Adzera language

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Adzera
RegionMorobe Province, Papua New Guinea
Native speakers
ca. 30,000 (2000 census)[1]
Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
adz – Adzera
zsu – Sukurum
zsa – Sarasira
Glottologadze1240  Adzera[2]
suku1264  Sukurum[3]
sara1323  Sarasira[4]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Adzera (also spelled Atzera, Azera, Atsera, Acira) is an Austronesian language spoken by about 30,000 people in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea.

Phonology[edit]

Vowels[edit]

Front Back
High /i/ /u/
Low /ɑ/

The diphthongs /ɑi ɑu/ occur, while other sequences of vowels are split over two syllables.

Consonants[edit]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop prenasalized ᵐp ⁿt ⁿtʃ ᵑk ⁿʔ
voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative f s h
Approximant w j
Rhotic r

/h/ occurs in only one word: the interjection hai "yes".

The prenasalized consonants tend to lose prenasalization initially and after consonants.

/tʃ ⁿtʃ/ are sometimes realized as [ts ⁿts], especially in codas.

Writing system[edit]

A a B b D d Dz dz F f G g H h I i K k M m Mp mp N n Nt nt
/ɑ/ /b/ /d/ /dʒ/ /f/ /ɡ/ /h/ /i/ /k/ /m/ /ᵐp/ /n/ /ⁿt/
Nts nts Ŋ ŋ Ŋk ŋk Ŋʼ ŋʼ P p R r S s T t Ts ts U u W w Y y ʼ
/ⁿtʃ/ /ŋ/ /ᵑk/ /ⁿʔ/ /p/ /r/ /s/ /t/ /tʃ/ /u/ /w/ /j/ /ʔ/

J, o and z are used in some loanwords and names.

Grammar[edit]

Negation[edit]

Simple negation[edit]

Simple negation in Adzera is achieved by the word imaʔ 'no'. This word can be used on its own in response to a question, or paired with a negative sentence.[5] For example:

Imaʔ Dzi i- bugin biskit
NEG 1SG REAL not.like biscuit
No, I do not like biscuits.[5]

The Amari dialect of Adzera is specifically noted for its use of namu for 'no' where all other Adzera dialects would use imaʔ. however, in Amari both words can be used interchangeably.[5]

Negation of a noun phrase[edit]

The simple negative forms above can be used in a noun phrase after the noun to modify it. Such as mamaʔ namu 'No children'. This can also apply to a coordinated noun phrase, such as iyam da ifab 'dog and pig' where iyam da ifab namu would mean that there were no dogs and no pigs.[6]

Negation of a verb phrase[edit]

Most negation is done through the verb phrase. For general circumstances, verbal negation is achieved by a verbal prefix anuŋʔ- And an optional negation particle u at the end of the sentence.[7] For example:

dzi anuŋʔ- i- saŋʔ rim -a u sib u
1SG NEG REAL be.enough help PTCP 2SG COMP NEG
I am not able to help you.[7]

However, for verbs in the imperative or hortative forms, which take a prefix wa- or na- respectively, the negative is achieved by replacing their respective prefixes with a negative form ma- followed at the end of the sentence by a compulsory particle maʔ.[8]

ma- fan maʔ
IMP.NEG go IMP.NEG
Do not go![8]
Coordinated verb negation[edit]

When two negative verbs or phrases are joined by da ‘and’ the first verb takes the negative prefix anuŋʔ-, and the negative particle u comes at the end of the whole sentence.[9]

muŋʔ ugu da sagat anuŋʔ- i- ga was da i- is pauʔ u
a.long.time.ago TIME.MARKER woman NEG REAL eat lime and REAL hit tobacco NEG
A long time ago, women neither chewed betel nut nor smoked tobacco.[9]
Negation with future tense[edit]

When negating a sentence in the future tense, the future tense prefix is replaced with the realis prefix. Any future time marking still remains. There is also a preference toward forming negative sentences in the future tense with an auxiliary verb saŋʔ 'be able, be enough' before the main verb of the sentence, suggesting a reluctance toward making negative statements about the future.[10] For example:

tataʔ da u anuŋʔ- i- saŋʔ fa -da taun u
tomorrow TIME.MARKER 2SG NEG REAL be.enough go PTCP town NEG
Tomorrow you will not be able to go to town.[10]

When coordinating two sentences of future tense, the first verb phrase replaces the future prefix with the realis, but all following verb phrases retain their future tense marking.[10]

List of abbreviations[edit]

see List of Glossing Abbreviations.

Below is a list of Grammatical abbreviations used throughout this article:

Grammatical Abbreviations
NEG Negative
1SG 1st Person Singular
REAL Realis
PTCP Participle
2SG 2nd Person Singular
COMP Completive
IMP Imperative


References[edit]

  1. ^ Adzera at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Sukurum at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Sarasira at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Adzera". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Sukurum". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Sarasira". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  5. ^ a b c Holzknecht, Susanne (1986). "A morphology and grammar of Adzera (Amari dialect), Morobe province, Papau New Guinea". Papers in New Guinea Linguistics. Pacific Linguistics A. 70: 137–138.
  6. ^ Holzknecht, Susanne (1986). "A morphology and grammar of Adzera (Amari dialect), Morobe province, Papau New Guinea". Papers in New Guinea Linguistics. Pacific Linguistics A. 70: 138.
  7. ^ a b Holzknecht, Susanne (1986). "A morphology and grammar of Adzera (Amari dialect), Morobe province, Papau New Guinea". Papers in New Guinea Linguistics. Pacific Linguistics A. 70: 138.
  8. ^ a b Holzknecht, Susanne (1986). "A morphology and grammar of Adzera (Amari dialect), Morobe province, Papau New Guinea". Papers in New Guinea Linguistics. Pacific Linguistics A. 70: 140–141.
  9. ^ a b Holzknecht, Susanne (1986). "A morphology and grammar of Adzera (Amari dialect), Morobe province, Papau New Guinea". Papers in New Guinea Linguistics. Pacific Linguistics A. 70: 140.
  10. ^ a b c Holzknecht, Susanne (1986). "A morphology and grammar of Adzera (Amari dialect), Morobe province, Papau New Guinea". Papers in New Guinea Linguistics. Pacific Linguistics A. 70: 139–140.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cates, Ann R. (1974). "The Atzera literacy programme: An experimental campaign in Papua New Guinea". Papua New Guinea Journal of Education. 10: 34–38.
  • Holzknecht, K. G. (1973). "The phonemes of the Adzera language". Pacific Linguistics A. 38: 1–11.
  • Holzknecht, K. G. (1973). "Morphophonemics of the Adzera language". Pacific Linguistics A. 38: 13–19.
  • Holzknecht, K. G. (1973). "A synopsis of the verb forms in Adzera". Pacific Linguistics A. 38: 21–28.
  • Holzknecht, K. G. (1978). Adzera–English dictionary.
  • Holzknecht, S. (1986). "A morphology and grammar of Adzera (Amari dialect), Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea". Pacific Linguistics A. 70: 77–166.
  • Howard, David Edward (2002). Continuity and given-new status of discourse referents in Adzera oral narrative. M.A. thesis. University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Roke, Ann; Price, Dorothy (1970). A summary of the Atzera literacy programme. Ukarumpa: Summer Institute of Linguistics.