User:Masako/nkala

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kamalo

Phonology

Consonants

Consonants Labial Coronal Dorsal
Nasal m n
Plosive p t k
Fricative s
Approximant w l j (y)

Vowels

Vowels Front Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

Syllable Structure

All syllables are of the form (C)V(N), that is, optional consonant + vowel + optional final nasal, or V, CV, VN, CVN.

Phonotactics

The following sequences are not allowed: /wo, wu, yi, yu, lu, tu/.

Allophony

Because of its small phoneme inventory, kamalo allows for quite a lot of allophonic variation. For example, /p t k/ may be pronounced [b d ɡ] as well as [p t k], /s/ as [z] or [ʃ] as well as [s], /l/ as [ɾ] as well as [l], and vowels may be either long or short.

Parts of Speech

All kamalo words are built from basic roots. These roots are always CVC (consonant+vowel+consonant) and surrounded by various affixes to subtly add nuance and change meaning. The majority of these roots are primarily verbal. The only other part of speech is particles.

Verbals

Verbs are the centerpiece of a kamalo sentence. They can mark for both agent and patient as well as tense. Many simple sentences are composed of only a verb. An unconjugated verb root can consist of as little as a single consonant. As a rule, all verb roots must start and end with a consonant. Verbs, inflect heavily to indicate tense, aspect or mood, primarily in their ending. The two tenses are perfective (often considered past tense) and present (or technically, non-past, as the future tense is not indicated). Two levels of formality indicated are plain and polite.

  • wata
wa-t-a
1-COP-NPST
I am. / We are.

Tense

Past tense is marked finally on the verb by -e. Non-past is marked by -a.

  • wamala
wa-mal-a
1-speak-NPST
I speak.
  • komale
ko-mal-e
3-speak-PST
They spoke.


Aspect

Mood

Nominals

Pronouns

kamalo has the basic pronouns wa- (first person), ni- (second person), and ko- (third person). The above words do not specify number or gender. Thus, ko- can mean "he", "she", "it", or "they". In practice, the plural prefix ka- can be used for plural pronouns. Both subject and object are marked on the verb.

singular plural
1 wa- kawa-
2 ni- kani-
3 ko- kako-