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SIA
SIWA
SAUPDNA KATATSOVABMIS
A DESCRIPTIVE GRAMMAR

tienne L. Poisson
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Second print

IV

1 Foreword%................................................................................................2
2 The Alopian People%................................................................................4
2.1 Origin of the Alopian People!..........................................................6
2.3 The Alopian Family Tree!.................................................................10
2.4 The Siwa People!.............................................................................13
2.4.1 Siwa Territory!...............................................................................13
2.4.1.1 Geography!......................................................................14
2.4.2 Sociolinguistic Situation!..............................................................14
3 Phonology%...............................................................................................16
3.1 Vowels!............................................................................................16
3.1.1 Short Vowels!......................................................................18
3.1.1.1 Short Open Vowels!....................................................18
3.1.1.2 Short Closed Vowels!..................................................19
3.1.1.3 The Archiphoneme <>!.............................................19
3.1.2 Long Vowels!......................................................................20
3.1.3 Diphthongs!........................................................................20
3.1.3.1 Diphthong Contraction!..............................................22
3.1.4 Semi-vowels!......................................................................23
3.1.5 Triphthongs!.......................................................................23
3.1.5.1 Diphthong and Long Vowel Coalescence!................23
3.1.6 Vowel Apocope!.................................................................26
3.1.7 Vowel Prothesis!.................................................................26
3.1.8 Vowel Polarity Inversion!....................................................27
3.2 Stress!..............................................................................................29
3.3 Orthographic Conventions Regarding Vowels!...............................30
3.4 Consonants!....................................................................................31
3.4.1 Consonants & Allophones!.................................................31
3.4.1.1 Allophony and Sound Changes!.................................33
3.4.2 Long Consonants!..............................................................56
3.4.3 Palatalized Consonants!.....................................................56
3.4.4 Glottalized Consonants!.....................................................56
3.4.5 Preaspirated Consonants!..................................................56
3.4.6 Initial Consonant Clusters!..................................................57
3.4.7 Internal Consonant Clusters!..............................................58
3.4.7.1 Anaptyctic Pronunciation!..........................................64
3.4.7.2 Ejective Pronunciation!...............................................67
3.4.8 Lenition!..............................................................................67
3.5 Diachronic Phonology!....................................................................73
3.5.1 Consonants!.......................................................................74
3.6 Prosody!...........................................................................................76
4 Nouns%.....................................................................................................78
4.1 Animacy!..........................................................................................79
4.1.1 Inanimate!...........................................................................80
4.1.2 Animate!.............................................................................81
4.1.3 Ambiguous Nouns!.............................................................85
4.1.4 Honorific Nouns!................................................................85
4.2 Marked Form!...................................................................................86
4.2.1 Inanimate Marked Form!.....................................................86
4.2.1.1 Vowel-Final!................................................................86
V

4.2.1.1.1 A-declension!.....................................................87
4.2.1.1.2 E-declension!.....................................................92
4.2.1.1.3 I-declension!......................................................97
4.2.1.1.4 O-declension!....................................................102
4.2.1.1.5 U-declension!.....................................................108
4.2.1.1.6 Y-declension!.....................................................111
4.2.1.2 Marked Consonant-Final Form!..................................115
4.2.1.2.1 S-declension!.....................................................116
4.2.1.2.2 N-declension!.....................................................116
4.2.1.2.3 T-declension!.....................................................117
4.2.1.2.4 L-declension!.....................................................118
4.2.1.2.5 Honorifics in -ts!.................................................120
4.2.1.3 Diphthong Coalescence Declension!........................120
4.2.2 Inanimate Plural!.................................................................121
4.2.2.1 Collective Plural!.........................................................123
4.2.2.2 Plural Nouns!..............................................................124
4.2.3 Animate Marked Form!.......................................................124
4.2.3.1 Overview!....................................................................139
4.2.3.2 Dual Nouns!................................................................140
4.2.3.3 Action Nominals!........................................................142
4.3 Irregular Nouns!...............................................................................144
4.4 Approbation!....................................................................................145
4.4.1 Marking!..............................................................................145
4.4.2 Approbative!.......................................................................147
4.4.3 Pejorative!...........................................................................149
4.5 Cases!.............................................................................................150
4.5.1 Agentive Case!...................................................................151
4.5.2 Patientive Case!..................................................................153
4.5.3 Genitive Case!....................................................................154
4.5.4 Dative Case!.......................................................................156
4.5.4.1 Dative vs. Genitive!....................................................159
4.5.5 Locative Cases!..................................................................159
4.5.5.1 Inessive, Illative and Elative!......................................160
4.5.5.2 Adessive, Allative and Ablative!.................................161
4.5.5.3 Locative Cases for Indirect Objects!..........................162
4.5.5.4 Abessive, Instrumental and Essive!...........................165
4.6 Double Case Marking!.....................................................................166
4.7 Indeclinable and foreign words!.....................................................172
5 Adjectives%................................................................................................173
5.1 Function of Verbal and Participial Forms!.......................................174
5.1.1 Translative Verbal and Adjectival Forms!...........................176
5.2 Function of Adjectival and Copular Forms!.....................................179
5.2.1 Copular coalescence!........................................................179
5.3 Predicative Adjectives!....................................................................180
5.3.1 Object Predicative!.............................................................182
5.3.2 Subject Predicative!...........................................................183
5.4 Attributive Adjectives!......................................................................184
5.5 Adjective Formation!.......................................................................187
5.6 Declension!.....................................................................................192
VI

5.7 Formation of Verbal Forms from Non-Derived Adjectival Forms!....192


5.8 Degrees of Comparison!.................................................................194
5.8.1 Comparative!......................................................................194
5.8.1.1 Comparative constructions!.......................................196
5.8.2 Superlative!.........................................................................197
5.8.3 Equative!............................................................................200
5.8.4 Comparative and Superlative of Non-Adjectives!..............200
5.9 Compound Adjectives!....................................................................202
5.10 Nominalization of Adjectives!........................................................203
5.11 Non-Numeral Quantifiers!..............................................................206
5.11.1 Comparative and Superlative!..........................................210
6 Adverbs%...................................................................................................212
6.1 Adverbial Form of Adjectives!.........................................................212
6.2 Adverbial Form of Verbs!.................................................................215
6.2.1 Participial Adverbs!............................................................215
6.2.2 Verbal Adverbs!..................................................................216
6.3 Adverbial Form of Non-Numeral Quantifiers!..................................217
6.4 Comparative and Superlative!.........................................................218
6.5 Locative Adverbs/Postpositions!.....................................................220
6.5.1 Cardinal Directions!............................................................222
6.5.2 Up and Down!....................................................................225
6.5.3 Over and Under!.................................................................229
6.5.4 In, On and Out!...................................................................231
6.5.5 Before, Behind, In The Middle and Through!.....................233
6.5.6 At, Near, Away!...................................................................236
6.5.7 Amongst, Next To and At The Edge Of!.............................238
6.5.8 Across and On The Other Side!.........................................240
6.6 Temporal adverbs!..........................................................................242
6.7 Indeclinable Adverbs!.....................................................................248
6.7.1 Indeclinable Adverbs of Degree!.......................................248
6.7.2 Indeclinable Adverbs of Time!...........................................249
6.7.3 Other Indeclinable Adverbs!..............................................250
6.8 Negation Adverbs!...........................................................................251
7 Conjunctions%...........................................................................................252
7.1 Coordinating Particles!....................................................................259
8 Postpositions%...........................................................................................264
9 Verbs%.......................................................................................................278
9.1 Verb morphology!............................................................................278
9.2 Verb Structure!................................................................................281
9.2.1 Independent Verbs!............................................................281
9.2.1.1 Prefix slots!.................................................................281
9.2.1.1.1 Slot -3!................................................................281
9.2.1.1.2 Slot -2!................................................................282
9.2.1.1.3 Slot -1!................................................................282
9.2.1.2 Verb Stem!..................................................................283
9.2.1.2.1 Slot 1!.................................................................283
9.2.1.2.2 Slot 2!.................................................................284
9.2.1.2.3 Slot 3 and 4!.......................................................284
9.2.1.2.4 Impersonal Verbs and Verbal Adjectives!..........289
VII

9.2.1.2.5 Slot 5!.................................................................291


9.2.1.2.6 Slot 6!.................................................................292
9.2.1.2.7 Slot 7!.................................................................293
9.2.1.2.8 Slot 8!.................................................................293
9.2.1.2.9 Slot 9!.................................................................293
9.2.2 Copular Verbs!...................................................................294
9.3 Verbal Personal Pronouns!..............................................................296
9.3.1.1 Inclusive vs. Exclusive!...............................................297
9.3.1.2 Obviative vs. Proximate!.............................................298
9.3.1.3 Fourth Person!............................................................299
9.3.2 Agentive Pronouns!............................................................303
9.3.3 Recipient Pronouns!...........................................................303
9.3.4 Patientive Pronouns!...........................................................304
9.3.5 Unagentive Pronouns!........................................................306
9.3.6 Overview!............................................................................308
9.4 Agentivity!........................................................................................309
9.4.1 Unagentive Verbs!..............................................................309
9.4.1.1 Patientive Verbs!.........................................................311
9.4.2 Agentive Verbs!..................................................................311
9.4.3 Ambiguous Agentivity!........................................................312
9.4.4 Double Agentivity!..............................................................313
9.5 Valency!...........................................................................................315
9.5.1 Transitive!...........................................................................315
9.5.2 Intransitive!.........................................................................317
9.5.2.1 Intransitive Syncope!..................................................318
9.5.3 Translative!.........................................................................319
9.5.4 Subjective!..........................................................................321
9.5.5 Ditransitive!.........................................................................324
9.5.5.1 Subjective Directional!................................................327
9.5.6 Passive!..............................................................................327
9.5.7 Impersonal Verbs!..............................................................328
9.5.8 Prefix Coalescence!...........................................................330
9.6 Evidentiality!....................................................................................331
9.6.1 Assertive!............................................................................331
9.6.2 Inferential!...........................................................................332
9.7 Mood!..............................................................................................333
9.7.1 Indicative!...........................................................................334
9.7.2 Conditional Realis!..............................................................335
9.7.3 Conditional Irrealis!.............................................................337
9.7.4 Optative!.............................................................................339
9.7.5 Obligative!..........................................................................342
9.7.6 Imperative!..........................................................................343
9.7.6.1 Imperative Obviative!.................................................344
9.8 Postverbal Vowel Coalescence!......................................................346
9.9 Aspect!............................................................................................354
9.9.1 Conclusivity!.......................................................................354
9.9.1.1 Verbal Inconclusive!...................................................355
9.9.1.2 Copular Inconclusive!................................................356
9.9.1.3 Telicity!.......................................................................357
VIII

9.9.2 Habitual!.............................................................................359
9.9.3 Perfective!...........................................................................360
9.9.4 Secondary Aspectual Markers!..........................................361
9.9.4.1 Reversive!...................................................................362
9.9.4.2 Semelfactive!..............................................................363
9.9.4.3 Persistive!...................................................................366
9.9.4.4 Frequentative!.............................................................367
9.9.4.5 Inchoative!..................................................................368
9.9.4.6 Subitive!......................................................................368
9.9.4.7 Habilitive!....................................................................370
9.9.4.8 Diminutive!..................................................................371
9.10 Tense!............................................................................................372
9.10.1 Past Form!.........................................................................374
9.10.1.1 Past Marking on Vowel-Final Verbs!.........................374
9.10.1.1.1 Vowel-final Stem Coalescence!.......................376
9.10.1.1.2 Vowel-Final Verbs!...........................................377
9.10.1.1.3 Diphthong-Final Verbs!....................................385
9.10.1.2 Past Marking on Consonant-Final Verbs!.................385
9.10.1.2.1 Strong Consonant-Final Verbs!........................385
9.10.1.2.2 Weak Consonant-Final Verbs!..........................391
9.10.1.3 Irregular verbs!.........................................................393
9.10.1.3.1 Augmented Verbs!...........................................394
9.10.1.3.2 Syncoped Verbs!..............................................395
9.10.1.3.3 Proper Irregular Verbs!.....................................395
9.11 Tense-Aspect Coalescence!.........................................................398
9.12 Location and Movement!...............................................................399
9.12.1 Primary Locative Markers!................................................400
9.12.2 Definite Secondary Locative Markers!.............................401
9.12.3 Relative Secondary Locative Markers!.............................402
9.13 Preverbal Adverbs!........................................................................403
9.13.1 Locative Preverbal Adverbs!............................................403
9.13.1.1 With Transitive Verbs!...............................................404
9.13.1.2 With Semantically Passive Verbs!............................405
9.13.1.3 With Paritciples!........................................................405
9.13.1.4 Modifying the Verb!..................................................406
9.13.2 Simlpe Preverbal Adverbs!...............................................410
9.14 Absolutive Descriptives!................................................................424
9.14.1 -AHP-!...............................................................................425
9.14.2 -AHT-!...............................................................................427
9.14.3 -ATST- or -ADD-!..............................................................429
9.14.4 -IB- (also -IB-)!................................................................430
9.14.5 -IKS-!.................................................................................432
9.14.6 -IPR-/-IUL- or -IB-!..........................................................433
9.14.7 -UP/-YP-/-EB-!..................................................................434
9.14.8 -OHN/-HN-!....................................................................436
9.14.9 -OHK-!...............................................................................437
9.15 Complementization!.......................................................................439
9.15.1 Short Forms!.....................................................................441
9.15.1.1 Short Forms in Direct Speech!.................................442
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9.16 Copula!..........................................................................................442
9.16.1 Independent Copula!.......................................................443
9.16.1.1 There-Existential Phrases!........................................444
9.16.1.2 To Be!.......................................................................447
9.16.1.3 Relative Clauses!......................................................450
9.16.1.3.1 Subjective Relative Clauses!............................453
9.16.1.3.2 Objective Relative Clauses!.............................455
9.16.1.3.3 Possessive Relative Clauses!..........................458
9.16.1.3.4 Locative Relative Clauses!...............................459
9.16.1.3.5 Link Constructions!..........................................462
9.16.1.3.5.1 Temporal Link Constructions!..................463
9.16.1.3.5.2 Goal Link Constructions!..........................469
9.16.1.3.5.3 Adverbial Link Constructions!..................470
9.16.2 Dependent Copula!..........................................................473
9.16.2.1 Copular Endings!......................................................477
9.16.2.2 Defective Copular Verbs!.........................................478
9.16.2.3 Coalescence!...........................................................480
9.16.2.4 Use!..........................................................................482
9.16.2.5 Miscellaneous!..........................................................483
9.17 Participles!.....................................................................................483
9.17.1 Active Participles!.............................................................486
9.17.2 Patientive Participles!.......................................................489
9.17.3 Temporal Participles!........................................................491
9.18 Infinitives!.......................................................................................492
9.18.1 Nominal Infinitive!.............................................................497
9.18.1.2 Verb Stem and Nominal Infinitive Coalescence!......498
9.18.2 Copular Infinitive!.............................................................504
9.18.2.1 Time And Evendiality!...............................................505
9.18.2.2 Bare Infinitives!.........................................................506
9.18.2.3 Locative Infinitives!...................................................507
10 Pronouns and Determiners%...................................................................510
10.1 Personal Pronouns!.......................................................................511
10.1.1 First Person!......................................................................513
10.1.2 Second Person!................................................................513
10.1.3 Third Person!....................................................................514
10.1.4 Fourth Person!..................................................................515
10.1.5 Self!...................................................................................515
10.2 Demonstrative Pronouns!..............................................................516
10.2.1 Independent Pronouns!....................................................518
10.2.2 Attributive Pronouns!........................................................520
10.3 Adverbial Pronouns or Pro-Adverbs!...........................................524
10.4 Question Words!............................................................................526
10.5 Interrogative Adverbs!...................................................................529
10.6 Indefinite Pronouns!.......................................................................530
10.6.1.1 Known To Speaker!..................................................532
10.6.1.2 Unknown To Speaker!..............................................533
10.6.1.3 Non-Specific!............................................................533
10.6.1.4 Polar Question!.........................................................533
10.6.1.5 Conditional!..............................................................534
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10.6.1.6 Indirection Negation!................................................534


10.6.1.7 Direct Negation!.......................................................534
10.6.1.8 Comparison!.............................................................534
10.6.1.9 Free Choice!.............................................................535
10.6.1 Known Existential Pronouns!............................................535
10.6.2 Unknown Existential Pronouns!........................................536
10.6.3 Elective Pronouns!............................................................538
10.6.5 Known Negative Pronouns!..............................................539
10.6.6 Unknown Negative Pronouns!..........................................541
10.7 Universal and Distributive Pronouns!............................................542
10.7.1 Distributive Pronouns!.......................................................542
10.7.2 Universal Pronouns!.........................................................544
10.8 -ni Determiners!.............................................................................545
10.8.1 -ni Determiners on Pronouns!...........................................547
11 Numerals%...............................................................................................549
11.1 Cardinal Numerals!........................................................................549
11.2 Ordinal Numerals!..........................................................................552
11.2.1 Halves and Fractions!.......................................................553
11.3 Nominal Numerals!........................................................................554
11.4 Collective Numerals!......................................................................554
12 Interjections%...........................................................................................556
13 Interrogation%..........................................................................................557
14 Derivation%..............................................................................................558
14.1 Derivational Phonological Changes!.............................................558
14.1.1 Fronted Vowels!................................................................559
14.1.2 Lengthened Vowels!.........................................................560
14.1.3 Shortened Vowels!............................................................562
14.1.4 Overview of Vowel Changes!...........................................563
14.2 Derivational Endings!.....................................................................564
14.2.1 Nominal Derivational Endings!.........................................564
14.2.1.1 Non-Productive Endings!..........................................573
14.2.2 Deverbalizers!..................................................................574
14.2.2.1 Verbal Derivational Endings!....................................575
15 Syntax%...................................................................................................586
15.1 General Word Order!.....................................................................586
15.2 The Noun Phrase!..........................................................................587
15.3 The Adjectival Phrase!...................................................................588
15.4 The Adverbial Phrase!...................................................................588
15.5 Interrogative Phrase!.....................................................................589
15.6 Topicalization!...............................................................................589
16 Dialects%................................................................................................591
17 Texts%.....................................................................................................595
Nitaka Siiko%..............................................................................................595
17.1 English Version!...............................................................................601
18 Lexicon%..................................................................................................607
19 Glossing%................................................................................................667
20 Siwa Swadesh List%...............................................................................668
Appendix A: Modernization%..........................................................................673
19 Glossing%................................................................................................682
XI

20 Siwa Swadesh List%...............................................................................683


21 Map %......................................................................................................686
22 A Beginners Course in Modern Siwa%....................................................688
Uosaui!......................................................................................689
1 NIETAT ESTOT - First Lesson: Hi, my name is.%.........................698
1.1 TAMOSI II!.............................................................................................698
1.2 OAKIMA!..................................................................................................699
1.3 TAMOSI K!..............................................................................................708

2 NIETAT EUT - Second Lesson: This is my friend%........................716


2.1 DA MMNI DDA? !..................................................................................716
2.2 DA NDNI DDA? !...................................................................................719
2.3 KITUANA KENDAI NHR?!....................................................................725

3 NIETAT NEVUT - Third Lesson: Im not from around here%..........730


3.1 SIBOAKI NGA? !...................................................................................730
3.2 KOKKASA NHR KITAMI? !....................................................................737

4 NIETAT AITSET - Fourth Lesson: What would you like%.................744


4.1 Pevuana i nhr ? !..................................................................................744
4.2 Mantuemi m kadlka yi!...........................................................................751
4.3 Ndni unokkis tten? !...............................................................................756

5 NIETAT HAKNET - Fifth Lesson: How do you feel today%...............763


5.1 Toa aymika!............................................................................................763
5.2 Para gedna!.............................................................................................769

5 NIETAT SUDNET - Sixth Lesson: Do you want to come to the cabin with
us?%..........................................................................................................781
5.1 Kobai mitsnta mimiei. !........................................................................781

Appendix A: Modernization%..........................................................................786

XII

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1 Foreword
Siwa is a constructed language or conlang that came to be as the result of many
years of exploration, imagination and hard work. The original project started
sometime before 2005 when I decided to catalog my ideas for a new language in the
form of a journal. The project bore the name Glossopoiesis and although the result
you will find in this book has little to do with the original project, there is an unbroken
chain of work, ideas and documents that extend over 10 years and have culminated
in the form of this book.
!
The hobby of creating languages is called conlanging. It is a difficult idea to
explain to the uninitiated or those who have never considered language creation as a
tool for creativity. As I came to find out, language creation is very much a form of art,
disguised in linguistic terms and abstract grammatical ideas. There is beauty in using
the infinitely complex and diverse phenomenon of language, which is available to us
all, and turn in into something distinctly private and personal. There is also a
fundamental problem with conlanging this hobby is often only ever fully
appreciated by its creator. It would be foolish for anyone setting out creating a
language to think that there will be an audience for the creation. Indeed it is quite far
from the point of this book. Instead, the satisfaction I get from having created my own
language lies in my ability to express my thoughts and ideas in a way uniquely
tailored to my taste, my esthetics, my view of the world. Conlanging is a lonely and
selfish hobby, which is perhaps why so few dare to share their work with the world.
!
I started conlanging at a young age, first by designing and modifying all
types of alphabets. I was still young when I discovered an old family heirloom, a book
on Ancient Greek grammar, passed down from father to son for 200 years. The
alphabet fascinated me and it stimulated my imagination. I was able to express
myself through the creation of alphabets. All my school books were covered in
various indecipherable scribblings. My curiosity quickly turned to languages, which
took up most of my interest throughout my teens. I read through every language book
I could find and I was assiduously studying Icelandic and Finnish with perfect fluency
as my goal. The more I learned about foreign languages and their grammar, the more
inspired I became to make my own language, using what I liked about the many
languages I was studying to create something uniquely mine. The result was the first
systematic attempt to describe the creation of a conlang, which many years later
would lead to the birth of Siwa.
!
Siwa, and my goal of finishing this book, widened my horizons and
introduced me to exciting subjects; anthropology, botany, biology, genetics, human
prehistory and most importantly linguistics. Of the languages I have studied, a few
have left a very important mark on Siwa, namely Finnish, Northern Smi and
Georgian.
!
Now, more than 700 pages later, Siwa is a functional, rich, realistic apriori
conlang with a large vocabulary and one speaker. A fully operational machine
capable of expressing any thought beautifully, set in a detailed culture and
landscape of pre-Columbian Native America.

!
Although the medium I chose to express myself artistically is unusual, I hope
I have succeeded in capturing my vision of Siwa so that those who wish to peer into it
may learn about it, appreciate it and even find out something new about the world.

tienne L. Poisson
Reykjavk, 2014

2 The Alopian People


The Siwa people are a pre-columbian North-American seminomadic people who
inhabit a 525 km long belt of land in central Quebec, mostly centered around lake
Mistassini (Sipsi) and westward along the Rupert River (Sengi) to the shores of the
James Bay. Siwa and their relatives form the Alopian language family (from the
Ancient Greek male fox, a common symbol amongst these people).
!
The Alopian family contains seven languages regrouped in three branches on the
basis of their development and shared features:
!
!
Forest Alopian
!
!
Siwa
!
!
Sigori
%
Tundra Alopian
!
!
Eastern Onori
!
!
Western Onori
%
Costal Alopian
!
!
Costal Olma
!
!
Southern Olma
The Forest and Tundra Alopian branches are grouped together as the Inland Alopian
branch. The Alopian language family is of no genetic or linguistic relation to any other
language or language family in North America and the surrounding Algonquian and
Iroquoian languages.
!
Compared to their neighbors, the Alopian languages have a remarkably
different morphology and phonology the languages are not typical of the
northeastern native american linguistic profile; Alopian languages show distinction
between voiced and unvoiced consonants; certain languages have rounded vowels;
all Alopian languages have fixed initial stress, etc. On the other hand, there is much
homogeneity between all Alopian languages, and even the most divergent
languages, for example the linguistically and geographically opposed Eastern Onori
and Southern Olma languages, are not as distant from each other as English and
Russian their similarities and dissimilarities are more comparable to those of English
to Swedish. Physically, the Alopians are not similar to their Algonquian neighbors.
Alopians are short, have large elevated flat cheekbones, somewhat small noses,

heavy but bare brow and brown hair. However, unlike other native populations,
Alopian people sometimes display curly hair in much lighter shades, freckles, pale
brown to green eyes and a paler complexion.
!
Genetically, Alopians are atypical in that they exhibit the highest rate of the X
MtDNA haplogroup in the Americas, with as much as 45% of the population carrying
the X haplogroup. They are followed by the Algonquian people (their neighbors to the
west) with a frequency of as much as 25%. The X haplogroup is the only founding
haplogroup of Native Americans (the others are A, B, C and D) which is found in
Europe, specifically in Near East, Caucasus and Mediterranean Europe. This, along

with other clues discussed elsewhere in this book, points to an ultimately European
origin for the Alopian people and languages.

2.1 Origin of the Alopian People


It has been proposed that the Alopian people arrived in Quebec from Europe
sometime after the beginning of the Holocene epoch roughly 10,000 years ago when
most of Quebec was still covered by a thick layer of ice. These people who settled
the northeastern part of America would have likely spoken a single language, which
quickly took to diverging into the present Alopian languages over a period of
2500-3500 years. Viewed in concert with the range of with their domain, the arrival of
the Alopian people in North-America can be placed 5,000-4,000 years ago, during
the late Boreal or early Atlantic periods of the Holecene epoch. This places the
present Siwa people and their relatives in time at around 2,500 years ago.
!
The reconstructed proto-language, ancestor of the Alopian languages, is
likely to have been spoken somewhere in Eurasia to the west of the Ural mountains.
This generally supported scenario indicates that Proto-Alopians moved westward
and likely encountered the early Uralic or Finno-Ugric people in or east of
Scandinavia. This interaction would have lasted for some time to allow for the
incorporation of several loanwords into the early proto-Alopian language. Eventually
proto-Alopians are thought to have traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and settled
what is known today as Quebec. The means of this migration over tha Atlantic ocean
are unknown, but travel by boats is possible, especially in view of the advanced boat
making skills displayed by the Olma people, who build boats strong enough to go
fishing many tens of kilometers out into the Atlantic.
!
The evidence for this migration from Europe to America is composed of a few
borrowings from a very early Uralic language as well as traits generally dissimilar to
the native american cultures that surround Alopian people and similar traits to many
Siberian reindeer herders. This theory, if correct, would make the Alopian people the
only genetic and linguistic group to have settled America from the Atlantic Ocean.
Due of the great time depth involved in reconstructions of proto-Uralic languages
(proto-Finnic, proto-Saamic and/or proto-Finno-Permic. depending on the
classification) which appear to go back to the earliest stages of proto-Uralic, it is not
possible to confirm a time or area of contact between the proto-Alopian and early
Uralic peoples if it occured.
!
However, it seems very likely that these two groups were at one point in
Sprachbund with geographical proximity and sociolinguistic contact. Genetic or
otherwise, evidence of community or contact includes cultural terms common to the
Uralic language. The proto-Uralic *wk (sometimes termed a Wanderwort)
resembles the proto-Alopian form *(v/m?)ski (cf. SIWA moski wild copper and OLMA
vaik golden, reddish, yellow). Similarly, the proto-Uralic *ysi bow is similar (but
not identical or regularly derivable) to the proto-Alopian *ks (cf. SIWA ksy bow).
!
Further evidence places the movement of the proto-Alopian people in a
migration course near the Baltic sea, such as the extensive use of amber in graves,
6

large ceramic containers decorated with fine lines, using of large tipis and wooden
houses common to the Comb-Ceramic or Pit-Comb culture of neolithic Scandinavia,
which places a proto-Alopian presence there at 7000 years ago.
!
This is coherent with apparent loanwords from a Uralic language:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

proto-Uralic!
!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*suksi ! !
*ss:i-ba %
sohpa ! !

ski

proto-Uralic!
!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*suksi ! !
*ss:i
syhhi ! !

ski

proto-Uralic!
!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!
!
!
proto-Uralic!
!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!
!
!
!

*meki !!
bee
*mi
meihho !beehive

proto-Uralic!
!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*puwe ! !
*pmi
pymi ! !

proto-Uralic!
!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*jik ! !
*j:ec
gekes ! !

proto-Uralic!
!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*rep ! !
*re<te>pa
retema !fox

fox

!
!
!

proto-Uralic!
!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*pjw !!
*pej-pe
peibi%
!

sun

!
!
!
!
!
!
!

proto-Uralic!
!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*hi- !
*hexhel-%

proto-Uralic!
!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*tuke ! !
*to-ka
tkka ! !

ski

bent tree

*we ! !
*vee
v !
!
!
!

brother-in-law
male visitor who is allowed to
sleep with hosts daughter
wood
unedible cambrium
age
year

full-moon

polish
!

to polish, to make smooth/even


push
it will give birth to it (of animals)
7

These correspondences are however at a time depth too deep for more than
speculation on whether these words are true borrowinsg or convergent coincidence.
2.2 The Alopian People in North-America
Proponents are currently divided over proposals on the mechanism of proto-Alopian
migration, currently into two separate camps; the most likely route of settlement is
along the southern margins of the Atlantic sea ice (early settlement theory) or by
crossing the ocean on boat (late settlement theory).
!
An agricultural force such as the Corded-Ware culture might have forced the
hunter-gathering proto-Alopian people to migrate westward. Most of the present
Alopian territory would have been unaccessible or covered in a large lake (the Tyrrell
sea) 9000 years ago. Proto-Alopian people would have first settled in the eastern
Woodlands and subsequently moved up into the Shield Archaic cultural region as the
Laurentide Ice Sheet recessed. Unlike the Algonquian people, who are believed to
have come from the west and have more or less always been part of the Shield
Archaic culture, Proto-Alopians would have gone through a cultural switch, going
from semi-nomadic forest hunting and light agriculture to a much more nomadic
lifestyle of forest and sea hunting and a heavy dependence on caribou herding.
!
Many terms related more or less to the lifestyle of the Shield Archaic culture
found in Alopian languages are borrowed from an early Algonquian language:
!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*ahp- ! !
*o-p-i
bi !
!

dark blue, bruise

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*amekwa !
*meskwa
msko ! !

beaver

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*peiwa !
*piwe
pivi ! !

lynx

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*nepi- ! !
*niiwnivvon% !

water

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*ak-! !
*sk-ama
ohkama !

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*-axkw- !wood
*-ga- % !
(in certain tree names)
serula ! !
larch

X gets a bruise

beaver meat

lynx

wet
unripe
raw

larch wood1

!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

iruoga ! !
!
*ekwe- !
*iskwe ! !
ski !
!

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa! !
!

*ka:wa:ntakwa white spruce


*kauwa:ta
kumora !
white spruce

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*mahkate:w !
*mka-si
moasi ! !

black

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! %
Siwa ! !
!

*namewa !
*nomwa
nommo!!

sturgeon

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*na:pe:ya:kwa % male porcupine


*nobeja
nobia ! !
porcupine

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*oxpwakana ! pipe
*bwakon
uboko ! !
pipe

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-Alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*se:hse:ka:ntakwa !
black spruce
*seseka:ta
seskora !
tree used to find ones way

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-alopian ! !
Siwa ! !
!

*wekwani !
*oskwan
oskon ! !

his forehead

!
!
!

proto-Algonquian!
proto-alopian ! !
siwa ! !
!

*wesa:w !
*os
usu ! !

yellow

woman
woman

black bear (taboo word)

sturgeon

male moose

smoked2

(cf. siula fir > iuoga fir wood and npi dwarf birch neuoga/neoga drift wood (proto-Siwa *nw-ga,
contaminated by neo sand)

(reanalyzed as *os-u, cf. toski it keeps for a long time from *os-k and oskima durable)

2.3 The Alopian Family Tree


The diagram below shows how Alopian languages are thought to have evolved from
the proto-Alopian language and how they are related to each other.

proto-Alopian

Costal Alopian

Eastern Olma

Central Olma

Southern Olma

Inland Alopian

Tundra Alopian

Eastern Onori

Western Onori

Forest Alopian

Siwa

Sigori

The Alopians are organized in 3 main groups according to both a cultural and
geographical separation; the nomadic caribou herders of the north (the Tundra
Alopians); the semi-nomadic hunter gatherers of the Boreal Forest (the Forest Alopian
speakers), and the semi-settled fishermen, farmers, traders and hunters of the
southern territory (the Costal Alopial speakers). The settled Costal Alopians have
been influenced by the extended North-Eastern cultural area of North-America and
are thus similar to Iroquoian people. The nomadic and semi-nomadic Forest and
Taiga Alopians of the North belong to the Subarctic hunter-gatherer cultural area.
Despite large cultural differences, the Alopian peoples recognize their distinct
culture, ethnicity and linguistic relationship. This is supported by an intricate system
of cooperation, intertribal visitations, intermarriage and trade.

10

11

*tio:di-un
*ku-m
*sl-ka
*ma:hi

snowshoes

aspen

maple

*siwe

honey

guts

*tine

firewood

*tsxi:

*sudo

berry

cedar

*sira

fish

ProtoAlopian

maihhi

solka

gykin

toadun

tsn

sivi

tinin

suvo

sira

Siwa

salka

sauk/
sauka
ma:/ma:i

sanaka
mauhi/
ma:fi

ma:

ykyn

o:o

ti

ie

ini

su:

sina

Western
Onori

yka/kyka

o:unu

o:an/
o:nu
ikom/ika

tsm

e:j

eni

su:j

si:/si:s

Eastern
Onori

Tundra Alopian

tsuhi/tso:

sibi

ie/ieni

suo/suju

sina

Sigori

Forest Alopian

ma:j

sauka

cca

uanu

ie

sieb

cien

suol

siesa

Southern
Olma

ma:bi

so:ka

uonu

ii

si:b

en

su:ru

si:s

Central
Olma

Costal Alopian

maub

solk

aa

anu

i:

ep

iem

suli

sicci

Costal
Olma

12

tamosi

*ta-msi
*migi
*ei

hunter

one

two

ei

savpi

*s-bi

forest fire

myry

bieli

*mr

*bi:li

fat

obena

Siwa

mje

tamoi/
tamo

soppi

mini

ii

me

ii

mi

tami

saspi

saspi/
sappi
tami

myry

bieli

ona

Western
Onori

myry/myny

be:w/be:j

wo:na/
wo:ni

obna/
wabna
bieli/biali

Eastern
Onori

Tundra Alopian

Sigori

Forest Alopian

fly (n.)

*obena

smoke

ProtoAlopian

mag

tama:

saumpi

mana

pieja

vuapi

Southern
Olma

max

tamo:

sampi

mana

paja

wapi

Central
Olma

Costal Alopian

meg

tamo:

sauppi

mana

paja

wapin

Costal
Olma

2.4 The Siwa People


The Siwa people call themselves Siuragi in their language, Siwa (Sia). There are
various endonyms used for different parts of the Siwa territory. These two names are
clearly etymologically related (siu- and si-), though the ultimate origin is unclear.
Siwa themselves consider that the words originate from sivva foxes, as they strongly
associate with the arctic fox (vulpes lagopus). However, another possibility is that the
two cognates could be related to the word sivi honey. In Siwa mythology, the world
came from a drop of honey that was shattered by lightning. This is also supported by
various words with a positive conotation derived from honey (sivusomi honeyman
means a righteous, good man) and the central role that honey plays in Siwa culture
honey is considered a holy substance, a cure and even a form of payment.
!
As a people, the Siwa are united by their way of life, their mythology, stories,
songs, skills and dialects. All Siwa are semi-nomadic, constantly moving during the
winter and regrouping in permanant villages during the summer months. Siwa society
is organized around multiple units formed of one or many families living together in
communities around lakes and rivers. These communities are home to children and
woman all year round, with the men and boys being away from the communities for
up to 9 months of the year.
!
Siwa people survive thus through hunting and the keeping of caribou (or at
the very least the hunting of caribou) and some light forms of agriculture (certain
communities grow beans, berries and squashes). Great hunting and fishing skills and
an extensive knowledge of the flora in which they live has allowed Siwa to grow and
expland over a large territory and diversify into specific regional communities. For
example, the western communities are known for their seal hunting while eastern
communities exceed at weaving baskets and shoes from birch bark.
2.4.1 Siwa Territory
Siwa territory contains four main regions, each of which have their own dialects,
culture and own ethnonyms. They are the western, mid-western, mid-eastern and
eastern territories. Eastern Siwa people call themselves Tatimragi (shore-people, cf.
temmu shore), mid-easterners are called Aslaragi (antler-people, cf. salama
antlers), mid-westerners are called Denigi (arrow-people, cf. deno arrow), and
easterners are called Heigi (salt-people, cf. hego salt). Mid-eastern and midwestern territories are sometimes refered to as Mamoski (game-people). These
ethnonyms reflect characteristic features of those who live in each territory.
!
There are 22 main Siwa communities spread over the whole territory, with
many more smaller settlements and temporary camps. The most populous
community is the city of Aingo, whose dialect is the basis for the language described
in this book. The communities and territories are organized as such:
!
!
!
!
!

Western communities (Heigi):


!
dnu
!
Riekka
!
Nenniauki
!
Regna
13

!
!
!
!
!

Mid-western communities (Denigi)


!
Tski
!
Hadloi
!
Kola
!
Skisa

!
!
!
!

Mid-eastern communities (Aslaragi)


!
Sarsirit
!
Onnu
!
Saihken

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

Eastern communities (Tatimragi)


!
Aingo
!
ekla and Hokla
!
Rhri
!
Kelin
!
Neihesko
!
Kevvi
!
Kuomin
!
Sorhi
!
Nupddima
!
Sutaen

2.4.1.1 Geography
The geography of Quebec was quite different 3000 years ago than it is today. The
water levels of lakes and rivers was higher, the climate was wetter and slightly cooler
than today. Flora and fauna found more to the north were common in the south of
Quebec. The Boreal Forest also began further south than it is today. Wetlands,
quagmires, bogs and marshes were much more common than today. The Tundra,
Open Boreal Woodland, Mid Taiga and South Taiga vegetation/climate belts would
have been respectively shifted to the south, such that the Tundra belt of today would
have been found where todays Open Boreal Woodland belt is, and the Open Boreal
Woodland belt would have been where the Mid Taiga belt is today, and so on. The
tundra area would have been treeless, perhaps similar to northern Finland and its
tunturi.

2.4.2 Sociolinguistic Situation


It is estimated that are about 30,00060,000 Siwa people. About half of the males
speak at least another language, most commonly Sigori. Some may be able to
communicate with neighboring Algonquian peoples. Siwa people recognize their
close ties with the Sigori, and the continuum between the two languages can become
unclear in the dialect of Siwa which closest resemble Sigori, namely the Sorhi dialect.

14

Siwa is best thought of as a continuum composed of 8 dialect groups spoken in 22


areas, which are generally separated into East and West. The grammar contained in
this book is based mainly on the eastern dialects, especially that of Aingo, which
belongs to the Sapsi dialect. To illustrate how the dialects differ from each other, the
phrase the man burned himself in the fire is shown in each dialect:
'
!

Western Dialects
!
Far Western, spoken in dnu, Riekka, Nenniauki and Regna

Mid Western, spoken in Tski, Hadloi, Kola and Skisa

'
!

Eastern Dialects
!
Mid Eastern, spoken in Sarsirit, Onnu and Saihken

Sapsi dialects, spoken in ekla, Rhri and Kelin

%
!
!
%
%

%
!
!
%
%

%
!

Far Eastern, spoken in Kevvi and Kuomin

North Eastern, spoken in Sorhi (called Saro)

asai nobetta ot sonka

asavi nobenda at sonka

asai noenda ot skko

osai noemta ota somo


South-Sapsi, spoken in Aingo, Nupddima and Sutaen
osavvi noimmita otta skko

North-Sapsi, spoken in Neihesko


%
%
%
osai noemta otta sonko

usavvi noenda okta songu

asaddi noemba ata smko

The western dialects have most heavily been influenced by surrounding Algonquian
languages;they contain more loanwords, are less conservative than eastern dialects
and are generally regarded as less proper by eastern dialect speakers.

15

3 Phonology
3.1 Vowels
The table below shows all vowels of Siwa, both phonemes (in //) and allophones (in
[]).

front
close

/i y/

near close

/e /

nearfront

mid

near-back

//
[]

back

/u/
[]
//

close mid
open mid

[ ]

near open

//

open

[a]

//

//

Siwa has phonemic distinction between short and long.


!
!
SHORT! !
!
!
LONG
!
/ e i u y / !
!
/: e: i: : u: : y: :/
!
<a e i o u y > !
!
< u u>

The former are either open or closed, and the latter are always long vowels. The
two semi-vowels are /j w/ < >. The semi-vowels can also be long, then spelled g [j:]
and vv [w:]. The short vowels are pronounced as follow in closed syllables (before
two consonants or before a word-final consonant, though not before long
consonants):
!
!

/a /
<a e i o u y >

The vowel // <> does not exist in closed syllables, being instead replaced by []
<e>, and <y > being being pronounced [] when in closed syllables.
Siwa also has a vowel which lacks its own surface form it is a phoneme which has
no fixed pronunciation; an archiphoneme. This archiphoneme is <> (not to be
confused with the anaptyctic []). Its pronunciation is dependent on the preceding
vowels. It is not found in stressed syllables (see 3.1.3). It is sometimes found written
as <o>, especially when transcribing certain eastern dialects which have kept it as

16

the phoneme [] or [], e.g. kgini [cij:ini] youngest child vs. kgoni [ci:j:ni].
However, since this is restricted to only a few dialects, it will not be used here.
!
Below is a chart summing the vowels and their orthography:
short

long

open

closed

open

closed

/a/

[] a

[a] a

[:]

//

[]

[:]

/e/

[e] e

[] e

[e:]

/i/

[i] i

[] i

[i:]

/o/

[] o

[] o

[:] or [:]

/u/

[u] u

[] u

[u:]

/y/

[y] y

[y:]

[:] u

[]
//
//

[]
[]

[:] u

The terms open and closed refer to the type of syllable the vowels appear in. Open
syllables are of the type V.(C)(V), where the coda of the first syllable is followed by
another syllable without onset. Closed syllables are of the type VC# (word-final coda
other than -s) and V.CC. For example, at.a [ta] is open, at [at] is closed and so is
an.ta [anta]. Note however, that -CC- must be composed of two different phonemes
long consonants and the sounds [t ] and [ts] do not cause a syllable to be
closed.
%
%
%

gedli % %
hiddua %
katsa % %

[eti] % %
[hi:uja] %
[ktsa] %

X will work (rarely [ti])


X will stack Y up (never *[h:uja])
outside %

The quality of a vowel (short open, short closed, but not long) changes only
allophonically when in a stressed syllable, i.e. the vowels realization changes but it
maintains the same phonemic value, if short:
%
%
!
%

ddna % %
dnaka %
ehhama %
ehhakka %

[d:tna] !
[d:nga] %
[eh:ma] %
[eh:aka] %

pillow !
pillow GEN.
seam
seam GEN.!
17

3.1.1 Short Vowels


Short vowels are:
!
!
%

in open syllables!
[ e i u y ] %
<a e i o u y > !

!
%
!

in closed syllables
[a ]
<a e e i o u y >

Short / y/ respectively are not phonetically distinguished in closed environments, but


they remain distinguished through orthography. In the Regna dialect, // in closed
syllables can be realized as [] or []. The nasal // has no allophonic variation in
closed or open syllables.
!
kulu [kulu] cloudy
!
gagi [gi] with !
!
nuppua [npua] X will snatch
!
galmot [galm] soft!
!
Y
!
!
!

kmes [cms] happy


megi [mei] I
netra [ntxa] really

!
!

nita [nia] X will teach Y


pilra [plra] copper

!
!

pohi [pi] chubby


sodna [sxtna] shade

!
!

pd [pd] log
str [stx] frustrated

!
!

tygi [tyi] poison


ymni [mn:i] early fall

!
!

khi [ki] memory


kga [kga] bear cub

3.1.1.1 Short Open Vowels


Short open vowels are those which appear in front of a single consonant, a long
geminated unvoiced stop ([p:] <bb> [t:] <dd> [k:] <gg>), any geminated sonorant or
[] <t ti> [] <d di> [t] <dl> and [ts] <ts>, followed by another vowel in an
open syllable.
!
!
!

ata !
!
[ta] ! !
open mouth
atra ! !
[atxa] ! !
open mouth GEN.
(short open vowel in open syllable into closed syllable)

!
!
!

sukno ! !
[s] !
large isolated conifer
sungoma !
[su:ma] !
large isolated conifer GEN.
(short closed vowel in close syllable into open syllable)

!
!
!
!

hallu ! !
[hl:u] !!
haluka ! !
[hluga] !
(unaffected by geminated /l/)
!

electricity
electricity GEN.

18

The vowels /a/ is realized as [a] <a> word finally for most speakers. More elevated
speech may have [].
!
3.1.1.2 Short Closed Vowels
Short closed vowels are those which appear in front of a single consonant word
finally, or next to two consonants word internally, i.e. a closed syllable. Short closed
vowel never appear in originally open syllables, with the exception of // (though not
as an allophone of / a/). They can only be in open syllables as the result of a shift in
the syllable structure, in which case the become open.
!
!

gedna ! !
genari ! !

[tna] !
[enri] !

nut
nut GEN.

!
!

kuspo ! !
kusoi ! !

[ksp] !
[kuswi] !

skunk
skunk GEN.

!
ede ! !
[xe] ! !
air
!
eteri ! !
[eteri] ! !
air GEN.
!
3.1.1.3 The Archiphoneme <>
The archiphoneme <> has no pronunciation of its own. It is not written, but it is its
own phoneme. It is never found in stressed position, and is found in a number of
derivative suffixes. Its pronunciation is dependent on the preceding vowels:
oa

ei

uy

u/o

i/e

y/u/

!
For example, the derivational suffix -n marks large objects (and causes lengthening
of the stressed vowel):
!

!
!

!
!

!
!

tahha ! !
toahhun !

[th:a] !
[th:n] !

tree
large tree (underlying *toahn)

gasi ! !
gausun !

[gsi] ! !
[gusn] !

moon
full moon (underlying *gausn)

gei !
!
gegin ! !

[ei] ! !
[ej:n] !!

snout
big snout (underlying *gegn)

kyi ! !
kin ! !

[cyi] ! !
[cn] !

squirrel
big squirrel (underlying *kin)

19

3.1.2 Long Vowels


Long vowels are always:
!
%

[: e: i: : u: : y: :]
< u u>

Long vowels are found in both open and closed syllables.


!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

mra % %
mhra % %

[m:ra] !
[mhra] !

we !
bear!

psi %
pbmui
pni %
pdna %
pbi %

[pe:si] !!
[pe:pmui] !
[pi:ni] ! !
[pi:tna]!
[p:bi] !!

maternal uncle
X will bounce
corn
direction
seal

thni % %

[t:hni] !

late spring

!
!

ma % %
dno % %

[u:ma]! !
[u:tn] !

a lot of
angelica

!
!
!
!

u %
ulbi %
%
mhni

%
%
%
%%

[:] ! !
[:lbi] ! !
[jy:] ! !
[my:hni] !

sand
hoof
end, ending
wolverine

!
!

kuba % %
ut %
%

[k:ba] !
[] ! !

the most
newly fallen snow

%
%
%
%
%

3.1.3 Diphthongs
Siwa has a rich system of diphthongs. Diphthongs in Siwa can only consist of two
short vowels. A long vowel can be combined with any other vowel, in which case the
result are two separate syllables, e.g. s.ubmi [si:pmi] hungry. Below is a table of
all possible vowel combinations and/or the result of two vowels coming in direct
contact with each other.
!
When vowels come in contact through consonant syncope, they form
diphthongs or monophthongs according to the table below. Diphthongs may change
when they find themselves in a closed syllable. This open syllable diphthong is
shown above, with the closed (or contracted) version below. Contracted diphthongs
are irregularly used and vary greatly across speakers and dialects. They may be
ignored completely, but they form the basis of many dialects.

20

Note that in many cases, when vowels come together, a consonant may be inserted
between them or the result may not be that which is presented in the table below.
This happens with prefixes as well as suffixes. The changes are tied to grammatical
or morphological markings - they happen when two vowels or more come together as
the result of a morphological coalescence, for example adding preverbal vowels.
Because these are function specific in nature (i.e. each change is particular to a
grammatical function), they will be explained in the relevant chapters (see 4.3.1.7,
4.4, 5.3 and 5.4.4)
a-

e-

i-

o-

u-

y- / a
[a]

-a

[:]

ia
[i]

oa
[]

[y:]

ua
[u]

a
[a]

[y:]

-e

ai
[i]

ei
[ei]

[e:]

ie
[ie]

oi
[i]
or
ue
[ue]

ui/ue
or y
[ui/ue]
[y]

oi
[]

ui or y
[ui]
[y]

i
[]

[y:]
i

-i

-o

-u

-y / -

ai
[i]

ei
[ei]

[i:]

[]

[y:]

au

eu

io

uo

[u]

[eu]

[i]

[]

au
[u]

ay
[]

eu
[eu]

iu
[iu]

ay

ey

[]

[]

[i]

21

ou
[u]

[u:]

[u:]

[y:]

Notice that [:] is always spelled <u>. The diphthong <ue> is mostly found with
inanimate nouns ending in -o with a stressed -e-.
!
Dialectal variation in diphthong is great and often constitutes the basis on
which one can identify them. It is worth noting that the following diphthongs are
pronounced differently in closed syllables:
!
!

<au oa eu ia ie io iu i ou ua ui ay ey>
[a a a a ]

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

aubmi % %
koakvi % %
neulkio %%
nianso % %
riehpi % %
diuksi % %
miout % %
anuahmo %
vuihli % %
gaykka %%

knot ! !
!
!
call ! !
!
!
ant ! !
!
!
creek ! !
!
!
wife ! !
!
!
icicle ! !
!
!
warmth !
!
!
lichen covered spot GEN.!
X will whistle ! !
!
X will satisfy Y !!
!

[apmi]
[kakw:i]
[nlci]
[nans]!
[rhpi]
[dks:i]
[m]
[wnahm]
[vhli]
[ka]

3.1.3.1 Diphthong Contraction


The segment -o- and -u- are affected by lenition, in which case they change to
(or u is stressed) and similarly, -i- changes to y (or if stressed) after lenition. The
semi-vowel is not pronounced after t- d- n- k- and g- because it shows palatalization:
!
!
!
LENITION
!
-ov-V% -o-V ! !
!
!
-u- or -!
-uv-V% -u-V ! !
!
%
-u- or -!
-iv-V% -i-V! !
!
!
-- or --

!
suvi % %
[suvi] ! !
flow
!
simo % %
[sim] !
flow GEN.
!
( suvi *sui-mo *syi-mo simo )
!
!
huo % %
[huw] !!
fog
!
huoma %%
[huma] !
fog GEN.
!
(huo *huo-ma *hyo-ma huoma)
!
!
!
!
With other diphthongs, the process is irregular, unpredictable and is disappearing as
a productive change. It is still found in derivational processes, but as a productive
and regular change, it is mostly only found in elevated speech or in the speech of
older speakers of the eastern dialects, especially in the north-east (Sorhi and
Kuomin, and rarely in Kevvi).

22

3.1.4 Semi-vowels
Siwa has two semi-vowels or glides, and . They behave like consonants in most
respects - they are not affected by other vowels (no contraction). They can also be
found as long, then [w:] <vv> and [j:] <g>. The long semi-vowel <vv> is more
common in stressed positions than its short counterpart <>.
!
!

igut % %
%
[ij:] ! !
mood
luvv % %
%
[luw:u:]!!
intense heat
EAST % oala % %
%
[wla] !
wide
WEST ! ovvala/oula %
%
[w:la/la]! wide
!
!
The semi-vowel is written without its diacritic if it is the onset of a syllable not directly
after a stressed syllable, i.e. third syllable from the beginning of the word. This is to
reflect the pronunciation of most speakers, though it might not occur if a speaker is
speaking in a more elevated register. !

