4. Adjuncts and complex phrases

In this chapter I discuss the internal structure of adjuncts and the formation of complex sentences in Tokana, with an emphasis on the morphology and syntax of prepositions and conjunctions. In section 4.1 I discuss prepositional phrases, and in 4.2 I discuss conditional clauses (i.e. clauses headed by "if" or "when(ever)"). Section 4.3 deals with temporal adverbials, while in 4.4 I discuss coordination and ellipsis (the deletion of repeated material in conjunct and subordinate clauses).

4.1. Prepositional phrases

Recall from section 2.5.4 that many of the relational notions which are expressed by prepositions in English are expressed by nouns in Tokana. For example, where English has a preposition to express location at an enclosed space (in, inside), Tokana has a spatial noun him "interior" in the dative case:

hime         kotu
the:Dat interior-Dat room
"inside the

Tokana does have a handful of 'true' prepositions, however, which combine with a complement (or 'object') to form a prepositional phrase. As in English, the complement follows the preposition:

with-the:Dat husband-Dat-my:NA
"with my

Here kun is a preposition meaning "with", which takes inai sokalema "my husband-Dat" is its complement. Notice that the determiner inai fuses with kun to form kunnai; I discuss this phenomenon below.

Prepositional phrases may occur as predicates by themselves, or they may be used as modifiers or arguments within a noun phrase or verb phrase:

Mai   kunnai
I:Abs with-the:Dat husband-Dat-my:NA
"I (am) with my

Ne      iha   kunnai       sokalema
lihpaha     imai
the:Abs woman with-the:Dat husband-Dat-my:NA
sister-Pred me:Dat
"The woman (who is) with my husband is my

Ami   suke     immiote    line
kunnai       sokalema
I:Erg work-Pst whole:time day-Dat with-the:Dat
"I worked all day with my

Prepositions in Tokana take two types of complements, noun phrases and clauses. Noun phrase complements of prepositions appear in one of the oblique cases (dative, instrumental, ablative). For instance, the preposition kun "with" selects a dative case complement in the above examples, as shown by the form of the determiner which fuses with it, and by suffix -e on the noun sokal "husband". (The choice of case for the complement is entirely idiosyncratic, and must thus be memorised.)

When a preposition takes a clausal complement, the verb must appear in the dependent order form (see section 3.3.1). For instance, in the following sentence, the preposition elhkò "in order to" takes the embedded clause fisehthimano ten tsini "that (one) would plant the seeds" as its complement:

tsuniete            talpe elhkò       fisehthimano ten
they:Erg plow-Pst-the:Pl:Abs field in:order:to plant-Subj
the:Pl:Abs seed
"They plowed the fields in order to plant the

Some prepositions (like elhkò) only take clausal complements. Others may take either a clause or a noun phrase complement. One of these is im "at, while, during":

Kim    lyue        im yisahoi
wake:up-Pst at sunrise-Dat
"We woke up at sunrise"

Kim    lyue        im   nioktinne              Mafe itai
we:Abs wake:up-Pst when return-Dep:Pst-the:Abs Mafe the:Dat
"We woke up before Mafe (had) returned to the

In the first sentence, im takes the dative noun phrase yisahoi "sunrise" as its complement. In the second sentence, the complement is the dependent clause nioktinne Mafe itai pule "that Sakial had returned to the village". In section 4.1.1 below, I give additional examples of prepositions which take noun phrase complements, while in 4.1.2, I discuss prepositions which take clausal complements.

4.1.1. Prepositions taking nominal complements

The number of prepositions in Tokana which take noun phrase complements is quite small when compared with English. These prepositions, listed below, take a noun phrase in the dative case unless otherwise indicated:

ie       "with"
ifa      "in, within"
im       "at, during, when"
iote     "without"
kama     "for, on behalf of"
kete     "for"
ku       "for, for purposes of"
kun      "with"
ohpi     "because of" (Inst)
sikà     "up to, as far as"
tsuaha   "from" (Abl)
tukun    "without"
usin     "instead of, in place of"

Note that kun has two archaic variants, ikun and iahkun (or iafkun), which are sometimes found in formal speech and writing.

