Yami language

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Yami
Tao
Native to Taiwan
Ethnicity Yami
Native speakers
3,800  (2006)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 tao
Glottolog yami1254[2]
Linguasphere 31-CAA-a

Yami (Chinese: 雅美), also known as Tao (Chinese: ), is Malayo-Polynesian language. It is a member of the Ivatan dialect continuum spoken by the Yami people of Taiwan. It is spoken on Orchid Island, 46 kilometers southeast of the main island of Taiwan. Yami is known as ciriciring no Tao, or "human speech," by its native speakers.[1]

Yami is the only native language of Taiwanese aborigines that is not a member of the Formosan grouping of Malayo-Polynesian; it is one of the Batanic languages found in the northern Philippines.

Phonology[edit]

Yami has 20 consonants and 4 vowels:[3]

Consonants (in Yami script)
  • Stops: p, b, t, d, k, g, '
  • Fricatives: v, s, h (s is retroflex)
  • Nasals: m, n, ng
  • Liquids: l, r
  • Affricates: c, j (palatal affricates)
  • Trills: z (alveolar trill)
  • Glides: w, y
Vowels

Iraralay Yami, spoken on the north coast, distinguishes between long and short consonants (e.g., opa 'thigh' vs. oppa 'hen' form one such minimal pair).[4]

Verbs[edit]

The following list of Yami verbal inflections is from Rau (2006: 135).

Dynamic intransitive
  • -om-/om- (subjunctive: N-)
  • mi-
  • ma-
  • maN-
  • maka-
  • maci-/masi-/macika-/macipa-
Stative
  • ma- (subjunctive: a-)
  • ka- ... -an (subjunctive: ka- ... -i)
Dynamic
  • pi-
  • pa-
  • paN- (subjunctive: maN-)
  • paka- (subjunctive: maka-)
  • paci- (subjunctive: maci-)
Transitive
  • -en (subjunctive: -a)
  • -an (subjunctive: -i)
  • i- (subjunctive: -an)
Stative functioning as transitive
  • ma- (subjunctive: a- ... -a)
  • ka- ... -an (subjunctive: a- ... -a)

Affixes[edit]

The following list of Yami affixes is from Rau (2006: 135-136).

  • icia- 'fellows such and such who share the same features or fate'
  • ikeyka- 'even more so'
  • ika- 'feel such and such because...'
  • ika- 'ordinal number'
  • ipi- 'multiple number'
  • ji a- 'negation or emphatic'
  • ka- 'company, as ... as, abstract noun'
  • ka- 'and then, just now, only'
  • ka- 'stative verb prefix reappearing in forming transitive verbs'
  • ka- (reduplicated root) 'very'
  • ka- (reduplicated root) 'animals named after certain features'
  • ka- ... -an 'common noun'
  • ma- ... -en 'love to do such and such'
  • mapaka- 'pretend to be such and such'
  • mapi- 'do such and such as an occupation'
  • mi-/mala- 'kinship relationships in a group of two or three'
  • mika-/mapika-/ipika- 'all, gradually, one by one'
  • mala- 'taste or look like...'
  • mipa- 'getting more and more...'
  • mipipa- 'even more...'
  • mapi-/mapa-/pa- ... -en/ipa- 'causative verb affixes'
  • ni- 'perfective'
  • ni- ... na 'superlative'
  • noka- 'past'
  • noma- 'future (remote)'
  • sicia- 'present'
  • sima- 'future (proximal)'
  • tey- 'direction'
  • tey- 'very, too'
  • tey- (reduplicated root) 'amount allocated to each unit

Vocabulary[edit]

Cognates with Tagalog[edit]

English Yami Filipino/Ilokano/Tagalog, etc.
Person tao tao
Mother ina ina
Father ama ama
Head oo ulo
Yes nohon oho (opo)
Friend kagagan kaibigan
who sino sino
they sira sila
their nira nila
offspring anak anak
I (pronoun) ko ko, -ko (Ilokano)
you ka ka, -ka (Ilokano)
day araw araw, aldaw (Ilokano)
eat kanen kain, kanen (Ilokano)
drink inomen inumin, inomen (Ilokano)
speech ciriciring siling (Hiligaynon, say), siring (Waray-waray, say)
and aka saka
ouch Ananay Aray, Araray (Cebuano), Annay (Ilokano)
home vahay bahay, balay (Ilokano, Cebuano)
pig viik biik (piglet)
goat kadling kambing, kanding (Cebuano), kalding (Ilokano)
stone vato bato
one ása isa, maysa (Ilokano)
two dóa (raroa) dalawa, duha (Cebuano), dua (Ilokano)
three tílo tatlo, tulo (Cebuano), talo (Ilokano)
four ápat apat, upat (Ilokano, Cebuano)
five líma lima
six ánem anim, innem (Ilokano), unom (Cebuano)
seven píto pito
eight wáo walo
nine síam siyam
ten póo sampu, sangapulo (Ilokano)

Japanese loanwords[edit]

English Yami Japanese
Airplane sikoki hikouki (飛行機)
Alcohol saki sake ()
Battleship gengkang gunkan (軍艦)
Bible seysio seisho (聖書)
Christ Kizisto kirisuto (キリスト)
Doctor koysang o-isha-san? (お医者さん)
Flashlight dingki denki (電気)
Holy Spirit seyzi seirei (聖霊)
Key kagi kagi ()
Medicine kosozi kusuri ()
Motorcycle otobay ootobai (オートバイ; auto bike)
Police kisat keisatsu (警察)
School gako gakkō (学校)
School bag kabang kaban ()
Teacher sinsi sensei (先生)
Ticket kipo kippu (切符)
Truck tozako torakku (トラック; truck)

Chinese loanwords[edit]

English Yami Mandarin Chinese
Wine potaw cio pútáojǐu (葡萄酒)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rau 2006: 79
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Yami". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Rau 2006: 79-80
  4. ^ Rau 2006: 81

External links[edit]