Verb-affixes varies to a much higher degree according to the shape of the root: especially whether it ends in a vowel or not, and whether the vowel is fronted (e i y) or not (a o u). Therefore, more prototypes are used: the default being closed final syllable, but also proptotypes showing the fronted open final syllable and backed open final syllable is used when these differ.
Closest to the stem are the prefixes and the suffixes that change and adjust the meaning of the verb more directly, like the intensity markers and the mood suffix-complex.
The mood and modality of a verb, if not indicative, is shown by frontwords, a prefix or a suffix-complex close to the root.
Furthermore, though it is good form to keep to the active voice, there is something akin to a passive. It makes the subject irrelevant so that it may be dropped, but doesn't change the case of the object in any way. There is also suffixes to mark reflexivity, reciprocality and several forms of causativity.
Then follows what Taruven grammarians refer to as comment-words, vülar. These show how the speaker know something, the source, and how certain the speaker is that the information is correct.
A transitive verb's object (and marked as such) can be incorporated into the verb. In many cases, such a merge is the only way to express something, these fixed incorporations are known as verb-noun constructions (or vncs) and are listed in a dictionary like any other word.
Finally, a verb might optionally be marked for aspect and tense , in that order. The default tense is present (or generic) and the unmarked aspect of most verbs is the continuous.
FRONTWORD (..) PREFIX - verb stem - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8
See Frontwords for more examples.
|same subject (SS)||le-|
The prefixes have little in common apart from being prefixes, though the prefixes closest to the verb all replace a standalone subject.
As can be seen from d) above, the same-subject prefix is used to avoid repeating a pronoun, or avoid using pronouns altogether.
The negation-prefix negates the verb and not the prefix to its right if any:
ëy is sometimes written eì when spelled out.
|=e||attenuative, negative comparative|
|=a||intensive, positive comparative|
|ability, capability (can, able)||=lann|
|obligative (ought to, should)||=(e)lleŋ|
|commissive (swear, promise, vow)||=(a)rrun|
|necessitive (must, need)||=(i)rram|
|hypercommissive (swear to death)||=itarrūn|
|counterfactual/irrealis (would have)||=(y)skīn|
|optative (wish, hope)||=(h)ūš|
sā xarrun sā xa =rrun 1s do -SWEARI swear to do it, I promise I'll do it
ū xalannelleŋ ū xa =lann =lleŋ 2s do -ABLE -OUGHTyou ought to be able to do it, you ought to do it and you're able to do it
firies yševaaš ū štharram vaeraþ firi -es y- ševa -aš ū štha -rram vaer -aþ forest -CSUB 3s- go -CCAUS 2s pass -NECC mountain -PATin order to get the forest you must cross the mountain
Notice that the subject of a verb and the subject of the mood is always the same. Hence, you cannot use the mood-markers in sentences like example b) just below but need to paraphrase like in example c).
ū mahašeŋŋ ū maha =šeŋŋ 2s play -WANTYou want to play
ū mahašeŋŋ ī ū maha =šeŋŋ ī 2s play -WANT 3sYou want him/her/it to play
ūel hūš ī maha ū -el hūš ī maha 2s -EXP want.that 3s playYou want him/her/it to play
Taruven verbs come in two subclasses: simple and complemented. We'll look at simple verbs first.
As is the case with Wolof (Shopen 1985, p. 315), the simple verbs have a certain basic valency (no, one or two objects) but this need not be explicit in the clause, see example 7.
sïkra famm sïkra famm plum fallThe/a plum falls/is falling
ī aìre fōaþ ī aìre fō -aþ 2s empty cup -PATHe/she empties/is emptying the cup
ī aìre ī aìre 2s emptyHe/she empties/is emptying (something)
ī rī īið sïonnaþ ī rī ī -ið sïonn -aþ 2s give 2s -BEN thing -PAThe/she gives him/her the thing
ī rī sïonnaþ ī rī sïonn -aþ 2s give thing -PAThe/she gives (someone) the thing
ī rī īið ī rī ī -ið 2s give 2s -BENhe/she gives him/her (the thing)
ī rī ī rī 2s givehe/she gives (someone something)
However, any action can be done on behalf of or for the benefit of someone or due to something, that is: adding a benefactive-marked or instrumental-marked noun phrase as in example 8, without any change in the verb, as long as there isn't already a benefactive or instrumental noun phrase in the clause.
