Pkalho-Kölo is the language of the ancient city of Pkalho, the language of the epic poem the Löme-Lëmo-Cälpa, or Book of the Two Eyes, of which only fragments have survived; of the collection of ancient poems, mostly love-songs, called the Rlepa-Këlta, or Birch-wood Chest; and of the later anthology intended to rival it, the Kwiupho Pruya Prökwö Pkwiri (defies translation). Only the classical form of the language is known: it continued to be used, for centuries after the fall of the city itself, mainly for poetry, but also for prose works such as Mithu Melcupkolhi’s Täthu Lilhpwa Mauko Phëya, or Thousand Leaves of Grief over Ancient Times.
Though the people of Pkalho were always proud of their language, they didn’t become aware of its distinctive character until after regular contact was established with the people of the far south, a region long considered almost mythical, and known as Fhilki-Pkane, literally Clove-Scented Sugar. Around the same time increasing incursions by the Empire of the north led to the payment of tribute, a development that some (correctly) saw as an impending existential threat. This was the period when Tarkwi Pëlhwapelya composed the first grammar of the language, the Pkalho-Kölo Kwila Alhu, which always retained its authoritative status, despite some dubious analyses and a penchant for folk etymology.
Pkalho-Kölo has a distinctive sound. The labial-velar plosives pk and pkw are not found in any familiar language; the hard-to-describe labialised palatals written cw and fw may also be unique. Other factors are the striking predominance of labial and labialised consonants, the presence of three lateral approximants, and the absence of sibilants.
The grammar too is unfamiliar. The concept of 'parts of speech' is unknown to grammarians of the language: there is no noun/verb distinction; no class of adjectives or adverbs; grammatical words such as particles, conjunctions and pre/postpositions are also absent. A small group of pronouns and demonstratives exists, 34 words in all, so it could be argued that content words and these 34 form the two word-classes. Pkalho-Kölo is an agglutinative language: stem-modification is used to generate aspectual forms, otherwise morphology and syntax rely entirely on affixes.
Yet the number of affixes is modest. The number is traditionally given as 34. In fact there are 33 affixes of the form CV, 27 suffixes and seven prefixes, plus one disyllabic suffix. But there are also four suffixes of the form -nCV, and an infix that forms the Inceptive aspect, a total of 39 affixes, still a small number. This is possible in Pkalho-Kölo because of the ubiquitous combination of affixes with other affixes: the seven Directional Prefixes in particular can be used to modify almost every suffix.
Though vowels are elided in some situations, affixes are remarkably invariant, so that it would almost be possible to treat them as separate particles: the original script is written without breaks, so it offers no help in deciding where words should end. In some cases I write a sequence of affixes as a separate word, mainly to prevent words becoming unmanageably long.
Chapter 1: Phonology Edit
1.1 Consonants Edit
Pkalho-Kölo has 24 consonants. The traditional order, known as pamapha, is as follows, reading top to bottom, then left to right:
In a table they look like this (those between slashes are allomorphs):
1.1.1 Plosives Edit
p, t, c, k, are /p/ /t/ /c/ /k/. They are always lenis and unaspirated. c is formed by pushing the body of the tongue up against the hard palate, with the tip touching the alveolar ridge: there is never any breathiness or friction in the release.
Labialised pw, /pʷ/ and kw, /kʷ/ however are noticeably aspirated at the beginning of words and between vowels. They largely lose this aspiration when they follow a nasal or approximant.
cw is not simply the labialised variant of c: it contrasts with c in its manner of articulation. The tip of the tongue rests on the bottom teeth, while the top of the tongue touches the back of the alveolar ridge, and the lips are strongly rounded. The release is breathy, resulting in a distinctive chirping sound.
pk is a consonant peculiar to the city of Pkalho, double-articulated, a simultaneous implosive p and plosive k, which could be written /ƥk/. Form the lips to pronounce a p and the back of the tongue to pronounce a k. The lips then open with an audible pop, and at the same moment the k is released.
pkw is the labialised version /ƥkʷ/. pk is formed with the lips flat and pressed together, pkw with the lips strongly rounded. All labialised plosives occur before the vowel u; in the case of cw the breathy release makes cwu clearly distinct from cu.
The remaining plosive pr could be written /pɭ/ The tip of the tongue is turned back behind the alveolar ridge as the lips are pressed together. Release is simultaneous, there is never any breathiness. As with pk, native speakers regard it as a single sound. No other sequence of consonants occurs at the beginning of syllables.
