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Evolution of Verb Forms Across Wibbayuric and Ngoraic Languages
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This public article was written by clawgrip, and last updated on 12 Sep 2021, 13:01.

[comments] Menu 1. Non-Finite Forms 2. Finite Tenses 3. Voice 4. Mood This article outlines the verb forms that have existed in  Proto-Wibbayuric-Ngoraic and the various languages descended from it.

[top]Non-Finite Forms

Pre-Wibbayuric had seven non-finite verb forms: the active middle, and passive gerunds, the first active, middle, and passive participles, and the second participle.

Using the example verb pōṟ- "drink"

active gerund: pōṟehog
passive gerund: pōṟethog
middle gerund: pōṟeḡethog

1st active participle: pōṟemo
1st passive participle: pōṟethemo
1st middle participle: pōṟeḡemo

2nd participle: pōṟse

The passive and middle 2nd participles are formed not by means of unique suffixes, but rather though the use of the standard passive and middle forms that occur in finite verb forms (i.e. passive pōpōṟse, middle pōḡepōḡeṟse); thus, they are not included here.

Evolution to  Old Wibbayuric:
active gerundpōṟehog→ active gerundbúlihu
passive gerundpōṟethog→ passive gerundbúlitu
middle gerundpōṟethog→ middle gerundbúletu
1st active participlepōṟemo→ active participlebulímu
1st passive participlepōṟethemo→ passive participlebulitímu
1st middle participlepōṟeḡemo→ middle participlebulému
2nd participlepōṟse→ —

  • The second participle is abandoned entirely, while the rest remain intact.
  • The final /g/ of the gerunds is dropped.

Evolution to  Uyendur:
active gerundbúlihu→ active gerundbulixu
passive gerundbúlitu→ passive gerundbulitu
middle gerundbúletu→ —
active participlebulímu→ active participlebulixumu
→ active adjectival(ĭ) bulixum
passive participlebulitímu→ passive participlebulitumu
→ passive adjectival(ĭ) bulitum
middle participlebulému→ —

  • The middle voice is lost entirely.
  • The participles have changed form, becoming more similar in form to the gerunds.
  • Two new adjectival forms are created from the participles.

Evolution to  Tuchuqfa:
active gerundbúlihu→ active gerundpúlhu
passive gerundbúlitu→ passive gerundpúlthu
middle gerundbúletu→ —
1st active participlebulímu→ active participleplím
1st passive participlebulitímu→ —
1st middle participlebulému→ passive participleplém

Evolution to  Gosudondiul:
active gerundbúlihu→ active gerundbúlyo
passive gerundbúlitu→ passive gerundbobúlyo
middle gerundbúletu→ middle gerundbóibleho
1st active participlebulímu→ active participlebolímo
1st passive participlebulitímu→ passive participleboltímo
1st middle participlebulému→ middle participlebolémo

  • The middle voice is retained.
  • The passive infinitives are regularized, employing the standard passive form of active verbs plus the standard infinitive or participle ending, as is done with the 2nd participle in Proto-Wibbayuric-Ngoraic.

Evolution to  Ngankedic (I've skipped the Old Ngoraic step, between Pre-Wibbayuric and Ngankedic):
active gerundpōṟehog→ infinitivepōṅkap
passive gerundpōṟethog→ —
middle gerundpōṟeḡethog→ —
1st active participlepōṟemo→ 1st participleapnīm
1st passive participlepōṟethemo→ —
1st middle participlepōṟeḡemo→ —
2nd participlepōṟse→ 2nd participleponse

  • The middle voice is lost.
  • The passive infinitives and participles are regularized, employing the standard passive form of active verbs plus the standard infinitive or participle ending, as is done with the 2nd participle in Proto-Wibbayuric-Ngoraic (i.e. passive infinitive opāpaṅkap, passive participle opapnīm 2nd passive participle opāpanse).

