VII Subordinative Mode


The independent subordinative mode is used for secondary clauses that continue to say something about a previously mentioned subject, topic or place. As such, this mode is often used in narratives and story telling. This mode helps to link ideas together, and often provide details of quality, quantity, manner about a subject in a series of clauses all of which refer back to the subject mentioned beforehand.

Preverbs are often used in this mood to help color the nature of these linked ideas.

The subordinative mode for VIIs however use the exact same endings as in indicative mode, so the only way to distinguish subordinative discourse from indicative mode discourse is by recognizing a subordinative ‘style’ of discourse. Subordinative phrases tend to string along a topic across several successive sentences, often prefaced by, “And then …” Also subordinative mode verbs, unlike indicative mode forms, usually use singular endings for both singular and plural verb subjects.

Other verb types (VAIs and VTAs) use different endings for subordinative forms such that there is no mistaking their presence in a sub-phrase.

This chapter is intended to provide a short and basic introduction to the subordinative mode. The VAI subordinative mode chapter is much more detailed.

Examples of subordinative mode style constructs.

(1) Constructs using [nun]

Nun ha áhteew.   
That's where it is   

Nun ha matéexun.   
That's where it fell            

Nun – the inanimate demonstrative pronoun, ‘that’, is used to represent a location, that refers to a place previously discussed.

ha – a particle used to connect ideas or form questions.

The word that precedes [ha] is ~connected~ to the word that follows it.

nun ha + noun => that (noun) is a ...  

nun ha + verb => that (place or location) is where (the verb action happens)   

Subordinative and plurality of the subject:

Nun ha áapwu pakíinjuwal matéexun.   
There, where the plates fell earlier.  

[matéexun] is not pluralized to [matéexunool] because its in the subordinative mode. Indicative mode would uses the plural form for a plural subject :
Xúwii-pakíinjuwal matéexŭnool.
The old plates fell.

(2) Constructs using [nah]

Nah pc there

[Nah] is often used in subordinative clauses, since it refers back to some place previously or alluded to in the main clause or main storyline.

Shookulaapwáanshal nah áhteew pehpoxkwahtíikanung.  
The cookies - there is where they are there, in the cupboard.  
The cookies are in the cupboard.  

Note: no peripheral endings - i.e., no plural endings on ahteew  

áhteew vii be there   
pehpoxkwahtíikan ni cupboard  

(3) Constructs using [wunj-]

A preverb meaning 'because', 'why', 'the reason for which'   
wunj- can also mean 'from a certain place'  

Niil péengwii-wiiskíimal mah maxkéewiiwal .   
Nun ha wunj-wulútool.  
Those dried grapes are not red.  
Thats why they are good.  

This subordinative construct using wunj- is illustrated with plural verb ending – this should not be considered to be incorrect. In phrases without a noun, it may be more clear if one uses plural endings.

Lunaapeew is a language with many options and variants.

Tángii-maxkéewal wunj-wŭlút.  
They are a liitle bit red which is why they are good.  
        (not wulutool due to subordinative mode)  
        tangii- pv a liitle   

(4) lu– or li

A preverb meaning ‘how’, ‘the manner of which’.

(lu-) can also mean ‘the direction of which’

Its reduplicated form is (ayúlu-)

Nun ha ayúlu-alút.   
That's how it rotted.  

The subordinative may be useful to shift the focus or emphasis of a phrase :

Nun ha wtéehim nah puníhleew.  
That is the strawberry that fell there.  


Nah ha puníhleew wtéehim.   
That's where the strawberry fell.  


Wtéehiim puníhleew.   
A strawberry fell.   

The chapter for VAI subordinative mode provides more comprehensive information, explanations and examples about this mode

Go to VII Practicum 5 Subordinative Practicum

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