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Grammar - Pronouns
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Kah has several sets of pronouns that can function as an subject or object of oblique utterance in a nominal way. Besides the set of personal pronouns, there is an impersonal pronoun, reciprocity is expressed by a pronoun, there is a set of reflexive pronouns, as well as deictic and interrogative pronouns:


Personal pronouns

There are eight personal pronouns in Kah. As you can see, the plural forms are simply a combination of the singular forms with the collective marker -nyo:



















The difference between yu and ya is a matter of animacy. Animate objects are referred to with yu and inanimate objects with ya. All living beings such as human beings and animals, plants and all organic life in general are referred to with yu, and anything else with ya.

There is no gender marking in pronouns. Yu can either mean "he" or "she". When it is absolutely necessary to express gender, the pronoun must be swapped for a common noun or noun phrase such as  ubu the man or  wana the woman.


Indefinite pronoun

The pronoun al expresses the subject in impersonal utterances like:

al minza sunda

IMP steal bike

They stole my bike

al nong tengi yun kochi jesa kaiko

IMP not can look cover judge book

You can't judge a book by it's cover

To understand the difference between an personal "they" and an impersonal one, compare:

yunyo ka en rupunto la bandola

they say that riot be at town

They (i.e. a specified group of people) say there are riots in the center

al ka en rupunto la bandola

imp say that riot be at town

They (i.e. rumours) say there are riots in the center

Reciprocal pronoun

Reciprocal pronouns express a relation between the complements of a verbal clause which is expressed by means of the word "each other" in English. In Kah, this relation is expressed by the pronoun noyom:

meo ai bau janja nong nenju noyom

cat and dog usually not like   recip

Cats and dogs don't like each other

uyu maika noyom

person greet  recip

The people greeted one another


Reflexive pronouns

In order to form reflexive pronouns, the focus marker lo is added to the basic personal pronouns:



















Examples of the use of these pronouns show the function closely resembles ordinary reflexive pronouns in English:

shim walonyo

wash self:1pl

we washed ourselves

yun yulo la shefan

look  self:3sg LOC mirror

she looked at herself in the mirror

yun lilo!

look self:2sg

look at yourself!

They also function as logophoric pronouns which mark the subject of a dependent clause as identical to the subject of the main clause. Please note the difference between:

Susan je yu jam

susan think she do

Susan thinks she'll do it

("she" referring to someone else)

uba zenka yu fon wa

father warn he punish me

father warned me he'll punish me

("he" referring to someone else)

Susan je yulo jam

susan think herself do

Susan thinks she'll do it

("she" referring to Susan herself)

uba zenka yulo fon wa

Father warn himself punish me

father warned me he'll punish me

("he" referring to father himself)


Deictic pronouns

Deictic marking in Kah has two gradations, one expressing objects close to the speaker, and one for objects further away:

wau  -  this, these

ye  -  that, those

These words are put after the nouns they modify:

nia wau  -  this car

yudo ye  -  that house

There is no marking of number when referring to plural objects:

nia jom wau  -  these five cars

wonyo wau  -  this group

ukwan ye  -  those students / that student

Their unbound nominal forms are:

awau  -  this (inanimate)           awau kope  -  this is a pen

uwau  -  this (animate)              uwau uma  -  this is my mother

aye  -  that (inanimate)              aye nia - that is a car

uye - that (animate)                   uye bau - that is a dog


Interrogative pronouns

Interrogative pronouns have in common they all start with ha-.  The complete list of interrogative pronouns is:

haya  -  what?

hayu  -  who?

hala  -  where?

hana  -  which?

hashi  -  how?

hasa -  what kind of?

hata  - when?

hamun  -  why?

hano  -  where to?

hachu  -  where from?

hawi  - how much/many?

Examples of the use of each of these pronouns are:

haya jam?

what do

What did you do?

hayu weyun?

who  see

Whom did you see?

hala ya?

where it?

Where is it?

hana san nenju?

which color like

Which color do you like?

hashi jo?

how know

How did you know that?

hasa nia aye?

what kind car that?

What kind of car is that?

hata de?

when come

When will they come?

hamun nong haka?

why not ask?

Why didn't you ask?

hano denu?

Where go?

Where are you going?

hachu umukwan?

where from teacher

Where does the teacher come from?

hawi tengi kiza?

how much can eat

how much can you eat?

Note how the adjectival forms hana and hasa tend to precede the noun they modify rather than to occur in the position following their head like modifiers usually do. This is due to topicalization again. This is very common for all question words. These rarely are marked by the topic marker be. Again, context is everything:

Hayu be weyun?

who top see?

Whom did you see?


Hayu weyun?

who see?

Whom did you see?

(Or: "Who saw it?")