1.1.2 Fricatives Edit
The fricatives ph and th are /ɸ/ and /θ/. h is /h/. hw is the voiceless labio-velar fricative /ʍ/. It should be distinguished from ph, which is formed by pressing the lips together quite flat and letting breath escape, while hw is formed by strongly rounding the lips, so that breath is felt on their interior surfaces.
fh is the fricative corresponding to pk: its realisation depends on the following vowel. Before e and i it is /fç/; before ö it is /fj/; before the remaining vowels it is /fħ/. v is /v/.
fw is the fricative corresponding to cw. It is close to /ɕʷ/ but pronounced with the tongue-tip turned down, touching the bottom teeth, while air escapes between the top of the tongue and the alveolar ridge. Writing this sound ‘fw’ makes no sense at all, but it is a custom going back to the origins of the language, which I am not now disposed to change. fw and hw occur before u.
1.1.3 Nasals and Approximants Edit
There are three lateral approximants: lh is interdental, close in sound to /ð/ but without any friction. It sounds “dark”, that is, velarised, compared to “clear” alveolar l.
rl is the fully post-alveolar lateral of South Indian languages /ɭ/ at the beginning of words and before or after any consonant. Its intervocalic allopone is the alveolar flap /ɾ/.
w and y are /w/ and /j/. w occurs before u and y occurs before i without any weakening of sound. In words like lhälwu and kwëlwu the w is always clearly heard. However yi occurs rarely except as the initial syllable of a fairly small number of words.
m is /m/. n is /n/ at the beginning of words, between vowels, and before t and n. Before c, cw, y and fw it is /ɲ /, and before or after any other consonant it is /ŋ/
1.2 Vowels Edit
There are eight vowels, four rounded and four unrounded:
a, e, i, o, u are the cardinal vowels. ö is /ø/; at the end of a word it tends to /y/.
ä is /ɐ/ the low rounded back vowel of British English “swan”.
ë is a central vowel, between /ɜ/ and /ɨ/.
Twelve diphthongs occur, six ‘Like’ (unrounded with unrounded, rounded with rounded) and six ‘Unlike’ (one unrounded, one rounded):
The realisation of u in ui and iu, and the realisation of e in ie, and o in uo, is lower than usual, and similar to the vowels in, respectively, British English ‘put,’ (/ʊ/) ‘pet,’ (/ε/) and ‘port’ (/ɔ/).
1.3 Phonotactics: Some Points Edit
1. All root words end in a vowel
2. Syllables can end only in a vowel, one of the nasals, or one of the laterals. In syllable-final position l and lh are clearly distinguished by their “bright” (palatalised) versus “dark” (velarised) sound.
3. A syllable can contain a diphthong or a final consonant, but not both. The exception is when a one-syllable word containing a diphthong is followed by the Relative suffix in its reduced form –n (see 2.3.1), or the -n of N-Conjunctives (see Chapter 12.)
4. Words do not begin with a diphthong, but three words, au, ea and ui consist of a diphthong.
5. All words beginning with a vowel have glottal onset. Elision occurs when the neutral demonstratives e and o follow the suffixes -la, -rë or -pë. Thus iturë en, “(someone) said the following” becomes itur’en. The word erä, ‘person, human being’, also loses its first vowel in compounds: velya (to play music) > velyarä (musician). Elision also occurs in the formation of numbers (see 20.1)
6. When a word beginning with a vowel takes a directional prefix (Chapter 8), or is extended by aspectual stem-modification (see 14.1), an r is inserted. Thus olkwela (it resembles) > pkärolkwela (they resemble each other), ilurë (a light shone) > yërilurë (a light flashed for a moment). But word-initial rl keeps its pronunciation /ɭ / even after a prefix.
7. After m, the consonants k and kw are realised as pk and pkw. The sequences m+kw and m+pkw I always write mkw, regardless of the original script.
8. The sequence l+pr, as written in the original script, is pronounced identically to r+pr, /ɭpɭ/.
9. After m, r and l the consonant hw becomes the labialised bilabial fricative /ɸʷ/ an allophone that occurs only in this context. The sequence l+hw I write lphw to distinguish it from the sequence lh+w.
10. The double consonants mm, nn, rll and ll all occur frequently, but doubled lh seems to have been replaced by the sequence lh+th, which I write lth. Before ph, v, or th, lh tends to be realized as /ðˠ/.
