Nìmpyèshiu Derivational Morphology

Most morphemes are Monosyllabic. Disyllabic morphemes consist of a single vowel followed by a single consonant with short monophthong eg. Adi̤ – fire.


  • Adjective + adjective = adjective or noun with both properties.
    • eg. a (adj. thin) + cha̤ (adj. long) = acha̤ (adj. linear, straight)
    • eg. pia (adj. cold) + plà (adj. wide) = piaplà (noun. sheet of ice)
  • Adjective + adjective (contrasting) = scale of adjective
    • eg. apa (adj. thick) + a (adj. thin) = apara (noun. thickness)
  • Adjective + noun/verb = description
    • eg. apa (adj. thick) + grè (noun. mark) = apagrè (noun. brush stroke)
  • Noun + noun = X’s Y
    • eg. ge̤ (noun. arm) + shyi̤ (noun. joint) = ge̤shyi̤ (noun. shoulder)
  • Noun + noun = X and Y
    • eg. mà (noun. mother) + pfa (noun. father) = màpfa (noun. parent)
  • Verb + noun = phrase
    • eg. na̤i (verb. to give) + gla (noun. food) = na̤igla (verb. to feed)

Phonological rules for compounds (Internal Sandhi)

If a morpheme that ends with a vowel is compounded with a morpheme that begins with a vowel, then an /ɹ/ is added in between.

If a morpheme ending in nasal is compounded with a morpheme that begins with the same nasal, then the initial of the second morpheme will change to a plosive with the same place of articulation.

Coda nasals will assimilate to the place of articulation of the following consonant. A /m/ will become the appropriate allophone of /n/ if the following consonant is not labial. Likewise, a /n/ will become a /m/ if the following consonant is nasal. A [w] will cause [n] to become [ŋ], but [m] will remain unchanged. A /h/ doesn’t have any effect on preceding nasals.

Bound morphemes

There are only a few bound morphemes:

  • dè – forms adjectives (suffix)
  • hyu – to hit
  • ja̤ – professional
  • meim – comparative (suffix)