When selecting a specific noun phrase, certain prepositions undergo 'fusion' with the determiner of their complement. This was illustrated in the previous section, where I noted that kun "with" + inai sokalema "my husband" becomes kunnai sokalema "with my husband". There are several different fusion patterns attested:

(i) Like nouns and verbs, the preposition kama "for" selects the non-absolutive clitic form of a following determiner (see 2.1.2), yielding the paradigm below:

"for me"         kamakma
"for us"
kamako  "for you"
kamakyina  "for you"
kamana  "for him/her"    kamasa     "for them"
kamai   "for it"         kamata     "for them"

kamana mikale  "for the boy"
kamasa mikale  "for the

The prepositions ifa "in", im, "in, at, when, during", and kete "for" also select non-absolutive clitic determiners. However, since ifa, im, and kete take inanimate complements referring to events or periods of time, only the inanimate clitics -i and -ta are attested. As shown below, attaching -i and -ta to these prepositions yields certain sound changes:

"in it, in the..."      ifata
"in them, in the..."
imi    "in
it, in the..."      inta     "in
them, in the..."
ketè   "for
it, for the..."    keteta   "for
them, for the..."


inta              tuhsai
during-the:Pl:NA  winter-Dat  that
"during those

ketè       miotè
for-the:NA whole-Dat year
"for the whole

(ii) The prepositions kun "with" and tukun "without" (as well as the archaic forms ikun and iahkun/iafkun) combine with the dative forms of the determiners (imai, ikoi, inai, etc.): The i- prefix of the determiner drops and the preposition and determiner fuse together, yielding the following paradigm:

"with me"         kunkime
"with us"
kunkoi   "with
you"        kunkyine   "with
kunnai   "with him/her"
kuntsai    "with them"
kuntai   "with it"         kuntene    "with them"

kunnai mikale    "with the boy"
kuntsai mikale   "with the

Notice that kun + -sai is pronounced kuntsai, in accordance with the rule whereby s becomes ts when preceded by a nasal (section 1.3).

(iii) The prepositions ku "for" and ohpi "because of" combine with the instrumental forms of the full determiners (iman, ikon, inan, etc.). As with the dative determiners discussed above, the i- prefix drops prior to fusion, yielding the following forms:

kuman    "for me"          kukimne     "for us"
kukon    "for you"         kukyinne    "for you"
kunan    "for him/her"     kusan       "for them"
kutan    "for it"          kutenne     "for them"

ohpiman   "because of me"         ohpikimne     "because of us"
ohpikon   "because of you"        ohpikyinne    "because of you"
ohpinan   "because of him/her"    ohpisan       "because of them"
ohpitan   "because of it"         ohpitenne     "because of them"

ohpinan mikalne    "because of the
ohpisan mikalne    "because of
the boys"

(iv) The preposition usin "instead of" combines with the ablative forms of the full determiners (imaul, ikoul, inaul, etc.). Again, the oblique prefix i- drops prior to fusion:

usinmaul   "instead of me"
usinkimul    "instead of us"
usinkoul   "instead of you"        usinkyinul   "instead of you"
usinnaul   "instead of him/her"    usintsaul    "instead of them"
usintaul   "instead of it"         usintenul    "instead of them"

usinnaul mikalu    "instead of the
usintsaul mikalu   "instead of
the boys"

Notice that usin + -saul is pronounced usintsaul.

