Kambera
East Sumbanese
Native toIndonesia
RegionLesser Sunda Islands
Native speakers
240,000 (2009)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3xbr
Glottologkamb1299
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Kambera, also known as East Sumbanese, is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. Kambera is a member of Bima-Sumba subgrouping within Central Malayo-Polynesian inside Malayo-Polynesian.[2] The island of Sumba, located in Eastern Indonesia, has an area of 12,297 km2.[3] The name Kambera comes from a traditional region which is close to a town in Waingapu. Because of export trades which concentrated in Waingapu in the 19th century, the language of the Kambera region has become the bridging language in eastern Sumba.

Phonology

Vowels

Front Back
High i iː u uː
Mid e ai o au
Low a,

The diphthongs /ai/ and /au/ function phonologically as the long counterparts to /e/ and /o/, respectively.

Consonants

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive/
Affricate
plain p t k
prenasalized ᵐb ⁿd ᶮdʒ ᵑɡ
implosive ɓ ɗ
Fricative h
Lateral l
Rhotic r
Semivowel plain w j
prenasalized ᶮj

Kambera formerly had /s/, but a sound change occurring around the turn of the 20th century replaced all occurrences of former /s/ with /h/.

Morpho-syntax

Negation

Negators are used in Kambera, and other languages, to make a clause or sentence negative in meaning. Kambera has several types of negators. There are six main types of negators listed below.

Negators English translation
nda negation
ndia emphatic negation
ndedi 'not yet'
àmbu 'won't, don't' (irrealis negation)
àmbu...ndoku 'won't/don't...at all'
nda...ndoku 'not...at all'

Ndia 'no' is used for general negation, and nda 'negative' or ndedi 'not yet' are predicate negators. Ndoku is used to emphasise the negation by being placed with the negator àmbu or nda.[4]

ex:

Ambu

NEG.IRR

bobar

preach

ndoku

NEG.EMP

-ma

-EMP

-ya!

-3SG.ACC.EMP

Ambu bobar ndoku -ma -ya!

NEG.IRR preach NEG.EMP -EMP -3SG.ACC.EMP

"Do not talk about it at all!"[5]

Àmbu is used to express future negation, as well as negation in imperatives.[4]

ex:

Àmbu

NEG.IRR

katuda=kau

sleep=2SG.ACC

nàhu!

now

Àmbu katuda=kau nàhu!

NEG.IRR sleep=2SG.ACC now

"Don't go to sleep now!"[4]

Negators are elements in a clause that are deictic. They can be used to refer to time, space and discourse.[6] Shown below, the negator, ndia is used to refer to discourse.

ex:

Ndia

NEG

ná!

DEI

Ndia ná!

NEG DEI

"No!" (not like that)[7]

Two of these negators nda and àmbu – with nda being a general negator, are used for nominal and verbal predicates.

ex:

Nda

NEG

ningu

be

ndoku

NEG.EMP

Nda ningu ndoku

NEG be NEG.EMP

"There are none at all."[8]

Negators into verbs

The word pa in Kambera is derivational and can be added to few prepositional nouns, numerals and negators to create verbs. The emphatic negator ndia 'no' can become a verb through pa derivation. The translation of this verb then becomes "to deny".[9]

Example below of how ndia is constructed into a verb in a given phrase:

ex:

na-

3SG.NOM-

pa.ndia

pa.no

-ya

-3SG.ACC.EMP

ba

CNJ

nda

NEG

na-

3SG.NOM

njala

be/do wrong

na- pa.ndia -ya ba nda na- njala

3SG.NOM- pa.no -3SG.ACC.EMP CNJ NEG 3SG.NOM {be/do wrong}

"He denied that he did wrong."[10]

Noun phrases

A nuclear clause has the predicate as the head in Kambera, and modifiers are positioned at the beginning of the clause. As nda is a modifier it is placed at the beginning of a clause, as a clause-initial negator, before the verb and the rest of the elements of a nuclear clause.[11]

You can distinguish nominal clauses from NPs is through the irrealis negator àmbu and the negator nda, which both never occur inside a possessed NP.[12]

Clitics

The Kambera word nda is also considered to be a pro-clitic as well, as they do not conform to the minimal word requirement and must occur with a syntactic/phonological host.[13] A clitic is a type of bound morpheme which is syntactically free, but are phonologically bound morphemes. They can attach themselves to a stem, for example the negator nda. Nda appears before its host and is used to mark negation. It has a very simple phonotactic properties and cannot carry stress. [14]Nda as a clitic can only ever occur with a host.

ex:

Ka

CNJ

'nggiki

why

hi

CNJ

nda

NEG

=u-

2PL.PN-

'ita

see

-ka?

