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Chíetoaı kọheıjo – Lesson 14

Congratulations. You have reached the second review lesson. Here’s a summary of what you have learned since the last review lesson.

Content clauses

The most important addition in the last six lessons was the particle ꝡä. This particle creates what we call content clauses. A content clause is a sentence that is turned into noun, such that it can be used inside another sentence. We can also call them that-clauses, because they often start with “that” in English.

Tıa súq jío da. “You are behind the building.”

ꝡä tıa súq jío “that you are behind the building”

Dua jí, ꝡä tıa súq jío da. “I know that you are behind the building.”

Content clauses can contain fronted nouns with or topics with :

ꝡä sá raı nä aojaı jí, ꝡä dua súq ráı “that there is something I want you to know”

ꝡä líqfu bï loı hó báq kato “that as for the daughter, she hates cats”

The word ꝡä has the question word counterparts “whether” and tïo “how (much)”, which follow the same grammatical rules. Examples of those can be found in the section Questions and indirect questions below.


Along with ꝡä, a number of verbs that are commonly used with that tone were also introduced. Below is a selection of the most important ꝡä-words so far:

Content clause verbs
duato know that something is the case
moaqto remember something to be the case
aojaıto want something to be the case
zaıto hope for something to be the case
moıto think (about) something
mıuto opine something
tuato make something be the case
junato be true
sahuto be false

Next, these are all the kinship terms that have appeared so far:

Kinship terms
mamato be a mother
abato be a father
futo be an offspring
lıqfuto be a daughter

This is the animal-related vocabulary you have seen:

Animal vocabulary
nıaıto be an animal
kuneto be a dog
eluto be an elephant
katoto be a cat
habıto be a bird
koruoto be a raven
(aıpu)(to be a ghost)

And finally, these are all the pairs of opposites you already know:

Adjectival contentives (opposites)
gı - huıgood - bad
sao - nuıbig - small
geo - nıoold - young
loq - koahot - cold
shıe - nuoawake - asleep
roe - bıahealthy - sick


Words like , , and báq are grouped together under the category of determiners. This is a list of the ones seen so far:

sá Xsome X
tú Xevery X
sía Xno X, zero X
hí Xwhich X, what X
báq XX in general

Determiners perform what is called binding of the following expression. This is similar to how variables work in mathematics. Once introduced, a variable like X means the same thing wherever it appears, until it is redefined. A Toaq variable gets bound by a quantifier/determiner followed by a falling tone expression and then re-used via the rising tone .

Sá raı nä dua jí, ꝡä cho súq ráı da “[There exists] some thing (X), I know that you like the thing (X).” “There is something I know you like.”

Dua jí, ꝡä cho súq sá raı da. “I know that there is something you like.”

Hí raı nä dua súq, ꝡä cho jí ráı móq? “Which thing (X) [is such that] you know that I like the thing (X)?”

Ma dua súq, ꝡä cho jí hí raı móq? “Do you know what I like?”

Names and quotes

The word is placed before words to turn them into name verbs. mı X means “to be someone or something named X”. Such a a name verb can appear anywhere an ordinary verb can appear.

As the main verb of a sentence:

Mı Sara hó da. “They are a Sara.” “Their name is Sara.”

As a rising tone noun:

Tı mí Tomı hí raı móq? “Where is Tommy?”

As the verb of a content clause:

Dua jí, ꝡä mı Sara súq da. “I know that you are a Sara.” “I know that your name is Sara.”

After determiners:

Cho tú mı Julıa báq rua da. “Every Julia likes flowers.”

Nıe hí mı Dereq kúa móq? “Which Derren is inside the room?”

The word shu behaves similarly, quoting the following word, but unlike , it refers to the word itself. shu X means “to be the word X”.

De shú rıaq da. “The word ‘rıaq’ (place) is beautiful.”

Ma pu kuq súq shú rua móq? “Did you say the word ‘rua’ (flower)?”

For the sake of completeness, the way to quote full text (i.e., direct speech) is given here as well, because even though it only appeared in lesson 4, it wasn’t covered in the previous review lesson. Full text quotes are done by wrapping the quoted text in mo … teo. The result is, as with and shu, a verb: “to be the quoted text”:

Pu kuq jí mó « Cho jí súq da » teo da. “I said ‘I like you’.”

Kuq há mó « Kuaq kıe ka » teo ba. “One should say ‘Thank you’.”

Full text quotes will be coming up more frequently in future lessons.


Toaq expresses tense via particles that come before the verb.

Present tensenaı
Past tensepu
Future tensejıa


Naı chuq jí da. “That I eat is the case now.” “(Now) I eat.”

Pu kaqgaı hó sá jua da. “That they see something strange was the case in the past.” “They saw something strange.”

Jıa fa jí méı da. “That I go to the mountain will be the case in the future” “I will go to the mountain.”

Questions and indirect questions

These are the question words introduced so far:

Question words
hí Xwhich X, what X
Ma ... móq?
mâ ...
Is it true that ...?
whether ...
Tıo ... móq?
tîo ...
How much is ... the case?
how much ... is the case
Tıopuı X móq?How numerous are X?
Hıa X móq?What is X? What are X? What does X do? What verb is true of X?


- which

Pıe súq hí raı móq? “What (thing) are you drinking?”

Hí rıaq nä aojaı súq, ꝡä fa súq ríaq móq? “Which place [is such that] you want to go to the place?”

Moaq jí, ꝡä tı kúne hí kua da. “I remember in which room the dog is.”

ma - whether

Ma nuo súq móq? “Are you asleep?”

Dua máma, mä jaı bém da. “The mother knows whether the baby is happy.”

Ma moaq súq, ꝡä tı káto hí kua móq? “Do you remember in which room the cat is?”

tıo - how (much)

Tıo sao gúa móq? “How big is the country?”

Bu dua súq, tïo de súq da. “You don’t know how beautiful you are.”

Ma moaq sá nıtı, tïo noqgı báq matu móq? “Does anyone here remember how delicious honey is?”

tıopuı - how numerous

Tıopuı élu móq? “How many are the elephants?”

Bu dua súq, ꝡä tıopuı íme da. “You don’t know how many we are.”

hıa - is/does what

Hıa ní móq? “What’s this?”

Duashao hó, ꝡä hıa ní da. “They want to know what this is.”

Sentence enders: ka and nha

Like da, móq, and ba, the word ka is placed at the end of a sentence. Its function is to mark a sentence as being true by virtue of being uttered, such as in declarations or pronouncements. It is best translated as “hereby”.

Hıo ka. “Hereby there’s greeting.” “Hello.”

Hıo jí ka. “I hereby greet.” “Hello.”

Kuaq kıe ka. “Hereby there’s expressing gratefulness.” “Thank you.”

Kuaq sheo ka “Hereby there’s expressing regret.” “I’m sorry.”, “I apologize.”

Naı cheo seo súq ka. “You are now married to each other.”

The other new sentence ender we saw is nha, which marks a sentence as not an assertion of a factual truth, but a promise that the speaker intends to fulfill.

Moaq jí hóq nha. “(I promise) I’ll remember it.”

Taı úmo nha. “(I promise) We’ll succeed.”

You are now ready to take on lessons 15 to 21. Make sure to take it slow and give the language time to sink in. You’ve already come a long way!