CHAPTER 7: VERB MORPHOLOGY (non-finite forms)

1. 'Participles'

1.1 Present participle

1.1.1 intransitive verbs

2. Gerunds and infinitives

2.1 Gerunds

2.2 Other non-finite forms: supine and infinitive

2.3 Other (intermediate) non-finite forms with modal nuances

2.4 Constructions with 'true' auxiliaries

3. Action Nominalizations

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This chapter deals with non-finite forms, specifically:

1. 'Participles'

(Skorik I:345-386) The term 'participle' is only appropriately applied to the passive participle in -jo. I retain the term (in scare quotes) for the -l?- form because it translates Skorik's imja prichastie and because there's no obviously better alternative.

1.1 Present participle

Marker -l?-, in Abs. Case: -l?yn (sg.), -l?yt (pl.).

1.1.1 intransitive verbs


iwini- 'hunt'

iwini-l?yn 'one who hunts, is hunting, hunter'

?ytt?- 'dog'

?ytt?y-l?yn 'one who has dogs, dog-owner'

kynte- 'lucky' (adj. form: ny-kynte-qin)

kynte-l?yn 'one who is lucky'

These answer the following questions:

reqyl?yn 'what doing?'

iwinil?yn 'hunting'

meñin 'who?'

iwinil?yn 'a hunter'

reqyl?yn 'what having?'

?yttyyl?yn 'having dog(s)'

mikyl?yn 'who having?'

ekkel?yn 'having son(s)'

miñkyri wal?yn '(lit.) how being?'

kyntel?yn 'lucky'

Nominal properties

ytt?yl?-in ekyk 'the son of him who owns dogs'

pelaty-l?-e-gym 'I am remaining'

tekicgy-l?-y-muri 'we have meat (we are meat-having)'

iny-l?-y-turi 'you are young'




'the one who is to be chief'




'the one who should sing'




'the one who should have deer'

Verbal properties


ytr?ec gym amqyn?yco migcirety-l?-i-gym


only I continually work


Umky-gynrity-l?yn ynpynacgyn


wood-conserve-PT old-man


gym igyr tañ-pera-awer?y-l?-e-gym


I today very-fine-clothes-PT


'Today I have very fine clothes.'


pynny-wak?otwa-l?yn ñinqej

pynnety wak?otwal?yn

gloomy-sitting boy

gloomily sitting

Verbal participles are always intransitive. Those derived from transitives appear in antipassive, or in special passive form. (Cf. Comrie, 1979). If object is focussed, it appears in oblique case, otherwise it is incorporated:


ine-gynrity-l?yn qaa-k vs. qaa-gynrety-l?yn


AP-guard-PT deer-LOC


'the one guarding the reindeer'

The antipassive form with -tku- is more general, and can't be doubled by oblique object.

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2. Gerunds and infinitives

2.1 Gerunds

(II:139) Very numerous, formed primarily from verb stem plus (nominal) case endings (though other endings are also found). Have essentially adverbial function.

Verbal properties:

Nominal properties:



-ma 'simultaneous action, background' (Cf. Com. II)


ñewysqetti megceran-ma tamenñyrak amqyn?yco nytip?ejñyqinet


womenwork-MA in-workshop always sing


'The women always sing while they work in the workshop.'


ga-...-ma 'simultaneous action'. (Cf. Com. II)


ytri ga-melgerytko-ma nypenratkoqinet


they GA-shoot-MA attacked


'They attacked shooting.'


-gty/ety 'simultaneous or prior action (not just background)' (Cf. All.)


Pela-gty ñelwyl ynan l?unin maglal?yn


leave-GTy herd he saw dog-team


'Leaving the herd he saw the dog-team'


-k ( infinitive!) 'prior action' (Cf. Loc.)


ytlyge kur-yk jaral?ety qewiir?yt petle ekwetg?i tumyk reen


father buy-K for-home presents soon left friends with


'Having bought presents for the people at home, Father left with his friends'


-(i)neñu 'directly prior action'


Cawcywat pykir-ineñu nymnymyk qytg?ek welytqoragty


deer-herders arrive-INEñU village-LOC went-to shop.


'As soon as the reindeer-herders arrived in the village they went to the shop.'


-jpy/gypy/epy 'reason' (cf. Abl.)


?aacek opcatko-jpy ermekw?i


youth weight-lifting-JPy grew-strong.


'By weight-lifting, the youth grew strong'


-te 'means' (Cf. Instr.)


tymñetwa-ta qyrym plekyt qyplytkugynet


lazing-TA not boots you-will-finish


'You won't finish those boots by lazing around.'


-macy 'concessive'


t?yl-macy ytlon iwinig?i.


be-ill-MACy he went-hunting


'Although he was ill he went hunting.'

