Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Nindic Past Tense and Analogy

From:Elliott Lash <erelion12@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 24, 2004, 6:22
 Nindic, Silindion's northern cousin has a
particularly interesting development in past tense

Similar to Silindion, at the beginning of Nindic, in
the Common Nindic period, there were two main

-si:  and -ti:   (the :'s are long marks)

These are related to Silindions: -si and -ti discussed
in another post.

These suffixes were added to virtually every root,
only a few words having the so-called -i past which is
also common in Silindion. -si: pasts being formed from
Consonant stem verbs, and -ti: pasts being formed from
vowel stem verbs and verbs ending in -w (probably -y
as well, but I have no examples).

Later on in Nindic, sound changes began to make the
system a little more complicated.

Roots ending in the following consonants:
voiced stop (note spelling): c, t, p
unvoiced fricative:         ch, th, _
voiced fricative:           _, d, f
other:  n, l, r

Were particularly hard hit. Voiced stops disappeared
and sometimes assimilated to the final -s, which was
all that was left of the original -si:.

*lak-ye "to ride"
 > leic-i (in Old Nindic)   Past:  leich "He rode"

*pet-ye "to eat"
 > pet-i (ON)  Past:  pe-s "He ate"

*sop-ye "to sleep"
 > sep-i (ON)   Past:  se-s "He slept"


However, verbs ending in vowels were doing better, the
final vowel only having slightly shifted before the -t
(pronounced /d/) which remained of the past tense -ti:

 *anta-ye "to give"
  > entha-id (ON)  Past: enthe-t "He gave"

 *osto-ye "to breath"
  > ethu-id (ON)  Past:  ethu-t "He breathed"

 *delego-ye "to protect"
  > deliu-id (ON) Past: deliu-t "He protected"


And those stems ending in -s were also fine:
 *ros-ye "to stand
   > re-i (ON)   Past:  re-s "He stood"
 *akad-ros-ye "to remain"
   > ecairru-i (ON)  Past:  ecairru-s

As time wore on however, even more changes occured.
The endings -et (of some vowel stems) /et/, -ut
(pronounced /yd/) and, -us (pronounced /ys/) began to
be the most important endings in the language,
gradually ousting many other historical endings and
shuffling around things. This is probably due to the
minimum amount of stem changing that these endings

-ed: Comes from verbs ending in -i and -e and -a
 Historically, -i became -e before the -t of the
 An ancient analogy led to -a verbs and -e verbs
 also taking this suffix.
 Began to be written -ed in Middle Nindic.

-ut: Comes from verbs ending in -u and -o
  Began to be written -yd in Middle Nindic

-us: Comes from verbs which are compounds of
ros-ye "to stand". The most important of which is Old
Nindic ecairrui "to remain".
Began to be written -ys in Middle Nindic.

The sequence of development in these suffixes (and
especially -ys which eventually won out) was thus:

A)  -YS   spreads from "ros-ye" in compounds  to other
verbs ending in –r. This replaces the old ending,
derived from *r-si:, which had led to confusion with
the subjunctive and present in some cases.

B)  -YD  is replaced increasingly by –ys in –u and –o
stem verbs. Since these were the most similar, they
were frequently interchanged.

C)  -YD and –YS fluctuate in most words ending in –th,
on the basis of ethi an old –o stem which originally
had an -yd ending. This new fluctuation in endings
ousts the old alternation -th > -s, which many verbs

D)   -YS replaces awkward endings in clusters, since
many times clusters were impossible to resolve,
ancient analogy had tended to just add past tense
personal endings to the present stem, which resulted
in subjunctive like forms, and hence, it was
confusing. This new innovation however created a much
more understandable system.

E) -IYD (ON -iut) is replaced by –EWD in –EGO stems on
the basis of stems ending in –W in general. Examples:

  *delego-ye > ON  deliuid "to protect"
   Past: deliut  > Middle Nindic: delew-d
   (Analogy with both *mew-ye "to glitter" > mewd,
    and other forms of the verb)

F) –EWD fluctuates with –EWYS in –EGO stems
 As -ys spread, the previous analogy was replaced by
the stronger ending. In -w stems, like mewi, the
fluctuation is much less, -ewd being the preferred

G) -ED spreads to many verbs ending in -RCH (not sure
how this development came about)

H) SOME –N and –L stems begin using the –YS suffix
with it much more predominate in –L stems. In the case
of -n stems, this is mainly to avoid homonymy, the old
alteration between -n and -s, being too unstable:
   *san-ye "to die"
   ON sein-i  Past  sei-s  Middle Nindic: sen-ys
   *sad-ye "to plant
   ON seid-i  Past sei-s

 In the case of -l stems, it is to replace awkward
subjunctive/present confusions.

I) SOME other stems begin using the –YS suffix to
avoid homonymy with other verbs, this is especially
important for stems ending in –dd and –b/f, whose old
alterations were like -n stems.

J) -YS begins to spread into –RCH stems which have
held out in –ED till now. However -ED is particularly
resiliant and spreads to -f stems in some cases as
well as a few clusters.

K) –YS becomes the dominant suffix for labial stems

By the Modern Classical Nindic period (the main period
for Nindic Texts) most verbs have past tenses in -ys,
or at least have the option of having past tenses in
-ys. Verbs with a stem in -dd, -s, -n, -ch, -g, -d
still hold on to the old -s past that they inherited.
The -ed suffix has some sway in verbs ending in -th
and -rch (which also take -ys), as well as various
surviving -i and -a stems and a few others. But for
the most part -ys is supreme.

There are of course the random hold outs from ancient
Silinestic (the Proto-language), but that's to be

 Elliott Lash

Do you Yahoo!?
Win 1 of 4,000 free domain names from Yahoo! Enter now.