sïkra famm sïufyonn sïkra famm sïufy -onn plum fall knife -INSThe/a plum falls/is falling due to the knife
ī aìre fōaþ ūið ī aìre fō -aþ ū -ið 3s empty cup -PAT 2s -BENHe/she empties/is emptying the cup
ī aìre ūið ī aìre ū -ið 3s empty 2s -BENHe/she empties/is emptying (something) for someone
Complemented verbs do at minimum have one argument that is either a phrase marked with benefactive, or a clause (CSUB stands for subject of a complemented verb.) These then are transitive complemented verbs.
ūel ār ōið ū -el ār ō -ið 2s -CSUB think moon -BENyou think about the moon
ūel ār Jehan sahalann ū -el ār Jehan saha =lann 2s -CSUB think Jehan dance -ableyou think that Jehan can dance
It is risky but possible to drop the explicit argument of a complemented verb, since it might be interpreted as gobbling up the following clause, if any.
ūel ār ū -el ār 2s -CSUB thinkyou are thinking
Since the action of the complemented verb can also be for someone or due to something, they can carry an extra argument, but it must be on the same side of the verb as the subject since the complemented verb and its subject together works as an axis-word:
īvenið ūel ār ōið ī -ven -ið ū -el ār ō -ið 3s -pretty -BEN 2s -CSUB think moon -BENthe pretty one is making you think about the moon
ōið ūel ār īvenið ō -ið ū -el ār ī -ven -ið moon -BEN 2s -CSUB think 3s -pretty -BENthe moon is making you think about the pretty one
There are also ditransitive complemented verbs:
sāið ūel areìn sō thallaa yéllaaþ sā -ið ū -el areìn sō thalla =a yélla -aþ 1s -BEN 2s -CSUB suggest 1p wash =INT house -PATyou suggested to me that we wash the house very thoroughly
There are also the so-called weird complemented verbs, though some scholars also consider ditransitive complemented verbs to be weird:
ūìð yéllaaþ sāel sker ryvunìð ū -ìð yélla -aþ sā -el sker ry -vun -ìð 2s -BEN house -PAT 1s -CSUB bet that -little -BENI bet you a house on the little one
ūìð yéllaaþ sāel sker ryvun fammaìš ū -ìð yélla -aþ sā -el sker ry -vun famm -aìš 2s -BEN house -PAT 1s -CSUB bet that -little fall -firstI bet you a house that the little one is the first to fall
garel faìre ū aið sā gar -el faìre ū a -ið sā strength -CSUB equal 2s and -BEN 1sYou and I are equally strong.
faìre and egie to differ/be different must have a plural argument.
fin gunuge īaþ fin gunu -ge ī -aþ 3p stand -CAUS 3s -PATThey make him/her stand up
īel gunuaš letšah ī -el gunu -aš le- tšah 3s -CSUB stand -CCAUS SS- seehe/she stands up in order to see
areìnta sō thalla yéllaaþ areìn -ta sō thalla yélla -aþ suggest -CPAS 3p wash house -PATit was suggested that we wash the house
ī thallahux ī thalla -hux 3s wash -RFLhe/she washes him/herself
šael teìtša ša -el teì -tša 1d -CSUB love -RCPWe love eachother
suì ëkrutša aò lekruskīnkeì suì ë- kru -tša aò le- kru -skīn -keì 1q NEG- kill -RCP and.then SS- kill -IRR -otherWe do not kill our own, but we do kill others
|causative, intransitive -> transitive||-ge|
|causative, intransitive -> ditransitive||-geke|
|causative, makes complemented verb from regular verb||-aš|
|complemented passive (removes the -el-marked constituent)||-ta|
-ge+-ek = -gek
-geke+-ek = -grek
-aš+-ta = -atta
-aš+-hux = -aìšyx
-aš+-tša = -atša
|-(j)ī(p), -(j)irī||mirativity, surprise, unexpectedness|
|-(v)ē(x), -(v)eghē||mirativity, negative surprise, unexpectedness|
|-(h)al(a)||relief, positive reaction|
|-(h)on(o)||regret, negative reaction|
Source-marking is optional and most often occurs in 2nd or 3rd person and together with past tense. It is especially rare in the future tense and the irrealis mood.
