Appendix:Affixes in Formosan languages

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The following lists describe affixes in various Formosan languages.


Budai dialect[edit]

The list of Budai Rukai affixes below is sourced from Chen (2006:199-203).


  • a- 'become'
  • ana- 'if'
  • api- 'like', 'want'
  • i- 'at', 'in'
  • ki- 'to gather', 'to collect'
  • ki- 'Dative Focus'
  • ki- 'to dig
  • ku- 'to remove'
  • ku- 'Free Pronoun marker'
  • ku- 'Past marker'
  • la- 'Plural'
  • lu- 'Future'
  • ma- 'Stative Verb'
  • ma- 'reciprocal'
  • ma- 'dual (two people)'
  • mu- 'to remove'
  • mu- 'self-motion'
  • muasaka- 'ordinal'
  • nai- 'have done'
  • ŋi- 'to move in certain direction'
  • ŋi- '-self'
  • ŋu- 'to ride'
  • pa- 'causative'
  • paŋu- 'by'
  • sa- 'body parts'
  • sa- 'when'
  • si- 'verbal prefix'
  • si- 'to wear'
  • sini- 'from'
  • su- 'to clean'
  • su- 'belong'
  • ta- 'to feel'
  • taru- 'certain'
  • tu- 'to mark'
  • tua- 'to wash'
  • θi- 'to release'
  • u-/w- 'Agent Focus'


  • -a 'imperative'
  • -a 'Accusative Case'
  • -ana 'still', 'yet'
  • -anə 'nominalize'
  • -ŋa 'completive'
  • -ŋa 'close to'


  • -a- 'past tense; non-futur'
  • -a- 'realis'
  • -in- 'Goal subject', 'Past time'


  • a- ... -anə 'future state'
  • a- ... -anə 'nominalizer'
  • ka- ... -anə 'real or genuine'
  • kala- ... -anə 'season'
  • sa- ... -anə 'instrument'
  • sanu- ... -anə 'left-over'
  • sanu- ... -lə 'frequency'
  • ta- ... -anə 'time', 'location'

Compound (Multiple) Affixes

  • la-ma- 'plural marker'
  • ɭi-tara- 'have to', must'
  • sa-ka- 'household'
  • sa-ka-u- ... -anə ; the whole'
  • sa-ka-si- ... l-anə the…generatio
  • ta-ra- for a period of tim
  • ta-ra- be good at
  • t-in-u- ... -anə personal relation

Mantauran dialect[edit]

The following list of Mantauran Rukai affixes is sourced from Zeitoun (2007).

