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The verbs he "be" and nià "do" are the only (non-defective) verbs in Tokana with irregular conjugations. The copula he is a stative verb which takes an absolutive case-marked subject. The paradigm for he is given below (note that, being a stative verb, he lacks past tense forms):
|dependent indic.||non-past||hiat, hian-||hotia|
Note also that when the focus prefix i- is attached to he, the resulting form is written and pronounced ihè.
Nià is an auxiliary verb (section 3.8.4) which takes an ergative case-marked subject. The paradigm for nià is given here:
|dependent indic.||non-past||niat, nian-||niotia|
|past definite||niet, nien-||nioteia|
|dependent subjunc.||non-past||& nbsp;niano||niotio|
He and nià may host modal/aspectual suffixes (section 3.6.1), in which case the stem forms used are hi- and ni-, respectively:
hiuha "want to be" hiulhka "must be" hioina "begin to be, become" niuha "want to do (so)" niulhka "must do (so)" nioina "begin to do (so)"
Note that nià and niè are written without an accent mark when suffixed with a clitic determiner:
niama "I do (so)" niekyina "you did (so)"
The uses of these verbs are discussed below:
(1) He as a copula: One use of he is as a copular verb. In this usage, he 'links' two noun phrases, indicating that they refer to the same individual (for another strategy for forming nominal predicates, see section 3.9.3):
Ne Han he ne suhpama the:Abs Han is the:Abs brother-my:NA "Han is my brother" Ne suhpama he ne Han the:Abs brother-my:NA is the:Abs Han "My brother is Han"
More often, he is used with dative phrases to form locative, existential, and possessive predicates. For example:
Te halma he itai pamai totsat the:Abs book is the:Dat top-Dat table "The book is on top of the table" He halma itai pamai totsat is book the:Dat top-Dat table "There is a book on top of the table" Itai pamai totsat he halma the:Dat top-Dat table is book "On top of the table (there) is a book" Imai he halma me:Dat is book "I have a book (with me)" lit. "At me (there) is a book"
Given the requirement that ergative subjects in Tokana must be specific (i.e. must have an overt determiner; see 2.1.1), an existential construction must be used when the notional (agentive) subject of a verb is non-specific. Compare the following sentences:
Na mikal tsitspè kopo the:Erg boy smash-Pst-the:Abs pot "The/that boy smashed the pot" Heun mikal tsitspit te kopo is boy smash-Dep:Pst the:Abs pot "A boy smashed the pot" lit. "(There) was a boy that smashed the pot"
In the first sentence, the speaker has a particular boy in mind, whose identity is known (or easily discernible) by the participants in the conversation. In the second sentence, the speaker is introducing a new participant - viz., some boy or other - not previously mentioned in the discourse. In the latter case, there is no way to express the idea in question using an ordinary transitive construction; instead, an existential construction is required.
When it is not used existentially (i.e. equivalent to there is in English), the copula he may be deleted, as in the following examples:
Ne suhpama itai Uilumai the:Abs brother-my:NA the:Dat Uiluma-Dat "My brother [is] in Uiluma" Melh ni ne suhpama? where Qu the:Abs brother-my:NA "Where [is] my brother?" Miò'n koi? who-Qu you:Abs "Who [are] you?"
The copula may only be dropped when it is in its unmarked form, however - that is, when it does not carry any order, tense/aspect, or negation suffixes, and when there is no clitic determiner or focus prefix attached to it. Compare the following sentences:
Te halma itai pamai totsat the:Abs book the:Dat top-Dat table "The book (is) on the table" Te halma hoti itai pamai totsat the:Abs book is-Neg the:Dat top-Dat table "The book is not on the table"
In the first sentence, the unmarked form of the copula (he) has been deleted. In the second sentence, however, the copula must host the negative marker -oti, and so it cannot be deleted. Compare also:
Ne Han ne suhpama the:Abs Han the:Abs brother-my:NA "Han (is) my brother" Inai Sakiale iona hianne Han ne suhpama the:Dat Sakial-Dat know is-Dep-the:Abs Han the:Abs brother-my:NA "Sakial knows that Han is my brother"
In the first sentence, the copular construction occurs in a main clause, and so he may be dropped; whereas in the second sentence, the copular construction occurs in an embedded clause, and so he must be present to host the dependent suffix -an-, as well as the clitic determiner -ne.
