Íshina and Tajhe meet in the city of Hinaldh. They plan to travel together to Teitéir the next day.


Íshina: Vedá' "FROM:"aró "sun" jhurla. "hello" Good morning.

What is this?

As you can see from hovering over each word in the sentence above, this literally means from the sun hello, and as such can't be used on overcast days. You can greet people whose names you know by adding vel'name to the sententce.

What do the apostrophes mean?

Apostrophes have several uses in Asha'ille. First, like in English, apostrophes mark contractions. Second, they are required between most consecutive vowels within a word. Third, they mark certain consonants (especially n) as being held longer when pronounced.

However, none of these three uses explains the apostrophes above. For that, we need to know the fourth use for apostrophes: to join certain words to other words. Adverbs (which usually begin with v, like vedá above) are one type of word that needs to be joined to the following word.

What do the accent marks mean?

Accent marks are used as in Spanish, marking which syllable is stressed when spoken. There are nine rules used to determine which syllable is stressed in a word, but only three are very common and important. Verbs (which end in v) are stressed on the last syllable, and all other words are stressed on the second-to-last syllable. Accent maks override both these rules.

Tajhe: Daedh "also" vo. "PRO-VERB" Same to you.

Vo? Or, what is a pro-verb?

Vo is, grammatically speaking, a pro-verb. Like the more familiar pronoun standing in for a previously mentioned noun, pro-verbs can stand in for previously mentioned verbs. As a phrase, daedh vo means either same [verb] to you or me too, depending on what makes sense as a response.

Íshina: Jhor' "EQUIV:"en i "SELF" t' "and"Íshina. "Íshina" I am Íshina.

What is this?

En'i means self and can usually be translated as I or me. To say one thing is equivalent to another, such as equating your name to yourself, fill in the phrase jhor'one thing t'another.

Wait, doesn't en'i have an apostrophe?

The rules of Asha'ille dictate that only one apostrophe may be written within a group of letters not separated by spaces. Thus, although the word en'i contains an apostrophe, it can't be written when jhor- is joined to it by another apostrophe.

Jhor' "EQUIV:"o "(distant pronoun)"sa "1" t' "and" "it" "Q (ablaut)" ë "(no meaning)"? "Q (ablaut)" Who are you?

So osa is nö'ë. What does that mean?

Here is the sentence form jhor'one thing t'another again (hereafter referred to as the jhor'te form). This time the pronoun osa is being equated to the question word , meaning what (or who in this case). Pronouns in Asha'ille are rather complex; for now, treat osa as a polite, friendly way to say you.

What do those dots mean?

To ask a question that can't be answered with yes or no, you modify the vowel of the stressed syllable in the question word of the sentence, as well as the word no, if it appears in the sentence. In the Roman alphabet, this question-induced vowel change is marked by a diresis. Thus, no becomes . Any question can optionally end in an , spoken with rising intonation.

See the detailed questions grammar page for a chart of how to change the vowel.

What does that final mean?

The doesn't mean anything per se, it just makes it clear that the sentence is a question. In normal Asha'ille, isn't used quite as often as it is in these lessons. When you get comfortable recognizing questions, feel free to drop the .

is normally joined via an apostrophe to the word before it. However, in this case the “one apostrophe per group of letters” writing rule keeps this joining apostrophe from being written, just as with jhor'en i.

Tajhe: N' "OBJ:"ï "SELF" "Q (ablaut)" ë "(no meaning)"? "Q (ablaut)" Jhor' "EQUIV:"en i "SELF" t' "and"Tajhe. "Tajhe" Me? I am Tajhe.

I thought me was en'i.

N'ï is a contraction of në en'ï, the question form of ne en'i. You never say nouns by themselves, even in sentence fragments. Instead, the word ne must precede it. Thus, saying just en'ï by itself is the question form of en'i, but you can't say only that word as a response without ne in front of it. (Or , in the case of a question.)

How can the letter t be a word?

In addition to te, and, being joined via apostrophe to her name, Tajhe, the te has also been contracted to just t'.