  • a- 'when'
  • a- (action/state nominalization)
  • a- 'plural'
  • -a 'beyond (in time or space)'
  • -a 'irrealis'
  • -a 'imperative'
  • -ae (state nominalization)
  • a- ... -ae; allomorph: ... -ae (objective nominalization; negative imperative)
  • amo- 'will'
  • -ane (meaning unknown; used on verbs to insult someone)
  • -a-nga 'imperative' (mild requests)
  • apaa- 'reciprocal causative' (dynamic verbs)
  • apano- 'like to, prone to, have a tendency to'
  • apa'a 'reciprocal causative' (stative verbs)
  • apa'ohi- 'split (causative form)'
  • -ci 'snivel'
  • dh- 'invisible'
  • i- 'at'
  • -i 'irrealis'
  • -i- ... -e (marking of the oblique case on personal and impersonal pronouns)
  • -ka 'predicative negation'
  • ka- 'in fact, indeed, actually'
  • ka- ... -ae 'genuine, real, original'
  • kala- ... -ae 'temporal nominalization'
  • kapa ~ kama- 'continuously'
  • kapa ... -nga 'all, every'
  • ki- 'modal negation'
  • ki- ... -ae 'whose'
  • k<in>-a- ... -ae 'more and more'
  • la- 'plural'
  • la-ma'a- 'reciprocal'
  • -lo 'plural' (demonstrative pronouns)
  • m- (dynamic (finite and subjunctive) verbs; alternates with k-, p-, or Ø in its non-finite form)
  • ma- (stative (finite and subjunctive) verbs; alternates with ka- in its non-finite form)
  • ma- ... -le (forms 'tens')
  • ma-Ca- 'reciprocity' (dynamic (finite and subjunctive) verbs; alternates with pa-Ca; Ca refers to the reduplication of the first consonant)
  • maa- 'reciprocity' (dynamic (finite and subjunctive) verbs; alternates with paa)
  • maa- ... -e (~ paa- ... -e; maa- (dual reciprocal) + -e (meaning unknown))
  • maaraka- 'each/both'
  • maatali- ... -le/-lo '(a number of) floors'
  • maka- 'finish'
  • maka- ... -le/-lo (~ paka- ... -le/-lo) 'up to N-/for N- days/months/years'
  • maka'an- (attaches only to aleve 'below' and lrahalre 'above')
  • makini- ... -(a)e (~ pakini- ... -(a)e) 'all'
  • mali- (~ pali) 'along'
  • ma'ohi (~ pa'ohi) 'split'
  • m-o- (~ o-) 'holds X's ritual (where X = household name)' (attaches to household names to form dynamic verbs)
  • m-o- (~ o-) 'toward'
  • mo- 'anti-causative'
  • m-ore (~ ore-) 'perform'
  • mota'a- (~ ota'a-) 'raise'
  • n- 'visible'
  • -na 'still'
  • naa- 'continuously'
  • -nae 'place where'
  • -nae 'time when'
  • -nga 'already'
  • -nga 'superlative'
  • ni- 'counterfactuality (irrealis)'
  • ni- ... -a 'concessive'
  • o- 'dynamic / finite / realis / active'
  • o- ... -e 'dress well' (derives verbs from nouns)
  • o-ara- 'only' (attached to verbs)
  • o-ka'a- ... -le/-lo (~ ko'a- ... -le/-lo) 'a number of )recipients'
  • om- (~ m- / ~ Ø) 'dynamic / finite / realis / active'
  • o-tali (~ tali- / ~ toli) 'wrap up, pack up'
  • o-tali (~ tali-) 'made of'
  • o-tara- (~ tara-) 'a number of months / years'
  • taro- (doublet form: tao-) 'group of persons in movement'
  • o-ta'i- (~ ta'i-) 'precede'
  • o-'ara- (~ 'ara-) 'early'
  • pa- 'causative'
  • pa- 'every N-times'
  • paori 'stick to, think about'
  • pa'a- ... -ae '(what is) left'
  • pe- 'forbiddance (?)'
  • pi- 'local causative'
  • po- 'causative of movement'
  • po- 'bear, grow N' (attaches to nouns)
  • saka- 'external'
  • samori- 'keep on ... -ing' (attaches only to the root kane 'to eat')
  • sa'api- 'prone to, inclined to'
  • so- 'tribute'
  • ta- (subjective nominalization)
  • ta- 'inalienability' (kinship and color terms)
  • ta- ... -(a)e 'place where'
  • ta- ... -ae 'time when'
  • ta- ... -n-ae (forms derived locative nominal)
  • taka- 'a number of persons'
  • tako- 'while'
  • tala- 'container' (?; found only with the root ove'eke)
  • tali- 'belong to'
  • ta'a- 'with (a group of persons)'
  • ta'a- ... -le/-lo 'measure with an extended arm' (bound numerals)
  • to- 'do, make, produce, build'
  • toka- ... -(a)e 'use ... for, by ... -ing'
  • to'a- 'use ... to, for'
  • 'a- 'instrument/manner nominalizer'
  • 'a- ... -e 'have a lot of'
  • 'aa- 'turn into'
  • 'aka- 'Nth' (ordinal prefix 'a- + stative marker ka- (non-finite form))
  • 'ako- (doublet form: 'ako- ... -ae) 'speak (out)'
  • 'ako- 'barely, a little'
  • 'ako- ... -le 'say a number of times'
  • 'ako- ... -nga 'more'
  • 'ali- 'from (in time or space)' (< 'aliki '(come) from')
  • 'ano- 'walk, ride, take'
  • 'ano- 'unknown meaning' (only attaches to stative roots)
  • 'ano-Ca- 'along/with a number of persons (in movement)' (attaches to bound numeral forms and certain other roots)
  • 'ano- ... -ae 'entirely, completely, cease, alleviate'
  • 'ao- ... -le/-lo 'the Nth time' (ordinal prefix 'a- + 'o- ... -le/-lo 'a number of times')
  • 'apaka- ... -le/-lo 'the Nth day' (ordinal prefix 'a- + paka- ... -le/-lo 'up to/for a number of days / months / years)
  • 'api- 'like ... -ing'
  • 'a-po- 'as a result of'
  • 'apo- 'come out'
  • 'asa- ... -ae 'what's the use of'
  • 'asi- (meaning unknown; found only once in the word 'work')
  • 'i- 'passive'
  • 'i- 'verbalizer' (from nouns; polysemous prefix). Semantic core of 'i-N is 'get, obtain-N', although it can also be glossed as 'get, harvest, gather, look after, bear, have for, kill, etc.'
  • 'i- 'put on, wear' (derives verbs from nouns)
  • 'ia- ... ae 'because of, out of'
  • 'ini- 'movement toward'
  • 'ini- 'cross'
  • 'ini- 'consume'
  • 'ini-Ca- '(one)self' (reflexive)
  • 'ini- ... -ae 'pretend'
  • 'ini- ... (-ae) 'behave like, look like' (derived from 'inilrao 'resemble')
  • 'ira- 'for' (derived from 'iraki '(do) for')
  • 'o- 'take off'
  • 'o- ... -le/-lo 'a number of times' (attaches to bound numerals)
  • 'o- ... -le/-lo 'measure' (must be followed by certain words to indicate a measure with the hand, foot, ruler, etc.)
  • 'o-tali 'unpack'