(2) Nià as an emphatic auxiliary: Nià may be used to form emphatic verb phrases, just like English do: Notice that nià, like all auxiliaries, takes a complement with the verb in the dependent order (see 3.8.4):
Ami fiuaten kahu I:Erg catch-Pst-the:Abs fish "I caught the fish" Ami niè fiuatat ne kahu! I:Erg do-Pst catch-Dep the:Abs fish "I did catch the fish!"
Emphatic nià is also sometimes used in its imperative form (with a dependent subjunctive complement) to indicate urgency:
Niau afananoma! "Come with me!" Niefe hynano! "Don't move!"
(3) Nià as a 'pro-verb': Just like English do, nià may be used to 'stand in' for an (eventive) verb phrase in elliptical contexts - e.g. coordinate structures - as shown below:
Ami ie klotat eiase homa, ki husu niena Sakial I:Erg with quick-Dep Foc-eat-Pst bread and also do-Pst-the:NA Sakial "I ate (the) bread quickly, and so did Sakial" Ami ie klotat eiase homa, le tu niotiena Han I:Erg with quick-Dep Foc-eat-Pst bread but not do-Neg-Pst-the:NA Han "I ate (the) bread quickly, but Han didn't (do so)"
Here niè and niotie 'stand in for' the verb phrase ie klotat eiase homa "ate the bread quickly" in the second conjunct.
In addition to coordinate structures, the pro-verb nià is commonly used in place of full verb phrases when asking and answering questions about events, and in comparative constructions (additional examples of this last use are given in 3.6.3 above):
Mà'n inià? what-Qu Foc-do "What are (you) doing?" Ami iase anehte mahe nienko I:Erg eat-Pst more what-Dat do-Dep:Pst-you:NA "I ate more than you did"
Finally, the pro-verb nià can refer to an event mentioned earlier in the discourse. For instance, given the question "Why did she cry?", one could respond with the following sentence, where niè refers back to the previously-mentioned act of crying:
Niè talhkò muelhoksat do-Pst because tired-Dep "(She) did it because (she) was tired"
In Tokana the mapping of grammatical relations (subject, object, etc.) to case forms (ergative, absolutive, dative, etc.) is a complicated business: There is a great deal of variation from verb to verb, and even between different forms of the same verb. Tokana is what one could call a thematic or active case-marking language. That is, the case marking which a noun phrase receives correlates more or less with the semantic role of the participant which that noun phrase refers to. Below I list the five cases together with the basic roles they encode:
|case||semantic roles||definition (with examples in boldface)|
The participant being created, destroyed, changed, or otherwise affected by the action denoted by the verb
John killed Bill
The participant undergoing the event; the one who the event 'happens to' - often the participant undergoing an event of motion
The (volitional, conscious, external) participant who acts to bring about the event denoted by the verb
John killed Bill
The participant receiving something in an event of giving/receiving
John gave Bill the book
The participant who experiences or perceives an emotion or sensation, or the participant from whose point of view the situation is described
The direction or destination towards which the theme moves or is directed/oriented
John went to the river
The point in space or time at which
John slept under the tree
The participant who is in a relation of possession or ownership with the theme
John has a book
The object or means which is employed by the agent to bring about the event - e.g. a tool
John cut the meat with the knife
The (non-volitional, often inanimate) participant that acts to bring about the event denoted by the verb
The wind blew the door open
The place or object through/along/across which the theme passes on its way to the goal
The bird flew over the tree
The point at which the theme originates, or the direction from which movement of the theme occurs
John returned from the river
Given the correspondences above table, Tokana verbs can be divided into a number of lexical-semantic classes according to the number of arguments they take, and how those arguments are case-marked. Note that some verbs can occur in more than one class, where the choice of class usually correlates with a difference in meaning. For instance the verb eta "go, walk", can take either an absolutive or an ergative subject, depending on whether it is the path of movement or the manner of movement that is being emphasised:
Ne Han ete sikà itai Tenmothaie the:Abs Han go/walk-Pst as:far:as the:Dat Tenmothai-Dat "Han went as far as Tenmothai" Na Han ete sikà itai Tenmothaie the:Erg Han go/walk-Pst as:far:as the:Dat Tenmothai-Dat "Han walked as far as Tenmothai" (as opposed to riding)
Consider also the verb kaila "be hot":
Inai Hane kaila the:Dat Han-Dat hot "Han is hot" Ne Han kaila the:Abs Han hot "Han is hot"
The first sentence, with a dative subject, means that Han is feeling hot (e.g. because it is a hot day); while the second sentence, with an absolutive subject, means that Han himself has a high temperature (e.g. because of a fever).
