Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grammar 7: PART1: Melanau word order ( susun atur ayat melanau)

5:10 PM

Word Cloud of Gov. Jindal's GOP response to Obama's speech

Word order (susun alak telabau) in melanau sentences is both more variable and more flexible than in English or malay.

A sentence is built from:
Subject, Verb, Object, Adjunct(adverb,adjectives,preposition etc..)

In many cases, melanau word order is identical to English or malay. This is true for simple subject + verb + other elements sentences:

"Akou den kaau." ("I see you.") or "Siyen keja gak lebuk." ("He works at home."). This "normal" word order places the subject first, the verb second, and any other elements third.

What makes melanau is very different for malay, is that the melanau word order and verb form depends on the focus of the sentence which if translated word by word will make no sense in malay or english.

Focus is what the main topic of our sentence.The most important topic will be put first in the word order. This feature is what makes melanau similar to some languages of the philippines.
There is three types of focus in melanau:

1. Subject focus: Subject + Verb+ Object

Example: Akou juah bup tou gak nou
Def: I give you the book
Focus: The doer ( Akou)

2. Object focus: Object + verb+ subject

Example: Bup nejuah kou gak nou
Def: (The book is given to you)
Focus: The given book

And lastly, this form is not found in malay.

3. Verb focus: Verb Subject Object

Example: Nejuah kou gak nou bup yen.
Def: I am giving you the book.
Focus: The act of giving the book.

This is just a simple word order. In next post we will be dealing in detail the construction of each Focus.

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