(v) Finally, the prepositions ie "with", iote "without", sikà "up/down to, as far as", and tsuaha "from" do not fuse with a following determiner:

sikà itai sihkunoi      "down to the
tsuaha itaul sihkunou   "from
the river"

The meanings of these prepositions are discussed below:

(1) The preposition im indicates a location in time, and is no doubt related to the temporal adverbial prefix in-, discussed in section 4.3. Im takes a dative noun phrase complement denoting an event, occasion, season, measure of time, etc., and corresponds to English in, on, at, or during:

hostane   imi       solate
we:Erg dance-Pst at-the:NA
"We danced at the wedding"

kimina      usutoine          imi       tuhsai
the:Abs baby-her:NA
living-become-Pst in-the:NA winter-Dat
"Her baby was born during the

Note that the use of im is more or less optional here, since location in time can also be conveyed by simple use of the dative case. The second sentence above could also be expressed as follows:

Ne      kimina      usutoine          itai
the:Abs baby-her:NA living-become-Pst the:Dat
"Her baby was born in the

Im also shows up as the second element in a series of compound temporal prepositions, shown below (note that in casual speech, ynale im and ysame im are often shortened to nale im and same im):

himne im      "during, all during,
sikà im
"(up) until"
tsuaha im 
"(ever) since"
ynale im
ysame im


Sai      niokta ynale im ihmete
return before   spring-Dat
"They will return before

Te      ohte tieliakma          tsuaha
imi   kihe     tonkalanon
the:Abs land take:care:of-we:NA
since-the:NA time-Dat ancestors
"We have been farming this land since
the time of the ancestors"

Nai    lanie
lyuat       himne imi         hune
he:Abs keep-Pst wake:up-Dep
throughout-the:NA night-Dat
"He kept waking up throughout the

Note that not until and not since are expressed by negation accompanied by usna ysame im (lit. "except after") and usna ynale im (lit. "except before"), respectively:

Nai     nioktotima      kuolat   usna   ysame im
him:Abs return-Neg-I:NA meet-Dep except after
"I won't meet him again until winter"

Nai     kuoponotima        usna   ynale imi
him:Abs talk:with-Neg-I:NA except before-the:NA
"I haven't talked to him since

(2) The prepositions kete "for" and ifa "in, within" both take dative case complements denoting a span of time. Phrases headed by kete indicate the duration of an event or activity:

Asi      kas
sulhtai     Kemothasie    kete huoie      ume
they:Erg already
live-the:NA Kemothasi-Dat for  twelve-Dat year
"They have been living
in Kemothasi for twelve years now"

ketè      ikahpa   sù?
how:long-Qu for-it:NA Foc-fall
"(For) how long has it been

Note also the following example, where kete miantè translates as "for as long as" or "so long as":

Na      tata      lania    sukat    kete
miantè       eima  huliat
the:Erg my:father continue work-Dep
for  how:much-Dat still healthy-Dep
"My father will continue to work
so long as he stays healthy"

Phrases headed by ifa refer to the amount of time required to perform an action:

tule  etampai         Uilumai    ifa lhohene  lò
I:Erg would
walk-can-the:NA Uiluma-Dat in  half-Dat day
"I can walk to Uiluma in
half a day"

Te       halma ifa hene    ume
this:Abs book  in  two-Dat year
"It took me two years to write this book"
"This book, it's in two years that I wrote

(3) The preposition kama "for" marks the beneficiary of an action, and takes a dative noun phrase complement (usually animate):

Na      iha
pusuke   homa  meile kamasa        latie
the:Erg woman make-Pst
bread honey for-the:Pl:NA children-Dat
"The woman madehoneybread for
the children"

Kama should not be confused with ku, which is also often translated "for". Ku takes an instrumental complement (usually inanimate), and is used to indicate the purpose, occasion, or objective of the action denoted by the verb:

Kima   pusuke   homa  meile kutan
we:Erg make-Pst bread honey for-the:Inst
"We made honeybread for the

(4) Kun and ie, which take dative complements, both correspond to "with" in English. Adjuncts headed by kun usually denote accompaniment or alienable possession, while those headed by ie denote inalienable possession. Compare the following:

Ani    suke     itene      talpè
kunnai       soihai
he:Erg work-Pst the:Pl:Dat field-Dat
with-the:Dat wife-Dat
"He worked in the fields with (his)

Ani    sase     iha   ie   kine
he:Erg meet-Pst woman with four-Dat child
"He met a woman
with four children"

