|Region||Lesser Sunda Islands|
Kambera, also known as East Sumbanese, is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. Kambera is a member of Bima-Sumba subgrouping within Central Malayo-Polynesian inside Malayo-Polynesian. The island of Sumba, located in the Eastern Indonesia, has an area of 12,297 km2. The name Kambera comes from a traditional region which is close to a town in Waingapu. Because of export trades which concentrated in Waingapu in the 19th century, the language of the Kambera region has become the bridging language in eastern Sumba.
|High||i iː||u uː|
|Mid||e ai||o au|
The diphthongs /ai/ and /au/ function phonologically as the long counterparts to /e/ and /o/, respectively.
Kambera formerly had /s/, but a sound change occurring around the turn of the 20th century replaced all occurrences of former /s/ with /h/.
Negators are used in Kambera, and other languages, to make a clause or sentence negative in meaning. Kambera has several types of negators. There are six main types of negators listed below.
|àmbu||'won't, don't' (irrealis negation)|
Ndia 'no' is used for general negation, and nda 'negative' or ndedi 'not yet' are predicate negators. Ndoku is used to emphasise the negation by being placed with the negator àmbu or nda. Example:
|"Do not talk about it at all!"|
|"Don't go to sleep now!"|
Negators are elements in a clause that are deictic. They can be used to refer to time, space and discourse. Shown below, the negator, ndia is used to refer to discourse.
|"No!" (not like that)|
Two of these negators nda and àmbu – with nda being a general negator, are used for nominal and verbal predicates.
|"There are none at all."|
The word pa in Kambera is derivational and can be added to few prepositional nouns, numerals and negators to create verbs. The emphatic negator ndia 'no' can become a verb through pa derivation. The translation of this verb then becomes "to deny".
Example below of how ndia is constructed into a verb in a given phrase:
|"He denied that he did wrong."|
A nuclear clause has the predicate as the head in Kambera, and modifiers are positioned at the beginning of the clause. As nda is a modifier it is placed at the beginning of a clause, as a clause-initial negator, before the verb and the rest of the elements of a nuclear clause.
You can distinguish nominal clauses from NPs is through the irrealis negator àmbu and the negator nda, which both never occur inside a possessed NP.
The Kambera word nda is also considered to be a pro-clitic as well, as they do not conform to the minimal word requirement and must occur with a syntactic/phonological host. A clitic is a type of bound morpheme which is syntactically free, but are phonologically bound morphemes. They can attach themselves to a stem, for example the negator nda. Nda appears before its host and is used to mark negation. It has a very simple phonotactic properties and cannot carry stress. Nda as a clitic can only ever occur with a host.
|"Why didn't you see me?"|
Negators are also included in relative clauses, but are not a part of the noun phrase.
|"It (is) not stolen money."|
Personal pronouns are used in Kambera for emphasis/disambiguation and the syntactic relation between full pronouns and clitics is similar to that between NPs and clitics. NPs and pronouns have morphological case.
Kambera, as a head-marking language, has rich morpho-syntactic marking on its predicators. The pronominal, aspectual and/or mood clitics together with the predicate constitute the nuclear clause. Definite verbal arguments are crossreferenced on the predicate for person, number and case (Nominative (N), Gentive (G), Dative (D), Accusative (A)). The four main pronominal clitic paradigms are given below.
|"He scratched his leg sore." (lit. "He scratched and caused his leg to be sore")|
|"He just watches his companion."|
|"I have a house." (lit. "Here is a house of mine.")|
|"They are our children now."|
The items in the table below mark person and number of the subject when the clause has continuative aspect.
|"He is scratching his body."|
|"'I am going, mother," he said.'"|
Kambera has a possessive or reflexive noun wiki 'self/own', which can be used to mark possession (1).
|'My own house'|
Wiki has the structural properties of a noun and can be used as a nominal modifier (compare 2 & 3), unlike pronouns which must be cross-referenced on the noun with a genitive clitic (3).
As (3) is a possessed noun phrase, the enclitic attaches to the noun. In possessed and modified noun phrases, the genitive enclitic attaches to the noun modifier (4).
|'My big house'|
In Kambera, where cross-referencing is used, the noun phrase is optional. A verb along with its pronominal markers constitutes a complete sentence. Pronominal clitics are a morphological way of expressing relationships between syntactic constituents such as a noun and its possessor.
Possessors can be relativised with a ma- relative clause. There are three types of clauses used in the relativisation of possessors.
The first is when the embedded verb is derived from a relational noun such as mother or child. These derived transitive verbs express relations between the subject and the object (5).
|'the child whose mother she is'/'the child she is the mother of'|
The second clause type is where the possessor is the head of the ma- relative clause and the possessee is the subject of the embedded verb (6).
|'I saw [the man whose wife died]|
The final type is where the relative clause contains the verb ningu 'be' and the incorporated argument of this verb. The head of the relative construction is the possessor (7).
|'the person that has crops' (lit.: 'the person whose garden content is')|
*N.B: the morpheme .ng marks the edge of incorporation
Normally, the possessor pronoun nyuna 'he/she' follows the possessed noun (8), though it can also be the head of a relativised clause (9).
|'His shirt is dirty'|
|'He whose shirt is dirty'|
Possessors can also be relativised in the same way as subjects. For example, in the following headless relative clause (no possessor NP is present), a definite article is present (10).
|'The (one) whose left side trickles (i.e. lets water through)'
(mythological character that is the source of rain)
|2s||2nd person singular|
|DEI||deictic element (space/time)|
|3sN||3rd person singular nominative|
|3sA||3rd person accusative singular emphatic pronoun|
|2pN||2nd person singular pronoun|
|1sA||1st person accusative singular emphatic pronoun|
|RmO||object relative clause marker|