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The grammar of verbs in Yusak
This public article was written by nai888, and last updated on 27 Jan 2017, 03:14.

[comments]
3. Nouns
7. Verbs
Menu
1. Verb Structure
2. Polarity
3. Evidentiality
4. Voice
5. Mood
6. Tense
7. Aspect
8. Pronominals
9. Modals
10. Non-Finite Verbs: Infinitives
11. Non-Finite Verbs: Participles
12. Non-Finite Verbs: Gerundives
13. Incorporation
14. Causatives
15. Essives
16. Grammar Table Links

[top]Verb Structure


Verbs are highly inflecting. They are the foundation of every sentence, and indeed can often function as full sentences all on their own. The structure of a fully-conjugated verb is:

[(Polarity)(Evidentiality)(Voice)]-[Modal Verb]-[[Preposition](Possession)Oblique(Declension)]-[[Preposition](Possession)Object(Declension)]-[(Derivational Prefixes)Verb Root/Compound(Derivational Suffixes)]-[[Preposition](Possession)Temporal(Declension)]-[Adverb]-[(Mood)(Tense)(Aspect)]-[(Absolutive Pronominal)(Ergative Pronominal)]

Key:
  • Everything that's green encompasses the verb itself and its own morphology.
  • Everything that's red encompasses any incorporated words.
  • Everything that's bold is (in most cases) required.
  • [Each set of brackets indicates a distinct item or set of fusional morphemes.]-[Each set of brackets is separated by a hyphen for legibility.]
  • (Each set of parentheses indicates distinct information encoded in inflectional morphology.)


[top]Polarity


Verbs can show a negative polarity (NEGNegative (polarity)
not
) to indicate that the verb does not happen. They can also show an affirmative polarity (AFFAffirmative (polarity)
positive, opposite of NEG
), which emphasizes that the verb does happen.

VLOVMAN.
/vlovman/
vlov-man
see-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I see you.

ASVLOVMAN.
/asvlovman/
as-vlov-man
AFFAffirmative (polarity)
positive, opposite of NEG
-see-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I do indeed see you.

IKVLOVMAN.
/ikvlovman/
ik-vlov-man
NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-see-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I do not see you.

[top]Evidentiality


Verbs can indicate the method by which a verb is known to be true.

KRUFLEDVU.
/kɾufledvu/
kruf-led-vu
run-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He is running.

Visual Evidence - VSLVisual evidential (evidential)
'I see that...'

AMKRUFLEDVU.
/amkɾufledvu/
am-kruf-led-vu
VSLVisual evidential (evidential)
'I see that...'
-run-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He is running (I saw it).

Non-Visual Evidence - NVSLNonvisual evidential (evidential)
'I heard/smelled/felt that...'

APKRUFLEDVU.
/apkɾufledvu/
ap-kruf-led-vu
NVSLNonvisual evidential (evidential)
'I heard/smelled/felt that...'
-run-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He is running (I have some sort of non-visual evidence, such as hearing his footsteps).

Inferred - INFRInferential evidential (evidential)
'It was inferred that ...'

AFKRUFLEDVU.
/afkɾufledvu/
af-kruf-led-vu
INFRInferential evidential (evidential)
'It was inferred that ...'
-run-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He is running (I infer it, based on circumstantial evidence, such as his running shoes being gone).

Assumed - ASSAssumptive (mood/evid)
assumed truth

AUKRUFLEDVU.
/aukɾufledvu/
au-kruf-led-vu
ASSAssumptive (mood/evid)
assumed truth
-run-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He is running (I assume it, perhaps because he normally is running at this time of day).

Reported or Hearsay - HSYHearsay evidential (evidential)
'I have heard that...'

ATKRUFLEDVU.
/atkɾufledvu/
at-kruf-led-vu
HSYHearsay evidential (evidential)
'I have heard that...'
-run-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He is running (someone told me).

