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Verbs of perception
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This public article was written by Elinnea, and last updated on 2 Jan 2019, 01:03.

[comments] Menu 1. Table of perceptions and sensations 2. Degrees of feeling 3. Looks like, sounds like, tastes like... 4. Watch out for... 5. Showing and trying
?FYI...
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[top]Table of perceptions and sensations

In Numi, the verbs of perception either represent an activity (intentionally engaging a sensation) or an experience (passively undergoing one). This table is where I map out the possibilities.

ActivityExperience
Sightひん (look, ambtr)
ごあし (watch, dur and tr)
あし (see, ambtr)
Hearingけよ (listen to, tr)
そへい (listen, intr)
やそ (hear and pay attention, overhear, tr)
じゅり (hear, ambtr)
Touch (external)
On the skin, in the mouth, etc.
ごべ (touch, ambtr)あご (feel, tr)
Touch (internal)
Pains, hunger, heartbeat, etc.
ごりやね (concentrate on feeling, intr)ごりあ (feel, tr)
Tasteにら (taste, ambtr)げら (taste, tr)
Smellにゆ (sniff/smell, ambtr)おゆ (smell, tr)
Emotion/Thoughtsやね (introspect, intr)
ぐる (contemplate, tr)
れいる (empathize, ambtr)
るうめ (feel emotion, ambtr)
Generalごひえ (observe, tr)ひづお (experience, tr)
ひえん (undergo, dur and tr)

tr: Transitive
intr: Intransitive
ambtr: Ambitransitive
dur: Durative

[top]Degrees of feeling

Some feelings can be described in three ways: by using the sensation directly as a verb, by using a verb of perception with the feeling incorporated into the verb, or by having the feeling as a standalone object to the verb. The closer a sensation is to the core of the verb, the more immediate the expression.

のづばりろに!
no-dzuba-riron-i
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-hurt-elbow-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future

My elbow really hurts!

のづばごりありろに。
no-dzuba-goria-riron-i
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-hurt-feel-elbow-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future

My elbow hurts.

にみごりありろに づばめお。
ni-mi-goria-riron-i
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-feel-elbow-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
dzuba-meo
hurt-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient

I feel a pain in my elbow.

[top]Looks like, sounds like, tastes like...

There are also different ways to say that something has a particular look, flavor, etc. The first way is to use the sense-descriptor directly as a predicate.

ゐほいじょり ぞんてげ。
wi-hoijo-ri
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-spicy-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
zonte-ge
soup.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-this

This soup is spicy (hot).

Alternatively, you can use a verb of experience with a passive marker. This promotes the thing being experienced to absolutive case. The descriptor can then either come immediately after the verb or follow the noun as a modifier.

ゐえげらり ぞんて ほいじょ げの。
wi-e-gera-ri
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-be-taste-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
zonte
soup.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
hoijo
spicy
geno
this

This soup tastes spicy.

To say that it is like something, use the preposition えん (en, as).

ゐえげらり ぞんてげ えんごおちぇ。
wi-e-gera-ri
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-be-taste-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
zonte-ge
soup.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-this
en-gōche
as-carrot

This soup tastes like carrots.

The えん construction can also be used when the experiencer is not certain about the sensation.

るえるうめぺったわ えねの。
ru-e-rūme-petta-wa
2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-be-feel_emotion-today-PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
en-eno
as-sad

You seem sad today. (Literally, You are felt as sad today.)

The verbs of experience can be applied as bare stems after a noun root to form a noun or modifier that means looks like/tastes like/etc. the base noun.

にみおっみじ ぞんてめお ごおちぇげら。
ni-mi-ommi-ji
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-like-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
zonte-meo
soup-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
gōche-gera
carrot-taste

I liked the carrot-tasting soup.

[top]Watch out for...

The verb えじ (eji) means to watch out or be alert for something bad. It is always transitive, with the thing being warned against as the direct object. If you're using it as an imperative (which is common) you have to either use the antipassive form or incorporate the object into the verb. えじ can stand on its own or be combined with any of the verbs of perception to indicate what manner of "watching out" is required. Use the verbs of activity rather than experience for this construction.

るあんくてひねじり きね。
ru-ankute-hin-eji-ri
2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-flash-look-watch_out-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
kine
should

You should watch out for the flash. (i.e. from a camera that would damage your sight)

およごべえじで みええつん わひ。
oyo-gobe-eji-de
ANTIPAntipassive voice (valency)
valency is decreased by one
-touch-watch_out-INCHInchoative (aspect)
'beginning, becoming'
mi-ētsun
of-stove
wahi
hot

Watch out for/be careful of the hot stove.

およえじり!
oyo-eji-ri
ANTIPAntipassive voice (valency)
valency is decreased by one
-watch_out-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future

Watch out!

In the imperative, a non-past perfective aspect indicates that it's a one-time threat you're warning someone against. Using inchoative aspect means that it's something ongoing that you will need to be vigilant about.

[top]Showing and trying

The ditransitive verb さい (sai) means to show something to someone. Similarly to えじ, it can either stand alone or combine with the verbs of perception to define what sense is being engaged. This one combines as a prefix with the experiential perception verbs. It does have a slight irregularity: the perception verbs that start with an /a/ turn the /i/ of さい into a /j/, as in さやし (sayashi, to show by sight).

にみさやしじ ぬいゑすめお。
ni-mi-sai-ashi-ji
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-show-see-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
nu-iwesu-meo
my-drawing-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient

I showed him my drawing. (made him look at it)

The verb やぎ (yagi), which means to try something or give it a try, can combine with the active perception verbs in the same way as えじ. It has no irregular forms.

ごおちぇにらやぎり はの。
gōche-nira-yagi-ri
carrot-taste-try-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
hano
please

Please try tasting the carrots.
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