Word Order: Sentence Structure


The typical phrase order in Globasa is Subject-Verb-Object.


Direct Object Marker

Other than S-V-O, Globasa allows two other options with the subject always preceding the verb: S-O-V and O-S-V.  This flexible phrase order is made possible using the direct object marker el, which essentially functions as a preposition. As illustrated below, el is used with S-O-V and O-S-V, which are typically only used in poetry and song lyrics.

  • Patre mwa matre. - (S-V-O) The father kisses the mother.

  • Patre el matre mwa. - (S-O-V) The father kisses the mother.

  • El matre patre mwa. - (O-S-V) The father kisses the mother.

Note: In ordinary language, the word order O-S-V is allowed within a relative clause with the omission of the direct object marker el

Etymology of el: Korean (을 “eul”)



Globasa uses the verb is (be), known as the copula, for the sole function of linking a noun phrase to the subject.

Since adjectives are also used as verbs, is never links the subject to a predicative adjective phrase. 

Elefan bala.
The elephant is strong.

Maux lile.
The mouse is small.

Uma velosi.
The horse is fast.


The copula is also does not function as a linking word between the subject and a prepositional phrase, as seen in English with its copula be. Instead, Globasa makes use prepositional verbs. See below. 

Prepositional Phrases

Globasa, like most SVO languages, uses prepositions rather postpositions. Prepositional phrases always immediately follow the noun phrases they modify. 


Myaw in sanduku somno.
The cat in the box is sleeping. 

Prepositional phrases that modify verbs enjoy relative free word order. By default, they immediately follow the verb. However, they may be moved anywhere in the sentence. This movement of prepositional phrases may be indicated using commas, as seen below. 

Myaw yam in sanduku maux. 

Myaw, in sanduku, yam maux. 

Myaw yam maux, in sanduku
In sanduku, myaw yam maux. 

The cat eats the mouse in the box. 


Indirect Object

The indirect object is always marked with the preposition cel (to, for). Indirect object phrases, like direct object phrases marked with el, may be moved freely without the need to indicate movement using commas. 

Mi gibe kitabu cel nini.
I give the book to the child. 

Mi gibe cel nini kitabu.

I give the child the book. 

Mi gibe kitabu cel te.
I give the book to her/him.

Mi gibe cel te kitabu.

I give her/him the book.

Mi gibe to cel nini.

I give it to the child. 

Mi gibe to cel te. 

I give it to her/him.

Cel nini mi gibe kitabu. 
To the child I give a book. 

Cel te mi gibe to. 
To her/him I give it. 

Prepositional Verbs


Globasa forms such sentences by turning prepositions into verbs using the suffix -ya


Prepositional verbs may or may not be followed by a noun phrase.

Myaw inya.
The cat is inside. 

As nouns, prepositions that add -ya may form prepositional phrases with fe.

Fe inya, myaw somno.

Inside, the cat is sleeping.

Myaw fe inya somno.

The cat inside is sleeping.

Nouns used in phrasal prepositions may also be used as verbs in the same way as prepositional verbs.

Myaw ruke sanduku. 
The cat is behind the box. 

Myaw ruke.
The cat is in the back. 

Fe ruke, myaw somno.
In the back, the cat is sleeping. 

Myaw fe ruke somno. 
The cat in the back is sleeping.

Myaw fe ruke de sanduku somno.

The cat behind the box is sleeping.


The prepositional verb feya functions as a copula with the question words kuloka (where) and kuwatu (where). 

Myaw feya keloka?
Where is the mouse?

Filme feya kewatu?
When is the movie?

As a result, feya may be used as a copula with all prepositions of place and time as an alternative to turning said preposition into a verb, as described above. 

Myaw feya in sanduku. = Myaw inya sanduku. 
The cat is in the box. 

Filme feya xafe axamli yam. = Filme xafeya* axamli yam. 
The movie is after dinner.

*It is worth noting that the prepositional verbs lefeya and xafeya (as seen in the last sentence above), although correct, are best avoided in favor of feya lefe and feya xafe. The reason for this caveat is that lefeya (is before) and xafeya (is after) would essentially be pronounced in the same way as le feya (was at) and xa feya (will be at). 


The verb hay is used to express there is/are. Phrases in sentences with hay enjoy free word order, as the following examples illustrate.

Hay multi kitabu in kitabudom.
There are many books in the library.

Multi kitabu hay in kitabudom.

There are many books in the library.

In kitabudom hay multi kitabu.

In the library there are many books.

The verb hay is also used in sentences related to atmospheric conditions, such as the following:

Hay barix.
"There is rain."
It's raining. 

Hay garmeya.
"There is heat."
It's warm. 


The conjunction ki introduces a complementizer clause.


In Globasa, word order remains intact in all interrogative sentences.

Yusu name is keto?
"Your name is what?"
What is your name?


Yu kepul?
"You are how?"
How are you?


Parti okur keloka?
"The party happens where?"
Where is the party happening?

Contrastive Particle

Globasa's limitations in word order do not allow moving phrases as a way to indicate contrastive emphasis. Instead, it uses to particle nilalo (nil-alo) to place contrastive emphasis on the phrase that follows it without changing the word order of the sentence. 

Kam mi le oko nilalo yu in parke?
Did I see you at the park?

Was it you I saw at the park?


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