Biak and English/Contrastive grammar

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bhw-eng Tests

Reordering of article and noun

Biak sentences order the article before the noun, opposite of English.

  • (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>

locative

  • (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>

Plurals

If a noun appears with an article, the number of the article indicates whether the noun is singular or plural. The pronominal article can also be a suffix of the noun.

  • (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>

Implicit Subject

For Biak sentences lacking an explicit subject, a pronoun is assumed that agrees with the number of the verb.

  • (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>

Possessives

Alienable 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 possessor 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>