Complements (Bakom: raba sek “following word”) are words or phrases that follow verbs or verb phrases within a clause. Both noun phrases and verb phrases may be used as complements.
Noun phrases used as complements are called nominal complements (Bakom: rabanem sek “following noun”), and verb phrases used as complements are called verbal complements (Bakom: rabahan sek “following verb”).
Rabanem sek (nominal complements)
Nominal complements may only follow stative verbs. They serve to specify the meaning of the verb in some way, by indicating degree, location, possession, relationship, or other meanings. These largely depend on the meaning of the verb in question.
Some verbs may stand alone without a nominal complement, for example bo “good”, i li “powerful”, biliw “blue”. These are generally words that indicate comparable qualities; that is, there is an implied “as” in each verb; bo means not just “to be good”, but “to be as good as”, and the same goes for i li or biliw.
Other verbs need a nominal complement in order to make sense , for instance yu “because of”, yo “like”, la “onto/into/at”. These verbs tend to all be translatable with the phrase “to have a certain X”; yu is “to have a certain cause”, yo is “to have a certain likeness”, la is “to have a certain destination”.
Still others either cannot or only very rarely take a nominal complement, for example em “female”, mol “dead”, lal “asleep”. These are generally verbs that indicate (in ordinary circumstances) absolute or non-comparable qualities; you generally wouldn’t say that one person is “more” dead than another, for example.
Here are some examples of nominal complements in sentences:
Si an bo mi.
“You are not as good as me.”
The pronoun mi “I, me” is a complement of bo “to be good”.
We a co pan kenmet.
“The road is five meters wide.”
The noun phrase pan kenmet “five meters” is a complement of co “to have a certain width”.
Ra, si wa be, a ta u.
“The thing you ordered is here.”
The pronoun u “this, here” is the complement of ta “to have a certain location.”
U a yu si.
“This is because of you.”
The pronoun si “you” is the complement of the stative verb yu “to have a certain cause or reason”.
Kay a tam 10(day) in.
“The food is enough for ten people.”
The phrase 10 in “ten people” is the complement of tam “enough, sufficient”.
Belmot a do tu kenwak.
“The film lasts for two hours.”
The phrase tu kenwak “two hours” is the complement of do “to have a certain duration”.
Mat o a biliw hawnat.
“His/her eyes are sky-blue.”
The phrase hawnat “sky” is the complement of biliw “blue”, and serves to specify the meaning of the verb biliw.
Subordinate clauses (clauses with wa or wan) can also be used as nominal complements.
Kay a tam, wa gi e 10 in.
“The food is enough to feed ten people.”
The clause wa gi e 10 in “to give to ten people” is the complement of tam “enough”.
U dok a i li, wa jo gac mol mal no en muy nin delmil lit.
“This poison has the power to kill an elephant with just a few milliliters.”
The clause wa jo gac mol mal no en muy nin delmil lit “to kill an elephant with just a few milliliters” is a complement of i li “strong, powerful, potent”.
Gi sin e o, wa ba ra yo ne, a bo, wa sek, to ne wa cin.
“Letting him/her say such things is as good as agreeing it’s all true.”
The phrase wa sek, to ne wa cin “to follow (agree) that all of it is true” is a complement of bo “good”.
U delkak di nin an kim, wa go la bu.
“This little scrap of land isn’t worth going to war.”
The phrase wa go la bu “to go to war” is a complement of kim “to have a certain worth”.
Rabahan sek (verbal complements)
Verbal complements may follow a stative verb or an active verb. Only stative verbs may be used as complements. They can indicate manner, result, degree, frequency, repetition, or add to the main verb’s meaning in other ways, in a way very similar to adverbs in English.
Here are some examples of verbal complements.
O a han ce bo.
“He/she drives well.”
Bo “good, well” is a complement of han ce “to operate a vehicle, to drive”.
U a bo ri da.
“This is very good.”
The stative verb ri da “very; to be of a great degree” is a complement of bo “good”.
The stative verb ri da is actually itself composed of a verb and a complement, with ri “to be of a certain degree” and da “great, large, big”.
Ya ba nosay.
“Stop speaking.” “Say no more.”
The stative verb nosay “no more, no further, not again” is a complement of ba “to speak”.
Ya gi ne ra e mi.
“Give that to me.”
The phrase e mi “to me” is a complement of gi ne ra “give that”
Da and nin
The words da (“large, great, big”) and nin (“small, little”) are used as complements for many verbs that indicate a measurable quality. Here are some examples:
muy “to be of a certain amount or number”
muy da “many, much”
muy nin “few, little”
ri “to be of a certain degree or extent”
ri da “very, high (of degree)”
ri nin “barely, low (of degree)”
co “to have a certain width”
co da “wide”
co nin “narrow”
gu “to be at a certain distance”
gu da “far”
gu nin “near”
pes “to have a certain weight”
pes da “heavy”
pes nin “light”
lam “to have a certain length/height”
lam da “long/tall”
lam nin “short”
kim “to have a certain worth”
kim da “of great worth, expensive”
kim nin “of little worth, cheap”