Glossary of Terms
abstract noun—a noun which identifies a concept, idea, quality, or emotion—i.e., something which lacks any discernible physical attributes and therefore cannot be perceived by any of the five senses.
accompaniment clause—a type of dependent clause which identifies the person(s) with whom the action or activity of the preceding independent clause is being performed.
action noun—a noun which designates an action or activity as an abstract concept. Action nouns are derived by prefixing o- to transitive or intransitive action verbs.
action verb—a verb which describes an action, activity, or event.
active sentence—a sentence type in which the agent appears as the subject of a transitive verb and the person, animal, or thing affected by the action of the transitive verb appears as its object. In active sentences, attention is focused on the agent and what the agent does.
affirmative command—an imperative sentence in which the speaker orders the hearer to do something.
affirmative expression of existence—a sentence which asserts the existence of something or introduces something into a conversation as new information.
affirmative sentence—a sentence which asserts or affirms the occurrence of some action, event, state, condition, etc.
affix—a morpheme which cannot occur as an independent word but which must be attached to, or inserted into, another word. The three types of affixes are prefixes, suffixes, and infixes.
affix pronoun—a pronoun which does not occur as a separate word but which must be attached to another word as a prefix or suffix.
agent—the doer of an action; the person who performs, carries out, or causes an action. 528
allophones—the non-contrastive predictable phonetic varieties of a particular phoneme. The allophones of a given phoneme never provide us with minimal pairs.
alveolar—a consonantal sound involving the alveolar ridge.
alveolar ridge—the hard ridge behind the upper teeth which serves as a point of articulation for the Palauan consonants s, r, and l.
ambiguous—having two (or more) different meanings; interpretable in more than one way.
animate noun—a noun referring to something which is alive and can move by itself—i.e., to a human being or animal.
anticipating state suffix—a suffix of the form -(ȩ)l, -all, or long vowel + l which combines with verb stems to form anticipating state verbs.
anticipating state verb—a state verb formed with the suffixes -(ȩ)l, -all, or long vowel + l which describes the state or condition that someone or something is expected to be in. Many anticipating state verbs function as nouns with special meanings.
appositional structure—a structure of the form noun phrase of possession + ȩl + noun in which the two elements linked by ȩl are equated with each other.
archaic—term used to describe a form or usage which has nearly disappeared from a language.
articulator—a speech organ (or part of a speech organ) which moves and touches some other speech organ during the production of a speech sound.
aspiration—an audible puff of air accompanying the pronunciation of certain Palauan stop consonants.
assimilation—a process by which the pronunciation of a given sound is changed so as to become similar or identical to that of an adjacent or neighboring sound.
auxiliary word—a helping word such as mo ‘go’ or mle ‘was, were’ which accompanies a verb and shows the tense of the verb or some other information.
back vowel—a vowel pronounced with the tongue retracted towards the back of the mouth.
basic stem—an abstract representation of a noun or verb stem which does not occur in actual pronunciation or writing but which allows us to predict the correct pronunciation of the various forms in which it occurs. 529
basic structure—a formula which shows all of the elements (morphemes) which compose a particular noun or verb form. The elements in the basic structure of a form must often be modified considerably in order to obtain the actually-spoken form.
bilabial—a consonantal sound produced with the two lips.
bound form—a morpheme which can never occur alone as an independent word but must always be connected (or bound) to some other morpheme(s). All affixes and some verb stems are bound forms.
bracketed sentence—a whole sentence which functions as a subject noun phrase in certain source sentences. Bracketed sentences must be moved by the process of subject shifting.
causative marker bȩk—a morpheme with causative meaning which is part of the causative prefix omȩk-.
causative prefix—a prefix of the form omȩ(k)- or ol(ȩ)- which is added to a verb stem to derive a causative verb.
causative verb—a special type of transitive action verb formed with the causative prefix. Causative verbs describe actions in which the subject causes or forces someone or something to perform a particular action or be in a particular state.
cause phrase—a relational phrase which indicates the cause of, or reason for, some state, condition, or action.
central vowel—a vowel pronounced in the center of the mouth with the tongue in “neutral” position—i.e., neither advanced (as for front vowels) nor retracted (as for back vowels).
