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Héıjoko chỉetoaı – 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 and the rising-falling tone

The most important addition in the last six lessons was the rising-falling tone . This tone 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.

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

tîa súq jío
“that you are behind the building”

Dủa jí tîa súq jío da.
“I know that you are behind the building.”

A possible mnemonic for the rising-falling tone is that it’s rising because it creates a noun (), and falling because it contains a sentence and sentences begin with verb ().

Instead of using the rising-falling tone on the verb of a sentence to turn the sentence into a noun, it is also possible to use the word in place of the bare . The following two sentences are equivalent:

zâo súq jí
“that you know me”

lâ zảo súq jí
“that you know me”

Using becomes necessary when the content clause does not begin with a verb. This is the case when there is at least one noun in the topic position of the content clause:

lâ sa rảı bı shảo jí dûa súq ráı
“that there is something I want you to know”

lâ líqfu bı lỏı hó baq kảto
“that as for the daughter, she hates cats”

Otherwise, one is free to choose between and a bare rising-falling tone .

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


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

Content clause verbs
duato know that something is the case
moaqto remember something to be the case
shaoto 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
jeoto be true
buto 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

Quantifiers and determiners

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

sa Xsome X
tu Xevery X
sıa Xno X, zero X
hı Xwhich X, what X
baq XX in general

Quantifiers and 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 .

Sa rảı bı dủa jí chô súq ráı da
“[There exists] some thing (X), I know that you like the thing (X).”
“There is something I know you like.”

Dủa jí chô súq sa rảı da.
“I know that there is something you like.”

Hı rảı bı dủa súq chô jí ráı moq?
“Which thing (X) [is such that] you know that I like the thing (X)?”

Mả dủa súq chô jí hı rảı moq?
“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:

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

As a rising tone noun:

Tỉ mí Tỏmı hı rảı moq?
“Where is Tommy?”

As the verb of a content clause:

Dủa jí mî Sảra súq da.
“I know that you are a Sara.”
“I know that your name is Sara.”

After quantifiers and determiners:

Chỏ tu mỉ Jủlıa baq rủa da.
“Every Julia likes flowers.”

Nỉe hı mỉ Dẻreq kúa moq?
“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”.

Dẻ shú rỉaq da.
“The word ‘rỉaq’ (place) is beautiful.”

Mả pủ kûq súq shú rủa moq?
“Did you say the word ‘rủa’ (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”:

Pủ kûq jí mó« Chỏ jí súq da »teo da.
“I said ‘I like you’.”

Kủq há mó« Kủaq kỉe ka »teo ba.
“One should say ‘Thank you’.”

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


Toaq expresses tense via ordinary verbs. No special grammar is needed.

Present tensenaı
Past tensepu
Future tensejıa


Nảı chûq jí da.
“That I eat is the case now.”
“(Now) I eat.”

Pủ kâqgaı hó sa jủa da.
“That they see something strange was the case in the past.”
“They saw something strange.”

Jỉa fâ 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
hı Xwhich X, what X
Mả ... moq?
mâ ...
Is it true that ...?
whether ...
Tỉo … moq?
tîo ...
How much is ... the case?
how much ... is the case
Tỉopuı X moq?How numerous are X?
Hỉa X moq?What is X? What are X? What does X do? What verb is true of X?


- which

Pỉe súq hı rảı moq?
“What (thing) are you drinking?”

Hı rỉaq bı shảo súq fâ súq ríaq moq?
“Which place [is such that] you want to go to the place?”

Mỏaq jí tî kúne hı kủa da.
“I remember in which room the dog is.”

ma - whether

Mả nủo súq moq?
“Are you asleep?”

Dủa máma mâ jảı bé da.
“The mother knows whether the baby is happy.”

Mả mỏaq súq tî káto hı kủa moq?
“Do you remember in which room the cat is?”

tıo - how (much)

Tỉo sảo gúa moq?
“How big is the country?”

Dủa bũ súq tîo dẻ súq da.
“You don’t know how beautiful you are.”

Mả mỏaq sa tỉ tîo nỏqgı baq mảtu moq?
“Does anyone here remember how delicious honey is?”

tıopuı - how numerous

Tỉopuı élu moq?
“How many are the elephants?”

Dủa bũ súq tîopuı míy da.
“You don’t know how many we are.”

hıa - is/does what

Hỉa ní moq?
“What’s this?”

Dủashao hó hîa ní da.
“They want to know what this is.”

Sentence enders: ka and nha

Like da, moq, 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”.

Hỉo ka.
“Hereby there’s greeting.”

Hỉo jí ka.
“I hereby greet.”

Kủaq kỉe ka.
“Hereby there’s expressing gratefulness.”
“Thank you.”

Kủaq shẻo ka
“Hereby there’s expressing regret.”
“I’m sorry.”, “I apologize.”

Nảı chêo sẻo 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.

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

Tảı múy 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!