[top]Voice


Verbs conjugate to signify one of three voices, including the active (ACTActive voice (valency, volition)
the subject acts, voluntarily
), passive (PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
), and antipassive (ANTIPAntipassive voice (valency)
valency is decreased by one
).

The unmarked voice is active, which signifies that the subject is declined to the absolutive as normal. With an intransitive verb, that means that the subject is the absolutive agent.

ALAUNA.
/alauna/
∅-alau-∅-na
ACTActive voice (valency, volition)
the subject acts, voluntarily
-sleep-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I sleep.

With a transitive verb, the agent is declined to the ergative, and the subject is the absolutive patient.

ÐOINÞAN ÞRAAHJUN.
/ðoinθan θɾa:xjun/
∅-ðoin-∅-þan
ACTActive voice (valency, volition)
the subject acts, voluntarily
-eat-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3PThird person plural (person)
neither speaker nor addressee, they/them
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
þraah-jun
berry-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I eat the berries.

When a transitive verb is conjugated to the passive voice, the verb's valency is reduced by one. This eliminates the ergative agent while maintaining that the absolutive is the patient.

EÐOINÞA ÞRAAHJUN.
/eðoinθa θɾa:xjun/
e-ðoin-∅-þa
PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
-eat-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3PThird person plural (person)
neither speaker nor addressee, they/them
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
þraah-jun
berry-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

The berries are eaten.

The agent of a passive sentence can be added back in as an oblique argument.

EÐOINÞA ÞRAAHJUN NAMTA.
/eðoinθa θɾa:xjun namta/
e-ðoin-∅-þa
PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
-eat-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3PThird person plural (person)
neither speaker nor addressee, they/them
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
þraah-jun
berry-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
nam-ta
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
-ANAnimate (gender/class)
alive, moving
.CAUCausal (case)
'because (of)'

The berries are eaten by me.

When a transitive verb is conjugated to the antipassive voice, the verb's valency is reduced by one. This promotes the ergative agent to the absolutive subject and eliminates the patient.

OÐOINNA.
/oðoin:a/
o-ðoin-∅-na
ANTIPAntipassive voice (valency)
valency is decreased by one
-eat-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I eat.

The patient of an antipassive sentence can be added back in as an oblique argument.

OÐOINNA ÞRAAHDUN.
/oðoin:a θɾa:xdun/
o-ðoin-∅-na
ANTIPAntipassive voice (valency)
valency is decreased by one
-eat-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
þraah-dun
berry-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary

*I eat to the berries.

*English does not have an antipassive voice, so any such construction will not translate cleanly into English. English does have a few verbs that act in an ergative-absolutive manner (rather than the normal nominative-accusative) such as “to break”. In the phrase “the window broke”, the object of the intransitive verb is the subject (the absolutive). When transitive, such as “I broke the window”, “I” could be considered an ergative agent. In this situation, an antipassive construction would be “I broke”, signifying that I broke something unnamed (rather than breaking myself). One could indicate “the window” in an oblique argument to clarify what it was that I broke while maintaining myself as the absolutive subject.

[top]Mood


Verbs conjugate to signify one of four moods, including the indicative (INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
), the subjunctive (SBJVSubjunctive mood (mood)
desired or possible events
), the conditional (CONDConditional (mood)
'if'
), and the imperative (IMPImperative (mood)
command
).

The unmarked mood is the indicative, which signifies a factual statement or positive belief.

IVJEBELMA.
/ivjebelma/
ivje-bel-∅-ma
happy-be-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

You are happy.

The subjunctive mood signifies possible or desired events.

IVJEBELVOHMA.
/ivjebelvoxma/
ivje-bel-voh-ma
happy-be-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.SJVSubjunctive (TAM)
hypothetical
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

May you be happy.

The subjunctive mood is often used in compound phrases after verbs conveying wishes or desires.

ŽLUKNA GRI IVJEBELVOHMA.
/ʒlukna gɾi ivjebelvoxma/
žluk-∅-na
hope-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
gri
that
ivje-bel-voh-ma
happy-be-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.SJVSubjunctive (TAM)
hypothetical
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I hope that you are happy.