Ikime  iala miua ie
iniè     lune
we:Dat have cat  with eyes-Dat blue
have a cat with blue eyes"

In addition, kun may mark the instrument with which an action is performed:

Ami   iasè
mas  kun  tause     lotsan
I:Erg eat-Pst-the:Abs soup with spoon-Dat
"I ate the soup with a wooden

Instruments marked with kun differ semantically from instruments marked with instrumental case. Compare the following sentences, for example: In both sentences, the wooden spoon is an instrument; however, in the first sentence the instrumental case is used, while in the second sentence kun is used:

Ami   kahten          ikei tausne     lotsan
hit-Pst-the:Abs dog  spoon-Inst wood
"I hit the dog with a wooden

Ami   iasè            mas  kun
tause     lotsan
I:Erg eat-Pst-the:Abs soup with spoon-Dat
"I ate the soup with a wooden

These sentences differ in terms of the relationship between the instrument and the action denoted by the verb. In the first sentence, the wooden spoon is the participant which actually carries out the action: The speaker manipulates the spoon, causing it to hit the dog (thus, I hit the dog with the spoon implies The spoon hit the dog). In the second sentence, by contrast, the spoon does not itself carry out the action, but merely facilitates it (thus, I ate the soup with the spoon does not imply The spoon ate the soup).

Tukun and iote are the negative counterparts of kun and ie, respectively. They both correspond to without or lacking in English:

Sai      suehte
they:Abs go:away-Pst without-me:Dat
"They left without

Ami   iasè            mas  tukun
I:Erg eat-Pst-the:Abs soup without spoon-Dat
"I ate the
soup without using a spoon"
or "I ate the soup without the aide
of a spoon"

Imai  hiele   ikei iote    ese
I:Dat see-Pst dog  lacking one-Dat front:leg
"I saw a
dog which was missing a front leg"

(5) The preposition sikà takes a dative complement, and indicates an endpoint or upper limit; while tsuaha takes an ablative complement, and indicates a starting point or lower limit. When the complement refers to a location, sikà corresponds to to, up to, or as far as, and tsuaha corresponds to from:

Asi      ete
sikà  itai    hitole
they:Erg walk-Pst up:to the:Dat
"They walked up to the door"

inlotka   lhiane        tsuaha itaul   Kemothaseu
we:Abs yesterday
come:here-Pst from   the:Abl Kemothasi-Abl
"We came here yesterday
from Kemothasi"

Sikà and tsuaha may also be used with complements denoting an amount, in which case sikà refers to an upper limit and tsuaha to a lower limit:

halma sikà
book  up:to five-Dat
"no more than five books"
"as many as five books"

halma tsuaha
book  from   five-Abl
"at least five books"
"no fewer than five books"

When combined with the temporal preposition im or with a temporal adverb prefixed with in- (see section 4.3), sikà corresponds to "until", and tsuaha corresponds to "since":

sikà im kahpahoi
travel-Pst-we:NA until   sunset-Dat
travelled until sunset"

Kima   sulhtai     lhai
tsuaha inumitka
we:Erg live-the:NA here since  last:year
have lived here since last year"

(6) The preposition ohpi "because of" takes an instrumental noun phrase complement, while usin "instead of, in place of" takes an ablative complement. Examples of these prepositions are given below:

Tiefu ohpinan
ammene      mouti ilanian         itai    tiesate
because:of-the:Inst mother-Inst sick  Foc-stay-he:Abs the:Dat
"It's only because of (his) sick mother that he stays in the

Nai    etei          Uilumai    usintaul
he:Abs go-Pst-the:NA Uiluma-Dat instead:of-the:Abl
"He went to Uiluma instead of

4.1.2. Prepositions taking clausal complements

In this section I discuss those prepositions which take clausal complements, containing a verb in the dependent order (section 3.3.1). A list of these prepositions is given here. Some of these prepositions also take noun phrase complements, as discussed in the previous subsection.