3.1.5 Triphthongs
Siwa allows the following triphthongs:
!
%

/iu ii iei ieu iue ii i eui ui uei/


<iau iai iei ieu iue ioi oai eui uoi uei>

The diphthongs <iei ieu iue> may be pronounced with a glide or [] in both open or
closed syllables. Other diphthongs are also subject to change in closed syllables.
Not all dialects have <eui>, some have <ei>, <ey> or <evvi> instead.
!
!
!

tsiauga %
tkkiauki %
tieibid % %

[tsxiua] !
!
!
[tciui] !
!
!
[tjeib] or [teib] !!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!

mieumi %%
[mjeumi] or [meumi] ! !
niue % %
[njue] or [nue] !
!
toaika % %
[tiga] !
!
!
peuiskvi %
[pskw:i] ! !
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
(also peiskvi~peyskvi~pevviskvi)
ruoiknei %
[rei] !
!
!

cedar wood
litter
twig GEN.
leg GEN.
sand GEN.
urine GEN.
slippery jack
(suillus luteus)
X wakes up a little

3.1.5.1 Diphthong and Long Vowel Coalescence


Siwa has a complex system of rules that govern how certain diphthongs and long
vowels behave when they coalesce with other vowels. They are especially important
in the creation of new words, and for inanimate nouns whose stressed syllable

23

contains a long vowel or a diphthong, and whose consonant coda disappears


completely through lenition.
!
The rules are fairly simple, but many exceptions exist. Generally, diphthongs
ending in -u will lose this sound and have -m-, or -b- (before -o/-i/-/-y), whereas
diphthongs in -i change to -, or -g before -i/-/-y. The diphthong ay is reduced to mor -b-, and both eu and ey change to m- or b-. Diphthongs with a front rounded
vowel cause -u to change to -.
!
Suffixes beginning with a - are grouped under suffixes in -i. However, the
glide - disappears and only leaves -g-, -b- or -i-. For example, the word hbaka tidal
pool was formed by adding the ending -aka (causing vowel fronting) to h sea
water thus, one could infer the original form *hbaka.
back

front

rounded

-a

-o

-u

-e

-i

-y/-

ai-

-aa

-ao

-au

-ae

-agi

-ey

oi-

-oa

-oo

-ou

-oe

-ogi

-o

ui-/ue-

-ua

-uo

-uu

-ue

-ugi

-g

ei-

-ea

-eo

-eu

-ee

-egi

-e

ie-

-iga

-igo

-igu

-i

-iei

-igy

i-

-a

-o

-g

-e

-gi

-g

ay-

-ma

-bo

-b

-me

-bi

-b

uo-

-uma

-ubo

-umu

-ume

-ubi

-b

au-

-ama

-abo

-amu

-ame

-abi

-am

-oma

-obo

-omu

-ome

-obi

-om

eu-/ey-

-ma

-bo

-b

-me

-bi

-b

iu-

-ivva

-ibo

-ibu

-ivve

-ibi

-ivv

-a

-o

-u

-e

-gi

-ey

-oma

-obo

-omu

-ome

-obi

-om

-uma

-ubo

-ubu

-ume

-ubi

-b

-evva

-evvo

-evvu

-ege

-egi

-ey

ouoa-

24

back

front

rounded

-a

-o

-u

-e

-i

-y/-

-ivva

-ivvo

-ivvu

-ige

-igi / iddi

-igy

-yma

-ybo

-yby

-yme

-ybi

-yby

u-

-ma

-bo

-b

-me

-bi

-b

Here are examples of this process:


!
!
!

ggi ! !
gagi ! !
!
!

[:ji] ! !
[jji] !!
!
!

summer solstice
summer solstice GEN.
(gi is a plural marker, < *g+a)

!
!

!
!

!
!

!
!

!
!

!
!

!
!

!
!

gei !
gee !

!
!

[ei] ! !
[eje] ! !

snout
snout GEN. (< *gei+e)

goi !
goo !

!
!

[gi] ! !
[j] ! !

sharp edge
sharp edge GEN. (< *goi+o)

hego ! !
hivve ! !

[heg] !!
[hiw:e] !!

salt
salt GEN. (< *hiu+e, < *heo+e) (also hiobi)

keugo ! !
kbue ! !

[ceu] !
[cbue] !

burden, load
burden, load GEN. (< *keu+o+e)

niuba ! !
nivvadi !!

[niuba] !!
[niw:i] !

despair
despair GEN. (< *niu+a+di)

maidi ! !
magika !

[mii] !
[mj:iga] !

measure unit (30cm)


measuring unit GEN. (< *mai+i+ka)

saiu ! !
sauka ! !

[siwu] !
[sjuga] !

pot
pot GEN. (< *sai+u+ka)

tiegibi ! !
tieibid ! !

[tiejibi] !
[tieib] !

twig
twig GEN. (< *tie+ibi+d)

tuobi ! !
tubimo !!

[tubi] !!
[tubim] !

juniper
juniper GEN. (< *tuo+i+mo) (also tuovvumi)

25

!
!

vebo ! !
vivve ! !

[veb] ! !
[viw:e] !!

knot
knot GEN. (< *viu+e) (also viobi)

3.1.6 Vowel Apocope


Final vowel sometimes go through apocope, i.e. they are deleted before the addition
of another vowel or consonant. This is especially productive in inanimate nouns, less
so in animate nouns and fairly rare in adjectives. Vowel apocope occurs when the
emerging consonant cluster is allowed. The complexity of the apocope may influence
whether a animate noun or adjective will go through the change. More complex
changes are less likely to occur. Apocope is especially common with the vowel -i-.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

tsammi !
tsama !
tsamita !

[tsm:i] !
[tsamxa] !
[tsamida] !

forest
forest GEN.
forest ILLAT. (not *tsamaita)

sira ! !
shdi ! !

[sira] ! !
[si:hi] !

fish
fish GEN. (not *siradi)

kori ! !
kohko ! !

[kri] ! !
[khk] !

boy
boy GEN. (not *koriko)

pyry % %
pyhma %%

[pyry] !!
[phma] %

gust of wind, wind


gust of wind, wind GEN.

Verbs with the postverbal vowel -i- may or may not go through apocope if the
resulting cluster is allowed - both forms are usually in free variation.
!
!
!

saumkka !
ltemkka !

[sxamk:a] !
[i:lmk:a]!

we will breathe (also saumigga)


we will come crawling (also ltemigga)

For a more detailed description of vowel apocope in nouns, see section 4.3.1.

3.1.7 Vowel Prothesis


Vowel prothesis consists of the addition of a vowel to the beginning of a word. This
happens regularly in certain dialects, especially those of the east. This is done to
avoid initial consonant clusters which have become illegal in the eastern dialect.
Vowel prothesis is usually analyzed as part of the root, as the examples below show,
where the past tense preverbal vowel a- is added onto the already augmented form om-, whereas commonly Siwa shows simply the (irregularly) syncoped root -m-.

26

Standard Siwa
moa
[mxa]
-mo-a-
TR-drink-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT

X will drink Y
ama
[amxa]
a-m<>-a-
TR-drink.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT

X drank Y
Eastern Dialect
anoma
[nmxa]
an-o=m<>-a-
TR-drink.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT

X drank Y
!
See section 4.3 on irregular verbs.
3.1.8 Vowel Polarity Inversion
Vowels may see their polarity inverted. In Siwa grammar, a vowel has two polarities its default polarity and its inverted polarity. In other words, the inverted polarity of a
vowel is its opposite within the context of Siwa phonology. Most vowels have more
than one inverted polarity. In the case where one is rounded and one is not, the
rounded vowel will be found after another rounded or a high front vowel. In other
cases, it is not quite possible to predict the outcome.
polarized
a

i/e (o before -i/-e in


western dialects)

ie/ei

u/o

27

polarized

uo/(vv)

u/y

uo/

i/y

e/ai

/ey

oi/

uo/ui

i/ei

Polarity inversion is an important derivational strategy. Many words are derived or


even combined with inverted polarity. For example, many nouns have a poetic or
higher-register counterparts derived from the noun by using polarity inversion and the
ending -ts, whose genitive also requires polarity inversion. Adjectives can freely be
derived from nouns by polarizing the last vowel and adding a suffix. Most nouns,
when attached to another to form a compound, have a polarized final vowel.
!
!
!
'

tsammi !forest!
tsammuts !
forest (high-register)! !
!
!
tsamebme !
forest GEN (high-register)!
!
!
tsammuha '
of the forest, sylvan (-ha adjectival marker)!

(iu)
(ue)
(iu)

!
!
!

npi ! !
npyts ! !
npoibme !

dwarf birch (betula nana)


dwarf birch (high-register)!
!
dwarf ! birch GEN. (high-register)!

!
!

(iy)
(yoi)

!
!
!
!
%
!

mavvu ! !
mavvedna !

meat
meaty (-dna adjectival marker)! !

(ue)

gauta ! !
gautumehiu !

color ! !
+ mehiu %
colorfully painted' !
!

28

painted
!
!

!
%
!
!
%
!
%

bansi ! !
bansubelmo !

today ! !
+ belmo %
todays chore! !
!

chore, work
!
!

ono % %
onikeltuha %
nuhhi % %
nuhhurhha %

lichen %%
+ kelta % %
ground
having a lichen covered ground (-ha adjectival marker)
old woman % + r %
%
tooth
having teeth like an old woman (-ha adjectival marker)

Polarity inversion is also commonly used as a genitive marker for personal names
and place names, e.g. Surri-ini Surros daughter, rather than ini Suddi (true
genitive).

3.2 Stress
Stress is fixed on the initial syllable of a root word. Prefixes do nto affect stress. Only
when affixes create new words may stress change.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
but!
!
!

entiebbie %
[ntiep:ie] !
I should
Root is -tiebb- to ought with prefix en-.
moheimeni %
[mhjeimeni] ! I am hot
Root is -heimen- to feel hot with personal !
prefix m- and subjective preverbal vowel -o-.
osikkami %
[skmi] !
I will sneak
Root is -sikk- to sneak with subjective preverbal vowel -o-.

ogauldigge %
[galic:e] ! we will talk together
ogalen%%
[gln]!
conversation
The verb has the affix o- while the noun has incorporated the affix into the
root and allows it to carry stress.

Certain words saw their prefixes assimilated and stress was shifted to the first
syllable.
!
cf. !
!

asa ! !
[asxa] ! !
ashes
sahha ! !
[shh:] !
X will burn Y
Here with syncope of a in the root sahh- to burn.

Note that in certain dialects, especially in the east, the word-initial consonants [p t k/
c] <p t k> may be found as ejectives if they are preceded by suffixes.
!
!

entiebbie %
or !
!

[ntiep:ie] !
[ntiep:ie]

I should

29

3.3 Orthographic Conventions Regarding Vowels


Siwa orthography is fairly regular and logical, but it presents certain difficulties to
those who are not familiar with it. Two vowels have special rules regarding their
orthography: the vowel [] <> cannot take diacritics - instead, it is written [:]
<u> when long. Siwa orthography can sometimes express the same sound in more
than a single way. For example, [] can be written both <y> and <>. This means
that there are homophones which are only distinguishable through their written forms,
e.g. ndna and nydna are both pronounced [ntna], but the the former means
wave while the latter means adult (of women). Siwa contains the following
orthographic exceptions:
!
The suffix -ha of the possessive case is pronounced [] not [ha].
!
Hyphenated clitics do not change the word boundaries but the word and the
clitic read as one unit.
!
not !

mhra-nen '

[m:hrann] ! !
*[m:hrnn] !

ones bear!

30

3.4 Consonants
The table below shows all consonants of Siwa.

bilabial

dental

alveolar

post
alveolar

palatal

velar

glottal

nasal

m
(m)

n
(n)

plosive

pb
(p)

td
(t)

kg
(k)

fricative

s
(z)

affricati
ve

()

trill

lateral

l~ t
(t)

3.4.1 Consonants & Allophones


Siwa consonants are:
!
!
[m p b v n t d : s r t c : k g x h ]
%
<m p b v n t d s t d r dl k g ng n k g hh h>
The table below shows all the phonemes with their allophonic variation. Explanations
for special cases are below.
stressed
front
vowel

stressed
back
vowel

/m/
/p/
/b/

unstressed
front vowel

unstressed
back vowel

[m] m
[p] p

[b] p

long

31

glottalized
stressed

[m:]
mm

[pm]
bm

[b]
b

[p] pp

[p:]
bb

[b] b

palatalized

stressed
front
vowel

stressed
back
vowel

unstressed
front vowel

unstressed
back vowel

long

palatalized

glottalized
stressed

/v/

[v] v

[w:]
vv

/n/

[n] n

[n:]
nn

[] n

[tn] dn
[t] tt

/t/

[t] t

[] t

[d] t

[:]

t []

/d/

[d] d

[]
[] d

[]
[] d

[t:] dd

d []

[:]

[:]

[:]

//

/s/

[s] s

[s:] ss

//

[]

[:]

//

[] t

[] t/t

[] t

//

[] d o

[] d/d

[] d

[:]
dd

/r/

[r] r

[r:] rr

/l/

[l] l

[l:] ll

/t/

[t] dl

/:/

[:] ng

//

[]

[:] ng

[] n

[] kn
[:]
nn

[] n

/k/

[c] k

[k] k

[] k

[g] k

[g]
g

[c]/[c] k

/g/

[] g

[g] g

[j] g

[] g

[k:]
gg

[j:] g

/c/

[c] k

[c] k

[] k

[] k

//

[dz] g

[] g

[j:] g

[j:] g

[:]
gg

[]

32

[k] kk

/x/

stressed
front
vowel

stressed
back
vowel

unstressed
front vowel

unstressed
back vowel

long

[x]

[x]

[] or
[x]

[x]

[x:]

[] h/

[] h/

[:]

[h:] hh

[h] h

[h:]
hh

//
/h/

[h] h

[h] h

palatalized

glottalized
stressed

[h:j] (h)h

[] h

3.4.1.1 Allophony and Sound Changes


Siwa sounds interact with each other in a dynamic and complex system of allophonic
variation and sound changes. Due to changes that occur inside and between Siwa
words, consonant that were once apart often come together. Special rules govern
how sounds fuse together or coalesce, if they can do so at all. Below is a description
of how consonants change and interact with other sounds. Only relevant phonemes
allophonic changes are given below (those not included do not show any significant
allophonic variation).
/m/
The sound /m/ can be found short as [m] <m>, long as [m:] <mm> or glottalized as
[pm] <bm> (sometimes simply [m]). It can also be preaspirated as [hm] <hm>.
!
!
!

moni % %
lohma % %
mamma %

[mni] ! !
[ljhma] !
[mm:a] !

path
infectious
leg

When /m/ comes in contact with /n/, they form the cluster [mn:] or [m:n] <mn>.
!
!
!
!

umna %
ymni %
hmno
imni %

%
%
%
%

[mn:a] !
[mn:i] !
[hj:mn:] !
[mn:i] !!

the place below


early fall
the place below
to produce smoke

Note that although /p/ is voiced in unstressed position, when /m/ precedes it, the
cluster it forms is pronounced [mp].
!

kimpa %%

[cmpa] !

pair of boots

Similarly, when /m/ precedes /k k:/ <kk gg>, they combined to form the cluster [mk:]
or [mk:] <mkk>. This often occur with the first person plural pronouns in -gga/-gge.

33

!
!
!
!

tmkki !!
lemkka !
saumkka !
ltemkka !

[tmc:i] !
[ljmk:a] !
[sxamk:a] !
[i:lmk:a]!

boulder
to infect
we will breathe (< saumigga)
we will come crawling (< ltemigga)

If /m/ finds itself next to /k g/, there are three possible outcomes - [mx] <m> or [mk]
<mk> after /m: pm/ or a long vowel, or [k] <kk> especially in inanimate nouns and
adjectives. This is not always predictable. However, /m/ and /x g/ always combine to
[mx] <m>. The cluster <m> regularly changes to [m] <m> before an unstressed
<i> (note the exception semia cod).
!
!
!
!
!

damu ! !
dama !!

[dmu] !
[damxa] !

skin with fur


skin with fur GEN. (< *damka)

kaibmu !!
kaimka !!

[kapmu] !
[kamka] !

walking stick
walking stick GEN. (< ! *kaimka)

but!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

tsammi !
tsama%%
tsamia%%

[tsm:i] !
[tsamxa] !
[tsamia] !

forest
forest GEN. (< *tsammka)
forest INESS. (<*tsammia)

ehhama%
ehhakka !

[eh:ma] !
[eh:aka] !

seam
seam GEN. ( < *ehhamka)

gaukama %
gaukakka !

[ugma] %
[ugaka] !

down
down GEN. (< ! *gaukamka)

If /m/ is combined with /t ts tsx/ <t ts ts>, then it changes to /n/ <n> forming the
clusters <nt nts nts>. Note that -om- and -um- turn to -- before <t ts ts>. This is
sometimes not the case with inanimate nouns and adjectives whose genitive form
ends in -mV - apocope of the vowel does not necessarily cause the /m/ to change in
the illative. /m/ and // combine to form [m] <m>.
!
!
!

tama ! !
taintsi !!

[tma] !
[tantsxi] !

many
numerous (< *taimtsi)

Similarly, when /m/ combines with /d/, it may become [md] <md> or [nd] <nd>in
unstressed position.
!
!
!
!

dmma !!
dndi ! !

[di:m:a] !
[di:ni] !

treeless mountain
treeless mountain GEN. (< *dmdi)

kinaubmi !

[cinapmi] ! foreign
34

kinaundi !

[cinani] !

foreign GEN. (< !*kinaumdi)

/p/ and /b/


The sound /p/ can be found short as [p] or [b] (in unstressed position) <p>, long as
[b] <b>, glottalized as [p] <pp> or as an ejective [p] when in non-initial syllables,
whereas /b/ can only be found as short [b] <b> or long [p:] <bb>. Both /p/ and /b/ can
be preaspirated as [hp] <hp> and [hb] <hb>. Word initially, /p/ is aspirated as [p]
<p>.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

pila %
%
laipin % %
mppi % %
oabi % %
loba % %
ieppi ! !
haihpo %%
tiehba % %

[pila] ! !
[libn] !!
[me:pi] !
[abi] !!
[lba] ! !
[ijpi]! !
[hahp] !
[thba] !

red
bitter
knee
gums
dregs
sticky
strong, spicy
hands GEN.

When /p/ is combined with /v w w:/ <v vv>, the cluster becomes [p:] <bb>.
!

onbbi %%

[np:i]!

X wants to get caught (< *onpi)

When /p/ and /b/ combines with /m/, they form the cluster [pm] or [m] <bm>.
However, if instead of /p/ one has /p p:/ <pp bb>, the resulting cluster will be [pm:]
or [p:m] <pm>.
!
!

nubmi ! !
tspmi !!

[npmi] !
[ts:p:mi] !

X is angry (< nupi X will be angry)


X is bleeding !

Both /p/ and /b/ cannot stand before /n/, in which case the cluster they form becomes
[mn:] <mn>. When /p/ is next to /s/, they combine as [bs] or [ps] <bs>, but next to //,
the outcome is [p] <p> or [b] <b>. However, if /p p:/ <pp bb> combine with /s/,
the cluster is [ps:] or [p:s] <ps>.
!
nypsiri ! !
[nps:iri] !
they usually stick out
!
!
!
!
!
(< *nyppsiri)
!
tspsiri !!
[ts:ps:iri] !
they usually bleed
!
!
!
!
!
(< *tsbbsiri)
!
!
If /p/ precedes /t/, the resulting cluster is [mt] <mt>, while /b/ and /t d/ combine to
form [:] <>. Both /p/ and /b/ combine with /k/ to form [g] <g>.

35

!
If /p/ or /b/ and /h r/ combine, they become [px] <pr>. In certain dialects, /p/
and/or /b/ and /g x/ combine to [b] <b>, but other dialects (mainly western dialects)
only have [px] <pr>.
!

tipra% %

[pxa] %

X will write Y

If /p/ or /b/ and /s/ <s> combine, they become [bs] or [ps] <bs>. Similarly, /p b p p:/
and // <> form [b] or [p] <b> and [p:] or [p:] <p>. However, /p p:/ <pp bb>
and /s/ become [ps:] or [p:s] <ps>. Western dialects do not differentiate between
<ps> and <bs>.
!
elepia !!
[elp:ia] !
!
!
gabi ! !
[gabi] or [gapi] !
!
!
!
The combination of /p/ and /k/ is [g] <g>.
!
!
!
!
!

in bloom
fool

oapi % %
oago% %

[bi] % %
[ag] !

help
help GEN. (< *oapko)

rapa % %
raga ! !

[rpa] % %
[raga] !

hill
hill GEN. (< *rapka) (also rapra [rapxa])

/v/
The sound /v/ can be found short as [v] or [] <v> or long as [w:] <vv>.
!
!
!

vmi % %
savi % %
seuvvi % %

[vi:mi] ! !
[svi] ! !
[seuw:i] !

X will scream
than
sweat

When /v/ or [w:] <vv> precedes the consonants /p m n t l s k/ <p m n n t l s k>, the
resulting sounds are geminated as [b m: n: : : l: s: g] <b mm nn nn ll ss g>,
with the stops /p t k/ becoming affricates.
!
!

sivvi % %
simmo !

[sw:i] %
[sm:] !

proof, sign
proof, sign GEN. (< *sivmo)

!
!

tussa % %
tymmi % %

[tus:a] %
[tym:i] %%

to turn (< tuvsa)


is heavy (< *tyvmi)

When /v/, whether it is short or long, precedes /p t k/ <pp tt kk>, they combine to
form /p: t: k:/ <bb dd gg>. This is not a common sound change, but may appear as
the result of vowel apocope.

36

!
!

idda % %
tudda % %

[it:a] % %
[tut:a] %%

stay! (< ivitta)


turn! (< tuvitta)

In addition, /v/ and [w:] <vv> may combine with /h h:/ to form the cluster [h:w] <hh>.
!
!

kehno % %
kehha !

[chn] %
[ceh:wa] !

pine
pine GEN.

/n/
The sound /n/ can be found short as [n] <n>, long as [n:] <nn>, palatalized short as
[] <n>, palatalized long as [:] <nn> or glottalized as [tn] or [n] <dn>. It can also
be preaspirated as [hn] <hn>. It is found word finally, sometimes causing
nasalization of <o u>.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

netuba %%
tona % %
kini % %
na %
%
hanna % %
knnli %
ldna % %
ihna % %
hiamin % %
hihlon % %

[netuba] !
[tna] !!
[cii] % %
[a] ! !
[hn:a] !
[c:li] !
[li:tna] !
[hna] % %
[himn] %
[hhln] %

lily
West
fringes
now
fair, pale
X will settle down
great
certainly
milk and honey drink
shelter

If /n/ precedes /m/, they can either combine through metathesis as [mn:] <mn>, or
more commonly, they become [m:] <mm>, especially in unstressed positions and in
inanimate nouns and adjectives.
!

mamna %

[mamn:a] %

center (< *manma)

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

obeno % %
oimma% !

[bn] %
[im:a] !!

smoke
smoke GEN. (< *obenma)

ono % %
omma ! !

[n] % %
[m:a] !!

lichen
lichen GEN. (< *onma) (also omna)

sumana %
sumamma !

[sumna] %
[summ:a] !

irritated, sore
irritated, sore !

GEN.

(< *sumanma)

When /n/ finds itself next to /s/, three things may happen: least commonly, they simply
form [ns] <ns> (though this is not common in Siwa), metathesis resulting in the
37

cluster [hn] <hn>, or most commonly they will combine to form [nt] <nt> (however,
the forms -ont- and sometimes -unt- change to -t-). Similarly, /n/ and // combine to /
n/ <nt>, /n/ <n> or [] <t> and /n/ and /ts/ or /tsx/ combine to [ntsx] <nts>
or [tsx] <ts>.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

noni % %
nten !!

[nni] % %
[nn] !

X will swim
X cant swim (< nonien)

koni % %
ktsii ! !
kti ! !

[kni] % %
[ktsii] !
[ki] !!

X will walk !
X cant walk (< konisii)
X can walk (< konii)

bansi% %

[bansi] %

today

!
!
!
!

mani % %
mansi ! !

[mni] %%
[mansi] !

X will come
X came

untsi % %

[ntsi] % %

along the bottom (< *untsi)

If /n/ precedes /k/, the resulting cluster is [k] <nk>, while if it precedes /g/, the
resulting cluster is [:] <ng>. However, if /n/ is followed by /k/ in an unstressed
syllable in inanimate nouns or adjectives, the resulting cluster is like to be [k] <kk>.
This is always true after /k k:/ <kk gg>.
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!

bana % %
banka ! !

[bna] %%
[baka] !

place
place GEN. (< *banka)

anna % %
anka ! !

[jn:a] %%
[jaka] !!

accumulated snow
accumulated snow GEN. (< *anka)

rakana %%
rakakka !

[rkna] %
[rkaka] !

fragile
fragile GEN. (< *rakanka)

atana % %
atakka ! !

[tna] %
[taka] !

big
big GEN. (< *atanka)

If /n/ precedes /h/, the resulting cluster is either [nh] <nh> (especially after apocope
in inanimate nouns and adjectives), or may irregularly go through metathesis and
become [hn] <hn>.
%
!
!
!
!

lonis % %
lonhi ! !
!
!

[lns] % %
[lnhi] ! !
!
!

short walk
short walk GEN. (< *lonhi)
(also lhhi [lh:i] or lohni [lhni] )

bunus % %

[buns] %

small squash
38

!
!

bunhi ! !
!
!

[bnhi] !!
!
!

small squash GEN. (< *bunhi)


(also bhhi [bh:i] or buhni [bhni] )

/t/
The sound /t/ can be found short as [t] <t> word initially, [t] <t> in stressed position,
[d] <t> in unstressed position before all vowels except /i/, and [] <t> before /i/ in
unstressed syllables. It can also be long as [:] <>, glottalized as [t] <tt> or as an
ejective [t] in non-initial stressed syllables. /t/ can be preaspirated as [ht] <ht>. /t/ is
found word-finally, and is usually pronounced as [] or [V] where the preceding
vowel is repeated, or also commonly as [x], unless preceded by /i/, in which case it is
often found as [].
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

tatami % %
eita % %
tita % %
kitton % %
shta % %
soos %%
hokot % %
at'
'
hait'
'
sirit %
%

[ttmi] !
wolf
[eida] ! !
X will build Y
[i:ida] !
later
[ctn] !
boot
[s:hta] !
lung
[s:s] !
evening
[hjk()]%
care
[aa]%%
this
[ha]% %
that
[sir]~[sir] % fish stock, amount of fish in a lake

When /t/ comes in contact with /m/, the resulting cluster is [bm] or [m] <bm>.
However, /t/ combines with /m/ to form [pm:] or [p:m] <pm>.
!
tata ! !
[tta] ! !
X will think
!
tabmi ! !
[tapmi] !
X is thinking
!
Similarly, when /t/ comes in contact with /n/, the resulting cluster is [tn] or [n] <dn>,
and /t/ combines with /n/ to form [tn:] or [t:n] <tn>.
!
!
!
!
!

dno ! !
tva ! !

[u:tn]!!
[u:tw:a] !

angelica
angelica GEN.

ndednukli !
hetna ! !

[ny:tkl:i] !fern head, furled frond (< ndet+nukli)


[htn:a] !
to scatter

When /t/ comes in contact with /s/, the resulting cluster is [ts] <ts>, which is a
phoneme. It can combine to form the clusters [tsw: tsm: tsn: tst: tsk: tsx] or [ts:v ts:m
ts:n ts:t ts:k tsx] <tsv tsm tsn tst tsk ts>.
!
!

atsio ! !
kotsmi ! !

[tsi] !!
[ktsm:i] !

glade
walking path
39

tetsni ' '

[ttsn:i] !

dried fish

When /t t/ come in contact with /l/, the resulting cluster is [t] or [t:] <dl>. A number
of words have <dl> initially. The combination is actually a phoneme and does not
cause closed syllable. It is also found in the clusters [tw: tm: tn: tk: tx] <dlv dlm
dln dlk dl>.
!
!
!
!
!

dla ! !
dlei !
!
adlmi''
seidla %
padlva '

[i:ta] ! !
[tei] ! !
[xwatmi] !
[stxa] !
[patw:a] !

late
X will itch
rainbow
pregnant fish
otter

!
setula ! !
[setula] !
X will push Y
!
sedla ! !
[seta] !!
X pushed Y
!
!
!
If /t/ or /t/ precedes /v w/ or [w:] <vv>, they combine to form [t:v] or [tw:] <tv>,
which is found word-initially as [tv]. Similarly, with /ts/ the resulting cluster is [tsw:] or
[ts:w] <tsv>. Note that <tv> can be preaspirated to [htw:] or [h:tw] <htv>.
!
!
!
!

kotvi ! !
notvi ! !
beitsvi ! !
tvmyn ! !

[ktw:i] !
[ntw:i] !
[btsw:i] !
[tvi:mn] !

X wanted to walk (< *kotti)


X wanted to swim (< *notti)
X wants to spend the day (< *beitsi)
vagina

If /t/ precedes /h r g/, they combine to form [tx] <tr>, while /ts/ and /hts/ form [tsx] and
[htsx] <ts hts>. However, with /t/, the resulting cluster is [t:x] (or less commonly
[tx:]) <t>, and similarly /t/ and // <> also form the same cluster, but this is a rare
occurrence and is not found in all dialects. Inanimate nouns and adjectives having an
unstressed /t/ which should normally get the marked ending -ka/-ko get instead -ra/ro (originally *-a/-o). This is the most common cause of this allophonic change.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

gauta ! !
gautra ! !

[guda] !
[gatxa] !

color
color GEN. (< *gauta, < *gautka)

nauto ! !
nautra ! !

[nud] !
[natxa] !

vertigo
vertigo GEN. (< *nauta, < *nautka)

seta ! !
seta ! !

[seta] ! !
[st:xa] !

X will place Y
X will place Y (< *seta, semelfactive)

When /t/ precedes /k k k:/ <k kk gg>, the resulting cluster is [tk] <tk>. Similarly, /ts/
and /hts/ combine with /k k k:/ <k kk gg> to form [tsk:] <tsk> or [htsk:] <htsk>.

40

!
!
!

otka ! !
totka% !
biohtska !

[tka]! !
[tka] !
[bhtsk:a] !

we will unite (< otigga)


we will cooperate (< totigga)
we will play (< biohtsigga)

/d/
The sound /d/ can be found short as [d] <d> in stressed position, [d] or [] or [] or [l]
or not pronounced at all, but written <d> in unstressed position before all vowels
except /i/ (including consonant clusters ending in -d), and [] <d> before /i/ in
unstressed syllables. It can also be long as [t:] <dd> (never palatalizes) or
palatalized as [] <d>. /d/ can be preaspirated as [hd] <hd>. A handful of words
begin with [t] <dl>. Word finally, /d/ is pronounced [] after /e i/. The sound /d/ can
be found word-finally, only if preceded by /i/, in which case it is pronounced []
<d>. /d/ as a stressed coda is commonly pronounced as a flat and written <r>.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
%
%

dedna % %
d %
%
ida %
%
iedot % %
!
!
kendita %%
lngid % %
dlei %
%
tieibid % %
kodi~kori%
edi~eri% '

[dtna] !
village
[e:] ! !
grey
[ida] ! !
X will fall
[ied / ie / ie / iel / ie]
!
!
deciduous
[cnida] ! early
[li::] !
splinter GEN.
[tei] ! !
X will itch
[tieib] !
twig GEN.
[kdi~kri]!
X walked
[edi~eri]!
X sat

Like its unvoiced counterpart, /d/ and /m/ form the cluster [pm] or [m] <bm>.
However, [t:] and /m/ form the cluster [pm:] or [p:m] <pm>.
!
!
!

tiobmi ! !
kahbmi !
kebmi ! !

[tpmi] !
to hold (< *tiodami)
[ku:pmi] ! to decorate with shells (< *kahdami)
[cpmi] !
to carry (< *kedami)

When /d/ and /v w w:/ combine, they form [w:] or [:w] <v>.
!
!
medvi % %
[mw:i] !
eyelid

lodvot % %

[lw:] !

delayed, long, slow

Similarly, /d/ combines with /n/ to form [tn] or [n] <dn>, and [t:] and /n/ form [tn:] or
[t:n] <tn>.

41

!
!
!
!

idnu ! !
keidna ! !
so sitna-a? !
s-otoatna-a !

[tnu] !!
[ctna] !
[sstn:a:] !
[statn:a:] !

to fall badly (< *idinu)


to light oneself a fire (< *keidina)
did you understand? (< so siddina-a)
did you come along? (< so otoaddina-a)

When /d/ comes in contact with /p b/ and /k g/, the respective resulting clusters are
[b] <b> and [g] <g>. However, /d/ combines with /k:/ to form the cluster is [k:]
<k>, while /d/ and [x] combine to form [x] <d>. Note that /t:/ combine with /k k: k
g/ to form [tk:] or [t:k] <tk>.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

bdi ! !
bga ! !

[b:i] !
[b:ga] !

pain
pain GEN. (< *bdka)

gidu ! !
giebi ! !

[idu] ! !
[bi] !!

X will dry in the open air


drying frame

totka ! !
noka ! !
sidami !
otoatka !!

[tka] !
[nka] !
[sixmi] !
[tatka] !

we cooperated (< toddigga)


we will sing (< nodigga)
I suddenly understand (< sidigami)
we came along (< otoaddigga)

When /d/ is followed by /h r/, the resulting cluster is [tx] <tr>. However, in certain
cases where apocope is involved, /d/ combines with /h/ to form [lh] <lh>.
!
!

sitri !
!
guokveitri !

[stxi] ! !
they will understand (< sidiri)
[gkw:txi] ! they will play hard to catch (< guokveidiri)

!
!

niedas ! !
nielhi ! !

[nieas] !
[nlhi] !!

fir
fir GEN. (< *niedhi)

!
!

puodus !
puolhi ! !

[pus] !
[plhi] !

navel
navel GEN. (< *puodhi)

Finally, /d/ and [t:] combine with /l/ to form [t] or [t:] <dl>.
!
!
!

geudlu !!
!
!
maudli ! !

[eutu] !
!
!
[muti] !

to be worth doing, to be
possible (<geudlu)
maple sap (< *maudli)

//
The sound // is always found as long [:] <> or may be short in consonant
clusters.
42

!
!
!
!

oo % %
saa % %
sieo % %
imi % %

[:] ! !
[s:a] !
[sie:] !
[m:i] ! !

night sky
fire
foot
raven

When // comes in contact with /m/, they become [m:] or [:m] <m>.
!
!

dami ! !
heimi ! !

[dam:i] !
[hm:i]!

to answer (< *daami)


X was appetizing (< *heiimi)

!
!

komi ! !
koa ! !

[km:i] !
[k:a] !

guest
guest GEN. (< *kota)

When // precedes /p b/, /t d/ and /k g/, the respective resulting clusters are [b]
<b>, [:] <> and [g] <g>. However, before glottalized or long consonants, //
becomes /h/ and devoices the following consonant, except in the case of // and /k:/,
which form the cluster [k:] <k>. Similarly, // and /v/ or /v:/ combine to form the
cluster [w:] or [:w] <v>.
!
!
!
!

eka !
sibi !
vego !
vevo !

!
!
!
!

[jk:a] !
[sbi] ! !
[vg] !
[vw:] !

we will run (< eigga)


shoe (cf. sieo foot)
crow (cf. uemi black bird)
X would have wanted to be

If // and /l/ come in contact, they form the cluster [t] <dl>. Before /s/, // changes
to /h/, forming [hs] <hs>.
!
!

udlu ! !
ehsa ! !

[utu] ! !
[jhsa] !!

for the night sky to clear up (< *ulu)


to run (< *eisa)

In some dialects, syllables in -VV- are found as -VV-.


/s/
The sound /s/ can be found short as [s] <s> or long as [s:] <ss>. It can also become
palatalized as [] <>. /s/ can be found word-finally.
!
!
!
!

sara % %
uss ! !
misas % %
mimkis %

[sra] ! !
[us:u:] ! !
[misas] !rock
[mims] !

good
smoked fish
butterfly

When /s/ is followed by /v w w:/ <v vv>, the resulting cluster can either be [sv] <sv>
or [sw] <s>.
43

!
!

svama !
okasvi !!

[svam:a] !
[casvi] !

foam
X wants to hurry up (< *okasi)

In a few cases, /s/ and /m/ will combine to form [hm] <hm> instead of the expected
[sm] <sm>. This is especially true of the second person pronoun -sa- before the first
person pronoun -mi-.
!
!
but
!
!

nuahmi !
luguahmi !

[nujahmi] !
[luj:ahmi] !

I will see you (< nuasami)


I love you (< luguasami)

kasmi ! !
nosma% !

[casmi]!
[sma] !

to speed up (< *kasami)


deaf GEN.

Similarly, if /s/ is followed by /n/, the resulting cluster is often [nt] <nt> (or nasalized
<t>) instead of the expected [sn].
!

kanta ! !

[canta] !

to hurry up (< *kasna)

The cluster /sl/ is also allowed as [sl] or more commonly [s] or [st] <sl>.
!

osli !

[js(t)i] !

complication, knot, lump

When /s/ is followed by /k k:/ <kk gg>, they form [sk:] or [s:k] <skk>, while /s/ and /r
g x h/ <r g h> form [sx] <s>, which is the most common word initial cluster.
!

okaskka !

[cask:a] !

we will hurry up (< *beitsi)

!
!

moski ! !
moskko !

[msci] !
[msk:] !

wild copper
wild copper GEN. (< *moskko)

!
!

sappiska !
sappiskka !

[sapska] !
[sapsk:a] !

paw
paw GEN. (< *sappiskka)

!
!

keltause !
keltausi !

[cltuse] !
[cltasxi] !

terrestrial
terrestrial GEN. (< *keltausri)

In addition, /s/ is found in the cluster [skw:] or [skv] <skv>.


%

miaskvi [%maskw:i] or [maskvi] %X wants to celebrate

//
The sound // can be found short as [] or [] <> or long as [:] or [:] <>. Certain
eastern dialects allow word-final <>.
44

!
eira % %
[eira] !!
bearberry
!
tomi % %
[tm:i] !
X is young
!
sei % %
[sew]!!
little river (eastern dialect)
!
!
!
The sound // can combine with /p v t k/ to form [p] <p>, [v] <v>, [t] <t> and
[k] <k>, in addition to being found in the cluster [kw:] or [:kv] <kv>.
!
!
!
!

pa % %
pikeli % %
kotet % %
nukva %%

[i:pa] %%
[pceli] %
[kt] %
[nkw:a] !

grandparents
X will be in a coma
wood-work, art
hail

When // comes in contact with /r h x/ <r h >, the resulting cluster is [:] <>. This
is common in verbs ending in - in the habitual.
!
!

kya ! !
kya ! !

[cya] !!
[cy:a] !

X will try Y
X usually tries (< *kyha)

// and /
The sounds / // can be found short as [] <t> and [] <> or long as [:
:] <tt dd>. They are not found in any clusters and do not come in contact with
other consonants. The long <dd> may be pronounced as the ejective [] in noninitial syllables.
!
!
!
and
!
!
!
!
!

tieka % %
toairu %%
veto % %

[iega] !
[iru] !
[ve] !!

snake
will rot
rash

doki % %
data % %
hda % %
oaiddi % %
hiddua %

[ci] !!
[ta] !
[hja] !
[i:i] !
[hi:uja] !

trap in snow
X will mourn Y
pregnant
along the south-west
X will stack Y up

/r/
The sound /r/ can be found short as [r] <r> or long as [r:] <rr>. It may also be found
preaspirated as [hr] <hr>.
!
!

rabma % %
riehpi % %

[rapma] %
[rhpi] %

canoe
wife

45

!
!
!

sira % %
arro % %
ohra % %

[sira] % %
[r:] %
[hra] % %

fish
wild turkey
god, deity

When /r/ is next to /v w:/, the resulting cluster is [rw:] or rarely [r:w] <rv>.
!

tervima%%

[trw:ima] %

it is twilight

When /r/ precedes /m/, the resulting cluster usually goes through metathesis to
become [m(b)r] <mr>. However, [rm] <rm> is also possible, whereas in unstressed
position and sometimes stressed position, they combine to form [hm] <hm>.
!
!
also!

tomri % %
kimra % %
kirma % %

[tmri] %%
[cmra] %
[crma] %

velvet
in the morning
in the morning

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

kobbomora !
kobomohmo !

[kp:mra] ! salamander
[kbmhm] ! salamander GEN. (< *kobomormo)

myry ! !
myhma !

[myry] !!
[mhma] !

fly
fly GEN. (< *myrma)

sro ! !
shma !!

[su:r] !!
[su:hma] !

berry bush
berry bush GEN. (< *srma)

When /r/ precedes /p b/, the resulting clusters may either be [hp hb] <hp hb>
especially in unstressed position, or in stressed position [rb] or [rp] <rp>. However,
before /p b:/ <pp bb>, the resulting cluster is always [rp:] <rpp>.
!
!
!
!
!

shpi ! !
srumi ! !

[si:hpi] !!
[si:rumi] !

whale
whale GEN. (< *srpi)

orpi % %
kurppo !

[rpi] or [rbi] ! X will misbehave


[crp:] !
hollow

Similarly, when /r/ precedes /t d/, the resulting clusters may either be [ht hd] <ht hd>
(this is also true of / / and /ts tsw: tsx/), especially in unstressed position, or in
stressed position [rt] or [rd] <rt>. However, before /t t:/ <tt dd>, the resulting cluster
is always [rt:] <rtt>.
!
!

lri !
!
lhdi ! !

[lri]! !
[lhi] !

scum, dirt
scum, dirt GEN. (< *lrdi)

trhi !

[te:rhi] !

sun

46

!
!
!
!
!

thta ! !

[te:ha]!

sun GEN. (< *trta)

artaita ! !
ertto ! !
nrtteni !

[artida] !
[xrt:] !!
[e:rt:eni] !

compared to
threshold
X will hurt

When /r/ precedes /n/, the resulting cluster may be [hn] <hn>, [rn] <rn> more
commonly [nr] or [ndr] <nr~ndr>. When /r/ precedes /l/, the resulting cluster may be
[l(d)r] <lr> (with metathesis) or less commonly [rl] or [rt] <rl>.
!

tsulra % %

[tslra] %

pressed/vapor-molded wood (also tsurla)

As with the other stops, when /r/ precedes /k/, the resulting clusters may either be
[hk] <hk>, especially in unstressed position, or in stressed position [rk] or [rg] <rk>
(this mainly occurs as the result of [r:] <rr> coming in contact with /k/). However,
before /k k:/ <kk gg>, the resulting cluster is always [rk:] <rkk>. This often occur with
the first person plural pronouns in -gga/-gge.
!
!
%
%
!
!
!
!
!

gori ! !
gohko ! !

[ri] ! !
[hk] !!

doubt
doubt GEN. (< *gorko)

toarra ! !
toarka ! !

[tr:a] !
[tark:a] !

root vegetable
root vegetable GEN. (< *toarrka)

tsoairkka !
erkka ! !
!
!

[tsairk:a] !
we will go by ski (< tsoairigga)
[rk:a] !we will be careful (< erigga)

If /r/ precedes /g x h/ <g h> however, the resulting cluster is usually [rh] <rh>,
though some dialects have [hr] <hr>.
!
!
!
!
!

airha ! !
oairha !!

[jarha] !
[jarha] !

X will suddenly row (< airiga)


calm, easy to row (of water) (< *oaira)

kiras ! !
kirhi ! !

[ciras] !
[crhi] !!

early morning
early morning GEN. (< *kirahi)

Eastern dialects have the cluster [rx] <r>, whereas western dialects usually simply
have [rh] or [hr] <rh hr>.
!
!

nora ! !
biro ! !

[rxa] !!
[brx] !!

duck (also norha)


beam (also birho)
/l/

47

The sound /l/ can be found short as [l] <l> or long as [l:] <ll>. It may also be found
preaspirated as [hl] or [:] <hl> 1. /l/ may be found word-finally, especially in adverbs
some dialects do not allow final /l/. Many speakers tend to devoice /l/ to [] before
unvoiced stops. /l/ can be palatalized as [lj] <l>.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

lahton %
lasa %
svilla %
sohla %
vihla %
pigil %
l%

%
%
%
%
%
%
%

[lahtn] %
[ljsa]! !
[svil:a] %%
[shla] %%
[vhla] % %
[pijl] % %
[lj:]! !

mitten
X will lacerate Y
braid
best
flesh
health (more commonly pig)
resin

When /l/ precedes /p b/, the resulting clusters may be [lp lb] <lp lb>, but not all
dialects have both versions (<lb> is more common in dialects with only either [lp] or
[lb]). However, before /p b:/ <pp bb>, the resulting cluster is always [lp:] <lpp>.
Certain speakers pronounce <lp> as [p] and <lb> as [lp].
!

tsalbi ! !

[tsalbi] or [tsalpi] !

rarely

!
!

tyry ! !
tolba ! !

[tyry]! !
!
[tlba] or [tlpa] !

!
!

son
son GEN.

!
!
!

delpia ! !
lppi ! !
nalppa !!

[dlpia] or [dlbia] or [dpia] ! X will turn Y over


[j:lp:i] !
!
!
hare
[nalp:a] !
!
!
snout

Similarly, when /l/ precedes /t d/, the resulting clusters are [t~lt ld~lt] <lt ld> (this is
also true of / / and /ts tsx/). However, before /t t:/ <tt dd>, the resulting cluster is
always [lt:] <ltt>.
!
!

ylta %
%
klda ! !

[lta] or [ta] !
[ci:lda] or [ci:lta] !

for/to/before the night


again

!
!
!
!
!
!

killa !
kildi !

[cil:a] ! !
[cli] !

!
!

all
all GEN.

[suili] !
[nalt:a] !
[clt:a] !

!
!
!

X will live together


tooth, pike
ground

!
!

suikildi !!
noaltta !!
keltta ! !

1 A great deal of speakers pronounce <hl> as an unvoiced l [] often spelled <>, which in many cases

causes lengthening of the preceding vowel. This explains variations of sohla best such as soaa, svaa,
sa and soua, for example. Western dialects tend to simply geminate the vowel phoneme (then with
<>): va [v:a] flesh (far western dialects).

48

!
!

nelli ! !
nelta ! !

[el:i] ! !
[la] !

chief
chief GEN.

!
!
%
%
!

koalgi ! !
koaltsa !!

[kali] !
[kaltsa] !

paternal aunt
paternal aunt GEN.

vilo !
!
viltsa ! !

[vil] ! !
[vltsa] !!

maternal aunt
maternal aunt GEN.

As with the other stops, when /l/ precedes /k g/, the resulting clusters may either be
[k lg~lk] <lk lg>. However, before /k k:/ <kk gg>, the resulting cluster is always [lk:]
<lkk>. This often occur with the first person plural pronouns in -gga/-gge.
!
!

kala ! !
kalka ! !

[cla] ! !
!
[calka] or [caka] !

land
land GEN. (< *kalka)

!
!
!
!
!
!

kolkon ! !
noalgi ! !
olkko ! !
otilkka !
knnlkka !
!
!

[klkn] or [kkn] !
[nali] or [nalci] !
[lk:] ! !
!
[lk:a] !
!
[c:lk:a]! !
!
!
!

bread
tar kiln
temple
we will dry ourselves (<otiligga)
we will settle down
(< knnligga)

When /l/ precedes /s h/ <s h>, the resulting cluster is [lh] <lh> or [x] <l> with <>.
!
!
!
!
!

ples ! !
pelhi ! !

[pls] !
[plhi] ! !

stuffed stomach
stuffed stomach GEN. (< *plhi)

gos ! !
gosulha !

[gsu:]! !
[gslha] !

calm
calm ADJ (< *gosulha)

neli ! !

[nlxi] ! !

X will suddenly bud (< nelia)

Many dialects allow for /l/ to be in final position, especially eastern dialects. It is often
found unvoiced then.

//
The sound // is always found long intervocally as [:] <ng>. It is also found
glottalized as [] <kn>, which some speakers pronounced long as [:].
!
!

ang ! !
bengomu !

[:i:] ! !
[be:mu] !

seed
roof

49

ekni !

[i] or [:i] way

If // precedes /m/, the resulting cluster is [m:] or [:m] <gm>.


!
!
!

tegma !
omigmi !!
muogmi !

[m:a] !
[mm:i] !
[mm:i] !

child
I will get ready (< omingimi)
I will stay the night (< muongimi)

If // precedes /n/, the resulting cluster is [n:] or [:n] <gn>.


!
!
!

gegna ! !
migna % %
muogna !

[n:a] !
[mn:a] !
[mn:a] !

den
to get ready (< *mingina)
to stay the night (< *muongina)

If // precedes /k k:/, the resulting cluster is [k:] <nkk>, while // and /k g/ form [k]
<nk>.
!
!
!
!
!

ominkka !
muonkka !

[mk:a] !
[mk:a] !

we will get ready (< omingigga)


we will stay the night (< muongigga)

lainga ! !
lainka % %

[li:a] !bait
[laka] !

bait GEN.

/k/
The sound /k/ is always palatalized to [c] before before /i e y / <i e / y > . It
can be found short as [k] <k> word initially or palatalized as [c] <k>, [k] <k> or
palatalized as [c] <k> in stressed position, [g] <k> or palatalized as [] <k> in
unstressed position. It can also be long as [g] or palatalized as [] <g>,
glottalized as [k] or as an ejective [k] in non-initial syllables, or palatalized as [c]
<kk>. /k/ can be preaspirated as [hk] or palatalized as [hc] <hk>. In addition, /k/ can
be palatalized to [c] word initially, [c] in stressed position and [] in unstressed
position as <k>. This is not indicated before /i e y / <i e / y > as they already
cause palatalization.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

kaibmu %%
kokve % %
khlo % %
hokoma %
euka % %
maiki % %
koga % %
kagu % %
mokkuo %
kykky % %

[kapmu] %
[kk:ve] %
[c:hl] %
[hkma] %
[euga] %%
[mii] % %
[kga] %
[kau] %
[mku] %
[ccy] %

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

walking stick
light
high
back and forth
X will produce Y
white
twin brothers
fresh wood
beak
voice
50

!
!
!
!

nahkara %
ohki % %
kehko % %
atakka ' '

[nahkra] %
[hci]! %
[chc] %
[taka] !

%
%
%
!

louse
deep
birch bark canoe
big GEN.

If /k/ comes in contact with /m/, the resulting cluster is usually [hm] <hm>, especially
in unstressed syllables. However, /k/ and in some cases /k/ usually combine with /m/
to form [km:] or [gm:] or [k:m] <km>.
!
!

odikmi %%
!
!

[km:i] or [gm:i] !
!
!
!
!

I will show off


(< odikkimi )

!
!
!
!

ka ! !
kmo ! !
!
!

[ka] ! !
!
[km:] or [gm:] !
!
!
!

tundra
tundra GEN.
(also commonly hmo)

dikma % %
sokmi % %

[km:a] or [gm:a] !!
[skm:i] or [sgm:i] ! !

!
!
!

on display, obvious
seagull

When /k/ precedes /w/, the resulting cluster is [kw] <k>, but [kw:] before /w: v/ <vv
v>. In unstressed position, however, /k/ and /v w/ usually combine to [kv] or [gv]
<gv>, or may also simply be [kw] <k>. If /k/ combines with /v w w:/ <v vv>, the
result is always [kw:] or [k:v] <kv>.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

iuakvimi %

[ijuakw:imi] !

I want to cut boughs (< *iuakimi )

odikvi % %

[kw:i] !

X wants to show off (< *odikki)

guokvo % !
obinugvi %
!
!

[gkw:] !
[bingvi] !
!
!

frog
X wants to become wealthy
(< *oinuki, also found as obinuki)

When /k k/ precede any bilabial stop (/p b p p:/ <p b pp bb>), the resulting cluster
is always [hp] <hp>. Similarly, /k k/ combine with all dental stops (/t d t t:/ <t d tt
dd>) to form [ht] <ht>.
!
!
!
!
!

riehpi ! !
riekumi !!

[rhpi] !
[riegumi] !

wife
wife ADJ (<*riekpi)!

kia !
hta !

[ji:ia] ! !
[ji:hta] ! !

in the west
to the west ( < *kta)

!
!

When /k k/ precede /n / <n ng>, the resulting cluster is [] <kn>.


51

!
!
!
!
!

osoaki ! !
soakna !!

[si] !
[saa] !

X will build itself a house


to build oneself a house (<*soakina)

lotieki !
ltiekna !

[i:liei] !
[i:li]!

X will crawl on ice


to crawl on ice ( < *ltiekina)

Both /l/ and /r/ combine with /k k/ to form [kl:] or [k:l] <kl>. Many speakers
pronounce <kl> as [k:]. However, in unstressed position, /k/ combines with /r/ to
form [x] <> or [x:] <>.
!

nukli % %

[kl:i] or [k:li] or [k:i] !

hook, finger

!
!
!

goka ! !
goakla ! !

