|This article is private. The author requests that you do not make changes to this project without approval. By all means, please help fix spelling, grammar and organisation problems, thank you.|
|Primary word order|
Kah is a language designed to be easy to master and pronounce. The language was constructed by Yauh in 2012.
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Compounds
- 3 Parts of speech
- 4 Cross-class derivation
- 5 Syntax
- 6 Nouns
- 7 Quantifiers
- 8 Interrogatives
- 9 Vocabulary
- 10 Babel text
- 11 External links
The orthography of Kah is derived from Swahili and consists of the following symbols of the Latin alphabet:
- Upper case: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
- Lower case: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p r s t u v w y z
The c only occurs in the digraph ch (designating the palato-alveolar affricate /tʃ/). The letters q and x are not considered part of the Kah alphabet and occur in original spelling of foreign words only.
|Plosive||p /p/ b /b/||t /t/ d /d/||k /k/ g /g/|
|Fricative||f /f/ v /v/||s /s/ z /z/||sh /ʃ/||h /h/|
|Affricate||ch /t͡ʃ/ j /d͡ʒ/|
|Nasal||m /m/||n /n/||ny /ɲ/||ng/n /ŋ/|
|Approximant||w /w/||y /j/|
|Flap or tap||r /ɾ/|
|Lateral app.||l /l/|
|Close||i /ɪ/||u /u/|
|Open-mid||e /ɛ/||o /ɔ/|
In the orthography these are represented by:
- a /a/, an open front unrounded vowel (as Spanish mal),
- e /ɛ/, an open-mid front unrounded vowel (as Spanish el),
- i /ɪ/, a close front unrounded vowel (as Spanish si),
- o /ɔ/, an open-mid back rounded vowel (as Spanish no),
- u /u/, a close back rounded vowel (as Spanish su).
Kah has no thrue diphthongs. In a sequence of vowels, each vowel is pronounced separately. The following vowel combinations are possible: ai, au, ea, eo, ia, io, oa, oi and ua.
Kah allows a limited yet diverse number of syllabic structures. An extensive description of possible syllable structures along with examples can be found in the following table:
|V||one vowel in rime||a|
|VN||- plus nasal stop in coda||en|
|VL||- plus l in coda||al|
|VS||- plus s in coda||is|
|CV||consonant in onset, vowel in rime||tu|
|CVN||- plus nasal stop in coda||bon|
|CVL||- plus l in coda||kal|
|CVS||- plus s in coda||sus|
|CGV||consonant plus glide in onset, vowel in rime||pyo|
|CGVN||- plus nasal stop in coda||kwan|
|CGVL||- plus l in coda||mwel|
|CGVS||- plus s in coda||pyus|
Some more consonant clusters in word-medial position bring a great deal of audible diversity to it:
- mb nd nj ng mp nt nch nk nz ns nsh mw
- lp lt lk
- sp st sk
Note the occurrence of the cluster ng which represents a velar nasal [ŋ] when it appears at the end of a word (song), but it expresses [ŋg'] in word-medial position (tengi). Confer the English words "song" and "hunger" respectively. This slight irregularity is permitted in order to sustain the legibility of the romanization.
The bulk of Kah lexicon consists of compound words, made up from two of more roots. This means it is a vital process to understand truly how the language works. Compounding basically means that two or more words are combined in order to create a new lexeme with a new, unique meaning.
The advantage of this technique of word formation is, that the meaning of the new word can be derived from the individual elements it consists of. For example the English word bedroom means "a room containing a bed". This kind of logic can also be used on a much more basic level: the Kah word for "argue" is ruka which consists of a combination of the roots ru "conflict" and ka "speak".
Kah was designed an oligosynthetic language, meaning a language with a very limited number of roots, which put together form the lexicon from wich statements are made. Kah has a couple of hundred basic roots from which all of the lexicon was derived. This does not mean however the lexicon is self-explanatory and does not have to be memorized. Every word is a independent lexeme with a semantic value which is not limited to the sum of the roots it is built from and depending on its context.
