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Ishtalo addendum: verb moods

From:Tommaso R. Donnarumma <trd@...>
Date:Thursday, November 23, 2000, 11:05

I'm just back from a travel to the land of the Ishtalo, where I
conducted deep studies on verb moods. :-)  Here's what I

I stated that verbs inflect for direct and oblique agreement,
tense and voice.  And, we should add, mood.

Before we start, we need a bit of odd terminology.  The marking
for mood is complex, being made of two separate sets of affixes,
which I will call "modality" and "mood."  I'll call "mood-form"
each separate mood as identified by a unique pair of "modality"
and "mood" affixes.  I'm not satisfied with these names, though
-- darn 19th Century grammarians! :-)  Any suggestion would be
greatly appreciated.

As of the verb shape, modality is prefixed to the verb stem
(after the direct and oblique articles and the tense prefix);
mood is suffixed to the verb stem (before the voice mark):

  dir. - obl. - tense - modality - v. stem - mood - voice

There are sixteen mood-forms, divided in six modalities.
Modalities, in turn, are split in two symmetrical groups.
The first group of modalities takes voice marking as described
in my previous message;  the second group always requires
antipassive agreement (like the future tense), and never takes
overt voice marking.

The modalities and their respective mood forms are:

  Unmarked or indicative (1st group) 0-
    narrative     -0
    exclamative   -ton
    interrogative -en

  Evidential (2nd group) fen-
    evisive    -0
    sensive    -eye
    conclusive -tewe

  Necessity (1st group) in-
    necessitive -tase
    obbligative -0
    imperative  -tewe

  Possibility (2nd group) enin-
    potential   -tase
    potestative -0
    permissive  -tewe

  Probability (1st group) sose-
    conditional -eye
    irrealis    -0

  Volunty (2nd group) mon-
    volitive -eye
    optative -0

Here's a set of examples, showing how mood forms are derived
and employed (for an analysis of the example, please refer
to examples 22, for the standard construction, and 30, for
the antipassive construction, in my previous e-mail):

* newaksas n'okata shepokshetawa
Narrative (0-VB-0):  "The shaman healed the girl"

* newaksaston n'okata shepokshetawa
Exclamative (0-VB-ton):  "The shaman healed the girl!"

* newaksasen n'okata shepokshetawa
Interrogative (0-VB-en):  "Did the shaman heal the girl?"

* shelefenwaksas n'okati shepoksheta
Evisive (fen-VB-0):  "It looks like the shaman healed the
girl," "It seems that the shaman healed the girl"

* shelefenwaksaseye n'okati shepoksheta
Sensive (fen-VB-eye):  "The shaman feels like he healed
the girl"

* shelefenwaksastewe n'okati shepoksheta
Conclusive (fen-VB-tewe):  "The shaman must have healed
the girl"

* n'inwaksastase n'okata shepokshetawa
Necessitive (in-VB-tase):  "The shaman cannot but heal the
girl" (i.e., "must by natural law")

* n'inwaksas n'okata shepokshetawa
Obbligative (in-VB-0):  "The shaman must heal the girl"

* n'inwaksastewe n'okata shepokshetawa
Imperative (in-VB-tewe):  "The shaman shall heal the
girl" (an order), "Let the shaman heal the girl"

* shel'eninwaksastase n'okati shepoksheta
Potential (enin-VB-tase):  "The shaman can heal the girl"
(i.e., "He's got the required ability, knowledge, and
magical power, of course!")

* shel'eninwaksas n'okati shepoksheta
Potestative (enin-VB-0):  "The shaman can heal the girl"
(i.e., "He's entitled to do so")

* shel'eninwaksastewe n'okati shepoksheta
Permissive (enin-VB-tewe):  "The shaman may heal the
girl," "The shaman is allowed to heal the girl"

* nesosewaksaseye n'okata shepokshetawa
Conditional (sose-VB-eye):  "The shaman would heal the

* nesosewaksas n'okata shepokshetawa
Irrealis (sose-VB-0):  "Should the shaman had healed
the girl"

* shelemonwaksaseye n'okati shepoksheta
Volitive (mon-VB-eye):  "The shaman wants to heal the

* shelemonwaksas n'okati shepoksheta
Optative (mon-VB-0):  "Might the shaman heal the girl!"

Further properties of mood forms, such as, for example,
the interaction with tenses, are still to be investigated.