Shtåså

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Shtåså The greatest extent of the Anheshnalaks c.-420 YP
[ˈʃtɒː.sɒː]
Period c. -600 YP to -300 YP
Spoken in Tjakori and Northern Xšalad
Total speakers unknown
Writing system Variant of the Xšali script
Classification Western languages
 Lake languages (Wañelinic)
  Shtåså
Typology
Basic word order SVO
Morphology Agglutinating
Alignment ERG-ABS
Credits
Created by Arzena

History

Štoso, Štåså or Anješnaloksaby moš is a descendant of Çetázó in the Western language family (the etymology of Štoso is Çetázó). It was spoken by the Anheshnalak tribes who descended from the original speakers of Çetázó. For uncertain reasons, the Anheshnalaks migrated eastward, away from the homeland of the Wañelinic peoples: Haišin (Çet. Γañeɬina). The tribes dithered around the highlands and the steppes of western Peilaš for a few centuries. The Anheshnalaks fell into repute as mercenaries - deadly on horseback - traders, hardy folk: the kind content to sleep with nothing but a saddle, a blanket, and the stars overhead. During this time they came to learn of the existence of a mighty, wealthy empire, just over the horizon, decadent, and prime for the taking...

The epic songs tell us that this empire held the epithet "Sunrise", hinting at the realm of the Ndak. However, the Anheshnalak tribes never got close to Lasomo and the Ndak heartland, invading Tjakori (Cakonj) by -900 YP. To the nomads, the Tjakori and the Gezoro - with their smithies, mountain redoubts, and urban life - must have seemed an empire. The invasion of Tjakori displacd the Westerners already inhabiting the region, the Tjakori and Gezoro people (Sht. Gesolo) who did not fall to enslavement under the Ndak emperors.

During these years, the Gezoro language left a deep impression on Shtasa. Both belonged to the same language family, and after the initial rush of conquest, Anheshnalak and Gezoro intermarried. The newcomers assumed mastery of the plains around Lake Tjakori and the north-south trade routes between the Rathedan and the south; the Gezoro tended to their mines and mountain-hugging gardens. A state of bilinguality emerged (though with Shtasa as the dominant partner).

By -750 YP, the Xšali histories indicate that a group of nomadic peoples had moved south from the mountains and settled in the periphery regions of northern Xšalad. These people were partially settled and partially nomadic herders. The few farmers were consentrated along the main north-south trade routes from Xšalad to the Rathedān. By -600 YP, the date of this grammar, the Anheshnalaks had established a sizable domain due to domestic turmoil in Xšalad.

The Anheshnalaks and the Empire of Xšalad (Cikšaljo) have an antagonistic history. The Westerners arrived during one of the intermediate periods of civil war and turmoil that rocked the Empire once every three centuries. The imperial house held figurative authority beyond the walls of Hanjsdeya, its capital (Sht. 'Great-City'), deferring to rival princelings and warlords who were more like to fight one another than administer the realm. In this context, the Anheshnalaks first offered their services as mercenaries, only to turn on their employers when payment (read, booty) was not forthcoming.

The Anheshnalaks could out-maneuver the Xšali with their archery and horsemanship. They used this skill to pillage, burn, and rape but that was the extent of the mercenaries-turned-rulers. The management of agricultural society differed vastly from the nomadic clan. Furthermore, superior numbers of the Xšali and a hot, unpleasant climate prevented the Anheshnalaks from advancing any further into southern Xšalad. So the Westerners carved out their stomping grounds along the borders of the Empire on the Yima, from where they mounted raids into the lands of the agriculturalists. The zenith of Anheshnalak strength was during the 5th century before the death of the Prophet Zārakātias. Over and beyond the eastern bank of the Yima River, that was nomad country... This time saw the capture of the holy city of Tetsikå (-471 YP), and the conquests of Habvanðyhanj (Habvam the Great or Hawansihan the Butcher to the Xšali) from -435 YP to his death in -420 YP.

Terminology

The word Štoso is simply the continuation of the word Çetázó.

The other phrase to name the language is Anješnaloksaby moš, which means 'language of the Anheshnalaks'.

The word Anješnaloks, which designates the ethnic group that speaks Shtåså, is composed of the word Anješnalo and the collective suffix -ks.


