Jan 17, 2009

How do you say...?

Some structures will allow us to interact with a native speaker of Mapucezugun without having to use any other language.

- ¿Cem am...?

¿Cem am ta tvfa? = What's this?
...Tvfa ta wagku. = this is a bench / chair
Note: remmeber the use of "tvfa" (Demonstrative Pronouns) in entry "Sixth - Pronouns"

¿Cem am ta tvfey? = What's that?
...Tvfey ta kawej = That's a horse

¿Cem am ta tvye? = What's that (over there)?
...Tvye ta mawiza = That's a mountain

The election among "tvfa", "tvfey" and "tvye" will depnd on the relative position of the object and the speakers.

Another important phrase is:
¿Cem am ta .... wigkazugun mew?
How do you say .... in wigka*?
*Note: the word "wigka" is used to mark all that is not Mapuce. In this case, it would mean Spanish but also could mean any other foreign language.
¿Cem am ta ñarki wigkazugun mew?
Ñarki ta
"cat" wigkazugun mew

Another usefull phase would be:
¿Cem am ta tvfa /tvfey / tvye mapuzugun mew?
This would be used to ask how something (the pointed object) is called in Mapucezugun.
¿Cem am ta tvfa mapuzugun mew?
Tvfa ta...
After the connecting particle "ta" the word will describe how the object is called.

- ¿Cem am ta tvfa?
- T
vfa ta pici kujkuj

Note: [1] Prof. Cañumil said a neologism has been created from the old word "kujkuj" => "pici kujkuj" meaning "small kull-kull / küll-küll".

Image: Küll-küll made from the horn of a sheep,Victoria, 1968. Source: Memoria Chilena

A "kujkuj" was an instrument used to send messages at long distances. In their work "Crear Nuevas Palabras", Francesco Chiodi and Elisa Loncon describe the use of this instruments as:
"antes no existía el teléfono, la gente se llamaba con el kujkuj, subían a la cima de los cerros para que la llamada se escuchara mejor"[2]
Translation: "Long time ago there was no telephone, people used to call eachother with the kujkuj, they climbed to the top of a hill so the call would be heard better."
Any resemblance with a cell phone is not merely coincidental.

The text in Mapuzugun goes:
Kuyfi mvlekelafuy zuguluwvnwe*, re kujkuj mu mvxvmtukefuy pu ce, wecuñtu** winkul mu pvrakefuygvn ñi zoy* kvme amual mvxvm
(Chodi et al, op. cit. pag. 119)

Note: the words marked with * have been adapted to Mapuzugun as written in Puelmapu (replacing the original "d" of "dugu" in the text for "z" in "zugu")[3]
"Kuyfi" refers to a time in the remote past, "mvlekelafuy " is formed with the verbal root "mvle-" + particles "-ke-" (habitual or customary action marker) + "-la-" (negation marker for the Realis Mood only) + "-fu-" (this particle marks the action happend long time ago)
"zuguluwvnwe" is formed by the root "zugu-" (to speak / to talk) => "zuguluwvn" means "to talk to eachother" (Chiodi et al op. cit.). The final particle "-we" is an instrumental marker. The particle "-we" can also be a place marker: itmarks the place where an action takes place: "kexan" (to plow) and "kexawe" means "the place that is plowed"
"Re" means "only" and "mu" is the contraction or shorter form of the postposition "mew" [4]
In "mvxvmtukefuy" are easily identified the particles "-ke-" and "-fu-" and the verbal root "mvxvm-" (to call up). Remember the use of the particle "-tu-" as explained in previous entries. "Pu" is a plural marker (this is a Free or Independent Particle). "Ce" means "people", as previously explained.
"Wecuñtu" means "summit / top / highest part of". I marked this word with a ** as the word was also adapted to the written language in Puelmapu. In Gulumapu it is written "wecuntu" (in this work Chiodi et al describe these variations due to the acculturation of the Mapuce. See op. cit. pag. 16-19)
"Winkul" means "hill" and "mu" was also explained in this entry.
"Pvrakefuygvn" is formed by the verbal root "pvra-" (to go up) and the particles described in this entry. Notice the suffix "-ygvn" 3rd Pers. Plural.
The expression "ñi zoy kvme amual mvxvm" could translated as "so their call (is) sent better". Some dependent clauses in Mapuzugun are built using a possessive.
Interesting though is the construction of a sort of suplerlative form:
"kvme" (adj. "good") => "zoy kvme" ("better").
"Amual mvxvm" could be translated as "sending calls"
"Pvrakefuygvn ñi zoy kvme amual mvxvm" could be translated as "They used to go up the hill (for) the better sending of their call" This "ñi"-clauses are commomly used in Mapucezugun and should be explained in another entry.

