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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 sick-Cpl yesterday the:Abs Elim "Elim was sick yesterday" Imai iona moutuna inlotka ne Elim I:Dat know sick-Dep:Cpl yesterday the:Abs Elim "I know that Elim was sick yesterday"
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:
|dependent indic.||non-past||-at, -an-||-otia|
|past definite||-it, -in-||-oteia|
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) sleeps" muelhanma "that I sleep" muelhanko "that you sleep" muelhankima "that we sleep"
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 travel"
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:
pauana "she washes" pauonana "that she was washing" pauonona "that she would be washing"
The complete paradigm is illustrated below using the verbs iasa "eat", paua "wash", and takia "cut":
|dependent indic.||non-past||iasat, iasan-||iasotia|
|past definite||iasit, iasin-||iasoteia|
|dependent indic.||non-past||pauat, pauan-||pauotia|
|past definite||pauit, pauin-||pauoteia|
|dependent indic.||non-past||takiat, takian-||takiotia|
|past definite||takiet, takien-||takioteia|
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.
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 mikal seem sick-Dep-the:Abs boy "(It) seems that the boy is sick"
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 [them]"
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 lhai I:Dat know one child live-Dep the:Dat village-Dat here "I know a child that lives in this village"
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 the:Abs drunk-Dep-the:Abs Sakial trouble-me:NA "The fact that Sakial is drunk troubles me" or "Sakial's being drunk troubles me"
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:
Itan muntanne Sakial lohke muelhoinoteuma the:Inst drunk-Dep-the:Abs Sakial cause-Pst sleep-begin-Neg:Res-me:NA "Sakial's 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 I:Dat know leave-Dep tomorrow the:Abs Elim "I know that Elim is leaving tomorrow" Imai fala nelhano ilohfoi ne Elim I:Dat wish leave-Subj tomorrow the:Abs Elim "I wish that Elim would leave tomorrow" or "I wish for Elim to leave tomorrow"
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 Sakial "Elim knows that Sakial is sick" Inai Elime ionun moutanne Sakial the:Dat Elim-Dat know-Cpl sick-Dep-the:Abs Sakial "Elim 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 sick" Inai Elime ionun moutunan Sakial the:Dat Elim-Dat know-Pst sick-Dep:Cpl-the:Abs Sakial "Elim knew that Sakial had been sick"
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 kopo the:Pl:Dat woman-Dat see-Cpl smash-Dep:Pst-the:NA boy the:Abs pot "The women saw that the boy had smashed the pot"
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 not sleep-Neg-Cpl-the:NA child "The child hasn't slept" Inai Sakiale opa tunme muelhotunana pyi the:Dat Sakial-Dat think not:Dep sleep-Neg-Dep:Cpl-the:NA child "Sakial thinks that the child hasn't slept"
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:
Na Sakial lohke taheun Mafe moke the:Erg Sakial make-Pst stay-Res-the:Abs Mafe home-Dat "Sakial made Mafe stay home" Na Sakial nane taheun Mafe moke the:Erg Sakial let-Pst stay-Res-the:Abs Mafe home-Dat "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 table"
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 wash!"
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 play!"
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 me!" loiton "look at him/her!" itsifena "don't talk to him/her!" loitò "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.
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