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In addition to the endings discussed in 3.1-3.4, there are a number of other affixes which may be attached to verb stems. For example, various modal and aspectual distinctions are marked by means of suffixes, as shown below. Such suffixes are discussed in 3.6.1.
malha "read" malhampa "be able to read" malhoina "begin to read"
Reflexive/reciprocal expressions are formed by adding the prefix uk- to the verb. This prefix (together with the 'arbitrary subject' prefix iok-) is discussed in 3.6.2:
paua "wash" ukpaua "wash oneself, wash each other"
Furthermore, comparison is marked on stative verbs by means of affixes, viz. the relative prefix an-, discussed in 3.6.3, in combination with the equative suffix -if- and the comparative suffix -eht-, as shown below:
toma "be big" antomifa "be as big as" antomehta "be bigger than"
Finally, the prefix i- must be attached to the verb when it is preceded by an interrogative word or focused constituent. This prefix is discussed in section 3.6.4.
There are a number of suffixes which can be added to a verb stem to mark various modal and aspectual distinctions. The aspectual suffixes include the following elements, shown with example forms involving the verb eta "walk":
Progressive -ih- etiha "be walking" Inceptive/Inchoative -oin- etoina "begin to walk" Atelic -ok- etoka "walk around"
Note that the progressive suffix -ih- becomes -eh- when preceded by a stem ending in an i glide, as shown below. This is in accordance with the rule of vowel lowering, discussed in section 1.3:
punia "travel" punieha "be travelling"
The progressive suffix indicates that the event in question is ongoing. Compare the following:
Ani malha halma "She reads books (habitually)" or "She will read a book" Ani malhiha halma "She is reading a book (at the moment)" Ani malhe halma "She read a book" Ani malhihe halma "She was reading a book"
The progressive suffix is most felicitous with agentive verbs - that is, verbs which take a volitional subject, marked with ergative case. Thus while sentences like Ani malhiha halma "She is reading a book" are fine, sentences like Kahpiha sù "It is raining" would be considered marginal by most speakers. To say "It is raining", it is more natural to simply use the non-past tense form: Kahpa sù.
The suffix -oin- refers to the beginning of an event or state. Note that it receives an inceptive interpretation ("begin to") when attached to an eventive verb, and an inchoative interpretation ("become") when attached to a stative verb:
Ami malha "I read" Ami malhoina "I begin to read" Mai liunun "I was old" Mai liunoinun "I became old" (lit. "I began to be old")
The atelic suffix -ok- is used mostly with verbs of motion that take ergative case subjects, such as eta "go, walk", penta "run", uasta "fly", sihana "swim", and so on. Attaching -ok- to such verbs indicates that the motion event is random - i.e., not directed towards any particular goal:
penta "run (to someplace)" pentoka "run around (for a while)" sihana "swim (to someplace)" sihanoka "swim around (for a while)"
Recall that noun phrases in the dative case may denote (among other things) the goal towards which an object moves or the location at which an event takes place, as shown below:
Sianen moiha itai katiai enter-Pst-the:Abs girl the:Dat house-Dat "The girl went into the house" Muelhena moiha itai katiai sleep-Pst-the:NA girl the:Dat house-Dat "The girl slept in the house"
In the first sentence, itai katiai is a goal (into the house), while in the second sentence, itai katiai is a location (in the house). With motion verbs of the type mentioned above, use of the suffix -ok- helps to disambiguate dative noun phrases: When -ok- is absent, the dative phrase denotes a goal, and when -ok- is present, the dative phrase denotes a location:
Pentena moiha itai lokai run-Pst-the:NA girl the:Dat forest-Dat "The girl ran into the forest" Pentokena moiha itai lokai run-Atel-Pst-the:NA girl the:Dat forest-Dat "The girl ran around in the forest"
In addition to the progressive, inceptive, and atelic suffixes, Tokana also has aspectual suffixes which indicate the duration of the event or state denoted by the verb, or whether that event/state takes place on one occasion or multiple occasions. I illustrate them using the verb iasa "eat":
-onk- iasonka "eat for a long time" -yn- iasyna "eat for a short time" -ihp- iasihpa "eat on one occasion" -is- iasisa "eat on several occasions"
Ami ihutka etyne itai tomlai I:Erg last:night walk-Asp-Pst the:Datmountain-Dat "Last night I took a walk on the mountain for a while" Inumefoi tahisama se next:year visit-Asp-I:NA them:Abs "I will visit them several times next year"
The modal suffixes of Tokana are listed below:
Intentional -ahm- iasahma "intend to eat" Abilitative -amp- iasampa "be able to eat" Attemptive -ank- iasanka "try to eat" Desiderative -uh- iasuha "want to eat" Deontic -ulhk- iasulhka "must eat"
When preceded by a stem ending in a u glide, the desiderative -uh- and deontic -ulhk- undergo vowel lowering to become -oh- and -olhk-, respectively, as shown below with paua "wash":
pauoha "want to wash" pauolhka "must wash"
The aspectual suffixes discussed above have no effect on the case marking of the subject they attach to. The modal suffixes, by contrast, do have an effect on the case of the subject. Verbs which are suffixed with -ahm- or -uh- take dative subjects, while verbs suffixed with -amp-, -ank-, or -ulhk- take ergative subjects.