The following list of Budai Rukai affixes is sourced from the Comparative Austronesian Dictionary (1995).

Nominal affixes
  • ka- ... -anə + N 'something real or genuine
  • ko- + Pronoun 'nominative'
  • moasaka- + N (numeral) 'ordinal'
  • sa- ... anə + V 'instrument, tool'
  • sa- + N 'some body parts'
  • ta- ... -anə + N 'location, time'
  • ta-ra + N 'agentive, a person specialised in...'
Verbal affixes
  • -a- + V 'realis'
  • -a + V 'imperative'
  • ki- + N 'to gather, to collect, to harvest'
  • ki- + V 'dative-focus, involuntary action'
  • ko- + N 'to remove, to peel'
  • ko- + V 'intransitive, patient-focus'
  • ma- + V 'mutual, reciprocal'
  • maa- + V 'stative'
  • mo- + N 'to discharge, remove'
  • mo- + V '(to go) self-motion, non-causative'
  • ŋi- + V 'to act or to move in a certain direction or manner'
  • ŋo- + N 'to ride'
  • pa- + V 'causative'
  • si- + V (bound stem) 'verbal prefix'
  • si- + N 'to wear, to carry, to possess'
  • so- + N 'to spit, to clean, to give out'
  • to- + N 'to make, produce, bring forth'
  • θi + N 'to release'
  • w- + V 'agent-focus, verbal prefix'

Northern Formosan[edit]


The following list of Mayrinax Atayal affixes is sourced from the Comparative Austronesian Dictionary (1995).

  • Note: Some affixes are unglossed.
Verbal prefixes
  • ma- 'stative'
  • ma- 'active'
  • man-
  • mana-
  • maɣ-
  • ma-ša- 'reciprocal, mutual'
  • ma-ši 'natural release or movement'
  • pana-
  • ma-ti-
  • ʔi-
  • pa- 'causative'
  • ši- 'benefactive'
  • ga- 'verbalizer'
  • kan- + RED + N (body parts) 'body movement'
  • ma-ka- 'mutual, reciprocal'
  • maki- 'active verb'
  • mat- 'to turn'
  • mi-
  • paš-
  • ta- ... -an 'location'
  • tiɣi- 'to release gas'
  • tu- 'for some to...'
Verbal infixes
  • -um- 'agent focus'
  • -in- 'completive'
Verbal suffixes
  • -an 'locative focus'
  • -un 'object focus'
  • -i 'imperative'
  • -aw 'future or mild request'
  • -ani 'polite request'
Nominal affixes
  • -in- 'nominalizer'
  • -in- ... -an 'nominalizer to indicate a completed action'
  • Male affixes (i.e., male forms of speech in Mayrinax Atayal) include (Comparative Austronesian Dictionary): -niḳ, -iḳ, -ʔiŋ, -hiŋ, -iŋ, -tiŋ, -riʔ, -ḳiʔ, -niʔ, -nux, -ux, -hu, -u, -al, -liʔ, -kaʔ, -ha, -il, -in-, -il-, -i-, -a-, -na-.


The Pazih affixes below are from Li (2001:10-19).

