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Nominals table

gloss layer stem phonology nom acc gen loc comit ins
chicken lexeme C-final atáʃ ataʃún ataʃú
chicken suffix C-final zero Vn V numa ha ai
chicken stress C-final #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted
Doris lexeme C-final dóris dóris
Doris suffix C-final zero zero a numa ha ai
Doris stress C-final #base #base #base #base #base #base
monkey lexeme V-final wáʃi waʃín waʃí
monkey suffix V-final zero n zero numa ha ai
monkey stress V-final #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted
Santa Maria plant lexeme C-final nátsatsam nátsatsaman nátsatsama
Santa Maria plant suffix C-final zero n zero numa ha ai
Santa Maria plant stress C-final #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted
this lexeme V-final húu húna húna húĩ
this suffix V-final zero na na ĩ ha ai
this stress V-final #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted #shifted

Possessed nouns table

gloss layer 1 sg 2 3 1 pl
blood lexeme numpahu numpɨmɨ numpɨ numpɨ
blood suffix hu zero zero
blood stem #vowel1 #vowel2 #vowel2 #vowel2
beard lexeme susuhu susuhumɨ susuhĩ susuhĩ
beard suffix hu humɨ
beard stem #vowel #vowel #vowel #vowel

Verbs table

gloss layer unmarked pfv ipfv
be/live lexeme puhú puhú puh
clean up lexeme mahɨ́ mahɨ́ mahɨ́
cut lexeme tsúpi tsupí tsúpi
knock down lexeme ahĩ́ĩ ahĩá ahĩ́
lose a child lexeme ahakú ahaku aháku
ripen lexeme katsúu katsuá katsú
run lexeme tupikáu tupiká tupiká
sleep (sg subject) lexeme kánu kaná kán
throw away lexeme ahápɨ ahápa ahápɨ
write lexeme áɰa aɰá áɰa
darn lexeme kaŋkáu kaŋkaá kaŋká
be/live suffix u u zero
clean up suffix ɨ ɨ ɨ
cut suffix i i i
knock down suffix ii ia i
lose a child suffix u u u
ripen suffix uu ua u
run suffix au a a
sleep (sg subject) suffix u a zero
throw away suffix ɨ a ɨ
write suffix a a a
darn suffix au aa a

Aguaruna notes


Following Overall (2007), the different inflection classes are represented in terms of the stem alternation, stripped of further suffixes (of which there are many). Overall divides them into three classes on the basis of the behaviour of the stem-final vowels. Since these classes themselves are partly predicatable from the quality of the vowel, this has been separated out here as a theme vowel (or vowels).

The three classes (expressed in terms of theme vowel):

  • Class 1: invariant theme vowel (by far the largest class)
  • Class 2: (final) theme vowel replaced by -a in the perfective stem
  • Class 3: unmarked stem (final) theme vowel -u is dropped in the imperfective stem


Possessed forms

  1. The forms shown here are underlying, as represented by Overall (2007). Further morphophonological processes yield e.g. from [susuhu] → susuŋ 'my blood'.
  2. The alternation of stem-final vowel is typical of stems in -a. Three lexemes with stems in in -u also display an alternation, but each one is different, so no generalization obtains.
  3. The two patterns: pure suffixing (like 'beard'), and suffixing + stem alternation (like 'blood') roughly correspond to alienable vs. inalienable possession.

Nouns-case paradigm

  1. Overall (2007) treats C-final nominative forms as the result of deletion of the stem-final vowel. But as he points out (p. 220), borrowed Spanish personal names that end in a consonant acquire a final -a in the genitive (it is not clear from his description how the cases besides the accusative are formed), so it appears that the process has been reanalyzed as one of suffixation (hence the analysis here).
  2. Accent shift within the stem (by one syllable towards the end of the word) occurs with di- and trisyllabic stems. Stems of more than four syllables undergo no accent shift, while the behaviour of those of four syllables is unclear (p. 105f).
  3. The locative suffix -ĩ is found with pronouns (personal, demonstrative) and also possessed nouns.


Overall, Simon E. 2007. A Grammar of Aguaruna. PhD thesis, La Trobe University.