Conlangs of a Remembrancer

The Speech of Other Worlds

Shshi Verbs, Including Conjugations of To Speak & To Be

 General  Remarks on Shshi Verbs

The verb structure of Shshi is simple and clean.  There are eight basic tenses (present, past, future, three perfect tenses, and two past future tenses).
There is no familiar form of 2nd person.
There is no passive voice.
There are indicative, imperative, and subjunctive moods.
There are no participles. Adjectives and nouns are made from verbs in other ways, e.g., da’bao| (“defeated”).
The infinitive is used for imperative; the verb is initial and is bracketed by ¡ _!
The infinitive determinative is -o.  There are no exceptions.  The infinitive is the base word for many constructions.  For example, isto| means “to hurt or to give pain”; ist’zi| means “pain” (noun); da’ist| means “hurt, pained, hurting” (adj.); ist’il| means “in pain or pained” (adv.)
The perfect infinitive, to have + root, begins o’.

 All verbs are regular, except “to be” and “to have.”  The pronoun is enunciated in a combined form with the verb, separated from the true verb by an apostrophe.  This pronominal determinative is retained in the third person when the sentence contains a nominal subject, except with certain forms of “to be.”  There are four third person forms (this will be discussed further in the “Conjugation of To Be” and in the “Pronoun” section).      

 There is no progressive form of verbs, e.g., “I am speaking to you” or “The Warrior is running” are expressed simply as “I speak to you” (sho’gano| ya| bei’a| ||) or “The Warrior runs” (pai’zei| fa’thapo| ||)

There is no true emphatic form of verbs as such in English, “I do speak.” Sometimes an inversion is used for emphasis,  e.g., “I do speak” might be expressed: gano’sho| || (“Speak!”)

Auxiliary verbs

Future  and perfect tenses (including past future, i.e., conditional) are formed by inserting determinatives into the infinitive rather than by using auxiliary verbs.  “To be able” is a special case (see below).  But modal auxiliaries do exist as what I’m calling positionally unfixed (floating) adverbial constructions. 

Can, could
Expressed by using forms of the infinitive “to be able” (paho|) + an infinitive.
I can [am able to] eat wood: sho’paho|⇅ tailo| ↻ twa’zi| ||
They could [i.e., were able to] eat that fungus, although it tasted bad: shsho’shpahot| ⇅ tailo| ↻ wi| ku’o| a’weit| fai’javot| ↳ wei’thru| ||

May, might: fro|
Expressing permission or possibility:
You may enter now (literally, you enter may now): bei’vito| fro| nei| || [fro| could also be placed at the beginning of the sentence or at the end]
Expressing wish (takes subjunctive):
I wish that you may conquer: sho’laio| ↻ tu| bei’ei’bao| fro| ||
May you conquer!: bei’ei’bao| fro|>||
May the mountains cry joy to the Sky-Mother! (a sentence you’ll find in one of the later volumes of the Ki’shto’ba Series): shkwai’mi| ⇆ shfai’ei’raito| fro| ↻ din’zi| ya| prai’na’tu’ta|>||
Might as past tense
She decreed that Alates might [were permitted to] gaze upon the stars: ta’tasot| ↻ tu| shyo’a’zei| ⇆  shfa’jul’teiot| fro| ya| shprai’mo’zi| ||
An idiomatic construction:
Let there be: ¡sho|! fro|>
Let there be single combat!: ¡sho|! fro|> ↻ pai’o’kwi’zi| ||

Must, Have to (expressing necessity): thi|
It must not be (or, This must not be) (literally, not it be must): wei| fa’she| thi| ||
[Since thi| floats, the sentence could also be expressed thi| wei| fa’she| || or wei| thi| fa’she| ||
You must go: bei’trio| thi| ||
She must obey me: thi| ta’bato|↻ sho’a| ||
It does not have to be!: fa’she| wei| thi|>||
It must [has to] come: fa’she| thi| ⇅ krovo| || [i.e., “to have to be” equals sho| thi| + infinitive]

Should, ought to (expressing obligation, propriety, or likelihood): ha|
You ought to [should] go: bei’trio| ha| ||
She ought to {should] obey me: ha| ta’bato| ↻ sho’a| ||
A strong Warrior ought to live long: da’lo| pai’zei|⇆ fash| ha| ov’il| || [note that the verb “to be” (sho|) also means “to exist” or “to live,” so the sentence reads literally: “Strong Warrior ought to exist longly.]”

