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Part of: Chlouvānem morphology

Verbs (daradhūs, pl. daradhaus) are the most inflected part of speech in Chlouvānem. Most basic forms are fusional, but many more specific formations are more agglutinative due to their origin from old Proto-Lahob particles or participles.

Inflectional categories

The first and most important division we can find in Chlouvānem verbs is the distinction - a category called, with noticeable metaphorical use, chlærim (light) by native grammarians - between exterior (kauyāva) and interior (nañyāva) verbs. This may at first seem a voice system, but it must be distinguished from the true voices in Chlouvānem conjugation. The difference between them is mostly lexical: native grammarians distinguish exterior verbs as describing "activities or states that involve interactions with outside the self", and interior verbs as affecting principally the self. Exterior verbs are those we could most easily compare to active verbs in English, while interior verbs are a somewhat "catch-all" category including many distinct meanings, most notably middle-voice, reflexive and reciprocal ones, but also all adjectival verbs as well as peculiar and somewhat independent meanings for some verbs. Many verbs can be conjugated both as exterior and as interior and they often have differences in meaning - e.g. gṇyauke means “to give birth” when exterior and “to be born” when interior - commonly, the interior has the intransitive meaning and the exterior the transitive one - cf. lęlširu "I shake" vs. lęlšute "I shake (something)".

→ See Chlouvānem exterior and interior verbs for a more thorough explanation of these forms.

Potentially every Chlouvānem verb form, no matter if exterior or interior, has a causative (driṣṇa) conjugation which is considered an inflection and not a derivation, even if the meanings may vary: mišake is an extreme example as each form has a different meaning (with particularly interior forms having many meanings) - non-causative exterior mešu "I am seen", interior meširu "I know; I see myself"; and causative exterior mešisu "I am shown", interior meširisu "I learn; I show myself (trans.)".

Chlouvānem verbs also conjugate for seven voices (tadgeroe, pl. tadgerenī), each one putting one of seven different core elements as the direct-case argument, usually for means of topicalization or definiteness; they reflect the Austronesian-type morphosyntactical alignment of the language. The seven voices are, for exterior verbs:

  • patient-trigger (dṛṣokire tadgeroe) (unmarked);
  • agent-trigger (darīnūkire tadgeroe) (transitive and ditransitive verbs only);
  • benefactive-trigger (hulābādmęlīnūkire tadgeroe);
  • antibenefactive-trigger (tatalunsusūkire tadgeroe);
  • locative-trigger (yuñcūkire tadgeroe);
  • dative-trigger (męliausire tadgeroe) (mostly ditransitive verbs);
  • instrumental-trigger (drausire tadgeroe) (morphologically possible for all verbs, but not always meaningful).

Interior verbs only have six voices, as they do not have an agentive voice; the patientive, unmarked voice, is here called common voice (tailcārē tadgeroe)[1].

Chlouvānem (realis) verbs encode six different types of evidentiality (tarlāsmrāṇa), actually a combination of evidentiality and epistemic modality: experiential (šukilenūkire tarlāsmrāṇa, unmarked[2]), first inferential (lahīla paratṛlūkire tarlāsmrāṇa, trustworthy), second inferential (hælinaika paratṛlūkire tarlāsmrāṇa, doubted), assumptive (demitṛlūkire tarlāsmrāṇa), first reportative (lahīla tatikilenūkire tarlāsmrāṇa, trustworthy) and second reportative (hælinaika tatikilenūkire tarlāsmrāṇa, doubted).

Chlouvānem verbs also conjugate for five different tense-aspect combinations (simply tenses (avyāṣa - pl. avyāṣai)): present (kaminænikire avyāṣa), past (dāṃdenire avyāṣa[3]), perfect (mīraṃnajausire avyāṣa), (general) future (lallāmiti avyāṣa), and future intentional (osmešē lallāmiti avyāṣa); other distinctions may be built periphrastically (most notably imperfect, pluperfect and future perfect). Tenses are the “basic unit” verbs conjugate in: all tenses conjugate for nine persons (1st-2nd-3rd in singular, dual and plural; note though that 3rd singular and 3rd plural are identical in the perfect). Note that some moods do only distinguish between imperfective and perfective aspect.

The last inflectional category of Chlouvānem verbs is the mood (darišam, pl. darišye). Chlouvānem grammarians traditionally distinguish only three moods, which are those that cannot be combined:

  • indicative (urḍāmiti darišam) - the realis mood;
  • optative (purmanūkire darišam) - used to express wishes or hopes, as well as orders or commands;
  • subjunctive (milkausire darišam) - used to express general advices (jussive use), purpose (supine use), unreal things that may happen or might have happened, and also syntactically conditioned by some particles.

There are a few more forms that can't be strictly considered moods because they can appear in all of the five actual moods, and are thus called junya, pl. junyai (literally "shade, hue, dye") by Chlouvānem grammarians: they are actually regular derivational patterns, that are considered inflectional due to them being possible for all verbs. There are five junyai:

  • desiderative (daudyūkire junya) - used to express a desire or will (e.g. I want to X);
  • necessitative (rileyūkire junya) - used to express need or obligation (e.g. I have to X);
  • potential (novire junya) - used to express the ability to do something (e.g. I can [= am able to] X, also "I may [= it is possible that I] X")
  • permissive (drippūkire junya) - used to express the permission to do something (e.g. I can [= I’m allowed to] X)
  • intensive (caṃliven junya) - typically denotes emphasis on a stronger effort for/in an action, or on its contrastive nature, or on its completeness and exhaustiveness.

Finally, Chlouvānem also has a non-finite form (emibąukire daradhūs) (the -ke form, called infinitive hereafter).

Verb classes

When talking about the regularity in the conjugation of Chlouvānem verbs, most Chlouvānem linguists consider the vast majority of verbs as regular. In fact, the same suffixes are used in conjugating almost all verbs and highly irregular verbs are often only small exceptions (jalle "to be" and lulke "to go on foot (monodirectional)" are the most notable ones, having many suppletive stems). However, despite this regularity, Chlouvānem verbs are divided into lots of small classes, each one having only a few members, that have different stem vowels in various forms - typically, the 3SG forms of the present, past, and perfect are used as principal parts (with the infinitive often - but not always! - having the same vowel as the present).

A Chlouvānem verb's conjugation is determined by two factors: whether it is thematic and whether - and if it does, how - its root vowel changes among the different stems.
The thematic and athematic distinction is the easiest: thematic verbs add an -a- (-e- in the 3SG past) between its root and every consonantic termination; athematic verbs don't. All verbs with vowel-ending roots are athematic.

