a Philippine language, Yami displays the
typical Philippine “focus” system. The verb form changes to reflect the
semantic role of the “Subject”of the
sentence: Agent, Patient, Location, and Instrument/Benefactive.
A sentence strcture can be analyzed as
composed of a Predicate followed by a Subject. The relationship of the
two components represents an equation A= B.
In the following
examples (4)-(7), the bound root
-kan ‘eat' is affixed in four
different ways to reflect the semantic role of the “Subject”:
. Read the literal translation of each example to see how
the equation relationship is represented.
so wakay] [si
sweet.potato NOM PN
wants to eat a sweet potato. (lit.) The one
who wants to eat a sweet potato is Salang'
Salang] [o wakay].
eat-PF 3.S.GEN GEN PN
ate the sweet potato. (lit.) What
Salang ate was the sweet potato'
na [o mogis
PA-eat-LF 3.S.GEN NOM
rice that GEN PN
ate some rice from there. (lit.) What
Salang ate a little bit from there was rice'
Salang] [o among ya].
IF-eat 3.S.GEN GEN PN
NOM fish this
took this fish and ate it. (lit.) What was given for
Salang to eat was this fish.'
followed by the stem initial vowel
a can be written as
orthographically, as in
(i-akan) ‘eat side dishes'.