For ease of typing and suggesting proper pronunciation in English (and due to our earliest attestation of the word in English as such), the singular of Anješnalo will be transcribed as Anheshnalak with the regular plural of Anheshnalaks; for similar reasons, Shtasa as an alternative for Štåså/Štoso is also acceptable in the absence of special keys.

Phonology

Phonemic Inventory

Shtåså has 24 consonantal phonemes

labial dental sibilant alveolar palatal velar glottal
voiceless stops p t k
voiced stops b d g
voiceless fricatives f θ s ʃ h
voiced fricatives v ð
nasals m n     ɲ
laterals l   ʎ
approximants   j w
  • /θ ð tθ dð tʃ ʃ j ɲ ʎ/ will be transcribed as <þ ð tþ dð c š j nj lj>, older sources have <th, dh, tth, ddh, č, sj/sh, j, ñ/nh, lh>. For a transcription using only ASCII characters, <tz, dz, ttz, ddz> transcribe /θ ð tθ dð/ and <x> does /ʃ/

A broad analysis of Shtåså's vowels yields 8 phonemes:

Front Central Back
High i ɨ ʉ u
Mid e o
Low a ɒ
  • /ɨ, ʉ, ɒ/ are written <y, uy, o>.

The distinction between /ɨ/ and /ʉ/ is a marginal one. The latter barely occurs in native roots; it is encountered most frequently in morphologically-triggered vowel shifts of /ɨ/ next to labial consonants and within frequent morphemes like the past tense prefix /sʉ-/ and the noun class marker /hʉ/ and its plural /kʉ/. Some analyses of Shtasa treat /ʉ/ as a allophone of /ɨ/.

  • Most speakers merge /o/ with /ɒ/ due to the former's rare occurrence in native roots. In response /a/ shifts towards [æ].

A narrower analysis yields the following, revised vowel chart:

Front Central Back
High i ɨ ʉ u
Mid e
Low æ ɒ

Syllable Structure

The syllable structure of Shtåså is (C)(C)CV(C)(C)(C)

Examples: ab 'rain', šeln 'horn', šnjaþ 'to build', šcysts 'to leave'

Shtåså as a language tends towards monosyllables of (C)V(C) or disyllabic (C)VCV(C) words in its native roots. Loanwords into the language often collapse three syllable words to two: eg. Adata dizhaka 'ruler' > Sht. dišak

Stress

Sound change and analogy from Çetázó has moved the stress to the penultimate syllable

Allophony

A sequence of consecutive vowels is realized as [VʔV].

šeo 'star' ['ʃe.ʔɒː]

hemeoi 'bad-NC1-ERG' [he.me.'ʔɒː.ʔi]

If, in combing morphemes, there is a cluster of voiced and unvoiced stops and/or fricatives, the voiced one becomes voiceless.

  • i.e. acbanašd 'fear-EVID2-2sg.ERG-NC2' /atʃ.ba.naʃd/>>[atʃ.pa.r̃aʃt]

/ŋ/ only occurs before a velar, and so should be considered an allophone of /n/.

Intervocalic /n/ is realized as a nasalized trill [r̃]

/s/ assimilates to [ʃ] when it is next to /ʃ/ as a result of verb morphology and in quick speech, when a final /s/ is followed by an initial /ʃ/.

  • ciwejsšo
  • /tʃi.wejs.ʃɒː/
  • [cwejʃ.ʃɒː]
  • Kill him.

Some speakers fortify /tʃ/ to [c] (hence the transcription <c>)

  • /tʃi/ 'want' > [ci]

Unstressed /i/ drops when it does not come word-finally, especially when preceded by a palatal consonant. This is most noticeable with the imperative prefix /tʃi-/.

Sound Changes from Çetázó

The following sound changes are believed to have taken place berween Çetázó (-2000 YP) and Shtåså (-600 YP)

C=any consonant F=i e First Stage

  • Pitch accent becomes fixed stress
  • Unstressed /a o/>[ə]: /mo.dza/>[mo.dzə]
  • Unstressed /i e/ palatalize preceding consonant: /ba.xe/>[baxʲ], /da.dɬe/>[dadɬʲ]
  • /æ/>[e] open syllable; >[a] closed syllable: /ɬæ.nji/>[ɬenʲ], /næl.çi/>[nalsʲ]
    • CCʲ, CʲC> CʲCʲ: /dadɬʲ/>[dadʲɬʲ], /nælçi/>[nalsʲ/>[nalʲsʲ]
  • Unstressed /u/>[ɨ], [ʉ] next to labials or labiovelars: /kwu.'ɬu/>[kwʉ.ɬu], /u.'da.spa/>[ɨ.da.spə]
    • /iw uj/>[ʉ]: /çiw.ka/>[sʲʉ.kə]
  • /ç/>[sʲ]: /nælçi/>[nalʲsʲ], /çe.ta:zo:/>[sʲtʲa:zo:]

