All clauses fit the Subject-Predicate model and all phrases fit the Modifier-Noun model.
A basic noun phrase ends with the head noun; this is preceded by any number of modifiers, which may include cardinal numbers, other nouns, possessor phrases taking the genitive case, gap-subject relative clauses, and full relative clauses (although usually not more than one). A pronoun, partitive phrase, or superlative/ordinal phrase may appear instead of a basic noun phrase.
|kurbo řak ňásita||kurbo||řak||ňási-ta|
|"the 2 black cats"||black||"2"||cat-Def|
A noun may be followed by a polarity satellite. However, such a noun can't have any inflectional suffixes. Instead, a suffixed dummy noun follows. This is an exception to the rule that only the head noun of a phrase can take the noun prefixes.
|miňási fé hota||mi-ňási||fé||ho-ta|
The whole from which a part is selected is represnted by a genitive phrase. If the whole is pronominal, the genitive case of the pronoun is used rather than the possessor prefix. The part is specified by a cardinal number followed by a dummy noun agreeing with the genitive noun or pronoun in gender. Parts are non-referential.
|ňásitak řak ho kurbo.||ňási-ta-k||řak||ho||kurbo|
|"2 of the cats are black."||cat-Def-Gen||"2"||Ani||black|
With quantifiers, the prefixes are used on definite forms to specify the part instead of the partitive construction.
|"All the cats are black."||Uni-cat-Def||black|
A superlative or ordinal phrase is headed by a definite dummy noun of the appropriate gender which is immediately preceded by the superlative adjective or ordinal number. If the superlative or ordinal is uninflected and no satellite word appears, the dummy noun is omitted and the definite suffix appears directly on the superlative or ordinal number. If the cardinality of the part is other than one, the superlative or ordinal is preceded by a cardinal number. Finally, since the superlative or ordinal phrase is essentially partitive, it's generally also modified by a genitive noun phrase or pronoun denoting the whole.
|"the hungriest cat"||cat-Def-Gen||hungry-Cpr-Def|
An adverb of degree is constructed as an adverbial-case noun phrase consisting of a noun denoting a unit of measure preceded by a cardinal number.
|řak taifax||"by 2 cups"|
A subject can be a noun phrase or pronoun (NP/P), an action nominal construction (ANC), or 0. A predicate can be either an NP/P, an ANC, or a verb-headed predicate (VHP).
A VHP may have a direct object in the nominative-accusative case and any number of oblique-case arguments, the latter appearing in any order. The direct object appears immediately before the verb if not expressed as a verb prefix and may be a noun phrase, an ANC, or a noun clause (in some instances). The verb may be followed by any satellite word.
An ANC is headed by an action nominal rather than a verb and the satellite may mark only polarity. If not expressed as a noun prefix, the direct object takes the genitive case and appears immediately before the action nominal; it may be a noun phrase or an ANC. If the action nominal is based on a noun or a Table 3 verb, its (non-agent) subject can be expressed only as a genitive object. Any agent appears in the instrumental case, which may result in 2 instrumental phrases: an animate agent and an inanimate instrument. Other oblique-case phrases may appear, as with the VHP.
If the predicate is an NP/P, the subject must also be an NP/P. If the predicate is an ANC, the subject must also be an ANC. If the subject is 0, the predicate must be a VHP. This produces 5 types of clauses:
|(1)||NP/P||NP/P||róver ňási.||"Rover is a cat."|
|(2)||ANC||ANC||ňásik velon sovon fé.||"Seeing a cat isn't writing."|
|(3)||NP/P||VHP||žunta ňási vel a.||"The boy saw a cat."|
|(4)||ANC||VHP||ňásik velon faxa.||"Seeing the cat is necessary."|
Types (1) and (2) are used for definition and identity clauses and types (3) and (4) are used when the subject is manifest and not an enclitic pronoun; type (5) is used for:
An impersonal clauses has no subject. The subject of an imperative clause is implicitly 2nd person. A gap is an implicit coreference to the head of the noun phrase. A secondary predicate implicitly coreferences the patient or agent of the host clause.
1st and 2nd person pronouns appearing as subjects are usually enclitic to the satellite or to the verb if there's no satellite. The same-subject pronoun is always enclitic.
A noun clause is an embedded verb-headed clause that appears as a subject or direct object, according to the following rules:
There are 2 types of relative clauses: those with gap subjects and those with non-gap subjects and employing a form of the relative pronoun RP. The satellites appearing in the 1st type are limited to the 3rd person forms (fé, bok, and 0). Any argument of the clause's main verb can be relativized using the grammatical voice mechanism. Present tense in a relative clause is interpreted as relative tense unless the adverb "now" appears.
|mó ňásita kudiftiš žunta kalen a.|
|"The boy to whom I'd taken the cat was tall."|
|žáno dumámita velti tarta xaska.|
|"The man whose mother John has seen is angry."|
A parenthetical clause is constructed as an independent sentence, not like a relative clause, and follows the phrase it refers to.
|žunta (mó ňásita kudiftiš atu) kalen a.|
|"The boy, to whom I'd taken the cat, was tall."|
Definition and identity constructions both use noun-headed clauses.
