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Verbs table

gloss layer stem phonology 1 sg 2 sg 3 sg 1ex du 1inc du 2 du 3 du 3 pc 1exc pl 1inc pl 2 pl 3 pl an 3 pl inan
die lexeme C-initial yamar wamar imar numar kumar mumar sumar skomar nkomar komar mkomar sisrow nasrow
die prefix C-initial ya wa i nu ku mu su sko nko ko mko simar namar
meet lexeme CC-initial yasrow wasrow isrow nusrow kusrow musrow susrow skosrow nkosrow kosrow mkosrow sso nso
meet prefix CC-initial ya wa i nu ku mu su sko nko ko mko smám nmám
see lexeme C-initial (labial, ¬v) yamám mám myám numám kumám mumám sumám skomám nkomám komám mkomám svov nbov
see prefix C-initial (labial, ¬v) ya zero <y> nu ku mu su sko nko ko mko sárok nárok
sell lexeme C-initial (labial, v) yavov bov vyov nuvov kuvov muvov suvov skovov nkovov kovov mkovov si na
sell prefix C-initial (labial, v) ya zero <y> nu ku mu su sko nko ko mko si na
straight lexeme V-initial yárok wárok dárok nuyárok kuyárok muyárok suyárok skárok nkárok károk mkárok s n
straight prefix V-initial y w d nuy kuy muy suy sk nk k mk s n
throw lexeme C-initial (¬labial) yaso swo syo nuso kuso muso suso skoso nkoso koso mkoso s n
throw prefix C-initial (¬labial) ya <w> <y> nu ku mu su sko nko ko mko s n

Biak notes


(Information from Van den Heuvel 2006: 157-59)

  • Mapping of stem types onto inflectional classes is phonologically conditioned for CC-initial stem (consonantal class) and V-initial stems (vocalic class); otherwise, lexically specified.
  • Infixed markers <y> and <w>; <w> not found after labial Cs. Van den Heuvel attributes this to a phonological rule affecting initial Cs, but this is the only phenomenon that evinces the effect of said rule. In addition, labial C + w sequences can occur where they result from omission of an initial vowel, e.g. #iC~labial~w → #C~labial~w.
  • In 2sg, where we would expect #v<w>, we get #b.
  • In 3pl inan, n+vn-b-; this is also said to be a phonological rule, but note that elsewhere it's optional, whereas here it's obligatory.
  • With monosyllabic v-initial stems, the prefixes which are underlyingly Co- induce lengthening of the stem vowel, and in intonational phrase final position they get a final -e (Van den Heuvel 2006: 159).
elsewhere ip final
1sg yan yan
2sg wan wan
3sg dan dan
1du nuyan nuyan
1incl du kuyan kuyan
2du muyan muyan
3du suyan suyan
3pc skán 'skáne
1pl nkán 'nkáne
1incl pl kán 'káne
2pl mkán 'mkáne
3pl an san san
3pl inan nan nan


Van den Heuvel, Wilco. 2006. Biak: Description of an Austronesian language of Papua. PhD thesis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.