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Amis Grammar

Forms of a Verb

Regular Verbs

The tag for verbs should be <v>. The tags for voice are <av> actor voice and <uv> undergoer voice. There is no tag specifically for general/present because it is the only actor voice tense. <prst> perfective/stative, <will> will (of the actor), <futi> future/imperative, <past> past tense, and <caus> causative.

Forms Marking Voice and Tense
Voice Affix Feature
Actor Voice mi- general/present
Undergoer Voice ma- perfective/stative
-aw will (of the actor)
-en irrealis (future/imperative)
ni-...-an past
N/A pa-(+pi-/ka-) causative
  • palu<v><av> ↔ mipalu
  • nanuy<v><av> ↔ minanuy
  • palu<v><uv><prst> ↔ mapalu
  • la’up<v><uv><prst> ↔ mala’up
  • patay<v><uv><will> ↔ patayaw
  • seti’<v><uv><will> ↔ seti’aw
  • patay<v><uv><futi> ↔ patayen
  • seti’<v><uv><futi> ↔ seti’en
  • patay<v><uv><past> ↔ nipatayan
  • sanga<v><uv><past> ↔ nisangaan
  • patay<v><caus> ↔ papipatay
  • seti’<v><caus> ↔ papiseti’

Applicatives and Moods

Instrumental Applicative

This is used to indicate that there is an instrument or reason for doing something. the instrumental applicative can take three forms (shown in the table). the form with «pi-» can only be read as the instrument interpretation, while the forms with «ka-» can be interpreted as either instrument or reason. The tag for the instrumental applicative should be <ins1> for instrument only and <ins2> for instrument or goal, the tag for negative should be <neg>.

Instumental Applicative
Instrument sa-pi-
Instrument or Reason sa-ka- sa-ka...-um-
  • adup<v><ins1> ↔ sapiadup
  • sanga<v><uv><ins1> ↔ masapisanga
  • palu<v><ins1> ↔ sapipalu
  • tukas<v><neg><ins1> ↔ kasapitukas
  • fanaʼ<v><ins2> ↔ sakafanaʼ
  • fanaʼ<v><ins1> ↔ sapifanaʼ


Locative Applicative

The locative applicative is used to indicate that there is an undergoer, goal, or location of doing something. The forms of the locative applicative «-an» are shown in the table below with the corresponding affixes. The tag for the locative applicative should be <loc>. The tag for the goal is <goal>, for patient is <pat>, and for location is <loca>.

Locative Applicative Markers and Co-occuring Affixes
Goal mi-...-an
Patient mi-...-an -um-...-an ka-...-an
Location pi-...-an ka-...-um-...-an ka-...-an
  • ulah<v><pat><loc> ↔ kaulahan
  • diput<v><loca><loc> ↔ pidiputan
  • adup<v><loca><loc> ↔ piadupan
  • adup<v><pat><loc> ↔ miadupan
  • repel<v><pat><loc> ↔ mirepelan
  • cikay<v><pat><loc> ↔ micikayan

Factual Mood

The factual mood, marked with the suffix «-ay», indicates factuality. the tag <fact> is for the factual mood. The tag <adj> is for adjectives. The tag The tag <numb> is for numerals and the tag <pln> is for the numeral modifier.

  • kalat<v><av><fact> ↔ mikalatay
  • palu<v><uv><fact> ↔ mapaluay
  • kuhting<adj><fact> ↔ kuhtingay
  • tataʼak<adj><fact> ↔ tataʼakay
  • tusa<numb><pln><fact> ↔ tatusaay

Irrealis Mood

Imperative Mood

Optative Mood

The optative mood, marked with the suffix «-aw», indicates a suggestion or plea for the speaker. This is marked with the tag <opt>. This can be used on its own or with causative and/or active voice.

  • Tapang<n><opt> ↔ Tapangaw
  • dateng<n><opt> ↔ datengaw
  • dateng<n><av><opt> ↔ midatengaw
  • nanum<n><caus><opt> ↔ pananumaw
  • nanum<n><av><caus><opt> ↔ mipananumaw

Clause Structures

Sentence Structure

  • Amis is a predicate-initial language.

