Jalvaan verbs encode a maximum of two participants, the subject and object being marked by a prefix and the subject, on primary verbs, with an additional suffix. Actor agreement is obligatory on all verbs: there are no verb forms unmarked for subject and object.
Agreement is somewhat complicated. In the most basic case, indexing is standard accusative:
biyeban bi-1sA-yebstand-a-EPEN-n-1sS I am standing
jakirrun bi-1sA-a-3sO-kirrbreak-u-PST-n-1sS I broke it
Both intransitives and ditransitives show a split in marking, for intransitives based on volitionality, for ditransitives based on animacy and salience. In intransitive verbs, the subject may be indexed by agent or object prefixes depending on whether the subject is in control or not:
binyēvan bi-1sA-nyēlie_down-va-PST-n-1sS I lay down
unyēvan u-1sO-nyēlie_down-va-PST-n-1sS I had to lie down (because I was feeling faint)
For (canonical) ditransitives the marking split is over the object slot: whether the goal or theme is marked is dependent on which is the more salient to the discourse. In other words, when any of G or T is a first of second person, then the discourse participant is indexed on the verb. If both G and T are third persons, the more animate or the more salient is indexed (although this is only visible when the two arguments differ in number). For example:
1. (theme indexed on the verb) šayen aban dāyā ireštat mārā išbevrut šaye2s.POSS.INALIEN-n-ABSabafather-n-ABSdaiking-a-EPEN-:-DATireDEM.DIST-št-PL-a-EPEN-t-GENmārwife-a-EPEN-:-DATi-3sA-š-2sO-bevrpromise-u-PST-t-3sS your father promised you to their king
2. (recipient indexed on the verb) jūgun šī nyajūvān ki omeyēdāš nembī nyaforī jūgufood-n-ABSši2s.OBL-e-LOCni-2sA-a-3sO-jūeat-vān-ANTkiSEQomeyēdscraps-a-EPEN-št-PL-∅-ABSnembidog-:-DATni-2sA-a-3sO-forgive-ī-IMP.2s when you've eaten your food, give the leftovers to the dog
The inflectional verbal morphology of Old Inggirian divides itself, albeit not neatly, into three sets of forms: bound forms, nominal forms and finite forms. Finite forms are those forms that carry personal marking, and nominal forms are those which may head the body of a relative clause. The finite forms, apart from being the only ones to carry personal marking, may only appear at the end of a sentence or clause. The nominal forms, although frequently employed, especially in later texts, as medial verb forms to the (progressively rarer) finite forms ending a sentence, all have nominal or adnominal functions to some degree. The remaining forms all essentially act as adverbs, and thus are called bound forms.
The Finite Forms
The finite forms essentially occupy a 2x2 matrix:
No f. reference
The precise meaning of these categories, although convenient for analysis, requires explanation.
The aorist is the unmarked form. Its semantic value is simply the assertion of some state or action. Pragmatically, this most often translates to a future or present interpretation, but the aorist can be used where the use of the "past" -ne is rendered superfluous by context. It has no aspectual interpretation.
The subjunctive, similar to the aorist, has no fixed temporal reference, but simply indicates full or partial non-assertion. Its use is therefore very wide. It occurs in complement phrases, especially to verbs of quotation or fearing. It can indicate that the speaker is unsure, for instance because he has inferred the information being communicated. Finally, it can indicate a state of potentiality.
The past (which is quite misleadingly named) is an asserted form that carries fixed reference to some point of time. When context does not specify a time period, the default interpretation is a past time reference. However, it is grammatical also to use this form in any other time context. In these situations, its use over the aorist is usually conditioned by the presence of a subclause that refers to a different time.
The conditional is the non-asserted counterpart to the past, and derives its name from the unusual counterfactual construction of Old Inggirian, in which the protasis is a finite verb in the conditional and the apodosis a nominalization in the infinitive. On its own it may fulfill similar functions as the subjunctive, but with a past time reference (such as a sort of potential-in-the-past).
The Personal Desinences
Old Inggirian has a very pedestrian set of finite personal endings, distinguishing three persons and two numbers.
man of few words
posts: 105 ,
Deacon, this fucking hole we call LA message
i'm trying to wrap my head around the "fixed temporal reference" thing. does "no fixed temporal reference" mean the speaker isn't asserting past/present/future, or just that they aren't asserting a specific time interval/point in particular? if it's the former, it doesn't seem very useful, most just for generic or habitual statements. if it's the latter, then it seems like you could use it more widely. but even in that situation, doesn't it mean that if you use a definite time adverbial, like "three days ago" or "in September" or "8:30 pm" that you'd have to use a fixed reference verb form?
or am i completely misunderstanding this? i'd like to know, since it's a cool idea.
It's the latter. As for which form to use with a definite time adverbial, I think that without any other temporal constructs in the same clause, either goes, simply because non-fixed reference forms are — hence the name — unmarked for time. So if I say: orothis-wag̃o-LOCbuwayesterdayjabsuholeurube-∅-AOR-g̃-3s
it can't really mean anything other than "there was a hole here yesterday". The same thing goes for the ~past~, of course. I mean, essentially, the feature of the fixed reference forms is that they are marked for tense. The tense just happens to be unspecified. So they can either double up on other explicit time marking or act as a sort of discursive temporal switch reference marker, and they're only obligatory in the latter case. Probably there is also a thing where, if either would work, fixed reference forms are preferred for perfectives and non-fixed forms for imperfectives. It seems like it would easily acquire that particular implicature.
The important question I don't have a good answer for yet is what that means for time marking across a paragraph, or between speaker turns. I figure that fixed-reference forms are used whenever it needs to be established what time is being talked about. For instance, if you need to establish that you're *not* switching back to the default. So if you say the above sentence, then whoever you are talking to might reply: urukurealje?QpasuthinggaNEGtoresee-ne-PST-wa.-1s
"Really? I didn't see anything."
The function of the fixed form there is to anchor what he is saying in your time context. The aorist would mean "Really? I don't see anything.", because the present is the default time context. And so on.