Some roots turn up quite frequently, like do for house or building:
- yudo - house
- talado - factory
- angado - stable
- fondo - prison
- kwando - school
The following roots occur in compounds frequently:
- do - house, building
- ta - time
- pa - money
- pu - moral
- ka - say, speech
- bu - man
- wana - woman
- sa - shape
- shi - manner, way, like
- so - water, fluid
- shum - powder, grains
- ki - food
- za - take
- ze - back, behind
- ku - front, before
- no - direction
- nu - go
- ro - round, cycle, ball
- yo - all
- wi - many, much
- ni - motorized vehicle
Not all compounds are entirely logical but merely a collection of basic ideas describing something.
- zedodi - snail
- ze + do + di
- back + house + bug
- raju - to be patient
- ra + ju
- sit + feel
- sempe - bone
- sen + pe
- body + stick
This is a system which also exists in Chinese compounds like dong-zuo activity literally meaning "move-make".
Phonotactics of compounding
Situations may occur that contradict the phonotactical rules of Kah as explained in the chapter on phonology. In these situations the following adjustments are made for the words to fit Kah phonology:
- When a root ending in a nasal stop (either -m, -n or -ng) is put in front of another root, the nasal stop is made homorganic with the initial consonant of the root following it:
- chen + pe = chempe
- kom + ka = konka
- rum + so = runso
- When a root ending in a consonant (either -m, -n , -s, -l or -ng) is put in front of f, v, h, lor r the final vowel of this root is reduplicated:
- lam + vun = lamavun
- When a root ending with -s is put in front of another root starting with anything other than p, t, k, w or y, the -s is followed by a reduplication of the vowel preceding it:
- bas + no = basano
- yus + do = yusudo
- When a root ending with -s is put in front of a root starting with y, the combination of s and y results in sh:
- mas + yun = mashun
- papas + yun = papashun
- bos + ya = bosha
- When a root ending with -s is put in front of a root starting with p, t or k, the -s is left untouched and directly precedes the second root:
- tus + ka = tuska
- bas + tan = bastan
- tus + pu = tuspu
- When a root ending with -l is put in front of a root starting with anything other than p, t or k, the -l is followed by a reduplication of the vowel preceding it:
- mel + mbe = melembe
- When a root ending with -l is put in front of a root starting with p, t, or k, the -l is left untouched and directly precedes the second root:
- mul + ka = mulka
- bal + ka = balka
Parts of speech
Kah has four parts of speech:
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). Verbs in Kah include states expressed by adjectives, prepositions and quantifiers in other languages such as English.
Verbs in Kah do not conjugate for person, aspect or mood. They have one basic form that is modified by individual constituents surrounding it. There is a distinction considering the following three aspects:
- perfective (marked with kwi)
- progressive (marked with la)
- future (marked with denu)
Nouns 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 the semantic aspect of the word 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
This means they can function just like any other noun:
- tau sinta ming
- now moment bad
- this is a bad moment
- nong jo lai
- not know there
- I don't know that place
Conjunctors connect clauses and phrases and describe the nature of this relationship. This part of speech is made up by words like:
- ai - and
- eom - or
- en - that
- eno - in order that
- esto - but
- eta - when
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!
- 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!
Cross-class derivation is a very active process in Kah in order to form new words. Most word roots in Kah occur in multiple word classes.
