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UNIT NINE (CV Manual, Grammar)

    The verb: Primary tenses of the indicative mood (durative present, negative formation, future, preterite).
     The essential order of words in the Chuvash sentence, a subject which we shall devote greater attention to later in any event, positions the verb at the end of the clause or sentence. Thus, the sentence begins with the subject, followed by the object, with any other elements of manner or place and time arranged next inline, and finally, the verb concluding. The basic function of the verb is to state action or to predicate existence.
     In the present Grammar we shall confine ourselves to the chief forms of current Chuvash usage. Some other forms may be found, but their usage is limited. For convenience, we divide the tenses of the indicative mood (the forms that express fact or actual occurrences, rather than what might or would happen) according to their formation into the primary and secondary tenses. Although we use the term “tense“ to describe the different forms of the Chuvash verb, the connotation of time that this word has is not the on one which the form possesses. We might also speak of “aspect,“ or the manner of looking at an action, focusing not so much on the relative time sequence of events, but features like customary action versus one-time action. In the case of the first tense, the durative present, the meaning is not only that of an action occurring this instant (the fish is swimming this moment in the stream) but also of actions habitually characteristic of the subject (fish swim, as in their nature, in the ocean).
    Durative Present
     The durative present tense has the formant -t-, after which certain endings characteristic of the different persons are added. These persons are the first, or the speaker (I), and its plural (we), the second, or person spoken to (you) and its plural (also ‘you‘ in English, but different in Chuvash), and the third person, the one spoken of, (he) with its plural (they). The persons will always be given in the same order (1st sg.‚ 2nd sg.‚ 3rd sg.‚ 1st pl.‚ 2nd pl.‚ 3rd pl.), and for this reason, will not be specially marked. The endings characteristic of this tense are not difficult. Chuvash verbs in general have only one declensional type, but there are some variants caused by the vowel harmony, and by whether the stem ends in a vowel or consonant. According to the Chuvash grammarians, the durative present (which they call the Present-Future) denotes:
    a. action being completed at the moment of speaking
    b. actions going on in general terms, as part of the natural order of things
    c. a definite categorical future: something that absolutely is going to take place - this is expressed with the durative present

    Herewith we present the forms for the four possible variants in this tense.
		vowel stem				consonant stem

	vula. tăp	ĕşle. tĕp		şyr. atăp	kil. etĕp
	vula. tăn	ĕşle. tĕn		şyr. atăn	kil. etĕn
	vula. t"		ĕşle. t	şyr. at"	kil. et

	vula. tpăr	ĕşle. tpĕr		şyr. atpăr	kil. etpĕr
	vula. tăr	ĕşle. tĕr		şyr. atăr	kil. etĕr
	vula. şşĕ	ĕşle. şşĕ		şyr. aşşĕ	kil. eşşĕ

     Note that the tense formant -t- is characteristic of all persons except the 3rd p. pl.‚ where it assimilates before ş to ş. In the current Cyrillic orthography, a soft sign (‘) is used after the -t- of the 3rd p. sg. for back vowel stems only. Since this is not phonemic, we do not reproduce it in these lessons, but it will be found in the reading selections { it is phonemic, e.g. vărat "to wake smb", vărat" "he"s throwing smth". may have replaced soft signs where necessary}. The student is reminded that the -t- of the 1st p. pl. assimilates in ordinary pronunciation to the following bilabial stop -p-, so that these forms are usually pronounced [vulappăr], [ĕşleppĕr], [şyrappăr] and [kileppĕr].
     Historically, it may be of interest to note the origin of the tense from a combination of a verb form in -a/-e to which a reduced form of another verb tăr- (“to stand“ > “to be“) was added, plus reduced forms of personal pronouns.
     Note that this tense is sometimes translated into English by a future, especially with “going to,“ as in “I write, I am going to write, I‘m going to New York tomorrow,“ rather than the future “I shall go to New York.“ Some examples of the tense follow.
	hĕvel tuhat"		the sun rises
	şyn üpkepe syvlat"	man breathes with his lungs
	shyv anatalla juhat"	water flows downstream
	yran epĕ Muskava kajatăp	I‘m going to Moscow tomorrow
	mĕnshĕn hujhăratăn?		Why are you sorrowing?
	hăşan tavrăntăn			When do you return? When are you going to come back?
	ansan sana tytaşşĕ		When (we) descend, they will seize you
	ĕşmeşşĕ		       	they do not drink, they are not drinking
	nişta ta kajmastăp		I am not going anywhere
	tytăşşĕ				they are holding you, they will hold you, 
they are going to hold you
    Negative Formation
     Up to now we have not mentioned how to say “not“ with respect to anything. Thus it may surprise the student to learn that in Chuvash there is no individual word for not, but that this is incorporated as a morpheme into the middle of the word. The morpheme is {-m-}, with allomorphs of -mă-/-mĕ-, -ma-, etc. In the durative present, the allomorph is -mas-/-mes-. The negative forms of the preceding verbs are, then:
	şyrmastăp	kilmestĕp		vulamastăp	ĕşlemestĕp
	şyrmastăn	kilmestĕn		vulamastăn	ĕşlemestĕn
	şyrmast"	kilmest		vulamast"	ĕşlemest