  • ha-: stative
  • ka-: inchoative
  • kaa-: nominal
  • kai-: to stay at a certain location
  • kali- -an: susceptible to, involuntarily
  • m-: agent focus
  • ma- (ka-): stative
  • ma- (pa-): to have (noun); agent-focus
  • maa[ka]- (paa[ka]-): - mutually, reciprocal
  • maka- (paka-): to bear, bring forth
  • mana- (pana-): to wash (body parts)
  • mari- (pari-): to bear, to give birth (of animal)
  • maru- (paru-): to lay eggs or give birth
  • masa-: verbal prefix
  • masi- (pasi-): to move, to wear
  • mata-: (number of) times
  • mati- (pati-): to carry, to wear, to catch
  • matu- (patu-): to build, erect, set up
  • maxa- (paxa-): to produce, to bring forth; to become
  • maxi- (paxi-): to have, to bring forth; to look carefully
  • me-, mi- (pi-), mi- (i-): agent-focus
  • mia- (pia-): towards, to go
  • mia- which one; ordinal (number)
  • mu- (pu-): agent-focus (-um- in many other Formosan languages); to release
  • pa-: verbalizer; causative, active verb
  • paka-: causative, stative verb
  • papa-: to ride
  • pu-: to pave
  • pu- -an: locative-focus, location
  • sa- ~saa-, si-: instrumental-focus, something used to ..., tools
  • si-: to have, to produce; to go (to a location)
  • si- -an: to bring forth, to have a growth on one's body
  • ta-: agentive, one specialized in ...; nominal prefix; verbal prefix
  • tau-: agentive
  • tau- -an: a gathering place
  • taxa-: to feel like doing; to take a special posture
  • taxi-: to lower one's body
  • taxu-: to move around
  • ti-: to get something undesirable or uncomfortable
  • tu-: stative
  • xi-: to turn over, to revert
  • -a-: progressive, durative
  • -in-: perfective
  • -an: locative-focus, location
  • -an ~ -nan: locative pronoun or personal name
  • -aw: patient-focus, future
  • -ay: locative-focus, irrealis
  • -en ~ -un: patient-focus
  • -i: patient-focus, imperative; vocative, address for an elder kinship
  • CV- -an: location


The following affixes are sourced from Blust (2003:92-188).

