Votian/Present Tense Indefinite Voice

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Indefinite voice [1][edit]

The indefinite voice describes an action without giving any information about it's agent. Hence a present tense indefinite expression like juvvaz could be translated approximately as: "Somebody drinks!". We don't bother ourselves clarifying, who is drinking.

Mood

Negation verb

Main verb ending

Present tense indicative -t'aksen
Present tense indicative negation epi -t'ak

But it seems to have been replaced with the -tak infinitive by metanalysis. See the morphophonology chapter below.

  • The *-t'aksen suffix was composed of the previous one and 3. person's singular hen [2].
    • The ks cluster was replaced later with ss both in Votian (like) dialects of Ingria and Estonia hence producing -t'aksen > -tassen [3].


Morphophonology[edit]


The vowel a alternates with ä and alternates with e according to vowel harmony rules.


  • The -ta component of the suffix has usually been assimilated with preceding dental consonants: l, л, n, r, s, t like the -t'ak infinitive e.g. epi tuл+t'ak > ep tuллaG ('Nobody comes').
  • The -ta component of the suffix will be assimilated also with preceding stressed long (labialized) vowels: o, u, ö, y like the -t'ak infinitive producing:
    • ō + ta > uvva
    • ū + ta > uvva
    • ȫ + ta > üvvä
    • ǖ + ta > üvvä
      • e.g. jō+t'aksen > juvvassa ('Somebody drinks').
  • The -ta component of the suffix will lose it's t after unstressed vowels like the -tak infinitive e.g. se̮ve̮tta+t'aksen > se̮ve̮ttāssē̮ ('Somebody dresses') - Pontizõõ dialect.


  • Indefinite voice suffixes take a consonant stem if available.
  • But verbal stem is always in the same grade as the -tak infinitive and plural of the second person imperative.
    • лuke̮assa ('Somebody reads.') ~ лuke̮a ('to read') ~ лuke̮gā ('Read!' - plural) X лuge̮G ('Read!' - singular)
    • vs. magatassa ('Somebody sleeps.') ~ magata ('to sleep') ~ magatkā ('Sleep!' - plural) X makā ('Sleep!' - singular)

It seems to be a metanalytic feature, because a verbal stem is always in the weak grade in front of any indefinite voice marker in other Baltic-Finnic dialects [4].


Dialectal alternatives[edit]

  • Dialectal alternatives of the negation verb epi were described in the lesson about present tense negation e.g. ep tuллa vs. ei tulla ('Nobody comes.') .
  1. Eastern Votic dialect
    1. The final -k is pronounced as -G e.g. eb e̮ллaG.
    2. The geminated ss is degeminated e.g. kutsu+t'aksen > kutsuasē̮ ('Somebody invites' ).
  2. Western
    1. Hill Votic dialect: Kattila and surroundings
      1. The suffix -t'aksen has became -tassa or -tässä according to vowel harmony rules e.g. ripussa+t'aksen > ripussāssa ('Somebody hangs' ) vs. repi+t'aksen > repiässä ('Somebody tears' )
      2. The suffix -t'aksen may have lost its final syllable and became -tas̄ or -täs̄ according to vowel harmony rules e.g. лauлa+t'aksen > лauлās̄ ('Somebody sings')
    2. Valley Votic dialect: Mati and surroundings
      1. The suffix -t'aksen has became -taz or -täz according to vowel harmony rules e.g. + t'aksen > süvväz ('Somebody eats' ) vs. ve̮tta+t'aksen > ve̮ttāz ('Somebody takes' )
      2. The suffix -t'aksen may still occur with it's final syllable e.g. -taze̮ or -täze according to vowel harmony rules.
    3. Pontizõõ dialect
      1. The suffix -t'aksen has became -tassē̮ or -tässē according to vowel harmony rules e.g. pan+t'aksen > pannassē̮ ('Somebody puts' ) vs. pes+t'aksen > pesässē ('Somebody washes' )
    4. Vaipooli
      1. Jõgõperä dialect
        1. The suffix -t'aksen has been replaced with -tā or -tǟ (influenced by Ingrian dialects) e.g. лauлo+t'aksen > лauлotā ('Somebody sings') vs. tšüsü+t'aksen > tšüzütǟ ('Somebody asks' )
        2. In front of any indefinite voice marker the stem-vowel a alternates with and ä alternates with e e.g. levvetǟ ('Somebody finds' vs. levvä - the 2. person's singular imperative). This example is composed for Wikiversity and needs verification.
        3. Verbal stem is always in the weak grade in front of any indefinite voice marker e.g. itke̮+t'aksen > idge̮tā ('Somebody cries').
  1. The suffix -t'aksen has became -tasse or -tas̆se (after an unstressed syllable) e.g. tuo+t'aksen > tuasse ('Somebody brings' ) - Lüganuse dialect vs. tuo+t'aksen > tūvas̆se ('Somebody brings' ) - Iisaku dialect [5]
    1. The suffix -t'aksen may substitute -t'ak suffix by negation e.g. epi tuo+t'aksen > ei tuvas̆se ('Nobody brings' ) - Lüganuse dialect [6]
  2. In front of any indefinite voice marker the stem-vowel a alternates with and ä alternates with e e.g. laula+t'aksen > laulet̆tasse ('Somebody sings') - Jõhvi dialect.
  3. Verbal stem is always in the weak grade in front of any indefinite voice marker e.g. keittä+t'aksen > keitet̆tässe ('Somebody boils').

The suffix -t'aksen may have been replaced with -ta or -Da (possibly influenced by Estonian coastal dialects) e.g. vestä+t'aksen > vestetä ('Somebody whittles') [7]

  1. The suffix -t'aksen may have been replaced with -tta or -t̆ta (after an unstressed syllable) (possibly influenced by Estonian coastal dialects) e.g. kisku+t'aksen > kisut̆ta ('Somebody tears' )
  2. The -ta component of the suffix has usually been assimilated with preceding dental consonants: l, n, r, s, t like the -tak infinitive e.g. me̮ttel+t'aksen > me̮ella ('Somebody thinks'), pes+t'aksen > pessäs̆se ('Somebody washes') - Lüganuse dialect.
  3. The -ta component of the suffix will be assimilated also with preceding stressed long (labialized) vowels and diphtongs: uo, ū, üö, ǖ like the -tak infinitive producing
    1. in archaic Lüganuse dialect
      1. uo + ta > ua
      2. ū + ta > ua
      3. üö + ta > üä
      4. ǖ + ta > üä
    2. elswhere in Alutaguse dialects
      1. uo + ta > ūva
      2. ū + ta > ūva
      3. üö + ta > ǖvä
      4. ǖ + ta > ǖvä
        1. e.g. tuo+t'aksen > tua - Lüganuse dialect ~ tūva - Jõhvi dialect ('Somebody brings' )

Both suffixes with -sse component and without it may be found in Alutaguse runic songs [8], what makes it difficult to decide which option was the endemic one.

Other Finnic dialects [9][edit]

References[edit]

  1. Ariste, Paul Vadja keele grammatika. Tartu, 1948. p. 82, 90
  2. Laanest, Arvo: Sissejuhatus läänemeresoome keeltesse, Tallinn 1975. p.156
  3. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 343 26)
  4. Laanest, Arvo: Sissejuhatus läänemeresoome keeltesse, Tallinn 1975. p.152, 163-181
  5. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 261 etc.
  6. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 262
  7. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 259
  8. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 262
  9. Laanest, Arvo: Sissejuhatus läänemeresoome keeltesse, Tallinn 1975. p.163-181

See also[edit]

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