1. Introduction

2. Deverbal verb formation

2.1 Transitive/causative r-

2.2 Detransitivizing affixes

2.3 Other suffixal derivations

2.4 Other prefixes

3. Denominal derivation

3.1 Derivation from Nouns

3.1.1 Specific affixes

3.2 Predominantly deadjectival derivation

3.3 Derivation from numerals

4. Aktionsarten

4.1 Basic types

4.1.1 Combinatorial possibilities with Aktionsart affixes

4.2 Related verb forms

4.2.1 Combinatorial possibilities

5. Summary of affixes

5.1 Denominal

5.2 From numerals

5.3 Aktionsarten

5.4 Related verb forms

6. Concluding remarks

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1. Introduction

Chukchee has a wealth of word formation resources, with a particularly rich system of denominal verb forming affixes, and a very elaborated system of Aktionsart marking. In this chapter I present a summary of the processes discussed in Skorik's grammar.

A number of affixes occur with nouns and with verbs, but with different functions or meanings.

2. Deverbal verb formation

2.1 Transitive/causative r-

(II:211f) This is one of the commonest verb affixes. Note that it has the allomorph n- in non-initial position.

Usually together with suffix, r-...ew/aw, r-...-et/at, and more rarely r-...-˝et/˝at

r- alone: ejmewyk 'approach' rejmewyk 'bring nearer'

r-...-ew: ekwetyk 'set off' rekwetewyk 'dispatch', pi˝kuk 'be extinguished' rypi˝kuwyk 'extinguish'

r-...-et: untemewyk 'become calm' runtemewetyk 'calm s.o. down', jalgytyk 'move house' ryjalgytatyk 'rehouse'

Doublets with slight meaning differences:

rygelyk 'enter': ryrgeletyk 'introduce, lead in'; ryrgylewyk 'attract (into)'

r-...-˝et: paak 'cease' rypaa˝atyk 'stop sthg.'

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2.2 Detransitivizing affixes

Less productive than transitivizing (II:214). It isn't always possible to assign a lexical value to the detransitivizing affix other than to say that it creates a 'corresponding' intransitive verb (e.g. yr?untetyk, or, with greater semantic shift, taa˝ytkok).

1. -et/at

myngykwyk 'to pay' ~ myngykwetyk 'to receive payment, be paid off'

pelak 'to leave (s.o./sthg.) ~ pelatyk (>pela-at-yk) 'to stay'

yr?untyk 'to deceive' ~ yr?untetyk 'to lie'

May be accompanied by ine- prefixation:

rynryk 'to hold (sthg.)' ~ ine-nr-et-yk 'to hold onto (sthg.)'

rytemmawyk 'prepare (for)' ~ ena-netenmaw-at-yk 'make preparations 'for)'

2. -tku

wiri˝yk 'to defend (s.o.)' ~ wiri˝-y-tku-k 'to defend oneself'

taa˝yk 'to try' ~ taa˝-y-tko-k 'to imitate'

3. ine-

rimetyk 'cut (hair)' ~ ine-nimet-yk 'do hair cutting'

rywalotyk 'to explain' ~ ena-nwalot-yk 'to give an explanation'

Skorik (II:215, n.8) points out that the ine- and -tku derivations are distinct from the (homophonous) antipassive forms. Only the antipassive is capable of 're-transitivization' in the applicative-like constructions discussed in chapter six, 1.3.2. Also, in the antipassive there is no change in lexical meaning, whereas the truly derivational cases often introduce significant meaning shifts. (Skorik likens the situation to the use of the -sja reflexive in Russian, which on the one hand creates idiosyncratic intransitive forms and on the other hand creates regular reflexives and/or imperfective passives.)

4. -wylg 'reciprocal'

Mainly formed from transitives:

l?u-wylg-yk 'to see each other'; ket?o-wylg-yk 'to remember each other'

Can be formed occasionally from intransitives, e.g.

ejmewyk 'to come closer' ~ ejmekwylgyk 'to approach each other' ( -ww- Þ -kw-)


yrgynan n-ukwet-yrkynet

ytri ukwet-wylg-yrkynet


they.ERG PRES.II-kiss-3sg/3pl

they.ABS kiss-RECIP-3pl


'They kiss them'

'They kiss each other'

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2.3 Other suffixal derivations

1. -sqiw 'purposive'

gite-sqiw-yk 'to go and look'; kur-y-sqiw-yk 'to go and buy'