Second Stage

  • /c ɟ/>[tʃ dʒ]: /ɟøm.ɬi/>[dʒwemʲ.sʲ]
  • /tɬ dɬ ɬ/>[ts dz s]: /dɬun/>[dzun], /o.ɬu/>[o.sɨ], /tɬufj/>[tsufʲ] > *[tsujf > tsʉf]
  • /bj tj dj kj gj hj mj nj lj/>[v tʃ tʃ h h ʃ ɲ ɲ ʎ]:
  • /ø y/>[we wi]: /ɟøm.ɬi/>[dʒwemsj], /cy.fi/>[tʃwifj]
  • /a: o:/>[ɑ ɒ]: sʲtʲa:zo:/>[sʲtʲɑ.zɒ]
  • /e: i:/>[i:]: /sʲelne:/>[sʲel.ni], /dzʲe:/>[dzʲi]/aw awa/>[ɒ]: /la.wa/>[lɒ], /tsu.wa/>[tθu.ɒ]
  • /jF-stress/>[j]: /'a.jen/>[ajn]
  • /ŋ/>[ŋk] V_V: /mo.ŋu/>[moŋ.kɨ]
  • /nn/>[nd] /θu.nən/>/θunn/>[θund]
  • All labiovelars except /w/ shift to labials: /kw.aðu/>[pa.ðɨ], /xa.xwa/>[xa.fə], /γwi.da/>[vi.də]
  • /ə/ is dropped: /tudzə/>[tudz], /ksamə/>[ksam]
  • velar fricatives become [h]: /xa.fə/>[haf]

Third Stage: This stage of sound changes separates the standardized form of Shtåså from its dialects: cf. Standard tudð vs Eastern tud and Southern tuz. Sometime in the ending stages of phase 2 and throughout stage 3, loanwords from Gezoro begin to enter the Shtasa.

  • /ts dz/>[tθ dð]: /tsa/>[tθa], /tudz/>[tudð]
    • >/tʃ/ _F: /dzʲi/>[tʃi]
  • /s z/>[s]
  • /tʃ dʒ/>[tʃ]
  • /sʲ/>[ʃ]
  • /sʲtʲ/>[ʃt]: /sjtjɑ.zɒ/>[ʃtɒ.sɒ]
  • any unstressed vowel in a syllable that ends in a nasal consonant becomes a syllabic nasal: /ji.stsvn/ > [ji.stsvnˌ]
  • /ɲ/ > [j] _C /'haɲ.ʃin/ > ['haj.ʃnˌ]
  • /ʎ/>[j] _C: /naʎʃ/>[najʃ]
    • /ʎ/>[j] V_V: /a.ʎɒ.nə/>[a.jawn]
  • /ɑ ɒ/>[ɒ:]: /sʲtʲɑ.zɒ/>[ʃtɒ.sɒ]
  • /w/ > [null] _ɒ; /'gwɒ.nɒ.ðen/ > [gɒ.næw.ðnˌ]
  • /ɒ/>[æw] in non-final stressed syllables: Gez. /xeːsɔzɔ/ > /he.sɒ.ða/ > [he.sæwð] but /štɒ.sɒ/ > [štɒ.sɒ] cf. dialectal [xtɔ.zɔ]
  • /o/ merges with /ɒ/
  • /i/ > [ɨ] C_C#: /fiθ/ > [fɨθ]; /fis/ > [fɨs]

Dialectal sound changes

  • /sʲ/ > [x]
  • /w/ > [v]
  • /ts dz/ > [s z]
  • /tʃ dʒ/ > [ʃ ʒ]

Morphology

Noun Classes

Shtåså has inherited seven noun classes from Çetázó. Some changes that have occurred since Çetázó are:

  • Regular plural equivalents of the singular noun class suffixes.
  • The fifth noun class (NC) marks collective groupings. i.e. seeds, families, tribes, leafs, herds, forests, etc.
  • The third NC has taken all inedible objects, solid or otherwise
  • Edible fluids moved to noun class two
  • NC7 took the role of NC8
  • NC7, being the noun class for intangible things, is used to create abstract words by verbal cross-referencing. I.e. fire>hope, eyes>sight etc.
  • Fire has moved to NC2, because of its relation to cooking food
  • NC4 contains weapons, sharp sticks or rocks

The noun classes are used as markers on adjectives and as absolutive markers in the third person on verbs.

