Mahican VTA Direct Independent Indicative

 

Transitive animate verbs are verbs that talk about people doing stuff with people. These verbs are complex because two animate participants are involved, one is an animate subject that could be any of the eight animate persons (I, you, he, we, we, you plural, they and X) and the other is an animate object that could be any of the eight possibilities (me, you, him, us, us, you plural, them, X)

VTA Stems

The VTA verb stem is easily deduced from the dictionary listing. These verbs are listed in the 3rd person singular ‘absolute’ form which has the form:

(vta stem)-(āāw)

Simply drop the (āāw) and you have the functional stem in most instances.

VTA Stem Types

Knowing the VTA stem types is useful because some stem types interact with conjugation endings which start with a (u) to form a contraction to either (ąą) or (oo) or (āā).

The table below lists the stem types and the type of contraction for illustration and reference purposes. Specific contractions will be explained when they are encountered and will be easier to understand with examples.

VTA or Transitive Animate Verb Stems

Example Stem Ending Stem Inverse Contraction Local Contraction Meaning
ahnāāw Consonant (ahn) None None put s.o. down
paθahāāw Hidden (w) (paθahw) w+ukw=ookw w+un=oon split s.o.
muskawāāw (aw) (muskaw) aw+ukw=ąąkw aw+un=āān find s.o.
pāāshuwāāw (uw) (pāāshuw) uw+ukw=ookw uw+un=oon bring s.o.
kwxāāw (x) (kwax) x+ukw=xookw x+un=xoon fear s.o.
nāāwāāw (āāw) (nāāw) None None sees s.o.
atąąwāāw (ąąw) (atąąw) None None buy s.o.

Stems with hidden (w) have a (w) on the stem that only appears in certain conjugated forms as a contraction, where the (w) interacts with (u) to form (oo). This will be discussed in the inverse mode chapter.

Overview of VTA modes of construction

There are many ways to construct verbs with animate subjects and objects in order to say things specifically or in a more vague manner and to express different meanings from subject to object. These are outlined here to provide an overview and to gain familiarity with some of the terms.

(1) Independent Indicative Mode

Direct Independent Indicative Mode

Used when a person (or animate noun) interacts with a third person object.
Characterized by the direction marker -ąą-.
Objective and absolute forms exist to express precision and vagueness.

Nāāwąąw niimanāāw.  I see him the man. (objective; precise and specific)
Kunāāwąąw niimanāāw.  You see him the man. (objective; precise and specific)

Nāāwah niimanāāw.  I see a man. (absolute; vague and indefinite)
Kunāāwah niimanāāw. You see a man. (absolute; vague and indefinite)

Inverse Independent Indicative Mode

Reverses the order, i.e a third person subject interacting with a person
(me, you, him, her, we, you plural, they)
Characterized by the direction marker -ukw-.

Nuyah nāāwukw.   He sees me.  (me-he sees)  
Kuyah kunāāwukw.   He sees you.  (you-he sees)  

You-Me and Me-You Local Independent Indicative Modes

Used when the verb involves non 3rd person subjects and objects.

The prefix (ku) with the direction marker (un) expresses ‘’me-you’’

Kunāāwun.  I see you.  

The prefix (ku) with the direction marker (ii) expresses ‘’you-me’’

Kunāāwih.  You saw me.  

Inanimate subject Indicative mode

Níhnkwun. It killed me.
Kuníhnkwun. It killed you.

Indefinite Subject (Passive) Independent Indicative Mode

Characterized by the direction marker -ukāā-.

Nāāwukah I was seen.
Kunāāwukah You were seen.

(2) Independent Subordinative mode

Has forms for direct, inverse, passives, you-me and me-you constructions.

(3) Conjunct Order

Has forms for direct, inverse, passives, you-me and me-you constructions.

(4) Imperative Order.

Includes commands directed to a 3rd person object such as ‘Show him,’ and commands directed toward a first person object such as ‘Show me.’

The rest of this chapter will be devoted to objective and absolute construction for the VTA direct independent indicative mode.

VTA direct independent indicative mode

Objective or Noun Optional Construction

Objective construction is used when one refers to a specific, definite object and may be used with or without a noun in the phrase. (Noun optional construction) The verb in this mode points precisely to an animate object translated as ‘he.’ This ‘he’ might be ‘he’ or ‘she’ or an animate noun or pronoun. If a noun is used, the verb is understood as referring to that noun object specifically and in a definite way, thus the English translation will use the definite article ‘’the’‘.

