Wenja Grammar: Sentence Starters

Sentence Starters:
Many sentences in Wenja start with a special word that is either an adverb (like nu ‘now, yes’, tu ‘then, so’) or a conjunction (like nu ‘and’ or ma ‘but’). These words not only help Wenja speakers connect their sentences but also indicate certain grammatical properties (such as ku, when asking questions, and aysh ‘could, should, would’). 
  • nu: affirmative “indeed, yes, now”
  • na: negative “no, not” 
  • ku: interrogative question marker
  • u: imperative command marker
  • may: negative imperative negative command, “don’t!”
  • tu: then (temporal sequence) “so, then” 
  • ma: adversative “but” 
  • ba: exclamative! “whoa! hey!” 
  • ha: final (in order to) purpose marker; “so that” 
  • aysh: subjunctive / optative “could, should, would” 
In general, when no endings need to be place at the beginning of the sentence, these special adverbs can be omitted, unless they’re needed for the meaning.  
To illustrate the function of these special words, note the following sentences: 

Kaydam.                    I hit (him/her/it).
Nu kaydam.               Yes, I hit (him/her/it).  / Now, I hit (him/her/it)/
Na kaydam.               I didn’t hit (him/her/it).
Aysh kaydam.           I should (could, would) hit (him/her/it).
Ba kaydam!              Whoa, I hit (him/her/it)!
Tu kaydam…            And then I hit (him/her/it)… 

Winja marwa.          Wenja (are) dead.
Na Winja marwa.    Wenja (are) not dead. 

Sushalhayn gwanam.             I kill the sun-walker.
Nu sushalhayn gwanam.       Now I kill the sun-walker.
Aysh sushalhayn gwanam.    I should / could / might kill the sun-walker.

In sentences with expressed pronouns, you add the sentence starter to the front of the pronoun:

Ta Udam. You (are) Udam.
Na-ta Udam You (are) not Udam.
Ku-ta Udam? (Are) you Udam?

The following sentence starters are optional and used for emphasis or when the statement is ambiguous (or even when it just sounds better with an extra syllable):

  • u: imperative commands
  • ku: interrogative questions

2 thoughts on “Wenja Grammar: Sentence Starters

  1. Reofive says:

    Thanks again for the lesson =)
    But isn't "Tu" the word corresponding to "then (temporal sequence) “so, then”" instead of "u" ?

Comments are closed.