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The grammar of verbs in Tandi
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 1 Nov 2017, 23:59.

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Menu 1. Verb Structure 2. Polarity 3. Voice 4. Mood 5. Tense/Aspect 6. Pronominals 7. Telicity 8. Modals 9. First Infinitive 10. Second Infinitive (Participles) 11. Third Infinitive (Gerundives) 12. Incorporation 13. Causatives 14. Essives
[edit] [top]Verb Structure


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

[(Polarity)(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.)


[edit] [top]Polarity


Verbs can show a negative polarity to indicate that the verb does not happen. They can also show an affirmative polarity, which emphasizes that the verb does happen.

Vloveta
/vlovet̪ɑ/
vlov-et-a
see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I saw you

Asvloveta
/ɑsvlovet̪ɑ/
as-vlov-et-a
AFFAffirmative (polarity)
positive, opposite of NEG
-see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I did indeed see you

Kivvloveta
/kiv:lovet̪ɑ/
kiv-vlov-et-a
NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I did not see you



Verbs conjugate to signify one of three voices, including the active, passive, and antipassive.

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 or partitive agent.

Alausäš
/ɑlɑu̯sæɕ/
alaus-äš
∅-sleep-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

I slept

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

Ðoindeda þraatøøn
/ðoi̯nd̪ed̪ɑ θɾɑ:t̪ø:n/
∅-ðoind-e-da
ACTActive voice (valency, volition)
the subject acts, voluntarily
-eat-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
þraa-tøøn
berry-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I ate 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.

Eðoinde þraatøøn
/eðoi̯nd̪e θɾɑ:t̪ø:n/
e-ðoind-e
PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
-eat-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
þraa-tøøn
berry-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

The berries were eaten

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

Eðoinde þraatøøn meþ
/eðoi̯nd̪e θɾɑ:t̪ø:n meθ/
e-ðoind-e
PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
-eat-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
þraa-tøøn
berry-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
me-þ
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
-CAUCausal (case)
'because (of)'

The berries were 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.

Oðoinda
/oðoi̯nd̪ɑ/
o-ðoind-a
ANTIPAntipassive voice (valency)
valency is decreased by one
-eat-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I ate

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

Oðoinda þraasøøn
/oðoi̯nd̪ɑ θɾɑ:sø:n/
o-ðoind-a
ANTIPAntipassive voice (valency)
valency is decreased by one
-eat-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
þraa-søøn
berry-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location

*I ate to the berries (see note below)

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.



Verbs conjugate to signify one of four moods, including the indicative, the subjunctive, the conditional, and the imperative.

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

Ivaabo
/ivɑ:b̪o/
ivaa-b-o
happy-be-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

You were happy

The subjunctive mood signifies possible or desired events.

Ivaabia
/ivɑ:b̪iɑ/
ivaa-b-ia
happy-be-SJVSubjunctive (TAM)
hypothetical
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.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.

Ergosa ki ivaabia
/eɾgosɑ ki ivɑ:b̪iɑ/
ergos-a
hope-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
ki
that
ivaa-b-ia
happy-be-SJVSubjunctive (TAM)
hypothetical
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.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.

Ivaaburpäy
/ivɑ:b̪uɾp̪æy̯/
ivaa-b-urpäy
happy-be-CONDConditional (mood)
would
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

You would be happy

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

Ivaaburfau go prikožiu
/ivɑ:b̪uɾfɑu̯ go p̪ɾikoʑiu/
ivaa-b-urfau
happy-be-CONDConditional (mood)
would
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
go
if
prikož-iu
arrive-SJVSubjunctive (TAM)
hypothetical
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.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.

Ivaabattu
/ivɑ:b̪ɑt̪ʼu/
ivaa-b-attu
happy-be-IMPImperative (mood)
command

Be happy

The intended absolutive argument can be clarified using the vocative.

Ivaabattu grevväs
/ivɑ:b̪ɑt̪ʼu gɾev:æs/
ivaa-b-attu
happy-be-IMPImperative (mood)
command
grev-väs
cat-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.VOCVocative (case)
'O [addressee]'

Be happy, O cat

A transitive verb in the imperative mood takes the absolutive/partitive pronominal but 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.