The bulk of cross-class derivation results in a verb. Most of those derivations constitute of a derivation from a verb to a verb even. The following verbs act like prefixes to derive verbs:
- jam- to do, derives a basic transitive verb
- tom- to become, derives an intransitive active verb
- we- to be stative, in a state, derives an transitive stative verb
- mun- to cause, derives a causative transitive verb
|bo - to be inside||jambo - to insert|
|biso - urine||jambiso - to urinate|
|sin - to be small||tonsin - to shrink|
|api - fire||tompi - to ignite, combust|
|yun - to look||weyun - to see|
|chu - to leave||wechu - to originate|
|de - to come||munde - to summon|
|jebo - to understand||munjebo - to explain|
The phonotactic rules of these prefixes differ slightly from those of normal compounds. When a common verbal derivational prefix ending in a nasal stop (either -m, -n or -ng) is put in front of f, v, h, l, r or another nasal stop, the final nasal is dropped:
- jam + le = jale (and not: *jamale)
- mun + ren = muren (and not: *munuren)
- tom + reven = toreven (and not: *tomoreven)
Verb extensions in Kah consist of prefixed verbs altering the meaning of the verb they are attached to. This means that a single verb stem can be used to built new verbs from in a standardized manner. This method has proved to be a rich source of verbal derivation in many natural and constructed languages. For constructed languages the main benefit lies in the instant recognizability and logic it adds to the lexicon as well as the fact it keeps the minimum number of roots needed for a mature lexicon beneath acceptable perimeters.
The reversive extensions expressed the undoing of an action and is formed by prefixing the verb mon "to undo" to the original verb. Compare:
|jo||to know||monjo||to forget|
|mas||to be stabile||momas||to destabilize|
|zon||to sleep||monzon||to wake up|
|nenu||to fly||monenu||to land|
Permissive verbs are formed with the root ten- expressing "to be able" and express something rather hard to describe. It denotes that an action or quality is possible, advisory or morally right.
|yun||to look||tenyun||to be visible|
|jo||to know||tenjo||to be famous|
|kuka||to predict||tenkuka||to be predictable|
|bum||to explode||tembum||to be explosive|
A causative verbs express an action is caused to happen. The verb mun to cause is prefixed to the basic verb stem:
|kwan||to learn||mukwan||to teach|
|bas||to stop||mumbas||to halt, make stop|
|him||to hear||muhim||to play, make heard|
|yai||to hurt||munyai||to inflict pain, hurt|
Besides derivation by means of combining roots or attaching affixes, there is a more internal way of extending the meaning of words. This method involves a partial reduplication of the initial syllable of a word. This partial reduplication involves the initial consonant, stripped of an eventual glide following it, and only the initial vowel:
- ka -> kaka
- denu -> dedenu
- chempe -> chechempe
Words with the syllabic structure CVN instead of prefixing this reduplication to the word root, add the reduplication to the end of the word:
- dun -> dundu
- ban -> bamba
- jam -> janja
Intensive verb forms express a certain kind of intensity in an action or quality:
|nu||to go||nunu||to move|
|si||few, little||sisi||just, only|
Other intensive verbs have a more repetitive, habitual or continuative nature, meaning something is happening over and over again, see below.
Iterative verbs express the repetition of an action:
|pya||to jump||papya||to hop|
|che||to hit||cheche||to beat|
|pim||to hang||pimpi||to dangle|
Habituative verbs denote actions that are carried out regularly or habitually:
|denu||to go||dedenu||to attend, go to|
|ka||to say||kaka||to call|
|jam||to do||janja||to have the habit|
Continuative verbs express an action is of a perpetual nature:
|nuda||to spin||nunuda||to rotate|
|fi||play||fifi||to be playful|
When a noun is created from another word, one of the the following prefixes is used:
- u- noun expressing an animate object
- a- noun expressing an inanimate object
- i- noun expressing a state
|shika - to instruct||ushika - instructor|
|Bangal - Bengali||Ubangal - Bengali person|
|fiti - to win||ufiti - winner|
|toka - to tell||atoka - story|
|ye - that, those||aye - that thing, those things|
|vuka - to insult||avuka - insult|
|namil - free||inamil - freedom|
|lura - loyal||ilura - loyalty|
Then there are nouns which are derived by adding an prefix u- or a- to a resultative verb starting with o-, producing (u- + o-) wo- and (a- + o-) au-.