I illustrate some of the verb classes in Tokana in the following subsections.
Zero argument verbs are verbs which do not take any arguments at all. These are uncommon in Tokana. Certain stative predicates may occur without any overt arguments when used in weather expressions: For instance, nohta "be cold" does not take any subject or object in the following sentence; it is assumed to be predicated of the environment in general (notice that there is nothing in this sentence corresponding to the semantically empty subject it in English):
Iaslò teusu nohta today very cold "It's very cold today"
Most weather expressions, however, are formed with intransitive verbs, such as kahpa "descend, come down", yisa "rise, ascend, lift", lialhopa "blow":
Inlotka kahpe sù yesterday come:down-Pst rain "It rained yesterday" Kas yisa mohi now rise cloud "The fog/mist is lifting now" Lialhopa suhu ysmai blow wind outside-Dat "It's windy outside"
An intransitive (or one argument) verb takes a subject but no object. Intransitive verbs may take ergative, dative, or absolutive subjects in Tokana, depending in part on their meaning:
(1) Intransitive verbs which denote conscious, volitional activities normally take an ergative subject. Verbs in this class include muelha "sleep", uhna "sing", hostana "dance", eta "walk", penta "run", satania "cook, prepare a meal", etc.:
Na Han satanie immiote lohe the:Erg Han cook-Pst whole:time day-Dat "Han cooked all day" Sa lati muelhe itai tsole the:Pl:Erg children sleep-Pst the:Dat bed-Dat "The children slept in the bed"
In a sense, intransitive verbs which take ergative subjects may be thought of as 'covert transitives', inasmuch as many of these verbs can take optional direct objects. For example, hostana "dance" may take an object in the absolutive case which indicates the kind of dance performed:
Na Mafe hostane ilhpè the:Erg Mafe dance-Pst ilhpè "Mafe danced the ilhpè dance"
Verbs in this class which indicate motion of the subject may take a dative object denoting the goal (or 'endpoint') of that motion, as in the following example, where the event of running terminates once the deer are in the woods (that "the woods" is an object of the verb is shown by the fact that the dative determiner attaches to the end of the verb as a clitic):
Sa sten pentei lokai the:Pl:Erg deer run-Pst-the:NA woods-Dat "The deer ran into the woods"
(2) Intransitive verbs which denote emotional or mental states typically take a dative subject. Some verbs which denote physical states (such as those formed with the root uota "feel") also take dative subjects. Verbs of this class include kesta "be happy", ohiyna "be sad", hotsma "be angry", nohtuota "feel cold", tunkuota "hurt, be in pain":
Inai Sakiale teusu hotsmun inlotka the:Dat Sakial-Dat very angry-Cpl yesterday "Sakial was very angry yesterday" Ohiynunna Mafè talhkò tiokinne otanasuhpana sad-Cpl-the:NA Mafe-Dat because die-Dep:Pst-the:Abs cousin-his:NA "Han was sad because his cousin had died" Itai nalhema tunkuota the:Dat arm-Dat-my:NA feel:pain "My arm hurts"
(3) Intransitive verbs which denote qualities, states, changes of state, or spontaneous (uncontrolled) events of various kinds usually take absolutive subjects. Verbs of this class include pata "be tall", aulina "be important", iena "be good", laina "shine, be bright", sena "hang, be hanging", tsunka "get into trouble", tioka "die", tiausa "fall down".