The conditional mood signifies possible events that are dependent upon another condition.

IVJEBELTIKIMA.
/ivjebeltikima/
ivje-bel-tiki-ma
happy-be-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.CONDConditional (mood)
'if'
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

You would be happy.

The conditional mood is often paired with the subjunctive to indicate what that dependent condition is.

IVJEBELTIKIMA KI PRIKOŽVOHNA.
/ivjebeltikima ki pɾikoʒvoxna/
ivje-bel-tiki-ma
happy-be-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.CONDConditional (mood)
'if'
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
ki
if
prikož-voh-na
arrive-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.SJVSubjunctive (TAM)
hypothetical
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

You would be happy if I were to arrive.

The imperative mood signifies commands. Intransitive verbs in the imperative mood drop all pronominal endings, and the addressee is assumed to be the intended absolutive argument.

IVJEBELKEE.
/ivjebelke:/
ivje-bel-kee
happy-be-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.IMPImperative (mood)
command
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)

Be happy.

The intended absolutive argument can be clarified using the vocative.

IVJEBELKEE DREVVY.
/ivjebelke: dɾev:y/
ivje-bel-kee
happy-be-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.IMPImperative (mood)
command
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
drev-vy
cat-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.VOCVocative (case)
'O [addressee]'

Be happy, O cat.

A transitive verb in the imperative mood drops the ergative pronominal ending, and the addressee is assumed to be the intended ergative agent. Again, the intended ergative argument can be clarified using the vocative.

ÐOINKEEV DREVVY.
/ðoinke:v dɾev:y/
ðoin-kee-v
eat-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.IMPImperative (mood)
command
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
drev-vy
cat-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.VOCVocative (case)
'O [addressee]'

Eat it, O cat.

[top]Tense


Verbs conjugate to signify one of three tenses, including the present (PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
), the past (PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
), and the future (FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
).

The unmarked tense is the present, which signifies current events.

DREULNAV.
/dɾeulnav/
dreul-∅-nav
teach-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

She teaches me.

The past tense signifies events that have already taken place.

DREULPENAV.
/dɾeulpenav/
dreul-pe-nav
teach-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

She taught me.

The future tense signifies events that have not yet taken place.

DREULŠELNAV.
/dɾeulʃelnav/
dreul-šel-nav
teach-FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

She will teach me.

[top]Aspect


Verbs conjugate to one of four aspects, including the simple (SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
), the retrospective (RETRetrospective (aspect)
perfect; have verb-ed
), the progressive (PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
), and the prospective (PROSPProspective (aspect)
going to
).

The unmarked aspect is the simple.

GWIRINŽO.
/gwiɾinʒo/
gwirin-∅-žo
leave-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-1PIFirst person plural inclusive (person)
we (inclusive)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

We leave.

The retrospective signifies actions that occurred earlier than the time under consideration, but with continuing relevance.

GWIRINLIGŽO.
/gwiɾinligʒo/
gwirin-lig-žo
leave-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.RETRetrospective (aspect)
perfect; have verb-ed
-1PIFirst person plural inclusive (person)
we (inclusive)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

We have left.

The progressive signifies ongoing actions.

GWIRINLEDŽO.
/gwiɾinledʒo/
gwirin-led-žo
leave-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-1PIFirst person plural inclusive (person)
we (inclusive)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

We are leaving.

The prospective signifies events that occur after the time under consideration but already have relevance.

GWIRINLENŽO.
/gwiɾinlenʒo/
gwirin-len-žo
leave-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROSPProspective (aspect)
going to
-1PIFirst person plural inclusive (person)
we (inclusive)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

We are going to leave.

[top]Pronominals


Verbs conjugate to show the person and number of both the ergative and absolutive nouns. Some of the pronominal endings are agglutinative, but others are fusional. View the full inflectional chart to see all possible endings.

Intransitive Verbs
Verbs with only one argument (whether naturally intransitive, or made so through a change in voice or noun incorporation) will always have an absolutive pronominal that agrees with the subject of the verb.