[gka] ! !
!
!
[gak:la] or [gakl:a] ! !

sheath
mollusca ( < *gokra)

If /k k/ and /s/ come together, the resulting cluster is [ks:] <ks> or also [k:s]. The
same is true of //, forming [k:] <k> or [k:].
!
!

tnksi !!
ksy% %

[tnks:i] or [tnk:si] !
[y:ks:y] or [y:k:sy] !
!

attack leader
bow

/g/
The sound /g/ always palatalizes before before /i e y / <i e / y > in stressed
position. It can be found short as [g] <g> word initially and in stressed position or
palatalized as [] <g>. In unstressed position, /g/ is always pronounced [j] <g>
before /i/, but [] or [x] before other vowels. It can also be long as [k:] or palatalized
as [c:] <gg>. /g/ can also be palatalized before /i e y / <i e / y > word-initially
to []. Word-internally, <g> always represents the sound [j:].
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

goi %
%
giga % %
kgge % %
poagga %
oaiga % %
kinagi % %
gosmi % %
gekes% %
gykin % %
goga % %
hog % %

[gi] % %
%
[iga] % %
%
[ci:c:e]%%
%
[pak:a] %
%
[ia] %
%
[cinji] %
%
[smi] %
%
[dzecs] or [zecs] %
[dzycn] or [zycn] %
[gj:a] % %
%
[hj:] %%
%

52

point, edge
goose
spark
seal meet GEN.
X will hook Y
foreigner
is tired
year
snowshoes
X will adze Y
nonsense

When /g/ precedes /m/, the resulting cluster is [hm] <hm> or occasionally [m:]
<gm>. However if /k:/ <gg> precedes /m/, the resulting cluster is [km:] or [gm:] or
[k:m] <km>.
!
!

kega ! !
kehmi ! !

[cega] !!
[chmi] !

X will hide Y
to hide ( < *kegami )

!
!
!
!
!
%

suga ! !
suhmi ! !

[suga] !!
[shmi] !

X will visit Y
to visit ( < *sugami )

tsuogga !
tsuokmi %
%
or %

[tsuk:a] !
[tskm:i] %
[tsgm:i] !

X will hope for Y


to hope

Similarly, when /g/ precedes /n/, the resulting cluster is [hn] <hn>, and if /k:/ <gg>
precedes /n/, they combine to [] <kn>.
!
!
!
!
!

okegi ! !
kehna ! !

[cei] ! !
[chna] !

X will hide itself


to hide oneself ( < *kegina )

imiggi !!
miknin %

[imc:i] !
[mn] !

X will hold on to
to hold on to ( < *migginin )

When /g/ precedes /v w w:/ <v vv>, they combine to form [kv] or [gv] <gv>, but /k:/
forms [kw:] or [k:v] <kv>.
!
!
!
!

piagvi ! !
!
!
imikvi !!
!
!

[pakvi] or [pagvi] ! !
!
!
!
!
[imk:vi] or [imkw:i] !
!
!
!
!

X wants to fall asleep


( < *piagi )
X wants to hold on to
( < *imiggi )

When /g/ precedes stops, it preaspirates them, except in the case of /k k k:/ <k kk
gg>, which combine to form [k:] <gg>. This is not especially common, however.
!
!

okegga !
!
!

[cek:a] !
!
!

we will hide ourselves


(more commonly okegigga )

When /g/ precedes /s/, they form [ks] or [gs] <gs>. This is common in the genitive
form of inanimate nouns, as <ks> is lenited to <gs>. However, /k:/ <gg> combines
with /s/ to form [ks:] or [k:s] <ks>.
!
!

diugsid %%
rugsoma %

[dks] or [dgs] %
[rksma] or [rgsma] %

53

icicle GEN.
circle GEN.

Similarly, /g/ and /l/ combine to form [gl] or [kl] <gl>. This is common in the genitive
form of inanimate nouns, as <kl> is lenited to <gl>. However, /k:/ <gg> combines
with /l/ to form [kl:] or [k:l] or [k:] <kl>.
!
!

suglimo %
syglyma %

[sglim] or [sklim] % %
[sglyma] or [sklyma] %

protection GEN.
team GEN.

If /g/ and /h r x/ <h r /g> combine, the result is [x] <>, though /g/ and /r/ may
combine to [rh] <rh> through metathesis.
!
!
!
!
!

giga !
grhi !

!
!

iruoga ! !
iruorha %%

[iga]! !
[i:rhi] ! !

goose
flock of geese ( < *ggra )

[irua]!!
[irrha] !

coniferous wood
made of coniferous wood ( < *iruogiha )

/x/
The sound /x/ is pronounced [x] <> word initially. Intervocally, it is pronounced [x]
<>, but all western dialects have <> change to [] <> before front vowels in
unstressed position. It can also be palatalized, in which case it turns to [hj] <h> or
more commonly [h:j] <hh> in stressed position, though this is mostly a historical
change. In eastern dialects, some inanimate nouns ending in non-front vowel may
have a word final - in the plural, usually pronounced [x]. The phoneme /x/ is most
commonly found in clusters such as <s> and <ts>. It can be found long as [x:] or
[:] or even [q:] <>.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

emi % %
oli %
%
ia %
%
moa % %
neui% %
!
!
neui % %
!
!
sevai % %
!
!
sevai % %
!
!
boaihhi %
!
!
tapa % %
kya' '

[xemi] %
X will shake
[xli] ! !
hilltop
[ixa] % %
X will accept Y
[mxa] %%
X will drink Y
[neuxi] %birch wood GEN.
!
!
(standard/eastern dialects)
[neui] %%
birch wood GEN.
!
!
(western dialects)
[sevxi] %
burnt embers GEN.
!
!
(standard/eastern dialects)
[sevi] %
burnt embers GEN.
!
!
(western dialects)
[bih:ji] %
floating weeds in lake
!
!
(cf. boi branch with leaves)
[tpax] !
bulbs (eastern dialects)
[cyx:a] !
mouse

54

When /x/ precedes /m/, they form [xm] or [xm:] <m> or in unstressed position [hm]
<hm>. Similarly, /x/ and /n/ form [xn] or [xn:] <n> or [hn] <hn> in unstressed
position, and with /l/, the resulting cluster is [xl] or [x:] <l> or [hl] or [:] <hl> in
unstressed position. These clusters are fairly uncommon and speakers may replace
them with their preaspirated counterparts.
!
!
!
!

imi ! !
momi !!
soli ' '
kuoni ' '

[xmi] or [xm:i] !
[mxmi] or [mxm:i] !
[sxli] or [sxl:i] %
[kxni] or [kxn:i] %

!
!
%
%

to accept ( < *iami )


to drink ( < *moami )
X will thaw
X will argue

Before /s/ and /r/, /x/ becomes [h] <h> to form [hs] <hs> and [hr] <hr>.
!
!
!

mohsa !!
moahrit !
!
!

[mhsa] !
[mahr] !
!
!

to drink ( < *moisa )


drinkable water supplies
( cf. moaa drinkable water )

If /x/ precedes /h/, the /h/ is dropped and only // remains.


!
!

seu % %
sea ! !

[sexu] ! !
[sexa] ! !

barren land
barren ( < *seeha )

//
The sound // is mainly found before other consonants, namely [t p k m n]
<tt pp kk kn bm dn>, but intervocally it is found as [] <h> in stressed syllables or
<> in unstressed syllables. The glottal stop can also be found long, then [:] and
written <> 1.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

kihaa % %
kahi % %
koahi % %
minii % %
miha % %
paha % %
saiha % %
tahama %

[cia] %
[ki] % %
[ki] %
[minii] %
[mia] %%
[pja] %
[sia] %
[tma] %

there is something very large


shell
enough
common snipe GEN.
X smoked Y
healer, shaman
X warned Y
world

1 One of the more famous tongue twisters of Siwa is:

!
%
!

Aitaina ien tkien puoua det, koaorena u


[:it:ina in tci:n pu:ua d k:renaju]
'if you can keep squeezing it that way, you will split it in half'

55

!
!

nee % %
puu % %

[ne:e] %
[pu:u] %

well, you see, hm...


woosh, go away!

/h/
The sound /h/ is always found long as [h:] <hh> in stressed position (though not word
initially). In unstressed syllables, it is found short as [h] <h>. It can be palatalized as
[h:j] <hh> in stressed position and [hj] <h> in unstressed position.
!
!
!
!
!
!

hai %
%
hmno %
ihha % %
kegahi % %
kohha % %
gekehi %

[hai] % %
[hj:mn:] %
[ih:a] % %
[ceghi] %
[kh:ja] %
[dzecehji] %

glue
midwife
just, only
ftus GEN.
X will rip Y
birthday GEN.

The sound /h/ is found as the first sound in preaspirated consonants (see 3.4.5)
3.4.2 Long Consonants
The long consonants are [m: p: v: n: t: : s: : : j: r: l: k: x: : h: :] <mm bb vv nn dd
ss dd g rr ll gg ng hh >. Long consonants do not count as CC but C:
(thus not closing syllables). All long consonants occur intervocally. The voiceless
stops /p t k/ have unusual long allophones, [b : g] <b g>.
3.4.3 Palatalized Consonants
The palatalized consonants are [ c ] <t d n k g-i/e> in stressed syllables
but [ j] <t/t-i/e d/d-i/e k/k-i/e g-i/e> in unstressed syllables. Stressed
palatalized consonants are the result of historical palatalization. True productive
palatalization only occurs in certain case in weak syllables before /j/ or diphthongs
whose first sound is /i/.

3.4.4 Glottalized Consonants


Only the voiceless stops /p t k/ and the nasals /m n :/ are glottalized. They are
written <pp tt kk bm dn kn> and pronounced [p t k pm tn k:]. They are found
intervocally only.

3.4.5 Preaspirated Consonants


Siwa has the following preaspirated consonants:
!
[hp hb ht hd hk hm hn hl hs hr hts htsk: htsx htv htx h:w h:j]
%
<hp hb ht hd hk hm hn hl hs hr hts htsk hts htv htr hh hh>

!
!

hpi % %
ihba % %

[i:hpi] % %
[hba] %

arrowhead
the least
56

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

hehta % %
nigehdi %
ohkama %
sohma %%
kehno % %
kihli % %
vahsu % %
lehra % %
sihtsa % %
oahtska%%
rahtsi %%
mihtvi % %
soahtra %
sehhe%%

[hhta] %
[nij:hi] %
[hkma]!
[shma]!
[chn] %
[chli] % %
[vahsu] %
[lhra] %%
[shtsa] %
[ahtsk:a] %
[rahtsxi] %
[mhtw:i] %
[sahtxa] %
[seh:we] %

completely!
!
!
X will do summer work
raw
in the evening
pine tree
thread
X will grow stronger
straw
X will look for Y!
from the edge of
X will run (on four legs)
X will whisper
eighty
eager

3.4.6 Initial Consonant Clusters


A number of initial consonant clusters are allowed in Siwa. They are [sv sx sxw ts tsv
tsx tsxw t tv kv km kn xv] <sv s sv ts tsv ts tsv dl tv kv km kn>. Many dialects
lack <km kn> entirely, e.g. kmti~mti bustle, turmoil. Certain more conservative
dialects of the far east have also kept two other clusters which have vanished from all
other dialects, [tm tk sm mx] <tm tk sm m>: SORHI DIALECT tmisas [tmisas] but
standard is misas [misas] rock, or sma X ate Y instead of standard ma and megi
[mxei] I, mri [mx:ri] we. Higher registers commonly include <m>, perhaps
due to it being found in fairly common words 1.

.1 Some of the more common words with m- found in high register are:
%
megi I (meigi GEN., mta PREC.)
!
ma- me
%
mri/mra we (mendra/mendri GEN., mtra/mtri PREC.)
!
mari-/meri- us
!
mo- drink
!
mieg- to herd (miedu herd and mmi herder)
!
motona claw
Words in km- kn- tm- tk- sm- include:
!
kmaitsa toe
!
kmanda type of priest
!
knes sour drink
!
knabi small mushroom
!
tmisas stone
!
tmetvi cow vetch
!
tmla type of mushroom
!
tkien without stopping, steadily, ongoing
!
tkaggi wood duck
!
smairui X smiles (usually mairo-)
!
smoro landsnail

57

!
Certain western dialects include the clusters <mh nh> initially, then rendered
as voiceless [ ], sometimes spelled < >. This is non-standard, however, e.g.
mahatru I ought to can be found as atru in the west.

3.4.7 Internal Consonant Clusters


Internal consonant clusters can either be anaptyctic, glottalized, preaspirated or nonanaptyxis (normal clusters). Normal clusters are (excluded are preaspirated clusters
and the long voiceless stops <b g>):
mp [mp]
ampo [jamp] on the other side
kimpa [cmpa] pair of boots
sompo [smp] swift

aimra [amra] wrongly


giamra [amra] one hundred thousand
mk [mk]
haumka [hamka] bright GEN.
kaimka [kamka] walking stick GEN.
nmka [n:mka] sturgeon GEN.

mn [mn:] or [m:n]
umna [mn:a] space below
homna [hmn:a] quiet waters in stream
imni [mn:i] X will produce smoke

mkk [mk:]
nmkka [ny:mk:a] X will pile Y up
tmkki [tmc:i] boulder
temkka [mk:a] X will diminish Y

mt [mt]
uemta [u:mta] black bird GEN.
pimta [pmta] ungulate ILLAT. (also
pimita)
dotsamta [dtsxamta] idea ILLAT. (also
dotsamita)

m [mx]
dama [damxa] skin with fur GEN.
gama [gamxa] character GEN.
ama [jamxa] the other side GEN.

ms [ms]
oamsu [amsu] X will get snowed in
amsi [jamsi] along the other side

mh [mh]
liamhi [lamhi] hat GEN.
timhi [mhi] chain GEN.

mst [mst]
omste [mste] type of knot
Tatimstagi [ttmstji] Eastern-Siwa
(.GEN)

pm [pm:] or [p:m]
tuopmo [pm:] shallow GEN.
spma [su:pm:a] black GEN.

m [m]
simi [smi] human
imi [mi] bear ritual
tomimo [tmim] velvet GEN.

ps [ps:] or [p:s]
dapsa [daps:a] younger sister
hopsai [hps:ai] X will vomit
kepsi [cps:i] mushroom
p [p:] or [p:]
elepia [elp:ia] in bloom
hpi [hp:i] purple finch

mr [mr]
otomrti [tmri] X will rub its antlers
off
58

pr [px] or [px]
ipro [px] carcass
kprirui [ci:pxirui] X will chirp
moaksapri [maks:apxi] it is time for
ptarmigan hunting

n [n]
eni [ni] early winter.
oni [ni] channel catfish
nr~ndra [nr] or [ndr]
benra [bn(d)ra] dog GEN.

bm [pm] or [m]
nebmia [npmia] perhaps
nbma [ni:pma] birch bark
rabma [rapma] one-man canoe

nk [k]
ranka [rjaka] hip GEN.
sinka [ska] a long time ago
tonkua [tkua] sinew

bs [ps] or [bs]
tsebsue [tspsue] a little GEN.
kebsie [cpsie] mushroom GEN.
!
b [p] or [b]
miebi [mpi] fat person/animal
gabi [gapi] fool

nh [nh]
benho [bnh] dog
minhi [mnhi] black spruce
tv [tw:] or [t:v]
htva [htw:a] X will hit Y
mitvo [mtw:] night frost

nt [nt] or [n]
hantui [hantui] X will lie
inta [nta] yes
muontia [mnia] X decided Y

tn [tn:]
btn [bu:tn:i:] cast of bad weather
hetna [htn:a] to scatter
ts [ts] (has the value of a single
phoneme)
tsi [e:tsi] wall
etsa [etsa] X will start Y
gaitsa [gitsa] star

nts [nts]
tontsori [tntsri] puffin
gogantsi [ggantsi] X will limp
nts [ntsx]
taintsi [tantsxi] numerous

tsv [tsw:] or [ts:v]


beitsvi [btsw:i] X wants to spend the
day

nd [nd] or [n]
hindu [hndu] X died in combat.
india [nia] X was scattered around
ndl [nt]
ndli [xnti] X will sigh

tst [tst:]
tsta [i:tst:a] lifetime GEN.
kiutsta [cijtst:a] room GEN.
nesotsta [nestst:a] green GEN.

ns [ns]
kansi [kansi] female moose
keukonsimo [ceuknsim] band,
marching band
mansi [mansi] X came

tsl [tsl:] or [ts]


matsli [matsl:i] bastard
tetsli [ttsl:i] american coot

59

tsm [tsm:] or [ts:m]


kotsmi [ktsm:i] walking path
latsma [latsm:a] log-bridge

ryty [rt:xy] hammer


m [m:]
svama [svam:a] foam
tama [tam:a] furthest back!

tsn [tsn:] or [ts:n]


tetsni [ttsn:i] dried fish
mitsni [mtsn:i] cabin

dn [tn] (or [n])


hdna [hu:tna] steam hut
ldna [li:tna] great!
nidna [ntna] hut

tsk [tsk:] or [ts:k]


nitski [ntsc:i] unit
otski [tsc:i] laced
patskon [patsk:n] inconsiderate

dl [t] (single phoneme)


sudlu [sutu] X will bear berries
todli [ti] late summer!
dli [xi:ti] X will crackle

tskv [tskw:] or [ts:kv]


meitskva [mtskw:a] spruce sprout
kotskven [ktskw:n] wooden ring to
tie skins around
!
ts [tsx]
pitsa [ptsxa] X will scold Y
tsiame [tsxime] cedar strips!
katsi [katsxi] jam

k [k:] or [:k]
ika [k:a] we will fall (also idigga)
keika [ck:a] we will start a
fire (also keidigga)!
v [w:] or [:w]
mevi [mw:i] eyelid
lovot [lw:] delayed, long, slow

tsv [tsxw]
batsvi [batsxwi] X will look for Y
tsaatgva [tsxatsxwa] bug!

d [x]
nedi [nxe] X will sit down
ede [xe] air!
odi [jxi] X will yelp

tr [tx]
netro [ntx] pistil!
retro [rtx] northern pike

sm [sm]
miasma [masma] peace
nosma [sma] deaf GEN.!

tk [tk]
rietki [rtci] where the forest ends
saitki [satci] X will disappear!
tatkatka [tatk:atka] inside out

sp [sp]
spa [i:spa] X will pinch Y
kuspo [ksp] skunk!

tkv [tkw:] or [t:kv]


piatkvi [patkw:i] X wanted to go to
sleep
okitkvi [ctkw:i] X wanted to take a
break!

sv [sv]
osve [sve] sour
svotta [svta] mother GEN.!
svohka [svhka] X will slam Y

t [t:x]
tsutasi [tst:xsi] lunar eclipse
seta [st:xa] X will place Y!
60

st [st]
tusta [tsta] barricade, steep hill
stua [y:stua] X will kiss Y!
estot [st] first

p [p]
pa [i:pa] grandparents
typi [pi] X speaks with an
accent

sl [sl] or [st]
kslo [ci:sl] noose
aisla [asla] X will drag Y

v [v]
va [i:va] grandparents GEN.
sovi [svi] secondly

sk [sk]
hesko [hsk] small bay
ski [i:sci] woman!
kieska [cska] X will watch Y

k [k]
kika [cka] away ELAT.
loiko [lk] leech GEN.
kv [kw:] or [:kv]
nukva [nkw:a] hail
ekvo [kw:] slush

skl [skl:] or [s:kl]


eiskla [skl:a] X interviews Y
Tasklabi [taskl:bi] topynym!

rm [rm]
orma [jrma] young bull GEN.
kirma [crma] in the morning (also
kimra)

skv [skw:] or [s:kv]


miaskvi [maskw:i] X wants to
celebrate
peuiskvi [pskw:i] slippery jack
toskvi [tskw:i] caribou without antlers

rp [rp] (or [rb])


orpi [rpi] X will misbehave
rarpo [rarp] angry

skk [sk:]
tsaskka [tsask:a] X forgot Y
peskko [pjsk:] snowflake
siskki [ssc:i] it thundered

rpp [rp:]
suorppi [srp:i] X will drink (animal)
varppi [varp:i] rude

s [sx]
tauson [tasxn] rigid
hausa [hasxa] edible
kesamo [csxm] teacher

rv [rw:] or [rv]
tervima [trw:ima] it is twilight
rvi [rw:i] surroundings

sv [sxw]
svelmi [sxwlmi] gland
kesven [csxwn] chickadee

rt [rt] (or [rd])


artaita [artida] compared to
ertobi [xrtbi] threshold GEN.

m [m]
koma [kma] strong wind
nomo [nm] pouch
simu [smu] bottom

rtt [rt:]
torttiu [trt:iu] paralyzed
ertto [xrt:] threshold

61

rk [rk] (or [rg])


rkyno [rcyn] close to
vrke [vi:rce] short, stumpy

ln [ln]
oklni [clni] X will make its nest
lnuma [u:lnuma] milky way
kelne [clne] more

rkk [rk:]
liarkko [lark:] guest bench
sarkka [sark:a] X will break Y

lt [lt] or [t] (or [ld])


loalta [lalta] to the back
noaltaka [naltga] tooth GEN.

r [rx], also rh [rh]


nora [rxa] duck (also norha)
biro [brx] beam (also birho)

ltt [lt:]
keltta [clt:a] ground (also kelta)
nolttima [lt:ima] X is sick
noaltta [nalt:a] tooth

rh [rh]
rhu [y:rhu] X will grow (of scars)
brho [bi:rh] canid
erho [rh] careful

lts [lts] or [ts]


viltsa [vltsa] maternal aunt GEN.
koaltsa [kaltsa] paternal aunt GEN.

lm [lm]
galmot [galm] soft
kolmo [klm] esker GEN.

ltsv1 [ltsw] or [tsw]


Meltsva [mtswa] toponym

lp [lp] or [lb] or [p]


holpo [hlp] dull
lpika [j:lpiga] hare GEN.
nalpaka [nalpga] snout GEN.

lts [ltsx] or [tsx]


iltsa [xtsxa] disgust
ltsv [ltsxw] or [tsxw]
Teltsvi [ttsxwi] toponym

lpp [lp:]
gylppa [dzlp:a] wet snow
lppi [j:lp:i] hare
nalppa [nalp:a] snout

ld [ld] or [l]
aelda [jlda] marrow GEN.
bieldi [bli] fat GEN.
klda [ci:lda] again

lb [lb]
kelba [clba] shoulders
kilbi [clbi] usually
nalbi [nalbi] husband (also nalvi)

l [l]
salinhi [salnhi] caribou head
sacrifice
!
lt [l] or []
eultai [lai] high grasses GEN.
nelta [la] chief GEN.
!

lv [lv]
tlvu [te:lvu] X will clear up
tulvi [tlvi] nutrient
bialvuni [balvuni] cray fish, crustacean

1The clusters <ltsv lts ltsv> are also found as -uts-/-yts- in other dialects. The river Teltsvi is also

commonly called Teytsvi.

62

ld [l]
tildui [lui] X screamed

dl [tx]
seidla [stxa] pregnant fish
dlt [tx] throat
sidla [sxtxa] reins (pl.)

lr [lr] or [ldr]
gilra [lra] wet weather
olra [lra] fewest

km [km:] or [gm:] or [k:m]


dikma [km:a] on display, obvious
sokmi [skm:i] seagull

lk [lk] or [k] (or [lg])


kolkon [klkn] bread
gagulka [gglka] community

kv [kw:] or [k:v]
guokvo [gkw:] frog
kokve [kkw:e] light
leikva [lkw:a] slippery
kva [kvi:a] X will feel Y

lkk [lk:]
olkko [lk:] temple
hialkko [halk:] wound
lg [lg]
noalgi [nali] tar kiln
lgi [j:li] male rite of passage

kn [] or [:]
lekna [lja] snowless
nakna [naa] X will break Y
sykni [si] generation

l [lx]
pln [plxn] bud
ala [xalxa] callus

ks [ks:] or [k:s]
tnksi [tnks:i] attack leader
ksy [y:ks:y] bow

lh [lh]
kelho [clh] dried meat
nielhi [nlhi] fir GEN.

ksk [ksk:]
nkskon [nu:ksk:n] eternal

dlv [tw:]
edlvi [xtw:i] thick fog
radlva [ratw:a] X will disturb Y
padlva [patw:a] otter

k [k:] or [k:]
aki [ak:i] death
pikima [pk:ima] X is hurt

dlm [tm:]
adlmi [xwatm:i] rainbow
sodlmot [stm:] snowdrift

kl [kl:] or [k:] or [k:l]


rokloma [rkl:ma] round
saykla [skl:a] X will protect Y

dln [tn:]
hadlna [hatn:a] sea ice
ndlni [ntn:i] it will be flooding/
overflowing

gm [m:] or [:m]
tegma [m:a] child
igmo [m:] rapidly changing weather
gv [kv] or [gv]
kegvia [kwkvia] X will call Y (animal)
sigvima [skvima] it is dusk

dlk [tk:]
kodlken [ktc:n] firefly
midlkis [mtc:s] crab

63

gn [n:] or [:n]
gegna [n:a] den
migna [mn:a] to get ready

m [xm] or [xm:]
imi [xmi] to accept
momi [mxmi] to drink

gs [ks] or [gs]
diugsid [dks] icicle GEN.
rugsoma [rksma] circle GEN.

v [xv] or [xw:] (usually <hv> [hv])


avi [axvi] X stayed (also ahvi)
n [xn] or [xn:]
kuoni [kxni] X will argue

gl [kl] or [gl]
tsoglimo [tsxklim] rakovalkea
nuglimo [klim] finger GEN.
!

l [xl] or [xl:]
soli [sxli] X will thaw

3.4.7.1 Anaptyctic Pronunciation


Certain internal consonant clusters may be pronounced with anaptyxis (insertion of a
vowel to break up a cluster), and are called anaptyctic consonant clusters or the
anaptyctic pronunciation. This is commonly the case where the latter part of the
cluster is geminated (Siwa tends to geminate the second consonant). This trait is
common in both dialects and can be in free variation in speakers, but is somewhat
more common in older speakers. There is much variation in the pronunciation of
anaptyctic clusters. One finds an anaptyctic // (or also commonly //) inserted
between the consonants and usually lengthening or glottalization of the of the second
consonant and voicing of the first consonant. In the east, the vowel // is not present
or very short, and only lengthening occurs, whereas in the wear, // is present (or may
be pronounced as a schwa) and voiceless stops are glottalized (most common) or
lengthened.
!
Anaptyctic clusters are the following:
<mn mkk pm ps p tv tn tsv tsm tsn tst tsk tskv ts tk tkv t k v d skv skk kv rpp rv
rtt rkk lpp ltt lkk dlv dlm dln dl km ks ksk k kv kl gm gn m v n l>
They are all clusters normally pronounced with the second consonant being
geminated. Anaptyctic pronunciation breaks down the clusters to the following:
[mn: mk bm: bs: b: dw: dn: dzw: dzm: dzn: dzt dzk dzkw:/tsgw: dzx:
dk dkw:/dgw: dx: k w: : skw: sk kw: rp rw: rt rk lp lt tw:
tm: tn: tx: gm: gs: gsk:/ksk: g: gw: gl:/g: m: n: m: w: n: l: ]
Note that anaptyctic clusters have a strong tendency to phonologically lengthen the
preceding vowel (though not <skv kv>) without affecting its pronunciation, i.e. the
vowel remains unchanged but is lengthened. The following examples show normal
pronunciation and its anaptyctic counterpart. Anaptyctic pronunciation is sometimes
64

transcribed into Siwas orthography (though not gemination), especially when writing
western dialects.
!

homna %%

[hmn:a] %
[h:mn:a]

quiet waters in stream

tmkki % %

[tmc:i] %
[t:mc:i]

boulder

spma %%

[su:pm:a] %
[su:bm:a]

black GEN.

dapsa % %

[daps:a] %
[da:bs:a]

younger sister

hpi % %

[hp:i] %
[h:b:i]

purple finch

%
%

htva % %

[htw:a] %
[h:dw:a]

X will hit Y

hetna ! !

[htn:a] !
[h:dn:a]

to scatter

!
!

beitsvi ! !

[btsw:i] !
[b:dzw:i]

X wants to spend the day

nesotsta %

[nestst:a] %
green GEN.
[nes:dzt:a]

!
!

!
!

!
!

nitski % %

[ntsc:i] %
[n:dzc:i]

unit

saitki ! !

[satc:i] !
[sa:dc:i]

X will disappear

toskvi % %

[tskw:i] %
[tskw:i]

caribou without antlers

peskko %

[pjsk:] %
[pj:sk:]

snowflake

nukva %%

[nkw:a] !
[nkw:a]

hail

65

!
!

varppi % %

[varp:i] %
[va:rp:i]

rude

rvi %

[rw:i] %
[:rw:i]

surroundings

ertto % %

[xrt:] %%
[x:rt:]

threshold

sarkka % %

X will break Y

lppi % %

[sark:a] %
[sa:rk:a]
[j:lp:i] %
[j:lp:i]

noaltta %%

[nalt:a] %
[n:alt:a]

tooth

!
!

olkko ! !

[lk:] ! !
[:lk:]

temple

sokmi % %

[skm:i] %
[s:gm:i]

seagull

guokvo !!

[gkw:] !
[g:gw:]

frog

tnksi !!

[tnks:i] !
[tn:gs:i]

attack leader

aki !

[ak:i] !!
[a:g:i]

death

saykla ! !

[skl:a] !
[s:gl:a]

X will protect Y

tegma !

[m:a] !
[:m:a]

child

gegna ! !

[n:a] !
[:n:a]

den

hare

Younger generations also tend to pronounce preglottalized consonants as -VCwhere the -V- is either anaptyctic or a copy of the preceding vowel.

66

!
!

kekken%
[ccn] or [ccn]

Not everyone geminates or preglottalizes the second sound of a cluster. Clusters


containing <v> are especially likely to geminate the first consonant: <skv> can be
[skw:], [skw:] or [s:kv]~[skv]~[skw].
3.4.7.2 Ejective Pronunciation
The Siwa consonant clusters [tx px tsx] <tr pr ts> may be pronounced as [tq pq
tsq], that is to say as ejectives. This pronounciation sometimes extends to <t> and
<b> being pronounced as [t: p:] and even <> as [q:]. This is especially common
in eastern dialects and higher language registers. It is associated with more archaic
language, and may be used as a form of hypercorrection.
!
The consonants <pp tt kk dd dl> are commonly found as (geminated)
ejectives [p t k t] in non-initial syllables or when directly before a stressed
syllable.
3.4.8 Lenition
Lenition is a phonological process by which the intervocalic coda (most commonly)
of the stressed syllable in inanimate nouns is changed or weakened as part of case
marking. The sound changes range from loss of gemination, consonant cluster
simplification to consonants disappearing all together. Lenition only affects inanimate
nouns.
!
As a general rule, if lenition occurs, vowel apocope before case endings is
less likely. However, geminate sonorants do not always obey this.

agentive

genitive
Geminated Voiced Stops

[p:] bb

[b] b

sabbas
[sp:as]
sole

sabahi
[sbhi]

[t:] dd

/d/ d

saddama
[st:ma]
callus

sadakka
[sdaka]

67

/k:/ gg

/g/ g

keggas
[cek:as]
foetus

kegahi
[ceghi]

/x:/

/x/

naia
[nix:a]
thicket

naiaka
[nixga]

Long Sonorant

// g

[j]

nygis
[nyj:s]
spirit

nyihi
[nyjihi]
(also nhhi)

[m:] mm

[m] m

nmmi
[ny:m:i]
heap, hill

nmdi
[ny:mi]

[l:] ll

[l] l

tellu
[el:u]
catkin

telue
[elue]

/n:/ nn

[n] n

kinna
[cin:a]
fist, hand

kindi
[cni]

[r:] rr

[r] r

krru
[cr:u]
suspicion

krume
[crume]

Uvular Stops

68

[bx] b or [px] pr

[p] p

ipro
[pxo]
carcass

ipodi
[ipi]

[x] d or [tx] tr

/t/ t

ede
[xe]
air

eteri
[eteri]

glottalized Stops

[pm] bm

[m] m

sibma
[spma]
claw

simadi
[simi]

[tn] dn

[n] n

ndna
[ntna]
wave

nnamo
[nnm]

[:] kn

[] ng

akna
[aa]
trace

angaka
[:ga]

Consonant Clusters

[t] dl

[l] l

dlu
[i:tu]
sprout

ludi
[i:lui]

[lp:] lpp

/lp/ lp

gylppa
[dzlp:a]
wet snow

gylpamo
[dzlpm]

69

[lt:] ltt

/lt/ lt

noaltta
[nalt:a]
tooth

noaltaka
[naltga]

/lk:/ lkk

/lk/ lk

hialkko
[halk:]
wound

hialkodi
[halki]

[rp:] rpp

[rp] rp

kurppo
[crp:]
hollow

kurpoma
[crpma]

[rt:] rtt

/rt/ rt

nrtta
[e:rt:a]
sharp pain

nrtari
[e:rtri]

/rk:/ rkk

/rk/ rk

liarkko
[lark:]
guest bench

liarkodi
[larki]

[ps:] ps

[ps] bs or [p:s] ps

tsepsu
[tsps:u]
tiny bit

tsebsue
[tspsue]

/mk:/ mkk

/mk/ mk

tmkki
[tmc:i]
boulder

tmkimo
[tmcim]

[kl:] kl

[kl] gl

tsokli
[tsxkl:i]
rakovalkea

tsoglimo
[tsxklim]

70

[kw:] kv

[kv] gv

koakvi
[kakw:i]
call

koagvika
[kakviga]

[ks:] ks

[ks] gs

diuksi
[dks:i]
icicle

diugsid
[duks]

/sk:/ skk

/sk/ sk

peskko
[pjsk:]
snowflake

peskue
[pjskue]

Voiced Consonants

[v] /w/ v

sivi
[sivi]
honey

sd
[si:]

[w:] vv

or [w]

nivv
[niw:i:]
humidity

niila~nla
[niwila/ni:la]

[b] b

tibes
[ibs]
sign

/d/ d + back vowel

[l] l

puodus
[pus]
navel

71

tiehhi
[ieh:i]

puolhi
[plhi]

/d/ d + front vowel

hide
[hide]
hair

hiedi
[hiei]

/g x/ g + back
vowel

[v] v or [w:] vv

ougu
[uu]
hook

oumma
[um:a]

/g x/ g + front
vowel

tiogi
[tiji]
dam

toid
[]

// h/

vihi
[vii]
dirt

vd
[vi:]

Consonant -i

[ri] ri

[xi] i

[i] ni

[i] i

iri
[iri]
bark

[i] i

boi
[bxi]
(deciduous)
branch and
leaves

[j:i] gi

kini
[cii]
fringes on
clothes

72

iid
[i:]
(also hdi)

boko
[bk]

kigid
[cij:]

[h:ji] hhi

boaihhi
[bih:ji]
floating weeds in
lake

[i] i

boaika
[baka]

Long Voiceless Consonants

[p] p

mobi
[mbi]
hunting territory

mopiko
[mpg]

[:]

[h:] hh

saa
[s:a]
fire (in a forest or
house)

sahhaka
[sh:ga]

/g/ g

/k/ k

kga
[kga]
bear cub

kkamo
[kkm]

[b] b

Semi-Vowel

[w uw] o u

ois
[ws]
turtle

//

hhi
[y:h:i]

!
Note that in conservative language, the cluster <ng> disappears between two
identical vowels under lenition: tingi mating period can be found as tingid or td in
the genitive.
3.5 Diachronic Phonology

73

Going through all of the changes from Proto-Alopian to modern Siwa would be of little
use to the learner. However, certain consonants are worth examining as they may
help recognize cognates and may shed light on the development of Siwa.
3.5.1 Consonants
Below are given some of the relevant sound changes in consonants that have
occurred in earlier stages of Siwa.

*/b/
Proto-Siwa */b/ sometimes disappeared intervocally or changed to */m/, especially
before */ /. This can be seen in the Siwa pair bieli [bieli] fat, blubber (PROTO-SIWA
*bili) vs. mielo [miel] rot, mildew (PROTO-SIWA *blu). Before */o u/ it generally
remained */b/, but sometimes became */w/ and sometimes it became */m/ (usually
because of a neighboring dialects influence which kept the */m/ variant only), e.g.
voli [vli] arthritis (PROTO-SIWA *bol-) cf. malva [malva] sprain (PROTO-SIWA *blwa).

*/w/
Proto-Siwa */w/ went through complicated sound changes. It most often changed to /
v/ (before a stressed front vowel). Sometimes it fell together with */b/ and changed
to /m/ before / /, cf. vebo [veb] knot (PROTO-SIWA *wep-/wap-) but mpsemi
[me:psemi] to make knots (PROTO-SIWA *wp-). */w/ usually disappeared all together
between identical vowels.

*/d/
Proto-Siwa */d/ changed to */v/ before /a o/ intervocally, which can be seen in words
such as suvo [suv] berry (PROTO-SIWA *sud-) and sudlu [sutu] to blossom (PROTOSIWA *sudl-). Similarly, */d/ changed to */w/ before */u/, but it also sometimes
disappeared, e.g. saiu [siwu] pot (PROTO-SIWA *sd-) and sayna [sna] (PROTOSIWA *sdina) hiding place.

*/n/
Proto-Siwa */n/ changed to */j/ after a long front vowel, e.g. tinin [tinn]
firewood (PROTO-SIWA *tini-) cf. tiegibi [tiejibi] twig (PROTO-SIWA *tnibi).

*//
Proto-Siwa // has the most number of reflexes in modern Siwa. It is perhaps worth
describing all of them:

74

a-/o-/
u-

y-/-

e-/i-

-a

-o / -u

-e

-i

-j-

-hha-

-vv-/-b-

-e-

-i-

-g-

uemi
(<*oemi)
black bird

oi
(<*oi)
moon light

saugeni
(<*sajen)
X smells
burnt

savvu
(<*sau)
a burn'
sahha
(<*saa)
X will burn Y'

saubus
(<*sasa)
(small)
flame,
candle

-hha-

-vv-/-b-

-e-

-b-

-g-

nyhha
(<*nya)
X will make Y
curl/bend'

nb
(<*n)
ring finger'

ne
(<*nje)
coil'

ybi
(<*oi)
cloudless

ngkka
(<*njkka
)
X will coil Y'

-hha-

-hh-/--

-e-

-hhi-/-i

-g-/--

saie
(<*se)
burning
sensation'

tddi
(<*ti)
stimulus,
frustration'

segaka
(<*sejaka)
embers'

rehha
(<*rea)
X pull Y'

siebi
eagle
siehhumi
eagle gen
(< *s)
tigo
(<*to)
skin irritation'

Before /h/ it became // (deleting the /h/):


!
!
omoi ! !
[mi] !

game (< *o-mi)

Before /s/ it disappeared:


!
!
tamosi ! !

hunter (< *ta-msi)

[tmsi] !

Before /k g/ it became [s] <s>:


!
!
maski ! !
[masci] !

people (< *maki)

It lengthened /p b/ to [b] <b> and /t d/ to [:] <>:


!
!
kagu ! !
[kau] !
fresh wood (< *kakil)

75

The cluster /r/ became [tx] <tr>:


!
!
utra ! !
[txa] ! !

crowberry (< *ora)

The cluster */l/ became [t] <dl>:


!
!
sadlu ! !
[satu] !!

to burn in a pot (<*salu)

*/s/
The cluster */sr/ changed to /sx/ <s> in Siwa. In some cases, */s/ changed to [h:]
<hh> between /i y/ and /i/, e.g. kyhhisi [cyh:isi] mink and kuspo [ksp] skunk
both from PROTO-SIWA *kus- (possibly stinky animal).

*/l/
Proto-Siwa */l/ sometimes palatalized to //, but this became // in neighboring
languages as well as some eastern dialects, as can be seen from pairs such as Siwa
lemi [ljemi] infection and [i:] pus from UMO in wound from PROTO-SIWA *ljem(most likely a borrowing from an unknown language).

*//
Proto-Siwa *// often became Siwa // but after diphthongs is usually changed to /h/
or //, e.g. aihha [ih:a] thorn, sewing needle cf. aiskami [askmi] to sew (PROTOSIWA *-, earlier SIWA aika)

*/c/
As a general rule, Proto-Siwa */c/ palatalized to [] <t> especially before long front
vowels or /j/. Sometimes, it remained /c/, cf. Kuomin [cmn] Kuomin and
tiempa [mpa] sinuous, both from *cm- sinuous, twisting.

*//
Proto-Alopian *// remained as is in Siwa except between two identical vowels, in
which case it disappeared, e.g. tuo [tu] carrot (PROTO-SIWA *too) cf. laonga
[la::a] root soup (PROTO-SIWA *lutong-).
3.6 Prosody
Spoken Siwa has a variety of language registers, ranging from every day language,
hunter-speech or amisami, story telling to jocular or emphasized speech. Parallel to
this are the differences between mens and womens speech.
!
The most elevated form of Siwa is ceremonial story-telling or emphatic
speech called uoaimi (lit. correctly told). Uoaimi is characterized by monotonous
and long stretches of speech with a fixed rhythm. Phonetically, Uoaimi is unusuall in

76

having most prefixes and certain suffixes clearly separated from the word they attach
to by a glottal stop, []. Also, unvoiced plosives are often aspirated even in nonstressed position. For example:
!
katitsovahmi
!
[ktitsxvahmi] !
or!
[ktitsxvhimi]
!
I will tell you about it
Perhaps the most deviating register is amisami or hunter-speech. It is the
characteristic speech of hunters, typically used when talking amongst themselves.
The main feature of amisami, illustrated in the name, is the syncope of unstressed
vowel (see 3.6). For example, the phrase katsa satakana you will whistle at me
outside is normally pronounced [ktsa stkna], but in amisami, it becomes
katsa stakna [ktsa stgna]. Men also more often than women drop the copula in
infinitive clauses.
!
Men tend to turn [wa] into [] after <p t k s l n>. This also applies to /oa/.
Thus, men would tend to pronounced ntkat gender-based role singing as
[ni:tk]. Women usually lengthen the first sound of diphthongs and also have the lax
versions of diphthongs with /i/, then pronounced /e/, e.g. hiamin milk and honey
drink [he:amn] or [he:amn].

77

4 Nouns
Siwa nouns form an open category with a complex agentive derivation system. The
following description is valid for all substantives and proper nouns as well as all
attributive and post-positive adjectives.
!
Nouns are marked for case (agentive/dative, patientive/genitive, inessive,
illative, elative, adessive, allative and ablative), number (singular, plural, collective)
and can be marked for topic or approbation (approbative or pejorative). A small
number of nouns also require a verbal personal marking or possession marker. They
are called action nominals (see 4..3.3.3). Nouns also have animacy they are either
animate, inanimate or both.
!
Siwa nouns have two basic forms: an unmarked form, corresponding to the
agentive and dative case, and a marked form, corresponding to the patientive and
genitive case. The inessive, illative, elative, adessive, allative and ablative are
grouped together as the locative cases, and they are added onto the genitive form of
the noun, such that the locative case markings are considered to be secondary to the
unmarked and marked forms.
!
!
!

unmarked cases
!
agentive
!
dative

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

marked cases
!
patientive
!
gentive
!
locative cases
!
!
inessive
!
!
illative
!
!
elative
!
!
adessive
!
!
allative
!
!
ablative

This means that one only has two learn two basic forms of a noun to be able to
decline it in all of its cases. Take for example the word somi man:
!
!
!
!
!
!
singular!!
plural
!
!
unmarked form! !
somi% %
somigi
!
!
marked form! !
skko
!
!
locative forms
!
!
!
inessive!!
skkia
!
!
!
illative! !
skkita
!
!
!
elative! !
skkika
!
!
!
adessive!
skkima
!
!
!
allative! !
skkibma
78

ablative!!

skkiska

Plural marking is not required and is not usually found on the marked form of a noun.
The collective is marked regularly through a clitic ending. Likewise, the approbative
and pejorative markers are found as prefixed clitics:
!
!

!
!

approbative!
pejorative!

!
!

sussomi%
ussomi% %

good man/fellow
bad man

Nominal declensions thus consist of two major forms, the unmarked and marked, with
additional cases being formed from the marked form. Animacy only becomes visible
through the marked form, i.e. a nouns animacy is not obvious from its default
unmarked form. This explains why some nouns, whose marked forms are compatible
with both animacies may freely go from animate to inanimate.

4.1 Animacy
Animacy refers to whether a noun is considered to be living (animate) or non-living
(inanimate), though animacy also covers cultural salience and personal importance.
Animate nouns decline according to their ending, and the animate declensions only
contain a fix set of 33 endings, while inanimate nouns decline according to both their
stressed vowel and word-final vowel or only on their word-final consonant. However,
inanimate nouns which happen to end in one of the 33 animate endings may have
both an inanimate and animate marked form. Inanimate nouns are affected by
lenition in their marked form (see 3.4.8)
!
For example, the word eleba flower has both animacies the ending -ba is
one of the 33 animate endings. Its marked form can thus be either eleu (animate) or
elepri (inanimate). The choice may be contextual or up to the speaker. The animate
marked form implies a living, perhaps personified flower, while the inanimate form
implies a flower, or perhaps a dried/picked flower. This is called perceived animacy.
!
The majority of nouns are inanimate. Animacy is not restricted to biological
animacy. Animate nouns are generally perceived as being culturally more salient or
important. In fact, importance is a major factor in choosing animacy for ambiguous
nouns, and may greatly help in determining a nouns inherent animacy.
!
A small set of nouns have asymmetrical animacy, i.e. they are animate nouns
whose singular marked form is inanimate, but whose plural unmarked form is
animate. These include:
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
man! !
woman!
boy! !
girl!
!

singular!!
somi! !
ski!
!
kori!
%
dida% %

animate plural!
somigi% %
skigi% %
korigi% %
didagi% %

79

!
%
%
%
%

inanimate plural
somie
skie
korie
didua

Many speakers have more nouns in this category biologically animate but
morphologically inanimate nouns with an animate plural. The inanimate plural is
usually translated into English without the definite article:
!
!

!
!

somigi! !
somie! !

the men
men (in general)

4.1.1 Inanimate
Inanimate nouns include most lifeless things. They have two main groups of
declensions a change of ending to consonant-final words (consonant declensions),
or an ending dependent on a combination of the stressed vowel and the word-final
vowel (vowel declensions).

aihha

aihhaka

Inanimate nouns are optionally marked for plural and use a different plural marker
than animate nouns. Inanimate nouns include:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

aihha ! !
li !
!
bana ! !
dedna ! !
ekni ! !
gykin ! !
hamit ! !
uoku ! !
kaibmu !!
kykky ! !
leuvva ! !
mek ! !
n ! !
omi ! !
opsi ! !
poki ! !
rapa ! !
somora !
sugagi ! !
talta ! !
tsammi !
t !
!
ua !
!
u !
!

sewing needle, thorn


wound
place
village
way
snowshoe
metal
enclosure
walking stick, support
call
reindeer moss
river banks
knife
snow
cup
flint
small hill
gold
pea
clay
forest
stone
water
sand
80

!
!

ygi !
v !

!
!

spike
lake

However, many inanimate nouns are biologically animate:


!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

hapri ! !
helon ! !
heutso !
lppi ! !
dlu ! !
ski !
!
keggas !!
kei !
!

flock of birds
pregnant animal
burbot
hare
sprout
woman
ftus
lynx

Such morphologically inanimate nouns may be referred to with animate pronouns,


especially words referring to humans (ski woman, somi man, dida girl, kori boy,
etc.).
!
Ambiguous nouns perceived as inanimate are usually non-specific, or may
also imply that the noun is of lesser or lowered importance. The former is especially
true of many ambiguous nouns referring to animal or plant species. For example,
guokvo frog, if perceived inanimate, may refer to frogs in general, e.g.;
!
%

so hana-a guogvoma!
so hana-a guokoi %

!
%

do you eat frog? !


(inanimate)
will you eat the frog? ! (animate)

4.1.2 Animate
Animate nouns typically include living things, people or culturally important, holy or
salient objects. They differ from inanimate nouns in their declensions and the fact that
they are always marked for plural in the unmarked form (-gi/-hi-/i or -i), with a
separate marker from the inanimate plural. Animate nouns see their last syllable
change, and no animate noun ends in a consonant. Animate nouns do not go
through lenition. The animate endings are:
%
%
%
%

-ma %
-ba%
-pa%
-va%

-mi %
-bi%
-pi%
-vi%

-mo
-bo
-po
-vo

%
%
%
%
%
%

-na %
-la %
-ra %
-i
-sa %
-ta %

-ni %
-li %
-ri %

-no
-lu
-ro

-si %
-so
-ti/-te % -to
81

%
%
%
!

-ka %
-ha %
-ga %

-ki/-ke % -ko
-hi/-i % -ho
-gi %
-go

Animate nouns include:


!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

aosi ! !
amoi ! !
bialvuni !
dapsa ! !
demo ! !
eulhi ! !
eleba ! !
gasi ! !
helva ! !
hemi ! !
imi ! !
pa ! !
kansi ! !
ko !
!
kyi ! !
manta ! !
moasi ! !
nirhi ! !
nommo!!
oadi ! !
ohra ! !
peilki ! !
retema !!
sira ! !
imi ! !
ts !
!
dno ! !
rni ! !
yi !
!

open ocean or the impersonation of the sea


blood
shrimp
younger sister
bone
field
flower
moon
female caribou
bird
raven
grandparents
female moose
summer
squirrel
world
black bear (taboo word)
adults, parents
sturgeon
palate
god
trout
fox
fish
bear head
nose
angelica
female wolf
salmon

Many specific species names are animate (though the majority are in fact
ambiguous, but more commonly found as animate nouns). For example, koma auk
bird is any bird of the auk family and it is an inanimate noun. However, tontsori
puffin is animate. The same goes for plants: a coniferous tree is pio and is an
inanimate noun, but minhi black spruce, kumora white spruce and serula larch are
all animates.
!
Most kinship words in Siwa are animate (marked form given in italics):

82

kembo
kmoi
'grandfather'
kmaka
kmasa
kmaka
kmasa
'my grandfather' 'your grandfather'

sambo
smoi
'grandfather'
smaka
smasa
smaka
smasa
'my grandfather' 'your grandfather'

niebini
nieiga
'grandmother'
nieaka
nieasa
nieaka
nieassa
'my grandmother' 'your grandmother'

piddani
pitta
'grandmother'
pittaka
pittasa
pittaka
pittassa
'my grandmother' 'your grandmother'

psi
vilo
pta
viltsa
'maternal uncle' 'maternal aunt'

lillu
koalgi
lilda
koaltsa
'paternal uncle' 'paternal aunt'

atri
atta
'father'
ataka
atkaka
'my father'

suosa
suotta
'mother'

atasa
atkasa
'your father'

ska
ssa
smaka
smasa
'my mother' 'your father'

tyry
tolba
'son'

ini
ia
'daughter'

koi
gasta
'older brother'
kosoka
kososa
kottaka
kottasa
'my older brother' 'your older brother'

toabi
daumi
'older sister'
tobika
tobisa
toumika
toumisa
'my older sister' 'your older sister'

karsa
karta
'younger brother'

dapsa
daa
'younger sister'

83

In addition, the Siwa seasons are also animate:


!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

tli !
lni !
thni !
ko !
ni !
todli !
!
ymni !
guni !
heeri !
eni !
atkini !

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

spring
early spring
late spring
summer (also commonly inanimate)
early summer
late summer
fall
early fall
late fall
winter
early winter
late winter.

Words for important events in the Siwa year also have the animate form as well as the
animate plural marker -gi/-i/-i/-hi (thus all plural nouns):
!
!
!
!
!
!

tserogi !!
aumulhi !
lhi ! !
salinhi !
skanhi !!
umuigi ! !

sweat lodge ceremony


female menstruation ceremony
male rite of passage
caribou head sacrifice
vernal equinox
autumnal equinox

Note that the following nouns are inanimate:


!
!
!
!
!

ggi ! !
gi !
!
gekesi !
maisagi !
imi ! !

summer solstice
winter solstice
birthday
winter hunt start ceremony
bear ritual.

The animate noun class also contains many body parts, most of which are irregular
(marked form given in parantheses here):
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

totami !
sata !
saba !
kita !
kiba !
narri !
lsi !

!
!
!
!
!
!
!

(todatta) !
(savva) !!
(saubba) !
(kivva)! !
(keubba) !
(naret) !!
(lhhi) ! !

head
ear
ears
eye
eyes
nose
nostrils

84

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

kuki1 ! !
kppa ! !
tea !!
tiemo ! !
tiebba ! !
miebi ! !
mamma !
sieo ! !
mppa ! !