Íshina: Ojo "Y/N" lo'mmav "live" e "(intimate pronoun)"sa' "1"ë "(no meaning)"? "Q (ablaut)" Do you live here?

There's no jhor'te here!

Most sentences in Asha'ille do not rely on using the jhor'te form. Instead, most sentences use verbs, subjects, objects, adjectives, and adverbs, just as in English. Normal word order puts verbs first, then subjects, then objects (as opposed to English's normal order, where subject comes first, then the verb, then objects). For example, the simple sentence I eat cheese translates into Asha'ille as nagov en'i ne imadh. Literally, that means eat I the cheese.

What does ojo mean?

When questions can be answered with a simple yes or no, the vowels in question words don't change like in the previous question sentences. Yes-or-no questions are much simpler: say ojo before the sentence, and optionally tag a questioning to the end of the sentence, and you're asking a yes-or-no question! Compare the above question to its declarative statement version, You also live here: Daedh lo'mmav esa.

Hey, isn't that pronoun supposed to be osa?

As we mentioned before, Asha'ille pronouns are quite complex. Esa is a more intimate version of osa, although it is still considered a polite form. Íshina switches to esa to address Tajhe after they have introduced themselves.

Íshina choosing to switch so soon, while still within the range of normal, shows that she is a friendly, outgoing individual.

Lo'mmav "live" en'i "SELF" ne "OBJ:" saea "here" ' "PREV"sa "1" Hinaldh. "Hinaldh" I live here, in Hinaldh.

Ne means the?

Ne doesn't actually mean the, but it can usually be translated as such. Ne actually just separates the subject of the sentence from the objects, because otherwise you wouldn't be able to tell where the subjects ended and the objects began, since the verb isn't between them as in English.

What is 'sa a contraction of?

'Sa is an extremely common contraction of alunsa, which means that the next word describes the word immediately before the word alunsa. In most cases, you could translate alunsa is which. In this case, 'sa Hinaldh describes saea, so that you know here is Hinaldh. An alternate English translation of the above question could be I live here, which is Hinaldh.

Tajhe: Kr' "NEG:"vo. "PRO-VERB" Kor' "NOT-EQUIV:"en i "SELF" t' "and"diy "from"hinaldh. "Hinaldh" I do not. I am not from Hinaldh.

Is kr a word like t?

Kr' is the contraction of kre, just as t' is the contraction of te. Kre is the generic negation word, meaning no or not. The pro-verb vo here is standing in for the previous verb, live here. Thus, an alternate translation of kr'vo could be I do not live here.

Kor'te looks similar to jhor'te.

Jhor- shows that two things are equivalent; kor- is the negative form of jhor- and means that two things are not equivalent. Compare this to what Íshina might say about herself: Jhor'en i t'diyhinaldh, I am from Hinaldh.

Why is the city name Hinaldh in English but diyhinaldh in Asha'ille?

Diy- prefixes the name of a location (in this case, the city Hinaldh) to mean something from that location. Thus, diyhinaldh does not mean Hinaldh, but rather from Hinaldh.

Both vedá and diy- can be translated as from, but their meanings are slightly different. Compare jhor'tourist t'vedá América, the tourist is (coming) from America against jhor'citizen t'diyamérica, the citizen is from America (or the citizen is American.) Vedá is used for movement or temporary status, while diy- is used for orign or permanent status.

Íshina: Väe "WHERE:" "Q (ablaut)" lo'mmav "live" e "(intimate pronoun)"sa' "1"ë "(no meaning)"? "Q (ablaut)" Where do you live?

What is väe?

Väe is the question form of the adverb vae, which means where. The rest of the sentence, lo'mmav esa, means you live, so it should be easy to see that adding väe before the verb turns it into the question where do you live.

Tajhe: Lo'mmav "live" en'i "SELF" ne "OBJ:" Teitéir. "Teitéir" I live in Teitéir.

Explain vae one more time...

As previously mentioned, adverbs must be joined to the next word via an apostrophe. Väe asks for a location, so vae provides a location. Lo'mmav en'i mean I live, so adding vae'Teitéir describes where Tajhe lives.

