Evidentials in Assai - Type I (used to denote whether or not evidence exists for a statement, regardless of the evidence's type) and Type II (used to describe the nature of this evidence). In general conversation, Type I is used more commonly, with Type II only being used to specify a particular situation in which information has been acquired (ie, via rumour or as not having being witnessed). These affixes are as follows:

Evidentials in Assai
Type Affix Example
Assai English
Type I Evidential -nar(a) kuró ʃeruto o'meʃu-ece aram redznarián (I have proof that) he would have gone home yesterday
Non-Evidential -ér(a) kuró ʃeruto o'meʃu-ece aram redzérián (I do not have proof, but believe that) he would have gone home yesterday
Type II Visual -(i)nó kuró ʃeruto o'meʃu-ece emí redznóesa (I saw that) he wanted to go home yesterday
Auditory -kár(o) kuró ʃeruto o'meʃu-ece emí redzkáresa (I heard him saying that) he wanted to go home yesterday
Non-Witnessed -(e)f(e) kuró ʃeruto o'meʃu-ece emí redzefesa (I did not witness this, but believe that) he wanted to go home yesterday
Rumour -(i)ps(a) kuró ʃeruto o'meʃu-ece emí redzipsesa (I heard a rumour that) he wanted to go home yesterday
Assumed -(i)bei(n) kuró ʃeruto o'meʃu-ece emí redzibeinesa (I assume that) he wanted to go home yesterday

Note that a difference exists between the Type I Non-Evidential and the Type II Non-Witnessed evidentials, namely that Type I is used when no evidence at all for the statement is known, where as Type II is used when evidence exists for a particular statement but that evidence is not in the form of a witness. Note that in Assai, reading a statement is generally regarded as having 'witnessed' that statement, therefore if reading a statement and later discussing that statement as being true, either Type I Evidential or Type II Witnessed evidentials could be used.

Evidentials are virtually ubiquitous in colloquial and literary Assai, it is one of Assai's most prominent morphological features. Interestingly, it is most often the main means of distinguishing between a non-native and a native speaker, particular between speakers of other Kai Languages (such as Kai) and speakers of other languages, such as the Assai Languages who are learning Assai.

Nouns[edit]

Nouns in Assai are declined according to gender, case, and number. As a Kai language, nouns are highly inflected to show meaning and also use a number of clitics to indicate the syntactic function of a noun.

Case and Gender[edit]

As with the other Kai languages, Assai declines its nouns according to case, of which there are six: Nominative, Accusative, Dative, Genitive, Locative, and Instrumental. These cases have been retained from Proto-Kai, with only the Vocative having been lost over time. Additionally, Assai declines nouns (as well as many other parts of speech) according to grammatical gender, of which there are two: animate (or masculine) and inanimate (or feminine) (the neuter gender in Proto-Kai, generally speaking, assimilated with the animate gender). The various affixes used across the cases in Assai are shown below:

Case Affixes in Assai
Case Singular Plural
Ending Examples Meaning Ending Examples Meaning
kaɀore "country"
(animate)
ékíai "tree"
(inanimate)
kaɀore "country"
(animate)
ékíai "tree"
(inanimate)
Nominative n/a kaɀore ékíai (the) country/tree -i (if ends in consonant), -e (final vowel is changed), -a (if final vowel is 'e')/
-e (if ends in consonant), -n (if ends in vowel)
kaɀora ékíain (the) countries/trees
Genitive -ɀis/-tse kaɀore-ɀis ékíai-tse the country of/the tree of -ɀisu/
-is (if ends in consonant), -vis (if ends in vowel)
kaɀore-ɀisu ékíai-vis the countries of/the trees of
Dative -tsu/-i kaɀore-tsu ékíai-i (give) to the country/tree -tse/-ife kaɀore-tse ékíai-ife (give) to the countries/trees
Accusative -(i)ʃ/-e kaɀore-ʃ ékíai-e (the) country/tree -(i)ʃin/-en kaɀore-ʃin ékíai-en (the) countries/trees
Locative -ru/-ece kaɀore-ru ékíai-ece in the country/on the tree -re/-eci kaɀore-re ékíai-eci in the countries/on the trees
Instrumental -ké/-ei kaɀore-ké ékíai-ei (using) with this country/tree -gé/-ai kaɀore-gé ékíai-ai (using) with these countries/trees

Note that where vowel-vowel constructs are formed from affixes, one vowel sound is usually simply omitted (normally the affix vowel is pronounced). Additionally, definite and indefinite articles do not exist in Assai, and if a level of definiteness is required (eg, referring specifically to a singular noun), the number one (1) - é - is normally used.

