Introduction to verbs
Review of the four types of verbs:
There are four basic verb types in Delaware, classified according to gender, as we discussed in an earlier chapter. Each verb type conjugates by adding prefixes and suffixes to a verb stem. Conjugating verbs will be discussed later. These examples are intended only to familiarize the reader with the four main verb types and illustrate the way the verbs contain information about the subject and object.
Inanimate Subject (No object) = VII
Máxkeew. It red. It is red. Mbúy máxkeew. Water, it red. The water is red. Áhteew. It is there. (It there) Yóolak wíineew. It is snowing way over there.
Animate Subject (No object) = VAI
Kawíiw He/she is sleeping. literally 'He sleeps' Máxksuw. He red. He is red. Pámbiil máxksuw. The book, he red. The book is red. Apúw. He is there ('he' means s.t. or s.o. animate) Iiyaach apúw? Stlll he is there? (Is he still there?)
Inanimate Object (animate subject) = VTI
Wunéemun. He sees it. wu-(neem)-un Áaha wunéemun miichŭwáakan. Yes he sees it, the food. (miichŭwáakan is an inanimate noun)
Animate Object (animate subject) = VTA
Wŭneewáawal. He sees him. wu-(neew)-aawal Láapii wŭneewáawal na lúnuwal. Again, he saw him, that man. He saw that man again.
Verbs may stand alone without nouns as in the above examples because the subject and object as the case may be are included in the verb.
Personal pronouns were discussed for use with noun possession. They may be used with verbs, in which case they are technically redundant in most cases, but they can give a certain rhythm to the phrase and may give extra emphasis and in some cases provide clarity to the subject of a verb.
|1st person singular (1st sg or 1s)||nii||me,I|
|2nd person singular (2nd sg or 2s)||kii||you, thee|
|3rd person singular (3rd sg or 3s)||néeka||him,her ; he,she|
|1st person plural (1st pl or 1p)||niilóona||us,we (exclusive)|
|1+2 person plural (1+2 pl or 12p)||kiilóona||us,we (inclusive)|
|2nd person plural (2nd pl or 2p)||kiilóowa||you, ye|
|3rd person plural (3rd pl or 3p)
|Indefinite subject (or X)||X||someone, something, some group|
As each verb type is explained, it will be helpful to know this list of pronouns and their abbreviations. Verb conjugation charts always follow this basic order. Details of how to conjugate verbs in all verb classes will be the object of the next several chapters.
The 2 versions of “we” …
Yoon ndapíhna. We are here. Us, the ones talking to you (excluding the listener) ... are here. Yoon ktapíhna. We are here. All of us including you (including the listener) ... are here.
Preverbs (PVs) function much the same way as prenouns. Preverbs are precede the verb and the ‘preverb-verb compound stem’ functions like one newly created big word. Prefixes, if any, are added to the beginning of the preverb part of the compound word and endings are added onto the very end of it.
Preverbs are listed in the dictionary in a neutral, non-inflected form. Personal prefixes may trigger beginning pattern phonology rules affecting the preverb instead of the initial verb root. In some cases this changes things around quite a bit. For this reason I will often provide examples of verb forms with and without preverbs.
Wuneewáawal. He sees him. vs Wtáalu-neewáawal. He can't see him. aalu- pv unable to prefix-(preverb)-(verb)-suffix (wu)-(aalu)-(neew)-(aawal)
Note how the (wu) prefix attaches to the pv and not to the verb stem
The beginning pattern for the pv aalu– (wu + aa = wtaa) applies
Wunéemun. He sees it. vs Kwáta-néemun He wants to see it kata- pv want, intend to prefix-(preverb)-(verb)-suffix wu-(kata)-(neem)-un (wu + k = kw) beginning pattern
Extra words, including other pv’s, may be inserted between the pv and the verb, forming an expanded preverb-verb compound stem.
Káta-ha-wíineew? Is it going to snow? Ootéeneeng ndáalu-maw-míitsi. I am not able to go eat in town. nu-(aalu)-(maw)-(verb)-ii(m) maw pv go to (do something) Kwáta-áapwi-neewáawal. He wants to see him early. aapŭwu- aapwi- pv early, easily
Go to the verb intro practicum