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Achiyitqan verbal morphology
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Get ready for some synthesis
This public article was written by severy, and last updated on 21 Feb 2020, 22:53.

[comments] Menu 1. Tense and aspect 2. Mood and Negation 3. Suffixed and incorporated arguments 4. Little-v and Agreement 5. Complex verb examples
!Warning!
This article has been marked as out of date. There's a possibility that some information is incorrect.


As a polysynthetic language,  Achiyitqan boasts some very complex verbs. These conjugate by tense, mood, aspect, voice, and negation, and they can also have object incorporation, and suffixed pronouns or agreement markers.

The general verb structure is:

MEDP • NEG1 • tense • aspect • mood1 • incorp. object • ROOT • little v • NEG2 • mood2


The placement of negation depends on the mood; the basic moods (declarataive, imperative, and interrogative) are accompanied by a negation prefix in the NEG1 slot, while other moods take NEG2.

[top]Tense and aspect

There are six main tenses and three main aspects in Achiyitqan. They form 18 fused particles which are often the first prefix in the verbal compound (secondary only to basic negation).

There are also two non-finite tenses and two secondary temporal aspects.

Tense/aspectsimpleperfectprogressiveinceptivecessative
remote pastii-itiy-ci-'e-bi-
pastØtiy-ca-
immediate presentkiha-kiy-ka-
presentgi-giwa-go-
futurema-miwa-mic-
remote futuredaw-daya-dic-
infinitiveo-
gnomica-


The non-finite tenses do not conjugate by the main aspects. All the tense(/aspect) prefixes can be combined with the secondary aspects, which follow them.

Simple verbs denote discrete actions which usually occur over a short period of time (I run, he sees it), and permanent states (she is human, he was kind) ; perfect verbs are completed or anterior actions (we walked, they have planned, she will have realized) ; and progressives are incomplete actions (I was walking), interrupted states (it had been ugly), and sometimes actions which are ongoing (she's talking) or have an indefinite ending point (I visit often).

The remote past is used in a manner loosely similar to 'a long time ago' in English. It is generally employed when telling legends or histories - things that happened generations ago. It is also often used to refer to things that happened in one's childhood; it can be used as hyperbole.