Root vowel changes are, however, more complex, and up to twelve verb classes may be distinguished depending on how the various stems are formed. The first two classes comprise about 90% of all (primary) verbs:

  1. The verbs of the first class do not change its vowel in any form. About 45% of verbs belong to this class, including all those whose root vowel is any of ā, ą, e, ē, ę, ǣ, oe, ai, ąi, au, ąu, as well as most verbs with root vowel a, æ, å, o, ei, or ęi. An example is męlike (athematic) "to give": pres. męlyē, past męlik, perfect emęlya.
  2. Also called the basic ablauting class, these verbs have the most basic ablaut alteration: in their present exterior forms and in the singular present interior ones, i ī become e (širṣṭake "to dip, soak": šerṣṭē — širṣṭek — iširṣṭa), u ū usually become o (dhūlte "to write": dholtē, dhūltik, udhūlta), but i in a few verbs (kulke "to say": kilē — kulik — ukula), and ṛ ṝ become ar (dṛke "to do": darē — dṛk — (irr.) dadrā)
  3. Also called strong ablauting class, it is a subgroup of the ablauting class where instead of becoming middle-grade, the vowels ablaut to the maximum grade (ai, au, ār) respectively. This class is somewhat rare: the three most common verbs in it are mulke (mun-) "to be able to": maunē — munik — umuna, dīdake "to know a person": daidē — dīdek — idīda, and kirake "to love": kairē — kirek — ikira.
  4. Also called inverse ablauting class, these verbs have either va or ya in the present (and infinitive; note that the initial semivowel may be "hidden" in a consonant!) that gets reduced to u or i respectively in the past. An easy example is valde "to open": valdē — uldik — vulda; one with a hidden consonant is calyake "to harvest plums": calyē — kilyek — ikilda. In verbs with r-va, the v disappears, but the conjugation is otherwise regular, e.g. ranyake "to untie, loosen, dismantle": ranyē — runyek — urunya.
  5. Verbs of this class (and the following ones) typically have a vowel change in the past form and not in the present one. This class has å in the infinitive, present, and perfect, and e in the past, for example påndake "to punch": påndē — pendek — apånda). Verbs whose roots begin in y- lose it in the past, e.g. yåjyake "to float in the air; to go with a zeppelin, hot air balloon, or helicopter (monodirectional)": yåjyē — ejyek — ayåjya.
  6. These verbs have ei in the present, a in the past, and a+ i in the perfect; e.g. heimake "to blow, to play (wind instruments)" heimē — hamek — ahima.
  7. Verbs with e in the present, ya in the past, and i+ i in the perfect (and infinitive!); e.g. miṃsake "to risk" meṃsē — myaṃsek — imiṃsa.
  8. Verbs with æ in the present, o in the past, and e+ i in the perfect; e.g. næljake "to turn, to screw": næljē — noljek — enilja.
  9. Verbs with o in the present, ei in the past, and a+ ā in the perfect; e.g. volkake "to stab, to sting (esp. insects), to hit with something pointy": volkē — veilkek — avālka.
  10. Verbs with æ in the present, ya in the past, and e+ ī in the perfect; e.g. kællake "to sew": kællē — kyallek — ekīlla.
  11. Verbs with æ in the present, yau in the past, and u+ u in the perfect; e.g. nætte "to hold": nættē — nyauttek — unutta.
  12. Also called -ah verbs, these verbs actually never modify their root vowel, but have different present endings. hæṃdike "to dream", jānake "to feel", and lilke "to live" are the most common verbs of this class.

Moods apart from the indicative mainly just follow root structure, with different allomorphs depending on whether the root ends in a consonant or in a vowel.

Vocalic stems

Vocalic stems are those whose stems end in a vowel; most of them are class 1 (without any vowel change), but some are class 2 (ablauting), more rarely of other classes. They are anyway somewhat rare in Chlouvānem, but a few common verbs have vocalic stems. These stems often do not behave as in normal vowel saṃdhi when vocalic terminations are added:

  • The diphthongs ai, ei, au, and their breathy-voiced versions mute the second element in a semivowel; in ai and au the vowel is naturally lengthened to ā - e.g. gṇyauke "to give birth", pres. exterior gṇyāvu, gṇyāvi, gṇyāvē...; past exterior gṇyāvau, gṇyāvei, gṇyauk...
  • The short vowels i, u, ṛ and long change into their corresponding semivowels if it forms an accepted cluster - e.g. vike "to rest" (ablauting stem ve- in the present), past exterior vyau, vyei, vik...
  • æ and ǣ become ev and oe becomes en - e.g. gæke "to stretch", pres. exterior gevu, gevi, gevē...; past exterior gevau, gevei, gæk...

Other vowels add different epenthetic consonants depending on their quality:

  • a, e (and long versions), and å always add n, e.g. lyēke "to clap", pres. exterior lyēnu, lyēni, lyēnē...; past exterior lyēnau, lyēnei, lyēk.
  • All other oral vowels add y (note that o contracts with e or ē to oe), e.g. khlūke "to search, look for" (abl. stem khlo-), pres. exterior khloyu, khloyi, khloe...; past exterior khlūyau, khlūyei, khlūk...
  • Breathy-voiced vowels dissimilate to vowel + h: e.g. švęke "to point at": pres. ext. švehu, švehi, švehē...; past ext. švehau, švehei, švęk...

In four basic verbs, -yā- in the infinitive and most stems becomes -im- in the present and in the subjunctive. These are:

  • -tyāke (all verbs meaning "to stay", such as tatyāke) — -timē, -tyāk, -(ɂ)atyā
  • vjyāke (to grate, grind) — vjimē, vjyāk, avjyā
  • myāke (to carefully look, examine) — mimē, myāk, amyā
  • sklyāke (to store, spare) — sklimē, sklyāk, asklyā

Perfect stems

The perfect stem (used for the perfect and for the intentional future) formed by prefixing the root vowel (shortened, oral, and with the basic root ablaut) to the stem - but note that verb classes 5 to 10 have their own vowel patterns that diverge from this general one. Examples:

  • nāmvake “to crush, press” = nāmv- → anāmv-
  • khluke “to search, look for” = khlu- → ukhlu-
  • hilkake “to dye, colour” = hilk- → ihilk-
  • męlike “to give” = męly → emęly-

æ, o, å, and all use a (except for ṛ- initial verbs, which have ṝ-); diphthongs usually only take their first component:

  • dældake “to speak” = dæld- → adæld-
  • kolkake “to be acid” = kolk- → akolk-
  • tṛlake “to know, understand” = tṛl- → atṛl-
  • ṛṣme "to plan to, to have the intention of" = ṛṣm- → ṝṣm-
  • yaudake “to catch” = yaud- → ayaud-
  • laitake “to row” = lait- → alait-
  • leike "to stick, press into something" = lei- → elei-