Ne suhpama teusu pata the:Abs brother-my:NA very tall "My brother is very tall" Ne iha luhme tioke ihutka the:Abs woman old:one die-Pst last:night "The old woman died last night"
This class also includes a number of verbs of motion or position whose denotation makes reference to a goal, location, or source. Such verbs include itskana "arrive", nelha "leave, depart", lhima "be here", suehma "be away, be gone", lhiana "come here", sulhaita "go away from here", eta "go (to)":
Ne suhpama kas suehma kete hene lolhamput the:Abs brother-my:NA already be:away for two-Dat week "My brother has been away for two weeks"
Also in this class are verbs which may take a proposition (in the form of an embedded clause with the verb in the dependent order; section 3.3.1) as their only argument. These verbs include tiuha "be necessary, be needed", uetsena "seem (to be the case), be likely, be probable", tiyla "seem, appear", alha "be allowed", tiapa "be easy", lyihpa "be possible", toupa "must, be very likely", and ufisa "be common, be wont to happen":
Tiuha tahanokyina ne Han ilohfoi be:needed visit-Subj-you:NA the:Abs Han tomorrow "It is necessary/needed that you visit Han tomorrow" Ni alha afananokim ikyine? Qu be:allowed come:along-Subj-we:Abs you:Pl:Dat "May we come along with you?" or "Is (it) allowed that we come along with you?" Toupa uksasinkim itai kiele must Refl-meet-Dep:Pst-we:Abs the:Dat dreamplace-Dat "We must have met each other in the dreamplace" or "It must be that we met each other in the dreamplace" Ufisun uksasanokim itai tulone be:wont:to:happen-Cpl Refl-meet-Subj-we:Abs the:Dat road-Dat "We used to meet on the road from time to time"
Transitive (or two argument) verbs are verbs which take a subject and a direct object. Transitive verbs in Tokana generally take an absolutive object and an ergative, instrumental, or dative subject:
(1) Verbs denoting prototypically transitive actions, where an agent argument acts consciously to bring about some sort of change in a patient argument, take an ergative subject and an absolutive object. Such verbs include kahta "hit", kaiha "kill", pesa "take, grab, pick up", iasa "eat", kespa "carry, wear", mukta "close", stelhma "find", pusuka "make, create":
Na moiha stelhmè halma the:Erg girl find-Pst-the:Abs book "The girl found the book" Na Elim muktè huiloi the:Erg Elim close-Pst-the:Abs window "Elim closed the window" Te homa pusukena Mafe the:Abs bread make-Pst-the:NA Mafe "Mafe made the bread"
Verbs of this class may also take instrumental subjects, if the participant performing the action is inanimate or is acting unintentionally:
Itan suhune muktè huiloi the:Inst wind-Inst close-Pst-the:Abs window "The wind closed the window" (by blowing against it) Inan Elimne muktè huiloi the:Inst Elim-Inst close-Pst-the:Abs window "Elim closed the window" (e.g., by accidentally brushing against it)
(2) Verbs denoting mental and emotional activities generally take a dative subject and an absolutive object or embedded clause complement. Verbs in this class include iona "know", opa "think, believe", henka "like, enjoy", huaita "like, appreciate", mutha "understand", fana "not know, be unsure of", untsepa "wonder", fala "want, hope (for)" (but not uima "love, be in love with", which takes an ergative subject):
Imai muthotì sot I:Dat understand-Neg-the:Abs word "I don't understand this word" Inai Hane opa uimanna Sakial the:Dat Han-Dat think love-Dep-the:NA Sakial "Han thinks that Sakial loves (him)" Inai Hane iona uimanna Sakial the:Dat Han-Dat know love-Dep-the:NA Sakial "Han knows that Sakial loves (him)"
Most verbs of perception also take dative subjects: E.g. hiela "see", ola "hear", mahtha "taste" (but not skona "look at" or teula "listen to", which take ergative subjects):
Imai hielen Sakial I:Dat see-Pst-the:Abs Sakial "I saw Sakial" Isai latie olè lhonko the:Pl:Dat children-Dat hear-Pst-the:Abs loud:noise "The children heard the loud noise" Inai Elime mahthè mas the:Dat Elim-Dat taste-Pst-the:Abs soup "Elim tasted the soup"
Consider also the following example, where hiela takes a clausal complement:
Inai pyie hiele tsitspanna mikal te kopo the:Dat child-Dat see-Pst smash-Dep-the:NA boy the:Abs pot "The child saw the boy smash the pot"
These verbs may also be used without a dative subject, in which case they pattern with the absolutive intransitives discussed in 3.8.2. As an intransitive, hiela translates as "look, appear", ola translates as "sound", etc.:
Hiela tsitspinna mikal te kopo see smash-Dep:Pst-the:NA boy the:Abs pot "It looks/appears that the boy smashed the pot" or "(One can) see that the boy has smashed the pot" Te mas mahtha paienat the:Abs soup taste delicious-Dep "The soup tastes delicious" lit. "The soup, (one can) taste that (it) is delicious" Ne Han ola moutano the:Abs Han hear/sound sick-Subj "Han sounds sick" lit. "Han, (one can) hear that (he) would be sick"
Verbs denoting possession, inclusion, or location also take a dative subject and an absolutive object. These include:
he "be, be at; have (with one)" eha "have, own, possess" yma "have, include" enyma "consist of, be comprised of"
The copula he "be" (see section 3.7.3) is used with datives to indicate physical possession:
Imai he es halma me:Dat is one book "I have a book" lit. "At me (there) is a book" Imai hoti iakme talak me:Dat be-Neg any coins "I don't have any money (with me)" lit. "At me (there) isn't any money"
Eha "have, own" denotes alienable possession - e.g. ownership of personal property:
Inai miammeima eha ante halma the:Dat grandmother-Dat-my:NA have many book "My grandmother has/owns many books"
When the absolutive object rather than the locative subject precedes the verb, then eha has the sense of English belong to (this also applies to iala, discussed below):
Te katia lhon ehana ammeikma the:Abs house there have-the:NA mother-Dat-our:NA "That house belongs to our mother"
Finally, yma "have, include" and enyma "have, consist of, be comprised of" denote possession in the sense of a whole-to-part relation - for instance, body part possession.
Imai yma inie kote me:Dat have eyes black "I have black eyes" Itai katiai lhon enyma ihtà kotu the:Dat house-Dat there have six room "That house has (consists of) six rooms"
Yma is also used with colour words such as has "white", sane "red", kote "black", which are all nouns in Tokana:
Itene hitolehi katiai yma sane the:Pl:Dat door-Dat-the:NA house-Dat have red "The doors of that house are red"
Also in this class is the verb iala "have, be responsible for". Iala denotes inalienable possession - in particular, possession by virtue of familial relationship, birth, custom, or stewardship. This verb is used when the possessed object is a person (e.g. a relative), a domestic animal, cultivatable land, or some other entity to which the possessor can be said to have an obligation:
Inai Sakiale iala hen lihpa the:Dat Sakial-Dat have two sister "Sakial has two sisters" Iala kian talpe itai kameikma have five field the:Dat clan-Dat-our:NA "Our clan has five fields"
Note also the following example with iala, where the absolutive object (te tieliapi te ohte "(the) taking care of this land") denotes an actitivity which is the function or responsibility of the dative subject (itai kameima "my clan"):
Te tieliapi te ohte ialai kameima the:Abs taking:care the:Abs land have-the:NA clan-Dat-my:NA "Taking care of this land is the responsibility of my clan" lit. "Taking care of this land 'belongs to' my clan"
Iala is also used with various nouns expressing inalienable properties:
iala hanu "have wisdom, be wise" iala kà "have worth, be valuable" iala kasni "have care, take care, be careful" iala mainin "have mind, be intelligent"
Finally, iala is used to express age:
Inai iala teiekpahenta ume he:Dat have twenty-nine year "He is twenty-eight years old"
Note that dative 'subjects' (or fronted possessors) are also found in expressions like the following, which describe spontaneous or uncontrolled actions that affect parts of the body:
Imai tikana san me:Dat flow:out blood "I am bleeding" lit. "At me flows out blood" Inai Hane sanioine kuma the:Dat Han-Dat red-Pred-become-Pst face "Han blushed" or "Han went red in the face" lit. "At Han (the) face became red" Imai kahte tyn me:Loc hit-Pst head "I hit (my) head" [accidentally] lit. "At me (the) head was hit"
By contrast, if a person is performing a conscious and deliberate action on part of his or her own body, then the subject appears in the ergative case, as shown below. (Notice that this sentence is literally "I opened eyes" or "I eye-opened". When occurring as direct objects, body part nouns like inie normally do not take a determiner or a possessive clitic; the fact that the speaker opened his own eyes is of course understood from context.)
