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Tokana does not have demonstratives like English this, that, these, those. Instead, determiners fulfill the function of demonstratives. E.g., te halma may mean "the book", "this book", or "that book", depending on context.
In order to make explicit the spatial demonstrative force of the determiner, the deictics lhai "here" and lhon "there" may be added:
te lhai "this one" (lit. "it here") te lhon "that one" (lit. "it there")
Lhai and lhon are treated as modifiers within the noun phrase; if the phrase contains a lexical noun, the deictic will follow the noun:
ne mikal lhai "this boy" (lit. "the boy here") ne mikal lhon "that boy" (lit. "the boy there")
In place of lhai and lhon, the 'discourse deictics' lhakmi and lhaisi may also be used. Lhakmi marks the noun phrase as referring to something previously mentioned in the discourse, while lhaisi introduces a new referent into the discourse:
ne mikal lhakmi "that boy" or "the previously-mentioned boy" or "the boy we've been talking about" te sliahte lhaisi "the following story"
Note also the following adverbial expressions which incorporate lhakmi and lhaisi:
omi "thus, in this/that way, by this/that means" omi lhakmi "that's how..., it's in that (just-mentioned) way that..." omi lhaisi "this is how..., in the following way, as follows" talh "therefore, for this/that reason" talh lhakmi "that's why..., it's for that (just-mentioned) reason that..." talh lhaisi "this is why..., for the following reason"
Omi lhaisi lehua temiohanò satha thus following:(one) ought fix-Subj-the:Abs roof "This is how one ought to fix the roof..." or "The roof should be fixed in the following way..." Ne Sakial teusu tonia, ha talh lhakmi huaitama the:Abs Sakial very friendly so for:that:reason just-mentioned like-I:NA "Sakial is very friendly, and that's why I like him"
In the context of discourse reference, the adverbial element tos "thus, so" should also be mentioned. This element is used at the beginning of a sentence to refer back to (the content of) the sentence which immediately preceded it in the discourse. For example:
Iaslò eta kahpat sù: Tos itsena Han imai inlotka today come fall-Dep rain thus say-Pst-the:NA Han me:Dat yesterday "It's going to rain today: That's what Han told me yesterday" Na Mothe uonia hostanat, su tos opana Sakiale the:Erg Mothe be:good:at dance-Dep or so think-the:NA Sakial-Dat "Mothe is a good dancer, or so thinks Sakial" or "Mothe is a good dancer, or at least that's what Sakial thinks"
In the first example, tos refers back to the sentence Iaslò eta kahpat sù "It's going to rain today", identifying that sentence as Han's utterance. In the second example, tos denotes the sentence Na Mothe uonia hostanat "Mothe is a good dancer", indentifying it as the content of Sakial's opinion.
In Tokana the citation (or 'unmarked') form of the noun is the ergative/absolutive case form, which usually consists of a bare stem, e.g. mikal "boy", halma "book". (In the case of those nouns whose stems end in h, the h is dropped in the citation form, e.g. suh- "rain" > sù.) In this section I discuss the different ways in which this unmarked form may be modified. In 2.2.1 I consider number marking on nouns (or lack thereof). In 2.2.2 I discuss reduplication on noun stems. In 2.2.3 I discuss the diminutive and augmentative prefixes ki- and to-. And in 2.2.4 I present the case paradigms for nouns.
Nouns in Tokana are not morphologically marked for number. Thus whether a noun phrase is singular or plural is indicated only by the form of the determiner.
te halma "the book" ten halma "the books"
Non-specific noun phrases, which lack a determiner (see 2.1), are thus ambiguous between a singular and plural interpretation. E.g. halma, without a preceding determiner, can mean either "some book (or other)" or "some books (or other)":
Na Han malhe halma "Han read a book" or "Han read books"
If it is necessary to specify the number of a non-specific noun phrase, a quantifier (such as es "one" or sepe "some, a few") must be used:
Na Han malhe es halma "Han read a book" Na Han malhe sepe halma "Han read some books"
Although number is not regularly marked on nouns in Tokana, there are a few nouns which may be regarded as 'inherently' plural. The most common of these are tenù "people" and lati "children". These nouns can only occur with plural determiners - e.g. lati takes the plural definite determiner sa in the following example:
Sa lati lalieha itai siyhoi the:Pl:Erg children play-Prog the:Dat field-Dat "The children are playing in the field"
The inherently plural nouns tenù and lati are not etymologically related to koin "person" and mikoin (or pyi) "child", which can occur with either singular or plural determiners.
