Chapter 8: Analytic constructions

1. Negation

1.1 With nouns

1.2 Clause negation strategies

2. Auxiliaries and light verbs

2.1 General comments

2.2 Use of light verbs ('special' auxiliaries)

2.2.1 With adverbial elements

2.2.2 With negative form of noun ('privative case')

2.3 Analytic constructions with 'general ('true') auxiliaries' ityk, rytyk

2.3.1 With gerunds: aspectual nuances of contrast or exclusiveness

2.3.2 Causative with -jgut form

2.3.3 Negation

2.4 Summary of auxiliaries in analytic constructions

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1. Negation

1.1 With nouns

Negative affix(es) form a type of privative case (I:287f).

Morphology: circumfix -e-...-ke/a-...-ka

(with vowel initial word, just suffix ...-ke/ka) - I:290

For nouns in the first declension, number is neutralized in the negative form:


'without a needle/needles'



'without a fox/foxes'



'without a mouse/mice'



'without a sister/sisters'



'without a leader/leaders'



'without wood'


Nouns of the second declension and optionally third declension distinguish singular and plural:


'without Mewet'


'without the Mewet family'


'without the elder brother'


'without the elder brothers'


'without this'


'without these'


'without whats-his-name'


'without whats-their-names'


'without the boy(s)'


'without the boys'

The privative form of the noun can be strengthened with the negative particle uje. This requires the copula in non-present tenses (I:287-8):


ynqory ynpynacgy-ka myttejkyg?en ?ytw?et


then we-made boat


'Then we made the boat without the old man'


gymnin ekyk uje e-milger-ke


My son not NEG-rifle-NEG


'My son has no rifle'


ynqen nymnym uje ?orawetl?a-ka


that village not people-NEG


'That village has no people'


ergatyk gym uje orw.y-ka tritg?e


tomorrow I not sledge-NEG


'Tomorrow, I shall be without a sledge'


ynky ytlon uje e-ew?en-ke gitlin


then he not NEG-wife-NEG was


'At that time he wasn't married'

Negative forms of pronouns:


e-gynyk-ke wec?ym ?atkewma myn?ynymytwarkyn


NEG-you-NEG probably badly


'Without you we would probably be living badly'


jawrena wec?ym e-turyk-ke mytrajalgytyrkyn


Next.year probably NEG-you-NEG (as nomads)


'Next year we will probably travel without you'

Note also (I:289):


otqen-ym jaray uje e-mik-ke


that-EMPH house NEG NEG-who-NEG


'Who does this house not have?' 'Who is missing from this house?'

Note the use of the negated form of the wh- root req- 'what', mik- 'who' to convey 'nothing', 'nobody' (I:288):


gymyk utkuc?yk wec?ym uje e-reqy-ke ritg?e


my trap.LOC probably NEG NEG-what-NEG


'There probably won't be anything in my trap'


gyt-ym e-mik-ke igyr riwinig?e


you-EMPH NEG-who-NEG today will.hunt


'Who are you not going to hunt with today?'

'Impersonal' usage


igyr aqa-k uje a-ryrka-ka


today sea-LOC completely NEG-walrus-NEG


'Today there were no walruses in the sea'

It's also possible to find uje with a noun in the Absolutive case, though there has to be a locative adverbial (I:289, fn. 217):


Ekke-k uje milger


son-LOC NEG gun


'The son hasn't got a gun'

(Cf. (2a) above).

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1.2 Clause negation strategies

There are two ways of negating a clause:

(a) analytic construction with non-finite form

(b) negative particle + finite (imperative) form

(a) Two non-finite negative affixes are used:


the 'privative case' e-...-ke


lu-...-(t)e. [-te after vowel, -e after consonant].



e-...-ke (cf nouns above)

The basic pattern can be seen in purely 'gerundive' or absolute uses, 'without doing/having done'. Gerundive examples (II:129):


in?e qlawyl a-qametwa-ka megcerymgog?e


morning man NEG-eat-NEG


'In the morning the man began to work without having eaten'


ilgytwy-ke ?ytt?yt ?aacek resqikw?i jara-cyko-gty


untie-NEG dog youth entered house-INSIDE-ALL


'Having untied the dogs, the youth went into the house'


lun-teejmew-e gytg-ety ynpynacgyn pelqyntetg?i


NEG-arrive-NEG lake-ALL returned


'The old man returned before he reached the lake'

'Absolute' uses (in which negative clause has subj. different from main clause):


ynpynacgyn jep e-wiri-ke enmec ymyl?oryk n?atcaqen still NEG-come.down-NEG already all were.waiting


