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Periphrastic Verbs

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  • Anthony Miles
    First of all, I must apologize for my non-participation in the Most Beautiful thread. I find that question meaningless. In my revision of Siye grammar, I have
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 29, 2013
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      First of all, I must apologize for my non-participation in the Most Beautiful thread. I find that question meaningless.

      In my revision of Siye grammar, I have reached the point where I must explain how periphrastic verbs work. Many phrases in English that require an auxiliary verb are expressed in Siye via the Position 6 suffix, which include such concepts as 'want' 'must' 'promise to' 'can'. Thus:

      elesamokaputema. I want to smoke. (Smoking is an insidious habit introduced by Terrans)
      elesamokapuwima. I must smoke.
      elesamokapukomma. I promise to smoke.
      elesamokapuyamma. I am able to smoke.

      Some Position 6 suffixes control the aspect of the verb. -te- must use the imperfective, while -ka- must use the perfective:

      elesamokaputema. I want to smoke.
      elesamokapukana. I have resolved to smoke.

      There is only one slot for a Position 6 suffix per verb. This, combined with the mandatory aspect of certain Position 6 suffixes, creates a few problems: firstly, if two Position 6 suffixes are necessary, how to express them? secondy, if one wants to use the prohibited aspect with an aspect-restricted suffix, how does one do that? Thirdly, if the aspect of the main verb differs from that of the auxiliary verb, which aspect is dominant?

      No problem:
      elenupunamnama. I begin to build. (imperfective)
      elenuputema. I want to do it. (imperfective)
      elekepukana. I have resolved to do it. (perfective)
      elenupu(nam/te)nama. I (want to/begin to) build. (imperfective)
      nutamnama elenuputema. I want to begin to build it (I want it, beginning to build) (imperfective + imperfective)
      kenemenana elekepukana. I have resolved to stop building it. (perfective + perfective)

      But what about these? Which aspect is dominant?
      nutamnama elekepukana. I have resolved to build it/I resolve to build it. (imperfective + perfective)
      kenemenana elenuputema. I want to stop building it/I wanted to stop building it. (perfective + imperfective)

      So, are there natlang/ANADEW precedents for resolving this? What do you do in your conlangs that have periphrasitic verbs?
    • Roger Mills
      Well, I wouldn t call them periphrastic,which in my experience applies to verbs like Engl. have spoken , will speak etc.... or Latin amatus sum. The sort of
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 29, 2013
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        Well, I wouldn't call them periphrastic,which in my experience applies to verbs like Engl. "have spoken", 'will speak' etc.... or Latin amatus sum.

        The sort of formations you cite also exist in Prevli, where I call them "apects". There are 10.

        Inchoative (becoming...) and Causative (cause to/cause to be....) use unique prefixes; the others use prefixes derived from the related verbs. Inchoative esp. is most widely used with adjectives-- de?e 'little' > inde?e 'becoming little(r)'.

        Inceptive, begin to... nom- : nom/abre/k 'I begin to travel'
        Desiderative, want to..., me-: me/abrek 'I want to travel'
        Prospective, about to..., hat/abrek 'I'm about to travel'
        Obligative, have to, must   ten/abrek 'I must/have to travel'
        Debitive, ought to, should   bor/abrek 'I ought to travel' (preferably uses irrealis)
        Intentive, about to  dis/abrek 'I'm about to travel'
        Potential, can, able to tuv/abrek (< tub+abrek) 'I can travel'
        Progressive, be...ing  nag/abrek 'I am (in process of) traveling, I'm en route'


        The main verb can also be in irrealis mode (the above are all realis)-- /abid/ travel, irreal. a:mír e.g.

        mea:mír 'I (probably/may) want to travel'  or tuva:mír 'I probably can travel' etc.


        If the main verb is transitive, it can of course be passivized, but that's too complicated to go into here :-)) An easy example: ab/de?e 'make (s.t.) little' > ab/je?e (< ap+d-i-e?e) 's.t. is made little(r)... And some passive forms can have the above apects. e.g. tuv/abje/e '(it) can be made little(r)'

        (Hope I have these right.... it's been a while since I worked with Prevli  :-((( )


        ________________________________
        From: Anthony Miles <mamercus88@...>
        To: CONLANG@...
        Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:58 PM
        Subject: Periphrastic Verbs


        First of all, I must apologize for my non-participation in the Most Beautiful thread. I find that question meaningless.

        In my revision of Siye grammar, I have reached the point where I must explain how periphrastic verbs work. Many phrases in English that require an auxiliary verb are expressed in Siye via the Position 6 suffix, which include such concepts as 'want' 'must' 'promise to' 'can'. Thus:

        elesamokaputema. I want to smoke. (Smoking is an insidious habit introduced by Terrans)
        elesamokapuwima. I must smoke.
        elesamokapukomma. I promise to smoke.
        elesamokapuyamma. I am able to smoke.

        Some Position 6 suffixes control the aspect of the verb. -te- must use the imperfective, while -ka- must use the perfective:

        elesamokaputema. I want to smoke.
        elesamokapukana. I have resolved to smoke.

        There is only one slot for a Position 6 suffix per verb. This, combined with the mandatory aspect of certain Position 6 suffixes, creates a few problems: firstly, if two Position 6 suffixes are necessary, how to express them? secondy, if one wants to use the prohibited aspect with an aspect-restricted suffix, how does one do that? Thirdly, if the aspect of the main verb differs from that of the auxiliary verb, which aspect is dominant?

