Lecture 10: Verb Properties and the Present Tense May 15, 2010 18:14:59 GMT -6
Post by Hooligan on May 15, 2010 18:14:59 GMT -6
Hello again students —
Here is the next lecture.
PART 1: VERB PROPERTIES
Here is the next lecture.
PART 1: VERB PROPERTIES
As in other languages, in addition to tense (past, present, future), and subject (I, you, he, etc.), Talossan verbs and verb phrases can be inflected in different moods, aspects, and voices. The casual speaker of a language likely does not think about such things, but a quick overview of what these terms mean can be useful. At least I hope it is, since we're going to do that right now.PART 2: THE INDICATIVE PRESENT TENSE
The "mood" of a verb (also called its "mode") refers to how the speaker feels about the factuality of the verb. That is, a verb has a different mood if the person (a) knows the statement to be true or (b) wonders if it is true or (c) is ordering that it become true. Just like English (and like other Romance languages), Talossan verbs can be used in one of four moods, and these are:
- The Infinitive Mood. We covered the non-finite verb forms in the previous lecture. In the infinitive mood, the form of the verb is one that does not in any way imply anything about the action of the verb. (For example, in English, both the infinitive form "to see" and the past participle form "seen" are useless without context, and could mean many things — "I love to see that", "I wish to see that", "I forbid you to see that", "the movie was seen", "if only the movie were seen", etc.)
- The Indicative Mood. This is the "usual" mood, and the one that implies that the speaker knows (or at least believes that he or she knows) that the statement is true. In the indicative mood, a verb can appear in any of the three time-related tenses — past, present, and future. (In this lecture, we will discuss the present-tense indicative mood verb forms.)
For example, in English, the sentences "I said it", "I say it", and "I will say it" are all indicative mood statements (the first in the past tense, the second in the present tense, and the third in the future tense -- but all in the indicative mood). (The Talossan equivalent sentences are éu en parleveu, éu en parléu, and éu en parlarhéu.)
- The Subjunctive Mood. English speakers often have trouble with this mood, because even though it is used in English, the casual speaker does not realise it. The subjunctive mood is used to indicate that the speaker is not sure whether the action of the verb is or will be factual.
In English, the subjunctive mood shows up with verbs that appear in phrases that have words such as "if" and "might" and "may". Consider the English phrase "I wish I were thinner." Note that many English speakers might say "I wish I was thinner", but this is improper. The form "was" is for the past tense, as in "A year ago, I was thinner", and the form "were" is proper to use with the subject "I" in this wishful, unsure, maybe someday kind of phrasing. Thus, "were" is a subjunctive mood conjugation (of the verb "to be") here.
In Talossan, the subjunctive mood is used in the same places as in English, it is just that English speakers often need to stop and think, "hey wait — this is subjunctive, isn't it?" before realising to use the Talossan subjunctive mood conjugations. A "feel" for when the subjunctive should be used is an important thing for a new student of Talossan to learn.
In the past (and in fact, in R. Ben Madison's texts on the language), the subjunctive mood conjugations are called "the conditional tense". This is not exactly incorrect, as the Talossan subjunctive is also used in the same places where (for example) the Spanish conditional tense would be found. We will discuss the subjunctive mood in more detail later, but for now, know that if your sentence indicates a wish, or an "if", or has any kind of "maybe" qualities, consider the subjunctive mood for the verbal action of the sentence. For example, the subjunctive mood is used in esperéu àd estadréu stiglh (= I wish I could be thin). The first verb (esperéu = I wish) is a positive statement of fact, and is in the indicative mood, but the second (estadréu = I could be) is an unfulfilled wish, and so this verb is in the subjunctive mood.
- The Imperative Mood. The imperative mood is the verb mood used when a verbal action is being commanded. For example, the English command "Throw it!" is in the imperative mood. The equivalent Talossan statement is ¡Xhetetz-en! We will discuss Talossan's imperative mood in a future lecture.
In English, the phrases "I am eating fish" and "I eat fish" have definite different meanings, although undeniably they are both in the present tense, and both indicate facts (indicative mood). The difference here is that the two sentences each have a different grammatical aspect. The first of these is in the progressive aspect, as it indicates an ongoing (fish-eating) action or activity. The second example is in the imperfective aspect, and it indicates a habit or custom (of fish-eating) that is currently being followed.
