Verbal Morphology: Introduction
I'm going to start with an overview of the Gothic verb, then talk about how the Hispanic Gothic verb differs from the Gothic verb.
The Gothic verb inflects for three finite moods (indicative, optative, and imperative), two non-finite moods (infinitive, participle), two voices (active, passive), two tenses (present, preterite), three persons, and three numbers (singular, dual, plural). Verbs fall into one of five categories: strong verbs (characterized by ablaut, further subdivided into seven classes by ablaut type), weak verbs with -d- preterites (non-ablaut verbs with preterite stems formed by affixing -d-, further subdivided into four classes by present conjugation), weak verbs with -t- preterites (non-ablaut verbs with preterite stems formed by affixing -t-), preterite-present verbs (verbs whose presents conjugate as strong preterites and preterites as weak preterites), and irregular verbs (wisan "be" and wiljan "wish, want").
This Hispanic Gothic verb has made significant simplifications to this system. The preterite optative has been lost, except fossilized and vestigial forms. The passive voice survives only as a fossilized impersonal form (e.g. her lithada af, loosely "exit here"; Hispanic Gothic exit signs say H.L.A.). Some of the weak -t- preterites have regularized as -d- preterites (e.g. vuerceda "I worked" vs. Gothic waúrhta). The dual has dropped out entirely.
Each verb has several principle parts, which show its various stems.
Strong verbs have four: infinitive (present stem), first person singular preterite indicative, first person plural preterite indicative, and past participle (e.g. a aflitha "leave": a aflitha, leth af, letho af, aflethana)
Weak -d- verbs have three: infinitive, first person singular present indicative, first person singular preterite indicative (e.g. a haba "have": a haba, haba, habieda)
Weak -t- verbs have three: infinitive, first person singular preterite indicative, past participle (e.g. a thonqya "seem": a thonqya, thota, thota)
Preterite-present verbs have five: infinitive, first person singular present indicative, first person plural present indicative, first person singular preterite indicative, and past participle (e.g. a cona "know (person)": a cona, can, cono, contha, contha)
Prepositional verbs, e.g. a afletha (< Gothic af-leiþan), which in Gothic behaved as single units (except for stress), now operate similarly to German separable-prefix verbs; once I have worked out more of the syntax I will tell you more specifically how they work.
More to follow when I get home and have time/motivation to put together conjugation tables.
agus tha mo chluasan eòlach air a’ mhac-talla fhathast / às dèidh dhomh dùsgadh
(mona nicleòid wagner, “fo shneachd”)