A Grammar of Yami

4 Syntax
 4.1 Tense, aspect, and mood morphology

  In a recent typological survey of the Philippine languages, Reid & Liao (2004) insightfully analyzed the focus affixes as intransitive and transitive affixes. To facilitate cross-linguistic comparison, we present the Yami system of pivot (or subject), mood and apect in Table 5 with Ross' (1995) terms juxtaposed.

Table 5: Yami pivot, mood and aspect morphemes (adapted from Rau 2004, 2005)

Indicative

Non-indicative

AF

(Actor) Intransitive

Dynamic

Dynamic

Stative

Stative

Imperative (Atemporal)

Subjunctive (Projective)

Neutral

Perfective

Neutral

 

Perfective

Dynamic

Stative

 

-om-

ni-om-

 

 

Ø-

N-

a-

 

m-

ni-m-

ma-

ni-ma-

Ø-

N-

a-

NAF

Transitive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PF (Undergoer)

-en

ni-

ma-

ni-ma-

-i

N-…-a

a-…-a

LF (Location)

-an

ni-…-an

ka-…-an

ni-ka-…

-an

-i

N-…-i

a-…-i

IF, BF

(Instrument)

i-

ni-…-i

i-ka-

ni-i-ka-

-an

N-…-an

a-…-an

 

  Yami verbs divide into indicative and non-indicative forms. All verbs are either dynamic or stative (See Section 6.3). The indicative verbs are either neutral or perfective. Perfective verbs, marked with the prefix ni- , have past time reference and are anterior. Unlike most of the languages of the Northern Philippines, which require focus affixation prior to infixation of <in> (Reid 1992:77), Yami demonstrates an innovation of the morpheme order ni-om- . Neutral verbs are used typically with either present or future time reference. Tense neutralization occurs in discourse where the neutral tense form is used for a past event, similar to what is described in Reid (1971) for some Northern Philippine languages.

  The non-indicative verbs distinguish between imperative and subjunctive forms. The imperative forms are used exclusively in commands. The subjunctive forms are preceded by the auxiliary verbs ji “not” and to “then” (See section 6.1.1). The non-indicative subjunctive forms further distinguish dynamic verbs from stative verbs. The dynamic verbs are all preceded by N- . The set of rules of morphophonemics of N- is presented in Tables 6-7.

In the following paragraphs, the organization of the grammar basically follows Reid & Liao's (2004) typological framework of the Philippine languages to facilitate comparisons. We begin with the word order of predicational constructions, followed by the structure of verbal clauses and the structure of noun phrases. Sections 8-9 contain discussion of the compative construction and numbers. Section 10 dicusses the use of the prefix ka- .