​Word Order: Sentence Structure

SVO

The typical phrase order in Globasa is Subject-Verb-Object.

SVO Sentence Structure
Subject Verb Object
patre
father
mwa
kiss
matre
mother
Patre mwa matre.
The father kisses the mother.

Direct Object Marker

Other than S-V-O, Globasa allows two other options with the subject always preceding the verb: S-O-V and O-S-V. This flexible phrase order is made possible using the direct object marker el, which essentially functions as a preposition. As illustrated below, el is used with S-O-V and O-S-V, which are typically only used in poetry and song lyrics.

  • Patre mwa matre. - (S-V-O) The father kisses the mother.
  • Patre el matre mwa. - (S-O-V) The father kisses the mother.
  • El matre patre mwa. - (O-S-V) The father kisses the mother.

Etymology of el: Korean (을 “eul”)

Copula

The verb is (be), known as the copula, functions as a predicate marker with phrases other than predicate verb phrases, linking the subject with noun phrases, nominal (infinitive) verb phrases, adjective phrases, prepositional phrases and clauses.

Copula Sentence Structures
Subject Copula Noun Phrase
nini
kid (boy or girl)
is
is
misu bete
my child
Nini is misu bete.
The kid is my child.
Subject Copula Infinitive Verb Phrase
cele
goal
is
is
na triunfa
to win
Cele is na triunfa.
The goal is to win.
Noun Phrase Copula Adjective Phrase
uma
horse
is
is
perfetomo syahe
perfectly black
Uma is perfetomo syahe..
The horse is perfectly black.
Subject Copula Prepositional Phrase
myaw
cat
is
is
in sanduku
in the box
Myaw is in sanduku.
The cat is in the box.
Subejct Copula Clause
yusu problem
your problem
is
is
ki yu godo fikir
that you think too much
Yusu problem is ki yu godo fikir.
Your problem is that you think too much.

The question words keloka and kewatu as well as all their correlatives also link to subjects using the copula.

Myaw is keloka?
Where is the cat?

Filme is kewatu?
When is the movie?

In informal language, an unmodified copula (other than negated with no) may be optionally omitted when linking adjective phrases, prepositional phrases and -loka/-watu correlatives.

Myaw (is) keloka?
Where is the cat?

Myaw (is) in sanduku.
The cat is in the box.

Kam uma (is) perfetomo syahe?
Is the horse perfectly black?

No, uma no (is) perfetomo syahe.
No, the horse is not perfectly black.

Compare with the following sentences with a modified copula with verb markers or adverbs. In these sentences, the copula is always obligatory.

Myaw le is in sanduku. The cat was in the box.

Uma banwatu is perfetomo syahe. Horses sometimes are perfectly black.

Infinitive Verb Phrases

Infinitive verb phrases are marked by the particle na followed by the verb. They are used in the following sentence structures.

Noun/Verb Complements

The infinitive verb form must be used in noun and verb (transitive, intransitive or stative) complements.

  • Verb Complements

Mi suki na lala.
I like to sing.

Mi musi na ergo.
I must work. or I have to work.

Mi no abil na danse.
I cannot dance.

Gitara is asan na soti.
The guitar is easy to play.

Mi is jumbi na idi.
I am ready to go.

  • Noun Complements

misu xiwon na oko yu
my desire to see you

Nominal Verb Phrases

Verb phrases functioning in the place of noun phrases are known as nominal verb phrases and require the infinitive verb form.

  • With copula (is) sentences as shown above:

Cele is na triunfa.
The goal is to win.

In these sentences, subject infinitive verb phrases may be moved to the end of the sentence. However, the pronoun to must take the place of the infinitive verb phrase and a comma must be added before relocated phrase.

Na sabarkal is problem.
To be impatient is a problem.
or
To is problem, na is sabarkal.
It is a problem to be impatient.

Na soti gitara is asan.
To play the guitar is easy. or Playing the guitar is easy.
or
To is asan, na soti gitara.
It is easy to play the guitar.

Na suyon in bahari is amusane.
To swim in the sea is fun. or Swimming in the sea is fun.
or
To is amusane, na suyon in bahari.
It is fun to swim in the sea.

  • As the complement of a preposition:

fe tayday fe na danse - Instead of dancing

Te le sokutu dur na danse.
He fell while dancing.

Fe na doxo, nini le xorsomno.
Reading, the boy fell asleep.

Prepositional Phrases

Globasa, like most SVO languages, uses prepositions rather postpositions. Prepositional phrases always immediately follow the noun phrases they modify.

Myaw in sanduku somno.
The cat in the box is sleeping.

Prepositional phrases that modify verbs enjoy relative free word order and may be moved anywhere in the sentence. When moved before the verb, commas are used as seen below.

Myaw yam in sanduku maux.
Myaw yam maux in sanduku.
Myaw, in sanduku, yam maux.
In sanduku, myaw yam maux.
The cat eats the mouse in the box.

In order to indicate position without reference to location, prepositions are turned into nouns by adding -ya to form prepositional phrases with fe.