Óɥokaimaaco eyólmi iiqulciún... óɥoka-imya-o-co eyól-mi ii-qulciún ancient-king-NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
-that army-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.GENGenitive (case)
possessive
REMRemote past (tense)
'a long time ago'
.PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-defeat
'(Long ago,) that ancient king defeated our army...' Dué inɂanicussesun cihéas... dué inɂani-cusse-sun ci-héa-s because impossible-threat-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.OBJObject (argument) REMRemote past (tense)
'a long time ago'
.PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-ask-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
'because he was making impossible threats...' Itiyispagémainteniɂa. itiy-is-pagé-ma-in-tó-niɂa REMRemote past (tense)
'a long time ago'
.PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.PERFPerfect (aspect/tense)
have verb-ed
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ANAnimate (gender/class)
alive, moving
-understand-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-CNSQConsequential (mood)
'then, and therefore'
-acceptably
'so we had underestimated him.' Iyakitóihs. ii-aki-tóihs REMRemote past (tense)
'a long time ago'
.PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-eat-long.time
'I ate forever ago / I haven't eat in ages'
The past (non-remote) is the basic tense, meaning that the simple past is the unmarked verb form. (In English, the unmarked form is the simple present.) It is used for any actions which occurred before the moment of speaking, but not way too long ago; generally speaking it must be within the speaker's lifetime and not during their early childhood.
Múls kapalkkai múl-s ka-palk-qai go-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ANAnimate (gender/class)
alive, moving
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
DEFDefinite
"the"
-mountain-INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
'She went to the mountains.' Tiqaampapga, múlapinte. tiy-qaamp-ap-ga, múl-ap-in-tó PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-realize-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
-CONDConditional (mood)
[if X,] then I would...
, go-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
-NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-CNSQConsequential (mood)
'then, and therefore'
'If I had realized, I wouldn't have gone.' Kaaŋe incayaikcéɂ. ka-aŋ-e in-ca-yaik-céɂ DEFDefinite
"the"
-cat-SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.SUBSubject (argument) NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-happy-seem
'The cat didn't seem happy (for awhile)'
Present tense verbs occur in the general present; in the perfective aspect it often takes on a meaning of the immediate past (something which just occurred). It can also be used to convey intent for the immediate future (something is in planning/ about to happen), especially in the progressive.
Gitówap móosdin taiqaig. gi-tów-ap móos-din tai-qaig PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-see-1SGUnknown code tree-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
at-there
'I see trees over there' Liggayiati giwatagtúala. ligga-yi-ati gi-wa-tag-túal-wa sibling-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.SUBSubject (argument)-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.GENGenitive (case)
possessive
PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-here-arrive-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
'Your sibling just arrived' Gicu'map. gi-cu'm-ap PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-buy-1SGUnknown code
'I buy / am about to buy' Kahmiso gomut. ka-hmis-o go-mut DEFDefinite
"the"
-man-SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.SUBSubject (argument) PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-run
'The man is running / about to run'
The immediate present, which seems a bit redundant in name, is not used particularly frequently, and generally translates to 'right now.' It is most often accompanied by the imperative mood to add a sense of urgency to a command. It can also be used to distinguish truly present events from immediate past or immediate future ones, both of which (somewhat confusingly) can be conveyed by the general present tense. When combined with stative verbs, it indicates that a state is only temporary. (The immediate-present-perfective is currently under review for removal since I doesn't seem useful or coherent.)
Kihanaid! kiha-naid IMMImmediate (tense)
'immediate or near future'
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-come
'come here right now!' Kihamapap. kiha-map-ap IMMImmediate (tense)
'immediate or near future'
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-sad-1SGUnknown code
'I'm sad right now' Kanaids. ka-naid-s IMMImmediate (tense)
'immediate or near future'
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-come-3SGUnknown code
'he is on his way here'
(Non-remote) future verbs take place after the utterance, in the foreseeable future - that is, things that can be realistically presumed and are likely to occur.
Matatówapnimmu. ma-ta-tów-ap-nimmu FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
-2SGUnknown code-see-1SGUnknown code-tomorrow
'I'll see you tomorrow.' Miwaatówɥɥua ma-wa-aa-tów-s-ɥua FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
-PERFPerfect (aspect/tense)
have verb-ed
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
-see-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ANAnimate (gender/class)
alive, moving
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
-now
'she will have seen it by then' Kanaqíŋoa micoola id'uknimiŋa ka-naqíŋ-oa mic-ool-wa id-'uk-nim-iŋa DEFDefinite
"the"
-goose-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.SUBSubject (argument) FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-fly-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
ten-two-day-DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
'the geese will be flying in two weeks'
The remote future describes events that will occur in a very long time; it can translate to 'eventually, someday, finally.' Anything that will happen after the speaker's (assumed) lifetime definitely takes the remote future, but it can also denote things that will happen much sooner - especially since the future is unknown - but these events are not expected to happen for at least a few years.
Ibuɥun dawduwuq ibuɥ-un daw-duwuq grandchild-OBJObject (argument).PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