              Summary of Tenses of Regular Verbs in 1st Pers. Sing.

Present (I speak, I am speaking):  sho’gano|
Past (I spoke):  sho’ganot|
Future (I will speak):  sho’u’gano|
Present perfect (I have spoken):  sho’o’gano|
Past  perfect (I had spoken):  sho’o’ganot|
Future perfect (I will have spoken):  sho’o’u’gano|
Past future (I would speak):  sho’i’u’gano|
Past future perfect (I would have spoken):  sho’i’o’gano|

Subjunctive, present and past ([If] I speak, Were I to speak):  sho’ei’gano|
Subjunctive, past perfect ([If] I had spoken, Had I spoken):  sho’ei’o’ganot|

Imperative (Speak!):  ¡gano|!

Conjugation of a Regular Verb: gano| (to speak)

       The infinitive forms the root.  The pronoun rather than an inflection indicates the person. With a 3rd person subject other than a pronoun, RETAIN the pronoun after the subject, e.g., “dead one who [it] speaks” is weio’zei| vi| fa’gano| ||

       The neuter personal is used for individuals who are neuter, such as Warriors and Workers; Alates have recognizable sex and so are addressed by masculine and feminine forms.

Present Tense

                                    Singular                                  Plural
1st person                  sho’gano| (I speak)                 shsho’gano| (we speak)
2nd person                 bei’gano |(you speak)             shbei’gano| (you [pl.] speak)
3rd person:
Neuter personal           fa’gano| (it speaks)                 *shfa’gano| (they speak)
Neuter things               fai’gano| (it speaks)                 shfai’gano| (they speak)
  Masculine                    ma’gano| (he speaks               shma’gano| (they [m.] speak)  Feminine                     ta’gano |(she speaks)              shta’gano| (they [f.] speak)

  *Use for collective personal, things, masc., fem., in any combination

Past tense

 Identical to above, with addition of past tense determinative -t to end of root, e.g., I spoke:  sho’ganot|; they spoke: shfa’ganot|.

Future tense

 Insert -u- between pronoun and root of present tense forms, e.g., I will speak: sho’u’gano|; you will speak: bei’u’gano|, The King will speak: na’sha’ma| ma’u’gano| ||  The stone will speak: ka’zi| fai’u’gano| ||   The Warriors will speak:  shpai’zei| shfa’u’gano| ||

Perfect Tenses

The perfect infinitive, to have spoken, is o’gano|

Present Perfect
Insert -o- between pronoun and present tense root

                            Singular                                      Plural
1st person         sho’o’gano| (I have spoken)        shsho’o’gano| (we have spoken)
2nd person        
bei’o’gano| (you have spoken)    shbei’o’gano| (you [pl.] have … )
3rd person:
Neuter pers.       fa’o’gano| (it has spoken)            shfa’o’gano| (they have spoken)
Neuter things     fai’o’gano| (it has spoken)            shfai’o’gano| (they have spoken)
Masculine          ma’o’gano| (he has spoken)         shma’o’gano| (they [m.] have … )
Feminine           ta’o’gano| (she has spoken)         shta’o’gano| (they [f.] have … )

Past Perfect
Insert -o- between pronoun and past tense root, e.g., you had spoken:  bei’o’ganot|; they (masc.) had spoken:  shma’o’ganot|

Future Perfect:
Insert -o’u- between pronoun and present tense root, e.g., it will have spoken:  fa’o’u’gano|; you (pl.) will have spoken:  shbei’o’u’gano|

 Conjugation of Irregular Verb: sho| (to be)

Present tense

                                       Singular                            Plural
1st person                     sho| (I am)                         shsho| (we are)
2nd person                    bei’sha |(you are)              bei’shsha| (you [pl.] are)
3rd person:
Neuter personal              fash| (it is)                         *shfash| (they are)
Neuter things                  fa’she| (it is)                       shfa’she| (they are)
Neuter things
(specified subject)          she| ([it] is)                         shshe|
 ([they] are)Masculine                       ma’she| (he is)                   ma’shshe| (they are [masc.])Feminine                        ta’she| (she is)                    a’shshe| (they are [fem.])

