Friday, January 30, 2009


Followings are the principle interrogative words in Apatani:





knii (or nii)



when (future)


when (past)






how (manner, feeling)


how (number)


how (size, amount, quantity)


why e.g, Mo niimpa a’ma ne? [Why did not he come?]


what about {based on the noun or pronoun that precede e.g., No-no? [What about you?] ; Mo-no? [What about him] or Insi-no? [What about that?]}


is/ do/ have/ will/ can etc., based on the noun or the pronoun or the modifier word that precede. eg, Mo ha? [Is it him?]; No mii’chi ha? [Will you do?]; No ngiimi ka’chin du ha? [Do you know (recognize) me?] etc.

-ko dano

what if e.g, Ngo a’ko dano? [What if I come?]

Derived Interrogative Words:

When the principle interrogative words are followed by some markers or words , their meanings get modified and the derived forms of interrogative words are formed, details of which are given below:


English equivalent


who eg, Insi whu a’do?[Who is coming there?]


who (enquiry about someone) e.g, Whuyu momi mii’ne nii?[Who(is the one who) beat him?]


to who or whom e.g, Siika tarii mi whumi bi’kin do? [To who shall this shirt be given?


for who / whom eg, Siika tarii si whupa? [This shirt is for whom?]


whose (interro. pron.) e.g, Si whuka tarii? [Whose shirt is this?]


whose (interro. adj.) e.g, Siika tarii si whukii? [Whose is this (shirt)?]

whuka agin

with who e.g No whuka agin ho du’chi? [With who shall you sit / stay?]


at whose (place) e.g, No whuko ho du’te he? [At whose place did you stay?]


who’s (the particular someone)e.g, Inka hime si whupe? [Who’s that child?]


who’s that or who’s there. Insi whuna? [Who’s that?] or Insi whuna khe’do nii? [Who’s crying there?]


who among (you, they or them) e.g, Nunu whutii a’ba sii? [Who among you did come together?]

whuya pe

who (he, she, you or they) is/are e.g, No whuya pe? [Who are you?(polite way of asking someone of their identity)]

knii ( or nii)

what e.g, No knii mii’du? [What are you doing?]

knii yu

what (enquiry about something) e.g, Insi kniiyu mii’do nii? [What’s happening there?]

knii mi

(to) what e.g, No knii subject mi B.A ho la’to? [What subjects did you take for B.A?]

knii pa/ knii payu

(for) what e.g, Inka ude atan si knii mii’ko payu? [What are those houses for?]

knii ka

(of) what (kind) e.g, Hii knii ka o? [What (kind of) wine is that?]

knii kii

of what e.g, Hiika o hii knii kii? [What is that wine (made) of?]

knii na

What’s (the something that happen) e.g, Niika ala mi knii na mii’bii nenii? [What has happened to your hand?] or Knii na? [What’s the matter?]

knii pe

what’s (the something) e.g, Insi knii pe gu’do nii? [What’s crawling there?]


which e.g, Niih hii niika tarii? [Which is your shirt?]

niih bo

which one e.g, Niih bo hii niika tarii? [Which one is your shirt?]

niih boyu

which one (enquiry) e.g, Niih boyu moka lu’myo niinhii? [Which one is the one reserved by him?]

niih mi

(to) which e.g, No niih mi kaji do? [(to)Which do you like?]

niih pa

(for) which e.g, Niih photo pa no frame me’du? [You are looking frame for which photo?]

niih ka

(of) which e.g, Si niih tarii ka lako? [This button is of which shirt?]

niih kii

(of) which e.g, Siika lako si niih tarii kii? [Which shirt’s button is this?]

niih ho

in/ on/ at which e.g, Niih ude ho no Tallo mi kapa to? [In which house did you saw Tallo?]

niih hokii

from which (place) e.g, Niih dukan hokii no papu rii’bii? [From which shop did you buy egg?]

niih hoka

of which (place) e.g, Siika apu si niih sanii hoka gii’nii? [This flower is of which plant?]

niih hopa

for which e.g, Siika blackboard si niih class hopa? [This blackboard is for which class?]


where e.g, No noh in pa? [Where are you going?]

noh yu

where (enquiry) e.g, Mo noh yu in’ne nii? [Where did he go?]

noh ho

(to) where place) e.g, Noh ho in’pa? [Where are you going?]

noh hoka

(of) where e.g, Inka miyu si noh hoka du’nii na? [Where do that man stays?]

noh hokii

(from) where e.g, Mo noh hokii a’do? [Where is he coming from?]

noh hopa

from where (direction); for where (place) e.g No noh hopa a’du? [From where are you coming?] or Inka abya si noh hopa yu ba’lii giido nii? [That ladder is brought for where?]

noh na

where (place of happening) e.g, Noh na aki pi’do nii? [Where’s the dog barking?]

niida -kin do/ nii dakin do

when will e.g, Molu niida a’kin do? [When will they come?]

niida pa

when one is going to do or for when one is keeping something e.g, Talu homework mi niida mii’pa yu? [When is Talu going to do homework?] or Mo nii dapa yu homework mi atii biido nii? [For when is he keeping his homework?]


when (past) e.g, Mo niido a’ne? [When did he come?]

nii dokii

since when e.g, Mo nii dokii Ziro ho du’du? [Since when she lives in Ziro?]


how (feeling) e.g, No siisi niitan do? [How are you (feeling) now?]

niitan pa

how (manner) e.g, No so niitan pa a? [How did you come here?]


how (numbers) e.g, Niikii pen sone he do? [How many pen do you have?]


how (size/quantity) e.g, Siitii hii niimkane kaye ne? [How large was the elephant?]

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