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East Geelvink Bay




Nouns table

gloss layer stem phonology gen abs erg dat
1sg pro lexeme V-final em em eho eba
1sg pro suffix V-final m m ho ba
banana lexeme C-final fem fem femo
banana suffix C-final zero zero ot o
Bido (name) lexeme V-final bidom bido bidot bido bake
Bido (name) suffix V-final m zero t zero
bird lexeme V-final bume bume bumea
bird suffix V-final zero zero at a
canoe lexeme C-final ihe ihe iha
canoe suffix C-final e e at a
cassowary lexeme C-final bihi bihi bihe
cassowary suffix C-final i i et e
dog lexeme C-final vem vem vemet veme
dog suffix C-final zero zero et e
firewood lexeme V-final ia ia ia
firewood suffix V-final zero zero t zero
fish lexeme V-final bohe bohe bohe
fish suffix V-final zero zero t zero
house lexeme C-final num num numa
house suffix C-final zero zero at a
Paul (name) lexeme C-final Paulus Paulusat Paulus bake
Paul (name) suffix C-final am zero at zero
pig lexeme V-final doho doho doho
pig suffix V-final zero zero t zero
pigeon lexeme C-final mek mek meki
pigeon suffix C-final zero zero it i
bushknife lexeme V-final ae ae aet ale
bushknife suffix V-final zero zero t l

Bauzi notes

  • Bauzi nouns fall into different inflection classes based on their case suffixes. Unfortunately, the description does not make the system entirely clear; Briley (1997) describes in detail the allomorphy of the dative case, which is typically a vowel: -a, -e, -i, or -o. The ergative is described as -t or -Vt. In the case of consonant-final stems whose absolutive has a null suffix, it is clear that this vowel is the same as the one found in the dative; thus vem (abs) ~ vem-e (dat) ~ vem-et (erg) 'dog'. But where there is a suffixal vowel alternation between the absolutive and the dative (e.g. bih-i (abs) ~ bih-e (dat) 'cassowary'), or where vowel-final stems take a vocalic dative suffix (e.g. bume (abs) ~ bume-a (dat) 'bird'), it is not clear whether the /V/ of the ergative suffix -Vt is that of the absolutive or the ergative, as we have been unable to find any examples in the text. For the database we have speculated that it is the same vowel as in the dative, given that the /V/ representation suggests a variable, and it is the vowel of the dative that Briley's (1997) description treats as the variable (whereas the vowel of the absolutive is treated as part of the base).
  • Nouns ending in a sequence of two vowels take /l/ inserted between the last two vowels for their dative, except for those in /ia/, whose dative is identical to their absolutive.
  • Terms for humans, including personal names and kin terms, lack a dative form, and use the absolutive + the postposition bake in this function. Personal names ending in /u/ appear to have an ergative in -hat (e.g. Vadu-hat), but it is not clear what their genitive would be (-ham ?).
  • Personal pronouns, whose roots all consist of a single vowel, inflect identically.


Briley, David. 1997. Four grammatical marking systems in Bauzi. In Karl J. Franklin (ed.), Papers in Papuan linguistics 2, pp. 1-131. Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.