Note in addition that many body part nouns have a special dual form (characterised by the suffix -ie):
'Singular' Dual hunka "lung" hunkie "(pair of) lungs" inna "eye" inie "(pair of) eyes" kalia "leg" kalie "(pair of) legs" kusta "foot" kustie "(pair of) feet" melet "kidney" meletie "(pair of) kidneys" mol "hand" molie "(pair of) hands" monen "wing, fin" monie "(pair of) wings/fins" nalh "arm" nalhie "(pair of) arms" nul "ear" nulie "(pair of) ears" sian "breast" sianie "(pair of) breasts"
Inai Mothè yma inie kote the:Dat Mothe-Dat have eyes black "Mothe has black eyes"
One body part noun, mosie "shoulders, upper back", only has a -ie form (there is no noun *mos or *mosa which refers to a single shoulder). Note also the following pairs:
ahkame "full sibling" ahkamie "(pair of) twins" tsan "body, thing, object" tsanie "pair, couple, twosome"
Crucially, these -ie forms are not plurals, but 'collective' nouns which denote a pair of objects. They occur with a singular determiner when referring to a single pair, and with a plural determiner when referring to multiple pairs:
te iniema "my eyes" (i.e. my pair of eyes) ten iniekma "our eyes" (i.e. our pairs of eyes)
In addition to their simple stem form, most nouns have a reduplicated stem, which is formed by copying segments of the simple stem and then prefixing them to that stem. The rules for forming the reduplicated stem are as follows: If the simple stem begins in a single consonant, copy and prefix that consonant together with the following vowel:
Base stem Reduplicated stem halma hahalma "book" his hihis "star" katia kakatia "house"
Only the first vowel of the simple stem is copied, even if that vowel is a glide or part of a diphthong:
launi lalauni "rabbit" pyi pypyi "child" tien titien "son"
If the simple stem begins in a consonant cluster (e.g. st, sl, kl), then only the first consonant of the cluster is copied:
sten sesten "deer" sliahte sisliahte "story, tale"
If the simple stem begins in a vowel, then that vowel is copied, and is separated from the base by an epenthetic h:
akot ahakot "box" eithe eheithe "horse"
The reduplicated stem has a generic or collective interpretation. Normally a reduplicated noun denotes the kind, type, species, etc., to which the entities referred to by the simple stem belong. E.g. compare koin "person", kokoin "humankind, people (in general)"; eithe "horse", eheithe "horses (taken as a species)"; halma "book", hahalma "books (in general, when thought of as a type of object)". Reduplicated noun forms are inherently specific, and thus require an overt determiner - usually a singular one:
Na titiò iasa lhes the:Erg cow:Redup eat grass "Cows eat grass" Ne liliany hathuotama the:Abs snake be:afraid-I:NA "I am afraid of snakes"
To form a diminutive noun, the prefix ki- (or kih- before vowels) may be added to the noun stem:
Stem Diminutive form peilan kipeilan "little bird" naka kinaka "little rock" ikei kihikei "little dog"
Diminutive nouns are frequently used as epithets for young children. (Among the Tokana, children are not given official names until age twelve, when the Naming Ceremony is performed.)
Augmentatives may be formed by adding the prefix to- (or toh- before vowels):
Stem Augmentative form kotu tokotu "large room" eithe toheithe "big horse" suhu tosuhu "strong wind"
The augmentative prefix is especially common with stative participles - i.e., nouns formed from stative verbs, used to modify other nouns (see section 3.9.2). Here to- may be translated very:
tohmi "big one" luhme "old one" totohmi "very big one" toluhme "very old one" katia totohmi "a very big house" katia toluhme "a very old house"
When a noun phrase contains a noun as well as a determiner, the noun is marked for case, in 'agreement' with the case of the determiner. However, the noun paradigm is somewhat less elaborate than the determiner paradigm: Only the oblique cases (dative, instrumental, ablative) are marked overtly, while ergative and absolutive case are both represented by the unmarked form of the noun.