REMRemote past (tense)
'a long time ago'
.FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
-have.relation
'I will have grandchildren (someday)' Koonuɂonpi dayakaplaap giilaptó. koonu-ɂo-n-pi daya-kapla-ap qiil-ap-tó belong-NMZNominaliser
makes other word a noun
-SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.OBJObject (argument)-1SGUnknown code.GENGenitive (case)
possessive
REMRemote past (tense)
'a long time ago'
.FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.PERFPerfect (aspect/tense)
have verb-ed
-meet-1SGUnknown code happy-1SGUnknown code-CNSQConsequential (mood)
'then, and therefore'
'(Someday) when I have met my true love I will (finally) be happy.' Dicksóta ɂiwlasstató. dic-ksó-ta ɂiw-lass-ta-tó REMRemote past (tense)
'a long time ago'
.FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-die-2SGUnknown code 1SGUnknown code-miss-2SGUnknown code-CNSQConsequential (mood)
'then, and therefore'
'(Eventually) when you're dying you will miss me.'
The non-finite tenses are the infinitive and the gnomic. The infinitive is used almost exclusively in subordinate clauses, where it serves as a verbal complement. The gnomic conveys timeless truths. Neither can be combined with any aspect (they are inherently simple).
Ginihstá omut? gi-níhs-ta o-mut? PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-enjoy-2SGUnknown code.QInterrogative
question
INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb
-run?
'Do you like running / to run?' Apsuccawéap. a-psucca-wé-ap GNOGnomic (aspect/mood)
common, timeless truths
-treat-love-1SGUnknown code
'I love dessert' Lisa aoola. lis-a a-ool-wa bird-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.SUBSubject (argument) GNOGnomic (aspect/mood)
common, timeless truths
-fly-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
'Birds fly.'
The non-core aspects are the inceptive and the cessative. The inceptive refers to the beginning of an action or entering a state, while the cessative denotes stopping of an action or exiting of a state. (The completion or incompletion of said action depends on the aspect it is paired with.) Either can appear with any of the core fused tense/aspect morphemes, which they follow directly behind. The form of the inceptive is e-, with optional glottal stops before or after to separate it from other vowels (unlike most morphemes, which simply allow hiatus). The cessative is quite simply bi-.
Iibiyuhls ii-bi-yuhl-s REMRemote past (tense)
'a long time ago'
.PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-CESSUnknown code-smoke.pipe-3SGUnknown code.ANAnimate (gender/class)
alive, moving
'he stopped smoking a long time ago' Maɂeɂaseap tuɂulaqa ma-ɂe-ɂase-ap tuɂula-qa FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
-INCEPInceptive (aspect)
beginning of an action
-cook-1SGUnknown code hour-SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
'I'll start cooking in an hour'
[top]Mood and Negation
The form and placement of negation particles depends upon the mood of the phrase. The basic moods (declarative, interrogative and imperative) are so-called because they feature verb-initial negation (and little to no overt marking excepting intonation) ; the other moods combine with the negation particle as suffixes.
Mood and NegationPositiveNegative
declarativeØin-
interrogativeá#in- á#
int. reasoning-éa-(i)néa
imperativeV: if V-finalin- -V:
optative-na-(i)nna
admonitive-tsa-(i)nta
conditional-gi-(i)ngi
consequentive-tó-(i)nte
causative-q-(i)nqa
The declarative is the simple an unmarked realis mood, used for most sentences. The negative takes the basic negation prefix in-.
ʔip lúe kaqittei ɂip lúe ka-qitt-dei 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.SUBSubject (argument) walk DEFDefinite
"the"
-house-DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
'I walked to the house.' ʔip inlúe. 'ip in-lúe 1SGUnknown code.SUBSubject (argument) NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-walk 'I didn't walk.
Interrogatives are also unmarked, except for a shift in pitch-accent to the final syllable of the verb compound, and, again, take the basic negation prefix. The interrogative reasoning mood, which is similar to English "why?" questions, takes the affix -éa in positive and -(i)néa in negative.
Gidiatiwtá? gi-dia-tiw-ta? PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-this-want-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.SG_INT? 'Do you want this?' Immulsít? in-múl-sit? NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-go-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.MOD_INT? 'It didn't go?' Aanaiqtaéa? aa-náiq-ta-éa? 3SGUnknown code.INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
-help-2SGUnknown code-why? 'Why did you help it?' Mulsitnéa? múl-sit-in-éa? go-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.MODModerate (animacy)
not-quite-animate
-NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-why? 'Why didn't it go?'
The imperative expresses orders, and its negative expresses prohibitions. The imperative does not have an overt marker unless it has a final vowel, which is lengthened, and the negative takes the basic negation prefix in-. It also blocks tense or person subjects from appearing.
Tagnaid! tag-naid! here-come! 'Come here!' ʔiw luwnippaa ɂiw luwnippa-a. 1SGUnknown code.OBJObject (argument) adore-IMPImperative (mood)
command
'Adore me.' Inaataki. in-aa-aki NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.INInanimate (gender/class)
for non-living things
-eat 'Don't eat it.'
The admonitive (-tsa, -(i)nta) translates as "should, must" and is generally used to make warnings. The second person and present tense marker are not necessary.
Xiiltsa. ɥiil-tsa stay-ADM 'You should stay.' Daaninta. daan-in-ta leave-NEG-ADM 'You mustn't go.'
The optative (-na, -inna) is used to express desires and wishes, or to make requests. For requests, the second person and present tense marker are not required.
Gimúlapna qilndei. gi-múl-ap-na qiln-dei PRES-go-1SG-want home-DAT 'I want to go home' Skeni ɂiwpína. sken-i ɂiw-pí-na salt-SG.OBJ 1SG-give-OPT 'Please give me the salt.' Gituuwapinna. gi-tuuw-ap-in-na PRES-learn-1SG-NEG-OPT 'I don't want to learn.'
The conditional (English "if") takes the affix -gi for positive and -ingi or -ŋi in negative. The conditional goes on the verb of the major clause. The conditional is almost always paired with the consequentive mood (-tó and -(i)nte), although the consequentive can also occur under other major clause types.