Noun Phrase Structure


Case Markings

Case Makers and Noun Classifiers
Nouns\Cases Nominative Genitive Dative
Common k-u n-u t-u
Personal Proper Singular _-ci n-i ci...-an
Plural _-...-ca na ci...-an


Tags: Pronoun: <prn> Personal: <pers> Singular: <sg> Plural: <pl> Person: <p1>, <p2>, <p3> Inclusive: <incl> Exclusive: <excl> Nominative: <nom> Genitive: <gen> Dative: <dat> Possessive: <pos>

Personal Pronouns and Posessive Pronominal Nouns
Number Person Nominative Genitive Dative Possessive Pronominal Noun
Singular 1st kaku aku takuwanan maku
2nd kisu isu tisuwanan misu
3rd cingra nira cingranan nira
Plural 1st Inclusive kita ita kitanan mita
Exclusive kami niyam kamiyanan niyam
2nd kamu namu tamuwanan namu
3rd cangra nangra cangraan nangra
  • aku<prn><pers><sg><p1><nom> ↔ kaku
  • aku<prn><pers><sg><p1><gen> ↔ aku
  • aku<prn><pers><sg><p1><dat> ↔ takuwanan
  • aku<prn><pers><sg><p1><pos> ↔ maku
  • isu<prn><pers><sg><p2><nom> ↔ kisu
  • isu<prn><pers><sg><p2><gen> ↔ isu
  • isu<prn><pers><sg><p2><dat> ↔ tisuwanan
  • isu<prn><pers><sg><p2><pos> ↔ misu
  • ingra<prn><pers><sg><p3><nom> ↔ cingra
  • ingra<prn><pers><sg><p3><gen> ↔ nira
  • ingra<prn><pers><sg><p3><dat> ↔ cingranan
  • ingra<prn><pers><sg><p3><pos> ↔ nira
  • ita<prn><pers><pl><p1><incl><nom> ↔ kita
  • ita<prn><pers><pl><p1><incl><gen> ↔ ita
  • ita<prn><pers><pl><p1><incl><dat> ↔ kitanan
  • ita<prn><pers><pl><p1><incl><pos> ↔ mita
  • ami<prn><pers><pl><p1><excl><nom> ↔ kami
  • ami<prn><pers><pl><p1><excl><gen> ↔ niyam
  • ami<prn><pers><pl><p1><excl><dat> ↔ kamiyanan
  • ami<prn><pers><pl><p1><excl><pos> ↔ niyam
  • amu<prn><pers><pl><p2><nom> ↔ kamu
  • amu<prn><pers><pl><p2><gen> ↔ namu
  • amu<prn><pers><pl><p2><dat> ↔ tamuwanan
  • amu<prn><pers><pl><p2><pos> ↔ namu
  • angra<prn><pers><pl><p3><nom> ↔ cangra
  • angra<prn><pers><pl><p3><gen> ↔ nangra
  • angra<prn><pers><pl><p3><dat> ↔ cangraan
  • angra<prn><pers><pl><p3><pos> ↔ nangra

Number Plural Marker

The numeral plural marker is used when the number is counting people and certain animals.

  • tusa<numb><pln> ↔ tatusa
  • tulu<numb><pln> ↔ tatulu
  • lima<numb><pln> ↔ lalima


Although the use of «o» vs. «u» seems to be dependant on dialect, sources for text do not always specify the dialect or the writer uses their own orthography. Therefore it is useful to make sure that this spelling difference does not cause known words to be unrecognizeable by the transducer.

  • tusa<numb> ↔ tosa
  • tulu<numb> ↔ tolo
  • aku<prn><pers><sg><p1><gen> ↔ ako

Some texts, mostly older, wrote [ŋ] as «g», but recent sources mainly use «ng». Because «g» is never used for anything but [ŋ] it is useful to specify this.

  • Tapang<n> ↔ Tapag
  • kilang<n> ↔ kilag
  • cigra<prn><pers><sg><p3><nom> ↔ cingra