Regular Finite Verbs
's verbs are agglutinative, with various affixes to indicate mood, tense, aspect, voice and person. There are also many non-finite forms, but I will discuss those more in another post. For now, I will just say that verbs have basic stems that end in a vowel (which is identical to the 2s active imperative form) and are usually cited in their simple active infinitive form, ending in -nu
ruvanu, semonu, laidonu, glainanu, tunu, methonu to love, to drink, to eat, to see, to give, to read
First, an overview of the affixes in a table with explanation and a few examples to follow.
SLOT 1 (optional) - Mood2
This slot contains some mood prefixes that are used in conjunction with other mood markers in Slot 7.
: The jussive is used to indicate future commands, and various types of hortatory expressions: "They shall sit here!" "We shall leave at once!" "You shall finish this work!" It is used in conjunction with the non-past optative ending in Slot 7 in only the simple and perfect aspects and present tense.
: The potential expresses likely and probable events. It is used in conjunction with the subjunctive endings in Slot 7.
: The dubitative expresses unlikely possibilities. It is used in conjunction with the subjunctive endings in Slot 7.
If the verb stem begins with a vowel, an epenthetic -y-
is inserted between the prefix and the stem
This may be the bare verb stem or it can be modified in the following ways:
: The habitual expresses habitual and customary actions. Reduplication of the onset cluster plus the vowel -o
forms the habitual aspect stem. It cannot be used in conjunction with other aspects in Slot 4.
: The progressive expresses ongoing actions. Reduplication of the onset cluster plus the vowel -e
forms the progressive aspect stem. It cannot be used in conjunction with other aspects in Slot 4.
For both reduplicating stems, if the verb in question begins with a vowel, the stem is simply prefixed with o-/e-
plus an epenthetic -y
SLOT 2 (optional) - Causative
: This affix makes the verb causative.
SLOT 3 (optional) - Voice
: Active voice
: Middle voice and reflexive verbs
: Plural subjects acting on each other.
: Passive voice
SLOT 4 - Aspect
: Indicates a basic, non-descript (and perhaps aorist) aspect.
: Indicates a completed aspect that has some continued relevance. This cannot be used in conjunction with the habitual nor progressive stems.
: Indicates an action that is about to occur or is going to occur. This cannot be used in conjunction with the habitual nor progressive stems.
The choice of the perfect or prospect aspect suffix depends on the verb class:
Class I verbs - pe-perfects, na-prospectives:
Class II verbs - ka-perfects, vi-prospectives
: verbs of motion, inchoatives with infinitives in -tronu
, causatives, all middle/passives
Class III verbs - ka-perfects, na-prospectives
: verbs in -vinu
by analogy with ovinu
Verbs are usually cited with their simple active infinitive (in -nu
) are assumed to be class I unless other information, such as the class number is given. If the verb is cited in the middle, -thi
or passive, -li
infinitive form, it must belong to class II.
SLOT 5 (optional) - Future/conditional
: Indicates conditional if used with the past indicative endings in Slot 7. Indicates future otherwise.
SLOT 6 - Person
2sg imperative, -
: 2sg. imperative
2pl imperative, -n
: 2pl imperative
All other moods use the following endings:
Personal (non-imperative) endings
are used with the non-past indicative endings and -nd-
are used for all other tense/mood combinations.
SLOT 7 - Tense/mood
Nonpast indicative, -
: Present and future indicative. Normal declarations of events.
Past indicative, -ar
: Past indicative. Also used with the tense marker -bo
in Slot 5 to mark the conditional
. The conditional is used in both clauses of counterfactual statements and as a future-in-the-past tense.
Nonpast subjunctive, -i
: Present and future subjunctive to express irrealis and deliberation in questions. Used with the mood marker go-
in Slot 1 to indicate present and future potential to express likely or probable events. Also used with the mood marker mu-
to indicate present and future dubitative to express unlikely or improbable events.
Past subjunctive, -ai
: Same uses as the nonpast subjunctive, but in past tenses.
Nonpast optative, -u
: Present and future optative to express wishes, blessing and curses. Also used with the mood marker ca-
in Slot 1 to indicate the jussive
mood for formal, future and future perfect commands. The jussive mood is only used with the simple unmarked aspect or the perfect aspect.
Past optative, -os
: Same use as the nonpast optative, but in past tenses and no jussive mood use.
Here are a few random examples:
I eat bread.
We will probably drink the wine.
You all saw each other yesterday.
You are reading now.
Slornana totu tutekas ep caguneth mati laidotekasan.
slorna-na to-tu tu-te-ka-s ep cagú-ne-th ma-ti laido-te-ka-san
beer-DEF 1s.MASC-DAT give-PASS-PERF-3s and nut-DEF-PL 2s.FEM-INST eat-PASS-PERF-3p
The beer has been given to me and the nuts have been eaten by you.
Of course, there are a few irregular verbs that I will post about later.