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 Post subject: Twakani verbs
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:41 am
Posts: 437
Location: Davis, CA
I thought it was time for a new topic on my conlang, since there’s a lot to say about verbs and i also decided the conlang’s name needed to be changed. What was once Chavakani is now Twakani from twá “language; dialect” and kání “marketplace”. We’ll begin with...

Verbal aspect

Verbs in Twakani do not formally mark tense, but distinguish several aspects via particles following the verb.

Unmarked verbs denote past or future events considered as a unit, or present events that are in focus and not used as the "setting" for another event.

marks the progressive aspect. It denotes actions that persist through the period in question. Unlike the English progressive, present tense dynamic verbs are not marked progressive by default; the Twakani progressive is used when an action is the "setting" for another event. For example:

Té chú kro
I walk home
“I’m walking/I walked home”


Té chú yó kro keu choi
I walk PROG home see leopard
“While walking home I saw a leopard”

Vui marks the continuous aspect. It denotes states that persist through the period in question.

Têka trámú vui fíro
sky show CONT cloud
“The sky's been cloudy”

Vui can also be used with dynamic verbs to mark a habitual aspect:

Túvi sá vui hwe tei sê vo’u
Tuvi let.out CONT breeze when eat yam
“Tuvi farts when he eats yams”

indicates that an action used to occur but no longer does for the time in question:

Têka trámú ná fíro
sky show used.to cloud
“The sky used to be cloudy (but isn’t anymore)”

Ng'óe marks (relative) past events as having enduring relevance to the time under discussion while not necessarily continuing, usually with the implication “X has ever verbed”:

Mátao renjai ng’óe kauyê
Matao send.to.afterlife EXPERIENCE offering
“Matao has made a sacrificial offering before”

Nu indicates perfect aspect, treating an action as unitary and completed:

Té chú nu kro, keu choi.
I walk PERF home see leopard
“When I got home [by walking], I saw a leopard.”

Cháu is anticipatory, marking an event as about to happen in the time under discussion:

O keu cháu yárá!
s/he see ANTIC we.INCL.DU
“S/he’s going to see us!”

As you can see, in many cases Twakani simply concatenates clauses where English would use when or while.

These are not to be confused with verbal auxiliaries, which will be the subject of another post.

[ʈʂʰɤŋtɕjɑŋ], or whatever you can comfortably pronounce that's close to that

Formerly known as Primordial Soup

Supporter of use of [ȶ ȡ ȵ ȴ] in transcription

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a 青.

 Post subject: Re: Twakani verbs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2003 3:42 pm
Posts: 231
Location: The Lost Land of Suburbia (a.k.a. Harrogate, UK)
I like the look of Twakani and I like the clause structure a lot. I'm rather confused by the description of the second example as continuous aspect as distinct from the progressive aspect of the first example.

I see from Wikipedia that the term continuous aspect is used in different ways by writers of English and Chinese grammars.

Wikipedia wrote:
The continuous and progressive aspects (abbreviated CONT and PROG) are grammatical aspects that express incomplete action ("to do") or state ("to be") in progress at a specific time: they are non-habitual, imperfective aspects.

In the grammars of many languages the two terms are used interchangeably. This is also the case with English: a construction such as "He is washing" may be described either as present continuous or as present progressive. However, there are certain languages for which two different aspects are distinguished. In Chinese, for example, progressive aspect denotes a current action, as in "he is getting dressed", while continuous aspect denotes a current state, as in "he is wearing fine clothes".

Perhaps more explanation is called for in your second example for the benefit of English speaking audiences?


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