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"To Be" In Silindion, Observations

From:Elliott Lash <erelion12@...>
Date:Friday, December 31, 2004, 20:13
Silindion's verb "to be" has been discussed on this
list before (a long time ago). But I wanted to provide
a fress update.

There are (6) different verbs with "beish" qualities.

1) copulative
2) essive/predicative
3) descriptive
4) relative
5) existential
6) emphatic

1) The copulative is used most often to join two nouns
(or a pronoun with a noun).

 Example: Sinunar narianya niva
          "Swans are beautiful birds"
          sinu-na-r  narian-ya niva
          swan-collective-COP. bird-pl. beautiful

The form of the copulative verb in the present is
"-r" attached to a Noun. If it is attached to a
consonant stem noun, the form is "-ar".

The copulative is further used in some dialects to
join nouns and adjectives. The adjective in this
construction usually precedes the noun. Sometimes the
noun takes the copulative "-r" sometimes the
adjective. This depends mostly on the dialect and

 Example:  máldëar i voronya.
           "Happy are the victors"
           maldea-r i voron-ya
           happy-COP. the victor-pl.

           piva i ramar
           "The bag is red"
           piva i rama-r
           red the bag-COP.

2) The essive is used when the predicate noun is the
only element present. That is, when the sentence is of
the form "It = Y" or (colloquially) "He = Y"

  example: id voronye enkëari ihwilda!
         "Behold, the victors of the war are coming!"
       id     voron-ya-i      enke-ari i-fil-da
       behold victor-pl.-ess. war-gen. conj.-come-ger.
(literally: "Behold, it is the victors of the war

The form of the essive is "-i" attached to a noun.

The essive is also used as the predicate argument of
verbs meaning "to become":

   example: Yassasi liu nisteinatya
            "I have become your king"
            yass-a-si liu nista-i-natya
            become-pres.-1s PERF king-ess.-your

The essive is also used to mean "as", or "while
          helëondeilya, laissa niskilesis
          "Being your servant, you should command me"
          heleondo-i-lya    laissa nisk-i-le-sis
          servant-ess.-your should command-subj.-2s-me

3) The descriptive verb is the most common way of
linking a noun and an adjective. It has the form "ëa-"
in the present, and "ië-" in the past. It takes
regular personal suffixes:
 ëasi  ëana           iesi   iena
 ëalë  ëanta          ielë   ienta
 ëan   ëanto/ëantë    ië     iento/ientë

 examples:  ëanto máldëa i voronya
            be-3p happy  the victor-pl.
            "Happy are the victors"

            ëan   i   rama piva
            be-3s the bag red
           "The bag is red"

(These are stylistic and dialectic variations of the
sentences given above)

Also, whenever a personal pronoun is connected with a
noun, the copulative or essive is dispensed with, and
the descriptive used instead, since this is an actual
verb and can indicate person. Furthermore, being an
actual verb it is the only way of indicating tense,
hence its use as a copula in the past tenses.

4) The relative is the verb used in relative clauses.
All of the above become the relative verb in relative
clauses. The form of the relative is: <të> "who/which
is" and <tië> "who/which was"

 example: vosi tiliello sinún të narian nivasso
     "I can see a swan which is a most beautifl bird"

vo-si   til-iello sinu-n   të      narian niva-sso
can-1s. see-inf. swan-acc. be.rel. bird

5) The existential verb is used as in English, to mean
"there is/are/were/was" It's form is: <më> "there is"
and <mië> "there was". In High Silindion another verb
is used, of the form: <vo(r)> "there is" and <vusi>
"there was"

6) The emphatic verb replaces the descriptive,
copulative and predicative when emphasising one fact
over another. It's form is always <ë> despite person
or tense.


Listilë ta sinunar narianya niva, në sitma,
listisi ta ë kainentë narianyaksi nivasso.

"You think that swans are beautiful birds, but as for
me, I think that _cardinals_ are the most beautiful
among birds.

list-i-lë      ta   sinu-na-r      narian-ya niva
think-prs.-2s. that swan-coll.cop. bird-pl.  beautiful

në  si-tma  list-i-si      ta    ë  kainenta-i
and me-rel. think-prs.-2s. that  BE cardinal-pl.

narian-ya-ksi   niva-sso
bird-pl.-among  beautiful-sprl.

Aslo, it's used when emphasising a single thing (the
non-contrastive use)

example: Si, i nista ë!
         "_I_ am the king"
         si, i nista ë
         I  the king BE

(notice is variable position, before or after the
subject. Usually, when used contrastively, it's placed
pre-subject, and non-contrastively after the
predicate. However, in both cased it emphasizes the


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