The noun classes with their characteristic suffix are listed below:

Noun class Contains Singular suffix Plural suffix
I Humans/Spirits -o -ko
II Animals, fire, food, drink -d -kt
III Inedible solids - -
IV Sharp long objects -hyn -kyn
V Collective groupings -s -ks
VI tangible fluids -huy -kuy
VII Intangible concepts -š -

Nouns

Shtåså, like its sister-language Šetâmol, relies on heavy inflection of nouns like its parent language. Shtåså has preserved the seven original cases of Çetázó. It lost the dual number except for naturally occurring pairs and in poetic language.


Sound change and analogy have produced four noun declensions in Shtåså. That terminology, though, is quite loose because the variations between the declensions are small, only found in the final root vowel and stem changes triggered by the ergative case. An important note: a root vowel of u is centralized outside of the absolutive and case. The third declension noun pusy is a good example of this.

As a further note, many first declension nouns have an irregular ergative in the singular due to palatalization caused by the ergative morphene -i. A rule of thumb is that nasals>nj, -l to -lj, -s to -š, and stops to their corresponding fricative. The alveolar series shifts to /tš/. Examples: *tþubi 'fruit' > tþuv, *lai>lji, *weni>wenj, *tabdi > tabc and *plami>planj.

  • The first noun declension ends consonants except for the 'palatal' ones: c,š,nj,j, and lj
  • The second noun declension ends in palatal consonents, historically palatalized consonants, and front vowels
  • The third noun declension ends in -y
  • The fourth noun declension is reserved for nouns ending in any vowel other than -y.

Singular

singular 1st
'horn'
2nd
'water'
3rd
'wolf'
4th
'blood'
absolutive šeln cwifj pusy þuo
ergative šeiñ cwifi pysu þyoy
oblique šelno cwifio pysuo þyo
instrumental šelnonk cwifink pysunk þyonk
locative šelnom cwifim pysum þyom
allative šelnoc cwific pysuc þyoc
ablative šelnos cwifis pysus þyos

Dual

The dual has been relegated to nouns that come in natural pairs and poetic language

dual 1st
'horn'
2nd
'water'
3rd
'wolf'
4th
'blood'
absolutive šelnos cwifes pusys þuos
ergative šelnoš cwifeš pysuš þyoš
oblique šelnosy cwifesy pysusy þyosy
instrumental šelnosunk cwifšunk pysysunk þyosunk
locative šelnosum cwifšum pysysum þyosum
allative šelnosuch cwifšuc pysysuc þyosuc
ablative šelnosus cwifšus pysysus þyosus

Plural

plural 1st
'horn'
2nd
'water'
3rd
'wolf'
4th
'blood'
absolutive šelnak cwifik pusyk þuok
ergative šelnav cwifiv pysuv þyov
oblique šelnaby cwifiby pysuby þyoby
instrumental šelnabunk cwifibunk pysybunk þyobunk
locative šelnabum cwifibum pysubym þyobum
allative šelnabuc cwifibuc pysybuc þyobuc
ablative šelnabus cwifibus pysybus þyobus

Possession

Shtoso has lost the alienable vs. inalienable distinction of its ancestor. The oblique case now handles all possession.

  • No senj '1sg.OBL horse' My horse
  • Vej so tudð? 'INTER 1pl.OBL house' Is that our house?
  • To þuo ašahy cig '2sg.OBL blood COPULA-NC6 yellow' Your blood is cowardly


Shtoso also has verbalized the postposition am to fill the semantic space for 'to have' The possessum is the subject in the absolutive case; the possessor is in the locative case.

  • Senj amd nom.
  • horse.ABS with-NC2 1sg.LOC
  • A horse is with me ~ I have a horse


The negative of am is jim *Cetazo jéma<<je ama

  • Haša jimš nom
  • fire.ABS NEG.with-NC7 1sg.LOC
  • I have no fire (i.e. hope).