1.4 Intonation Edit
Pkalho-Kölo has accent: accented syllables are pronounced a little more forcefully and at a higher pitch. But vowel quality remains the same in unaccented syllables: there are no weak or reduced vowels. The placement of accent can be described approximately by four rules:
1. The Directional Prefixes have an accent which they almost never lose.
2. Two and three-syllable words have an accent on the first syllable, which they lose if preceded by a Directional Prefix.
3. One-syllable words do not normally have an accent. (But see 14.1.1 and 14.1.2)
4. If three or four unmarked two-syllable words in succession precede a word with a suffix, the middle one or two lose their accent.
List of Abbreviations Used in Examples: Edit
|ACT||Active Order||DL||Dual||PREC||Precative Mood|
|AN||Anaphoric||HAB||Habitual Order||PURP||Purposive Mood|
|AND||Andative Direction||HORT||Hortative Mood||REC||Recognitive Mode|
|APPR||Apprehensive Mood||IMPL||Implicative Mode||REL||Relative|
|CAUS||Causal Mode||INC||Inceptive Aspect||REV||Reverse Direction|
|CONC||Concessive Order||INCL||Inclusive||SEM||Semelfactive Aspect|
|CONJ||Conjunctive Order||INJ||Injunctive Mood||SEQ||Sequential Mode|
|CONL||Conjectural Order||INT||Interrogative Order||SER||Seriative Aspect|
|CONT||Continued Direction||IT||Iterative Aspect||SG||Singular|
|CONV||Continuative Aspect||LOC||Locative||SIM||Similar Direction|
|DEL||Delimitative Aspect||MUT||Mutual Direction||STAT||Stative Order|
|DEN||Denominative Order||OPP||Opposed Direction||SUBJ||Subjunctive Mood|
|DIS||Distributive Aspect||PART||Partitive||VEN||Venitive Direction|
Chapter 2: Orders and SubordinationsEdit
2.1 Orders 1-3 Edit
Because of the lack of familiar landmarks in Pkalho-Kölo, I reluctantly use two ad hoc technical terms, Order and Subordination, roughly translating the words Niulu and Kwiumu. These are the most basic grammatical concepts. In any clause, the first word with a suffix will determine the nature of that clause; this word will have an Order suffix (or one of the 12 suffixes that can replace them); only unmarked modifiers can come before it. A word with an Order suffix will often be translated by a verb, but can be an adjective, or may be the noun in a “There is/are” construction. Subordination is used here in a sense different from the most common one, but in line with the most general: words with Subordination suffixes depend syntactically on the head word of the clause. Again, only unmarked modifiers can precede them. There are nine Orders:
The first two are the most fundamental. Most other suffixes are said to “replace” either the Stative or the Active, that is, they are Stative or Active in meaning unless another affix is added. The exceptions are the Denominative (See 3.2,) and the Habitual, which combines gnomic and customary meanings, events that are predictable as part of the nature of things, and those that occur as part of a routine. The suffixes and meanings of the first three Orders are as shown:
|Active||ACT||-rë||Action, event||Specific time|
|Habitual||HAB||-mu||Rule, custom||Non-specific time|
With the word wilu, to bend:
|wilula||it is bent||(state)||wilurë||it bent||(event)||ëphu wilumu||it bends easily||(rule)|
Words with Order suffixes have no compulsory arguments: one-word sentences are normal. So wilurë means, ‘bending occurred,’ and the speaker decides if any more information is required. Since in English a verb needs a subject I insert it when necessary; elsewhere I use he, she or they at random; and I, we or you where the sense demands it.
2.2 Clause Structure Edit
Just as Pkalho-Kölo lacks a separate class of nouns, so its clause structure fails to conform to familiar models. It is neither Nominative-Accusative nor Ergative-Absolutive. English SVO sentences, in which an Agent does something to a Patient, as illustrated by the examples, His dog bites me, and, Topology intrigues me, have no one reliable counterpart. Many different interactions of Subordinations will be needed to translate such sentences.
Some examples, using the pronouns pa, I, me, and lhu, he/she, him/her:
|He knows me||Pamela pan lhuwe|
|He remembered me||Mathörë pan lhuli|
|He hit me||Tepkurë pakö lhuhi|
|He told me||Ceirë pali lhuhi|
|He frightens me||Yafhëla pawe lhuvo|
|He admires me||Pamyula papkwe lhuwe|
Though the Subordinations are in effect a case system, basic cases such as Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, Ergative are absent, and the use of Subordination suffixes is not restricted to words that would translate as nouns. Pkalho-Kölo fails to distinguish between Core and Oblique Arguments, or Grammatical and Locative Cases. In fact all events and interrelations are modelled in literal or metaphorical space.
