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Exterior and Interior verbs in Laceyiam - Laceyiamie bhėmabessa niėmabessa ta
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Introducing the two semantical categories of Laceyiami verbs
This public article was written by liliev21, and last updated on 6 Aug 2016, 22:36.

[comments] Verbs, in  Laceyiam, can be divided into two broad categories, called exterior verbs (bhėmabessa) and interior verbs (niėmabessa).
This is an extremely important distinction because those two categories use totally different verbal endings and have different meanings.
Exterior verbs are those we could most easily compare to active verbs in English. Please note, though, that the exterior/interior distinction is not one of grammatical voice: Laceyiam verbs can still be conjugated in five voices (patient-trigger, agent-trigger, benefactive-trigger, antibenefactive-trigger and locative-trigger) when they're exterior and in four voices (common voice, benefactive-, antibenefactive-, and locative-trigger) when interior.
Interior verbs are a somewhat "catch-all" category including many distinct meanings, most notably middle-voice, reflexive and reciprocal ones but also all adjectival verbs as well as peculiar and somewhat independent meanings for some verbs. The traditional explanation given by native grammarians distinguishes exterior verbs as describing "activities or states that involve interactions with outside the self", and interior verbs as affecting principally the self.

Many verbs in Laceyiam can be both exterior and interior, though most adjectival verbs are interior-only. On the other hand there are many exterior-only verbs, most notably "to be" and verbs of motion (with an exception involving "to be").
With verbs that can be used both ways, the interior-exterior distinction is most often middle vs. active, reflexive/reciprocal vs. active, or static vs. dynamic, though many verbs can have different English meanings.
A commonly cited example may be one involving the verb lāluńjake, which means "to bend (transitive)" when exterior but "to bow (oneself)" when interior. Note: verbs are always given in their citation form, the infinitive, which ends in -ke or -ge for all verbs, so there's no way to know if a verb has to be used as exterior or interior just from looking at it.
Compare these two sentences:
  • kheldau lāluńjāmeṭ. 'I bend the branch': the verb has the 1sg exterior agent-trigger termination and the noun is in accusative case, as required by transitive syntax;
  • kheldið lāluńjāmiss. 'I bow (bend myself) to the branch': the verb has the 1sg interior common voice termination with the noun in dative case, the one required by this form. Note that, being interior verbs practically all intransitive, they never take an accusative argument (with one exception).


Examples for the middle meanings are given for example by gįke, "to burn":
  • tāṃlī lalss gįr. 'the tree is burnt by me' - exterior verb, patient-trigger voice
  • tāṃlī gihąu. 'the tree burns' - interior verb, common voice (which substitutes both patient- and agent-trigger for interior verbs).


The prototypical example of a reflexive verb is hvalyke, "to wash":
  • lālia samin lalss hvalyr. 'my child is washed by me' - exterior verb, patient-trigger voice
  • (lāli) hvalymiss. 'I wash myself' - interior verb, common voice.


Reciprocal meanings: kërdiake "to kiss":
  • khina ńustamau kërdiasāṃtų. 'we kiss our son' - exterior verb, agent-trigger voice
  • kërdiasąin. 'we kiss (each other)' - interior verb, common voice.


For some verbs, the exterior/interior distinction may encode volition, or, better said, actions caused by uncontrollable third parties. For example kliūmbeke "to open":
  • hjaga lalss kliūmber. 'the door is opened by me' - exterior verb, patient-trigger
  • lāli hjagau kliūmbeimeṭ. 'I open the/a door' - exterior verb, agent-trigger
  • hjaga kliūmbąu. 'the door opens' - interior verb.