[2]Crear Nuevas Palabras (Creating New Words). Francesco Chiodi and Elisa Loncon. Instituto de Estudios Indígenas (Institute of Indigenous Studies). 1997. Versión Electrónica
[3] Wixaleyiñ, Mapucezugun-wigkazugun pici hemvlcijka - Pequeño diccionario castellano-mapuche (Small Dictionary Spanish-Mapuche), Berreta M, Cañumil D, Cañumil T, 1a Ed. Editado por los autores, Buenos Aires, 2008. ISBN 978-987-05-4139-4 - I used this dictionary to check the correct spelling of words and for translating the texts in this entry.
[4] Notes take in class.

Jan 16, 2009

16th - Particles "-fu-" and "-em"

The particle of time "-fu-" is commonly used together with the particle "-em" to mark sorrow.

Cucu = grandmother (mother's mother)
Ñi cucuem = my grandmother (who passed away)

When the modified word ends in "-e" the semivowel "-y-" is added for euphonic reasons.

Ñuke = mother
Ñi ñukeyem = his mother (who passed away)

Sometimes it used to express sympathy:
Kuralge = eye
Agkvrkefuy ñi kuralgeyem = His poor eyes dried up (long time ago) !! (to mean "he lost his sight")

Note: the verb "agkvn" /aŋ'kən/ means "to dry up". Notice the use of the middle particle "-rke-" marks a story or account. It is also used to express surprise or wonder.

15th - Particles (Cont.)

In this entry I will introduce the Particles of Time.

These particles specify when an action was carried out or took place (as we saw in my previous entry, the particle "-le-" marks the action is happening now)

Particle "-ke-" [1] identifies habitual or customary actions.
...xekan = to walk
...xekaken = I usually walk.

Particle "-a-" [1] marks the future tense
...ajkvtun = to listen
...ajkvtuan = I will listen
Verbs whose root ends in "-a", the semivocal "-y-" is added for euphonic reasons.
...xekan = to walk => root: "xeka-" + suffix for the 1st Pesron Singular: "-n"
...xekayan = I will walk
The "-y-" can be omitted, resulting in: "xekaan"

Particle "-pe-" [1] marks an event in the immediate past, something that just happened
...ajkvtun = to listen
...ajkvtupen = I just heard

Particle "-fu-" [1] marks an event in the remote past, something that happened long time ago.
...ajkvtun = to listen
...ajkvtufun = I heard (long time ago)

Particles of time can be used in combination with other particles to modify or refine the meaning.
Tañi bakuem xekakefuy tvfaci lelfvn mew
Translation: My poor Grandfather (father's father) used to walk in these fields long time ago

Notes to my translation: As we already saw, "tañi" means "my" (notice that "ñi" also stands for "his/her"), "baku" means "your father's father", the final particle "-em" is added to persons that have passed away (it is used to express sorrow - the used of this particle will be explained in another entry)
"xekakefuy" is formed by the verb root "xeka-" meaning "to walk", the middle particle "-ke-" (marking the action was habitual), the middle particle "-fu-" marks the action happened long time ago, the suffix "-y" marks the 3rd. person singular.
"Tvfaci" means "this/these", "lelfvn" means "field" but also "fields" (as Mapuzugun nouns have either number nor gender), and "mew" is a postposition meaning in this context "in"

[1] Mapucezugun Ñi Cumgeel - Descripción de la lengua Mapuche (Description of the Mapuche language), Cañumil, T. Versión electrónica,

Jan 15, 2009

14th - Particles

Particles are morphemes that produce systematic, regular changes in the meaning of other morphemes they are added to.[1]

These particles can appear alone or in groups following a certain preset order.[2]
They do not have a meaning by themselves but only add meaning to the words they modify.[2]
In Mapuzugun, particles modify tense, number, mark negations, etc. [2]

There are 3 types of particles:
1. Intermediate or Middle Particles
2. Final particles
3. Independent or Free Particles

Intermediate or Middle Particles: are the ones placed between the root and the suffix of the verbs that they modify.
These particles will be listed as "-xx-".