-tše is sometimes used in 1st person to underline and emphasize that something actually took place.
xatšera xa -tše -ra do -firsthand -PASTI/we really did do it!
-tše in the irrealis strengthens the irrealis and is most often used to mark a gedankenexperiment.
ī kruskīntše gavaþ ī kru -skīn -tše gav -aþ 2s kill -irrealis -firsthand dog -PAT(I'm not claiming that he/she did/would but) let's pretend, for the sake of argument, that he/she kills the dog.
oah xaskīntše mirrōru sïdales oah xa -skīn -tše mirrō -ru sïdal -es HORT do -irrealis -firsthand cat -LOC.g container -LOC(I'm not claiming that this is the case anywhere but) imagine a cat in a box.
|resumptive (continue after pause)||-tul|
|cessative (end, unplanned)||-tax|
|completive (end, cannot be continued)||-ydh|
|pausative (take a break)||-(i)jir|
|iterative/repetition, many times||-(v)onn|
|iterative/repetition, a few times||-(v)oje|
|repetition, specific <number> of times||-(v)o<cardinal number>|
A simulfactive event is one that does not repeat, while a semelfactive is a single iteration of an event that repeats. In Taruven, this is used to show that something that was supposed to repeat happened only once, see a) below, to zoom in on one of the repetitions, see b), to emphasize that something was done only once, as in c) or that something that could be done all at once was done one after the other, as in d). The exact meaning depends both on the verb and its context.
xavadra xa -vadh -ra do -once -PASTI/we only did it once
fōmvadra hrannhux hsāaþ fōm -vadh -ra hrann -hux hsā -aþ parachute-jump -once -PAST break -self leg -PATOnce when I/we parachuted I/we broke my/our leg
šthavadra o famm štha -vadh -ra o famm cross -once -PAST it fallI/we crossed it just once and it fell down
ī issege -vadh žynaþen ī issege -vadh žyn -aþ -en 2s close -once door -PAT -PLHe/she closed the doors one by one
An iterative event is one that repeats, seen as a whole. The iterative in Taruven is a clue to how the aspect-markers were first joined to the verb. Some noun or stative *o meaning repetition was at one time incorporated into the verb, where it has stayed. The forms with v are used after a vowel.
The examples are ordered from least marked to most marked, so while -onn is quite frequent, -o<number> is generally only found in recipes and texts of a technical or scientfic nature, and bad poetry using end-rhymes. -oál is mostly used to emphasize that something won't happen at all and thus usually only occur together with the negation-marker or in the counterfactual mood. The latter has the worn form -(y)skul.
xavonn xa -vonn do -repeat.manyI/we repeat it many times
xavoje xa -voje do -repeat.fewI/we repeat it just a few times
ëxavoál ë- xa -voál NEG- do -repeat.noneI/we aren't doing it even once
xavokaìr xa -vo kaìr do -repeat 4I/we do it exactly four times
The /s/ of the future marker assimilates to a preceding sibilant:
eššu ešš -su turn.left -FUTI/we will turn/go left
fiaxxu fiax -su board -FUTI/we will board
vriššu vriš -su ask -FUTI/we will ask
tšērassu tšēras -su colonize -FUTI/we will colonize
řasu ř -su turn.right -FUTI/we will turn/go right
As the last example above shows the /s/ is protected from the usual assimilation to ř by an epenthetic /a/.