'The old man still hadn't come down and everyone was already waiting'


turi a-pelat-ka enmec jarak muri myn?ytwarkyn


you NEG-lag-NEG already at.home we


'If you hadn't lagged behind we would have been home by now'

Negative forms in main clauses (II:129)

e-...-ke is usually found with jep 'still', ' ne 'not/don't'


gym igyr jep a-nto-ka (<yto-)


I today still NEG-go-NEG


'I haven't been out yet today'


?ytt?yt jep e-reet-ke


dogs still NEG-fed-NEG


'They still haven't fed the dogs', 'The dogs still haven't been fed'

Negative commands (prohibitions) use uje:


turi wiin yne e-jylqet-ke


you yet not NEG-sleep-NEG


'Don't sleep just yet'


yne ?aaceka a-mylo-ka ynpyew


not youth NEG-ask-NEG old.woman


'Let the youth not ask the old woman' 'The lad shouldn't ask the old woman'

The circumfix lu.-(t)e is used without these negative particles (usually) (II:130):


naqam memyl lu-piwre-te


but seal NEG-dived-NEG


'But the seal didn't dive'


gymnan lu-y-ntejkew-e ytr?ec gynin ekyk


I NEG-fought-NEG only your son


'It was only your son I didn't fight'


igyr morgynan epy lyn-jopat-a


today we grandfather NEG-visited-NEG


'We didn't visit grandfather today'

Analytic constructions with negation:


qyrym gym e-qutyne-ke myragtyg?ak


NEG I NEG-other-NEG will.go.home


'I won't go home without the other one'

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2. Auxiliaries and light verbs

2.1 General comments

Skorik (II:245f) identifies six 'auxiliary verbs' ('vspomogatel'nye glagoly'): (see also Bogoras, 1922:75-81)

'Special' aux:

General aux:

wak 'to be'

n?elyk 'to become' (intr.)

lyyk 'to consider'

rytcyk 'to make' (tr.)

ityk 'to be' (intr.)

rityk 'to have' (tr.)

The 'general auxiliaries' behave like genuine auxiliary verbs, in that they have a purely grammatical function, while the 'special auxiliaries' are perhaps best thought of as (aspectual) 'light verbs', rather similar to the light verbs of, say, Indo-Iranian languages.



wa- word initial allomorph


-twa- medial allomorph


wal?yn, wagyrgyn, wag?e etc.


ny-twa-qen, ga-twa-len, ty-twa-rkyn, etc.



ly-/lg- depending on syllable structure,


e.g. lyyrkynin vs. qy-lg-ygyn



rytc- word initial allomorph


-tc- medial allomorph


rytc-yrkyn vs. myny-tc-yn, t?y-tc-ynet



ryt- word initial allomorph


-nt- medial allomorph


ryt-yn, ryt-ytkog?e vs. ine-nt-yg?i, ne-nt-ymyk

NB. transitive verbs take the -tko- suffix when forming abstract nominalization in

('Special' auxiliaries are occasionally used as main verbs).

Auxiliary use: serve to carry P/N and T/A marking on otherwise non-finite (or non-verbal) forms. Auxiliaries themselves have full conjugation pattern (including non-finite forms).

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2.2 Use of light verbs ('special' auxiliaries)

(See also Nedjalkov and Inenliqej, 1981).

The special auxiliaries are used to create inchoative and causative complex predicates from simplex predicates lacking specification for event structure.

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2.2.1 With adverbial elements

E.g. alwa 'otherwise', uje 'not' + n?elyk, wak, rytcyk:

alwa n?elyk 'to change (intr.) (= 'to become otherwise')

alwa n?elyl?yn 'changing (participle)'

alwa n?algyrgyn 'a change, transformation (nominalization)'

alwa wak 'to be different'

alwa wal?yn 'different' (= adjectival use)

alwa rytcyk 'to change (tr.)'

alwa rytcytkul?yn 'changing, transforming (tr.); changer'

alwa rytcyjo 'changed, transformed (pass. part.)'

alwa rytcykogyrgyn 'change, transformation (nom.)'


uje n?elyk 'to disappear'

uje wak 'to be lacking, absent'

uje rytcyk 'to remove, destroy'


Examples (II:246f)


ergatyk murginet tyec?yt ymy alwa ren?elyt


tomorrow our flowers too other FUT-AUX-FUT/PL


'Tomorrow our flowers too will change.'


kitaqun qynl?uetgyn alwa wal?yn menig


well show-IMPER other AUX-PRES PT material


'Well then, show me some different material.'