2. -twa 'stative resultative'

See Nedjalkov et al. (1983/1988) for detailed discussion.

qutyk 'to stand up' qot-y-twa-k 'to stand, be standing'

3. -turew 'reversitive'

Only from verbs derived from r-...-et/r-...-ew. Suffix -turew replaces -et/-ew suffix.

ry-jylg-et-yk 'to unite' ~ ry-jylgy-turew-yk 'to disunite'

ry-cymk-et-yk 'to twist, screw in' ~ ry-cymk-y-turew-yk 'to untwist, unscrew'

ry-tewimin˝-ew-yk 'to oppress' ~ ry-tewimin˝-y-turew-yk 'to liberate'

2.4 Other prefixes

Skorik (II:218) points out that there are very few other verb prefixes. He mentions a handful of cases involving the prefix *kyt-, which he associates with an adjective root: ny-gty-qen (regularly from n-kt-qin). This seems to be the same prefix as is found with adjectives, see chapter four, 3.1.3.

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3. Denominal derivation

[(II:218ff). See also the list in Beard 1995:399 (though there are a number of inconsistencies of transcription there).]

Nominal here means either 'Noun' or 'Adjective' (or both)

3.1 Derivation from Nouns

1. -et/at 'general verbalizer'

re˝re˝ (root re˝) 'fodder', re˝-et-yk 'feed (animals)'

qewjac 'steam' qewjac-at-yk 'evaporate'

2. -ew/-aw 'general verbalizer' (less frequent than -et/at)

tumgytum (root tumg) 'friend' tumg-ew-yk 'make friends with, become friends'

ny-korg-yqen (root korg) 'happy' korg-aw-yk 'rejoice, be happy'

Note difference between -et/ew:

ny-gjul-qin (root gjul) 'knowledgeable' gyjul-et-yk 'study (=be engaged in study)', gyjul-ew-yk 'study (=acquire knowledge)'

3. -twa 'general verbalizer (for statives)' (see Nedjalkov et al. 1983/88 for detailed discussion)

nymnym (root nym) 'village' nym-y-twa-k 'live (somewhere)'

n-untym-qin 'peaceful' ontym-y-twa-k 'be peaceful'

4. -tku 'activity with given object'

rype-˝y 'hammer' rype-tku-k 'to hammer'

With idiosyncratic lexical extension:

kelikel 'book' (from root keli 'speckled') keli-tku-k 'to study'

wilwil 'payment, price' wil-y-tku-k 'to trade'

3.1.1 Specific affixes

5. -l?et/-l?at 'travel by ˝

?ytt?yn (root ?ytt) ?ytt-y-l?et-yk 'travel by dogs'

6. -r?u 'developing event (of meteorological phenomena)'

pi˝epi˝ (root pi˝e) 'snow' pi˝e-r?u-k 'fall (snow)'

7. -*jp (after vowels)/-ep (after consonants) 'donning clothing'

ewir?yn 'clothes' awer?-ep-yk 'put on clothing'

8. -tw 'removing clothing'

plek-yt 'boots' plek-y-tw-yk 'take off boots'

9. -u

(a) 'hunt, catch (game)'

r?ew-u-k 'catch whales'

(b) 'eat (food)'

qora-t?ol-o-k 'eat reindeer meat'

mutl-u-k 'drink blood'

(c) 'removal'

caat-o-k 'remove lassos'

10. -˝it 'spend period of time'

l?ele-˝it-yk 'spend the winter'

11. te/ta-...-˝ 'creation of ˝

te-lili-˝-yk 'sew gloves'

ta-pojg-y-˝-yk 'make spears'

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3.2 Predominantly deadjectival derivation

12. r-...-ew/aw 'causative' (from Adj, some Nouns) (II:224)

ny-quw-qin 'narrow' ry-quw-ew-yk 'make narrow(er)'

acgyt 'row' r-acgyt-aw-yk 'place in a row'

13. r-...-et/at 'causative' (from Adj, some Nouns)

ny-gjiw-qin 'experienced' ry-gjiw-et-yk 'explain, supervise'

gagcaw 'haste' ry-gagcaw-at-yk 'to hurry someone'

14. r-...-twet/twat 'causative' (from Adj only)

ny-tur-qin 'new' ry-tur-twet-yk 'renew'

15. -twi 'inchoative' (from Adj)

ny-ciwm-y-qin 'short' ciwm-y-twi-k 'become short(er)'

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3.3 Derivation from numerals

(II:225f) These translate 'do something for the nth time' in combination with infinitive form of lexical verb.

