Buruya Nzaysa/Derivation

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Some of the most common compounding patterns found in Buruya Nzaysa are given in the table below. Nominal compounds are almost exclusively head-initial; for compounds resulting in a verb, both head-initial and head-final constituent order are attested.

Note that example words whose source components are written in italics rather than bold are older formations, dating to at least a few centuries before the stage of Buruya Nzaysa as described in this grammar, and the source words (given in their Ndak Ta form) may not be in use any longer. However, the patterns exemplified by these compounds are for the most part still productive synchronically.

noun + nounnoun genitive relation ñunɛ "middle" + mo "town" → ñunɛmo "city center"
xol "foot" + nalo "horse" → xolnálo "hoof"
locative relation mlu "home" + sɔmɛ "water" → mlusɔmɛ "houseboat"
essive-compositive relation ñanɛ "link, connection" + sɔmɛ "water" → ñanzɔmɛ "canal, waterway"
attributive relation mlu "home" + ñunɛ "middle" → mluñunɛ "inn, hostel"
ame "fly" + dalsu "honey" → amedalsu "bee"
ntse "blood" + imbi "moon" → ntsəbe "menstruation"
descriptive relation mabm "mouth" + elge "clean" → maməlgɛ "honest, straightforward"
robm "feather" + oldau "eye" → romoldu "peacock" (i.e. one who has eye-feathers)
noun + -o-/-n- + nounnoun coordinate relation mɛwɛ "father" + omɔ "mother" → mɛwɛnomɔ "parents"
noun + -(a)y- + nounnoun genitive relation kak "border" + wimès "neighbor" → kaywemə "fence, boundary"
pap "shield" + mos "city" → pawaymó "city walls"
verb + nounnoun instance of event pawu "to name, to declare" + daba "clean" → paudába "amnesty, pardon"
place of event mɛsɛ "to meet" + ɔtsə "river" → mɛsɔtsə "confluence"
resulting instance of patient/theme mpi "to cry" + sɔmɛ "water" → mpɛsɔmɛ "teardrop"
noun + verbnoun instrument buli "soil" + nanɔ "to cut" → bulnanɔ "plough"
to "hand" + tsɛ "to wash" → totsɛ "washbowl"
rɔnzo "sound" + mve "to speak" → rɔnzobe "voice"
object associated with action bâpu "root" + mpaim "to cry" → bapsɛ "onion"
noun + verbverb locative relation sɔmɛ "water" + mpɛ "to sit" → sɔmpɛ "to float"
result relation itso "contract" + kwɛ’a "to prepare" → itsokwɛ’a "to negotiate"
patient relation xat "wood" + nanɔ "to cut" → xananɔ "to carve"
oldau "eye" + wapa "to hit" → olduwa "to hit the target"
verb + verbverb sequential relation tsɔve "to watch" + ruyɔ "to invent" → tsɔvruyɔ "to improve, to optimize"
səma "to wait" + kəye "to challenge" → səŋkəye "to counter-attack"
adverbial relation lail "to flow" + nde "to touch" → lɛldɛ "to caress" (i.e. to touch flowingly)
verb + -o-/-n- + verbverb sequential relation nta "to stop" + ande "to stand" → ntɔnadɛ "to have a closer look at"
preposition + verbverb directional relation ntats "around" + kota "to cover" → ntaskɔda "to wrap"