- wo- noun expressing an animate object being the result from an action
- au- noun expressing an inanimate object being a result from an action
|ofono - accused||wofono - the accused|
|okwara - assembled||wokwara - assembly|
|oko - written||auko - text|
|okwara - assembled||aukwara - collection|
Some intensive forms are nouns. Many of those express an occupation ("someone habitually carrying out an action"):
Note this practice is not compulsory. Many professions are expressed by words that are no intensive forms:
- umukwan - teacher
- udaiche - percussionist
- urenka - judge
Another class of intensive nouns describing inalienables like family members and body parts ("things that are usually yours") is characterized by reduplication.
- mama - mommy
- baba - daddy
- memea - sister
- bamba - heart
- sese - mustle
- titi - head
Kinship terms expressed by a reduplication are informal terms expressing a personal relationship caracterized by endearment. Compare:
The basic roots used in the words above also occur in formal speech as honorifics:
- ba - mister, sir
- ma - miss, mrs.,ms., ma'am
- bua - young man, used for male children or peers
- mea - young woman, used for female children or peers
There is a very limited set of conjuntions in Kah. Some of these are derived from other roots by means of the prefix e-:
|ano - direction||eno - in order to|
|chu - to leave, from||echu - so|
|ata - time||eta - when|
|iwe - state, condition||ewe - still, even then|
A short description of the syntax is represented below:
|SVO||Subject precedes verb precedes object||Huan nenju shuki|
Juan like candy
|Topicalization||Constituents which are the topic of the phrase are moved to the front||shuki Huan nenju|
candy Juan like
|Possd na Possr||Possessed items precede the possessor and are linked by a marker na||shuki na Huan|
candy of Huan
|Pro-drop||Pronouns functioning as subject or object are omitted when the context is clear||nenju shuki|
|N Mod||Nouns are followed by their modifiers||shuki yam sun ye|
candy red two that
|No inflection||Words have one form and take no morphemes||kaiko - book, books|
kaiko wi - many books
|Serial verbs||Verbs can have more than one subject and a different object each||Huan paza shuki pau mea|
Juan buy candy give sister
There is no inflectional morphology involved with nouns anywhere. Nouns have one form only and don't inflect for case, gender or number. There are no definite of indefinite articles.
Grammatical case is expressed by word order, logic and a topic marker when necessary. In unmarked word order, the subject precedes the verb:
- uma janzu
- mother cook
- mother is cooking
Direct objects follow the verb:
- uma janzu lanki
- mother cook rice
- mother is cooking rice
Indirect objects can either follow or precede the direct object:
- uma janzu lanki wa
- mother cook rice i
- mother is cooking rice for me
- uma janzu wa lanki
- mother cook i rice
- mother is cooking rice for me
There is no separate marking for indirect objects. The difference between direct en indirect objects is left to logic and context:
- yu pau wa apa
- he give i money
- he gave me money
- he gave me to the money
When one of the constituents is topicalized and moved to the front of the sentence thus breaking the basic unmarked SVO-order, there is the option to mark this constituent with the marker be which is placed directly after it:
- lanki be uma janzu
- rice top mother cook
- it is rice mother cooked
- the rice cooked mother
- apa be yu pau wa
- money top he give i
- it was money he gave to me
- the money gave him to me
There is no overt distinction between nouns with an intrinsic masculine or feminine load:
- uba - father
- uma - mother
- wana - woman
- bua - brother
The roots bu for "man" and wana for "woman" are used to make new words with this load in order to indicate the sex of a being when necessary:
- ume - sheep
- bume - ram
- waname - ewe
These roots usually are prefixed, but sometimes they occur at the end of words too:
- uva - spouse
- vabu - husband
- vawana - wife
Number and definiteness is derived from the context or expressed with quantifiers or deictic markers:
- the/a car/cars
- nia wi
- car many
- many cars
- nia sun
- car two
- two cars
- nia ye
- car that
- that car
Collective nouns express and usually are characterized by the ending in the root nyo meaning "collection, many of". Please keep in mind this is a closed class and not a suffix which can actively be applied to nouns in order to pluralize them. Examples of words containing this root are:
- unyo - people, ethnic grouping
- Majaranyo - the Hungarian people
- penyo - forest
- jinyo - band
Some words without this root nyo have an intrinsic collective meaning and are a mass noun on their own:
- aso - water
- shum - grains
- apa - money
Also note substances like elements in general have no separate collective form altough in many instances they do express mass nouns:
- vungu - gold
- ninia - helium
- kwengu - silk
- fangu - iron
Mass nouns too can be modified by quantifiers or other nouns in order to denote a more specific amount:
- binso yem - three (glasses of) beer
- seo na aso - a cup of water
- simbe chu vungu - a piece of gold
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.