Nāāwąąw.   
I saw him.

Nāāwąąw tkwax.   
I saw him, the bread.  

Nāāwąąk.   
I saw them. 

Absolute or Noun Required Construction

Absolute forms are used when one refers to non-specific, indefinite object. In this mode the verb cannot stand alone. In other words a noun or word representing the object must be added. This noun or word added does not refer to any one specific object however, it simply tells one what kind of object one is talking about, in vague or generic terms. Thus the translation in English will use the indefinite articles ‘a’ (or ‘some’). The same verb form is used for a singular or a plural absolute object. This underscores how lacking this mode is in terms of definiteness.

Nāāwah awāān.   
I saw someone.  

Nāāwah tkwax.   
I saw a loaf of bread.  

Nāāwah tkwaxak.   
I saw some loaves of bread.  

Nāāwāāk niimanāān.   
They saw a man.  (obv)

Conjugation Paradigm for the Direct Indicative Mode Objective Forms

Uses prefixes and endings known as the w endings (or affixes more properly said…) which are added to (-ąą-) which is the ‘direct’ direction marker for VTAs.

 

PREFIX + VERB STEM + DIRECTION MARKER + ENDINGS  

 

The (-ąą-) direction marker indicates ‘direct’ speech, in contrast to the (-ukw-) ‘inverse’ speech direction marker, to be discussed later.

‘He’ or ‘him’ in the translations provided are used to mean an animate singular entity which could refer to a ‘she’ or ‘her’ or to an animate noun.

VTA Direct Indicative Mode Objective Forms (Sg Object)

Paradigm Meaning
nu-(stem)-ąąw I — him
ku-(stem)-ąąw You — him
wu-(stem)-ąąn* He — him (obviative)
nu-(stem)-ąąnah* We — him (exclusive)
nu-(stem)-ąąnookw We all — him (exclusive)
ku-(stem)-ąąnah We — him (inclusive)
ku-(stem)-ąąnookw We all — him (inclusive)
ku-(stem)-ąąwah You pl — him
wu-(stem)-ąąwąąn* They — him (obviative)
—-(stem)-ąąw He was —

* Note:
ąą-wan contracts to ąąn
ąą-wunah contracts to ąąnah
ąą-wąąwan contracts to ąąwąąn

Example using the verb ahwąąnāāw vta love s.o.

    Ndahwąąnąąw             
    I love him        

    Ktahwąąnąąw              
    You love him     

    Wtahwąąnąąn           
    S/he loves him  

    Ndahwąąnąąnah          
    We love him    

    Ndahwąąnąąnookw          
    We all love him    

    Ktahwąąnąąnah       
    We love him  

    Ktahwąąnąąnookw       
    We all love him

    Ktahwąąnąąwah             
    You (pl) love him   

    Wtahwąąnąąwąąn        
    They love him   

    Ahwąąnąąw          
    He is loved  

Negative Forms

These are formed by adding the negative suffix to the direction marker (ąą) followed by the w endings.

The final (w) of the 1st and 2nd person singular drops off after the negative suffix, final vowel shortening also applies.
ustah (prefix)(stem)(wii)(w) => ustah (prefix)(stem)(wih)

Final (ih) drops off the 1st and 2nd person negative forms only. These are called truncated negative forms.
ustah (prefix)(stem)(wih) or ustah (prefix)(stem)(w)

VTA Negative Direct Indicative Mode Objective Forms Sg Object

Paradigm Meaning
ustah nu-(stem)-ąąw I — him not
ustah ku-(stem)-ąąw You — him not
ustah wu-(stem)-ąąwiin* He — him not (obviative)
ustah nu-(stem)-ąąwiinah* We — him not (exclusive)
ustah nu-(stem)-ąąwiinookw We all — him not (exclusive)
ustah ku-(stem)-ąąwiinah* We — him not (inclusive)
ustah ku-(stem)-ąąwiinookw We all — him not (exclusive)
ustah ku-(stem)-ąąwiiwah You (pl) — him not
ustah wu-(stem)-ąąwiiwąąn* They — him not (obviative)
ustah —-(stem)-ąąwih He was not —

*Note
-wiin contracted from –wiiwan
-wiinah contracted from –wiiwunah
ąąwiiwąąn contracted from ąą-wii-wąąwan

Example using the verb nāāwāāw vta see s.o.