change of state expression—a sequence consisting of the auxiliary word mo ‘go, become’ and a state verb. Such expressions imply a change from an earlier state to a later, resulting state.
characterizational phrase—a type of relational phrase which characterizes the immediately preceding noun by describing its function, purpose, content, origin, etc.
complex noun—a noun which contains at least two morphemes and is formed by adding certain types of affixes to verb stems or to other nouns.
complex verb form—a verb form which is composed of two or more morphemes.
complex verb phrase—a verb phrase consisting of two or three separate words.
concrete noun—a noun which identifies something that has discernible 530physical attributes and can therefore be perceived by one or more of the five senses—i.e., something we can see, hear, touch, taste, or smell.
condition—an event, action, state, etc. whose occurrence is suggested or put forth as a possibility; occurs together with the consequent to form a conditional sentence.
conditional clause—the clause of a conditional sentence which expresses the condition. Conditional clauses contain hypothetical verb forms and are introduced by the conditional clause marker a ‘if’.
conditional clause marker a—the word, equivalent to English ‘if’, which introduces Palauan conditional clauses.
conditional sentence—a sentence type consisting basically of two parts—a condition and a consequent—and expressing the idea that if some event, action, state, etc. occurs, then something else will happen.
connecting words mȩ and e—words which connect two simple sentences into one and relate the ideas which they represent.
consequent—an event, action, state, etc. which takes place as a result or consequence of some other event, action, or state; occurs together with the condition to form a conditional sentence.
consequential clause—the clause of a conditional sentence which expresses the consequent. Consequential clauses are introduced by e ‘(and) then’ if they follow the conditional clause.
consonant—a sound produced by partial or complete interruption of the outward air flow.
consonant cluster—a series of two adjacent consonants in the same syllable.
consonant-final (word or stem)—a word or stem ending in a consonant.
consonant-initial (word, stem, or suffix)—a word, stem, or suffix beginning with a consonant.
context—the broad environment of a word, phrase, or sentence; the words or sentences which surround a particular word or sentence and have bearing on its meaning.
contextual restrictions—the restrictions imposed by the context or environment on the correct or acceptable occurrence of particular forms.
contrastive sounds—sounds which contrast with each other (= phonemes) in otherwise identical environments. The sounds represented by Palauan t and d are contrastive because they occur in the 531environment -ub and therefore differentiate tub ‘spit’ from dub ‘dynamite’. See also phonemes, significant sounds.
coordinate noun phrase—a noun phrase consisting of two or more nouns (or noun phrases) joined by the connecting word mȩ.
demonstrative—a word which is used to point out or draw attention to a particular person, animal, or thing.
dental—a consonantal sound involving the teeth.
dependent clause—a clause without an overtly-expressed subject whose full interpretation depends on information found in the preceding (independent) clause.
dependent clause introducer ȩl—a word which appears at the beginning of, and therefore introduces, dependent clauses.
derived action noun—see action noun.
derived plural noun—a plural noun formed (or derived) by prefixing the plural prefix rȩ- to a state verb or action verb.
derived state verb—a state verb which is derived by adding one or more affixes to a verb stem or a noun stem.
directional phrase—a relational phrase which indicates the goal or termination point of some action involving movement or the characteristic goal of some action or state.
directional verb—a special type of intransitive action verb which indicates movement in a particular direction.
direct quotation—word for word repetition by the speaker of someone else’s statement or assertion.
dissimilation—a process in which the pronunciation of a given sound is changed so as to become different from that of an adjacent or neighboring sound.
distribution (of a sound or word)—the positions (or environments) in which a given sound or word occurs relative to other sounds or words.
duration—the period of time over which an action or state takes place.
emphatic pronoun—a type of independent pronoun which, when used as sentence subject, makes exclusive reference to a person or persons and implies a contrast with other persons who might be (but are not) associated with the action or state in question. Emphatic pronouns also occur after the relational word ȩr or the specifying word ȩr, but without any sense of exclusive reference or contrast.
environment—the sound or sounds adjacent or close to some other sound; the word or words adjacent or close to some other word. 532
equational sentence—a sentence type in which two noun phrases are equated with each other.
