I. Word classes in AkanMost words of Unit 1 belong to one of the following word classes: nouns, verbs, pronouns.
- Nouns are, e.g., agyaá 'father', owuáraà 'Mister, Sir', onuaá 'sibling', edän 'name'. Proper names such as Kwakuá, Abeánaa also count as nouns.
- Verbs are, e.g., frñá 'call', firi 'come from'.
In Unit 1, we encounter the pronoun me which refers to the first person singular 'I, me,my'.
Orthography note: me occurring before a noun with the meaning 'my' is written as a separate word:
Orthography note: me occurring at the beginning of a verb and meaning 'I' is written in one word together with the verb. It is called a personal prefix.
II. The structure of nouns
1. Prefix + stemNouns consist of two parts, a nominal prefix (npr) and anominal stem (nst). For example:
The nominal prefix consists of one of the following
o- (or õ-, depending on vowel harmony)
Some nouns of this class occur without an overt prefix. The prefix in such cases may be considered to be 'zero'. These nouns may be said to have a 0=prefix.
Very often, though not always, the prefix of the singular form and of the plural form of a noun are different:
-> Singular/plural formation (4.4.)
2. Stem + suffixA subclass of nouns denoting humans, mostly serving to identify a person's origin, his or her membership in a group, or his or her function in society, are composed of the nominal stem followed by thenominal suffix -nä:
Some nouns have both a prefix and a suffix:
Note on transcription: In the first units
of this course, the boundaries between stem and prefix or suffix will be
shown by hyphens.