For example, consider the verb itskana "arrive", which in its unsuffixed form takes an absolutive subject:
Mai inlotka itskane I:Abs yesterday arrive-Pst "I arrived yesterday"
As the examples below show, when a modal suffix is attached to itskana, this absolutive case assignment is 'overridden' by the case assigning properties of the suffix:
Imai inlotka itskanahmun I:Dat yesterday arrive-intend-Cpl "I intended to arrive yesterday" Ami inlotka itskanampun I:Erg yesterday arrive-can-Cpl "I was able to arrive yesterday" Ami inlotka itskananke I:Erg yesterday arrive-try-Pst "I tried to arrive yesterday" Imai inlotka itskanuhun I:Dat yesterday arrive-want-Cpl "I wanted to arrive yesterday" Ami inlotka itskanulhkun I:Erg yesterday arrive-must-Cpl "I had to arrive yesterday"
As the above examples illustrate, modal and aspectual suffixes attach directly to the stem, preceding any negation, tense/aspect, or order suffixes. Note, however, that there is a special negative abilitative suffix -amot "be unable to, cannot", which is used in place of -amp + -oti:
Ami uhnampa "I can sing" Ami uhnamot "I can't sing" Tai kespampama "I can carry it" Tai kespamotma "I can't carry it"
Verbs suffixed with -amot inflect for tense/aspect and order as follows:
To form reflexive and reciprocal constructions, English employs a set of special object pronouns, e.g. myself, yourself, herself, ourselves, etc.. Tokana forms reflexive constructions in another way, by attaching the prefix uk- to the verb:
paua "wash" uima "love" ukpaua "wash oneself" ukuima "love oneself"
Note that when the prefix uk- attaches to a verb beginning with h, the prefix and the verb undergo h-metathesis (section 1.3), as in the following example, where k + h becomes hk:
hiela "see" uhkiela "see oneself"
Similarly, when uk- attaches to a verb beginning with k, the k of the prefix and the k of the stem undergo degemination (section 1.3), becoming hk:
kahta "hit" uhkahta "hit oneself"
Finally, if the verb stem begins with a consonant cluster, the extended form uke- is used:
skona "look at" ukeskona "look at oneself"
The reflexive prefix attaches to transitive verbs which take an absolutive object and an ergative or dative subject (see section 3.8.3). The resulting form takes its subject in the absolutive case, as shown below. Compare:
Na iha kahten kal the:Erg woman hit-Pst-the:Abs man "The woman hit the man" Ne kal uhkahte the:Abs man Refl-hit-Pst "The man hit himself" Inai mikale hielen moiha itai ailote the:Dat boy-Dat see-Pst-the:Abs girl the:Dat mirror-Dat "The boy saw the girl in the mirror" Ne moiha uhkiele itai ailote the:Abs girl Refl-see-Pst the:Dat mirror-Dat "The girl saw herself in the mirror"
When the subject of a the verb is plural, the resulting construction may have either a reflexive interpretation or a reciprocal interpretation, depending on context:
Se moiha uhkiele itai ailote the:Pl:Abs girl Refl-see-Pst the:Dat mirror-Dat "The girls saw themselves in the mirror" or "The girls saw each other in the mirror"
In place of uk-, the preverbal particle ala "each" (see 5.4.4) may be used in combination with the noun iat "other" or iaton "other [animate]" to indicate a reciprocal meaning - especially to express situations where the agents alternate in performing the action on each other:
Sa moiha ala kahten iaton the:Pl:Erg girl each hit-Pst-the other:one "The girls hit each other (in turn)" lit. "The girls each hit the other" Sa moiha ala pusuke homa meile kamana iatone the:Pl:Erg girl each make-Pst bread honey for-the:NA other:one-Dat "The girls made honeybread for each other (in turn)" lit. "The girls each made honeybread for the other"