ergative sentence—a sentence type containing an ergative verb. In ergative sentences, the subject of the ergative verb is viewed as having undergone the effect of some action, and the agent or cause of this action is de-emphasized.
ergative verb—a verb form consisting of the verb marker and a verb stem which takes as its subject what would be the object of the related transitive verb.
existential (state) verb—a verb which asserts the present or past existence of the subject in a particular location—i.e., ngar ‘be (located)’ and mla ‘was (located)’.
expanded noun phrase—a noun phrase consisting of a head noun followed by a relative clause or of a head noun preceded by a modifier.
explicit—shown by an actual marker or form; overt.
first person plural exclusive—a pronoun or possessor suffix which refers solely to the speaker and at least one other person associated with him, but which excludes reference to the person(s) spoken to.
first person plural inclusive—a pronoun or possessor suffix which not only makes reference to the speaker (and anyone associated with him) but also includes reference to the person(s) spoken to.
first person pronoun—a pronoun (‘I’ or ‘we’) which refers to the speaker of the sentence or the group to which he belongs.
formal—referring to the actual form or structure of a word, grammatical construction, or sentence.
fricative—a consonantal sound involving partial closure or constriction between the articulator and point of articulation, resulting in audible friction.
front vowel—a vowel pronounced with the tongue advanced towards the front of the mouth.
full vowels—the non-neutral vowels i, u, e, o, and a, which are pronounced with full vowel quality or “color”.
future tense—a tense used to describe an action or state which will occur in the future (i.e., at some point in time following that of the utterance). It is represented by the auxiliary mo ‘go’ followed by an action or state verb.
general question—a question about a habit or general truth rather than a specific event. 533
general statement—a sentence which expresses a broad generalization, habitual occurrence, or general truth rather than a specific event.
glide sounds—sounds characterized by a gliding movement of the tongue towards a high front position (y-glide) or high back position (w-glide).
glottal—a consonantal sound (usually a stop) involving the glottis (or vocal cords).
glottis—the space between the vocal cords.
grammatical system of a language—the contrasting units of meaning (morphemes or words) and their distribution.
habitual statement—a sentence which describes a habit or repeated action which the subject engages in.
head noun—the noun which precedes a relative clause or follows a modifier construction.
high vowel—a vowel pronounced with the tongue raised high in the mouth and close to the palate.
homonyms—words which are pronounced the same but have distinct meanings. Some nouns are homonyms in their independent forms but have distinct possessed forms.
human noun—a noun which refers to a human being.
hypothetical pronoun—a type of affix pronoun which is prefixed to verbs in a large variety of complex grammatical constructions which involve hypothetical (i.e., unreal) events or situations.
hypothetical verb form—a verb form containing a prefixed hypothetical pronoun and usually lacking the verb marker. Hypothetical verb forms designate unreal, supposed, or imagined events or states rather than real ones.
imminent (action or event)—an action or event which is just about to occur or is likely to occur in the very near future.
imperative verb form—a verb form used to express an order or command. Palauan imperative verb forms are actually hypothetical verb forms prefixed with the second person hypothetical pronoun.
imperfective marker—a morpheme with various forms (-l-, -ng-, and -m-) which functions to mark or identify a particular transitive verb as imperfective. The imperfective marker is placed between the verb marker and the verb stem and causes the initial consonant of the following verb stem to delete.
imperfective verb—a transitive verb form which consists of the verb marker, the imperfective marker, and a verb stem and which designates 534an action which is in progress and has not been brought to completion or perfection.
implicit—not overtly expressed by some marker or form; implied.
inanimate noun—a noun referring to something which cannot move by itself—i.e., to something other than a human being or an animal.
inchoative suffix -a—a suffix added to verb stems which denotes an action or state that has just come about and is therefore new and unexpected.
independent clause—a clause which precedes a dependent clause or object clause in certain types of complex sentences and which can occur alone as a separate (or independent) sentence because it contains a fully specified subject and verb.
independent form of a noun—the unpossessed form of a noun—i.e., the noun stem without any prefix or suffix.
independent pronoun—a pronoun which occurs as a separate word rather than as a prefix or suffix.
