3.3. Order (clause type)

In English and other languages, embedded clauses are introduced by complementisers like that (as in he knows that John is lying, where that John is lying is the complement - or 'direct object' - of the verb know). Tokana, however, does not have complementisers. Instead, embedded clauses are distinguished from main clauses by the ending on the verb. For instance, compare the following sentences:

Moutun   inlotka   ne      Elim
yesterday the:Abs Elim
"Elim was sick yesterday"

Imai  iona moutuna      inlotka   ne      Elim
know sick-Dep:Cpl yesterday the:Abs Elim
"I know that Elim was sick

In the first example, moutun inlotka ne Elim "Elim was sick yesterday" is a main clause, capable of standing on its own as a complete utterance. In the second example, moutuna inlotka ne Elim "that Elim was sick yesterday" is an embedded clause, the complement of the verb iona "know". The fact that it is an embedded clause is indicated by the suffix -una on the verb mouta. I will refer to suffixes like -una, which indicate that the verb belongs to a dependent clause, as order suffixes.

Tokana verbs have two orders, (1) the simple order, used in main clauses, and (2) the dependent order, used in embedded clauses of various kinds (e.g. complement clauses, relative clauses, adverbial clauses). The dependent order can be further divided into three 'sub-orders' (or modes), the indicative, the subjunctive, and the resultative. The indicative mode forms embedded clauses which indicate actual events, the subjunctive mode forms embedded clauses indicating hypothetical events, and the resultative mode forms complements of a particular class of verbs called causatives (discussed in 3.8.5).

The complete set of suffixes for marking tense/aspect, order, and negation is given in the following table. Notice that no tense distinctions are made in the resultative order:

   positive  negative
   simple  non-past  -a  -oti
 completive  -un  -otun
 past definite  -e  -otie
   dependent indic.  non-past  -at, -an-  -otia
 completive  -una  -otuna
 past definite  -it, -in-  -oteia
   dependent subjunc.  non-past  -ano  -otio
 completive  -uno  -otuno
 past definite  -ino  -oteio
  resultative  -eu  -oteu

Note that the non-past and past indicative suffixes each have two forms: -at and -it are used when the suffix occurs at the end of a word, while -an- and -in- are used when the suffix is followed by a clitic determiner:

muelhat        "that (someone)
muelhanma      "that I
muelhanko      "that you
muelhankima    "that we

When attaching to a stem ending in an i glide, the past indicative ending -it/-in- and the past subjunctive ending -ino become -et/-en- and -eno, respectively, due to the rule of vowel lowering (section 1.3). For example, compare the following forms built from the verb punia "travel" (stem = puni-):

puniana        "she travels"
punienna       "that she travelled"
punienona      "that she would

When preceded by a stem ending in a u glide, the endings -una and -uno become -ona and -ono, also in accordance with the rule of vowel lowering:

"she washes"
"that she was washing"
"that she would be washing"

The complete paradigm is illustrated below using the verbs iasa "eat", paua "wash", and takia "cut":

   positive  negative
   simple  non-past  iasa  iasoti
 completive  iasun  iasotun
 past definite  iase  iasotie
   dependent indic.  non-past  iasat, iasan-  iasotia
 completive  iasuna  iasotuna
 past definite  iasit, iasin-  iasoteia
   dependent subjunc.  non-past  iasano  iasotio
 completive  iasuno  iasotuno
 past definite  iasino  iasoteio
  resultative  iaseu  iasoteu

   positive  negative
   simple  non-past  paua  pauoti
 completive  pauon  pauotun
 past definite  paue  pauotie
   dependent indic.  non-past  pauat, pauan-  pauotia
 completive  pauona  pauotuna
 past definite  pauit, pauin-  pauoteia
   dependent subjunc.  non-past  pauano  pauotio
 completive  pauono  pauotuno
 past definite  pauino  pauoteio
  resultative  paueu  pauoteu

   positive  negative
   simple  non-past  takia  takioti
 completive  takiun  takiotun
 past definite  takie  takiotie
   dependent indic.  non-past  takiat, takian-  takiotia
 completive  takiuna  takiotuna
 past definite  takiet, takien-  takioteia
   dependent subjunc.  non-past  takiano  takiotio
 completive  takiuno  takiotuno
 past definite  takieno  takioteio
  resultative  takieu  takioteu

The uses of the indicative and subjunctive forms are discussed in 3.3.1 below, while the resultative form is discussed in 3.3.2. Note that in the examples, "Dep" is used as an abbreviation for the dependent indicative form (which is in some sense the unmarked dependent form), while "Subj" as an abbreviation for the subjunctive form, and "Res" is an abbreviation for the resultative form.