  • a- : only found in /kan/ 'eat'
  • -ak : '1st person singular (I)'
  • ak- ... -in : 'morning, noon, evening meals'
  • an- : uncertain function
  • -an : Verbal uses can be indicative, imperative, or adversative.
  • i- : prefix or clitic particle marking location
  • -i : imperative
  • -ik : patient focus (1st person singular)
  • -in- : perfective or completive aspect
  • -in : patient focus
  • ish- : found most with intransitive verbs (uncommon prefix)
  • ka- : 'to make an X', 'two times' (with reduplication)
  • ka- ... -an : meaning unclear
  • kal- : 'X told'
  • kalh- : 'to pile, spread'
  • kash- : 'intensity, repitition'
  • kashi- : meaning uncertain
  • kashi- ... -an : 'pull by the X'
  • kashun- : derives verbs referring to positions of the human body, or sometimes objects such as boats
  • kat- : 'gradually become X'
  • ki- : 'stand, stay'; other possible meanings as well
  • ki- ... -an : 'be affected with pain in the X'
  • kilh- : 'search for, seek'
  • kin- : 'to pick or gather X'
  • kit- ... -in : 'infested with X'
  • ku- : 'to perform an action with X' (when used with tools or weapons); less specific in other contexts
  • kun- : 'sudden or abrupt action', 'to eat the X meal', 'to do X times'; meaning unclear sometimes
  • la- : usually found in expressions of quantity of degree
  • lhin- : causative sense
  • lhun- : swelling-related meanings, etc.
  • m- : marks the genitive in 'you (2s)' and 'we (incl.)'
  • ma- : marks stative verbs, occasionally nouns derived from stative verbs
  • ma- : active verb prefix
  • ma- : prefix marking the future in actor focus verbs
  • ma- : 'tens' (used with numbers)
  • mak- : intransitive verbs
  • maka- : 'to resemble X' (people), 'produce X' (plant or animal parts), 'from/in/to X' (deictic/directional expressions)
  • makin- : intransitive verbs; 'Xth from the bottom' (with numerals)
  • makit- : 'happen gradually', 'perform X gradually'
  • maku- : directional sense, and is followed by /na/- (though it does not follow not in non-locative expressions)
  • malhi- : 'give birth to an X'
  • man- : generally used with dynamic, intransitive verbs
  • mana- : generally found with directional verbs
  • mapa- : 'reciprocal', 'collective action'
  • mash- : 'to speak X' (language), 'walk with an X' (positions or conditions of the leg)
  • masha- : relates to body positions, or may have a directional meaning
  • mashi- : comparatives (with stative bases of measurement); often synonymous with /ma/- (stative verb marker)
  • mat- : derives intransitive or stative verbs
  • mati- : locative expressions
  • matin- + full reduplication : 'X-ish' or 'spotted with X' (colors)
  • mi- : derives intransitive verbs, often with some form of base reduplication
  • mi- + Ca reduplication : 'do with a group of X'
  • mia- : used to derive various verbs
  • min- : derives inchoative verbs (Bunun loan?); 'become an X' or 'become like an X' (with kinship terms)
  • mu- : most frequently derives verbs of motion; 'go into X; enter X' (with concrete nouns that refer to structures or places capable of being entered); 'search for X' (with names of useful plants); 'do X times' (numeral bases and expressions of quantity)
  • mun- : intransitive verbs
  • -n : derives accusative pronouns from nominative bases
  • na- : most commonly with verbs indicating change of location; 'it's up to X'
  • pa- : causative of dynamic verbs (verbs with -/um/-); 'make X do Y' or 'let X do Y'; active transitive (or intransitive) verb with no causative argument/sense
  • pak- : 'exude X' (body fluids, other natural fluids/substances); intransitive verb prefix
  • pan- : 'perform X in a downward direction'
  • pan- ... -an : used with terms for lineal consanguines to derive the corresponding collateral terms of the same generation (e.g., 'father' > 'uncle', 'grandparent' > 'grandparental sibling')
  • pash- ... -an : 'place in which X is kept'
  • pashi- : generally causative sense (often with Ca-reduplication); 'let X do it' or 'let X have it' (with the accusative forms of personal pronouns)
  • pashi- ... -an : 'put X on' or 'wear X'
  • pat- : generally causative sense
  • pi- : causative verbs of location (can be paired with /i/- 'at, in, on'); may also form non-locative verbs
  • pia- : forms causative verbs (usually have stative counterparts with /ma/-; note that /pa/- and -/um/- are also counterparts.); simulative verb
  • pik- : generally causative sense
  • pin- : generally forms causative verbs or deverbal nouns
  • pish- : 'play X' (musical instruments); inchoative sense (sometimes with an implied element of suddenness); causative sense
  • pu- : causative or transitive counterpart of the movement prefix /mu/-, which is intransitive; 'use an X' or 'put in an X' (with names of some tools); 'send out an X' (with names of plant parts)
  • pu- ... -an : to wear X' (body ornaments)
  • pun- : 'to catch X' (animals used for food)
  • qata- : bodily movement, observation, and the like
  • sha- : directional sense ('facing', etc.)
  • shan-na-Ca- ... : 'it's up to X' (often with pronouns)
  • shau- : 'go to X' or 'arrive at X' (with bases that have an inherently locative sense or temporal sense)
  • shi- : appears to mark past tense (as opposed to the perfective aspect marker -/in/-)
  • shi- : sometimes appears with commands
  • shi-X-X : 'X-ish, somewhat X'
  • shi-X-iz: 'X times'
  • shu- : 'bring X' or 'take X' (with pronominal and deictic bases)
  • tana- : generally directional sense (from Bunun /tana/- 'prefix of direction')
  • tau- : 'to carry X' (with concrete nouns); 'to turn to X' (with bases having a directional meaning)
  • tish- : forms both transitive and intransitive verbs; often refers to results of non-deliberate actions
  • tu-Ca- ... : 'the odor of X'
  • -um- : actor focus infix
  • un- ... -an : 'undesirable bodily conditions or afflictions'; 'figurative extension of a physical affliction'
  • -un : equivalent of -/in/ 'patient focus' (borrowed from Bunun)
  • -wak : 1st person singular actor (apparently distinct from -/ak/)
  • -wan : 'X's turn (to do something)'
  • ya- : only comes after /mapa/- 'reciprocal or collective action'
  • -zan : 'X paces' (used with numerals)
  • kan 'step, walk'
  • lhqa 'live, living'
  • pasaháy 'to use'
  • qalha 'much, many'
  • sa (usually almost impossible to translate in most environments)

East Formosan[edit]


The Kavalan affixes below are from Li (2006:14-24).

