A Grammar of Yami

10 Prefix ka-
 10.1 Ka- as a verbal prefix
Ka- as a verbal prefix has the following five meanings:

(1) In sequential constructions, ka- is added to the sequential verb to mean ‘and then', e.g., ka-kan ‘then eat' (as discussed in Section 6.2.3).

(2) In comparative construtions, ka- means ‘very', e.g., ka-tavat á va ‘very fat' (as discussed in Section 8.3).

(3) In counting, ka- is prefixed to express the amount of time, e.g., kasa a kawan ‘something takes one year' (as discussed in Section 9).

(4) Ka- can be prefixed to verbal roots to indicate ‘just now or only', as illustrated in (153)-(154). The single complement of the intransitive verb is in the Genitive case.

(5) When a stative ma- verb becomes an irrealis verb, the prefix ka- will re-emerge to indicate its derivational relationship with a stative verb (Section 6.3.2.2), as in (155).

(153) k-ai na am, mi-'oya-'oya.

just.now-come 3.S.GEN PAR AF-RED-angry

‘No sooner had he arrived than he got angry.'

(154) ka-kan mo a ji ka manotong?

only-eat 2.S.GEN LIN NEG 2.S.NOM AF.cook

‘Would you only eat but not cook?'

(155) ya ma-ngay do gako,

3.S.NOM AF-go LOC school

do ya na ka-niahey no sinsi da ya om-bakbak jia.

LOC AUX 3.S.GEN VF-worry GEN teacher 3.P.GEN AUX AF-hit 3.S.LOC

‘He would not have gone to school if he did not fear that their teacher would hit him.’

note:The locative marker do ‘because' is followed by the irrealis verb form ka-niahey . If do is replaced by the conjuction ta ‘because', the following verb will be in the realis form ma-niahey , e.g., ya ma-ngay do gako, ta ya ma-niahey a bakbak-an no sinsi da. ‘ He went to school because he feared that their teacher would hit him. ' For further discussion of irrealis ka- in Austronesian languages, see Blust (2003). Compare the following pair of sentences (a) and (b). The irrealis ka- verb in (a) indicates non-volitional action or subjunctive mood, whereas the transitive verb in (b) is volitional and factive.

The patient is genitive following the irrealis verb in (a), but nominative following the realis verb in (b).

(a) ya ko m-ai do ya ko ka-rilaw nimo a ji a-voos.

AUX 1.S.Nom AF-come LOC AUX 1.S.GEN VF-pity 2.S.GEN LIN NEG SUB-do.alone

‘I would not come (to accompany you) if it were not for my concern about your lack of security.

(b) ya ko m-ai, ta ya ko i-ka-rilaw imo a ji a-voos.

AUX 1.S.NOM AF-come because AUX 1.S.GEN IF-VF-pity 2.S.NOM LIN NEG SUB-do.alone

‘I came (to accompany you) because I sympathized with your lack of security.'