Topic Marking[edit]

Additionally, as Assai mostly utilises a topic-comment syntax structure, Nouns may also be marked as the topic of the sentence. These clitics may be used either as affixes linked by a hyphen (-) to the main noun, or as separate particles (normally when the noun already has several affixes attached to itself). It is also important to note that if the topic is referred to later in a sentence anaphorically, the topic marker (rather than a pronoun) is generally used. The various topic markers used in Assai are listed below, along with an example text:

Topic Markers in Assai
Marker Use Assai Gloss English
ðe Animate Nouns seruéʃ veiá tþeraka-ðe riʃ, desu ai ðe mirá-en can seruéʃ(eat+3.) veiá(many) tþeraka-ðe(child+PLU.+TOP.) riʃ(PAST AUX.), desu(because) ai(have) ðe(TOP. MARK.) mirá-en(hunger+PLU. ACC.) can(PLUPERF. AUX.) the children ate a lot because they had been hungry.
go Inanimate Class I Nouns pseru-go-is dzei-ru reián, reʃi go-e re kéraneʃó pseru-go-is(food-TOP.-COP.) dzei-ru(table-LOC.) reián(past perf.+Cond.), reʃi(before) go-e(TOP.-ACC.) re(past perf.) kéraneʃó(take away-3.) the food might have been on the table before she took it away.
ne Inanimate Class II Nouns kuréʃ o'meʃu-ece ebéte-ne vurce, desu katþ kórutaskéʃ ne Kai-ké kuréʃ(go+3.) o'meʃu-ece(to'home-LOC.) ebéte-ne(women-TOP.) vurce(will), desu(because) katþ(not) kórutaskéʃ(speak+3.) ne(TOP. MARK.) Kai-ké(Kai-INST.) the women will go home because they do not speak Kai.

The inanimate gender is divided into two classes (Class I and Class II) when using topic markers. Class I is used for all concrete nouns, as well as nouns referring to ideologies, colours, and characteristics. Class II is used for all technical terms, as well as living things, geographical features, periods in history, and actions.

Noun Phrases[edit]

In Assai, nominal phrases consisting of multiple nouns may exist as one of three types. Compound noun phrases may demonstrate inalienable or alienable possession, or may be used without clitics altogether (non-affix phrases). These are described in more detail below:

  • Alienable Possession: a noun phrase in which one noun is shown as belonging to another. The relationship of 'belonging' in alienable possession is one which can be lost. The Genitive case is used to show alienable possession, as in, for example, ebéta-ɀis deru, meaning 'the man's wife', or pseru-tse amir, meaning '(a) friend's food'.
  • Inalienable Posession: a noun phrase in which one noun is shown as belonging to another with that relationship being intrinsic. In other words, one noun belongs to the other and can never be taken away. Uses the suffix -be for animate and inanimate nouns. For example, kórutasku-be Asai, meaning 'the Assai language', or etserikóru-be Paʃran, meaning 'the Republic of Pashran'.
  • Compound Nouns: although generally compound nouns exist in Assai as single words, compound nouns may also be formed by using two nouns next to each other without an affix to mark their relationship, although in this situation the first noun usually acts as an adjective. For example, þerar meʃu (wooden house), or feiár narúʃ (iron gate). If affixes are added to this noun phrase, they are always added to the second noun. Hence, 'he goes to the iron gate' would be kuréʃ feiár narúʃ-ece.

