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Forming Questions
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This public article was written by Vulcanman, and last updated on 11 Feb 2017, 01:39.

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20. Verbs
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1. The Basics
2. Word Order
3. Putting all the rules together

[top]The Basics


Shikathi questions are more or less straightforward, but there are some syntactic rules that are significantly different from English. To start, here are the questions words:

-pa = a verbal suffix that signifies a question. It also means "what"
pādas = why (what reason)
pāfa = where (what place)
pākū = what (what thing)
pāzn = which (what one)
parum = who (what person)
pākem = how (what manner)
pare = how / what...like (what description)
pāne = how often / how much (what totality)
pāvm = how much / how many (what number)
pakae = when (what time)

-pa is affixed to the end of a verbalizer to indicate a question. Note: There is no question mark in Shikathi.

Do you speak?
āzha ilakāmpa.
word 2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-QInterrogative
question
.

Idiomatically, -pa (instead of pākū) can be used to mean "what".

What do you speak?
āzha ilatorpa.
word 2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-QInterrogative
question
.

or

What do you speak?
pākū āzha ilātr.
QInterrogative
question
-3IThird person inanimate (person)
it, not he/she/they
word 2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.


[top]Word Order


All syntactic rules as outlined here are still in play when forming questions and using question words.

Here is an abbreviated list of rules (keeping in mind that Shikathi is an SOV language) :

1. Subjects are always at the beginning of the sentence.

Who speaks Shikathi?
parum shykāðī azhā lator.
QInterrogative
question
-person Shikathi word TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.


2. Objects are always before the verb and after the subject.

What (language) does the family speak? (question word as direct object)
huātl pākū azhā lator.
family QInterrogative
question
-3IThird person inanimate (person)
it, not he/she/they
word TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.

Whom does the family speak to? (question word as indirect object)
huātl parum azhā lator.
family QInterrogative
question
-person word TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.


3. Indirect Objects always precede Direct Objects.

What does the family say and to whom? (double object questions)
huātl parum pākū azhā lator.
family QInterrogative
question
-person QInterrogative
question
-3IThird person inanimate (person)
it, not he/she/they
word TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.


4. Adjectives and adjectival phrases directly follow the nouns they modify.

How many languages do you speak?
azhatilky pāvm azhā ilātr.
language-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
QInterrogative
question
-number word 2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.


5. Adverbs and adverbial phrases directly follow the verbs they modify.

How often do you speak?
āzha ilakām pāne.
word 2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
QInterrogative
question
-totality



[top]Putting all the rules together


Who said what to whom? How and why did they say it?
parum parum pākū azhā torlātr pākem padāspn.
QInterrogative
question
-person QInterrogative
question
-person QInterrogative
question
-3IThird person inanimate (person)
it, not he/she/they
word PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
QInterrogative
question
-manner QInterrogative
question
-reason-and.

Note: What makes more sense as two separate sentences in English is said in one sentence in Shikathi.

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