In English, there are a handful of transitive verbs which may be used intransitively with an inherently reflexive or reciprocal meaning (e.g. The mother washed the boy versus The boy washed, or John met Bill versus John and Bill met). Note that the corresponding verbs in Tokana always require the uk- prefix when used in this way:
Ne mikal ukpaue the:Abs boy Refl-wash-Pst "The boy washed (himself)" Ne Mafe'lh ne Mothe uhkuole itai tulone the:Abs Mafe-and the:Abs Mothe Refl-meet-Pst the:Dat road-Dat "Mafe and Mothe met (each other) on the road"
Closely related to uk- is the 'arbitrary subject' prefix iok-, which may be attached to a verb in place of an ergative or dative subject (note that this prefix undergoes the same sound changes as uk-, viz. metathesis before a verb beginning with h, degemination before a verb beginning with k, and use of an extended form ioke- before consonant clusters). Prefixing iok- to the verb serves to indicate that the agent of the action is arbitrary, or that his/her identity is irrelevant or unknown to the speaker, as the following examples show:
Na ahte limè hitol the:Erg father open-Pst-the:Abs door "The father opened the door" Ioklimè hitol Arb-open-Pst-the:Abs door "Somebody opened the door" Te hitol ioklime the:Abs door Arb-open-Pst "Somebody opened the door" or "The door was opened (by somebody)"
This prefix is frequently used in embedded subjunctive clauses to mark an arbitrary subject, as in the following example:
Ikime fala ioktemiohanò satha we:Dat want/wish Arb-fix-Subj-the:Abs roof "We want someone to fix the roof" or "We want the roof to be fixed"
The prefix iok- is discussed further in section 3.8.7.
Stative verbs (in particular, stative verbs which denote qualities that can be evaluated on a scale) have a relative form, which is marked by adding the prefix an- to the verb stem:
Base form Relative ynna anynna "be short" kaila ankaila "be hot" nohta annohta "be cold"
In many cases, the prefixing of an- to the verb stem triggers sound changes (section 1.3): If the verb stem begins with a non-nasal consonant, the n of the prefix assimilates in place of articulation to that consonant (and a following s becomes ts). If the verb stem begins in a consonant cluster, the extended form ane- is used. And if the verb stem begins with h, then h-metathesis takes place. These changes are illustrated below:
pata ampata "be tall" fiha amfiha "be young" suliuna antsuliuna "be old, be stale" klota aneklota "be fast" haitina ahnaitina "be weary"
The meaning of the relative form is best explained by considering a pair of examples:
Te katia pata the:Abs house tall "The house is tall" Te katia ampata the:Abs house Rel-tall "The house is tall"
The first sentence, with the non-relative form pata, means that the house is tall in 'absolute' terms, with reference to some appropriate standard of tallness, e.g., the average height of houses. The second sentence, with the relative form ampata, means that the house has a certain degree or measure of tallness (which in this sentence is left unspecified).
It is extremely rare for a verb to occur in the relative form by itself, as in the above example. Normally the relative form is accompanied by some explicit reference to a measurement (which appears in the instrumental case), as in the following sentence:
Te katia ampata ihtahne kastam the:Abs house Rel-tall six-Inst kastam "The house is six kastams tall"
Here the instrumental phrase ihtahne kastam "six kastams" indicates the degree of tallness of the house. Note that six kastams, or about 11.5 feet, is not very tall for a house, at least by Tokana standards. Thus the house is not tall in absolute terms. A more exact, if cumbersome, translation of this sentence would be "The house has a degree of tallness (which is equal) to six kastams".