	şyrmastpăr	kilmestpĕr		vulamastpăr	ĕşlemestpĕr
	şyrmastăr	kilmestĕr		vulamastăr	ĕşlemestĕr
	şyrmaşşĕ	kilmeşşĕ		vulamaşşĕ	ĕşlemeşşĕ

    In colloquial pronunciation, the -t of the 3rd p. sg. disappears. A few examples are the following:
	tupajmastăr		you cannot find
	nişta ta kajmastăp I shall not go anywhere
	hătălajmastăn	you will be unable to save yourself

    Future Tense
     The second tense of the Indicative or factual mood is the future. It is formed with the stem of the verb, to which the personal endings (almost identical with those of the durative present) are added. The ending of the future tense is a zero-formant, in other words, no ending, plus the durative endings, in all persons except the 3rd, where -ĕ and -ĕş are used. This tense is called the Future-Indefinite in Chuvash grammars, and is used when the expression of the future is more general, and not so dogmatic, that is, when the speaker is less convinced that an action will definitely take place. The endings for this tense are the following:
	şyrăp		pĕlĕp			vulăp		ĕşlĕp
	şyrăn		pĕlĕn			vulăn		ĕşlĕn
	şyrĕ		pĕlĕ			vulĕ		ĕşlĕ

	şyrăpăr	pĕlĕpĕr		vulăpăr	ĕşlĕpĕr
	şyrăr		pĕlĕr			vulăr		ĕşlĕr
	şyrĕş		pĕlĕş			vulĕş		ĕşlĕş

    The negative formation for this tense infixes the allomorph -m- of the negative morpheme.
	şyrmăp		pĕlmĕp			vulamăp		ĕşlemĕp
	şyrmăn		pĕlmĕn			vulamăn		ĕşlemĕn
	şyrmĕ		      pĕlmĕ			      vulamĕ		ĕşlemĕ

	şyrmăpăr	      pĕlmĕpĕr	      	vulamăpăr	      ĕşlemĕpĕr
	şyrmăr		pĕlmĕr			vulamăr		ĕşlemĕr
	şyrmĕş		pĕlmĕş			vulamĕş		ĕşlemĕş

    Note that in the written language the 3rd p. sg. and pl. uses front vocalism regardless of stem. The dialects also use the expected -ă.
    Some examples of the use of this tense are the following.
	anmăpăr 			let‘s not descend, go down
	ülĕmren kurajmăn 		you will not be able to see him in the future
	hăshne ilĕn 			Which one will you take?
	kurajmăn 			you will be unable to see me
	esĕ kajăn-i 			Will you go?
	esĕ kirek ăşta jarsan ta kajăp 	I shall go wherever you may send me
	tupajăn-i 			Will you be able to find them?
	epĕ vişĕ hutcen kĕsenep 	I shall whinny three times
	sana arămu tytĕ 		your wife will seize you
	pallama tytăp 			I shall hire you for to know.

