This & That

Umu has two demonstratives determiners.

• here
• in, at or to this place or position
• originally
• current
• belonging to the present time

• there
• over there

Unlike English, they cannot appear as independent noun phrases. Here’s how not to use them:

image image
*jöma haza
*good this
*This is good.

image image
*höra vöna
*pig that
*That is a pig.

Instead, they must be paired with a classifier.

Three General Classifiers

In addition to its rich set of nominal classifiers, Umu has three general classifiers. These three classifiers can replace any noun as well as all the other classifiers.


• small thing
• maximally general inanimate classifier

jl | il

• body
• maximally general animate classifier

• person
• maximally general human classifier

Here’s the correct way:

Here’s This

image image image
jöma nöni haza
jma nni.háza

good CL.INANIM here
This (thing) is good.

image image image
höra jörö haza
la jl.láza

pig CL.ANIM here
This is the pig.

image image image
janö munö haza
jan mũ.láza

Jan CL.HUM here
This is Jan.

Thereʼs That

image imageimage
jötö nöni vöna
it nni.vná

yam CL.INANIM there
That is a yam.

image image image image image
‘ajö ‘ö’o ‘ömö jörö vöna
‘áj.wo.wmö jl.vná

horse GEN\3 PL CL.ANIM there
That is their horse.

image image image image
mari ‘öme munö vöna
má mũ.vná

mother GEN\1 CL.HUM there
That is my mother.


2 thoughts on “This & That

Add yours

    1. Yessir. If it lived outside the noun phrase it mean “This/that is a/the (noun phrase).”

      I’m not sure if the classifier will too or not. At the moment it doesn’t.

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