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This public article was written by Eowyn Hiraeth, and last updated on 12 May 2017, 11:31.
9. Word classes
10. Word order
Present can be used as a progressive tense, and Conditionnal is also used as an Imperative. There are no participles, for the Passive tenses are filling their cases.
Notice that although imperfect is the most common tense, it is also the only way to express the past.
There is no formal form.
You can add "gë" after the verb to specify a feminine form (facultative).
"She was learning" = ofosi gë - /oˈfosi ɟ/
[top]Verb-verb contractionWhen an infinitive is used after an aŭiliary, it does not end like an infinitive but with -zül instead (for verbs in -s̨a only). Also, two consecutive verbs are contracted in an only word.
"I want to go" = saghoralozül - /ˈsaɟjoɾaloð̞yl/
Note : sitas̨a - /sita'sa/ is often shortened in /ˈsta/.
Instead of using a "be + adjective" form, you can use a contraction to express both of them in a single word. In that situation, the verb goes after the adjective and its final -a, if any, becomes -u.
satas̨a daeqha - /satˈsa ˈdɛjçja/ = daeqhusatas̨a - /dɛjçjusatˈsa/
sitas̨a ɀöanilva - /ˈsta θœ́ˑanilʋa/ = ɀöanilvusitas̨a - /θœ́ˑanilʋuˈsta/
As you can see in any declension table of a verb beginning with a consonant (for example taes̨a), the present, future and conditionnal tenses show a metathesis of their affixes. The pronunciation can be greatly changed because of that.
The "if" particle always work with the present tense and never with conditionnal or past, which would seem as awkward in Mayessa as double negation does in english.
The past tense is called "imperfect" because of an historical misinterpretation. A Terrian linguist in charge of the Mayessa studies first thought there was an imperfective / perfective differentiation in the language, although there is not. Some of his colleagues later used his notes, and as they were aware of the complete absence of perfective tenses, they began to talk of past tense as...imperfect ! And it remained, although it is absolutely not an imperfect tense but a simple past form.
To speak of oneself in an undeterminate future or past, one must use the third person and not the first one !
Tasi sösboultik ergöu - /ˈt͡si ˈsœsbu:ltic ɛˈɾœw/ = He was a baby then = I was a baby then The Mayessa language works with a remarkably few conjugations. The only tenses are Present, Future, Imperfect, Conditionnal, Passive Present and Passive Imperfect.