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7. Syntax

Combination of a sentence :
     Ao is a subject + object + predicate language. The predicate may be a verb or a noun or an adjective. When it is a noun, or an adjective, copula is used to link the predicate with the subject. The subject in a sentence is obligatory and it does not have concord with the predicate. The subject, the object and the nominal predicate are expressed by the noun phrase and the verbal predicate is expressed by the verb phrase. The internal surface structure of the noun phrase and the verb phrase are discussed below.
7.1. The Noun Phrase :
     The noun phrases may be of subordinate or co-ordinate construction. In the subordinate constructionsome attributes follow and some precede the head noun.
     7.1.1. Noun and Attribute : In the noun+attribute construction the attribute that follows the noun may be an adjective, an article, a numeral or a quantifier. More than one of these attributes can be present at a time. The order of the attributes following the head noun is :
                                 N    +    Adj    +    [ Num + Pl ]    +    [ Art ]
                                                           [ Quant ]             [ Dem ]
     A further restriction is when a numeral is present the indefinite article cannot be present. It must also be noted that as discussed under demonstrative adjectives, only the deictic marker occurs after the noun and the gender-number marker occurs before the noun (cf. 7.1.2.).
             kí                                                                                  ‘house’
             tanó                                                                           ‘child’
             kí                   tu?lu                                                        ‘big house
             house             big
             tan              tàcó                                                      ‘good child’
             child               good
             kí                   tu?lu                 aná                                 ‘two big houses’
             house             big                    two
             kí                   tu?lu                 tem                                 ‘big houses’
             house             big (pl.)
             kí                   tàcó                áyka                               ‘many good houses’
             house             good                  many
             kí                   tàcó                ká                                  ‘a good house’
             house             good                  a
             kí                   tàcó                                                     ‘good house’
             house             good
             kí                   tàcó                 aná                               ‘two good houses’
             house             good                   two
             kí                    tàcó                áyka                             ‘many good houses’
             house              good                  many
     The plural suffix follows the adjective like the numeral. If there is a numeral or a quantifier then the plural suffix is optional but is less frequent.
             tanó             aná (tem)                                             ‘two children’
             child                two (pl)
             tanó             asem (tem)                                          ‘three children’
             child                three (pl)
             tanó           àyaka (tem)                                        ‘many children’
             child                many (pl)
             tanó              isìkà (tem)                                          ‘few children’
             child                few (pl)





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