Basay language

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Basay
Native to Taiwan
Ethnicity Basay, Qauqaut
Extinct mid-20th century
Dialects
Basay proper
Trobiawan
Linaw–Qauqaut
Language codes
ISO 639-3 byq
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(dark green, north) The Kavalanic languages: Basai, Ketagalan, and Kavalan

Basay was a Formosan language spoken around modern-day Taipei in northern Taiwan by the Basay, Qauqaut, and Trobiawan peoples. Trobiawan, Linaw, and Qauqaut were other dialects (see East Formosan languages).

Basay data is mostly available from Erin Asai's 1936 field notes, which were collected from an elderly Basay speaker in Shinshe, Taipei, as well as another one in Yilan who spoken the Trobiawan dialect (Li 1999). However, the Shinshe informant's speech was heavily influenced by Taiwanese, and the Trobiawan informant, named Ipai, had heavy Kavalan influence in her speech.

Syntax[edit]

There are four optional case markers in Basay (Li 1999:646).

  • a - nominative, ligature (Shinshe dialect)
  • ta - nominative (Trobiawan dialect)
  • li - locative (Shinshe dialect)
  • u - oblique (Trobiawan dialect)

Some function words include (Li 1999):

  • pai 'future'

Trobiawan negators include (Li 1999):

  • mia 'not' (Shinshe dialect: mayu 'not (yet)')
  • asi 'don't' (Shinshe dialect: manai 'don't')
  • (m)upa 'not to want'
  • (Shinshe dialect: kualau 'not exist')

Yes-no questions are marked by u ~ nu (Li 1999:657).

Morphology[edit]

Basay verbs, like Kavalan verbs, distinguish between agent-focus (AF) and patient-focus (PF) verbs (Li 1999:650). The perfective prefixes na- and ni- are allomorphs.

Basay Focus System
Type of prefix Neutral Perfective Future
Agentive focus (AF) -um-, m- na-mi- -um- ... -a, m- ... -a
Patient focus (PF) - ni- -au
Locative focus (LF) -an ni- ... -an -ai

Pronouns[edit]

The Basay pronouns below are from Li (1999:639).

Basay Personal Pronouns
Type of
Pronoun
Neutral Nominative Genitive Oblique
1s. yaku kaku, -ku maku-, -aku; naku, -ak yakuan, kuan, kuanan
2s. isu kisu, -su misu, -isu; nisu, -su ~ -is isuan, suan, isuanan, suanan
3s. - -ia - -
1p. (incl.) mita kita, -ita mita, -ita; nita, -ta ...., ...., tianan
1p. (excl.) yami -mi yami, -ami; nami, -am yamian, mian, mianan
2p. imu kimu, -mu -imu; nimu, -im imuan, ...., imuanan
3p. - -ia - -

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

General references[edit]

  • Li, Paul Jen-kuei (1999). Some problems in the Basay language. In Zeitoun, E., & Li, P. J-K., Selected Papers From the 8th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics. Taipei, Taiwan: Academica Sinica.

External links[edit]