Ðoindatte grevväs
/ðoi̯nd̪ɑt̪ʼe gɾev:æs/
ðoind-att-e
eat-IMPImperative (mood)
command
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
grev-väs
cat-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.VOCVocative (case)
'O [addressee]'

Eat it, O cat

[edit] [top]Tense/Aspect


Verbs conjugate to indicate one of six tense-aspect combinations, including three simple tenses (the Aorist, Present, and Future), and three perfective tenses (the Perfect, Present Perfect, and Future Perfect).

The simple tenses indicate an action taking place simply within a specific timeframe.

The aorist tense is relatively unmarked. It signifies events that have already taken place.

Krelpade
/kɾelp̪ɑd̪e/
krelp-a-de
teach-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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

She taught me

The present tense signifies current events.

Krelpude
/kɾelp̪ud̪e/
krelp-u-de
teach-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.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

She teaches/is teaching me

Note that there is no progressive aspect, so progressiveness is usually conveyed by context, or occasionally by using the partitive instead of the absolutive pronominal (more information below).

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

Krelpide
/kɾelp̪id̪e/
krelp-i-de
teach-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.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

She will teach me

The perfective tenses indicate actions that occurred earlier than the time under consideration, but which have continuing relevance.

The perfect tense signifies events that took place but have relevance to a past time.

Krelpelkade
/kɾelp̪elkɑd̪e/
krelp-elka-de
teach-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PERFPerfect (aspect/tense)
have verb-ed
.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

She had taught me

The present perfect tense signifies a past event that still has relevance to the present.

Krelpessude
/kɾelp̪es:ud̪e/
krelp-essu-de
teach-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.PERFPerfect (aspect/tense)
have verb-ed
.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

She has taught me

The future perfect tense signifies events that will take place and will have relevance to a further future event.

Krelpevide
/kɾelp̪evid̪e/
krelp-evi-de
teach-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.PERFPerfect (aspect/tense)
have verb-ed
.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

She will have taught me

[edit] [top]Pronominals


Verbs conjugate to show the person and number of both the ergative and absolutive or partitive nouns.

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

Prikožen
/p̪ɾikoʑen/
prikož-en
arrive-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3PThird person plural (person)
neither speaker nor addressee, they/them
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

They arrived

Trievloväš
/t̪ɾievlovæɕ/
trie-vlov-äš
dog-see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

I dog-saw

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

Vloveta trieð
/vlovet̪ɑ t̪ɾieð/
vlov-et-a
see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
trie-ð
dog-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

I saw a dog

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

Vloveta
/vlovet̪ɑ/
vlov-et-a
see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I saw him/her/it

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

Vloveta mintrieð
/vlovet̪ɑ mint̪ɾieð/
vlov-et-a
see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
min-trie-ð
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.POSSGPossessed (case)
marks being owned
-dog-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

I saw my dog

The ergative and absolutive pronominals can also indicate whether the subject or object is the same as in a previous clause.

Vlovete Inakan Sarhað je klägivi.
/vlovet̪e inɑkɑn sɑɾhɑð je klægivi/
vlov-et-e
see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
Inaka-n
Inaka-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
Sarha-ð
Sarha-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
je
and
kläg-iv-i
kick-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.SAOSame object (switch-reference)
same object used between clauses
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-SSSame subject (switch-reference)
same subject used between clauses
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

Inaka saw Sarha and [Inaka] kicked [Sarha].

If this is not indicated, it is understood that the corresponding roles are different.

Vlovete Inakan Sarhað je klägede.
/vlovet̪e inɑkɑn sɑɾhɑð je klæged̪e/
vlov-et-e
see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
Inaka-n
Inaka-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
Sarha-ð
Sarha-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
je
and
kläg-e-de
kick-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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

Inaka saw Sarha and [Sarha] kicked [Inaka].

Vlovete Inakan Sarhað je klägedi.
/vlovet̪e inɑkɑn sɑɾhɑð je klæged̪i/
vlov-et-e
see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
Inaka-n
Inaka-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
Sarha-ð
Sarha-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
je
and
kläg-e-di
kick-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-SSSame subject (switch-reference)
same subject used between clauses
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

Inaka saw Sarha and [Inaka] kicked [someone/something else].

