| Tmaśareʔ |
|Period||c. -1800 YP|
|Spoken in||Kipceʔ desert|
|Total speakers||c. 15,000|
|Classification|| Western languages |
|Basic word order||SOV|
|Morphology||highly synthetic; agglutinating w/ some fusion|
Tmaśareʔ is a language of the Western family, spoken on the northern fringe of the Kipceʔ desert on the west coast of Peilaš. It is the southernmost direct descendant of Proto-Western, and it has been significantly influenced by an unknown substrate language. Apart from providing a number of loanwords, this substrate is assumed to be the source of linguistic features in Tmaśareʔ that are not found in other Western languages, for instance reduplicative plural formation and a productive alternation between approximants and nasals based on vowel nasality.
Tmaśareʔ culture is still somewhat similar to the culture of Proto-Western speakers; notably, the religion is still built around the concept of kwaco ("strength" associated with bodily fluids, especially blood and semen). Due to the scarcity of resources in the dry environment, most speakers of Tmaśareʔ are not fully sedentary. Usually they migrate up and down a river with the seasons, focusing on fishing at the coast in the dry summer, small-scale agriculture in the river valleys in the more humid winter, and goat- and sheep-herding as well as hunting all year round. Villages are often moved every few years so as not to exhaust the soil too soon. Bronze is known but obtainable only from trade with other Western or even Lukpanic peoples further north, which doesn't happen too often (the Tmaśareʔ don't have much to offer in return). Writing is unknown.
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Morphology
- 2.1 Nominal morphology
- 2.2 The Verbal Complex
- 3 Derivation
- 4 Syntax
- 4.1 The noun phrase
- 4.2 The clause
- 4.3 Complex sentences
- 4.4 Valence adjustment
- 4.5 Syntactic transformations
- 5 Texts
- 5.1 The horse and the sheep
- 5.2 Creation myth
- 5.3 Hunter Rock
- 5.4 The scorpion and the fox
- 5.5 The audacious he-goat
- 5.6 The rocks, the blackbird, and the mouse
- 5.7 The return of the rain
- 5.8 Fire and water
- 5.9 A dialogue
- 5.10 A tongue-twister
- 6 See also
|liquid||w||l · ɾ||j|
- /kʷ ʦ ʧ ʃ ɲ ɾ j/ are written kw c ć ś ń r y.
|mid||e · ẽ||o · õ|
|low||a · ã|
- Nasalized vowels are written with an ogonek: ę ą ǫ.
Distribution and phonotactics
Syllable structure is (C)(C)CV(C).
The onset may consist of any single consonant, of a plosive followed by a nasal, or of two non-identical obstruents other than /h/. Word-initially, three-term onset clusters consisting of two plosives separated by a sibilant are also permissible. Clusters ending in one of /t ʦ ʧ/ may additionally be followed by /w/, and clusters ending in one of /p t k/ may additionally be followed by /j/. Empty onsets only occur word-initially. As the glottal stop is not found in that position, onsetless syllables are sometimes analysed as containing underlying /ʔ/.
All single consonants except /w j/ can appear in a medial syllable coda; however, coda consonants other than /ʔ h/ are fairly rare. (Note that pure obstruent clusters are usually syllabified as complex onsets.) Nasal coda consonants can only occur in geminates, and coda /ɾ/ can only occur before nasals.
At the end of a word, /ʔ/ is the only allowed coda consonant.
The following additional restrictions apply:
- i does not occur immediately after y.
- The liquid consonants w l r y do not occur after nasalized vowels.
- The distinction between /k/ and /kʷ/ is contrastive only in prevocalic position. /kʷ/ never contrasts with the cluster /kw/, but it is analysed as a separate phoneme because of its high frequency.
- In the prestige dialect, obstruents are almost never voiced. Some speakers have voiced allophones of non-glottal obstruents adjacent to nasals and nasalized vowels though, and sometimes after l as well. In dialects that have it, obstruent voicing is blocked by adjacent voiceless consonants.
- Plosives are aspirated when preceded by h, and m n ń l r are devoiced in the same position. In the prestige variety, devoiced nasals are realized as a nasalized vowel followed by a voiceless fricative: /Vhm Vhn Vhɲ/ → [Ṽɸ Ṽθ Ṽç].
- Before obstruents, coda h is normally realized as velar [x], though it may become [ç] when preceded by i and/or followed by ć y, and [ɸ] when preceded by o ǫ and/or followed by p.
- ć ś become alveolo-palatal [ʨ ɕ] when adjacent to i ń l.
- l is commonly palatalized to [ʎ] when adjacent to i ć ś ń.
- In other positions, coda l is darkened to [ɫ] or even [ɰ].
- w is normally realized as a purely labial approximant [β̞], which is devoiced to [ɸ] when preceded by h. Intervocalic w may also be realized as [w], especially when preceded by o.
- When preceding a nasalized vowel, postconsonantal w r l j are realized as [m n n ɲ] (written m n n ń).
- e is realized as [e] word-finally, and as [ɛ] elsewhere.
- a is [ʌ] in unstressed open syllables, and [ɑ] elsewhere.
- o is [ʊ] in unstressed open syllables, [o] in stressed open syllables, and [ɔ] in closed syllables.
- Nasalized ę ą ǫ are [ɛ̃ ɑ̃ ɔ̃] in all positions.
- In stressed open syllables, nasalized vowels (but not oral ones) are lengthened.
Tmaśareʔ has a dynamic stress accent. Most words are accented on the first syllable of the root; however, pluralized nouns normally stress the reduplicated syllable (i.e. the first vowel of the word), and most conjunctions, particles, and postpositions are unaccented. Some but not all of those grammatical morphemes cliticize to other sentence constituents, becoming part of the host's prosodic group.
Longer words containing at least three post-tonic syllables exhibit one or more positional secondary accents. These are placed on every even syllable counting from the end of the word; however, syllables immediately adjacent to the main stress do not receive secondary stress. If a word ends in a glottal stop, the last secondary accent moves from the penult to the final syllable, triggering exceptional secondary stress on the antepenultimate if the fifth-to-last vowel carries a lexical accent.
As exceptions to the above, compounds (which includes nouns with an adjectival prefix) normally stress the first syllable of the first root, with the second root receiving secondary stress if its accented syllable does not end up adjacent to the main stress. Further secondary stress is assigned by counting from the end of the word as usual. Verbs with an incorporated object do not fall under this rule; the object - even though it follows the verb root - receives positional stress only, which can lead to a changed prosodic pattern as compared to the full nominal form.
The three cases of Proto-Western (absolutive, ergative, construct) are retained in Tmaśareʔ, with the construct being reanalysed as a genitive. On the other hand, the edibility distinction has been lost, and even though the plural is retained as an inflectional category, the inherited number morphology has become unproductive and survives only in pronouns and a few fossilized lexical items. Noun plurals are now formed by a reduplicative strategy, picked up from a substrate language.
The citation form of Tmaśareʔ nouns is the absolutive singular.
The ergative and genitive cases are formed by ablaut of the final vowel of the noun stem, combined with a suffixed glottal stop:
|nasal stem||-ę, -ą, -ǫ||-ęʔ||-ǫʔ|
Some nouns end in a glottal stop in the absolutive case. These words take the regular affixes -eʔ in the ergative and -oʔ in the genitive, but often undergo stem changes with the addition of a case suffix. Most frequently, the stem-final glottal stop reverts to its original value (which may be any other plosive consonant); sometimes a vowel is dropped as well. Irregular oblique stems are indicated in the lexicon.
- hąse 'horse' (abs) → erg hąsiʔ, gen hąsoʔ
- kwela 'child' (abs) → erg kweleʔ, gen kweloʔ
- tohną 'headman of a family' (abs) → erg tohnęʔ, gen tohnǫʔ
Unlike those of Proto-Western, Tmaśareʔ nominals do not inflect for dual number. The inherited suffixal plural morphology was originally replaced by reduplication of the first C(C)V portion of the stem; however, this pattern has become obscured by a combination of stress shift and vowel syncope. Synchronically, plurals usually look like an infixed copy of the initial consonant(s), with echo vowels as needed to conform to phonotactic rules. Words with initial nasals regularly form their plural with nasalization of the first vowel (often accompanied by a change in quality); vowel-initial words tend to use either /-hV-/ or /-ʔ-/ as the plural infix.
Quite a number of words have slightly irregular plural forms. In addition, there is a distinct class of mass nouns that do not form plurals; these mostly belong to one of the noun classes IV, V, and VI. Plurals are given in the lexicon for all nouns.
- takala 'rope' → tatkala 'ropes'
- kohta 'boat' → kokohta 'boats'
- mera 'dog' → mǫra 'dogs'
- aśę 'woman' → aʔśę 'women'
Like its predecessor, Tmaśareʔ distinguishes between alienable and inalienable forms of possession. Alienably possessed nouns are simply accompanied by their possessor, cast in the genitive, whereas inalienably possessed nouns take an obligatory possessive prefix marking number and person of the possessor. Note that the possessor need not necessarily be present as an overt noun phrase. For first and second person possessors, the possessive prefixes still have a separate set of forms deriving from the PW dual. However, these are now used for any small group of inextricably linked possessors, e.g. for a group of brothers (even if there are three or four of them), and are probably best interpreted as paucal or collective.
- When followed by a consonant cluster or a glottal consonant, the plural forms appear in the alternative allomorphs ǫka-, iko- and kwe-. Before oral vowels they appear as ǫkw-, ikw- and kw-, and before nasal vowels they appear as ǫkm-, ikm- and km- respectively.
- The 2sg and 2pc prefixes become će- ce- when followed by a consonant cluster or a glottal consonant, and ś- s- when followed by an affricate.
- The 1sg and 3sg/pc prefixes add an epenthetic /ʔ/ before vowels, while the 1pc prefix adds /n/.