The infinitive (emibąukire daradhūs) or ke-form is a non-finite form used in certain construction (like with certain verbs (e.g. daudike (to want)) or particles). It is also the citation form, and it is simple to recognize and form:

  • The infinitive is always based on the root, thus with either a basic-grade vowel for ablauting verbs or an unreduced sequence for inverse-ablauting ones.
  • Thematic verbs add -ake;
  • All other verbs just add -ke. There are a few cases where this is not always how it surfaces:
    • verbs ending in -y- turn it into the vowel -i- (e.g. męly-kemęlike (to give));
    • verbs whose roots end in any single or postnasal unvoiced dental, retroflex, or palatal stop or affricate, assimilate the -k- of the suffix (e.g. kit-kekitte (to put, place));
    • verbs whose roots end in any single or postnasal voiced, non-velar stop, assimilate the voicing of the suffix -k- (e.g. dįb-kedįbge (to kick));
      • note that, due to regular saṃdhi, *-jg- resulting by this further changes to -jñ- (e.g. taj-ketajñe (to rub));
    • verbs whose roots end in single -g or -gh assimilate the -k-, with the regular saṃdhi change from double voiced stop to nasal + voiced stop (e.g. dig-kedilge (to pour));
      • This also happens with the cluster -nd, where the assimilation -nd-k makes it -lg (e.g. mind-kemilge (to hear));
    • verbs whose roots end in any other consonant cluster only add -e (e.g. pudbh-kepudbhe (to sleep)).

Knowing the root form of the verb is necessary as two different roots may have the same infinitive, e.g. mulke for both mul- "to drink" (molē, mulek, umula) and mun- "to be able to" (maunē, munek, umuna).

The infinitive can also be used as a noun, declining as -eh ones and getting a final -h in the direct case. Compared to derived -anah nouns, which denote a process, the nominalized infinitive is often more gnomic or perfective in meaning (dhūlti baucanah makes sense, meaning "learning to write", while dholtani baucanah is grammatically correct but meaningless), but it can also be synonymous in some expressions (e.g. nenyai naviṣyi dholtanęs væse or nenyai naviṣyi dhūltęs væse, both meaning "while writing this book" — if a distinction should be rendered in English, the first one would be translated "during the writing process of this book").

Hues (junyai)

Chlouvānem verbs are typically defined by the three (four) stems detailed above in the verb class section: present, past, perfect, and infinitive stem.

The five "hues" (better known by their native term of junyai, sg. junya) are regularly formed verb forms with different meanings: desiderative, necessitative, potential, permissive, and intensive. They are not considered moods because each of them may be found in all three Chlouvānem moods, even though they lack an infinitive form. All of them are built starting from the infinitive stem.

General consonant reduplication rules

The following rules are used in reduplicating the initial consonant while forming junya stems, as well as in the derivation of frequentative verbs. Variations on these rules are explained when referring to a particular junya.

Reduplication adds the first consonant of the verb (except prefixes) and its first vowel (always oral short).There are however some special rules followed in reduplicating:

  • Aspirated stops are always reduplicated as unaspirated;
  • g- is always reduplicated as h-, except for a few irregular verbs;
  • h- is reduplicated as k-;
  • k- as š-;
  • l- in the initial clusters lk-, lkh-, lg-, or lgh- reduplicates as n-.
    • Some roots beginning with l have ħ as their reduplication, most notably lun-ħuloṃs- (to go on foot, walk (monodirectional)). This is because these roots began with the Pre-Chlouvānem cluster *ħl, which was then simplified to just l; originally, the reduplication was also regular (e.g. *ħlun → *ħuħloṃs-).
  • Initial clusters which begin with s-, ṣ-, š-, or v- use the first consonant which is not one of them (but šv- reduplicates as š-);
  • Verbs with ablautable vowels almost always have middle-grade ablaut (there are a few exceptions, such as khlu-); reduplicates as a;
  • Inverse-ablaut verbs have the consonant of the unreduced root but the reduced vowel;
  • Roots beginning with vowels are regular, reduplicating the otherwise allophonic initial ɂ.
  • Prefixes are added before the reduplicated root.

The desiderative junya

The desiderative junya is formed by reduplicating of the root and suffixing -s. The vowel used in the reduplication is the base grade (always oral short), while the one in the original root position shifts to the middle grade (if possible). Inverse-ablauting roots have the reduced vowel in the root position and the original consonant (y- or v-) at the beginning, with saṃdhi applied as needed.

Final added -s has some special saṃdhi rules, too (in addition to the usual ones):

  • -d-s and -dh-s both become -ts;
  • After voiced stops, -s becomes -r and aspirated stops lose aspiration. -j-s and -jh-s both become -jl;
  • -š-s, -c-s-', and -ch-s- become -kṣ;
  • -y-s becomes ;
  • -l-s becomes -ly when prevocalic and -lš when preconsonantal, but -rl-s always becomes -rely-.

The resulting stem, athematic, is used as the present and past stem. The perfect stem vocalic augment is short if the vowel in the root is long (or o, å, or a diphthong), otherwise it is long (cf. nanāmusute "I want to crush", ananāmusaṃte "I have wanted to crush" vs. šukhlusute "I want to search", ūšukhlusaṃte "I have wanted to search").

Desiderative examples:

  • mbiṇḍhe “to go (multid.)”, root mbiṇḍh-mi-mbeṇḍh-smimbeñc- (pf. stem imimbeñc-)
  • lgutake “to buy”, root lgut-nu-lgot-snulgots- (pf. stem unulgots-)
  • khluke “to search, look for”, root khlu-šu-khlu-sšukhlus- (pf. stem ūšukhlus-)

Four verbs have irregular stems:

  • jalle "to be" → jijāl-
  • lilke "to live" → lēlikṣ-
  • męlike "to give" → mimęñ-
  • milke "to take" → mūṃchl-

The necessitative junya

The necessitative junya is formed and conjugates much like the desiderative; it uses a stem formed by reduplication, and adding -sū-, with the same saṃdhi changes found in the desiderative. There are a few differences in the reduplication:

  • They have higher-grade or lenghthened vowel in the reduplication and not the stem;
  • Verbs with non-ablauting vowels always have ī;
  • Inverse-ablauting verbs have va or ya as reduplication, followed by the root with the reduced vowel (va-u- and ya-i- regularly become vo- and e-)

The resulting stem is a regular vocalic stem.

The perfect stem always has a short vowel; quality is still based on the root vowel.

