Amis and English/Contrastive Grammar

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Word Order

In Amis sentences the verb must come before nouns.

This seems a little bit like your "transitive verbs" and "ergative constructions" grammar points below—what's the difference between the three? - JNW

  • (ami) Minanuy kaku tu safa. → (eng) I am swinging a younger sibling.
    (ami) nanoy<v><av> aku<prn><pers><sg><p1><nom> u<nm><um><dat> safa<n> → (eng) I<prn><subj><p1><mf><sg> be<vbser><pres><p1><sg> swing<vblex><pprs> a<det><ind><sg> young<adj><sint><comp> sibling<n><sg>

  • (ami) Maulah kaku tu pusong. → (eng) I like Taitung.
    (ami) ulah<v><uv><prst> aku<prn><pers><sg><p1><nom> u<nm><um><dat> pusong<np><top> → (eng) I<prn><subj><p1><mf><sg> like<vblex><pres> Taitung<np><top><sg>

Noun Markers

Subject and object marked by noun marker in Amis.

What's up with the +have thing here? That doesn't look like the right English analysis for these. Also, I'm thinking these "noun markers" might be kind of like prepositions? - JNW

  • (ami) Milaʼup ku wacu tu wawa ni Panay. → (eng) The dog is chasing Panay's child.
    (ami) laʼop<v><av> u<nm><um><nom> wacu<n> u<nm><um><dat> wawa<n> i<nm><sg><gen> Panay<np><ant> → (eng) the<det><def><sp> dog<n><sg> be<vbser><pres><p3><sg> chase<vblex><pprs> Panay<np><ant><sg>+have<vbhaver><pres><p3><sg> child<n><sg>
  • (ami) Malaʼup nu wacu ku wawa ni Panay. → (eng) Panay's child was chased by the dog.
    (ami) laʼop<v><uv><prst> u<nm><um><gen> wacu<n> u<nm><um><nom> wawa<n> i<nm><sg><gen> Panay<np><ant> → (eng) Panay<np><ant><sg>+have<vbhaver><pres><p3><sg> child<n><sg> be<vbser><past><p3><sg> chase<vbser><pp> by<pr> the<det><def><sp> dog<n><sg>


Possessive relationships are denoted by the use of the word aku when immediately following a noun marker.

I think these are first-person possessive relationships, not any? - JNW

  • (ami) Fangcal ku wawa aku. → (eng) My child is good.
    (ami) fangcal<adj> u<nm><um><nom> wawa<n> aku<prn><pers><sg><p1><gen> → (eng) my<det><pos><p1><mf><sg> child<n><sg> be<vbser><pres><p3><sg> good<adj><sint>
  • (ami) Tata’ak ku ʼayam aku. → (eng) My chicken is big.
    (ami) tata'ak<adj> u<nm><um><nom> ʼayam<n> aku<prn><pers><sg><p1><gen> → (eng) my<det><pos><p1><mf><sg> chicken<n><sg> be<vbser><pres><p3><sg> big<adj><sint>

Transitive Verbs

The subject and object of the verb appear after it in a subject-object word order.

  • (ami) Mapalu ni Sawmah ci Mayaw. → (eng) Sawmah beat Mayaw.
    (ami) palu<v><uv><prst> i<prn><sg><gen> Sawmah<np><ant> i<nm><sg><nom> Mayaw<np><ant> → (eng) Sawmah<np><ant><sg> beat<vblex><past> Mayaw<np><ant><sg>
  • (ami) Mapalu ni mama ci Aki atu ci Kolo. → (eng) Father beat Aki and Kolo.
    (ami) palu<v><uv><prst> i<prn><sg><gen> mama<n> i<nm><sg><nom> Aki<np><ant> atu<conj> i<nm><sg><nom> Kolo<np><ant> → (eng) father<n><sg> beat<vblex><past> Aki<np><ant><sg> and<anjcoo> Kolo<np><ant><sg>

Ergative Constructions

Ergative constructions (describing a change of state) in Amis come in the order: verb, agent, subject.

  • (ami) Ruhemen aku ku pawli. → (eng) I will ripen this banana.
    (ami) rohem<v><uv><futi> aku<prn><pers><sg><p1><gen> u<nm><um><nom> pawli<n> → (eng) I<prn><subj><p1><mf><sg> will<vbmod><pres> ripen{tag<inf> this<det><dem><sg> banana<n><sg>}}

Looks like there's a little problem with the curly braces here—see "ripen". - JNW

  • (ami) Macangcang nira ku sinabel. → (eng) She warmed up the dish.
    (ami) cangcang<v><uv><prst> ingra<prn><pers><sg><p3><gen> mama<n> u<nm><um><nom> sinabel<n><sg> → (eng) she<prn><subj><p3><f><sg> warm<vblex><pp>+warm<vblex><past> the<det><def><sp> dish<n><sg>