TREIÞA.
/tɾeiθa/
Trei-þa
come-3PThird person plural (person)
neither speaker nor addressee, they/them
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

They come.

TRIEGRUUÐNA.
/tɾiegɾu:ðna/
trie-gruuð-na
dog-hear-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I hear the dog.

Transitive Verbs
Transitive verbs have two arguments, and will conjugate to include a pronominal that matches both the absolutive subject and the ergative agent.

GRUUÐVEŽ.
/gɾu:ðveʒ/
gruuð-vež
hear-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1PIFirst person plural inclusive (person)
we (inclusive)
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

We hear him.

Pro-Drop
Since verbs conjugate to agree with both the subject and object of a sentence, Yusak is very largely a pro-drop language, meaning that the subject and object (both ergative and absolutive) can be omitted from a sentence if they are known.

GRUUÐRAŠ.
/gɾu:ðɾaʃ/
gruuð-raš
hear-2PSecond person plural (person)
addressee (plural)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1PEFirst person plural exclusive (person)
we (exclusive)
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

We hear you all.

The subject and object can be added back into the sentence to clarify or emphasize the specific nouns involved.

GRUUÐVUK VUSSA ANTRIE.
/gɾu:ðvuk vus:a antɾie/
gruuð-vuk
hear-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
vus-sa
3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
an-trie-∅
my-dog-ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He hears my dog.

[top]Modals


Yusak has several modal verbs that signify concepts such as "should", "must", "might", "need", etc. These modal verbs are often compounded with the verb they are modifying.

ŽOIDYHJAHNA.
/ʒoidyɕjaxna/
žoid-yhjah-na
want-escape-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I want to escape.

If they are not compounded, then the modal verb is conjugated while the verb it modifies remains in the infinitive.

ŽOIDNA YHJAHDA.
/ʒoidna yɕjaxda/
žoid-na
want-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
yhjah-da
escape-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb

I want to escape.

In rare instances, compounding can create a vowel combination that doesn't make sense or is confusing. In this case, a hyphen can be used to separate the compounds to clarify pronunciation and meaning.

ERJI-IIŠUNMAN.
Erji-iišunman.
/eɾji.i:ʃunman/
erji-iišun-man
can-help-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I can help you.

Alternatively, again, one could separate the phrase into two words, which would also clarify pronunciation.

ERJINA IIŠUNDAM.
/eɾjina i:ʃundam/
erji-na
can-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
iišun-da-m
help-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I can help you.

[top]Non-Finite Verbs: Infinitives


All verb infinitives end with -da. The infinitive, which is the dictionary form of the verb, means “to [verb]” and signifies the action itself. When a verb is conjugated, this infinitive ending is dropped before any suffixes are attached.

ITTOUÐDA
/it:ouðda/
ittouð-da
pretend-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb

To pretend

ITTOUÐNA
/it:ouðna/
ittouð-na
pretend-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I pretend.

In some cases, a transitive infinitive verb can be conjugated to show the absolutive object.

IIŠUNDAM
/i:ʃundam/
Iišun-da-m
pretend-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

To help you

ERJINA IIŠUNDAM.
/eɾjina i:ʃundam/
erji-na
can-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
iišun-da-m
help-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I can help you.

When the action of a verb itself is the argument of another verb, the infinitive should be used (cf. English, which uses a gerund formation). In this form, the infinitive verb is treated as though it were a singular abstract noun, and so the conjugated verb takes the 3rd person singular absolutive pronominal.

AGJEVUN OIRODA.
/agjevun oiɾoda/
agje-vun
enjoy-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
oiro-da
sing-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb

I enjoy singing.

[top]Non-Finite Verbs: Participles


Participles are the main method of forming restrictive relative phrases. Relative pronouns exist for more complex relative clause construction, but in many cases participles are sufficient.

