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demuan 101: verbs

From:Fabian <rhialto@...>
Date:Sunday, April 11, 1999, 22:00
I've been saving all my inflections for this. Verbs inflect. A lot. Well,
maybe it isn't as bad as Swahili...

word order

adverbs - auxiliaries - prefixes - verb - infixes - suffixes

auxiliary verbs

xaxe - to begin to verb
hiwe - to still be verbing
wee - to stop verbing
fee - to finish verbing

wate - to want to verb
ube - to be able to verb ; S can verb
hate - to need to verb
xate - to be necessary to verb
made - to be obliged to verb ; S must verb ; S ought to verb
biie - S forces O to verb
sale - S allows O to verb

In addition, Demuan is fond of stringing verbs together - these represent
merely the most common verbs used in such a fashion.


per- : passive marker
kei- : reflexive verb (x-self)
toi- : reciprocal verb (each other)

The objects of passive verbs do not take any particular particle to mark the
verb as passive - it is already written in the verb, and the double stress
the prefix receives (long syllable, first syllable should prevent much


-ba- : iterative ; repeatedly ; any number of times
-nyu- : habitual ; normally ; usually ; often ; always

-xaa- : inceptive ; to begin to verb
-hii- : continuitive ; to still be verbing
-wer- : terminative ; to stop verbing
-fer- : completive ; to finish verbing

The latter 4 infixes are only commonly used in highly inflected noun
combinations, suggesting that they are no longer productive. Their most
common use is in nouned verbs, the most famous example being
'yamehiiwertam' - an undead creature.


-lailai : prophetic future tense (beyond speaker's lifetime)
-qi : simple future
- : simple present
-ng : simple past
-jedai : historic past (beyond speaker's lifetime)

-x : imperative
-joi : 'toast' ; let's verb ; may S verb

<-nyung : used to verb> is possibly one of the more useful combinations of
suffixes and infixes.


-deng : the act of verbing
-tam : a noun that verbs ; verber ; diner - tabetam
per-tam : a noun that is verbed ; verbee ; food - pertabetam
per-yu : capable of being verbed ; verbable ; edible - pertabeyu

Although once productive, nominalisation no longer occurs much, perhaps
because all viable words have already been created. The current list is
apparently pretty much fixed.


baxe - to travel ; to go ; to come
du - be equal to

tabe - to eat
qu - to be similar to
ve - to see
xabe - to talk

aaliqe - please