(kuta) !!
(khu) ! !
(tevva) !
(tieka) ! !
(tiehba) !
(mieumi) !
(mami) !
(sievva) !
(mhu) ! !

mouth
arm (from shoulder to wrist)
arm (from elbow to wrist)
hand
hands
leg (from hip to ankle)
leg (from knee to ankle)
foot
feet

4.1.3 Ambiguous Nouns


Ambiguous nouns are those which have one animate and one inanimate marked
form. Generally, ambiguous nouns perceived to be animate are given more
importance, made to be more salient, more specific, personified, or in the case of
many words referring to species of plants and animals, perceived animate nouns
refer to an individual plant or animal rather than the species in general. Thus,
ambiguous nouns are more commonly inanimate when plural (whether overt or not).
Any noun ending in one of the animate noun endings may decline as an ambiguous
animate noun. This is not consistently done but it can be done to underline the
personification of an inanimate noun (such as when an inanimate noun is given life in
narratives).
!
'
!

htuma !
!
!
khloita elhi htumari % %
khloita edli htuka '
'

balsam poplar
balsam poplars grow tall !
the balsam poplar grew tall !

(inanimate)
(animate)

!
'
!

miniso ! !
!
viviksui minii ' '
viviksui ministi % '

common snipe
the common snipe winnows !
common snipes winnow !

(inanimate)
(animate)

!
'
'

Ambiguous nouns include most tree species, many plants and many fish, bird and
animal species.
4.1.4 Honorific Nouns
Honorific speech in Siwa, used in certain ritualized circumstances (speaking before a
council, addressing elders or sometimes young women or children) is characterized
by absolute animacy all nouns capable of being animate are declined as as such,
even those which are normally never animate. For examples, the word poki flint has

Note that kuki exists both as an animate and inanimate noun (then kugmo in the marked form). When
used as an inanimate noun, it is slightly less polite.

85

the marked form pokko, but if one were to present flint as a gift or in a ritualized
circumstance, the marked form would be pota, which is otherwise not heard.

4.2 Marked Form


Siwa nouns have two basic forms; unmarked and marked. The marked form
corresponds to the genitive and/or the patientive case. Animate and inanimate nouns
form the two groups of declensions. Note that adjectives follow inanimate
declensions and will be included as examples here. Inanimate nouns undergo
lenition in marked form.

4.2.1 Inanimate Marked Form


Inanimate declensions are separated into two groups: consonant-final and vowelbased. Both groups go through consonant lenition, if possible. In vowel-based
declensions, the stressed vowel of a word as well as its final vowel govern the shape
of the case marker. The final vowel of a noun is very often deleted when the case
marker is added, though -o and -e generally remain unchanged before locative
endings. However, nouns which undergo consonant lenition usually keep their final
vowels, i.e. apocope is not generally allowed on lenited stems (though words in -i are
more prone to apocope, as well as sonorants). Syllable count may also influence the
shape of a marked noun polysyllabic words obey different rules than bi- or
monosyllabic words. The locative case markers delete the last vowel of the marked
form in most cases. These changes are explained in more detail below.
!
4.2.1.1 Vowel-Final
Vowel final declensions regroup bi- and polysyllabic words ending in vowels. The
ending for the marked form is dependent on the stressed vowel and the final vowel of
the verb.
!
Endings may assimilate differently to the word depending on the syllable
count of the word, or whether it contains a stressed diphthong. Words with a stressed
diphthong or long vowel, or with three or more syllables (polysyllabic) are called
weak nouns (W), while bisyllabic words with a simple stressed vowel are called strong
nouns (S). In some cases, stressed diphthongs and long vowels and simple
consonants may behave differently than their polysyllabic counterparts, and are then
called long nouns (L).
!
!
!

weak nouns!
strong nouns!
long nouns!

%
!
!

nobemo, raibma, rdni


gama, bana, upa
hauma, rmi

86

final vowel

-a

-e

-i

-o

-u/-y/-

-e or -obi

-me

stressed vowel

Adeclension
a au ai oa
ay

-ka or -a/-ra

E-declension
e ei ey

-ri/-i

-e

I-declension
i ie ia

-id or -di

Odeclension
o ou oi

-mo

Udeclension
u uo ui
Y-declension
y u eu
i a

-ko or -o

-mo

-mo

-ma

-id or -di

4.2.1.1.1 A-declension
This declension includes all nouns whose stressed vowel is a au ai and oa. This is
one of the simpler declensions. Generally speaking, the ending is -ka or -a. Below
are the rules for this declension. The marked form has its locative in -i- (-a is deleted).
!
Words ending in -mV or -mmV can either have the form -kka for weak nouns,
-ma for strong noun, which becomes -m- before the -i- of locative cases, or or -mka
after a stressed diphthong or a long vowel.

87

A-declension

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

locative

gama
character

gama

gami-

-ma

-mi-

tsammi
forest

tsama

tsami-

hauma
bright

haumka

haumki-

saumi
caribou

saumka

saumki-

rmi
protruding
rock

rmka

rmki-

sasame
tipi

sasakka

sasakki-

asuma
fear

asukka

asukki

salama
antlers

salakka

salakki

-mka

-mki-

-mV

-kka

-kki-

Words ending in -nV or -nnV can either have the form -nka or -kka. Weak nouns in nV usually have the form -kka. Strong nouns in -nV or -nnV usually take -nka (and in
some cases, this changes to -n- before the -i- of locative cases, but not always).

88

A-declension
marked

unmarked

marked

locative

locative

bana
place

banka

bani-

-ni- / -nki-

anna
piled-up
snow

anka

ani

atana
big

atakka

atakki-

saihkena
point, cap

saihkekka

saihkekki
-

-nka
-nV

-kka

-kki-

Words ending in -pV can have the form -pra or -ga. Weak nouns in -pV or -bV
usually have the form -ga. Strong nouns in -pV take -pra (and in some cases, this
changes to -p- before the -i- of locative cases, but not always).
A-declension

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

locative

rapa
small hill

rapra

rapi-

-pra

-pi-/-pri-

habi
nipple

hapra

hapi-

natabi
hemlock

nataga

natagi-

saipi
race

saiga

saigi-

-pV
-bV
W

-ba

-bi-

!
Words ending in -tV can have the form -tka or -tra. Weak nouns in -tV or -dV have the
form -tra. Strong nouns in -tV take -tka (and in some cases, this changes to -tbefore the -i- of locative cases, but not always). A small number of words with -tV
have the ending -tra where one would expect -tka and vice-versa.

89

A-declension

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

locative

ata
mouth

atra

atri-

-tra

-tri-

gauta
color

gautra

gautri-

-tka

-ti-

ata
carved bowl

atka

ati-

unmarked

marked

locative

oari
edge

oahka

oahki-

kalara
hole

kalahka

kalahki-

takeri
person

takehka

takehki-

unmarked

marked

locative

mavvu
meat

magga

maggi-

poavvi
seal

poagga

poaggi-

davva
past

dagga

daggi-

S/W

-tV

Weak nouns in -rV have the form -hka.


A-declension
marked

-rV

locative

-hka

-hki-

Words ending in -vvV have -gga.


A-declension
marked

locative

-vvV
-gga

-ggi-

90

Words in -lkV -rkV -skV get -lkka -rkka -skka.


A-declension
marked

marked

locative

aurko
lake trout

aurkka

aurkki-

gagulka
community

gaulkka

gaulkki-

tasko
woods

taskka

taskki-

locative

-CkV
-Ckka

unmarked

-Ckki-

Other endings and most words that go through consonant lenition simply have the
form -ka (with deletion of final vowel after sonorants).

A-declension

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

kalsa
oven,
insides

kalsaka

kalsaki-

ddna
pillow

dnaka

dnaki-

mhra
bear

mhraka

mhraki-

aihmi
nesting hole
in snow

aihmika

aihmiki-

gaitsa
meteor

gaitska

gaitski-

aihha
needle

aihka

aihki-

soalu
fragrance,
smell

soalka

soalki-

-CCVka

locative

-ki-

-CCV

-Cka

-Cki-

91

4.2.1.1.2 E-declension
This declension includes all nouns whose stressed vowel is e ei and ay/eu. The
declension has three categories of ending; for words ending in -a or -e, for words
ending in -i or -o, and for words ending in -u, -y or -. Marked endings in -e are
always kept before locative endings (-eita, -eika, etc.).
-a/-e
Words in -a or -e which do not go through apocope of their last vowel get the ending
-ri.
E-declension -a/-e
marked

-a
-e
-ri

locative

-ri
-h-

unmarked

marked

locative

dida
tear

diari

diaridiah-

helva
female
moose

helvari

helvarihelvah-

de
gray

deri

derideh-

ede
air

eteri

eterieteh-

Words ending in -na or -ne have the marked form -di, which turns to -h- before the
illative, elative and abessive (-hta, -hka and -hma) and in -i- before the allative and
ablative (-ibma and -iska), but remain -d- before the inessive (-dia).

-na
-ne

E-declension -a/-e

unmarked

marked

locative

locative

heona
weak

heodi

heodiheoiheoh-

marked

-di

-di-h-i-

mrana
difficult

mradi

mradimraimrah-

Words in -ba/-be have the marked form -pri (sometimes -bi), which becomes -pibefore locative endings.

92

E-declension -a/-e

-ba
-be

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

locative

eleba
flower

elepri

elepi-

-pri
-bi

-pi-

netuba
lilly

netupri

netupi-

Words in -ka/-ke have the marked form -i and -i- before locative endings.
E-declension -a/-e

marked

locative

-ka
-ke
-i

-i-

unmarked

marked

locative

segaka
burnt
embers

sevai

sevai-

teuke
silhouette

teui

teui-

neitrike
proboscis,
trunk

neitii

neitii-

Words in -ma/-me have the marked form -mmi, unchanged before the locative cases.
E-declension -a/-e
marked

locative

-ma
-me
-mmi

-mmi-

unmarked

marked

locative

teroma
twilight

terommi

terommi-

gegeme
hem

gmmi

gmmi-

bename
leather
pouch

benammi

benammi
-

Words in -va/-ve have the marked form -rri, those in -tsa/-tse have -tsi, in -sa/-se
have -si, and -la/-le have -lli. All are unchanged before locative endings.

93

E-declension -a/-e
marked

-va
-ve

unmarked

marked

locative

neivi
cone

neirri

neirri-

locative

-rri

-rri-

-tsa
-tse

-tsi

-tsi-

letse
pole

letsi

letsi-

-ta
-te

-tri

-tri-

eita
structure

eitri

eitri-

-sa
-se

-si

-si-

hesse
shovel

hesi

hesi-

nevala
diligent

nevalli

nevalli-

biele
fat

bielli

bielli-

keie
birch

keii

keii

-la
-le

-ha/-he
-a/-e

-lli

-i

-lli-

-i-

-i/-o
Words ending in -i or -o get the ending -e (changing -o to -ue). The ending -ue is also
found as -obi in more conservative language or dialects.

94

E-declension -i/-o
marked

locative

-i
-ie

-o

-ue
-obi

-iei-

-uei-obi-

unmarked

marked

locative

ekni
way, path

engie

engiei-

elki
high
grasses

elkie

elkiei-

kepsi
mushroom

kebsie

kebsiei-

benho
dog

benhue
benhobi

benhueibenhobi-

rento
grain

rentue
rentobi

rentueirentobi-

vebo
knot

vivve
viobi

vivveiviobi-

Words ending in -mi, -pi/-bi, -vi, -ni, -ri, -li, and -ki/-gibecome -mme, -bbe -vve, -nne, rre, -lle and -gge respectively.

E-declension -i/-o
marked

locative

-mi
-mme

-mmei-

unmarked

marked

locative

lemi
infection

lemme

lemmei-

seumi
soil, land

seumme

seummei-

temmi
animal
tracks

temme

temmei-

-pi
-bi

-bbe

-bbei-

reibo
beam of
light

reibbe

reibbei-

-vi

-vve

-vvei-

teivi
nit

teivve

teivvei-

95

E-declension -i/-o

-ni

-ri

-li

-ki
-gi

-nne

-rre

-lle

-gge

unmarked

marked

locative

tetka (<
*tetuni-ka)
guts

tetunne

tetunnei-

nekka (<
*nekuni-ka)
crumbs

nekunne

nekunnei-

teuriri
a couple

teuirre

teuirrei-

eluri
great,
fantastic

elurre

elurrei-

meuli
blue

meulle

meullei-

keggeki
boasting

kegegge

kegeggei-

rerreki
sudden
change of
mind

reregge

rereggei-

-nnei-

-rrei-

-llei-

-ggei-

-u/-y/-
Words in -u, -y or - which do not go through apocope of their last vowel get the
ending -me.
E-declension -u/-y/-
marked

-u
-y
-

-me

locative

-mei-

96

unmarked

marked

locative

detku
quality

detkume

detkumei-

tsepu
unfrozen

tsepume

tsepumei-

ennu
pole for
nagivation

enume

enumei-

The most common endings that go through apocope are in -mV and -nV, which get
the marked ending -mme, and -kV, which get the marked ending -gme (strong
nouns) or -hme (weak nouns).

E-declension -u/-y/-

marked

-mu
-my
-m
-nu
-ny
-n

-mme

-ku
-ky
-k

-ku
-ky
-k

-gme

-hme

unmarked

marked

locative

temmy
shore

temme

temme-

demy
mucus

demme

demme-

deumu
bone

deumme

deumme-

seky
cliff

segme

segme-

mek
river banks

megme

megme-

neiku
frown

neihme

neihme-

locative

-mme-

-gme-

-hme-

4.2.1.1.3 I-declension
This declension includes all nouns whose stressed vowel is i and the diphthongs ia
ie io iu. The declension has two main endings, -di for all final vowels except -i, which
have the form -id for words that do not go through apocope. Those in -di have
change to -h- before the illative, elative and abessive (-hta, -hka and -hma) and in -ibefore the allative and ablative (-ibma and -iska), but remain -d- before the inessive (dia).

97

I-declension

marked

locative

-V
-Vdi

-di-h-i-

unmarked

marked

locative

dida
girl

diadi

diadidiahdiai-

dlu
sprout

ludi

ludiluhlui-

hiedi

hiedihiehhiei-

rnid

rnidi-/
rnrnihrn-

mhkid

mhkidi-/
mhkmhkihmhk-

kd

kdkhk-/kddi-

hide
hair

rdni
thorn

-i

-id

-idi-/--ih--

mhki
frost

k
new

Words in -mV and -nV have the marked form -ndi, unchanged before the locative
cases. Note that certain adjectives in -bmi have -ndi in the marked form. Notice that
words in -umV/-omV and -unV/-onV have the marked for -di.

98

I-declension

marked

unmarked

marked

locative

dmma
treeless
mountain

dndi

dndi-

lama
facade,
place in front

landi

landi-

kinaubmi
foreign

kinaundi

kinaundi-

inina
rich

inindi

inindi-

kinna
fist, paw

kindi

kindi-

istoma
scalp, brain

istdi

istdi-

siehhumi
dried meat

siehhdi

siehhdi-

gikuni
cartilage

gikdi

gikdi-

locative

-mV
-nV
-ndi

-umV
-omV
-unV
-onV

-di

-ndi-

-di-

Note that kinaubmi goes through lenition and apocope despite being an adjective.
!
Words in -vV and -gV have the marked form -i, but when combined with
the elative, form -ga, and with the abessive, form -ma. Note that words in -gV may
also have a marked form in -hdi.

99

I-declension

marked

locative

unmarked

marked

locative

tsiauga
cedar wood

tsiaui

tsiauitsiaudtsiauv-

giga
goose

gii

giigi-

kinagi
foreigner

kinai

kinaikina-

unmarked

marked

locative

sisi
thunder

sisti

sisti-

imisi
animal

imisti

imisti-

kyhhisi
mink

kyhhisti

kyhhisti-

-vV
-gV
-i

-i-d-v-

Words in -sV have the marked form -sti.

I-declension

marked

locative

-sV
-sti

-sti-

Words in -rV, -hV -kV and sometimes in -gV have the marked form -hdi.

100

I-declension
marked

-rV
-hV
-kV
-gV

-hdi

unmarked

marked

locative

mieri
moss

miehdi

miehdi-

sira
fish

shdi (irr. -)

shdi-

siseri
south

sisehdi

sisehdi-

syhhi
bent tree

syhdi

syhdi-

bieluha
fat

bieluhdi

bieluhdi-

miuki
bog

miuhdi

miuhdi-

niuaka
sand dune

niuahdi

niuahdi-

iruoga
coniferous
wood

iruohdi

iruohdi-

unmarked

marked

locative

mielo
mildew

mieldi

mieldi-

milla
soggy spot

mildi

mildi-

pila
red

pildi
or
pldi

pildior
pldi-

siula
spruce

siuldi

siuldi-

locative

-hdi-

Words in -lV have the marked form -ldi.


I-declension
marked

locative

-lV
-ldi

-ldi-

101

4.2.1.1.4 O-declension
This declension includes all nouns whose stressed vowel is o ou u and oi. The
declension has three endings, -mo after vowels -a and -e, or -ko after -i and -ma after
-u, -y or -. Endings in -o tend to keep the vowel before the locative endings (-oita, oika, etc.), but -a is deleted and -o can also be deleted, but less commonly in higher
speech registers. Adjectives always keep the -o.
-a/-e
Words in -a or -e which do not go through apocope of their last vowel get the ending
-mo.
O-declension -a/-e
marked

unmarked

marked

locative

doba
handle

doamo

doamoi-

dotsa
idea,
thought

dotsamo

kokve
light

kokvemo

kogemoi-

osve
sour

osvemo

osvemoi-

locative

-a
-e
-mo

-moi-

dotsamoi-

Words in -ba/-be and -ta/-te have the marked form -bmo.

O-declension -a/-e
marked

-ba
-be
-ta
-te

-bmo

locative

-bmoi-

102

unmarked

marked

locative

nobba
beard

nobmo

nobmoi-

hobbe
earwax

hobmo

hobmoi-

koita
cocoon

koibmo

koibmoi-

doote
dispute

doobmo

doobmoi-

Words in -va/-ve, -ma/-me and -na/-ne have the marked form -mmo.
O-declension -a/-e

marked

-va
-ve
-ma
-me
-na
-ne

-mmo

unmarked

marked

locative

hoivva
flooding
river

hoimmo

hoimmoi-

loive
fin

loimmo

loimmoi-

ohkama
raw

ohkammo

ohkammoi-

mome
slope

mo mmo

mommoi-

onona
little

onommo

onommoi-

boina
belt

boimmo

boimmoi-

gonne
rind

gommo

gommoi-

locative

-mmoi-

Words in -ra/-re, -ha/-he and -ga/-ge have the marked form -hmo.
O-declension -a/-e
marked

-ra
-re
-ha
-he
-ga
-ge

-hmo

unmarked

marked

locative

somora
gold

somohmo

somohmoi-

tokura
amphibian

tokuhmo

tokuhmoi-

liha
leafy

lihmo

lihmoi-

lohhe
bob

lohmo

lohmoi-

toge
eyelash

tohmo

tohmoi-

locative

-hmoi-

103

Strong nouns in -ka/-ke, have the marked form -gmo, while weak nouns have -hmo.

O-declension -a/-e

marked

-ka
-ke

unmarked

marked

locative

goka
sheath

gogmo

gogmoi-

oka
forefather

ogmo

ogmoi-

ka
tundra

gmo

gmoi-

somuka
manly,
courageous

somuhmo

somuhmoi-

locative

-gmo

-ka
-ke

-hmo

-gmoi-

-hmoi-

Words in -la/-le have the marked form -lmo.

O-declension -a/-e

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

locative

kola
ridge, esker

kolmo

kolmoi-

-lmo

-lmoi-

oala
wide

oalmo

oalmoi-

-la
-le

-i
Words of the O-declension whose final vowel is -i- get the ending -ko if no apocope
occurs. The ending -ko behaves exactly like the ending -ka of weak nouns of the Adeclension.

104

O-declension -i
marked

locative

-i
-ko

-koi-

unmarked

marked

locative

tosmi
hay

tosmiko

tosmikoi-

mobi
hunting
territory

mopiko

mopikoi-

sokmi
seagull

sokmiko

sokmikoi-

Words in -mi, -ni, -ki and -gi get -kko, as well as those in -lki, -rki and -ski/-si,
becoming -lkko, -rkko and -skko. Most nouns have -oi- before locatives, but forms in Vkko- often have -Vkki- before locatives.
O-declension -i
marked

-mi
-ni
-ki
-gi

-kko

unmarked

marked

locative

somi
man

skko

skki-

moni
path

mkko

mkki-

doki
trap in snow

dokko

dokki-

poki
flint

pokko

pokki-

hogi
pearl, ball

hokko

hokki-

locative

-kkoi-kki-

-lki

-lkko

-lkkoi-lkki-

molki
erosion

molkko

molkkoi-

-rki

-rkko

-rkkoi-rkki-

korki
blue jet

korkko

korkkoi-

moski
wild copper,
ore

moskko

moskkoi-

mosi
mammal

moskko

moskkoi-

-ski
-si

-skko

-skkoi-skki-

105

The other most common endings that undergo apocope are -li, -ri, -i/-hhi and -hi.
O-declension -i

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

locative

holi
stem, core

holko

holkoi-

-lko

-lkoi-

voli
arthritis

volko

volkoi-

gori
doubt

gohko

gohkoi-

mori
a little

mohko

mohkoi-

tsoihhi
sleigh

tsoihko

tsoihkoi-

loii
leech

loiko

loikoi-

hhi
evening

ko

koi-

-li

-ri
-hi

-hko

-i
-hhi

-ko

-hkoi-

-koi-

-o/-u/-y/-
Words in -o, -u, -y or - which do not go through apocope of their last vowel get the
ending -ma, which is reduced to -mi- before locative endings, and sometimes -n(especially before the illative and elative). The ending -ma behaves exactly as the ma of words in -a/-e/-i, with the exception of endings in -kV generally always marked
as -hma in both strong and weak nouns.

-o
-u
-y
-

O-declension -o/-u/-y/-

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

hog
nonsense

homa

homihon-

obu
sheaf

ouma

oumioun-

osmu
smell of fire

osmuma

osmumiosmun-

monnu
damage

monuma

monumimonun-

-ma

locative

-mi-n-

106

Words in -bV/-pV and -tV/-dV have the marked form -bma.


O-declension -o/-u/-y/-
-bV
-pV
-tV
-dV

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

locative

opo
individual

obma

obmi-

-bma

-bmi-

hoto
peel, layer

hobma

hobmi-

Words in -vV, -mV and -nV have the marked form -mma.
O-declension -o/-u/-y/-

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

obeno
smoke

oimma

oimmi-

ono
lichen

omma

ommi-

nobemo
fire

noimma

noimmi-

tmo
people

tmma

tmmi-

-vV
-mV
-nV

-mma

locative

-mmi-

Words in -rV, -hV, -gV and -kV have the marked form -hma.
O-declension -o/-u/-y/-

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

tokor
fox (white)

tokohma

tokohmi-

roihho
droplet

roihma

roihmi-

koro
headwear

kohma

kohmi-

notoko
hollow,
cavity

notohma

notohmi-

-rV
-hV
-gV
-kV

-hma

locative

-hmi-

107

Words in -lV have the marked form -lma.


O-declension -a/-e
marked

locative

-lma

-lmi-

-lV

unmarked

marked

locative

kolo
cloud

kolma

kolmi-

4.2.1.1.5 U-declension
This declension includes all nouns whose stressed vowel is u uo and ui. This
declension is identical to the O-declension, with the exception of the O-declension
ending -ko for words ending in -i, which is lacking in U-declensions. Instead, one
finds -ma. The declension has two endings, -mo after vowels -a and -e and -i, or -ma
after -o, -u, -y or -. Note that many dialects only have -mo for this group.

U-declension -a/-e/-i
marked

-a
-e
-i

-mo

locative

unmarked

marked

locative

butta
bad weather

buttamo

buttamoi-

kuilva
drizzle

kuilvamo

kuilvamoi-

llkki
hot water,
hot pool

llkimo

llkimoi-

nukli
finger, hook

nuglimo

nuglimoi-

uitse
aquatic

uitsemo

uitsemoi-

-moi-

Words in -bV/-pV and -tV/-dV have the marked form -bmo.

108

U-declension -a/-e/-i
marked

-bV
-pV
-tV
-dV

-bmo

locative

unmarked

marked

locative

huopi
spy, scout

huobmo

huobmoi-

nubba
eyelid

nubmo

nubmoi-

ututa
still

utubmo

utubmoi-

-bmoi-

Words in -vV, -mV and -nV have the marked form -mmo.
U-declension -a/-e/-i

marked

locative

unmarked

marked

locative

huvvi
comfortably
cold

hummo

hummoi-

tsuma
fear,
paralysis

tsummo

tsummoi-

puna
deer skin

pummo

pummoi-

unmarked

marked

locative

kumora
white
spruce

kumohm
o

kumohmoi-

nuhhi
old woman

nuhmo

nuhmoi-

huoka
drunk

huohmo

huohmoi-

-vV
-mV
-nV
-mmo

-mmoi-

Words in -rV, -hV, -gV and -kV have the marked form -hmo.
U-declension -a/-e/-i

marked

-rV
-hV
-gV
-kV

-hmo

locative

-hmoi-

109

Words in -lV have the marked form -lmo.


U-declension -a/-e/-i
marked

locative

-lmo

-lmo-

-lV

unmarked

marked

locative

tuvala
heavy

tuvalmo

tuvalmoi-

-o/-u/-y/-
Words in -o, -u, -y or - which do not go through apocope of their last vowel get the
ending -ma, which is reduced to -mi- before locative endings, and sometimes -n(especially before the illative and elative). The ending -ma behaves exactly as the ma of words in -a/-e/-i.
U-declension -o/-u/-y/-

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

dno
angelica

noma

nominon-

ulu
serious

uluma

ulumiulun-

v
whetstone

vma

vmivn-

unmarked

marked

locative

-o
-u
-y
-

locative

-mi-n-

-ma

Words in -bV/-pV and -tV/-dV have the marked form -bma.


U-declension -o/-u/-y/-
-bV
-pV
-tV
-dV

marked

locative

upo
vine

ubma

ubmi-

-bma

-bmi-

hutu
necklace

hubma

hubmi-

110

Words in -vV, -mV and -nV have the marked form -mma.
U-declension -o/-u/-y/-

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

tuono
the same

tuomma

tuommi-

nunna
angry

nummo

nummoi-

umu
fog

ummo

ummoi-

-vV
-mV
-nV

-mma
-mmo

locative

-mmi-mmoi-

Words in -rV, -hV, -gV and -kV have the marked form -hma.
U-declension -o/-u/-y/-

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

uoku
caribou
enclosure

uohma

uohmi-

sro
berry bush

shma

shmi-

uboko
pipe

uohma

uohmi-

U-declension -o/-u/-y/-

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

locative

puilma

puilmi-

-lma

-lmi-

puilo
nerve

-rV
-hV
-gV
-kV

-hma

locative

-hmi-

Words in -lV have the marked form -lma.

-lV

4.2.1.1.6 Y-declension
This declension includes all nouns whose stressed vowel is y u ey a and i.
The declension has three endings; -mo for words ending in -a, -di or -id for words
ending in -i or -e, and -ma for words ending in -o, -u, -y or -, and is thus identical to

111

the O-declensions, with the exception of -ko for words ending in -i. Generally, the final
vowels -y and - are less often deleted. Many dialects do not have the endings -di or
-id and use instead -ma.
-a
Words in -a which do not go through apocope of their last vowel get the ending -mo.

Y-declension -a

marked

marked

locative

ndna
wave

nnamo

nnamoi-

nydna
adult, mature
(female)

nydnamo

nydnamoi-

pbma
point

pmamo

pmamoi-

locative

-a
-mo

unmarked

-moi-

Words in -va, -ma and -na have the marked form -mmo.
Y-declension -a
marked

-va
-ma
-na

-mmo

locative

unmarked

marked

locative

rma
place near

rmmo

rmmoi-

ygana
summer
camp

yammo

yammoi-

srna
rough

srmmo

srmmoi-

kymina
nice

kymimmo

kymimmoi-

-mmoi-

Words in -ra, -ha, -ga and -ka have the marked form -hmo.

112

Y-declension -a

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

sgaka
branches of
river

sahmo

sahmoi-

sra
part

shmo

shmoi-

dyra
turn (river)

dyhmo

dyhmoi-

unmarked

marked

locative

tylla
little brother

tylmo

tylmoi-

locative

-ra
-ha
-ga
-ka
-hmo

-hmo-

Words in -la have the marked form -lmo.

Y-declension -a
marked

locative

-la
-lmo

-lmoi-

-i
Words of the Y-declension whose final vowel is -i- get the ending -id or -di, i.e. they
behave exactly like nouns of the I-declension. This is not found in all dialects. Some
have -i words following the same pattern as words in -a. Refer to the I-declension for
a more extensive description.

113

Y-declension -i
marked

locative

kyni
nest

kyndi

kyndi-

lri
scum

lhdi

lhdi-

pymi
hard bark

pyndi

pyndi

tsli
skull

tsldi

tsldi-

nieugi
ground mist

nibid

nibidinibihnib-

tygi
poison

tid

tiditiht-

-di-h-i-

-di

-id

marked

locative

-V
-C

-i

unmarked

-idi-/--ih--

-o/-u/-y/-
Words in -o, -u, -y or - which do not go through apocope of their last vowel get the
ending -ma, which is reduced to -mi- before locative endings, and sometimes -n(especially before the illative and elative). The ending -ma behaves exactly as that of
the O-declension. Refer to it for a more extensive description.

-o
-u
-y
-

Y-declension -o/-u/-y/-

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

kydly
bell

kylyma

kylymikylyn-

mynty
animal track

myntyma

myntymimyntyn-

n
knife

nma

nminn-

-ma

locative

-mi-n-

114

Words in -vV, -mV and -nV have the marked form -mma.
Y-declension -o/-u/-y/-

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

tna
rough

tmma

tmmi-

ymina
lost

ymimma

ymimmi-

ymy
terrible

ymma

ymmi-

tmo
people

tmma

tmmi-

-vV
-mV
-nV

-mma-

locative

-mmi-

Words in -rV, -hV, -gV and -kV (weak nouns) have the marked form -hma. Unlike the
O-declension, however, strong nouns in -kV do not go through apocope, cf. gyky still
weather gykyma.
Y-declension -o/-u/-y/-

unmarked

marked

locative

marked

locative

myry
fly

myhma

myhmi-

-hma

-hmi-

tygyha
poisonous

tygyhma

tygyhmi-

unmarked

marked

locative

l
sweat

lma

lmi-

-rV
-hV
-gV

Words in -lV have the marked form -lma.

Y-declension -a/-e
marked

locative

-lma

-lmi-

-lV

4.2.1.2 Marked Consonant-Final Form


For consonant-final nouns, the declension groups are much fewer and simpler. The
marked form is shown by altering the final consonant. Nouns of the S-declension
show considerable variation, often metathesis and apocope simultaneously.

115

4.2.1.2.1 S-declension
This declension includes all nouns whose final consonant is -s. The marked for
changes the -s to -hi or in stressed syllables, -hhi (which are shortened to -h- before
the illative, elative and abessive, becoming -hta, -hka and -hma respectively). Many
diminutives end in -s. Note that nouns in -dVs have the marked form -lhi. Certain
dialects have endings in -kVs become -hki in the marked form. Some dialects have a
marked form in -i, which is common in poetic language.

UNMARKED!

MARKED% %

%
%

%
%

-s
-hi -i -hi

!
bidis ! !
puppy, small dog !
!
biihi
!
bunus ! !
small squash ! !
!
bunuhi or bunhi or bhhi
!
gikis ! !
shard ! !
!
!
gikihi or gihki
!
hylys ! !
little or thin person !
!
hylhi or hlhi
!
ikos ! !
small axe !
!
!
ikohi or ihki
'
kiras ! !
morning !
!
!
kirahi or kirhi
'
kobas ! !
freckle !
!
!
koahhi
!
lagas ! !
ingredient, flour !
!
laahi
!
misas ! !
stone ! !
!

misahi
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
(also irregular as misi)
!
ms ! !
a little bit !
!
!
mhhi
'
nokos ! !
stick ! !
!
!
nokohi or nohki
!
rovus ! !
shore of lake ! !
!
rhhi
!
tohhus !!
young !!
!
!
tohhuhi
!
s !
!
young fish !
!
!
hhu
!
eis ! !
any young animal!
!
eihi
!
niedas ! !
fir !
!
!
!
nielhi
!
puodus !
navel ! !
!
!
puolhi
!
!
4.2.1.2.2 N-declension
This declension includes all nouns whose final consonant is -n. The marked form
changes the -n to either -s or -nta. Words whose stressed vowel is a o or u (most
commonly o) have -nta, whereas words whose stressed vowel is e i y or have -s.
Marked forms in -onta do changed to -r- before the locative cases. Words ending in n often depict a pejorative or larger version of another word.

!
%
%

UNMARKED!
MARKED% %

%
%
a o u% %
e i y % %

-n
-nta (-onta -ri-LOC)
-s

116

aou
%
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

hokon ! !
!
!
okon ! !
!
!
kotson ! !
!
!
okon ! !
!
!
oskon ! !
!
!
toron ! !
!
!

large boulder, ball !


!
hokonta
(cf. hokribma onto the large boulder)
large caribou herd !
!
okonta
(cf. okrika out of the large herd)
shock, scare, fright!
!
kotsonta
(cf. kotsria in shock)
big old man ! !
!
okonta
(cf. okrima on the big old man)
male moose ! !
!
oskonta
(cf. oskriska off the male moose)
big bear !
!
!
toronta
(cf. torrita into the big bear i.e. into a trap/danger)

eiy
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

blin ! !
dn !
!
ehhon ! !
gegin ! !
helon ! !
ilun !
!
leren ! !
pirin ! !
sinin ! !
innen ! !
!

liver ! !
!
barren field ! !
nuance, difference!
mouth (vulgar) !
pregnant mammal !
young !!
!
pile ! !
!
nugget !
!
big fish !
!
lake ! !
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

blis
ds
ehhos
geis
helos
ilus
leres
piis
sinis
ines

4.2.1.2.3 T-declension
This declension includes all nouns whose final consonant is -t. The marked for
changes the -t to either -tsta (also found as -dda or less commonly -tsitta) or -tta. Words
whose stressed vowel is a o or u have -tta, whereas words whose stressed vowel is e i y
or have -tsta.
!
%
%

UNMARKED!
MARKED% %

%
%
a o u% %
e i y % %

-t
-tta
-tsta -dda

A subgroup of this declension, which is only found in the eastern dialects, have the
form -Vut in the agentive, and take the form -lda in the patientive. Not many words are
part of this subgroup.
a o u% -t %
%
%
ageut ! !
!
!
!

%
%
%
%
heart, center, marrow! !
!
!
!
!
117

%
-tta
!
aelda
(also aeutta)!

!
'
!
!
'
!
!
!
!
!
eiy
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
%
!
!
!

aihhot !
baut !
!
hamit !
koat !
kolot !
lungit !
oot !
ut !
sasat !

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

%%
%
det ! !
elet ! !
t !
!
hingut ! !
!
!
igut ! !
!
!
kut ! !
!
!
miout ! !
!
!
mykyt ! !
!
!
ntkat !!
%
%
sirit !
!
!
!
dt ! !

thorny plant! !
!
butter! !
!
!
!
!
!
!
metal! !
!
!
born during the summer!
womb, placenta!
!
steam! !
!
!
amount of fish! !
!
newly fallen snow!
!
protective spirit!
!

!
aihhotta
!
balda
(also bautta)!
!
hamitta
!
koatta
!
kolotta
!
lungitta
!
ootta
!
utta
!
sasatta

%
%
%
%
a gray haired man!
!
open grassland!
!
swampy ground!
!
ghost! !
!
!
!
!
!
!
humor, personality, mood!
!
!
!
!
violence, war! !
!
!
!
!
!
warmth, energy!
!
!
!
!
!
path following a river! !
!
!
!
!
team-story telling singing
%
%
%
%
the fishstock of a lake! !
!
!
!
!
power or energy left! !

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!

-tsta/-dda
detsta or dedda
eletsta or eledda
tsta or dda
hingutsta
or hingudda
iutsta
or iudda
klda
(also kutsta)
miolda
(also mioutta)
mykytsta
or mykydda
ntkatsta
or ntkadda
siritsta
or siridda
utta

4.2.1.2.4 L-declension
This declension has up to four possible forms: one in a long vowel, one in -Vu/-V,
one in -Vl and with -il, the form -ir is also found:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

- !
- !
- !
- !
- !
- !
-u !

or !
or !
or !
or !
or !
or !
or !

-au !
-eu !
-iu/-i !
-ou !
-ul
-yl
-ul/-l

or !
or !
or !
or !

-al
-el
-il/-ir
-ol

118

The marked form changes the long vowel to a short one followed by -la or -ri. Words
whose stressed vowel is a o or u have -ri, whereas words whose stressed vowel is e i
y or have -la. Many abstract nouns formed from adjectives are part of this
declension.
!
%
%

UNMARKED!
MARKED% %

%
%
a o u% %
e i y % %

-VV -l -r -u
-ri
-la

aou
!
!
!
%
'
'
'
!
!
!

ang~angir~angil !
am~amau~amal !
gos~gosul !
!
h~hul !
!
luvv~luvvul ! !
kor~korul !
!
n~nul !
!
ok~okul !
!
savv~savvul % !
uvv~uvvul !
!

pit, seed!
!
snot! !
!
calm, cerenity! !
sea water!
!
intense heat! !
pot! !
!
desire, lust!
!
origin, source! !
goal, destination!
abundance! !

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

angiri
amari
gosuri
huri
lri
koruri
nuri
okuri
sauri
ri

eiy
!
%
!
%
!
%
!
!
'
%
'
%

b~beu~bel % !
d~deu~del ! !
~el ! !
!
~eu~el !
!
he~heul !
!
~iu~idd~l~r ! !
ku~kul !
!
mig~migiu~migi
midd~migil~migir'
pig~pigiu~pigi
pidd~pigil~pigir !
ymm~ymmyl ! !

acid! !
!
roll, tube!
!
plant! !
!
growth, success!
shiver! !
!
pitch dark!
!
attack, fight! !

!
!
!
!
!
!
!

bela
dela
ela
ela
heula
ila or la
kla

dew!

miila

!
!

piila
ymyla

health! !
!
good fishing waters!

119

4.2.1.2.5 Honorifics in -ts


Certain nouns can be modified by adding an honorific or poetic ending in -ts. This
ending polarizes the last vowel of the noun. The marked form of such nouns has a
polarized version of the already polarized vowel and -bme.
!
!
!

nelli ! !
nelluts !!
nellebme !

chief!
chief ! !
chief GEN !

!
!

(honorific)
(honorific)

!
!
!

hmha ! !
hmhets !
hmhobme !

she!
she, mam !
she GEN !

!
!

(honorific)
(honorific)

!
!
!

rogo ! !
rogyts ! !
rogoibme !

he!
he, sir !!
he GEN !

!
!

(honorific)
(honorific)

!
!
!

tsammi !
tsammuts !
tsamebme !

forest!
forest ! !
forest GEN !

!
!

(honorific)
(honorific)

!
!
!

npi ! !
npyts ! !
npoibme !

dwarf birch (betula nana)


dwarf birch ! !
(honorific)
dwarf birch GEN. !
(honorific)

4.2.1.3 Diphthong Coalescence Declension


A few (usually monosyllabic) words ending in -ai -ei -ie -oi -ui -i -au -ay -eu -ey -iu -
- - and - go through vowel-specific changes in the marked form, which is realized
by adding the copied stressed vowel to the word. Because most of the words are
monosyllabic, the first vowel of the diphthong is usually the copied vowel. The chart
of diphthong and long vowel coalescence in 3.5.1 is how these nouns decline.
!
Words whose last syllable begins with a consonant which goes through
gradation and disappears may leave a diphthong, in which case the noun may join
this declension group. This is not always the case, and only a limited number of
words do so.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

eu !
gei !
goi !
hie !
h !
ie !
iu !
kei !

scab, scar !
snout ! !
edge, point !
pile, mount !
ember !!
crack ! !
older relative!
lynx! !

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
120

eme
gee
gogo
hiddi
hobo (also honomi)
iddi
ibi
kee

!
!
!
!
%
!

madu !
nige !
r !
!
tey !

pregnancy ! !
!
mud at the bottom of a lake !
limit of territory !
!
bruise !!
!
!
egg ! !
!
!

!
!
!
!
!

mama
niddi
rumu
obo or bo
tme or te

4.2.2 Inanimate Plural


Inanimate nouns are generally only marked for plural in their unmarked forms.
Marked forms may be pluralized, but more commonly with nouns whose marked form
ends in -s -t -n -l.
!
Pluralization is done in two ways. Inanimate nouns ending in -s, -t, -n or a
long vowel/-l (L-declension) gain -ka in the plural. Note that in nouns of the Ldeclension, the final vowel is shortened and the underlying -l appears before the
addition of -ka. This plural is called the consonant-final plural. Note that monosyllabic
words in diphthongs also belong to this group. Here are examples of pluralized
consonant-final nouns:
!
'
'
'
'
'
!
'
'
'
'

gikis ! !
misas ! !
nokos ! !
sinin ! !
hingut ! !
t !
!
ang/angil !
!
!
ku ! !
eu !
!
kei !
!

shard! !
!
stone! !
!
stick! !
!
big fish!
!
ghost! !
!
swampy ground!
seed! !
!
plant! !
!
attack! !
!
scar! !
!
lynx! !
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

gikiska
misaska
nokoska
sininka
hingutka
tka
angilka
elka
klka
euka
keika

The second plural marker is used for all nouns ending in short vowels. Dialects differ
greatly in how the plural is marked onto vowel-final words. The -n plural of western
dialects is more common amongst younger generations and is spreading in the east
as well. Below is a table illustrating this:

121

plural form
final vowel
-a

Eastern dialects

Western dialects

-ua

-uma / -

-ie

-ime / -en

-uo

-umo / -

-a

-m / -n

-e
-i
-o
-u
-
-y
Certain eastern dialects also have a plural in - (after -e and -i) and - (pronounced
[x]). This usually implies an uncertain, undefined or vague amount, and it may be
considered to be impolite to use this plural in certain contexts:
!
!

sira ! [sirax] ! !
kepsi ! [cps:] !

a bunch of fish
a couple of mushrooms

It is not generally used when talking about things owned by people. Western dialects
lack this distinction. Another feature of eastern plurals is that the stops p t k and
endings in -ua and -uo join to form -ba -da -ga (from -ua) and -bo -do -go (from -uo),
though not after diphthongs or long vowels.
Here are examples of vowel-final noun pluralization:
singular

eastern

western

eleba flower

elebua / eleba

elebuma or eleb

gauta color

gautua/ gauta

gautuma or gaut

gori doubt

gorie / gori

gorime or goren

hemi bird

hemie / hemi

hemime or hemen

asuma tanned skin

asumua / asuma

kahi shell

kahie / kahi

kahime or kahen

kepsi mushroom

kepsie / kepsi

kepsime or kepsen

122

asumuma or asum

singular

eastern

western

natabi hemlock

natabie / natabi

natabime or nataben

oari edge, point

oarie / oari

oarime or oaren

rukso circle

ruksuo / rukso

ruksumo or ruks

sasame tipi

sasamie / sasame

sasamime or
sasamen

seky cliff

sekuo or seka or
sego / seky

sekm or sekn

sdd infection

sdda / sdd

sddm or sddn

tapa bulb

tapua or taba / tapa

tapuma or tap

Pluralization of inanimate nouns in Siwa is optional and not especially common, as


well as being quite emphatic. Nouns are not pluralized after numbers or quantifiers,
but if they are, it is usually equivalent to an article in English.
!
!
!
!

nevi mahhi !
tama eleba %
tama elebua '
eura suvo '

!
%
'
'

three fallen bears


many flowers
the many flowers
few berries

4.2.2.1 Collective Plural


The collective plural is a historical plural marker that is still found in certain
expressions. More commonly, the collective plural appears as an unproductive
derivative ending creating words for packs or groups of things. Its form was originally
-(V)rV, where -V- marks the same vowel as the preceding one. As a productive
marker, it can be found on the marked form of nouns as well as after locative cases.
!
!
eu !
scab, scar!
!
emre or re ! rash, skin disease
!
hemi ! bird! !
!
hamri/hapri !
flock of birds
!
giga ! goose! !
!
grha ! !
flock of geese
!
kepsi ! mushroom!
!
ksi ! !
place where many
!
!
!
!
!
mushrooms grow together, agglomeration
!
kuilla ! drizzle!!
!
gilra ! !
wet weather
!
neno ! pollen! !
!
netro ! !
pistil or stamen
!
seky ! cliff! !
!
seu ! !
barren land
!
s !
young fish!
!
rhu ! !
bank of fish
This has been especially productive in creating words describing species of plants,
trees, insects and animals based on a common characteristic:
123

!
!
!
!
!
!
!

benho ! !
eulbi ! !
kahi ! !
koma''
mahhi ! !
salama !!
suvo ! !

dog! !
hoof! !
shell! !
auk bird!
bear! !
antler! !
berry! !

!
!
!
!
!
!
!

brho ! !
bi ! !
tatskairi !
koro ! !
mosi ! !
solra ! !
sro ! !

canidae
ungulate
scarab beetles
sea bird
mammals
cervidae
berry bush

The collective plural marker -(V)rV is used in a few expressions to mean the many:
!
!

rdni !
!

thorn! !
!
!

!
!

idi rditara be out of luck (lit. to fall in the


(many) thorns)

!
!

dyra !
!

turn (in river)! !


!
!
!

riebmala dyrara be experienced (lit. to


have navigated (the many) turns in rivers)

4.2.2.2 Plural Nouns


Certain nouns in Siwa are always pluralized. Because the plural of nouns is often
marked by changing the final vowel, plural nouns may be misleading, as their final
vowel is not representative of the group or subgroup to which they belong. Only a
handful of words are always plural. They include:
!
!
!
'
'
'
!
!
'
%
'

henetka '
birch shoes ! !
kutkuska !
flooring/bough !
mokkuo~mokvo!beak ! !
!
pka ' '
canvas, material !
tetka ''
gut ! !
!
tetunne
tokkilka '
fish trap !
!
tonkua !!
sinew ! !
!
tska ! !
joint! !
!
varrua/varva ' ladle ! !
!
dirva% %
gills! !
!
bytsva% !
slime mold!
!

(*henet)!!
(*kutkus)!
(*mokko)!
(*p)! !
(*tetun)!

!
!

henetsta
kutkuhi
mokkoma
pyby

(*tokk)! !
(*tonka)!!
(*ts) ! !
(*varro)!!
(*dirra)! !
(*bytsa)!!

%
%

tokkiri
tonkamo
thhi
varoka
dirdi
bytsamo

4.2.3 Animate Marked Form


Nouns belonging to the animate group always have a final syllable in the shape -CV,
which changes in the marked form as the table below illustrates. Most of animate
nouns can also be declined as inanimate nouns (ambiguous). Certain endings may
have a more or less specific function, e.g. -ha/-ho nouns generally depict feminine
things, while -mo/-ma/-ro generally depict masculine things.

124

!
Note that the plural marker -gi changes the preceding -i- into - in western
dialects:
!
somi ! man ! !

somigi~somgi !
men.

-mo/-ma
This ending is particularly common with nouns depicting masculine agents,
especially nouns of the form t--mo. It is also the form of nominalized present
participles, i.e. present participles in -mo/-ma which are declined as animate nouns.
Nouns with a stressed o or u get the marked form -i.
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-mo

-mogi

-ka or -i (if
stressed o u)

-ma

-magi

-kagi or -igi

thma
heart

thmagi

thka

thkagi

takeulmo
righteous man,
real man

takeulmogi

takeulka

takeulkagi

tiselmo
experienced
person

tiselmogi

tiselka

tiselkagi

totomma
family member

totommagi

totoi

totoigi

tottamo
trader

tottamogi

tottai

tottaigi

-mi
This ending is not strongly associated with any specific function. Nouns of the form Vmi have the plural form -Vmhi or -Vmi.

125

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-mi

-migi
-mi / -mhi

-ta
-tta

-tagi
-ttagi

totami
head

totami

todatta
(irr. -d-)

todattagi

htakemi
balsam fir

htakemi

htaketa

htaketai

kinapomi
guest, foreigner

kinapomigi

kinapota

kinapotagi

milmi
lip

milmigi

miltta

milttagi

-ba/-pa/-va
These endings are commonly found in words denoting pairs, though a number of
these words, especially jointed body parts, are excluded from this due to their
irregular declension. The ending -ba is quite common in flowers and flower bearing
plants:
!
!
!
!
!

netuba !!
monoba !
kinuba/kinulba
tba ! !
velba ! !

!
!
!!
!
!

lily
indian pipe
thistle
salsify
dandelion

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ba
-pa
-va

-bagi
-pagi
-vagi

-u

-ugi

mppa
two feet

mhu

126

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

sohpa
skis

sohhu

eleba
flower

elebagi

eleu

eleugi

nulva
muskox

nulvagi

nulu

nulugi

-bi/-pi/-vi
These endings are not especially common, but are found in bird names:
!
!
!
!

tsmpi ! !
mibi ! !
mankobi !
polbi ! !

woodpecker
gray jay
red-winged black bird
northern cardinal

Nouns of the form -Vbi/-Vpi have the plural form -Vbi.


!
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-bi
-pi
-vi

-bigi / -bi
-pigi / -bi
-vigi

-umi

-umi

riehpi
wife

riehpigi

riekumi

riekumi

siebi
eagle

siebigi

siehhumi

siehhumi

nalvi / nalbi
husband

nalvigi / nalbigi

nalumi

nalumi

moksabi
ptarmigan

moksabigi /
moksabi

moksaumi

moksaumi

127

-bo/-po/-vo
These endings are not especially common or associated with any particular type of
nouns.
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-bo
-po
-vo

-bogi
-pogi
-vogi

-oi

-oi

sambo
maternal
grandfather

smbogi
(irr. --)

smoi

smoi

kembo
paternal
grandfather

kmbogi
(irr. --)

kmoi

kmoi

kuspo
skunk

kuspogi

kusoi

kusoi

subo
fruit

subogi

suoi
suovvi

suoi

guokvo
frog

guokvogi

guokoi

guokoi

-na/-no
These endings are not especially common. They often refer to elongated objects or
sharp or pointy things at one end:
!
!
!

motona !
ehrena !!
nomono !

(sharpened) nail (on men)/claws


sharpened stick used to hunt fish
fang

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-na
-no

-nagi
-nogi

-va / -a
-vva

-vagi / -a
-vvagi

hmno
midwife

hmnogi

hma

hmagi

128

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

kehno
pine

kehnogi

kehha

kehhagi

atkana
tail

atkanagi

atkavva

atkavvagi

-ni
This ending is somewhat common and often indicates a member/part of a group or
periods of time, especially seasons and many ceremonies (usually in the plural). The
plural unmarked form has either -nhi or -ni after vowels, and -nigi otherwise.
%
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ni

-nigi / -ni / -nhi

-a

-agi

atkini
late winter

atkini

atkia

atkiagi

mhni
wolverine

mhnigi

mhha

mhhagi

peilni
eldest male of
group

peilnigi

peila

peilagi

salinhi
caribou head
sacrifice

saliagi

skanhi
vernal equinox

skaagi

-ta/-to
These endings are common in words denoting one of a pair, especially body parts.
The ending -a is used where illegal clusters would arise with -va, and -vva is used
intervocally as the coda of a stressed syllable.

129

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ta
-to

-tagi
-togi

-va / -a
-vva

-vagi / -a
-vvagi

kita
eye

kitagi

kivva

kivvagi

liota
bear/large animal
mother

liotagi

liovva

liovvagi

shta
lung, breath

shha

naihto
infectious
disease

naihtogi

naihha

naihhagi

-te/-ti
These endings are uncommon.
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-te
-ti

-tegi
-tsi

-ika

-ikagi

muti
finger tip

mutsi

muika

muikagi

otroti
bullfrog

otrotsi

otroika

otroikagi

-sa/-so
These endings are common in words for relative or female relatives. In words
referring to humans, the marked form is -tta, while non-humans get -hi or -i.

