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ocü ‘house’ kali ‘one’
adi ‘what’ lopüi ‘that girl’
otu ‘domesticated bovine’ ho ‘banana’
‘to know’ ta ‘to go away’
mono ‘to marry[sbj:sg.masc.] ango ‘to tremble’
phro ‘to read’ atu ‘to bounce [intr.]’
to ‘to eat’ ati ‘to dawdle’
hu ‘to visit someone’s kra ‘be white’
  house as a guest[vt]’ pfü ‘to carry on back’

The third type is a word at all levels. Isolable without being elliptible, members of this type come close to being lexical morphological units. The type, however, has a remarkably limited membership. e.g. le the future tense auxiliary.

The fourth type is a convergence of phonological wordhood and interphrasal and morphosyntactic non-wordhood. Postpositions [e.g. akuo ‘together with’ kotu ‘upto’ he ‘near’], conjunctions [ ‘and’ moli ‘or’], quotatives [e.g. o ‘that’], adverbs [eg. zhazha ‘often’, makra ‘constantly ; continuously’, to ‘properly’, mazhü ‘well’, mashü ‘badly’], intensifiers [eg. shu ‘very’] illustrate this type.


The fifth type, the last category of the Mao Naga word is a nonword at all levels All derivational affixes and gender suffixes illustrate this type.
3.1. Word Classes
Word classes, variously called form-classes, parts-of-speech, external distribution classes, in Mao Naga are Noun, Verb, Noun Attribute [of which adjectives are a subclass], Adverb, Conjunction, Particle and Postposition. These seven classes of word are established both on morphological and syntactic criteria, the rest of the word classes need to be established only on syntactic grounds. Pronouns are a subclass of nouns. Numerals could prolong either to the word-class of Noun or Noun Attributes. Whether it is a noun or a noun attribute is, however, a function of syntax. We shall elucidate the defining criteria of each of the word classes when we deal with them. As is typical of Tibeto-Burman languages, Mao Naga has no extensive Sandhi phenomena. The remarkably little morphophonemics that is found is dealt with in the respective sections.

Morphological Processes
The morphological processes in the language are prefixation and suffixation, there being no suppletion employed. Prefixation is used typically though not exclusively in derivation, and suffixation in inflection. Inflection is exclusively by sufixation.

The Noun

It is difficult to define in a necessary and sufficient manner the noun in Mao Naga as a morphological unit. While gender and number markers, the putative criterial attributes of nounhood, are sufficient but not necessary, the capacity to be followed by case markers and postpositions, and individuators [=definite articles] constitutes a defining property of the noun phrase rather than of the noun as a morphological unit. The potential to be followed by individuators/case markers/postpositions, however, does mark the noun [phrase] as an external distribution class that is structurally separate from other word-classes. Note the operative word ‘potential’. In a given sentence, a noun[phrase] may not have taken individuators/case markers/postpositions, but is capable of taking one [of these] either mutatis mutandis in the given sentence or in others. Thus, in
46 a. ai 1 larübvü 2 phro-we3
  I1 am reading3 [a] book]2

larübvü ‘book’ displays no overt characteristics of a noun except the syntactic one of its [object] position in the sentence. One could, however, have
46 b. ai1 larübvü2 -na-i3 phro-we4
  I1 am reading4 the3 book2

where the singular number marker -na and -i, the individuator mark the nounhood of larübvü ‘book’.

Morphological Composition The initial vocalic syllable

The initial vocalic syllables are o- and i-. i- occurs with a handful of lexical roots. This section focuses only on o- which is more common2 .



This corresponds to u- of the Shajouba dialect. Note that we haven’t called it a prefix because it seems to have no morphemic content. However by the criterion of recurrence of form it could be considered an [empty] morpheme, and hence a prefix.




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