[edit] [top]Telicity


The absolutive and partitive noun endings are used for very similar purposes. They both indicate the subject of a verb, whether the agent of an intransitive verb or the patient of a transitive verb. However, their use directly alters the telicity of the verb being used, where the absolutive indicates a telic verb and the partitive indicates an atelic verb.

Telic verbs, sometimes called resultative verbs, are actions that were completed or had a result.

Aluteda ilbäi
/ɑlut̪ed̪ɑ ilb̪æi̯/
alut-e-da
read-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
ilbäi-∅
book-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I read a book (to completion)

Atelic verbs, sometimes called irresultative verbs, are actions that took place over time but were not necessarily completed (though they may have been), or had no result. Atelic verbs can sometimes be translated into English as the progressive.

Aluteta ilbäiði
/ɑlut̪et̪ɑ ilb̪æi̯ði/
alut-et-a
read-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
ilbäi-ði
book-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

I read/was reading a book (but did not necessarily finish it)

Atelic verbs do not indicate that the action was not completed, though it is implied, but rather they don’t indicate anything about the completion of the action.

Aluteta ilbäiði je faaleda
/ɑlut̪et̪ɑ ilb̪æi̯ði je fɑ:led̪ɑ/
alut-et-a
read-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
ilbäi-ði
book-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
je
and
faal-e-da
complete-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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 read/was reading a book and I finished it

The use of a telic object in the present tense often implicitly indicates that the action will be completed in the future.

Alutøida ilbäi
/ɑlut̪øi̯d̪ɑ ilb̪æi̯/
alut-øi-da
read-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.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
ilbäi-∅
book-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I am reading and will finish a book (reading cannot be complete until a future time)

Alutojida ilbäiði
/ɑlut̪ojid̪ɑ ilb̪æi̯ði/
alut-oji-da
read-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
ilbäi-ði
book-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

I am reading a book (but may not necessarily finish it right now)

Some verbs do not make sense with one or the other case. Many verbs are inherently telic, and it would be ungrammatical and illogical to place them in the atelic aspect.

Faaleda
/fɑ:led̪ɑ/
faal-e-da
complete-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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 completed it (there is no way not to reach the end result, so faalil won’t make sense with the partitive)

Many other verbs are inherently atelic and do not have a result or goal, and it would be ungrammatical and illogical to place them in the telic aspect. There are occasionally some nonstandard constructions, though, where an atelic verb can have a result, in which case they can become telic.

Vloveta
/vlovet̪ɑ/
vlov-et-a
see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I saw him/her/it (there is no way to “complete” seeing something, nor can there be a result, so vlovil won’t make sense with the absolutive)

However, many stative verbs are marked with the absolutive, even though their meaning is inherently atelic.

Vrigøida
/vɾigøi̯d̪ɑ/
vrig-øi-da
know-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.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 know it

A telic formation can sometimes convey an imperfective aspect.

Ivaabe
/ivɑ:b̪e/
ivaa-b-e
happy-be-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He was happy (happiness is a temporary state, so the absolutive is used)

Gwaasbet
/gwɑ:sb̪et̪/
gwaas-b-et
tall-be-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

He was tall (tallness is a permanent characteristic or state, so the partitive is used)

With some verbs, the meaning can change depending on which case is used.

Žaareda
/ʑɑ:ɾed̪ɑ/
žaar-e-da
meet-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I met him (for the first time)

Žaareta
/ʑɑ:ɾet̪ɑ/
žaar-et-a
meet-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

I met up with him

[edit] [top]Modals


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

Žøydiišunøyda
/ʑøy̯d̪i:ɕunøy̯d̪ɑ/
žøyd-iišun-øy-da
want-help-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

I wanted to help you

If they are not compounded, then the modal verb is conjugated while the verb it modifies remains in the infinitive. As an object of the modal verb, the infinitive is treated as a third person singular noun; the modal verb takes a third person singular absolutive or partitive ending.