130

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-sa
-so

-sagi
-sogi

-hi (-i)
-tta

-higi (-igi)
-ttagi

miniso
common snipe

minisogi

minihi

minihigi

suosa
mother

suosagi

suotta
svotta

suottagi
svottagi

dapsa
younger sister

dapsagi

daa

daagi

karsa
younger brother

karsagi

kartta

karttagi

-si
This ending is not common and is nearly exclusively found in words denoting a
masculine agent.
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-si

-sigi
-si

-tta

-ttagi

okkomosi
fellow, poor
fellow

okkomosi

okkomotta

okkomottagi

psi
maternal uncle

psi

ptta

pttagi

tamosi
friend, man

tamosi

tamotta

tamottagi

-i
This ending is not common. It is found with certain agent words, birds, fish and
smaller animals. The marked form is -ohta after consonants or -hta after vowels.

131

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-i

-igi

-hta
-ohta

-htagi
-ohtagi

tnki
attack leader,
general

tnkigi

tnkohta (form.)
tnhta

tnkohtagi
tnhtagi

yi
salmon

yigi

yhta

yhtagi

hpi
purple finch

hpigi

hppohta

hppohtagi

simi
human, person,
Siwa

simigi

simohta

simohtagi

-ro/-ra/-la
These endings are somewhat common and are not associated with any particular
function. Most berries in -ra can be treated as animate nouns, but are more
commonly inanimate.
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ro
-ra
-la

-rogi
-ragi
-lagi

-sta

-stagi

sira
fish

siragi

ssta (irr. --)

sstagi

Siura
Siwa

Siuragi

Siusta

Siustagi

tosora
reject, outlaw

tosoragi

tososta

tosostagi

tserogi
sweat lodge
ceremony

tsestagi

132

-ri/-li
These endings are somewhat common in plural nouns denoting ceremonies and
plural agents or groups. The unmarked plural form is -rhi or -lhi after vowels and -rigi
or -ligi after consonants.
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ri
-li

-rigi / -rhi
-ligi / -lhi

-ta

-tagi

aumulhi
first menstruation
ceremony

aumutagi

nirhi
adults, parents

nitagi

taulhi
army

tautagi

tauri
soldier

tauta

todli
last summer

todligi
past

todda
tydda

toddagi
tyddagi

-lu
This ending is not especially common, but is found in a few words denoting male
agents and a few words descriptive of bad or strong smelling things and remedies.
The unmarked plural form is in -lhi after vowels and -lugi otherwise.
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-lu

-lugi
-lhi

-da

-dagi

133

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

koklu
place where boat
is lowered

koklugi

kohda

kohdagi

holu
spirit, ghost, soul

holhi

hoda

hodagi

lillu
paternal uncle

lillugi

lilda

lildagi

ohlu
death,
decomposition,
smell of death

ohda

aumlu
smell of blood

aumda

aumdagi

!
-ka/-ko
These endings are commonly found in words denoting animals and in proper names.
Many long or forked objects, or animals with tails, end in -ka or -ko.
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ka
-ko

-kagi
-kogi

-uni

-unhi

aurko
lake trout

aurkogi

auruni

aurunhi

kuhko
beaver

kuhkogi

kuhhuni

kuhhunhi

naikka
racoon

naikkagi

naikuni

naikunhi

Siskko
thunder deity

Siskuni

134

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

Nlkka
personal name

Nlkuni

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ka
-ko

-kagi
-kogi

-uni

-unhi

aurko
lake trout

aurkogi

auruni

aurunhi

kuhko
beaver

kuhkogi

kuhhuni

kuhhunhi

naikka
racoon

naikkagi

naikuni

naikunhi

Siskko
thunder deity

Siskuni

Nlkka
personal name

Nlkuni

-ki
This ending is not especially common and is associated with animals or things
containing a hardened or protective material:
!
!
!

keigi ! !
nykki ! !
paikki ! !

helmet !
nail ! !
turtle ! !

(cf. keppi head)


(cf. nukli finger)
(cf. pagi backside)

The unmarked plural form is -ki after vowels and -kigi otherwise.
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ki

-kigi / -ki

-ta

-tagi

135

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

kuki
mouth

kuki

kuta

kutagi

milki
fish skin

milkigi

milta

miltagi

ki
tundra

ta

peilki
trout, fish

peilkigi

peilta

peiltagi

-ga/-go/-gi
These endings are not common with nouns but common in names. Generally,
humans have marked forms in -tsa (note that kinagi has kinaubi). A number of male
names end in -go/-o or -ho and are part of this declension:
!
!
!
!
!

Samho !!
Talgo ! !
Menho !!
Sotso !!
Vogo/Uohho !

(GEN Samtsa)
(GEN Taltsa)
(GEN Mentsa)
(GEN Sotsa)
(GEN Votsa/Uohtsa).

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ga
-go
-gi

-gagi
-gogi
-gigi

-ubi
-tsa

-ubigi / -ubi
-tsagi

giga
goose

gigagi

giubi

giubigi
giubi

kinagi
foreigner

kinagigi

kinaubi

kinaubigi
kunaubi

koalgi
paternal aunt

koalgigi

koaltsa

koaltsagi

136

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

rogo
man, character,
he

rogogi

rotsa

rotsagi

Notice that the honorific rogyts has the plural form rogytsi.
-ha/-ho
These endings are common and generally refer to feminine ideas or agents. One can
often assume the feminine form (usually pregnant or adult) of an animal to end in -ha:
!
!

yi !
!
ohha ! !

salmon
female salmon

!
!

salama !!
solha ! !

caribou
female caribou having had a calf before

belha ! !

female/pregnant lobster/crab/spider

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ha
-ho

-hagi
-hogi

-ra

-ragi

hmha
woman,
character, she

hmhagi

hmra

hmragi

kenho
virgin

kenhogi

kenra

kenragi

dailha
pregnant woman

dailhagi

dailra

dailragi

eirha
female animal

eirhagi

eirra

eirragi

-hi/-i

137

These endings are not common. A few words for trees and plants or otherwise other
slow growing things end in -hi or -i. A number of female names ending in -i or -y/-
join this declension:
!
!
!
!
!

Irhi !
!
S !
!
Syly ! !
Temhi ! !
Vengy ! !

(GEN Ihta)
(GEN Syta)
(GEN Sylta)
(GEN Temta)
(GEN Venta)

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-hi
-i/-y

-higi
-igi

-ta

-tagi

maihhi
maple tree

maihhigi

maita

maitagi

minhi
black spruce

minhigi

minta

mintagi

oi
moon light

ota

r
tooth

rgi

rita

ritagi

trhi
sun

thta
(irr. -ht-)

Muihti
god

Muihta

138

4.2.3.1 Overview
Below is a reference table for the declension of animate nouns:
unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-mo

-mogi

-ka or -i (if
stressed o u)

-ma

-magi

-kagi or -igi

-mi

-migi
-mi / -mhi

-ta
-tta

-tagi
-ttagi

-ba
-pa
-va

-bagi
-pagi
-vagi

-u

-ugi

-bi
-pi
-vi

-bigi / -bi
-pigi / -bi
-vigi

-umi

-umi

-bo
-po
-vo

-bogi
-pogi
-vogi

-oi

-oi

-na
-no

-nagi
-nogi

-va / -a
-vva

-vagi / -a
-vvagi

-ni

-nigi / -ni / -nhi

-a

-agi

-ta
-to

-tagi
-togi

-va / -a
-vva

-vagi / -a
-vvagi

-te
-ti

-tegi
-tsi

-ika

-ikagi

-sa
-so

-sagi
-sogi

-hi (-i)
-tta

-higi (-igi)
-ttagi

-si

-sigi
-si

-tta

-ttagi

-i

-igi

-hta
-ohta

-htagi
-ohtagi

-ro
-ra
-la

-rogi
-ragi
-lagi

-sta

-stagi

139

unmarked

marked

singular

plural

singular

plural

-ri
-li

-rigi / -rhi
-ligi / -lhi

-ta

-tagi

-lu

-lugi
-lhi

-da

-dagi

-ka
-ko

-kagi
-kogi

-uni

-unhi

-ki

-kigi / -ki

-ta

-tagi

-ga
-go
-gi

-gagi
-gogi
-gigi

-ubi
-tsa

-ubigi / -ubi
-tsagi

-ha
-ho

-hagi
-hogi

-ra

-ragi

-hi
-i/-y

-higi
-igi/-ygi

-ta

-tagi

4.2.3.2 Dual Nouns


A handful of nouns referring to pairs (body parts) have special declensions. They do
not have a distinct plural form. Dual nouns are generally found with singular
pronouns. The most common of these nouns are:
unmarked

marked

dual

non-dual

dual

non-dual

ataga
father and son

atagga

ataba
father and
daughter

atabba

bahpa
testicles

bahho
testicle

pa
grandparents

baa

va

140

unmarked

marked

dual

non-dual

dual

non-dual

ilkima
temples

ilkia

kelba
shoulders

ketku
shoulder

kedma

ketkume

kiba
(both) eyes

kita
eye

keubba

kivva

koga
twin brothers

kgga

koba
brother and
sister

kbba

kimpa
pair of boots/
shoes

kitton
shoe/boot

kygua/kbba

kittos

leba
mittens

lahton
mitten

ledma

lahtos

oabi
gums

oadi
palate, tongue

vaubbi/vaubba

vaika

omna
married couple

bba

raba
hips

ranna
hip

raubba

ranka

shpa
lungs

shta
lung

sma

shha

saba
(both) ears

sata
ear

saubba

savva

suoga
mother and son

suogga/svogga

141

unmarked

marked

dual

non-dual

dual

non-dual

suoba
mother and
daughter

suobba/svobba

tiebba
hands

tiemo
hand

tiehba

tieka

toaba
twin sisters

daubba

umpa
(both) knees

uba
knee

ppa

oama

4.2.3.3 Action Nominals


Action nominals are a small set of nouns that are found with a patientive pronoun
coalesced with an animate ending. These are mostly words for older relatives and a
few nouns seen to be common to the whole of the Siwa people or a specific group of
people or of personal importance. The patientive pronouns are:

1P. SG

ka

1P.
PL.INCL

ba

2P. SG

sa

2P. PL

ha

3P. SG

ta
3P. PL

4P.

1P.
PL.EXCL

be

3P. OBV.

no

i/a

!
The most common action nominals are:!
unmarked

marked

action nominal

animate

action nominal

animate

ataka
my father

atri
father

atkaka

adda

ska
my mother

suosa
mother

smaka

suotta/svotta

142

unmarked

marked

action nominal

animate

action nominal

animate

tobika
my older
sister

toabi
older sister

toumika

daumi

kosoka
my older
brother

koi
older brother

kottaka

gasta

kmaka
my paternal
grandfather

kembo
paternal
grandfather

kmaka

kmoi

smaka
my maternal
grandfather

sambo
maternal
grandfather

smaka

smoi

nieaka
my patnernal
grandmother

niebini
paternal
grandmother

nieaka

niega

piddaka
my maternal
grandmother

piddani
maternal
grandmother

piddaka

pidda

kalba
our land,
Siwa land

kalkaba

pappa
our shaman

parpa

saiba
Siwa
language, our
language

sakaba

tmba
our people,
Siwa people

tmmaba

143

Less common nouns include:


!
ikka ! !
(GEN. ikihka) ! !
!
my axe
!
nika ! !
(GEN nmka) !!
!
my knife,
!
selka ! !
(GEN seuska) ! !
!
my herd
!
luika/luhka ! (GEN luukka/luuhka) ! !
my love, my darling.
!
4.3 Irregular Nouns
A number of nouns fall outside of any pattern of declension. The most common
irregular nouns are given here. Note that dual nouns and kinship terms are omitted.
unmarked

marked

animacy

bahhi
day
(WEST)

baski

INA

kili
wood, tree

kidli

INA

ko
summer

koba

INA/ANI

lsi
nostril(s)

lihhet

ANI

misas
stone

misi / miski

INA

oadi
palate, tongue

vaika

INA

nrri (WEST)
nose

nrt

ANI

narri (EAST)
nose

naret

ANI

tyry
son, boy

tolba

ANI

retema
fox

revva

ANI

alo/valo
tea

vlka

INA

144

4.4 Approbation
Siwa nouns, adjectives and even verbs may be marked with one of two markers; the
approbative (emphasizing the positive aspect of the word) and the pejorative
(emphasizing the negative aspect of the word). Their use is quite common and may
be difficult to illustrate fully, as both the markers cover a wide range of functions.

4.4.1 Marking%
The approbative and pejorative are marked through prefixes. The clitics are either
hyphenated to the beginning of words or added directly. Approbation involves
reduplication of either the whole of the first syllable of a word, or only its vowel.
Reduplication takes the initial syllable of a word, copies it (the voiced consonants pt- and k- are reduplicated as -bb- -dd- and -gg-). The reduplicated vowel is
determined by the stressed vowel:
stressed

reduplicated

-a-

ou

-u- or -o-

ei

-e-

-y-

!
All initial consonants become geminate or change in the reduplicated form and no
hyphen is used. The initial vowel clusters ts- and ts- are replaced by -tsk- and -tst-.
Others are unaffected. Words beginning with a vowel have the reduplicated vowel
separated from the initial vowel by -- (always hyphened).
!
The approbative is shown by the clitic h- before vowels. For words starting
with a consonant, both the approbative and the pejorative use reduplication the
approbative reduplicates the whole syllable (including the consonant), whereas the
pejorative reduplicates only the vowel. Stress remains on the original initial syllable.
The reduplicated vowel of the pejorative may not be pronounced in speech, leaving
an initial geminate or otherwise changed consonant or consonant cluster. 1
reduplicated form

initial vowel

examples
approb.

pejo.

a-

ata open mouth a-ata


jaw of an animal, dirty
mouth (PEJ)

1 The ejective pronounciation is common with approbation markings, especially when used as a

vocative with names, e.g. Taddalgo! [tt:alg]


- Talgo!.
145

reduplicated form

initial vowel

examples
approb.

pejo.

u-

bruise u- a bad
bruise (PEJ)

ei

e-

t swampy ground e-t


dangerous/hunted
swamp (PEJ)

y-

yhhy salmon -yhhy


good salmon, Oh
Salmon (APPR)

ou

reduplicated form
initial consonant

examples

approb.

pejo.

benho dog ebbenho


bad dog (PEJ)
p- / b-

pVbb-

Vbb-

benho dog pebbenho


good dog (APPR)

m-

mVmm-

Vmm-

mykyt path following a


river ymmykyt
dangerous path following a
river (PEJ)

v- / - / oa-

vVvv-

Vvv-

oari edge vavvari good/


sharp edge (APPR)

n- / n-

nVnn-

Vnn-

neno pollen enneno


bad pollen, damned
pollen (PEJ)

ts- / ts-

tVtsttVtsk-

VtstVtsk-

tsamma forest
tatstamma (our) forest, Oh
Forest, the good old
forest (APPR)

t- / d-

tVdd-

Vdd-

tiemo hand eddiemo


bad hand, injured
hand (PEJ)
tiemo hand teddiemo
good hand (APPR)

146

reduplicated form

initial vowel

examples
approb.

pejo.

s- / s- / -

sVss-

Vss-

shpa lungs asshpa


bad lungs, old lungs (PEJ)

t- / d-

tVdd-

Vdd-

det a grayhaired man


teddet old man
(respectful) (APPR)

r-

rVrr-

Vrr-

roko hollow urroko


empty-head (PEJ)

l-

lVll-

Vll-

luvv intense heat


ulluvv damned intense
heat (PEJ)

k- / g-

kVgg-

Vgg-

koro sea bird koggoro


good (catch) sea bird,
good old sea bird (APPR)

Vg-

Vg-

okon large caribou herd


ogokon good herd, herd
(polite)'
hingut ghost ehhingut
bad ghost (PEJ)

h- / -

hVhh-

Vhh-

hingut ghost hehhingut


good ghost (APPR)

4.4.2 Approbative
The approbative emphasizes the positive aspect of a noun. It may be used to give
praise, as a vocative, to underline the protagonistic role of the noun in a narrative or
to give an impression of familiarity. It can also be polite to use the approbative when
addressing other peoples belonging or when the speaker wants to emphasize his
inferior/humble position. It is also often used when words are described with a
positive epitaph or are called a positive nickname. The Siwa word for bandleader is
nelli, but when addressing ones bandleader, one would use the form nennelli. When
talking about ones own herd, one may say okon, but when addressing someone
elses, it may be polite to refer to it as ogokon. Ambiguous nouns are most
commonly animate in the approbative.

147

!
!

pendodnani-dat kiggigagi
[pndtnnida ci:igaji]

!
%

pen<nd>-o-dna-nidat kigiga--gi
return.PAST-INFER.ITR.CONCL-REVERS-TRANSLOSENS APPRgoose-AGT-PL

the good old geese have returned, I see

!
%

nta-a gigese -ikid


[i:ntaa ij:ese :ic]

n=taa giges-e iki-d ha


stillASS sharp-COP.INFER APPR-axe-PAT

!
!

(your/the) good old axe is still sharp, I see

!
%

saskuo na toddoronta
[sasku nja tt:rnta]

!
!

sask-uo na to-<dd>oron-ta
wake.up-INFER.OPT.ITR now APPR-big.bear-PAT

wake up, now, Oh Big Bear

!
%

estui mei rurrogo!


[jstui mexi rur:g]

!
!

est-u-i mei ru-<rr>ogo-


succeed-PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR fortunately APPR-he-AGT

he fortunately succeeded!

!
%

iue lkiumi rirrikimi


[ixue i:lciumi rir:icimi]

!
!

i-ue lk-i-u--mi ri-<rr>ikimi-


accept-INFER.OPT.TR offer-PAST-PASS.PART-DAT-1P.AG.SG APPR-host-AGT

may the kind host accept my offer

!
!
%

Sassamho rrukita
[ss:amh i:r:ucita]

!
!

sa-<ss>amho- rru=kita-
APPR-Samho-AGT arrow=eye-AGT

Arrow-Eye Samho

148

%
%
%
!

tau nona yhmita memmiebii inoni suvokurita nente


[tju nna hmida mem:bii inni suvkurida nnte]
ta=u n-on-a yhhy-m=ita memmiebi=i- i-non-i suv=oku-ri=ta non-nin nent-e

then PAST.AUGM-tell-ASS.CONCL.TR salmon-ILLAT APPR-fat.neck=old-AGT DIT-swim-ITR


stream=origin-ILLAT !COP.IMP-INFER

then the old fat bear told the salmon to swim to its home stream

The last example illustrates one other use of the approbative to show the theme or
topic of a narration. In the example, the old fat bear (miebii) is obviously the theme
or topic of the story, meaning one can assume that it has been mentioned before. It is
put in the approbative here because it is a nickname and because it shows that the
bear is the protagonist of the phrase/story.
!
A few words were historically in the approbative but became reanalyzed as
otherwise. For example, the word kiddu done had the form kiggiddu as an answer to
a superior when promising to do something. This was shortened to iggidd or gidd
(pronounced [c:it:], or as if it was written *gkidd), meaning yes or affirmative,
especially when answering to a demand or a request.
!
!
!
4.4.3 Pejorative
The pejorative emphasizes the negative aspect of a noun. It may be used to show
anger, as a negative vocative, to underline the antagonistic role of the noun in a
narrative or to show that the noun is bad, worthless, hurt, dangerous or has another
negative connotation. It can also be impolite to use the pejorative when addressing
other peoples belonging or when in an superior position. It may also be used to
show modesty about ones own belonging or actions. It is also often used when
words are described with a negative epitaph or are called a negative nickname. The
Siwa word for a dog is benho, but when addressing a disobedient dog, one would
use the form ebbenho. Below are more examples of the use of the pejorative:

%
%

oa-a agigomadna e-ikid


[aa aij:matna eic ha]

%
!

oaa a-gig-o-ma-dna eiki-d ha


already-ASS TRANSL-be.sharp-INFER.TRANSL-INCONCL-REVERS PEJ-axe-PAT

my damned axe is already becoming dull, I see

'
%

ennikodem
[en:ikdem]

%
!

e-<nn>iko=dem--
PEJ-dead=bone-PL-AGT

deadbones! (insult 1)

Siwa burn their dead, and by insinuating that someones bones are left after death is a powerful insult
to their honor.
1

149

!
%
%

kyha osikka maggita tilutta gaita annaikka


[cya ska mc:ida ilta gida :aka]

%
!
!

ky<h>-a o-sikk-a ma<gg>-ita til-u-tta g-a-ita an-naikka-


try.PAST-ASS.TR SUBJ-sneak-TR meat-ILLAT hang-PAT.PART-GEN
COP.PAST.CONCL-ASS-INESS PEJ-racoon-AGT

the damned racoon tried to sneak into the drying meat

!
!
%

gogantsuaka avvama
[ggantsujga w:ma]

%
!

gogantsu-a-ka a-<vv>a-ma
make.limp-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.PAT.SG PEJ-knee-PAT

my damned/bad/injured knee is making me limp

%
%
%

avvakibma!
[w:cbma]

av-oak=ibma
PEJ-home.ADESS

go home! (impolite)

The last example is also found as a shortened expression, aki or agi. It is used to
signify to something to go away, for examples a mosquito or a dog. The word aki
was analyzed as translocative, and the cislocative analogy ani also came to be, and
it means the same as aki, but with movement towards the speaker. An angry mother
might call her child by saying ani. It can also be used in a less impolite matter, for
examples when asking someone to pass something over.

4.5 Cases
Siwa nouns are found in the following cases: agentive, patientive, genitive, dative,
inessive, illative, elative, adessive, allative and ablative. Of these, the inessive, illative,
elative, adessive, allative and ablative are grouped together as locative cases. The
patientive and genitive share their form, as do the agentive and dative cases. That is
to say, the two pairs of cases differ syntactically but not morphologically they have
the same surface form, but different functions. While nouns and adjectives are
identical in the agentive, patientive, genitive and dative, they are not marked for
locative cases when attributive but are instead found in the genitive. Siwa thus has
two cases for the subject (agentive and patientive) and two cases for the object
(dative and genitive). The diagram below shows the relationship between case, word
order and markedness.

150

Subjects can be found as patientive pronouns affixed onto the verb, or in the marked
form (patientive case) or the unmarked form (agentive case) at the end of the phrase.
Objects can be found between the verb and the subject, in either the marked form
(genitive case, or in the case of ditransitive verbs the illative or elative) or the marked
form (dative case). There are four cases with two overt forms distinguished by word
order.

In addition, Siwa makes use of double case marking. A noun may be marked
primarily for one case, and secondarily for another one. Double marking endings are
set and are usually added onto the genitive of a noun. Double case marking is
explained in 4.6.
4.5.1 Agentive Case
The agentive case is the default form of a noun. It is used to show that the noun is an
agentive subject. This means that when ever a noun is performing an action willingly
or with control, it is found in the agentive case (unless the verb requires a patientive
subject). As it was mentioned above, the agentive case shares its form with the
dative. However, it is quite easy to determine whether a noun is in the agentive or the
dative case, given context nouns in the agentive case are not found in the same
slot as nouns in the dative in the Siwa phrase. In other words, word order can help
identify the syntactical function of a noun int he unmarked form. Additionally, the

151

agentive case is used with adjectival verbs and in certain other constructions where
an unagentive subject would be expected, such as with existential copular verbs.

!
%
%

ntta, jlppi!
[nu:ta jlp:i]

n=tta jlppi-
see=SUBIT hare-AGT

look, a hare!

%
%

etsta nodi gaita dida


[tsta ndi gida dida]

!
%

e<sk>-a nod-i g-a-ita dida-


start.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR sing-ITR COP.PAST-ASS-ILLAT young.girl-AGT

the girl started to sing

'
%

sta tamoskita maggika kori


[i:sta tmscida mac:iga kri]

%
%

i-i<st>-a tamos-k=ita ma<gg>-ika kori-


dit-thank.past-ass.concl.tr hunter-illat meat-elat boy-AGT

the boy thanked the hunter for the meat

%
%

da seskora to syhhi-t
[da sskra t syh:]

%
!

d-a seskora me syhhi-t


COP-ASS tree.to.find.ones.way this.ANI.AG bent.tree-AGTDET.PROXI

this bent tree is used to find ones way (lit. this bent tree is a seskora)

%
'

magua kn
[mj:ua cn]

%
!

maga-a kn-
white-COP.ASS milk-AGT

milk is white

%
!

da ataka at
[da tga a]

%
%

d-a ata--ka at-


COP-ASS father-AGT-1P.PAT.SG this.PROXI-AGT

!
!
%
%
%

this is my father
hm mtabe
[hi:mi: mi:dbe]

hmi-i mtabe-
warm-COP.PAST.ASS yesterday-AGT

yesterday was warm

152

Nouns in the agentive are often separated from the rest of the phrase by independent
pronouns (10.1), especially if the object is also a noun. This is prefered to pronouns
marking the object, but it may happen especially with the dative if the subject is
encoded onto the verb. 1
%
!
or!

nega dida to kori'


nega tsi dida! !
nega dida to' '

'
!
'

the boy saw the girl


X saw the girl (dative tsi)
X saw the girl (agentive to)

4.5.2 Patientive Case%


The patientive case is found in the marked form. It is used to show that the noun is an
unagentive subject it is in direct opposition with the agentive case. This means that
when ever a noun is performing an action unwillingly or without control, it is found in
the patientive case. The same form as the patientive case is also used to mark the
partitive object (i.e. only partially affected by the verb) then, however, it is called the
genitive case (see below).

%
%

etsta oui gaita td


[tst:a jui gida i:]

%
!

e<sk>-a ou-i g-a-ita ti<>i-d


start.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR cry-ITR COP.PAST-ASS-ILLAT baby-PAT

the baby started to cry

'
%
%

tsaskka hha tamoskita maggika gaika kohko


[tsask:a i:h:ja tmscida mac:iga giga khk]

tsa<sk>-a i-ihh-a tamos-k=ita ma<gg>-ika g-a-ika kor-ko


forget.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR DIT-thank-TR hunter-ILLAT meat-ELAT COP.PAST-ASS-ELAT boy-PAT

the boy forgot to thank the hunter for the meat

%
!

akuobmu nka unka seskosta


[cpmu j:ka ka ssksta]

%
%

a-kuo<bm>-u n-ka un=ka sesko-sta


TRANSL-bend.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL snow-GEN under-FROM tree.to.find.ones.way-PAT

the seskora became bent under the snow

%
%

maikukkas deigi knma


[mikas deiji cnma]

%
!

maikukk-a-s de-i-gi kn-ma


whiten-ASS.CONCL.TR-HAB bone-GEN-PL milk-PAT

milk whitens the bones (cf. demogi maga strong bones, lit. white bones)

1 Some western dialects have a reduced form of the pronouns to/ta as -t [/t] hyphened to the preceding

word or the noun qualified: nega dida t-kori. Similarly, tsi may be -tsi hyphened to the preceding word:
nega-ts dida.

153

%
%

nikli atkaka
[nkl:i atkga]

%
!

nik-l-i at-ka-ka
die-PERF-ASS.CONCL.ITR father-PAT-1P.PAT.SG

my father has died

%
%
%

sindi mtaid
[sni mi:da ]

si<nd>-i mta<>e-d
last.long.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR yesterday-PAT

yesterday was a long day (lit. lasted for a long time)

4.5.3 Genitive Case


The genitive case has the marked form of a noun. It serves two main functions - that
of a proper genitive, and that of a partitive. Both share the same form and their
distinction is purely a semantic one. In normal speech, the noun in the genitive
follows what it qualifies. However, if the genitive is used with an adjective, it may
precede it.
!
The proper genitive shows that the marked noun is the possessor of
something:
!

rabma skko !

the mans (skko) canoe (rabma).

It may also show other kinds of relationships to other nouns, verbs or adjectives, such
as:
!
composition ! !
rri phra %
an arrow made of yew
!
origin ! !
!
maski obekka % a tribe from the north
!
reference !
!
naipi shhi %
the banks of the river
The genitive noun may come before an adjective if it qualifies it:
!
!
!
!
!
!

mahtsa sise !
kma mu !
kehka hanna !
mhu timo !
keubba mialha'
tiehba ohho'

!
!
!
!
'
'

tall as a bear
half eaten
fair skinned (lit. fair of skin)
stable, strong on feet (lit. standing of feet)
blue eyed
strong handed

These words may also be written in one word; mahtsasise, kmomu, kehkahanna
and mhutimo. Composition and origin usually considered to be part of the functions
of the partitive genitive.
!
The partitive genitive, unlike the proper genitive, is one of the two cases that
mark the object of a verb. A noun in the partitive genitive shows that only a part of it

154

has been affected by the action and is generally associated with the inconclusive.
However, conclusive verbs may also have their object in the partitive genitive, if for
example, the object is uncountable (the phrase he drank milk may be conclusive in
that the agent is done drinking milk, but its object may be partitive because an
unspecified amount of milk was drunk, as opposed to all of it). For a more detailed
explanation on the role of the partitive genitive, see section 5.4.1.

proper genitive
!
%
%

rybmy skid
[rpmy i:sc]

rybmy- ski-d
dress-AGT woman-GEN

the womans dress

%
%

kuti maskka
[cui mask:a]

%
!

kuti- maski-ka
territory-AGT tribe-GEN

the tribes territory

%
%

miedu Samtsa
[mieu samtsa]

%
!

mie<d>-u- Sam-tsa
herd-PAST.PART-AGT Samho-GEN

Samhos [m] herd

!
'
%

nyga Natska iid


[nyj:a natsk:a i]

nygy-a- Natsu-ka ii-d


stanza-PL-AGT Natsu-GEN old-GEN

Old Natsus [f] stanza

partitive genitive
%
%

mi salulka
[e:mi sllka]

%
!

mi- sa<l>ul-ka
smell-AGT tar-GEN

the smell of tar

155

!
%

leren miehdi
[lern mhi]

%
!

leren- mieri-di
pile-AGT moss-GEN

a pile of moss

%
%

kehhe unokkis iid ousta


[ceh:e uncs i jsta]

%
!

kehhe- u-nokk-i-s i<>i-d ou-sta


kehhe-DAT PASS-call-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HAB bark-PAT white.birch-GEN

the bark of the white birch is called kehhe

!
'

kkiani magga poagga


[kcini mk:a pk:a]

%
!

kk-i-a-ni mavv-ka poavv-ka


bring-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.PL meat-GEN seal-GEN

they brought seal meat

'
%

kokke diadi dahpika salla metutta


[kce dii dahpiga sl:a mt:xta]

%
!

kokk-e- di<>a-di dahpi-ka salla me<t>-u-tta


like-INFER.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT young.girl-PAT clan-GEN well respect-PAST.PART-GEN

X apparently likes a girl of a well respected clan

A third function of the genitive is restricted to only certain words. It is called the
temporal genitive, and incorporates the -i- of locative cases. It is used with words
commonly found in time expressions, and indicates the time at which or for which
an action was/is.
%
%
!
!
!
!
%
!
!
!
!
!

enet baski'
'
enehm kendai !!
ymai% '
'
guai% '
'
enohtai% '
'
!
!
!
heetai%%
'
atkiai' '
'
ttai' '
'
lai'
'
'
thhai' '
'
kobai' '
'

one day (cf. hue baska the light of day WEST)


one day (cf. hue kenda the light of day EAST)
early in the fall (cf. ymni early fall, GEN. yma)
late in the fall (cf. guni late fall, GEN. gua)
early in the winter
(cf. eni early winter, GEN. enohta)
in winter (cf. heeri winter, GEN. heeta)
late in the winter (cf. atkini late winter, GEN. atkia)
in spring (cf. tli spring, GEN. tta)
early in spring (cf. lni early spring, GEN. la)
late in spring (cf. thni late spring, GEN. thha)
in the summer (cf. ko summer, GEN. koba)

4.5.4 Dative Case%


The dative case shares its form with the agentive, the unmarked form. Typically,
dative objects correspond to objects found with the determinants the in English.
156

Nouns in the dative case are often preceded by otsi/ats (ani/ina), eksi (pl.) or tsi,
although most speakers simply use the reduced form tsi, though the marking is
preferably found on the subject (to/ta/ki/r) if both participants are nouns. The dative
is found in objects which have some of the three following characteristics:

1.

The noun is completely affected by the action

!
%
'

sahrami (tsi) nokos


[sahrmi (tsi) nks]

%
!

sa<hr>-a-mi (tsi) nokos-


burn.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG (3PRON.INA.DAT) stick-DAT

!
!
%
'

I burnt the (whole) stick

%
!

m-a meihhi- (to) kga-


eat.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR honeycomb-DAT (3PRON.ANI.AGT) bear.cub-AGT

the bear cub ate the (whole) honeycomb

%
'

kiegia lagas oggori


[cia ljas k:ri]

%
!

kieg-i-a lagas- o-<gg>ori-


steal-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR flour-DAT PEJ-boy-AGT

the damned boy stole (all) the flour

%
'

milktumana sira
[mlkdumna sira]

%
!

milkt-um-a-na sira-
scale-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.AG.SG fish-DAT

you must scale the (whole) fish

ma meihhi to kga
[ma meih:i (t) kga]

2.

The noun is the object of a conclusive verb, i.e. the action is completed or
done to completion. It may be possible to translate some of the examples
above differently one could change all or whole for completely.
Conclusive verbs with dative objects may also carry a notion of having
completed the action correctly or successfully.

!
'

milktumana sira
[mlkdumna sira]

%
!

milkt-um-a-na sira-
scale-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.AG.SG fish-DAT

you must scale the fish (completely)

157

%
'

sahrami nokos
[sahrmi nks]

%
!

sa<hr>-a-mi nokos-
burn.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG stick-DAT

I burnt the stick completely

%
'

sauddia kuilis tegma


[sut:ia kuils m:a]

%
!

saudd-i-a kuilis- tegma-


catch.with.hands-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR tadpole-DAT child-AGT

the child (successfully) caught the tadpole

%
'

gkkia kilge tamosi


[i:cia cle tmsi]

%
!

gkk-i-a kilge- tamosi-


sharpen-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR blade-DAT hunter-AGT

!
3.

the hunter sharpened the blade (completely)


The noun goes through a change of state. This includes most causative
and translative verbs.

%
%

sopria pd eita
[spxia pd eida]

%
!

sopr-i-a- pd- ei=ta


split-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG log-DAT two.INA-ILLAT

X split the log in two

%
%

aiga nokos mioldita


[iga nks mlida]

%
!

a-i-g-a- nokos- miol-di=ta


PAST.AUGM-throw-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG stick-DAT flame-ILLAT

X threw a stick into the flames

%
%

sodda kori kigami


[st:a kri cgmi]

%
!

so<dd>-a- kig-a-mi
give.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG boy-DAT pick.up-TR-INFI.AG.TR

the boy made X pick it up1

1 Although the sentence may also be understood to mean X made the boy pick it up, one will most

commonly hear the object preceded by (o)tsi such an ambiguous phrase:


!
!

sodda kori kigami% %


the boy made X pick it up!

sodda tsi kori kigami


X made the boy pick it up

158

4.5.4.1 Dative vs. Genitive%


When a noun can be both in the genitive or the dative, its most salient feature will be
represented by its case. If a conclusive verb has a partitive object, it will generally
correspond to X is/was/will be doing Y to (some) Z while a dative object will
generally correspond to X is/was/will be doing Y to (the/the whole/all the).
!
%

ma mavvu
[ma mw:u]

%
!

m-a mavvu-
eat.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG meat-DAT

X ate (the/the whole/all the) meat

!
%

ma magga
[ma mk:a]

%
%

m-a mavv-ka
eat.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG meat-GEN

X ate (some) meat

The difference between a dative and genitive object affects the general meaning of
the phrase greatly (see 9.11 on tense-aspect coalescence)

4.5.5 Locative Cases%


The locative cases are formed by adding regular endings to the marked form. In
certain cases, some changes occur, but generally the locative case endings are
added directly to the marked form of a noun or with the vowel -i-.
!
The locative cases can be separated in two classes - the inessive, illative and
elative show location in or at something, and the adessive, allative and ablative show
location on or at something. The in-locative cases are commonly used with less
concrete spaces or ideas:
!
!
!

tsamia !
nndia !!
shmia !!

in a forest
in a hut
in a berrybush

As a general rule, more concrete surfaces are used with the on-locative cases, as
well as wide open spaces:
!
!
eitsima !
on a wall
!
misahima !
on a rock
!
kima ! !
on the water
!
spimima !
at a winter camp
!
atsiokima !
in a glade.

159

In addition, the illative is used with nouns to show the recipient of a ditransitive verb,
i.e. to mark the indirect object;
!
!
ista diahta eleba kori
%
[sta dahta eleba kri]
%
%

i-s<>t-a di<>a-ri=ta eleba- kori-


DIT-give.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR little.girl-ILLAT flower-DAT boy-AGT

the little boy gave the little girl a flower

!
Below is a table showing the form of the locative cases:

locative cases

inessive

illative

elative

-ia

-ita, -ta

-ika, -ka

adessive

allative

ablative

-ima

-ibma

-iska, -ska

Certain dialects also include an instrumental (meaning with) with the ending -igla or gla (sometimes also -ila/-la or -ira/-ra) and an abessive (meaning without) in -usi.
One may find certain words with the ending -imi/-emi/-ebi/-iu/-eu/-. This is a fairly
new case that has yet to spread to all dialects, but which represents the essive
(showing a state in or as something).
4.5.5.1 Inessive, Illative and Elative
The three interior cases, inessive, illative and elative, all function more or less in the
same way the inessive denotes a static position in or inside, illative shows
movement to or into and elative shows movement from or out of.
!
!
!

-ia!
-ita!
-ika!

!
!
!

in
into
out of

The interior cases shows location in or at something. It generally refers to interiors


and spaces which are not considered surfaces:
!
!
!

dndia ! !
tsamita !
nua ! !

in/on the mountain(s)


into the forest
in the bay, in the water

160

!
!
!
!

koruria !!
mantakia !
kkia ! !
shhika !

in a pot
in the world
in the snow
from the river.

The interior cases also refer to states. Many words (nouns and adjectives) are found
in the inessive as postpositions or adjectival/adverbial phrases:
!
angakia !
(lit. in remains) to be dead, to have passed away (eastern
!
!
!
dialects), to have a rash, to be sick, to have a disease
!
!
!
(western dialects)
!
blisia ! !
(lit. in liver) at the right place, in luck, at stake
!
!
!
(hence blitse lucky)
!
dikma ! !
(lit. in show) on display, obvious, visible
!
elepia !!
in bloom, blooming
!
gaskia ! !
(lit. in moon) during the night time, secretly, in
!
!
!
secret (hence goskka X will betray Y)
!
hda ! !
pregnant
!
kolia ! !
strained, tensed, stretched, tight
!
kia ! !
afloat, floating, going, in a good state
!
letkuika !
(lit. from the paddle) confused, lost, astray.
!
mhua !!
(lit. in feet) winning, superior, ready, steadfast
!
mhkidia !
frosty, covered in frost
!
tamykkia !
happy, joyful
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
The elative and the ablative are used to show possessors in possessive relative
clauses (for a more detailed description of this, see 5.10.1.2.3).
!
4.5.5.2 Adessive, Allative and Ablative
The three surface cases, adessive, allative and ablative, all function more or less in
the same way the adessive denotes a static position on a surface, allative shows
movement onto a surface and ablative means movement off a surface.
!
!
!

-ima! !
-ibma! !
-iska! !

on
onto
off, of

The surface cases shows location on, over, in or at something. They have a more
narrow meaning than the interior cases, and usually refer more precisely to surfaces
or open spaces:
!
!

umima !!
kkiska !

!
!

on the ground
from (off) the tundra
161

!
!
!
!
!

atsiokima !
!
oakima !!
!
bengommeima ! !
rhhima !
!
spimibma !
!

in the glade
at home
on the roof
at the shore (but temmea id.)
to the winter camp

Surface cases are also used to express possession, unalienable genitive relations
Siwa lacks a verb denoting ownership of most possessions, and those close to the
owner or unalienable are usually in the surface cases, as well as with certain
possessive relations where the possessee is perceived to come from or off the
possessor:
!
!
!
!

sappiskua mhrakiska !
tsuma osiska ! !
mi kehkiska % %
hide todattaiska %

the bears paws (lit. the paws off the bear)


your fear (lit. fear off you)
the smell of (your) skin (lit. the smell off the skin)
the heads hair (lit. the hair off the head).

4.5.5.3 Locative Cases for Indirect Objects


The illative and allative paired with the elative and ablative are used with ditransitive
verbs or verbs with an indirect object, recipient or benefactor. The nature of the
exchange with the indirect object is coded in the case usage. These always come
before the direct object:
!

VERB

-ita/-ika D.OBJ SUBJ

!
%
%
!
!
%

ona toatsita oadni!


!
isyvva toatsita toai! !
isota toatsita sto!
!
inita toatsita sauhhahi% !
irahka toatsibma kesku% !
ivia toatsi(s)ka riehpi% !

Illative

!
%

ista diahta eleba kori


[sta dahta eleba kri]

%
%

i-s<>t-a di<>a-ri=ta eleba- kori-


DIT-give.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR little.girl-ILLAT flower-DAT boy-AGT

the little boy gave the little girl a flower

X tells a story to someone


X shows something to someone
X gives someone something
X teaches a language to someone
X gives advice (on)to somsone
X steals someones wife

162

!
%

lkia ntaita gagama paha


[i:lcia n:ida ggma pja]

%
%

i-ilk-i-a n-ta=ita gagama- paha-


DIT-offer-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR widow-ILLAT condolence-DAT healer-AGT

the healer offered his condolences to the widow

!
%

nitanin toatsita kira


[ninn ttsida cira]

%
%

nit-a-nin toa-ts=ita kira-


inform-TR-INFI.DIT someone.KNOWN.ANI-ILLAT issue-DAT

to inform someone about the issue

!
%

onnin toatsita
[n:n ttsida]

%
%

on-nin toa-ts=ita
tell.story-INFI.DIT someone.KNOWN.ANI-ILLAT

to tell someone a story

Elative

!
%

neskanin toatsika oago


[nsknn ttsiga ag]

%
%

nesk-a-nin toa-ts=ika oapi-ko


ask-TR-INFI.DIT someone.KNOWN.ANI-ELAT help-GEN

to ask help from someone

!
%

koaibmanon toatsika nitiama


[kapmnn ttsiga niiwma]

%
%

koaibma-a-non toa-ts=ika nitia-m-a-


tire-TR-INFI.DIT.UNAG someone.KNOWN.ANI-ELAT interest-INCONCL-PRES.PART.UNAG-DAT

to lose interest (lit. to tire from someone the interest)

Usually, when the action is perceived to be benefactive to the object, or the object is
a gift or intended as a service, the indirect object will be in the allative (-ibma/-bma) in
the case of an exchange to/for the benefactive, or the ablative when the exchange is
in the opposite direction. The ablative is especially common with possessions.

Allative

%
%

tonkanin toatsibma tulmu


[tknn ttspma tlmu]

%
%

tonk-a-nin toa-ts=ibma tulmu-


sew-TR-INFI.DIT someone.KNOWN.ANI-ALLAT clothing-DAT

!
%

to sew clothes onto someone

163

%
%

onnin toatsibma
[n:n ttspma]

%
%

on-nin toa-ts=ibma
tell.story-INFI.DIT someone.KNOWN.ANI-ALLAT

!
!
%
%

to tell a story onto someone (to an audience)

%
%

rahk-a-nin toa-ts=ibma kesku-


send-TR-INFI.DIT someone.KNOWN.ANI-ALLAT advice-DAT

to give advice (lit. to send advice onto someone)

%
%

soatskanin ohhistaibma
[satsk:nn h:stapma]

%
%

soatsk-a-nin ohh-ista=ibma
pray-TR-INFI.DIT deity-ALLAT

!
!

to pray onto a deity

Ablative

%
%

kieganin toatsiska n
[cgnn ttsska nj]

%
%

kieg-a-nin toa-ts=iska n-
steal-TR-INFI.DIT someone.KNOWN.ANI-ABLAT knife-DAT

to steal the knife from someone

!
%

geunnin toatsiska meigi


[eun:n ttsska mi]

%
%

geun-nin to-ts=iska meigi-


diminish-INFI.DIT someone.KNOWN.ANI-ABLAT respect-DAT

to lose respect for someone (lit. to diminish the respect from someone)

!
%

tilnin toatsiska avvi


[lnn ttsska w:i]

%
%

til-nin toa-ts=iska avvi-


hang-INFI.DIT someone.KNOWN.ANI-ABLAT courage-DAT

!
!

to make someone lack the courage to (lit. to hang the courage from
someone [to dry])

rahkanin toatsibma kesku


[rahknn ttspma csku]

164

4.5.5.4 Abessive, Instrumental and Essive


The abessive, instrumental and essive cases are marginally used by certain dialects
or in a few fixed expressions. The most commonly used of these is the instrumental,
which is fairly common in most dialects but not in everyones speech. The essive is
an case with uneven distribution it is most common in the west. In regular speech,
the essive is replaced by the clitic -mi.
!
Abessive (-usi)
The abessive shows the lack of something. It generally forms adverbs, which may
describe both verbs and nouns.
!
!
!
!
!
!

neinkobiusi errisa %
ylkymausi saisa %
piisusi !
!
nnamousi %
%
nongamousi ! !
miteuhiusi !
!

to work carelessly (cf. neinko care)


to speak monotonously (cf. ylky peak)
not at all (cf. pirin nugget)
still, calm (cf. ndna wave)
endless(ly) (cf. nokna end)
unnecessarily (cf. miteus reason)

!
Instrumental (-igla, -gla, -la, -il, -el, -eli)
The instrumental shows with what something is done. It is a shortened form of the
postposition gala with the same meaning (which is often reduced to [kla] or [xla] in
pronunciation). The resulting word is generally considered an adverb. Eastern
dialects often allow -eli to be added to endings in -ma (then -meli) and -d (then tseli).
!
!
ikgla~ikitseli soprami ! !
!
to split X with an axe (cf. iki axe)
!
nylymigla~nylymeli hhami % %
to sniff X with a snout (cf. nyly
!
!
!
!
!
!
snout)
%
kykkymigla~kykkymeli habmaka saa %to speak with a deep voice
!
!
!
!
!
!
(cf. kykky habma deep !voice)
1
!
ioila/oira !
!
!
!
with difficulty (cf. io difficult task)
!
goikoigla~goikoila airsa !
!
to row with oars (cf. gobi oar)

!
Essive (-imi/-emi and -iu/-eu/-)
The essive endings regroup two subcases. The forms in -imi/-emi have a
comparative or semblative meaning (X is similar/like Y). The endings -iu/-eu/- rarer
or not found in the western dialects. The -iu/-eu/- endings have an equative meaning
(X is the same as Y):
!
!
-imi/-emi!
!
like, similar to, reminiscent of
!
-iu/-eu/-!
!
the same as, in the same way as (eastern dialects
!
!
!
!
only)
1 This word shows great variation: oila~oil~oel~oeli

165

The essive endings are added onto the marked form of the noun. Marked forms in a/-e have the -emi or -eu forms (unless the preceding vowel is y or , then -).
Marked forms in -i(d) have the -imi and -iu forms:
%
%
-a/-e% %
!
!
-emi% %
%
%
-eu%
%
%
%
-
!
Equative (eastern dialects only)
%
mairui skidiu% !
!
sahhi moaika mioldiu%
!
osoakiskke tevutsiu-uri'
!
!
!
!
%
nidlumina atkeusa'

Semblative
!
mairui skidimi% '
!
saimnisa lkkm%
!
tsa seskostemi''
!
!
!
!
!
inisa keemi % %
!
!
!
!
!
rarpo remi/r %

-i/-id
-imi
-iu

!
'
'
!
'

X laughs like a woman


the drink burns like fire
we build our houses the same way as our
ancestors
you must do just like your father

'
%
'
!
%
!
%

X laughs like a woman


to run like rapids
to stand like a seskora
(i.e. to be very obvious)
to sneak silently, to be unnoticed
(lit. to sneak like a lynx)
madly furious (lit. furious like a female wolf)

The essive case exists as a hyphened clitic (-mi) commonly used with verbs like
unoksi is called (as a nickname) and tatska considers:
%
!

unokkika on Talgo, unoksika Toggon-mi


my name is Talgo but I called (as) Toggon

4.6 Double Case Marking


Siwa allows for double case marking on nouns, pronouns, adjectives and in certain
cases adverbs. The secondary case markers are not unique to double case marking
as they are found in many indefinite pronouns (see 10.6), and exist for primary
cases, but the locative cases are added onto a single double case marker.
Secondary case markers are added directly onto the genitive form of nouns and
adjectives and to the locative form of pronouns. The table below illustrates the
endings.

166

locative cases
case

ending

-ni

agentive

da onta totonta to mmi saumka-t, atsa katta haidni


[danta ttnta t mjmi samk atsa kata hatni]
d-a onta toton-ta to mmi- saum-kat ad=sa ba hait-ni
COP-ASS ONTA family-GEN this.ANI.AG herder-AGT caribou-GENDET.PROXI
COP.ASS=NEG but this.MEDI-SECOND.AGT

This caribous owner is in my family, but this ones isnt


-a/-va-/-vva

patientive

kti on tyry kottaka, set ka toumikaa


[ki tyry ktga ska tumigwa]
kon--i on tyry- ko=tta-ka set ka tou=mi=ka-a
walk-HABIL-ASS.CONCL.ITR ON son-AGT older.brother.GEN-1P.PAT.SG not KA
older.sister-GEN-1P.PAT.SG-SECOND.PAT

my older brothers son can walk but not my older sisters


-si, -i

dative

saskitu sa, soasmi kh bidiska belra-t te poskitu tevu sa,


kh belrasi-t
[sasciu sa sxasmi c biska blr de psciu
tevu sa c blrs]
sask-i-tu s-a, so-a-s-mi kh bids--ka me ben-rat te posk-i-tu tevu s-a
kh ben-ra-sit
wake-ITR-LINK.TEMP COP.HAB-ASS feed-ASS.CONCL.TR-HAB-1P.AG.SG this.ANI.PL.DAT
puppy-DAT-PL dog-GENdet.PROXI and go.sleep-ITR-LINK.TEMP before COP.HABASS this.ANI.PL.DAT dog-GEN-SECOND.DAT-DET.MEDI

I feed these dogs puppies when I wake up and thoses before


I go to sleep
-h / -r / -u (also -hon/-ron)
da ie bengommea soakka-go te nonia skkoh te
[da ie be:m:eja sakag de nnia skhde]
genitive

d-a ie- bengo<mm>e-ia soak-k=ia-go te non-ia somi-ko-h te


COP-ASS leaking.creack roof-INESS house-GEN-1P.POSS.SG and 3P.INA-INESS manGEN-SECOND.GEN too

there is a leak in the roof of my house and there is one in the


mans [houses roof] as well

167

locative cases

-tsi-tsia, -tsita, -tsika


-tsima, -tsibma, -tsiska
ga on tetsotsi rymymima dikami sopra, aksa ka nonitsima dela
osami
[ga tetstsi rymymima ikmi spxa, aks:aka nnitsima
dela sxmi]

locative cases

g-a on t=ets=o-tsi ry<m>y-m=ima dika-m-i sopra- ak-sa ka non-its=ima del-a


o-sa-mi
COP.PAST-ASS ON some=of.many.INA-LOC dress-ADESS ornament-INCONCLAGT.PART.AG.PL golden-AGT 3P.INA-SECOND.ADESS NEG-COP.PAST-ASS ka wear-TR
REL-COP.PAST.HAB-tr-1P.AG.SG

some dresses had golden ornaments, but the one I used to


wear did not
istana tentsita? Daatsita istami
[stna tntsida? d:tsida stmi]
i-s<>t-a-na ten-ts=ita? da-a-tsi=ta i-s<>t-a-mi
DIT-give.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.AG.SG who.ILLAT little.sister-GEN-SECOND.ILLAT DITgive.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG

to whose did you give it? I gave it to (my) little sisters


The ending -a and -va are added to consonant clusters and after unstressed
vowels, whereas -vva is added to stressed vowels. The genitive endings -h/-hon
come following vowels, -u after t b s m and -r/-ron after r and h. Many dialects
prefer -u to the other endings. Some pronouns replace -u by -t.
!
Double case marking has two functions to form nouns that stand for a
dropped noun phrase and to create words that carry a meaning of one who/of/like or
that which.
!
For example, the phrase This mushrooms flesh is poisonouns, but this
mushrooms [flesh] is edible would make use of the double case marking onto the
word mushrooms, which is both in the genitive and active (as the argument of the
copula);
!
%

tygyhua on n mine kebsie-t, uhi ka n kebsieh-t sa


[tyyhu n mine cpsi uhi ka n cpsieh sa]

%
!
!

tygyha-a on n mine- kepsi-et ba u-h-i me ke<bs>i-e-hont s-a


poisonous-COP.ASS ON this.ANI.GEN flesh-AGT mushroom-GENDET.PROXI PASS-eat-ITR KA
this.ANI.GEN mushroom-GEN-SECOND.PATDET.MEDI COP.HAB-ASS

This mushrooms flesh is poisonous, but that mushrooms [flesh] is edible

The second function can be seen with first person plural locative stem momiyielding momini one of us, one like us, ours as in:

168

%
!

tsalbi unui momiva


[tsalbi unuji mmiva]

%
!

tsalbi u-nu-i momi-va


rarely PASS-see-ASS.CONCL.ITR 1P.PL-SECOND.PAT

!
people like us are rarely seen
!
Similarly, the fourth person locative stem ni- yields nini ones own;
%
!

sereni nitsia
[serjeni nitsia]

%
!

seren-i ni-tsi=ia
feel.good-ASS.CONCL.ITR 4P-SECOND.INESS

it feels good to be in ones own (privacy/comfort)

Double case markers can be used with postpositions to create words like:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

(atta)maggani !
!
!
!
!
!
!
rooni ! !
!
!
!
!
tatsini !!
!
!
!
!
kiani !
!
!
!
!
tevuni ! !
!
!
!
!
ahhani !!
!
!
!
!

the one in this case, this particular


(cf. atta magga in this case or in the case of
this)
the one in the way
(cf. roo in the way)
the additional one
(cf. tatsi in addition)
the one within sight
(cf. kia within sight)
the one before, the former
(cf. tevu before)
the one after, the latter
(cf. ahha after)

These words function either as nouns or as adjectives, in which case only the locative
ending is used with a head noun in one of the locative cases.