indirect quotation—a summary or rephrasing by the speaker (i.e., from the speaker’s point of view) of someone else’s statement or assertion.
infix—any morpheme which is inserted into a word.
initial state—a state which existed before some process of change began.
instrument clause—a type of dependent clause which identifies the instrument used in performing the action or activity mentioned in the preceding independent clause.
instrument noun—a concrete noun which designates the tool, implement, or utensil used in performing a particular action.
intentional causation—a type of causation in which the subject of a causative verb means or intends to bring about the action or state in question.
internal structure (of a word)—the structure of a word in terms of the morphemes (stems and affixes) from which it is formed.
intervocalic—appearing between two vowels.
intonation—the rising or falling pitch of the voice, sometimes used to distinguish Palauan questions from statements.
intransitive action verb—a verb which names an action or activity that involves only a doer, but no receiver.
intransitive sentence—a sentence type consisting of a subject noun 535phrase and an intransitive verb (followed optionally by a relational phrase).
intransitive state verb—a state verb which involves only a sentence subject, but no sentence object.
liquid—a consonant pronounced by making a partial closure in the mouth, but without any audible friction.
locational phrase—a relational phrase which indicates the location or place of some action or state.
long l—a pronunciation of l which is held about twice as long as that of the single consonant; spelled ll and transcribed phonetically as [l:].
long vowel—a vowel pronounced with greater length than the corresponding short (or regular) vowel. Palauan long vowels are also characterized by a gliding articulation.
low vowel—a vowel pronounced with the tongue low in the mouth, relatively distant from the palate.
main clause—another term for independent clause.
manner of articulation—the way in which a speech sound is produced; involves complete vs. partial stoppage of air flow, nasal vs. non-nasal articulation, etc.
marked forms—forms which are identified or marked by the overt presence of a particular morpheme (usually an affix). For example, Palauan past tense verb forms are easily identified because they always contain the past tense marker -il- or -l-.
means of transportation clause—a type of dependent clause which specifies the means of transportation used to move from one location to another.
metathesis—a phonetic process in which sounds or groups of sounds exchange positions. As a result of this process, the verb marker mȩ- appears to have been infixed into verb stems as -(ȩ)m-, -u-, or -o-.
mid vowel—a vowel pronounced with a tongue position somewhere between high (close to the palate) and low (relatively far from the palate).
minimal pair—a pair of words which differ from each other with respect to a single phoneme—e.g. blai ‘house’ vs. mlai ‘canoe’, chad ‘person’ vs. chat ‘smoke’, etc.
modifier—any grammatical construction in which a word or group of words is linked by ȩl to a following (head) noun. 536
morphemes—meaning-bearing units which combine with each other in the formation of words; minimal units of meaning.
morphology—the study of how different morphemes combine with each other in the formation of words.
nasal sound—a consonant pronounced with air flowing freely through the nose but not the mouth.
negative command—an imperative sentence in which the speaker orders the hearer not to do something.
negative expression of existence—a sentence which introduces something into a conversation as new information but at the same time denies the existence of this particular thing.
negative sentence—a sentence which denies the occurrence of some action, event, state, condition, etc. Nearly all Palauan negative sentences contain some form of the negative verb diak.
negative verb diak—an intransitive state verb, equivalent to English ‘isn’t, doesn’t exist,’ which is found in nearly all Palauan negative sentences.
neutral vowel—the mid central vowel schwa (phonetically transcribed [ə]), so called because it is articulated in a position which is least extreme or deviant in terms of tongue height and tongue advancement.
non-contrastive sounds—slightly different pronunciations of a phoneme (= allophones) which are usually predictable and automatic and which do not result in minimal pairs.
non-emphatic pronoun—a type of independent pronoun which, when used as sentence subject, refers to a person or persons without any particular sense of emphasis or contrast.
non-human noun—a noun which refers to something which is not human—i.e. to an animal or thing.
non-intentional causation—a type of causation in which the subject of a causative verb does not consciously mean or intend to bring about the action or state in question.
non-specific noun—a noun which does not refer to any particular person, animal, or thing but instead refers to something in a general way.
