​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

Globasa uses the verb is (be), known as the copula, to link together noun phrases, infinitive verb phrases or clauses.

Sentence Structure with is
Noun Phrase Copula Noun Phrase
nini
kid (boy or girl)
is
is
misu bete
my child
Nini is misu bete.
The kid is my child.
Noun Phrase Copula Infinitive Verb Phrase
cele
goal
is
is
na triunfa
to win
Cele is na triunfa.
The goal is to win.
Infinitive Verb Phrase Copula Noun Phrase
na sabarkal
to be impatient
is
is
problem
problem
Na sabarkal is problem.
To be impatient is a problem.
Infinitive Verb Phrase Copula Infinitive Verb Phrase
na lubi
to love
is
is
na jiwa
to live
Na lubi is na jiwa.
To love is to live.
Noun Phrase Copula Clause
yusu problem
your problem
is
is
ki yu godo fiki
that you think too much
Yusu problem is ki yu godo fikir.
Your problem is that you think too much.

Predicative Adjectives

In Globasa, adjectives link to the subject without a copula. These predicative adjectives can be regarded as stative verbs, although technically they are adjectives, modified by -mo adverbs.

Predicative Adjective Sentence Structure
Subject Adj-Modifying Adverb Predicative Adjective
uma
horse
perfetomo
perfectly
syahe
black
Uma perfetomo syahe.
The horse is 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 asan na soti.
The guitar is easy to play.

Mi 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:

In these sentences, the infinitive verb phrase may be moved to the end of the sentence if it is not already in that position.

Cele is na triunfa.
The goal is to win.

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

  • As the subject of a predicative adjective.

In these sentences, the infinitive verb phrase may also be moved to the end of the sentence.

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

Na suyon in bahari amusane.
To swim in the sea is fun. or Swimming in the sea is fun.
or
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 nouns may optionally be introduced with a relative pronoun.

Myaw (ki da) in sanduku somno.
The cat (that is) in the box is sleeping.

Myaw yam maux (ki da) in sanduku.
The cat eats the mouse (that is) in the box.

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 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.

Predicative Prepositional Phrases

In Globasa, prepositional phrases link to subjects without a copula.

Sentence Structure with Predicative Prepositional Phrases
Subject Prepositional Phrase
myaw
cat
in sanduku
(is) in the box
Myaw in sanduku.
The cat is in the box.

Likewise phrasal prepositions link to the subject without a copula.

Sentence Structure with Predicative Phrasal Prepositions
Subject Phrasal Preposition Noun Phrase
myaw
cat
fe ruke de
(is) in back of
sanduku
box
Myaw fe ruke de sanduku.
The cat is behind the box.

Keloka and Kewatu

The question words keloka and kewatu as well as all their correlatives also link to subjects without a copula.

Myaw keloka?
Where is the cat?

Filme kewatu?
When is the movie?

Prepositional Verbs

In Globasa, prepositions are turned into verbs using the suffix -ya in order to combine subjects with prepositional phrases.

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. Phrases in sentences with hay enjoy free word order, as the following examples illustrate.

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

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

In kitabudom hay multi kitabu.
In the library there are many books.

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.

Clause Conjunction ki

The conjunction ki is used when a clause (a complete sentence) functions in place of a noun phrase.

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.

Clauses in place of the subject may be moved to the end of the sentence.

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

Relative Clauses

In Globasa, relative clauses are introduced with the clause conjuction ki while retaining typical word order.

Relative Clauses with Resumptive Pronoun

Relative clauses that require a pronoun to refer back to the antecedent use the obligatory resumptive relative pronoun da (he, she, it, they, that, that one, those, those ones).

Te is femixu ki da lubi mi.
"She is the woman that that-one loves me."
She is the woman who loves me.

Te is femixu ki mi lubi da.
"She is the woman that I love that-one."
She is the woman whom I love.

Mi le sonxi katatul ki mi kata roti har da.
"I lost the knife that I cut the bread with that-one."
I lost the knife with which I cut the bread.

Kamisa ki mi suki da blue. or To blue, kamisa ki mi suki da.
"The shirt that I like that-one is blue." or "It's blue, the shirt that I like that-one."
The shirt (that) I like is blue. or It's blue, the shirt (that) I like.

Note: As seen in the last example, when the relative clause is part of the subject, the sentence may be reworded in order to place the core of the sentence first and move the relative clause to the end of the sentence. This helps to make the sentence easier to process.

The possessive adjective dasu is used in relative clauses as follows:

Te is manixu ki dasu sodar kone mi.
"He is the man that his brother knows me."
He is the man whose brother knows me.

Te is manixu ki mi kone dasu sodar.
"He is the man that I know his brother."
He is the man whose brother I know.

Manyen ki dasu gami Globasa is misu doste. or Te is misu doste, manyen ki dasu gami Globasa.
"The guy that that-one's spouse speaks Globasa is my friend." or "He's my friend, the guy that that one's spouse speaks Globasa."
The guy whose spouse speaks Globasa is my friend. or He is my friend, the guy whose spouse speaks Globasa.

Relative Clauses with Resumptive Correlative Adverb

Relative clauses in which an optional correlative adverb refers back to the antecent are as follows:

Kitabudom ki mi ergo (denloka) dayo.
"The library that I work (there) is big."
The library where I work is big.

Dina ki mi xa preata (denwatu) is Lunadin.
"The day that I arrive (then) is Monday."
The day when I arrive is Monday.

Relative Clauses in Globasa; Question Words in English

Mi no suki loka ki mi ergo (denloka).
"I don't like the location that I work (there)."
I don't like where I work.

Am gibe tas mi (den)to ki mi wole da.
"Give me that/it that I want it."
Give me what I want.

Mi suki (den)to ki yu hare da.
"I like that/it which you have that."
I like what you have.

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 yamwol. You are hungry.

(2) Kam yu 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 kepul?
"You are how?"
How are you?

(2) Mi 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.