Biak and English/Contrastive grammar

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bhw-eng Tests

article comes after the noun

  • (bhw) ras anya → (eng) the day
    (bhw) ras<n> i<prn><pers><p3><sg><spc> → (eng) the<det><def><sp> day<n><sg>
  • (bhw) rum nane → (eng) these houses
    (bhw) rum<n> na<prn><pers><p3><pl><inan><spc>+ne<det><dem> → (eng) these<det><dem><pl> houses<n><pl>

verb tenses

  • (bhw) rusa anine dores → (eng) this deer stood
    (bhw) rusa<n> i<prn><pers><p3><sg><spc>+ne<det><dem> ores<v><iv><p3><sg> → (eng) this<det><dem><sg> deer<n><sg> stand<vblex><past>
  • (bhw) Ikak aniyasne nyas i → (eng) This snake up here smelled it
    (bhw) ikak<n> i<prn><pers><p3><sg><spc><giv>+yasne<det><dem> nas<v><tv><p3><sg> i<prn><pers><p3><sg> → (eng) this<det><dem><sg> snake<n><sg> up here<adv> smell<vblex><past> prpers<prn><obj><p3><nt><sg>

indicating demonstrative from ending

  • (bhw) mnu ine → (eng) this village
    (bhw) mnu<n> i<prn><pers><p3><sg><spc>+ne<det><dem> → (eng) this<det><dem><sg> village<n><sg>
  • (bhw) rusa anine → (eng) this deer
    (bhw) rusa<n> i<prn><pers><p3><sg><spc>+ne<det><dem> → (eng) this<det><dem><sg> deer<n><sg>


  • (bhw) ikak aniyasne → (eng) this snake up here
    (bhw) ikak<n> i<prn><pers><p3><sg><spc><giv>+yasne<det><dem> → (eng) this<det><dem><sg> snake<n><sg> up here<adv>


If a noun appears with an article, the number of the article indicates whether the noun is singular or plural.

  • (bhw) rum nane → (eng) these houses
    (bhw) rum<n> na<prn><pers><p3><pl><inan><spc>+ne<det><dem> → (eng) this<det><dem><pl> houses<n><pl>
  • (bhw) ina anskoine → (eng) these three girls
    (bhw) ina<n> anskoi<prn><pers><p3><pc><spc><giv>+ne<det><dem> → (eng) this<det><dem><pl> three<num><pl> girl<n><pl>

subject is implicit

  • (bhw) imnai kwar → (eng) it stopped already
    (bhw) mnai<v><iv><p3><sg> kwar<adv> → (eng) it/prpers<prn><subj><p3><nt><sg> stop<vblex><past> already<adv>
  • (bhw) nggokain → (eng) we sit
    (bhw) kain<v><iv><p1><pl><ex> → (eng) we/prpers<prn><subj><p1><mf><pl> sit<vblex><pres>


Possession is indicated by a determiner in Biak following the possessum and the possessor noun phrase, although they can come in either order. In English, the possessive is indicated by an "'s" on the noun or a possessive personal pronoun.

  • (bhw) ikak anine snonsnon vyedya → (eng) this snake's name
    (bhw) ikak<n> i<prn><pers><p3><sg><spc><giv>+ne<det><dem> snonsnon<n> det<det><pos><px3sg><sg><spc> → (eng) the<det><def><sp> snake<n><sg>'s<gen> name<n><sg>
  • (bhw) snewar vyedya → (eng) his belly
    (bhw) snewar<n> det<det><pos><px3sg><sg><spc> → (eng) prpers<det><pos><p3><m><sg> belly<n><sg>