Learning the Pronominal Prefixes
One of the early challenges in learning Kunwok is the pronominal prefixes. We break it down here, to make it easier to learn. Pronominal prefixes are like pronouns (e.g. I, you, she) except they attach to the verb. Thus, we can say ngare (I go), with the nga- prefix (I) attached to the re verb (go).
NB. Before getting started, it helps to understand the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs.
Step 1: Singular intransitive
We start with singular prefixes (I, you (sg), he/she/it).
|ngare||I go||ngawam||I went||nga- is the first-person singular, I|
|yire||you (sg) go||yiwam||you went||yi- is the second-person singular, you (sg)|
|kare||he/she/it goes||wam||he/she/it went||0̸- is the third-person singular, he/she/it|
Notice the extra prefix ka- which only shows up in third person singular in present tense. You'll hear it all the time, so you need to know it. Here it is again for bidbun (climb) and mankan (fall).
|ngabidbun||I climb||ngabidbom||I climbed|
|yibidbun||you (sg) climb||yibidbom||you climbed|
|kabidbun||he/she/it climbs||bidbom||he/she/it climbed|
|ngamankan||I fall||ngamankang||I fell|
|yimankan||you (sg) fall||yimankang||you fell|
|kamankan||he/she/it falls||mankang||he/she/it fell|
Step 2: Plural intransitive
Next, we replace the singular with the plural prefixes (we, you (pl), they).
|karrire||we go||karriwam||we went||nga- is the first-person plural inclusive, we|
|ngurrire||you (pl) go||ngurriwam||you (pl) went||yi- is the second-person plural, you (pl)|
|kabirrire||they go||birriwam||they went||birri- is the third-person plural, they|