TRIANJY KRUFDOR
/tɾianjy kɾufdoɾ/
trian-jy
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
kruf-dor
run-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb

The running man/the man who runs

The suffix to form a participle is added after any other mood/tense/aspect suffix, which means that many participle constructions are possible.

TRIANJY KRUFLEDDOR
/tɾianjy kɾufled:oɾ/
trian-jy
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
kruf-led-dor
run-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb

The running man/the man who is running

TRIANJY KRUFPJENDOR
/tɾianjy kɾufpjendoɾ/
trian-jy
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
kruf-pif-dor
run-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROSPProspective (aspect)
going to
-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb

The was-going-to-run man/the man who was going to run

Transitive verbs that are conjugated to a participle formation generally must reduce their valency by incorporating their object.

TRIANJY TRIEKLAGPEDOR
/tɾianjy tɾieklagpedoɾ/
trian-jy
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
trie-klag-pe-dor
dog-kick-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb

The man who kicked a dog

If a verb is unable to incorporate its object, then usually a relative pronoun must be used to construct the relative clause.

TRIANJY TEL KLAGPEVUK TRIEJY KRUFPURDOR
/tɾianjy tel klagpevuk tɾiejy kɾufpuɾdoɾ/
trian-jy
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
tel
restrictive.PNPronoun
klag-pe-vuk
kick-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
trei-jy
dog-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
kruf-pur-dor
run-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb

The man who kicked the running dog/the man who kicked the dog that was running

Participles can also be inflected to show a change in voice, polarity, and evidentiality, just like finite verbs.

TRIANJY MIKTRIEKLAGPEDOR
/tɾianjy miktɾieklagpedoɾ/
trian-jy
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
mik-trie-klag-pe-dor
ACTActive voice (valency, volition)
the subject acts, voluntarily
.NEGNegative (polarity)
not
.VSLVisual evidential (evidential)
'I see that...'
-dog-kick-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb

The man who did not kick a dog (I visually saw this to be true)

TRIANJY TOSKLAGŠEENDOR
/tɾianjy tosklagʃe:ndoɾ/
trian-jy
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
tos-klag-šeen-dor
ANTIPAntipassive voice (valency)
valency is decreased by one
.AFFAffirmative (polarity)
positive, opposite of NEG
.HSYHearsay evidential (evidential)
'I have heard that...'
-kick-FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROSPProspective (aspect)
going to
-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb

The man who will indeed be about to kick (so I hear)

TRIEJY WEKLAGŠELDOR
/tɾiejy weklagʃeldoɾ/
trie-jy
dog-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
we-klag-šel-dor
PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
.ASSAssumptive (mood/evid)
assumed truth
-kick-FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb

The dog that (I assume) will be kicked

Participles decline just like adjectives to match their referent's animacy, number, and case.

KLAGPENAV TRIANSY KRUFDORSAT.
/klagpenav tɾiansy kɾufdoɾsat/
klag-pe-nav
kick-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
trian-sy
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
kruf-dor-sat
run-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-ANAnimate (gender/class)
alive, moving
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

The man who runs kicked me.

Just like adjectives, participles can stand in as a noun on their own when the referent is known.

TOHSUKOIŠELVUN GORLEDDORJU.
/toxsukoiʃelvun goɾled:oɾju/
toh-sukoi-šel-vun
tree-save-FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
gor-led-dor-ju
die-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
.DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
TR argument

I will tree-save the dying (one)/I will save the dying tree.

[top]Non-Finite Verbs: Gerundives


Gerundives allow a verb to be used as an adverb, modifying the action of another verb in the same phrase.

GURAIZPEVUN ANKEGYV PRIKOŽLJA.
/guɾaizpevun ankegyv pɾikoʒlja/
guraiz-pe-vun
suppress-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
an-kegyv-∅
my-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
prikož-lja
arrive-GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite

Arriving, I suppressed my fear.

When a transitive verb is conjugated into a gerundive, the verb often incorporates its object.