-qew/qaw (i.e. ordinal suffix) intransitive verbalizer 'act n times'

r-...-qew/aw transitive verbalizer 'act on s.o./sthg. n times'



ajwe gym ge-˝ire-qew-igym ˝utinJ?ilgyk iwini-k


yesterday I PAST.II-two-ORD-1sg this.month.LOC hunt-INF


'Yesterday I hunted for the second time this month'


enmec na-n-mytly˝-qaw-yrkyn-at ty˝iwy-k yn˝en-nym-ety


already 3pl.SUBJ-R-five-ORD-PROG-3pl.OBJ send-INF this-village-ALL


'They are sending them to this village for the fifth time already'

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4. Aktionsarten

4.1 Basic types

Below are examples of the fifteen aspectual (or Aktionsart) affixes described for Chukchee by Skorik (II:179-202). Note that the prefixes appear to the immediate left of the verb root (i.e. they follow all the inflectional prefixes of tense, mood, aspect and voice). Note also that a number of these suffixes are used for denominal verb formation.

1. -l?et/-l?at prolonged continuous action:


?ytt?e ninepi˝ku-l?et-qin ottylgyn


dog jump-l?et-3/3 stick


'The dog jumped over the stick over and over again'

2. -cir prolonged interrupted action:


...˝inqejmuri n?ej˝ew-cir-muri jaral?a


us.children called-cir-1plOBJ


'The people at home kept calling us children'

3. -c?et/-c?at occasional action:


moryky ymy nypkiry-c?et-qinet remkyl?yt also come-c?et-3pl guests


'Guests occasionally visit us too'

4. -cit alternating action:






'They played at hide-and-seek'

5. -r?u distributive. This suffix takes the subject of intransitives and the object of transitives in its scope, though this doesn't seem to be organized on an unaccusative basis (Skorik II: 186-7). The suffix can be reinforced by explicit noun or adverbial quantifiers or it can be the sole marker of quantification:


kako, raj ?ej˝e-r?u-rkyt ?ytt?yt


oh there howl-r?u-3pl dogs


'Oh, there were a whole lot of dogs howling there'


qeeqyn wak wak?o-r?o-˝˝o-g?at ?itut


some.time being sit-r?u-begin-3pl geese


'After some time a whole lot of geese started sitting down'


ryrkat macymyl?o pylqet-r?u-g?et qunylqegnewyk


walruses almost.all sank-r?u-3pl at.first.shot


'The walruses almost all dived at the first shot'


ergyk luur tyl?u-r?u-net nylginymkyqin p?o˝p?o˝yt


in.field suddenly I.find-r?u-3pl very.many mushrooms


'I suddenly found an enormous number of mushrooms in the field'

6. -sqycet/-sqycat accelerated action


qynwer ˝yto-sqycat-g?e gymnin tyletumgin


at last come.out-sq' cat-3sgSUBJ my companion


'At last my companion sprang out'

7. tyle-/tyla- gradual action


ekwetyl?yt ?ytt?yjol qlawylte ty-tyla-j?onat


set.out earlier men I-tyla-caught.up


'I gradually caught up the men who had set out earlier'


ynan tyle-nintyninet ymyl?o itcyqewyt tylek


he tyle-threw.away all hindering to.move


'He gradually threw off all the things that hindered him from moving'


ytlyge ge-tyle-plytkulin ytw?et


father PAST.II-tyle-finish boat


'Father gradually finished the boat'

This prefix also has an analytic use with the 'be/have' auxiliaries (II:189-90):


?igyt, muri el?uke, tyle-(e)jmew-e nitqinet ylwagty


wolves us not.seeing tyle-approach-GER IT.3PL wild.deer


'The wolves, not having seen us, gradually approached the grazing wild reindeer'


tyle-l?u-te tyntynet ymyl?o atcyl?yt ˝inqegtumgyt


tyle-find-GER RyT.1SG/3PL all hiding friends


'I gradually found all the friends who were hiding'

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8. -jiwy/-iwy intensity (transitive only) (This seems to have a distributive meaning of 'acting on many objects' in a number of examples). [Note: Skorik II:190 gives the form of the affix as -jw/jiw/iw, after vowel final, single consonant final and double consonant final stems respectively. However, from the examples given it appears that the suffix ends in schwa. Cf. gantym˝ewylenat, where the syllable structure principles would predict gantym˝ewlenat.]


ynqo ytlyge ti˝u-jwy-nin kupren


then father pull-jwy-3/3 net


'Then father pulled tightly on the net'


yrgynan ym?ylo˝et nineriwl-iwy-qinet jaraken jaajolqylte


they transported-iwy-3pl household goods


'All day they strenuously transported their household goods' ('usilenno perevozili')


rocy˝ky nymyqin p?o˝p?o˝yt mytl?u-jwy-net many mushrooms we.found-jwy-3pl


'On the other bank we found a mass of mushrooms'


qynni-jwy-net ymyml?o ir?ykinet patgyryt


sew-jwy-3pl all clothes.ADJ holes


'Sew up all the holes in the clothes'


ym?ylo˝et ninelqyrir-jiwy-muri tym˝ewyl?yt ?ytt?yqeqegti we.looked.for-jiwy-1pl lost puppies


'All day we searched and searched for the lost puppies'


jy˝ecyku morgynan qaat gantym˝ew-jewy-lenat


in.fog we deer lost-jiwy-3pl


'We lost (all) the reindeer in the fog' (cf. Russian 'porasterjali')


?ytt?e genm-iwy-linet rynajotte ?ytt?ymyt


dog brought.out bones


'The dogs dragged off (in all directions) (all) the bones that had been brought out' ('porastashchili')

Cf. also (II:191):


ytl?ata enmec genumkewlinet ymyl?o cajkoj˝yt


mother already has.hidden all cups


'Mother has already put away all the cups'


ymyl?o rytriir?yt genumkew-jiwy-linet ynnentyjucgyk


all threads has.hidden-jiwy-3pl


'She has put all the threads away into one bag'

It's not clear whether the force of the affix in the following example is quantificational or intensive:


t?ytl?et awetywak ganynto˝at-jewy-lenat ˝ylatrajpy immediately carried.out-jiwy-3pl


'They immediately carried out the sick from the burning house'

Skorik glosses the affix as 'energetically' ('energichno') in the following example, though there is also a universal quantifier in the sentence:


q?e˝ew-jiwy-net ymyl?o ˝inqegti


call.out-jiwy-3pl all boys


'Call out all the boys (energetically)'

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9. -tku weakened sporadic action. Usually found with the Present.II form:


qygite ˝an, melatolgyn pi˝ku-tku-rkyn omkytagnyjekwe


look there hare jump-tku-impf. on.forest.edge


'Look over there, a hare is hopping around on the edge of the forest'


a˝qacormyk ym?ylo˝et morgynan ninegici-tku-muri myrgot


on.seashore we collected-tku-1pl seaweed (occasionally, a little)


We spent the day on the seashore collecting a bit of seaweed now and then'

In the following example (II:193) (assuming it is genuine) we see a quantifier 'only' effectively taking the suffix in its scope:


˝otqenat ˝eekkeqegti ytr?ec nywinrety-tku-qinet moryky


those girls only helped-tku-3pl us


'Those little girls only helped us a little'

May also have just a frequentative meaning ('mnogokratnost'')


qynmy-tko-gytky jugytwil?yt ?ytt?yt


kill-tku-2pl mad dogs


'Kill (all) the mad dogs'

Note stem allomorphy in verb (II:193), indicating that -tku- here is a 'palatalizing' morpheme (see ch. 2:2):

kypl- 'knock' - kypc-y-tko-

mle- 'break' - mce-tku-


ymqory ermec?e an˝enajpy gemce-tku-linet ymyl?o pojgyt


then from.anger broke-tku-3pl all spears


'Then the strong man in a rage broke all the spears'

10. -˝˝o inceptive (cf. verb stem ˝oo-/-mgo 'begin' + infinitive)


wytku waamrogcyk pa˝?ew˝yto-˝˝o-g?at cejwyl?yt


only rest-˝˝o-3pl walkers'


'It was only on that bank of the river that the walkers began to rest'


ralona jep akawraka gala-˝˝o-nenat qutti racwy˝yl?yt


Ralo still before.turn overtake-˝˝o-3pl other contestants


'Ralo began to overtake the other contestants before even reaching the turn'

11. -plytku 'terminative, completive' (cf. verb plytku- 'finish' + infinitive)


gym jawrena trekelitku-plytku-g?e


I next.year


'I will finish my studies next year'


tite any retejky-plytku-˝yn gymnin ir?yn


When then my coat


'When are you finally going to finish sewing my coatÖ '

