Wamesa/Grammar

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Verbs and Pronouns

The Wamesa pronouns are as follows:

Person ............Cardinal Form
1 p. sg. . . . . . yau
2 p. sg. . . . . . au
3 p. sg. . . . . . i
1 p. du. in. . . . nan(d)u
1 p. du. ex. . . . amu(n)
2 p. du. . . . . . man(d)u
3 p. du. . . . . . san(d)u
1 p. tr. in. . . . tatoru
1 p. tr. ex. . . . amatoru
2 p. tr. . . . . . metoru
3 p. tr. . . . . . setoru
1 p. pl. in. . . . tata(t)
1 p. pl. ex. . . . ama(t)
2 p. pl. . . . . . mia(t)
3 p. pl. hum.. . . sia(t)
3 p. pl. non-hum.. si

Wamesa verbs (<v>) conjugate in a way similar to the pronouns, but the trial form is eclipsed by the plural:

Person ............Prefix (Infix) Form
1 p. sg. . . . . . i-, y-
2 p. sg. . . . . . bu-, -u-
3 p. sg. . . . . . di-, -i-
1 p. du. in. . . . tu(n)-
1 p. du. ex. . . . amu(n)-
2 p. du. . . . . . mu(n)-
3 p. du. . . . . . su(n)-
1 p. pl. in. . . . ta(n)-
1 p. pl. ex. . . . ama(n)-
2 p. pl. . . . . . me(n)-
3 p. pl. hum.. . . se(n)-
3 p. pl. non-hum.. si

As such, they shall be tagged with one of <p1>, <p2>, and <p3>, and one of <sg>, <du>, and <pl>.

Subject Agreement

Wamesa does subject agreement by simply applying the appropriate prefix (or infix) to the verb. For nouns, the subject does not change form:

  • kankani<n> ba<adj><p3><sg> ↔ kankani bieba
"The eagle is big"
  • antum<n><def> pera<v><p3><sg> rotang<n><def> ↔ antumpai piera rotangpai
"The child cuts the bag"

Pronoun subjects undergo alterations when agreeing with their verbs:

  • vui<v><p1><sg><unacf> ↔ yau yimbui
"I'm about to write"

It should be noted, though, that although these constructions are grammatical, pronoun deletion is recoverable, so speakers would probably say the above phrases without the pronouns.

Human-ness

In Wamesa, morphemes indicate whether something is a human <hum> or non-human <nohum>. However, this only affects the 3pl forms of a word.

  • api<v><p3><pl><hum> ↔ setapi
"They (human) eat"
  • api<v><p3><pl><nohum> ↔ siapi
"They (nonhuman) eat"
  • kavio<v><p3><pl><hum> ↔ setikaviora
"They (human) use it to talk over there"
  • rawana<adj><p3><pl><nohum> ↔ siverawana
"They (nonhuman) are blue"

Inclusivity

Inclusivity (<incl>, <excl>) in Wamesa affects 1du and 1pl (1sg is always exclusive by nature), and indicates whether the listener is included in the narrator's group.

Inclusivity in Verbs

  • pera<v><p1><du><incl> ↔ tupera
  • pera<v><p1><du><excl> ↔ amupera
  • pera<v><p1><pl><incl> ↔ tapera
  • pera<v><p1><pl><excl> ↔ amapera
  • bar<v><p1><du><incl> ↔ tubar
  • bar<v><p1><du><excl> ↔ amubar
  • bar<v><p1><pl><incl> ↔ tabar
  • bar<v><p1><pl><excl> ↔ amabar
  • badior<v><p1><du><incl> ↔ tubadior
  • badior<v><p1><du><excl> ↔ amubadior
  • badior<v><p1><pl><incl> ↔ tabadior
  • badior<v><p1><pl><excl> ↔ amabadior
  • api<v><p1><du><incl> ↔ tunapi
  • api<v><p1><du><excl> ↔ amunapi
  • api<v><p1><pl><incl> ↔ tanapi
  • api<v><p1><pl><excl> ↔ amanapi
  • apai<v><p1><du><incl> ↔ tunapai
  • apai<v><p1><du><excl> ↔ amunapai
  • apai<v><p1><pl><incl> ↔ tanapai
  • apai<v><p1><pl><excl> ↔ amanapai

Inclusivity in Pronouns

In addition to conjugating with verbs, inclusivity can affect the use of pronouns:

1 p. du. in. . . . nan(d)u
1 p. du. ex. . . . amu(n)
1 p. pl. in. . . . tata(t)
1 p. pl. ex. . . . ama(t)

Number

Wamesa pronouns, and verbs undergo alternation as a result of number. When indicating the number of nouns, articles are attached, rather than changing the actual form of the noun. The same goes for when adjectives are converted into nouns by adding articles to them. The Wamesa system includes singular (<sg>), dual (<du>), (trial (<tr>),) and plural (<pl>).

