I'm still digesting this all, but I might as well share the grammar bits I've learned thus far.
1. This and That:nhenhe
- that (far)
2. The verb "to be":Nhenhe apmere.
This is a/the house. (lit. this house)Yanhe alhe.
That is a nose. (lit. that nose)
As can be seen, the verb "to be" is generally non-existent. From the notes in the Learner Guide, it's not used in the other tenses either. Arrernte might use a different verb to signal a different tense.Artwe tneke.
A Man was there. -or- A Man was standing there. (lit. man stood)
2. Word Order:
Word order is generally free.
a. Ampele arne akngerre
b. Arne akngerre
c. Ampele ultakeke arne akngerre
d. Arne akngerre
e. Ultakeke ampele arne akngerre
f. Ultakeke arne akngerre
All of the above sentences are grammatically correct and more or less convey the same message - "The boy broke the big stick" (ampe
- child, ultakeke
- broke). However, it can be said that the normal sentence structure prefers the verb at the end of the sentence.
[These sentences also exemplify another feature of Arrenrte grammar. See if you can spot it and guess it's function. No cheating!
Adjectives follow the noun they modify. Based on our above sentences in 2, arne akngerre
means big stick (lit. stick big).
4. Basic Verb Tenses:ultakeme
- breaking (present)ultakeke
- broke (past)ultaketyenhe
- will break (future)