Mahican VAI Indicative Mode Unstable Stems

Unstable stems are verb stems which end in a vowel that changes to a different vowel in some verb forms. Stable stems use the same stem ending vowel in all forms.

(1a) Unstable VAI stems ending in (ii)

These verbs list in the dictionary with the ending (uw) which is the indicative 3rd person singular form. However the actual stem ending vowel is (ii).

This shift is triggered by the 3rd person suffix for the independent indicative: (w). This suffix is also present on the plural form: (w-ak). Other endings do not induce this change, i.e. all non 3rd person indicative mode endings. Unstable ii stems use the actual stem vowel (ii) without a shift in all the indicative mode negative endings, unlike unstable stems ending in ąą.

VAI Unstable Stems Ending in (ii) Indicative Mode

Meaning Build Final form
I — nu(····ii)m nu····ih
You — ku(····ii)m ku····ih
He or She — —-(····ii)w ····uw
We — (exclusive) nu(····ii)hnąą nu····ihnah
We all — (exclusive) nu(····ii)hnookw nu····ihnookw
We — (inclusive) ku(····ii)hnąą ku····ihnah
We all — (inclusive) ku(····ii)hnookw ku····ihnookw
You (pl) — ku(····ii)hmąą ku····ihmah
They — —-(····ii)wak ····uwak
There is — —-(····ii)n ····iin

Note vowel shift (ii) => (u) in 3rd person forms

VAI Negative Stem Ending in (ii) Indicative Mode

Meaning Build Final form Meaning
I — not ustah nu(····ii)wii ustah nu····iiw
You — not ustah ku(····ii)wii ustah ku····iiw
He or She — not ustah —-(stem-ii)-wii ustah ····iiwih
We — not (exclusive) ustah nu(····ii)wíhnąą ustah nu····iiwíhnah
We all — not (exclusive) ustah nu(····ii)wíhnookw ustah nu····iiwíhnookw
We — not (inclusive) ustah ku(····ii)wíhnąą ustah ku(····ii)wíhnah
We all — not (inclusive) ustah ku(····ii)wíhnookw ustah ku(····ii)wíhnookw
You (pl) — not ustah ku(····ii)wíhmąą ustah ku····iiwíhmah
They — not ustah —-(····ii)wíiwak ustah ····iiwiik
There is not — ustah —-(····ii)wun ustah ····iiwun

Example: apúw vai he is there

ndápih I am there  
ktápih     
apúw               
ndapíhnah              
ndapihnookw
ktapíhnah
ktapihnookw              
ktapímah               
apúwak            
apiin There is being there  

ustah ndapiiw  I am not there  
ustah ktapiiw
ustah apíiwih
ustah ndapiiwíhnah  
ustah ndapiiwihnookw
ustah ktapiiwíhnah  
ustah ktapiiwihnookw
ustah ktapiiwíhmah  
ustah ktapiiwiik  
ustah apíiwun  

Other examples:

Míitsuw. He eats.   

Miitsuwak. They eat.  
stem = (miitsii)  

Ustah miitsíiwih. He eats not. 

Ustah miitsiiwiik. They are not eating.

Kuyah katāāw-míitsih?   Did you want to eat?
Nuyah numawih-miitsih. I am going to eat. 

Nāākmah katāāw-míitsuw.  
He intends to eat. 

Nuyāānookw nuwiikih-miitsihnookw.   We all like to eat. 
wiikih- pv  like to  

Míitsiin. People are eating.  

Ustah apiiwíik. 
They aren't here.  
(apúw  stem = (apii) )

(1b) Other VAI stems ending in (ii)

Stems ending in (-kwii) are a variant of the unstable stem ending in (ii). They undergo an additional phonological change in the 3rd person indicative mode forms where the ‘oh’ sound of the ‘uw’ ending causes the (w) preceding the (u) to drop off because the sounds blend together.

masihkuw vai-kwii color or dye in red

Nāākmah masihkuw.  He colors red. 

Masihkuwak.  They color red.

Non 3rd person forms retain the original stem ending (-kwii)

 Nuyah numasihkwih.
I am color red.       

Negative forms, including the 3rd person forms retain the original stem ending (-kwii) as well:

Ustah awāān masihkwiiwih.   
Nobody is colored red.  

i.e : the negative ending does not trigger the shift from (ii) to (u)

(2) Unstable stems ending in (ąą)

The dictionary lists these with an ending in (āāw) because the 3rd person indicative mode used for the dictionary listing shifts the vowel from āā to ąą. The listing shows other forms that use the true stem vowel (ąą) before endings.

These unstable stems shift from (ąą) to (āā) before the (w) and (w-ak) endings for the 3rd person sg or pl indicative mode forms

The shift to (āā) also occurs for the 3rd person sg and pl negative endings, unlike the unstable verbs ending in ii which do not shift for the negatives.

 

VAI Stem Ending in (ąą) Indicative Mode

Meaning Build Final form
I — nu(····ąą)m nu····ąh
You — ku(····ąą)m ku····ąh
He or She — —-(····ąą)w ····āāw
We — (exclusive) nu(····ąą)hnąą nu····ąhnah
We all — (exclusive) nu(····ąą)hnookw nu····ąhnookw
We — (inclusive) ku(····ąą)-hnąą ku····ąhnah
We all — (inclusive) ku(····ąą)-hnookw ku····ąhnookw
You (pl) — ku(····ąą)hmąą ku····ąhmah
They — —-(····ąą)wak ····āāk
There is — —-(····ąą)n ····ąąn

Note vowel shift (ąą) => (āā) in 3rd person forms

VAI Negative Stem Ending in (ąą) Indicative Mode

Meaning Build Final form
I — not ustah nu(····ąą)wii ustah nu····ąąw
You — not ustah ku(····ąą)wii ustah ku····ąąw
He or She — not ustah —-(····ąą)wii ustah ····āāwih
We — not (exclusive) ustah nu(····ąą)wíhnąą ustah nu····ąąwíhnah
We all — not (exclusive) ustah nu(····ąą)wíhnookw ustah nu····ąąwíhnookw
We — not (inclusive) ustah ku(····ąą)wíhnąą ustah ku····ąąwíhnah
We all — not (inclusive) ustah ku(····ąą)wíhnookw ustah ku····ąąwíhnookw
You (pl) — not ustah ku(····ąą)wíhmąą ustah ku····ąąwíhmah
They — not ustah —-(····ąą)wíiwak ustah ····āāwiik
There is not — ustah —-(····ąą)wun ustah ····ąąwun

Example: āāw vai-ąą go


ndąh I go  
ktąh         
āāw                   
ndąhnah
ndąhnookw                   
ktąhnah                
ktąhnookw
ktąhmah                
āāk                   
ąąn             

ustah ndąąw I go not 
ustah ktąąw
ustah āāwih
ustah ndąąwihnah
ustah ndąąwihnookw  
ustah ktąąwihnah
ustah ktąąwihnookw  
ustah ktąąwihmah
ustah āāwiik  
ustah ąąwun  

Unstable VAIs in (ąą) do shift to the (āā) form with negative endings (unlike the unstable stems in (ii) which fail to shift to (u) in negative forms)

Summary:

VAI Unstable Stems Indicative Mode

Stem ending vowel 3rd sg form 3rd pl form Negative 3rd sg form Negative 3rd pl form
(····ąą) (····āāw) (····āāk) ustah (····āāwih) ustah (····āāwiik)
(····ii) (····uw) (····uwak) ustah (····iiwih) ustah (····iiwiik)
(····kwii) (····kuw) (····kuwak) ustah (····kwiiwih) ustah (····wiiwiik)

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