Adjectives

Adjectives are sorted into one out of three categories.

Adjective case suffixes, which follow the noun class are ABS: -Ø ERG: -i OBL: -y INST: -unk LOC: -um ALL: -uc ABL: -us

First declension adjectives end in any consonant except for -j -nh -ch -lh or -sh. They add an empathetic -a- before any suffixes except NC1.

  • Ja šypsadðus cys / ja xypsaddzus cys
  • ja šypsa-dð-us ci-s
  • 3sg.ABS dry-NC3-ABL land-ABL
  • He is from a dry land

Second declension adjectives end in -j -nj -c -lj or -sj. They add an empathetic -i- before any suffix

  • To nacio tþemf jeþaþamo no dða, Habvam / to nacio ttzemf jetzatzamo no ddza, Habvamno
  • to naci-o tþemf je-þaþam-o no dða, Habvam
  • 2sg.OBL tame-NC1(ABS) daughter not-useful-NC1 1sg.OBL DAT Habvam
  • Your unexciting daughter is useless to me, Habvam

Third declension adjectives end in -y. No empathetic vowels are added

  • So vegyd senj syþamyd damyhym šinom / so vegyd senj sytzamuyd damuyhuym xinom
  • so vegy-d senj sy-þamy-d damy-hy-m šin-om
  • 1pl.OBL quick-NC2 horse.ABS PAST-fall-NC2 thick-NC6-LOC lake-LOC
  • Our quick horse fell in the deep lake.

Adjectives proceed their head and agree in number, case, and noun class.

  • Cenjelakþ plamak dušamakþ / cenjelaktz plamak duxamaktz
  • ce-njela-kþ plam-ak dušam-akþ
  • this-pale-NC3.pl flower-ABS.pl null blue-NC3.pl
  • These pale flowers are blue.

Adjectives can also follow their heads. This produces a more figurative meaning.

  • No bonj sunoi cikwejsgad hug / no bonj sunoi cikwejsgad hug
  • no bom-i sun-o-i cik-wejs-ga-d hug
  • 1sg.OBL brother-ERG green-NC1-ERG PROG-kill-3ERG-NC2 pig.ABS
  • My young brother is killing the pig
  • To sþob dðamaš sojbanš / to stzob ddzamax sojbanx
  • to sþob dðam-aš sojb-an-š
  • 2sg.OBL love red-NC7 PAST-die-EVD3-NC7
  • It's said your passionate love has died.

The four-way demonstrative adjectives of Çetázó has been simplified to:

  • ce this
  • da that
  • þa yonder

They are prefixed directly onto their head element of the noun phrase:

  • cela this man
  • daandakok fuðak those foreign chiefs
  • þacik yonder lands

Numerals

Shtåså uses a base octal system much like its ancestor Çetázó.

Decimal Octal Cardinal Ordinal
1 1 tab tabðy
2 2 ši šiðy
3 3 nasty nastuðy
4 4 njedð njedðy
5 5 us ysþy
6 6 mec mecþy
7 7 naiš naišþy
8 10 njab njabðy
64 100 mol molðy
512 1000 hammol hammolðy

Numerals no longer inflect for number or case but still mark noun class.

Special numbers

  • njojaum, 16, from dialectal Gezoro *njo:silo:m 'second eight'

In addition numerals are placed directly before the noun phrase.


syintzynunjed
sy-intzuny-nje-d
PRT-cook-1sg.ERG-NC2.ABS
I cooked
jas
jas
meat.ABS
the meat
usd
us-d
five-NC2
with five
ddzamaktunk
ddzam-kt-unk
red-NC2.pl-INST
red
ksamabunk
ksam-bunk
berry-INST.pl
berries
I cooked the meat with five red berries


Multiples of 8, 64 and 512 are expressed by combining the ordinal of the multiple with the cardinal of the power of 8, e.g. šimol '200'.

Pronouns

Shtåså has pronouns for the first, second, and third person in singular, dual, and plural numbers.

