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.

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