noun—a word (or part of speech) which names or makes reference to various types of things and living beings.
noun phrase—any single word or group of words which can occur as sentence subject or object, or following the relational word ȩr. All Palauan noun phrases must at least contain a noun. 537
noun phrase of characterization—a noun phrase consisting of either of the following:
|(i)||a possessed noun with a 3rd pers. sg. or pl. possessor suffix followed by another noun (phrase) which characterizes the possessed noun by describing its function, purpose, content, origin, etc.|
|(ii)||the independent form of an optionally possessed noun followed by a characterizational phrase.|
noun phrase of possession—a noun phrase consisting of any of the following:
|(i)||a single possessed noun.|
|(ii)||a possessed noun with a 3rd pers. sg. or pl. possessor suffix followed by another noun (phrase) which specifies or identifies the possessor.|
|(iii)||an unpossessible noun followed by a possessor phrase.|
noun stem—way of referring to a noun when it appears in combination with a prefix or suffix.
number morphemes—morphemes designating numbers that combine with various prefixes to form number words for counting different categories of things.
number word—any word which designates a number. Most Palauan number words consist of a prefix identifying the category of thing being counted followed by a number morpheme.
object clause—a type of dependent clause which is used in sentence object position following certain transitive verbs.
object pronoun—a type of affix pronoun which is suffixed to perfective verb forms and which identifies the person or persons affected by the action of the verb.
obligatorily possessed noun—a noun which has no independent form and must therefore always occur with a possessor suffix.
obligatory—must occur, apply, etc.
optional—may or may not occur, apply, etc.
optionally possessed noun—a noun which may (but does not have to) occur in a possessed form—i.e., a noun which can appear independently as well as with possessor suffixes.
ordinal number—a number used to indicate the order or rank of something—i.e., first, second, etc.
overt—shown by an actual marker or form; explicit.
paradigm—a set or group of related forms. 538
parts of speech—classes or groups of words in a language whose members have common distributional characteristics.
passive sentence—a sentence type containing the hypothetical form of a transitive verb in which the person, animal, or thing affected by the action of the transitive verb appears in sentence subject position and the agent appears in sentence-final position. In passive sentences, attention is focused on the object and what happens to it.
past tense—a tense used to describe actions or states which occurred or were in progress in the past (i.e. at some point in time preceding the time of utterance).
past tense marker -il- or -l-—a morpheme indicating the past tense which is infixed after the initial consonant of a verb.
perfective verb—a transitive verb form which contains a suffixed object pronoun and which designates an action which is brought to completion or perfection.
permutation—exchange of position (as in the permutation of conditional and consequential clauses).
phonemes of a language—units of sound which contrast with each other and serve to differentiate words from each other. See also contrastive sounds, significant sounds.
phonetic symbol—a symbol written in square brackets and used to identify the actual pronunciation of a sound—e.g. [b], [ð], [a], etc. The phonetic symbol for a sound may not necessarily correspond to the letters used in Palauan spelling—e.g. [ɂ] for ch. See also phonetic transcription.
phonetic transcription—the system (or practice) of writing down the words of a language in phonetic symbols. Phonetic transcriptions of words are enclosed in square brackets—e.g. [mað] for mad ‘eye’. See also phonetic symbol.
phrase—a group of associated words. Palauan has three major types of phrases—noun phrases, verb phrases, and relational phrases.
plural—referring to two or more persons, animals, or things.
plural prefix—a prefix (rȩ- or r-) which can be added only to human nouns to form plurals.
point of articulation—the place where contact is made during the production of certain speech sounds.
possessed noun—any noun consisting of a noun stem followed by a possessor suffix. 539
possession—relationship between a noun stem and a possessor suffix such that the person or thing to which the suffix refers owns or possesses whatever is designated by the noun stem.
possessor phrase—a type of relational phrase which identifies the possessor of the immediately preceding (unpossessible) noun.
possessor suffix—a suffix which is added to a noun stem to designate the possessor.
predictive suffix -u—a suffix added to verb stems which expresses the speaker’s prediction that the action of the verb is about to happen.
prefix—any bound morpheme which is attached to the beginning of a word or morpheme.
