Examples of sentence-level things in Lwaitel

See sentences. Asterisks (*) mark examples of things that are incorrect.


Word order

I got the food.
 
kíku múmwe.
[ˈku ˈkɨ.kʉ ˈmu.mwʊ̜̆]
I/me -kuget-1 múmwe.food.

One of many possible word orders. In this particular sentence, the words can be rearranged to any order.

 
Kíku múmwe.
[ˈki.kʉ ˈmu.mwʊ̜̆]
-kuget-1 múmwe.food.

The first-person pronoun is implied by the agreement suffix on the verb , so it can be omitted.


If it's clear from context that we're talking about food, the object can be omitted altogether.

This cat is black.
 
An myau swan swátel.
[ˈan ˈmjæo ˈswɑn ˈswɑ.tl̩]
anprox myaucat swa-enbe-prox swátel.black.

One possible word order (and the most likely).

 
Swan swátel an myau.
[ˈswɑn ˈswɑ.tl̩ ˈan ˈmjæo]
swa-enbe-prox swátelblack anprox myau.cat.

The other possible word order.

* 
Swan an myau swátel
[ˈswɑn ˈan ˈmjæo ˈswɑ.tl̩]
swa-enbe-prox anprox myaucat swátelblack

This is not allowed because swan swatel ("is black") is considered one phrase, and can't be split apart by a noun. (It can, however, be split apart by an adverb.)

*  
An swan swátel myau
[ˈan ˈswɑn ˈswɑ.tl̩ ˈmjæo]
anprox swa-enbe-prox swátelblack myaucat

This isn't allowed, because an myau is a noun phrase, and therefore can't be split up. (Well, in this case, it has a different but similar meaning: "This is a black cat".)

Noun clauses

I said the cat is black.
   
mausku hem an myau swan swátel.
[ˈku ˈmaos.ku hm̩ ˈan ˈmjæo ˈswɑn ˈswɑ.tl̩]
I/me maus-kusay-1 hemthat anprox myaucat swa-enbe-prox swátel.black.

An explicit separate clause as an argument to maus "say".

  , 
Hem an myau swan swátel, mausku.
[hm̩ ˈan ˈmjæo ˈswɑn ˈswɑ.tl̩, ˈku ˈmaos.ku]
hemthat anprox myaucat swa-enbe-prox swátel,black, I/me maus-ku.say-1.

The clause is an argument like any other, and therefore can go in different positions in the sentence.

  
mausku an myau swan swátel.
[ˈku ˈmaos.ku ˈan ˈmjæo ˈswɑn ˈswɑ.tl̩]
I/me maus-kusay-1 anprox myaucat swa-enbe-prox swátel.black.

For the verbs "see", maus "say", tap "use", and tyus "make", having an explicit marker for the clause is optional (but can be included to prevent ambiguity).

  
An myau swan swátel mausku.
[ˈan ˈmjæo ˈku ˈswɑn ˈswɑ.tl̩ ˈmaos.ku]
anprox myaucat I/me swa-enbe-prox swátelblack maus-ku.say-1.

For the verbs mentioned previously, the verb and (in the case of maus and tyus) its subject can be mixed freely with the words in the dependent clause.

*   
An myau swan mausku swátel.
[ˈan ˈku ˈmjæo ˈswɑn ˈmaos.ku ˈswɑ.tl̩]
anprox I/me myaucat swa-enbe-prox maus-kusay-1 swátel.black.

...although rules about splitting apart phrases still apply.

I said, "The cat is black."
   
mausku mu an myau swan swátel.
[ˈku ˈmaos.ku mu ˈan ˈmjæo ˈswɑn ˈswɑ.tl̩]
I/me maus-kusay-1 muquot anprox myaucat swa-enbe-prox swátel.black.

Mu is basically a verbal quotation mark, and replaces the particle hem.

I tried to talk.
   
lánku kainkwes hem mausku.
[ˈku ˈlaŋ.ku ˈkɜeŋ.kwᵿ̜̆s hm̩ ˈmaos.ku]
I/me lam-kudo-1 kainkwesattempt hemthat maus-ku.say-1.

Another verb that takes a clause as an argument. Roughly translates to "I tried that I talked".

*   
lánku kainkwes mausku.
[ˈku ˈlaŋ.ku ˈkɜeŋ.kwᵿ̜̆s ˈmaos.ku]
I/me lam-kudo-1 kainkwesattempt maus-ku.say-1.

Omitting the particle hem only works for the verbs , maus, tyus, and tap.

This is where I saw it.
   
Súshli swaim haupi lun.
[ˈsuʃ.ʎɨ ˈswɑem ˈhao.pɨ ˈlun]
súshlihere swa-ibe-obv haupiwhere -en.see-prox.