elhkò      "to, in order to"
ie         "with"
iekò       "since, because, inasmuch as,
given that"
im         "as, when,
ku         "to, for,
in order to, in order that, so that"
"by, by means of"
"as, like, as if"
"instead of, rather than"

Im and the compound prepositions formed with im (listed below) are used to indicate a temporal relation between the event denoted by the complement clause and the event denoted by the main clause.

himne im     "while, as"
sikà im      "until"
tsuaha im    "since, ever since"
ynale im     "before"
ysame im

Examples of these are given below:

Ne      Sakial sianei
kotoi    im   muelhanma
the:Abs Sakial enter-Pst-the:NA room-Dat
when sleep-Dep-I:NA
"Sakial came into the room when I was

Ne      Sakial uithe   itai    ekase
tsol himne im muelhanma
the:Abs Sakial sit-Pst the:Dat side-Dat bed
while    sleep-Dep-I:NA
"Sakial sat beside the bed while/as I

Lyuekim            ynale im nioktinne
Mafe itai    pule
wake:up-Pst-we:Abs before   return-Dep:Pst-the:NA
Mafe the:Dat village-Dat
"We woke up before Mafe (had) returned to the

Kyina      peutulhka sikà im
emuktinma           sukat
you:Pl:Erg wait-must until
finish-Dep:Pst-I:NA work-Dep
"You must wait until I have finished

Te      katia lhon  ekpa  tsuaha im
tiokinne            kahamme
the:Abs house there empty since
die-Dep:Pst-the:Abs aunt
"That house has been empty since (my) aunt

Etekim        muelhat   ysame im
nelhintse               kutahon
go-Pst-we:Abs sleep-Dep after
leave-Dep:Pst-the:Pl:NA guest
"We went to sleep after the guests had

Other prepositions are used to form modifying subordinate clauses of various kinds. These are discussed below:

(1) Purpose clauses: Elhkò and ku, meaning "to" or "in order to" or "so that", are used to form purpose clauses. They generally take complements headed by a verb in the dependent subjunctive order. Examples of ku are given below:

Te      maka ksitaniena      Han ku  lantano
meat salt-Pst-the:NA Han for preserve-Subj
"Han salted the meat in
order to preserve (it)"

Te      maka ksitaniena
Han ku  iasanokma      tuhsai
the:Abs meat salt-Pst-the:NA Han for
eat-Subj-we:NA winter-Dat
"Han salted the meat so that we could eat
(it) during the winter"

As discussed in 3.6.3, stative verbs in the relative form (prefixed with the relative marker an-) may take complements headed by ku:

Te      tomla    tsuò anlaima ku
the:Abs mountain too  Rel-far for see-Subj
mountain is too far away to see"
lit. "The mountain is too far
away for (one to) see (it)"

The complex form ku aun (lit. "for if") is used to mean "in case":

Slune  peuta ku aun  nioktotion
please wait  in:case return-Neg-Dep:Subj-the:Abs
"Please wait in case Sakial doesn't

(2) Reason clauses: Talhkò and iekò are used to form adjuncts which indicate the reason for an action or event. Adjuncts formed with talhkò "because" indicate the motive for a p articular action, while those formed with iekò "since, inasmuch as, given that" denote an event or situation from which the main clause event follows as an effect or consequence.

Na      Elim uthme    meun inai    pyie      talhkò
the:Erg Elim give-Pst milk the:Dat child-Dat because
"Han gave the child some milk because she was

Na      Han afanamotunkima
iekò  sukulhkuna
the:Erg Han accompany-cannot-Cpl-us:NA since
"Han couldn't come with us since (he) had to

(3) Adverbial clauses: Ie "with" and iote "without", along with sikà "to, until" and uskò "as, as if", may be used with clausal complements to form adverbial-type expressions. When ie takes a clausal complement headed by a stative verb, it indicates something about the manner in which the event denoted by the main verb is carried out. Such expressions often correspond to adverbs in English:

Ani    kuoponema
ie   thonkat
he:Erg speak:with-Pst-me:NA with be:loud-Dep
spoke to me loudly"

Na      Sakial ie   klotat
the:Erg Sakial with be:quick-Dep Foc-run-Pst
"Sakial ran

Here ie thonkat, from thonka "be loud", corresponds to the adverb loudly, while ie klotat, from klota "be quick", is translated as quickly.