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.
|wa - I||wanyo - we|
|li - you||linyo - you|
|yu - he, she, it||yunyo - they|
|ya - it||yanyo - they, the things|
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, insect 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 can be swapped for a specific common noun or noun phrase such as ubu the man or wana the woman.
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 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 riot be at town
- They (i.e. rumours, unspecified people) say there are riots in the center
In order to form reflexive pronouns, the focus marker lo is suffixed to the basic personal pronouns:
|walo - myself||walonyo - ourselves|
|linyo - yourself||lilonyo - yourselves|
|yulo - himself, herself||yulonyo - themselves|
|yalo - itself||yalonyo - themselves|
Examples of the use of these pronouns are:
- 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. Please note the difference between:
|Susan ka yu jam
susan say she do
| Susan ka yulo jam|
susan say herself do
|uba zenka yu fon wa
father warn he punish me
| uba zenka yulo fon wa|
father warn himself punish me
Reciprocal pronouns express an anaphoric relation between the complements of a verbal clause which is expressed by means of the word each other or one another 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
A pro-drop language basically means that pronouns such as the subject and/or object of a verb can be omitted ("dropped") when it is obvious from the context who the agents are in a sentence. In Kah, this context-dependance is embraced:
|Full version||Pro-drop version|
|yunyo kwan Nihonka
they learn japanese
|wa nong jo ya
i not know it
Pronouns involved in possessive constructions as possessor are dropped easily also, along with the possessive marker na:
|Full version||Pro-drop version|
|titi na wa yai
head of I hurt
|uma na wa denu chipola
mother of i go market
|uma denu chipola|
mother go market
In this manner, depending on the conversation preceding a simple phrase, it gets to mean different things. Take for instance the following phrase:
- weyun tanu
- see movie
When accompanied by the following preceding questions, it gets to mean:
- "Have you seen this movie?"
- -Weyun tanu.
- I saw the movie
- "How does he know this already? Has he read this book before?"
- -Weyun tanu.
- He saw the movie
- "What have they been doing?"
- -Weyun tanu.
- Watching a movie
This principle of terseness also extends to things like plurality or aspect:
- paza binki
- buy bread
- "Have you bought anything?"
- -Paza binki.
- I bought a bread
- "Did you bring the five loafs I asked for?"
- -Paza binki.
- I bought the bread
- "Have you bought enough bread for the entire orphanage?"
- -Paza binki.
- I bought the bread
Also, note how none of the verbs in the example below are not marked for aspect, yet how this is obvious from the temporal expressions already. This shows aspect markers are dropped frequently as well.
- ninye kwan
- yesterday study
- yesterday I studied
- zemanta kwan
- tomorrow study
- tomorrow I will study
- tau kwan
- now study
- now I'm studying
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 like adjectival stative verbs:
- 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
In Kah quantifiers determiners indicating quantity such as three, all and many. They are stative verbs and behave as such, which means that in their most common attributive form they resemble common adjectives:
Kah numerals are a subclass of stative verbs. They are designed to be easily distinguishable from one another:
They are placed after the noun they modify:
- nia vai
- car six
- six cars
- bukim yem
- king three
- three kings
Tens are created by simply combining the words for a numeral with the word nini for "ten".