GURAIZPEVUN ANKEGYV DREVPILEKKYHLJA.
/guɾaizpevun ankegyv dɾevpilek:yɕlja/
guraiz-pe-vun
suppress-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
an-kegyv-∅
my-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
drevpil-ekkyh-lja
kitten-smell_like-GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite

Smelling like a kitten, I suppressed my fear.

If the object is not incorporated, the gerundive takes an absolutive pronominal to match its object.

GURAIZPEVUN ANKEGYV EKKYHLJAV DREVPIL.
/guɾaizpevun ankegyv ek:yɕljav dɾevpil/
guraiz-pe-vun
suppress-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
an-kegyv-∅
my-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
ekkyh-lja-v
smell_like-GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
drevpil-∅
kitten-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

Smelling like a kitten, I suppressed my fear.

There are several gerundive forms to match various tense/aspect combinations.

GURAIZPEVUN ANKEGYV DREVPILEKKYHŠELJA.
/guɾaizpevun ankegyv dɾevpilek:yɕʃelja/
guraiz-pe-vun
suppress-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
an-kegyv-∅
my-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
drevpil-ekkyh-šelja
kitten-smell_like-FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite

About to smell like a kitten, I suppressed my fear.

GURAIZPEVUN ANKEGYV DREVPILEKKYHPULJA.
/guɾaizpevun ankegyv dɾevpilek:yɕpulja/
guraiz-pe-vun
suppress-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
an-kegyv-∅
my-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
drevpil-ekkyh-pulja
kitten-smell_like-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing

Having been smelling like a kitten, I suppressed my fear.

Just like participles, gerundives can inflect to indicate any combination of voices, polarities, and evidentials.

GURAIZPEVUN ANKEGYV MESKLAGŠELJA.
/guɾaizpevun ankegyv mesklagʃelja/
guraiz-pe-vun
suppress-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
an-kegyv-∅
my-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
mes-klag-šelja
PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
.AFFAffirmative (polarity)
positive, opposite of NEG
.VSLVisual evidential (evidential)
'I see that...'
-kick-FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite

About to be kicked (I saw evidence), I suppressed my fear.

GURAIZPEVUN ANKEGYV OKKLAGPELJA.
/guɾaizpevun ankegyv ok:lagpelja/
guraiz-pe-vun
suppress-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
an-kegyv-∅
my-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
ok-klag-pelja
ANTIPAntipassive voice (valency)
valency is decreased by one
.NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-kick-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite

Having not kicked/not having kicked, I suppressed my fear.

When Not to Use Gerundives

The gerundive should not be used as an adjective. If the verb is a more permanent trait of the noun, then in most cases, the verb stem should be compounded with the noun it is modifying.

OIROBRAALJY
/oiɾobɾa:ljy/
oiro-braal-jy
sing-bird-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

The singing-bird (i.e. the bird that is used for singing)

On the other hand, if the verb is merely describing the noun, a participle should be used.

BRAALJY OIRODOR
/bɾa:ljy oiɾodoɾ/
braal-jy
bird-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
oiro-dor
sing-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb

The singing bird/the bird that sings

The gerund also should not be used as a noun; rather, the verb infinitive should be used.

AGJEVUN OIRODA.
/agjevun oiɾoda/
agje-vun
enjoy-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
oiro-da
sing-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb

I enjoy singing.

[top]Incorporation


The simplest way to present the object of a transitive verb is to state the noun separate from the verb and fully decline it.

VLOVVUN ÞRAAH.
/vlov:un θɾa:x/
vlov-vun
see-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
þraah-∅
berry-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I see a berry.

Verbs are also able to incorporate nouns. When this happens, the noun is compounded with the verb in order to change its meaning or syntactics. There are four types of noun incorporation.

Type I Noun Incorporation (Compounding)

In Type I incorporation, the incorporated noun narrows the scope of the verb. An English example would be the verb “to pickpocket” (to steal from someone's person) which has a narrower meaning than “to pick pockets” (to take things out of pockets). A non-English example would be to use “to tree-chop” as a verb to mean “to chop wood”. This compounding can also create a slightly changed meaning. An English example would be the verb “to cherry-pick” (to pick out the best or most desirable items from a group, especially to obtain an advantage or present something in the best possible light) which has a different meaning than “to pick cherries”.

