The Yeh Language



Alienable possession is marked on the possessed noun with the suffix -nem (realized as -em if the base ends in a nasal consonant.) The noun or noun phrase representing the posessor is placed after that of the possessed. This type of construction is used to show ownership and temporary posession, as well as assign responsibility.

oikáte-nem no shelter-POSSD 1 "my house"
báhna-nem im problem-POSSD 2 "your problem"

The preposition nyën- is used to express possession of qualities, parts of a whole, and states of being.

hwim nyë́n-e no hair belonging_to-AN 1 "my hair"

The preposition ok- is used to express social relationships.

tswúmëny ók-e no friend to-AN 1 "my friend"

It is not customary (and somewhat taboo) to describe geographic features, wild animals, or wild plants as possessed, so translating phrases such as "my island" into Yeh requires some circumlocution ("the island I live on").

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