preposing of possessor—a grammatical process in which a noun phrase designating a possessor is preposed (or moved forward) to sentence-initial position, where it substitutes for a pronominal trace. The possessor to be preposed must already have been moved to the right of the verb phrase as part of a shifted subject.
preposition—term used in English grammar to refer to relating words such as by, with, on, for, etc.
present tense—a tense used to describe actions or states which are in progress at the present time (i.e. at the time when the sentence is uttered). The present tense is also used in general statements and habitual statements.
productive—term used to describe a pattern of word formation which is widely used by the speakers of a language in coining new words.
progressive—in progress; in the process of taking place.
pronominalization—a grammatical process by which a noun (or noun phrase) is replaced by a non-emphatic pronoun under certain circumstances.
pronominal trace—a 3rd pers. sg. or pl. non-emphatic pronoun which occurs in sentence-initial position as a result of the grammatical process of subject shifting.
pronoun—a short word referring to persons such as ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘he’, etc.; a word which substitutes for a noun or noun phrase in the proper context.
prepositive verb form—a verb form used when the speaker wishes to propose or suggest that he and the hearer(s) perform some action or activity together. Palauan propositive verb forms are actually hypothetical verb forms prefixed with the first person plural inclusive hypothetical pronoun. 540
purpose clause—a type of dependent clause which explains the purpose of the action or activity mentioned in the preceding independent clause.
qualifying word—a word which qualifies or limits the meaning of a directly following verb.
question—any sentence which asks for or demands information of one kind or another.
question word—a word which occurs in question sentences and is used to ask about the specific identity of a person, place, thing, etc.
reason clause—a clause introduced by e le ‘because’ which explains the cause or reason for the event or state described in the preceding clause.
recent past (tense)—a tense which refers to an event that happened in the recent past (i.e., at a past time point not too distant from that of the utterance itself) or to past experience. It is represented by the auxiliary mla followed by an action verb.
reciprocal—affecting each other; having a mutual effect.
reciprocal prefix—a prefix with many variant forms (kai-, kau-, kaiuȩ-, kȩ-, ka-, and cha-) which is added to verb stems or nouns to derive reciprocal verbs.
reciprocal verb—a verb formed with the reciprocal prefix which describes a situation in which two or more persons or things are affecting each other in some way.
reduced vowel—the neutral vowel ȩ (schwa), often resulting from the reduction or weakening of the full vowels i, u, e, o, and a in unstressed syllables.
redundant—containing superfluous or unnecessary information.
reduplicated syllable—a syllable which has been formed by a process of reduplication.
reduplication—a phonetic process which involves repeating (or reduplicating) part or all of a verb stem or noun, usually resulting in a significant change of meaning. Palauan reduplication patterns are very complex and have many irregularities.
relational phrase—any sequence consisting of the relational word ȩr followed by a noun (phrase) or a pronoun. Relational phrases provide such information as the place or time of an action or state.
relational word ȩr—a widely-used Palauan word which functions to express various types of relationships such as location, time, possession, and the like. This word corresponds to English ‘on’, ‘at’, ‘in’, ‘from’, ‘of’, etc. 541
relative clause—a clause introduced by ȩl which relates a particular piece of information to the preceding (head) noun.
relative clause introducer ȩl—a word which appears at the beginning of, and therefore introduces, relative clauses.
result clause—a clause introduced by mȩ‘(and) so’ which explains the result or consequence of the event or state described in the preceding clause.
resulting sentence—a sentence derived as a result of applying certain grammatical processes to a source sentence.
resulting state—a state which has come about as the result of some process of change.
resulting state infix -(ȩ)l—an infix which is inserted after the initial consonant of a verb stem to form a resulting state verb.
resulting state verb—a state verb formed with the infix -(ȩ)l- which is used to describe the state or condition someone or something is in as a result of a particular action. Many resulting state verbs function as nouns with special meanings.
rounded vowel—a vowel pronounced with simultaneous rounding of the lips.
schwa—a mid central vowel occurring only in Palauan unstressed syllables; transcribed phonetically as [ə] and spelled as ȩ in this text.
schwa release—a predictable pronunciation of schwa following a consonant cluster in word-final position.
