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Parts of Speech

Ikema has nouns, verbs, adnominals, adverbs, conjunctions, and interjections.

Part of speech Tag Example
noun <n> ぼーし<n> ↔ ぼーし
verb <v> いでぃー<v> ↔ いでぃー
adnominal <adn> かぬ<adn> ↔ かぬ
adverb <adv> あてぃ<adv> ↔ あてぃ
conjunction <cnj>
interjection <ij> あー<ij> ↔ あー

There are also postpositions and final particles.


Postpositions, or particles, attach to nouns, and multiple particles can be attached to one noun.

Romaji Hiragana Function Tag Example
a topic 1 <top1> ぼーし<n><top1> ↔ ぼーしゃあ
gyaa ぎゃー topic 2 <top2> とぅか<n><top2> ↔ とぅかぎゃー
ga nominative <nom> っヴぁ<pprn><p2><sg><nom> ↔ っヴぁが
nu genitive <gen> なし<n><gen> ↔ なしぬ
u accusative <acc> なし<n><acc> ↔ なしう
du どぅ focus <foc> やらび<n><foc> ↔ やらびどぅ
n dative <dat> かま<n><dat> ↔ かまん
ti てぃ quotative <quot> ひやさ<n><quot> ↔ ひやさてぃ
nkai んかい allative 1 <all1> じてんしゃ<n><all1> ↔ じてんしゃんかい
nki んき allative 2 <all2>
taahii たーひー limitative <lim>
kara から ablative <abl> じてんしゃ<n><abl> ↔ じてんしゃから
hii ひー instrumental <ins> ばた<n><ins> ↔ ばたひー
tu とぅ comitative <com> うい<n><com> ↔ ういとぅ
ncɨkyaa んつきゃー comparative <comp>


  • たるがなー<n><nom><foc> ↔ たるがなーがどぅ
  • きつぎ<n><dat><quot><foc> ↔ きつぎんてぃどぅ
  • ふたーつ<n><dat><top1> ↔ ふたーつんな


  • Several other things seem to be used for topic 1, including nu, ya, zya, and sa.
  • ga and nu can both be either genitive or nominative.

List of final particles

Final particles attach to the end of a sentence. They are all tagged with <mod>.

Romaji Hiragana Function Example
doo どー information is not shared with the hearer うらあかぎむぬ+どー<mod> ↔ うらあかぎむぬどー
i information is shared with the hearer うらあかぎむぬ+い<mod> ↔ うらあかぎむぬい
na Y/N question うらあっヴぁがぼーし+な<mod> ↔ うらあっヴぁがぼーしな
ga Wh question  なうばいほぅでぃ+が<mod> ↔ なうばいほぅでぃが
da how about ~? っヴぁ+だ<top1><mod> ↔ っヴぁあだ

Noun suffixes

Romaji HIragana Function Tag Example
gama がま Diminutive <dim> とぅい<n><dim> ↔ とぅいがま
mmi っみ Plural 1 <pl1> やらび<n><pl1> ↔ やらびっみ
ta  た Plural 2 <pl2> みどぅん<n><pl2> ↔ みどぅんた
nagi  なぎ Approximative <app>


  • In the Introduction to Ryukyuan PDF, っみ is listed as pl1 in the table of suffices, but then is glossed as pl2 in the Pear Story.
  • kya is glossed as pl3 in the Pear Story, but is not in the table

Additional examples:

  • しま<n><dim> ↔ しまがま (small island)
  • っふぁ<n><dim> ↔ っふぁがま (small child)
  • ほぅす<n><dim> ↔ ほぅすがま (small star)
  • ひとぅ<n><pl1> ↔ ひとぅっみ (people)
  • ばな<n><pl1> ↔ ばなっみ (flowers)

Adjectival stems

Adjectives cannot stand on their own, but adjectival stems (or property concepts) can be compounded with nouns.

Noun examples:

  • small + child = small child
    いみ<adj>+っふぁ<n> ↔ いみっふぁ
  • black + goat = black goat
    っふがら<adj>+ひんじゃ<n> ↔ っふがらひんじゃ
  • expensive + fish = expensive fish
    たかだい<adj>+っぞぅ<n> ↔ たかだいっぞぅ

Adjectival stems part 2

The suffix -むぬ can be added to an adjective stem to nominalise it.

  • かぎ<adj><nz> ↔ かぎむぬ (beautiful thing)
  • じゃう<adj><nz> ↔ じゃうむぬ (good thing)
  • かさます<adj><nz> ↔ かさますむぬ (frustrating thing)

The suffix -ふぅcan be added to an adjective stem to adverbalise it.

  • じゃう<adj><az> ↔ じゃうふぅ (well)

Note: adjectives are negated with adverbalization plus the verb nyaan.

The suffix -かい can be added to an adjective stem to verbalise it.

