The Pages of The Gray Wizard
9.0 auxiliary verb inflections
The tense of a predicate in ámman îar is expressed by formative suffixes on the auxiliary verb. These inflections communicate information about the time frame in which something exists or occurs. In this sense, tense is deictic. Present time stands at the center of the ámman iar tense system; events that took place before present time are marked with the Past Tense marker; events that are ongoing at the present or somehow include the present are marked with the Present Tense marker; and events that have not yet taken place are marked with the Future Tense marker.
The Present Tense (-as) refers to verbal actions that are ongoing at the present or somehow include the present.
erthulel elas I am coming. (ner) erthulel el -as . :PRES. (I ) come do .
The Past Tense (-eth) refers to events that took place before present time.
erthulel életh I came. (ner) erthulel el- -eth . :PAST. (I ) come di .
9.1.3 future tense
The Future Tense (-dil) refers to events that have not yet taken place.
erthulel eldil I will come. (ner) erthulel el- -dil. :FUT. (I ) come will .
Aspect in ámman îar is expressed by formative infixes on the auxiliary verb. While aspect refers to time in various ways, it goes beyond communicating information about the linear time frame determined by tense.
9.2.1 definite aspect
The Definite Aspect is the unmarked form and refers to verbal action taking place within a period or at a point in time.
erthulel elas I am coming. (ner)erthulel el -0 -as. :DEF . (I )come am .
9.2.2 perfective aspect
The Perfective Aspect (-i-) is used to communicate an event that is completed.
erthulel elîeth I have come. (I have arrived) (ner) erthulel el- -i -eth. :PERF . (I ) come have .
9.2.3 progressive aspect
The Progressive Aspect (-ir-) is used to communicate ongoing and incomplete events.
erthulel eliras I am coming. (I am on my way) (ner) erthulel el- -ir -as. :PROG . (I ) come am .
9.2.4 habitual aspect
The habitual aspect (-iv-) is used to show the repetition of an action.
erthulel eliveth I used to come. (ner) erthulel el- -iv -eth. :HAB . (I ) come did .
Because of the semantic binding of these two categories, it makes sense to discuss how they interact.
9.3.1 present tense aspects
220.127.116.11 present definite
The Present Definite (-as) refers to verbal action taking place within a period or at a point in time. This form of the verb is only used when the action is definitely being done at the moment and must never be used when there is an implication of the future such as "I am going to come next year".Such statements must use the Future tense in ámman îar.
erthulel elas I am coming. (ner) erthulel el -0 -as . :DEF :PRES. (I ) come am .
18.104.22.168 present habitual
The Present Habitual (-ivas) is used in contexts that imply habitual or recurrent action, apart from time.
der elivas in laisa mastmëar ervathîel What kind of soup do you eat? (as a general preference) der el -iv -as in laisa mastmear ervathîel. :HAB :PRES . you habitually what soup eat .
der elas in laisa mastmëar ervathîel What kind of soup are you eating? (now) der el -as in laisa mastmear ervathîel. :PRES . you do what soup eat .
22.214.171.124 present perfect
The Present Perfect (-ias) refers to time now past, but in some way connected with the present.
elias i chûaril irsëin ervassîel neldarle nervinthil I bought a new hat this morning (provided the morning is not wholly past) (ner) el -i -as i caril irsein. :PERF :PRES . (I ) did hat new . ervassîel neldarle nervinthil. buy this morning .
életh i chûaril irsëin ervassîel neldarle nervinthil I bought a new hat this morning (if purchase is reported in the evening) (ner) el -0 -eth i caril irsein. :DEF :PAST . (I ) did hat new . ervassîel neldarle nervinthil. buy this morning .
126.96.36.199 present progressive
The Present Progressive (-iras) form is used to indicate that the action of the verb is continuing in the present.
erthulel eliras I am coming. (I am on my way) (ner) erthulel el- -ir -as . :PROG :PRES. (I ) come am .
9.3.2 past tense aspects
188.8.131.52 past definite
The Past Definite (-eth) refers to a time wholly past at the moment of utterance.
erthulel életh I came. (ner) erthulel el- -0 -eth . :DEF :PAST. (I ) come did .
184.108.40.206 past habitual
The Past Habitual (-iveth) is used to express the "historical present". This form is much used in narrative to make past events more vivid.
erûe eliveth anir ainur erechûelmon Eru "creates" the Ainur. erue el -iv -eth anir ainur erechûelmon. :HAB :PAST . Eru does the Ainur create .
220.127.116.11 past perfect
The Past Perfect form (-ieth) represents a past action or state as completed at or before a certain past time of reference. This tense/aspect must always be used with state verbs.
erthulel elîeth I have come. (I have arrived) (ner) erthulel el- -i -eth . :PERF :PAST. (I ) come have .
