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The noun phraseEdit
All noun phrase heads must either be case-marked or in the absolutive. Unmarked nouns cannot head a phrase.
Examples of absolutive and unabsolutive noun formsEdit
Nouns can form the unabsolutive in several ways. Some completely lose their absolutive prefix, some keep a reduced form of this prefix, and a small class of nouns, like yúus, loses their pitch accent in the unabsolutive. The (į) shown in some examples represents a reduced vowel which tends to dissapear when the preceding word ends with a vowel or sonorant and the following consonant in the root of the noun is dissimilar from the first consonant of the unabsolutive word's prefix.
Compound noun phraseEdit
An unabsolutive noun phrase can be appended to an existing noun phrase with the suffixes -mi (and) or -lúz (or)
oawa tsiwio tsįnmomi
people ABS-mother-my father-my-and
Here are my mother and father
(Do you want) some food or something to drink?
(bhaa) ABS-NP ABS-NP
(bhaa) tsime z̨a tsimetin
ABS-person that ABS-Metin
That person is Metin.
bhaa is added to emphaisze that the first NP is the second noun phrase in exclusion to several other alternatives; eg; That person is Metin, (not Ishnna or some other ethnicity). bhaa is usually used to correct people, and can sound somewhat rude.
d̨haa transforms a statement into a question. It is placed before the NP in question, which is moved to the front of the sentence. d̨haa questions are often responded to with bhaa answers with identical word orders
d̨haa tsime z̨a tsimetin?
INQ ABS-person that ABS-metin
Is that person Metin? (One of the people the asker is referring to is Metin but the asker is uncertain which)
d̨haa tsimetin tsime z̨a
INQ ABS-Metin ABS-person that
Is that person Metin? (The person being referred to is of ambiguous ethnicity)
Negative copular sentencesEdit
Míinmi negates a copular sentence.
Míinmi tsime z̨a tsimetin
NEG ABS-person that ABS-Metin
That person isn't metin
Mínbha and mínd̨ha are the negatives of bhaa and d̨haa respectively
mínbha tsimetin tsime z̨a
NEG ABS-Metin ABS-person that
That person isn't Metin. (corrective tone)
mínd̨ha tsimetin tsime z̨a?
NEG-INQ ABS-Metin ABS-person that
Isn't that person Metin?
Evidentials in Copular SentencesEdit
The full from of the evidential (ienmi, uonmo, etc...) is placed at the beginning of the sentence.
uǫtlo tsitxen tsijueng
Hearsay ABS-Txen ABS-scientist
Txen is a scientist (so-I-hear).
The long form of the evidential prefix (ien-, uon- etc.) may also be prefixed to bha.
uǫlbha tsitxen tsijueng
Hearsay-Corrective ABS-Txen ABS-scientist
I hear Txen is a scientist. (not whatever you thought he was)
Simple locative sentencesEdit
Preposition--OBL NP--ABS locative object NP
oon tsuarme z̨a sxudhááy ghe
above OBL-person that ABS-staircase that-INV-2
The staircase is above that guy. (the staircase can't be seen from where the adressee is)
Prepositional PRN--ABS locative object NP
sxutxienme sxuoomíxtl'an muyo
ABS-forum-P GEN-Míxtl'an under.you
Under you is the forum of Mixtlan.
When the prepositional NP is first, the location of the object. It is the word order exculsively used when answering "where" questions. When the locative object NP is first, the identity of the noun is emphasized. This word order is typically used to point out interesting or important objects
Ellipted locative sentencesEdit
The object of a locative sentence may be ellipted.
It's behind you.
It's in the water.
Locative sentences with multiple prepositional NP'sEdit
The prepositional NP's are listed in sequence from general to specific.
bhuay yerrao bhiminz sxuarmunz pli sxuaɬtoó isin qoo
inside OBL-town near OBL-Munz's.place through OBL-garden NOM-path white
The white path is in the city, going through the garden near Munz's place.
Adjectives go after the noun they describe exclusively
mta mkxįyaon ǫ́hwaaf
ABS-thing-at.hand ABS-towel fluffy
Here's a fluffy towel.
The adjectives percieved as the most "essential" go closest to the noun, in approximately this order. The word for and, "xi", comes after the "true" essential adjectives, before numbers and demonstratives
class/substance>shape>surface features> color> beauty >age> size >xi> number > demonstrative>posessor
įįx, inmáabhai tsuiya įhhuskaye gít'iyaon ty'uy xi tsįtxen janzja. lientas.
euughh, SEEN-again-ITR-0-wear.CONT this.person ABS-shirt-his wrinkle-2D red and Txen that.DIS, HOPE.NOT-happy
Euggh, I see this girl wearing Txen's same wrinkled up red shirt again. I hope she isn't serious. xi can be repeated after each adjective in a sequence to the effect of "both...and"
bhaa bhábhanw xi góos xi!
COP shiny and smooth and
It's both shiny and smooth!
Adjectives can be preceded by the long forms of evidential prefixes.
tsime ta áazsuh.
ABS-person at.hand seems-friend
She seems friendly
hecxǫ ooji oozáu ienfánma.
TR-0-drink ABS.water ABL-cup looks-shiny
He's drinking water from a shiny-looking cup.
Adjectives that take argumentsEdit
Adjectives that take arguments are used in constructions like "A city rich in culture" or "A dress vibrant in color". All argument taking adjectives are prefixed with uu- and demand an oblique noun phrase follow immediately after. This construction is very productive and used far more extensively than its English counterpart
sxugį́taang uumíír unwji
ABS-land abundant OBL-water
a land with abundant water
sxutl'an uumíír uęęme tsoiu
ABS-city abundant PL-OBL-people rare
A city full of uncommon people
tsitxá uujáie chontsíx
ABS-man beautiful OBL-hair
A man with beautiful hair
Verbs can behave just like adjectives in certain cases. The verb must have no non-pronoun arguments or any adverbial phrases associated with it. The verb will have no subject prefix.
Examples with intransitive verbsEdit
hįtl'úę́g tsimnah tas oadáánmiye
0-dine ABS-father be.happy family-0PPOS-with
The happy father has lunch with his family
wungaa ɮí sxuitl'an tiin z̨a
we-stick.out in OBL-city crowded this
We stand out in this crowded city.
Transitive verbs in these constructions take indefinite objects, giving a different meaning than their intransitive counterpart
tas: happy | etas: "makes something happy", joy-bringing
tsime tas: A happy person | tsime etas: A person who brings joy to those around them
tsime tsííl: Lost person | tsime etsííl: Forgetful person
ooji móíg: Swirling water | tsibhii emóíg: A woman twiddling with something
Complex relative clausesEdit
When the NP is the subject of both independent and dependent VPsEdit
Independent-verb subject-noun-phrase dependent-verb-phrase dependent-verb remainder-of-independent-verb-phrase
The verb in a relative clause must agree with all of its direct and indirect objects, stated explicitly with a noun phrase or not.
txaapxen tsiyáang tsijué liipxú
3-enter ABS-youth ABS-Jué 3OBJ-see
The youth who sees Jué is coming in
Expressing temporal relationships between verbsEdit
The prefix 'dí is used to identify the verbal action which came before. The exact meaning of dí varies based on the aspect of both the previus and following actions. dí implies that the previous action caused the next action. tl'ú does not make this implication.
dí affixed to a momentous verbEdit
lidíépxú tsitiys tsid̨úken hįtsun
dí-3os-sees ABS-student ABS-teacher 0-nervous
The student sees his teacher and is nervous