2.3 Subordinations: Overview Edit
The ten Subordinations are listed below, with some indication of their scope and meaning:
|Prolative||PROL||-thu||'along'||Route; means of movement|
|Adessive||AD||-kö||'on'||Surface; site of impact|
Traditionally the first three are associated with Rest, Arrival and Departure; the next four with Point, Line, Surface and Volume.
2.3.1 The Relative Edit
The Relative is used when the state or event and the subordinated word are inseparable, or when they are synonymous. Intrinsic qualities, words denoting movement and change, events affecting only a single term, are situations where it is likely to be used. Only the Relative has two forms, -ni and -n. If the shortened form is used, the word depends on the immediately preceding word with any suffix: thus words in the Relative can depend on words with other Subordination suffixes. Words with the full form -ni depend on the preceding word with an Order suffix only.
kullu cilola phoän ‘the flowers are dark blue’
deep/dark blue-STAT flower-REL
hölki nerirë phoän ‘the flower suddenly fell’
sudden fall-ACT flower-REL
elma nurmomu phoän ‘the flowers open in the morning’
morning open-HAB flower-REL
As can be seen there is no compulsory marking of singular or plural. If the meaning is not clear from the context, words such as veru, ‘group (of things),’ prëmo, ‘group (of people),’ or cuma, ‘crowd,’ can be used. Tense is also not a compulsory category, so that the Stative can mean ‘is, are’ or ‘was, were.’ If necessary tense can be specified by the use of a time word.
2.3.2 Allative and Ablative Edit
Allative and Ablative express, in general terms, origin and goal. They have literal spatial meanings, but they also often correspond to, respectively, the indirect object and subject of a transitive verb in English and other European languages. The direct object will then be in the Relative Subordination. The literal spatial meaning:
cwallorë tännuhi kuphili ‘they travelled from the mountains to the sea’
travel-ACT mountain-ABL ocean-ALL
With verbs of giving, telling, etc:
mucwa kwearë cälpan pali lhuhi ‘yesterday she gave me a book’
yesterday give-ACT book-REL 1SG-ALL 3SG-ABL
In Pkalho-Kölo, thoughts and perceptions are also ‘received.’ They are not something you do, but something that comes to you, and so the Allative Subordination is used:
änniwa mathörë pan lhuli ‘apparently she remembered me’
apparently remember-ACT 1SG-REL 3SG-ALL
vielo keirë lömprin pali ‘in the evening I saw fireflies’
evening see-ACT firefly-REL 1SG-ALL
Another participant can be added without any other change:
vielo keirë lömprin pali lhuhi ‘in the evening she showed me fireflies’
evening see-ACT firefly-REL 1SG-ALL 3SG-ABL
Words with the Active suffix, most often translated by verbs, are neither transitive nor intransitive, neither active nor passive, but essentially impersonal. Pronouns included here for the sake of illustration would be omitted in speech unless there was a possibility of ambiguity. The word order given, turning SVO sentences into VOS, is the most natural, but not the only possible order. Words ending with the Relative suffix in its reduced form -n must immediately follow the word on which they depend, except for unmarked modifiers; apart from that word order is free. A sentence like the following, with the order of terms closer to English, is also quite normal:
mucwa kwearë lhuhi pali cälpani ‘yesterday she gave me a book’
yesterday give-ACT 3SG-ABL 1SG-ALL book-REL
2.4 Locative Subordinations Edit
The next four Subordinations, Locative, Prolative, Adessive and Inessive, have locative meanings roughly equivalent to ‘at, by,’ ‘along, across,’ ‘on,’ and ‘in.’
tullela kaulorän thuomä kwalowe ‘the gardener stood by the back door’
stand-STAT garden-er-REL back door-LOC
cwake pafwirë prutë prëmon cwënëlkäthu ‘the children skated swiftly across the glassy-hard ice’
skate speed/glide-ACT child group-REL hard-ice-PROL
möila pkwänyo mimwen pamphokö ‘the calico cat was asleep on the quilt’
sleep-STAT three-colour cat-REL quilt-AD
keila täiphe ilhon veima kuphimä ‘bright-coloured fish could be seen in the dark green water’
see-STAT colourful fish-REL dark-green sea-IN
hëula tänhwi nömwen thencu cäntomä ‘the shell necklace was in the sandalwood box’
put-STAT shell/coral necklace-REL sandalwood box-IN
(Pkalho-Kölo has no word corresponding to ‘to be.’ When this means ‘to be in a place,’ it is often translated by the Stative of words such as hëu, ‘put, place,’ and këu, find.’)