18.104.22.168 past progressive
The Past Progressive form (-ireth) is used to indicate a continuous action in the past.
erthulel elireth I was coming. (I was on my way) (ner) erthulel el- -ir -eth . :PROG :PAST. (I ) come was .
9.3.3 future tense aspects
22.214.171.124 future definite
The Future Definite (-dil) expresses verbal activity in the future.
erthulel eldil I will come. (ner) erthulel el- -0 -dil. :DEF :FUT. (I ) come will .
This tense must always be used in ámman îar where the future is implied, thus:
erthulel enûarle eldil I am coming tomorrow. I will be coming tomorrow. (ner) erthulel enûarle el- -0 -dil. :DEF :FUT. (I ) come tomorrow will .
126.96.36.199 future habitual
The Future Habitual (-ivdil) is used as an irrealis tense to express impossible or improbable future events.
ercenîel omminon elivdil in ámman îar adhinle When everyone speaks ámman îar. ercenîel omminne el- -iv -dil in amman îar adhinle . :HAB :FUT . speak everyone will amman îar after time.
188.8.131.52 future perfect
The Future Perfect (-idil) form represents an action or state that will be completed at or before a certain time in the future.
erthulel adûialle elidil I shall have come by evening. (ner) erthulel adûialle el- -i -dil. :PERF :FUT. (I ) come evening shall have .
184.108.40.206 future progressive
The Future Progressive (-irdhil) form is used to indicate a continuous action in the future.
erthulel elirdhil I shall be coming. (I will be on my way) (ner) erthulel el- -ir -dil. :PROG :FUT. (I ) come will .
9.4 semantic aspectuals
ámman îar predicates optionally may be inflected using one of the following Semantic Aspectuals that qualify the state or event represented by the verb.
9.4.1 relative aspectual
This inflection is best understood by reviewing the following pairs of sentences.
NONRELATIVE eni vastmëar arunarth The soup is hot. (it has reached its intended temperature - ready to serve) (el -0 -ieth) eni mastmear 0- arunarth. (is ) the soup hot .
RELATIVE elcorîeth eni vastmëar arunarth The soup is hot. (it is hot relative to some norm) el -cor -ieth eni mastmear 0- arunarth. :REL . is relatively the soup hot .
NONRELATIVE eliras eni vastmëar arunar The soup is heating. (it is approaching its intended temperature) el -0 -iras eni mastmear 0- arunar. is -ing the soup hot .
RELATIVE elcoriras eni vastmëar arunar The soup is heating. (it is getting hotter relative to some norm) el -cor -iras eni mastmear 0- arunar. :REL . is relatively the soup hot .
NONRELATIVE i galdránne eliras eni vastmëar arunon Galdor is heating the soup. (he is raising the temperature of the soup toward the goal of servability) i galdranne el -0 -iras eni mastmear 0- arunon. Galdor is -ing the soup hot .
RELATIVE i galdránne elcoriras eni vastmëar arunon Galdor is heating the soup. (he is raising the temperature of the soup - making it hotter) i galdranne el -cor -iras eni mastmear 0- arunon. :REL . Galdor is relatively -ing the soup hot .
A verb with the transitory qualifier is one that represents a single event like a stage direction. A generic qualifier represents a general statement.
TRANSITORY elsilas ir ægnoran erlindhel ægnoran sings. (stage direction) el -sil -as ir ægnoran erlindhel. :TRANS . does ægnor sing .
GENERIC elharivas ir ægnoran erlindhel ægnoran sings. (ægnoran is a singer) el -har -iv -as ir ægnoran erlindhel. :GEN :HAB . does ægnor sing .
In addition to the Indicative or Assertive forms described above, ámman îar predicates can be inflected for a large number of moods. The language distinguishes two major categories of modality: Epistemic Modality that is concerned with matters of knowledge or belief and Deontic Modality that is concerned with the necessity or possibility of acts.
9.5.1 epistemic modality
Epistemic Modality encompasses all the ways in which speakers indicate their degree of commitment to the truth of a given proposition. These fall into two further subcategories: Judgmentals that indicate opinions that involve the notions of possibility and necessity and Evidentials that indicate the kind of evidence the speaker has.
220.127.116.11 epistemic judgmentals
Besides assertion, it is possible to make two kinds of epistemic judgments in ámman îar, a "weak" one (Speculative/Possibility) and a "strong" one (Deductive/Necessity).
The simplest form of epistemic modality is the assertion. Assertions represent the unmarked modal form of the verb.
alan erthulel eliras He is coming. alan erthulel el -iras. ASS: . He come is .
The weak judgment is characterized by what is epistemicly possible or a speculation about the event.
alan erthulel esiras He may be coming. (It is possible that he is coming) alan erthulel es -iras. SPEC: . he come may .
The strong judgment is characterized by what is epistemically necessary or a deduction about the event.
alan erthulel eriras He must be coming. (it is necessary that he is coming) alan erthulel er -iras. DED: . he come must be .
18.104.22.168 epistemic evidentials
Evidentials indicate the kind of evidence the speaker has for believing the utterance. Epistemic Evidentials include hearsay evidence (Quotative/Hearsay) and evidence of the senses (Sensitive).
The Quotative/Hearsay modality is used when the speaker"s evidence is based on secondhand information.
alan erthulel iriras He is said to be coming. alan erthulel ir -iras. QUOT: . he come said to be.
When the speaker"s evidence is based on firsthand sensory information, one of the sensory modalities should be used. These include Visual, Auditory, Olfactory, and Tactile modalities.
alan erthulel hemme iliras He is seen to be coming. alan erthulel hen -me il- -iras . :ADVMAN SENS: . he come by eye sensed to be.
alan erthulel laudirve iliras He is heard to be coming. alan erthulel laudir -me il- -iras . :ADVMAN SENS: . he come by ear sensed to be.
alan erthulel faustirve iliras ?He is smelled to be coming. alan erthulel faustir -me il- -iras . :ADVMAN SENS: >. he come by nose sensed to be.
alan erthulel camme iliras ?He is felt to be coming. alan erthulel cam -me il- -iras . :ADVMAN SENS: . he come by hand sensed to be.
NOTE: This last example is somewhat artificial. The Tactile modality can only be used when the event is physically experienced and cannot be used metaphorically as the example implies. This expression would be valid, for example, in the case where the speaker feels the vibrations of his approach.
9.5.2 deontic modality
Deontic modality is characterized by expressions containing an element of will involving language and potential action used to order, promise, or place an obligation on someone.
22.214.171.124 deontic directives
Directives are utterances used to initiate action in which the speaker tries to get someone else to behave in a particular manner. Since these are performative, they are always used with future tense verbs, since only the future can be changed or affected as a result of them being expressed. Besides the imperative, there are two kinds of deontic directives in ámman îar, a "weak" one (Permissive/Possibility) and a "strong" one (Obligative/Necessity).
Unlike English where it is expressed as a mood marker, the Imperative is expressed within the modal system in ámman îar.
der erthulel tardhil Come! der erthulel tar -dil. 2PERS IMP: . you come will .
Since the imperative must always be used with a 2nd Person referent as the S-function argument, the pronominal reference (der) usually is omitted. Similarly, since the imperative must always be used with an active future tense, the auxiliary verb (tardhil) usually is omitted.
erthulel Come! (der ) erthulel (tar -dil). (2PERS) (IMP: ). (you ) come (will ).
An alternative form can also be found that drops the valency and class markers on the lexical verb.
erthul Come! (der ) erthul (-el) (tar -dil). (2PERS) (IMP: ). (you ) come (will ).
This latter form, however, is considered a very abrupt form and should not be used indiscriminately.
The weak directive is characterized by what is deontically possible or permitted.
alan erthulel tandil He may come. (he has permission to come) alan erthulel tan -dil. PERM: . He come may .
The strong directive is characterized by what is deontically necessary or obligatory.
alan erthulel tordhil He must come. (it is obligatory that he come) alan erthulel tor -dil. OBLIG: . He come must .
The Commissive Modality is used when the speaker commits him/herself to an action.
erthulel taldil I shall come. (ner) erthulel tal -dil. PERM: . He come may .
126.96.36.199 deontic volitives
Volitives express hopes (Optative), wishes (Desiderative) and urgings (Hortative).
The Optative Modality is used for hopes.
norivdil en alan cöirarth pernille May he still be alive. nor -iv -dil en alan coirarth pernille. OPT: :HAB :FUT . may he live still .
The Desiderative Modality is used to express wishes.
naldil en alan cöirarth pernille Would that he were still alive. nal -dil en alan coirarth pernille. DES: :FUT . would he live still .
The Hortative Modality is used to express urging.
der erthulel nastil Do come! der erthulel nas -dil. 2PERS HORT: . you come do .
Like the imperative, the hortative must always be used with a 2nd Person referent as the S-function argument of the predication, the pronominal reference may be and usually is omitted.
erthulel nastil Do come! (der ) erthulel nas -dil. (2PERS) HORT: . (you ) come do .
The scope of negation in ámman îar is indicated in different ways. To negate an entire proposition, the auxiliary verb is prefixed with the negative formative u-/û-.
alan erthulel ûesiras He may not be coming. (It is possible that he is not coming) alan erthulel u- esiras. NEG: . he come not may .
To negate the modality of a proposition, the sentential negative or must initiate the sentence.
or alan erthulel esiras He can not be coming. (It is not possible that he is coming) or alan erthulel esiras. NEG . not he come may .