An identity clause is one where the referents of the subject and predicate are equated. Both subject and predicate are definite, in the broad sense of definite. Which phrase is the subject and which is the predicate is a matter of pragmatics.
|žáno veltis tarta.||žáno||vel-ti=s||tar-ta|
|"John is the man you've seen."||John||see-Ret=2||man-Def|
A definition clause is one where the referent of the subject is a subset of the predicate's referent. While the subject is definite (as above), the predicate is non-referential.
|"Rover is a cat."||Rover||cat|
Identity clauses are also used for contrastive focus. The subject (or the predicate) is headed by a definite dummy noun modified by the verb (although the dummy noun is sometimes omitted). For 1st and 2nd person, the free pronouns are used, not the enclitic subject pronouns.
|xaska hota támo.||xaska||ho-ta||támo|
|"The angry one is Tom."||angry||Ani-Def||Tom|
|gurkum hota mé||gurok-um||ho-ta||mé|
|"It's me that's thirstiest."||thirsty-Cpr||Ani-Def||1S|
Topic and direct address are extraclausal. While topic is represented by a nominative-accusative phrase or pronoun placed before the clause, direct address is represented by a phrase or pronoun with the vocative suffix, placed before any argument of the clause.
|žáno mérisá tá támo velti||žáno||méri-sá||tá||támo||vel-ti|
|"As for John, Mary, he has seen Tom."||John||Mary-Voc||3A||Tom||see-Ret|
Secondary predicates appear among the oblique-case arguments of the host clause. Resultatives always coreference the patient of the host clause. They're headed by participles (verbs) but take the adverbial case ending. Depictives may coreference either patient or agent. They're headed by dummy nouns modified by participles. The dummy nouns agree in gender with the coreferenced argument.
|tarta halgo nox mukta čem a.||tar-ta||halgo||no-x||muk-ta||čem||a|
|"The man ate the meat raw."||man-Def||raw||Ina-Adv||meat-Def||eat||Pst|
|tarta nelgo hox mukta čem a.||tar-ta||nelgo||ho-x||muk-ta||čem||a|
|"The man ate the meat raw."||man-Def||nude||Ani-Adv||meat-Def||eat||Pst|
|nefta tilosxo rogata čikop a.||nef-ta||tilos-xo||roga-ta||čikop||a|
|"The woman hammered the metal flat."||woman-Def||flat-Adv||metal-Def||hammer||Pst|
|šermuta naux ňásita tek am.||šermu-ta||nau-x||ňási-ta||tek||a-m|
|"I put the cat in the house."||house-Def||in-Adv||cat-Def||put||Pst-1S|
In an absolute positive clause, the absolute measure of something is specified using an adverb of degree with an adjectival verb.
|támo mon bunxo kalen.||támo||mon||bun-xo||kalen|
|"Tom is 7 bun tall."||Tom||7||bun-Adv||tall|
For all comparatives and equatives the scale of comparison is an adjectival verb, not necessarily the main verb of the clause. For comparative clauses (comparisons of inequality), the comparative form of the verb is used while for equative clauses (comparisons of equality), the equative form is used.
In an explicit comparison of inequality, the standard of comparison is the object of the secondary verb form dáx "than", while in an explicit comparison of equality, the standard of comparison is the object of the secondary verb form kéš "as". The semantic role of the standard isn't specified.
In an implicit comparison the secondary predicate for the standard of comparison is absent; the implied standard is the subject of comparison at an earlier time.
If a degree of comparison is present, it specifies the degree of difference.
|"You're taller than me."||1S-than||tall-Cpr=2|
|támo žáno dáx tux šimiš kalenum.||támo||žáno||dáx||tux||šimi-š||kalen-um|
|"Tom is 4 šimi taller than John."||Tom||John||than||4||šimi-Adv||tall-Cpr|
An action nominal construction may be used as the standard of comparison. This is used for complex comparisons and can also be used to specify the semantic role of the standard.
The semantic role of the subject depends on the grammatical voice of the verb. The description of the role is that of the corresponding case.
The past, present, and future tenses represent past, present, and future time, respectively. Tense is absolute in main clauses. In subordinate clauses, past and future tense are absolute, but present tense is relative unless the adverb "now" appears.
The aspects are distinguished only for the indicative mood.
The imperative mood is used for commands. The hypothetical mood is used for possible conditions and conclusions. The contrafactual mood is used for impossible conditions and conclusions. The indicative mood is used for everything else.
Depending on the auxiliary and its grammatical voice, the embedded clause (or noun clause) is either the object or the subject of the auxiliary verb. The satellite usually appears only once, if at all. Except where noted, it appears after the auxiliary (belonging to the outer clause).
Subject raising is when the subject of an embedded verb-headed clause is treated as if it were the subject of the auxiliary. This manifests in 2 ways: it moves an enclitic subject pronoun from the embedded clause to the matrix (auxiliary-headed) clause or it allows the embedded subject to be relativized using the gap-subject strategy.
