OK, now I'm going to try to actually start learning this language using the link in my first post.
The phonological system looks pretty straightforward to me and is very similar to many indigenous Australian languages. The palatal stop [c] (represented in the orthography as <j>, which I find a bit misleading, since it's never voiced) is in free variation with the sibilants ([s] and [ʃ]), and that's pretty much just like Tamil.
So I guess we'll move on to the personal pronouns. Some varieties of Kriol distinguish between subject and object pronouns (I believe Australian languages generally are nominative-accusative as far as the pronominal system is concerned, if that makes any sense)
whereas others don't. For example, in Roper River Kriol, the word for both 'I' and 'me' is mi
, but other varieties have ai
for the subject pronoun (nominative case) in addition to mi for object/accusative case and possibly also the possessive form
. In fact, this is even subject to intra-speaker variation, which suggests that the same speaker may sometimes distinguish and sometimes not distinguish between subjects and objects in the pronominal system.
Apparently, the term for 'you and me' (and 'your(s) and my/mine') is yunmi
, but it means 'you and I' (i.e. is a subject pronoun) only ("only"
) in the Roper River, Westside, and Barunga varieties. In the Kimberley variety, it's minyu
And then the acrolectal form is wi
, just for 1PL in general.
Leaving the acrolect aside (insomuch as it makes sense to do so), 'some other person (i.e. not you) and I/me' (and the possessive form of that) is min(du)bala
(from "me and two fella" or something, ultimately?).
Ohh, but note that in Kimberley, apart from yunmi
for 'you and me' (object form), the object pronoun is as
Then the first plural inclusive pronoun is minolabat
(so, that means 'me, you, and at least one other person'). I'm guessing that comes from something like "me and all about" (compare the use of ol
as a plural marker/pluralizer/whatever in Tok Pisin). Apparently, it's only used as a subject pronoun in the Barunga variety, though. In Kimberley, it's wilat
. But then what about the other varieties? As
is also used as an independent pronoun and adnominal(?) possessive as an alternative to minolabat
, I guess (and not just in Kimberley, either).
First person exclusive ('at least two other people and me, but not you') is mibala
(does Tok Pisin also have a form mipela
?) and melabat
. I can't really tell where that last form might have come from; like, I can't even venture much of a guess, except that perhaps it's some modified form of the inclusive minolabat
And now we move on to second person pronouns ('you'). There are no special acrolectal forms for the second person pronouns. The singular form is just yu
, except that in the Kimberley variety (maybe I should say varieties
instead of variety, because I'm not sure each of these corresponds to only one variety), there's also a possessive form yus
(so, basically, you + 's, I think). "(Belonging to) both of you" is yundubala
. The plural form is the one that's the most interesting to me, because Barunga and Kimberley just have yubala
, but Roper River and Westside have yumob
(OK, so that's probably not all that weird for a creole, but still, it just sounds kinda funny to me.
For third person singular, it looks like all varieties have im
in all contexts basically, but it can alternate with i
in nominative case/subject position, where there's also the acrolectal form hi
(can that mean 'she' or 'it' as well as 'he'?
) and the Kimberley variety/ies also has/have the possessive form is
. '(Belonging to) the two of them' is just dubala
. 'Three or more of them' is olabat
, but as an independent pronoun or in object position, there's also dem
. Kimberley also has a possessive form deya
and a subject OR object form ol
, and finally, there's an acrolectal form for the subject pronoun: dei
Finally, in Roper River, the reflexive pronoun is mijelp
, and the reciprocal pronoun is gija
(is that from a Pama-Nyungan language?). However, in Westside, mijelp
is used for both functions, and in Kimberley, jelp
is used the same way.