12. te˝-/ta˝- extreme completion (cf. adjective nyte˝qin 'good', though the 'good' component is lost from the prefix):


gymnin tyletumgyn te˝-kemcicekw?i


my fellow.traveller te˝-got.lost


'My fellow traveller got completely lost'


gynin l?ulqyl ta˝-amecatg?e k?elik


your face te˝-lost in.hat


'Your face has got completely lost in your hat'


˝ewmirge te˝-ynpelquwnin gymnin ytla


grandmother te˝-out.argued my mother


'Grandmother completely out.argued my mother'

13. mec-/mac- incomplete action (tends to cooccur with perfective tense/aspect forms)


ytr?ec-ym mec-itkyjekw?i gymnin ewyca˝er?yn


only-EMPH mec-got.wet my lower.coat


'My lower coat has only got a little wet'

[Notice that 'only' seems to take the prefix in its scope here.]


weler qy-mec-ejpygytky tytyl


at.least IMPER-mec-close door


'At least close the door a bit' ('prikrojte')


kita-qun lym˝e myn-mac-?atcanat pelatyl?yt


well, still we-mec-wait.for those.left


'Well, let's still wait a bit for those who are left behind'

With adverbial strengthening:


lym˝e qeeqyn qy-mec-ylqyrirgytky, ynqo-ym wytku qyragtytyk


still a.little IMPER-mec-search then-EMPH already go.home


'Search for them a little longer and only then go home'

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14. cik-/cek- partial action


cek-ajylgawyrkyt ˝inqegti amyrgynan ˝ytok


cik-fear children alone go.out


'The children are still a little afraid of going out alone'


neneny ytl?ata enmec cig-nilginnin


child mother already cik-lifted


'The mother lifted the child slightly' ('pripodnjala')


alymy ytr?ec ty-cek-yrkyplyg?an


after.all only I-cik-knocked


'After all, I only knocked a little'

[Note: 'only' takes prefix in its scope]

15. em-/am- 'delimitative'. Exact interpretation depends on tense/aspect of verb. With perfective T/A forms, em- delimits the time course of the action ('only for time t'), i.e. it takes the aspectual component of the verb in its scope (II:200):


gynr?am q-am-yntog?e


now 2sg-em-come.out


'Now just come out (for a minute)'


ew-ew m-em-pirinet lilit


wait, 1sg.IMPER-em-take gloves


'Wait a minute, I'll just get my gloves'

With adverbial strengthening:


ymy gym trekwetg?e, ytr?ec waj m-em-tejkyg?en ke˝une˝


and I only look 1sg.IMPER-em-make (shepherd's ) crook


'And I'm setting off, let me just make a crook'

With slightly shifted meaning:


t-em-winretyn gynin ekyk, ytt?ykylgetyl?yn


1sg-em-helped your son dog.harnessing


'I only helped your son a little to harness the dogs'

With imperfective verb forms, em- means 'this action and no others', i.e. em- takes the lexical content of the verb phrase in its scope and not the aspectual component. Note that this in general means that em- takes verb complements in its scope along with the verb itself:


tr-am-walompelyrkyn gynin epeqej your grandmother


'All I will do is to listen to your grandmother' ('Tol'ko i budu delat', chto slushat' tvoju babushku')


nine-em-ti˝ujgym ?ytw?et a˝qacormyk


PRES-em-pull boat from.sea.shore


'All I am doing is pulling the boat from the seashore' ('Tol'ko i delaju, chto...')

With imperfective aspect verbs there is also an analytic construction with the gerund:


˝ewysqetqeje em-gici-te nyntyqinet uun?yt


girls em-pick-GER AUX.3pl/3pl berries


'The girls are just picking berries'


ynpynacgyn qonpy˝ em-jylqe-te nitqin all.time em-sleep AUX.3sg


'The old man just sleeps all the time'

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4.1.1 Combinatorial possibilities with Aktionsart affixes



lymynky ny-piwre-sqycet-y-l?et-qinet nylginymkyqin memylte


everywhere PRES.II-dive-sqycet-y-l?et-3pl very.many seals


'Everywhere a large number of seals were continually rapidly diving for a long time'


lymynqory nymnymety n-ejmewy-sqycet-cir-qinet geke˝yl?yt


from.everywhere to.village PRES.II-approach-sqycet-cir-3pl reindeer.riders


'From everywhere reindeer riders quickly came from time to time to the village'


