Ha mat gi? Ha mat gin laxu'u?
(The only two phrases I actually know in Teiwa
So today, I learned that the majority of Teiwa people are Christian, that "word order is rather fixed" (25), that the negative suffix (which is maan
) appears after the verb, that possessors precede the possessum, and that otherwise, whatever modifies a noun (i.e. an adjective or demonstrative) comes after the noun.
I also learned that Papuan languages generally share certain features, but that there are a bunch of them that Teiwa does not share.
For instance, Teiwa (like many Austronesian languages) has both /r/ and /l/ even though Papuan languages generally only have one of those. Some Papuan languages have cases and many more have gender, but Teiwa has neither. Teiwa has only free pronouns even though Papuan languages usually have at least one pronominal affix. It has inclusive and exclusive pronouns, just like the other Alor-Pantar languages (and Oirata!). There are some other features that Teiwa doesn't share with Papuan languages, but I don't think I'm familiar enough with other Papuan languages yet to really understand what most of those are.
Still, there are many features that it does share with other Papuan languages. One of the most obvious ones is the SOV word order, but also there's alienable/inalienable possession, which appears to be typical of Papuan languages. Oh, and apparently, it shows traces of a quinary numeral system, and such systems are common among Papuan languages, too! It also has final conjunctions and serial verb constructions, and both of these are found in many Papuan languages as well.
I also happened to see a few words that looked very similar to words I saw in Oirata. For example, I saw war
for 'day' (compare wadu
) and tar
for 'rope' (compare taru
And now I think the best thing to do would be to go back over those demonstratives (such as laxu'u
). Apparently, there are two demonstratives, i.e. the previously mentioned xu'u
'that (one)' and xa'a
, which can mean 'this' and I guess is best glossed as 'this (one)'. However, neither laxa'a
can be used to modify nouns, because they mean 'this one' and 'that one' respectively.
...OK, one more thing. The very first thing in Chapter 3 that I can see. Lius ita'a me'?
= Where is Lius? (ita'a
= where; me'
= to be in)A uyan me'.
= He's in the mountains. (a
= 3SG (pronoun?); uyan
= mountain)A tag me'.
= He's upstairs. (tag
= up)A yuun me'.
= He's downstairs. (yuun