The third person pronoun ja comes from the anaphoric pronoun.

singular 1sg 2sg 3sg 1du 2du 3du 1pl 2pl 3pl
absolutive na ta ja nas tas jas sak tak jak
ergative nji ci ji nesj tesj jesj sji tev jev
oblique no to jo nasy tasy jasy so taby jaby
instrumental nonk tonk jonk nasunk tasunk jasunk sabunk tabunk jabunk
locative nom tom jom nasum tasum jasum sabum tabum jabum
allative noc toc joc nasuc tasuc jasuc sabuc tabuc jabuc
ablative nos tos jos nasus tasus jasus sabus tabus jabus

Verbs

The Shtåså verb is marked for tense, evidentiality, and it agrees with subject and the object of a transitive sentence.

Agreement

The verbal agreement markers operate ergatively: the marker for the intransitive subject is the same as the one for the transitive object. The markers are suffixed to the verb in the order VERB ROOT-ERG-ABS. Since the days of Cetazo, the third person ergative marker now distinguishes number. The appropriate noun class marker is still used for the third person absolutive. Dual forms are referenced by the singular. The first and third person singulars lose the final vowel of the suffix in the absence of any other suffix.

Ergative Absolutive
1sg/du -nj(e) -an [ar̃]
2sg/du -š -tz
3sg/du -g(a) noun class
1pl -anjen -and [ar̃d]
2pl -ašn -atzn
3pl -gav noun class plural

Tense

The present tense is unmarked. The past and future tenses are marked with sy- and syl- respectively. A widespread feature of more colloquial language is the new future suffix fen- (derived from fan 'then'). Young folks these days are also inclined to use a verbal noun, marked with proper noun class, as a substitute for the whole present tense paradigm.

Progressive forms of each tense can be created with the addition of cik- before the verb root. This suffix reduces to -ck- after the past and future prefixes. Reductions of verbs of motion - vje- from veje 'to go' and others ('sit', 'stand', 'leave', 'come') - are used to nuance completeness and direction of action

  • Oc sylckjegynjed of.
  • oc kyt syl-ck-jegy-nje-d of
  • day.after.tomorrow NARR FUT-PROG-eat-1ERG-NC2 bean(ABS)
  • I will be eating the beans, like, the day after tomorrow.
  • Jo jegydvn dasenj
  • jo jegy-d-vn da-senj
  • 3sg.ERG eat-NC2-VN MED-horse
  • He's eating that horse
  • Tzynjonj syvivgaš stzob.
  • tzynjonj sy-viv-ga-š stzob
  • uncle.ERG PAST-drink-3ERG-NC7 love(ABS)
  • Uncle lived for love.
  • Kšaljiv sa fenvjeacgavand.
  • kšaljiv sa fen-vje-ac-gav-and
  • Xšali-ERGpl. 1pl.ABS FUT-fear-3ERG-1.ABS.pl
  • The Xšali will begin to fear us.

Mood

Shtåså has developed an imperative mood by prefixing ci- (derived of 'want') to other verbs; it reduces to c- in front of vowel initial stems. The appropriate absolutive suffix is added to the verb.

  • Cihafan!
  • ci-haf-an
  • IMP-laugh-1sg.ABS
  • Let me laugh!


  • Da centz no'ddz.
  • da c-en-tz no ddza
  • that.ABS IMP-give-2sg.ABS 1sg.OBL DAT
  • Give that to me.


Commands can be made more polite by putting the verb in the future tense.

  • Je sylcijegytz no ktzalo.
  • je syl-jegy-tz no ktzalo
  • NEG FUT-eat-2sg.ABS 1sg.OBL brother.OBL
  • Please don't eat my brother.

Verbs are negated by adding the particle je before the verb.

  • Senjoks je ašaks jehinošam.
  • senj-åks je aša-ks jehinåšam
  • horse-NC5 not COPULA-NC5 cowardly
  • Horses are not cowardly animals.

Evidentiality

Evidentiality marking is optional in Shtåså. It serves as a way for a speaker to encode more information about an action. They are placed after the stem, before the agreement markers. More than one can be used to add subtleties to meaning; however, it is considered bad style to use both š and byn simultaneously; v should be used instead.


Suffix Meaning
-š- Audio/visual experience
-byn- Taste/smell experience
-ban- Hearsay
-lu- Emphatic
-y- General knowledge
-v- Past experience

This are glossed as EVD1, EVD2, etc.