[top]Finite Tenses

 Proto-Wibbayuric-Ngoraic had seven finite tenses: four morphological tenses, and three periphrastic tenses: aorist, perfect I, future, imperfect, perfect II (immutative), and imperfect II (persistive), perfect III (remote/discontinuous). Imperfect II developed later in the language's history, only in the Wibbayuric branch; thus, it is not present in the Ngoraic branch. Examples here use the 1st person suffix -e:

aorist: -Ø - pōṟe
perfect I: -(e)t - pōṟete
future: -(e)ṅw - pōṟeṅwe
imperfect I: -(e)nc - pōṟence
perfect II: -se khī - pōṟse khīḡe
perfect III: -se zǣm - pōṟse zǣme
imperfect II: -se nō - pōṟse nōḡe

Evolution to  Old Wibbayuric:
Early Proto-Wibbayuric-Ngoraic Late Proto-Wibbayuric-Ngoraic
aoristpōṟe→ nonpastbúli
perfect Ipōṟete→ pastbúlida
futurepōṟeṅwe→ —
→ future (dialect only)
imperfect Ipōṟence→ —
perfect IIpōṟse khīḡe→ nonpast perfectbúlkii
→ past perfectbúlkiid(a)
perfect IIIpōṟse zǣme→ remote pastbúlyami
imperfect IIpōṟse nōḡe→ nonpast progressivebúlnui
→ past progressivebúlnuid(a)

  • The aorist and perfect I changed meaning and became nonpast and past tenses respectively
  • The morphological future and imperfect I were dropped
  • The remote past was only present in the earliest forms of Proto-Wibbayuric, and did not survive into any descendants
  • the periphrastic perfect II and imperfect II were grammaticalized as suffixes: the 2nd participle ending -se was dropped, and the following verb became fused to the end of the main verb. However, these are now able to combine with the past tense, creating past/nonpast distinction between perfect and progressive.

Evolution to  Uyendur:
nonpastbúli→ nonpast progressivebuli
pastbúlida→ pastbulida
nonpast perfectbúlkii→ nonpast perfectbulkĭ
past perfectbúlkiid(a)→ past perfectbulkĭd
remote pastbúlyami→ —
nonpast progressivebúlnui→ nonpast habitualbulnĕ
past progressivebúlnuida→ past habitualbulnĕda

  • the Proto-Wibbayuric nonpast does not survive into Uyendur
  • the progressive shifts to a habitual meaning, while the nonpast takes on a progressive meaning

Evolution to  Tuchuqfa:
nonpastbúli→ present habitual/progressivepúl
→ future habitual/progressivepĕltár
pastbúlida→ —
nonpast perfectbúlkii→ past simple/habitual/progressivepĕlkhẽ́
past perfectbúlkiid(a)→ pluperfectpĕlkhẽ́t
remote pastbúlyami→ —
nonpast progressivebúlnui→ present continuouspĕlnṍ
→ future continuouspĕlnṍ nĕm
past progressivebúlnuida→ past continuouspĕlnṍt

  • The future continuous is formed with the adverb nĕm, which is not used elsewhere.
  • The simple/perfect/progressive distinction made by Proto-Wibbayuric has been replaced by a simple/continuous/progressive distinction. The progressive is used for ongoing actions, while the continuous is used for ongoing states.

Evolution to  Gosudondiul:
Old WibbayuricGosudondiul
nonpastbúli→ present simplea. búle
b. búloi
pastbúlida→ past simplea. búlida
b. búloida
nonpast perfectbúlkiipresent perfecta. búlki
b. búloki
remote pastbúlyami→ —
past perfectbúlkiid(a)→ past perfecta. búlkida
b. búlokida
→ future perfecta, b. búlokenoi
nonpast progressivebúlnui
→ future simplea, b. búlonoi
past progressivebúlnuida→ past continuousa. búlnoida
→ future-in-pasta, b. brabúloida

  • The Old Wibbayuric remote past is lost.
  • The nonpast progressive takes on the role of a future tense; this future tense suffix also combines with the past perfect suffix to create a future perfect form.
  • A future-in-past form is innovated.
  • A stem variation (one of the morphological moods; see below) is required for all future tenses, as well as all negative forms. The form marked a. is used for affirmative statements, and the form marked b. for negative statements.