Necessitative examples:

  • mbasike “to draw” → mīmbašū- (pf. stem. emīmbašū-)
  • khlunāke “to search, look for” → šokhlusū- (pf. stem. ušokhlusū-)
  • nilyake “to think” → nenilšū- (pf. stem. inenilšū-)
  • valde “to open” → voltsū- (pf. stem. uvoltsū-)

The potential junya

The potential junya also conjugates in all tenses and aspects and has a stem formed with initial reduplication. It is formed by adding -(e)nā- to the root and behaves as a fourth conjugation verb, adding an epenthetic -n before vocalic endings. Note that -r-nā- becomes -rṇā- due to saṃdhi. Formation of the perfect stem follows the same rules as in the desiderative.

Potential examples:

  • mbiṇḍhe “to go (multid.)” → mimbeṇḍhṇā- (pf. stem. emimbeṇḍhṇā-)
  • khluke “to search, look for” → šukhlonā- (pf. stem. ūšukhlonā-)
  • nilyake “to think” → ninelyenā- (pf. stem. īninelyenā-)

A special case of saṃdhi occurs in roots which end in a single -g or -k: this consonant becomes -gh and the -n in the suffix becomes retroflex, e.g. mūmikke "to dance", root mūmik- > mumūmighṇā- ; dilge “to pour", root dig- > dideghṇā-.

The potential is used both for the sense of "may" (to be possible that) and "can" (to be able to): two sentences such as "I may (it is possible that I) do it" and "I can (I'm able to) do it" would be both translated as dadrenānute. To avoid ambiguity, the "may" sense may be rephrased with the verb širgake plus subjunctive - e.g. dratite šergē - while the "can" sense may be rephrased with novake plus subjunctive - e.g. dratite novē - or (less commonly) with the infinitive - e.g. dṛke novute.

The permissive junya

The permissive junya also conjugates in all tenses and aspects and is formed with a reduplication with -ī- as the only possible vowel - except for verbs with a reduplicated non-nasal labial consonant, which have ū - and -ūd- after the root. The perfect stem always has a short vowel, and is formed as in the necessitative.

Permissive examples:

  • mišake “to see”, → mīmišūd- (pf. stem. imīmišūd-)
  • bhike “to take care of”, → būbhyūd- (pf. stem. ibūbhyūd-)
  • nilyake “to think” → nīnilyūd- (pf. stem. inīnilyūd-)

The intensive junya

The intensive junya is formed by reduplication with diachronical lengthening and the base vowel in the root, plus suffixed -ī-:

  • khluke "to search, look for" → *šūkhluī- → šūkhlī- (pf. ušūkhlī-)
  • męlike "to give" → myamęlī- (pf. emyamęlī-)
  • nilyake "to think" → nīnilī-
  • valde "to open" → vauldī- (morph. vā-uld-ī-; pf. stem avauldī-)
  • nāmvake "to crush" → nānamvī-
  • milke "to take" → mīmilkī-
  • daudike "to want" → dādaudī-

jalle "to be" has a partial irregularity, deleting the root vowel entirely – jā-j∅l-ī-jājlī-.
Intensives conjugate as vocalic stems, but always insert an epenthetic -n- consonant regardless of the following vowel, instead of undergoing regular saṃdhi.

The intensive, while theoretically formed from all verbs, may have different meanings depending on the verb, and some verbs are practically never used with it. Particularly, intensive forms of verbs of motion are often semantically identical to frequentatives.
Quite often, the intensive is not easily translatable into English, as it may range from simple emphatic forms (dṝdīnaute "I really did it"; cīchlisire "it's fucking amazing"[4]; sēn mbinē dam? / mīmbunīnē! "do you like it? / of course I like it!"), to emphasis on the contrastive nature of an action (pūni, pūpūnīnu ni "you work, but I work-INT." (i.e. "I work much more than you"); læchlyūyiri ni dā! / lǣlæchlīru! "come on, have some fun! / I am [already/indeed] having fun!"), or on the completeness and exhaustiveness of an action (spṛšāvih ušūkhlīṃte "I've been looking for my keys in every single place"). Some verbs may be translated in different ways compared to the non-intensive form, e.g. læmyu jālejildekte "(s)he won the race" vs. læmyu jālejījildīkte "(s)he dominated the race".

Stem extensions and terminations

Stem extensions are bound morphemes that may be placed after the stem, and mark four different categories. Up to one for each category may be present:

  1. The first stem extension is the evidential category (actually combining evidentiality and epistemic modality):
    • Experientials (direct evidentiality) is the default and considered to be marked by the thematic vowel, therefore by -∅- for athematic verbs and by -a- for thematic ones.
    • The "first inferential" marks an inferred situation likely to be true, marked by a -u(ɂ)- thematic extension;
    • The "second inferential" marks an inferred situation whose truthness is unlikely or doubted, marked by -eb(i)-;
    • The assumptive marks an assumption, marked by -ukin(a)-;
    • The reportative (or "first reportative") marks a reported situation likely to be true, marked by -emi-;
    • The dubitative reportative (or "second reportative") marks a reported situation whose truthness is unlikely or doubted, marked by -enab(u)-.
  2. The second stem extension is -ug-, marking the optative mood.
  3. The third stem extension is the interior verb marker -ir- (exterior verbs are not marked)
  4. The fourth stem extension is the causative marker -is- (non-causatives are not marked)

Finally, note that some stem extensions may trigger a change in the personal termination (e.g. the third person plural present indicative interior -irāhe, not *-ir-āhai). In the -is- stem extension, when preceding -b- initial personal terminations, the final -s predictably disappears, lengthening the preceding vowel (e.g. meš-is-bamešība).

Note, furthermore, that -ir- (when not followed by the causative marker) becomes -ęr- in the present of class 11 -ah verbs.

Personal terminations

The following table includes an overview of the sets of personal terminations in Chlouvānem. Note that, in the indicative mood, whenever a personal termination encoding evidentiality is not included, that means that the form together with the stem extension has to be used, not that that particular form is not possible.

and Optative
Opt. Imperfective
-u -i -sme -bin -ba -inta
-šin -āhai
Opt. Perfective
-am -es -a -ra -ri -a -ima -iša -a
Past -au -ei -(e)k -ram -rais -rat -ābhe -āṣe -aika
Simple future -iṣy- plus perfect terminations
Intentional future -ālt- (-āl- in interior and causative forms) plus perfect terminations
Subjunctive Imperfective -ati -īs -īndu -īndi -īnam -īnais
Perfective -ēta -ēti -ēt -ētham -ēthai -ēt -eine -eiše -ēt
  1. The -ata termination is used after the interior, causative, and optative stem extensions (cf. miširata "we [plur.] see each other", mišisata "we are shown", miširisata "we learn"), otherwise -inta is used, together with a thematic vowel for thematic verbs (hence mešenta (← meš-a-inta) "we are seen").

