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Girekian Morphology Part 2: Verbs
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conjugation, negation, and magic (!)
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 5 May 2020, 14:02.

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Menu 1. Introduction 2. Infinitives 3. Conjugation 4. Passivity 5. Negation 6. Optative ("Magical") Verbs 7. Dynamic vs Stative Verb Phrases
[edit] [top]Introduction

Welcome to the second lesson in  Girekian grammar, where I'll dive into the wonderful world of verbs. See the previous article, Girekian Morphology Part 1: Nouns, to learn about nouns, pronouns, and articles... and its complement Girekian Morphology Part 3: Adjectives. Future grammar articles will cover interjections, numbers, and derivational morphology, and I'll also be adding syntax articles. Ok, back to verbs:

All  Girekian verbs have a root, which is also their infinitive form. It is not only legal but incredibly common for any other part of speech to be used as the infinitive form of a verb. There are many examples of this, like the noun bumul illness which is also used as the verb to be sick, the adjective tolet late which is also used as to be late, and the preposition mo on [top of] which is also used as to be on [top of] or to get on[to]. There are two situations in which a verb may be used in its infinitive form, outside of these situations they must be conjugated in order to distinguish them as verbs, otherwise their default interpretation is as nouns/adjectives/prepositions. Verbs are conjugated for animacy, tense, and aspect, as well as definiteness in future tenses.

[edit] [top]Infinitives

One way infinitives may be (legally) used is with another (conjugated) verb, as in mäno'am batabatmä je hafo qyn people walk to relieve stress. In this example, batabat to walk is the primary verb and is conjugated, while hafo relieve is left in its infinitive form. When using infinitives in this way, the conjunction je must be paired directly with the infinitive verb. In this construction je translates as to or in order to. In situations like this one where the verb is strictly transitive there must be a direct object linked to the verb, otherwise the infinitive reverts back to its default part of speech. If written as mäno'am batabatmä je hafo this sentence would be interpreted as people walk for relief. Removing je altogether will also force the infinitive back into whatever other part of speech it normally occupies. For example, 'a cæfmä je ræk is you need to think while 'a cæfmä ræk is you need thought, a similar sentence with a different meaning.

An infinitive may only be separated from the conjugated verb by prepositional phrases (or other infinitives, we'll get to that in a minute). In English it is common to insert subordinate clauses, usually with the use of commas.  Girekian relies on syntax rather than punctuation, so it is important not to put too much grammatical distance between the conjugated verb and its bonded infinitive to prevent the infinitive from being mistaken for some other part of speech. The actual wording and placement of subordinate clauses varies but that is a topic that will be covered in a syntax-specific article.

▼ Click for an example with more explanation.


Infinitives are also combined with either first person plural or second person pronouns to create imperative statements. (There are some poetic situations where it's not strictly illegal to talk to oneself using imperative form with the first person singular pronoun, but this is not part of normal grammar.) The phrase batabat 'a translates simply as the command walk ("Walk, you!"). When used with a first person plural pronoun, the imperative form can be translated into English as "let's [verb]". So batabat 'a zo 'ironaky is walk [you] to the marketplace while batabat bam zo 'ironaky is let's walk to the marketplace.

▼ Click for a tiny bit of syntax...


The two forms (conjugated+infinitive and infinitive+pronoun) may be combined, which is the only other acceptable way to put additional space between a conjugated verb and its bonded infinitive. For example, catmä batabat bam zo 'ironaky je tæmybi xæmo would translate as quickly, let's walk to the marketplace to get fruit. There are three verbs here: cat to be quick/to move quickly, batabat to walk, and tæmybi to get/to retrieve. The conjugated verb cat is bonded with both the imperative verb batabat and the infinitive verb tæmybi.

[edit] [top]Conjugation

The primary factor in verbal conjugation is the level of animacy of the grammatical subject. There are four levels of animacy in  Girekian grammar, each represented by a suffix. The first level is inanimate and applies to wa-class nouns. The word wa represents the elements, and the inanimate suffix (-ma) is used for physical objects as well as abstracts (feelings, ideas, locations, etc). There are some exceptions when it comes to the matter of magical or divine concepts, so depending on the context certain abstracts like inspiration, dreams, and persuasion may not fall into this category. The are the element users, those who consume the elements for their own use, and the animate suffix (-ku) applies to plants, animals, and “lower life forms” (bacteria, “unevolved” humanoid species, etc). The intelligent life suffix (-mä) applies to “people” or human-like and other highly-evolved species (considered magic users) that fall into the rowe class, having developed one step beyond simply using the elements onto creating or reforming them. The final category is the wejer class, marked with the divine suffix (-er) which includes celestial objects (stars, planets, etc), gods, and anything else considered supernatural or preternatural (aka magic).