- naʔilca 'my hand'
- ćtohną 'your(sg) father'
- kmǫʔta 'their teeth'
The alienable/inalienable distinction also serves as a productive method to change the meaning of nouns:
- la 'man' → ela 'her husband'
- nanańo 'my foot', knęńo 'their feet' → nańo 'platform, base'
The same prefixes also appear on verbal nouns in subordinate clauses, specifying the subject (i.e. the syntactic pivot) of the nominalized verb.
- mihe- 'to be absent' → ikmihmę 'your(pl) absence'
- lǫpa- 'to kiss' → ęnǫpamę 'our(pc) kiss; the event of the two of us kissing each other'
The pronominal classifiers of Proto-Western, which could be assigned pragmatically depending on the edibility and/or semantic role of the referent, have become fixed in reference in Tmaśareʔ, thus creating a system of lexical noun classes. These classes are not marked on the nouns themselves in any way; however, pronouns, determiners, and 3rd person absolutive participant marking on verbs exhibit noun class concord.
Of the nine classifiers reconstructed for Proto-Western, two pairs have merged: those for edible and inedible solid objects (*-ca- and *-ta-), and those for edible and inedible mushy objects (*-če- and *-kʰiw-). The latter group (Tmaśareʔ noun class V) is increasingly becoming confused with classes IV and VI (granular masses and liquids, respectively); these three classes are rarest and tend to include mostly mass nouns with no distinct plural forms and often fairly similar semantics. Among those speakers that conflate them, usually classifier IV is the one that prevails morphologically.
The resulting classifier system is shown in the table below. Note that all classifiers have several allomorphs depending on the phonological environment. For convenience, the most frequent surface forms of all classifiers will be listed separately in the relevant chapters of this grammar sketch (3rd and 4th person pronouns, correlative pronouns, and verbal agreement).
|I||-wa-/-o-||-ho-||-h-||-ma-||-ho||humans, gods, spirits etc.|
|II||-ta-||-s-||-t-||-ta||animals, solid spherical or irregularly shaped objects|
|III||-ǫ-||-ńǫ-||nas||-ńǫ-||tools, weapons, solid long objects|
|V||-će-||-ć-||-će||soft objects; mushy matter|
|VI||pal-e-||-ye-||del-i-pal||-ńe-||-ye||liquids, fire, wind etc.|
|VII||-śi-||-ś-||-h-||-se||intangible or abstract nominals, geographical features, trees|
- nas indicates that the classifier is realized as nasalization on the preceding vowel.
- pal indicates that preceding or following prevocalic /t ʦ k s n/ palatalize to /ʦ ʧ ʧ ʃ ɲ/.
- del indicates that the preceding vowel is deleted.
- The postconsonantal class I classifier is -wa- after /t ʦ ʧ k ʔ/, and -o- after other consonants.
- Classifiers V and VII merge phonetically when immediately followed by an affricate; the resulting forms are those given for class VII.
Tmaśareʔ has true personal pronouns only for speech act participants. They inflect for case in exactly the same way as regular nouns. However, they do not form their plural via reduplication, using distinct plural stems instead. In the first person, the plural is suppletive; in the second person, it contains a reflex of the original plural marker *-kʷ, analogically extended to -kwe- with the phonetic reduction of PW case suffixes.
1st person (speaker)
2nd person (listener)
Proximate and obviative pronouns
The anaphoric and cataphoric pronoun stems of Proto-Western, *ya- and *kʷi-, have been reanalysed as proximate and obviative (3rd and 4th person) respectively. Unlike 1st and 2nd person pronouns, these inflect not only for case and number, but also for noun class. Case inflection is regular. Number inflection uses the analogically extended *-kʷ morpheme instead of reduplication, like the 2nd person pronouns. However, sound changes have fused the original phoric stems with the classifiers in many forms, to a point where it is easier to treat Tmaśareʔ proximate and obviative pronouns as having distinct stems for each combination of class, person, and number.
3rd person (proximate)
- yokwe is the regular stem of the class I 3pl pronoun, and also used as a more formal absolutive. In colloquial speech, the absolutive is reduced to yoʔ; the other cases remain regular.
4th person (obviative)
Demonstratives, indefinite quantifiers, and interrogative pronouns were originally built on the same template as the 3rd and 4th person pronouns - a deictic stem, followed by a classifier, followed by case/number inflection. During the development of Tmaśareʔ, the deictic elements were increasingly perceived as proclitic morphemes, which eventually came to be used with all nominals. In some colloquial registers they can even be added to other pronouns for locational or referential emphasis.
|ya=||the aforementioned one(s)|
|yel=||the other one(s)|
|twi=||some, a few|
- śe= shortens to ś= before vowels and single stem-initial plosives, and to ć= before stem-initial nasals.
- ra= shortens to r= before vowels, and to t= before /p k kʷ m n ɲ w/.
- twi= shortens to tw= before oral vowels, to tm= before nasalized vowels, and usually (but not always) to toʔ= before nasals.
- ye= shortens to i= before stem-initial consonant clusters.
- Shortening before consonants does not happen if this would cause the resulting word to become monosyllabic.
- When attached to nouns, all deictic proclitics may co-occur with plural marking; however, the quantifying twi=, ląc=, and ha= are more commonly used with singular nouns.
- śkahpa 'this tree'
- racacnanǫ 'those spears'
- toʔnęke 'a few steps' (note the singular stem; cf. pl nenęke)
- tmęta 'some feathers' (cf. pl ęʔta)
- wipsanǫ 'which knife?'
Combined with the classifiers, the deictic clitics can be arranged into a large but mostly regular table of correlative pro-forms, which is given below. Note that the demonstratives have separate plural forms.
Tmaśareʔ retains the base-8 number system of Proto-Western. Numeric quantifiers come in three forms: (1) Indeclinable numeral particles, which consist of the bare stem and are used for counting and compounding; (2) cardinal numerals, which function like pronouns and inflect for case and noun class (note that the latter is agreement, and thus mandatory even when used attributively); and (3) ordinal numerals, formed with the suffix -ro, which may only be used as modifiers of a nominal head in this bare form and are thus syntactically comparable to a noun in the genitive case, but which may be extended to full pronominals by suffixing an appropriate classifier.
The paradigm for numerals is entirely regular, with classifiers suffixed to the numeral stem. However, note that the class VII classifier appears in the form -se (unlike with other pronouns), and that all numeral stems lose their final vowel in compounds with a vowel-initial noun stem.
Multiples of eight are formed with an ordinal followed by the cardinal. Note also that nouns accompanied by a numeral always appear in their singular form:
- nahtoro ńahońǫ yeći
nahto-ro ńaho-ńǫ yeći
three-ORD eight-CL.III arrow
twenty-four arrows (lit. "third eight")
Other numerals are formed as a coordinated phrase, with the enclitic =ʔma suffixed to the unit number:
- ńaho śitaʔma mera
ńaho śi-ta=ʔma mera
eight two-CL.II=and dog
ten dogs (lit. "eight and two")
Distributive numerals are formed with reduplication, like the plural forms of nouns.
- memęcahke oha
four beans each
The Verbal Complex
Tmaśareʔ has extended the verbal system of Proto-Western significantly through the agglutination (and, to some extent, fusion) of adpositions and particles to the verb, resulting in a polysynthetic verbal complex that is best described in terms of a positional template containing twelve slots. By far the most part of verbal morphology is suffixing.
|(applicative)||stem||(incorporated noun)||(directional)||(causative)||(modal)||(evidential)||(ergative)||absolutive||(aspect)||(negation)||(speech act)|
Only the verb stem (which may itself be polymorphemic - e.g. formed by compounding or by adding a derivational affix) and the absolutive agreement suffix are mandatory with all verbs. Ergative agreement is mandatory with transitive verbs; all other affixes are optional.
There are four applicative prefixes that can be used to promote an oblique argument to the rank of primary absolutive, triggering agreement with this argument. Depending on lexical properties of the verb, the original absolutive participant may be left out, become incorporated, or stay in place as long as the verb remains maximally ditransitive. If the original absolutive is omitted, the applicativized argument itself may undergo incorporation.
The applicative prefixes are as follows:
- benefactive (ben): c- (ca- before stem-initial consonant clusters or /s ʃ h l j/; s- before /ʦ ʧ/; causes following /r/ to mutate to /t/)
- instrumental (instr): mek- (meʔ- before /k kʷ l r j ɲ/; causes following /h/ to mutate to /w/ or /l/ depending on etymology)
- locative (loc): twe- (tm- before nasal vowels; tw- before oral vowels)
- lative (lat): k- (ke- before /l/ and most consonant clusters; causes following /r/ to mutate to /t/; causes following /h/ to mutate to /w/ or /l/ depending on etymology)
- kwekwo- 'cook' → ckwekwo- 'cook for so.'
- woʔla- 'plan, come up with' → cwoʔla- 'suggest sth. to so.'
- yahke- 'keep' → cayahke- 'take care of sth. on behalf of so.'
- romę- 'lend, borrow' → ctomę- 'lend for the purpose of'
- olca- 'hit' → mekolca- 'hit with sth.'
- homę- 'help' → meʔlomę- 'help by doing/using sth.'
- ćeka- 'sit' → twećeka- 'sit (at a place)'
- somo- 'agree' → twesomo- 'approve of sth.'
- yele- 'run' → kyele- 'run towards sth.'
- cana- 'glow' → kcana- 'illuminate sth.'
Two directional suffixes have become grammaticalized as inflectional markers specifying the direction of movement with regard to the "focus point", which is determined by context - usually one of speaker, addressee, or sentence topic.
- motion towards focus (all): -hca-
- motion away from focus (abl): -ʔco-
- ye- 'go' → yehca- 'come, arrive'; yeʔco- 'leave'
- okmę- 'carry' → okmęhca- 'bring'; okmęʔco- 'carry away'
A morphological causative can be formed with a suffix that shows up as -na- when preceded by a nasalized vowel, as -s- when followed by a plosive or sibilant, as -r- when followed by a nasal consonant, and as -ra- otherwise. Causativization adds an agent to the verb, demoting any pre-existing agent from ergative to absolutive (monotransitives only) or oblique.