second person pronoun—a pronoun (‘you’) which refers to the person or persons addressed.
sentence object—the noun or noun phrase which follows a transitive verb and designates the person, animal, or thing affected by the action of the verb.
sentence subject—the noun or noun phrase which appears at the beginning of a sentence preceding the verb or verb phrase.
sentence type—a variety of sentence characterized by a particular sequence of elements. Palauan has sentence types such as transitive sentence, intransitive sentence, ergative sentence, etc.
sequential time relationship—relationship between two clauses joined by the connecting word e such that the clause introduced by e designates an event, state, etc. which takes place after the event, state, etc. of the preceding clause.
shortening—a phonetic process in which a sequence of two vowels 542(i.e., a long vowel or a vowel cluster) shortens to a single vowel.
significant sounds of a language—units of sound which contrast with each other and serve to differentiate words from each other. See also contrastive sounds, phonemes.
simple noun—a noun which consists of a single morpheme.
simple noun phrase—a noun phrase consisting of the independent (or unpossessed) form of a noun.
simple state verb—a state verb which consists of a single morpheme.
simultaneous time relationship—relationship between two clauses joined by the connecting word e such that the events, states, etc. of both clauses are happening at the same time.
singular—referring to just one person, animal, or thing.
sound system of a language—the contrasting units of sound (= phonemes) and their distribution.
source phrase—a relational phrase which indicates the point of origin of some action involving movement or the person from whom something is received, learned, etc.
source sentence—the sentence from which another sentence is derived by applying grammatical processes such as subject shifting, preposing of possessor, and the like. Some source sentences are themselves grammatical, while other source sentences must obligatorily undergo certain grammatical processes.
spatial relationship—a relationship between the locations of two or more persons or things. Spatial relationships involve such concepts as on top of vs. under, in front of vs. in back of, between, etc.
specific noun—a noun which refers to a particular person, animal, or thing; a noun which is associated with a particular occasion.
specifying clause—a possible cover term for purpose, instrument, means of transportation, and accompaniment clauses, all of which have the common function of specifying, qualifying, or giving further information about the action or activity of the preceding independent clause. Use of this term, however, is restricted to any dependent clause which fulfills the rather general function of specifying or narrowing down the scope of the action or state of the preceding independent clause, but which cannot be conveniently assigned to any of the four types of dependent clauses mentioned above.
specifying word ȩr—a word which precedes certain types of sentence objects that refer to specific persons or things. 543
statement—any sentence which provides or supplies information by describing events, actions, states, etc.
state verb—a verb which describes a state, condition, or quality which temporarily or permanently characterizes a person, animal, or thing.
stop—a consonantal sound in which the outward air flow is completely stopped or interrupted at some point in the mouth or throat.
stressed syllable—the loudest or most prominent syllable in a word; sometimes identified in this text with a stress mark (′).
stress mark—a mark (′) used to identify the stressed (i.e., loudest and strongest) syllable of a word, placed over the (prominent) vowel of the stressed syllable.
subject shifting—a grammatical process in which the subject noun phrase of a sentence is shifted to the right of the verb phrase (or the second noun phrase, if the sentence is equational). When subject shifting occurs, a 3rd pers. sg. or pl. non-emphatic pronoun is left in the original subject position.
suffix—any bound morpheme which is attached to the end of a word or morpheme.
syllabic consonant—(nasal or liquid) consonant which is pronounced as a separate syllable.
syllables—the pulses of air with which a given word is pronounced.
tapped r—a pronunciation of r made with a quick tapping movement of the tongue tip against the alveolar ridge.
temporal phrase—a relational phrase which names the time of an action or state.
tense—the time of the action or state designated by a verb.
third person pronoun—a pronoun (‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’, or ‘they’) which refers to someone or something the speaker is interested in talking about.
time clause—a clause which is used to express a temporal relationship between two events, actions, states, etc. Time clauses are introduced by such expressions as er se ȩr a ‘when’, ȩr a uche ȩr a ‘before’, and ȩr a uriul ȩr a ‘after’.
time word (or expression)—any word (or expression) which identifies a point or period of time in the present, past, or future.