Derivational morphology

-vo¹ any part of speechnoun associated person or instrument, "active participle" lire "young" → lirevo "teenager"
we’ɔ "to expect" → we’ɔvo "optimist"
-la verbnoun patient of verb, "passive participle" noxa "to trade" → noxala "goods"
məle "to read" → məlela "text"
-(n)a verbnoun instance of action, event, process ogab "to suffer" → ogava "misery"
kasəl "to examine" → kasəna "check, inspection"
-lu any part of speechnoun location bawo "anchor" → baulu "harbour"
mɛsɛ "to meet" → mɛsɛlu "tavern"
-ɔra² noun or verbnoun associated thing uma "to play" → umɔra "toy"
pɛnə "to bite" → pɛnɔra "jaw, chin"
-tsu quantifieradverb temporal ñe "two" → ñetsu "twice"
oba "many" → obatsu "often"
-ga any part of speechadverb adverbial kɛfol "unhappy" → kɛfolga "sadly"
rabɛ "during" → rabəga "at the same time"
pɛpɔy "to dance" → pɛpɔyga "lively"
-lɛ any part of speechno change    diminutive, attenuative mevuna "task" → mevunlɛ "favour"
mlu "home" → mlulɛ "one's own room"
əvre "to destroy" → əvrelɛ "to spoil"
-(’)u nounnoun attenuative (rare) nɛsɔ "sick" → nɛsɔ’u "not feeling well"
-(’)ə nounnoun intensive (rare) nzesu "different" → nzesu’ə "incompatible"
-ña any part of speechno change    intensive kepə "herb" → kepəña "spicy food"
ñova "to plan" → ñovaña "to be pedantic"
-wi³ nounnoun augmentative arawa "dinner" → arawi "banquet"
sexad "storm" → sexaspi "hurricane"
-ya noun or verbnoun honorific sɛpsɔ "unique" → sɛpsɔya "significant other"
dume "to display" → Dumeya "annual trade fair"
-si verb or nounnoun female ɔyal "to sell" → ɔyalsi "marketwoman"
sasama "lord" → sasanzi "baroness"
-ru nounnoun male (rare) lire "young" → liru "young man"
-da any part of speechany PoS;
dynamic, inchoative, causative desu "normal" → desuda "to standardize"
ñe "two" → ñeda "to share"
gəño "to praise" → gəñota "heroic deed"
-so nounverb associated action tsi "seed" → tsiso "to sow"
ilu "flower" → iluso "to bloom"
dəñe "finger" → dənzo "to grasp, to handle, to ply"
-xə verbverb reflexive, durative, atelic nanɔ "to cut" → nanɔxə "to hurt oneself"
nzolab "to arrange" → nzolayə "to be busy"
(k-) -sa    nounnoun collective əsu "date" → kəsusa "calendar"
ntɔh "forest" → Ntɔysa "Forest Miw"
ni- -yə nounverb directional vi "star" → nivíyə "to be ambitious"
nolɔ "road" → ninólɔyə "to emigrate"
ntɛ- verbadverb adverbial, "gerund" bɔve "to fail" → ntɛvɔ́ve "in vain"
idə "to be perceived as" → ntidə "apparently, seemingly"
nanɔ "to cut" → ntənánɔ "violently"
mvo(m)- verb or nounverb causative, factitive əño "to kill" → mvomə́ño "to have so. executed"
ntuya "fake" → mvotsúya "to copy"
ro- verbverb or noun habitual, iterative mve "to speak" → rube "to keep on talking"
bani "to pray" → rovani "devout, faithful"
uy- verbverb or noun incompletive tsapse "to give" → uysapse "to owe"
tutsi "to commit suicide" → uysutsi "to be depressed"
ga- verbnoun prospective nominalizer xɛtu "to retire" → gaxɛtu "veteran"
olna’a "to find" → gɔlna’a "one who is searching"
ay- nounnoun partitive, member of a group sɔmɛ "water" → aysɔ́ "a drink"
Nzok "Ndok" → Aydók "a person of Ndok ethnicity"
ña- any part of speechnoun abstraction, quality mura "to decide" → ñamúra "decision"
kɛmɛ "to study" → ñaxɛ́ "research; education; knowledge"
ədu "ocean" → ñɛdu "infinity"
ma- any part of speechno change    opposite, antonym kwɛsta "noise" → magɛsta "silence"
ɛdə "to have; to run a business" → mɛdə "to be poor"

Many derivational affixes have one or more irregular allomorphs in older formations, typically originating in the simplification of historical consonant clusters. The examples column gives a few examples; some of the more common and at least partly productive behaviors are also listed below.

  • Consonants in brackets appear only when not adjacent to another consonant.
  • Suffix-initial s combines with a preceding unstressed syllable of the shape NV into -nz-.
  • Suffix-initial v combines with preceding unstressed syllables of the shapes mV vV into -mv- -v-.
  • When a suffix is added to a word with three or more syllables which is accented on the antepenultimate syllable, the vowel in one of the two unstressed post-tonic syllables in the stem will usually be syncopated. It is generally preferred to syncopate stem-final vowels rather than stem-medial ones, but the exact behavior depends on the phonotactics of the specific combination of stem and suffix.
  • All vowel-final prefixes lose their final vowel before vowel-initial stems. In older formations, the quality of the resulting vowel is often altered; the latter does not occur in productive usage.

Affix-specific behaviors:

¹) Common non-productive allomorphs: -bo, -do, -ño, -spo.
²) The preceding vowel is deleted.
³) Common non-productive allomorphs: -pi, -spi.
⁴) Common non-productive allomorphs: -ta, -sta, -tsa, -sa.
⁵) Common non-productive allomorphs: -yə, -ñə, -skə.
⁶) The prefix component ni- is contracted to ñ- before vowels.
⁷) -ubo(m)- when preceded by another prefix.
⁸) ox- before vowels; u- before nasals and voiced plosives; stem-initial p t ts k kw become f s s Ø w; stem-initial prenasalized obstruents undergo lenition.
⁹) ax- before vowels; a- before nasals and voiced plosives; stem-initial p t ts k kw become f s s Ø w; stem-initial prenasalized obstruents undergo lenition.