When ie takes a clausal complement headed by an eventive verb, the adjunct indicates an action which occurs concomitantly with the main event of the sentence:

Na      pyi
pente   itaul   kotou    ie   hesulat
the:Erg child run-Pst the:Abl
room-Abl with cry-Dep
"The child ran out of the room

Here ie hesulat corresponds to the participle crying in English, denoting an event which takes place at the same time as the event of running out of the room.

Iote "without", indicates an event which fails to occur concomitantly with the main event:

nelhe     iote    itsano   eliapi
she:Abs leave-Pst without say-Subj
"She left without saying good-bye"
lit. "She left
without saying ease"

Sikà "to, up to, until" may be used to form clauses which indicate the end result of the action denoted by the main verb. For example:

ysuta  nakilhten         tsike sikà  tiokanne
the:Erg spider
sting-Pst-the:Abs fly   up:to die-Dep-it:Abs
"The spider stung the fly
to death"

Here, sikà tiokanne, literally "up to (the point that) it dies", denotes the situation or event resulting from the act of stinging. Additional examples are given below:

Ten        hitol
naliekma         sikà  luniat
the:Pl:Abs door
paint-Pst-we:Erg up:to blue-Pred-Dep
"We painted the doors
lit. "The doors, we painted (them) until (they were)

Ani    fitsomè            lhot
sikà  tamnailane
he:Erg hammer-Pst-the:Abs metal up:to flat-Dep-it:Abs
"He hammered the metal flat"

kimi lefena          ahte   sikà  muelhoinat
the:Abs baby
rock-Pst-the:NA father up:to sleep-begin-Dep
"The baby was rocked to
sleep by the father"

Uskò "as, like, as if" is used to indicate something about the manner or capacity in which a particular action is performed. The complement of uskò is usually stative - often involving a nominal predicate (section 3.9.3) or a complex predicate headed by the copula he (section 3.7.3). For example, in the first sentence below, the complement of uskò is the predicate kunaha "be a friend (to)", formed from the noun stem kuna "friend". In the second sentence, the complement of uskò is he ne kuna ankilhiunehti "be the oldest friend":

Ami   oponena          uskò
I:Erg speak-Pst-her:NA as   friend-Pred-Dep
"I spoke to
her as a friend"

Ami   oponena
uskò hiat   ne      kuna   ankilhiunehti
speak-Pst-her:NA as   be-Dep the:Abs friend Rel-old-Comp-Part
"I spoke
to her as (her) oldest friend"

When the clausal complement is indicative, as in the above examples, then uskò means "as", in the sense of "acting as" or "in the capacity of". When the complement is subjunctive, then uskò means "as if" or "like". This is illustrated below:

Ani    eta  uskò miuahano
he:Erg walk as
"He walks like a cat"
or "He walks as if (he)
were a cat"

Kutan,     ani    suke
uskò ahtano           imai
for-it:Dat he:Erg do-Pst as
father-Pred-Subj me:Dat
"In this matter, he acted as if (he) were my
lit. "For this, he did as if (he) were father to

(4) The preposition kun "with, by, by means of" is used to form adjuncts indicating the action by means of which the event denoted by the main clause verb is accomplished:

Na      ysuta  supohen          tsike kun
the:Erg spider kill-Pst-the:Abs fly   with
"The spider killed the fly by stinging

(5) The preposition usnakò "instead of" is used to form adjuncts indicating an event in place of which the event denoted by the main clause takes place. It normally takes a complement headed by a dependent subjunctive verb:

Nai    etei          Uilumai    usnakò     tahano
he:Abs go-Pst-the:NA Uiluma-Dat instead:of stay-Subj
"He went to Uiluma instead of staying



Hosted by uCoz