Final Particles: are the ones that are added at the end of a word.
These particles will be listed as "-xx"

Independent or Free Particles: are the ones that are written separatelly from the word the modify.

Middle Particles can be classified as[2]:

1. Of time: mark the time when the action or state described by the verb takes place.

2. Of mood: mark some characterictics about the action or state described by the verb.

3. Of place: mark the place or direction in which an action is made.

4. Markers (Objectives): mark the object affected by the action verb.

5. Of negation: mark the negation of the verb.
There is a negative particle for each of the 3 moods in Mapuzugun: realis mood, volitive mood and conditional mood.

Particle "-le-" (of time):
This particle is placed bertween the verbal root and the suffix, and it is used:

i. To describe events happening now.
...xekan: I walked (to walk)
...xekalen: I am walking
Dynamic verbs (that express an action) imply the action is concluded. Adding the particle "-le-" changes the meaning to describe the event is happening now.

ii. To denote states, rather than actions
....apon: to fill
...apolen: to be full

iii. It is used to verbalize words that are not verbs.
....kvme: good
...kvmelen: to be good / fine
Note: as we saw in other entries, the response to the question: "¿cumleymi?" was: "Iñce kvmelen"
....xemon: healthy
...xemolen: to be healthy.
When the verbal root ends in consonant, remember the particle "-kv-" is added for euphonic reasons.
...kuxan: pain, sickness.
...kuxankvlen: it hurts (lit. I am in pain) / I am ill.
Note: to say something hurts it is used the verb in 3rd. person.
"Ñi logko kuxankvley"[3]
Lit. My head is in pain / my head hurts

"Some of these particles in Mapuzugun might have its origin in verbs"
Prof. Cañumil expressed that it is very likely that origin for this particle would be the verb "mvlen" (to be -only the stative meaning: indicating a state or condition)

Pici gvxamkan: (Small dialogues)

Carla and José greet each other:
Karla: Puh may, lamgen. ¿cumleymi?
Kose: Iñce k
vmelen. ¿Eymi kay?
Karla: Iñce kafey.
Note: "kafey" means "too"

Juan meets Rayen who does not look well
Kuan: Mari mari, lamgen. ¿Xemoleymi?
Rayen: Mari mari. Iñce k
vxankvlen. Kvxankvley tañi furi. ¿Eymi kay?
Kuan: Iñce xemolekan
Note: the particle "-ka-" is used as an emphasizer.

Other particles will be described in next entries.

[2] Cañumil, Tulio et al, op. cit.
[3] Class notes: 21 April 2008.

Jan 14, 2009

Gvxamkan: ¿Iney pigeymi?

Dialogue: "What's your name?"

In this entry we will see how different expressions from previous entries are used.

Greetings between men: use of the word "peñi" (brother)

Kuan - Mari mari, peñi, iñce pigen Karvkew ¿Iñi pigeymi?
Kose - Mari mari. Payneñamku ta iñce.

Greetings between men: use of the word "lamien / lamgen"

Ayben[1] - Mari mari, lamien. Iñce Ayben Kajfvpag. ¿Iney pigeymi?
Maria - Mari mari. Maria Kol
vkew ta iñce.

Greeting someone of the opposite sex: use of the word "lamien / lamgen"

Kose - Mari mari, lamgen. ¿Iney pigeymi?
Rayen - Mari mari, iñce pigen Rayen Kur
vmañ. ¿Eymi kay?
Kose - Kose Kuñimil ta iñce.

Other greetings:
"Puh may" it is used at night.
Note: "puh" means "night" and "may" means "yes"

"Puh may" pigey puh mew ("good evening / good night" is said at night)
"Mari mari" pigey antv mew ("Mari mari" is said during the day)
Note: "antv" means both "sun" and "day"

[1] The correct pronunciation for "Ayben" is /ay'ļen/.
The "ļ" stands for a voiced interdental lateral consonant (similar to the letter "L" but pronounced beginning with the tongue between the teeth.)

Jan 12, 2009

12th - Verb (cont.)

In Mapuzugun there are 3 grammatical moods (real, volitive & conditional) and 9 persons: 3 for the singular, 3 for the dual & 3 for the plural.

