Miwāfu sentences consist of one or more phrases, each one either explicitly identified by a phrase particle or uses an implicit order. In more formal speech, the explicit phrases are used.
Particles can be combined while writing them or spoken together.
A phrase in Miwāfu starts with a phrase participle which identifies the purpose of the phrase. The three basic particles are:
a-: Object phrase
e-: Subject phrase
i-: Verb phrase
Each phrase is unaccented except for the penultimate word. The remaining words are treated as adjectives or adverbs as appropriate for the phrase.
Even when the modifying word is normally an accented name, such as a name or a person when using as a possessive, it is not written or spoken with an accent. In the below example, Shimusògo is a name of a clan in the desert.
Like most languages in the east and north, Miwāfu sentences start with a sentence marker (
o-) instead of ending with a full stop. This marker is prefixed in front of the phrase participle.
The phrase order is stylistic based on intent.
Without phrase particles, the implied order is subject, verb, object.
There are additional modifiers to the phrase particles which alter their meaning within a sentence. The most common are the conjunction ones, also known as the set operation particles.
-ko: Indicates an additional phrase.
-mu: Indicates an combination phrase, either/or where there must be at least one.
-mubut there can be neither of them.
-shi: Indicates an exclusive or phrase.
-yo: Is a negation phrase which applies to the preceeding phrases.
When using these particles, the order of the phrases is taken into consideration. In the below case, the Shimusògo is a clan and Rutejìmo is one of the members of that clan (Shimusògo’s Rutejìmo).
While Miwāfu typically includes the gender of the phrase as the penultimate accent, there are situations when the accent needs to be emphasized or conditions make it difficult for the accent to be discerned. In these situations, an additional gender marker is included as a participle.
-shyoji: Indicates that the phrase is masculine or would have ended with a grave accent.
-pyaji: Indicates a neuter phrase.
-kyuji: Indicates a feminine phrase.
Typically when gender particles are used, a termination particle is used for the phrase. This the basic phrase prefixed with a
n-. The amount of the phrase particle needed is based on situation but frequently includes the phrase particle.
The termination phrase can also be used to indicate that the sentence is over and to invite another to speak or response. In many ways, this is used to invite a response or ask a question.
Order of Particles
While the order of particles is stylistic, there is typically an order they appear while written.
- Sentence particle
- Termination particle
- Phrase particle
- Conjunction particles
- Gender particles
- Formality particles