Additional notes:

  • The present indicative exterior terminations of -ah verbs are: -ah -aši -ah ; -ąsme -ąbin -ąba ; -ęnta -ąšin -ah.
  • The -ir- root extension causes the 3SG indicative present to become -e and the 3PL indicative present -āhai to become -āhe.
  • The third person interior imperfective subjunctive is -irya instead of *-ir-ī.

Voice markers

Chlouvānem has seven voices, marked by affixes added, in unprefixed verbs, at the end of the verb. As the patient-trigger voice (common voice in interior verbs) is unmarked, the six voice markers are:

  • -te for agent-trigger voice (in exterior verbs only) — but note that -ē-te (in most 3sg verbs) becomes -egde (as derives from historical *-eg);
  • -kæ for benefactive-trigger voice;
  • -tū (-tur non-finally) for antibenefactive-trigger voice;
  • -rā for locative-trigger voice;
  • -mǣ for instrumental-trigger voice;
  • -(m)bi for dative-trigger voice.

Examples of voice marking are męlyē (he/she/it is given) — męlyegde (he/she/it gives) (and męlyu (I am given) → męlyute "I give") — męlyēkæ (something is given for him/her/it) — męlyētū (something is given against him/her/it) — męlyērā (something is given in him/her/it) — męlyēmǣ (something is given with him/her/it) — męlyēmbi (something is given to him/her/it).

In prefixed verbs, voice marking is a bit different as the voice marker is inserted between the prefix and the stem, thus forms like yāyųlē (he/she/it is eaten too much) → yāteyųlē (he/she/it eats too much). Saṃdhi is applied if needed, e.g. "something is eaten for him/her/it directly from a tree" is taktæyųlē (morphemically tad-kæ-yųlē, verb tadyųlake).

The triggered arguments are always marked with the direct case; the other roles are marked with the respective cases and/or locutions:

  • Patient: accusative case
  • Agent: ergative case
  • Benefacted: nali (governs the direct case)
  • Antibenefacted: ras (governs the direct case)
  • Place: locative case
  • Dative argument: dative case
  • Instrument: instrumental case

Patients of intransitive and interior verbs usually require the essive case instead of the accusative. An example is the structure "there is/are ... in ...", usually cast in locative-trigger voice:

keika lalāruṇęs virā.
There is a lalāruṇa in the garden.

Impersonal verbs

Impersonal verbs, in Chlouvānem, are those verbs that are defective and only conjugated in third person exterior (with the partial exception of giṃšake) and only used in patient-trigger voice. There are six such -basic- verbs:

  • gårḍake (to be meant to)
  • hælte (to be moved, touched)
  • maṣvake (to feel compassion, pity)
  • mbunake (to like)
  • ñæṃħake (to repent, to feel remorse, to be sorry for)
  • prābake (to be disgusted)
  • giṃšake (to get/be bored) — usually termed “half-impersonal” because it has a full interior conjugation, but with a different meaning (to be boring).

These verbs all have their cause in the exessive case (or a subjunctive verb) and the affected being in the dative, except for gårḍake, which usually only has a subjunctive, and mbunake, whose affected being (the English subject, i.e. who likes) is in the locative. Examples:

lum lūṣyi maivat hæltek “what Lūṣya said moved me.”
sēn nanāt mbinē "I like that."
nīdrēta lum ñæṃħē “I’m sorry for how I behaved.”
sę nanau pryūsimęlyati gårḍek “you were meant to give it back to me” (literally: it was meant that you give it back to me[5]) .

Derived forms usually behave as impersonal too, like taprābake (to hate) — e.g. taprāblelyom taprābiṣya "haters gonna hate".

Respectful verbs

Actual usage of Chlouvānem grammatically marks respect towards the listener by using analytic constructions formed with auxiliary respectful verbs (imatimaivi daradhaus, i.e. verbs used in the imatimaiva (respectful language)[6]). They are used whenever the action being spoken of effects the listener in some way; a common mistake, made both by foreigners and young Chlouvānem people, is overusing them, thinking that in polite speech almost every single verb needs to be marked this way.

The respectful auxiliaries themselves, as well as a number of inherently respectful verbs (e.g. pṛdhake "to ask" vs. neutral muṣke; naiṣake "to give" vs. neutral męlike; naimake "to meet" vs. neutral vuryake), do not need to be marked with a respectful auxiliary. Inherently humble verbs (or verbal locutions; e.g. yacce "to ask" or "to order, command" vs. neutral muṣke and spruvyake; chlašake "to do, act, make" vs. neutral dṛke; tittake "to suggest, advise" vs. neutral smārṣake), which are, in learners' materials, treated together with respectful language, are also never used with an auxiliary.

The choice of respectful verbs depends on various properties of the main verb, and using a different respectful verbs may imply different shades of meaning; some auxiliaries, in fact, act as if they were junyai of other ones. All respectful auxiliaries are used together with the main verb in the infinitive.

The respectful copula nu

The most common of the auxiliary verbs is √nu, also called the respectful copula as it is a defective verb which substitutes jalle in respectful language. However, it still lacks an infinitive, optative forms, and all junyai; the respective forms of jalle are used instead.

Its forms are all fairly regular, with a nuv- stem before vowels (with an irregularity in the 3SG present indicative) and nu- before consonants (e.g. the present indicative nuvu, nuvi, nuvē, nusme, nudya, nude, numim, nušin, nohai). Its perfect stem is umu-, the general future is noṣya-, and the future intentional is umvālt-.

It is used as a general respectful auxiliary which is good for almost every meaning, but is used most of the time with intransitive, unaccusative, or non-volitive verbs:

mešegde "3SG sees" → mišake nuvegde "3SG sees (RESP)"
tailīsa "3SG/DU/PL has/have come" → talulke umva "3SG/DU/PL has/have come (RESP)"

Other respectful verbs

The main auxiliary verb for transitive verbs is gāke (gānē, gā, agā), a partial respectful equivalent of dṛke[7]

The verbs nacce (nacē - nacek - anaca; respectful equivalent of milke "to take") and naiṣake (naiṣē - naiṣek - anaiṣa; respectful equivalent of męlike "to give") are both used with transitive and unergative verbs, but the choice of one or the other (or over gāke) carries a distinction in meaning, related to the benefactive argument - using nacce as an auxiliary, it is implied that the agent is also the one who benefits of the action; using naiṣake, the reverse is implied, that the agent makes it for someone else (often a group):

blutake gaite "you clean (RESP)"
blutake nacite "you clean (RESP) for yourself"
blutake naiṣite "you clean (RESP) for others"

The verb nacce is often used as a polite optative for imperative requests, as seen in many common forms such as daudike nacugi "please" (literally something like "may you want (RESP), benefitting yourself") or kaukulke nacugite "please tell..."[8]. The polite optative nacce followed by garpirati paibu (lit. something like "I'm taken to behave badly") is a very common set phrase for making requests.

