Thursday, August 13, 2009

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix fa'-

The prefix fa'- has two rather unique meanings. The first means "to change to." The second is similar, although markedly different, it means "to pretend," "make believe," or "feign." Here are some examples.

= "to change to":
  • Maolek = good or well.
    Fa'- + maolek => fa'maolek = to fix, repair, or make better.
  • Nå'an = name.
    Fa'- + nå'an => fa'na'an = to nickname, to name, or to call someone by a name other than their own.
  • Dagi = to lie.
    Fa'- + dagi => fa'dagi = to belie, to create a false impression, or to use as an excuse.
Fa'- = "to pretend to":
  • Bunita = beautiful (female)
    Fa'- + bunita => fa'bunita = to pretend to be beautiful.
  • Guåha = to exist, to have.
    Fa'- + guåha => fa'guaha = to pretend to have or to put on airs.
  • Måleffa = to be unable to recall.
    Fa'- + måleffa => fa'maleffa = to pretend to forget.
This prefix leaves the primary stress of the root word intact. However, it does follow the rules of vowel harmony. All this means is that on most words we change the first vowel from å to a, from o to e, and from u to i.

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