-1SG.ACC.EMP

Ka 'nggiki hi nda =u- 'ita -ka?

CNJ why CNJ NEG 2PL.PN- see -1SG.ACC.EMP

"Why didn't you see me?"[15]

In the example above, the negator nda becomes nda u- [ndaw], with nda attaching itself to the allomorph u- .[16] Nda is a proclitic that marks an embedded clause in Kambera.

Relative clauses

Negators are also included in relative clauses, but are not a part of the noun phrase.

ex:

[Nda

NEG

[ndui

money

pa-

RmO-

bohu]NP]

steal

-ya

-3SG.ACC.EMP

[Nda [ndui pa- bohu]NP] -ya

NEG money RmO- steal -3SG.ACC.EMP

"It (is) not stolen money."[17]

Pronouns and person markers

Personal pronouns are used in Kambera for emphasis/disambiguation and the syntactic relation between full pronouns and clitics is similar to that between NPs and clitics. NPs and pronouns have morphological case.

Personal Pronouns
Singular Plural
1st person exclusive nyungga nyuma
inclusive nyuta
2nd person nyumu nyimi
3rd person nyuna nyuda

Kambera, as a head-marking language, has rich morpho-syntactic marking on its predicators. The pronominal, aspectual and/or mood clitics together with the predicate constitute the nuclear clause. Definite verbal arguments are crossreferenced on the predicate for person, number and case (Nominative (N), Gentive (G), Dative (D), Accusative (A)). The four main pronominal clitic paradigms are given below.

Nominative Genitive Accusative Dative
1SG ku- -nggu -ka -ngga
2SG (m)u- -mu -kau -nggau
3SG na- -na -ya -nya
1PL.INC ta- -nda ta- -nda
1PL.EXC ma- -ma -kama -nggama
2PL (m)i- -mi -ka(m)i -ngga(m)i
3PL da- -da -ha -nja

Examples:

(1)

apu-nggu

granny-1SG.GEN

apu-nggu

granny-1SG.GEN

"My granny."

(2)

ana-na

child-3SG.GEN

ana-na

child-3SG.GEN

"His child."

(3)

Kau

scratch

pa.ta.lunggur-ya

CAU.be sore

na

ART

wihi-na

leg-3SG.GEN

Kau pa.ta.lunggur-ya na wihi-na

scratch {CAU.be sore} ART leg-3SG.GEN

"He scratched his leg sore." (lit. "He scratched and caused his leg to be sore")

(4)

Na-tari-bia

3SG.NOM-watch-MOD

nahu

now

angu-na

companion-3SG.GEN

Na-tari-bia nahu angu-na

3SG.NOM-watch-MOD now companion-3SG.GEN

"He just watches his companion."

(5)

Ningu

be.here

uma-nggua

house-3SG.GEN

Ningu uma-nggua

be.here house-3SG.GEN

"I have a house." (lit. "Here is a house of mine.")

(6)

Nyuda-ha-ka

they-3PL.ACC-PRF

nahu

now

da

ART

ana-nda

child-1PL.GEN

Nyuda-ha-ka nahu da ana-nda

they-3PL.ACC-PRF now ART child-1PL.GEN

"They are our children now."

The items in the table below mark person and number of the subject when the clause has continuative aspect.

Singular Plural
1st person exclusive -nggunya -manya
inclusive -ndanya
2nd person -munya -minya
3rd person -nanya -danya

Examples:

(1)

Lunggur-nanya

scratch-3SG.CONT

na

ART

Ihi-na

body-3SG.GEN

Lunggur-nanya na Ihi-na

scratch-3SG.CONT ART body-3SG.GEN

"He is scratching his body."

(2)

"Laku-nnguya

go-1SG.CONT

ina",

mother

wa-na

say-3SG

"Laku-nnguya ina", wa-na

go-1SG.CONT mother say-3SG

"'I am going, mother,' he said."

Possession

Kambera has a possessive or reflexive noun wiki 'self/own', which can be used to mark possession (1).