- causative (caus): -na-/-s-/-r-/-ra-
The next slot in the verbal template indicates modality. There are three morphemes that can appear here:
- optative (opt): -ći-
- obligative (obl): -tę-/-tańa-
- abilitative (abil): -yąʔ-/-yąpa-
These suffixes are a fairly recent innovation, originating in compound verbs with ćiye- 'want', tańa- 'must, should', and yąpa- 'be capable of' as their second element. (The directionals and the causative were still partly derivational at that time, which explains the position of the modal affixes right in the middle of the verbal complex.)
The mono- and disyllabic variants of the obligative and abilitative suffixes are selected mainly on a prosodic basis: The modal suffix always receives secondary stress, and thus prefers to be in an even-numbered syllable counting from the end of the verb. However, only the disyllabic forms are seen before the direct participation evidential, and only the monosyllabic forms are seen before the assumed and hearsay evidentials. The abilitative is also always monosyllabic before the non-visual sensory evidential.
It should be noted that modal suffixes may not occur in verbs with an incorporated noun.
Tmaśareʔ has a set of six verbal suffixes indicating the nature of the evidence supporting a statement. These morphemes are not obligatory; however, the lack of an evidential in a main clause not marked as interrogative or irrealis is usually taken as a sign of pure speculation and thus likely to raise suspicions about the statement's truth.
- direct participation or general knowledge (dir): -ʔo- (-ʔ- before prevocalic plosives, nasals and glides, and sometimes also before consonant clusters depending on the prosodic structure of the word)
- visual sensory (vis): -ya-
- non-visual sensory (sens): -pǫ- (causing nasalization of following approximants)
- inferred from physical or situational evidence (evid): -loʔ- (loʔk- when followed by a nasal or sibilant)
- assumed (ass): -kwe- (-p- when preceded by a vowel and followed by a prevocalic plosive)
- hearsay (rep): -mą- (causing nasalization of following approximants)
Tmaśareʔ verbs exhibit polypersonal agreement with their primary absolutive arguments as well as with the ergative arguments of transitive verbs. Ditransitive verbs normally agree with the theme, not the recipient. However, verbs with an applicative prefix inflect for the applicativized absolutive element.
Participant marking can be broken down in two distinct sets of affixes, with the ergative marker (if present) preceding the absolutive marker.
The underlying ergative agreement suffixes are -ɴ- (i.e. nasalization of the preceding vowel) for 1st singular, -nę- for 1st plural, -ćeh- for 2nd singular, -ćęh- for 2nd plural, and -k- (no number distinction) for 3rd/4th person agents.
The underlying absolutive markers are -na- for 1st person, -tah- for 2nd person (both with a nasalized vowel for plural referents), and the regular set of classifiers for 3rd/4th person participants.
Because of sound changes, specific combinations of these agreement markers have become quite fusional; the full set of pronominal suffixes is therefore given in the table below:
|ergative →||none (intr.)||1sg||1pl||2sg||2pl||3p/4p|
- In lexically intransitive verbs with an applicative prefix, two "absolutive intransitive" markers may be combined if both arguments of the verb are 3rd person, but belong to different noun classes.
- Where several variants for the intransitive form are given, the first is used after oral vowels, the second is used after nasal vowels, and the third is used after consonants (e.g. when preceded by the inferred evidential -loʔ-).
- When following a consonant other than /t ts tʃ k ʔ/, the 3/4p.I intransitive marker simplifies to -o-.
- When following a consonant, all "nas" in the 1sg.erg column are replaced by the overt vowel -ę-.
- The 1sg.erg>3/4p.I.abs suffix is del-ǫma- only if another morpheme follows. In word-final position it is -neho instead.
- Likewise, the 3/4p.erg>1sg.abs suffix is -kna if another morpheme follows, and -ką when word-final.
- del indicates that the preceding vowel is deleted before adding this suffix.
- nas indicates that the preceding vowel is nasalized.
- The bracketed (h) in the 2nd person absolutive series vanishes when word-final or preceding a glottal consonant.
- Most of the 3/4p absolutive morphemes (excepting those for classes III and VI and those of the 3rd/4th person ergative series) drop their final vowel when followed by another morpheme that does not start with a consonant cluster.
Aspect, negation and speech act markers
Two aspectual morphemes have been grammaticalized in Tmaśareʔ. The completive aspect indicates that the action described by the verb has been or will be successfully completed, and the progressive aspect indicates that the action was/is/will be ongoing at the time of reference. Both of these aspects are relatively rare in main clauses, but common in subordinated clauses. Verb forms unmarked for aspect do not specify the status of completion and usually have a generic habitual or aorist meaning.
- completive (cpl): -mo- or del-ǫ-
- progressive (prog): -kiʔ(k)-
Verbs can be negated with a negative suffix, which indicates that the action did not occur, or that it is not expected to happen.
- negative (neg): -ye or -(i)hma
In addition, non-declarative speech acts may be marked with suffixes that appear at the very end of the verb. Their use is fairly straightforward: The interrogative is used in questions, and the irrealis is used in conditional clauses, when referring to hypothetical or future events, and in imperative statements. Both the interrogative and the irrealis do not usually co-occur with evidentiality marking; however, the latter is not ungrammatical, and some specific combinations are not all that rare (for instance, the irrealis combined with the assumed evidential signals a conditional clause).
- interrogative (q): -wi
- irrealis (irr): -ʔi
In theory, the suffixes for aspect, negation and speech act occupy different slots in the verbal template. However, the degree of fusion is such that their surface forms depend rather strongly on contiguous affixes, and the negative morpheme even has a suppletive variant in some circumstances. For convenience, the following tables list all possible combinations:
|speech act ↓|
|speech act ↓|
- del indicates that the preceding vowel is deleted before adding this suffix.
- The generic aspect negative marker is usually -hma, but the vowels /a e/ in preceding 3/4p absolutive markers for classes I, II, IV, V, and VII are changed to /i/. In the interrogative and irrealis, the forms with -hma- are used in verbs with a 1st or 2nd person absolutive participant, and the forms with -ye- in verbs with a 3rd person absolutive participant.
- The generic aspect interrogative marker is -wi after consonants and oral vowels, and -mi after nasal vowels.
- Both -(i)hma and -ʔi drop their initial glottal consonant if the preceding syllable contains coda /h/.
There are several distinct types of verb nominalization in Tmaśareʔ; most of these work on the lexical level and will be covered in the derivation section below. However, one such formation, simply called the verbal noun (vn), features prominently in subordinate clauses and therefore warrants a discussion here.
Verbal nouns are formed with the suffix -mę, appended to a verb that may be fully inflected, but will usually not even take evidentiality markers or, for intransitive verbs, participant suffixes. Instead, subjects of intransitive verbs and agents of transitive verbs are specified by prefixes that are identical in form to the possessive prefixes for inalienably possessed nouns. Patients or themes of transitive verbs as well as applied objects of applicative verbs take normal absolutive agreement.
In subclauses, all arguments of verbal nouns may be overtly present as noun phrases, with the subject marked for the genitive instead of the ergative or absolutive case.
- ćehpo ćośśatmę
your killing of the deer
- macoʔ ecwayahcnąmę
the bear's attack on us
Tmaśareʔ does not have a separate class of adjectives, and only a small number of lexical adverbs. It makes up for this with a large number of derivational morphemes that can be used to create new words.
Adjectival prefixes can be added to almost any nominal, including pronouns. They cover a wide range of attributive meanings, which may be stacked upon each other if the combination makes sense semantically. The list is too large to be given here; adjectival prefixes are therefore found in the lexicon.
With nouns, adjectival prefixes are added before the (possibly plural-marked) stem, but after any possessive or demonstrative prefixes. With pronouns they appear at the beginning of the word, even with correlative pronouns that include a deictic morpheme in their stem.
a sharp knife
these dirty dry rocks
- Cmaʔoʔoha rohkeya wekco twehalloʔkahke.
cma=o~oha-Ø roh=keya-Ø wek-co twe-hala-loʔ-kahke
red=PL~bean-ABS good=soil-ABS quick-ADV LOC-grow-EVID-3>3.IV
Red beans grow quickly in good soil.
The meaning of adjectival prefixes can be reversed by adding i- (iʔ- before vowels), and intensified by adding cpo-.
a house at the edge of the village
my affectionate mother
A second set of derivational morphemes consists of suffixes that change the meaning of a root, instead of adding an attributive property. These suffixes are stem extensions; that is, they are added after the root (often with deletion of a vowel), forming a new stem that inflects according to the vowel in the suffix. Interestingly, some of these morphemes contain an "echo vowel", i.e. a copy of the original thematic vowel. When combined with vowel deletion, such suffixes look like an infix.
The following symbols are used in the tables below:
- del indicates that a preceding vowel is deleted unless the resulting cluster would be illegal.
- V represents an echo copy of the underlying stem vowel. If bracketed, it appears only word-finally.
- Ṽ stands for a copy of an underlying nasalized stem vowel.