        No problem:
        elenupunamnama. I begin to build. (imperfective)
        elenuputema. I want to do it. (imperfective)
        elekepukana. I have resolved to do it. (perfective)
        elenupu(nam/te)nama. I (want to/begin to) build. (imperfective)
        nutamnama elenuputema. I want to begin to build it (I want it, beginning to build) (imperfective + imperfective)
        kenemenana elekepukana. I have resolved to stop building it. (perfective + perfective)

        But what about these? Which aspect is dominant?
        nutamnama elekepukana. I have resolved to build it/I resolve to build it. (imperfective + perfective)
        kenemenana elenuputema. I want to stop building it/I wanted to stop building it. (perfective + imperfective)

        So, are there natlang/ANADEW precedents for resolving this? What do you do in your conlangs that have periphrasitic verbs?
      • Anthony Miles
        I agree, -te-, -ka-, etc., are modal verbs which happen in Siye to be expressed as suffixes. The verb /elenuputenama/ is just a single verb. But the importance
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 6, 2013
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          I agree, -te-, -ka-, etc., are modal verbs which happen in Siye to be expressed as suffixes. The verb /elenuputenama/ is just a single verb. But the importance of aspect (perfective vs. imperfective) in Siye cannot be stressed enough. The imperfective root /nu/ 'make, do, build' together with the directional /na/ 'up' creates the imperfective stem of the verb 'to build'. /e-/ and /le-/ are the 4th and 1st person pronoun prefixes, respectively. The number suffix /pu/ is singular and must refer to the subject prefix /-le/ because the verb is in the imperfective aspect – the number of the object remains undefined on the verb. The desiderative suffix (Position 6 suffix) /te/ can only appear in verbs with imperfective aspect. The suffix /ma/ indicates the verb possesses imperfective aspect, positive polarity, and indicative mood.

          The verb /elekepukanana/, on the other hand, illustrates the perfective aspect. The perfective root /ke/ with the directional /na/ is the perfective equivalent of the imperfective stem /nu/ plus /na/. The number suffix /pu/ indicates the singular number of the object prefix /e/, because the verb is perfective – any number indication of the subject must occur outside the verb. The intentive suffix /ka/ can only appear in a perfective verb. The suffix /na/ after the directional /na/ indicates the verb possesses the same polarity and mood as the imperfective form, but the perfective aspect.

          Siye participles are formed from the finite verb by removing the pronominal prefixes and the number suffix from the verb. The participle originated as a verb form derived from a verb with the coordinative suffix /-am/. Historically, a verb such as /edediyoputenama/ became /edediyoputenamaang/ with the addition of the coordinative suffix. The addition of /ngi/, the comitative suffix, to /ang/, depending on the semantics of the verb, resulted in the new suffix /angi/. Later changes produced the two forms /ani/ and /a'i/. The latter reduced to /a/ under vowel dominance, and the former was reduced to /an/ and reanalyzed as the regular positive verbal ending with an epenthetic /n/ to preserve the initial vowel of the following verb. The aforementioned loss of the prefixes and suffix also occurs Thus the maximal form of /edidiyoputenamaangi/ became /litenama(n)/

          Now, here is why I call it periphrastic. The sentence “I want to stop smoking tobacco” /topako samokanemena-n-elenuputema/ has two Position 6 suffixes, /te/ and /neme/. Since /te/ must take the imperfective, but /neme/ the perfective, two verbal forms are required. /samoka/, as a loanword, uses the same form in both aspects, but /neme/ must take the perfective aspect. /elenuputema/ is a fully inflected transitive verb, with both prenominal prefixes and the number suffix. The object prefix /e-/ refers to the object of the periphrastic verb and not the participle, which is grammatically inanimate. Although the /nu/ in /elenuputema/ is the same imperfective root that underlies /nu/ plus /na/ 'to build', in this construction it is one of two possibilities, the other being /kim/ plus the directional /ki/, 'to stand, to be', which Siye uses as an auxiliary verb. The suppletive roots /nu/ and /ke/ 'to do' are used with notions of moving or doing, while /kim/ plus /ki/ is used with notions of being or staying. The choice of imperfective verb root /nu/ rather than the perfective verb root /ke/ is conditioned by the desiderative suffix /te/, which must appear in an imperfective verb. Thus the literal rendering of the phrase is “smoke-stop-perfective-epenthesis-it-I-”do”-singular-want-imperfective”.

          Although this phrase runs together, the epenthesis only occurs before the 3rd and 4th person pronominal prefixes. In the sentence / sa tumsumkomtuma salenupuyammu samokanemenanelenupukomnu/ “I cannot become engaged to (promise to marry) you because you have not decided to quit smoking”, the participle /tumsumkomtuma/ and the verb /salenupuyammu/ do not run together. Even /samokanemenanelenupukomnu/ is not perfectly bound, since both verb roots /samoka/ and /nu/ retain their original primary stress - /'samoka”neme”na ele'nupu”komnu/.

          An example of a periphrastic phrase with /kim/ plus /ki/ is /ilo umhitamlosumkina/ /tamsumkina umhikimlokakina/ or /tamsukinanumhikimlokakina/s 'They decided to settle here'.
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