There are a handful of degree words in Tokana (section 3.10) which must occur with a stative verb in the relative form. These include mulh "enough", tsuò "too much", and tsyi "not enough":
mulh ampata "tall enough" tsuò ampata "too tall" tsyi ampata "not tall enough"
The relative form is also required in questions containing the operator miante "how much", when those questions ask about the degree of a particular property:
Te katia miante'n iampata? the:Abs house how much-Qu Foc-Rel-tall "How tall is the house?" lit. "(By) how much is the house tall?"
As the following examples illustrate, relative verbs may take adjunct clauses headed by ku "to, for, in order that, so that":
Te naka lhai anthota ku tiyisotioma the:Abs rock here Rel-heavy for lift-Neg-Subj-I:NA "This rock is so heavy that I can't lift (it)" lit. "This rock is heavy so that I wouldn't lift (it)" Te pahmauat mulh ankaila ku lhalhtano the:Abs cooking:fire enough Rel-hot for cook-Subj "This fire is hot enough to cook (over)" lit. "The fire is hot enough so that (one) would cook (over it)" Te pahmauat tsuò ankaila ku lhalhtano the:Abs cooking:fire too:much Rel-hot for cook-Subj "This fire is too hot to cook (over)"
In addition to the above uses, the relative form of the verb serves as the base to which the equative and comparative suffixes -if- and -eht- are added:
Equative (Equ) -if- ampatifa "be as tall as" ankailifa "be as hot as" aneklotifa "be as fast as" Comparative (Com) -eht- ampatehta "be taller than", "be tallest" ankailehta "be hotter than", "be hottest" aneklotehta "be faster than", "be fastest"
Note that equative verbs (e.g. ampatifa "be as tall as, equal in tallness") and comparative verbs (e.g. ampatehta "be taller than, exceed in tallness") are syntactically transitive: These forms take an absolutive argument to indicate the subject of comparison, and a dative argument to indicate the standard of comparison. For example:
Ne kal ampatifana ihai the:Abs man Rel-tall-Equ-the:NA woman-Dat "The man is as tall as the woman"
This sentence could be paraphrased something like "The man has an equal degree of tallness compared to the woman", or "The man is equal-in-tallness to the woman". Additional examples are given below (note the use of the reflexive prefix uk- in the first example):
Ne kal ki ne iha ukampatifa the:Abs man and the:Abs woman Refl-Rel-tall-Equ "The man and the woman are equally tall" lit. "The man and the woman are as tall as each other" Ne kal ampatehtana ihai the:Abs man Rel-tall-Com-the:NA woman-Dat "The man is taller than the woman" Ne kal lhai ampatehta the:Abs man here Rel-tall-Com "This man here is the tallest"
Consider also the following example, where a standard of comparison (inai ihai, "the woman") and a phrase indicating degree (esne kastam, "one kastam") are both present:
Ne kal ampatehta esne kastam inai ihai the:Abs man Rel-tall-Com one-Inst kastam the:Dat woman-Dat "The man is one kastam taller than the woman"
When two actions are being compared, rather than two entities, then the standard of comparison is usually an embedded clause introduced by a dative case-marked operator - e.g. miomie "how-Dat" in the examples below. Note that the operator, which is not present (overtly) in the English translations, is obligatory in this construction. (See section 3.7.2 for the use of the auxiliary nià "do" in these sentences.)
