Some Mujai grammar
|From:||Patrick Dunn <tb0pwd1@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, December 8, 2001, 19:50|
Nouns in Mujai do not inflect for number, case, or gender.
Plurality may, if necessary, be indicated by reduplication.
There is no definite or indefinite article.
Verbs do not decline.
There are a number of verbal affixes that modify the meaning of the verbs
to which they are attached.
-kur indicates that a verb is transitive (takes an object).
Gi masukur sup.
He eats soup.
-hit indicates reflexive action.
He eats himself (i.e., is jealous)
-fa indicates emphatic or repetitive action.
-tul, indicates the passive voice
It was eaten.
ur- indicates causation.
Gi urmasukur gu sup.
He makes her eat soup. [Something about this looks very wrong; I think I
need another serial verb in here]
The suffix -kan indicates a verbal action.
Gi urvanggur (from urvan+kur) masukan sup.
He likes to eat soup.
These affixes are governed by the following rules:
1. A word ending in a voiced stop or a nasal voices the consonent of the
2. A word ending in a nasal assimulates the nasal to the location of the
first sound of the affix.
3. Ur- becomes ul- before /t/, /s/, /d/, /z/.
4. -hit becomes -it before a consonent.
5. -fa becomes -ba before /m/.
6. /l/ becomes /r/ before an /r/.
Verb tense and aspect may be indicated with adverbs of time:
adu -- "already", perfection
Gi masukur adu sup.
He has eaten soup.
ru -- "far", future
Gi masukur ru sup.
He will eat soup.
ya -- "back," past.
Gi masukur ya sup.
badu -- "across," reciprical action
Gigi lati badu.
They talk to each other.
Verbal phrases are often constructed with serial verbs:
Xadurkur -- Instrumental
Gi xadurkur madu pakkur fig.
He takes hammer hits nail.
He hit the nail with the hammer.
Maku -- Inhortive
Gu maku latikur ir.
He come speak me.
Let him speak with me.
Yaur -- Agent of a Passive
Li makutur gu yaur.
It eaten she did.
It was eaten by her.
Pronouns do not decline.
1. ir irwu (inclusive)
2. wu wuwu
3. gi -- he gigi
gu -- she gigu
li -- it gugu
IV. Adjectives and Adverbs
All modifiers follow the word they are modifying, without exception (this
includes subordinate clauses and prepositional phrases
which always follow the word they are modifying).
Personal pronouns following a noun are possessive. Nouns are "genitive"
if they follow another noun.
Sur majai tai.
House beautiful chief
The beautiful house of the chief.
Prurio modo viri qui in arbore pilosa est.