Erijøida iišunilo
/eɾijøi̯d̪ɑ i:ɕunilo/
erij-øi-da
can-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.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
iišun-il-o
help-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I can help you/I am able to help you

[edit] [top]First Infinitive


The first infinitive (sometimes referred to simply as the infinitive) is the dictionary form of a verb. It turns the verb into a noun meaning “to [verb]” and signifies the action of the verb itself.

All verbs in the first infinitive end with <-il>. When a verb is conjugated, this infinitive ending is dropped before any suffixes are attached.

ittouðil
/it̪ʼou̯ðil/
ittouð-il
pretend-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb

to pretend

ittouðäš
/it̪ʼou̯ðæɕ/
ittouð-äš
pretend-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

I pretend

In some cases, a transitive infinitive verb can be conjugated to show the absolutive or partitive object. This pronominal is added after the infinitive ending.

iišunilo
/i:ɕunilo/
iišun-il-o
help-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

to help you

When the action of a verb itself is the argument of another verb, the first 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 animate noun (and adds any appropriate noun case endings after the infinitive ending), and so the conjugated verb affecting the infinitive takes the 3rd person singular absolutive pronominal.

Ajegojida oirodil
/ɑjegojid̪ɑ oi̯ɾod̪il/
ajeg-oji-da
enjoy-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
oirod-il
sing-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb

I enjoy singing

[edit] [top]Second Infinitive (Participles)


The second infinitive (sometimes referred to as a participle) turns the verb into an adjective, which can describe a noun. 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.

The second infinitive ending is <-ul>, but there are many additional suffixes that can change the mood, tense, and aspect. All participles have a tense/aspect/mood meaning, even if the English translation may not convey that meaning.

truat kryful
/t̪ɾuɑt̪ kɾyful/
trua-t
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
kryf-ul-∅
run-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past

the running man/the man who ran/the man who was running

truat kryfulku
/t̪ɾuɑt̪ kɾyfulku/
trua-t
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
kryf-ul-ku
run-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.PERFPerfect (aspect/tense)
have verb-ed

the has-been-running man/the man who has run/the man who has been running

truat kryfulpa
/t̪ɾuɑt̪ kɾyfulp̪ɑ/
trua-t
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
kryf-ul-pa
run-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-CONDConditional (mood)
would
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past

the would-have-been-running man/the man who would have run/the man who would have been running

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

truat trieklägul
/t̪ɾuɑt̪ t̪ɾieklægul/
trua-t
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
trie-kläg-ul-∅
dog-kick-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past

the man who kicked a dog

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

truat ter klägete trieð kryful
/t̪ɾuɑt̪ t̪eɾ klæget̪e t̪ɾieð kɾyful/
trua-t
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
ter
restrictive-PNPronoun
kläg-et-e
kick-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
trie-ð
dog-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
kryf-ul-∅
run-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past

the man who kicked at a running dog

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

truat kivtrieklägul
/t̪ɾuɑt̪ kivt̪ɾieklægul/
trua-t
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
kiv-trie-kläg-ul-∅
NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-dog-kick-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past

the man who did not kick a dog

truat osklägulpu
/t̪ɾuɑt̪ osklægulp̪u/
trua-t
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
os-kläg-ul-pu
AFFAffirmative (polarity)
positive, opposite of NEG
.ANTIPAntipassive voice (valency)
valency is decreased by one
-kick-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-CONDConditional (mood)
would
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current

the man who would (assuredly) kick [something]

triet ekläguli
/t̪ɾiet̪ eklæguli/
trie-t
dog-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
e-kläg-ul-i
PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
-kick-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech

the dog that will be kicked

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

Klägades truanään kryfuldan
/klægɑd̪es t̪ɾuɑnæ:n kɾyfuld̪ɑn/
kläg-a-des
kick-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
trua-nään
man-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
kryf-ul-∅-dan
run-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
-ANAnimate (gender/class)
alive, moving
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few

the running men kicked me/the men who were running kicked me

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

Tolosykøiryda gorulutøs
/t̪olosykøi̯ɾyd̪ɑ goɾulut̪øs/
tolo-sykøir-y-da
tree-save-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.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-ul-u-tøs
die-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-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 tree that is dying

[edit] [top]Third Infinitive (Gerundives)


The third infinitive (sometimes referred to as a gerundive) turns the verb into an adverb, modifying the action of another verb in the same phrase.