Case on nouns is indicated by endings. The basic forms of the endings are:
Dative -e Instrumental -ne Ablative -u
To illustrate these endings, consider the following paradigm for kal "man":
|absolutive||ne kal "the man"||se kal "the men"|
|ergative||na kal "the man"||sa kal "the men"|
|dative||inai kale "to/at the man"||isai kale "to/at the men"|
|instrumental||inan kalne "with the man"||isan kalne "with the men"|
|ablative||inaul kalu "from the man"||isaul kalu "from the men"|
When a case suffix is added to a noun stem, there are certain phonological changes which affect either the stem or the suffix itself (or both). These changes create a number of variations of the basic paradigm which can be listed according to the final sound of the stem. There are seven patterns to consider:
(1) If the stem ends in a consonant or a V + i diphthong (viz. ai, ei, oi, yi), then the endings are added without any changes. This is shown for kal "man" above, and below for ikei "dog":
|absolutive||ne ikei||se ikei|
|ergative||na ikei||sa ikei|
|dative||inai ikeie||isai ikeie|
|instrumental||inan ikeine||isan ikeine|
|ablative||inaul ikeiu||isaul ikeiu|
(2) If the stem ends in a stressed vowel, then the underlying final h of the stem surfaces before a case suffix, as illustrated for napè "daughter":
|absolutive||ne napè||se napè|
|ergative||na napè||sa napè|
|dative||inai napehe||isai napehe|
|instrumental||inan napehne||isan napehne|
|ablative||inaul napehu||isaul napehu|
As discussed in section 1.2, this h shows up not only before case endings, but whenever the stem has a suffix attached to it:
ne napè "the daughter" ne napehma "my daughter"
(3) If the stem ends in a, y, or o, the dative ending -e becomes -i, in accordance with the rule of vowel raising (section 1.3). This is illustrated below for malka "wolf":
|absolutive||ne malka||se malka|
|ergative||na malka||sa malka|
|dative||inai malkai||isai malkai|
|instrumental||inan malkane||isan malkane|
|ablative||inaul malkau||isaul malkau|
(4) If the stem ends in e, then the e of the stem and the e of the dative suffix merge to become a single stressed vowel (see section 1.2). This is illustrated below for tene "steep hill":
|absolutive||te tene||ten tene|
|dative||itai tenè||itene tenè|
|instrumental||itan tenene||itenne tenene|
|ablative||itaul teneu||itenul teneu|
(5) If the stem ends in i preceded by a consonant, then the i lowers to become e before the ablative ending -u. This is illustrated with sati "meal, food":
|absolutive||te sati||ten sati|
|dative||itai satie||itene satie|
|instrumental||itan satine||itenne satine|
|ablative||itaul sateu||itenul sateu|
(6) If the stem ends in u preceded by a consonant, then the u lowers to become o before the dative and ablative suffixes, while the -e of the dative raises to become -i (as in (3) above). This is illustrated with uosu "smooth flat stone":
|absolutive||te uosu||ten uosu|
|dative||itai uosoi||itene uosoi|
|instrumental||itan uosune||itenne uosune|
|ablative||itaul uosou||itenul uosou|
(7) If the stem ends in a V + u diphthong (viz. au, eu, ou, yu), then the -u of the ablative ending lowers to become -o, as shown below for ulau "testicles":
|absolutive||te ulau||ten ulau|
|dative||itai ulaue||itene ulaue|
|instrumental||itan ulaune||itenne ulaune|
|ablative||itaul ulauo||itenul ulauo|
Note that, when preceded by a vowel, the instrumental suffix -ne shortens to -n before a possessive clitic determiner (section 2.1.2). When preceded by a consonant, however, -ne does not shorten:
itan ukune "with the axe" itan konomne "with the hammer" itan ukunma "with my axe" itan konomnema "with my hammer" itan ukunkima "with our axe" itan konomnekma "with our hammer"
Similarly, with nouns of type (4) above, the è of the dative becomes ei before a possessive clitic determiner. Consider the following examples with eithe "horse":
inai eithè "on the horse" inai eitheima "on my horse" inai eitheikma "on our horse"
Noun compounds may be productively formed by juxtaposing two or more nouns. Note that in Tokana, modifying nouns follow the head noun (this is the opposite of the English order). For example:
lai ilme euti pokot light moon egg turtle "moonlight" "turtle('s) egg" suhu heut tieliaka palahta upam wind north caregiver tree apple "north wind" "apple tree grower"
In compounds, only the first noun (called the "head noun") receives case marking; the other nouns remain in their unmarked form:
Kima hostane itai laie ilme we:Erg dance-Pst the:Dat light-Dat moon "We danced in the moonlight" Na iha uthme pami isai tieliakai palahta upam the:Erg woman give-Pst food the:Pl:Dat caregiver-Dat tree apple "The woman gave food to the apple tree growers"
Noun compounds are quite common in Tokana, given that compounding is the principle means by which nouns are modified. Note for example that Tokana does not have modifying adjectives (such as large in the large house). Instead, there is a productive process by which nouns can be formed from verbs that carry adjective-like meanings. For instance, from the verb kaila "be hot" we can form the noun kaili "hot one, thing which is hot". This noun may then enter into a compound construction with one or more other nouns:
te mas kaili the:Abs soup thing-which-is-hot "the hot soup"
(Te mas kaili may be thought of as literally "the soup which is of the 'hot-one' kind".)