The verb pṛdhake (pardhē - pṛdhek - apṛdha, respectful equivalent of muṣke "to ask") may be used with all verbs and virtually replaces the desiderative junya, i.e. implies "to want to". Note that the desiderative junya of another auxiliary such as gāke (hagās-) or nacce (nanākṣ-) can still be used for virtually the same meaning - however, for some speakers, pṛdhake may imply a less strict desire.

yųlake pardhite "you want to eat (RESP)"

Similarly, dvyūlke (dvyauṇē - dvyūṇek - udvyūṇa, respectful equivalent of yoṭṭe "to receive") replaces the necessitative junya, i.e. "to have to":

bislulke dvyauṇḍe "they.DU. have to walk away (RESP)"

Irregular verbs

Chlouvānem has only a very small number of truly irregular verbs, as most verbs conform in some way to one of the various stem classes. Even among irregular verbs, many of them are only irregular in the formation of one of their three basic stems; only seven verbs (lulke, milke, mṛcce, mišake, lilke, jalle, and tilah) have at least one entirely suppletive stem. There is one true defective verb: ṛṣme (to plan, to be going to).

Excluding the highly irregular jalle and tilah, treated in the next sections, the other verbs with suppletive stems are:

  • lulke (to go on foot, to walk (monodirectional)) — lun-, dāmek, elīsa
    • The singular present indicative forms are irregular lå, lin, liven - the other ones are regular, non-ablauting (lunasme, lunadya...).
    • Also has the irregular optative stem lau-, conjugated as a regular verb (lāvu, lāvi, lāvē...).
  • milke (to take, seize, catch, capture, get) — milūk-, milkek, ilaka
    • The singular present indicative forms use the stem milk-: milku, milki, milkē - the other ones are regular (milūkṣme, milūgdya...).
    • The optative stem is irregular målu-, conjugated as a regular verb (målū, målvi, målvē...).
    • Also has the irregular stems mīmakṣ- for the desiderative and meliknā- for the potential junyai.
  • mṛcce (to run (monodirectional)) — marcē, pañcek, amṛca
    • Suppletive in the past stem only (pañc-). The present stem is ablauting.
  • mišake (to see) — mešē, āsmik, imiša
    • Suppletive in the past stem only (āsmy-). The present stem is ablauting.
  • lilke (to live) — lilah, lilek, ellā
    • Suppletive in the perfect only. -ah verb in the present, non-ablauting.
    • Also has the irregular stem lēlikṣ- for the desiderative junya.

Miscellaneous irregularities

ṛṣme (to plan, to be going to) is an unmarked agentive verb, which is only conjugated as agentive, and is a regular class 3 verb (ārṣmē, ṛṣmek, ṝṣma) It usually only takes verbs or verbal phrases as arguments, e.g. keitu dhāsmike ārṣmē "(s)he is going/plans to save the whale". It is often a synonym of the future intentional, though it conveys lesser certainty and may also be used for imperfective actions or states.
Note that the defectiveness does not apply to its derived forms - e.g. švṛṣme (to believe): švārṣmu "I am believed", šutayārṣmu "I believe" - and ṛṣme itself has regular causative forms (with the meaning of "make X intend to do").

The pair tamišake⁓tildake (to look at) is not counted as one of the thirteen irregular verbs, but tildake is an unmarked agentive verb, while tamišake is used in all other voices. Note that however tamišake also has a regular agentive voice, synonymous with tildake: teldutatemešu (I look at); also note that tamišake has the same past tense suppletion as mišake, i.e. tamešē - tāsmik - temiša. The verb najake "to happen" (explained below among the compounds of gyake) is also sometimes considered irregular, as a verb with an unmarked dative-trigger voice.
Prefixed motion verbs are also not marked for voice in the patient- and agent-trigger ones (with only cases on nouns distinguishing them), but that is considered a particular but regular behaviour of a semantically defined subset of verbs.

ñoerake (to crawl (multidirectional)) has the stem ñoerg- in the indicative present singular (ñoergu, ñoergi, ñoergē), but is regular everywhere else (ñoerasme, ñoeradya...).

vṝlke (to plant), in the past, may use for the 3rd person singular both vṝlik (regular) and vṝk (quite formal); in the perfect, both the regular stem avṝl- and the irregular, literary rūrl- are found.

Two verbs with -ur in the root have irregular vowels:

  • purake "to powder, to break with the hands": parē — (pārau) pāṭ — upura
  • sturake "to fall": starē — (stārau) stāṭ — ustura

Other various irregular verbs:

  • leilge (leig-ke) "to concern, to be on the topic of": leigē — (lågau) lål — eleiga
  • ręiške "to tickle": ręišē — (rąšau) rąs — eręiša
  • lårpake "to swing": lårpē — lerpek — alurpa

Three vowel-ending roots have an irregular behaviour:

  • rileike "to need" has the expected ei → ey change in the present, but adds -n- in the past instead: rileyu, rileyi, rileyē... but rileinau, rileinei, rileik...
  • lįke "to swim (monodirectional) and mųke "to jump (monodirectional)" behave before vowels as if their stems were (ablauting) *lis- and *mus-: pres. exterior lesu, lesi, lesē...; past exterior lisau, lisei, lįk.

The verb "to be" (jalle)

The verb "to be" is suppletive as it uses various different stems (from Proto-Lahob *jaʕʕ, *wi(w)ʕ, *ri, *nī, and *gəna) and irregularly — for example, the non-singular present forms are morphologically perfect.

Note that the indicative present, unless evidentially marked, is rarely used, as the copula is usually dropped in many cases; when used with the meaning of "to have" (e.g. lili mæn tulūɂa yambras jali "I have six pears" (lit.: I TOPIC six pears are)) it is considered better not to drop it, but it is often done nevertheless in common speech. It is also kept when used with the meaning "there is...".

Both future tenses are rarely used in colloquial and semi-formal speech, as the present tense of ndǣke (to become) is usually used as a replacement.

Indicative mood

Person Present Past Perfect General future Future intent.
Sing 1st ū nīvau rem jalṣyam nayu
2nd vei nīvei res jalṣyes nayi
3rd vi nīk ri jalṣya nayē
Dual 1st jella nīram rira jalṣyara nīsme
2nd jelli nīres reri jalṣyari nībin
3rd jali nīrat ri jalṣya nība
Pl. 1st jalim nyābhe rima jalṣīma nīmim
2nd jalis nyāṣe riša jalṣīsa nīšin
3rd jali nīkā ri jalṣya nyāhai

All evidential terminations (except for, obviously, the experiential) are attached to a ∅- stem.