Guraizeda minkegyv prikožim
/guɾɑi̯zed̪ɑ miŋkegyv p̪ɾikoʑim/
guraiz-e-da
suppress-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
min-kegyv-∅
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.POSSGPossessed (case)
marks being owned
-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
prikož-im
arrive-GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite

Arriving, I suppressed my fear/I suppressed my fear while arriving

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

Guraizeda minkegyv tirgrevekkyhim
/guɾɑi̯zed̪ɑ miŋkegyv t̪iɾgɾevek:yçim/
guraiz-e-da
suppress-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
min-kegyv-∅
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.POSSGPossessed (case)
marks being owned
-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
tirgrev-ekkyh-im
kitten-smell_like-GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite

Smelling like a kitten, I suppressed my fear/I suppressed my fear while smelling like a kitten

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

Guraizeda minkegyv ekkyhime tirgrev
/guɾɑi̯zed̪ɑ miŋkegyv ek:yçime t̪iɾgɾev/
guraiz-e-da
suppress-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
min-kegyv-∅
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.POSSGPossessed (case)
marks being owned
-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
ekkyh-im-e
smell_like-GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
tirgrev-∅
kitten-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

Smelling like a kitten, I suppressed my fear/I suppressed my fear while smelling like a kitten

The third infinitive can take one of several suffixes to express aspects of actions relating to the time when an action takes place (e.g. “when” or “while”) or the manner in which an action happens (“by” or “without”).

Guraizeda minkegyv tirgrevekkyhimmä
/guɾɑi̯zed̪ɑ miŋkegyv t̪iɾgɾevek:yçim:æ/
guraiz-e-da
suppress-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
min-kegyv-∅
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.POSSGPossessed (case)
marks being owned
-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
tirgrev-ekkyh-im-mä
kitten-smell_like-GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite
-INSTRInstrumental (case)
'with' 'using'

I suppressed my fear by smelling like a kitten

Guraizeda minkegyv tirgrevekkyhimav
/guɾɑi̯zed̪ɑ miŋkegyv t̪iɾgɾevek:yçimɑv/
guraiz-e-da
suppress-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
min-kegyv-∅
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.POSSGPossessed (case)
marks being owned
-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
tirgrev-ekkyh-im-av
kitten-smell_like-GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite
-PRVPrivative (case)
'without'

I suppressed my fear without smelling like a kitten

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

Guraizeda minkegyv kivtirgrevekkyhimmä
/guɾɑi̯zed̪ɑ miŋkegyv kivt̪iɾgɾevek:yçim:æ/
guraiz-e-da
suppress-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
min-kegyv-∅
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.POSSGPossessed (case)
marks being owned
-fear-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
kiv-tirgrev-ekkyh-im-mä
NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-kitten-smell_like-GRVGerundive
a type of non-finite
-INSTRInstrumental (case)
'with' 'using'

I suppressed my fear by smelling unlike a kitten

[edit] [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.

Vlovojida þraaði
/vlovojid̪ɑ θɾɑ:ði/
vlov-oji-da
see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
þraa-ði
berry-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

I see a berry

Verbs are also able to incorporate nouns. When this happens, the noun is compounded with the verb 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”.

ðoindil þeum
/ðoi̯nd̪il θeum/
ðoind-il
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

þeumðoindil
/θeumðoi̯nd̪il/
þeum-ðoind-il
family-eat-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb

to eat a family meal

Taken literally, þeumðoindil 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.

Klägeda detro Žanma
/klæged̪ɑ d̪et̪ɾo ʑɑnmɑ/
kläg-e-da
kick-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
detro-∅
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

Detroklägeda Žan
/d̪et̪ɾoklæged̪ɑ ʑɑn/
detro-kläg-e-da
hand-kick-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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 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 to send it to the background, e.g. “They whale-attacked” (i.e. they attacked the whale).

