A Grammar of Vabungula

Part 2.7 - Parts of Speech - Interrogatives and Related Forms

Formation of Interrogatives

Questions in Vabungula are formed simply by inflection of voice. There is no inversion of noun and verb as in other languages:

     De agula Vabungula.
     He speaks Vabungula.

     De agula Vabungula?
     Does he speak Vabungula?


Questions may be introduced by the word dabuna, which developed in casual colloquial language as a contraction of the words "da obuna", literally, "about whether".  (Da obuna is the normal way to say "whether", as in "I don't know whether he will come" - So fwil nigo da obuna de mulu lale).  Although dabuna is now acceptable usage, it still retains a certain colloquial flavor.

     Dabuna de agula Vabungula?
     Does he speak Vabungula?

     Dabuna ka nigo alagê da ke?
     Do you know anything about it?

List of Interrogatives

Vabungula has the following interrogatives:

     kam     what? which?
     sokam   who?
     lam     where?
     fûmna   when?
     kamu    why?
     kanudž  how? (what means?)
     kalafe  how? (in what manner?)
     kameke  how? (what condition?)
     kameku  what (is it) like?
     kamzo   how many?
     kamja   how much?
     kanot   what kind of?
     kalara  how long? (time)
     kalaro  how many times? how often?
     kajasi  how big?
     katên   which direction?
     kagac   which way (road, path)?
     kalaga  how far away?
     ekamja  how? how much? to what extent? 
     kamalar what time is it?
     kame    what then? 
            (what then do you say to this? 
             what is to be done now in this case?)
     kamoda  what about? how about?

Each interrogative has a corresponding form which is used in a non-interrogative sense, such as introducing relative clauses:

     okam      which; that
     osokam    who
     olam      where
     ofûmna    when
     okamu     why
     okanudž   how
     okalafe   how
     okameke   how
     okameku   what (it is) like
     okamzo    how many
     okamja    how much
     okanot    what kind of
     okalara   how long
     okalaro   how many times; how often
     okajasi   how big
     okatên    which direction
     okagac    which way
     okalaga   how far away
     oekamja   how; how much; to what extent 
     okamalar  what time it is
     okame     what then
     okamoda   what about

     De sum osokam so mala alega umalarêm.
     He is the person whom I saw yesterday.

     So nigo okam de mala agula.
     I know what he said.

     Fwil fûfwini olam ka mala džula ke.
     Don’t forget where you put it.

     Aguglu so okalara de mêta lag.
     Tell me how long he’s been sitting there.

Interrogative Word Families

Generally speaking, interrogatives can engender a family of words according to the following pattern:

   XXX       interrogative
   oXXX      relative 
   soXXX     noun (seldom occurs)
   alaXXX    some...
   malaXXX   any...
   šalaXXX   every...
   fwilaXXX  no...
   zeXXX     the same ...
   karXXX    a different ...
   tuXXX     this...
   têXXX     that...

Not all patterns are populated for all interrogatives. Also note that the pattern soXXX only occurs in the words sokamu, sokamzo, sokamja, and solam.

KAM Word Family

   kam      what?
   okam     which, that, what
   kamo     thing (tangible)
   ekamo    thing (intangible)
   kames    material, substance
   alagê    some, something
   malagê   any, anything
   šalagê   everything
   fwilagê  nothing
   zelagê   the same thing
   zelakam  duplicate

SOKAM Word Family

   sokam     who?
   osokam    who
   sum       person, human being
   alasum    someone, somebody
   malasum   anyone, anybody
   šalasum   everyone, everybody
   fwilasum  no one, nobody

FÛMNA Word Family

   fûmna      when?
   ofûmna     when
   lar        time
   alalar     sometime
   malalar    anytime
   malafûman  whenever, no matter when
   šalar      always, all the time
   fwilar     never
   zelar      simultaneous
   karelar    at a different time
   fûn        now
   têlar      then

LAM Word Family

   lam      where?
   olam     where
   solam    place
   alalam   somewhere
   malalam  anywhere
   šalam    everywhere
   fwilam   nowhere
   zelam    in the same place
   karlam   in a different place, elsewhere
   pla      here
   lag      there

KANUDŽ Word Family

   kanudž    how?
   okanudž   how
   inudž     means, way
   alanudž   somehow
   malanudž  anyhow
   šalanudž  in every way, by every means
   fwilanudž no way
   zenudž    in the same manner, likewise
   karenudž  a different way, by different means 
   tukanudž  this is how...
   onudž     by, by means of, with

KALAFE Word Family

   kalafe    how? in what manner?
   okalafe   how, in what manner
   ilafel    manner, way
   alafe     some way, in some manner
   malafe    any way, any manner
   šalafe    in every way, in every manner
   fwilafe   no way, in no manner
   zelafe    in the same manner, likewise
   karlafe   in a different way or manner
   tulafe    in this way, in this manner

KAMZO Word Family

   kamzo    how many?
   okamzo   how many
   zo       number
   sokamzo  quantity (of countable entities)

KAMU Word Family

   kamu     why?
   okamu    why
   sokamu   reason
   alamu    for some reason
   malamu   for any reason
   zeramu   for the same reason
   karamu   for a different reason
   tukamu   this is the reason why...
   fidaku   reason for not being able to
   fimaku   reason it shouldn't be done

KAMEKE Word Family

   kameke    how?, in what condition?
   okameke   how, in what condition
   tukameke  in this condition, in this way
   zemeke    in the same way or condition
   karmeke   in a different way or condition

KANOT Word Family

   kanot      what kind of?
   okanot     what kind of
   kenot      kind
   alanot     some kind of
   malanot    any kind of
   šalanot    every kind of
   fwilanot   no kind of
   zenot      the same kind of
   karnot     a different kind of
   tukanot    this kind of

KAGAC Word Family

   kagac     which way?
   okagac    which way
   gaco      way
   gace      path
   alagac    some way
   malagac   any way
   šalagac   every way
   fwilagac  no way
   zegac     the same way
   kargac    a different way or route
   tugac     this way
   têgac     that way

KATÊN Word Family

   katên    which direction?
   okatên   which direction
   tên      direction
   zetên    the same direction
   kartên   a different direction
   tutên    this direction, this way
   têtên    that direction, that way
   gotên    to the right
   sutên    to the left
   otên     forward, straight ahead
   patên    sideways
   tatên    backwards

KAMJA Word Family

   kamja    how much?
   okamja   how much
   sokamja  amount

KALARA Word Family

   kalara   how long? (time)
   okalara  how long (time)

KALARO Word Family

   kalaro   how many times? how often
   okalaro  how many times, how often

KAJASI Word Family

   kajasi   how big?
   okajasi  how big
   karjasi  of a different size

KAMEKU Word Family

   kameku   what (is it) like?
   okameku  what (it is) like
   sokameku way, what something is like
   tueku    like this, such, so
   ekudal   attribute
   edaleku  feature, observable attribute
   esukul   personality

KALAGA Word Family

   kalaga   how far away?
   okalaga  how far away
   lamga    distance
   aga      away

KAMALAR Word Family

   kamalar  what time is it?
   okamalar what time it is

EKAMJA Word Family

   ekamja    how? how much? to what extent?
   oekamja   how, how much, to what extent
   alekamja  to some degree, to a certain extent
   jalekamja by far, to a large degree
   zerekamja to the same degree or extent

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Page last modified on December 30, 2009
Vabungula is an artificial language invented by Bill Price in 1965.
Vabungula co nûsk mugola famêlêtke onudž Bill Price larla alara idekuzorekol.
Copyright © 1999 by Bill Price
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