With imperative or conditional means something like 'after all':


qewjañño-macy eqylpe qy-ragty-ge


you-begin-to-freeze-MACy quickly go-home-IMPER.


'You're beginning to freeze, so go home at once.'

[Cf. English use of 'since']


emre-...-ñe (amra-...-ña) 'purpose' (purely adverbial function, ct. supine, below).


?aacek ir?ytwyg?i amra-penry-ña tejkewtumgyn


youth removed-coat EMRE-attack- E sparring partner


'The youth took off his coat, intending to attack his sparring partner.'

Syntactic properties: all (except 9) can have their own (overt) subjects (contrast English gerunds), case marked (Erg./Abs.) like finite clause subjects. (Cf. finite adverbial clauses). Exception: purposives (emre-...-ñe) usually require PRO subject, presumably for semantic reasons.



qlawylte ?ytwytko-ma ñewysetti nymigciretqinet añqacormyk


men hunt-MA women work on-beach


'While the men are hunting, the women are working on the beach.'


ñinqej ajmaw-ety ?ytt?yn kyjekw?i


boy approach-ETy dog awoke


'As the boy approached, the dog woke up'


inini-neñu tirkytir ytlon rekwetg?e waamety.


rise-NEñU sun he will-go to-river


'As soon as the sun rises he will go to the river.'


neneny kytgyntat-gypy ymyl?o tenñytkur?ug?et


child run-GyPy all laughed.


'Because the boy started running, everyone burst out laughing.'


remkyl?yt jylqan-macy ñinqegti qulil?yr?urkyt


guests sleep-MACy children shout


'The kids are yelling even though the guests are asleep.'

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2.2 Other non-finite forms: supine and infinitive


-nwy, supine (purposive clause)


?aacek ir?ytwyg?i penry-nwy tejkewtumgyn


youth removed-coat attack-NWy sparring partner


'The youth removed his coat in order to attack his sparring partner.'

(contrast ex. under 6. above).


-k, infinitive. Functions as sentential complement to following classes of words:

verbs expressing:


gym tytegjeñyrkyn pelat-yk ñargyn


I want to-stay outide


ñewysqetqej nyñyrkylatqen ?urew-yk jorocykojpy


little girl was-shy to-look from-tent


'The little girl was shy of peeping out from the tent.'


ñinqegti moog?at uwicwet-yk nargyn


boys began to-play outside


ytla gagcawyrkyn ñyto-k


mother is-hurrying to-leave


ñinqeje winrennin pycegtywa-k ytlygyn


boy helped to-take-off-shoes father


'The boy helped his father to take off his shoes.'


ewyn cam?am rilgity-k ñotqen wykwycgyn


totally impossible to-lift this boulder


'It is totally impossible to lift this boulder'


emgolgyrgyn ammorgynan wak jarak


boredom only-we sit at-home


'It's boring for us to sit on our own at home.'

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2.3 Other (intermediate) non-finite forms with modal nuances


ge-...-te 'impersonal exhortative' (cf. Com. I.)


g-ejmi-te ?ytt?yn qynwer gyntekw?i


G-take-TE dog else ran-off


'It was necessary to take the dog, or else it would have run off.'


tañ-...-ñ 'possibility'


gatle tañy-lqagnawy-ñ wak?og?e


bird TAñ-shoot-ñ sat


'The bird sat in such a way that it could be shot. (The bird was a sitting target)'

Main clause:


orgoor ymy gynan tañ-tajky-ñ


sledge even you can-make


'Even you can make a sledge'


?aqa-...-ñ 'impossibility'


ynpynacgyn ?aqa-walomy-ñ wetgawyrkyn


old-man ?AQA-understand-ñ speaks


'The old man is speaking in such a way that one can't understand him.'


termec?yñyl?yn genkylwetlin ?aqa-elol?aty-ñ


robber they-tied-up ?AQA-move-ñ


'They tied up the robber so he couldn't move.'

Main clause:


ñotyñken weem ymy elek ?aqa-jery-ñ


that (behind speaker) river even in-summer is-impassable


-gjit 'in accordance with'


ñewysqetqegti ?ejñewy-gjit nyjetqinet


girls call-GJIT come


'The girls come when you call them.'


wyjopca-GJET ninelkyligym yneel?yn


whistling-GJIT I-will-recognise my-brother


'I'll recognise my brother from the fact that he whistles.'