Vlovääžes þraaðin oskodin
/vlovæ:ʑes θɾɑ:ðin oskod̪in/
vlov-ääž-es
see-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.3PThird person plural (person)
neither speaker nor addressee, they/them
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
-1PEFirst person plural exclusive (person)
we (exclusive)
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
þraa-ðin
berry-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns
osko-din
many-POSIPositive (class)
standard adjective
.INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few

We saw many berries

Þraaðoinat
/θɾɑ:ðoi̯nɑt̪/
þraa-ðoin-at
berry-eat-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.1PEFirst person plural exclusive (person)
we (exclusive)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

We berry-ate/We ate the 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.

Þraaðoinenam øjødpiatøøn
/θɾɑ:ðoi̯nenɑm øjøp̪:iɑt̪ø:n/
þraa-ðoin-en-am
berry-eat-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
øjød-pia-tøøn
red-COMPComparative (comparison)
e.g. 'better'
-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

We berry-ate the reddest/We ate the reddest berries

Þeumžaareda minpeskjau
/θeumʑɑ:ɾed̪ɑ minp̪eskjɑu̯/
þeum-žaar-e-da
family-meet-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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
min-peskjau-∅
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.POSSGPossessed (case)
marks being owned
-brother_in_law-INDEFIndefinite
a nonspecific referent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I family-met my brother-in-law/I met a family member, my brother-in-law

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.

Kemyykasžaareda
/kemy:kɑsʑɑ:ɾed̪ɑ/
kemyy-kas-žaar-e-da
church-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.LATLative (case)
movement, towards
-meet-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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.

Kemyykasþraažoina
/kemy:kɑsθɾɑ:ʑoi̯nɑ/
kemyy-kas-þraa-žoin-a
church-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.LATLative (case)
movement, towards
-berry-eat-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

I ate the 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.

Prikožgroidryvy
/p̪ɾikoʑgɾoi̯d̪ɾyvy/
prikož-groidryv-y
arrive-tomorrow-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He will arrive tomorrow

Prikožšaljay
/p̪ɾikoʑɕɑljɑy/
prikož-šalja-y
arrive-Sunday-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

He will arrive Sunday

Verbs cannot incorporate statements of clock time.

Prikožy arvodään frø je fria
/p̪ɾikoʑy ɑɾvod̪æ:n fɾø je fɾiɑ/
prikož-y
arrive-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
arvo-dään
hour-DEFDefinite
"the"
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc
frø
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.

Kryfžeresyyš
/kɾyfʑeɾesy:ɕ/
kryf-žeresy-yš
run-quickly-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.PTVPartitive (number)
'some of' or for mass nouns

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.

Kemyykasonžižaareda
/kemy:kɑsonʑiʑɑ:ɾed̪ɑ/
kemyy-kas-onži-žaar-e-da
church-DEFDefinite
"the"
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.LATLative (case)
movement, towards
-before-meet-INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
.AORAorist (tense/aspect)
usually the simple past
.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

[edit] [top]Causatives


One of the many derivational affixes 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) and the previous agent becomes the direct object (absolutive).

  • If the verb was intransitive, the previous agent becomes the direct object.
  • If the verb was transitive, the previous direct object becomes the indirect object.
  • If the verb was polytransitive, the previous direct object still becomes the indirect object but must appear immediately after the verb to avoid confusion with any other oblique arguments.


[edit] [top]Essives


There are three verbs that mean “to be”: bil, gaafil, and neenhil. Each has its own distinct meaning and usage.

  • Bil is used to indicate a state or quality of being. For example, ivaabäš means “I was happy”.
  • Gaafil is used to indicate a location. In many cases, it could be translated as “to be located” rather than just “to be”. For example, gaafyš filpudas means “I am on the rock”.
  • Neenhil is used to indicate existence. In many cases, it could be translates as “to exist” rather than just “to be”. For example, neenhyl means “I am” or “I exist”. The phrase neenhoji filpuði šondi eemäldas means “there is a big rock in the garden”, whereas gaafoji filpuði šondi eemäldas 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”.


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