˝yto-r?o-l?at-yrkyt ynnyt koprajpy


come.out-r?u-l?et-3pl fish


'For a long time many fish keep coming out of the net'


qynwer, ymy wecowtyt ty˝a-l?at-y-˝˝o-g?at


at.last and sorrel grow-lÖ et-y-˝˝o-3pl


'At last the sorrel began to grow rapidly'


petle myt-ra-tyla-tenmawy-plytko-˝˝o-g?a


soon 1pl-FUT-tyla-prepare-plytko-˝˝o-FUT


'We will soon begin to gradually finish the preparations'

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4.2 Related verb forms

There are a number of affixes which Skorik discuss separately from the 'aspectual' (Aktionsart) affixes, but which have related aspectual or modal functions (II:202f).

1. lygi 'genuine action' (also found with other parts of speech). On its own this is mainly found with intransitive verbs:


kako, ynr?am lygi-rucekw?i gymnin ekwew


yes, indeed lygi-weakened my left.reindeer


'Yes, my left reindeer really has grown weaker'

Skorik (II:203) finds only the following two examples with transitives:


t-ra-lge-rkypcewy˝yn juutkul?yn ?ytt?yn


1sg.-FUT-lygi-stab biting dog


'Right, I'm going to stab the dog that bites'


t-ra-lge-nmarawatgyt, ewyr lym˝e yn˝in ritg?e if again thus


'I'll give you a proper scolding if you do that again'

2. tym˝e- 'in vain, not seriously'


tym˝e-?atc' g?e ?elerel?yn uwicwetyk ˝inqej


tym˝e-hid bored boy


'The boy who had grown bored of playing, hid in a perfunctory manner'


yneelÖ e tym˝e-?atcanen cinitkin ytle˝i tym˝e-waited.for self's younger brother


'The elder brother waited in vain for his younger brother'

3. -ca 'scattered distributive' (cf. -r?u). Applies to subject of intransitive, object of transitive (II:205) [Probably cognate with Koryak plural marker -la-, note 19, p.206]:


gymnin tumgyt korgaw-ca-g?at ermeltetyk


my comrades rejoiced-ca-3pl at.victory


'My comrades were delighted at the victory'


ynqo emryngiite were-ca-g?at ymy qutti


then came.down-ca-3pl also others


'Then, one by one the others (all) came down too'


lymynky ˝ejyk yrgynan gantywat-ca-lenat utkuc?yt [misprint corrected]


everwhere on.hill they set-ca-3pl traps


'Everywhere on the hill they set up (many) traps'


nenenete gapere-ca-lenat ymyl?o uwicwine˝et


children took-ca-3pl all toys


'The children picked up all their toys'

All Skorik's intransitive examples can be regarded as (semantically) unaccusative: amecat-ca 'disappear', akwat-ca- 'set out', qot-ca- 'stand up'

4. -qeet/-qaat 'diminutive'. Seems to have unaccusative syntax. (II:206). Often cooccurs with diminutive marked noun (i-iii), but not always (iv-v):


melotalgy-qaj lygen ewyr pirqy-qeet-g?i


hare-young/little immediately if lay.down-qeet-3sg


'The (little) levret immediately lay down'


ewyr re-l?u-qeen-˝yn gymnin ?ytt?y-qej, qinikwi


if FUT-see-qeet-3sg my dog-young/little


'If you see my little puppy, tell me'


ekkete ommacajpy-qaan-nen cinitkin ytl?a-qaj


son embraced-qeet-3/3 self's mother-DIM


'The son embraced his dear mother'


metkiit jylqet-qeet-g?i neneny


somehow sleep-qeet-3sg child


'The child fell asleep somehow'


ytl?ata male-qaan-nen ekyk lawtepy


mother stroked-qeet-3/3 son head.ABL


'The mother stroked her son's head'

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5. -cgat 'augmentative'. Same syntax as diminutive in 4. Three nuances:

(i) respect


gymnin tumgytum jylqat-y-cgat-g?e


my friend sleep-cgat-3sg


'My (respected) friend fell asleep'


?aaceka janot n?y-kyn?o-cgan-nen cym˝y


youth first COND-catch-cgat-3/3 old.bull


'The youth wanted first to catch the big old bull'


˝inqeje amqyn?yco nenanelgety-cgat-qen wykwylgyn


boy lift-cgat-3sg rock


'Every day the boy lifts a huge rock'

(ii) censure


?eqel?yn peqetaty-cgat-g?e


enemy fell-cgat-3sg


'The enemy fell...'