'
!

sia hausa maggani


[sia hasxa e: mc:ni]

%
!

si-a hausa - magga-ni


COP.NEG-ASS.CONCL edible plant-AGT in.case-SECOND.AGT

!
!
'
!

the plant in this case is not edible


sikkui toboita rootsi
[skui tbida rxtsi]
169

%
!

sikk-u-i- t<obo>-ita roo-tsi


kick-PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG rock-ILLAT in.the.way-SECOND.LOC

!
!

X kicked the rock that was in the way

'
!

mante tatsisi komi


[mante ttsisi km:i]

%
!

mant-e tatsi-si komi-


take-INFER.CONCL.TR in.addition-DAT guest-AGT

the guest shall take the additional one

!
!

tsalbi angitubilua kiani


[tsalbi :idubilua ci:jni]

%
!

tsalbi a<ngit>-u-ila-a kia-ni


rarely desire.PAST-PAT.PART-SUPER-COP.ASS.CONCL within.sight-SECOND.AGT

the most desired one is rarely the one in sight

'
!

pelekkemi on tevusi, oskemi ka ahhasi


[peljcemi tevusi scemika h:si]

%
!
!
!

pelekk-e-mi on tevu-si osk-e-mi ka ahha-si


cook-INFER.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG on former-SECOND.DAT, smoke-INFER.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG ka
latterSECOND.DAT

!
!

I will cook the former but I will smoke the latter

Double case endings are also found in certain words which otherwise have no
primary case endings. These words those formed by adding the double case
markers to pronouns and adverbs, for example vvihni the one (from) around
here (from vvika from around here) or nini ones own (derived from the locative
form of the fourth person). Similar to quantifiers of the type ovva/haivva/ovva (such
as this, such as that) can be formed with double case markers:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

adni ! !
!
PAT. !
!
DAT. !
!
GEN. !
!
LOC. !

like this one, this one(s)


atva
atsi
adu
atsi-

eygni ! !
!
PAT. !
!
DAT. !
!
GEN. !
!
LOC. !

like these one, these ones()


eyhtva
eyhtsi
eyht
eyhtsi-

sgu nuhlami t ad

170

'

[sxj:u nhlmi i:i x]

%
!

sgu nuhl-a-mi =t at-r


never see.PERF-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG nothing.INA.GEN this.PROXI.2D.GEN

Ive never seen anything like this

Compare to the quantifier ovva.

!
'

sgu nuhlami t ovva


[sxj:u nhlmi i:i w:a]

%
!

sgu nuhl-a-mi =t ovva


never see.PERF-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG nothing.INA.GEN such.PROXI

Ive never seen such a thing

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

haidna !!
!
PAT. !
!
DAT. !
!
GEN. !
!
LOC. !

like that one, that ones


haitva
haitsi
haidu
haitsi-

kvagni ! !
!
PAT. !
!
DAT. !
!
GEN. !
!
LOC. !

like those one, those ones


kvahtva
kvahtsi
kvaht
kvahtsi-

%
'

siduma kvahtsi
[siduma kvahtsi]

%
!

sid-um-a kvaht=si
understand-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR that.MED.PL-SECOND.GEN

one must be understanding of these things

!
!
!
!
!

iodna ! !
!
PAT. !
!
DAT. !
!
GEN. !
!
LOC. !

like that one there, that ones there


iotva
iotsi
iodu
iotsi-

!
!
!
!
!

gaugni !!
!
PAT. !
!
DAT. !
!
GEN. !
!
LOC. !

like those one there, those ones() there


gauhtva
gauhtsi
gauht
gauhtsi-

171

%
'

tsaupri iotva
[tsapxi tw:a]

%
!

tsaupr-i iot-va
happen.rarely-ASS.CONCL.ITR that.DIST-SECOND.PAT

things like that happen rarely

4.7 Indeclinable and foreign words


A small number of words are not declined. This includes foreign words and a handful
of words, of which most are adverbs that may be used as nouns. These words are
not declined in so far as they lack any endings. However, many are found in the
marked form with an inverted final vowel polarity. This is especially true of foreign
words and names in modernized vocabulary. Such foreign words generally have an
unmarked form in -()i (if the word ends in a consonant or diphthong) and a marked
form in -()u. Some speakers may chose to decline foreign words as though they
were normal inanimate nouns.
!
%
!

unmarked form! !
!
mt% %
%
%
yesterday night (no or adv)!

%
!

atkenka%%
%
%
atkenki
day after tomorrow (no or adv)!

%
!

aimra% %
%
%
the wrong way (no or adv)!

aimri

%
!

Lontoni~Lonton%%
London

Lontonu~Lontonta

!
!

Leo~Leoi%
Leo! !

Leo~Leou~Leue/Leobi

marked form
mt~mtai
(mtita [until] yesterday night)

172

5 Adjectives
Adjectives in Siwa are morphologically similar to both verbs and nouns. Most
adjectives have predominantly a verbal form, an adjectival form (also called true
attributive) or both. Adjectives differ greatly depending on their grammatical function
- whether they are attributive or predicative.
!
Essentially, verbal forms (predicatively only) are used for impersonal
constructions or temporary and/or unagentive states for animate nouns, while
adjectival forms can be used with both animate and inanimate nouns and usually
have a more general meaning. In addition, the verbal form can also have a participial
form to be used attributively.
Compare the following forms of the adjective:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
%
!
!
!

Verbal form
!
-m- inconclusive marker
!
patientive topic
!
temporary/temporal meaning
!
Participial form
!
!
attributive function of verbal form
!
!
-otim- inconclusive and complementized markers
!
!
agrees in number
!
Adjectival form
!
non-verbal form
!
uses copula
!
non-temporal meaning

!
Verbal form: ! !
hehmi it is cold (root her-, impersonal verb)
!
!
!
!
hehmika I am cold (temporary state)
!
Participial form: !!
tamosi herotima a cold hunter (i.e. a hunter who is
!
!
!
!
cold)
!
Adjectival form: !!
hee cold (cf. tamosi hee a cold hunter, i.e. a
!
!
!
!
hunter with a cold nature)
!
An essential notion to have in mind when looking at adjectives is whether it is
predicative or attributive. A predicative adjective is usually linked to what it describes
by the copula. For example, in the phrase this foreign language is difficult, the
adjective difficult is predicative. The adjective foreign, on the other hand, is attributive,
meaning that it is part of the noun phrase.
!
Many adjectives have two basic forms - the adjectival form, and the verbal
form. The verbal form is closely related to impersonal verbs, and in most regards, can
be considered to be exactly that. The two main forms of adjectives are not entirely
regularly predictable changes in the form of an adjective from verbal to adjectival
are often irregular. All adjectives having a verbal form also have a participial form.

173

The verbal form is used when the adjective is predicative, and the participial form is
used when the adjective is attributive.
!
The adjectival form is the default form of adjectives. When predicative, the
adjectival form is called copular, because it fuses with the copula. Thus, the various
forms of adjectives are as follow;
predicative
copular
(adjectival + copula)
(hee)

verbal
(her-)
hehmi
it is cold

heia ede
the air is cold

so hehmisa-a?
are you feeling cold?
attributive

adjectival

participial
(verbal + complementizer)

ede hee
cold air

somi herotima~herven
a man (who is) cold

5.1 Function of Verbal and Participial Forms


The verbal form has two main functions.
!
Firstly, it is mostly used with animate nouns whose predicative adjective
denotes a temporary and/or involuntary state, and it is used in impersonal
constructions, such as its cold or its late. Impersonal constructions use impersonal
verbs (see section 5.3.4 for a complete look at impersonal verbs).
!
Secondly, the verbal form is used to create the participial form, which is used
attributively and always found with a complementizer and as present inconclusive
participle. It has the form -(t)otima, -(t)otimi or corresponding short forms -(t)oima/(t)ima/-(t)vima or -en/-in~-ven/-vin. The participial form is the only form of an
adjective which agrees in number with the head noun. However, because participial
adjectives are in fact relative clauses, they do not agree in case with the head noun,
e.g.:
!
!

!
!

somi atetotima ! !
a sick man
(or somi atetoima or somi ateen)

somigi atetotimi !

sick men
174

(or somigi atetoimi or somigi atein)

skkita atetotima !

to a sick man

!
!
skkita atetotimi !
to sick men
!
!
When used with a predicative adjective denoting the temporary and/or involuntary
state of an animate noun (X is as/in the state of being Y), the verbal form differs from
an impersonal verb in that it may in fact take person markings. The subject of these
temporary adjectival verbs is usually in the patientive, both for pronouns and nouns,
and it is always in the inconclusive. Thus, these adjectives are in fact very similar to
actual verbs. Compare the table below showing predicative verbal adjectives and the
attributive participial adjectives:
predicative

attributive

verbal with pronoun

verbal with noun

participial

gosmika
[smiga]

gosmi kohko
[smi khk]

kori gosotima
[kri sima]

gos-m-i-ka
tired-INCONCL-ASS.ITR-1P.PAT.SG

gos-m-i kori-ko
tired-INCONCL-ASS.ITR boy-PAT

I am tired

the boy is tired

kori- gos-ot-i-m-a
boy-AGT tired-COMPLE-ASS.ITRINCONCL-AGT.PART.UNAG.SG

a tired boy
Not all adjectives have verbal forms, although they might describe a temporary or
involuntary state. And similarly, not all verbal adjectives actually have a
corresponding adjectival form. In the latter case, these verbal adjectives differ from
verbs in their use of the inconclusive (because regular verbs, except impersonal
verbs, usually do not use the inconclusive marker -m-). Typically, adjectives that
apply to humans or animate things or that refer to weather and topological features
have both verbal and adjectival forms.
!
Often, verbal adjectives have both corresponding adjectival and participial
forms. When both exist, the participial form usually bears an underlying affective or
temporary meaning, while the adjectival form is more or less neutral with respect to
duration, or may be taken to have a broader, more general meaning:

!
%

!
%

VERBAL!

!
(temporal)!

!
!

!
!

!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!

dapmi~dappima (dapp-)%%
alone! !
!
!

dappo
alone, lonely, lonesome

hokami (hoka-)%%

hoku

ADJECTIVAL

(general)

%
175

blinded!

!
!
!
%
%

!
!

blind

motommi (moton-)%
feeling sad!
!

%
!

moton
sad, unhappy

%
%

submi% (sut-)% %
hungry!!
!

%
!

sudna
hungry, gluttonous

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!

hoatsmi (hoats-)%%
taken a back! !

%
!

hoadna
surprised

kmmi (km-)! !
feeling happy! !

!
!

kmes
happy

!
!

nubmi% (nup-)! !
feeling angry! !

!
!

nunna
angry, hostile

!
!

!
!

stromi% (stro-)!!
feeling frustrated!

!
!

str
frustrated, annoyed, stuck

!
!

!
!

thmi (thh-)! !
feeling anxious!!

!
!

thna
anxious, stressed

!
!

!
!

voammi (voavv-)!
afraid! !
!

!
!

voakna
fearful

The formation of adjectives is described in 5.5.


%

5.1.1 Translative Verbal and Adjectival Forms


Both verbal and adjectival forms can take on a translative meaning. Because not all
adjectives exist in either forms, and not all who do can be used to derive a translative
verb, this forms a fairly small group of adjective roots. However, adjectival forms can
fairly freely become translatives if they do not have a corresponding verbal forms.
!
The distinction between a general state (adjectival forms like kmes happy)
and a more temporal form (verbal adjectives like kmmi feeling happy) allows for
two different derived translative forms.
!
The adjectival translative is formed from the the adjectival form by adding the
preverbal a- and the translative postverbal -u/-. These forms may correspond to a
slow change of state, not placed in a specific time or the adjectival form become
more like what it describes. Such adjectival forms often loose final vowels, and in
some cases final endings may also be deleted (-na, -la, -es, -us, -ot, e.g.: giges
sharp becomes agigu):

176

!
!

dappo ! lonely !
atana % big ! !

adappu %
anatanu %

become isolated
become bigger

Because of their translative nature however, their agent is always unagentive.


!
The structure of the translative verbal and adjectival forms can be illustrated
as such:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Form
%
General
!
!
adjectival form! !
!
!

!
!
translative adjectival verb!
!
a--u
!
Temporal!
!
!
verbal adjective!!
!
!
-mi
!
!
translative verbal adjective!
!
-u
Few adjectives display all of these forms. Some common adjective roots are shown
here to illustrate the differences in meaning that arise between four forms.

General

Temporal

Adjectival form

Translative
adjectival verb

Verbal adjective

Translative verbal
adjective

kmesata

takmesu

kmmi

takm

X is happy

X becomes
happy/happier
(slow change)

X is feeling happy

X gets happy
(i.e. mood change)

motonata

tamotonu

motommi

tamotonu

X is unhappy

X becomes
unhappy/
unhappier
(slow change)

X is feeling sad

X gets sad
(i.e. mood change)

voaknuata

tavoaknu

voammi

tvoavvu

X is fearful

X becomes fearful
(slow change)

X is scared

X gets scared

nunnuata

tanunnu

nubmi

tanupu

X is angry

X becomes angry
(slow change)

X is angry

X gets mad

177

atanuata

tanatanu

atahmi

tataru

X is big

X becomes
bigger
(slow change)

X is pregnant

X gets pregnant

pieginuata

tapiegin(adn)u

pigima

tapigu

X is in good
health

X regains good
health
(slow change)

X is feeling
healthy

X gets healthy
(sudden change)

dappuata

tadappu

dapmi

tadappu

X is alone

X becomes
isolated
(slow change)

X is lonely

X becomes lonely

laipinata

talaipinu

laibmi

dlaipu

X is bitter

X becomes
embittered

X is feeling
jealous

X becomes
jealous

ndnuata

tandnu

nolttima

tanolttu

X is ill

X becomes ill
(slow change)

X is feeling unwell

X becomes ill
(sudden change)

struta

tastr

stromi

tstr

X is frustrated

X grows
frustrated

X is feeling
annoyed

X becomes
annoyed

Defunct translatives

mybiata

X is silent

178

osmi

tosu

X is feeling
ashamed

X is embarrassed

mybmi

tamyb

X is calm

X calms down

aymi

X is feeling
disgusted

X is disgusted

5.2 Function of Adjectival and Copular Forms


Adjectival forms are used attributively with all inanimate nouns and in some cases
with animate nouns. In contrast to verbal forms, adjectival forms usually do not bear a
meaning of temporary or involuntary state. They do not have a nuance of duration or
state, but rather (often) simply state something more general about the thing they
describe, e.g. nlttima sick (participial) has an underlying meaning of X is afflicted
by disease, whereas ndna (adjectival) simply means sick or unhealthy. However,
because the primary meaning of the adjective is mostly stative, one can use ndna
without it having an inherent or permanent quality.
The adjectival form follows the head noun and agrees with its head noun in case but
cannot take locative case markings. If the head noun is in a locative case, the
adjective is found in the genitive. The adjectival form is only ever found in locative
cases if the head noun is not present and the adjectival form functions as a nominal,
e.g.:
!
istami ndnamoita !
!
I gave it to the sick one
but !
istami kohkoita ndnamo !
I gave it to the sick boy.
!
The adjectival form is used to create the copular form, simply by adding the copula to
the adjective. The copular form is used with animate and inanimate nouns alike when
the quality of the adjective is inherent, and with inanimate nouns for temporary
qualities as well. Moreover, the copular form is used when the adjective is
predicative, except for participial adjectives which are derived from verbal adjectives
(verbal form used instead of a predicative phrase). Pronouns, complementizers and
other parts of the verbal phrase are added directly to the adjective, though pronouns
are commonly found standing independently. The copular form has a special
negative form using the copular verb si- (or emphatically hed-) (see defective
copular verbs 9.16.2.2).
!
%
%

gosina somi % %
sia gosin somi ! !
heda gosin somi !

the man is tired


the man isnt tired
the man is in no way tired/not tired at all/not tired

5.2.1 Copular coalescence


The copula, when added to adjectives, coalesce with final vowels in specific ways.
The table below illustrates these changes (adjective endings vertically, copula
horizontally).
!

179

copula
adjective

-a-

-a
back

-o-

-u-

-ua-

-e-

-i-ai-

-o

-ua-

--

-ui-

-u
-e

--ia- / -a-

front

-io- / -o-

-iu- / -u-

-i
rounded

-y/-

-(-a-)

-u-

--

!
hee cold !
!
heia X is cold !!
heg X was cold
!
piegino healthy!
pieginua X is healthy! pieginoi X was healthy
!
seuvvi sweet! !
seuvvia X is sweet!
seuvv X was sweet
!
See section 9.17.2 for a description of the dependent copula and 9.17.2.1 for a
description of copula-adjective coalescence.
5.3 Predicative Adjectives
Predicative adjectives are those which are typically found as the argument of the
copula, such as X is big.
!
!
atanua t !
!
the rock is big (atana big)
'
ononua kyi ' '
the squirrel is small (onona small)
!
hmia leba !
!
the mittens are warm (hmi warm)
When describing an animate noun, predicative adjectives can be found either in their
adjectival or verbal form. Respectively, these correspond to inherent and temporary
qualities. When describing an inanimate noun, however, predicative adjectives are
found in their adjectival form. Certain inanimate nouns may be found in the patientive
as the object of an impersonal verbal adjective. This is often the case with adjectives
describing topological features:
!
!
ohkia kia
%
[hcia u:ia]
%
!

ohki-a =k-ia
deep-COP.ASS water-INESS

the water is deep (lit. it is deep in the water)

180

!
%
%
!
!

khlua sehmeiska
[c:hlua shmska]
khlo-a se<h>-me=iska
high-COP.ASS cliff-ABLAT

the cliff is high (lit. it is high from the cliffs - said from the top of the cliff)
!
The table below illustrates predicative adjectives, their form and function.

predicative

animate

inherent

temporary

copular

verbal

atanua saigi
[tnua siji]

atahmi kansika
[tahmi kansiga]

atana-a saigi-
big-COP.ASS moose-AGT

atar-m-i kansi-
big-INCONCL-ASS.ITR female.moose-PAT

the moose is big

the moose is pregnant

ndnua saigi
[:tnua siji]

nolttima saitsa
[lt:ima satsa]

ndna-a saigi-
sick-COP.ASS l moose-AGT

the moose is sick (or it is not a


healthy moose)

hoku-a teddet-
blind-COP.ASS l old.man-AGT

the old man is blind

inanimate

the moose is sick (right now)


hokami teddedda
[hcmi ::a]

hok teddet
[hcu: :]

inherent

nolt-i-ma saigi-
sick-ASS.ITR-INCONCL moose-PAT

temporary

hoka-m-i tedde-dda
blind-INCONCL-ASS.ITR old.man-PAT

the old man is blinded/cannot


see
impersonal

copular

verbal

atanua misas

atahmi hha ines kika


[tahmi h:ja ins cika]

[tnua misas]
atana-a misas-
big-COP.ASS rock-AGT

atar-m-i hha i<n>e-s kika


big-INCONCL-ASS.ITR here lake-GEN
over.ADESS

the rock is big

the lake is big here (lit. here is


big over/across the lake)

181

predicative
inanimate

taite leymai moaundi


[tide lmai mxni]

taite katsa leymuima


[tide ktsa lmuima]

tai=te leyma-i moaundi-


then=too warm-COP.PAST.ASS sip-AGT

tai=te katsa leym-u-i-ma


then=too outside-ADV warm-PAST-ASS.ITR-

(his/her) sip was still warm

outside was still warm

pilai mavvu
[pilai mw:u]

katsa pidlmi
[ktsa ptm:i]

pila-i mavvu-
red-COP.PAST.ASS meat-AGT

katsa pi<dl>-m-i
outside=ADV red.PAST-INCONCL -ASS.ITR

the meat was red

outside, it was red

INCONCL

5.3.1 Object Predicative


When the object of a verb has a predicative adjective, it is called an object
predicative. An example of this in English could be I ate it raw.
!
When a predicative adjective refers to the object of a verb, it comes before
the noun it qualifies, in the appropriate case. This is also the case with predicative
adjectives referring to nouns modified by a post- or preposition.
!
If the object to which the predicative adjective refers is a pronoun, the
adjective will follow the verb (in the case of verbal pronouns) and may be found with
the clitic -mi or found in the essive (see 4.5.5.4) if the object is in the genitive,
otherwise unmarked if the object is in the dative.
%
%

ohkama mami
[hkma mmi]

%
%

ohkama- m-a--mi
raw-DAT eat.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-1P.AG.SG

I ate it raw (also ohkama-mi mami, ohkamemi mami)

!
%

ililimatta uluvvi
[iljilimata uluw:i]

%
%

ilil-i-m-a-tta u-lu<vv>-i-
live-ITR-INCONCL-AGT.PART.UNAG-PAT PASS-boil.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.PAT

it was boiled alive (also ililimatta-mi uluvvi, ililimattemi uluvvi)

%
%

gigari tvonna mavvu


[igri tvn:a mw:u]

%
%

g<ig>-a-ri tvonna- mavvu-


share.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.PL equal-DAT meat-DAT

they shared the meat equally (lit. equal)

182

%
%

sapohhis rekkotsta atra gala


[sph:js rktst:a atxakla]

%
%

sa-pohh-i-s rekkot-sta at-ra gala


2P.UNAG-sleep-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HAB-3P.ACT open-GEN mouth-GEN WITH

!
!

you sleep with your mouth open

!
%

omestari pila ndlie-nen


[mstri pila ni:tienn]

%
%

o-me<st>-a-ri pila- ndli--enen


SUBJ-paint.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.PL red-DAT face-DAT-PL-4P.POSS

they painted their faces red

but
!
%

omestari ndlie-nen pila


[mstri ni:tienn pila]

%
%

o-me<st>-a-ri ndli--enen pila-


SUBJ-paint.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.PL face-DAT-PL-4P.POSS red-DAT

they painted their red faces

5.3.2 Subject Predicative


Like object predicatives, subject predicatives are a predicative adjective describing
the subject of a verb.
!
When predicative adjectives refer to the subject of the verb, they generally
precede the subject, or the verb in the case of pronominal subjects. The adjective
agrees in case with the subject. In more formal speech however, it is preferable to
use the adverbial form of the adjective.
%
%

sisedi tvahsaiu
[sisei tvahsju]

%
%

sise-di t-vahs-ai-u
tall-PAT 3P.UNAG-grow-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL

!
or
!
%

X grew tall
sis(v)en tvahsaiu
[sisn tvahsju]

%
%

sis-ven t-vahs-ai-u
tall-ADV 3P.UNAG-grow-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL

X grew tall

%
%

nidotita mahri
[nidida mahri]

%
%

nidot-ita ma<hr>-i-
masterful-ILLAT hunt-PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG

X hunted (until X became) masterful


183

or
%
%

niden mahri
[nidn mahri]

%
%

nid-en ma<hr>-i-
masterful-ADV hunt-PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG

X hunted masterfully

A third and more common way of forming such subject predicative adjectives is to
add the inessive -ita (for subjects perceived to be in or go into a state) and the elative
-ika (for subjects perceived to leave a state) directly onto the unmarked form of the
adjective.
!
%

siseita tvahsaiu
[siseida tvahsju]

%
%

sise-ita t-vahs-ai-u
tall-ILLAT 3P.UNAG-grow-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL

X grew tall

A number of fixed expressions use this construction;


!
!

tsikimaika saitkisa !
to disappear from view (lit. from being visible, tsiki-)

!
!

obrkimaita lomsa
to run very fast (lit. to run oneself drowned, obrki-)

%
!

tsengita ssa !
to realize, to finally understand (lit. to understand clear)

!
'

uinoita onami
to admit, to recognize (cf. to tell (in)to true)

5.4 Attributive Adjectives


Attributives adjectives are those which are typically found as part of the noun phrase,
such as a big X. In Siwa, all attributive adjectives are found after the head noun.
Postpositions are usually found after the adjective though they also appear between
the noun and the adjective, whereas possessives are more often found on the noun.
!
!
!
'
!

t atana%%
%
kyi onona !
!
leba hmi %
%
ines tebi ra% '
soakkia-go atakka'

a big rock
a small squirrel
warm mittens
close to the small lake
in my big house

184

Attributive adjectives are generally in the adjectival form, but participial forms are also
used to place emphasis on the temporary/stative/essive meaning of the adjective (X
is as/in the state of being Y) when a corresponding verbal form exists. Certain
adjectives meaning changes significantly whether participial or adjectival. Animacy
does not affect attributive adjectives. Attributive adjectives do not agree in number
with the head noun.
!
Attributive adjectives in the adjectival form do not agree in number but agree
in case with their head noun, but do not use any of the locative case markings. Thus,
if a noun is in the inessive, its attributive adjective will simply be in the genitive.
!
!
!
and
!
%
!

tka atana !
kyigi onona !
lehton hmi !

!
!
!

toboima atakka !!
kytima onommo !
lemaia hmid ! !

the big rocks


the small squirrels
a warm mitten
on a big rock
on a small squirrel
in warm mittens

Adjectives do not have their own set of declensions they behave like nouns, but are
generally more regular and less prone to certain sound changes. Thus, adjectives
follow the same declensions as nouns, although they are less subject to irregularities.
Adjectives, however, do not go through lenition:
!
!

gegin lammon ! !
geisika lammonta !

a bold mouth
from a bold mouth

The form *geisika lamrika, where *lamrika has both lenition and a locative ending is
ungrammatical.
!
Attributive adjectives in the participial form agree only in number (-ma for
singular and -mi or sometimes -me for plural).
!
!

ski atarotima % %
skigi atarotimi % %

a pregnant woman
pregnant women!

When an adjective which would normally be attributive lacks a head noun, it


becomes a nominal adjective. Nominal adjectives behave like nouns, and differ from
regular attributive adjectives in that they take locative endings and can be found in
the plural. However, they may or may not go through lenition. Lenition of nominal
adjectives is considered poor language, but it is somewhat used. It should be
considered vulgar.
!
!
!
!

atakkia !!
onommoima !
hmihta !!
lammrika !

!
!
!
!

in the big one


on the big one
into the warm one
from the bold one
185

!
Attributive adjectives are not affected by animacy. However, a few adjectives can
only be used with one animacy. For example, old is expressed by the Siwa word
eila for inanimate nouns, but ii for animate nouns. Similarly, siehhin long is only
used with inanimate nouns, and sise with animate nouns, then meaning long or also
tall.
!
The table below illustrates attributive adjectives, their form and function.

attributive
inherent

temporary

adjectival

adjectival / participial

saigi atana
[siji tna]

saigi atarotima
[siji trima]
saigi- atar-ot-i-m-a
moose-AGT big-COMPLE-ITR-INCONCLAGT.PART.UNAG.AGT

saigi- atana-
moose-AGT big-AGT

a/the big moose

a/the pregnant moose


oabi pigotimi
[bi pij:imi]

oabi piegino
[bi piej:in]
animate/
inanimate

oabi- pig-ot-i-m-i
gums-AGT healthy-COMPLE-ITR-INCONCLAGT.PART.UNAG.AGT.PL

oabi- piegino-
gums-AGT healthy-AGT

healthy gums

healthy looking/feeling gums


eni ohhotima
[xweni h:jima]

thma ohho
[t:hma h:j]
thma- ohho-
heart-AGT strong-AGT

a/the strong/powerful heart

eni- ohh-ot-i-m-a
wind-AGT strong-ITR-INCONCLAGT.PART.UNAG.AGT

a/the strong/powerful wind


totomma nolttotima
[ttm:a lt:ima]

totomma ndna
[ttm:a :tna]
totomma- ndna-
family.member-AGT sick-AGT

a/the sick/unhealthy relative


!

186

totomma- nolt-ot-i-m-a
family.member-AGT sick-COMPLE-ITRINCONCL-AGT.PART.UNAG.AGT

a/the sick relative

5.5 Adjective Formation


There are about 20 derivatives from which most adjectival forms are created. Certain
derivational endings may only or mostly be used with one class of words, e.g. the
derivative -bmot is generally only added to verb stems, while -ra to noun stems.
!
A few types may be formed with either polarization or vowel lengthening. As
a general rule, lengthening is used with less concrete and more abstract qualities, or
to form adjectives from abstract nouns. Not all adjectival forms are listed here. Note
that many other endings are characteristic of adjectives those presented below are
productive derivational endings. Note that most derivative adjectives lack verbal
forms all together.The types of derivatives are as follows:

type/function

formation

example

material

polarization + -ra
(-hta GEN)

kili wood kilura wooden

polarization + -ka/-ko
(-hta GEN)
essential relation to

lengthening + -na/-no

talta clay taltira made of


clay
somi man somuka
masculine
notsomo shaman
notsomiko shamanic
avvi courage ainno
courageous
l sweat liha sweaty

possessive

polarization + -ha/-ho
lma leaf liha leafy
lokna intense cold longiu
icy

evocative

polarization + -V
sira fish siriu fishy

loosely
characterizing

heeri winter heomi winterlike


polarization + -m- + -V

187

kodma auk bird kodmimu


auk bird-like

type/function

formation

example
pitta X pays attention to Y
pittabmot attentive

animate participle

-bmot
toa X is dexterous enough to
do Y toabmot dexterous

inanimate participle

-bmis
(-mha GEN)

koahi X is enough koahibmis


sufficient

origin

-mma or -ppa

Kuoimin kuomimma
someone from Kuomin

inessive -tse

ua water uitse aquatic

adessive -us(e)

kelta ground keltaus


terrestrial

-nihta

ko summer konihta one


summer long/old/

location

time / length

avvi courage evviskon


coward
abessive

shortening + -skon

pitta X pays attention to Y


patskon inconsiderate

polarization + -dna

mavvu meat mavvedna


meaty

lengthening + -na

iba X has enough energy for


Y iabuna energetic

abundance

tulvi nutrient tulvulen


lacking in nutrient
lack

polarization + -len

hego salt hegilen unsalted,


sweat (of water)
kori boy garike boyish

similarity or shape

lengthening + -ke(na)

188

ri stump vrke stumpy

similarity or shape
type/function

lengthening + -ke(na)
formation

example
rdni thorn reinkena thorny,
shaped like a thorn
yly night vellu nightly

distributive

lengthening + -lu

kengi day keundlu daily


keppi head keullu per
person
tama many taintsi
numerous

abstract implication
of abundance

lengthening + -(s)i/-i

lma leaf vili verdant


piusti X thrives piuti
thriving
tuvi X bends deusa
bendable/flexible

descriptive of verbs
facility/rapidity

lengthening + -(s)a/ha

airi X rows oairha easy to


row in
ha X eats Y hausa edible
sahhi X burns soaa which
burns well
tuvi X bends tauson
unbendable/inflexible/rigid

descriptive verbs
lack of facility/
rapidity

shortening + -(s)on

ha X eats Y hoson
inedible

sahhi X burns soon which


does not burns well

189

type/function

formation

soaki house soakubmi


homely/cozy

descriptive of typical
quality

moderative

example

polarization + -bmi

tegma child tengibmi


childish
huvvi comfortable cold
huvvuhma cool

polarization + -hma or
-htsa

bieluha fat bieluhma quite


fat/plump
rapa small hill rapuppa hilly

polarization + -ppa/ppi

descriptive

iuri sap ieppi sticky


tr fur trippi/trpp fluffy

In addition to these, many adjectives are non-derived, i.e. they do not have any
corresponding forms from which they have been derived. Common endings for nonderived adjectival forms are:
!
!
!
!
!

-la%
!
!
!
!

%
irela !
nevala%
oala !
tuvala !

%
!
%
!
!

%
%
beautiful !
nifty, diligent !
wide ! !
heavy !!

%
!
!
!
!

%
!
!
!
!

(-ldi, -lle, -lmo)


GEN. ireldi
GEN. nevalle
GEN. oalmo
GEN. tuvalmo

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

-na !
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
atana ! !
heona ! !
tina ! !
kisina ! !
kymina !!
mrana !
nunna ! !
onona ! !
opona ! !
sarana !!
sumana !

!
!
big ! !
weak! !
late ! !
quick! !
nice! !
difficult!
angry! !
small! !
alive! !
narrow!!
irritated, sore!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

(-kka, -di, -mmo)


GEN. atakka
GEN. heodi
GEN. tindi
GEN. kisindi
GEN. kymimmo
GEN. mradi
GEN. nunnamo
GEN. onommo
GEN. opommo
GEN. sarakka
GEN. sumammo

190

!
!
!

!
!
!

temyna !!
tsusina !!
voanna !

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

-ot (pronounced [()] or [h]. In the west, sometimes [] or [w] , then


written -uo/o) ! !
!
!
!
!
(-otta, -otsta)
!
aipiot ! !
enormous!
!
!
GEN. aipiotta
!
horiot ! !
tender!!
!
!
GEN. horiotta
!
galmot ! !
soft, pregnant (with eggs) !
GEN. galmotta
!
konkot ! !
horrible !
!
!
GEN. konkotta
!
miohhot !
slender!
!
!
GEN. miohhotsta
!
sonnot !!
lukewarm!
!
!
GEN. sonnotta
!
tohhot ! !
young !!
!
!
GEN. tohhotta

!
!
!
!
!

-on (sometimes -)!


!
likion ! !
!
lammon !
!
sogon ! !
!
sopon ! !

!
awful!
bold !
dry !
evil !

!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!

-in !
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
crisp! !
bitter! !
stiff ! !
long! !
straight!

!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

-e/-ve !
!
!
aye ! !
!
daie ! !
!
kalve ! !
!
kokve ! !
!
osve ! !
!
sehhe !
!
ilve ! !

!
!
!
shrill! !
!
moist! !
!
stringent, tight !!
light! !
!
sour! !
!
fervent!!
!
pungent!
!

(-eka, -ie, -emo)


!
GEN. ayeka
!
GEN. daieka
!
GEN. kalveka
!
GEN. kokvemo
!
GEN. osvemo
!
GEN. sehhie
!
GEN. ilvemo

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

-(p)po/-pp !
!
!
daippo ! !
!
hppo ! !
!
holpo ! !
!
haimpo !
!
loippo ! !
!
rarpo ! !
!
sompo ! !
!
keheppo !

!
!
!
damp! !
!
broad, ample! !
dull ! !
!
strong, spicy, stinging!
flat!
!
!
aggressive, mad!
swift ! !
!
sulky! !
!

(-ppoka, -ppoma, -ppue)


!
GEN. daippoka
!
GEN. hppoka
!
GEN. holpoma
!
GEN. haimpoka
!
GEN. loippomo
!
GEN. rarpoka
!
GEN. sompoma
!
GEN. kehheppue

!
aurin !
laipin !
min !
siehhin
sukin !

!
!
!
!
!!
!

joyful! !
!
fresh ! !
!
strange, scary !!

191

!
!
!

GEN. temydi
GEN. tsusimmo
GEN. voakka

(-os, -onta)
GEN. likios
GEN. lammonta
GEN. sogonta
GEN. soponta
(-is, -inta)
GEN. aurinta
GEN. laipinta
GEN. minta
GEN. siehhis
GEN. sukinta

tpp ! !

clumsy !

GEN. tppma

!
-i/-hi ! !
!
!
!
!
(-iko, -ika, -id, -ie)
!
!
nohi ! !
smart! !
!
!
GEN. nohiko
!
!
pohi ! !
chubby!
!
!
GEN. pohiko
!
!
roahi ! !
simple, normal!!
!
GEN. roahika
!
!
sipoi ! !
entangled, confused! !
GEN. sipoid
!
!
sehi ! !
thin! !
!
!
GEN. sehie
!
!
tihi ! !
tiny! !
!
!
GEN. tihid
!
!
aui ! !
gullible!
!
!
GEN. auika
%
!
utoi ! !
mellow!!
!
!
GEN. utoid
%
!
nuii ! !
spiteful, mean, nasty! !
GEN. nuiid
!
!
Of these, the endings -na and -ot are the most common. Many western dialects
usually replace -ot by -us, and -on by -. Central dialects have merged both -ot and on to -.
Adjectives can be made negative by simply adding the prefix si- or sem-, or more
emphatically h- or ht-.
!
!
!
!
!

kvisot! !
sikvisot!

regular
irregular

uino! !
htuino!!

true
(completely) untrue

5.6 Declension
As it was mentioned before, adjectives do not have a separate set of declension
endings from inanimate nouns. Of the four types of adjectives (adjectival and
copular, verbal and participial), only the adjectival form has a declension. They
behave identically to nouns, with the exception that adjectives never undergo lenition
(only inanimate nouns do). In addition, adjectival forms are not found in locative
cases, unless they stand alone as nominal adjectives. See section 4.2.1 for a
complete description of declensions.
!
5.7 Formation of Verbal Forms from Non-Derived Adjectival Forms
Verbal forms can be regularly derived from non-derived adjectival forms. Adjectival
forms in -la and -on which have the stressed vowel -o- and -u- often see it become -yin the verbal form (including -au- changing to -ay- or -ey-):
!
!

tuvala ! !
moron ! !

heavy! !
thick! !

!
!

tymmi
myhmi

Other types of adjectives are usually not found in their verbal form, and no special
derivation strategies exist for them. It can be impossible to tell what corresponding
192

adjectival form a verbal form may have. It is thus preferable to learn the adjectival
form first.

adjectival

verbal

example
atana big atahmi X is big/pregnant
opona alive opohmi X is (still) alive

-na/-no

-r(-h- before -m-)

heona weak heohmi X is (feeling)


weak
sarana narrow sarahmi it is/becomes
narrow

-la

-- (+ fronting of
-o/u- to -y-)

tuvala heavy tymmi X is heavy


oala wide mmi X is/becomes wide
horiot tender horimi X is tender/sore
aipiot enormous aipimi X is bloated,
very full

-ot

-i-/--

galmot soft, pregnant (with eggs)


galmimi X carrying eggs
holot thin holmi X is malnourished/
sickly
sogon dry simi X is dry

-on

-- (+ fronting of
-o/u- to -y-)

tauson rigid taysima X has muscle


aches/sore muscles
umeskon depressed ymeskima X is
depressed
min stiff mmi X is stiff, reluctant

-in

--

laipin bitter laibmi X is/feels resentful


siehhin long siehmi it is long/elongated
aye shrill aymi X shudders/is
disgusted

-e/-ve

-- (+
gemination of
consonant if
193

adjectival

verbal

example

-e/-ve

-- (+
gemination of
consonant if
possible)

sehhe fervent sehmi X is sexually


aroused/horny
kokve light kokmi X is relieved
osve sour osmi X has heartburn/X feels
guilty
keheppo sulky kehebmi X is sulky
rarpo mad rarpima X is mad/furious

-(p)po

-(p)p-

daippo damp daibmi X is (very) sweaty


(from work)
loippo flat loibmi it is flat
holpo dull holpima X is bored
sipohi confused sipobmi X is confused

-hi

-h- ( or -bbefore -m-)

hihi slanted hibmi it is slanted/there is


a slope or X is leaning towards/favorable
to
mohi slippery, elusive, evasive mobmi
X cannot understand/wrap ones head
around

5.8 Degrees of Comparison


5.8.1 Comparative
Adjectival forms can be found in the comparative. The comparative is regularly
formed by applying vowel polarization to vowel-final adjectives and adding the
ending -ta. Adjectives ending in -na, -la, -e/-ve and -i/hi have respectively -nta, -lta,
-a and -tta, unless their adjectival endings form a consonant cluster, in which case
polarization is used.
!
Adjectives ending in -on, -in and -ot have respectively -onta (or -ta/-dda), inta and -oa. All comparative adjectives have the genitive form -tanna in the east
and -tammo in the west. Note that adjectives in -Cve may also have the form -Cotta in
the comparative, not -Cvuta.

194

adjectival form

comparative

comparative genitive

garike
boyish

garikota
more boyish

garikotanna /
garikotammo

somuka
manly

somukita
more manly

somukitanna /
somukitammo

taintsi
numerous

taintsuta
more numerous

taitsutanna /
taintsutammo

irela
beautiful

irelta
more beautiful

ireltanna / ireltammo

atana
big

atanta
bigger

atantanna / atantammo

daie
moist

daia
moister

daianna / daiamo

kokve
light

kokvuta / kokotta
lighter

kokvutanna /
kokvutammo
kokottanna / kokottammo

sehi
thin

setta
thinner

settanna / settammo

sogon
dry

sogonta / sogta /
sogdda
drier

sogontanna /
sogontammo
sogtanna / sogtammo
sogddanna /
sogddammo

siehhin
long

siehhinta
longer

siehhintanna /
siehhintammo

galmot
soft

galmoa
softer

galmoanna /
galmoammo

A few adjectives have an irregular comparative form. These include:


adjectival form

comparative

comparative genitive

sara
good

sohta / saista / sairta


better

sohtanna / sohtammo
saistanna / saistammo
sairtanna / sairtammo

195

adjectival form

comparative

comparative genitive

seba
bad

seutta / stta / baitta


worse

seuttanna / seuttammo
sttanna / sttammo
baittanna / baittammo

To compare something to another, Siwa uses two constructions; the most common
one is X savi Y or X-er than Y, and the more uncommon construction is Y.ELATIVE X,
e.g.

%
!
%

atantua to sira-t savi hait


[tantua t sir svi ha]

atan-ta-a to- sira-t savi hait-


big-COMP-COP.ASS 3P.ANI.SG.AGT fish-AGTDET.PROXI than that.MEDI-AGT

this fish is bigger than that one

%
!
%

haittaika atantua to sira-t


[hatiga tantua t sir]

hait=ta-ika atan-ta-a to sira-t


that.MEDI-ELAT big-COMP-COP.ASS 3P.ANI.SG.AGT fish-AGTDET.PROXI

this fish is bigger than that one

To make a negative comparative, such as in English less X, Siwa generally simply


uses the word onna (short form of ondanna less GEN.) before the word. However, in
more elevated language, one might replace the comparative ending -ta by -tonda
(GEN. -tondat~-tondatta), e.g. onna taintsi less numerous or taintsutonda (GEN.
taintsutondat). In negative comparative constructions, onna does not decline:
!
%
!

tshmoibma onna kuohhidnamo


tshmoibma kuohhidnitondat
to a less noisy spot (cf. kuohhidna noisy)

5.8.1.1 Comparative constructions


The comparative is used in a few special constructions involving verbs or adjectival
phrases. There are four such constructions:
!
!
VERB!
teu--uita-
!
VERB ! tsav--uita-
!
teu-NOUN
!
tsav-NOUN!
!

196

The form teu--uita- (where -uita- is in fact a form of the past patientive participle in
-u, and teu- is from tevu before) is commonly used in phrases equivalent to English
more than ever before and is added onto verbs (teu-VERB-uita-PRONOUN). The prefix
teu- usually changes to tem- before vowels (like keu- and kem- with).
!
!
!

mami teumuitami !
!
negami teuneguitami !!
ekkimi teuekkuitami !!

I ate more than I ever ate before


I saw more than I ever saw before
I ran more than I ever ran before

This construction is quite common in Siwa and may also simply be understood to be
very emphatic. A similar construction involves adding teu- to the comparative form of
the adjective to mean more X than ever:
!
!
!

temirelta !
teusetta !
teukvolda !

!
!
!

!
!
!

more beautiful than ever


thinner than ever
bigger than ever

Parallel to these two constructions is tsav--uita- (or tsaC-, where -C is a


geminated consonant), having the meaning of as VERB as possible.
!
!
!

mami tsammuitami ! !
negami tsanneguitami !
ekkimi tsagekkuitami !

I ate as much as I could eat


!
I saw as much as I could saw
!
I ran as much as I could run

A similar construction involves adding tsav- to the comparative form of the adjective
to mean as X as ever/possible or very/extremely/so/typically. A few adverbs can be
found ending in -(n)tsavven as an intensifier.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

tsavirelta !
!
tsassehi !
!
tsakkolla !
!
tsavatanta1'
'
tsassiikita%
%
hymmintsavven'
kisintsavven' '

as beautiful as ever, ever so beautiful


as thin as possible
as much as possible
as big as possible, ever so big, enormous
purely/typically Siwa
completely quietly
very quickly

5.8.2 Superlative
Adjectival forms can be found in the superlative. The superlative is regularly formed
by applying vowel polarization to vowel-final adjectives and adding the ending -ila or
-ela after -i. Adjectives ending in -a polarize to -e. Adjectives in -Ce or -Cve get -Cla,
and those in -in, -on and -ot respectively change to -illa, -olla and -olla. The genitive
form of the superlative is -Vlda.

1 Some dialects even have tsavatantsavven unbelievably, incredibly, very.

197

adjectival form

superlative

superlative genitive

garike
boyish

garikoila
most boyish

garikoilda

somuka
manly

somukeila
most manly

somukeilda

taintsi
numerous

taintsuila
most numerous

taintsuilda

irela
beautiful

ireleila
most beautiful

ireleilda

atana
big

ataneila
biggest

ataneilda

daie
moist

daioila
moistest

daioilda

kokve
light

kokla
lightest

kokkulda

sehi
thin

sehuila
thinnest

sehuilda

sogon
dry

sogolla
driest

sogolda

siehhin
long

siehhilla
longest

siehhilda

galmot
soft

galmolla
softest

galmolda

A few adjectives have an irregular comparative form. These include:


adjectival form

superlative

superlative genitive

sara
good

saisla~saihla~sohla
best

saisilda~saitsilda~sairilda
~sorulda

198

adjectival form

superlative

superlative genitive

seba
bad

baidla
worse

bailda

!
To make a superlative comparison, one can use the construction t of anything
(inani.), mu of anyone (ani.), ebu of all (out of many) and oi or ou~uu
of everyone (out of all.).
%
!
%

oi ataneilua to sira-t
[:i tneilua t sir]

oi atan<e>-ila-a me sira-t
all-GEN big-SUPER-COP.ASS 3P.ANI.SG.AGT fish-AGTDET.PROXI

this fish is the biggest one of all

!
!
%

eb ataneilua tsato sira-t


[p tneilua tst sir]

!
!

eb- atan<e>-ila-a tsa-to sira-t


all.OUT.OF.MANY-GEN big-SUPER-COP.ASS OF.MANY.3P.ANI.SG.AGT fish-AGTDET.PROXI

this fish is the biggest one of all (of/in a known group of fish)

These words can also be found as the prefix ro- (rob-/rom- before vowels) with
certain adjectival forms, the meaning the very X-est, e.g.
!
!
!
!

romestot%
robireleila !
romataneila !

%
!
!

%
!
!

the very first


the very beautifulest
the very biggest

To make a negative superlative, such as in English least X, Siwa generally simply


uses the word volda/lda (cf. olla least) before the adjective. However, in more
elevated language, one might replace the superlative ending -(i/e)la by -(i/e)lolla (GEN.
-(i/e)luhla), e.g.:
!
!
!

lda taintsi ! !
!
least numerous
or
taintsuilolla (GEN. taintsuiluhla)! least numerous

199

5.8.3 Equative
Siwa does not have a specific marking for equative comparisons, i.e. X is as Y as Z.
Instead, it uses various constructions. The most common of them are tavvi X te Y, or
alternatively totta X te Y. Another way to show that two adjectives are equal is to
place the compared item in the elative followed by either tavvi or totta, i.e. Y.ELATIVE
tavvi/totta Y.
%
!
%

tavvi/totta atanua to sira-t te hait


[tw:i/tta tnua t sir de ha]

tavvi/totta atana-a to sira-t te hait-


as big-COP.ASS 3P.ANI.SG.AGT fish-AGTDET.PROXI and that.MEDI.AGT

this fish is as big as that one

'
%
%

haittaika tavvi/totta atanua to sira-t


[hatga tw:i/tta tnua t sir]

hait=ta-ka tavvi/totta atana-a to sira-t


that.MEDI-ELAT big-COMP-COP.ASS 3P.ANI.SG.AG fish-AGTDET.PROXI

this fish is as big as that one


!
This same construction can see the word te combined with other words, most
commonly tavvi/totta X site Y Y as much as X;
!

%
!
%
!
!

tavvi ohhuata site holpua


[tw:i oh:juda side hlpua]
tavvi ohho-a-ta site holpo-a
as strong-COP.ASS-3P.AG.SG by.as stupid-COP.ASS

X is as strong as X is dumb

!
5.8.4 Comparative and Superlative of Non-Adjectives
Like adjectives, participles and postpositions as well as adverbs can be found in the
comparative and superlative. However, neither the comparative nor the superlative
cause polarization to participles, postpositions/adverbs or subject predicative
adjectives. Instead, they coalesce much like the u- of the passive. Because
postpositions and adverbs show a wide range of endings, it is worth pointing out that
the comparative and superlative endings -ita and -ila coalesce with the final vowel of
the word as if they were their geminate forms (see 3.1.5.1), or:
!
-i
-a

-gi

-o

-obi

-u

-ubi

200

-e

-egi

-i

-igi / -iddi

-y

-ybi

-bi

Patientive participles:
%
-u + ita %%
%
-u + ila %%

%
%

!
!
%
!

desired!
eaten! !
famous!
respected!

angitu' '
mu !
!
sodlu !!
metu ! !

-ubita
-ubila

Active participles:
%
-o + ita %%
%
-o + ila %%

!
!

%
!
%

koahlimo %
maivvimo!
inimo% !

noisy! !
smiling!!
sneaky!!

%
%

-i + ita % %
-i + ila % %

%
%

%
!
%

rodlimi% %
belmimi''
koahlimi!

adorned!
working!
noisy! !

%
%

-e + ita %%
-e + ila %%

%
%

%
!
!

time% %
gakvame'

victorious!
friendly!

!
!
!
!

angitubila !
mubita' '
sodlubila'
metubila'

most desired
more eaten
most famous
most respected

!
!
!

koahlimobita'
maivvimobila'
inimobila'

noisier
most smiling
most sneaky

!
!
!

rodlimiddila'
most adorn
belmimiddita' more working
koahlimiddila' most noisy

!
!

timegila'
most victorious
gakvamegita' friendlier

-obita
-obila

-iddita
-iddila

-egita
-egila

Locative postpositions or subject predicative:


%
-a + ita %%
%
-gita or -amda
%
-a + ila %%
%
-gila or -amla

201

The -amda and -amla forms are more common with subject predicatives. Some
dialects use -ta and -la instead.
%
!
!
!
!
!
!
%
!
!
!

henda%
tvunda%
kihta%
tata%
kata%
l%
ra%
suta%
loalta'
siseita'
!

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
'
'
!

up!
!
down! !
over! !
inside! !
outside!
in front!!
near! !
far!
!
behind!!
(grow) tall!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

hendgita'
tvundgita'
kihtgita'
tatgila'
katgila'
lgila' '
rgila%'
sutgita'
loaltgila'
siseitgita'
siseitamda'

higher up
further down
higher over
innermost
outermost
foremost
nearest
farther
from farthest back
(grow) taller
id.

