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A grammatical sketch of Khamtanga—II


The simplest, irreducible part of the verb is the root, which carries the lexical information, and to which are suffixed markers of person, tense, mood, etc. Most verb roots end in a consonant, the commonest shapes being CVC- and CVCC-, but also VC- and VCC-: qal- ‘see’, wäš- ‘hear’, arq- ‘know’, abz- ‘finish’, mars'- ‘choose’, ward- ‘play’, aq- ‘be’, is'- ‘curse’, and so on. Dissyllabic roots are extremely rare in the material and almost all appear to be loans from Ethiopian Semitic: wływär- ‘throw’, färaq- ‘be wide’, mikwir- ‘try’, addin- ‘hunt’, tinfis- ‘breathe’; dissyllabic Agaw roots are is'aq- ‘send’, iqa- (also shortened to qa-)‘wash’. In addition there is a comparatively small number of roots with the shape CV-: xwa/t- ‘eat’, fi- ‘go out’, gwi- ‘get up, rise’, bi- ‘lack’, yi- ‘say’, and so on.

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