In Talossan, the simple indicative present tense is used for the progressive aspect. That is, menxhéu del pesc indicates an ongoing act of fish-eating. [We have discussed this in a previous lecture, which cautioned against using the present particple -- English's "-ing" ending, and Talossan's "-ind" ending -- in this progressive (ongoing action) way in Talossan.] To indicate "I eat fish" (as a custom or habit), Talossan casts the phrase into the imperfective aspect: éu sint à menxharh del pesc (= I eat fish; literally, I am to eat fish).
This extends to other tenses (time-senses) as well. That is, menxheveu del pesc (= I ate fish) indicates a particular past incident of fish-eating, while éu füt à menxharh del pesc means a past (formerly-observed) custom of eating fish, as in the English "I used to eat fish".
Notice that menxheveu del pesc could indicate a past progressive sense, as in "I was (engaged in) eating fish when he arrived" or a completed action, as in "I ate fish for breakfast". This minor distinction is a case where, if one or the other sense is important to convey, additional context must be supplied to accompany the verb phrase.
Another aspect in English and other languages is the "perfect" aspect. This is seen in the phrases "I have eaten fish" and "She has eaten fish". Notice that here (as with the imperfective aspect, touched on above) the verb is a two-verb combination, including a conjugated form of the verb "to have" and the past participle form of the verb "to eat". This is exactly how this same aspect is formed in Talossan — éu téu menxhat del pesc and a tent menxhat del pesc are the Talossan phrases equivalent to the English phrases just given.
In addition to the simple aspect (menxheveu del pesc = I ate fish), which also expresses the progressive aspect (= I was eating fish), and the perfect aspect (tignoveu menxhat del pesc = I had eaten fish), and the imperfect aspect (esteveu da menxharh del pesc = I used to eat fish), Talossan has two other aspects. These are the prospective aspect ("I am just about to eat fish") and the retrospective aspect ("I just ate fish"). In Talossan, these phrases would be éu viens à menxharh del pesc and éu viens da menxharh del pesc, respectively, using conjugations of the verb viénarh with either à or da to indicate the aspect.
Aspects can combine. For example, the combination of the perfect aspect and the prospective aspect is called (no surprise here) the perfect prospective aspect. This is seen in an example such as téu venescu à menxharh del pesc (= I have been just about to eat fish).
In addition to mood, tense, and aspect, a verb has a grammatical "voice" (also known as a diathesis). The voice of a verb describes the relationship between the action of the verb and its subject. Essentially, when the subject of a sentence is also the agent (or "doer") of the verb, then the verb is said to be in "active" voice. When the doer of the verb is the object of the sentence, rather than the subject, then the verb is in "passive" voice.
This isn't as complicates as it sounds. Consider "the man ate fish". This is an active voice sentence. The equivalent passive voice sentence is "the fish was eaten by the man". Notice the two different forms of the verb "to eat" -- "ate" and "was eaten (by)".
The passive voice is indicated in Talossan just as is done in English, with a form of the verb "to be" followed by a past participle verb conjugation. For example, el cióvec menxheveu el pesc (= the man ate fish) is active, while el pesc esteva menxhat par el cióvec (= the fish was eaten by the man) is passive.
Just as the active voice can combine with various aspects, so can the passive voice. Consider el pesc veneva àd estarh menxhat (= the fish was just about to be eaten), which is a prospective aspect, passive voice phrasing.
In the remainder of this lecture, we will cover perhaps the most common verb conjugation — the present-tense conjugations of the indicative mood. You will be using these verb conjugations whenever you want to talk about something that is true or currently happening. For example, the English phrase "I love baseball" includes the present tense form of the verb "to love".As always, I am available to answer questions about this lecture if anyone has any.
Conjugation of Regular Verbs
As you recall, the infinitive form of most Talossan verbs ends with the letters -arh. To form the present-tense conjugations, that ending is replaced by one of the endings shown in the table below. The Talossan verb amarh ("to love") is used for the examples.