5.9 Compound Adjectives


Adjectives can be compounded with a noun, verb or an other adjective. Generally,
the compound will have the adjective first, then the noun/verb/other, followed by an
adjectival formant (most commonly -ha/-ho or -bmot). Some compound adjectives will
lose their derivative and non-derivative endings, especially -na, -la (-on, -ot and -in
lose their final consonant), -ha/-ho, -hma and sometimes -ka/-ko. Most other endings
and usually all derivative endings causing vowel lengthening remain. The vowel of
the last constituent of the compound is polarized before adding the adjective marker.
Nouns are generally polarized when they are the first part of the compound. When
endings are added to verb, the typical vowel marker (-a for transitive, -i for intransitive
and -u for translative) are generally reduced to their shortened form, respectively -o/, -a/- and -a/-o/-y.
ADJECTIVE + NOUN%

most commonly -ha

siehhin long + hide hair!


!
!
huvvuhma cool + kemi morning!
!
ieppi sticky + tiemo hand!
!
!
deusa flexible + gama character!

siehhihidoha !

huvvukemua ! cool-morninged

ieppitiekiha !

deusagamiha !flexible-minded

liha sweaty + liello palm!


!
ohho strong + thma heart!
!
taa much + myry fly ! !
!

lilielliha !

ohhothmiha ! strong-hearted

taamyroiha !

202

long haired

sticky-handed

sweaty-palmed

with a lot of flies

hppokelbiha ! broad-shouldered

%
%
!
kisina quick + nupu X gets angry!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!

kisinupubmot% quick-tempered
!
!
(quick-angry)

atana big + erri X works!


!
!
!
!
!
nin self + ti X stands! !
!
taa much + ahma X wants Y!
!
mybi silent + d X steps!
!
kalve tight + geiga X shares!

!
!

!
!

ata-erribmot !
!
!

hard-working
(lit. big-working)

nintbmot !

independent

taa-ahmabmot %greedy

mybidibmot !

kalvegeigabmot cheap

onikeltuha !

npi dwarf birch + tsamma forest!

nputsammiha ! birch-forested

sivi honey + tabbi kidney!


!
!
!
!

sivutabbubmi ! nice, goodhearted


!
!
pure/innocent

salama antlers + koahi is enough!


!
!
!
!
!

salekoahibmis ! which has enough


!
!
heads (of a herd)

kehhe birch bark + koka X weaves!


!
!
!
!
!

kehhokokabmot birch bark


!
!
weaving

hppo broad + kelba shoulders!


!

ADJECTIVE + VERB!

most commonly -bmot

sneaky, stealthy

NOUN + NOUN

ono lichen + kelta ground!

!
!

lichen-bottomed

NOUN + VERB

5.10 Nominalization of Adjectives


Adjectives can be nominalized (made into nouns). The derivation process depends
on the ending of the adjectival form. The general rule, however, is that the last vowel
of the word is polarized and lengthened (by adding ) or followed by -l (in the east).
The result is a noun with a genitive in either (a o u)-ri or (e i y )-la, depending on the
vowel:

203

!
!

somuka !
somuk !

masculine!
mascuilinity (GEN. somukeri)

!
!

atana%
at%

!
!

big!
size (GEN. ateri)

!
!

k !
k%

new!
newness, novelty (GEN. kula)

Note that the vowel -a- is always polarized to -e-, not -i-, in this case.
adjectival

adverbal

example

-na

polarization +
lengthening of final
vowel

atana big at size

-la

polarization +
lengthening of final
vowel

tuvala heavy tuv


weight

-ot

horiot tender hor


tenderness

-on

sogon dry sog


dryness

-in

min stiff m
stiffness

-e/-ve

-(v/)

ilve pungent il
pungency

-(p)po

-(p)p

keheppo sulky
kehepp sulkiness

-hi

-h

sipohi confused
sipoh confusion

-ra

-r

kilura wooden kilur


woodenness

-ka/-ko

-k/-k

somuka masculine
somuk masculinity

-na/-no

-n/-n

ainno courageous
ainn courageousness

204

adjectival

adverbal

example

-ha/-ho

-h/-h

liha sweaty lih


sweatiness

-V
-m- + -V

polarization +
lengthening of final
vowel

longiu icy longi


iciness

-bmot

-m

pittabmot attentive
pittam attentiveness

-bmis

-m

koahibmis sufficient
koahim sufficiency

-mma or -ppa

-mm / -pp

kuomimma someone
from Kuomin
kuomimm Kuominness.

-tse

-ts

uitse aquatic uits


aquaticness

-us(e)

-us

keltaus terrestrial
keltaus terrestriality

-nihta

-niht

konihta one summer


long/old koniht one
summer length/age

-dna

-dn

kiludna woody kiludn


woodiness

-len

-l

tulvulen lacking in
nutrients tulvul lack
of nutrients

-ke

-k

garike boyish garik


boyishness

-lu

-l

boahlu daily boahl


dailiness

-(s)i

-(s)

taintsi numerous
taints numerousness

205

adjectival

adverbal

example

-(s)a

-(s)

deusa flexible
deus flexibility

-bmi

-bm

soakubmi cozy
soakubm coziness

-hma or -htsa

-hm / -hts

huvvuhma cool
huvvuhm coolness

-ppa/-ppi

-pp / -pp

ieppi sticky iepp


stickiness

5.11 Non-Numeral Quantifiers


Non-numeral quantifiers are words like much, little, few. They have two functions in
Siwa. They can be used adverbially (in the genitive) or as adjectives:
!
!
kolla omi!
a lot of snow! (adjective)
%
komma hee! very cold!
(adverb)
Unlike true attributive adjectives, which always follow their head noun, non-numeral
quantifiers usually precede their head noun. In most respects however, they behave
like adjectives, in that they cannot take locative case markings when attributive:
!
!

komma kkia! !
tammi soakkika! !

in a lot of snow
from many houses

Non-numeral quantifiers may not be used adverbially with intransitive verbs (see
6.3).
!
Non-numeral quantifiers have three forms:
!
ADJ!
quantifier:!
!
!
kolla b%!
a lot of food
!
+GEN!
adjectival quantifying adverb:! komma sara! very good
!
-en/-il!
verbal quantifying adverb:!
kommen sihmi% it is raining a lot
Non-numeral quantifiers do not show pluralization, but the head noun may do so. The
most common non-numeral quantifiers are:

206

taa !

(GEN. taba~tava~tova) ! much (uncountable)

%
%
%

ma iohha taa omi


[ma ih:ja tja mi]

m-a iohh=a ta-a omi-


COP.PAST.INCONCL-ASS there.DIST much-AGT snow-AGT

there was much/a lot of snow there

%
!
%

negami taba kko


[negmi tba k]

n<eg>-a-mi ta-ba om-ko


see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG much-GEN snow-GEN

I saw much/a lot of snow

tama ! (GEN. tammi) !


!
%
%

many (countable)

ma soakkia tama tegma/tegmua


[ma sacia tma m:a/m:ua]

m-a soak-k=ia ta-ma tegma-/tegma--a


COP.PAST.INCONCL.ASS house-INESS many-AGT child-AGT/child-AGT-PL

there were many children in the house

!
%
%

negami tammi tegmari


[negmi tm:i m:ri]

n<eg>-a-mi ta-mmi tegma-ri


see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG many-GEN child-GEN

I saw many/a lot of children

euma ! (GEN. eukka1) !


%
%
%

little, few (uncountable)

da todattaima-ha euma hirigi


[da tdatimaw euma hiriji]

d-a to<datta>=imaho euma- hi-ri-gi


COP.ASS.CONCL head-ADESSPOSS.3P.SG.ANI little-AGT hair-AGT-PL

there are few hairs on Xs head

!
%
%

nka tavvi eukka site lmolkei


[i:ka tw:i ka siha i:lmlcei]

nk-a- tavvi eu-kka site l-molk-e-i-


know.how-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AGT.SG as little-GEN by.as accomplish-INFER.CONCL.TR-!HABI-3P.AGT.SG

one will accomplish as little as one knows

The forms kka and kk are also common for the genitive of euma.

207

eura ! (GEN. eumo 1) !


!
%
%

few (countable)

tavvi kisil ei eura somi


[tw:i cisl je:i eura smi]

tavvi kisi-il e-i eura- somi-


as quick-ADV run-ASS.CONCL.ITR few-AGT man-AGT

few a man runs as quickly

%
%
%

nuhlami eumo skko tavvi kisil eotiimo


[nhlmi eum sk tw:i cisl je:iim]

!
!

n<uhl>-a-mi eu-mo som-ko tavvi kisi-il e-ot-i-i-m-o


see.PERF-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG few-GEN man-GEN as quick-ADV run-COMPLE-ITR-!
HABIL-INCONCL-AGT.PART.AGT

Ive seen few a man able to run as quickly

kolla ! (GEN. komma) ! much, a lot


'
!
%

kolla hama sara


[kl:a hma sra]

kolla- h-a-m-a sara-


much-AGT eat-TR-INCONCL-AGT.PART.UNAG.AG good-AGT

eating much is good (saying)

%
%

komma irela
[km:a irela]

%
!

ko=mma irela-
much-GEN beautiful-AGT

very beautiful

ms !

(GEN. mhhi or mhko) slight

%
%
%

mhhi sogon
[m:h:i sj:n]

m-hhi sogon-
slight-GEN dry-AGT

slightly dry

%
%

nami mhhi oummia


[nmi m:h:i um:ia]

%
!

n-a-mi m-hhi=i ou<mm>a


COP.INCONCL.ASS-1P.AG.SG slight-GEN hook-INESS

I have a slight problem (lit. Im in a slight hook)

Similarly, eura also has the genitive forms mmo and mm.

208

ten or tuon (GEN. tes or tuonta) little


'
%
%
!
!

tes istaki
[x:s sti]
te-s i-s<>t-a-ki-
little-GEN ASS.PART DIT-give.PAST-ASS.TR-1P.RECI.SG-3P.AG.SG

X gave me a little

edlen ! (GEN. edles) !


%
%
%

quite

edles atana
[ets tna]

edle-s atana-
quite-GEN big-AGT

quite big

seppi ! (GEN. seppen) very, exceedingly, quite (the)


!
'
%

seppi sira
[spi sira]

seppi- sira-
quite-AGT fish-AGT

quite the fish

!
'
%

sira seppen atana


[sira spn tna]

sira- sepp-en atana-


fish-AGT quite-GEN big-AGT

quite a big fish

koahi ! (GEN. koakka) !


!
%
%

enough, well

negami koahi
[negmi ki]

n<eg>-a-mi koahi-
see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG enough-DAT

I saw enough

'
%
%

koakka negami
[kaka negmi]

koa-kka n<eg>-a-mi
enough-GEN see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG

I saw enough
209

!
%
%

koakka atana
[kaka tna]

koa-kka atana-
enough-GEN big-AGT

big enough

kekki ! (GEN. kekken)!


!
'
%
!
!

too

kekken atana
[ccn tna]
kekk-en atana-
too-GEN big-AGT

too big

5.11.1 Comparative and Superlative


Non-numeral quantifiers have comparative and superlative forms that are irregularly
derived. Note that ten/tuon and ms have a common comparative and
superlative form.

quantifier

comparative

superlative

taa
much

tata (GEN. tadna/tabmo)


more

talla (GEN. tahla)


most

tama
many

tonda (GEN. tondanna/


tondammo)
more

tabba (GEN. tahpa)


most

euma
little

onda (GEN. ondanna/


ondammo)
less

olla (GEN. uhla)


less

eura
few

ohta (GEN. ohtanna/


ohtammo)
fewer

olra (GEN. ouhra)


fewest

kolla
much, a lot

kvolda (GEN. kvoldanna/


kvoldammo)
more

kvobba (GEN. kvohpa or


kvolra )
most

210

quantifier
ms
slight
ten / tuon
slight, little
koahi
well, enough

comparative

superlative

miudna (GEN. miudnanna/


miudnammo)
a little less

miudla (GEN. miuhla)


least

koatta (GEN. koattanna/


koattammo)
better, more enough

kodla (GEN. kuhla)


best, most enough

The form koatta is generally only found in comparisons and usually means even
more, while kodla similarly is usually translated as the very most.
!
%
%
%
!
!

negami on koahi, nega ka koatta ataka te nega taga kodla kmaka


[negmi ki negaka kata tga de negadga kta c:mga]
n<eg>-a-mi on koahi-, n<eg>-a ka koa-tta ata--ka te n<eg>-a taga kodla- kma--ka
see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG ON enough-DAT see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR KA enough-COMP fatherAG-1P.PAT.SG and see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR TAGA enough-SUP paternal.grandfather-AG-1P.PAT.SG

while I saw enough/a lot, my father saw even more and my grandfather saw
the most

211

6 Adverbs
Adverbs in Siwa can be found with various endings. They can be formed from
preexisting stems or words, most commonly adjectives, verbs and least commonly
nouns. The main marker for adverbs of manner is -en or -il, with variation in surface
form. Other types of adverb include spacial/directional adverbs, temporal adverbs,
quantitative adverbs as well as other types.
!
Adverbs come before the adjective or verb they describe. Adverbial phrases
have the same order as nominal phrases, but the adverbs always come last.
%
'

nuhhi koba nbma oakima tuvavven aiteilotima


[uh:i kbani:pma ima tuvw:n ideilima]

%
%
!

nuhhi- ko-ba nbma oaki=ma tuva-vven aiteil-ot-i-m-a


old.woman-AGT summer-GEN over home-ADESS heavy-ADV be.severely.sick-COMPLE-ITRINCONCL-ACT.PART.UNAG

the old woman (who has been) at home heavily sick over the summer

6.1 Adverbial Form of Adjectives


All adjectival forms can be turned into adverbs. The process is regular for adjectives
of the types described above. The basic adverbial marker is -en or in certain cases
and widely in eastern dialects, -il (variants: -el, -ilda, -elda, -ir, -is) which may polarize
the preceding vowel. Certain adjective endings are deleted completely before -il.
Below is a table illustrating the most common adjectival endings and their
corresponding adverbial forms. Both -il and -en forms are equally common, though -il
forms may be considered to belong to a higher language register. Adjectives in -e/u/-i lack -il endings
!
Certain adjectives can be used as adverbs by using locative endings directly
onto the stem without using the marked form:
!
!

khloita !
khlokita !

high (to grow high)


to the high one (see 5.3.2).

adjectival

adverbal

example

-na

-i or -il

atana big atai largely

-la

-v(v)en

tuvala heavy
tuvavven heavily

-ot/-ut

-en / -(V)en or -il

horiot tender horien/


horil tenderly

-on

-en or -il

sogon dry sogen/


sogil dryly

212

adjectival

adverbal

example

-in

-en or -il

olmin stiff olmen/olmil


stiffly

-e/-ve

-ven/en
or
-l

ilve pungent ilen/


ill pungently

-(p)po

-(p)pen

keheppo sulky
keheppen sullenly

-hi

-hen

sipohi confused
sipohen confusedly

-ra

-ren or -il

kilura wooden kiluren/


kiluril woodenly

-ka/-ko

-ken or -kil

somuka masculine
somuken/somukil
masculinely

-na/-no

-nen or -gil / -il

ainno courageous
ainnen/aigil
courageously

-ha/-ho

-hen or -gil

liha sweaty lihen/


ligil sweatily

-V
-m- + -V

(BV)-vven or -gil

longiu icy longiuvven/


longiugil icily

-bmot

-mmen or -mmil

pittabmot attentive
pittammen/pittammil
attentively

-bmis

-mmen or -mmil

koahibmis sufficient
koahimmen/koahimmil
sufficiently

-mma or -ppa

-mmem / -ppen
or
-mmil / -ppil

kuomimma someone
from Kuomin
kuomimmen in the way
of someone from K.

-tse

-tsven

uitse aquatic uitsven


aquatically

213

adjectival

adverbal

example

-us(e)

-usven

keltaus terrestrial
keltausven terrestrially

-nihta

-nihten

konihta one summer


long/old konihten in
the way of someone
which is one summer
long/old

-dna

-dnen or -dnil

kiludna woody
kiludnen/kiludnil woodily

-len

-lenen or -lil

tulvulen lacking in
nutrients tulvulenen/
tulvulil in a way lacking
nutrients

-ke

-kven

garike boyish
garikven boyishly

-lu

-len

boahlu daily boahlen


daily

-(s)i

-(s)en

taintsi numerous
taintsen numerously

-(s)a

-(s)en or -(s)il

deusa flexible
deusen/deusil flexibly

-bmi

-mmen

soakubmi cozy
soakummen cozily

-hma or -htsa

-hmen / -htsen
or
-hmil / -htsil

huvvuhma cool
huvvuhmen/huvvuhmil
coolly

-ppa/-ppi

-ppen or -ppil

ieppi sticky ieppen/


ieppil stickily

Adjectives which do not fit the types above usually simply get -en, which deletes any
final vowel. Consonant-Final adjectives simply get -i(l).
!
!
!

mybi ! silent! !
ymy ! horrible!
ai !
clear! !

!
!
!

myben !!
ymen ! !
aen ! !
214

silently
horribly
clearly

!
!

hee ! cold! !
giges ! sharp! !

!
!

heen ! !
gigesil !!

coldly
sharply

Adjectives ending in -t (other than -ot) or ending in -dno/-dna have the adverbial form
-ddil/-dden.
!
!
!
!

nut !
neidno
rkt !
!

wet! !
!
!wise! !
!
related, similar!!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!

nudden/nuddil !
neidden/neiddil !!
rkdden/rkddil !
!
!
!

wetly
wisely
relatedly,
similarly

Note that adjectives of the subtype -nna have -gil/-gen.


!
!
!

voanna !
hanna ! !
hnna !!

strange!
pretty! !
careful!!

%
!
!

voagen/voagil ! !
hagen/hagil ! !
hgen/hgil ! !

strangely
nicely
carefully

The adverbial form of adjectives is regularly used with certain verb of seeming,
looking or otherwise feeling X. They are particularly prone to having -il instead of -en;
e.g.
!
!
!
!

gosil mageki ' '


hagil sageki'
'
kiludnil hheni ' '

I seem tired (lit. I seem tiredly)


you look/seem pretty (lit. you seem nicely)
X smells like wood (lit. X smells woodenly)

6.2 Adverbial Form of Verbs


6.2.1 Participial Adverbs
Participial adverbs can be regularly formed from verbs. Their ending is - (or - after
vowels). Their negative counter part is -edd. This type of adverb is usually derived
from intransitive verbs and corresponds to the function of adverbial gerunds (such as
those ending in -ingly in English). These participial adverbs are synonymous to
constructions with mi/avvi.
!
!
!
!
!

geki !
heoli !
ivi !
lialsei !
rada '

X will seem!
!
X will shiver! !
X will increase! !
X will drift!
!
X will cease Y! !

!
%
%

kmesil gek pendi


[cmesl ek pnii]

%
%
%
%

kmes-il gek- pe<nd>-i-

215

gek ! !
heol ! !
ivi ! !
lialse !
radedd '

seemingly
shivering(ly)
increasingly
adrift
inceasingly

happy-ADV seem-ADV arrive.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG

!
!

X arrived seemingly happy


(same as kmesil geki avvi a pendi)

!
%
%

ivi tsep
[ivi tsepu:]

ivi- tsepu-u
increase-ADV CLEAR.OF.SNOW-COP.ASS.TRANSL

it is becoming increasingly snowless

!
%
%

alahrakima lialse suddu holokkes


[lahrima lalse su:u hlcs]

alahra-k=ima lialse- su<dd>-u holokke-s


floating.log-ADESS drift-ADV move.away.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL dragonfly-PAT

the dragonfly was moving away adrift a floating log

6.2.2 Verbal Adverbs


A second class of adverbs formed from verbs can be found in Siwa called verbal
adverbs. They can be formed from both agentive and patientive participles. Such
adverbs are descriptive of the way with or by which the action is realized (by VERBing). Endings are valency dependent, having three forms.

!
!
!

-ren1! or -enra!
-osen! or -esa!
-edlen! or -elra!

!
!
!

transitive!
intransitive!
translative!

!
!

blka ! X will preserve Y!


hea ! X will feed Y! !

%
%

blkren !
heren !

by preserving
by feeding

!
!

airi ! X will row!


!
kisili ! X will work fast!!

%
%

airosen%
kisilosen !

by rowing
by working fast

!
!
%

tatoairu !
tsadlu% !

%
%

toairedlen%
sadledlen !

by rotting
by burning

%
%
%

kieskren kesao
[cskrn cesj]

X will rot!
X will burn!

kiesk-ren kes-a--o
watch-ADV.TR learn-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-4.AG

one learns by watching

The form -r is also found instead.

216

!
!
!

!
%
%

sihhuita tvtsti tsiaui soprren euka tsiandi skigi


[sih:juida tvtst:i tsxiu:i spxrn euga tsxani i:sciji]

sihhu-ita tvd=tsi tsiau-i sopr-ren euk-a tsiam-di ski--gi


length-ILLAT down=along cedar.wood-GEN split-ADV.TR produce-ASS.CONCL.TR cedar.strip-GEN
woman-AGT-PL

!
!

by splitting cedar wood down along its length, the women produce tsiame
(cedar strips for weaving)

Patientive participles derive their adverbial form by changing -u to -ubil or -uvven.


!
!

aygubil~ayguvven lolnoskui lppi


the hare escaped wounded (lit. woundedly)

6.3 Adverbial Form of Non-Numeral Quantifiers


A number of non-numeral quantifiers have special adverbial forms. These forms are
used to qualify verbs.1

quantifier

adverbial form
tagen or tagil
much

taa
much

tagil koki
[tj:l kci]
ta=gil k<ok>-i-
much-ADV speak.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG

X spoke a lot
eukken~kken or eukkil or kli
a little

euma
little

eukken huhri gatta


[cn hhri gata]
eu=kken hu<hr>-i ga-tta
little-ADV shine.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR moon-PAT

the moon shone a little

1 t~tu is found parallel to miullen~miullil in lower registers.

217

quantifier

adverbial form
kommen or kommil
much, a lot

kolla
much, a lot

kommen sihhi
[km:n sih:i]
ko=men sihh-i
much-ADV rain-ASS.CONCL.ITR

it is about to rain a lot

ms
slight
ten / tuon
slight, little

miullen, miullil, tut, toa


a little
miullil suimi
[miul:l suimi]
miullil s<u>-i-mi
little-ADV understand.PAST-1P.AG.SG

I understood a little
koakken~kvakken or koakkil
well, enough
koahi
well, enough

koakkil mhkehi
[kacl mi:hcehi]
koa=kkil mhkeh-i
well-ADV be.frosty-ASS.CONCL.ITR

it is quite/well frosty (enough)

6.4 Comparative and Superlative


Like adjectives, adverbs may be found in the comparative or the superlative. These
are very regularly formed from their regular adverbial forms by adding -ne for the
comparative and -oba for the superlative:
adverb

comparative (-ne)

superlative (-oba)

aigil
courageously

agine
more courageously

aigioba
most courageously

tuvavven
heavily

tuvavvine
more heavily

tuvavvioba
most heavily

mrail
with difficulty

mraine
with more difficulty

mraioba / mraoba
with most difficulty

218

adverb

comparative (-ne)

superlative (-oba)

neiddil
wisely

neiddine
more wisely

neiddioba
most wisely

Adverbs derived from verbs through - have the comparative -dne and the
superlative -ba.
adverb

comparative

superlative

bes
peacefully

besdne
more peacefully

besba
most peacefully

el
growingly

eldna
more growingly

elba
most growingly

gek
seemingly

gekdne
more seemingly

gekba
most seemingly

!
Irregular adverbial comparatives and superlatives include (excluding adverbs formed
from the irregular genitive of comparative/superlative adverbs);
adverb

comparative

superlative

salla
well

sahne
better

sagoba / saiba
best

sppi
badly

sdne
worse

siba
worst

Adverbial non-numeric quantifiers are also irregular:


quantifier

comparative

superlative

tagen or tagil
much

tainne
more

taiba
most

eukken~kken or
eukkil~kli
little

kne
less

ihba
least

219

quantifier

comparative

superlative

kommen or kommil
much, a lot

kelme / komne
more

keilba / kuba
most

miullen or miullil
a little

mylne / mlne
a little less

mylba / mlba
least

koakken~kvakken or
koakkil
well, enough

koakne
better, more enough

koaiba
best, most enough

6.5 Locative Adverbs/Postpositions


Locative adverbs may stand on their own or follow a noun. In the latter case, the
adverbs function as/are considered postpositions, and thus follow the noun they
qualify, which is in either the locative for destinal adverbs (those which show a
movement to a destination) and in the genitive for directional adverbs (those which
show a movement to a general direction) and most other postpositions. Postpositions
follow a noun, but if a noun is qualified by an adjective or the noun phrase extends
after the noun, postpositions may intersect the noun phrase by coming directly after
the noun, or they may simply be found at the very end of longer noun phrases:
!
!
!
!
kvylhi sikven ilkadi gala'
with bright yellow little flowers
!
!
kvylhi gala sikven ilkadi'
id.
!
Below is a summary of the most common locative adverbs. Note that adverbs have a
nominal form, which may be used as a common noun then meaning the place X, or
may differ in meaning slightly from other similar forms of the adverb, e.g. katama
(nominal form) and kata are both translated as outside, but katama means
outdoors (i.e. no specific location, then functioning as an adverb) while kata means
outside (of something) and the nominal form in a locative case, e.g. katakkia in the
space outside of X. The nominal form can stand on its own as a noun or a
postposition, then meaning something like the place behind/above/etc., e.g., loalla
behind becomes soakka loalakia in the place behind the house.
!
Most special adverbs exist in three forms for direction to and from, as well as
a static form. The three forms are simple movement (to for direction to, and from for
direction from), an approximate movement (towards) and a movement along. Only
the adverbs up and down have a destinal forms. All other adverbs have one
general form (directional).
!
Postpositions are found after nouns in the genitive or a locative case, but
when a personal pronoun is found with a postposition, either the recipient personal
endings or the hyphened personal endings are found as clitics to the noun (see

220

9.3.2). Possessive personal pronouns are more complete, and for that reason
sometimes preferred over recipient personal endings.

SG.

1P.

recipient

possessive

ki

-go

PL. INCL

-ura
bi

PL. EXCL

-uri

SG.

s(i)

-so

PL.

hi

-i

2P.
SG. ANI

-ho

SG. INA

ti or tsi

-ha

3P.
PL.

-hi

OBV.

4P.

!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!

ltaki'
ltabi'
kikati'
rasi'

'
'
'
'

or!
or!
or!
or!

(i)

-hon

n(i)

-nen

!
!
!
!

lta-go' '
lta-uri' '
kika-hi' '
ra-so' '

to(wards) me
to(wards) us
over it/them
close to you

Poetic language and the more conservative dialects allow special postpositional
forms. These forms distinguish fewer persons, lacking a clear distinction between the
first and second person singular1, and having only one form for the third person (no
obviative or plural distinction). Postpositions ending in -a often combine with the i- of
these endings to simply form -e-.

!
!

1P.SG! !
1P.PL! !

-is/-i
-iu/-i

The lack of distinction between the first and second person is a typical trait of older or higher language
registers in Siwa.

221

!
!

2P.SG! !
2P.PL! !

-is
-i

3P.!

-id

4P.!

-in

!
!
'
!
!

ltais '
ltaiu%
kikai'
raid'
galain'

'
'
'
'
'

to(wards) me/you !
to(wards) us ! !
over you (pl) ! !
close to it/them!!
with oneself ! !

(also ltes)
(also lteu)
(also kike)
(also red)
(also galen)

The forms for the third and fourth person are more common in normal speech than
the other markers.
6.5.1 Cardinal Directions
Adverbs indicating cardinal directions in Siwa exist for 8 directions (all 4 main
directions and 4 compound directions). Adverbs of cardinal direction have special
compound forms used when the direction is integrated into another word. Like the
other spacial adverbs, cardinal directions are found in 8 other forms;
!
%
%
%
%
%

nominal !
!
static
movement to
movement towards
movement from
movement along

The dialects of the east have an additional form, the combination of the from form as
the stem and the ending -ri of the towards form, meaning then from roughly X.
Cardinal directions are fairly irregular in their patterns, especially in the formation of
the noun nominal and locative forms and the compound form.

222

noun

static

to

towards

along

from

north

sibema
(GEN.
sibekka)

biekkia

biehta

biehteri

benti

biehka

south

siseri
(GEN. sisehdi)

siehdia

siehta

siehteri

siehtsi

siehka

east

takna
(GEN.
takekka)

kkia

keuhta

keuhteri

keuhtsi

keuhka

west

tona
(GEN. tomma)

kia

hta

hteri

htsi

hka

northeast

benka
(GEN. benkari)

benkaa

benkaht
a

benkahte
ri

benkaht
si

benkahk
a

southeast

sehka
(GEN. sehkari)

sehkaa

sehkaht
a

sehkahter
i

sehkaht
si

sehkahk
a

northwest

bgi
(GEN. bima)

bimi

binda

binderi

bintsi

binka

southwest

siari
(GEN. siarid)

siara

siarata

siarateri

siaratsi

siaraka

The western dialects have - where other dialects have - for west.
!
The nominal form of cardinal directions are used quite a lot in daily life to
refer to various locations. Siwa speakers rely heavily on them for spacial orientation.
Most dialects use the sehka south-east to mean left and the siari south-west to
mean right unlike in western culture, Siwa people see the world as facing south,
from the north. Siseri south is thus often used to mean front/ahead or down, and
sibema north is used to mean back or behind/up. People on the eastern dialects
generally adhere to the east-left, west-right, south-ahead and north-back format, but
western dialects also sometimes use siseri south to mean left and tona west to
mean right, as well as sehka south-west to mean front/ahead or down, and
benka north-east to mean back or behind/up.

223

Here is the Siwa compass:

sibema
benka

bgi

tona

takna

siari

sehka
siseri

And here are the eastern and western cardinal orientations;


!

Eastern orientation!

Western Orientation

back
N

sibema
bgi
back
NE

tona
right
W

siari
right
SW

siari

sehka
siseri

front
SW

left
SE

siseri
left
S

front
S

The actual locative forms of cardinal directions are used to refer to literal cardinal
directions, while the nominal forms are used for orientation. Compare the following
phrases;

224

%
%

kodiri siehteri
[kdiri shteri]

%
!

ko<d>-i-ri sieht=eri
walk.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.PL south-TOWARDS

they walked southwards

'
%

tuvviri sisehdita
[tuw:iri sishida]

%
!

tu<vv>-i-ri siser-di=ta
turn.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.PL south-ILLAT

they turned left (western dialect)

The words for the cardinal directions seem to have originally been descriptive of the
movement or location of the sun. The north-south axis has the prefix si- (perhaps
related to the negation particle s/set/sem and -si-, as the sun does not set in the
north or the south) while the east-west axis has the prefix t- (perhaps originally related
to the illative -ta-).
!
The stem for north (be-/bie-) can also be seen in the adjective biehna
highest (not an actual superlative). Similarly, the stem for south (ser-) can be seen
in the verb sii X lies low and sianta horizon. The stem for east (kk-) is related to
the verb (o)kei X rises, while the stem for west (k-) is related to the verb (o)gahtsi
X lies down.
6.5.2 Up and Down
Siwa has two pairs of adverbs to show location up or down - they are the destinal and
directional forms. Destinal forms point to a specific destination, whereas direction
simply point to a direction. Thus, if the adverb up has a specific destination, for
example up on the table, it will be found in its destinal form, but if up is used to mean
upward or simply up without any specific destination, it will be found in its directional
form. Destinal forms acting as postpositions usually agree in their locative cases with
the head noun, and require the ditransitive with verbs.
!
Another way of describing the difference between destinal and direction is to
imagine that directional adverbs are seen from a static position that only shows
where something is headed, whereas destinal adverbs not only show the direction,
but also where the movement ends, or reaches its destination.
!
Compare the following examples:
%
%

ihbmui boikibma tvunda hemi


[ih:pmui bipma tvnda hemi]

%
!

i-hbm-u-i bo<>i-k=ibma tvun=da hemi-


DIT-fly.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR branch-ALLAT down.to.DEST bird-AGT

the bird flew down onto the branch (destinal)

225

%
%

hbmui tvda hemi


[h:pmui tvda hemi]

%
!

hbm-u-i tv=da hemi-


fly.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR down.to.DIR bird-AGT

the bird flew down (directional)

The table bellow illustrates agreement between postposition and noun;


static
interior

to

inessive

towards

along

from

illative / elative

elative
genitive

surface

adessive

allative / ablative

ablative

Like cardinal directions and other spacial adverbs and/or postpositions, up and
down are found in the nominal and compound forms as well as forms for static
location, movement to, movement along and movement from. Nominal forms do not
differentiate between destinal and directional, and neither do the compound forms.
noun

compound

static

to

towards

along

from

hni

henda

henga
hnga

up
directional

hey

heyta

heytari

heytsti

heyka

down
destinal

tvuni

tvunda

tvunga

tv

tvda

tvdari

tvtsti

tvga

up
destinal

hmma

tvmma

h-

tvu-

down
directional

The directional from forms have come to mean up above and down below.
hni !
henda !
henga'
heyta !
heyka'
!
tvuni'
!
tvunda'

!
!
!
!
'

up in/on!
up (to)!%
from up in/on!
up (to)!%
up above!

%
%
%
%
%

tahhia hni %
tahhita henna%
tahhika henga '
tahhi heyta %
tahhi heyka %

%
%
'
%
'

up in the tree
up into the tree
from up in the tree
up the tree
up above the tree

'
!
'

down in/on!
!
!
down (to)!

%
!
%

tahhia tvuni %
%
!
!
!
tahhita tvunda % %

down in the
tree!
down into the tree

226

tvunga'
!
tvda'
tvga'
!

'
!
'
'
!

from down!
!
!
down (to)!
down below!
!
!

%
!
%
!
!

tahhika tvunga%
!
!
tahhi tvda'
tahhi tvga '
!
!

%
!
'
'
!

from down in the


tree
down the tree
down below the
trees

The destinal forms for static, movement to and from here can be taken to mean up
on (i.e. up on a surface) and under (i.e. under a surface).
%
%
%

peymmibma henda
[pm:pma hnda]

peyma-mi=bma henda
table-ALLAT up.to.DEST

up onto the table

'
!
%

hoahkima tvuni
[hahcima tvuni]

hoari-k=ima tvuni
hull-ADESS down.DEST

under the hull (i.e. on the outside of the hull)

Similarly, the directional forms simply mean up (in the air) and below (the surface):
!

hbmui heyta X flew up1!

The towards form are quite straight-forward. Directional forms tvdari and heytari
mean downward and upward.
!
Note that tvdari (sometimes tvari) is used to mean out to sea/away from
land and heytari mean landward, up land. The special form tvdairi is used to mean
on board, or to ask if everyone is safe in a boat before leaving show, hence the verb
otvdi (tvd-)X embarks and the use of tvmamoa (inessive of tvmma) to mean
safe or in a secure position/state/place.
!
Similarly, the special form heytairi means on land (as in out of a boat/canoe
or home from fishing), the verb oheyti (heyt-) means to disembark or come to
land and hmaria means on land/at home/come back from fishing. Some dialects
also use hmaria to mean at home from hunting. For this reason, Siwa people nearly
always refer to going out to fish or hunt as going down to fish or hunt (sitkista tvda/
mahhanta tvda), and coming home or coming back is come up home (oakibma
heyta).
!
The nominal forms are used to mean the space up/down and may be
equivalent to English the upper/lower part/space/etc., e.g. da hmaria tahhi hemi, lit.

The forms hbmui heyta and hhbmui are nearly identical in meaning. The independent directional
adverb heyta is more emphatic.

227

the bird is in the up of the tree meaning the bird is in the upper part of the tree or
possibly the bird is in the safety of the tree.
Below are more examples:
!
!
%

hmarika tvmimoibma
[hmriga tvmim:pma]

h<m>a-r=ika tvmi-mo=ibma
up-ELAT down-ALLAT

!
!
!
%

'
%
%

raubba heytari
[rjup:a hdri]

ra<ubba>- heytari
hips-ILLAT up.towards

from top to bottom

(water/sand/dirt) up to the hips

tvmimoima
[ tvmimima]

!
%
%

hois tvdari
[his tvdri]

tvmi-mo=ima
down-ADESS

ho<>e-s= tvdari
groin-ILLAT down.towards.DEST

at the bottom

down towards the groin

'
!
%

tahhia hni
[th:ia hni]

'
%
%

kolmo heytsti
[klm htst:i]

tahh-i=a hni
tree-INESS up.DEST

kola-mo heytsti
esker-GEN up.along.DEST

up in a tree

up along the esker

'
!
%

kamokima tvuni
[kmjima tvuni]

!
!
%

gekkos tvtsti
[ks tvtst:i]

ka<m>o-k=ima tvuni
frozen.lake-ADESS down.DEST

down on a frozen lake

'
!
%

tahhita henda
[th:ida hnda]

tahh-i=ta henda
tree-ILLAT up.to.DEST

'
!
%

!
!
'
!
%

gekko-s tvtsti
slope-GEN down.along.DEST

down along the slope


tahhika henga
[t:h:iga he:a]

tahh-i=ka henga
tree-ELAT up.from.DEST

up into the tree

from up in the tree

risoita tvunda
[risida tvnda]

'
!
%

olkoibma tvunga
[xlkpma tvu:a]

riso-i=ta tvun=da
sandy.ground-ILLAT down.to.DEST

down onto the ground/! sand

228

oli-ko=ibma tvunga
hill-ALLAT down.from.DEST

from down on the hill

'
!
%

rekkes hey
[rces h]

rekke-s hey
sky-GEN up.DIRECT

up in the sky

'
'
%
%

'
'
gekkos tv
[ks tv]

'

gekko-s tv
slope-GEN down.DIRECT

%
'
!
%

!
%
%

hmo tvdari
[hsm tvdri]

hhh-mo tvdari
heron-GEN down.towards.DIRECT

down in the slope

down to the heron

tahhi heyta
[th:i hda]

'
!
%

baletta heytsti
[blta htst:i]

tahh-i heyta
tree-GEN up.to.DIRECT

up the tree

!
%
%

ehhakka tvda
[eh:aka tvda]

ehham-ka tvda
seam-GEN down.to.DIRECT

%
'
!
%

!
!
'
!
%

balet-ta heytsti
flank-GEN up.along

up along the flank


eigeri tvtsti
[jeieri tvtst:i]

ei<g>e-ri tvtsti
snow.trench-GEN down.along

down the seam

down along the snow ! trench

ad heytari
[ji: hdri]

'
!
%

tahhi heyka
[th:i hga]

ai<>i-d heytari
old.age-GEN up.towards.DIRECT

up to/until senility

tahh-i heyka
tree-GEN up.from.DIRECT

up above the tree

'
!
%

olko tvga
[xlk tvga]

oli-ko tvga
hill-GEN down.from.DIRECT

down (below) the hill

6.5.3 Over and Under


The words for over and under in Siwa only exist in one form destinal and
directional are not distinguished in this case.
!
Like cardinal directions and other spacial adverbs and/or postpositions,
over and under are found in the nominal forms as well as forms for static location,
movement to, movement along and movement from.
noun

static

to

towards

along

from

over

kikama

kika

kihta

kihtairi

kihtsi

kikka

under

umna

unna

unta

untairi

untsi

unka

229

Neither word especially distinguishes between contact or lack thereof. Thus, ki kika
may mean over the lake (i.e. on the water) or over the lake (up in the air).

'
!
%

tokoma kikandia
[tkma cikania]

'
!
%
!

t<obo> unna
rock-GEN under!

under a rock

v<oav>-ma umna-m=ima
lake-GEN under-ADESS

'
!
%

soakka kihta
[saka chta]

on the lower part of the lake

soaki-ka kihta
house-GEN over.to

over the house

'
!
%

kimpa mhu unta


[cmpa mi:u nta]

to<k>o-ma kikam-di=a
tree.trunk-GEN over-INESS

(in the) upper part of the trunk

'
!
%

voamma umnamima
[vm:a mn:mima]

!
'
'
%
%

tobo unna
[tb u:a]

todatta-so kika
[tdatas cika]

to<da>-ttaso kika
head-GEN=2P.POSS.SG over

over your head

kimpa m=hu unta


boots-AGT feet-GEN under.to

!
!

a pair of boots for (lit. under)


feet

The towards form are more general in meaning, used especially abstractly. The form
kihtairi, for example, is often used to mean over, too much, too far/high, passed a set
goal/location:
!

maskigge kihtairi !

we went over (i.e. too far)

Similarly, untairi means under, not enough, not far enough, too low:
!
!

sksui untairi !
!
!

!
or !

!
!
!

kkko kihtairi ! !
ksui mhraka untairi %
!
!
!

you shot your arrow too close


you missed you target when you shot your arrow.
over the mind (i.e. over the head/not noticed)
X did not shot far enough to hit the bear (lit. X shot
under the bear)

The along forms mean along the top/surface for kihtsi and along the underside/
back for untsi:

230

!
da benne kihtsi nidagan !
there is a stripe along the top of Xs back.
!
tt keppie kihtsi !
!
a crest along the top of the head
!
aki moukkiko untsi '
'
X will cut under along the underside of the
!
!
!
!
!
belly
!
The from form of under, unka, is used to mean from under ones feet or without
permission or unexpectedly
!
!
gidlkui imedi unka !
the ice broke (through) (lit. from under)
!
tanantu gogi unka '
it snapped/broke (in my hands, unexpectedly).
The nominal forms are used to mean the space above/below and may be equivalent
to English the upper/lower part/space/etc.:
!
!

kikandia !
umnamia !

in the sky/heaven
in the bowels of the earth/in the part below something.

6.5.4 In, On and Out


The words for in, on and out in Siwa only exist in one form destinal and
directional are not distinguished in this case.
!
Like cardinal directions and other spacial adverbs and/or postpositions, in,
on and out are found in the nominal form as well as forms for static location,
movement to, movement along and movement from.
noun

static

to

towards

along

from

in

tatama

tatsa/
tata

tadda

taddairi

tatsti

tatka

on

tamima

tama

tanta

tantairi

tantsi

tanka

out

katama

katsa/
kata

kadda

kaddairi

katsti

katka

The from form tatka means out (of the inside of something) but differs from the forms
for out katama in that katama refers to something being out/outside, and thus katka
(from) out implies movement from the outside of something (into or onto something).
'
soakka tata
'
!
[saka ta]
%
soaki-ka tata
!

231

house-GEN in

inside the house

'
!
%

ines tama
[ins tmja]

i<n>e-s tama
lake-GEN on

on the lake

'
%
%

soakka kata
[saka ka]

%
!

'
%
%

ila tadda
[ila tt:a]

i-la tadda
dark-GEN in.to

into the dark

!
!
%

miuhdi tanta
[mhi tanta]

miuki-di tanta
bog-GEN on.to

soaki-ka kata
house-GEN out

on(to) the bog

outside the house

'
!
%

hnamo kadda
[hu:nm kt:a]

h<n>a-mo kadda
steam.hut-GEN out.to

out of the steam hut

The towards form are more general in meaning, used especially in an abstract
meaning. The form tantairi, for example, is often used to describe a movement
headed onto something without necessarily reaching a destination or may also
describe a downward movement towards a surface:
!
!
tilbui ki tantairi siebi !
the eagle glided down over the lake
!
!
!
!
!
(without touching it).
Similarly, taddairi means towards the inside (without however reaching the
destination):
!
!
aiga koruri taddairi !
!
X threw Y at the pot (aiming inside the pot)
The word kaddairi has a similar meaning, but with aim towards the outside.
!
The along forms mean along the inside/surface/outside. The form tantsi is
often synonymous with the form kihtsi given above. While kihtsi emphasizes that
something is over the top surface, the form tantsi emphasizes contact on the surface
and may thus be somewhat more common with things stuck to each other:
!
!
tsiamie hoahka tantsi ! cedar strips along the surface of the hull
Similarly, the form katsti means on the outer/outside surface but untsi means on the
lower/bottom surface.
!
The from form is straightforward. The form tatka means from the inside (out),
tanka means off of something and katka means from the outside (in).

232

The nominal forms are used to mean the space in/on/out and may be equivalent to
English the inner/surface part/outer/etc.:
'
!
!

katakkia/katakkima !
tatakkia !
!
tamikkima !
!

!
!
!

on the outside of
in inside/guts
on the surface of

6.5.5 Before, Behind, In The Middle and Through


!
!
!
!

l-!
loal-!
man-!
irr- !

!
!
!
!

before, forward, against


behind, back, in secret
in the middle
through.

These do not distinguish between destinal or directional. They are found in the
nominal form as well as forms for static location, movement to, movement along and
movement from.

noun

static

to

towards

along

from

before

lama

lta

ltairi

lsi

lka

behind

loalla

loaga/
loala

loalta

loaltairi

loalsi

loalka

middle

manima/
mamna

manna

manta

mantairi

manti/
mantsi

manka

through

irrima

ia

irta

irtairi

irsi

irka

The static form l usually means before (someone/something) or in front. Similarly,


loaga or loala means behind or at the back and manna simply means in the
middle, while ia means through as in having gone through something (usually
implies breaking/piercing through).
'
!
%

soakka l
[saka i:l]

soaki-ka l
house-GEN before

in front of the house

%
!
%

233

tokoma loaga
[tkma lj:a]

to<ko>-ma loaga
tree.drunk-GEN behind

behind the tree trunk

'
!
%

ines manna
[ins m:a]

'
!
%

ine-s manna
lake-GEN middle

!
!

in the middle of the lake


(or between the lakes)

asukka ia
[jska i:a]

asum-ka ia
skin-GEN through

through the skin

!
The movement to forms may have a slightly broader meaning lta means before or
in front but also forward or even to (as in presenting/offering/showing something to
someone). The form loalta can be taken to mean to the back of or behind and
manta means to the middle, especially used to show that something or someone
has come somewhere where they shouldnt be, i.e. it may give the sentence a sense
of meddling. In this case, it may also have a static meaning:
!
!
gaggani mantaki !
!
X will examine my things (without my
!
!
!
!
!
permission, when X shouldnt)
The form irta can mean through (something) or may also give a sense of trying to
complete something (difficult), quite like English:
!
!

ivi irta !!
!
!

!
or !

X will remain (through a trial/difficult situation)


X will pull through

If the action has successfully been completed already, the form irka is preferred:
!
akvi irka !
!
X remained (through a trial/difficult situation)
!
!
!
or !
X pulled through
The towards form are more general in meaning, used especially in an abstract
meaning. The form ltairi, for example, is often used to describe a movement headed
forward necessarily reaching a destination or may also be used to show
encouragement:
!

ltairi benho !

go/thats it/good dog!

The form loaltairi means backwards both in space and time:


!

loaltairi tabmosen !

thinking back

The word loaltairi may also convey a sense of doing something in the wrong way:
!

loaltairi bntiami oi ! !

I weaved everything wrong

The word mantairi can mean towards the middle or it may also be used to mean
roughly half-and-half:
234

!
!
!

gigagge ipp mantairi ! !


!
!
!
!

we shared the ipp (berries and tallows)


equally.

The form irtairi shows a movement through a hole or a passage which is already
there, i.e. requires no piercing or creation of space to get through:
!
!
iddi sorohma atra irtairi ! !
the piece fell out (lit. through) of Xs mouth
!
!
!
!
!
(because it was open)
Similarly, the form irtairi may be used to imply that something was done for nothing,
was unheard or did not create any reactions:
!

koki irtairi !

X spoke (but no one listened/heard)

The along forms mean along the front/back/middle:


%
!

suvvi suingamo lsi niansodi !


!
!
!
!

a creek runs along the front of the ground


(we chose to build a house onto)

The form irsi however is fairly restricted and normally applies to sewing, i.e. the line
along which one sews:
!

de voallami kema irsi !!

I still have (to sew) along the shoulders.

The from form is straightforward. The form lka means from the front, loalka means
from behind and manka means from the middle. The form manka also has the
meaning of barely or by very little. It can also convey a meaning of something
being interrupted:
!
!

iddi tahhi manka !


!
!
!

!
!

a tree fell (in the middle of something else


happening)

As it was mentioned above, the form irka is used with verbs to show that something
difficult was completed successfully. It may also be used to mean through while
talking about the other side of thing:
!
so lykie-a irka? ! !
!
did X pierce through? (asking people on
!
!
!
!
!
the other side of the surface).
!
The nominal forms are used to mean the space in front/behind/in the middle/
through. The form manikkia may also mean stuck between:
!

nama puma manikkia ! !

I am (stuck) between two logs

235

The form loalkita can be used to mean left behind or left alone or abandoned:
!
!

ubodaka loalkita !
!
!
!

!
!

I was forgotten and left behind/I was


abandoned

The form irrindia can also be used to mean stuck, but in relation to a passage or a
hole:
!
!
natsta irrindia ! !
!
X (a needle) is stuck (in leather, for
!
!
!
!
!
example)

6.5.6 At, Near, Away


The Siwa adverbs and/or postpositions in ph-, r- and su- can respectively mean
at (specific place/level), near/towards and far/away. They do not distinguish
between destinal or directional. They are found in the nominal form as well as forms
for static location, movement to, movement along and movement from.
noun

static

to

towards

along

from

at

pbma

pha

ptta

pttairi

ptsti

pkka

near

rma

ra

hta

htairi

htsi

hka

far

suma

suhha

suta

sutairi

sui

suka

The static form pha usually means at (a certain point/level/place). It can also be
found as an adverb meaning at the point of/at the moment of/just about:
!

pha middi !

I was just about to fall

Similarly, ra means near or close to and suhha means away (somewhere) or (in
the) far away. It can be used adverbially to mean passed away:
!

suhha lolli !

'
%
%

sogudle pha
[sj:ute pja]

X passed away.

sog-u-dle pha
break-TRANSL-INFI.TRANSL.UNAG.GEN at.point

on the verge of breaking

236

'
%
%

mkko ra
[mk rja]

moni-ko ra
path-GEN near

close to the path

'
!
%

tomma suhha
[m:a suh:ja]

to<m>-ma suhha
finger-GEN far

not at hand (lit. far from finger)

The movement to forms may are ptta for to (a certain point/level/place) or can be
found as an adverb with certain translative verbs to mean reached the point of:
!
!

ptta tanubua !
!
!
!

!
or !

X reached the point of becoming angry


X burst out in anger

The form hta can be taken to mean near (with movement to) or close (with
movement to) but it can also be taken to mean towards (the speaker):
!

mansi htaki !

X came over to me

The form suta means far (with movement to or away (with movement to):
!

suta hbmiaki hemri ! !

the bird flock flew out into the far away

The towards form are more general in meaning, used especially in an abstract
meaning. The form pttairi, for example, is often used to describe a movement
headed for a point/level/place without necessarily reaching a destination, or more
abstractly especially with verbs of change or translative verbs and the particle mes,
(X is finally) turning into a (real):
!
!

mikista pttairi mes na !


pungittasta mes pttairi %%

(now) its turning into a real feast!


its starting to really pour

The form htairi can mean in the general direction of or more abstractly and in the
diminutive form of the verbs (X is slowly) growing to be/turning out to be:
!
!

htairi obnen mes ela kea su n maihheka-t


this hunt is turning out to be quite a success

The word sutairi can mean away (with movement to) for abstract places and it can
also be used with a negative particle and a noun to show that the thing should leave/
go away:

237

sutairi tei myry !!

out with the fly!

The along form ptsti has taken the specialized meaning of in rotation around X:
!
!

mrsti tadatta ptsti sa !


!
!
!
or !

X is buzzing around Xs head


X has a crush on Y

The form htsi means in the area or somewhere around here:


!
!
da tamosi saisla htsi % %
X is the best fellow around here
Similarly, the form sui means somewhere far away:
'

sui tngi '

'

'

X lives somewhere far away

The from form pkka means from a certain point/level/place or also as an interjection
to wish something away:
!

pkka myry !

woosh, fly!

The form hka means from near or from close by. The form suka also has the
meaning of from far or from far away:
!

pednidni suka !!

X will return from being far away

The nominal forms are used to mean a certain point/at a place near/the far away.
The form pmamia can mean on the verge of, while rmmia means in the vicinity
and sumimia means in the distance.