EVD1 š has the allomorph t after /s/ or /S/

Sentence Particles

The following particles affect the entire clause as a whole. The negative and interrogative particles are placed before the verb, but can be placed at the end of a sentence, too.

  ej if
  je negative  
  vej, guyl interrogative 
  ttzos 'also' 
  ddzan 'but' 
  ddzel 'because'  
  duk 'therefore' 
  ttza 'and' 
  fan 'then' 
  hec 'instead'
  cet 'however'
  kyt 'narrative particle', frequent near-excessive use

Syntax

Shtåså's syntax is largely head final: in the noun phrase, modifiers precede the head noun, adpositions follow the NP. Basic word order in Shtåså is SVO.

Noun Phrase

The noun phrase consists of a noun preceded by zero or more modifiers (adjectives, genitives, nouns in apposition, relative clauses). Example:

  • No bonj suylapgad damecio ddzamakt ksamak.
  • No bom-i suy-lap-ga-d da-mec-io dðama-kt ksam-ak.
  • 1sg.OBL brother-ERG PAST-steal-3ERG-NC2 bear-OBL red-NC2.pl berries-(ABS)
  • My brother stole that bear's red berries.

Postpositions follow the NP and govern the oblique case.

  • ddzunado jeho njeln
  • ddzyna-d-o jeh-o njeln
  • long-NC2-OBL river-OBL along
  • along the long river

Intransitive clauses

An intransitive clause has a subject in the absolutive case. Adverbial clauses precede the verb.

  • Monv no tyddzam kydvnd.
  • monv nå tudð-am kud-vn-d
  • puppy 1sg.OBL house-LOC sleep-NV-NC2
  • The puppy is sleeping in my house.

Transitive clauses

A transitive clause has two arguments: subject and object. The subject is in the ergative case and the object is in the absolutive case. The object usually follows the verb

  • Pusy ddzunado jeho njeln sylpadygad ksefn.
  • pusy ddzyna-d-o jeh-o njeln syl-pad-y-ga-d ksefn
  • wolf-ERG long-NC2-OBL river-OBL along FUT-find-EVD5-3sg.ERG-NC2 animal.ABS
  • The wolf will find its prey along the long river.

Indirect objects are marked in the oblique case by the postpositional marker ddza (elided to [dð] after a vowel).

  • Hašo sab tzatzaš to'dð.
  • hašo sab tza-tzaš to dða
  • fire-OBL near yonder-milk 2sg.OBL DAT
  • That milk over there near the fire is for you

Nominal Predicates

The third basic type of clause does not contain a verb; instead, it has a nominal predicate. In the present tense, the predicate is a noun or adjective in the absolutive case. The subject is also in the absolutive case and precedes the predicate.

  • Na to tzund.
  • na to thund
  • 1sg.ABS 2sg.OBL father
  • I am your father.

Predicate adjectives take a class marker

  • Nom to tzjalok tzanakš.
  • nom to tzjalo-k tzana-kš
  • 1sg.LOC 2sg.OBL secret-(ABS).pl cold-NC7.pl(ABS)
  • Your secrets are safe with me.


For the past and future tenses, Shtåså has developed a copula verb aša from Cetazo's -aja suffix. It takes the class marker of the subject; the predicate adjective is unmarked for noun class.

  • Cekšaljio ašaluo jehinošam kyt, je cwejso.
  • ce-kšalj-io aša-lu-o jehinošam kyt je ci-wejs-o
  • this-Xšali COPULA-EMPH-NC1 spineless NARR not IMP-kill-2sg.ERG-NC1(ABS)
  • This Xšali was really spineless, don't kill him.

Complex clauses

Time to combine clauses!

Complement clauses

Clauses may be used as arguments of verbs. A complement clause consists of a clause followed by the particle ješi.

  • Syceldasand ješi syjistsþ
  • sy-celdas-and ješi sy-jists-þ
  • PAST-think-1pl.ABS PART PAST-come-2sg.ABS
  • We thought that you were coming

Relative Clauses

A relative clause modifies a noun. The clause precedes the head noun when it is a subject and follows it when the head noun is an object:

  • Fio suyojbano ajnin to mina.
  • fi-o suy-oj-ban-o ajnin to mina
  • REL-NC1 PAST-die-EVID2-NC1 woman 2sg.OBL mother
  • The woman who died is your mother


  • Fastgavddz tuddz fidz tuddzispan.
  • fas-š-gav-ddz tuddz fi-dz tuddzisp-an
  • mock-EVD1-3pl.ERG-NC3 house.ABS REL-NC3 reside-1sg.ABS
  • They are mocking the house where I live.