ÐOINDA ÞEUM
/ðoinda θeum/
ðoin-da
eat-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb
þeum-∅
family-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

To eat a family

ÞEUMÐOINDA
/θeumðoinda/
þeum-ðoin-da
family-eat-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb

To eat a family meal

Taken literally, þeumðoinda would mean “to eat (a) family”, but taken as Type I noun incorporation it idiomatically means “to eat with family” or “to eat a family meal”.

Type II Noun Incorporation

Incorporating the noun allows an oblique to be promoted.

KLAGPEVUN DETOM ŽANMA.
/klagpevun detom ʒanma/
klag-pe-vun
kick-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
detom-∅
hand-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
Žan-ma
John-GENGenitive (case)
possessive

I kicked John's hand.

DETOMKLAGPEVUN ŽAN.
/detomklagpevun ʒan/
detom-klag-pe-vun
hand-kick-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
Žan-∅
John-ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I hand-kicked John.

In the second example, the underlying meaning of the phrase is still “I kicked John's hand”, but by incorporating the object “hand”, John was promoted from the oblique genitive case to the subject/direct object absolutive case.

Type III Noun Incorporation

Established nouns can be incorporated in order to demote them or lower them to the background of discourse. For example, if a noun is introduced into conversation in a sentence such as “This is the first time that a whale has come this close to the harbor”, later verbs can incorporate the noun (whale) as established information in order to send it to the background, e.g. “They whale-attacked” (i.e. they attacked the whale).

VLOVPEÞAŠ ÞRAAHJON OGDOJUT.
/vlovpeθaʃ θɾa:xjon ogdojut/
vlov-þaš
see-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3PThird person plural (person)
neither speaker nor addressee, they/them
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1PEFirst person plural exclusive (person)
we (exclusive)
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
þraah-jon
berry-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
ogdo-jut
many-INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
TR argument

We saw many berries.

ÞRAAHÐOINPEŠA.
/θɾa:xðoinpeʃa/
þraah-ðoin-pe-ša
berry-eat-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-1PEFirst person plural exclusive (person)
we (exclusive)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

We berry-ate/We ate berries.

In the second example, the berries were incorporated into the verb, which focuses the statement more on the action of eating the berries than it does on the berries being eaten.

Valency Changes

Types I–III noun incorporation reduce the valency of the verb by one. Verbs cannot incorporate their agent, which means that only transitive verbs can incorporate nouns in any of the first three types. However, when this is done, another fully-inflected word can be added back into the sentence to supply additional information about the incorporated noun, and the valency reduction is negated.

ÞRAAHÐOINPEÞAŠ ZOÞŽLYJUT.
/θɾa:xðoinpeθaʃ zoθʒlyjut/
þraah-ðoin-pe-þaš
berry-eat-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3PThird person plural (person)
neither speaker nor addressee, they/them
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1PEFirst person plural exclusive (person)
we (exclusive)
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
zoþ-žly-jut
COMPComparative
e.g. 'better'
-blue-INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
TR argument

We berry-ate the bluer (ones)/We ate the bluer berries.

ÞEUMŽAARPEVUN ANKJAU.
/θeumʒa:ɾpevun ankjau/
þeum-žaar-pe-vun
family-meet-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
an-kjau-∅
my-brother-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I family-met my brother/I met a family member, my brother.

Type IV Noun Incorporation

In most cases, verbs incorporate their direct object. In Type IV noun incorporation, however, nouns in other semantic roles are incorporated to further clarify the action of the verb.

KEMYYÐUŽAARPEVUN.
/kemy:ðuʒa:ɾpevun/
kemyy-ðu-žaar-pe-vun
church-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.LATLative (case)
movement
-meet-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I met him at the church.