Gitagnaittagi, ɂip tólopito naab. gi-tag-naid-ta-gi, ɂip tólo-pí-tó naab PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-here-come-CONDConditional (mood)
[if X,] then I would...
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
, 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.SUBSubject (argument) candy-give-CNSQConsequential (mood)
'then, and therefore'
2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
'If you come here, I will give you some candy.' Kihatagnaidtangi, ɂip tanuhtó. kiha-tag-naid-ta-in-gi, ɂip ta-nuh-tó IMMImmediate (tense)
'immediate or near future'
.PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-here-come-NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-CONDConditional (mood)
[if X,] then I would...
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
, 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.SUBSubject (argument) 2SGUnknown code-hit-CNSQConsequential (mood)
'then, and therefore'
'If you don't come here right now, I'll hit you.' Isyestap, denatós. is-yest-ap, dena-tó-s. 3.SG-push-1.SG, fall-CNSQ-3.SG 'I pushed him, so he fell.' Isláttap, denante. is-látt-ap, dena-in-tó-s. 3.SG-save-1.SG, fall-NEG-CNSQ-3.SG 'I saved him, so he didn't fall.'
The causative mood can be used in two ways: intransitive or transitive. In effect it functions as a little v (valency) device, but it fits into the mood slot and can co-occur with subject suffixes, unlike other little v devices. The causative promotes the direct object of the clause to the agentive role.
Ataa tsiqapaq ataa tsiq-ap-q 2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.OBJObject (argument) smile-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.SUBJUnknown code-CAUSCausative (valency/mood)
cause an action to occur, force another argument to act
'I made you smile' Is nuilapaq kaqoɥisk is nuil-ap-q ka-qoɥ-sk 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ANAnimate (gender/class)
alive, moving
.OBJObject (argument) put.out-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.SUBJUnknown code-CAUSCausative (valency/mood)
cause an action to occur, force another argument to act
DEFDefinite
"the"
-fire-SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.MODModerate (animacy)
not-quite-animate
.OBJObject (argument)
'I made him put out the fire'
A causative clause is often followed by a consequentive one.
[top]Suffixed and incorporated arguments
Subject pronouns can be suffixed to the verb and object pronouns (and other nouns) can be incorporated into it. (In practice, this is a prefix, however it appears after negation, tense and aspect.)
Incorporated objects123.AN3.IN3.MOD
SGɂiw-ta-is-aa-ik-
PLmiw-ha-qi-qi-sey-
Non-pronominal incorporated objects must be indefinite and otherwise unmarked; they can be glossed as singular or plural or thought of as mass nouns. Often if an object is incorporated the resulting verb refers to a frequent action or general occurrence.
Suffixed subjects123.AN3.IN3.MOD
SG-ap-ta-s-a-sik
PL-ma-his-t-k-sit
[top]Little-v and Agreement
Little-v functions in Achiyitqan are the transitive passive, reciprocative, reflexive, and the intransitive passive. None of these can co-occur with suffixed subjects, so standalone subjects are required in sentences with marked little-v functions. The transitive passive is simply -omi and the reciprocative just -'ah, while the reflexive is hey -'a and the intransitive passive is hey -kiit - requiring an auxiliary as well as the suffix. These can be used in situations like the following:
ʔip iska nuhomi! 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.SUBJUnknown code 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.MODModerate (animacy)
not-quite-animate
.OBJObject (argument) hit-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
'It hit me / I was hit by it!' Piw nuhomɂaha 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.SUBJUnknown code hit-RECPReciprocal (valency)
arguments act on each other
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
'we hit each other' Taa hey gonuhɂa 2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.SUBJUnknown code PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-hit-RFXReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
'you're hitting yourself' ʔip hey nuhkiit 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.SUBJUnknown code ITUnknown code.PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
hit-ITUnknown code.PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
'I was hit'
Verbs in Achiyitqan which do not have a subject suffix must agree to their subject in number. The singular is unmarked, while the plural suffix is -a after consonants and -w after vowels.
Miw muta or muima 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.SUBJUnknown code run-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
'we ran' It pitaw or pitaws 2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.SUBJUnknown code hide-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
'they hid' It hey pitawakiit 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.SUBJUnknown code PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
hide-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
'they were hidden'
[top]Complex verb examples
As with any polysynthetic language, the complexity of the verb structure allows for very long verbs, which may comprise the entire sentence.
Incayeɂaikpihaap. NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
.PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
-INCEUnknown code-knife-hide-1SGUnknown code.SUBJUnknown code
'I was not starting to hide a knife' Manucibiiktanta. FUTFuture (tense)
action occurring after the moment of speech
-orca-fear-2SGUnknown code.SUBJUnknown code-NEGNegative (polarity)
not
.ADMAdmonitive (mood)
warning
'you mustn't fear orca(s)' Kipopi kuh dawgíɥomiq. friend-SUBJUnknown code.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
-1SGUnknown code.GENGenitive (case)
possessive
DEFDefinite
"the"
-fish-SUBJUnknown code.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.ANAnimate (gender/class)
alive, moving
laugh-PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
-CAUSCausative (valency/mood)
cause an action to occur, force another argument to act
'my friend will be made to laugh by the fish' Gitagkainedalasapinnahiu. PRESPresent tense (tense)
current
-here-planet-inhabit-1SGUnknown code-NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-OPTOptative (mood)
'wish, hope'
-ever
'I don't want to live on this planet anymore'


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