Adverbial Clause

Shtåså continues Çetázó's formation of adverbial clauses with the verbal noun suffix -vn/-un glossed as VN. The allomorph -un appears after a consonantal cluster of two phonemes or more. The core arguments are in the absolutive case.

  • To jistsvn fenjisyand.
  • to jists-vn fen-jisy-and
  • 2sg.OBJ come-VN FUT-leave-1pl.ABS
  • We will leave when you will arrive.
  • To ajukovn suyolddznjetz.
  • to ajuko-vn suy-olddz-nje-tz
  • 2sg.OBJ PAST-deceive-VN PAST-hit-1sg.ERG-2sg.ABS
  • After your deceiving, I hit you.

Coordinating Clauses

Clauses can be coordinated with ttza 'and' and so 'or'. Coordinated verbs are moved to the end of the phrase.

N ttza N ttza, where N is a noun, is glossed as: both N and N.

Similarly, N so N so is glossed: either N or N.

  • Bonj mec suyhulpgad ttza suywejsgad.
  • bom-i mec sy-hulp-ga-d ttza sy-wejs-ga-d
  • brother.ERG bear.ABS PAST-hunt-3sg.ERG-NC2 and PAST-kill-3sg.ERG-NC2

Brother hunted the bear and killed it.

Similarly, noun phrases can be coordinated. In analogy to coordinated verbs, coordinated noun phrases are moved to the end of the phrase.

  • suyšnjatzgaddz tuddz ttza šešasyn ttza.
  • suy-šnjatz-y-ga-ddza tuddh ttza šešasyn ttza
  • PAST-build-EVID5-3.ERG-NC3 house.ABS and wall.ABS and
  • He built both the house and the wall.

If the noun classes conflict, the resulting noun class is NC7:

  • Suypadbangaš cnih so plamak.
  • suy-pad-ban-ga-š cnih so plam-ak
  • PAST-find-EVD3-3ERG-NC7 honey.ABS or flower-ABS.pl
  • He may have found honey or flowers.

Deemphasis

To deemphasize a topical element, speakers move the lexeme to the end of the utterance and suffix it with -je 'not'. The transformed element retains case markings from the previous utterance. This functions akin to passive voice constructions in other languages:

  • Pysu suytzatzudgo la.
  • pys-u sy-tzatzud-ga-o la
  • wolf-ERG PAST-bite-3ERG-NC1 man
  • The wolf bit the man

becomes

  • suytzatzudgo la pysuje
  • suy-tzatzud-ga-o la pysu-je
  • PAST-bite-3ERG-NC1 man pysu.ERG-not
  • the man was not bitten by a wolf.


Another way is to omit the agent

  • Kšaljiv olddzlugavko so bontzuomak!
  • kšalj-iv olddz-lu-gav-ko so bonþuom-ak
  • Xšali-ERG.pl strike-EVID3-3ERG.pl-NC1.pl 1pl.OBL ally-ABS.pl
  • The Xšali attack our brothers!

becomes this; the result is an indefinite subject.

  • Olddzlugavko so bonþuomak!
  • olddz-lu-gav-ko so bonþuom-ak
  • strike-EVID3-3ERG.pl-NC1.pl 1pl.OBL ally-ABS.pl
  • Someone attacks our brothers!

Topicalization

Fronting clauses and rearranging word order is one means of topicalization:

  • Cecek je jegygako jo minak
  • ce-cek je jegy-ga-ko jo minak
  • PRX-tribe NEG eat-3sg.ERG-NC1.pl 1.pl.OBL mother-ABS.pl
  • We do not eat our mothers in this tribe.

becomes

  • Jo minak cecek je jegygako
  • jo min-ak ce-cek je jegy-ga-ko jo minak
  • PRX-tribe NEG eat-3sg.ERG-NC1.pl 1.pl.OBL mother-ABS.pl
  • We do not eat our mothers in this tribe!

Suffixing of the emphatic evidential -lu can be used to topicalize any nominal.

  • cijnješ inj-lu!
  • cij-nje-š inj-lu
  • want-1ERG-NC7 name-EMPH
  • I want a name for myself!

Lexicon

Lexicon

Sample Texts

Writings in the Shtåså language