3.3.1. The dependent order: Indicative and subjunctive

Indicative and subjunctive dependent order marking is used to indicate that the verb in question belongs to an embedded clause of some type. This clause may be the complement (or 'object') of a verb such as iona "know" or tiyla "seem", as in the following examples:

Imai  iona
moutanne         mikal
I:Dat know sick-Dep-the:Abs boy
"I know
that the boy is sick"

Tiyla moutanne
seem  sick-Dep-the:Abs boy
"(It) seems that the boy is

Embedded clauses with the verb in the indicative or subjunctive dependent order may also occur as the complements of prepositional expressions such as ynale im "before" or elhkò "in order to", as discussed in section 4.1.2:

Kim    lyue        ynale im nioktinne              Sakial
itai    pule
we:Abs wake:up-Pst before   return-Dep:Pst-the:Abs
Sakial the:Dat village-Dat
"We woke up before Sakial (had) returned to
the village"

Asi      tsuniete            talpe
elhkò       fisehthimano
they:Erg plow-Pst-the:Pl:Abs field
in:order:to plant-Subj
"They plowed the fields in order to plant

Dependent order marking is also found on verbs in relative clauses (section 2.4), as in the following example, where the embedded clause sulhtat itai pule lhai "that (he) lives in this village" modifies the noun mikoin "child":

Imai  koipa es  mikoin sulhtat  itai    pule
I:Dat know  one child  live-Dep the:Dat village-Dat
"I know a child that lives in this

Finally, clauses with dependent order marking may act as noun phrases denoting events or situations, inwhich case they are preceded by the inanimate determiner te, as discussed in section 3.9.1 below:

Te      muntanne          Sakial oukutama
drunk-Dep-the:Abs Sakial trouble-me:NA
"The fact that Sakial is drunk
troubles me"
or "Sakial's being drunk troubles

Here, te muntanne Sakial "the (fact) that Sakial is drunk, Sakial's being drunk" is a noun phrase denoting a situation, which acts as the subject of the verb oukuta "trouble". Note also the following example, where "Sakial's being drunk" acts as the subject of lohka "cause", and carries instrumental case:

muntanne          Sakial lohke     muelhoinoteuma
drunk-Dep-the:Abs Sakial cause-Pst sleep-begin-Neg:Res-me:NA
being drunk caused me to not fall asleep"
i.e. "Sakial's being
drunk kept me from falling asleep"

The choice between the indicative and subjunctive modes depends largely on the status of the event being denoted: Indicative clauses denote actual or expected events, while subjunctive clauses denote hypothetical or possible events. Compare these sentences:

Imai  iona nelhat    ilohfoi  ne      Elim
know leave-Dep tomorrow the:Abs Elim
"I know that Elim is leaving

Imai  fala nelhano    ilohfoi  ne
I:Dat wish leave-Subj tomorrow the:Abs Elim
"I wish that
Elim would leave tomorrow"
or "I wish for Elim to leave

In the first sentence, the embedded verb nelha "leave" carries the indicative suffix -at, and thus denotes an actual event, one which is assumed to exist. Or, to put it another way, if the sentence I know that Elim is leaving is true, then we can infer that the sentence Elim is leaving is also true.

In the second sentence, however, the verb nelha takes the subjunctive suffix -ano, and thus denotes an event which is non-existent, but possible - in this case, a wished-for event. (Note that in Tokana this kind of morphological distinction between indicatives and subjunctives is only found on verbs in dependent order clauses. Main clause subjunctives are formed using the 'defective' verb tule "would, could", which is discussed in 3.7.2.)

Dependent order verbs make the same tense distinctions as simple order (main clause) verbs. However, it is important to note that the tense marking on dependent order verbs indicates a time relative to the time of the event denoted by the main clause verb, and not relative to the time when the sentence is uttered. Thus, the dependent non-past forms mark an event as occurring simultaneously with the event denoted by the main clause verb, whatever the tense of the main clause verb may happen to be:

Inai    Elime    iona
moutanne         Sakial
the:Dat Elim-Dat know sick-Dep-the:Abs
"Elim knows that Sakial is sick"

Inai    Elime    ionun    moutanne
the:Dat Elim-Dat know-Cpl sick-Dep-the:Abs Sakial
knew that Sakial was sick"

In both of these sentences, the time at which Elim knows Sakial to be sick overlaps the time at which Sakial is sick. In the first sentence, the dependent clause moutanne Sakial is translated "that Sakial is sick" because the main verb iona is in the present tense, while in the second sentence, it is translated "that Sakial was sick" because the main verb ionun is in the completive.