Ustah nāāwąąw (nāāwąąwih)       
I saw him not  

Ustah kunāāwąw (kunāāwąąwih)     
You saw him not  

Ustah wunāāwąąwiin     
S/he saw him not  

Ustah nāāwąąwiinah      
We saw him not  

Ustah nāāwąąwiinookw      
We all saw him not  


Ustah kunāāwąąwiinah     
We saw him not  

Ustah kunāāwąąwiinookw      
We all saw him not  


Ustah kunāāwąąwiiwah      
You (pl) saw him not                      

Ustah wunāāwąąwiiwąąn     
They saw him not  

Ustah nāāwąąwih       
S/he was not seen  

Plural objects forms use the animate plural ending (ak). Plural obviative forms use the ending -ah . Like animate possessed nouns, the forms for ‘we’ and ‘you plural’ (1st and 2nd pl subject forms) use endings built on the full, non shortened ending.

VTA Direct Indicative Mode Objective Forms (Pl Object)

Paradigm Final Form Meaning
nu-(stem)-ąą-w-ak nu-(stem)-ąąk I — them
ku-(stem)-ąą-w-ak ku-(stem)-ąąk You — them
wu-(stem)-ąą-w-ah wu-(stem)-ąą He — them (pl obv)
nu-(stem)-ąą-w-unąą-ak nu-(stem)-ąąnąąk We — them (excl)
nu-(stem)-ąą-w-unookw nu-(stem)-ąąnookw* We all — them (excl)
ku-(stem)-ąą-w-unąą-ak ku-(stem)-ąąnąąk We — them (incl)
ku-(stem)-ąą-w-unookw ku-(stem)-ąąnookw* We all — them (incl)
ku-(stem)-ąą-wąąw-ak ku-(stem)-ąąwąąk You (pl) — them
ku-(stem)-ąą-wąąw-ah wu-(stem)-ąąwąą They — them (pl obv)
—-(stem)-ąą-w-ak —-(stem)-ąąk They were —

*These forms are the same as the sg object forms

Example using the verb nāāwāāw vta see s.o.

Nāāwąąk                  
I saw them  

Kunāāwąąk                
You saw them  

Wunāāwąą                
S/he saw them  

Nāāwąąnąąk                 
We (excl.) saw saw them  

Kunāāwąąnąąk               
We (incl.) saw them  

Kunāāwąąwąąk             
You (pl) saw them  

Wunāāwąąwąą         
They saw them  

Nāāwąąk              
They were seen  

Negatives for the objective forms with plural object follow the same patterns as the non-negative plural object forms.

VTA Negative Direct Indicative Mode Objective Forms Plural Object

Paradigm Final form Meaning
nu-(stem)-ąą-wii-w-ak ustah nu-(stem)-ąąwiik I — them not
ku-(stem)-ąą-wii-w-ak ustah ku-(stem)-ąąwiik You — them not
wu-(stem)-ąą-wii-w-ah ustah wu-(stem)-ąąwiiwah He — them not (pl obv)
nu-(stem)-ąą-wii-wunąą-ak ustah nu-(stem)-ąąwiinąąk We — them not (excl)
nu-(stem)-ąą-wii-wunookw ustah nu-(stem)-ąąwiinookw* We all — them not (excl)
ku-(stem)-ąą-wii-wunąą-ak ustah ku-(stem)-ąąwiinąąk We — them not (incl)
ku-(stem)-ąą-wii-wunookw ustah ku-(stem)-ąąwiinookw* We all — them not (incl)
ku-(stem)-ąą-wii-wąąw-ak ustah ku-(stem)-ąąwiiwąąk You (pl) — them not
wu-(stem)-ąą-wii-wąąw-ah ustah wu-(stem)-ąąwiiwąą They — them not (pl obv)
—(stem)-ąą-wii-w-ak ustah —-(stem)-ąąwiik They were not —

*identical to sg object forms

Some uncontracted versons for the inclusive and exclusive we forms were found in Schmick: ustah (prefix)-(stem)-ąąwiiwunah
Western Mahican does not all plural endings to the we forms or to the 2nd pl forms.

Example using the verb nāāwāāw vta see s.o.