  • i-: stative, having to do with location
  • kar-: rapid motion; defective, not perfect
  • ki-, qi-: pluck, pidl
  • kin-: number of humans
  • lu-: flat
  • luq(e)-: bumpy, rough (used with stative verbs)
  • m-, -m-, mu-, -u-, -um-: agent-focus
  • ma-, m-: stative
  • maq-: where from
  • mar-: sine kind of shape
  • mi-: discharge something from the body
  • mri-: settle down; to shrink, huddle up
  • mrim-: a division of (a numeral)
  • nan-: two people (kinship); distributive numeral
  • ni-, n-, -in-, -n-: past, perfective
  • pa-: causative (used with active verbs)
  • pa- -an: agentive
  • pa-ti: personal marker for the dead
  • paq-, paqa-: causative (used with stative verbs)
  • paq-: get on (a boat)
  • pa-qi-: cause to become
  • pat-: make a change
  • pi-: put into, put away; do something to protect a body part; every (time)
  • qa-: immediate future; ride, take (means of transportation)
  • qa- -an: place of/for
  • qaRu-: become, transform into; transformable into
  • qi-: pick, gather, get
  • qna-: nominaizer (used with stative verbs; -an is used with active verbs)
  • Ra-: to transform into
  • Ra-CV-: light color of
  • Ri-: catch, get
  • Ru-: just now; for the first time
  • sa-: have the event (natural phenomena); do, make, produce, have; secrete (body fluid); tool
  • sam-CV-: pretend
  • saqa-: ordinal (numeral)
  • si-: wear, own, possess
  • sia-: go towards (place/direction); go to the side (often euphemistic for urinating/defecating)
  • sim-: reciprocal
  • siqa-: (number of) times
  • smu-: finger
  • sna-: model of, copy of
  • su-: remove; move downwards, upside down, slanting
  • su-CV-: stink or smell of
  • tan-: speak the language
  • taRi-: position, people in such a position
  • ti-: instrumental-focus; to take eacher other (?)
  • ti- (-an): beneficiary-focus
  • tRi-CV(C)- (-an): discharge (body discharge) with control
  • u-: agent-focus; non-human numeral
  • -a: irrealis patient-focus marker
  • -an: locative-focus marker, nominalizer
  • -i: irrealis non-agent-focus imperative
  • -m-, -um-: agent-focus
  • -n-, -in-, ni-: perfective


The following list of Siraya verb affixes is from Adelaar (1997).

  • ni-: past tense
  • ma-, m-, -m-: actor focus / orientation
  • pa-: undergoer focus / orientation
  • mey- ~ pey-: actor- and undergoer-oriented verbs (used with verbs describing a high degree of physical involvement)
  • mu- ~ (p)u-: actor- and undergoer-oriented verbs (used with verbs describing a movement toward something)
  • ma-: stative intransitive verbs; words with no apparent word-class affiliations (precategorials)
  • paka-: causative
  • pa-: transitive (often with causative result
  • ka-: expresses feeling, emotion, sensation (undergoer-oriented verbs and deverbal nouns only)
  • -ən, -an: undergoer focus / orientation
  • -a, -ey, -aw: irrealis
  • -(l)ato: possibly a perfective marker

Like Bunun and many other Formosan languages, Siraya has a rich set of verbal classifier prefixes.

  • mattäy- / pattäy-: "talking, saying"
  • smaki-: "throwing,casting"
  • sau-: "swearing, making an oath"
  • mu-, pu-: movement into a certain direction
  • mey- / pey-: high degree of physical involvement
  • sa-: movement through a narrow place
  • taw-: downward movement, a movement within a confined space


The Puyuma affixes below are from Teng (2008:282-285).

