A Grammar of Yami

6 Structure of Verbal Clauses
 6.1 Constructions with auxiliary verbs
 6.2 Constructions with multiple verbs

  In the following section, we discuss three types of verbal constructions with multiple verbs: (1) directional verb constructions, (2) serial verb constructions, and (3) sequential constructions with ka- .

6.2.1 Directional verb construction

  Directional verb mangay (or kangay ) ‘go' can be connected directly with another verb without the linker a . In addition, mangay is further reduced to mi , functioning similar to an auxiliary and behaving almost like the deictic ya ‘this', as illustrated in (65).


(65) mi ko i-pa-cita do kararay ko.

Go 1.S.GEN IF-CAU-see LOC companion 1.S.GEN

‘I'll show it to my companion.'


6.2.2 Serial verb constructions

  In serial verb constructions, all serial verbs after initial verbs are connected by the linker a , and share the same Patient or undergoer. The shared Patient in (66) is o mavakes ito ‘that woman', whereas in (67), the shared Patient is understood from the context and thus is not expressed.


(66) ya ma-téneng a ma-ganam o mavakes ito.

AUX SV-intellegent LIN SV-dance NOM woman that

‘That woman is good at dancing.'

(67) i-toro ko jimo a kan-en mo.

IF-give 1.S.GEN 2.S.LOC LIN eat-PF 2.S.GEN

‘I'll give you (that) to eat.'


6.2.3 Sequential construction with ka-

  The prefix ka- , probably derived from the conjunction aka ‘and', is added to the stem of the verb, meaning ‘and then such and such happens'. The bound pronominal complements occur before the adverbs na or pa , as in ( 68a ). The third person plural free pronoun occurs after the adverbs na or pa , as in (68b).

(68) a. k-om-an kamo pa, ka-ngay nio rana.

<AF>eat 2.P.NOM first CON-go 2.P.GEN already

‘You (pl.) eat first before you go.'

(68) b. k-om-an pa sira , ka-ngay da rana.

<AF>eat first 3.P.NOM CON-go 3.P.GEN already

‘They eat first before they go.'


  Both the Agent and Patient arguments co-occurring with the transitive sequential verb ka- are in the Genitive case, as shown in (69). The Agent of the intransitive sequential verb is also in the Genitive case, but the other arguments are in either Oblique or Locative cases depending on the verbs, as shown in (70).


(69) ma-ngotas so raon a ka-ptad na nia ,

AF-pick OBL wild.taro.leaf LIN CON-put.down 3.S.GEN 3.S.GEN

ika-doa na no raon am

OR-two 3.S.GEN GEN taro_leaf PAR

kotas-en na ka-ptad na nia .

pick-PF 3.S.GEN CON-put.down 3.S.GEN 3.S.GEN

‘They picked the first wild taro leaf, and then they put it down. As for the second wild taro leaf, after they picked it, they put it down.'

(70) ya ni-k-om-an so wakay a,

AUX PA- <AF>eat OBL sweet.potato PAR

na ka-kan pa so ovi a.

3.S.GEN CON-eat still OBL yam PAR

‘He ate a sweet potato, and then he ate a yam.'


  If the auxiliary verbs to or ji occur in the sequential construction, the prefix ka- is added to the auxiliary verbs and the following dependent verb is formed with the suffix -an added to the verb root. This construction in parentheses in (71) and (72) was previously analyzed as a nominalized construction in Rau (2002b).

(71) ni-mi-'oya-'oya [ka-to na rana ngay-an] a.

PA-AF-RED-angry CON-just 3.S.GEN already go-SUB PAR

‘He was very angry and then he left.'

(72) ji a-bo [ka-ji ko angsem-an] so

EMP SUB-no CON-NEG 1.S.NOM eat.raw.meat-SUB OBL eye 2.S.GEN

mata mo.

‘I will definitely (lit. by no means not) eat your eyes.'