Type IV noun incorporation can be combined with the first three, such that a verb can have multiple incorporated nouns.

KEMYYÐUÞRAAHÐOINPENA.
/kemy:ðuθɾa:xðoinpena/
kemyy-ðu-þraah-ðoin-pe-na
church-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.LATLative (case)
movement
-berry-eat-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I at-the-church-berry-ate/I ate berries at the church.

Temporal Incorporation

Verbs can also incorporate temporals to give information about when an action takes place. Temporals could be one of several different parts of speech.

PRIKOŽGROIDRYVŠELVU.
/pɾikoʒgɾoidɾyvʃelvu/
prikož-groidryv-šel-vu
arrive-tomorrow-FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He will arrive tomorrow.

PRIKOŽŠALJAŠELVU.
/pɾikoʒʃaljaʃelvu/
prikož-šalja-šel-vu
arrive-Sunday-FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He will arrive on Sunday.

Verbs cannot incorporate statements of clock time.

PRIKOŽŠELVU AROVJIN DIF JE FRIA.
/pɾikoʒʃelvu aɾovjin dif je fɾia/
prikož-šel-vu
arrive-FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
arov-ðin
hour-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc
dif
seven
je
and
fria
three

He will arrive at 7:03.

Adverb Incorporation

Verbs can also incorporate adverbs to further clarify the action of a verb.

KRUFŽREWAKNA.
/kɾufʒɾewakna/
kruf-žrewak-na
run-quickly-PRESPresent Tense (tense)
current
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I run quickly.

Prepositions and Incorporation

Some noun incorporation can include prepositions. However, when incorporated within the verb, they appear after the word they modify as a postposition.

PRIKOŽŠALJAFAASŠELVU.
/pɾikoʒʃaljafa:sʃelvu/
prikož-šalja-faas-šel-vu
arrive-Sunday-before-FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He will arrive before Sunday.

KEMYYÐUONŽIŽAARPEVUN.
/kemy:ðuonʒiʒa:ɾpevun/
kemyy-ðu-onži-žaar-pe-vun
church-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.LATLative (case)
movement
-before-meet-PASTPast Tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.SMPLSimple (class)
a simple form (cf. compound form, eg. phrasal verb)
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I met him in front of the church.

[top]Causatives


One of the many derivational affixes in Yusak is a causative, which changes the meaning of the verb to “to cause to [verb]”. When this causative suffix is used, the causer always becomes the new agent (ergative).
  • If the verb was intransitive, the previous agent becomes the direct object.
  • If the verb was transitive, the previous agent becomes the direct object and the previous direct object becomes the indirect object.
  • If the verb was polytransitive, the previous agent becomes the direct object, and the previous direct object still becomes the indirect object but must appear immediately after the verb to avoid confusion with any other oblique arguments.


[top]Essives


There are three verbs in Yusak that mean “to be”: belda, gaaforda, and neehda. Each has its own distinct meaning and usage.
  • Belda is used to indicate a state or quality of being. For example, ivjebelna means “I am happy”.
  • Gaaforda is used to indicate a location. In many cases, it could be translated as “to be located” rather than just “to be”. For example, gaaforna fiuðu means “I am on the rock”.
  • Neehda is used to indicate existence. In many cases, it could be translates as “to exist” rather than just “to be”. For example, neehna means “I am” or “I exist”. The phrase neehvu fiu šonjot eemalðu means “there is a big rock in the garden”, whereas gaaforvu fiu šonjot eemalðu means “a big rock is in the garden”; the first signifies existence, the second signifies location. The first could alternatively be translated to “there exists a big rock in the garden”, while the second could be translated to “a big rock is located in the garden”.


[top]Grammar Table Links


For details on verb conjugation, view the grammar tables for verb prefixes (voice, polarity, and evidentiality), verb suffixes (indicative mood), verb suffixes (subjunctive mood), verb suffixes (conditional mood), verb suffixes (imperative mood), verb suffixes (pronominals), verb suffixes (imperative mood and infinitive pronominals), and verb participles.
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