  • ika-: the shape of; forming; shaping
  • ka-: stative marker
  • kara-: collective, to do something together
  • kare-: the number of times
  • ki-: to get something
  • kir-: to go against (voluntarily)
  • kitu-: to become
  • kur-: be exposed to; be together (passively)
  • m-, ma-: actor voice affix/intransitive affix
  • maka-: along; to face against
  • mara-: comparative/superlative marker
  • mar(e)-: reciprocal; plurality of relations
  • mi-: to have; to use
  • mu-: anticausative marker
  • mutu-: to become, to transform into
  • pa-/p-: causative marker
  • pu-: put
  • puka-: ordinal numeral marker
  • piya-: to face a certain direction
  • si-: to pretend to
  • tara-: to use (an instrument), to speak (a language)
  • tinu-: to simulate
  • tua-: to make, to form
  • u-: to go
  • ya-: to belong to; nominalizer
  • -a: perfective marker; numeral classifier
  • -an: nominalizer; collective/plural marker
  • -anay: conveyance voice affix/transitive affix
  • -aw: patient voice affix/transitive affix
  • -ay: locative voice affix/transitive affix
  • -i, -u: imperative transitive marker
  • -in-: perfective marker
  • -em-: actor voice affix/intransitive affix
  • -in-anan: the members of
  • ka- -an: a period of time
  • muri- -an: the way one is doing something; the way something was done
  • sa- -an: people doing things together
  • sa- -enan: people belonging to the same community
  • si- -an: nominalizer
  • Ca- -an, CVCV- -an: collectivity, plurality


The Paiwan affixes below are from the Kulalao dialect unless stated otherwise, and are sourced from Ferrell (1982:15-27).

  • ka-: used as an inchoative marker with some stems; past marker
  • ka- -an: principal, main
  • kaɬa- -an: time/place characterized by something
  • ma-ka-: go past, via; having finished
  • pa-ka-: go/cause to go by way of (something/place)
  • ka-si-: come from
  • ken(e)-: eat, drink, consume
  • ki-: get, obtain
  • ku-: my; I (as agent of non-agent focus verb)
  • ɬa-: belonging to a given [plant/animal] category
  • ɬe-: to go in the direction of
  • ɬia-: (have) come to be in/at
  • li-: have quality of
  • ma-: be affected by, be in condition of (involuntary)
  • mare-: having reciprocal relationship
  • mare-ka-: in some general category
  • maɬe-: number of persons
  • me-: agent marker usually involving change of status (used with certain verbs)
  • mere-: be gigantic, super-
  • mi-: agent marker that is usually intransitive (used with certain verbs)
  • mi- -an: pretend, claim
  • mu-: agent marker (certain verbs)
  • ka-na- -anga: every
  • pa-: to cause to be/occur
  • pe-: emerge, come into view
  • pi-: put in/on; do something to
  • pu-: have or produce; acquire
  • pu- -an: place where something is put or kept
  • ma-pu-: do nothing except ...
  • ra-: having to do with
  • r-m-a-: do at/during
  • r-m-a- -an: do at/in
  • sa-: wish to; go to, in direction of; have odor, quality, flavor of
  • pa-sa-: transfer something to; nearly, be on point of doing
  • ki-sa-: use, utilize, employ
  • na-sa-: perhaps, most likely is
  • san(e)-: construct, work on/in
  • ki-sane(e)-: become/act as; one who acts as
  • ru-: do frequently/habitually; have many of
  • se-: people of (village/nation); have quality of; occur suddenly/unexpectedly/unintentionally
  • s-ar-e-: be in state/condition of (involuntary)
  • si-: be instrument/cause/beneficiary of; instrument focus marker; belonging to certain time in past
  • ma-si-: carry, transport
  • su-: your; you (agent of non-agent focus verb); leave, remove, desist from
  • ki-su-: remove or have removed from oneself
  • ta-: past marker
  • tu-: similar to, like
  • ma-ru-: be dissimilar but of same size
  • tja-: our, we (inclusive); more, to a greater extent, further
  • ki-tja-: take along for use
  • tjaɬa- -an: most, -est
  • tjara-: be definitely
  • tjaɬu-: reach/extend as far as
  • tjari-: furthest, utmost
  • tja-u-: to have just done
  • tje-: choose to do at/from
  • ka-tje- -an: containing
  • tji-: used mainly in plant/animal species names (non-Kulalao frozen affix)
  • tji-a-: be/remain at
  • tju-: do/use separately; be/do at certain place
  • m-uri-: search for
  • -aɬ-, -al-, -ar-: having sound or quality of; involving use of; non-Kulalao
  • -ar-: do indiscriminately, on all sides; non-Kulalao
  • -m-: agent or actor; -n- following /p/, /b/, /v/, /m/; m- before vowel-initial words
  • -in-: perfective marker, action already begun or accomplished, object or product of past action; in- before vowel-initial words
  • -an: specific location in time/space; specific one/type; referent focus
  • -en: object/goal of action; object focus
  • -aw, -ay: projected or intended action, referent focus
  • -u: agent focus (most subordinate clauses); most peremptory imperative
  • -i: object focus (most subordinate clauses); polite imperative
  • -ɬ: things in sequence; groupings; durations of time

The following affixes are from the Tjuabar dialect of Paiwan, spoken in the northwest areas of Paiwan-occupied territory (Comparative Austronesian Dictionary 1995).