As with ordinary noun compounds, it is the first noun which receives oblique case marking. Constructions of this type are discussed further in section 3.9.2:
Ani teune ipalà it ai mase kaili he:Erg put-Pst herb the:Dat soup-Dat hot:one "He put herbs in the hot soup"
Note also that, since quantifiers are treated as nouns morphologically, quantified noun phrases have the structure of compounds, where the quantifier is the head noun. This is shown by the fact that the quantifier, and not the noun it quantifies, receives case marking (see section 2.5.2). For example, in the following sentence, it is the quantifier ante "many", and not the quantified noun lati "children", which agrees with the determiner for dative case:
Na iha uthme pami isai antè lati the:Erg woman give-Pst food the:Pl:Dat many-Dat children "The woman gave food to the many children"
Relative clauses are clauses which serve to modify - or delimit the reference of - a noun. For instance, in the noun phrase the man who I met yesterday, the relative clause who I met yesterday modifies the noun man. In Tokana, relative clauses are not marked in any special way, but instead have the form of ordinary embedded clauses (with dependent order marking on the verb; see section 3.3.1). Relative clauses follow the noun they modify, as in English:
ne iha supohit ne kauen the:Abs woman kill-Dep:Pst the:Abs chicken "the woman who killed the chicken" lit. "the woman that (she) killed the chicken" ne kauen supohinna iha the:Abs chicken kill-Dep:Pst-the:NA woman "the chicken which the woman killed" lit. "the chicken that the woman killed (it)"
In the first example, iha "woman" bears the subject relation to the verb "kill" in the embedded clause; while in the second example, kauen "chicken" bears the object relation to the embedded verb. In each case, this relation is indicated merely by a gap - i.e. the absence of an overt subject or object, respectively, in the embedded clause.
In some cases the relation between the modified noun and the clause which modifies it is marked by a determiner rather than a gap - e.g. when the noun corresponds to a possessor or the object of a preposition in the embedded clause. This is illustrated below:
ne iha kuolinkima ne suhpana the:Abs woman meet-Dep:Pst-we:NA the:Abs brother-her:NA "the woman whose brother we met" lit. "the woman that we met her brother" ne iha pusukinma homa meile kamana the:Abs woman make-Dep:Pst-I:Erg bread honey for-her:NA "the woman who I made honeybread for" lit. "the woman that I made honeybread for her"
In each of these sentences, the clitic determiner -na "her" inside the relative clause refers back to the noun iha "woman". This element -na can be thought of as a relative-clause internal 'placeholder' for the noun being relativised - almost like a variable:
"the woman x (such that) we met x's brother"
"the woman x (such that) I made honeybread for x"
Consider also the following example, which is perfectly grammatical in Tokana, although the English translation is rather awkward:
ne iha untsepunakma ni soloinanon the:Abs womanwonder-Dep:Cpl-we:NA Qu get:marrried-Subj-she:Abs "the woman who we wondered if she would get married" i.e. "the woman x such that we wondered if x would get married"
Here the placeholder for iha is -n, the absolutive clitic form of the determiner ne/nai. In this case the placeholder marks the subject of soloina "get married", which is embedded under untsepa "wonder".
In addition to 'restrictive' relative clauses, which delimit the reference of a noun, Tokana also has 'appositive' relative clauses, which merely add additional information about the noun. These are discussed briefly in section 2.5.1.
In this section I present certain groups of nouns which require special discussion. In 2.5.1 I discuss interrogative/indefinite operators. In 2.5.2 and 2.5.3 I discuss quantifiers and numerals. And in 2.5.4 I discuss nouns which denote spatial and directional relations (many of them equivalent to prepositions in English).