    Preterite Tense
    The third tense of the Indicative is the preterite, employing the tense formant -R, with the following allomorphs:
    a. -r after vowel stems, and after consonants except /l n r/
    b. -t after stems in /l n r/
    c. -ch -in the 3rd p. sg. of stems in /l n r/
    Note the similarity of these morphophonemic changes to that of the locative relational morpheme. To the tense formant, personal endings very similar to the possessive morphemes are added. Some persons speculate that these formations like the preterite arose from an original noun, in this case, in -r, to which reduced personal pronouns were added, thus ‘~my writing, my written thing“ becomes “I wrote, I have written.“
     This tense indicates a clearly past action, not relative to any other past, thus, being more like a perfect tense: I have seen, have written. It is an eye-witness tense, used by persons who know about the event first-hand, rather than a narrative tense, in which the event is merely reported by another. The preterite is used for vivid description, and is called the past categorical by the Chuvash grammar writers. The forms are the following:
	vularăm		ĕşlerĕm			şyrtăm		kiltĕm
	vularăn		ĕşlerĕn			şyrtăn		kiltĕn
	vularĕ		ĕşlerĕ			şyrchĕ		kilchĕ

	vularămăr	ĕşlerĕmĕr		şyrtămăr	kiltĕmĕr
	vularăr		ĕşlerĕr			şyrtăr		kiltĕr
	vularĕş		ĕşlerĕş			şyrchĕş		kilchĕş

     The negative conjugation of the preceding uses the -ma- allomorph of the negative morpheme. Note that since it is added after the stem, and before the tense formant, there are only two variants, front and back.
	vulamarăm	ĕşlemerĕm		şyrmarăm	kilmerĕm
	vulamarăn	ĕşlemerĕn		şyrmarăn	kilmerĕn
	vulamarĕ	ĕşlemerĕ		şyrmarĕ		kilmerĕ

	vulamarămăr	ĕşlemerĕmĕr		şyrmarămăr	kilmerĕmĕr
	vulamarăr	ĕşlemerĕr		şyrmarăr	kilmerĕr
	vulamarĕş	ĕşlemerĕş		şyrmarĕş	kilmerĕş

    Examples of various verbs in this tense may be given as follows:
	tuprĕ		he found		tuprăn		you have found (them)
	pĕltĕn		you knew		pytancĕ	he has hidden himself
	itlemerĕ	he did not obey		tuprăr-i	Did you find (him)?
	şürerĕn		you travelled		terĕm		I said
	kilmerĕm	I did not come		tytrĕ		he seized

		şavna pallarăn		you have recognized that one
		şavna pĕltĕn		you have known her
		pytantartăm		I have caused (them) to be hidden
		tupajmarămăr		we were unable to find (him)
		văl sire pallarĕ	he recognized you

    Verb stems ending in -r in this tense have two subclasses, for which no conditions of assignation have as yet been discovered. The first subclass retains -r in all forms of this tense, thus:
	kurtămăr	we did see it
	kurcĕ		he saw it
	esir kurtăr-i	did you see it

    The members of the second subclass, however, drop the -r of the stem before the morpheme of the -R preterite. There are about ten common stems in this class. They are the following verbs of frequent occurrence.
		jĕr-		to weep
		kĕr-		to enter
		kür-		to bring
		par-		to give
		per-		to throw, shoot
		pyr-		to go
		tăr-		to stand
		hur-		to place, put
		jar-		to send, leave, let, release

    Some examples of formations are the following.
	mana Tură ulma pacĕ		God has given me an apple
	jacĕ				he let me go
	jamarĕ				he did not let him go
	jamastcĕ			he did not let go (past habitual tense)
	esĕ şynna ăşta hutăn		where did you put the man?
	lasha numaj tavlashsa tăcĕ	the horse stood there struggling fiercely
	lasha shăvarma kajrăm		I went to water the horses
	asshĕ vara şime kĕnĕ		his father then came in to eat

    In folktales, the verb /kaj-/ to go, also loses -j- before the morpheme of the preterite tense. In the literary language of today, it does not: /kajrĕ/.
     No explanation of this phenomenon has as yet been advanced. Some other common verbs ending in -r do not participate in this change, as:
		lar-		to sit, dwell, be
		tar-		to run
		kur-		to see


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