Pronouns

Pronouns are a closed class.

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are marked for case and person. Third person pronouns are marked for animacy.

1st person 2nd person 3rd person
topic
3rd person
animate
3rd person
inanimate
intranstitive (abs / nom) ’usu filli (su’a) mihu pa
transitive (erg / acc) suma fu (su’a) quhu ’iffa
ablative puttu sacu raja kassi kalu
dative pixi ba’u datu jusi ku
genitive pagu ba su’a disi qa

Case will be discussed in a later section.

Person

First person refers to the speaker or speakers, and any group for whom they are speaking.

Second person refers to the listener or listeners, and any group the listener is representing.

Third person refers to any other party. It is not used for the subject of the sentence, whether present or implied.

Number

Pronouns are not marked for number. However, if the pronoun refers to a group that includes more than one of these persons, then additional pronouns can be constructed as follows:

The second person transitive pronoun fu can be suffixed to the first person pronouns to form first person inclusive plural pronouns.

The third person intransitive inanimate pronoun pa can be suffixed to any first or second person pronouns, including those with fu, to form other plural pronouns.

sumafu you and I

pixifu to you and me

puttupa from them and me

fillipa they and you

pagufupa of you, them and me

Animacy

Animate pronouns refer to people and other multicellular organisms capable of independent movement.

Inanimate pronouns refer to anything else, such as natural phenomena, plants, fungi, unicellular life and abstract concepts.

The Genitive

The genitive is used to mark a connection between nouns, including one noun possessing another.

Alienable Possession

Possession is alienable when the possessed item can be transferred from one owner to another. Alienable possessions include objects bought or received by a person.

The structure of the possessive phrase for alienable possession is possessor genitive possessed. The genitive marker marks the animacy of the possessor.

julliga disi kulu the married woman, her fork

manafa qa jifiru’i the country, its lake

pagu xissata my musical instrument

disi nukki his strawberry

Inalienable Possession

Inalienable possession refers to items which are unable to be transferred from one individual to another. Inalienable possessions include relatives, parts of the body and objects created by a person.

For inalienable possession, as well as genitive constructions that do not involve literal possession, the structure is possessed-genitive possessor, that is, the genitive marker is an enclitic on the possessed item. This marker is always the third person inanimate genitive pronoun, unless the possessor is a plain pronoun.

kahipagu my arm

sabbaqa lulani the queen’s father

hafiqa nasiʔu the sheep field

Ra’aniqa ʔikinnisa Ryan (of the family) Eakins

Sa’imiqa Tinalli Caemi from Tinellb

Contrasts

Because of the nature of alienability, some contrasts can be made between possessives.

luffupagu my eyes, the ones with which I was born

pagu luffu the eyes I just bought and have in my hand

’asilariba your friend

ba ’asilari the friend you own

hu’asadisi the painting she made

disi hu’asa the painting she bought

Alienable possession is used in a hierarchy when the possessor is of higher rank than the possessed, and inalienable possession when the relationship is the other way around.

lulanipagu my queen

pagu mifasu my vassal