Ustah nāāwąąwiik       
I did not see them  

Ustah kunāāwąąwiik         
You did not see them    

Ustah wunāāwąąwiiwah     
S/he did not see him or her

Ustah nāāwąąwiinąąk      
We did not see them    

Ustah nāāwąąwiinookw      
We all did not see him, her or them  

Ustah kunāāwąąwiiwunąąk        
We did not see them     (un-contracted variant)

Ustah kunāāwąąwiinookw      
We all did not see him, her or them  

Ustah kunāāwąąwiiwąąk      
You (pl) did not see them     

Ustah wunāāwąąwiiwąą   
They did not see them       

Ustah nāāwąąwiik       
They were not seen  

Conjugation Paradigm for Absolute VTA Construction

These forms use the m ending set, added to the (ąą) direction marker which tells us that the mode is direct or non inverse. Like the VTI absolute forms, a noun is required and the verb form does not vary for object plurality. The animate plural ending (ak) references a 3rd person plural subject. There are no plural endings for plural objects because in this mode the object is vague and indefinite.

Note the absence of the (wu) prefix in 3rd person sg and pl forms.

Footnote: VTIs and VTAs using m endings conjugate like VAIs almost as if the verb has no object. The noun adds the object but in a non specific form.

VTA Direct Indicative Mode Absolute Forms

Noun Required Construction

Paradigm Meaning
nu-(stem)-ah I — ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate noun(s)
ku-(stem)-ah You — ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate noun(s)
—-(stem)-āāw He or She — ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate obviative noun(s)
nu-(stem)-áhnah We — ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate noun(s)(excl)
ku-(stem)-áhnah We — ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate noun(s) (incl)
ku-(stem)-áhmah You (pl) — ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate noun(s)
—-(stem)-āāk They — ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate obviative noun(s)

animate noun = 3rd person animate noun sg or pl; him, her, they, awāān, awāāniik, etc

Example using the verb pāāsuwāāw vta bring s.o.

Mbāāsuwah tkwax    
I brought a loaf of bread.   

Kpāāsuwah tkwax     
You brought a loaf of bread  

Pāāsuwāāw tkwaxan       
S/he brought a loaf of bread  (obv)

Mbāāsuwahnah tkwax     
We brought a loaf of bread  

Kpāāsuwahnah tkwax      
We brought a loaf of bread  
Kpāāsuwahmah tkwax     
You (pl) brought a loaf of bread  

Pāāsuwāāk tkwaxan     
They brought a loaf of bread  (obv)

Negative absolute forms use (ąą) then the negative suffix (w) followed by the m endings. The optional truncated negative ending may be used in the 1st and 2nd sg forms.
Note how the (ąą) shifts to (āā) in the 3rd person forms.

VTA Negative Direct Indicative Mode Absolute Forms

Noun Required Construction

Paradigm Meaning
ustah nu-(stem)-ąąw I — not ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate noun(s)
ustah ku-(stem)-ąąw You — not ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate noun(s)
ustah —-(stem)-ąąwih He or She — not ‘a’ or ‘some’ obviative noun(s)
ustah nu-(stem)-ąąwíhnah We (excl) — not ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate noun(s)
ustah ku-(stem)-ąąwíhnah We (incl) — not ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate noun(s))
ustah ku-(stem)-ąąwíhmah You (pl) — not ‘a’ or ‘some’ animate noun(s)
ustah —-(stem)-āāwíik They — not ‘a’ or ‘some’ obviative noun(s)

animate noun = 3rd person animate noun sg or pl; him, her, they, awāān, awāāniik, etc

Example using the verb pāāsuwāāw vta bring s.o.

Ustah mbāāsuwąąw tkwax.        
I did not bring a loaf of bread.   

Ustah kpāāsuwąąw tkwax.     
You did not bring a loaf of bread.   

Ustah pāāsuwāāwih tkwaxan.     
S/he did not bring a loaf of bread.   

Ustah mbāāsuwāāwihnah tkwax.     
We did not bring a loaf of bread.   
Ustah kpāāsuwāāwihnah tkwax.      
We did not bring a loaf of bread.   
Ustah kpāāsuwāāwihmah tkwax.     
You (pl) did not bring a loaf of bread.   

Ustah pāāsuwāāwiik tkwaxan.     
They did not bring a loaf of bread.  

Ustah pāāsuwąąwih tkwax.
A loaf of bread was not brought. 

These absolute negative verb constructs do not take additional endings to match the plurality of the object, however the required noun can be sg or pl or obviative and the noun takes endings appropriate to its status as sg, pl or obviative .

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