Mahican VTA Preterite and Present

The preterite tense is a way to talk of something in the past that has been completed.

He killed them. I forgave him. We loved you. 

The present tense is used for past action that occurred in a more distant past than another past action. It is almost always found in questions in Mahican texts with rare exceptions (P mlh29).

Who had he forgiven? 

In phrases without reference to another past event, the present tense may refer to a past event with ongoing or present time relevance. (HA23)(HA58)

Why has he been working for you?

This tense can also be used for a hypothetic or conditional expression in the past. (P mlh29)

If he had never been loved her. 

The Preterite

Preterite Indicative

Indicative Order preterite forms are constructed using by first building the verb form using the appropriate personal prefix and the appropriate ending, then adding the preterite ending -pan. Plural and obviative endings follow the preterite ending and use the preterite specific forms. which are -iik, plural and -ih, sg obviative and -ii, pl obviative. If no additional endings such as a plural or an obviative ending follow, the the preterite ending -pan is shortened to -p.

Direct Mode Examples:

Ndaniitahamąąp. I had thought about him. 
Ndaniitahamąąpaniik. I had thought about them. 
Wtaniitahamąąpanih.. He had thought about him (obv). 
Wtaniitahamąąpanii.. He had thought about them (obv). 
Wtaniitahamąąwąąpanih.. They had thought about him (obv). 
Wtaniitahamąąwąąpanii.. They had thought about them (obv). 

Inverse Mode Examples:

Ndaniitahamkoop. He had thought about me. 
Ndaniitahamkoopaniik. They had thought about me. 
Wtaniitahamkoopanih.. He (obv) had thought about him. 
Wtaniitahamkoopanii.. They (obv) had thought about him. 
Ndaniitahamkoonąąp. He had thought about us. 
Wtaniitahamkoonąąpaniik.. They had thought about us. 
Wtaniitahamkoowąąpaniih. He (obv) had thought about them. 
Wtaniitahamkoowąąpanii.. They (obv) had thought about them. 

Inverse Passive Examples

Ndahwąąnkāāp. I had been loved. 
Ndahwąąnkahnąąp. We had been loved. 

Local Mode Examples:

Kunāāwnāāp. I had seen you. 
Kunāāwunhmąąp. I had seen you (pl). 
Kunāāwiip. You had seen me. 

Kunāāwihnąąp. You (pl) had seen me.

Preterite VTA Subordinative Mode

Preterite endings are preceded by -āā when a n ending
is used. This reflects the non shortened version of the n ending which is -nāā that is shortened to -n under most circumstances.

Nuyah nāāwąąnāāp. I had seen him.
Nuyāānah nāāwąąnāānąąp.  We had seen him. 

Preterite Conjunct Order

The preterite suffix is added to the conjunct endings as -upan and as in other settings, -upan simplifies to -up when no additional endings are present.

The 1st person sg conjunct ending ąąyah adds the preterite to the full ending of -ąąyąąn:

Aānih-kwiinawąąyąąnup. Because I had looked for him.

Examples:



āātanih-nāāwąąyąąnup I have seen him
āātanih-nāāwatup
āātanih-nāāwąątup
āātanih-nāāwąąyakoop
āātanih-nāāwąąyāākoop
āātanih-nāāwahtiitup

Plural Example:


Aātanih-nāāwąąyąąnupanih. I have seen them

Examples with modal ending (-ah) which becomes -āā- before the preterite suffix:


Nāāmąąyąąnāāp. If I had seen him.

Plurals of above forms add -ih to the preterite suffix -pan- in similar fashion to the plural forms without modal ending.

Negative Preterite Forms

Simply add -upan- to the negative form using known patterns of contraction and taking into account that plural endings are moved to the end of the full preterite ending.

Direct Mode Examples:

Ustah ndaniitahamąąwiip. I had not thought about him. 
Ustah ndaniitahamąąwiipaniik. I had not thought about them. 
Ustah wtaniitahamąąwiipanih.. He had not thought about him (obv). 
Ustah wtaniitahamąąwiipanii.. He had not thought about them (obv). 
Ustah wtaniitahamąąwiiwąąpanih.. They had not thought about him (obv). 
Ustah wtaniitahamąąwiiwąąpanii.. They had not thought about them (obv). 

Inverse Mode Examples:

Ustah ndaniitahamkoowiip. He had not thought about me. 
Ustah ndaniitahamkoowiipaniik. They had not thought about me. 
Ustah wtaniitahamkoowiipanih.. He (obv) not had thought about him. 
Ustah wtaniitahamkoowiipanii.. They (obv) had not thought about him. 
Ustah ndaniitahamkoowiinąąp. He had not thought about us. 
Ustah wtaniitahamkoowiinąąpaniik.. They had not thought about us. 
Ustah wtaniitahamkoowiiwąąpaniih. He (obv) had not thought about them. 
Ustah wtaniitahamkoowiiwąąpanii.. They (obv) had thought about them. 

Inverse Passive Examples

Ndahwąąnkāāwiip. I had not been loved. 
Ndahwąąnkāāwihnąąp. We had not been loved. 

Local Mode Examples:

Ustah kunāāwunoowiip. I had not seen you. 
Ustah kunāāwunoowihmąąp. I had not seen you (pl). 
Ustah kunāāwiiwiip. You had not seen me. 

Ustah kunāāwiiwihnąąp. You (pl) had not seen me.

The three ways to indicate completed action:

1. Use of anih-

Nuyah ndunih-putawąąw. I already heard him. (s79)

2. Use of pakachih pc already
Nuyah pakachih mbutawąąw. I already heard him. (s79)

3. Use of preterite:
Mbutawąąp. I had heard him.

The Present

Inflection patterns are similar to those used with the preterite suffix. The present suffix -θan shortens to -θah when no additional endings follow.

Ngwiinawąąθah?. I had looked for him?
Wkwiinawąąwąąθanih? They had been looking for him?
Wkwiinawąąθanii. He had looked for them (pl obv). 
Wkwiinawąąwąąθanii. They have been looking for them (pl obv). 

The plural ending iik which is also used in the preterite when a plural ending is required.

Ngwiinawąąθaniik. I had been looking for them. 

The 1st and 2nd person forms add the present tense suffix to the n endings in the same way as the preterite suffix with the restored full n ending of -nāā-

Ngwiinawąąnāāθah nih tanih. I had looked for him thereabouts. 

Present Tense in the Conjunct Order

The present suffix may be added to the conjunct endings as -uθan and as in other settings, -uθan simplifies to -uθah when no additional endings are required.

The 1st person sg conjunct ending ah adds the preterite to the full ending of -ąąyąąn:

Aānih-kwiinawąąyąąnuθah. Because I had looked for him.

Examples:



āātanih-nāāwąąyąąnuθah When I had seen him
āātanih-nāāwatuθah
āātanih-nāāwąątuθah
āātanih-nāāwąąyakwuθah
āātanih-nāāwąąyāākwuθah
āātanih-nāāwahtiituθah

Plurals:



āātanih-nāāwąąyąąnuθanii When I had seen them

Examples with modal ending (-ah) which becomes -āā- before the preterite suffix:


āātanih-nāāwąąyąąnāāθahWhen I had seen him

Plurals with modal endings are formed by adding the ending -ii to the suffix -θan-

Negatives are formed by adding the present tense suffix to the verb ending, but plural and obviative endings are added after it as in non negative forms.

Us ngwiinawąąwiiθah?. I had not looked for him?