|Numeral + nini||Ten||Translation|
|sun + nini||sunini||20|
|yem + nini||yenini||30|
|pan + nini||panini||40|
|jom + nini||jonini||50|
|vai + nini||vainini||60|
|teo + nini||teonini||70|
|dia + nini||dianini||80|
|sasta + nini||sastanini||90|
When tens and basic numbers are combined, they are simply placed after one another:
- nini pan fourteen
- sunini teo twenty seven
- sastanini yem ninety three
It is allowed to add the word ai "and" in between as well:
- nini ai pan fourteen
- sunini ai teo twenty seven
- sastanini ai yem ninety three
Hundred and up
The powers of ten up til one billion are listed below:
Please note that this approach is different from the classic English decimal system, as it is dealing with powers of thousand instead. Powers of ten are treated the same way as ten and form compounds with basic numerals:
|sunini - twenty||sumel - two hundred||sumpol - two thousand||sumbena - two million|
|yenini - thirty||yemel - three hundred||yempol - three thousand||yembena - three million|
|panini - forty||pamel - four hundred||pampol - four thousand||pambena - four million|
|jonini - fifty||jomel - five hundred||jompol - five thousand||jombena - five million|
|vainini - sixty||vaimel - six hundred||vaipol - six thousand||vaibena - six million|
|teonini - seventy||teomel - seven hundred||teopol - seven thousand||teobena - seven million|
|dianini - eighty||diamel - eight hundred||diapol - eight thousand||diabena - eight million|
|sastanini - ninety||sastamel - nine hundred||sastapol - nine thousand||sastabena - nine million|
In a way, the division of powers of ten is a decimal system just like the basic numbers:
- Ten - nini
- Hundred - mel
- Thousand - pol
- Ten thousand - dua
- Hundred thousand - wisti
- Million - bena
- Ten million - nungu
- Hundred million - goa
- Billion - kas
- Ten billion - ninya
- Hundred billion - nikwanya
- Trillion - nisunya
- Ten trillion - niyenya
- Hundred trillion - nipanya
- Quadrillion - nijonya
- Ten quadrillion - nivainya
- Hundred quadrillion - niteonya
- Quintillion - nidianya
- Ten quintillion - nisastanya
- Hundred quintillion - suninya
- Sextillion - sunikwanya
- Ten sextillion - sunisunya
- Hundred sextillion - suniyenya
- Septillion - sunipanya
- Ten septillion - sunijonya
- 10100 - melenya
These numbers combined look like the following:
- 11 - nini kwa
- 12 - nini sun
- 13 - nini yem
- 14 - nini pan
- 15 - nini jom
- 16 - nini vai
- 17 - nini teo
- 18 - nini dia
- 19 - nini sasta
- 20 - sunini
- 21 - sunini kwa
- 22 - sunini sun
- 23 - sunini yem
- 28 - sunini dia
- 36 - yenini vai
- 89 - dianini sasta
- 147 - mel panini teo
- 565 - jomel vainini jom ("fivehundred sixty five")
- 705 - teomel jom
- 50,824 - jondua diamel sunini pan
- 2,500,444 - sumbena jomwisti pamel panini pan
Ordinal numbers are expressed by adding the possessive marker na before the number in question:
- nia na vai
- car of six
- the sixth car
- bukim na yem
- king na three
- the third king
- kwanya na teo
- lesson of seven
- the seventh lesson, lesson seven
Numerals can be marked with the nominal prefixes u- and a- in order to derive unbound forms of numerals:
|win sun ye
| usun ye|
|raya pesan yem
chair green three
| ayem pesan|
Decimal fractions are characterized by a bastan "comma" like in most non-anglophone languages:
- 0.25 - 0,25 (meng bastan sunini jom)
- 0.347 - 0,347 (meng bastan yemel panini teo)
- 3.14 - 3,14 (yem bastan nini pan)
When the numbers get to complicated, they can be simply put after one another as well in speech instead of breaking them down in hundreds, tenths and such:
- 3.14159 - yem bastan kwa pan kwa jom sasta
Vulgar fractions are built by adding the root -mbe "part, share" to a numeral:
|sum + mbe||sumbe - half|
|yem + mbe||yembe - one third|
|pan + mbe||pambe - one quarter, fourth|
|jom + mbe||jombe - one fifth|
|vai + mbe||vaimbe - one sixth|
|teo + mbe||teombe - one seventh|
|dia + mbe||diambe - one eighth|
|sasta + mbe||sastambe - one ninth|
|nini + mbe||sumbe - one tenth|
|mel + mbe||melembe - one hundredth, percent|
|pol + mbe||polombe - one thousandth, promille|
