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Modal adverbs!

From:Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 7, 2001, 20:34
One of the more exotic parts of my conlang Tairezazh is the modal adverbs. I
don't know of any natlang with a parallel system, so possibly it's
unnatural, but I like it anyways.

Some examples:

Ta dhék zent
"I go want"
="I want to go"

Ta dhék tsin
"I go must"
="I must go"

The adverbs can be combined with tense as normal:

Ta dhékek zent
"I go-PAST want"
="I wanted to go"

Ta dhékek tsin
"I go-PAST must"
="I had to go"

Ta dhékest tsin
"I go-FUT must"
="I will have to go"

Some more examples

Sena skenk zent sous ta
"She come-PAST want to I"
="She wanted to come to me" (wishful thinker I am!)
Note that the adverb follows the verb directly - it's not placed after the
whole phrase _skenk sous ta_ "came to me".

Sha tsai gez tsaists senar
"You give should gift-ACC she-DAT"
="You should give her a gift"
(The words _tsai_ "give" and _tsaist_ "gift" are obviously related)

Ta zol fiks sens anév
"I do can it-ACC now"
="I can do it now"

Ta zolk fiks sens linév
"I do-PAST can it-ACC then"
="I could have done it then"
(The words _anév_ "now" and _linév_ "then" are derived from _mév_ "day" -
etymologically they mean "this day" and "that day" respectively)

Sha dhék skei esh
"You go may not"
="You may not go"="You're not allowed to go"

Fairly elegant, isn't it? Note that the modal adverbs themselves are


PS The word _zent_ is also a verb "want". But it can only be used in
sentenses like _Seno zentek daives_ "He wanted a house", not in sentenses
like "He wanted to go" - that's _Seno dhékek zent_, not **_Seno zentek
dhéken_ (_dhéken_ being the infinitive of _dhék_).
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