Kokborok grammar

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Kokborok, also Tipra, is language of original inhabitants people of Tripura. It is an official language of Tripura, a small state of India.

Syntax[edit]

The principal structures of affirmative sentences in Kokborok are the following:

a) Subject Complement
Naisok chwrai kaham.
(Naisok) (boy good).
Naisok is a good boy.
b) Subject Object Verb
Naisok mai chao.
(Naisok) (rice) (eat).
Naisok eats rice.
c) Possessive Subject Question
Nini (bu)mung tamo?
(Your) (name) (what)
What is your name?
d) Subject Question Verb
Nwng tamoni bagwi phai?
(You) (what for) (come)
Why have you come?
e) Subject Verb and Question
Nwng thangnaide?
(You) (will go)
Will you go?
f) Subject Verb and Command
Nwng thangdi.
(You) (go)
You go.

Person[edit]

In Kokborok grammar use of the notion of 'person' is almost absent; the form of verb is same for one who speaks, one who is spoken to, and one who is spoken about.

Number[edit]

In Kokborok there are two numbers: Singular and plural. The plural marker is used at the end of the noun or pronoun. There are two plural markers: rok and song. Rok is universally used while song is used with human nouns only. The plural marker is normally used at the end of the noun or pronoun. But when the noun has an adjective the plural marker is used at the end of the adjective instead of the noun.

Examples:

  • Bwrwirok Teliamura o thangnai. These women will go to Teliamura.
  • O bwrwi naithokrok kaham rwchabo. These beautiful women sing very well.

Gender[edit]

In Kokborok there are four genders: masculine gender, feminine gender, common gender, and neuter gender. Words which denote male are masculine, words which denote female are feminine, words which can be both male and female are common gender, and words which cannot be either masculine or feminine and neuter gender.

Gender examples
borok man - masculine
bwrwi woman - feminine
chwrai child - common
buphang tree - neuter

There are various ways to change genders of words:

Using different words
bwsai husband bihik wife
phayung brother hanok sister
kiching male friend mare female friend
Adding in at the end of the masculine word
sikla young man sikli young woman
achu grandfather achui grandmother
When the masculine words ends in a, the a is dropped.
Adding jwk at the end of the masculine word
bwsa son bwsajwk daughter
kwra father-in-law kwrajwk mother-in-law
Words of common gender are made masculine by adding suffixes, like sa, chwla/la, jua and feminine by adding ma, jwk, bwrwi
pun goat punjua he goat punjwk she goat
tok fowl tokla cock tokma hen
takhum swan takhumchwla drake takhumbwrwi duck

Case and case endings[edit]

In Kokborok there are the nominative, accusative, instrumental, ablative, locative and possessive cases.

Case suffixes
Nominative o
Accusative no
Instrumental bai
Ablative ni
Locative o
Possessive ni

These case suffixes are used at the end of the noun/pronoun and there is no change in the form of the noun.

Adjective[edit]

In Kokborok the adjectives come after the words they qualify. This rule is strictly followed only in the case of native adjectives. In case of loan adjectives the rule is rather loose. Kokborok adjectives may be divided into four classes:

  1. pure adjectives
  2. compound adjectives
  3. verbal adjectives
  4. K-adjectives

The first three classes may include both native and loan words. The fourth class is made of purely native words. e.g.:

  1. hilik - heavy, heleng - light
  2. bwkha kotor - (heart big) - brave, bwkha kusu - (heart small) - timid
  3. leng - tire, lengjak - tired, ruk - to boil, rukjak - boiled.
  4. kaham - good, kotor - big, kisi - wet.

Numerals[edit]

Kokborok numerals are both decimal and vigesimal. sa, nwi, tham, brwi, ba, dok, sni, char, chuku, chi

rasa - hundred, saisa - thousand, rwjag - a lakh

A numeral is organised as:

chisa = chi + sa = ten + one = 11.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • A simplified Kokborok Grammar, by Prof. Prabhas Chandra Dhar, 1987

External links[edit]