Other moods and junyai

The present tense or imperfective aspect of all other primary moods included as examples in this table:

Person Subjunctive Optative Desiderative Necessitative Potential Permissive Intensive
Sing. 1st gati jogu jijālyu jājalšū jelau jījalūdu jājlīyu
2nd gīs jogi jijāli jājalšūyi jelai jījalūdi jājlīyi
(or jājlī)
3rd jogē jijālye jājalšūyē jelai jījalūdē jājlīyē
Dual 1st gīndu jokṣme jijālkṣe jājalšūsme jelaisme jījalūtsme jājlīsme
2nd gīndi jombin jijālšabin jājalšūbin jelābin jījalūmbin jājlībin
3rd jomba jijālšaba jājalšūba jelāba jījalūmba jājlība
Pl. 1st gīnam jogata jijālinta jājalšūvinta jelinta jījalūdinta jājlīnta
2nd gīnes jokṣin jijālkṣin jājalšūšin jelāšin jījalūdašin jājlīšin
3rd jogāhai jijālyāhai jājalšūyāhai jelāhai jījalūdāhai jājlīyāhai

In compound verbs

There are some compound verbs which are formed by a "meaning stem" + jalle; they conjugate just like jalle does:

  • najalle "to happen" morphologically conjugates like jalle but has some peculiarities:
    • Like jalle, there is no agent-, dative-, and instrumental-trigger voice, but the patient-trigger voice has a dative meaning - e.g. nañū "it happens to me".
    • The basic, semantically patientive forms, are the interior ones (with a contracted stem nañ-j-ir), and they only exist for the third persons - e.g. najire "it happens", najirde "they (dual) happen", najirāhe "they happen", and so on.
    • It uses analytic constructions for most moods, e.g. najallenovake "can happen" > najallenovē "it can happen"; najalledaudike "to be wanted to happen" > najalledaudiute "I want it to happen" — forms such as the synthetic najelai or najæliašute are found only in archaic (mostly pre-Classical) texts or with other uses - as e.g. najelai being the most common word for "maybe".

Analytic constructions

The following section lists the most common analytic constructions in Chlouvānem; they are either verbs requiring a subjunctive clause argument or true auxiliary verbs, requiring an infinitive and taking all inflections that would have been on the lexical verbs.

Main verbs with subjunctive arguments

  • perfective subjunctive + + jalle in the past or future tense: analytic pluperfect and future perfect (the bare perfect is used instead in literature and in common speech, especially to replace the pluperfect):
    yųlētate lā nīvau "I had eaten"

    yųlētate lā jalṣyam "I will have eaten"
  • imperfective subjunctive + + jalle in the needed tense: analytic construction for the progressive aspect. In the present, jalle can be omitted if needed (see the corresponding section in Syntax).
    yųlatite lā ū "I am eating"
    yųlatite lā nīvau "I was eating"
    yųlatite lā jalṣyam "I will be eating"
  • subjunctive + interior forms of męlike (to give): to do X in advance; when used with the perfective subjunctive it can also have a pluperfect meaning.
    yųlatite męliru "I eat in advance"
    yųlētate męlirau "I ate in advance" → "I had already eaten"
  • imperfective subjunctive + daudike (to want): to want to X (alternative to the desiderative junya, especially common in the Northeast). If the triggered argument is the same and the trigger is agent-trigger on both verbs, it can be omitted in the subjunctive one. It is different from the desiderative in that the two verbs can have different triggers.
    kulati(te) daudyute "I want to talk" (cf. šukilyute)
    kulīte daudyute "I want him/her to talk"
  • imperfective subjunctive (less commonly infinitive) + novake (to be able to): can X (non-ambiguous alternative to the potential junya).
    dratite novē or dṛke novute "I can do [it]" (cf. dadrenānute)
  • imperfective subjunctive + širgake (to be possible): may X (non-ambiguous alternative to the potential junya).
    dratite šergē "I may do [it]" (cf. dadrenānute)

Constructions with auxiliary verbs

  • infinitive + ñǣɂake (to be used to): analytic construction for habitual actions in present, past, or future tense; the perfect tenses focus on the result. Note that multidirectional motion verbs in the present tense already have this meaning compared to the monodirectional ones.
    yaive prājānye yæyake ñǣɂute "I am used to read every evening."
    yaive prājānye yæyake ñǣɂaute "I used to read every evening."
    yaive prājānye yæyake ñǣɂiṣyaṃte "I will be used to read every evening."
    yaive prājānye yæyake añǣɂaṃte "I got used to read every evening."
    yaive prājānye yæyake añǣɂāltaṃte "I will get used to read every evening."
  • infinitive (in more formal language perfective subjunctive) + kitte (to put): to keep X-ed.
    valde kitē "it is kept opened"
    valdēt kitē "it is kept opened"
  • infinitive + nartalulke (to reach): to come to X, to end up X-ing, to result in X-ing.
    yųlake nartateliven "(s)he ends up eating"
    lañšijilde nartadāmirdat "they ended up marrying each other"
    valde nartailīsa "it has resulted in it being open"
  • infinitive + either įstyāke (to hang from) or less commonly maityāke (to be in front of): prospective aspect.
    yųlake įstetimu "I am about to eat"
    yæyake maitimē "it is about to be read"
  • infinitive + paṣmišake (to look further away): to let X (same meaning as the permissive junya).
    sū yæyake paṣṭemešu "I let you read" (cf. permissive sū īyæyūdute)
  • infinitive + mālchake (to run (multidirectional)): to keep X-ing (less formal alternative to many instances of mai- verbs).
    nanau yæyake mālchute "I keep reading that" (cf. nanau maiteyæyu)
  • infinitive + nūkkhe (to mount (unidirectional)): to be still X-ing.
    tatyāke nūkhute "I'm still standing"
    yųlake nūkhiṣyate "(s)he will still be eating"
  • infinitive + prigirake (to move backwards): to redo X, to do X again.
    dhulte pritegeru "I rewrite, write [it] again"
  • infinitive + nåndike (to suddenly feel the need to)
    yæyake anåndyaṃte "I have suddenly felt the need to read."
    šudhulte nåndyekte "(s)he suddenly felt the need to write [it] down."
  • infinitive + pidyåjyake (to float in the air facing something (monodirectional)): to feel like X-ing
    dorṣire taili ħaṇu yųlake pindeyåjyu "I want to/feel like eating an insane amount of candy/halva"
    mūmikke gu pindayejyau ša "I didn't feel like dancing"


Verbs may be turned into adverbs (khladaradhausire haloe, pl. khladaradhausirāhe halenī) by simply adding -siṭ to a consonant-final stem (only -iṭ after -ṣṭ(h)-), and adding that and lengthening the final vowel of a vowel-final stem. Thus:

  • tarlausake (scientific) → tarlaussiṭ (scientifically, according to science)
  • namęlyausake (stakanovist) → namęlyaussiṭ (continuously; without any break)
  • prātūkke (windy) → prātūkṣiṭ (windy; like the wind)
  • cāṃkrake (final) → cāṃkṝsiṭ (at last)
  • bhike (to care) → bhīsiṭ (caringly)

There are also some irregular adverbs, made from other speech parts:

  • chlærūm (light) → chlære (easily) (but note its synonym chlæraussiṭ from the related verb chlærausake (easy))
  • dilake (same) → diledile (exactly the same way; emphatic version of dilsiṭ[9] but more common.)
  • ṣati (way, mode) suffixed to a possessive adjective forms lilyāṣati (from my point of view; my way; in my opinion), sāmyāṣati (from your point of view; your way; in your opinion), demyāṣati, tamyāṣati, and so on.