Tokana has a set of words which do double duty both as interrogatives (who, what, where, etc.) and as indefinites (someone, something, somewhere, etc.). For convenience I will refer to these words as operators. Morphologically speaking, all operators are nouns, in that they take case endings and may occur with determiners. A list of these operators is given below:
Interrogative meaning Indefinite meaning mà "what, which" "some, something, one" mamà "what, what kind (of)" "some, some kind (of)" mà tsaka "what kind/type (of)" "some kind/type of" miò "who" "someone, one" melh "where" "somewhere" imè "when" "sometime" ymiohpa "why" "for some reason" miomi "how, in what way" "somehow, in some way; somewhat" miante "how much, how many" "some amount" mianton "how many (people)" "some number (of people)" immiante "how long, how much time" "(for) some time"
When used as indefinites, operators generally occur after the verb (i.e. within the verb phrase), as shown in the following examples:
He miò pesit ten talakma is who take-Dep:Pst the:Pl:Abs coin-my:NA "Someone took my money" lit. "There's someone that took my money" Na Elim inlotka stelhme mà the:Erg Elim yesterday find-Pst what "Elim found something yesterday" Na Elim inlotka stelhme mà tsaka kopo the:Erg Elim yesterday find-Pst what kind pot "Elim found some kind of pot yesterday" Se iha ete melhe the:Pl:Abs woman go-Pst where-Dat "The women went somewhere" Inai Mafè kas nelhuha ymiohpa the:Dat Mafe-Dat now leave-want why "Mafe wants to leave now for some reason"
When operators are used as interrogatives, the question particle ni (section 5.4.2) must appear before the verb. Interrogative operators occur immediately in front of ni (in what is known as the operator position; see section 5.1.3). When an operator which ends in a vowel occurs adjacent to ni, the two words contract as follows:
mà + ni > mà'n mamà + ni > mamà'n miò + ni > miò'n imè + ni > imè'n miomi + ni > miomi'n ymiohpa + ni > ymiohpa'n (im)miante + ni > (im)miante'n
N.B.: In the case of the last three forms, stress falls on the penultimate syllable rather than the final syllable (e.g. miómi'n, ymióhpa'n). This shows that attaching -'n to an operator does not cause stress to shift rightwards (compare -'n with the clitic determiner -n, which does trigger a stress shift: hiéla "see" vs. hielán "see him/her").
Similarly, when preceded by an operator ending in a consonant but followed by the focus prefix i-, ni contracts to n'. Examples of this are given below.
Compare the sentences below, which contain interrogative operators, with the ones above containing indefinites (see sections 3.6.4 and 5.1.3 for an explanation of why the prefix i- is attached to the verb in these sentences):
Miò'n ipesete talakma? who-Qu Foc-take-Pst-the:Pl:Abs coin-my:NA "Who took my money?" Na Elim mà'n istelhme inlotka? the:Erg Elim what-Qu Foc-find-Pst yesterday "What did Elim find yesterday?" Na Elim mà tsaka kopo n'istelhme inlotka? the:Erg Elim what kind pot Qu-Foc-find-Pst yesterday "What kind of pot did Elim find yesterday?" Se iha melh n'iete? the:Pl:Abs woman where Qu-Foc-go-Pst "Where did the women go?" Ymiohpa'n inelhuhana Mafè kas? why-Qu Foc-leave-want-the:NA Mafe-Dat now "Why does Mafe want to leave now?"
For additional discussion of interrogative questions, see section 5.1.3 below.
Operators are also used to head relative clauses in constructions like the following:
(ne) miò kuolinko inlotka the:Abs who meet-Dep:Pst-you:NA yesterday "(the one) who you met yesterday" lit. "the who that you met yesterday" (te) melh fisehthimankima uet the:Abs where plant-Dep-we:NA barley "(the place) where we plant barley" lit. "the where that we plant barley"
Operator-headed relative constructions can be used as the arguments of verbs, just like other noun phrases:
Imai iona miò kuolinko inlotka I:Dat know who meet-Dep:Pst-you:NA yesterday "I know who you met yesterday" Ami kuoponen miò kuolinko inlotka I:Erg talk:with-Pst-the:Abs who meet-Dep:Pst-you:NA yesterday "I talked to the (one) who you met yesterday" Te melh fisehthimankima uet piakunupun inumitka the:Abs where plant-Dep-we:NA barley flood-Cpl last:year "The (place) where we plant barley was flooded last year"
These constructions are also used where English uses appositive relative clauses (as opposed to restrictive relative clauses). Compare the following:
Ne Han, ne miò kuolinko itka, kohmia imai the:Abs Han the:Abs who meet-Dep:Pst-you:NA then lover-Pred me:Dat "Han, who you met earlier, is my lover" Ne koin kuolinko itka kohmia imai the:Abs person meet-Dep:Pst-you:NA then lover-Pred me:Dat "The person who you met earlier is my lover"
In the second sentence, the relative clause restricts the reference of koin "person" to a particular individual, i.e. the one who you met earlier, as opposed to someone else. In the first sentence, ne Han already refers to a particular individual, and the apposed noun phrase ne miò kuolinko itka "the one who you met earlier", merely serves to give additional information about that individual.
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