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2.2. Nouns :

  2.2.1. The noun in Ao may be defined as a word that can be followed by gender, number and case markers. The nouns may be sub-classified into substantives, pronouns, numerals and verbal nouns. Noun Classifier :
        Among the substantives, the kinship terms and the names of body parts take the classificatory prefix /te-/. This prefix is, however, dropped when these nouns are preceded by genitive.
tepú ‘father’ k ‘my father’
tení ‘nose’ n ‘your nose’
teka ‘hand’ páteka ‘his hand’
tenak ‘eyes’ tanónak ‘child’s eyes’
     Other substantives and other sub-classes of nouns, pronouns, numerals and verbal nouns.
2.2.2. Gender :
     The animate nouns in Ao are morphologically marked for masculine and feminine genders. There are different gender markers for the human and non-human nouns. On the basis of the morphological marking, the nouns in Ao may be classified as in the following diagram.

     With non-human nouns the masculine and feminine gender markers are /-tepu / and /-tec/.

       Non-human                                      Masculine                                         Feminine

   an       ‘fowl’                             antepu     ‘cock’                        antec     ‘hen’
   áz    ‘dog’                             áztep     ‘male dog’                  áztec    ‘bitch’
     It may be noted that the masculine marker for ‘bull’ is /-puci/ and not /-tepu/. /-puci/ is not used with any other word.
    nási     ‘cattle’                         násipuci    ‘bull’                        násitec     ‘cow’
     It may be recalled here that the inanimate nouns do not take any marker to indicate gender. Thus the gender classification in Ao is based on natural classes.
     At the syntactic level, however, gender distinction is not significant for subject-predicate concordance, adjective-noun agreement, etc.
pá àó ‘he is coming’
lá àó ‘she is coming’
panok àó ‘they are coming’
tanó àó ‘the child is coming’
àó ‘the horse is coming’
nisó tu?lu ‘person big, i.e., big person’
kakét tu?lu ‘book big, i.e., big book’ etc.
     However, it is significant for the selection of certain post postions. For example, there are two post positions each for the allative and locative cases. One is used with animate nouns and the other with inanimate nouns. It must be noted that for this purpose the nouns referring to body parts and house are also treated as animate in Ao (See Section 2.4).





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