Muai - Compounds

There are many ways of making compound nouns and verbs in Muai. The most simple is building compound roots by means of -a-.

For instance,

If sioki means "player", we must have a way of saying "football player". In Muai, we do that by means of -o- :
On the other hand, sioku means "game" and we can specify "women's game" by means of -e- :
Briefly, -o- specifies the sioku of the sioki and -o- specifies the sioki of the sioku. Similarly, all -i words can be followed by -o- and all -u words can be followed by -e-.

But... Can an -i word be followed by -e-? Can a -u word be followed by -o-?

Well, you can do it, but if you write sioki-e-sefuoti, it doesn't mean a "player of football" anymore, but something that is a game and is also football: "football game". It means the same as simply sioki sefuoti, so the -e- is somewhat superfluous; it only establish that sioki-e-sefuoti is a word from a compound root (it can actually be written without hyphens: siokiesefuoti), while sioki sefuoti is a two-word concept that means the same.

I have already told you that, if a root is followed by -a-, it forms a compound root with the following one. There is some arbitrarity in it. If we write siokanafiemi, what does that mean? We know siok- is the root for "player" (sioki), but it is also the root for "game" (sioku). Then, is siokanafiemi a female player or a woman that likes games (maybe only to watch)? And why not a "female game"? To avoid this last interpretation, let's establish that the last root of the compound has primacy over the previous ones ("the last will be first"), so that siokanafiemi is necessarily a female related to game, not a game related to women.

However, that only applies to roots followed by -a-. If a complete word is followed by -a-, the opposite occurs: the first word has primacy over the later ones. So,
All of those, without the final vowel, are considered compound roots as well.

Specifiers and pronouns can also be linked to nouns and verbs by means of -a-, forming compound-root words:

Note that a specifier like nou normally apply to the preceding entity:

.kioi tinto hikiani nou.
I'm not a dog.

In this case, it would mean the same if written as

.kioi tinto nou-a-hikiani.
I'm a non-dog.

But see what happens if the predicative (or the object) is formed by more than one word:

.kioi tinto hikiani fonki nou.
I'm not a strong dog.

.kioi tinto nou-a-hikiani fonki.
I'm a strong non-dog.

The sentences have not exactly the same meaning, since we know that the speaker of the second one is strong although he is not a dog, while all we know about the first sentence speaker is that he or she or it is not a "strong dog", but he or she or it might be strong and might be a dog. In short, when used with -a-, the specifiers (or pronoun) applies only to the following word, but when used without it, it apply to the whole preceding entity that can be formed by multiple words.

Back to Muai Home Page