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Lesson 16

Word order

16.1 S + P

In Blin, the word order is usually of the form: Subject(S) + Predicate (P). A predicate says something about the subject. "Life is good", the subject (Life) is expressed as good, and hence "is good" is the predicate in this sentence. The predicate can simply be a verb (V) or a verb plus an object(O).


gemena beher gn
A lion big is = A lion is big. The predicate here is "beher gn".

Gaim yi dan gn
Gaim my brother is = Gaim is my brother.

Gabr Kasala feruKw
Gabr Kasala went = Gabr went to Kasala

16.2 S+O+V:

When the verb is inflected ( shows the person, subject) but does not show the nature of the object.


gemena begat kuwuKw A lion sheep killed = A lion killed a sheep. The -t in bega (sheep) shows that the sheep is a direct object.

We could also say begat gemena kuwuKw. sheep lion killed = A lion killed a sheep.
It is the -t suffix in bega that shows bega is the (direct) object. But the verb kuwuKw (killed ) does not show a sheep is the object.

an blin ketebekun I Blin write = I write Blin

We could also say blin ketebekun = I write Blin. Blin write (I).The -Kun (Lesson 9) shows the subject is the 1st person singular (I). ketebekun = I write, but here we don't know what the subject writes about.

16.3 S+O+V:

When the inflected form of the verb also shows nature of the object also (marker of object) we can know from the verb what the subject and the object of the sentence are.


kuwuKw = it killed (kuna, to kill)
kuwuKwla = It (He) killed her, -la = her.
gemena begat kuwuKwla = A lion killed a sheep.

If we already know the story about the lion, we would simply say kuwulkwla and this single verb contains both the Subject and the Object.

enkelekw = he loves (enkelna, to love)
enkelekwla = he loves her, -la (her). (also enkelukula)

Gaim Afyetti enkelekwla. Gaim Afyet loves = Gaim loves Afyet.

S + O + V

Also O + S + V does not change meaning Afyetti Gaim enkelekwlai. Afyet Gaim loves = Gaim loves Afyet.The suffix -ti after Afyet shows that Afyet is the (direct) object


In English the word order is very improtant in understanding the meaning of a sentene. The word order in English is S + V + O. Example: Gaim loves Afyet. The word order of a Blin sentence, however, can change withut changing the meaning. The usual form is Subject + Object + Verb (S ---> O ---> V). But the object can also precede the subject without changing the meaning (0 --> S --> V). A third alternative is when the subject and the verb are sufficient (S + V). Finally, the verb stands alone for a sentence in which the subject and the object are undeterstood from the inflection - suffix attached to the verb (V).

Hence we have the following word order:
S = Gaim, O = Afyet, V = enkelekula or enkelekwla

S + O + V: Gaim Afyetti enkelekula = Gaim loves Afyet.
O + S + V: Afyetti Gaim enkelekula = Gaim loves Afyet.
S + V: Gaim enkelekula = Gaim loves her

V: enkelekula = he loves her. S = gemena, O = bega, V = Kuwukw
S+ O + V: begat gemena kuwuKw = A lion killed a sheep
O + S + V: begat gemena kuwuKw = A lion killed a sheep
S + V: gemena kuwuKw = A lion killed
V: kuwuKw = (It) killed

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