Questions

Húram: Boá. Today I am going to cover interrogatives, as I am still struggling to fine-tune the aspectual system. I apologise for the delays – they’re probably better than a half-cooked mess of aspects. I also apologise for the long posts: each post must have a minimum of 500 words according to my initial parameters, and I’m not going to break those now.

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To ask questions, one uses the particle . This can be used in several places: First, like most particles, it can occur postpositively (after the first word in a sentence).

  • Gaí gô ngilla liáwata muténon?
  • Tell-me: INT child-PL fruit-PL eat-PL?
  • Do the children eat fruit?

This should be fairly clear. can also appear sentence finally, as in: Gaí ngilla liáwata muténon gô?

has another function, as well. It can be used after a word to make interrogative pronouns. These are standard, and idiomatic. So: rún gô who, kópa gô where, pó gô what, wosh gô when, daha gô how, in what fashion, and ram gô which. These forms never alternate or change position. Some of the base words you’ve seen before: rún is the 4th person, but can be applied here to anyone not known, and is from poí this, while ram is the word for one. Kópa, wosh, daha are all new words: the first means there, the second time, and the third action, deed, doing. Daha comes from the word dahún to act, go. But let’s see some examples.

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  • Rún gô god á bóes?
  • 4th. INT bark the pull-sg.
  • Who pulled the bark?

You’ll see here that the verb agrees with number with the interrogative subject. This is the only way that the number can be noted – and it only works for subject. Context would decide how the listener would understand number if it is not the subject, like in uóvak run gô dharkâresthe shark killed who?

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  • Sha brrunéna kópa gô dáodan?
  • nevertheless forest there INT is-DIST
  • Nevertheless, where is the forest?

This should be pretty straightforward. Note the distributive agreement. I seem to have messed up and used dáo as a copula earlier, in the examples where I said it wasn’t one. So, let’s pretend it is, as well. My bad. This one-month blog thing is hard.

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  • pó gô mêth fróton?
  • this INT you-unmarked say-PL?
  • What do you say?

Note the colloquial usage of the you, and the plural marking anyway.

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  • Rrí wosh gô  mêth chúntés?
  • So time INT you-unmarked dive-SG?
  • So when do you dive?

One generally needs to mark aspect in order to really make this sentence make sense. Currently, it doesn’t – although, if it was a singly occurring action, such as die, it would make sense without aspect or mode marking. However,there is a reading that makes this sentence sensical: when, as in at one point, under what conditions, do you dive? That works.

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  • Daha gô ram llama á dámushés?
  • action INT one llama the tie-SG?
  • How does one tie up the llama?

You’ll note that dámushún is used idiomatically – tie the llama up. This is fine. Da’a would not work for a matter of degree – how heavy is it, or how are you: for that, put the adjective for heavy, húf, between daha and gô. This is one of the few possible exceptions to the no-break up rule, but it has a different meaning, so it’s alright.

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  • Ram gô híanoéta kyu?
  • one INT goat-male part.gen?
  • Which of the male goat goats?

So, a few things here. First, no verb – this happens occasionally, in phrases. Secondly, the use of –– to make goats masculine – both of the gender suffixes are completely productive for all animate objects, and they go before the plural marker. Finally, kyu is used here to show that this is a partitive genitive construction – which of the goats, where the goats are the thing out of which a selection will be taken. I don’t think that this will be kyus only function.

And I hope that makes sense. Now you should be able to ask questions, such as: pó gô méth dahés? What are you doing? Or even: Rrí, daha méth gô dahés? So, how are you doing?

Pronunciation.

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Since these posts are getting a bit long, I think, I am going to start making separate posts for the day’s vocabulary. That way, I don’t need to keep having ridiculously long posts. Sound good? Those will always be categorised under ‘words’. What do you think? Respond to change, otherwise I’ll just keep doing this.

  • kópa: pn. there
  • shllek: n. ashes
  • kwá: pn. here
  • gô: part. interrogative
  • wosh: n. time
  • daha: n. action
  • daún: v. to act, do
  • ro+: part. no
  • ngo: adj. all
  • tádaï: adj. many
  • yésh: adj. few
  • yéshdaï: adj. some
  • shoh: adj. other
  • beern: adj. thick
  • húf: adj. heavy
  • ngi: adj. small
  • ngela: adj. short
  • ʔití: adj. narrow
  • ngúti: adj. thin
  • ngullí: n. woman
  • llárri: n. human
  • ngill: n. child
  • brrunéna: n. forest
  • ngibrr: n. stick
  • liáwa: n. fruit
  • liá: n. seed
  • god: n. root
  • shug: n. bark
  • kíola: n. flower
  • serth: n. grass
  • wábá: n. father
  • bíwí: n. mother
  • künoé: n. husband
  • küní: n. wife

Pronunciation.

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Well, today I had some fun sitting outside making words. And I think we need these sentences. Expect full blown verbs tomorrow. Most likely. Nothing else to really report. Oh, I seem to be having some weird issues with the formatting through wordpress. No idea why or how to fix it, sadly. Any help would be appreciated.

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