Nouns and verbs share three crucial properties:
- they are always chunkable
- they always begin with a chunk called a base
- they always contain a chunk called an ending
- The word inuit contains the base inu– and the ending –it.
- The word takuvunga contains the base taku– and the ending –vunga.
What makes a noun a noun is that is contains a noun ending. What makes a verb a verb is that is contains a verb ending.
- The word inuit is a noun because it contains the noun ending –it.
- The word takuvunga is a verb because it contains the verb ending –vunga.
Between the base and the ending may be found an option number of postbases. Pronouns and particles cannot be chunked in this way.