  • -aḷ-, -aly- 'tiny things'
  • -in- 'things made from plant roots'
  • -an 'place' (always used with another affix)
  • mar(ə)- 'a pair of' (used for humans only'
  • pu- 'rich'
  • ḳay- 'vegetation'
  • sə- 'inhabitants'
  • cua- 'name of a tribe'
  • -aŋa 'already done'
  • ka- 'to complete'
  • kə- 'to do something oneself'
  • ki- 'to do something to oneself'
  • kisu- 'to get rid of'
  • kicu- 'to do something separately'
  • maCa- 'to do something reciprocally' (where C indicates the initial consonant of the stem)
  • mə- 'to experience, to be something'
  • pa- 'to cause someone to do something'
  • pu- 'to produce, to get something'
  • sa- 'to be willing to do something'
  • calyu- 'to arrive at'
  • ma- 'being'
  • na- 'with the quality of'
  • səcalyi- 'very'
  • ca- 'more than'


Below are some Takivatan Bunun verbal prefixes from De Busser (2009).

Takivatan Bunun verbal prefixes
Type of prefix Neutral Causative Accusative
Movement from mu- pu- ku-
Dynamic event ma- pa- ka-
Stative event ma- / mi- pi- ka- / ki-
Inchoative event min- pin- kin-

In short:

  • Movement from: Cu-
  • Dynamic event: Ca-
  • Stative event: Ci-
  • Inchoative event: Cin-
  • Neutral: mV-
  • Causative: pV-
  • Accusative: kV-

A more complete list of Bunun affixes from De Busser (2009) is given below.

  • agent focus (AF):
  • undergoer focus (UF): -un (also used as a nominalizer)
  • locative focus (LF): -an (also used as a nominalizer)
Tense-aspect-mood (TAM) affixes
  • na- irrealis (futurity, consequence, volition, imperatives). This is also the least bound TAM prefix.
  • -aŋ progressive (progressive aspect, simultaneity, expressing wishes/optative usage
  • -in perfective (completion, resultative meaning, change of state, anteriority)
  • -in- past/resultative (past, past/present contrast
  • -i- past infix which occurs only occasionally
Participant cross-reference
  • -Ø agent
  • -un patient
  • -an locative
  • is- instrumental
  • ki- beneficiary
Locative prefixes
  • Stationary ‘at, in’: i-
  • Itinerary ‘arrive at’: atan-, pan-, pana-
  • Allative ‘to’: mu-, mun-
  • Terminative ‘until’: sau-
  • Directional ‘toward, in the direction of’: tan-, tana-
  • Viative ‘along, following’: malan-
  • Perlative ‘through, into’: tauna-, tuna-, tun-
  • Ablative ‘from’: maisna-, maina-, maisi-, taka-
Event-type prefixes
  • ma- Marks dynamic events
  • ma- Marks stative events
  • mi- Marks stative negative events
  • a- Unproductive stative prefix
  • paŋka- Marks material properties (stative)
  • min- Marks result states (transformational)
  • pain- Participatory; marks group actions
  • pa- causative of dynamic verb
  • pi- causative of stative verb
  • pu- cause to go towards
Classification of events
  • mis- burning events
  • tin- shock events
  • pala- splitting events
  • pasi- separating events
  • kat- grasping events
Patient-incorporating prefixes
  • bit- 'lightning'
  • kun- 'wear'
  • malas- 'speak'
  • maqu- 'use'
  • muda- 'walk'
  • pas- 'spit'
  • qu- 'drink'
  • sa- 'see'
  • tal- 'wash'
  • tapu- 'have trait'
  • tastu- 'belong'
  • taus-/tus- 'give birth'
  • tin- 'harvest'
  • tum- 'drive'
  • pu- verbalizer: 'to hunt for'
  • maqu- verbalizer: 'to use'
  • malas- verbalizer: 'to speak'