Ami lime inie I:Erg open-Pst eyes "I opened my eyes"
Compare also the examples below, which illustrate a three-way contrast between ergative, instrumental, and dative subjects:
Na kelis hane silh the:Erg girl cut-Pst finger "The girl cut her finger" (on purpose) Inan kelisne hane silh the:Inst girl-Inst cut-Pst finger "The girl cut her finger" (accidentally) Inai kelise hane silh the:Dat girl-Dat cut-Pst finger "The girl cut her finger (on something)" or "The girl got her finger cut"
The first sentence would be used if the girl cut her finger deliberately (perhaps in preparation for a blood-sibling ritual). The second sentence would be used if the girl caused her own finger to be cut, but did so unintentionally (e.g., in a context where she was cutting something and the knife slipped). The third sentence would be used if something or someone else cut the girl's finger (e.g., in a context where she accidentally brushed her hand against something sharp).
Auxiliaries are verbs which take a noun phrase subject (marked with ergative, absolutive, or dative case, depending on the verb) and an embedded clause object with the verb in the dependent order (section 3.3.1). The embedded clause has no overt subject, the subject of the embedded verb being understood to be the same as the subject of the auxiliary. Examples of auxiliaries include otupa "decide", uota "feel", and tunka "act":
Kima otupe tiespano katia lhai we:Erg decide-Pst build-Subj house here "We decided to build a house here" or "We decided that (we) would build a house here" Imai uota huliat I:Dat feel be:healthy-Dep "I feel healthy" Sa tenù tunkihe umpatimano the:Pl:Erg people act-Prog-Pst be:crazy-Subj "Those people were acting crazy"
In this section I focus on the following verbs, which are commonly used as auxiliaries:
eta "go/come" lania "continue, stay" elima "begin, become, start" emukta "finish (up), complete" uata "stop" nula "become, get, grow, increase" nakpana "become, wind up" tukpa "do together, do collectively" umunia "undo"
(1) As discussed in section 3.2, eta "go/come" may be used as an auxiliary to indicate a future event or state. This is quite reminiscent of the use of be going to to mark future tense in English. Note that when it is used as a future tense auxiliary, eta always takes an absolutive case subject:
Ne luhme lhon eta tiokat hatham the:Abs old:one there go die-Dep soon "That old person is going to die soon" Te solat ifoi lolhampute ieta meskat the:Abs wedding then(Fut) week-Dat Foc-go happen-Dep "The wedding is going to happen next week"
Consider also this example, where eta denotes motion towards a goal as well as future tense:
Kim ilohfoi eta kahuniat we:Abs tomorrow go fish-Dep "We're going fishing tomorrow"
(2) Lania "stay, remain, continue" indicates the continuation or extension of an activity or state. This verb may take an ergative or absolutive subject, depending on whether that subject is an agent or a theme:
Nai lanie suntat she:Abs continue-Pst be:silent-Dep "She remained silent" Asi lanie skonat me immiote kihe they:Erg continue-Pst look:at-Dep me:Abs whole:time time-Dat "They kept looking at me the whole time" Te ahol lanie nulat thonkat the:Abs sound continue-Pst become-Dep be:loud-Dep "The sound kept getting louder"
(3) Elima "begin, become, start" and emukta "finish (up), complete" denote the initiation and completion of an activity or task, respectively, while uata "stop" indicates the cecession of an activity or task. All three of these auxiliaries take ergative subjects:
