Wednesday, January 2, 2008


In the Chamorro language, there really isn't much use for an indefinite artcle in conversation. However, when used it is actually gender neutral as such articles were not present prior to Spanish colonization. In any case the article un is used to identify an object if necessary:

un lata = a can
un palao'an = a woman
un peskadot = a fisherman

In Spanish, there would be the distinction between genders in using un, una, unos, unas, etc.

Definite articles in Chamorro are also limited to i, si, and as. The placement of i before most nouns and verbs and depending upon placement within the sentence, it can affect the spelling of the following word.

uchan = rain
i ichan = the rain

guma siha = houses
i gima siha = the houses

Si is commonly used in reference to people and placed in front of names:

Si Teresita = Teresita
Si Raina = The Queen
Si Yu'us = God

As is typically used before names of places or things and can sometimes be used in referring to someone in the third person for describing a specific characteristic:

As Tapochau (name of a mountain)
I kaduka as Ana = Ana "the idiot"
I chelu-mu as Ton = Your brother Tony

As can also be used in identifying authorship i.e.:

Written by Juan Babauta
Tinige' as Juan Babauta

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