Denominal adverbs are formed in a different way. In Archaic and Classical Chlouvānem, a noun in the instrumental plural (usually with the suffix -e/anīka) was usually meant as an adverb. However, starting from Classical Chlouvānem, -naise, originally simply the locative singular of naisah "shape", came to be commonly used as a grammaticalized adverbial forming suffix, and it is the preferred way of forming adverbs from nouns today. Archaic and early Classical Chlouvānem only used the instrumental plural, with -naise only found sporadically when actually referring to something "in the shape of X"; later texts show the latter form becoming increasingly common, to the point of almost entirely replacing the instrumental plural as an adverbial marker, which only survives in religious texts today.

Underived adverbs

Some adverbs are not synchronically derived from any other part of speech (though most of them diachronically are). They include:

  • All adverbial correlatives;
  • lære (yesterday), amyære (today), and menire (tomorrow)
  • mådviṣe (before), kaminæne (now), and ħærviṣe (after)
  • dīdān (again and again); (again (archaic); the current term samelīsa is a grammaticalized verbal form); enibu (still, up to a time); gām and īgam (just, right now, or prospective aspect markers); govyāṣa (not yet); gudēya (anymore, no more); lǣh and nāṭ (both "already").
  • Some adverbs formed by onomatopoeia or sound symbolism (and usually reduplicated) like rarāre (roaring) or tanetane (barefoot).

Undeclinable adjective-like words

A few common words may be used attributively just like adjectives, but they do not decline. Most of them end in either -a or -i:

  • cami - great, large (figurative), important
  • lalla - high, higher, next
  • hulābdān - good (and chlǣcæm (better))
  • taili - many, much
  • nanū - more
  • kaili - most
  • ṣūbha - few, little'
  • daiba - to some extent
  • yamei - "honorific" adjective

All numerals also belong to this category.

When used predicatively, they need a form of jalle following them; yamei is only ever used attributively.

Note that cami, taili, and kaili, in some (but not all) Archaic Chlouvānem texts, have a singular-only declension based on the irregular one of ami (see the declensions of correlatives and possessives in the next section). Most probably this was an analogic feature of a few pre-Classical standardization Chlouvānem dialects of 2000 years ago.
Particles such as maibu (enough) or vivāmi (too much/many) are semantically the same as these adjective-like words, but they are considered particles because they follow the noun they refer to (e.g. cūlli vivāmi virā "there are too many cars").

Comparatives and superlatives

Comparatives and superlatives are done in the same way in Chlouvānem. Comparatives are made by using either nanū (more) or ovat (less) in front of the adjective; the compared term is in ablative case; the superlative is formed by using yaivų (than all) as the compared term. Adverbs use the same method (e.g. chlære (easily) → nanū chlæreyaivų nanū chlære), but "than all" in superlatives is usually omitted, therefore they use nanū also with a superlative meaning.

This is used by both adjectival and non adjectival verbs, e.g. sąu nanū yæyute "I read more than you".

Forms expressing a continuous enhancement are made by deriving new verbs with the naš- prefix, e.g. yaiva pārṇame našñæñuchlire - (s)he becomes more beautiful each day.

Equatives are made by using e (like) (requiring essive case) instead of the ablative; optionally enūḍa (this much) may be added: sąs e (enūḍa) yæyute "I read just as much as you". For "not as ... as", use gu taili (not as much) instead of enūḍa.

Irregular forms

There are six irregular adjectival verbs which are only used with synthetic comparatives, all synchronically suppletive:

Positive Comparative Superlative
ñikake (small) isike (smaller; fewer, less) iñekṣike (smallest; fewest, least)
ṣubha indecl. (few, little)
sūrṣake (large) svaprake (larger) sprauṣake (largest)
garpake (bad) grāšcake (worse) grauṣpake (worst)
hulābdān indecl. (good) chlǣcæm indecl. (better) chlǣcækṣike (best)
taili indecl. (many, much) nanū indecl. (more) kaili indecl. (most)

See also


  1. ^ For simplicity's sake, voices' names are most often rendered as patientive, agentive, benefactive antibenefactive, locative, dative, instrumental, and common.
  2. ^ This same marker (-∅- or -a-), is also used for historically attested facts and scientific truths.
  3. ^ Sometimes ēktami avyāṣa.
  4. ^ Intensive of chlisake (chlaisire, chlisirek, ichlisirā), Eastern Jade Coastal (Līlti, Līlasuṃghāṇi, Kūmanabūruyi, Līṭhalyināmi) slang for "amazing".
  5. ^ Note that in such a phrase the perfective subjunctive would have a different meaning, namely “to have already given it back to me”.
  6. ^ Contrasting with the emmāmaiva, (humble language), and the lilamaiva (neutral language); the three styles take their names from their respective words for "person"
  7. ^ Unlike other full respectful equivalents, it cannot be used to form respectful equivalents of prefixed derivations; i.e. while muṣke has the respective equivalent pṛdhake and paṣmuṣke has paṣpṛdhake, there is no verb *ālgāke as a respective equivalent to āndṛke like gāke is to dṛke.
  8. ^ Note that formal Chlouvānem has a plethora of ways to form polite and respectful imperatives, and a common one, especially when talking to higher-ranked people, is to reformulate an imperative as a humble statement; in such a case, "please tell" could be reformulated as kaukulke yacce cīchlakṣūyute "I humbly have to ask to tell", or even (though quite bookishly) up to something like kaukulke yacce chlašatite garpirati pīpaipsūyu "I (HUMB) have to be bad (lit. "take the bad manner of") and humbly ask to tell".
  9. ^ dilsiṭ also has the other meaning of "the same", as in lili dilsiṭ dadrāṃte "I have done the same". diledile does not have this other meaning.