2.4.1 Invariance of Locatives Edit
In Pkalho-Kölo things that are ‘in’ and ‘on’ are always ‘in’ and ‘on;’ they never take on the role of grammatical subject as they would in a European language:
ahola harhwin hotha mantomä ‘the old barn was full of the smell of hay’
pervade-STAT hay-smell-REL old barn-IN
nalila fhapro prayun körömpikö ‘the princess wore a brocade dress’
put-on-STAT brocade dress-REL princess-AD
The odour doesn’t ‘pervade the barn,’ it always ‘pervades in the barn,’ and the princess never ‘wears a dress,’ the dress is always ‘on the princess.’ When it comes to putting on the dress, if the princess performs the action herself, she takes the Ablative, otherwise those who actually perform the action take the Ablative:
nalirë fhapro prayun körömpihi ‘the princess put on her brocade dress’
put-on-ACT brocade dress-REL princess-ABL
nalirë fhapro prayun körömpikö nomyähi ‘servants dressed the princess in her brocade dress’
put-on-ACT brocade dress-REL princess-AD servant-ABL
2.4.2 Locative, Adessive and Inessive Edit
Locative and Adessive have uses that are not neatly matched by English prepositions. In Pkalho-Kölo the mind is the location ‘at which’ knowledge, memories and emotions are found, and so the Locative Subordination is used:
milthola elphu vëllun touräwe ‘the old man knew a hundred stories’
know-STAT hundred story-REL old-man-LOC
vamyola nilkwe kimpron cwëllewe ‘the little girl wished she had such a beautiful doll’
envy-STAT beautiful doll-REL little-girl-LOC
The Locative also marks the instrument of an action: the point of its occurrence:
pelumu täthu erwin käho phönyewe ‘they write ancient poems with a long brush’
write-HAB ancient poem-REL tall brush-LOC
cölkirë niphu cwilwan cimkwäwe ‘they cut out paper stars with scissors’
cut-out-ACT paper star-shape-REL scissors-LOC
Locative is also used for momentary location:
tauhwerë pomön këlyuwe ‘he threw the ball through the window’
throw-ACT ball-REL window-LOC
The Adessive is used for the place of impact of an action or event:
tepkurë prufho nukwukö lhimorähi ‘the priest struck the bronze bell’
strike-ACT bronze bell-AD priest-ABL
fwakërë lhu cweakö yuhi ‘she slapped his face’
slap-ACT 3SG face-AD 4SG-ABL
If the impact goes beyond the surface the Inessive is used:
kalpkirë lhumä pkieviwe vilnarähi ‘an enemy stabbed her with a dagger’
stab-ACT 3SG-IN dagger-LOC enemy-ABL
käpkerë lukamä kolkewe ‘he chopped into the beech-tree with an axe’
chop-ACT beech-tree-IN axe-LOC
2.5 Partitive, Sublative and Directive Edit
The core meaning of the Partitive is the whole from which something is taken or the material from which it is made:
piecwimu cimpun ulhi malwivo ‘they make shirts of dark blue linen’
sew-HAB shirt-REL indigo linen-PART
By extension it is used for the underlying stuff of emotions, discussions, etc:
yafhërë pwenyawe cuori rlupevo ‘the little boy was afraid of the friendly dog’
fear-ACT little-boy-LOC friendly dog-PART
nephörë nulpeli hwäina tämovo ‘the girl dreamt about a house she had never seen’
dream-ACT girl-ALL unknown house-PART
kwilarë cäilohi höhwa nömivo ‘the friends talked about the strange news’
speak-ACT friend-ABL strange news-PART
The Sublative can be used with its literal meaning ‘under’:
leihwela kwalto kwonutë ‘there were hyacinths under the oak-trees’
hyacinth-STAT oak grove-SUBL
But often it has meanings like ‘influenced by, affected by’:
cwallorë fhina wöllivetë 'they travelled in the winter wind and snow'
travel-ACT winter wind-snow-SUBL
hwallu lhomirë kwëlnatë ‘they say he died by poisoning’
they-say die-ACT poison-SUBL
The literal meaning of the Directive is ‘towards’:
paurërë kwolton rloä tännupkwe ‘the companions set out towards the distant mountain’
set-out-ACT companions-REL distant mountain-DIR
Orientation, where something is headed, or directed towards, includes the beneficiary of an action, and the target of an attitude or emotion:
proärë näihwe nërkwin upepkwe ‘I bought a mother-of-pearl pen-knife for my brother’
buy-ACT mother-of-pearl pen-knife-REL younger-brother-DIR
pamyula pwenyawe teithuräpkwe ‘the boy admired the athletes’
admire-STAT boy-LOC athlete-DIR
It also includes things seen when facing in a particular direction:
keila cwean lhurpo thilkopkwe ‘I could see a face in the old discoloured mirror’
see-STAT face-REL discoloured mirror-DIR
2.6 Sigh. I Give Up. Edit
5. Demonstratives / Pronouns. Edit
There are six demonstratives:
The demonstratives frequently take Order suffixes: pela - it’s here; look!; lhola it’s there; look!; lepekë - come here; hepekë - go away; ela - the following is the case; ola - what came before is the case; yes. The neutral demonstratives play an important role in the grammar of Pkalho-Kölo, being used, among other things, to create relative clauses. More about that later.
