Denkurian Verbs

Verbs are synthetic, conjugating for subject, tense, aspect, and mood. The citation form of verbs is in the simple active infinitive, which ends in -thi. The verb stem is found by removing -thi from the infinitive. That basic stem also functions as the second person singular active imperative. There are five regular conjugations, based on final stem vowel of the verb.

Verb phrase syntax

indirect object pronoun + direct object pronoun + emphasis particle + polarity particle + modal particle + verb

Emphasis Particle

ParticleMood/TenseUse
bang (< ban gos “it is that”)anyemphasis

Polarity particles

ParticleMood/TenseUse
veindicative/non-finiteRealis negation
qasubjunctive/optative/imperativeIrrealis negation
nocanyInterrogative – can also be used for indirect questions: “I don’t know if/whether…”
vocanyNegative interrogative

Modal particles

ParticleMood/TenseUse
dosubjunctivePotential – likely possibilities: “probably”
optativeEmphatic and possible wishes/desires
lakhsubjunctiveDubitative/hypothetic – unlikely/hypothetical possibilities
optativeCounterfactual, unlikely, impossible wishes: “If only…”
kaisubjunctiveAssumptive/Presumptive “must have/be” – in questions: “I wonder”
dasubjunctiveConditional – often used in the main/consequent clause of conditional phrases, especially when the if-clause is not expressed.
nelsubjunctiveReportative – “allegedly/reportedly/supposedly”

Finite Verb forms

Order of affixes:

Perfect prefix-STEM-tense/mood-person/voice

Overview of affixes

Perfect prefix: ma(y)– prefixed to verbs to form the perfect form. Ma- before consonants and may- before vowels. This prefix never takes stress, so in verb forms that are one syllable without the prefix, they receive an acute accent to preserve the stress. This prefix appears to be related to the stem for ‘finish’ mata-.

Tense affixes

Affixes in general form

Tense typetensesuffix

Direct
Present
Past-ufa
Future-so

Indirect
Present-i
Past-ufe (<ufa + i)
Future-si (<so + i)

Affixes with verb stem per verb class

infinitive-athi-ethi-ithi-othi-uthi

Direct
Present-a-e-i-o-u
Past-ofa-ufa-yufa-ufa-aufa
Future-aso-eso-iso-oso-uso

Indirect
Present-e-i-ai-i-oi
Past-ofe-ufe-yufe-ufe-aufe
Future-asi-esi-isi-usi-usi

Personal endings

Primary (indicative, subjunctive)

person/numberActive voiceMiddle voice (-em)Passive voice (-el/r)
1s-t-tem-tel
2s-c-cem-cel
3s-n-nem-nel
1p-ndu-ndum-ndul
2p-vu-vum-vul
3p-lu-lum-lur

Secondary (imperative, optative)

person/numberActive voiceMiddle voice (-em)Passive voice (-el/r)
1s-ti-tim-til
2s-ci*-cim-chil
3s-ni-nim-nil
1p-ndi-ndim-ndil
2p-vi-vim-vil
3p-li-lim-lir

There is a bare imperative or simple imperative, which only exists in the second person singular in the active voice, and consists in the bare stem of the verb.

Synthetic Moods

The tense affixes and person endings in different combinations produce the four synthetic moods of Denkurian:

Primary EndingsSecondary Endings
Direct TenseIndicativeImperative
Indirect TenseSubjunctiveOptative

Negation

Verbs in the indicative mood, as well as non-finite forms, are negated by being preceded by the negative particle ve. Conversely, verbs in the subjunctive, imperative, or optative moods are negated by the preceding negative particle qa.

Conjugation of regular verbs

Regular verbs fall into one of five classes, based on their simple active infinitive ending, the citation form: -athi, -ethi, -ithi, -othi, -uthi. Note that the i-stem class can have a number of consonant stem changes in the past tenses due to palatalization.

Class typeClass number
a-stem1
e-stem2
i-stem3
o-stem4
u-stem5
bodathicolethisunithihunothifoduthi
“to love”“to write”“to drink”“to eat”“to run”

Non-finite Forms

Summary of participle/gerund affixes

Gerund: -go (verbal noun)

Agent (animate, inanimate): -spe, -ntha

Patient (animate, inanimate): -ke, -thu/-a (e-, i-, o-, u-verbs)

The stem of each participle is based on the stem of the finite verb form in the indicative mood.

Tense-aspect/VoiceActiveMiddlePassive
Present-ste-nte-lte
Perfect-use-ume-ure
Prospective-soste-sonte-solte

The adverbial forms of these participles end in -o

A conditional form of each participle is made by prefixing da(h)-, da- before consonants and dah- before vowels. Of the conditional participles, only the present conditional participle is used with any regularity.

Example of participles using the stem boda- love

Tense-aspect/VoiceActiveMiddlePassive
Presentbodastebodantebodalte
Perfectbodosebodomebodore
Prospectivebodasostebodasontebodasolte

Summary of infinitive affixes

Active Infinitive: -thi

Middle infinitive: -thim

Passive infinitve: -thil

Example of infinitives using the stem boda- love

Future infinitives are periphrastic, using zothi with the corresponding infinitive.

Tense-aspect/VoiceActiveMiddlePassive
Presentbodathi*bodathimbodathil
Perfectmabodathimabodathimmabodathil
Prospectivezothi bodathizothi bodathimzothi bodathil

*The citation form of a verb is its present active infinitive

Irregular verbs

Bathi – “be”

Present indicativePast indicativeFuture indicativePresent imperativeFuture imperative
1sgbatmutesotbatiesoti
2sgbacmucesocbaciesoci
3rdbanmunesonbaniesoni
1plbandumunduesondubandiesondi
2plbavumuvuesovubaviesovi
3plbalumuluesolubaliesoli
Present subjunctivePast subjunctiveFuture subjunctivePresent optativePast optativeFuture optative
1sgbetmufetesitbetimufetiesiti
2sgbecmufecesicbecimufeciesici
3rdbenmufenesinbenimufeniesini
1plbendumufenduesindubendimufendiesindi
2plbevumufevuesivubevimufeviesivi
3plbelumufeluesilubelimufeliesili

Verb aspects

Progressive (‘to be doing’): locative “be” + present adverbial participle

yathi + PRS.PTCP.ADV

Yat hunosto. I am eating.

Perfect (‘to have done’): perfect prefix to the verb

ma(y)- + VERB

Mahunot. I have eaten.

Perfect progressive (“to have been doing”) “hold” + present adverbial participle

Pagethi + PRS.PTCP.ADV

Paget hunosto. I have been eating.

Prospective (‘to be going to do’): “go” + infinitive

zothi+ INF

Zot hunothi. I am going to eat.

Perfect prospective (‘to be going to have done’): “go” + perfect infinitive

zothi + INF.PERF

Zot mahunothi. I am going to have eaten.

Immediate prospective/future (‘to be about to do’): locative “be” + future adverbial participle

yathi + FUT.PTCP.ADV

Yat hunososto. I am about to eat.

Retrospective/Recent perfect (‘to have just done’): “come” + “from” + infinitive

mevathi pesh + INF

Mevat pesh hunothi. I just ate

Habitual (‘to usually/normally do’): “to usually do” + infinitive

vogethi + INF

Voget hunothi. I usually eat.

Continuative (‘to keep on/continue doing’): “to follow” + present adverbial participle

Kavathi + PRS.PTCP.ADV

Kavat honosto. I keep on eating. I continue eating. I’m still eating.