These fractions can be modified by cardinal numerals in order to express more complicated quantities:
- yembe sun -two thirds
- pambe yem - three quarters
- sunini-sastambe teo - 7/29
Common quantifiers behave like just numerals in respect to their place in noun phrases:
- uyu wi
- person much
- many people
- moso wi
- milk much
- much milk
- wana yo
- woman all
- all women, every woman
- wana sun yo
- woman two all
- both women
A list of common quantifiers in Kah is:
- wi – much, many
- wi tunti – more, more than
- wi tio – most, most of all
- vivi - too, too much
- si – little, few
- si tunti – less, less than
- si tio – least, least of all
- yo – all, every
- meng – none, no
- siwi – some, several
- yin – other
- kakwa – any
- yosa – enough
- wishi – various
- sun yo – both, each
- kwambe – whole
- fafau - almost
Interrogatives have in common they all start with ha-. The complete list of interrogatives 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 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?
- raimos hawi tengi kiza?
- how much chocolate can eat
- how much chocolate 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?)
- Tau yula kwambe le yuka kwa
- now world whole have language one
- Now the whole world had one language
- ai aka nyoshi.
- and speech common
- and a common speech.
- Eta uyu nudora tinuno,
- when people migrate east
- As men moved eastward,
- henyun huan la Shinaran ai nudora lai.
- find plain be at Shanar and migrate there
- they found a plain in Shinar and settled there
- Yunyo ka noyom:
- they say each other
- They said to each other:
- "Lo, om jam duzu ai shanzu tuntu."
- foc, adh make brick and bake thorough
- "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly,"
- Za duzu yompo adu, ai toisau yompo doshum.
- take brick instead of stone, and tar instead of mortar
- They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.
- Tai ka: "Lo, om jando walonyo dola
- then say: foc, adh build ourselves city
- Then they said: 'Come, let us build ourselves a city
- ya le wendo ya deche tilan,
- it have tower it reach heaven
- with a tower that reaches to the heavens,
- eno jam walonyo senka
- in order to make ourselves name
- so that we make a name for ourselves
- ai eno al nong membe wanyo
- and in order imps not scatter us
- and not be scattered
- tunu kuchi na yula kwambe,"
- across surface of world whole
- over the face of the whole earth,"
- Esto Tifa vunu
- "but lord descend
- But the Lord came down
- eno yun dola ai wendo be uyu jando ya.
- in order to look city and tower top people build it
- to see the city and the tower that the men were building.
- Tifa ka: "Tonto shi unyo kwa
- "lord say: if like people one
- The Lord said: "If as one people
- la kaza yuka kwashi,
- be at speak language same
- speaking the same language
- yunyo nuku jam awau,
- they start do this
- they have begun to do this,
- tontoye yayang be yunyo jankuren jam ya teneng tos yunyo.
- in that case nothing top they plan do it be impossible considering them
- then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.
- Lo, om vunu ai moren yuka na yunyo.
- foc, adh descend and confuse language of them
- Come, let us go down and confuse their language
- eno nong ke jebo noyom,"
- in order that not opt understand each other
- so they will not understand each other,"
- Echu Tifa membe yunyo chu lai tunu yula kwambe,
- so lord scatter them from there across world whole
- So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth,
- ai yunyo bas jando dola.
- and they stop build city
- and they stopped building the city.
- Amun chumunye en al kaka Babal --
- reason because of that that imps call Babel
- That is why it was called Babel --
- chumun lai Tifa moren yuka na yula kwambe.
- because there lord confuse language of world whole
- because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world.
- Chu lai Tifa membe yunyo tunu kuchi na yula kwambe.
- from there lord scatter them across surface of world whole.
- From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
- Kah homepage: