More fun with verbs: tense & aspect

OK, so most of you will thing ‘fun with verbs’?  HAH.  And ‘tense & aspect’?  Might as well write in greek.

But really, for nerds like me it is interesting to figure out how verbs work in Hanis – to figure out how to say things.  Regarding verbs, tense just refers to a time frame – did an event happen in the past, is it in the present, or the future?  Aspect just gives you a bit more detail – the internal time frame for the event.  For example, did the event happen once or several times?  Was the event going on for a short time or a long time, maybe still going on?  All languages can express these things, by some mix of structure within the words, or using a whole bunch of words to describe something.  English and Hanis do a bit of both of these things, although Hanis is more fond of using suffixes on the verb to do these things than English does.

So today’s example.  In St Clair’s notes I find a zillion examples using the verb xp-, to burn.

FUTURE:  nixipitami hantl – I will burn you up  (ni=I; xip-to burn; -t=transitive; -ami=1st person acting on 2nd person, “I/we to you”; hantl=future, “will/shall”)

PRESENT: exípa’apahámi = I’m (in the act of) burning you up.  (e=you; xip-burn; a’apa=reduplication; h=epinthetic; -ami=1st person acting on 2nd)

PRESENT: nixípa’ap=I’m burning up (ni=I, xp-to burn, a’ap-reduplication)

In Hanis, when emphasizing something is happening right now the transitive suffix -t/ts disappears.  The verb stem in whole or in part is reduplicated.  In Hanis reduplicating like this is used often to emphasize something happened several times, was ongoing or is ongoing.  It can also turn a verb into a noun (like k’win-to shoot becomes k’wink’win=slingshot).


About shichils

Just sharing some fun on language
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