Pronouns[edit]

In Assai there exist seven key Personal Pronouns, all of which exist within the Third Person. There are four Singular, and three plural pronouns, which are divided based on gender (grammatical or physical), formality, and closeness of relationship. Furthermore, these pronouns also exist in different forms based on case, and there also exists seven Reflexive Pronouns which are often used in conjunction with words. These pronouns are listed below:

Personal Pronouns in Assai
Nominative English Accusative Dative Genitive Locative Instrumental Reflexive
eís he bero ben eíɀ eru be eíɀko
she kéro ken kete ku ke keteko
et it eto en araʃ etu ne araʃko
utse singular formal íro ír éʃ íru ítse éʃko
te known tus tir teɀ teru to teɀko
téc unknown tus tir técete taru téceteko
uci formal plural uc ur uceʃ uc uru uceʃko

Personal Determiners[edit]

Due to the lack of first and second person in Assai, there also exists a number of personal determiners which are used in conjunction with particular pronouns to convey meaning relative to those pronouns. These are listed below, along with their approximate translations into English and an example of their usage in Assai:

  • edi (who is speaking), usually converting the pronoun into first person. For example, kórutaskéʃ eís'edi Asai-ké, literally meaning speaks he-who-is-speaking (eg, me) Assai-INST., or I speak Assai.
  • dðeru (who is being spoken to), usually converting the person into second person. For example, kéranéʃ eís'edi pseru-ɀis kó'dðeru vurián, literally meaning takes away he-who-is-speaking food-of she-who-is-being-spoken-to will-COND., or more generally as I would take away your food.
  • dan (that which has just been mentioned). For example, getseéʃ Atsu na redz. Áʃtéʃ eís-dan eíɀko matara-tse dan redz, literally meaning leaves Atsu just then P.PERF. Forgets he-who-has-just-been-mentioned (ie, Atsu) himself coat-GEN. that-which-has-just-been-mentioned P.PERF. or Atsu just left. He's forgotten his coat".

Note that in all but the most formal contexts, the pronoun to which the personal determiner is attached will normally be omitted, given that context still makes the meaning clean. Hence, the above more likely to be rendered kórutaskéʃ edi Asai-ké, kéranéʃ edi pseru-ɀis dðeru vurián, and getseéʃ Atsu na redz. Áʃtéʃ dan eíɀko matara-tse dan redz respectively. This omission of the main pronoun has lead many linguists to contest the commonly-held understanding that Assai lacks a first and second person, as the words edi and dðeru have now effectively evolved to mean 'I' and 'you' respectively. However, the grammatical function of edi and dðeru is more accurately described as a personal determiner than as a pronoun.

Relative Pronouns[edit]

Topic marker used (if topic), other marker used depending on case of what is being referenced:

  • ɀai (accusative)

Demonstratives[edit]

  • tsa (this, something being shown or presented by the speaker)
  • dðare (that, something being pointed at/out by the speaker as being far away)
  • kun *that, something being pointed at/out by the speaker that is nearby)

Always used with the Class I inanimate topic marker (inanimate).

Adjectives and Adverbs[edit]

Adverbs and adjectives conjugate to agree with gender and case. Adjective ending for masc. nom. = -i

Participles[edit]

Prepositions[edit]

send verb to end.

Syntax[edit]

VSO(auxV) pronouns usually omitted except in plural.

Forming Questions[edit]

Subordinate Clauses[edit]

Sample Texts[edit]

Kítaru!

EXCLAM

Hello!

Emar-be

GEN-3

Name-of

eís'edi-iʃ

3.PRO-DET-COP

he-this-is

ðe

TOP

topic

Atsu

NOM

Atsu

ka

CNJ

and

tsikaʃéʃ

3.VB

lives

Asai-ru.

FOC-LOC

Assai-in

Kítaru! Emar-be eís'edi-iʃ ðe Atsu ka tsikaʃéʃ Asai-ru.

EXCLAM GEN-3 3.PRO-DET-COP TOP NOM CNJ 3.VB FOC-LOC

Hello! Name-of he-this-is topic Atsu and lives Assai-in

'Hello! My name is Atsu and I live in Assai.'

The Lord's Prayer[edit]

Batar-ɀis te-edi, dan-iʃ eá-ru,

Emar-ɀis dan-iʃ aina.

Úʃ Eirakikóru-ɀis dan

Ka seku tθeá

Tsabe-ru ketsa, u dan eá-ru

Father-GEN. knownthey-whoisspeaking, thatwhichwasjustmentioned-is heaven-LOC.

Name-GEN. thatwhichwasjustmentioned-is divine

Come kingdom-GEN. thatwhichwasjustmentioned

and happen will

Sabel-on will, as

Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done,

On Earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trepass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

See Also[edit]

Cateogry:Western Assai