Kima innalhkate elime fisehthimat yli we:Erg this:morning begin-Pst plant-Dep grain "We began planting (the) grain this morning" Ani emukte kyuahtat ten hitol she:Erg finish-Pst carve-Dep the:Pl:Abs door "She finished carving the doors" Kyina uatulhka uhkahtat you:Pl:Erg stop-must Refl-hit-Dep "You must stop fighting"
(4) Nula "become, get, grow, increase" takes an absolutive subject and an embedded complement containing a stative verb. It indicates a steady (and usual gradual) increase in the quality or property denoted by the complement:
thonka "be loud" nula thonkat "get louder" klota "be fast" nula klotat "speed up, get faster" liuna "be old" nula liunat "age, get older" Mai nula liunat, temai uota ahnuliehtat I:Abs grow old-Dep then feel Rel-healthy-Comp-Dep "The older I get, the healthier I feel"
(5) The verb nakpana "become, wind up, end up" takes an absolutive subject. It denotes the entrance of the subject into a particular state, usually involuntarily and/or unexpectedly:
Sai nakpane teusu moutat they:Abs wind:up-Pst very sick-Dep "They became very sick" Ne Elim nakpane eupat the:Abs Elim wind:up-Pst alone-Dep "Elim found himself alone"
(6) The verb tukpa "do as a group, work together on" takes a plural ergative subject, and indicates an action performed by two or more people acting together, or a set of actions performed simultaneously or in concert by two or more people. It is frequently used where in English one would use an adverbial such as together or all:
Sa tenù tukpun tiespat te tiom the:Pl:Erg people do:together-Cpl build-Dep the:Abs barn "Those people built the barn together" or "Those people worked together to build the barn" Kima tukpe itskanat itai pule we:Erg do:together-Pst arrive-Dep the:Dat village-Dat "We arrived at the village together" or "We all arrived at the village (at the same time)"
(7) The verb umunia "undo" denotes the reversal of an action or state: E.g. panthata "cover", umunia panthatat "uncover". Compare the following sentences:
Ami sehkè sò I:Erg tie-Pst-the:Abs rope "I tied the rope" Ami umunie sehkat te sò I:Erg undo-Pst tie-Dep the:Abs rope "I untied the rope"
Note also this example:
Te katia umunia tiespat the:Abs house undo build-Dep "The house is falling apart" lit. "The house is unbuilding"
In addition to these auxiliaries, which indicate the inception, continuation, reversal, etc., of an event, there are a number of auxiliaries which express something about the manner in which the event is carried out, or the rate at which it transpires:
uonia "do well, do correctly, be good at" untuka "do poorly, do incorrectly, be bad at" sukania "be sudden, happen suddenly/abruptly" hathafa "be gradual, happen gradually" kakasa "be occasional, happen occasionally" amameska "be constant, happen constantly" tesukania "do [something] abruptly" tehathafa "do [something] gradually" tekakasa "do [something] occasionally" amania "do [something] constantly"
These verbs are often translated by adverbs in English, as the following examples show:
Na Mothe uonia uhnat the:Erg Mothe be:good:at sing-Dep "Mothe sings well" or "Mothe is a good singer" Te katia sukanie kiospoinat the:Abs house happen:abruptly-Pst burn-begin-Dep "The house burst into flames" Itai kotoi hathafe ksohmoinat the:Dat room-Dat happen:gradually-Pst dark-become-Dep "It gradually got dark in the room" Na Han tesukanie hakathat the:Erg Han do:abruptly-Pst laugh-Dep "Han burst out laughing" Te uhin amaniana Mothe uhnat the:Abs song do:constantly-the:NA Mothe sing-Dep "Mothe is constantly singing that song"
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