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OFF : updated tunu grammar

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Date:Monday, October 25, 1999, 20:11
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updated tunu grammar attached.


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Tunu has 17 sounds :=20

a   ch   e   i   k   l   m   n   ng   ny   o   p   s   t   u   w   y=20
|ch| is usually english /ch/ as in /choose/ but tunus pronounce
the consonants in various ways depending on the region they are from.=20
in the villages along the coast most consonants are voiced so |k|, |p|, |s|,=
and |ch| are very clearly pronounced /g/, /b/, /z/, /d/ and /dZ/, and dental=
(d, dZ, n, l) tend to be retroflex or emphatic (pronounced with the tip of t=
tongue raized against the palate).=20

conversely, in the hinterland no consonant is voiced and a glottal stop
often wedges the first syllable of a word. for instance, /tunu/ is said /t?u=

depending on villages, |ch| may also be pronounced /dZ/ as in /Jim/, /ts/
as in /tsunami/ or /dz/ as in /pizza/.=20

the semi-vowels |w| and |y| are always clearly pronounced.=20

note that |w|, |y|, |ng| and |ny| never appear in root words. they appear
as deriving affixes or pronouns only.=20

there is barely any specific stress or pitch. syllables are all short and wo=
are pronounced quite fast with very few pauses.
a very light glottal stop is set inbetween vowels :

/moto opoco/ is pronounced [moto'opoco].

the monotonous prosody makes tunu difficult to understand for beginners.

the grammar itself is bare and straight, very easy to learn and difficult
to handle at the same time.

root words are CVCV :=20

moto =3D man=20
luko =3D hunt=20
pimi =3D animal=20

given the very poor number of consonants (7) and vowels (5) in root words,
one would expect the tunu language to feature a large amount of homonymes
as in japanese for instance. this is not the case however : under one ruler'=
will, homonymes were systematically eliminated by changing them into
different words which were made up for that circumstance whenever needed.=20

this policy of language renovation was achieved within a few years so succes=
that it is now impossible to find clues as to what these homonymes were.
this policy was carried out with the very convincing threat
of being sentenced to be eaten whenever pronouncing an homonyme.=20

tunu words give a straight picture of general concepts. they have no
gender, plural, tense, person, etc.=20

moto =3D a man, men, the man, the men=20

they also tend to be considered as nouns of concepts rather than verbs.=20
for instance /luko/ (hunt) conveys the general, vague meaning of hunting
activity, with all its actors and the whole of its process.=20

word order is SVO and head-first.=20

moto luluko pimi=20
man hunt animal=20
=3D the man hunts animals=20

moto ya luluko pimi=20
man who hunt animal=20
=3D the man who hunts the animal=20

when two nouns follow each other, the second is the genitive of the first.=

moko moto=20
house man=20
=3D the man's house=20
reduplicating a whole word makes a verb roughly meaning
"to act as/to be/to become in the state of".
the reduplicated verb may also be written as /verb=B2/ :=20

moko pakupaku =3D moko paku=B2.=20
house yellow-yellow.=20
the house is yellow.=20

ceso cakecake moto.=20
village home-home man.=20
the village is the man's home/ the man lives in the village.=20

note that /moto/ (man) is the direct object of the verb /cake=B2/.=20

moko pomupomu moto.=20
house knowledge-knowledge man.=20
the house is known by the man.=20

cani kucikuci moto.=20
song sound-sound man.=20
the song can be heard by the man.=20

malu sanesane.=20
sun rise-rise.=20
the sun rises.=20

reduplicating the first vowel of a word makes an active verb whereby the
subject acquires something, uses a faculty or benefits of a facility :

tata acake ceso.=20
i get-home village.=20
i live in the village.=20

moto opomu moko.=20
man get-knowledge house.=20
the man knows the house.=20

titi ukumo.=20
he get-clothes.=20
he has/puts clothes (on).=20

tata utuma moko.=20
me get-place house.=20
i am in/by the house.=20

tata okosa tutunu.=20
me get-possibility speak.=20
i can speak.=20
reduplicating the first syllable of a word makes a transitive verb.
the indirect object is shown with /we/ :=20

moto papaku moko.=20
man do-yellow house.=20
the man makes the house yellow.=20

moto popoco tilu we nime.=20
man do-lesson science to child.=20
the man teaches science to the child.=20

moto sasane pesi.=20
man do-rise hand.=20
the man raises (his) hand.=20

moto luluko pimi.=20
man do-hunt animal.=20
the man hunts the animal.=20

pimi kukuci.=20
animal do-sound.=20
the animal can be heard.=20
finally, reduplicating both the first vowel and the first syllable of a word
makes it a lassive verb meaning "to let do X", "to have someone else do X".
/we/ shows either indirect object or agent :=20

moto apapaku moko we nime.=20
man let-yellow house to child.=20
the man let/has the child make the house yellow.=20

the passive form is made with a pronoun as explained below - but is
usually avoided.=20

there are 7 syntactic pronouns :=20

/wi/ =3D "someone/something"
/ye/ =3D "the said one"
the combination of them makes passive a verb :=20

titi wi kukumo ye.=20
he someone do-clothes him.=20
he is put clothes on.=20

pimi wi luluko ye.
animal someone do-hunt it.
the animal is hunted.

/ya/ =3D "who, that, which"

moto ya tata opomu ye.=20
man who i know him.
the man whom i know

/we/ is a kind of preposition in front of indirect object :=20

tata popoco poco we nime.=20
me do-lesson lesson to child.=20
i teach the lesson to the child.=20

/wa/ closes (sub)clauses :=20

moto upuse nusi ya tata opomu ye wa utuma ceso.=20
man see friend that me know him "end" locate village.=20
the man sees the friend i know in the village.=20

in this example, /wa/ ends the subclause /ya tata opomu ye/ and=20
resumes the main clause /moto upuse nusi/.=20

/wa/ also refers to topic :

moto wa tata tutunu osome ye.=20
man he me speak address him.=20
the man is spoken to by me.=20

/yo/ : introduces an adverb or an adverbal clause :

moto acake ceso, yo tata enepe ye.=20
the man lives in the village, which i remember it.=20

/yu/ =3D "that" :=20

tata opomu yu moto acake ceso.
me have-knowledge that man have-home village.
i know that the man lives in the village.=20

successive serial verbs are used as adverbs  :=20

tata tutunu osome moto.=20
me speak address man.=20
i speak to the man.=20

-ng is used to make verbs into substantives :=20

ocoku : to buy=20
ocokung  : the purchasing=20
moto ocokung : the purchaser=20
cokucokung : the purchase, the item bought=20

construct nouns are made by compounding two nouns :=20

susuco : to cut=20
susucong : the cutting=20
neke : instrument=20
neke susucong : instrument to cut=20

nonenone : to be a ditch in=20
lata : a hole=20
lata none, lata nonenoneng : a digging hole, a ditch=20

Tunu has an exclusive antonyme shown by prefixing nya- :=20

toma, tomatoma : big, to be big
nyatoma, nyatomatoma : small, to be small
any noun of place or time can be used as a locative preposition :=20

nime ekepa pokipoki we moko.=20
child have-play be-front to house.=20
the child plays in front of the house.=20

general locative is shown with "utuma" (to take place)
and "opoma" (to occur in time) :

moto cocoku lasi utuma ya nime ekepa.=20
man sell food have-place that child have-play.=20
the man sells food where the child plays.=20

moto cocoku lasi opoma yu nime ekepa.=20
man sell food have-time that child have-play.=20
the man sells food when the child plays.