The dependent past and completive forms, on the other hand, mark an event as occurring prior to the event denoted by the main clause verb:

Inai    Elime
iona moutunan             Sakial
the:Dat Elim-Dat know
sick-Dep:Cpl-the:Abs Sakial
"Elim knows that Sakial was/has been

Inai    Elime    ionun    moutunan
the:Dat Elim-Dat know-Pst sick-Dep:Cpl-the:Abs
"Elim knew that Sakial had been

In these sentences, the use of the completive tense in the embedded clause indicates that Elim's knowing about Sakial's sickness occurred only after the time at which Sakial was sick.

Compare also this pair of examples:

Isai       ihai      hiele   tsitspanna
mikal te      kopo
the:Pl:Dat woman-Dat see-Cpl smash-Dep-the:NA boy
the:Abs pot
"The women saw the boy smash the pot"

Isai       ihai      hiele   tsitspinna           mikal te
the:Pl:Dat woman-Dat see-Cpl smash-Dep:Pst-the:NA boy   the:Abs
"The women saw that the boy had smashed the

These sentences differ only in the tense marking on the embedded verb, non-past tsitspan- versus past tsitspin-. This difference in tense marking correlates with a difference in meaning. In the first sentence, the women witnessed the pot being smashed: Here, the non-past marking on the embedded verb indicates that the event of seeing and the event of smashing occur simultaneously. In the second sentence, the women witnessed the consequences of the action (say, a smashed pot lying on the ground) rather than the action itself. Here, the past tense marking on the embedded verb indicates that the event of smashing had already taken place prior to the event of seeing.

Note finally that the negative particle tu (section 3.1.1) 'agrees' in order with the verb which it negates: When it occurs in a dependent order clause, the form tunme is used. Compare:

Tu  muelhotunna          pyi
sleep-Neg-Cpl-the:NA child
"The child hasn't slept"

Inai    Sakiale    opa   tunme   muelhotunana
the:Dat Sakial-Dat think not:Dep sleep-Neg-Dep:Cpl-the:NA
"Sakial thinks that the child hasn't

3.3.2. The resultative order

The resultative order is characterised by the ending -eu (or -oteu in the negative). Clauses headed by verbs in the resultative form usually occur as the complements of a class of verbs called causatives, discussed in section 3.8.5. These include lohka "make, cause", and nana "let, leave", illustrated below:

Sakial lohke    taheun           Mafe moke
the:Erg Sakial make-Pst
stay-Res-the:Abs Mafe home-Dat
"Sakial made Mafe stay

Na      Sakial nane    taheun
Mafe moke
the:Erg Sakial let-Pst stay-Res-the:Abs Mafe
"Sakial let Mafe stay home"
or "Sakial allowed Mafe
to stay home"

Na      Sakial nane      utimeue
halma itai    totsate
the:Erg Sakial leave-Pst lie-Res-the:Abs book
the:Dat table-Dat
"Sakial left the book lying on the

3.4. Imperatives

Imperatives are formed by replacing the verbal ending -a with the suffixes -o and -ife, where -o marks the positive imperative and -ife marks the negative imperative (or prohibitive) form:

iasa      "eat"            paua      "wash"
iaso      "eat!"           pauo      "wash!"
iasife    "don't eat!"     pauife    "don't

When attaching to a stem ending in i, the negative imperative -ife becomes -efe, in accordance with the rule of vowel lowering (section 1.3):

lalia     "play"
lalio     "play!"
laliefe   "don't

Note that clitic determiners may attach to imperative verbs just as they attach to tensed verbs:

loitom    "look at me!"
 itsifema     "don't talk to
loiton    "look at
him/her!"    itsifena     "don't
talk to him/her!"
"look at it!"         itsifekma
"don't talk to us!"

Imperatives formed with -o and -ife are used to express simple commands. In order to form sentences expressing polite requests, invitations, etc., the particles slune, ete, and onie may be used in place of imperative marking. These particles are discussed below in 3.7.1.



Hosted by uCoz