-Ki- Notes: The comitative function of the Tagalog Affix maki- and its other features

Presentation Date: 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


29th Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS 29)

29th Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS 29)
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan

The Tagalog affix maki- has been labelled as a social affix (Lopez, 1940), a comitative affix (De Guzman, 1978; Liao 2011), and as a social participative affix (Ramos & Cena, 1990). It often gets relegated to a small section in descriptions of Tagalog grammar, with only a couple of sample sentences to further illustrate its meaning and usage. However, its meaning may not be as transparent as it may seem as evidenced by the differences in various authors’ translations of sentences wherein verbs affixed with maki- are used.

Conditions for the use of this affix should also be reviewed because, while it is a highly productive affix that can be used with a lot of verbs, there are still some limitations to its usage. This can clearly be seen when the affix is applied to semantically-related words in the language. For example, while the words saya ‘happiness’ and iyak ‘cry’ may be affixed with maki-, the words lungkot ‘sadness’ and tangis ‘cry’ may not despite their respective similarities in both grammatical and semantic categories to the previous two words.

The present paper takes another look at the function of the Tagalog affix maki- by attempting to answer two main questions. First, how should the affix maki- be labelled and defined? In answering this question, we also explore the relation of maki- with the “polite imperative” affix paki- which is often associated with maki-, and other related forms, namely makipag- and makipag-...-an. Second, what words can maki- attach to and which words can it not attach to? By reviewing the words that may combine with maki-, we might be able to see specific details within the contexts in which maki- constructions are used, such as how the action denoted by the verb is performed and the relationship of the actors involved.