Kah has four parts of speech. There are two substantive forms and two smaller and very limited closed classes:

Substantive:

Other:

-verbs

-nouns

-conjunctions

-interjections

 Verbs

Verbs are the part of speech that can be modified by stative verbs in an adverbial manner, aspect and mood markers and canalize the grammatical roles of their arguments as the head of verbal clauses. There are two subclasses of verbs: active and stative verbs. Both subclasses can either be intransitive or transitive, which means they can either have one argument (a subject) or two or more (a subject and one or more objects).

 

Active verbs

Active verbs solely denote actions and occurrences and never states in Kah. Examples of active verbs and their use are:

tonen  -  to improve

soza  -  to drink

tu  -  to cut

pau  -  to give

titom tonen

weather improve

the weather is improving

ubu soza binso

man drink beer

the men drank beer

Merih tu seki

mary cut meat

Mary cut the meat

Haik pau wa apa

hayk give i money

Hayk gave me money

Stative verbs

Stative verbs are the words that modify nouns in an attributive and often adjectival way. They often express a state like a quality or result.

nia yam

car  be red

red car

simwana nyeka

girl be happy

happy girl

Stative verbs function as fullblown verbs. This is even more visible when an adjective is topicalized and put in front of a noun. In this construction the modifying adjective is emphasized to a point it is better translated with a predicate construction:

yam nia

be red car

the car is red

nyeka simwana

be happy girl

the girl is happy

There is a large group of stative verbs denoting a resultative state:

unga okaiza

animal be trapped

trapped animal

apa ominza

money be stolen

stolen money

Stative verbs rarely are accompanied by aspect markers:

nia la yam

car  be at be red

the car is being red

simwana denu nyeka

girl go be happy

the girl will be happy

Also, Kah stative verbs with an adjectival meaning can modify verbs just as easily in a manner that would require an adverb in English. Compare:

fanyo wezai

parents  loving

loving parents

fanyo tizia wezai simbu

parents raise loving boy

the parents raised the boy lovingly

The following example shows how adjectival stative verbs can have objects:

fanyo wezai yu

parents be loving him

the parents are loving towards him

 

Nouns

Nouns  in Kah are a lexical category made up by words that can be modified by stative verbs, the possessive marker or deictic pronouns in an attributive manner and can serve as an argument to verbs. In semantic aspect this means nouns express items, persons, places, events, actions and such:

kaiko  -  book

ubu  -  man

ala  -  place

In Kah oblique phrases describing things like location, time and such circumstances are made up of nouns also:

ninye ben denu kwando

yesterday child go school

the children went to school yesterday

meo nyau tila ape ye

cat be stuck be on top tree that

the cat is stuck in top of that tree

 

Conjunctions

Conjunctors connect clauses and phrases and describe the nature of this relationship:

ai  -  and

eom  -  or

en  -  that

eno  -  in order that

esto  -  but

eta  -  when

In many instances these conjunctions are coordinating:

Dik ai Jen

dick and jane

Dick and Jane

zano eom yino

right or left

right or left

keju de esto nong tengi

want come but not can

I wanted to come but I wasn't able to

Then there are subordinating ones:

ka wa tonto de

say me if come

Tell me if he comes

papau yu eno pau

pay he that give

pay him so he gives it

 

Interjections

Interjections are words that can show up anywhere and often coincide with emotions:

eo  -  yes, indeed

nong  -  no, not

wu  -  how very, what

nye  -  yay!

ha  -  question particle

Examples of their use are:

bukim eo de

king yes come

the king has arrived indeed

eo za!

yes take!

gotcha!

aki shu ha?

food be sweet q.

is the food nice?

nong keju

not want

I don't want it

wu nenyun kuku!

how very be pretty face

what a pretty face!