Tense, aspect, remoteness (past), and definiteness (future) suffixes are fusional (written hereafter as tense+). Simple present tense is unmarked, other tense+ suffixes are added after the animacy suffix. Certain combinations will omit duplicate or redundant sounds. For example, rowe class + definite future tense = -mäna (rather than -mäjina).

To see how  Girekian verbs conjugate, check out this grammar table!

Note:
The near past and distant past tense+ suffixes are typically only used for emphasis or clarification. It is most common to use the general past tense+ unless extra specificity is needed. There are no hard rules about what qualifies as "near" or "distant" past.

[edit] [top]Passivity

Verbs are typically inflected by the grammatical subject, not necessarily the agent. The auxiliary xyn is added directly before the verb to create passive voice in situations where the subject of the clause is the verbal patient. Take the sentence notœ bumäro ketojomy I hit a fencepost. Including the conjunction zytol changes the patient of the sentence but not the agent, so notœ bumäro zytol ketojomy translates to I hit [some person or object not mentioned in this sentence] with a fencepost. The addition of the auxiliary in notœ xyn bumäro zytol ketojomy turns this sentence into I was hit with/by a fencepost. The auxiliary is never inflected, and the verb to which it is linked must still follow all grammatical rules.

[edit] [top]Negation

Negation of a verb is also via suffix (-jum) and is added after animacy and tense+ suffixes. Suffixing the verb negates the verb directly. The negative -jum may also be detached from the verb and placed as a particle elsewhere in the clause, which does affect the meaning of the clause (more on that when we get to syntax). Multiplying negatives (including the particle, the verbal suffix, and syntactic negatives) are legal and act as intensifiers. Double and triple negatives are fairly common. Multiple negatives, especially double negatives, are used to distinguish between what is considered “active” and “inactive” negatives. Triple (and further multiplied) negatives are most often for emphasis.

Active vs Inactive Negatives
There is a distinction between active negatives (where the verb is considered positive/active) and inactive negatives (where the verb itself is negated/inactive). A good example of this distinction is notœ memä 'en I see nothing (I am actively looking, and what I see is nothingness/empty space) vs notœ memäjum 'en I do not see nothing (I can not see, and therefore what is in my vision is nothingness). Another common active/inactive difference would be the typical response to an offer:

Offer: ?'a cæcomä låz? ?'a cæcomä låz? Do you want this?
Active Response: .notœ cæcomä jum låz. .notœ cæcomä jum låz. I want not that. (I want something other than that.)
Inactive Response: .notœ cæcomäjum jum låz. .notœ cæcomäjum jum låz. I do not want not that. (I do not want at all, and I do not want that.)

▼ Click for some other examples of negation.


[edit] [top]Optative ("Magical") Verbs

The rare and special optative mood is used only with the intention to do magic, or in religious and poetic texts (typically with magical intent/background). It is the only time  Girekian inflection involves prefixes instead of suffixes, with the prefix zyte- used to make these magical verbs. The cultural understanding is that only a certain enlightened few are actually capable of wielding true supernatural magic, so this isn’t used in common speech. Most would only know of it by reading religious texts, and would never use it or hear it used in real and regular life. The optative prefix would be used in chants, spells, or curses to will something into or out of existence or to force a change in circumstance. For example, 'a zytememäna could be translated as through magic you will see and would allow a blind person to regain sight (if spoken by someone who knew what they were doing).

[edit] [top]Dynamic vs Stative Verb Phrases

 Girekian grammar often includes the conjugation of words that would otherwise be nouns, adjectives, prepositions, and what would in other languages be considered adverbs. Whether these are in fact transformed into verbs depends on whether they are dynamic (used to describe what someone/something is doing or how someone/something is acting) or stative (used to describe someone’s/something’s existence or state of being).

For example the word mo on is typically considered a preposition, as in ho ma mo la nywe it is on the ground, where something is considered to be in a specific unchanging state. Saying mo 'a la nywe get on the ground uses mo as a verb get on [to] in its imperative form. Likewise 'a momä batiktœ you are on my foot uses mo as a verb to be on and it is therefore conjugated for rowe-class simple present tense. In both cases, the subject (“you”) is expected to change state and/or understood to be in a temporary state. Similar distinctions can be seen in notœ wozäfumä'a I am getting old vs notœ mä wozäfu I am old, as the first sentence describes what the subject is doing while the second describes how the subject is.

Concepts that would be considered adverbial in most languages are strictly treated as verbs. Adverbs do not exist. For example, both the verb+infinitive phrase they are preparing to eat and the verb+adverb phrase they are running quickly would be translated into verb+infinitive phrases mi fyrimä'a je bå and mi catmä'a je jilo (literally they are quicking [in order] to run), respectively.
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