26 March 2012

Five verbal suffixes

Suffixes attached to verbs
In Australian indigenous languages, or some at least, there seem to be five kinds of suffixes that may be attached to verb stems. Not all five are present every time, and in fact it seems to be rare to have more than one, two or three of them. They might be classed as follows:
transitiviser [trvsr] 
stem-forming suffix [SFX]
derivational suffix [DFX]
status suffix
tense marker
In some languages (such as Wiradhuri and the Sydney language [BB]), these suffixes might be followed by bound pronouns in the order nominative then accusative (these most commonly being ‘I’, or ‘I-thee’).
The best readily available examples of a more complex kind come from Wiradhuri, as shown in the table:

nu-l-ngi-dyili-ndya-ngari-yawa-giri-li =
"gave-each other-morning-tomorrow-shall-we-two: we-two will exchange it tomorrow morning"
give self a.m. will we-two:
Capell: NAAL, 1 [:52:4] [Wira]
da-l-ngi-dyili-ngari-ni =
"2. [Imperfect-definite, I was or was doing—this morning. ]"
eat self a.m. did :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:67:3] [Wira]
da-l-ngi-dyili-nyi =
"4. [Second-aorist, I was or did—at some former period. ]"
eat self did :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:67:5] [Wira]
"[Wari déinġidyillingirri]"
diyi-ngi-dyili-nGiri =
"[10. [Future-perfect, I will have done: JS]]"
eat xxx self will :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:67:6.51] [Wira]
giwa-l-ngari-n =
"Def. past (b) [6.  Pluperfect, had been or done—before some event. ]"
cook a.m. did :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:67:15.1] [Wira]
da-li-ngi-dyili-giri =
"[7.  Inceptive-future, I am going to or shall, be or do—now.  ]"
eat xxx self will :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:67:6.2] [Wira]
ya-ngari-yawa-giri =
"Def. fut. [8. Future-definite, I am going to or shall, be or do—tomorrow morning. ]"
go a.m. sequence will :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:67:16.2] [Wira]
These (except for the first) are taken from:
Threlkeld, Lancelot Edward. 1892. An Australian language as spoken by the Awabakal, the people of Awaba or Lake Macquarie (near Newcastle, New South Wales) being an account of their language, traditions and customs / by L.E. Threlkeld; re-arranged, condensed and edited with an appendix by John Fraser. Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer.
No direct translations were provided, the reader being left to deduce the actual meanings from the accompanying general grammatical description. 
In the second, ‘respelt’, column the structure of the verb form is revealed through the use of hyphens. In the various of the examples, after the stem, the following suffixes can be seen:

a stem-forming suffix, perhaps also a transitiviser
-dyili-ngari / -ngari-yawa
derivational suffixes
-n / -ni / nyi [past] / -giri / nGiri [future]
tense markers
In the two examples below, after the derivational suffix ‘-mambi’ (permit), there is in each case what has been termed above a ‘status suffix’. This is ‘-ra’.

bandi-mambi-ra =
"to let fall"
drop permit  :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:76:28] [Wira]
yana-mambi-ra =
"to let go"
go permit :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:108:16] [Wira]
In the Wiradhuri language ‘status suffixes’ may also take the form of:
-ra -na -nga -nya
It is tempting to class these as ‘conjugations’, but that view is not held here. Instead it is thought that each of these suffixes conveyed a specific shade of meaning. In the absence of direct guidance by the writers and recorders of the nineteenth century, one can only speculate, and this is here attempted:
-ra: an active or vigorous shade of meaning
-na ?
-nga more passive; simply being or happening
-nya perhaps a recording variant of -nya
Examples of these status suffixes follow (see especially the second column):

babi-ra =
"to sing"
sing  [Conj. 5]:
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:69:34] [Wira]
bada-ra =
"to bite"
bite  :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:69:49] [Wira]
nalga-ra =
"To shine"
shine  :
SofM 18991021 [154.1 Shropshire-Wooragurie] [:154.1:16] [Wira]
nga-na =
see  :
KAOL Ridley [WIRA] [:128:22.2] [Wira]
waga-na =
"to dance"
dance  :
HALE pace WATSON [:506:15] [Wira]
wara-na =
"to stand"
stand  :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:105:8] [Wira]
gabi-nga =
"to begin"
begin :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:65:2.1] [Wira]
gambi-nga =
"to wash, to bathe."
wash  :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:88:39] [Wira]
magi-nga =
"to close the eyes."
blind be :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:99:22] [Wira]
ngu-nga =
give  :
Mathews WIRA 1904 [:302:65] [Wira]
gabi-nya =
"to begin fighting; to begin."
begin  fighting:
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:95:28.1] [Wira]
bundi-nya =
fall  :
Mathews WIRA 1904 [:302:58] [Wira]
wi-nya =
"to sit"
sit  :
HALE pace WATSON [:509:7] [Wira]
Are single suffixes found directly after the stem ‘status suffixes’ of ‘stem-forming suffixes’?
In the following table, -ba and -ma do not appear to be ‘status suffixes’ but rather stem-forming suffixes, indicating ‘do’ and ‘make’:

wara-ba =
"To make a noise."
noise make :
SofM 19030123 [198 Richards] [:200.1:19] [Wira]
"Worr-raa’ ba"
warA-ba =
"Screaming. ..."
scream  :
SofM 19020826 [114 Richards] [:118.2:30] [Wira]
ya-ba =
"To Speak"
speak  :
SofM 18991121 [192.1 Richardson-WIRA] [:193.1:33] [Wira]
bara-ma =
"To hold"
hold  :
SofM 18991021 [154.2: Kable/Coe-Cowra] [:154.2:93] [Wira]
"“Gor’ ra-ma,’"
gara-ma =
"i.e., to cough or expectorate."
cough  :
SofM 19030123 [198 Richards] [:198.2:15] [Wira]
Likewise, the same question arises with the suffixes -da, -dya and -la. In fact, in the following cases (and in other instances like them), these are possibly imperatives rather than either ‘status’ or ‘stem-forming suffixes’:

bunba-Da =
"To run"
run  :
SofM 18991021 [154.2: Kable/Coe-Cowra] [:154.2:102] [Wira]
wilba-Da =
whistle  :
Mathews WIRA 1904 [:302:120] [Wira]
wara-Da =
"Wait for me"
wait  :
SofM 19010422 [44 Thomas–Wiraiari] [:45.3:6] [Wira]
banga-dya =
cut  :
Mathews WIRA 1904 [:302:83] [Wira]
yawi-dya =
swim  :
Mathews WIRA 1904 [:302:107] [Wira]
"[Mabidya! Mabidya! Nganha-dhu bubay yala-ngidyal.]"
mabi-dya =
"[Stay, stay, that I may have a little conversation.]"
sit  :
Hale WIRA (Grant, Rudder) [:92:10.1] [Wira]
buma-la =
"beat thou"
beat IMP! :
Günther WIRA (Fraser) [:60:32.1] [Wira]
widyi-la =
"To drink"
drink  :
SofM 18960810 [12.3: JM-Wooradgerry] [:12.3:2] [Wira]
ngana-la =
think  :
Mathews WIRA 1904 [:302:63] [Wira]
As mentioned above, in addition to verbal suffixes, in some languages there may also be ‘bound’ pronouns affixed to verbs. So it is that in the following two examples, after ‘-giri’ (future tense marker), bound pronouns can be seen for ‘I’, ‘him’ and ‘thee’:

"Boom-mol—gee’ ree—joo—na"
buma-l-giri-dyu-na =
"I will hit him. ..."
beat will I him:
SofM 19020826 [114 Richards] [:115.1:13] [Wira]
"Bod’ dthal—gee’ ree—n(y)al"
baDa-l-giri-nyal =
"Will bite you. Done in you will do in bite."
bite will thee:
SofM 19020826 [114 Richards] [:114.3:6] [Wira]
These are:
-dyu-na ‘I him’ [1sgNOM, 2sgACC]
-nyal ‘me’ [1sgACC]
To show that the same or similar structures occur in other languages, various examples from Sydney are presented in the following table:

"Ta-boa mil-li-jow"
dabawa-mi-li-dya-wu =
"Painted white"
white make self did I:
Anon (c) [c:18:13] [BB]
manya-ma-nga-dyi-mi-nga =
"You made me start"
start  make someone did thou me:
Dawes (b) [b:18:9] [BB]
"˚ Píyibaouwinga ˚"
bayi-ba-wi-nga =
"˚ They will beat me. ˚"
beat will they-all me:
Dawes (b) [b:40:43] [BB]
dyara-ba-ba-wi-nya =
"I will throw it (water) over you"
distress  will I thee:
Dawes (b) [b:20:16] [BB]
ma-baya-dyi-mi =
"You speak an unknown language"
bad-speak did thou:
Dawes (b) [b:18:10] [BB]
"P. Piabuniwínya"
baya-buni-wi-nya =
"I did not speak to you"
speak lacking I thee:
Dawes (b) [b:34:1.1] [BB]
These examples show:
—SFX: -mi, -ma, -ba
TENSE MARKERS: -dya/-dyi (past); -ba (future)
BOUND PRONOUNS -wu (I); -mi (thou); -nga (me; -wi (they-all); -nya (thee)
Monday 26 March 2012

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