Ami penta ie aneklotehtat miomie niat ani I:Erg run with Rel-fast-Com-Dep how-Dat do-Dep he:Erg "I run faster than he does" lit. "I run faster than how he does" Ami iaslò pente ie aneklotifat miomie niet inlotka I:Erg today run-Pst with Rel-fast-Equ-Dep how-Dat do-Dep:Pst yesterday "I ran as fast today as I did yesterday" lit. "I ran as fast today as how (I) did yesterday"
Semantically and morphologically related to comparative and equative verbs are the quantifiers anehte "more (than), most" and anifte "as many (as)" (section 2.5.2). Like normal quantifiers, these each have an animate and a temporal adverbial form, shown below, with examples:
anehton "more (people)" anifton "as many (people)" inanehte "more, more often" inanifte "as often (as)" Ami iase anehte pami mahe nienko I:Erg eat-Pst more food what-Dat do-Dep:Pst-you:NA "I ate more food than you did" lit. "I ate more food than what you did" Iaslò lhiane anifton mahe niet inlotka today come:here-Pst as:many what-Dat do-Dep:Pst yesterday "As many (people) came today as did yesterday" Ne Han ukpaua inanehte miantè niat ami the:Abs Han Refl-wash more:often how:much-Dat do-Dep I:Emph "Han bathes more often than I do" lit. "Han bathes more often than how much (that) I do"
If a noun phrase or other constituent occupies the preverbal focus position (section 5.1.2) or the operator position (5.1.3), then the prefix i- must be attached to the verb. I will refer to this prefix as the focus marker. Compare the following:
Na miua sapente peilan the:Erg cat chase-Pst bird "The cat chased a bird" Na miua peilan isapente the:Erg cat bird Foc-chase-Pst "The cat chased a bird" or "It's a bird that the cat chased"
In the first sentence, the focus position is empty, and so the verb sapenta "chase" is unprefixed. In the second sentence, however, peilan "bird" has moved up to the focus position, and so the prefix i- is attached to sapenta. The following example shows the use of i- in interrogative questions: Here, mà "what" is in the operator position, while na miua "the cat" is occupying the pre-focus topic position (see 5.1.4):
Na miua mà'n isapente? the:Erg cat what-Qu Foc-chase-Pst "What did the cat chase?" or "The cat, what did (she) chase?"
Additional examples, showing focused adverbials and prepositional phrases, are given below. Notice that in the second example, the focus-marked verb carries the negative suffix -oti, in 'agreement' with the focused negative adverb intunte "never" (see 3.1). For more discussion of focus fronting and the use of i-, see sections 5.1.2 and 5.1.3.
Ohpinan Hanne iemuktampunkima sukat because of-him:Inst Han-Inst Foc-finish-can-Cpl-we:NA work-Dep "We were able to finish our work because of Han" "It's because of Han that we were able to finish our work" Itai tomlai lhon intunte ihotun iakmon talhatat the:Dat mountain-Dat there never Foc-be-Pst anyone climb-Dep "Never has anyone climbed that mountain"
Note that when the focus marker is attached to a word beginning with i, the i of the prefix becomes e: E.g., i- + itsa "say" becomes eitsa, while i- + iona "know" becomes eiona. This is in accordance with the rule of vowel lowering discussed in section 1.3.
When the focus marker i- precedes the relative marker an- when both are attached to the verb:
Te katia lhon ampata kelune kastam the:Abs house there Rel-tall seven-Inst kastam "That house is seven kastams tall" Te katia lhon miante'n iampata? the:Abs house there how much-Qu Foc-Rel-tall "How tall is that house?" lit. "That house, (by) how much is (it) tall?" Te katia lhon kelune kastam iampata the:Abs house there seven-Inst kastam Foc-Rel-tall "That house is seven kastams tall"
The focus marker also precedes the reflexive/reciprocal prefix uk- and the arbitrary subject prefix iok- (where i- + iok- becomes eiok-):
Miò'n iukpaue? who-Qu Foc-Refl-wash-Past "Who washed himself?" Mà katia n'eioksuehkiospe? what house Qu-Foc-Arb-burn down-Pst "Which house was burned down?"
If the verb is preceded by a degree word (section 3.10), i- attaches to the degree word rather than the verb. For instance, in the examples below, i- is prefixed to omi "so, so much" and mioteumi "completely", respectively:
Ymiohpa'n iomi ohiyna? why-Qu Rel-so:much sad "Why are (you) so sad?" Te mas imè'n imioteumi nanalhta? the:Abs soup when-Qu Rel-completely boil "When will the soup be completely cooked?"