ewyr gyt alwa ratwarkyn opopy mytreniwygyt jaragty


if you other FUT II-AUX necessary we-send-you home


'If you behave differently we'll have to send you home.'


otenrak enmec ymyl?o uje n?elg?et


from-this-house already all not AUX-PAST-3pl


'Everyone disappeared from this house.'


utku ganymytwalen uje n?elyl?yn remkyn


Here lived not AUX-PRES PT people


'Here there lived a lost race.'


ymy gymnan lunl?ute uje n?algyrgyn ewiccyku taq?at


Also I-ERG NEG-saw not AUX-NOM luggage provisions


'I too failed to notice the loss of the provisions from the luggage.'

Other examples of analytic constructions (II:247f):

'To know': lygi wak 'to be known', lygi lyyk 'to know', lygi rytcyk 'to



inqeje lygi lyyrkyninet nynnyt ymyl?orgen ?ytt?in murygnymyk


boy-ERG known AUX-PRES I-3sg/3pl names all dog in-our-village


'The boy knows the names of all the dogs in our village.'


otqen ?aacek gymnan kytortagnepy lygi lynjo


this youth I-ERG from-last-year known AUX-PAST PT


'This youth is known to me from last year.'


ymyl?oryk enmec lygi ynin lygi lyytkogyrgyn imyreqyk


everyone already known his known AUX-NOM of-everything


'Everyone already knows of his omniscience'


ynpynacga nenanjaqen murgin lygi rytcytkogyrgin qoragynretyk


old man praises our known AUX-NOM-POSS deer-herding


'The old man praises our knowledge of deer-herding'


ynpyewe ninenygjulewqinet lygi rytcytkul?yt kalewayk


old woman she-teaches-them known AUX-PRES PT-PL to sew


'The old woman teaches those who are learning to sew'


Qejwe ymyl?oryk lygi netcyn alwa rytcytkogyrgyn muryk migciryk


Q all know AUX. other AUX-NOM our work


'Does everyone know about the transformation of our work?'


With -u/-o form of adverb/noun/adjective + lyyk (simple aspect), rytcyk (inchoative). Found with 'affect' verbs, expressing emotions (including desiderative forms of non-affect verbs). The -u/o adverbial form occurs only in the analytic construction (II:249f).

Examples: ny-wenne-qin 'envious', wenn-u lyyk 'to envy', wenn-u rytcyk 'to begin to envy'.

n-?ylg-y-qin 'loving, affectionate', ?ylg-u lyyk 'to love' ?ylg-u rytcyk 'to fall in love (with someone)'.


wennu ninelgymuri ekwetyl?yt qoragty ?aacekyt


Envy AUX-PRES II-1pl/(3pl) leaving-for deer youths


'We envy the youths who are setting off for the herd.'


caketta ?ylgu rytcynin cinitkin ?ywequcilqyl wytku giwiyt galak


sister-ERG love AUX-3sg/3sg her fiance only year after


'My sister fell in love with her fiance only after a year.'

Other forms:

?ylgu ly-y-tku-l?yn 'lover'

?ylgu rytc-y-tku-l?yn 'one who has started to love (someone)'

?ylgu lynjo 'loved one'

?ylgu rytcyjo 'one whom someone has fallen in love with'

?ylgu ly-y-tko-gyrgyn 'love, state of loving'

?ylgu rytc-y-tko-gyrgyn 'love, act of falling in love'

Further examples:

re-l?u--u lyyk (from re-l?u--yk = desiderative) 'to seek, to want to find'

ajylgo lyyk


wejmenu lyyk


gajmo lyyk

'be amused'

giiwu lyyk

'be ignorant'

gytamo lyyk

'look after'

inicgytu lyyk

'be surprised'

iwyjenu lyyk


lymalo lyyk


mycwyno lyyk


pegciu lyyk

'be interested'

tegjeu lyyk


tenu lyyk

'laugh at'

tergo lyyk


cimg?u lyyk


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2.2.2 With negative form of noun ('privative case')

(II:248) e-Noun-ke + rytcyk


wajyqen ?aacek mytylwawyn e-milger-ke rytcyk


That youth we-could not without-gun AUX


'We couldn't disarm that youth.'


ewyr rel?uytky emilgerke rytcytkul?yn, ...


If you-see-FUT without-gun AUX-PRES PT


'If you see anyone without a gun, ...'


emilgerke rytcyjo ?aacek opopy nylqytyn jaragty


without-gun AUX-PASS PT youth necessary he-returns to-home


'The unarmed youth has to go home.'