- A bracketed final (h) does not appear before ʔ h or word-finally, and it coalesces with following prevocalic s ś into a geminate version of the latter.
|(del)-cV-/del-ęńṼ-||V → N, agent nominalizer|
|-nǫ-||V → N, instrument nominalizer|
|-mę-||V → N, action nominalizer|
|-ha-/-Ṽna-||V → N, result nominalizer|
|(del)-pV-||V → N, patient/theme nominalizer||< an obscure PW suffix *-pV-|
|-ńę-||V/N → N, goal/recipient nominalizer|
|(del)-ma-||V/N → N, location nominalizer||< *ma 'place'|
|-la-||V/N → N, related male person||< *la 'man'|
|(del)-kę-||V/N → N, related female person|
|(del)-kV(h)-||V/N → N, related thing|
|-sso-||N → N, object made of X|
|(del)-cǫ-||N → N, collective (only with animals & plants)|
|(del)-to-||N/Pre/Adv → N, abstraction, collective|
|-ʔyV-||N/PP → V, stative verbalizer|
|-hpa-||N/PP → V, dynamic verbalizer|
|(del)-ta(h)-||N/Pre → V, dynamic verbalizer (intensive, factitive)||< *tʰa 'to do, to make'|
|-hta-||V/PP → V, resultative verbalizer||< *-ła tʰa (resultative + 'to make')|
|-ʔna-||N/V → V, permissive/factitive verbalizer||< *ʔẽdza 'to give'|
|-ćka-||N/Pre → V, durative verbalizer, gives intransitive verbs||< *čeka 'to sit'|
|(del)-twi(h)-||V/N/Pre → V, inchoative/evolutive verbalizer||< *tʰuya 'to become'|
Other derivational morphology
|(del)-co-||N/V → Adv, general adverbializer|
|-hą-||N/Pre → Adv, manner adverbializer||< *łãγa 'spirit'|
|(del)-męt(V)-||V/N/PP → N, directional adverbializer||< *γʷĩta 'wind'|
Compounding is a highly productive device to create new lexical items. Almost all content morphemes can be freely combined head-finally, provided the head is a noun or a verb. Adpositions can also be the head of a compound; however, this is not quite as productive and happens only when the modifier is an adposition or particle. Compounds of more than two parts can always be decomposed into smaller binary head-final compounds. In theory, arbitrarily long words are possible with this strategy, but Tmaśareʔ speakers tend not to create lexical stems consisting of more than four or five distinct lexical morphemes.
Tmaśareʔ syntax is mostly left-branching, with postpositions, modifiers preceding their heads, and basic SOV word order.
The noun phrase
Simple noun phrases
A noun phrase consists of a nominal head, optionally preceded by one or more modifiers (numerals, other noun phrases, postpositional phrases, or relative clauses). The heads of modifying NPs are cast in the genitive case.
- soʔ kakca
- aśǫʔ etęʔpi
the woman's daughter
- kahpoʔ laʔ orata kąʔmera
kahpa-oʔ laʔ ora-ta-Ø kąʔ=mera-Ø
tree-GEN under five-CL.II-ABS black=dog-ABS
the five black dogs under the tree
A postpositional phrase is made up of a postposition, preceded by a noun phrase in the genitive case.
- cǫńąkoʔ mnąʔco
down along the long river
- tkwoʔ tnęcpątanǫʔ śe
tkwe-oʔ t=nęc=pątanǫ-oʔ śe
2PL-GEN that=straight=road-GEN via
by means of that straight road of yours
Noun phrases can be coordinated with a number of conjunctions, which behave like enclitics attaching to the head of the last phrase to be coordinated. The most relevant phrase-joining conjunctions are =ʔma "and", =so "or", =śo "neither/nor", and =ća "either/or".
- yoma mahńę śeśehoʔma
yoma-Ø mahńę-Ø śe~śeho-Ø=ʔma
sun-ABS moon-ABS PL~star-ABS=and
sun, moon, and stars
- nǫńoći kńąhkwitaso
the fat fish or the thin one
Intransitive clauses minimally consist of an inflected verb with an absolutive agreement marker. The subject NP, which may be omitted if reference is clear from context, takes the absolutive case and normally precedes the verb.
I run away.
- Hora oleyahmo.
The chief has died.
Transitive clauses may take two or three core arguments (with mono- and ditransitive verbs respectively). All overt arguments must be placed on the same side of the verb, usually before it, with agents (marked with the ergative case) coming first.
In monotransitive clauses, the verb is inflected to agree with both its arguments.
- Keyassǫ kęhtaʔǫtkiʔ.
I am building a wall.
- Maciʔ ńęʔka coheloʔkće.
maci-eʔ ńęʔka-Ø cohe-loʔ-kće
bear-ERG honey-ABS find-EVID-3>3.V
The bear finds honey.
- Toʔ cǫccoʔ tohnęʔ naʔaśę olcamąkwa.
ta-oʔ cǫcca-oʔ tohną-eʔ na-aśę-Ø olca-mą-kwa
2SG-GEN family-GEN headman-ERG 1SG.POSS-wife-ABS hit-REP-3>3.I
The headman of your family hit my wife!
Ditransitive clauses have three arguments, two of them in the absolutive case. Only the agent and the primary object (typically in the semantic role of theme) will be marked on the verb; the secondary object (typically the recipient) does not trigger agreement. If both objects are represented in the clause by overt noun phrases, the secondary object NP precedes the primary object NP.
- Sohceʔ eʔaśę ećąke enayakta.
sohca-eʔ e-aśę-Ø e-ćąke-Ø ena-ya-kta
hunter-ERG 3SG.POSS-wife-ABS 3SG.POSS-skin-ABS give-VIS-3>3.II
The hunter gives his wife its skin.
Ditransitive clauses need not contain a lexically ditransitive verb though. They can also be formed by adding an applicative or causative marker to a monotransitive verb stem. The former operation promotes an oblique object to the primary object slot, the latter adds an agent in the ergative slot. In both cases, the displaced argument will be demoted to secondary object, ceasing to trigger agreement on the verb.
- Kwelkęʔ cocwa nǫćeyąsa meksoppeyeloʔktakiʔ.
kwelkę-eʔ co~cowa-Ø nǫće-yąsa-Ø mek-soppeye-loʔ-kta-kiʔ
girl-ERG PL~fruit-ABS evening-meal-ABS BEN-gather-EVID-3>3.II-PROG
The girl is collecting fruit for dinner.
- Teʔ na toca ćeltaraʔćessemo.
ta-eʔ na-Ø toca-Ø ćelta-ra-ʔo-ćesse-mo
2SG-ERG 1SG-ABS house-ABS see-CAUS-DIR-2SG>3.VII-CPL
You showed me the house (lit. You made me see the house).
A special type of monotransitive clause is formed when an intransitive verb is applicativized: the resulting clause will contain two absolutive-marked arguments but no ergative-marked one. In such clauses, the verb takes "ergative" agreement referring to the non-applied absolutive (i.e. the subject). If both arguments are 3rd person, but belong to different noun classes, absolutive markers are used for both - with the marker for the subject first and for the applied object second.
- Na kpahcǫ twepahoʔǫce.
na-Ø kpahcǫ-Ø twe-paho-ʔo-ɴce
1SG-ABS forest-ABS LOC-walk-DIR-1SG>3.VII
I walk in the forest.
- Heńaho malekehkwi kyehcakwessemo.
heńaho-Ø male-kehkwi-Ø k-ye-hca-kwe-ho-se-mo
priest-ABS sea-sand-ABS LAT-go-towards-ASS-3.I-3.VII-CPL
The priest has gone to the seashore, I believe.
Tmaśareʔ is a pro-drop language; verbal arguments may be left out in transitive sentences just like in intransitive ones. Both agent and patient/theme may be omitted; however, applied objects may only be dropped if there is no other overt absolutive argument, and recipients may not be dropped at all. Monotransitive and applicative clauses therefore minimally consist of an inflected verb, whereas true ditransitives will always have at least one overt argument NP.
I will follow you.
He is standing there.
- Napcaha ćihtaʔǫce.
I'm teaching it to my son.
Nominal or adjectivial predicates do not exist as a distinct clause type in Tmaśareʔ. Predication is achieved via ordinary clauses, using a wide variety of verbalizing suffixes that attach to the predicated nominal, adpositional, or adjectivial stem. The most common verbalizers used in predication are -ʔyV- (stative/gnomic), -ćka- (durative/situational), and -twi(h)- (evolutive).
- Na ćtohnąʔńaʔǫ.
I am your father.
- Saye tahnatwihpǫse.
It's getting cold tonight.
Adpositional predicates normally occur in the form of applicative constructions:
- Ćaćahkwoho soʔ toca tweyoćkapǫtase.
ća~ćahkwoho-Ø sa-oʔ toca-Ø twe-yo-ćka-pǫ-ta-se
PL~hyaena-ABS 1PL-GEN house-ABS LOC-outside-DUR-SENS-3.II-3.VII
Hyaenae are outside our house.
- Yąsa mekihmahtaʔǫta.
I don't have any food (lit. I have ended up without food).
A clause may optionally take one or more adjuncts, most commonly adverbs or postpositional phrases.
Postpositional adjuncts normally follow the verb, though they may be fronted to sentence-initial position when topicalized.
- Kwela kahkwapǫmakiʔ lǫńomoʔ laʔ.
kwela-Ø kahkwa-pǫ-ma-kiʔ lǫ-yoma-oʔ laʔ
child-ABS laugh-SENS-3.I-PROG warm=sun-GEN under
The child is laughing in the sunlight.
Adverbial adjuncts may appear almost anywhere in a sentence (but not between the two absolutive complements of a ditransitive clause); they are most commonly found right after the head of the first NP in the clause (Wackernagel's position). If the adjunct is a clause, it may occur initially or finally, but not in between other elements.
- Hitkweleʔ wekco kahpa tahmorayakse.
hit=kwela-eʔ wek-co kahpa-Ø tahmo-ra-ya-kse
small=child-ERG quick-ADV tree-ABS fall-CAUS-VIS-3>3.VII
The little child quickly felled the tree.
- Kahkwaco, yokwoʔ toca kayahpamąsemo.
kahkwa-co, yokwe-oʔ toca-Ø kayahpa-mą-se-mo
laugh-ADV PROX.I.PL-GEN house-ABS burn-REP-3.VII-CPL
Amusingly, their house burnt down.
- Pcaheʔ toʔ mǫńo laʔpaloʔktaʔi oca.
pcaha-eʔ ta-oʔ me~meńo-Ø laʔpa-loʔ-kta-ʔi oca
boy-ERG 2SG-GEN PL~sheep-ABS steal-EVID-3>3.II-IRR day_after_tomorrow
The day after tomorrow the boy will try to steal your sheep.