  • じゃう<adj><vz> ↔ じゃうかい

Personal Pronouns

Romaji HIragana Function Tag Example
ba 1 Sg <pprn><p1><sg> <pprn><p1><sg> ↔ ば
vva っヴぁ 2 Sg <pprn><p2><sg> っヴぁ<pprn><p2><sg> ↔ っヴぁ
ura うら 3 Sg inanimate <pprn><p3><sg><nn> うら<pprn><p3><sg><nn> ↔ うら
kai かい 3 Sg animate <pprn><p3><sg><aa> かい<pprn><p3><sg><aa> ↔ かい
karaa からー 3 Sg animate top <pprn><p3><sg><aa><top> からー<pprn><p3><sg><aa><top> ↔ からー
karuu かるー 3 Sg animate acc <pprn><p3><sg><aa><acc> かるー<pprn><p3><sg><aa><acc> ↔ かるー
banchaa ばんちゃー 1 Pl animate <pprn><p1><pl><aa> ばんちゃー<pprn><p1><pl><aa> ↔ ばんちゃー

Finite Verbs

Romaji Hiragana Function Tag Class 1 Example Class 2 Example
baa ばー hortative <hort> いでぃー<v><hort> ↔ いでぃばー くず<v><hort> ↔ くがばー
di でぃ volitional <vol> いでぃー<v><vol> ↔ いでぃでぃ くず<v><vol> ↔ くがでぃ
zyaan じゃーん negative volitional <vol><neg> いでぃー<v><vol><neg> ↔ いでぃじゃーん  くず<v><vol><neg> ↔ くがじゃーん
n negative <neg> いでぃー<v><neg> ↔ いでぃん  くず<v><neg> ↔ くがん
ddan っだん negative past <neg><past> いでぃー<v><past><neg> ↔ いでぃっだん  くず<v><past><neg> ↔ くがっだん
ru imperative <imp> いでぃー<v><imp> ↔ いでぃる  くず<v><imp> ↔ くぎ
i non-past <npst> いでぃー<v><npst> ↔ いでぃー  くず<v><npst> ↔ くず
tai たい past <past> いでぃー<v><past> ↔ いでぃたい くず<v><past> ↔ くずたい
na prohibitive <proh> いでぃー<v><proh> ↔ いでぃな  くず<v><proh> ↔ くずな
gamata がまた future <ft> いでぃー<v><ft> ↔ いでぃがまた くず<v><ft> ↔ くざ’がまた
n speculative <spec> いでぃー<v><spec> ↔ いでぃん くず<v><spec> ↔ くずん


Romaji Hiragana Function Tag Class 1 Example Class 2 Example
ban ばん concession <cvb_con> いでぃー<v><cvb_con> ↔ いでぃばん くず<v><cvb_con> ↔ くがばん
da negative absolutive <cvb_abs><neg> いでぃー<v><cvb_abs><neg> ↔ いでぃだ くず<v><cvb_abs><neg> ↔ くがだ
dakaa だかー negative conditional <cvb_cni><neg> いでぃー<v><cvb_cni><neg> ↔ いでぃだかー  くず<v><cvb_cni><neg> ↔ くがだかー
i absolutive <cvb_abs> いでぃー<v><cvb_abs> ↔ いでぃー  くず<v><cvb_abs> ↔ くぎー
utui うとぅい circumstantial <cvb_circ> いでぃー<v><cvb_circ> ↔ いでぃうとぅい  くず<v><cvb_circ> ↔ くぎうとぅい
ccyaan っちゃーん simultaneous <cvb_sim> いでぃー<v><cvb_sim> ↔ いでぃっちゃーん  くず<v><cvb_sim> ↔ くざ’っちゃーん
tuu とぅー immediate anterior <cvb_ant> いでぃー<v><cvb_ant> ↔ いでぃとぅー  くず<v><cvb_ant> ↔ くずとぅー
ga purpose <cvb_pur> いでぃー<v><cvb_pur> ↔ いでぃが くず<v><cvb_pur> ↔ くずが
tigaa てぃがー conditional 1 <cvb_cni1> いでぃー<v><cvb_cni1> ↔ いでぃてぃがー  くず<v><cvb_cni1> ↔ くずてぃがー
ttaa ったー conditional 2 <cvb_cni2> いでぃー<v><cvb_cni2> ↔ いでぃったー くず<v><cvb_cni2> ↔ くずったー

Other verb suffixes

Function Tag Class 1 suffix Class 2 suffix Example
causative <caus> っさす あす どぅみ<v><caus> ↔ どぅみっさす
passive/potential <pot> らい あい みー<v><pot> ↔ みーらい
honorific <hon> さま あま

Other things

  • Ikema does not have productive reduplication, unlike other Miyako dialects
  • Miyako has classifiers for counting objects like Japanese does.