tongue advancement—the relative degree of advancement or retraction (front, central, or back) of the tongue during the pronunciation of a given vowel. 544
tongue height—the relative height (high, mid, or low) of the tongue in the mouth during the pronunciation of a given vowel.
transitive action verb—a verb which names an action or activity that involves both a doer (or agent) and a receiver (or object); a verb identifying an action which is done to or directed at some person, animal, or thing.
transitive sentence—a sentence type consisting of a subject noun phrase, a transitive verb, and an object noun phrase (followed optionally by a relational phrase).
transitive state verb—a state verb (usually referring to a mental state or ability) which involves both a subject and an object.
trilled r—a series of two or three tapped r’s pronounced in rapid succession; spelled rr and transcribed phonetically as [r̄].
unaspirated—not involving aspiration—i.e., not accompanied by an audible puff of air.
unmarked forms—forms which convey a particular meaning in spite of the fact that they do not contain any overt morpheme (or marker) for that meaning. For example, Palauan present tense verb forms (e.g. mȩsuub ‘study’, mȩnguiu ‘read’, etc.) are identified by the absence of any overt tense marker.
unpossessible noun—a noun which cannot take possessor suffixes.
unrounded vowel—a vowel pronounced without any simultaneous rounding of the lips.
unstressed syllable—any syllable in a word other than the loudest and strongest.
utterance—the act of saying (or uttering) a sentence.
velar—a consonantal sound involving the velum.
velum—the membrane behind the soft palate which serves as a point of articulation for the Palauan consonants k and ng.
verb—a word (or part of speech) which describes an action or state.
verb marker—a morpheme with various forms (mȩ-, -m-, -u-, -o-, etc.) which functions to mark or identify a particular word as a verb.
verb of communication—a verb which denotes the transmission or reception of information—i.e., a verb involving saying, telling, hearing, etc.
verb of mental activity—a verb which denotes such mental processes as thinking, believing, knowing, and the like.
verb phrase—any single word or group of words which follows the sentence 545subject and describes an action or state in which the sentence subject is involved.
verb stem—a morpheme (sometimes occurring as an independent noun) which combines with various affixes to form different types of verbs.
vocal cords—a set of elastic membranes in the larynx which can vibrate, producing voiced sounds.
voiced sound—a sound pronounced with a simultaneous vibration of the vocal cords.
voiceless sound—a sound pronounced without any simultaneous vibration of the vocal cords.
voicing—the “buzzing” sound produced when air passes between the vocal cords and causes them to vibrate.
vowel—a sound produced by holding the tongue in various positions in the mouth without any contact or friction.
vowel blending—a phonetic process in which two vowels in an unstressed syllable change or blend into a single vowel. The resulting vowel preserves phonetic features from each of the original vowels.
vowel cluster—a series of two adjacent vowels in the same syllable, as in oách ‘leg’ and ngáu ‘fire’. Usually, one of the vowels in a vowel cluster is stressed.
vowel cluster reduction—a phonetic process in which a vowel cluster is reduced to a single vowel (or sometimes ȩ) in an unstressed syllable.
vowel deletion—the loss of a vowel under certain circumstances (usually in unstressed syllables).
vowel-final (word or stem)—a word or stem ending in a vowel.
vowel-initial (word, stem, or suffix)—a word, stem, or suffix beginning with a vowel.
vowel qualities—the different vowel sounds which are produced by changing the position of the tongue.
vowel reduction—a phonetic process, found in Palauan and many other languages, in which a full vowel (i, u, e, o, or a) reduces to the weaker, more neutral mid central vowel schwa under certain conditions.
vowel triangle—a triangular configuration which schematizes the relative positions of articulation of the vowels.
word-final(ly)—occurring at the end of a word.
word-initial(ly)—occurring at the beginning of a word.
word-internal(ly)—occurring within or inside a word. 546
yes-no question—a question which can be answered by ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and which asks whether or not such-and-such is the case.
zero object pronoun—an object pronoun which has no actual phonetic realization but which nevertheless is of structural significance because it contrasts with the other object pronouns. The zero object pronoun (symbolized as Ø) refers to non-human plural objects.