Discourse particles function a lot like sentential adverbs in that they commonly occur after the first phrase in a clause (or clause-initially if there are no overt participants or fronted adjuncts). Unlike true adverbs, however, they may not be moved to other positions.
- Sa kehće yemahcaʔną.
sa-Ø kehće yema-hca-ʔo-ną
1PL-ABS instead row-forward-DIR-1PL
Instead, we rowed onwards.
- Śeheʔ kwe hanelćoma wecokwektaʔi.
śeho-eʔ kwe ha=nelćoma-Ø weco-kwe-kta-ʔi
this.I.SG-ERG but all=mushroom-ABS eat-ASS-3>3.II-IRR
But I'm sure that he will eat all the mushrooms!
Questions are formed by inflecting the verb for the interrogative mood. If a specific sentence constituent is being asked about, an interrogative pronoun or a query proclitic will be used in addition to verbal inflection. No wh-movement takes place.
- Wila ćiyećehwi?
Which man do you like?
- Twi kwoho sohoćehtǫmi?
twi kwoho-Ø soho-ćehta-ǫmi
yesterday wolf-ABS catch-2SG>3.II-CPL:Q
Did you catch the wolf yesterday?
- Śeheʔ, kwoho twi sohoktǫmi?
śeho-eʔ, kwoho-Ø twi soho-kta-ǫmi
this.I-ERG, wolf-ABS yesterday catch-3>3.II-CPL:Q
Was it him who caught the wolf yesterday?
- Wita roʔ teʔ twi sohoćehtǫmi?
wita-Ø roʔ ta-eʔ twi soho-ćehta-ǫmi
what.II-ABS therefore 2SG-ERG yesterday catch-2SG>3.II-CPL:Q
What did you catch yesterday then?
Serial verb constructions
Tmaśareʔ permits two kinds of verb serialization that appear to work within a single syntactic clause. The first of these looks like verb-verb compounding on the morphological level, but its semantics are different in that it portrays several distinct actions as happening simultaneously, and being performed by the same participants. This type of construction works only for verbs that would share the exact same morphology (including derivational suffixes) when free-standing. This morphology is used only once, with all the verb roots combined into a single composite stem.
- Kana ćawińęsaśętayaho.
The group of people laughed and danced and sang (all at the same time).
The second type of verb serialization, which is formed by simply concatenating several fully inflected verbs with the clitic conjunction =ʔma added to the last verb in the chain, does not require identical morphology, and is thus much more flexible. However, it still requires identical morphologically relevant participants. When contrasted against the compositional method of serial verb formation, it portrays the actions as closely linked but non-simultaneous, following each other in short succession.
- Kana ćawiyaho ńęsayaho śętayahoʔma.
kana-Ø ćawi-ya-ho ńęsa-ya-ho śęta-ya-ho=ʔma
group_of_people-ABS smile-VIS-3.I dance-VIS-3.I sing-VIS-3.I=and
The group of people laughed, then they danced, and then they sang.
Coordinate clauses are formed with a conjunction, which is inserted right after the head of the first phrase in the second clause. If that clause does not contain an overt NP, or if the first NP is modified by a relative clause, the conjunction is added between the two coordinated clauses instead.
- Weye kpahohcmąkse tma ca twekęhtatocamąksemo.
weye-Ø k-paho-hca-mą-kse t=ma-Ø ca twe-kęhta-<toca>-mą-kse-mo
hill-ABS LAT-walk-towards-REP-3>3.VII that=place-ABS and LOC-build-<house>-REP-3>3.VII-CPL
They say he went up the hill and built a house there.
- Teʔ maci cohećehtwi, ćehahoʔ aro so wetaʔcotkiʔkwi?
ta-eʔ maci-Ø cohe-ćehta-wi, će-ha~ha-oʔ aro so weta-ʔco-ta-kiʔk-wi
2SG-ERG bear-ABS discover-2SG>3.II-Q, 2SG.POSS-PL~eye-GEN from or turn-away-3.II-PROG-Q
Did you see the bear, or was it hiding from your eyes?
If the two conjoined clauses have the same topic appearing in different roles, pronouns will be used to clarify. In the following example, the horse is both topic and patient in both clauses, but the verb of the first clause is applicativized, which demotes the horse from primary to secondary absolutive. Accordingly, the pronoun yata is used in primary absolutive position to indicate that the second clause focuses on the horse.
- Teʔ hąse ćopńę kyehcasćesseʔi, yata śeʔ siśęnaćehtihma.
ta-eʔ hąse-Ø ćopńę-Ø k-ye-hca-s-ćesse-ʔi, yata-Ø śeʔ siśę-na-ćehta-ihma
2SG-ERG horse-ABS water_place-ABS LAT-move-towards-CAUS-2SG>3.VII-IRR, PROX.II.SG-ABS however drink-CAUS-2SG>3.II-NEG
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
In the next sentence, note the seemingly reversed use of proximative and obviative pronouns. By referring to the chief with the proximative even though he is not the subject of the transitive first clause, it becomes possible to track him as the subject of the intransitive second clause without having to use an overt resumptive pronoun.
- Kwakwiʔ yaho ińeʔnahorapǫkwa tǫ sǫskwacolaćkaloʔwa ceʔkoʔ sąʔ.
kwakwe-eʔ yaho-Ø ińe-ʔna=hora-pǫ-kwa tǫ sǫs=kwaco-la-ćka-loʔ-wa ceʔka-oʔ sąʔ
OBV.I.PL-ERG PROX.I.SG-ABS name-FACT=chief-SENS-3>3.I because primary=strength-man-DUR-EVID-3.I tribe-GEN in
They chose him as chief because they considered him the bravest man in the tribe (lit. because he was obviously the man with the greatest amount of kwaco).
Relative clauses precede their antecedents. They are formed with an introductory pronoun agreeing in noun class and number with the relativized nominal - usually a demonstrative, but indefinite quantifying pronouns and ordinary 3rd/4th person pronouns are also seen. The relativized noun itself may be preceded by a deictic proclitic for emphasis or disambiguation; if the relative clause is introduced with a 3rd/4th person pronoun and the relativized noun is not possessed, this deictic is mandatory.
There is no syntactic or inflectional difference between stand-alone relative clauses and full main clauses, except that the introductory pronoun in relative clauses may not be omitted.
- Śehke soppeyeʔnękmo yolći kwisayakahke.
śehke-Ø soppeye-ʔo-nęki-mo yolći-Ø kwisa-ya-kahke
this.IV.SG-ABS gather-DIR-1PL>3.IV-CPL millet-ABS grind-VIS-3>3.IV
She is grinding the millet that we gathered.
- Yaho na cwihoraʔką śeleʔ namina yaśiloʔkwihma.
yaho-Ø na-Ø ca-wihora-ʔo-ką śe=la-eʔ na-mina-Ø yaśi-loʔ-kwa-ihma
PROX.I.SG-ABS 1SG-ABS BEN-give_birth-DIR-3>1SG this=man-ERG 1SG.POSS-mother-ABS marry-EVID-3>3.I-NEG
The man who fathered me did not marry my mother.
In relative clauses introduced with a quantifier, the meaning is partitive if a demonstrative proclitic is added to the relativized noun. If no demonstrative is present, the quantity is absolute.
- Kweʔ cwayayakta śeleʔ na twihke enaʔkahke roʔoha hą kwekmǫkiʔi.
kwa-eʔ cwaya-ya-kta śe=la-eʔ na-Ø twihke-Ø ena-ʔo-kahke ra-o~oha-Ø hą kwekwo-ɴki-ʔi
OBV.I.SG-ERG fight-VIS-3>2SG this=man-ERG 1SG-ABS some.IV-ABS give-DIR-3>3.IV that=PL~bean-ABS then cook-1SG>3.IV-IRR
I might as well cook some of those beans that the man who I saw fight you gave to me.
Oblique arguments cannot be relativized directly, and relativized nouns cannot take an oblique syntactic role within the relative clause either. Both situations are resolved by using applicative verbs, which promote the applied object to the core absolutive slot.
- Seʔ hahąse śeśi twećeltaʔnęcmo olco keńopahcaʔnęce.
sa-eʔ ha~hąse-Ø śeśi-Ø twe-ćelta-ʔo-nęce-mo olco-Ø k-eńopaho-hca-ʔo-nęce
1PL-ERG PL~horse-ABS this.VII.SG-ABS LOC-see-DIR-1PL>3.VII-CPL location-ABS LAT-return-towards-DIR-1PL>3.VII
We went back to the place where we saw the horses.
Complement clauses are typically formed as a verbal noun, with agents and intransitive subjects being agreed with by means of nominal possessive prefixes instead of the usual verbal participant suffixes. (Transitive patients are still marked on the verb in the normal fashion though.) Any overt subject or agent in a complement clause appears in the genitive case.
The complementized verb itself is treated as a class VII noun for any agreement purposes in the matrix clause.
- Ćośśahomęʔ ahparaʔką.
That you killed him angers me.
- Emineʔ etęʔpi ececemę ćihtayakse.
e-mina-eʔ e-tęʔpi-Ø e-cece-mę-Ø ćihta-ya-kse
3SG.POSS-mother-ERG 3SG.POSS-daughter-ABS 3SG.POSS-prepare_leather-VN-ABS teach-VIS-3>3.VII
The mother teaches her daughter to prepare leather.
A second type of complement clause is formed like an ordinary main clause that follows the matrix verb, and is itself terminated with the prox.VII.sg pronoun yaśe. This construction is preferred in situations where the subclause contains several overt participants and/or adjuncts, but it can only be used in the primary absolutive role of non-applicativized verbs.