1. Realis Mood indicates that something is actually the case (or actually not the case); in other words, the state of which is known [2]

Notice the suffixes marked in blue

iñce amun
............... I have gone / I went
eymi amuymi ........ you have gone / you went
fey amuy ................. he has gone / he went

iñciw amuyu ......... we two have gone / we two went
eymu amuymu ..... you two have gone / you two went
feyegu amuygu .... they two have gone / they went

iñciñ amuyiñ ........... we (all) have gone / we (all) went
eymvn amuymvn ... you (all) have gone / yu (all) went
feyegvn amuygvn .. they (all ) have gone / they (all) went

Please, remind that dynamic verbs express that the action is already concluded. Also, that stative verbs express the action has not yet ended.
Note: This is a characteristic of Mapuzugun and has nothing to do with Stative or Dynamic verbs!

To the Stative Verb group belong:
...nien (to have)
...mvlen (to be - expressing location)
...verbalized words (i.e. words converted into verbs) using the middle particle "–ge-".
...xogli (thin) + middle particle "-ge-", is verbalized into the verb "xogligen" (to be thin)

Note: the particle "-ge-" presents the pecularity to apply the characteristic expressed in the word or verb to the person expressed in the suffix.
From the verb "pin" (to say) it derived the verb "pigen": "pi-" (verbal root) + "-ge-" + suffix for the 1st Pers. of the Singular "-n" to obtain the meaning "I am called / they call me" (actually, "my name is...")
Also, "pigen" (I am called), "pigeymi" (you are called), "pigey" (he is called) ,etc.
Note: this is not the passive voice!

- ¿Iñey pigeymi? = What's your name?
Note: it can also occur as: ¿Iñi pigeymi? due to local variations of Mapuzugun
- Edgardo ta iñce
- ¿Eymi kay? (and you?)
- _____ pigen (my name is ____)

Note: due to the fact that many sounds do not occur in Mapuzugun, like the sounds represented by the letters "d" and "g" (like "g" in "get", the transliteration would be: "Ezkarzo" /eθ'kaɹθo/, o just: "Ekarzo", just as the Spanish names "Juan" or "José" are transliterated as "Kuan" and "Kose" in Mapuzugun.

There are many options to respond to the question "¿Iñey pigeymi?":
_____ ta iñce
iñce ______
_____ pigen

Fill in the blank with your own name

Note: Remember "pigen" /pi'ŋen/ expresses how other people do call you!

[1] Cañumil et al, op. cit.

Jan 8, 2009

11th - Verb

A verb is a word (part of speech) that usually denotes an action, an occurrence, or a state of being. [1]
In Mapuzugun verbs in infinitive are formed by a stem [2] and suffix [3]
The verb suffix for any verb ending in a vowel is: "-n". If the root ends in a consonant, then the suffix is "-vn"
...nien = to have (formed by the root "nie-" + the suffix "-n")
...kimvn = to know (formed by the root "kim-" + the suffix "-vn"

The verb in infinitive is then also the verb in 1st Pres. Singular of the real mood.
"nien" means both "to have" and "I have"

Verb suffixes in Mapuzugun inflects the verb to indicate the person (1st, 2nd y 3rd person) and number (singular, dual or plural) and the mood (real, volitive[4] y conditional[5]).

Besides suffixes, there are a series of particles that are mostly used to encode grammatical categories (such as case, negation, place - or where the action is carried out -, etc)
Particles will be extensibly described in other entries. For now, it is important to remark certain characteristics of verbs in Mapuzugun:
1. Dynamic verbs, that shows continued or progressive action on the part of the subject, express that the action is already concluded (they imply the past tense)
2. Stative verbs (that have no duration and no distinguished endpoint) express that the state still continues when expressed.

(Iñce) amun = (I) went
Notice: "amun" does not mean "I go"

(Iñce) nien = (I) have
Note: "nien" expresses the idea that the possessed thing is still possessed when it is expressed.

Suffixes corresponding to the real mood (indicative mood) will be listed in another entry.

[2] In linguistics, a stem is the part of a word that is common to all its inflected variants. Stems are often roots, i.e. The root is the primary lexical unit of a word, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituent.
[3] Cañumil et al, op. cit.
Note: In her course of Mapuzugun, María Catrileo identifies the infinitive form of a verb only by its root, without any suffix, i.e. while Prof. Cuñimil describes the infinitive for the verb "to have" as "nien" (root: "nie-" + suffix "-n"), María Catrileo just refers to it as "nie"
[4] The volitive mood is used to indicate the desires, wishes or fears, of the speaker.
[5] The conditional mood is used to speak of an event whose realization is dependent upon another condition.