Kunke

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General Description

Kunke is a nominative-accusative SOV language which combines:

1. trial number

2. inverse number marking

3. orientation prefixes

4. areal prefixes.

5. disjoint prefixes

Number and Orientation

Number

Number Direct Inverse
-0 -aah

Orientation

Orientation Vertical Horizontal Squatting
osi- osuw- hii-


Commentary

Kunke has inverse number marking. Each stem is inherently singular, dual, or plural. The inherent number is zero-marked and lexically determined. Both non-inherent numbers are indicated by the inverse number '-aah'. Stems consist minimally of an orientation prefix and a root.

The basic meaning of the root 'nasah' is 'long wooden thing' and it is inherently singular; thus 'osinasah' means 'tree', 'osinasahaah' 'trees (dual or plural)', 'osuwnasah' 'stick', 'hiinasah' 'branch'.

'Ruwsa' 'eyes' is inherently dual. 'Siuyosuwsuwsa' means 'eyes (dual). 'Siuyosuwsuwsuayaah' means 'eye(s) (singular and plural)'. 'Siuyosizhuwsa' means 'downward eye; modesty', 'siuhiizhuwsa' 'upward-glancing eyes; insolence'.

'Runwu' 'water' is inherently plural. 'Osuwsunwuyaah' means 'drop of water (in river)', 'osizhunwuyaah' 'raindrop', and 'hiizhunwuyaah' 'waterfall (because of the shift from horizontal to vertical').

Possessive Prefixes

Possessive Prefixes Generic 1st 2nd 3rd Reflexive Reciprical Areal Disjoint Inverse Disjoint
siu- nue- iih- asa- uwi- aek- eur- aas- uos-


There are possessive prefixes in Kunke. One of them, 'siu-', seen above in words such as 'siuyosuwsuwsa' ‘eyes (du)’, is used with inalienably possessed objects, such as body parts and relatives. It is frequently used to create nouns.

The first, second, and third persons are represented by 'nue-', 'iih-', and 'asa-', respectively.

'uwi-' is the reflexive prefix.

'aek-' is the reciprocal prefix. Then it becomes less familiar to speakers of European languages.

'eur-' is an areal prefix, used when the possessor is areal, spatial, or temporal.

'aas-' is the disjoint prefix, used when both the subject and the possessor are both in the direct zero-marked form and are not identical.

'uos-' is the inverse disjoint form (a neologism on the basis of the plural disjoint prefix). It is used when the subject is inverse-marked, the possessor is not, and the possessor is not an individual included within the inverse-marked subject. Thus, from 'osizhena' ‘daughter’ from 'osi-rena':

'siuyosizhena' ‘daughter’

'nueyosizhena' ‘my daughter’

'iihosizhena' ‘your daughter’

'asayosizhena' ‘his/her daughter’

'uwiyosizhena' ‘his/her/their own daughter’

'aekosizhenayaah' ‘each other’s daughters’

'euzhosizhena' ‘area daughter; foundling; prostitute’

'aasosizhena' ‘his/her daughter (but not of the subject)’

'uososizhena' ‘his/her daughter (but not of a singular subject)’

If the inverse-marked subject is inherently dual or plural, the inverse disjoint prefix can only reflect the non-singular meaning of the inverse-marked subject. Thus, if the subject is 'osihoshetaah' ‘warrior/warriors (sg/du)’, from 'osi-horhet', 'uososizhena' can only refer to a daughter of someone who is a not a part of the group of the two warriors who are the subject of the sentence; if she were the daughter of one of these warriors, one would use 'asayosizhena'.

Genitives

Genitive Alienable Inalienable
-ia -iko

There are two genitive suffixes, one alienable '-ia', the other inalienable '-iko'. A piece of jewelry owned by the warrior’s daughter would produce 'iihosizhenayia hiikuaw' ‘your daughter’s jewelry’, but her neck, 'ruta', would produce 'iihosizhenayiko siuyosizhuta' ‘your daughter’s neck’.

Verbal Structure

Kunke verbs have the following structure:

switch reference-subject-root-object-tense.

Switch reference

Switch Reference Remote Past Past Present Future
Same Subject une- ohru- uuh- hue-
Different Subject uno- our- uuw- oha-


Switch reference is zero-marked on a free-standing verb. Switch-reference encodes tense as well change of subject.

Verbal Plurals

Verbal Suffixes Generic 1st 2nd 3rd Reflexive Reciprocal Areal Disjoint
Singular ook- nue- iih- asa- uwi- aek- eur- aas-
Plural hue- iti- wao- iho- uwi- aer- iar- uos-

Verbs, unlike nouns, have explicit plural forms for numbers and persons. The singular forms are the same as the possessive prefixes listed above, except for the Generic, which is different.The plural forms are different, except for the Reflexive, which is the same.

Tense Suffixes

Tense Suffixes Remote Past Past Present Future
-iet -iur -iun -ihu

Sentence Examples

osihoshetaah osuwsena ihoyosuwasayiet uososuwwehsi uneyihosisoyeuzhiet

osi-horhet-aah osuw-rena iho-osuw-asa-iet uos-osuw-wehsi une-iho-siso-eur-iet

VERT-warrior SQU-daughter 3pl-see-RPST PL.DJT-HORZ-building RPST.SAME-3pl-seize-AREA-RPST

The two warriors saw the housemaid and seized her house.

(No, there are no numbers yet)

osihoshet osuwasiwaah ihosisoyiazhihu

osi-horhet osuw-asiw-aah iho-siso-iar-ihu

VERT-warrior HORZ-field-INV 3pl-seize-AREA.PL-FUT

The warriors will seize the fields’

Lexicon

asiw (sg) - osuwasiw 'field'

hoshet (< hor-het) (pl) - osihoshet 'band of warriors'; osihoshetaah 'warrior(s)'

kuaw (pl) - hiikuaw 'jewelry'

nasah (sg) - osinasah 'tree'; osinasahaah 'trees'; osuwnasah 'stick'; hiinasah 'stick'

osuw - to see

rena (sg) - osizhena 'daughter'; euzhosizhena 'foundling; prostitute'

runwu (pl) - osizhunwuyaah 'raindrop'; osuwsunwu 'water'; osuwsunwuyaah 'drop of water (in river)'; hiizhunwuyaah 'waterfall'

ruta (sg) - osizhuta 'neck'

ruwsa (du) - siuyosizhuwsa 'modesty'; siuyosuwsuwsa 'eyes'; siuyosuwsuwsa 'eye(s) (sg/pl)'; siuhiizhuwsa 'insolence'

siso - to seize

wehsi (sg) - building