- Yekonęceʔi sorohca eńopahcayahmo weweloʔ aro ląsćehącǫʔ oma yaśe.
yeko-nęce-ʔi so~sohca-Ø eńopaho-hca-ya-ho-mo we~weli-oʔ aro ląc=ćehącǫ-oʔ oma yaśe-Ø
honor-1PL>3.VII-IRR PL~hunter-ABS return-towards-VIS-3.I-CPL PL~mountain-GEN from much=game-GEN with PROX.VII.SG-ABS
Let us celebrate that the hunters have returned from the mountains with a good catch.
Adverbial clauses are formed with a nominalized verb as the object of a postposition. As with nominalized complement clauses, overt subjects of the subclause are cast in the genitive.
- Ikpahohcamomǫʔ oma pahoʔconąʔi.
ik-paho-hca-mo-mę-oʔ oma paho-ʔco-ną-ʔi
2PL.POSS-walk-towards-CPL-VN-GEN with walk-away-1PL-IRR
We will leave when you arrive.
- Maci pątaʔcoʔnętamo yatoʔ ńęʔka ewecoyaćkiʔmǫʔ sąʔ.
maci-Ø pąta-ʔco-ʔo-nęta-mo yata-oʔ ńęʔka-Ø e-weco-ya-će-kiʔ-mę-oʔ sąʔ
bear-ABS reach-away-DIR-1PL>3.II-CPL PROX.II.SG-GEN honey-ABS 3SG.POSS-eat-VIS-3.V-PROG-VN-GEN at
We sneaked away from the bear while it was eating honey.
- Kńaćkamęno ćtwećekamǫʔ sąʔ, yeyeći laʔpaloʔkńǫ.
kńaćka-mę-ro-Ø ć-twe-ćeka-mę-oʔ sąʔ, ye~yeći-Ø laʔpa-loʔ-kńǫ
sit.together-VN-HON-ABS 2SG.POSS-LOC-sit-VN-GEN at, PL~arrow-ABS steal-EVID-3>3.III
He must have stolen the arrows when you were attending the village meeting.
Causativization increases the valence of a verb by adding an agent. When added to lexically intransitive verbs where the subject is an experiencer, the causative suffix simply adds an ergative argument, which is typically interpreted as bringing about the state that the subject is experiencing. This type of causativization can be combined with an applicative prefix, with no major effect on the semantics.
- Kwela ńępeyaho.
The child sleeps.
- Emineʔ ekwela ńęperayakwa.
e-mina-eʔ e-kwela-Ø ńępe-ra-ya-kwa
3SG.POSS-mother-ERG 3SG.POSS-child-ABS sleep-CAUS-VIS-3>3.I
The mother puts her child to sleep.
- Emineʔ ekwela home meʔńęperayakse.
e-mina-eʔ e-kwela-Ø home-Ø mek-ńępe-ra-ya-kse
3SG.POSS-mother-ERG 3SG.POSS-child-ABS song-ABS INSTR-sleep-CAUS-VIS-3>3.VII
The mother puts her child to sleep with a lullaby.
In order to portray the causation of the described event as indirect and/or accidental, the added agent may be rendered as the object of the postposition elka 'due to' instead of appearing as a core argument in the ergative case (note the intransitive agreement suffix in the following example).
- Tahmoraʔwa noʔ elka.
tahmo-ra-ʔo-wa na-oʔ elka
fall-CAUS-DIR-3.I 1SG-GEN due_to
I accidentally made him fall (lit. He was made to fall because of me).
Causativized intransitive verbs may also appear without any reference to the added agent at all. In such constructions, the verb generally takes on a permissive meaning:
- La kipceʔ twoleraloʔwase.
la-Ø kipceʔ-Ø twe-ole-ra-loʔ-wa-se
man-ABS desert-ABS LOC-die-CAUS-EVID-3.I-3.VII
The man was left to die in the desert.
When a lexically transitive verb undergoes causativization, the original ergative argument is demoted to a secondary object, which will appear in the absolutive case but does not trigger verbal agreement. Semantically, the demoted agent usually retains its agentive role, and the new agent is understood to have played a key role in starting the action performed by the demoted agent. Again, indirect causation may be indicated by casting the causer as an oblique argument.
- Soleʔ aśę yaho tǫhnoskwekwa.
solo-eʔ aśę-Ø yaho-Ø tǫhno-s-kwe-kwa
warrior-ERG woman-ABS PROX.I.SG-ABS have_sex_with-CAUS-ASS-3>3.I
The warrior forced the woman to fuck him, I guess.
- Toʔ tatahkoʔ elka, na toʔ śelehe ćosąnapǫkse.
ta-oʔ ta~tahka-oʔ elka, na-Ø ta-oʔ śe~śehe-Ø ćosą-na-pǫ-kse
2SG-GEN PL~effort-GEN due_to, 1SG-ABS 2SG-GEN PL~goal-ABS be_curious_about-CAUS-SENS-3>3.VII
Your actions have made me curious about your goals (lit. Because of your actions, I have been made curious about your goals).
Ditransitive verbs can also be causativized. Since this creates a tetravalent verb, one of the four arguments must be expressed obliquely, either the original agent or the original secondary object. In the former case, the postpositions śe 'via' or nene 'across' can be used (with the second of these implying non-volitional involvement of the causee); in the latter case, the demoted secondary object may appear with almost any postposition, most typically kǫpe 'towards'.
- Pcahoʔ nene etohnęʔ kaca psanǫ enaspǫkta.
pcaha-oʔ nene e-tohną-eʔ kaca-Ø psanǫ-Ø ena-s-pǫ-kta
boy-GEN across 3SG.POSS-father-ERG friend-ABS knife-ABS give-CAUS-SENS-3>3.II
His father made the boy give the knife to his friend (in spite of his objections).
- Neʔ kwa kokwoho piʔehparaʔǫtmo mǫńoʔ kǫpe.
na-eʔ kwa-Ø kwo~kwoho-Ø piʔehpa-ra-ʔo-ɴta-mo me~meńo-oʔ kǫpe
1SG-ERG OBV.I.SG-ABS PL~wolf-ABS protect_from-CAUS-DIR-1SG>3.II-CPL PL~sheep-GEN towards
I made him protect the sheep from wolves.
In case a ditransitive verb is subject to both causativization and applicativization, it is common to incorporate the primary object into the verb in order to prevent the clause from having too many overt arguments:
- Neʔ kwa ćępesso mekpiʔehpakwohraʔǫtmo mǫńoʔ kǫpe.
na-eʔ kwa-Ø ćępesso-Ø mek-piʔehpa-<kwoho>-ra-ʔo-ɴta-mo me~meńo-oʔ kǫpe
1SG-ERG OBV.I.SG-ABS wooden_wall-ABS INSTR-protect_from-<wolf>-CAUS-DIR-1SG>3.II-CPL PL~sheep-GEN towards
I made him protect the sheep from wolves by a fence (lit. I made him wolf-protect the sheep by a fence).
To deemphasize the agent of a transitive verb and consequently emphasize the patient, the agent can be omitted. Note that the verb may or may not show agreement with the agent: In the first case, the focus is simply shifted towards the absolutive argument while the verb remains transitive; in the second case, the verb is instead detransitivized by removing all reference to the agent. For most verbs, detransitivization results in a mediopassive interpretation of the event. (A full passive can be formed by re-adding the agent as an oblique argument; the semantic connection between the agent and the patient remains fairly indirect though.)
- Sohceʔ ćehpo wecoyakta.
sohca-eʔ ćehpo-Ø weco-ya-kta
hunter-ERG deer-ABS eat-VIS-3>3.II
The hunter ate the deer.
- Ćehpo wecoyakta.
He ate the deer.
- Ćehpo wecoyata.
The deer was eaten.
- Ćehpo wecoyata sohcoʔ elka.
ćehpo weco-ya-ta sohca-oʔ elka
deer-ABS eat-VIS-3.II hunter-GEN due_to
The deer was eaten by the hunter (lit. because of the hunter).
Reflexives and reciprocals
Reflexives and reciprocals are not formed by valence reduction. Instead, they are expressed by using a pronoun coreferential with the agent as the primary object of the verb, which itself takes transitive agreement. Typically, an anaphoric personal pronoun is used for this purpose, often prefixed with the deictic proclitic śe= 'this' or with the adjectival prefix tąc- 'same' (the former can be used for both reflexives and reciprocals, the latter for reflexives only). In 1st and 2nd person reflexives, the overt pronouns may be dropped because verbal agreement is unambiguous already.
- Yaheʔ (śe)yaho hesayakwa.
yaho-eʔ (śe=)yaho-Ø hesa-ya-kwa
PROX.I.SG-ERG (this=)PROX.I.SG-ABS cut-VIS-3>3.I
He cut himself.
I cut myself.
- Yokwiʔ (śe)yoʔ ćeltayakwa.
yokwe-eʔ (śe=)yoʔ ćelta-ya-kwa
PROX.I.PL-ERG (this=)PROX.I.PL.ABS see-VIS-3>3.I
They see themselves. / They see each other.
- Yokwiʔ tąćoʔ ćeltayakwa.
yokwe-eʔ tąc=yoʔ ćelta-ya-kwa
PROX.I.PL-ERG same=PROX.I.PL.ABS see-VIS-3>3.I
They see themselves (e.g. mirrored on the surface of water).
In order to deemphasize the patient and emphasize the agent, the patient can simply be omitted without valence adjustment, or it can be incorporated within the verb, which reduces the verb's valence by one and has the effect of portraying the patient as non-specific and the action as something conventionally done to patients of that sort. The incorporated object appears right after the verb stem (following any derivational morphemes but preceding suffixal inflection), and the agent is cast in the absolutive case:
- Neʔ toca kęhtaʔǫce.
na-eʔ toca-Ø kęhta-ʔo-ɴce
1SG-ERG house-ABS build-DIR-1SG>3.VII
I built the house.
- Neʔ kęhtaʔǫce.
I built it.
- Na kęhtatocaʔǫ.
I built a house (lit. I house-built).
In ditransitive verbs, only the primary absolutive may be incorporated. The result is a monotransitive verb with an incorporated theme, which may then itself be detransitivized by removing the agent.