-jgut 'purposive'


gymnan ninegicijgym wykwyqagte ryl?uñety-jgut toryky


I am-collecting pebbles show-JGUT to-you


caketta gitgynin ?ytleñi jopaty-jgot ynan t?ytl?en mirgyn


sister asked younger-brother visit he sick grandfather


'The sister asked her younger brother to come and visit their sick grandfather'


-kin 'for'


tarañ-ken wany ?otcoj gelqyrirlin


build-house-KIN place long-time they-searched-for


'They spent a long time looking for somewhere to build a house'

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2.4 Constructions with 'true' auxiliaries

With gerunds, causatives, negative forms

Gerunds: -te/ta emphasises contrastive sense ('doing X as opposed to Y');

em-...-te/am-...-ta = 'only'

ityk with intransitive verb, rytyk with transitive verb:

tip?enñe-te ityk 'to be specifically singing'

em-tip?ejñe-te ityk 'to be just singing'

gici-te rytyk 'to be specifically collecting'

em-gici-te rytyk 'to be just picking'

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Addendum: examples of transitive gerunds.


ajwe, ga-tajky-ma kupren, j?arat typeñjiwetg?et


Yesterday, GA-make-MA net, very I-became-tired.


'I got very tired yesterday, making a net'

With different subject from matrix. NB this means that non-finite verb form is able to assign (ergative) case to subject position (as well as absolutive to object position).


gymnan ga-lqagnaw-ma, ac?ek cypetg?i


I-ERG GA-shoot-MA duck dived


'As I shot (at it), the duck dived'


muri am-peljaw-a nenenete, nemñolmore


us-ABS AM-leave-(T)A children-ERG, we-pine (for them)


'Because the children leave us, we pine for them'


em-tul?e-te mikyryk raj caat, ?aacek n?enqetqin qaantak


EM-steal-TE who-ERG ever lasso youth not-want go-to-herd


'Because someone stole his lasso, the youth doesn't want to go to the herd'


ynpynacga rytenmaw-a milgerti jep in?e, myl?o jaral?yt n?yjegtelynety


old man-ERG prepare-TA guns already early morning, all family would-be-alive


'Had the old man prepared the guns early in the morning, the whole family would still be alive.'


am-y-lwaw-a elkykyk ?aaceka qejuu, n?ytenñytkug?en ynpynacgyn


AM-not able-(T)A to-recognize youth-ERG fawn-ABS would-laugh old man


'Since the youth wouldn't be able to recognize the fawn, the old man would laugh.'


ñeekkyk ytlyge t?aryñ-a, ytla pynnewyrkyn


daughter-ABS father-ERG shout-at-(T)A, mother got-upset.


'Because father shouted at his daughter, mother got upset.'



ynpynacga tajkyma orgoor, ñinqej ynyk qaca nytwecatwaqen making sledge boy him near stood


'While the old man was making a sledge, the boy was standing next to him'


enene-ma iwinil?yn, ñew?ene ryjagnawnen ytlon


appear-MA hunter, wife met him


'When the hunter appeared, his wife went out to meet him'


wytret-ineñu gekeñyl?yn, ñewysqete ?ewñewnin ?ywequc


appear-GER reindeer.rider woman called husband


'As soon as the reindeer rider appeared, the woman called her husband'


?aaceka pirisqycet-ineñu pojgyn, ?ekyl?yn nywilg?i


youth take-GER spear, enemy stopped


'As soon as the youth picked up his spear the enemy stopped'

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3. Action Nominalizations

(Skorik I:328-330) Formed with suffix -gyrg(-yn)

Action vs. result


Nom. tejñet

AN tajñatgyrgyn







Nom. winret

AN wenratgyrgyn


Especially with denominal verbs:


'work (N)'

megciret 'work (V)'

megceratgyrgyn 'Añ

Completely productive for verbs (Skorik I:329)

Also forms deadjectival nominalizations:


nyketguqin 'powerful'




nyrulqin 'weak'



Sometimes 'blocked' by AN from deadjectival verb:

qerg 'light, bright', nyqergyqin 'adj.'


'be bright'

qergatgyrgyn 'illumination'

Double forms:

celg 'red', nycelgeqin 'adj.': calgygyrgyn 'redness' calgatgyrgyn 'reddening'

Kotjevskaja-Tamm (1993:194-6)



ytlyge ?enqu nine-lgy-qin [ñeekk-in ?alekat-gyrg-yn]


father not.want LV [daughter-POSS marry-NOM]


'Father doesn't want his daughter to get married'


t?enqetyrkyn [t?y-gyrg-ety mimyl]


1sg.not.want [pour-NOM-DAT water.ABS]


'I don't want the water to pour out'



kalewetgak-wyrg-yn Pushkin-yn


read-NOM-ABS Pushkin-POSS


'Pushkin's reading (Pushkin is reading something)'


cejwytkul?-in tym-tko-gyrg-yn [sic: for tymy-tko-gyrg-yn?]


hunter-POSS kill-AP-NOM-ABS


'the killing of the hunter (= (a) hunter kills, (b) someone kills hunter)

Apparently, nominalizations have to be detransitivized in order to combine with objects.







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This page created on 11 July 1999.

Last modified 16 July 1999.