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Kihuapimikoa Grammar
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A complete outline of the language
This public article was written by Camera244, and last updated on 10 May 2016, 02:42.

[comments] Menu 1. Phonology 2. Phonotactics 3. Prosody 4. Gender 5. Romanisation 6. Writing System 7. Word Order 8. Verbs 9. Mood 10. Voice 11. Transivity 12. Pronomial Affixes 13. Pronomial Cases 14. Tense/Aspect 15. Evidentiality 16. Copulas 17. Determiners 18. Articles 19. Demonstratives 20. Numerals/Classifiers 21. Quantifiers 22. Nouns 23. Derivation 24. Honourifics 25. Kinship Terms 26. Adjectives 27. Conjunctions 28. Sentence Final Particles 29. Basic Sentences 30. Relative Phrases 31. Complex Sentences 32. Compound Sentences 33. Vernacular
This article is a work in progress! Check back later in case any changes have occurred.



The basic syllable structure is CV or CVN. C is any initial consonant: /k/, /h/, /j/, /m/, /p/, /w/, /t/, /t͡s/, /ʃ/, or /s/. V is any vowel or polypthong. N is any final consonant: /θ/, /s/, or /ʔ/.


The basic rule of stress is that the penultimate syllable of a word is stressed. Noun case markers do not count in this rule.


Kihuapimikoa words are divided into animate and inanimate genders based on their consonant initials, with pronomials splitting into further genders. The consonant inventory of Kihuapimikoa can be divided into four groups:
/k/, /h/, /j/animate
/m/, /p/, /w/inanimate
/t/, /t͡s/, /ʃ/, /s/both
/θ/, /s/, /ʔ/syllable coda


[top]Writing System

Kihuapimikoa is written using a top to bottom, right to left, semi-logographic alphasyllabary. This script is derived from earlier logographic runes written from left to right. Here is an example of the UDHR article one:

[top]Word Order

The default word order of a sentence in Kihuapimikoa is VSO, however, constituent dislocation is possible with nouns to express different meanings.


The verb conjugates for mood, tense/aspect, transivity, and evidentiality, and also agrees with the subject and all objects. The verb template does not need to be followed to the letter in vernacular speech, but is generally followed in literature and formal/polite speech. The verb template is as follows with the example of the verb wumááyutaihushohéhuatakoapiéyaḥšaos, IPA: /wumɒ:jutaihushohehuatakoapiejaθʃaos/, which means 'is it said that for him/her you spoke to me with tongue?' :
There are several
Mood Verb RootVoiceTrans. CircumfixSubjectDirect ObjectIndirect ObjectTrans. CircumfixOblique Object(s)Tense/AspectEvidential
interrogativespeak tobenefactivetransitiveyou (human animate)I (human animate)he/she (human animate)transitivetongue-instrumentalpast perfectivereportative

Gerunds can be derived by changing the transivity circumfix to the infinitive/impersonal form and removing everything else but the verb root from the verb template.


There are five mood prefixes in Kihuapimikoa. Some can be combined with others.
indicativenonemarks a statement
imperativepas-marks a command
interrogativewu-marks a question
conditionalšá-marks something that requires the fulfillment of a conditional
subjunctiveṣi-marks a relative clause


There are several voice suffixes which are used to promote and demote words. This is commonly used to place focus on a word, and also to make the highest ranking person in the sentence the subject. It is possible to combine suffixes for multiple promotions/demotions. Failure to master this system may result in one being labeled 'uncouth' and an 'ill mannered barbarian'.
passive-ṣapromotes the direct object to subject; the subject is deleted or demoted to indirect object; valency -1
circumstantial-wiopromotes the indirect object to subject; the subject is deleted or demoted to indirect object; valency +0
applicative-ṣéipromotes the indirect object to direct object; the direct object (if any) is deleted or demoted to indirect object; valency +1/+0
causative-woscreates a new argument making the causer the subject; the old subject becomes the direct object; valency +1
benefactive-yucreates a new argument making the benefactor the subject; the old subject becomes the direct object; valency +1
cooperative-keaicreates a new argument making the cooperator the subject; the old subject becomes the direct object; valency +1
reciprocal-téácreates a new argument making the subject the object; the subject does the action unto itself; valency +1/+0
reflexive-tu'if there is more than one subject, they do the action unto each other; valency +1/+0


Transivity is marked by a circumfix around the pronomial affixes that are not oblique arguments in the verb template. The transivity circumfix does not change when valency increasing/decreasing voices are applied.