- Seʔ aśę pǫki enaʔnęńǫ.
sa-eʔ aśę-Ø pǫki-Ø ena-ʔo-nęta
1PL-ERG woman-ABS bowl-ABS give-DIR-1PL>3.II
We gave the bowl to the woman.
- Seʔ aśę enapǫkiʔnęma.
sa-eʔ aśę-Ø ena-<pǫki>-ʔo-nęma
1PL-ERG woman-ABS give-<bowl>-DIR-1PL>3.I
We gave the woman a bowl (lit. We bowl-gave the woman).
- Aśę enapǫkiʔwa.
The woman was given a bowl (lit. The woman was bowl-given).
Applicative verbs may incorporate either the patient or the applied object. However, the latter is only possible if the clause does not contain a patient (as the last two examples demonstrate), because even if noun class agreement would disambiguate in theory, any single overt absolutive argument of an applicative verb will be interpreted as the applied object. Note also that incorporated applied objects still trigger agreement on the verb, and that the agent consequently does not get promoted to absolutive.
- Natohnęʔ soha psanǫ mekośśamąkńǫ.
na-tohną-eʔ soha-Ø psanǫ-Ø mek-ośśa-mą-kńǫ
1SG.POSS-father-ERG leopard-ABS knife-ABS INSTR-kill-REP-3>3.III
My father killed the leopard with a knife.
- Natohnęʔ psanǫ mekośśasohamąkńǫ.
na-tohną-eʔ psanǫ-Ø mek-ośśa-<soha>-mą-kńǫ
1SG.POSS-father-ERG knife-ABS INSTR-kill-<leopard>-REP-3>3.III
My father killed a leopard with the knife (lit. My father leopard-killed with the knife).
- Natohnęʔ mekośśapsanǫmąkńǫ.
My father killed it with a knife (lit. My father knife-killed it).
- *Natohnęʔ soha mekośśapsanǫmąkńǫ.
na-tohną-eʔ soha-Ø mek-ośśa-<psanǫ>-mą-kńǫ
1SG.POSS-father-ERG leopard-ABS INSTR-kill-<knife>-REP-3>3.III
- *Natohnęʔ soha mekośśapsanǫmąkta.
na-tohną-eʔ soha-Ø mek-ośśa-<psanǫ>-mą-kta
1SG.POSS-father-ERG leopard-ABS INSTR-kill-<knife>-REP-3>3.II
*My father killed a knife with the leopard. (nonsensical)
Noun incorporation is not possible with verbs that are lexically intransitive.
Almost any sentence constituent may be topicalized by being left-dislocated to the beginning of the clause. If the topicalized element is a 3rd person core argument of the verb (including applied objects), it is mandatorily co-referenced by an overt pronoun in the clause. Most commonly, proximate/obviative pronouns are used, although demonstratives are also seen.
- Śceʔkoʔ sąʔ, ikmǫna cą yaśiʔnęmihma.
ś=ceʔka-oʔ sąʔ, ik-mi~mina-Ø cą yaśi-ʔo-nęma-ihma
this=tribe-GEN in, 1PL.POSS-PL~mother-ABS EMPH marry-DIR-1PL>3.I-NEG
In this tribe, we do not marry our mothers.
- Horoʔ etęʔpi, yaho tǫhnomąkwa.
hora-oʔ e-tęʔpi-Ø, yaho-Ø tǫhno-mą-kwa
chief-GEN 3SG.POSS-daughter-ABS, PROX.I.SG-ABS have_sex_with-REP-3>3.I
The chief's daughter, that's who he apparently had sex with.
Aside from topicalization, Tmaśareʔ permits another strategy for emphasis, which is right-dislocation of core arguments to the end of the clause. This construction is not particularly common, but increasingly being employed as a rhetorical device in storytelling and upper-register speech, and it is also used colloquially to convey enthusiasm or surprise.
There are some important restrictions on the formation of postpositive constructions. Most significantly, if any of the core constituents of a transitive clause is moved (agent and patient in monotransitives, agent and theme in ditransitives), then the other core constituent will be postposed as well, or else omitted entirely. In fact, it is common to postpose only a single argument, and to drop all others. The recipient of a ditransitive verb will only appear as such in post-verbal position if there is also an overtly postposed or else incorporated theme; otherwise it will be converted into a benefactive applicative. Applied objects, on the other hand, may only be postposed if any other absolutive-marked participants are either non-overt or incorporated. Note also that the basic order of noun phrases remains the same as in ordinary head-final clauses (i.e. ergative, secondary absolutive, primary absolutive).
- Saląʔkną canę maciʔ.
salą-ʔo-kną canę maci-eʔ
attack-DIR-3>1PL suddenly bear-ERG
Suddenly a bear attacked us.
- Enańępemęńakwa śehomiʔ ǫkkekwela.
ena-<ńępe-mę>-ya-kwa śe=home-eʔ ǫk-ke~kwela-Ø
give-<sleep-VN>-VIS-3>3.I this=song-ERG 1PL.POSS-PL~child-ABS
This song seems to have put our children to sleep.
- Nǫćoʔ ǫcąʔ caśętaʔǫma kcektęʔpi!
nǫće-oʔ ǫcąʔ ca-śęta-ʔo-ɴma k-cek=tęʔpi-Ø
evening-GEN during BEN-speak_poetically-DIR-1SG>3.I 3PL.POSS-beautiful=daughter-ABS
In the evening I really managed to have a flirt with their beautiful daughter!
The horse and the sheep
- Main article: The horse and the sheep
Weyoʔ moʔ hąsiʔ twimeńo ćeltamąkta. Aśęʔ takwaro meńoʔ tola hesaʔcoyakće, kweleʔ śirotoʔ taya kwisaʔcoyakye, leʔ nahtorota ośśayakta. Cakwoʔ kayoʔ naʔ, męcaro meńo kwekwoyata.
Hąsiʔ takwata meńo śeśi sacemąkse: "Yeyeńaʔoʔ cą kwiśehą mǫńo ktahtatmęʔ oyaspǫknakiʔ."
Meńeʔ hąse śeśi hanimąkse: "Śeśi ćmeʔyeyaćkaseʔmę ćiyeʔǫce. Kwita wekco yeleʔta rahąse ehapaʔtayećimęʔ ewecomęʔma, śeśiʔ na oyaspǫknakiʔ. Toʔ wekto wihańa kmektahtasewimę, yeyeńaʔ menaloʔwahma. Otweʔnǫʔ sąʔ śeʔ menahoʔi. Rayeśoʔ sąʔ roʔ caca ta yeyeńaʔ cwehpotwihćehoʔi!"
Yaśe eyeyasemǫʔ kwoco, hąse takace kyelehcamątasemo.
Sǫsseńaheʔ wihoma kęhtaʔokse, yaśe śeʔ ećehca mekihmahtayakse, ca tahnaʔyapǫse. Wihoma cenaćehcihcmǫʔ kǫpe, sǫsseńaheʔ wihomoʔ sąʔ haho kwehąhńa polaloʔkwa. Taloʔkse cą cǫke, wihomeʔ tǫ ećehca eniyakse. Ca rokwoʔ kyaratwihmǫʔ olemǫʔma oma, tąctoco kwahiʔcoloʔwa kwehąhńa.
Yaśe kęhtaksemo tmoʔ sąʔ, kwakwe cą sǫsseńaheʔ yęsohcaloʔkwa sǫssą, śokwe lalaʔyaʔwa. Śokwe cą, cpolaʔokwa hakpolaha: kwaco. Halala kwaco mekćęʔnaʔwase kwihoramǫʔ cehtǫʔ kwoco, kąta ca kmamąsoʔ olemǫʔ oma, oleloʔtayeʔi śeʔ kwehąhńa. Cpoktahćkaloʔkse, sǫsseńaho ca ćawiʔwa.
Cohąńeyeńaʔeʔ kwe siʔtatahka yokwoʔ kwaco meʔyoʔpeloʔkse. Śehakpolaha yekoloʔksihma ktahco yekwe, poʔce poʔwaroloʔkse ca ćećehą kekehka kakahpaʔma kwiną sćakęńakta. Śeśoʔ aro ca, kwakwe ayećkaʔwa ońoyońǫnańa ćeʔśoyahmo.
Sǫsseńaho roʔ ahparayaho, yaheʔ ca yeyeńaʔ epiwa węćaloʔksemo. Rayeśoʔ kwoco, yepąʔkwaco wihoma ckihoʔnahcaloʔksihma ńęso. Sǫsseńaheʔ laloʔ kpihkamę taholoʔksemo. Lala kohpco kwaco mekćęćkaloʔwihma kwihoramǫʔ oma. Kąta kehće kwaco lǫćatańaʔkse yeʔyahketańaʔkse yekotańaʔkseʔma, yelco tǫ kwiśe kwahiʔceʔi, laleʔ yeca eńopahrayąpaʔkseyeʔi cą. Caca iktahco lǫćakwacokwehoyeʔi yeʔyahkekwacokwehoyeʔiʔma, waʔąʔkseʔi ćocwo ckǫnalano. Kwaʔśę cą wihoskwelaʔwayeʔi, kwecńǫhąhńaro cą sokwatwiʔwaʔi ca kćećehca mekihmahtaʔkseʔi, caca kmamąsoʔ olemǫʔ oma, oleʔtaʔi eńo cą laloʔ kwehąhńa.
Śeśoʔ elka ońotatańaʔnęceʔi kwaco hayehco yęsohcaʔnęceʔi yekohcaʔnęceʔiʔma yaśe, epoʔwaromę ca yecąʔnęceʔi yaśe cą.
(Based on the creation myth of the Proto-Westerners, written by Dewrad.)
Lącweweʔnǫʔ hihmoʔ, śecahma twepahpątmąmase sǫssohca. Hapaʔtayećiyąʔmąma koʔ cǫke, roʔ kwińihtamąma kohpco, cmę ca pǫkmǫ halćaʔęnoʔwa. Haho polpapeńehcamąkwa, "Yećehęʔ noʔ ehona pątaʔcoyąpaʔkńǫńe koʔ!"
