VII Conjunct Order Basics


Verbs may be conjugated in another way called the conjunct order, used for certain types of secondary clauses.

The conjunct order is comprised of several modes each used in secondary clauses of a certain type. Unlike the subordinative mode which plays a narrative role and interacts with the main clause by telling more of the story, conjunct sub-phrases put more of a spin or twist to the story and thus bear a much stronger relationship to the main clause. Conjunct clauses typically provide crucial timing and location information that complements the information of the main clause.

Subordinative mode:

'That's where it fell.'  (Nah ha matéexun.)  
The subordinative provides 'sequential' packets of data ...  
Tells more of the story about the place, which has been a topic of talk.  

Conjunct mode:

'It fell because it rained.'  (Matéexun eel-sóokulaang.)  
The ideas here are more closely interconnected,   
The rain does not simply tell 'more' of the story, it 'changes' the story.  
It delivers a twist to a thought which is delivered as a two part package ....  

Preverbs are often used in conjunct mode phrases. Time qualifier preverbs with meanings like “when” or “while” or “everytime” link the action between the two clauses with ‘timing’. Such preverbs are always followed by conjunct sub-clauses. Conjunct phrases may exist without preverbs however.

I will now briefly describe the four conjunct modes in use in the modern language, using an example in English, with the sub-clause in quotes. The Delaware version of these sentences may be found in the relevant sub-chapters.

Changed Conjunct

This mode is used when the time frame of the action in the conjunct sub-phrase is simultaneous or co-occurring to that of the main phrase.

It is cold outside 'because it is snowing'.  

Changed Subjunctive Conjunct

When the action precedes the time frame of another clause, the “Changed Subjunctive Conjunct Mode” is used. This mode adds a ‘modal suffix’ (e) to the usual conjunct ending to clearly set it apart.

The road cracked 'after it snowed heavily'.     
'When it rains and rains', you will seek shelter.   

Conditional or hypothetical ideas are expressed using the “Subjunctive Conjunct Mode” and this mode is how one expresses phrases that in English would start with “if…”

It might be cold 'if it snows'.  

Lastly there are the participles. These are verbs conjugated using conjunct endings and function in a noun-like manner. They may also form possessive like compounds with adjacent nouns, and in that way function as adjectives.

'The nice one' is there  
The 'nice chair' is there.   

Conjunct Endings, Initial Change and Modal endings

All conjunct modes for VIIs use a basic set of conjunct endings (described below). In addition to these endings, a characteristic shift in the initial vowel of the verb stem called the ‘’Initial Change’‘ occurs in all conjunct modes except for the conditional. Here’s how initial change works: If the initial vowel of the verb is (a) or (u) then that vowel changes into (ee). No shift occurs If the initial vowel is a long vowel. When a preverb is present, as is often the case, the initial change will affect the initial vowel of the preverb instead of the initial vowel of the verb stem. (A preverb-verb combination is called a compound stem).

This may all sound complex but will be much easier to understand using examples.

Initial Change (a) => (ee) (u) => (ee)

Neutral Mode Form Initial Vowel Changed Vowel Conjunct Form Meaning
wulút (u) (ee) wéelihk it is nice
wŭlúleew (u) (ee) wéelŭleek it is burns well
áskun (a) (ee) éeskun it is raw
ksháxun (a) (ee) kéeshxung it is windy
káta-wíineew (a) (ee) kéeta-wíineek its going to snow

The “modal ending” (e) is added to the end of the conjunct ending in some modes (Changed Subjunctive and Subjunctive).

Conjunct Order Overview

Conjunct Mode Schema
Changed (initial change)-(conjunct endings)
Changed Subjunctive (initial change)-(conjunct endings)-(e)
Subjunctive (no initial change)-(conjunct endings)-(e)
Participles (initial change)-(conjunct endings)

Go to VII Practicum 6 Conjunct Basics

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