D'ni/Verbs

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The common verb form is formed by 3 parts: the tense prefix, the verb stem and the pronoun suffix e.g. Do-húr-et 'We are finding'

Inflexion[edit]

As we said, pronoun suffixes are used for every person except the 1st singular. Here is for example the conjugation in simple present tense of the verb ken ‘to be’

  • Ken 'I am'
  • Kenem 'Thou art'
  • Kenen 'He is'
  • Kenet 'We are'
  • Ken 'You-plural are'
  • Kenít 'They are'

Tenses[edit]

There are four basic tense prefixes:

  • le = perfect
  • ko = past
  • do = present progressive
  • bo = future

Present tense has no prefix.

Their combinations can provide other tenses. The rule of the prefixes series says that they must follow the priority bo-ko-do-l(e)

Attested tenses are the following:

  • Present
Húr 'I find'
  • Present cont.
Do-húr 'I am finding'
  • Present perfect
Le-húr 'I have found'
  • Past
Ko-húr 'I found'
  • Past cont.
Ko-do-húr 'I was finding
  • Past perfect
Ko-l-húr 'I had found'
  • Future
Bo-húr 'I will find'
  • Future cont.
Bo-do-húr 'I will be finding'
  • Future perfect
Bo-ko-húr I will have found'
  • Future perfect cont.
Bo-do-l-húr I will have been finding'

Other prefix combinations are possible, and some of them hint at tenses missing from the above... for example *do-l-húr 'I have been finding' etc.

Voice[edit]

We have conflicting information on how passive is formed. The Kenen Gor text shows that passive participles can be formed with ken and the ending -ij. This formation could be applied for present tense. Therefore 'I am known' can be translated as ken tagamij

Most other passive voice examples are in past tense; even then we have three different ways of passive formation

  • In one example, passive is expressed by simple past (Kotokituen lit. 'it determined', understood as 'it was determined'; kohúren lit. 'it found', understood as 'it was found')
  • Passive is also formed with past continuous (kodobarelen 'it was making/was made' and kodolasaen 'it was sealing/was sealed')
  • However there are some instances where the verb ken 'be' is also added to form the passive, as in English; ken is followed by the past tense of the verb in the 3rd person: kokenen kosayen lit. 'it was it designed' understood as 'it was designed'; kokenen kohúren 'was found'.

All the above attested examples have a problem: not only are passive but also refer to the past as well; therefore we can't determine if the tense expressed the voice, the time, or both.

The following possibilities can be considered:

  • As in English, passive voice is formed always with the past tense.

or

  • No distinction between active and passive; For example dotagen means both 'I give' and 'I am given'. The above examples are found in past tense simply because they refer to a past time and this hasn't to do with the passive formation

Imperative[edit]

The suffix -a denotes Imperative.

  • húr-em-a! 'find!' (command to one person)
  • húr-tí-a! '[all of you] find!' (command to a group excluding you)
  • húr-et-a! 'let’s find!' (command to a group including you)

Negation[edit]

Negative phrases are formed with the word for ril which means 'no'. It contains all the English used of 'doesn't', 'isn't' etc.

  • Gen kenen renavaox Riven, rúb ril bokenen navaot 'Gen is the master of Riven, but will not be our master'
  • Étrus ril lesel Myst. Étrus lesel Edanna 'Atrus did not write Myst; Atrus wrote Edanna'

Formation[edit]

Main page: D'ni/Derivations

Note that verbs can become adjectives, nouns and persons with -al, -tav and -tan respectively

  • marn-al 'creating' (e.g. the creating spirit)
  • húr-tav 'finding' (e.g. the finding of the book)
  • lon-tan 'discoverer'