(iii) fearfulness


luur tyl?o-cgat-ynat ˝yraq kej˝yt


suddenly I.saw-cgat-3pl three bears


'Suddenly I saw three (terrifying) bears

6. re-/ra-...-˝ desiderative. Has essentially the same form as the future marker.


˝eekkeqej toryky re-winren-˝-yrkyn


little.girl you re-help-˝-PRES.I


'The little girl wants to help you'

4.2.1 Combinatorial possibilities

Various affixes combine, examples are given in II:210, e.g.


lyge-tym˝e-talk-ca-3pl meeting at.neighbours


'The old men who have met at the neighbours' house really shouldn't be talking so much'

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5. Summary of affixes

5.1 Denominal

1. -et/at 'general verbalizer'
2. -ew/-aw 'general verbalizer'
3. -twa 'general verbalizer (for statives)'
4. -tku 'activity with given object'
5. -l?et/-l?at 'travel by ˝
6. -r?u 'developing event (of meteorological phenomena)'
7. -*jp/-ep 'donning clothing'
8. -tw 'removing clothing'
9. -u 'hunt', 'eat', 'remove'
10. -˝it 'spend period of time'
11. te/ta-...-˝ 'creation of ˝
12. r-...-ew/aw 'causative'
13. r-...-et/at 'causative'
14. r-...-twet/twat 'causative'
15. -twi 'inchoative'

5.2 From numerals

-qew/qaw (i.e. ordinal suffix) intransitive verbalizer 'act n times'
r-...-qew/aw transitive verbalizer 'act on s.o./sthg. n times'

5.3 Aktionsarten

1. -l?et/-l?at prolonged continuous action
2. -cir prolonged interrupted action
3. -c?et/-c?at occasional action
4. -cit alternating action
5. -r?u distributive
6. -sqycet/-sqycat accelerated action
7. tyle-/tyla- gradual action
8. -jiwy/-iwy intensity
9. -tku weakened sporadic action
10. -˝˝o inceptive
11. -plytku terminative, completive
12. te˝-/ta˝- extreme completion
13. mec-/mac- incomplete action
14. cik-/cek- partial action
15. em-/am- delimitative

5.4 Related verb forms

1. lygi genuine action
2. tym˝e- in vain, not seriously
3. -ca scattered distributive
4. -qeet/-qaat diminutive
5. -cgat augmentative
6. re-/ra-...-˝ desiderative

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6. Concluding remarks

It's very noticeable that several of these affixes appear with more than one meaning/function (an illustration of Beardian separationism). These include:










et/at, ew/aw;




Note that -tku- in its use as antipassive marker and 'activity with given object' meaning is distinct morphophonologically from its use an iterative Aktionsart marker (weakened sporadic action), in that it is only in its latter function that it triggers 'palatalization' of /l/.

In addition some Aktionsart suffixes are also used to form verbs from nouns: l?et/l?at, -r?u, -tku.

The affixes ine- and -tku are particularly polyfunctional. In addition to their use as antipassive markers (and even as parts of the transitive agreement paradigms), and their use as Aktionsart markers and in denominal verb formation they are often found as more or less meaningless derivational formatives. There has been no special study of this aspect of word formation in Chukchee as far as I am aware, so I will just cite a handful of examples from Moll and Inenlikej's dictionary. (The Russian glosses generally give very little information about what the Chukchee word actually means or how it is actually used. I give the Russian translations because it's virtually impossible to translate individual Russian words outside any context.)

ry-tyleweyk 'move sthg. from one place to another; continue' [peredvigat'; prodolzhat']

ine-n-tylewyk 'lead, carry' [vodit', vozit']

ine-n-tylewy-tku-yk 'lead, guide; govern, manage' [vesti, provodit'; pravit', upravljat']

ry-citkuk 'govern, manage' [pravit', upravljat']

ine-n-citkuk 'govern, manage; rectify, touch up; touch' [pravit', upravljat'; podpravit'; trogat']

ry-jegtelewyk 'save; leave alive' [spasat'; ostavljat' v zhivyx]

ine-n-jegtelewyk 'save; preserve life' [spasti; soxranit' zhizn']






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This page created on 11 July 1999.

Last modified 16 July 1999.