1there are very few inherently tritransitive verb roots, so this circumfix is found mostly in literature and the ditransitive circumfix is usually used in vernacular speech when this occurs.

[top]Pronomial Affixes

The pronomial affixes are used in the verb template to agree with the gender of the nouns of a sentence, or to act as pronouns in their own right. The animate and inanimate genders are further differentiated into Animate Human, Animate Animal, Animate Other, Inanimate Plant, Inanimate Abstract, and Inanimate Other genders. There are person prefixes added to each of these gender indicators to make pronouns. The person prefixes are not required for agreement, and the first and second person gender indicators are often omitted. Only one agreement affix is required for verbs with reciprocal or reflexive voice. The general gender indicator for something that has an unknown gender is te, IPA: /tə/.
An. Human
An. Animal
An. Other
Inan. Plant
Inan. Abstract
Inan. Other
4 (obviative, e.g. 'one')
5 (plural, e.g. 'a group of')
6 (gnomic; proverbial)
7 (interrogative)

There are two plural pronomial suffixes: inclusive plural -pé, IPA: /pe/, and exclusive plural -pi, IPA: /pi/. The exclusive plural suffix is used as the default plural suffix for pronouns that are not in first person. Pronomial affixes may be replaced by kinship terms in the verb template.

[top]Pronomial Cases

There are case suffixes that can be added to pronouns, which either transform them into determiner prefixes, oblique objects, or interjections. Interjections are usually placed at the very beginning of a sentence.
CaseSuffixSyntactical FunctionGrammatical Function
genitive I (inalienable possession)1-mimarks the possessor of an inalienable possessiondeterminer prefix
genitive II (alienable possession)2-méimarks the possessor of an alienable possessiondeterminer prefix
genitive III (composition)2-meéamarks what the modified noun is composed ofdeterminer prefix
genitive IV (origin)2-muumarks the origin of the modified noundeterminer prefix
genitive V (description)2-méámarks the descriptor of the modified noundeterminer prefix
dative3-pemarks the recipientoblique object
locative-paomarks the locationoblique object
ablative-kéḥmarks motion away fromoblique object
allative-kuḥmarks motion tooblique object
instrumental-pié marks the means usedoblique object
comitative-wai marks accompanimentoblique object
vocative (general)-saismarks the addresseeinterjection
vocative (to subordinate)-pumarks the addresseeinterjection
vocative (to equal)-poḥmarks the addresseeinterjection
vocative (intimate)-miimarks the addresseeinterjection
vocative (to superior)-káámarks the addresseeinterjection
vocative (to divine)-seaéḥmarks the addresseeinterjection

1the genitive I is used as a general genitive case in regular speech.
2the other genitive cases are only used in literature and sometimes in extremely formal speech.
3archaic in most cases, as ditransitive verb roots commonly encode actions of giving.


Tense and aspect are expressed together in the Tense/Aspect suffix in the verb template.
Nonpast none-yo'
Past -yaḥ-yoo

The nonpast imperfective is often omitted in copula compounds of an imperfective nature.


The evidentiality system is a type B1 three-term system expressed through verb conjugation.
visual sensory-tus
reportative (hearsay)-šaos


There are many different copulas used to link subject and predicate. These copulas can also be prefixed onto a verb root in order to elaborate on the aspect.
Dynamic haéšešiutéiḥtuuḥ
Stative šašiá'yésṣao


In writing all determiners are rendered as prefixes attached to the word they modify. The combining morphology of these words allows for especially specific determiners. Determiners prepended to pronomial affixes transform the construction into a pronoun.


