Mahican VTI Preterite and Present

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

He was killed. I was happy. We went there. 

The present tense is used to specify information about past action which 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 been there? What had been done? 

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)

How has he been doing it?  What day has he ordained? 

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

If he had never been born. 

The Preterite

Preterite Indicative

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 preterite specific forms. If no additional endings such as a plural or an obviative ending follow, the the preterite ending -pan is shortened to -p.

Wtahtāānāāp. He has put it down. 
Wtahtāānāāpaniik. They have put it down. 

Note the preterite plural ending -iik added to the end of the non shortened version of the preterite suffix. This plural ending is also used in the present tense when a plural ending is required.

VTIs have an object which can be singular or plural. Plural objects are marked with the inanimate plural ending -ih.

Wtahtāānāāpanih. He had put them (inanimate) down. (P mlh30)

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.

nāām vti3 see s.t.
putam vti1a hear s.t.

Nuyah nāāmunāāp. I did see it. (s121)
Kunāāmunāāp. You did see it. 
Wunāāmunāāp. He did see it. 
Mbutamunāāp. I have heard. 

The 1st and 2nd person forms use a more complete form of this ending, when no n ending is present: -hupan

Kunāāmhup kāākway. I saw something. 
Mbutamhup kāākway.  I heard something. 

When added to a form that has the ending -uw a contraction occurs which preserves the oo sound resulting in uw + -upan => -oopan. This shortens to -oop when no further endings follow the preterite suffix. This situation only happens in VTIs with absolute forms (noun required forms).

Miichoop kāākway.  He ate something. (s127)
Oop kāākway.. He said something. 

Vowel stem verbs in the 3rd person forms add the preterite suffix -upan to the final w and the sequences āāw-upan and ąąw-upan contract to āāp and ąąp respectively for the sg forms. Plural 3rd person forms contract to āāpaniik and ąąpaniik.

Wtahtāānāāp. He has put it down. 
Wtahtāānāāpaniik. They have put it down. 

Consonant stem verbs simply add -upan directly except after n endings as noted above.

Siiwāānŭtamup kāākway.  He was sad about something. 
Siiwtāānŭtamupaniik kāākway.  They were sad about something. 

When the preterite suffix is added to the 1st and 2nd plural forms, the final h drops and the long vowel that had been shortened now reappears and the preterite suffix is added to that long vowel.

Kuyāāwah kputamunāāwąąp. You (pl) have heard.
Nāāmunāānąąp. We did see it. 
Kunāāmunāāwąąp. You (pl) did see it. 
Wunāāmunāāwąąp. They did see it. 

No instances of a preterite form built on the all inclusive 1st pl or 2nd pl suffix -hnookw were found in Mohican source materials .

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 ah adds the preterite to the full ending of -ąąn:

Aānih-kwiinamąąnup.  Because I looked for it. 

Examples:



āātanih-nāāmąąnup I have seen it
āātanih-nāāmanup
āātanih-nāākup
āātanih-nāāmakoop
āātanih-nāāmāākoop
āātanih-nāāmhtiitup

Plural Participles:



nāāmąąnupanih The things I have seen
nāāmanupanih
nāākupanih
nāāmakoopanih
nāāmāākoopanih
nāāmhtiitupanih

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


āātanih-nāāmąąnāāp When I saw it
āātanih-nāāmanāāp
āātanih-nāākāāp
āātanih-nāāmakwāāp
āātanih-nāāmāākwāāp
āātanih-nāāmhtiitāāp

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

The three ways to indicate completed action:

1. Use of anih-
Nuyah ndunih-ptamun. I already heard it. (s79)

2. Use of pakachih pc already
Nuyah pakachih mbutamun. I already heard it. (s79)

3. Use of preterite:
Mbutamunāāp. I have heard it.

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.

Thah wkwiinamunāāθah? Where had he looked for it?
...wkwiinamunāāwąąθah ...they had looked for it
...wkwiinamunāāθanih ...he had looked for them
...wkwiinamunāāwąąθanih ...they had looked for them

The plural ending -iik added after the non shortened version of the present tense suffix (also used in the preterite when a plural ending is required) may be found in VTI absolute forms which otherwise follow conjugation patterns identical to usual VAI conjugation patterns.

Kahnah wunutup niik wkwiinamuθaniik aθunan. It was really nice that they had looked for some stones. 

The 1st and 2nd person forms add āā between the present tense suffix and to those n endings which end with -n. This happens because the final n of the n ending is a shortened by sound law from -nāā-, the underlying full ending.

ahtāāw vti2 put it there

Ndahtāānāāθah. I had put it there. 
Ktahtāānāānāāθah. You had put it there. 
Wtahtāānāāθah. He had put it there. 

nāām vti3 see s.t.

Thah nāāmunāāθah? Where had I seen it?
...kunāāmunāāθah you had seen it
...wunāāmunāāθah ...he had seen it

When added to a form that has the ending -uw a contraction occurs which preserves the oo sound resulting in uw + -uθan => -ooθan. This shortens to -ooθah when no further endings follow the present suffix. This only happens in TI verbs in absolute forms in the 3rd person.

Wunutup nah miichooθah xaθkwiim.  It was good that he had been eaten some corn. (s127)
Nsiiwāāntamup nah ooθah kāākway.. I was sad he had said  something. 

Vowel stem verbs in the 3rd person absolute forms add the preterite suffix -uθan to the final w and the sequences āāw-uθan and ąąw-uθan contract to āāθah and ąąθah respectively for the sg forms. Plural 3rd person forms contract to āāθaniik and ąąθaniik.

Ahtāāw kāākway. He put something there. 
Ahtāāk kāākway. They put something there. 
Nąąwatah ahtāāθah kāākway.  Long ago he had put something there. 
Nąąwatah ahtāāθaniik kāākway. Long ago they had put something there. 

Consonant stem verbs in absolute constructs simply add -uθan directly.

Siiwāānŭtamuθah kāākway.  He has been sad about something. 
Siiwtāānŭtamuθaniik kāākway.  They have been feeling sad about something. 

The present suffix may be added to the 1st and 2nd and 3rd plural forms. The final h of these endings drops and the long vowel that had been shortened now reappears and the suffix is added directly.

Objective Forms:

Ndahtāānāānąąθah.  We had put it there.
Kumiichiināānāāwąąθah. You (pl) had eaten it. 
Wθiināāwąąθah. They have said it. 

Absolute Forms:

Ndahtahnąąθah kāākway.  We had put something there.
Kumiichihnąąθah xaskwiin. You (pl) had eaten some corn. 
Ooθaniik kāākway. They had said something. 

No instances of a present form built on the all inclusive 1st pl or 2nd pl suffix -hnookw were found in Mohican source materials.

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 reverts to the full ending of -ąąn then adds the present tense suffix.

Aānih-kwiinamąąnuθah. Because I had looked for it.

Examples:



āātanih-nāāmąąnuθah When I had seen it
āātanih-nāāmanuθah
āātanih-nāākuθah
āātanih-nāāmakwuθah
āātanih-nāāmāākwuθah
āātanih-nāāmhtiituθah

Plural participles with modal endings are formed by adding the ending -ih to the suffix -θan-



nāāmąąnuθanih The things I had seen
nāāmanuθanih
nāākuθanih
nāāmakwuθanih
nāāmāākwuθanih
nāāmhtiituθanih

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


āātanih-nāāmąąnāāθah When I had seen it
āātanih-nāāmanāāθah
āātanih-nāākāāθah
āātanih-nāāmakwāāθah
āātanih-nāāmāākwāāθah
āātanih-nāāmhtiitāāθah