Analytic verbs

An analytic verb is a verb which is derived from another part of speech with the help of a verbal particle. Because the resulting expression is a verb, it has to carry tonal inflection. Unlike atomic verbs, which carry this inflection on themselves, it is the verbal particle which has to carry the tonal inflection in the case of analytic verbs.

Object incorporating verbs

Object incorporating verbs are a small class of verbs which cannot be separated from their objects. This leads to something that looks like VOS word order. The following table lists all of them:

po [complement] (ga) ___ is of [complement]
mea [complement] (ga) ___ is among [complement]
jeı [complement] (ga) ___ is/are [complement]

The terminator ga marks the end of the object incorporating verb, but it is only required when the verb is followed by another verb.

Object incorporating verbs are opaque to quantifiers: quantified complements are bound in situ, not in the clause the verb is in:

It does not mean “There is something new that I want”, which would be:

In the first, the speaker is not talking about a specific new thing, any new thing will do. In the second, only a specific new thing will do.

The word po is very flexible. The meaning of po X (ga) can be paraphrased as lu hảo hóa X (ky) (see also the next section on free relatives). The context-dependent nature of hao makes po a general-purpose word.

For example, it can also be used for ad-hoc loose compounding:

Free relatives

Free relatives are clauses containing the resumptive pronoun hóa, which are preceded by the word lu. The end of the construction can be marked by the terminator ky, which is only required if material that does not belong inside the clause follows the clause. The name “free” stems from the fact that the resumptive pronoun in the clause has no antecedent; it does not refer to anything.

Free relatives are unary predicates. Their one argument is that which the resumptive pronoun indirectly refers to.

lu [clause] (ky) “to be the hoa of [clause]”

súq is the argument of the free relative. To understand the meaning, one can mentally substitute in súq for every hóa in the free relative (when there are multiple hóa, they all “refer” to the same thing). The meaning is equivalent to:

This is equivalent to:

There is rarely a reason to use constructions like these in day-to-day communication, since they add complexity without adding meaning. However, free relatives become more useful when used with the tone.

lú ... can be thought of as the Toaq equivalent of English “that which ...” or Spanish “lo que”.

See also the section on relative clauses for another way to express the same thing.


In Toaq, names are verbs. For any name X, the corresponding verb has the definition "___ is called X". X must be a string of any length of valid syllables. If the name is not natively Toaq and its form would violate the rules of Toaq phonology if imported directly, then it has to be adjusted to fit.

To signal that something is a name, it has to be preceded by the particle .

X (ga) “to be called X”

is neutral on the politeness scale. For the equivalent of Mr/Mrs/Mx, the grammatically equivalent mıru can be used:

Single-word quotation

There are two kinds of quotations in Toaq: single-word quotes and full-text quotes. The former type works much like names, but instead of prefixing to the quoted material, the prefix shu is used.

shu [word] “to be the word [word]”

Full-text quotations

The other kind of quotation is the full-text quote. With it, an entire discourse can be quoted (i.e., any number of complete or fragmentary sentences). Due to the fact that, unlike single-word quotes, the quote does not automatically terminate, this quote type requires explicit spoken parenthesis around the quoted text. The result is a verb referring to the quoted text.

[text] teo “to be the text [text]”

Kủq jí mó Kủaq kỉe ka teo. "I said 'thank you'".

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