The epistemic modal auxiliaries are vet (logical possibility, LP) and dan (logical necessity, LN); they belong to the patientive verb class. Subject raising is normal. The satellite appears between the verb and the auxiliary (belonging to the inner clause). There are also derived perceptive verbs, glossed as guess and deduce, respectively.
|nefta lanot a vet.||nef-ta||lanot||a||vet|
|"The woman may have sung (then)."||woman-Def||sing||Pst||LP|
|mukta čenti danco.||muk-ta||čem-ti||dan=so|
|"You must have eaten the meat."||meat-Def||eat-Ret||LN=2|
The deontic modal auxiliaries are pal (social possibility, SP) and fax (social necessity, SN); they belong to the patientive verb class. Subject raising is normal. There are also derived perceptive verbs, glossed as permit and require, respectively.
|žunta tartés sóxa pel fax.|
|"The boy is required to give the man a book."|
|tartés sóxa pel fax žunta|
|"the boy who's required to give the man a book"|
|tarta žuntau sóxa pelik pal.|
|"The man is permitted to be given a book by the boy."|
|žuntau sóxa pelik pal tarta|
|"the man who's permitted to be given a book by the boy"|
The potential modal auxiliaries are meš (physical possibility, PP) and buk (physical necessity, PN); they also belong to the patientive verb class. Subject raising is normal. Aspect and voice are marked on the auxiliary.
|lanot meš as čú?||lanot||meš||a=s||čú|
|"Were you able to sing?"||sing||PP||Pst=2||PQ|
|"I can't help but sing."||sing||PN=1S|
The aspectual auxiliaries include the process phase verbs "begin", žek "pause", "resume", and "finish", along with the verbs "repeat" and sisof "continue". Subject raising is normal. Aspect and voice are marked on the auxiliary.
The verb xar "want" can appear as an auxiliary, as can the verb "wish (for)". In the latter case, the satellite appears between the verb and the auxiliary (belonging to the inner clause).
Multiple auxiliaries can occur.
|ňásita vel xar a danco.||ňási-ta||vel||xar||a||dan=so|
|"You must have wanted to see the cat."||cat-Def||see||want||Pst||EN=2|
Temporal adjuncts are clauses terminated by the conjunction kan (Tmp, "after, before, if, when, while"). They precede (or follow) the host clause. The use of the indicative distinguishes them from condition clauses and the aspect of the adjunct determines the temporal relation to the host:
|Ret||host after adjunct|
|Pro||host before adjunct|
|Dur||host while adjunct|
|Aor||adjunct while host|
When the adjunct has aoristic aspect, the host tends to have durative aspect and otherwise aoristic aspect, but other combinations occur.
|nefta mukta čikpe kan žunta fol a.|
|"While the woman pounded the meat, the boy slept."|
|žáno silbata šin kan té pirta a.||žáno||silba-ta||šin||kan||té||pirot-a||a|
|"When John sat on the chair, it broke."||John||chair-Def||sit||Tmp||3I||break-Pas||Pst|
|méri čenti kan lé atu.||méri||čem-ti||kan||lé||a=tu|
|"After Mary ate, she (Mary) left."||Mary||eat-Ret||Tmp||leave (here)||Pst=SS|
|gubeš ungos kan ňásita velor.||gu-beš||un-go=s||kan||ňási-ta||vel-or|
|"Before you leave, see the cat."||Medi-Abl||leave-Pro=2||Tmp||cat-Def||see-Aor|
A conditional sentence consists of a condition and a conclusion with the condition usually preceding the conclusion. The condition and conclusion are either both hypothetical or both contrafactual. The condition clause is terminated by the conjunction kan (Tmp, "after, before, if, when, while").
|žáno silbata šincu kan té pirothwá a.|
|"If John sat on the chair, it broke."|
|žáno silbata šinas kan té pirtasa a.|
|"If John had sat on the chair, it would've broken."|
A satisfactive sentence consists of a satisfactive part and a result part. The satisfactive part is an indicative clause containing one of the satisfactive adverbs. The result part may be a conditional sentence (usually just the conclusion) or an indicative sentence.
|támo heš xaska a, silba pirot atu.|
|"Tom was so angry, he broke a chair."|
|támo heš xaska a, silba pirotcu atu.|
|"Tom was angry enough to break a chair."|
|támo heš xaska a, silba pirtas atu.|
|"Tom was so angry, he would've broken a chair."|
The coordinating conjunctions appear between the conjoined clauses. The enclitic same subject pronoun tu (SS) is used when the subject of the 2nd conjoined clause is the same as that of the 1st.
|marša gurka vai čenkatu čú?||marša||gurka||vai||čenka=tu||čú|
|"Is Marsha thirsty or hungry?"||Marsha||thirsty||or||hungry=SS||PQ|
Reported speech is either a direct quotation or indirect.
Direct speech appears as a complete sentence set off by quotative particles. It may appear either before or after the reporting clause.
Indirect speech may be either a complete sentence following the reporting clause or a subordinate clause. If the latter, it appears as either a verb-headed clause or an ANC, according to the rules of embedded clauses. If the former, the reporting clause contains a cataphoric pronoun such as žinné "this".
page started: 2013.Oct.30 Wed
current date: 2013.Nov.16 Sat
content and form originated by qiihoskeh
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