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Grammar - Serial verbs
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Serial verb constructions basically are a string of verbs having the same subject. In Kah, verbs can be juxtaposed in order to build an expression. In the following sentences there is more than one main verb:

Yunyo de weyun wa

they come see me

They came to see me

Literally: "They come see me"

Nubo naini de bandola  

enter  bus         go   town

They took the bus to town

Literally: "(They) entered the bus go town"

Simbu za champe janko senka

boy take pencil write name

The boy wrote his name with a pencil

Literally: "The boy took pencil wrote name"

Serial verb constructions express many things covered by prepositions in languages like English, like:

- location

- instrumental

- comparative

- finitive

- purpose



Locative serial verb constructions have a function that corresponds with that of prepositions in other languages. Compare the following Kah sentence and its English counterpart:

Ya nainu wi chu lau de Pilimas

it be far very leave here go Plymouth

It is very far from here to Plymouth

Bau gevu de wa  

dog run come me

The dog ran towards me



Instrumental serial verb constructions indicate by or with which an action is accomplished. In short, it tells with what something is done:

Yu za tuya tu seki

she took knife cut meat

She cut the meat with a knife

Yu le simpe pomporo moso  

she hold stick stir milk

She stirred the milk with a stick



Kah has no separate comparative or superlative form for qualifiers such as adjectives. Instead, a serial verb construction containing a qualifying verb is combined with the verbtunti "to surpass, be better than" is used:

Maik nenje tunti li  

Mike be smart surpass you

Mike is smarter than you

Mul wan tunti me

cow be big surpass sheep

Cows are bigger than sheep

When a superlative meaning is expressed, the verb tio expresses the notion of  "surpassing all".

Jan Sin wen tio

john little be tall surpass all

Little John is the tallest.



Finitive serial verb constructions express the action is carried out to the end. This usually is done by incorporating the verb bas  to end, finish, but verbs like mimia to kill and kai to close also occur in this respect.

Bau kiza seki bas

dog eat meat finish

The dog ate up the meat

Winyo cheche yu mimia

crowd beat him kill

The crowd beat him to death

Yu bunche doki kai

he slam door close

He slammed the door shut



In many instances when two verbs are juxtaposed, this expresses purpose:

Yunyo de weyun wa

they come see me

They came to see me

Nuchu ka yu!

go tell him!

Go and tell him!

The very same idea could be expressed with the conjunctor eno in order to without making any difference:

Yunyo de eno weyun wa

they come to see me

They came to see me

Nuchu eno ka yu!

go to tell him!

Go and tell him!