Saturday, February 27, 2010

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix ge'-

The prefix ge'- is a comparative degree marker for directions. In essence it means "further (in a direction)." Here are some examples:
  • Hålom = Go in, go inside, enter.
    Ge'- + hålom => Ge'halom = further inside, deeper inside
  • Hulo' = Up, above, on top.
    Ge'- + hulo' => Ge'hilo' = further up, higher, a little upward
  • Kåttan = East (Guam and Rota), north (Saipan).
    Ge'- + kåttan => Ge'kattan = further eastward, eastwardly, easterly direction
  • Mågi = Here (towards the direction of the speaker).
    Ge'- + mågi => Ge'magi = further towards here
There is another prefix (hat-) that does something very similar to ge'-, however ge'- puts more emphasis on the location rather than the action.
Ge'- also takes the primary stress of the new word. For the above examples:
  • Ge'halom => GE'-ha-lum
  • Ge'hilo'=> GE'-hee-loo'
  • Ge'kattan => GE'-cut-tan
  • Ge'magi => GE'-ma-gi
The prefix also follows the rules of vowel harmony, which means that we change the first vowel of the root word from å to a, o to e, and u to i.

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix ga'-

The prefix ga'- has two completely different uses. The first use of ga'- is that of an animal classifier, and the second is that of connoting preference, or strong liking towards something.

Ga'- : Animal Classifier
While many Chamorro speakers decide not to use this construction, it's still used by most, and is not very difficult to understand. In this application ga'- simply denotes an animal.

The most common usage of the prefix is with one of the possessive suffixes, i.e., -hu, -mu, -ña, etc. For example:
  • Ga'-hu = My animal
  • Ga'-ña = His/Her animal
  • Ga'-ñiha = Their animal
The prefix also may be added to the beginning of other words to indicate "an animal of." However, I know only of one instance where this happens in modern Chamorro:
  • Ga'lågu = Dog
Note: Ga'lågu did not mean "animal from the north," it originally meant "animal from outside the island."

Ga'- : Strong liking or Preference

This application of the prefix is rather simple, because when it's added to the front of a word it just means that it's preferred or strongly liked. Here are some examples:
  • Ga'sålåpe' si Juan. = John really likes/loves money.
  • Ga'kumentos gue'. = S/he likes to talk (is talkative).
  • Ga'maigo' si Maria. = Maria loves to sleep.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Palåbran 02/25/10: Foggon

Foggon (FOHG-gun): Stove, barbecue pit.

"Adahi i nina'lagu-mu gi feggon." = "Watch your cooking on the stove."
"Ga'o-ku umusa i feggon gas ki i feggon elektrisida." = "I prefer to use the gas stove than electric."
"Ma tunu i guihan gi hilo' foggon." = "They grilled the fish on the barbecue pit."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Palåbran 02/20/10: Yabbao

Yabbao (DZAB-bow): Swat at, hack away at, whack at, wave away, clear path by chopping bushes, mow, chop down trees.

"Hu yabbao i tangantångan gi santatte." = "I chopped down the tangantangan trees out back."
"Ha yabbao i tinanom sa' gof dånkolo." = "He chopped the plant down, because it was very big."
"Munga måyabbao i flores fan." = "Please don't mow down the flowers."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Palabran 02/09/2010: Danges

Danges (DANG-ess): Candle, wax, gum.


"Meggai na danges gi iyo-ña kek." = "There are a lot of candles on his cake."
"Songge fan i danges." = "Please, light the candle."
"Yanggen tåya' kandet, bai usa i danges." = "When there are no lights, I'll use the candles."