As in Japanese, pronouns are omitted unless this would cause ambiguity. However, Pkalho-Kölo has a full set of personal pronouns:
In the first person the exclusive /inclusive distinction is the familiar one: epka = me and you; apë' = me and someone else. The fourth person, as in the Algonquian languages, is used to distinguish one person or group from another, usually one spoken of first from one spoken of next, but sometimes more significant from less significant. The exclusive/inclusive distinction is less familiar here but quite straightforward. If lhu is Person A and yu is Person B, ulle is the two together, elha is Person A and someone else; ui includes Person B, lhau excludes him/her. Pronouns are only used to refer to people, animals, deities, and anything regarded as person-like. For inanimate objects the demonstratives are used.
Possessive. There are no possessive pronouns. The pronouns can be used as modifiers: pa cäilo - my friend : lhu cälpa - his/her book : epka tämo - our house. Or Subordination suffixes can be used with the Relative -n added: tauthola nölkevo cäihin - I am grateful for your kindness : horula lhuwe wönäni yuwen - she couldn’t understand his feelings. The Allative is used to translate “whose.” peku mäili? - whose is this? : lhoku mäili pewito? - whose are those shoes?
6. Indefinite Words Edit
Indefinite words form a small closed class of 12 words.
|kui||at some time||when?|
|hwea||in some way||how?|
|pwea||by some means||how?|
|rlui||some kind of||what kind of?|
|mie||to some degree||how...?|
|voä||some; to some extent||how much?|
|toä||a number of||how many?|
|phiu||for some reason||why?|
The meaning differs depending on which Order they follow:
Stative: Keila mäin - (I) see someone
Interrogative: Keiwo mäin? - Can you see anyone?
Concessive: Keiku mäin? - Who can you see?
Likewise when they are used by themselves:
Mäila - Someone is there/here
Mäiwo? - Is there someone there?
Mäiku? - Who’s there?
Those referring to time, place, manner, reason, etc, can be used as modifiers, or with a Subordination suffix:
Pwea pkälëtäkumu höpin? - How do ants communicate with each other?
Veakumö lapkwan mäili? - Who will win the prize?
With the neutral demonstratives e and o:
Horula ephiun hölki nacwikurë lhaun - I don’t understand why they suddenly left
Hunyëla epean paltokuphi lhaun oli - I don’t know where they went to go shopping
Indefinite words can also be used as modifiers with another word, as follows:
Nolwu voä kapula thelkan - The rock was as big as an elephant
Cwilpwi hwea ëfwula pawe - I feel as cold as an icicle
Indefinite words form compounds with the demonstratives; in the case of au an “r” is inserted: perau, cerau, lhorau, yorau. Indefinite words also form compounds with other words in which, unexpectedly, the modifier comes after the head-word: au nipro - precious things; au vihwë - things wished for, etc. Likewise: mäi pame - people you know; acquaintances; mäi lhema - people you don’t know, strangers. If more than one word is used the word order reverts to normal: hwea pelu - ways of writing; but rlipu pelu hwea - ways of writing letters (of the alphabet).
Idioms using indefinite words: mäiwo pkämen cali? Is there someone - brother/sister - to you = Do you have any brothers or sisters? / ekuiwo keila kilwun cali? Is there such a time - is visible - a giraffe - to you = have you ever seen a giraffe?
Further Grammar Edit
Grammar continues on Pkalho-Kolo 3I'm going to add two pages of Pkalho-Kölo in its own writing system. These were written a couple of years ago and the language has changed slightly since then, but not the writing system.