Lwaitel sentences


See also sentence examples

Word order

The noun phrases and verb phrases in a sentence can generally go in any order. In particular, the each one of the following is a phrase; these phrases can go in any order, but words within a phrase must stay together and there are some restrictions on word order within a phrase:

In addition, adverbs can go at the beginning of a clause, before any of the elements mentioned above.

Core arguments to the verb can be omitted if it's clear from context what they are.

Typical word order

While these are not absolutes (especially these rules can be broken in poetry), there are some tendencies for what order the phrases go in:

Dependent clauses

Noun clauses

Clauses that are one of the arguments to a verb start with hem . As shown above, the verbs , maus, chús, na, and tap don't need an explicit separate clause, but rather the two clauses can be mixed together. However, if there's potential for ambiguity, all five of those verbs can take a dependent clause starting with hem. Other verbs require the use of the word hem.

Clauses that are one of the arguments to a verb and are also a direct quote instead start with mu . For instance:

Mausku hem an helíyel swan kílu.
maus-kusay-1 hemthat anprox helíyelsky swa-enbe-prox kílu.cyan.
I said that the sky was blue (Not a direct quote; hem is optional.)

Mausku mu an helíyel swan kílu.
maus-kusay-1 muquot anprox helíyelsky swa-enbe-prox kílu.cyan.
I said, "The sky is blue."

The words píki  "when" and haupi  "where" turn a clause into a noun referring to a time or place (respectively). This noun can be modified with noun modifiers (all of which precede these nouns). Phrases starting with piki and haupi are not adverbial phrases; to use them as such, they need to be preceded by a preposition (often pe):

Pe píki lun, mausku.
pe=píkiat=when -en,see-prox, maus-ku.say-1.
When I saw it, I talked.

Adverbial clauses

Adverbial clauses are clauses that start with a subordinating conjunction, which is followed by a clause. They can occur anywhere in the sentence outside a phrase.

Subordinating conjunctions:

Other things like adverbial clauses:

Other types of clauses

Coordinating conjunctions

The following conjunction can separate two independent clauses, and can appear at the beginnings of sentences:


Questions of all types are marked with a question word. Many question words derive from other words with the suffix –u. There is no change in word order, except that any question word can be a full sentence by itself.

Questions can also be arguments to certain verbs, in which case they're treated as any other sentence. The words lautwe  and kish  can distinguish between, for instance, "I asked him what his name was" vs. "I told him what his name was". Questions can also be arguments to úlshi "if", in which case it means "regardless".