Number in Pronouns

Pronouns in their cardinal form undergo alternations based on number. Take, for example, the <p2> pronoun in <sg>, <du>, and <pl> forms:

2 p. sg. . . . . . au
2 p. du. . . . . . man(d)u
2 p. pl. . . . . . mia(t)

Sometimes, there are multiple forms of each number, depending on other factors. As we see below, inclusivity and human-ness play a part in the form of pronouns:

1 p. du. in. . . . nan(d)u
1 p. du. ex. . . . amu(n)
3 p. pl. hum.. . . sia(t)
3 p. pl. non-hum.. si

There are actually trial forms of all three persons, as below. These forms are remnants from old Austronesian influence. However, these are very rare and conjugate as <pl> forms when with a verb.

1 p. tr. in. . . . tatoru
1 p. tr. ex. . . . amatoru
2 p. tr. . . . . . metoru
3 p. tr. . . . . . setoru

Number in Verbs

Verbs conjugate based on the number of persons acting.

  • api<v><p1><sg> ↔ yapi
  • api<v><p1><pl><incl> ↔ tanapi
  • api<v><p2><sg> ↔ buapi
  • api<v><p2><du> ↔ murapi
  • api<v><p2><pl> ↔ metapi
  • api<v><p3><sg> ↔ diapi
  • api<v><p3><du> ↔ sunapi
  • api<v><p3><pl><hum> ↔ setapi
  • badior<v><p1><sg> ↔ ibadior
  • badior<v><p1><pl><incl> ↔ tabadior
  • badior<v><p2><sg> ↔ buadior
  • badior<v><p2><du> ↔ murbadior
  • badior<v><p2><pl> ↔ mebadior
  • badior<v><p3><sg> ↔ biadior
  • badior<v><p3><du> ↔ sunbadior
  • apai<v><p1><sg> ↔ yapai
  • apai<v><p1><pl><incl> ↔ tanapai
  • apai<v><p2><sg> ↔ buapai
  • apai<v><p2><du> ↔ murapai
  • apai<v><p2><pl> ↔ metapai
  • apai<v><p3><sg> ↔ diapai
  • apai<v><p3><du> ↔ sunapai
  • apai<v><p3><pl><hum> ↔ setapai

Wamesa Articles

There are two types of articles in Wamesa - definite and indefinite - but they behave slightly differently than in English. Perhaps most importantly, they can attach to adjectives to turn the resulting phrase into a noun.

Definite Articles

The definite article (<def>) in Wamesa has a few forms: pai for <sg>, pasanu for <du>, and pasiat for <pl>. Some examples are as follows:

  • antum<n><sg><def> ↔ antumpai
"The child"
  • muan<n><sg><def> ↔ muanpai
"The man"
  • re<n><sg><def> ↔ repai
"The eye"
  • kankani<n><sg><def> ↔ kankanipai
"The eagle"
  • antum<n><du><def> ↔ antumpasanu
"The two children"
  • muan<n><du><def> ↔ muanpasanu
"The two men"
  • re<n><du><def> ↔ repasanu
"The two eyes"
  • kankani<n><du><def> ↔ kankanipasanu
"The two eagles"
  • Windesi<n><pl><def> ↔ Windesipasiat
"The Windesi people"
  • antum<n><pl><def> ↔ antumpasiat
"The children"
  • muan<n><pl><def> ↔ muanpasiat
"The men"
  • kankani<n><pl><def> ↔ kankanipasiat
"The eagles"

Exception:

  • sinitu<n><du><def> ↔ sinitupa
"The two people"

Indefinite Articles

The indefinite article (<indef>) in Wamesa is pesi. Examples below:

  • antum<n><sg><indef> ↔ antumpesi
"A child"
  • muan<n><sg><indef> ↔ muanpesi
"A man"
  • babin<n><sg><indef> ↔ babinpesi
"A woman"
  • re<n><sg><indef> ↔ repesi
"An eye"
  • kankani<n><sg><indef> ↔ kankanipesi
"An eagle"
  • ba<adj><sg><indef> ↔ babapesi
"Something big"

pesi is almost always inert, but it occasionally found in its dual and plural forms:

  • babin<n><du><indef> ↔ babinpesisanu
"Some two women"
  • muan<n><du><indef> ↔ muanpesisanu
"Some two men"
  • antum<n><du><indef> ↔ antumpesisanu
"Some two children"
  • diru<n><pl><indef> ↔ dirupesasi
"Some nights"
  • antum<n><pl><indef> ↔ antumpesasi
"Some children"

Intensity

Intensity in Wamesa is usually handled by reduplication, which can happen on verbs, adjectives, and even nouns. To indicate intensity, words usually reduplicate a portion of their stem, typically a single, coda-less syllable. Words can either be intensified (<int>), or regular intensity.

  • ira saira<v><p1><sg> ↔ ira saira
"I go quickly"
  • ira saira<v><p1><sg><int> ↔ ira sasaira
"I go very quickly"
  • imase<adj><p1><sg> ↔ yau imase
"I'm hot"
  • imase<adj><p1><sg><int> ↔ yau imamase
"I'm very hot"

Possession

Possession affects nouns in Wamesa. The nouns undergo alterations depending on whether they belong (<poss>) to <p1>, <p2>, or <p3>; <sg>, <du>, or <pl>.

