The first pronoun type to wrap our heads around is the Nominative Pronoun.
Nominative pronouns are used in sentences that have a subject and an action, or a subject and an adjective (describing word).
Here are a few example sentences with the nominative pronouns ngayulu, nyuntu and paluṟu, from the above tables
In this example ngayulu is the subject and tjina yananyi is the action.
In this example nyuntu is the subject and wangkanyi is the action.
In this example paluṟu kungka is the subject and waḻaṯa is the adjective.
Notice that in each of the above examples, the nominative pronoun is used as the subject.
Let’s move over to Ergative pronouns now that are a bit different.
Eragative pronouns are used in sentences that have a subject, an action and an object.
Here are a few example sentences with the pronouns ngayulu, nyuntu and paluṟu, taken from the same tables as before, and various objects.
In this example ngayulu is the subject, mai is the object and ngalkuṉi is the action.
In this example nyuntu is the subject, kapi is the object and tjikiṉu is the action.
In this example paluṟu is the subject, katji is the object and palyaṉi is the action.
Notice again how in each of the examples, the ergative pronoun is used as the subject. The difference between these examples and the nominative examples is that all of the ergative examples have objects in the sentences.
The last two sets of pronoun types to touch upon are accusative pronouns and possessive pronouns.
Accusative pronouns are used in sentences which have a subject, an action and an object. In Yankunytjatjara the -nya accusative word ending is used to indicate the object (who is receiving the action).
Some examples of accusative pronouns are:
Possessive pronouns are used to show that something belongs to someone or something. Here are a few examples of possessive pronouns.
The -mpa is the most common possessive ending for pronouns. The one exemption to this is the word for my or mine which uses the ending -ku. We’ll look at the -ku ending when looking at suffixes on words.
Here are some example sentences using the -mpa ending.
Palumpa means his miru means spear thrower and palya means good.
Nyangatja means this, nyuntumpa means your, kuka means meat and malu means kangaroo.
Papa means dog, nyuntumpa means yours and palatja means that.
Wrapping our heads around these four types of pronouns will take some time. The most important thing is to get used to the way that the different endings change the meanings of the pronouns. Then, working out when to use each type of pronoun will make more sense.
Next up we’ll be looking at different words and sentences used around the home. We’ll learn some new words that are home and camp specific and use the words we already know of family to make some sentences.