Myaw is fe inya.
The cat is inside.

Myaw fe inya somno.
The cat inside is sleeping.

Fe inya, myaw somno.
Inside, the cat is sleeping.

Indirect Object

The indirect object is always marked with the preposition tas (to, for). Indirect object phrases, like direct object phrases marked with el, may be moved without the need to indicate movement using commas.

Mi gibe kitabu tas nini.
I give the book to the child.

Mi gibe tas nini kitabu.
I give the child the book.

Mi gibe kitabu tas te.
I give the book to her/him.

Mi gibe tas te kitabu.
I give her/him the book.

Mi gibe to tas nini.
I give it to the child.

Mi gibe to tas te.
I give it to her/him.

Tas nini mi gibe kitabu.
To the child I give a book.

Tas te mi gibe to.
To her/him I give it.

Phrasal Prepositions

Globasa uses a number of phrasal prepositions using fe followed by a noun followed by de.

Baytu fe kape de liljabal kimapul.
The houses on top of the hill are expensive.

In order to indicate position without reference to location, phrasal prepositions simply drop de.

Baytu fe kape kimapul.
The houses on top are expensive.

Fe kape, baytu kimapul.
On top, the houses are expensive.

Kimapul baytu is fe kape.
The expensive houses are on top.

Prepositional Verbs

In Globasa, prepositions may be turned into verbs using the suffix -ya as an alternative to linking prepositional phrases to subjects using the copula, as seen above.

Sentence Structure with Prepositional Verb
Subject Prepositional Verb Noun Phrase
myaw
cat
inya
is inside
sanduku
box
Myaw inya sanduku.
The cat is inside the box

Prepositional verbs may or may not be followed by a noun phrase.

Myaw inya.
The cat is inside.

Nouns used in phrasal prepositions may also be used as verbs in the same way as prepositional verbs.

Myaw ruke sanduku.
The cat is behind the box.

Myaw ruke.
The cat is in the back.

leya and xaya

The nouns leya and xaya also function as the verb counterparts to the prepositions lefe and xafe. In other words, lefeya and xafeya are not used, just as leli and xali are used instead of lefeli and xafeli.

  • leya - (n) the past; (v) be before, come before, precede
  • xaya - (n) the future; (v) be after, come after, follow

feya

The prepositional verb feya (be at) may be optionally used as a copula with -loka and -watu correlatives.

Kastilo feya keloka?
Where is the castle located?

hay

The verb hay is used to express there is/are. This is the only verb in Globasa that allows the subject to come either before or after the verb. Across languages, the subject of the equivalent of hay typically comes after the verb.

Multi kitabu hay in kitabudom.
or
Hay multi kitabu in kitabudom.
There are many books in the library.

The verb hay is also used in sentences related to atmospheric conditions, such as the following:

Hay barix.
"There is rain."
It's raining.

Hay termo.
"There is heat."
It's warm.

Conjunction ki

The conjunction ki is used when a clause (a complete sentence) functions in place of a either the direct object or subject.

Clause in Place of Direct Object

Sentence Structure with Clause in place of Direct Object
Subject and Verb Full clause in place of Direct Object
mi jixi
I know
ki yu le xuli mobil
(that) you repaired car
Mi jixi ki yu le xuli mobil.
I know (that) you repaired the car.

Clause in Place of Subject

Sentence Structure with Clause in place of Subject
Full Clause in Place of the Subject Predicate
ki yu le xuli mobil
That you repaired the car
no surprisa mi
doesn't surprise me
Ki yu le xuli mobil no surprisa mi.
That you repaired the car doesn't surprise me.

Subject ki clauses may be moved to the end of the sentence. However, the pronoun to must take the place of the ki clause and a comma must be added before said phrase.

To no surprisa mi, ki yu le xuli mobil.
It doesn't surprise me that you repaired the car.

Questions

In Globasa, the word order of interrogative sentences is the same as that of their counterpart declarative sentences.

Yes/No Questions

Yes/no questions are formed by adding the particle kam at the beginning of the question's countepart declarative sentence. This is illutrated in the following pairs of sentences with (1) a declarative sentence and (2) the counterpart yes/no question.

(1) Yu is yamwol. You are hungry.

(2) Kam yu is yamwol? Are you hungry?

(1) Yu yam maciso. You eat fish.

(2) Kam yu yam maciso? Do you eat fish?

Wh- Questions

Likewise, wh- questions preserve typical word order. This is illustrated in the following pair of example sentences with (1) a question whose word order mirrors that of (2) a possible answer.

(1) Yusu name is keto?
"Your name is what?"
What is your name?

(2) Misu name is Roberto.
My name is Robert.

(1) Yu is kepul?
"You are how?"
How are you?

(2) Mi is bono.
I'm fine.

(1) Parti xa okur keloka?
"The party will happen where?"
Where will the party take place?

(2) Parti xa okur in misu preferido yamkan.
The party will take place in my favorite restaurant.