*Use for collective personal, things, masc., fem., in any combination.


1st person: sho| is both the pronoun “I” and the 1st person singular of “to be.”
 eat fungus: sho’tailo| wi| ||
I am a Warrior: sho| pai’zei| ||

2nd person: needs no explanation
You are a Warrior:  bei’sha| pai’zei| ||

3rd person neuter personal:  a contracted form, used with both nominal and pronominal subjects.
The Warrior is strong:  pai’zei| fash| da’lo| ||
It [the Warrior] is strong:  fash| da’lo| ||

3rd person neuter things: Has two forms.  When a noun subject is specified, she| is used without a pronoun attached.

It [the stone] is strong:  fa’she| da’lo| ||

The stone is strong: ka’zi|⇄ she| da’lo| ||

3rd person masc. and fem.: The rule of retaining the pronoun after the subject is applied.
She is Kwi’ga’ga’tei:  ta’she| kwi’ga’ga’tei’ze| ||
The Seer is Kwi’ga’ga’tei:  tei’zei|⇄ ta’she| kwi’ga’ga’tei’ze| ||

Past tense

The same rules apply.

I was, we were:  shot|, shshot|
You were [sing. & pl]: bei’shat| bei’shshat|
It was, they were (neut. pers.):  fasht|, shfasht|
It was, they were (neut. things): fa’shet| OR shet|; shfa’shet| OR shshet|
He was, they were (masc.): ma’shet|, ma’shshet|
She was, they were (fem.): ta’shet|, ta’shshet|

Future tense 

Note irregularities in 1st and 3rd person neuters.

I will be, we will be:  sho’u|, shsho’u|
You [sing. & pl]: bei’u’sha|, bei’u’shsha|
It will be, they will be (neut. pers.):  fash’u|, shfash’u|
It will be, they will be (neut. things): fa’u’she| OR u’she|; shfa’u’she| OR u’shshe|
He will be, they will be (masc.): ma’u’she|, ma’u’shshe|
She will be, they will be (fem.): ta’u’she|, ta’u’shshe|

Examples of 1st and 3rd person:
I will be an imago [adult] soon.  sho’u|lis’zei| gli’il| ||
It [the new fortress] will be large.  fa’u’she| da’no| ||
The new fortress will be large.  da’ziv| cha| ⇄ u’she| da’no| ||

 Perfect Tense

The perfect infinitive, “to have been,” is o’sho|.

 Present Perfect
This is exactly the same as the future tense in structure, except where the future tense has a “u,” the present perfect has an “o”:

I have been, we have been: sho’o|, shsho’o|
You have been [sing. & pl.]: bei’o’sha|, bei’o’shsha|
It has been, they have been (neut. pers.): fash’o|, shfash’o|
It has been, they have been (neut. things): fa’o’she| OR o’she|; shfa’o’she| OR o’shshe|
He has been, they have been (masc.): ma’o’she|, ma’o’shshe|
She has been, they have been (fem.): ta’o’she|, ta’o’shshe|

Past Perfect
Irregularities in 1st person and in 3rd person neuter are a little different.

I had been, we had been: sho’ot|, shsho’ot|
You had been [sing. & pl.]: bei’o’shat|, bei’o’shshat|
It had been, they had been (neut. pers.): fash’ot|, shfash’ot|
It had been, they had been (neut. things): fa’o’shet| OR she’ot|; shfa’o’shet| OR shshe’ot|
He had been, they had been (masc.): ma’o’shet|, ma’o’shshet|
She had been, they had been (fem.): ta’o’shet|, ta’o’shshet|

Future Perfect

Irregularities revert to Present Perfect form.

I will have been, we will have been: sho’o’u|, shsho’o’u|
You will have been [sing. & pl.]: bei’o’u’sha|, bei’o’u’shsha|
It will have been, they will have been (neut. pers.): fash’o’u|, shfash’o’u|
It will have been, they will have been (neut. things): fa’o’u’she| OR o’u’she|;
hfa’o’u’she| OR o’u’she|
He will have been, they will have been (masc.): ma’o’u’she|, ma’o’u’shshe|
She will have been, they will have been (fem.): ta’o’u’she|, ta’o’u’shshe|




Leave a Reply