  • sore<n><p1><sg><poss> ↔ sorepat
"My mouth" (literally "the mouth")
  • sore<n><p2><sg><poss> ↔ soremi
"Your mouth"
  • sore<n><p3><sg><poss> ↔ soreni
"His mouth"

Aspect

Wamesa handles a few aspects.

Habitual Aspect

Habitual aspect (<hab>) in Wamesa is subtle. It is marked by the prefixes i-, ri- and ti- for <sg>, <du>, and <pl>, respectively, and is often equated to the imperfect tense in English. In Wamesa, however, it has little to do with tense, and more to do with the fact that the situation is habitual or spanned a long time:

  • uri<v><p1><sg><hab> adia<n> ↔ iuri adiapai
"He made a fire again"
  • Windesi<n><pl> mun<v><p3><pl><hab> pimuna<n> ↔ Windesipasiat sentimun pimuna
"The Windesi people hunt pigs" (and have done so for a while)
  • uri<v><p2><sg><hab> adia<n> ↔ riuri adiapai
"They two made a fire again"
  • uri<v><p3><sg><hab> adia<n> ↔ tiuri adiapai
"They (plural) made a fire again"

Causative Aspect

Causative aspect (<caus>) is handled by the prefixes on-, ron- and ton- for <sg>, <du>, and <pl>, respectively, which are actually just elided forms of the conjugations of the verb one, to cause.

  • moyar<v><p3><sg><caus> ↔ dionmoyar
"She made it stop"
  • dama<v><p3><pl><caus> ↔ sunrondama
"They made it come"

Participials

In Wamesa, the prefix be- attaches to stems (usually adjectives), to indicate that the actor is in the state of being whatever is marked, or transitioning into the state of being whatever is marked. It shall be tagged with <part>.

  • pota<adj><part> ↔ bepota
"Being sick"
  • pota<adj><part><def> ↔ bepotapai
"The sick one"
  • pota<adj><v><p3><sg> ↔ piota
"He is sick"
  • pota<adj><part><v><p3><sg> ↔ biepota
"He is getting sick"

This construction also seems to be used for resultatives:

  • pera<v><p3><sg> Inuri rabibam<part> ↔ pieran Inuri bierabibam
"He cut Inuri to pieces" (Inuri became in pieces)

Miscellaneous Words

Negation

In Wamesa, negation of a clause (<neg>) is handled by putting va (sometimes transliterated ba) at the end. Note that va can only be placed at the end, interspersing it somewhere in the middle yields ungrammaticality:

  • moyar<v><p3><sg><caus><neg> ↔ dionmoyar i va
"She could not make it stop"
  • rora<v><p1><sg><neg> ↔ yau irorai va
"I didn't hit it"
  • apai<v><p1><sg><neg> ↔ yapaiva
"I didn't run"
  • mun<v><p1><sg><neg> ↔ imunva
"I didn't hunt"
  • api<v><p1><sg><neg> ↔ yapiva
"I didn't eat"
  • badior<v><p1><sg><neg> ↔ ibadiorva
"I didn't resist"

"Yet"

The affix -pa (not to be confused with the determiner) is used to mark the unaccomplished past ("not yet") aspect (<unacp>):

  • rebuki<n> tauwa<v><unacp> ↔ rebukipai tiauwapa
"The stone hasn't fallen yet"
  • sere<v><p1><sg> i aya<n><unacp> ↔ yau isere i ayapa
"I haven't seen the bird yet"
  • apai<v><p1><sg><unacp> ↔ yapaipa
"I haven't ran yet"
  • mun<v><p1><sg><unacp> ↔ imunpa
"I haven't hunted yet"
  • api<v><p1><sg><unacp> ↔ yapipa
"I didn't eat yet"

"About to" Construction

The infix -i(t)- is used to mark the unaccomplished future ("about to") aspect (<unacf>):

  • apai<v><p1><sg><unacf> ↔ yau yitapai
"I'm about to run"
  • vui<v><p1><sg><unacf> ↔ yau yimbui
"I'm about to write"
  • mun<v><p1><sg><unacf> ↔ yau yimun
"I'm about to hunt"

Exceptional Behavior: Interestingly enough, this construction can be employed to mean "use (something)", if under the right discourse circumstances. For example, if shoes are the topic, the first example can mean "I use them to run".

Spellrelax

  • Wamesa mostly consists of sounds contained within the English phonemic inventory, but it does include a voiced bilabial fricative. This is sometimes approximated in Roman script as /v/, sometimes as /b/, and even sometimes as /bw/.
  • Most of my transcriptions have hyphens marking -pai, but a few don't. Either way, this hyphen is unrelated to the actual word at all.
  • Sometimes (I think in error), y and j (and potentially i) are mixed up in their transliteration. This is very rare, but might happen.