Hiya śeʔ yeyapomiloʔta tohmotwihloʔtaʔma. Ǫtahpilcaloʔkwa śeteʔ, yaho ca hiwahka mekońoʔnaloʔkye. Nehi, sayoʔ ina, sohca kehka kwetaraloʔwatmo cą.
(Based on the initial text of the 1st Tumblr Conlang Relay)
The scorpion and the fox
Twolata yąkoʔ ehipę twemenątahmątase, ca nǫkoćaloʔkse wihańoʔ oma yeloso kpątahcaksewi yaśe. Hą ćocwo ćeltaloʔkta cmeskwi, kwitoʔ kǫpe ca koćamąkse enąsoʔ tahco yąki knenokmętasewi yaśe.
Cmeskwiʔ śeśi saćemąkse: "Homętahmaʔi koʔ. Raśi tǫ cmę cayekmęceʔi, teʔ cą saląćehnaʔi, na ca hą ćohe twolerąceʔi."
Twolateʔ kwita cpeńehcamąkta, "Saląkmętahi, ta naʔma kęhco ćohe twoleranęceʔi."
Cmeskwi nǫkoćamąta somomątaʔma ńęso. Twolateʔ roʔ enąso naʔlahcamąkta, cmeskwi ca yoʔpśokamąta. Yąkoʔ ceʔloʔ moʔ śeʔ canę twolateʔ saląhcaloʔkta. Hiwahkeʔ cmę kwitoʔ kwaco kaćahraloʔksekiʔ, cmeskwiʔ ekmeno twolata knokihcamąkta ca mahkmehpamąkta, "Wile cą rasiʔtahka taʔksemo? Ta caca kohpco ćohe twoleraʔćesseʔi!"
"Nehi, yecąńąpaʔǫcǫńe," hanimąkse twolateʔ. "Napihkamęʔńeʔce."
(Source: Star Trek Voyager, season 3 episode 26: "Scorpion, Part One")
The audacious he-goat
Cekaśę pahmąma natanǫʔ nene. Ćoʔnaleʔ kwe canę yecąmąkwa, polpayateʔ ca śeśi sacemąkse: "He! Ta cą cpopewecekaʔyayata! Nańępotahkiʔkmǫʔ oma nahaha taho mekćętwiʔćese. Mahńǫʔ lena kwińiyata. Ćiyeʔǫce cą nayaśitahmę!"
Aśę yeyapomiloʔwa yoʔpkahkwapǫmaʔma: "Wile ćeyaśęmę ćiyećessewi? Naʔińe kwiną menapćessehma. Cą peńehcaćesseʔi!"
– "Ćińe? Noʔ poʔmi yeyaćkaćesseyeʔi? Ćińe koćaʔǫcǫńe. Śeśi ta cpeńeʔǫcmo: 'Ćiyeʔǫce cą nayaśitahmę!' Wiśi ćehanimęʔńesewi?"
– "Śeśi cą nahanimęʔńese!" sacepǫkse aśęʔ, ca kwińǫ wekmahkaʔyaloʔkńǫ ośśaćehcaloʔkńǫʔma yahoʔ psanǫ mekwesaʔcoyakńǫ hą yaheʔ ćoʔnaloʔ ekmeno.
Yąkoʔ moʔ tatka ektahmomǫʔ oma, polpaćoʔnaloʔ ekmeneʔ canę śeśi sacepǫkse: "Kohpco... somoloʔtahwi?"
The rocks, the blackbird, and the mouse
Śita kehka weyoʔ ehipę twemoʔćkamątase. Takwateʔ kehkeʔ yelta peńehcmąkta: "Pśikwe weyoʔ emanǫʔ tewi tma twesąʔćkakwekse, tkekera cą ćosąhcaʔǫce." - "Yǫco cańe menaloʔknęceʔi," hanimąkse śiro kehkeʔ.
Ćma śeʔ twehakwaćkaloʔwase kąʔęta komąʔma. Yeyapomiloʔkta kwakwiʔ kekehka, śeśi ca kohpco cakwe cwoʔlahcapǫkta: "Seʔ kwe cmę weyoʔ emanǫʔ tewi cahma kyehcayąpaʔnęceʔi. Tma kyehcanęceʔi, pahpątanęceʔi, tkwe ca ceńopahnętąʔi. Pśikwe cohenęcǫʔi kekera hą cą tkwe cpeńenętąʔi, pśikwe ikweʔątwissemǫʔ kǫpe." Kekehka somoloʔta, ca yeʔcoloʔwa hą kąʔęta komąʔma.
Yocǫtomoʔ kwoco eńoranąhcayaho kąʔęta. "Weyoʔ emanǫʔ tewi cahma ktanąʔǫcmo, ca ńępoʔǫcmo ciʔyąki lǫhiʔnaʔma, caca hą twileʔkakahpa." Takwaro kehkeʔ śeśi sacepǫkse: "Nehi, rapśikwe cą ćeltahcayąʔkwenęceʔi!" - "Yǫco cańe ćawiloʔknąʔi koʔ," hanimąkse śiro kehkeʔ.
Ląćeyeśoʔ kwoco eńopahcayaho komą. "Weyoʔ emanǫʔ tewi cahma kpahoʔǫcmo, ca coheʔǫcmo śekmǫ tąctakcǫ tąckikihpo tąćoyonayękwi." Takwaro kehkeʔ śeśi sacepǫkse: "Yekwe, rapśikwe cą koʔ ćeltaćiʔnęcihma!" - "Kąta hayehco ćawiʔną cą," hanimąkse śiro kehkeʔ.
The return of the rain
Ckǫmamąkwa sa mekomaćkaloʔkną, soʔ kwaco cą kwahipǫskiʔ, elaʔpaloʔkmomǫʔ otwoʔ. Ciciʔńǫʔ sąʔ cańe yolći halayahkihma, kpehkekehkeʔ ca yekiho enayakye koʔ.
Mekwesanąńǫʔi śeʔ yońǫnańoʔ yemahkahepsanǫ. Araʔyayahohma ktetęʔpi kśeśpąʔma; tahoʔ oma kehće ćawińęsaśętayaho, eńo ca halayata pewepoʔma.
Ńęso tǫ śeśkwe ćoʔnaʔnęce ćkasco, śkakwaha eńopahpǫse.
(Inspired by this intermediate result of Conlang Relay 9)
Fire and water
Yoʔpco, ćmącanakehkala ohńǫhą nąʔǫ kśeʔtahcayayese. Ońotwihyayekiʔ pǫkmǫ, ćocwo śeʔ kwiśe kceʔpątahcaloʔyesemo. Canakehkaloʔ koheʔ hinahoso waʔąńakse nenehpayakse tahoyakseʔma, nąʔǫʔ ceʔla ca kahmo kohńǫhcayakse cą. Śeye canaćkayaye yąkiʔ lącńąśkekehka eniyakta, komąnaʔkse hą śeyeʔ mohoʔ sąʔ kokohta poʔęńąpakńǫʔi yaśe. Ćohe kąta kwekwoʔyayaye canakehkaloʔ eʔilcahpnąʔǫhcmǫʔ oma, ca halayaye soʔnayayeʔma, kwekwoloʔksekiʔ cą nąʔǫ. Kwekwoʔyaćohmǫʔ sąkma polpasisimę yeyapǫnęckiʔ, mǫńiʔ cmę raśi tockana kokmęhcpǫkse.
Ćohe kohpco yoćkęʔcoloʔksemo. Kwoye otwaćkacecayaye ńąśćęco mętka kelępoloʔyemo. Kńąćohoʔ epątaʔcomomǫʔ oma, yeraloʔkse taholoʔkseʔma hinahoso. Pahohcakweyeʔi cą ckǫmińi, yayeʔ ćma kokmęćoheʔcoyąpakseʔi nąʔǫʔ moʔ raśi senąńasemo ońotwisǫʔ kǫpe.
(Written on Jul 17, 2011 as part of the 5th Conlingual Telephone. Translated from Nortaneous' Kannow.)
"Raheʔ ęńecąmę ćiyemąkse yeńaʔ, wile caca kwiśe ćiyemąkse, yaśe ćosąhcaʔǫce."
– "Wile cą? Ęnońǫmę tǫ menaʔnęceyeʔi, menaloʔkseyeʔi roʔ yeheʔ. Menakwekseyeʔi kehće kohpco yeheʔ ęnońǫʔimę, wile kwiną ępoʔwarosemę raheʔ ońotahloʔksekiʔkwi?"
Hakwakakpahcǫʔ ckǫkahkya kmeʔkayahpamomǫʔ kwoco haktahkakahpoʔ kohpco kwahmomǫʔma,
kąta kcehkpehkekehkoʔ kwihkwoʔ sąkma kehće Kąʔkokwohoʔkęʔ ǫkśokmąką ckehtakweckwekńǫkiʔkwi?
[ ˌhʌkʷʌkʌˈkpɑxtsɔ̃ʔ tskɔ̃ˈkɑxkjʌ kmɛʔˈkɑjɑxˌpʌmʊˌmɔ̃ʔ ˈkʷotsʊ hʌˌktɑxkʌˈkɑxpɔʔ ˌkɔxptsʊ ˈkʷɑxmʊˌmɔ̃ʔmʌ |
ˌkɑ̃tʌ ˌktsɛxˌkpɛxkɛˈkɛxkɔʔ ˈkʷiçkʷɔʔ ˌsɑ̃kmʌ ˌkɛxtʃe ˈkɑ̃ʔkʊkʷoˌhɔʔkɛ̃ʔ ɔ̃ˈkʃokmɑ̃kɑ̃ ˈtskɛ̃xtʌˌkʷɛtskʷɛˌkɲɔ̃kiʔkʷi ]