Cardinal directions and locatives

In Hanis, there are words for the for cardinal directions:

north – be’lch


west-baldich (this word is related to the word for ‘ocean’ – baldiimis – and is sometimes also used as the word for ocean)

east – qeche’, qach’e (also means ‘way inland’)

Going through St Clair’s notes (St Clair worked with Jim Buchanan a century ago) I find all kinds of fun sentences that help me understand more the finer points of Hanis grammar.

ho’nno nbaldichume tluuwakats – He lives west of me.


nno-I, me

n-adverb; a locative marker – to, at, on


ume = locative, where X is

tluuwakats-she/he lives (at that place)

So what was knew to me is that you can use the word ‘the’ – ho combined with the pronoun ‘I’ (nno) to mean in this instance ‘of me’.   Then on the word west, baldich, 2 locative affixes are found.  Locatives here are just affixes – short words – that indicate location, geography, where something is.  Having the n- prefixed to a word can mean in, at, on or to.  Then at the end of the word ume  is found – this means something like where something is, the part of.  So it implies to the west at some particular point (here not specified).  I’ve never seen sentences like this before, and so even though in the grand scheme of things it is a small thing, it helps me learn a little bit more about how spoken Hanis worked.


About shichils

Just sharing some fun on language
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