Friday, September 30, 2011

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix ya-

Ya- is the "superlative prefix" according to the dictionaries and grammar books, but it's actually a lot simpler than it sounds. Ya- is used with location and direction words, along with a reduplication of the final syllable, and is used to mean the "most" in that direction. Here are some examples:
  • Hulo' = Up, above, etc...
    Ya- + hulo' => Yahululo' (reduplication of final syllable) = Highest place, farthest up.
  • Mo'na = Front, before (preposition), ahead, etc...
    Ya- + mo'na => Yamo'nana (reduplication) = Front-most, farthest up front.
  • Håya = South (in Guam), East (in Saipan)
    Ya- + håya => Yahåyaya (reduplication) = Southernmost/Easternmost, farthest South/East.
Here are some examples of sentences comparing the stem/root words with the "superlatives."
  1. Hulo':
    • Po'lo i yabi gi hilo' i estånte. = Put the key on top of the shelf.
    • Po'lo i yabi gi yahululo' na estånte. = Put the key on the top (highest) shelf.
  2. Mo'na:
    • Gaige yo' gi me'na. = I'm in front (at the front).
    • Gaige yo' gi yamo'nana. = I'm at the very front (farthest up front).
  3. Håya:
    • Må'pos gue' håya. = He went south/east (southward/eastward).
    • Måtto gue' gi yahåyaya. = He arrived at the southernmost/easternmost point.
Note: This whole construction came about because of the way Chamorro "articles" work (i/si/iya). In modern Chamorro we use iya as the article for places, but we normally only use it with proper place names (i.e.: iya Guåhan; iya Kalifotnia; iya Amerika, etc.). In older Chamorro iya was pretty much used for any location it seems. So, if we use this idea we get terms like iya hulo' (the high place), iya mo'na (the front place), and iya håya (the south place), which through the process of reduplication/intensification turn to iya hululo', iya mo'nana, and iya håyaya. Through common usage and pronunciation we dropped the initial "i" from iya and combined it with the stem/root to get yahululo', yamo'nana,  and yahåyaya.

Pronunciation of the new words seems a little tricky, because the technical explanation would be that the stress falls on the "ante penultimate" syllable (3rd to last syllable). If we consider the above note, it makes it a lot easier to understand, because we're essentially saying two words in one:
  1. I yahululo'
    => Iya hululo' => EE-dza WHO-loo-loo'
  2. I yamo'nana
    => Iya mo'nana => EE-dza MOH'-nuh-nuh
  3. I yahåyaya
    => Iya håyaya => EE-dza HA-dza-dza
 Remember, if you have any questions or suggestions, please, don't hesitate to leave a comment on the blog or Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Palåbran 09/27/2011: Kilili

Kilili (KEY-lee-lee): To hand-carry, drift away--by current, carry along.

Note: This type of carrying is how you would hold a grocery bag or a purse, by holding it in your hand rather than on your shoulder or to your chest. The other definition means to be taken by the current.

"Puti kalalot-hu sa' hu kilili i kestat ya gof makkat." = "My fingers hurt because I was carrying the bag and it was heavy."
"I korente ha kilili i boti." = "The current carried the boat away."
"Ai, annai hu kilili iyo-ku selfon (cell-phone) bumasnak ya mayamak!" = "Ai, when I was carrying my cell-phone in my hand it slipped out and broke!"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix tak-

Tak- is a comparative prefix that is used with location and direction words. Essentially, tak- takes the direction/location and makes it "in a far place/degree."
  • Hulo' = Up, above, on top of.
    Tak- + hulo' =>; Takkilo' = High, in a (high) far up place.
  • Påpa' = Down, below, bottom, southward, downward, beneath.
    Tak- + påpa' =>; Takpapa' = Low, in a (low) far down place.
  • Huyong = Out, ouside.
    Tak- + huyong =>; Takhiyong = Far out, in a far out place.
    Another way to consider the prefix tak- is that it indicates a place greater degree, but not the greatest degree.
    • Hålom = In, inside.
      Tak- + hålom =>; Takhalom = Inner, in a (inner) far inside place.
      (i.e. in an inner area, but not necessarily the innermost place)
    • Fo'na* = Ahead, be first.
      Tak- + fo'na =>; Takfe'na = Out front, in a (forward) far up front place.
      (i.e. in a more forward position, but not necessarily the farthest out front)
    Let's go ahead and use the above examples in sentences to get a better feeling of what tak- actually does.
    • Ti siña hu taka' i kisami sa' gof takkilo'. = I can't reach the ceiling because it's very high up.
    • Hunggan, takpapa' i presio-ña, lao, åhe', ti baråtu ha'. = Yes, its price is low, but, no, it's not really cheap.
    • Sumåsåga yo' takhiyong gi siudåt. = I live far outside of the city.
    • Bai sångåni hao ginen takhalom gi korason-hu. = I'll tell you from deep inside my heart.
    • Ti un li'e' yo' gi fila sa' gof takfe'na hao. = You didn't see me in line, because you were far up front (in line).
      Tak- also follows the rules of vowel harmony, meaning, in general, we change the first vowel in the root word from å to a, o to e, and u to i. The prefix also assumes the primary stress of the new word, so the above examples would be pronounced:
      • Takhilo' => TACK-he-loo'
        => TACK-key-loo'
      • Takpapa' => TACK-pa-pa'
      • Takhiyong => TACK-he-yung
      • Takhalom => TACK-ha-lum
      • Takfe'na => TACK-feh'-nah

      *Mo'na (preposition/past participle form of fo'na) is not really used with the prefix tak-. Instead we use the general/future/command form fo'na.

      Sunday, September 4, 2011

      Utugrafian Chamoru (Chamorro Orthography)

      Para todus ni manmalago' tumungo' i utugrafian Chamoru.
      Gi halacha mafa'nu'i yo' nu este na PDF utugrafia, ya mientras ti perfektu i tinige'-hu gi Chamoru, ha gof ayuyuda yo'.

      (For those that want to learn the Chamorro orthography (the way to write in Chamorro).
      I was recently shown the orthography in PDF format, and while my Chamorro writing isn't perfect, the file has been a big help.)