Htanaw has predominantly SV/AVP word order in both main and subordinate clauses. Pragmatic word order variation is common, as is the drop of arguments. Besides prepositions, Htanaw uses a few postpositions, possibly borrowed from Burmese or local Burmic varieties (Intha, Taungyoe). Inflectional affixes are used for various grammatical functions in both the verbal and the nominal domain.
Tone is mostly lexical with as yet poorly understood interactiuon with prosody. Granmatical tone appaers in a few constructions, such as possessive and locative/oblique expressions, as well as indicating verb classes.
Subordinators appear either in clause initial or clause final position, the relativizer is adjacent to the verb within the relative clause.
Negation is expressed by the prefix lə- on the verb and the suffix -kaʔ, sometimes ʔaʔ. Other verbal categories, including TAM and directionals, are expressed by pre- and suffixes or secondary verbs, which can occur before or after the main verb. Plain verbal predicates, that is, predicates consisting of verbs without overt objects or adverbials in postverbal position, take the optional default verb marker, ʔàʔ for verbs of class 1, ʔáʔ for verbs of class 2.
The pronoun system of Htanaw distinguishes three persons in singular and plural, all expressed by monomorphemic forms. No inclusive/exclusive distinction is found. A general non-definite 3rd person pronoun, going back to a proto-Palaungic word for 'person', is used to refer to unknown people ('they, the others, the people').
The analysis of Htanaw grammar is ongoing. Please visit https://htanawsar.org for updates.