VAI Changed Conjunct

Now that we have learned the forms of the VAI conjunct, let’s look at how these forms are used.

The Changed Conjunct Mode is used when the action of the secondary clause co-occurs simultaneously with the action of the main clause.

Preverbs almost always introduce the verbs in this mode. Some verbs incorporate the preverbs as a root into the verb stem and consequently use this conjunct mode.

The changed conjunct mode uses initial change and uses the conjunct endings.


A preverb meaning ‘while’ or ‘during the time that …’

It introduces action that is co-ocurring in both clauses.

Néeka péew wéetŭmu-kawúyaan.  
She came here while I was sleeping.  

Mah ha awéen peew wéetŭmu-kawúyeengw.   
Noone came here while we were sleeping.  
(1+2 person plural and 1st person plural forms are identical)  


A preverb meaning ‘when’ or ‘where’.

Míitsuw éenda-kawúyan.  
He eats when you are sleeping.   

Kóhpii éewak éenda-lalóhkayaan.  
They went to the forest where I was working.  

Nan mbeetáawsi éenda-áalu- ta -ayáan.   
I've lived to the age where I can't go anywhere.  
(peetáawsuw vai live to a certain age, live until now.)  

Negative use examples:

Píilsuw wéetŭmu-mah-alohkéewaan.  
She cleaned while I was not working.  

Mah miitsíiwu éenda-mah-kawíiwan.  
He does not eat when you are not sleeping.  

Go to VAI Practicum 15 Changed Conjunct I


The changed conjunct uses several other preverbs or particles that naturally introduce a sub-phrase having to do with time (because, while, whenever etc)

Néeli- pv ‘while’

Ngúmee ápih aaptóoneew néeli-pŭmáawsiit.  
She will always talk as long as she's alive.  

Nii mbáam neeltóonheet.  
I came as he was talking.  
(néeli built into a verb)  

Heesh pc every also written as (Eesh)

Néeka píilsuw heesh nah ayáan.  
He cleans everytime I go there.  

Nii lóongwaam eesh kawúyaan.   
I dream everytime I sleep.  

Wéetŭmu- in the verb stem

Alúmsŭwak weetŭmutoonháyeengw.

They left while we were busy talking.

Éendxun- pv whenever

Néeka mateelúndam éendxun-katóopwiit.   
He's unhappy whenever he's hungry.  
katóopuw  he is hungry  

Eel– or éeli pv because, in a certain manner or direction

Nii mah ndaaptoonéewu éeli-káwiit.   
I didn't talk because he was sleeping.  

Neeka piilalóhkeew éeli-mah-apíiwaan.  
He is cleaning the house because I am not there.  
(piilalóhkeew he cleans the house)  

Nii nooleelúndam éeli-mah-páawaan.   
I was glad I didn't come.  

Néeka maw-káwiiw eel-kweek-íiyaan.  
He went to sleep as I talked. 
(Reference Ives Goddard Delaware Verbal Morphology, page ix) 

Bibliographic information


Éelkih- pv certain amount, extent + conjunct

Its time for sleeping.  

Its time to sleep.  
(Emphatic or collective plural form)  

Iiyéeskwa pc before + conj

Kwiinamálsi iiyéeskwa kiish- alóhkayan.   
You got sick before you finished working.  
(kiish- pv completed action)  

Lukíhkwi pc extent, volume, amount

Tha lukíhkwi poondakúsiit móhkamuy?

How much does the ice weigh?

(poondakúsuw vai weigh a certain amount, re: s.t animate)


Léhlapiit vai as one likes

A conjunct only verb

Léhlapiit-uch lúnum.  
He will do what he wants.  

Léhlapiit kawíiw.   
He may sleep as he wishes.   

Locative clauses

Wíikiit nda.  
I'm going where he lives.  
(wíikuw vai dwell there)  


Go to VAI Practicum 16 Changed Conjunct II


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