(1)

Uma

house

wiki

self/own

-nggu

-1SG.GEN

Uma wiki -nggu

house self/own -1SG.GEN

'My own house'

Wiki has the structural properties of a noun and can be used as a nominal modifier (compare 2 & 3), unlike pronouns which must be cross-referenced on the noun with a genitive clitic (3).[18]

(2)

Uma

house

witu

grass

-nggu

-1SG.GEN

Uma witu -nggu

house grass -1SG.GEN

'My hut'

(3)

Uma

house

-nggu

-1SG.GEN

nyungga

I

Uma -nggu nyungga

house -1SG.GEN I

'My house'

As (3) is a possessed noun phrase, the enclitic attaches to the noun. In possessed and modified noun phrases, the genitive enclitic attaches to the noun modifier (4).[19]

(4)

Na

ART

uma

house

'bakul

be big

-nggu

-1SG.GEN

Na uma 'bakul -nggu

ART house {be big} -1SG.GEN

'My big house'

In Kambera, where cross-referencing is used, the noun phrase is optional. A verb along with its pronominal markers constitutes a complete sentence. Pronominal clitics are a morphological way of expressing relationships between syntactic constituents such as a noun and its possessor.[20]

Possessor relativisation

Possessors can be relativised with a ma- relative clause.[21] There are three types of clauses used in the relativisation of possessors.

The first is when the embedded verb is derived from a relational noun such as mother or child. These derived transitive verbs express relations between the subject and the object (5).

(5)

Na

ART

anakeda

child

[na

[ART

ma-

RmS-

ina

mother

-nya]

-3SG.DAT]

Na anakeda [na ma- ina -nya]

ART child [ART RmS- mother -3SG.DAT]

'the child whose mother she is'/'the child she is the mother of'

The second clause type is where the possessor is the head of the ma- relative clause and the possessee is the subject of the embedded verb (6).

(6)

Ita

See

-nggu

-1SG.GEN

-nya

-3SG.DAT

[na

[ART

tau

person

na

ART

ma-meti

RmS-die

kuru uma

wife

-na]

-3SG.GEN]

Ita -nggu -nya [na tau na ma-meti {kuru uma} -na]

See -1SG.GEN -3SG.DAT [ART person ART RmS-die wife -3SG.GEN]

'I saw [the man whose wife died]

The final type is where the relative clause contains the verb ningu 'be' and the incorporated argument of this verb. The head of the relative construction is the possessor (7).

(7)

Na

ART

tau

person

na

ART

ma-

RmS-

ningu

be

ihi

content

woka

garden

.ng

.ng

 

N.B: the morpheme .ng marks the edge of incorporation

Na tau na ma- ningu ihi woka .ng

ART person ART RmS- be content garden .ng

'the person that has crops' (lit. 'the person whose garden content is')

Normally, the possessor pronoun nyuna 'he/she' follows the possessed noun (8), though it can also be the head of a relativised clause (9).

(8)

Na

ART

marihak

be dirty

[na

[ART

kalembi

shirt

-na

-3SG.GEN

nyuna]

he]

Na marihak [na kalembi -na nyuna]

ART {be dirty} [ART shirt -3SG.GEN he]

'His shirt is dirty'

(9)

Nyuna

He

na

ART

[ma-

RmS-

marihak

be dirty

na

ART

kalembi

shirt

-na

-3SG.GEN

Nyuna na [ma- marihak na kalembi -na

He ART RmS- {be dirty} ART shirt -3SG.GEN

'He whose shirt is dirty'

Possessors can also be relativised in the same way as subjects. For example, in the following headless relative clause (no possessor NP is present), a definite article is present (10).

(10)

Na

ART

ma-

RmS-

rabih

trickle

karaha

side

kalai

left

-na

-3SG.GEN

Na ma- rabih karaha kalai -na

ART RmS- trickle side left -3SG.GEN

'The (one) whose left side trickles (i.e. lets water through)' (mythological character that is the source of rain)

Abbreviations

Gloss Meaning
NEG.irr irrealis negator
NEG.emp emphatic negator
EMP emphasis marker
2s 2nd person singular
ACC accusative
DEI deictic element (space/time)
3sN 3rd person singular nominative
3sA 3rd person accusative singular emphatic pronoun
CNJ conjunction
2pN 2nd person singular pronoun
1sA 1st person accusative singular emphatic pronoun
RmO object relative clause marker

Footnotes

  1. ^ Kambera at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Klamer 1998
  3. ^ Klamer 1998
  4. ^ a b c Klamer 2005, p. 723
  5. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 143
  6. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 142
  7. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 142
  8. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 143
  9. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 184
  10. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 185
  11. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 77
  12. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 99
  13. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 27
  14. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 47
  15. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 50
  16. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 50
  17. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 336
  18. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 130–131
  19. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 48
  20. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 60–61
  21. ^ Klamer 1998, p. 320–321

Bibliography