Berik and English/Contrastive Grammar

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Word Order

  • English is SVO, Berik is SOV.
  • (bkl) Petrus je onap sofwa. → (eng) Peter goes to the jungle. ("Peter goes to the jungle.")
    (bkl) Petrus<n> je<prn><subj> onap<n> sofwa<v><tv><m><sg><prs><light> → (eng) Peter<np><ant><m><sg> go<vblex><pres><p3><sg> to<pr> the<det><def><sp> jungle<n><sg>
  • (bkl) Gwirmir wini as damtafa. → (eng) Tomorrow the woman will see me. ("Tomorrow the woman will see me.")
    (bkl) gwirmir<temp> wini<n> ai<prn><acc> damtafa<v><tv><f><sg><fut><light> → (eng) tomorrow<adv> the<det><def><sp> woman<n><sg> will<vbmod><pres> see<vblex><inf> prpers<prn><obj><p1><mf><sg>
  • (bkl) Niko am saftena. → (eng) Niko hit me. ("Niko hit me.")
    (bkl) Niko<n> ai<prn><acc> saftena<v><tv><m><pst><light> → (eng) Niko<np><ant><m><sg> hit<vblex><past> prpers<prn><obj><p1><mf><sg>
  • (bkl) Fi ap golbili. → (eng) Give the salt to me. ("Give the salt to me.")
    (bkl) fi<n> ai<prn><dat> golbili<v><tv><sg><lg><m><imp><light> → (eng) give<vblex><imp> the<det><def><sp> salt<n><sg> to<pr> prpers<prn><obj><p1><mf><sg>


  • English has copulas, Berik doesn't.
  • Negative copulas are "copula adverb" in English, in Berik it's a negative suffix on the object.
  • (bkl) Ai taneyan. → (eng) I am not a child. ("I am not a child.")
    (bkl) ai<prn><subj> tane<n>+yan<neg> → (eng) prpers<prn><subj><p1><mf><sg> be<vbser><pres><p1><sg> not<adv> a<det><ind><sg> child<n><sg>
  • (bkl) Je namwer bwernabaryan. → (eng) He is not sick now. ("He is not sick now.")
    (bkl) je<prn><subj> namwer<temp> bwernabar<n>+yan<neg> → (eng) prpers<prn><subj><p3><m><sg> be<vbser><pres><p3><sg> not<adv> sick<adj><sint> now<adv>


  • In Berik, lists do not include a conjunction to follow the penultimate element, instead use comitative on last element.
  • (bkl) Ai, Daud, Sekati, Piterfar twensar. → (eng) David, Scotty, Peter, and I eat together. ("David, Scotty, Peter, and I eat together.")
    (bkl) ai<prn><subj> Daud<n><subj> Sekati<n><subj> Piter<n><com> twensar<v><iv><prs><light> → (eng) David<np><cog><sg> ,<cm> Scotty<np><ant><m><sg> ,<cm> Peter<np><ant><m><sg> ,<cm> and<cnjcoo> prpers<prn><subj><p1><mf><sg> eat<vblex><pres> together<adv>

Tools and definiteness

  • Berik has a separate case for tools, English uses prepositions.
  • Berik does not mark definiteness.
  • (bkl) Korano atem difnant. → (eng) The chief came with a canoe. ("The chief came with a canoe.")
    (bkl) Korano<n><subj> at<n><ins> difna<v><iv><m><pst><light> → (eng) the<det><def><sp> chief<n><sg> come<vblex><past> with<pr> a<det><ind><sg> canoe<n><sg>
  • (bkl) Je twena ginem tana. → (eng) He killed the pig with an arrow. ("He killed the pig with an arrow.")
    (bkl) je<prn><subj> twin<n><acc> gin<n><ins> tana<v><tv><m><light><pst> → (eng) prpers<prn><subj><p3><m><sg> kill<vblex><past> the<det><def><sp> pig<n><sg> with<pr> a<det><ind><sg> arrow<n><sg>

Plurality and subject repetition

  • Berik nouns do not mark plurality.
  • A noun phrase in Berik with multiple modifiers will be split by the verb and/or a repetition of the subject. I don't get this...
  • (bkl) Ai twena anesus ai damtabili unggunfena setetina. → (eng) I see many large black pigs. ("I see many large black pigs.")
    (bkl) ai<prn><subj> twin<n><acc> ane<adj><int> ai<prn><subj> damtabili<v><tv><f><prs><light> unggunfena<adj> setetina<adj> → (eng) prpers<prn><subj><p1><mf><sg> see<vblex><pres> many<det><qnt><pl> large<adj><sint> black<adj><sint> pig<n><pl>