The focus marker also attaches to the negative particle tu (section 3.1), yielding the form itù:
Ne Mothe itù lhianotun the:Abs Mothe Foc-Neg come:here-Neg-Cpl "It's Mothe who didn't come"
In this section I discuss constructions involving 'defective' verbs - that is, verbs which lack the full range of inflectional forms discussed in 3.1-3.4, and which in many cases consist of a single 'frozen' form. Such verbs include slune, ete, and onie, used to form imperatives and optatives (3.7.1), and tule, which marks the subjunctive/conditional mood in main clauses (3.7.2). Also, in 3.7.3, I discuss the copula he "be" and the auxiliary nià "do", which have irregular conjugations.
Recall from section 3.4 that imperatives are formed by adding the suffixes -o (for the positive) and -ife (for the negative) to the verb stem:
Lhiano! "Come here!" Pauote kopo! "Wash the pots!" Nelhife kas! "Don't leave yet!"
Imperatives formed in this way are usually felt by native speakers to be rather brusque. An alternative construction is thus often used to form requests or polite commands: This construction involves the unmarked form of the verb (viz. the simple non-past), accompanied by the defective verb slune, glossed "please". For example:
Slune lhiana "Please come here" Slune pauate kopo "Could you please wash the pots?" Slune nelhoti kas "Please don't leave yet"
Note that slune is formed from the old verb root slun- "help", to which the optative suffix -e (not to be confused with the past tense suffix -e) has been added. At an earlier stage in the language, -e could apparently be attached to any verb, but now this suffix is only attested on three frozen forms, slune, ete, and onie, and in a handful of idioms (such as the expression nioktè telanko "may your kindess return to you", which is the Tokana way of saying "thank you").
The defective verb ete "come, let's" (from eta "go") is used with the unmarked form of the verb to indicate an invitation or suggestion:
Ete afanakma "Why don't you come with us?" Kim ete nelha kas "Let us leave now"
Note that ete can be used by itself as an exclamation meaning "let's go!", "let's do it!", "go ahead!", "come on!", et cetera. This form is also found in the expression ie eliat iete ma "may you go easily", which is the Tokana way of saying good-bye or wishing someone well.
Finally, the defective verb onie "may, may it be that", is used with the unmarked form of the verb to indicate a wish or desire:
Se mioton onie hulia! they:Abs all/whole may healthy "May they all be healthy!" Onie stelhma mà kypesat! may find what look:for-Dep "May (you) find what (you) are looking for!"
As discussed in section 3.3.1, indicative and subjunctive embedded clauses are distinguished by the form of the ending on the verb. In main clauses, the subjunctive is formed using the defective verb tule "would, could". Recall that subjunctives denote potential or hypothetical events. For example:
Mai tule afanakyina aun alhano I:Abs would accompany-you:Pl:NA if be:allowed-Subj "I would come with you, if it were allowed"
Tule is used quite frequently in combination with the modal suffixes. As the following examples show, tule does not play any role in assigning case to the subject:
Ami tule afanampa "I could come along", "I would be able to come along" Imai tule afanuha "I would like to come along" Ami tule afanulhka "I would have to come along", "I ought to come along"
When a clause containing tule is negated, it is tule rather than the lexical verb which bears the negative suffix -oti:
Imai tulotie afanuha "I would not like to come along"
To form past tense subjunctives, the completive marker -un or the past tense marker -e is suffixed to the main verb. No tense marking appears on tule itself. Compare:
Mai tule afanakyina "I would come with you" Mai tule afanekyina "I would have come with you"
Tule is also sometimes found in embedded clauses, where it occurs in place of dependent subjunctive morphology on the verb. In embedded clauses, tule has the form tulit, as in the following examples. Notice that the clitic determiner -kim "we" attaches to the main verb rather than to tulit:
Na Elim nesepe ni tulit afanuhankim the:Erg Elim ask-Pst Qu would-Dep come:along-want-Dep-we:Abs "Elim asked if we would like to come along (with him)" Na Elim nesepe ni tulit afanuhinkim the:Erg Elim ask-Pst Qu would-Dep come:along-want-Dep:Pst-we:Abs "Elim asked if we would have liked to come along (with him)"
The complete paradigm for tule is given below. Notice that, in addition to an absence of tense marking, there is no resultative form and no imperative form:
Positive Negative Simple order tule tulotie Dependent order tulit tuloteia
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