Pus vs. pi, for subordination

Sometimes you have alternatives, and they can be meaningful…


Pipus, a treat from Kalimantan (image credit: BorneoRudy)

See what you think of the differences between these two sentences.

  • Ikta nsaika mamuk pi nsaika klatwa kopa sahali ilihi? (page 86)
    what we do and we go to above land
    ‘What do we do and we go to heaven?’ (i.e. so that we can go there)
  • Mamuk hilp naika pus naika ayu mamuk pus naika drit pii ukuk masachi naika mamuk. (page 54)
    make help me so I much do so I really pay those bad I do
    ‘Help me so I labor so that I really pay for those bad things I’ve done.’

Can you sense any difference between the meanings of mamuk pi and mamuk pus

For me, there actually is a distinction there, even though both examples discuss actions done to bring about a further result. 

  • To say Verb pi… (‘do and…’) is to claim that what follows is a guaranteed fact.
    This structure, in actual CW usage, is more typical when you’re telling a string of related events that have already happened.
    (Tinker threw the ball to Evers, and Evers caught it, and he threw it to Chance.)
  • To say Verb pus… (‘do so.that…’) is to explicitly leave unresolved whether what follows necessarily happens.
    This is the structure that’s almost always used when the “outcome” event is seen as an intention rather than as a fact.
    (You make money to survive.)

To a certain extent, you can choose between pi & pus to alter the degree of “reality” that you’re attributing to the outcome situation.

Kata maika tomtom?
What do you think?