Definite and indefinite articles are differentiated by animate and inanimate gender, and can be further modified with a special set of suffixes detailing the state of the modified noun.
Definite ké-mé-
Indefinite mé-má-

-tilying down/at rest
-haé'moving away
-kaḥmoving towards


Demonstrative pronouns are created by adding a deictic prefix to an article. The demonstrative pronouns can be easily transformed into demonstrative adverbs by appending adverb classifiers.
PrefixDeixisEnglish Example
su-mesioproximalthat (near you)
tas-mesiodistalyon (away from both but near)
wéé-distalyon (far away)

The adverb classifiers also can be appended to regular adjectives and nouns to derive adverb phrases. These phrases are similar in the function to postpositional phrases, albeit restricted to modifying verbs.
Adverb ClassifierFunction
-paolocation (locative)


The numeral system is quaternary, originating from the counting of limbs on humans and animals. In order to be used as a determiner, the numeral with classifier must be appended as a determiner to the modified noun. Ordinal numbers have a separate origin and thus are not related lexically to the cardinal numbers.

These classifiers differ from other languages in that the use of them with determiners other than numerals is optional. Classifiers can be combined; usually the classifiers specifying amounts will be first. Some pronomial gender suffixes are reused in this category.
tegeneral classifier
moaplants; bundle of crops
pesbooks; bound objects
wisolid roundish objects
mepacks; burdens
slender flexible objects
paislender stiff objects
šisheafs; flat objects
muumushy objects
ṣaoplural objects; uncountable objects
moocontained liquids


There is a limited set of general quantifiers.


Nouns are relatively simple in declension, with three unique cases of agentive, patientive, and oblique. The agentive and patientive cases are in agreement with either animate or inanimate gender. Being a fluid-S language, the agentive and patientive act like nominative and accusative cases in transitive sentences. In intransitive sentences, the default case is agentive. If one chooses to use the patientive case in an intransitive sentence, it would then encode a lack of volition for the event. These cases are appended to the end of the noun or noun phrase.
Animate -se-sau-saḥ
Inanimate -mo-mau-saḥ


There are comparatively few commonly used derivational affixes in Kihuapimikoa, for the case markings and conjugations usually denote a noun or verb.
-mu'suffixlogical result of


There is a complex inventory of honourific suffixes used in certain situations.

[top]Kinship Terms

Kihuapimikoa uses a Sudanese/Chinese type kinship system with a separate designation for each kinsman. The descent is ambilineal, with both lineages represented in the surname. The kinship terms can be used as nouns/adjectives or pronomial affixes.


Adjectives may be inserted into the verb template to modify pronouns. The adjectives are further derived using the diminutive and augmentative suffixes in the function of 'less than' and 'more than'. A superlative is formed by reduplicating the augmentative suffix.


Most conjunctions are made up of adverb and verb roots.
toand (listing)archaic adverb 'together with'
toméiand also (listing)archaic adverb 'together with' with quantifier 'every'
taa'and (clause)unknown
siátuuḥalthough (clause)adverb 'spitefully' with dynamic continuous copula
táayébut (clause)archaic adverb 'not' with stative perfective copula
wá'ṣéáor (general)verb 'to ceasefire'
kááin that case (clause)archaic conditional mood marker
sikibecause (clause)unknown
kááyétherefore (clause)archaic conditional mood marker with stative perfective copula
šéoif (clause)unknown
siákáástill (clause)adverb 'spitefully' with archaic conditional mood marker
sua'also (clause)unknown
máaki'even though; even if (clause)verb 'to come' with verb 'to finish'
ṣulike; similar to (general)unknown

[top]Sentence Final Particles

There are many sentence final particles used to modify the meaning of sentences. They are not bound by the phonotactics of other words. The following are those in accepted use in literary Kihuapimikoa; different dialects have unique sentence final particles.
aaused to soften the tone of an affirmative sentence
ooused to express reservation or doubt
ei?uttered with rising intonation; used to express puzzlement
ṣi'uttered with a high intonation; used to ask whether or not an action has been done (yet)
kiaused to express impatience
iiused to place emphasis on an action to do first; do this before this
è (IPA: /ə̂/)used to convey an entreaty; please
maaused to express additional agreement; as well

[top]Basic Sentences

There are several basic sentence templates of Kihuapimikoa from the theory of generative syntax.

[top]Relative Phrases

Relative phrases are formed with the subjunctive mood, with special rules if the head noun is not the subject in the relative phrase.

[top]Complex Sentences

[top]Compound Sentences

Either-or construction uses a repetition of the subject in the second clause, while a regular or construction omits repetition of the subject.


In the court dialect vernacular, the verb agreements have morphed into indicators of the topic of the sentence. The various agreements are omitted based on context to hasten speech.
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