SUBJECT ENDING EXAMPLE I -éu améu (I love) you -ás amás (you love) he/she/it -a ama (he/she/it loves) we/they -ent ament (we/they love) y'all -etz ametz (y'all love)
These simple word-ending changes apply to all Talossan verbs except those that are listed in the next section, which have irregular present-tense conjugations.
For example, menxhéu is the form of the verb menxharh (= to eat) which means "I eat". So, éu menxhéu dels uois means "I eat eggs". Similarly, menxhás dels uois means "you eat eggs", and os non menxhent dels uois means "they do not eat eggs".
If the infinitive form of a verb ends with -carh, then the -éu, -ent, and -etz endings have the letter h included, to preserve the hard c sound. For example, the verb pecarh (= to sin) has the forms pechéu (= I sin), pechent (= we/they sin), and pechetz (= y'all sin).
Irregular Present-Tense Verbs
Fifteen Talossan verbs (including some of the more frequently used, like "to go", "to have", and "to be"), have irregular present-tense conjugations. Those verbs are listed below and these exceptions simply need to be memorised:
VERB IRREGULAR CONJUGATIONS credarh
créu ("I believe")
creas ("you believe")
crea ("he/she/it believes")
sint ("I/we/they am/are")
isch ("you/he/she/it are/is")
("to do, or to make")
fäts ("he/she/it does or makes") fóstarh
("to be obliged to"
fost ("I/you/he/she/it have/has an obligation to")
fossent ("we/they/y'all have an obligation to")
(the verb of motion;
véu ("I go")
vas ("you go")
va ("he/she/it goes")
viennent ("we/they go")
vetz ("y'all go")
moaréu ("I die")
mortás ("you die")
moara ("he/she/it dies")
moarent ("we/they die")
moretz ("y'all die")
("to be able to" [can])
put ("I/you/he/she/it can")
povent ("we/they can")
("to know" or "to know how to")
säp ("I/he/she/it know")
säps ("you know")
scríu ("I write")
scríuas ("you write")
scrivent ("we/they write")
scriitz ("y'all write")
("to be standing")
stint ("we/they are standing")
stameux ("we are standing") [archaic]
téu ("I have")
tent ("you/he/she/it have")
tiennent ("we/they have")
tenetz ("y'all have")
volt ("I/you/he/she/it want(s)")
volent ("we/they want")
víu ("I see")
vías ("you see")
vía ("he/she/it sees")
aspect modal verb)
viens ("I/you am/are about to/just did")
vient ("he/she/it is about to/just did")
viennent ("we/they are about to/just did")
vetz ("y'all are about to/just did")
("to say or tell")
zíu ("I say")
zías ("you say")
zía ("he/she/it says")
For example, to say éu estéu, to mean "I am", would be improper; the verb estarh must be conjugated as shown above, and not using the rules for regular conjugation that were given earlier. Thus, éu sint is proper for "I am".
The student of Talossan should become familiar with the verbs that conjugate irregularly; luckily (as you can see above), Talossan does not have a huge number of them. Notice, however, that any verb that is an "extended" form of an irregular verb will follow the same irregular conjugations. For example, the verb previdarh (= to forecast) is an extended form of the verb vidarh (= to see) — extended by the addition of the suffix pre-. Therefore, éu previdéu is improper for "I forecast"; instead, éu prevíu is correct.
Notice that the we/they and y'all forms of the verbs irh (= to go) and viénarh (= the prospective and retrospective aspect auxiliary verb) are identical. That is, os viennent means "they go/come" while os viennent àd irh means "they are just about to go/come". This is due to the fact that these two particular verbs have undergone a merger, to the point where irh is now known as "the verb of motion", and (after having adopted many of the conjugation forms of viénarh) now carries both senses "go" and "come". The verb viénarh (which originally meant "to come") now has adopted the special use of forming the manitive and retrospective aspects (the "just about to" and "just did" senses) discussed in part 1 of the lecture.
Whenever any type of active motion is the sense, then the verb irh is used. Since viénarh is always followed by à/da then an infinitive verb form, consider how ambiguity is actually not an issue: in os viennent dal feschta (= they are coming from the party), the verb viennent is a conjugation of irh, and in os viennent da reviénarh dal feschta (= they just returned from the party), it is a conjugation of viénarh, forming the retrospective aspect.