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2.3 Analytic constructions with 'general ('true') auxiliaries' ityk, rytyk

(II:254f) Used only in analytic constructions, i.e. have only grammatical function (not lexical meaning), therefore function as genuine auxiliaries. Choice of ityk (intr.) or rytyk (tr.) depends on transitivity of original verb.

Found with three verb forms: gerunds, causatives, negatives.

2.3.1 With gerunds: aspectual nuances of contrast or exclusiveness


V-te/ta + ityk/rytyk Þ contrast


em/am-V-te/ta + ityk/rytyk Þ exclusiveness



utinqeglik-ym inqegti nytip?ejeqinet


this-room-EMPH children sing


'And in this room the children sing'


gymnin yneel?yn ajwe ynk?am igyr tip?eje-te n-it-qin


my elder-brother yesterday & today sing-GER he-AUX-PRES II


'My elder brother yesterday and today has been (specifically) singing'


ytlygyn ymy-ym ytla wulqytwik em-tip?eje-te n-it-qinet


father also-EMPH mother evening GER-sing-GER they-AUX PRES II


'Father, and indeed mother, do nothing but sing in the evening'

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2.3.2 Causative with -jgut form

(II:257). [For form and syntax of causative see chapter six 'Transitivity alternations']

Gives complete set of finite and non-finite forms, e.g.

ekwetyk 'to depart'

ekwetyjgut rytytkul?yn 'ordering/one who orders to depart'

ekwetyjgut rytytkogyrgyn 'an order(ing) to depart'

ekwetyjgut rytjo 'one ordered to depart'

pelak 'to leave (tr.)'

pelajgot rytytkul?yn 'ordering/one who orders to leave (sthg.)'

pelajgot rytytkogyrgyn 'an order(ing) to leave (sthg.)'

pelajgot rytjo 'that which/who one has ordered to be left'

NB: There are no examples in Skorik's data of causatives being formed from transitives, though Nedjalkov cites a number of cases. See chapter 6).

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2.3.3 Negation

(II:256) e-...-ke + ityk (intr.)/rytyk (tr.) - imperfective aspect

lu-...-te + ityk (itr.)/rytyk (tr.) - perfective aspect


gymninet ekket igyr e-tejkew-ke r-in-et


my sons today NEG-fight-NEG FUT-AUX-3pl


'My sons will not fight today'


ytr?ec ireq ?aacekyt lun-tejkew-e g-it-linet


only two youths NEG-fight-NEG PAST II-AUX-3pl


'Only two youths didn't fight'


etejkewke etyl?ety qlawyl?ety nejmewqinet ytr?ec inqegti


NEG-fight AUX-PRES PT-ALL man-ALL approached only children


'Only children came near the man who wasn't fighting'


luntejkewke ityl?yn ?aacek nengiwyg?en alwyl?ety


NEG-fight AUX-PRES youth they-sent to-herd


'They sent the youth who hadn't fought to the herd'


ymy ergatyk inqeje a-ket?o-ka rynninet


even next-day boy-erg NEG-remember-NEG AUX-3sg/3pl


pelajotte lilit


left gloves


'Even the following day the boy didn't remember the gloves which had been left behind'


aket?oka rytytkul?yn gymyky eekkeqej qyrymen gymnin eekyk


NEG-recall AUX-PRES PT me girl not my daughter


'The girl who didn't recall me isn't my daughter'


aket?oka rytjo milger pelatg?e qole?orawetlak


NEG-remember AUX-PASS rifle remained another-person-LOC.


'The rifle which he hadn't remembered about remained with another person'


wenlygi ly-ket?o-ta tyntynet ymyl?o gymnin kelitkutumgyt


Nonetheless NEG-recall-NEG AUX-1sg/3pl all my classmates


'Nonetheless, I couldn't recall all my classmates'


loket?oka rytytkul?yn gynyky qlawyl nemyqej lupiril?yn


NEG-recall AUX-PRES PT you man also NEG-take-PRES PT






'The man who couldn't remember you was also not taken on the hunt'


loket?ota rytjo utkuc?yn pelatg?e ymalaet emnuky


NEG-recall AUX-PASS trap remained all-summer in-tundra


'The trap which was forgotten remained in the tundra the whole summer'

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2.4 Summary of auxiliaries in analytic constructions

Auxiliaries mark grammatical information otherwise lacking in nonfinite forms, P/N agreement, tense; also participles/ nominalizations. In particular, they serve as transitivity markers, e.g choice of ityk or rytyk depending on transitivity of dependent verb. Further examples:

(i) Passive participle with causative form renders embedded verb passive, i.e. we get CAUSE (PASS (leave)) = 'cause to be left', not PASS (CAUSE (leave)) = 'be caused to leave'.


gynan pelajgot rytjo kojyn tynlejwyg?en


by-you leave-CAUS AUX-PASS mug I-took-it


'I took the mug which you told (me) to leave'


(lit.: '...the mug, which you ordered to be left.') (II:258)

(ii) Main verb agrees in transitivity with embedded verb, hence takes transitive agreements when embedded verb is transitive. This can be done using -u lyyk construction because this is itself transitive.


ytlygyn ajylg-at-y-rkyn marawyk (ekkek reen)


father-ABS fears to-fight son with


'The father is afraid of fighting (with the son)'


ytlyg-e ajylgo ly-y-rkyn-in ry-maraw-at-yk ekyk


father-ERG fear-U AUX-PRES I-3sg/3sg TR-fight-TR-INF son-ABS


'The father is afraid of fighting the son'

[cf. (53c)

ytlyge rymarawannen ekyk 'The father fights the son']

This is comparable to 'agreement climbing' constructions with mook 'begin', lywawyk 'be unable', gjuletyk 'to learn how to', qitpewyk 'begin to do intensively', lygayk 'fail', mycek 'forget how to', yrkylatyk 'be shy of doing', plytkuk 'finish', tegjeyk 'want', ?eleryk 'be bored'. Cf. also alternatiions with paak 'stop', torymgok 'begin'. [See Agreement Climbing in chapter six]


ytlygyn lywawyrkyn marawyk ekkek reen


father-ABS can't-3sg fight son with


'The father can't fight with the son'


ytlyge lywaw-y-rkyn-en ry-maraw-at-yk ekyk


father-ERG can't-3sg/3sg TR-fight-TR-INF son-ABS


'The father can't fight the son'


cakyget lygae-rkyn uwintetyk


sister-ABS failed-3sg to-stoke (intr.)


'Sister failed to stoke (the fire)'


caketta lygae-rkyn-en uwintyk penjolgyn


sister-ERG failed-3sg/3sg to-stoke fire-ABS


'Sister failed to stoke the fire'


ytlon moo-g?e kelitkuk


he-ABS began-3sg to-study (intr.)


'He began to study'


ynan moo-nen ry-gjul-ew-yk ekyk iwinik


he-ERG began-3sg/3sg TR-learn-TR-INF son-ABS to-hunt


'He began to teach his son to hunt'


ymto, memyl tym-yn? - ty-lwaw-yn


well seal you-killed - not-able-1sg/3sg


'Well, did you kill the seal?' 'I wasn't able to'


ytlon paa-g?e tip?ejyk


he-ABS stopped-3sg sing-INF


'He stopped singing.'


ynan ry-paa-w-nen jaak ir?yn


he-ERG TR-stop-TR-3sg/3sg to-wear jacket-ABS


'He stopped wearing his jacket.'


ytlon torymgo-g?e kelitkuk


he-ABS resumed-3sg to-study


'He resumed studying.'


ynan ry-torymgo-w-nen rygjulewyk inqej


he-ERG TR-resumed-TR-3sg/3sg to-teach boy-ABS


'He started teaching the boy again'



'qol' construction:


qol ityk/rytyk + VP = 'once, one day, sometimes'



qol it-g?i ytlon ekwet-g?i amnoety


one AUX-3sg he-ABS set off-3sg tundra-ALL


'Once, he set off for the tundra'


qol rinytyk ymy turi relqyytyk alwyl?ety


one AUX-FUT-2pl also you will-go herd-ALL


'One day, you too will go to the herd'


turi-ym qol n?-it-yrkyn-ityk wolqytwegty n?ypelqyntetyrkynityk


you-EMPH ONE AUX-COND-IMPF-2pl by-evening you-would-return


'You too would be returning towards evening occasionally'


qol ryn-nin ynan tym-nen ryrky


one AUX-3sg/3sg he-ERG killed-3sg/3sg walrus-ABS


'Once he killed a walrus'


qol myt-ynty-net nymkyqin ryrkat myt-l?u-net


one AUX-1pl/3pl many walruses we-saw


'Once we saw many walruses'


qol t-re-nt-y-gyt ymy t-re-wiri--gyt


one AUX-FUT-1sg/2sg also I-shall-defend-you'


'One day I'll stand up for you, too'





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This page created on 11 July 1999.

Last modified 16 July 1999.