The "uncontrollable third party" causes the verb to be interior; compare the following excerpt:
hjaga magbėjamāṇi kliūmber sama mādher! lulið jaśike sųvīṣmar, temia khāśniaið nėvakti dauðīveya śńėga!
The door keeps being opened and closed! I can't have some peace, please tell your brother to stop it!
In this example, "to open" is exterior, despite the nature of the action as far as the door - topic - is concerned being the same as in the previous sentnece, and despite the lack of an explicit agent - the true agent becomes clear only as an indirect object of the last sentence, dative case khāśniak "brother (for a female)".
This distinction is made even when the indirect object is not stated anywhere. Compare:
  1. A: haijar? B: hjaga kliūmbąu sama mādhąu! — A: What's up? B: the door keeps being opened and closed [by something uncontrollable - most probably by the wind or animals]! = the door keeps opening and closing! (interior verbs)
  2. A: haijar? B: hjaga kliūmber sama mādher! — A: What's up? B: the door keeps being opened and closed [by someone]! (exterior verbs)


Some other verbs have the interior forms describing a state, and the exterior ones describing the beginning of that state. e.g. løyðurake "to be in a (romantic) relationship":
  • tanëm løyðurāmiss. 'I'm in a relationship with her' - interior
  • tëm løyðuraṃtų 'I got into a relationship with her' - exterior

Note that this verb is transitive in its exterior form and the second sentence is in agent-trigger voice with 'her' in accusative case (tëm); in the first one, tanëm is comitative case.

Distinct meanings: tairake "to do", colloquially used in its interior form to mean "to happen" (formal language prefers the exterior-only verb nemaike):
  • tami tairat. 'it was done'
  • tami tairattų. 'it did'
  • tami tairatin. 'it happened'.


Some other pairs of verbs with distinct meanings:
  • dīdaike — exterior: "to know someone" / interior: "to be conscious"; "to know one's limits" (colloquial)
  • ḍhaitseke — exterior: "to defeat someone" / interior: "to get better", "to win one's own fears" (both colloquial)
  • gṇyauke — exterior: "to give birth" (transitive) / interior: "to be born"
  • hautaike — exterior: "to tell, narrate" / interior: "to tell/narrate about oneself"
  • haþnėrake — exterior: "to fight" / interior: "to have an interior conflict"
  • hølmyke — exterior: "to press, mash, crush" / interior: "to do everything that's possible"
  • kliūmbeke — exterior: "to open" / interior (when used for a person; for a thing see the examples before): "to open oneself, to overcome shyness"
  • lalūṃhjäriniėrake — exterior: "to advertise" / interior: "to advertise one's own enterprise"
  • lārkmake — exterior: "to admit, confess" / interior: "to realise, become aware"
  • ńøvdake — exterior: "to smell" (transitive) / interior: "to smell" (intransitive)
  • primęlyke — exterior: "to give back" / interior: "to return"
  • tāṇḍiṃke — exterior: "to note, record (something)" / interior: "to take notes" (generic action)


There are some verbs which are interior-only without an apparent reason for it, and two of them are extremely common:
  • hėnnake 'to speak', 'to express oneself' - it is the verb used when telling "I speak English/German/Laceyiam/etc", and the language name is required to be in instrumental case (so "I speak using English/ecc"). For example "I speak Laceyiam" translates to Laceyiameṣu hėnnāmiss.
  • dallyke 'to know' (not used in the sense 'to know a person', that is a different verb mentioned above, chlänke). Here the logical object is in genitive case, for example "I know that word" translates as nanā dairi dallymiss ; dairi being the genitive case form of daira (word). There can be multiple genitives, for example "I know your older sister's dog" translates as temia bønei khegi dallymiss, with three genitives (2S.GEN. older_sister-GEN.SG. dog-GEN.SG.).

Other common interior-only verbs are:
  • muidyke 'to fall' - and derivatives like tāṃlimuidyke 'to fall from a tree';
  • spalstyke 'to grow';
  • thiaṃke 'to sleep';
  • chlauṣmeke 'to get used to';
  • ḍākake 'to die' and similar verbs, e.g. hūstyke 'to drown';
  • ḍėlkake 'to wait';
  • guʔake 'to trust';
  • kariake 'to like', but also 'to prefer' when used with a comparative.


I've been mentioning before that the verb haiske, "to be", is an exception. It is exterior-only - so there is exterior jāmi "I am" and jīð "you are" but no interior *jāmiss nor *jąus. However, it can be interior in the 3rd person singular, forming the existential structure. This is also a highly irregular structure as it has a mandatory dummy subject pronoun (tami) as well as requiring an accusative argument - the only intransitive verb to do so when in common voice. Thus "there is a tiger" translates as tami emīlau jąu, with emīla (tiger) appearing in accusative case. It is also invariable for plural, so "there are tigers" translates as tami emīlarau jąu.
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