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
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||Generic||1st||2nd||3rd||Reflexive||Reciprical||Areal||Disjoint||Inverse Disjoint|
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':
'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'.
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’.
Kunke verbs have the following structure:
|Switch Reference||Remote Past||Past||Present||Future|
Switch reference is zero-marked on a free-standing verb. Switch-reference encodes tense as well change of subject.
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||Remote Past||Past||Present||Future|
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’
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