Votian/Verb Moods, Voices and Tenses

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Votian verb moods, voices and tenses [1][edit]

Indefinite voice [2][edit]

Usage[edit]

  1. The indefinite voice describes an action without giving any information about it's agent. Hence an imperfect tense indefinite expression like püvvettī could be translated approximately as: "Somebody cought!". We don't bother ourselves clarifying, who was it.
  2. The indefinite voice may be used instead of the third person of plural (especially in Jõgõperä dialect). Hence an imperfect tense indefinite expression like püvvettī could be translated as: "They cought!" as well.
    1. This may be influenced by Russian, where the third person of plural is used in cases, when Finnic dialects should use the indefinite voice e.g. поймали could be translated both as: "They cought!" as well as "Somebody cought!" .
    2. The younger is a Votian speaker the more likely he uses indefinite voice instead of the third person of plural [3] e.g. ke̮ik̄   ke̮m rōtia e̮л se̮aza ('All the three companies were in the war.' imperfect tense), linnud ̮ vilisel puiza ('Birds were whistling in trees.' imperfect tense), näväd ̮ лauлāz ('They sing.' Mati ), nämä ve̮te̮ttais̄   ('They would take.' conditional).


The indefinite voice itself may be expressed by other means [4] e.g. kuhē̮̄   tätä huллua vēD ? ('Where could you take such a lunatic ?!' substituted by a rhetorical question of the second person), täl̄   on vasara, ešto paikaлt ed ̮ līkuta (' He has a hammer, which can't be moved by anyone ?!' substituted by the second person), et ̮ tǟ mitäiD, kui ve̮ib ̮ e̮ллa (' Nobody knows, how it might be ?!' substituted by the second person).


Morphophonology [5] [6] [7] [8][edit]

  1. Indefinite voice suffixes take a consonant stem if available e.g. pan+t'aksen > pannassē̮ ('Somebody puts' ) - Pontizõõ dialect.
  2. Therefore verbal stem is always in the weak grade in front of any indefinite voice marker (except present tense indefinite voice) e.g. лuget̮tī ('Somebody (did) read.') X лuke̮assa ('Somebody reads.') vs. magattī ('Somebody slept.') X makā ('Sleep!' - singular imperative)
  3. t component of indefinite voice suffixes is not weakened only after unstressed vowels e.g. tako+ttaiksi > tagottaissi ('Somebody would beat.'). X sā-ttaiksi > sā-taissi ('Somebody would get.').
  4. The vowel u alternates with ü , a alternates with ä and alternates with e according to vowel harmony rules e.g. uppot+ttu > upottu (" drowned ") vs. üppät+ttu > üpättü (" jumped ")
  5. In front of any indefinite voice marker (except present tense indefinite voice) the stem-vowel a is replaced by and ä is replaced by e e.g. ve̮tttagō ( vs. ve̮ta - the 2. person's singular imperative).


Phonological history [9][edit]

Indefinite voice suffixes are composed of an indefinite voice marker -tta and additional elements.


L. Posti proposed that this hen component is a former medial voice marker [10] as it's still used in similar role in runic songs (and South Estonian dialects e.g. eläs̀ (<*ksen 'lives' present), sat̀te̮   (<*ihen 'fell (down)' imperfect) [11]). Medial voice represents processes, which take part in the subject itself or include it as a whole.


References[edit]

  1. Ariste, Paul Vadja keele grammatika. Tartu, 1948. p. 73-108
  2. Ariste, Paul Vadja keele grammatika. Tartu, 1948. p. 82-84
  3. Ariste, Paul Vadja keele grammatika. Tartu, 1948. p. 84
  4. Ariste, Paul Vadja keele grammatika. Tartu, 1948. p. 84
  5. Votian indefinite imperative
  6. Votian present tense indefinite voice
  7. Votian imperfect tense of indefinite voice
  8. Votian Conditional
  9. Laanest, Arvo: Sissejuhatus läänemeresoome keeltesse, Tallinn 1975. p.156
  10. Posti, L: Grundzüge der livischen Lautgeschichte, Helsinki 1942. ( Mémoires de la Société Finno-ougrienne LXXXV )
  11. Laanest, Arvo: Sissejuhatus läänemeresoome keeltesse, Tallinn 1975. p.150

See also[edit]

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