Part A: The
The Intransitive Sentence
Possibly the simplest grammatical construction in Denes¶øiné
and one that is similar to English is the subject-predicate
construction, using a noun and a verb. This can be illustrated
by the following sentences:
man is staying'
similar to English because the words occur in the same
order as English, first the noun, then the verb. They
are different from English because there is no article
which means 'a' or 'the' in these sentences, or anywhere
in the Denes¶øiné
From the above
sentences we note that nádher
'stay' and shénetü
'eat' are verbs, but there are some words that are not
verbs in English, but are used as verbs and adjectives
man is good'
'good' and nedátth
'heavy' are verbs, as will be seen later in the grammar
when we learn how to change subject pronouns.
When a verb in Denes¶øiné
occurs without a noun, it is understood that the subject
is 'he, she, it', even though there is nothing to indicate
'he (she or it) is staying'
|| 'he (she
or it) is heavy'
deneyu ndher 'the man is
staying' is an assertion or statement or fact. Sometimes
it is necessary to change this sentence to make a question.
In English we change the order of the sentence and raise
our voices; e.g., ‘Is the man staying?’ In
we just add the word húsä
(sometimes just ¿ú)
to the sentence. húsä
by itself means 'Is it so?' When
added to a sentence, the sentence becomes a question.
|deneyu nádher húsä?
|| 'Is the
|| 'Is it
The above illustrations are all simple questions. We may
also ask specific questions such as 'what? where? who?
when?' etc. , by adding words with these meanings to the
beginning of the sentence, and the word ha?á
at the end. ?á is
'Who is going?'
is he staying?'
it is necessary to change a sentence to deny the assertion,
that is, to make it negative. In English we do this by
putting the word 'not' before the verb, e.g. , 'The man
is not staying'. In Denes¶øiné,
we add the word ‘híle’
to the sentence.
man is not staying'
|Jú nedátth híle
is not heavy '
|| 'He is
have words for 'yes' and 'no' as we do in English.
'Yes, he is staying '
he is not heavy'
answer positive questions the same as we do in English.
he staying ?'
he is staying
he is not heavy?'
do not answer negative questions the same as we do in
híle ¿á húsä?’
it not good?'
it is not good'
he is eating'