Evolution to  Ngankedic:
aoristpōṟe→ aoristepon
perfect Ipōṟete→ perfecteponi
futurepōṟeṅwe→ futureepnaṅ
imperfect Ipōṟence→ imperfectepni
perfect IIpōṟse khīḡe→ —
perfect IIIpōṟse zǣme→ —

  • The periphrastic tenses were all discarded
  • The perfect and imperfect where highly simplified, possibly through influence from Wibbayuric languages


Pre-Wibbayuric had three voices: active, passive, and middle. The middle voice eventually disappeared in the Wibbayuric branch, while in the Ngoraic branch, it developed into a causative. The non-finite forms of these voices were already covered in the non-finite verb form section, so this will deal only with the finite forms. They will be demonstrated using the aorist/nonpast/present form:

Evolution to  Old Wibbayuric:
active voicepōṟe→ active voicebúli
passive voicepōpōṟe→ passive voicebubúli
middle voicepōḡepōḡeṟe→ middle voicebúibili

  • Consequent to the loss of ḡ, the vowels of the middle voice become adjacent.
  • The base vowel, in this example /u/, is dropped in the second of the two vowels sequences, i.e. /ui/ becomes /i/.
  • A stress shift occurs in the middle voice, moving stress from the base to the reduplicant.

Evolution to  Uyendur:
active voicebúli→ active voicebuli
passive voicebubúli→ passive voicebĕbli
middle voicebúibili

  • The middle voice is entirely lost.
  • In late Proto-Wibbayuric, the passive and middle voices became interchangeable. By the time of Uyendur, mostly the middle voice form became settled as the passive form.
  • The vowels in the first sequence merge, creating a vowel that differs from the original base vowel.

Evolution to  Tuchuqfa:
active voicebúli→ active voicepúl
passive voicebubúli→ passive voicepṍpli
middle voicebúibili

  • The same changes for Uyendur occur also for Tuchuqfa.

Evolution to  Gosudondiul:
active voicebúli→ active voicebúle
passive voicebubúli→ passive voicebobúle
middle voicebúibili→ middle voicebóibeli

Evolution to  Ngankedic:
active voicepōṟe→ active voiceepon
passive voicepōpōṟe→ passive voiceepāpan
middle voicepōḡepōḡeṟe→ causative voiceepēpen

  • The middle voice becomes a causative voice
  • The formation of the two voices is partially regularized: The first consonant is reduplicated from the stem itself, but the vowel is consistent across all stems.


The modal system of Wibbayuric languages involves interaction between morphological mood and periphrastic modal particles. The same sort of morphological mood did not develop in the Ngoraic branch.

Evolution to  Old Wibbayuric:
Pre-WibbayuricOld Wibbayuric
indicativepōṟor→ indicative/realisbúlur
potential/speculativepōṟse anorpōṟ-anor→ potential/partial irrealisbúlanur
inferential/reportedpōṟse oḡoḡorpōṟ-ōḡor→ irrealisbúluur

  • This example uses the 3P MASC suffix -or/-ur instead of the 1P suffix -e/-i
  • The verbs compound and become fully grammaticalized suffixes

Evolution to  Uyendur:
Old WibbayuricUyendur
indicative/realisbúlur→ active voicebulur
potential/partial irrealisbúlanur→ transitionalbulanur
irrealisbúluur→ irrealisbulĭr

Evolution to  Tuchuqfa:
Old WibbayuricTuchuqfa
indicative/realisbúlur→ realispúlĕr
potential/partial irrealisbúlanur→ irrealispúlnur
irrealisbúluur→ —

  • Due to sound changes, the original irrealis voice fell out of use. Thus the partial irrealis became the irrealis.

Evolution to  Gosudondiul:
Old WibbayuricGosudondiul
indicative/realisbúlur→ active voicebúlor
potential/partial irrealisbulánur→ subjunctivebolánor
irrealisbúluur→ irrealisbúlur
irrealis + partial irrealis*bulánuur→ irrealis subjunctivebolánur

  • The irrealis mood evolved into a stem that is in complementary distribution with the realis stem. It is required for future tenses and negatives.
  • The transitional mood has become a subjunctive, and can now cooccur with the irrealis.

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