Haupi lun is a noun meaning "the place where I saw it". (Lun is "I saw it".)

When I saw it, I talked.
 ,
Pe píki lun, mausku.
[pə̆p.ˈpi.ki ˈlun, ˈmaos.ku]
pe=píkiat=when -en,see-prox, maus-ku.say-1.

"Pe piki" is "at the time when..."

* ,
Píki lun, mausku.
[ˈpi.ki ˈlun, ˈmaos.ku]
píkiwhen -en,see-prox, maus-ku.say-1.

"Piki lun" is a noun phrase, not an adverbial phrase. It could be the subject or object of a sentence, but to get the meaning desired for this sentence, it needs to be the object of a preposition.

* ,
Hi lun, mausku.
[çi ˈlun, ˈmaos.ku]
hiwhere -en,see-prox, maus-ku.say-1.

This might make sense, but since it's talking specifically about time, pe piki would probably be used instead.

Adverbial clauses

If this is a dog, then it says "woof".
  ,  
Úlshi swan húpep, mausen mu hup
[ˈuʎ.ʃɨ ˈswɑn ˈhu.pʊ̜̆p, ˈmao.sn̩ mu ˈhup]
úlshiif swa-enbe-prox húpep,dog, maus-ensay-prox muquot hupwoof

Straightforward conditional clause.

     
Mausen mu hup úlshi swan húpep.
[ˈmao.sn̩ mu ˈhup ˈuʎ.ʃɨ ˈswɑn ˈhu.pʊ̜̆p]
maus-ensay-prox muquot hupwoof úlshiif swa-enbe-prox húpep.dog.

Different word orders are allowed.

   , 
Mausen úlshi swan húpep, mu hup
[ˈmao.sn̩ ˈuʎ.ʃɨ ˈswɑn ˈhu.pʊ̜̆p, mu ˈhup]
maus-ensay-prox úlshiif swa-enbe-prox húpep,dog, muquot hupwoof

The clause can go anywhere in the sentence that's not inside another phrase.

If this were a dog, it would say "woof".
   ,  
Úlshi úmpikwá swin húpep, miusen mu hup
[ˈuʎ.ʃɨ ˈum.pɨ.ˈkwɑ ˈswɨɲ ˈhu.pʊ̜̆p, ˈmɪʉ.sn̩ mu ˈhup]
úlshiif úmpikwáfalse swí-enbe.sbjv-prox húpep,dog, mius-enmaus.sbjv-prox muquot hupwoof

Ulsi umpikwa introduces a counterfactual conditional. Both clauses of counterfactual conditionals use the subjunctive mood.

Regardless of whether this is a dog, it says "woof". (Whether or not this is a dog, it says "woof".)
  ,  
Úlshi swan pikúni húpep, mausen mu hup
[ˈuʎ.ʃɨ ˈswɑn pi.ˈkʉ.ɲɨ ˈhu.pʊ̜̆p, ˈmao.sn̩ mu ˈhup]
úlshiif swa-enbe-prox pikúniq húpep,dog, maus-ensay-prox muquot hupwoof

The condition, swa-n pikuni hupep, is actually the question "Is this a dog?".

Regardless of what this is, it says "woof". (Whatever this is, it says "woof".)
  ,  
Úlshi swan lau, mausen mu hup.
[ˈuʎ.ʃɨ ˈswɑn ˈlao, ˈmao.sn̩ mu ˈhup]
úlshiif swa-enbe-prox lau,what, maus-ensay-prox muquot hup.woof.

This works for non-polar questions as well.

Discourse particles

Have you stopped beating your wife?
   
Láschi pikúni lem wípi wálsweylchi
[ˈlas.ʧe pi.ˈkʉ.ɲɨ lm̩.ˈmwɨ.pi ˈwɑl.swʎ̩.ʧi]
las-chistop-2 pikúniq lem=wípipart=hit wálsweyl-chispouse-2

A yes/no question is indicated by adding the adverb pikuni.

No, but I don't have a wife.
 1,   1 
Twak úni, útwek swáku lw'úni wálsweyl.
[ˈtwɑk ˈu.ɲɨ, ˈu.twʊ̜̆k ˈswɑ.ku ˈlʷu.ɲɨ ˈwɑl.swʎ̩]
twakdm úni,neg, útwekbut swa-kube-1 lwe=úniwith=neg wálsweyl.spouse.

Answering "no" to that question might imply that one is still beating one's wife. To signal that that implication is wrong, úni is preceded by twak (indicating that something the sentence might imply is wrong); details are given at the end, after the conjunction útwek "but".