Kret' "but"alcáspi ev "travel" ne "OBJ:" Hinaldh, "Hinaldh" vep' "REASON:"epararev "sell"on. ":N" But I travel to Hinaldh to trade.

Kret looks an awful lot like kre.

Kret is, in fact, related to kre. It means but. Like jhor and te, it joins to the word following it via an apostrophe.

Is ev a verb? Is alcáspi an adverb?

The "one apostrophe" rule prevents the apostrophe of alcáspi'ev from being written.

What happened to the subject? There's no en'i here.

Subjects can be dropped if they haven't changed since the last sentence. The en'i from lo'mmav en'i ne Teitéir thus carries over into this sentence. Including en'i explicitly in alcáspi'ev en'i ne Hinaldh would be considered redunant.

"Travel the Hinaldh"? That doesn't make sense.

Verbs that are intransitive in English and use prepositions to add information are often transitive in Asha'ille, using direct (or indirect) objects to add the same information. The exact relationship of the object to the verb is dependent on the specific verb in question. In this case, the object Hinaldh is the location traveled to.

Note that you can also express many of these sentences with adverbs, if you really want your sentences to have syntax more similar to English. For example, Alcáspi'ev en'i ne Hinaldh is equivalent to vel'Hinaldh alcáspi'ev en'i, literally to Hinaldh travel I. A native Asha'illen, however, would favor using the first variant over the second.

Vep looks like vedá and vae. Is it an adverb, too?

Yes, vep is also an adverb and works just like all the others used previously. It joins to the word following it via an apostrophe. It begins an adverbial phrase describing a purpose or reason.

What does the -on on the verb mean?

To turn a verb into a noun, attach -on to the end of the verb. Thus epararev is a verb meaning to trade, while epararevon is a noun meaning either trade or trading. -On does not change where stress falls in the word.

Íshina: Ojo "Y/N" jhor' "EQUIV:"e "(intimate pronoun)"sa "1" t' "and"iparari, "seller" alun "PREV"un "PHR" jhi? "yes" So you are a trader, are you?

Is iparari related to epararev?

Iparari is formed by surrounding the verb epararev with i-i (pronounced as "short" i's, like in sit, not like the ea in seat).

I understand everything up to the comma...

Without tagging alunun jhi to the end of the sentence, it would translate as are you a trader?

Tajhe: Jhi "yes" vo. "PRO-VERB" Di'ay "FUT" domov "return" en'i, "SELF" vek' "WHEN:"nesh. "soon" Yes, I am. I will return home soon.

Íshina: Pas "PST" kr' "NEG:"keniriv "visit" en'i "SELF" ne "OBJ:" Teitéir, "Teitéir" vek' "WHEN:"korún. "never" I have never visited Teitéir.

Tajhe: Sholdäv "want" "Q (ablaut)"yi "SUBJUNC" e "(intimate pronoun)"sa "1" "OBJ:" "Q (ablaut)" teiyad "together" mov "go" do "RE" "OBJ:" "Q (ablaut)" Teitéir' "Teitéir"ë "(no meaning)"? "Q (ablaut)" Perhaps you would like to go to Teitéir together?

Íshina: Jhi "yes" sholdav "want" n' "OBJ:"o "it" e! "(no meaning)" Yes, I would like that!

Vëk "WHEN:" "Q (ablaut)" mov "go"eith "acq ring"im "PL" "(no meaning)"? "Q (ablaut)" When do we go?

Tajhe: Chat' "let's"mov "go" vek' "WHEN:"edhún. "tomorrow" Let's go tomorrow.

What does chat- mean?

No answer yet.

Íshina: Vek'vel "until" edhún "tomorrow" chéjh. "may you enjoy" Until then, be well.

Tajhe: Daedh "also" vo. "PRO-VERB" Vel' "TOWARD:"Íshina "Íshina" jonae. "goodbye" Same to you. Goodbye, Íshina.

Íshina: Vel' "TOWARD:"Tajhe "Tajhe" jonae! "goodbye" Goodbye, Tajhe!