6.5.7 Amongst, Next To and At The Edge Of


The Siwa adverbs and/or postpositions in mum-, aro- and oahr- can respectively
mean amongst, next to, beside or on the side of and at the edge/tip/end of. They
do not distinguish between destinal or directional. They are found in the nominal and
compound forms as well as forms for static location, movement to, movement along
and movement from, though mumna lacks forms for towards and along. They are;

238

noun

static

to

towards

along

from

amongst

mumna

mumma

mubma

munka

next to

aroma

arrui/
arria

arta

artairi

ai

arka

at edge
of

oahtsuma

oahtsia/
oahtsa

oahtsta

oahtstairi

oahtsti

oahtska

The static form mumma usually means amongst or also in Xs protection or in Xs


fathom/arms. Similarly, arrui or arria mean next to, beside or on the side while
oahtsia or oahtsa means at the edge/tip/end of .
!
The movement to forms may are mubma for amongst (movement to) or into
Xs protection/fathom/arms. The form arta can be taken to mean next to (movement
to) or to the side of. The form oahtsta means to the edge/tip/end of or adverbially,
can also mean to the maximum extend of:
!
vbmi kykkyma oahtsta ! !
X screamed at the top of his/her lungs (lit.
!
!
!
!
!
to the edge of his/her voice)
Note that gekkos arrui means side by side.
'
%
%
!

!
!
'
!
%

tahhi mubma
[th:i mpma]
tahh-i mubma
tree-GEN amongst!

among the trees


soakka arrui
[saka r:ui]

soaki-ka arrui
house-GEN next.to!

next to the house

'
!
%

mana oahtsta
[mnwa ahtst:a]

man-a oahts=ta
world-GEN edge.to!

to the edge of the world

The towards form are more general in meaning, used especially in an abstract
meaning. The word mun- lacks a towards form. The form artaita, for example, is
generally used to compare two things and thus means compared to:
!

239

artaitaki sisutuana !

compared to me, you are taller

The form oahtsti means towards the edge/tip/end of, especially with time periods:
!

koba oahtstairi ! !

towards the end of summer

The along form also lacks from the mun- paradigm, but the others forms are: ai to
mean along X (while being next to it). This can be found adverbially to mean that two
things are in movement next to each other:
'

kodistari ai ! !

X were walking side by side

The form oahtsti means along the edge/tip/end of. It is often used with verbs of
cutting or slicing to underline the precision of the cut:
'

agi bienne oahtsti '

'

X cut right along the back

The from form munka means amongst (movement from) and can also be used with
verbs of movement to mean that the doer has left an X group for the purpose of the
verb:
!
!
munka tandaki !
!
X left us to go and find Y
Similarly, arka means from the side of or from next to and oahtska means from the
edge/point/end of.
!
The nominal forms are used to mean the place amongst/next to/at the edge/
tip/end. The form mumnimia can mean in the embrace of or secure amongst, while
arokkima means on the side of and oahtsukkia means at the very edge/tip/end,
while oahtsukkita or oahtsukkika/oahtsugga means to the limit of or to the end of:
'
!

ekki mieumi oahtsugga '


!
!
!
!

X ran until as much as his/her legs could


take

6.5.8 Across and On The Other Side


The Siwa adverbs and/or postpositions in al-/au- and (bal-)amp-1 can respectively
mean across and on the other side or simply on the side of. They do not
distinguish between destinal or directional. They are found in the nominal and
compound forms as well as forms for static location, movement to, movement along
and movement from.

1 The prefix balamp- is found in many western and far-eastern dialects, where the non-compound form

is rare.
240

noun

static

to

towards

along

from

across

alma

alra

audda

auddairi

alsi

augga

on the
other side

amma

ampo

abmo

abmoiri

amsi

ama

The static form alra usually means across and is different from the static form ampo
on the other side in that alra implies having successfully crossed or gone over/
waded something, while ampo simply implies location on the other side of something
and may place more emphasis on the surface of a location.
!
Similarly, the movement to forms may are audda for across (with movement
to):
!

kodimi ki audda '

'

'

I walked across the lake

It also has the meaning of being safe from a danger:


!
!

tddi on kita, lolli ka audda !


!
!
!
!

!
!

X fell in the water but lived through


it (lit. but left across)

The form abmo means to the other side and can also be taken more abstractly,
sometimes in reference to either a higher state of mind (usually used when talking
about trances) or to be particularly distracted, as can be seen in the compound
abmogamiha absent-minded (or also possibly hypnotized).
!
The towards form are auddairi (towards) across and abmoiri towards the
other side. The form auddairi is generally used more abstractly to describe an
uncontrolled movement into a certain direction:
!
!

tahhrupiki auddairi !
!
!
!

!
!

(a fish) jumped out (away and into a


certain direction)

The along form are alsi is generally only used as an adverb with a postposition,
especially manta and manka to mean diagonally:
'
!

alsi nodi ki manta !


!
!
!

!
!

X swam diagonally across the lake (i.e.


across the middle of the lake)

The form amsi usually means along the side of something, especially rivers, lakes
and other waterways or paths:
!

kehkeigge temme amsi !

we paddled along the side of the shore.

241

The from form augga means from across and the form ama means from the other
side. The word ama is sometimes used as an interjection to call someones
attention back to a subject/situation, especially with young children:
!

te tau...ama! ! !

and then...hey!

The nominal forms are used to mean the place across/on the other side. The form
amia can be used to mean not mentally present, especially of senile people. The
form almakia can be used to mean in a safe place or simply at the place across X.

6.6 Temporal adverbs


Temporal adverbs indicate time. Many temporal adverbs are set forms of nouns
which can be found in the following cases to indicate a set time:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
genitive!!
illative! !
ablative%!
adessive!
allative! !
inessive!!
elative! !

!
!
past! !
future! !
approx! !
set time!!
future' !
!
!
past! !

!
!

genitive
for how much time something happened (used for the past)

!
%
%

'
%
%

t<rr>-i-ma ken-da kil-di


is.sunny.PAST-ASS.ITR-INCONCL day-GEN whole-GEN

it was sunny (for) the whole day

!
!
!

!
!
!

gaiskka ivvi
[gask:a iw:i]

gais-ka i<vv>-i-
month-GEN stay.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG

X stayed for a month!

!
!

illative
for how much time something is set to happen (used for the future)

for X! kenda! !
for X! kendaita!
for X! kendaiska!
at X!
kendaima!
in X!
kendaibma!
in X!
kendaa!!
since X!kendaika!

for a day
for a day
for roughly a day
on a day
in a day(s time)
(with)in a day
a day ago

trrima kenda kildi


[ter:ima cnda cli]

242

!
%
%

!
%
%

thmo kendaita kildi


[te:hm cndida cli]

%
!
!
!
%

%
!
!
!
%

muong-o-ri yly-m=ita
stay.overnight-INFER.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.PL night-ILLAT

they will stay for the night

!
!
%

!
!
%

kobaita ibaunomi
[kbida ibunmi]

ko-ba=ita i-baun-o-mi
summer-illat dit-be.in.time-INFER.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.SG

I will arrive in time for summer

!
!
!

ablative
for roughly how much time something happened/is set to happen (used for
approximate duration, sometimes also used with distances).

!
%
%

'
%
%

sidn-i teu<>ir-re ba-ski=ska t<>-dhi


last-ASS.CONCL.ITR few-GEN day-ABLA mating.period-GEN3P.POSS.PL

their mating period lasts for a few days

!
%
%

!
%
%

geunumo trkimoiska slkehi


[eunum te:rcimska si:lcehi]

geun-um-o tr=kimo<>-i=ska slke-hi


diminish-OBLI-INFER.CONCL.ITR hour-ABLA swelling-PAT

the swelling should diminish in a (few/rough) hour

'
%
%

'
%
%

konian eumo magikiska


[kni:an eum mj:iska]

kon-i-a-n eu-mo ma<g>i-ki=ska


walk-ITR-PERSI-IMPER.2P.SG few-GEN maidi-ABLAT

keep on walking for a few feet

!
!

adessive
at what time something happens (set point in time)

tr-m-o ken-da=ita kil-di


is.sunny-INCONCL-INFER.ITR day-ILLAT whole-GEN

it will be sunny for the whole day


muongori ylymita
[mu:ri ylymida]

sidni teuirre baskiska td-hi


[stni teuir:ska bascska ti:hi]

243

!
%
%

%
%
%

ama pyhli elepita eleu estodna


[i:jma phli elp:ida eleu sttna]

<a>-ma pyhl-i elep-ita ele-u esto-dna


early.summer-ADESS bloom-ASS.CONCL.ITR bloom-ILLAT flower-PAT first-PAT

in early summer, the first flowers burst into bloom

'
%
%

'
%
%

mitvoima estodna kebsie goakumao


[mt:vima sttna cpsie ggumj]

mitvo-<>=ima esto-dna ke<bs>i-e goak-um-a-o


night.frost-ADESS first-GEN mushroom-GEN pick-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR-4P.AG

one must pick mushrooms on the first night frost

'
!
%

'
!
%

kendaima tapodna a
[cndima tptna i:ja]

ken-da=ima tapo-dna -a
day-ADESS last-GEN early.summer-GEN

on the last day of early summer (i.e. summer solstice)

!
!

allative
in how much time something is set to happen (used for the future)

!
!
%

!
!
%

ken-da=ibma pedn-o-
day-ALLAT arrive-INFER.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG

X will arrive in one day

!
%
%

!
%
%

keulemi kmibma gekehi lhi


[ceulemi kmpma ecehi j:lhi]

keul-e-mi k<>-mi=bma geke-hi l--hi


observe-INFER.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG half-ALLAT year-GEN l-DAT-PL

in half a year, I will celebrate lhi (male rite of passage)

!
%
%

!
%
%

kimoibma saskeri
[cimpma sasceri]

%
!
!
!
!

%
they will wake up in a short while
!
inessive
in how much time something happens or at what time something happens
(common with the habitual)

kendaibma pedno
[cndapma ptn]

kimo-<>i=bma sask-e-ri
moment-ALLAT wake.up-INFER.ASS.ITR-3P.AG.PL

244

!
%
%

!
%
%

trkimodia tubohis
[te:rcimoia tubs]

tr=kimod-ia t-ub-oh-i-s
hour-INESS 3P.PAT-PASS-smoke-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HAB

it is smoked in one hour (i.e. it takes one hour to smoke)

!
%
%

!
%
%

naimi tehterrea kenda


[ju:nimi thter:eja cnda]

n-a-i--mi sehter-re=ia ken-da


finish-ASS.CONCL.TR-HABI-3P.PAT-1P.AG.SG couple-INESS day-GEN

I can finish it in a couple of days

!
%
%

!
%
%

oskibis mhraka kadla kmia eudna gaiskka


[scibs m:hrga katw:a k:mia etna gask:a]

!
!

!
!

osk-i-bi-s mhra-ka kadl-a k<>-m=ia eu-dna gais-ka


last-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.RECI.PL-HABI bear-PAT whole-PAT half-INESS second-GEN month
-GEN

a whole bear usually lasts us for two months and a half

!
!
!

elative
how much time since something happened (similar to English ago or since)
!

!
!
!

!
!
!

kendika !
gaiskkika !
sinka ! !

a day ago
a month ago
a long time ago

In addition, the genitive is used with a number of special postpositions. Some of


these may be found in an adjectival phrase. These include:
!

ebi !

for X at a time, for many X

!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!

kenda ebi !
!
!
biohtsiiri trkimodi ebi ' '
mytimo keilgie ebi '
'
!
!
!
!

eia ! !

!
!

!
!

for days at a time


they can play for hours at a time
since the dawn of time or all the
time (lit. for low and high tides)

going into X, until X

sidne kemie eia '


kenda kadl eia !

'
!

X will last until the morning


(about to last) the whole day

iga or nbma ! within X, before X (runs out)

245

!
!
!
!

!
!
%
!

numimi atkemehi iga ! !


!
!
!
!
nstetta kenda nbma oi !
!
!
!
!

nka or soska ! X ago

!
!

!
!

tammi gekehi nka !


kimodi soska ! !

inni !

having lasted X, over X

!
!

!
!

tammi gekehi inni !


!
kut tammi gekehi inni ! !

!
!
!
!

ubma (negated with s/set/sem and past) or tsoska (perfective) (not) for X
time
!
nuhlami hestie tsoska ! !
I havent seen X in two weeks
!
set ma kenda ubma ! !
I havent eaten for a day

!
!

I have to finish it before the day


after tomorrow
in one day, everyone had heard
about it

many years ago


a moment ago

over many years


war of many years

Common temporal adverbs are as follow.

Declinable adverbs and time expressions:


!
!

kendai/kendaita/kendaika%
kengi-ni '
'
'

%
'

today ! (also akken~akket)


today (noun)

!
%

ta/tita/tika '
tima ! !

'
!

'
!

late
it is late

!
!

kendia/kendita/kendika% %
kendima !
!
!

%
!

early
it is early

!
!
!
!

kenka% %
kenehta !
kenes% %
atkenka%%

%
!
%
%

%
!
%
%

%
!
%
%

tomorrow
for/to/before tomorrow
tomorrow (noun)
the day after tomorrow

!
!
!
!
!

kira% %
kirma/kimra%
kirta% %
kisi% %
kiras ! !

%
%
%
%
!

%
%
%
%
!

%
%
%
%
!

in the mornings
in the morning
for/to/before morning
this morning
morning

'
!

246

kirima%%

!
!
!
!
!

it is morning

kamnia/kamnita/kamnika'
kamnima%
%
%
kangi% %
%
%
kamni ! !
!
!
kammi%
%
%

'
%
%
!
%

at dawn
during dawn, at dawn
today at dawn
dawn
it is dawn

!
!
!

phi%
%
ptta% %
pkka% %

%
%
%

%
%
%

for a short time (in the past)


for a short time (in the future)
a moment ago, just now

!
!
!
!
!

siga/sigita/sigika '
sigima !!
!
singi ! !
!
sigo !
!
!
sigvima %
%

'
!
!
!
%

'
!
!
!
%

at dusk
during dusk, at dusk
today at dusk
dusk
it is dusk

!
!

sindi/sinta/sinka !
sidnima !
!

!
!

!
!

for a long time


it is long

!
!
!
!
'
%

soa/hka !
sohma/hma !
soa/hta !
so(hh)i/(hh)i !
soos/hhi !
sodmi/mi '

!
!
!
!
!
'

!
!
!
!
!
'

in the evenings
in the evening
for/to/before evening
this evening
evening
it is evening (so- and hh-)

%
!
!
!
!
!
!

yla/ul or ya/a !
ylma/ulma !
!
ylta/ulta !
!
g ! !
!
yly/ulu or l'
'
ulmi ! !
!
mt ! !
!

!
!
!
!
'
!
!

!
!
!
!
'
!
!

during the night


at night
for/to/before night
tonight
night
it is night
yesterday night

%
%
%

!
!
!
!
!
'

Note that soos refers to a fixed time, while hhi refers to the earlier part of twilight
(the later part being dusk, or sigo). Thus, hhi is used earlier during the winter days,
and later during summer days. Twilight (both hho/soos and sigo) is called teroma
(a participle of the verb terv-, to twilight).
!
The difference between the illative (-ta) and the inessive (-ia) mainly has to do
with the time of the action (wether it happens in the present/past or will happen in the
future). However, often times there is a correlation between a movement/change of
247

state and the use of the illative. This is especially true of verbs of motion, even though
the motion may not be in time but space. For example, one goes to sleep late, with
the illative;
!
!

postuimi kendita !
!
!
!

I went to sleep late.


(not *kendia)!

The form kendia can be used in contexts where there is no perceived movement or
change of state. Compare the two following sentences:

'
!
%

kendita pendidna muoi


[cnida pntna mui]

kend-ita pe<nd>-i-dna muoi-


late-ILLAT return.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-REVERS group.of.hunters-AGT

the group of hunters arrived late (i.e. later than expected)

%
%
%

kendia pendidna muoi


[cnia pntna mui]

kend-ia pe<nd>-i-dna muoi-


late-INESS return.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-REVERS group.of.hunters-AGT

the group of hunters arrived late (i.e. while it was late)

These examples illustrate that the adverb kendita refers to a change of state or
perceived movement in time relative to the verb, while kendia simply refers to a time
non-relative to the verb, i.e. while it was late. This distinction is lost with indeclinable
adverbs.
!
6.7 Indeclinable Adverbs
Below is a list of other adverbs, all of which are fixed and indeclinable. The list
includes a few quantitative adverbs and adverbs of manner or attitude.
6.7.1 Indeclinable Adverbs of Degree
Adverbs of degree describe how much or how little something is.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

auhka or au()% %
%
eren' '
'
'
eukken~kken~eukkil~kli !
ai(lli) ! !
!
!
hehta ! !
!
!
!
!
!
!
hemora/hemua !
!
ihha ! !
!
!
isi~ien!
!
!
kekken' '
'
'

%
'
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
'

quite, very
so, very
a little
quite, rather
completely, to death (hehta vahta
is a commonly used intensifier)
extremely
only, just
so, very
too (much)

248

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

kommen !
ktvil% %
sipi !
!
tagen~tagil!
uote ! !
ugi !
!
lla !
!
vahta ! !
!
!

!
%
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
%
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
%
!
!
!
!
!
!

much, a lot!
somewhat
just, only, exclusively
a lot, much
really
really, truly
nearly
completely, entirely

6.7.2 Indeclinable Adverbs of Time


The following temporal adverbs do not decline:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
%
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
%
!
!
!

ihko, higgo !
!
ihkai, higvai ! !
ogu ! !
!
u !
!
!
kss ! !
!
kilbi ! !
!
kidli ! !
!
kinoni, kinoi ! !
kosti, gassen ! !
kit- ! !
!
kit ' '
'
killu ! !
!
kilppi ! !
!
mtka ! !
!
mtabe !
!
moannil!!
!
moanta%%
%
haihku !
!
hku ! !
!
oa/voa !!
!
svoa/s '
'
dni~udni, na, ey!
nitka ! !
!
orirra, orril, oarril !
de ! !
!
si, tsi, ntsi ! !
ska ! !
!
skai ! !
!
oia ! !
!
oku ! !
!
oi nldita !
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
'
!
!
!
!
!
%
!
!
!
'
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
'
!
!
!
!
!
%
!
!
!
'
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
249

sometimes
soon
once, formally, in the past
then (X, then Y)
suddenly
usually, normally
to be customary to
immediately
soon
to be soon, to be about to
soon
always
to happen all the time
yesterday
yesterday (noun)
regularly
every X!
at the time
at this time
already/yet
not yet
now
from now on
always, without exception
still (now)
no longer (now)
often
to happen often
in time
once (one time, also! migu)
ahead of time, in advance

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

sadnu !!
sgu ! !
tau ! !
taite ! !
tatka ! !
teuko ! !
tevu nldita !
tsalbi ! !
tsaupri !!
toa/totska !
tohku ! !

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

no longer
never
then
still (then)
from then on
ever (before), ever
earlier than expected, before time
rarely
to happen rarely
suddenly
at that time!
!

6.7.3 Other Indeclinable Adverbs


The following adverbs are also indeclinable.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

aiho~aio~aien !
aihhta(iri) !
!
!
!
!
aimra ! !
!
gemi ! !
!
gemmoba/gemba !
genne/genni ! !
hymmi ! !
!
!
!
!
inta/ihna !
!
kka ! !
!
maa !
!
medde !!
!
nunne ! !
!
neksura !
!
nenna ! !
!
netra ! !
!
nette ! !
!
ohia~oia !
!
onnanka/onnika !
salla ! !
!
sene ! !
!
sehta !!
!
sppi ! !
!
tahlanka/tahlika !!
tatkatka !
!
tetteri ! !
!
hkari ! !
!
uora ! !
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

wrong (cf. aih- to be incorrect)


in the wrong direction (aihhka(iri)
from the wrong direction)
wrong, in the wrong way
with pleasure
preferably
rather (than)
quietly (cf. homora quiet and
homott- to be quiet)
certainly, yes
amongst other things
out hunting, away
even
namely, you see
by surprise, unexpectedly
of course
really
to be sure, certainly
suddenly
at least
well
probably
maybe, perhaps
badly
at most
inside out, confused
upside down, the wrong way
on the contrary
right (cf. uo- to be right)
250

!
6.8 Negation Adverbs
Negation is expressed mainly by the main negative adverb, which exists in three
forms, s/set/sem, or alternatively by other types of negation, like pronouns or
negative conjunctions (the negation morpheme is si- or sometimes s-). The negative
adverb also has the emphatic form hayt.
!
The form set is used before m- n- l- t- and k- and forms the clusters [spmstn- st: st sk]. It is also possible to write negation as a clitic, though the
orthography is not recommended.
!
The form s occurs before all other consonants, and sem before vowels.
Note that the sequence s on [s] is more common than sem on.
!
!

oittami' '
sem oittami'

I looked at it
I did not look at it

!
%
!

maki' '
set maki'
!
!

X will go
X wont go !
!
(pron. [spmci], also sebmaki)!

!
%
!

netami' '
set netami'
!
!

I know
I dont know ! !
(pron. [stnetmi], also sednetami)

!
%
!

lemnika''
set lemnika'
!
!

I am thirsty
I am not thirsty !
(pron. [stmn:iga], also sedlemnika)

'

hayt ahtami'

I did not do it

251

7 Conjunctions
Siwa has a rich system of conjunctions. In addition to the most common conjunctions,
it uses split conjunctions called coordinating particles to link various phrases seen to
be connected.
!
Many conjunctions can be used with verbs using link constructions (see
9.16.1.3.5):
!
%
-u %
-uts%
-tu!
!
temporal
!
!
-ke!
!
!
!
goal
!
!
-te!
!
!
!
adverbial
!

The most common conjunctions, excluding the coordinating particles, are:

!
!
!

aska ! !
!
!
siaska ! !

!
'

!
'

derite aska tsiandika ga, set mallia konges jnanteta


[deride aska tsxaniga ga s ml:ia c:s ju:nanteda]

%
%
!

%
%
!

der-i-te aska tsiam-di=ka g-a set m-all-i-a ko<ng>-e-s jn-a-m=ta-ita


roll-ITR-ADV.LINK because cedar.strip-ELAT COP.PAST-ASS.CONCL not
1P.ACT.UNAG-have.time-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR koknen.GEN finish-TR-infi.TR.AG-ILLAT

!
!

!
!

I didnt have time to finish the koknen (cedar strip basket) because
we ran out of cedar strips (lit. it rolled out of cedar strips)

!
!

ba !
!
saba ! !

!
!
%

!
!
%

ba otta=ia sdni-
but that.DIST.INESS nothing-AGT

...but it doesnt matter (lit. nothing in this)

'

bata(vvi) '

!
!
%

!
!
%

!
!
!

!
!
!

!
!

egi~o!
egsen~so!

because (introducing a generally negative reason)


(used with the -te adverbial linking particle or the genitive)
because not

but (usually only used at the beginning of a new sentence)


but not

...ba ottaa sdni


[ba jtja sxtni]

otherwise than, unlike, but (in fact)!

noai ahtote, batavvi sem ahta


[ni ahtde btw:i sm ahta]
n=oa-i- a<ht>-ot-e--, batavvi sem a<ht>-a--
say.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR do.PAST-COMPLE-INFER.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG,
otherwise.than not do.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X said X did Y, but in fact X did not do Y


!
!

or
or not

252

%
%

%
%

at egi hait?
[a ei ha]

%
%

%
!

at- egi hait-


this.PROXI-AGT or that.MEDI-AGT

this or that?

ihho ! !

!
%
%

%
%
%

ihho sa<d>-e-i-o amokvel-u


as.if hear.PAST-INFER.CONCL.TR-HABIL-4P.AG northern.lights-GEN

it was as though one could hear the northern lights

inte (-a) '

!
!
%

!
!
%

!
!

!
!

!
!
!
!

ska !
!
sigska
!

!
!
!
!

%
%

%
%

ivte ska kibma ga iobmubi kisilne alrisa


[ivde i:ska u:pma ga ijpmubi cislne jalrisa]

%
!
!

%
!
!

iv--te ska ki=bma g-a io<bm>-u-bi kisi-il-ne alr-i-sa


freeze-TRANSL-ADV.LINK thanks.to water-ALLAT COP.PAST-ASS
possible.PAST-TRANSL-1P.PL.RECI quick-ADV-COMP cross-ITR-INFI.ITR.AG

!
!

!
!

thanks to the water freezing over, we were able to cross more


quickly

-ka geska !

%
%

%
%

emimattaikami geska...
[emimatigmi ska]

%
!

%
!

em-i-m-a-tta=ika-mi geska
believe-ITR-INCONCL-AGT.PART.UNAG-ELAT-1P.AG.SG as.far.as

as far as what I believe/as for my beliefs/as far as Im concerned...

as, as if, like, similar to

ihho sadeio amokvelu


[ih:w saeij mkvelu]

although

inte heia-a
[nte hejiaa]
inte hee-aa
although cold-COP.ASSASS.PART

although it is cold...
thanks to/because (introducing a generally positive
reason)
not thanks to/not because
(used with the -te linking particle)

as far as (+ELAT)

253

!
!

kimi ! !
sikimi ! !

so that (used with the -ke goal linking particle)


so that not

%
%

%
%

nake kimi oia de, okasumigga


[ju:ne cimi ia de csumk:a]

%
%
!

%
%
!

n-a-ke kimi oia d-e o-kas-um-i-gga


finish-TR-LINK.GOAL in.order in.time COP-INFER.INDIC SUBJ-hurry-OBLI
ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.PL.INCL

!
!
!
!

in order to finish in time, we must hurry up

kuka ! !
sikuka !

%
%

%
%

tadnate kuka ootta sohtanna de, tamamiddi kupa-i


[atnde cka ta shtn:a de tmmit:i cpai]

%
%
!

%
!
!

tadn-a-te kuka oot-ta s=oht-anna d-e tama-m-i<dd>-i kus=pai


find-TR-ADV.LINK because fish.stock-GEN good.COMP-GEN COP-INFER
onto-1P.ACT.UNAG-fall.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR territory=ALLAT2P.POSS.PL

we stumbled onto your territory in order to find better fish stock

!
!

ko/kon/k/kk is used at the beginning of emphatic or explanatory


statements

%
%

%
%

ko haivva ukitumao-a!
[k hiw:a ucitumja]

%
%

%
%

ko haivva u-kit-um-a--oa
EXPL.PART this.MEDI.way PASS-do-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-4P.AGASS.PART

now thats how one does it!

komo is used to introduce an explanation, argument

%
%

%
%

komo muhkia atsiokia batsviaen kamnutta nta somigi


[km mhcia atsiia batsxw:ia:n camnta ni:da smiji]

%
%
!

%
%
!

komo mur=kia atsio-kia batsv-i-a-en kamn-u-tta nta somi-gi-


EXPL.PART thick-INESS glade-INESS TR-search-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-PERSIS dawn-PAT.PART
GEN into ! man-PL-AGT

!
!

!
!

so, you see, the men kept on searching wide and large into
dawn (lit. in thick, in glade)

%
!

komona/komo na is used to introduce an explanation or argument which is


assumed to be in accordance with what others also believe/understand

%
%

%
%

komo na sipi maba mra


[km na sipi mba m:ra]

%
%

%
%

komo na sipi m-a-ba mra-


EXPL.PART ASS.PART just COP.PAST-ASS-1P.AG.DUAL 1P.PRON.PL-AGT

so, as you know, there were only us two

because, on the grounds of, for (+GEN or -te link particle)


not because, on the grounds of not

254

%
!
!

kuppi...kippi ! !
!
!
sikuppi~suppi~sppi...sippi ! !
kuppi...sippi % !
!
!

either...or
neither...nor
either...or not

%
%

%
%

kuppi hantui neta kippi nosuimi


[kpi hantui neta cpi suimi]

%
!

%
!

kuppi hanto-i n-e-ta kippi noso-e-mi


either lie-ITR COP.INCONCL-INFER-3P.AG.SG or deaf-COP.INFER-1P.AG.SG

either X is lying, or I am deaf

mega ! !

%
%

%
%

mega s gusseigge sohhinebma


[mega s gus:c:e sh:jinpma]

%
%

%
!

mega s guss-e-i-gge sohhi-ne-bma


thus not ITR-travel-PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.PL.EXCL far-COMP.ADV-ALLAT

thus, we travelled no further

!
!

migi !
!

!
!

%
%

%
%

tandagge migi suikna!


[andac:e mii sa]

%
%

%
!

ta<nd>-a-gge migi suikna-


find.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.PL.EXCL PART. suitable.gound-DAT

finally, we found suitable ground for a house!

ot [()]!

%
%

%
%

noai ot...ot...ahtote
[ni ahtde]

%
%

%
%

n=oa-i- ot ot a<ht>-ot-e--
say.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR that that do.PAST-COMPLE-INFER.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X said that...that...that X did it

!
!
!

ome ! !
siome ! !

thus, so (starting a new phrase)

dramatic particle used to express something joyful, a


positive exclamation or a positive vocative

that (used to show hesitation)

in order to, for (used with the -ke goal linking particle)
in order not to, not for

255

%
%

%
%

ibike ome kenehta de, sapohhumi


[ibie me cemhta de sph:jumi]

%
%
!

%
%
!

ib-i-ke ome kemeh=ta d-e sa-pohh-um-i


have.energy-ITR-LINK.GOAL for tomorrow=ILLAT COP.INFER 2P.UNAG.SG-sleep-OBLIASS.CONCL.ITR

if you want to have energy for tomorrow, you must sleep

sahra ! !

%
%
%
%

%
%
%
%

euka on knma sauma, da on tingima salama, sahra dari mosi te


solra
[eug cnma suma d ti:ima slma sahra dri msxi de
slra]

%
%
!

%
%
!

euk-a on kn-ma sauma- d-a on tingi-ma salama- sahra d-a-ri mosi- te solra
produce-ASS.CONCL.TR PART. milk-GEN caribou-AGT COP-ASS PART 3P.PRON.PL-ADESS
antler-AGT, in.other.words COP-ASS-3P.AG.PL mammal-AGT and cervidae-AGT

!
!

!
!

caribous both produce milk and have antlers - that is to say they
are mammals and cervidae

!
!

s or set [s] (before m- n- l- t- k-) or sem (before vowel) or emphatically


hayt not

!
%

'
%

set netami
[stnetmi]

%
%

%
!

set net-a--mi
not know-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-1P.AG.SG

I dont know

!
%

!
%

hayt ahtami
[hj ahtmi]

%
%

%
!

hayt <aht>-a--mi
not.EMPH do.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-1P.AG.SG

I did not do it

sedde...X te/medde %

%
%

%
%

sedde ireluata medde tygyhua


[set:e ireluda met:e tygyhua]

%
%

%
%

sedde irela-a-ta medde tygyha-a


not.only beautiful-COP.ASS-3P.AG.SG but.also poisonous-COP.ASS

not only is it beautiful, its also poisonous

that is to say, in other words, well

not only...but also

256

sia~svia !

except, besides (+ELAT)

%
%

%
%

usotsi skidita hami soroko sti mahtsiska, indika sia


[ustsi i:sciida hmi srg xsti mahtsska niga sixa]

%
!
!

%
!
!

u-sot-s-i ski-d=ita h-a-mi soroko- -sti mah-tsi=ska im-di=ka sia


PASS-give-HAB-ASS.CONCL.ITR-woman-ILLAT eat-TR-infi.AG.TR part-DAT any.INA
DAT bear-ABLAT bear.head-ELAT except

women are allowed to eat any part of the bear, except the head

igu~iu !

%
%

%
%

eisen igu konin


[je:isn ij:u knn]

%
%

%
%

e-i-sen igu -kon-i-n


run-ITR-IMPER.NEG.2P.SG rather.than ITR-walk-ITR-IMPER.2P.SG

walk instead of running! (lit. dont run rather, walk!)

ednet~ednt1 ! !

%
%

%
%

megi son ednet


[mei sn tn]

%
%

%
%

megi- son ednet


1P.PRON.SG-AGT 2P.PRON.SG-GEN and

you and me

!
or!
!

taga~toga~toa !
do~da!
!
!
!
!

'
%

'
%

otta na aska ednantia nokkiu Tatasen taga


[jta na aska tnania nciu ttsn tga]

%
%
!
!

%
%
!
!

o=tta na aska ed-nant-i-a nokk-i-u- tatasen taga


that.DIST.GEN ASS.PART because 1P.ACT.UNAG.SG-receive-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR name-

and thus, because of that, I received the name Tatasen

rather than, instead (often with negative)

and (+GEN)

and so, thus, and (to continue a phrase or thought)


or then also (in phrases of the type da-X, taga Y if
X, then !also /then it follows that Y, too)

PAST
PAT.PART-DAT

tatasen thus

1 Many variations exist including enee, ene, eie, eie or en, en, ei and ei

257

tvao~dao~dat 1 !

%
%

%
%

ihko tvao mohigenoa


[hk tv: mhij:enxa]

%
%

%
%

ihko tvao m-o-higen-o-a


sometimes as though 1P.ACT.UNAG.SG-SUBJ-feel.cold-INFER.CONCL.ITR-SEMELF

sometimes its as though I get the chills (lit. I feel cold once)

tavvi !

%
%

%
%

tata tavvi duhma


[tta tw:i dhma]

%
%

%
!

ta-ta tavvi duhma


much.COMP than previously

more than before

!
!
!

te [de] !or -t []! !


and (used especially to link two or more things
!
!
!
of the same type, not verbal phrases)
sete/sede/s/haydde % and not

%
%

%
%

tamosi te nelli
[tmsi de el:i]

%
%

%
%

tamosi- te nelli-
hunter-AGT and chief-AGT

a hunter and a chief

!
!
!
%
%

tr !
!

!
!

%
%

tr tanikli
[tr tnk:li]

%
%

%
%

tr ta-nik-l-i
PART. 3P.ACT.UNAG-die-PERF-ASS.CONCL.ITR

alas, X has died

as though

than, as

dramatic particle used to express something negative, a


sad exclamation or negative vocative.

1 Also exists as the clitic -dat used with many sensive verbs or phrases, e.g. hmi-dat it is hot, it seems.

258

tvori~dori1 !

'
%

%
%

tau noai tvori.


[tju ni tvri]

%
%

%
%

tau n=oa-i- tvori


then say.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG like

then X said like...

tonta(vvi) !

%
%

%
%

tanigi tontavvi gastaita-ho


[tni tntw:i gastidah]

%
%

%
%

ta-ni<g>-i tontavvi <gasta>=itaho


3P.ACT.UNAG-die.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR just.like older.brother-ILLAT-3P.POSS.ANI.SG

X died in the same way as Xs older brother

as, like (used as a hesitation particle)

in the same way as, just like (+ILLAT, pre- or postposition)

7.1 Coordinating Particles


Coordinating particles are particles which are placed in each of the two or more
sentences which are coordinated/conjuncted. These particles act in pairs, with one in
each phrase. The order of the particles may change the meaning of the sentences
drastically. Coordinating particles are placed directly before the verb if the verb is not
the first word of the phrase. They may intersect between nouns and adjectives.
!
!

COORDINATING PARTICLE
COORDINATING PARTICLE VERB
VERB

If the verb is the first word of the phrase, the coordinating particle follows the verb,
without however coming in between a verb and link construction particles.
!
Coordinating particles have two positions; first (in the first sentence), second
(in subsequent sentences). First position particle may mix with second position
particle, so long as their order is respected (i.e. first position particle first, second
position particle second). Below is a table illustrating the particles and their meaning.
They may also be placed next to other parts of the phrase.
!
The most common coordinating particle is on2(ka) and the stronger onta
katta. These link two phrases, of which the first is the thesis (main idea) and the
second is the antithesis (an idea which is either an unexpected addition or something
contrary to the first one, or adds new information). Other coordinating particles show
that a phrase is adverbial (mi/avvi), while a set of four pairs of particles are called
dramatic particles positive or negative. They are used to underline either a positive
or negative aspect of the phrase.

1 May also be found hyphened as -dori.


2Always pronounced [].

259

Coordinating particles are used extensively in Siwa and are ubiquitous in most texts,
stories and narration. Coordinating particles, as given below, may also mix with each
other. The main purpose of the table below is to show the fundamental order of
paired particles.
!
!
!
%
%
%
!
!
%
%
%
%
!

first!
on%
onta%
on%
on%
on%
on%
on%
on%
on%
on%
on%

!
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

CONDITIONAL!

second
ka!
!
katta! !
b!
!
o!
!
ne/netta!!
on!
!
de/debmi!
ko(mo)% !
kade/kare!
u!
!
te...taga/toa!
taga/toa%

but, and, while


but, and (emphatic), whereas
although, while PHRASE.1, PHRASE.2 also
or
but, although, however
both PHRASE.1 and PHRASE.2
so, thus, because
because, as, since
even though, despite
then, so, after
as well as, and (after enumeration)
if PHRASE.1, then PHRASE.2

%
!
!
!
%
!
!

katta%

de!

seeing as, since

mi%
avvi%

%
%

on!
on!

!
!

by PHRASE.1
id.

de%

ka!

because PHRASE.1, PHRASE.2

%
!
%

tei%

ari!

unfortunately, alas, dramatic negative

mes%

gi~i~vi!

fortunately, praise, dramatic positive

ari/tr% %

ka!

dramatic negative

mei/i% %

ka!

dramatic positive

Examples:
%
%

umaamsi on tibe sara doima, voavvimi ka kthma-ne


[umxamsi ibe sra dima vaw:imi ka cthm:ane]

%
%
!

u-<agam>-s-i on tibe- sara d-o-i-m-a- voa<vv>-i-mi ka kth=mane


PASS-believe.PAST-HAB-ASS.CONCL.ITR PART. sign-AGT good-AGT COP-COMPLE-ITR-INCONCL
ACT.PART-AGTbe.afraid.PAST-ASS.ITR-INCONCL PART some.UNKNOWN.-PAT.PLne

!
!

while it was believed to be a good omen, others were


afraid

260

%
%

soarri onta enebemni, set katta oni lado teboatsita-ne


[sr:i nta enebmn:i s kata ni l tebtsidane]

%
%
!

soa<rr>-i onta ene-be=mni set katta oni a<d>-o ka=t-eb-oats-ita


survive.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR PART some.OUT.OF.TWO-AGT not PART so happen.toINFER.CONCL.TRANSL some.OUT.OF.TWO-ILLAT-other

!
!

while on the one hand one survived, the other was supposedly not so lucky
(lit. it apparently didnt appear to be so for the other one)

%
%

tygyhua on to kepsi-t, komuoiekkabmisa b


[tygyhu t cps: kmuowkapmisa be:]

%
%
!

tygyha-a on to kepsi-ni komu=oiekk-a=bmis-a b


poisonous-COP.ASS PART this.ANI.AGT mushroom-AGT-DET.PROXI mind-make.feel.wider-PART.ADJCOP.ASS

!
!

while this mushroom is poisonous, it is also psychoactive (lit. mindwidening)

%
%

lungittia on, heirihta u


[lu:ti heirhta ju]

%
%

lungit-tia on heirih=ta u
steam-INESS PART cool.down-ILLAT PART

first steam, then cooling down

'
%
%
%

pakkima-nen kedahta avvi poannomomia derrotuvven neka ska, oa on


oagiela tsama mema
[pacimann cedahta w:i pn:mmia der:duw:n neka s:ga
jj:iela tsamxa mema]

%
%
%
!
!

pa<kk>=imaha ked-aht-a avvi poav=nomo-mia de<rr>-ot-u-vven n-e-ka s-=ka oa on oagiel-a % tsa<m>-a m-e-ma
back-ADESSPOSS.4P bear-aht-TR ADV.PART seal=pouch-INESS wrap.PAST-COMPLE-PAT.PART.AGADV COP.PAST-INFER-1P.PAT.SG mother-AGT=1P.PAT.AG already PART SUBJ-get.to.know-TR forestGEN COP.INCONCL.PAST-INFER-1P.UNAG.ACT.SG

!
!

as my mother was carrying me wrapped in a sealskin pouch on her back, I


was already getting to know the forest

!
%

euka knma on sauma, on simi


[euga cnma suma smi]

%
!

euk-a kn-ma sauma- on on simi-


produce-ASS.CONCL.TR. milk-GEN PART caribou-AGT PART human-AGT

both caribou and humans produce milk

261

!
%

s on nega, set de nemantia nonkiuma mansodlut


[s nega sde nemania nciuma manst]

%
!
!

s on n<eg>-a-- set de ne-mant-i-a nonkiu-ma ma=ns-ot-l-u-t


not PART. see.pAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG not PART 3P.PROXI.ACT.UNAG-get-PASTASS.CONCL.TR rumor-GEN come.PAST-COMPLE-PERF-INFER.CONCL.ITR-3P.OBVI.AG.SG

X did not see Y, so X didnt find out that Y had come (lit. get the rumor)

!
%

ednantia on savvu, leurrimi komo saukibma luvveima


[tnani sw:u leur:imi km sjupma luw:eima]

%
!
!

ed-nant-i-a on savvu- leu<rr>-i-mi komo sai<>u-k=ibma luvvei-ma


1P.ACT.UNAG.SG-receive.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR PART burn-DAT touch.PAST
ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.SG PART pot-ALLAT very.hot-GEN

!
%
%

I got a burn because I touched the scolding hot pot


oa on mahhikis, hanni-a kade iia
[ mh:s hn:ia kde iia]

%
!

oa on mahh-i-ki-s- hani-a kade ii-a


still PART hunt-ASS.CONCL.ITR-TRANSLO-HAB-3P.AG.SG so.MEDIASS.PART PART old-COP.ASS

X still goes hunting, despite being so/this old

!
%

tamara tei omuki atkanokkamo, kekken ari ymyra nikimi


[tmra tei mui atknkm ccn ri ymyra nicimi]

%
!
!

tama-ra tei o-m-u-ki- atka=nokka-mo, kekk-en ari ymy-ra nik-i-m-i-


many-COP.PERF.ASS PART. attack-PAST-PAT.PART-PL-AGT tail=call-GEN too-GEN ARI terribleCOP.PERF.ASS die-ITR-INCONCL-AGT.PART.UNAG.PL-AGT

alas, the wolf attacks have been many and the deaths too terrible

%
%

soprei sikvihidohaita mes, kiba-ho i itiuai


[spxei sk:vihidhida ms cbah xi itiujai]

%
!
!

sopr<e>-i sikvi=hidoha-i-ta mes, kiba-ho i iti=ua--i


golden-ADV shiny=haired-COP.PAST.ASS-3P.AG.SG PART. eye.DUAL-AGT3P.POSS.SG.ANI PART.
ice=water-AGT-COP.PAST.ASS

X was blonde haired, the eyes like ice-water (lit. goldenly shiny-haired)

%
%

nata i tamosi ata-errobmot rtmmai ari te


[nta xi tmsi taer:pm rtm:ai ri de]

%
%

n-a-ta i tamosi- ata=erro=bmot-, rtmma-i ari te


COP.PAST-ASS-3P.AG.SG PART hunter-AGT hard=working-AGT, fool-COP.PAST.ASS PART and

he was a hardworking man/hunter unfortunately, he was also a fool

'
%

rtmmaita na i tamosi ata-errobmot


[rtm:ida na xi tmsi taer:pm]

%
%

rtmma-i-ta n-a i tamosi- ata=erro=bmot-


fool-COP.PAST.ASS-3P.AG.SG COP.PAST-ASS PART hunter-AGT hard=working-AGT

he was a fool fortunately, he was a hardworking man/hunter

262

!
%

vahta eruloila, nette eruluiata taga


[vahta eruljila nte eruluida tga]

%
!
!

vahta er<u>l-oi-la- nette er<u>l-u-ia-ta taga


completely work.PAST-COND.IRR.INFER-PERF-3P.AG.SG surely work.PAST-! PAT.PART.AGT
COP.COND.IRR.ASS-3P.AG.SG PART

!
!

if X would have worked to completion, then surely (it follows that) Y would
be done

'
%

nantia katta sto koi, nantia debmi karsa te


[nania kata i:st ki nania dpmi karsa de]

%
%
!

nant-i-a katta sto- koi-, nant-i-a debmi karsa- te


receive-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR PART. gift-DAT older.brother-AGT, receive-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR PART.
younger.brother-AGT and

seeing as the older brother received a gift, so did the younger brother too

!
%

iuditagi gielsuao on kolkonta, kolsotta, mhnadi, hiamis te ippdi taga


[iuidji lsuj: klknta klsta mi:hni hims de pi tga]

%
%
!

iu-di=ta-gi giels-u-a-o on kolko-s kolsot-ta mhna-di hiami-s te ipp-di taga


winter.solstice-ILLAT-PL prepare-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-4P.AG PART bread-GEN cheese-GEN
mhna-GEN hiamin-GEN and ipp-GEN PART.

!
!

for the in winter solstice celebration, we prepared bread, cheese, mhna


(pemmican), hiamin (honey and milk brew) and ipp (tallow and berries)

263

8 Postpositions
Siwa makes use of postpositions. Postpositions have their head noun in either the
genitive or a locative case the locative or genitive cases are used for destinal
postpositions (those which show a movement to a destination) and the genitive is
used for directional postpositions (those which show a movement to a general
direction). Postpositions may be found before their head noun (then becoming
prepositions), but this is unusual.
!
Postpositions can be found in a variety of forms. Usually, a single
postposition will have at least three forms (static, movement to and movement from).
Certain postpositions exist in both the internal locative cases (inessive, illative and
elative) and the surface locative cases (adessive, allative and ablative). Another set
of special cases only found with postpositions and adverbs exist, showing movement
towards and along, both with movement to and from.
!
Most spacial postpositions are also used as adverbs. They are listed in 7.3.
Conjunctions are also used as postpositions (see 8.1) Other postpositions include:
!

ahha ! !

!
%

%
%

klda ahha sndi salla besi ma


[clda h:a si:ni sl:a bsxi ma]

%
!

%
!

k-lda ahha sndi sa=lla bes-i m-a


war-GEN after long-GEN good-ADV peace-ITR COP.PAST.INCONCL-ASS

after the war, there was a long period of peace

aska !

after +GEN.

because +ELAT/GEN

%
%

%
%

nonientseka aska otrgi


[nnintsega aska tri]

%
%
!
!

%
%
!
!

non-i-en-t=se=ka aska o-t-r<g>-i


swim-ITR-HAB.NEG-INFI.ITR.AG-ELAT because !
SUBJ-3P.ACT.UNAG-! !
drown.past-ASS.CONCL.ITR

X drowned because of his/her not being able to swim

d or tevu !

before +GEN

%
%

%
%

koba tevu
[kba tevu]

%
%

%
%

ko-ba tevu
summer-GEN before

!
gala !

before summer
!
with (instrumental meaning)

'
%

'
%

misahi gala htvia


[mishi gla htw:ia]

misa-hi gala htv-i-a--

264

rock-GEN with hit-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X hit Y with a rock (also misahigla)

!
gagi !

with (comitative meaning) +GEN

ikid gagi boinnia koni mata


[ic gi bin:ia kni mta]

%
%

%
!

iki-d gagi boi<nn>=ia kon-i m-a-ta


axe-GEN with belt-INESS walk-ITR COP.PAST.INCONCL-ASS-3P.AG.SG

X was walking with his/her axe in his/her belt

gari !
garita !
garika !

!
!
!

instead of X +GEN
id. (movement to)
id. (movement from)

%
%

%
%

ltottaa sihdi sitkabme gari


[il:ttja shi stkapme gri]

%
%

%
%

l-tott-a-a- sir-di sitk-at=me gari


forward-trade-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG fish-GEN fish-INFI.TR.AG-GEN instead

X bought fish instead of fishing for it

gatta !

along, with, as well +GEN

%
%

%
%

skutai gatta
[i:skuai gata]

%
!

%
!

sku-ta-i gatta
womenfolk-GEN-PL ALONG

with the womenfolk or the womenfolk as well

gattia !
!

!
!

in the presence of, when X is present, in X case, in


the situation of X +GEN

'
%

'
%

iuagi gattia seumi


[iuwji gatia sejumi]

%
%

%
!

iu-a-gi gattia se-um-i


elders-GEN-PL in.the.presence listen-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.ITR

in the presence of elders, one must listen

265

genna/gedna !
!
!
genta ! !
genka ! !
geska ! !
!
!

at Xs place, in (of area), in the area of, on the


subject of +GEN
id. (movement to)
id. (movement from)
as far as X is concerned, concerning X, as
for X, with respect to X +ELAT

%
%

%
%

prrabme genna sohluata


[pi:r:apme en:a shluda]

%
%

%
%

prr-a-t=me genna soh=la-a-ta


heal-ASS.TR-INFI.TR.AG-GEN in best-COP.ASS-3P.AG.SG

in the field of healing, X is the best

%
%

%
%

emitsekami geska...
[emitsegmi ska]

%
%

%
%

em-i-t=sa=ika-mi geska
believe-ITR-INFI.ITR.AG-GEN-ELAT-1P.AG.SG as.far.as

as far as me believing it, ...

halia~halla !
!
!

in the wake of, as a result of, because, following,


after +GEN

%
%

%
%

longamo halia nekettagga kola


[l:m hljia nectak:a klja]

%
%

%
%

lo<ng>a-mo halia neke<tt>-a-gga kola-


intense.cold-GEN in.wake lose.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.PL.INCL crops-DAT

as a reseult of the intense cold, we lost our crops

hokvi ! !
hokoma ! !

all the way to X and back


back and forth

'
%

'
%

kodi temme tvdari hokvi


[kdi tem:e tvdri hkw:i]

%
!

%
!

ko<d>-i- te<mm>=e tvd=airi hokvi


walk.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG shore-GEN down.DIRECT.ALONG to.and.back

X went all the day down to the shore and back

266

ska !

thanks to +ELAT

%
%

%
%

oapigga ska irrinkeimi


[bk:a i:ska ir:ii:ceimi]

%
!

%
!

oapi-ka=ka ska irri-nk-e-i-mi


help-ELAT thanks.to through-be.able-past-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.SG

thanks to (your) help, I was able to make it through

kehha !
!
kea !
kega !

!
!
!
!

in the form/shape of, as, in Xs skin/position/point of


view +GEN
id. (movement to)
id. (movement from)

%
%

%
%

obmi tatatta kea


[bi:mi ttata ce:a]

%
%

%
%

o-<m>-i- tata-tta kea


SUBJ-change.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG wolf-GEN in.form.ILLAT

X turned into a wolf

kha !

within Xs reach +GEN

%
%

%
%

so da-a sosia kha koknen?


[s() da: ssia ce:ja cn]

%
!

%
!

so d-aa sosi=a kha koknen-


INTERROG COP-ASSINTERROG 2P.SG.INESS at.hand koknen-AGT

do you have a koknen (cedar strip basket) within reach?

kea !
!

!
!

for (directed at someones/somethings memory/


honor/person) +GEN

%
%

%
%

geimuo kalka kea


[eimu cal:ka cea]

%
%

%
%

geimo-o- kala-ka kea


feeling-PL-AGT land-GEN for

(the) feelings for the land

267

ketso ! !
!
!

according to, due to, because (usually implies a


tradition or a custom) +GEN

%
%

%
%

souma eimue ketso keggaska kolottaika


[sxuma eimue ctsx cjk:aska kltiga]

%
%

%
%

so-um-a- eimo-e ketso keggas--ka kolo-tta=ika


feed-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR-IMP belief-GEN due.to foetus-DAT-PL womb-ELAT

!
!

!
!

according to our believes, we must feed the foetuses (when taking


them) out of the womb (of a killed animal)

keu or e !
!
!
!

together, with, as well (sometimes pronounced


[-k] or [-x]) +GEN

sankiami kottaka keu


[sacimi ktga ceu] or [ktgak] or [ktgax]

%
!

%
!

sank-i-a--mi ko=tta-ka keu


build-past-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-1P.AG.SG older.brother-GEN-1P.PAT.SG with

I built X with my older brother

kimi !

for (for a purpose) +ILLAT

%
%

%
%

eskuekkuma tsehmeitagi kimi maha


[skujkuma tshmeidji cimi mja]

%
%

%
!

eskuekk-um-a- tseru-me=ita-gi kimi maha-


empty-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR-IMP steam.hut.ceremony-ILLAT-PL for stomach-DAT

!
!

!
!

(we) must empty our stomachs for the tserugi (steam hut
ceremony)

kia !
kita !
kika !

!
!
!

away (static) +GEN


id. (movement to)
id. (movement from)

%
%

%
%

katotsgin oahka kika


[kttsj:n ahka cka]

%
%

%
!

kat-o-tsg-i-n oari-ka kika


from-SUBJ-move-ASS.CONCL.ITR-IMPER.2P.SG edge-GEN away-ELAT

move away from the edge!

268

kia !

within Xs sight +GEN

%
%

%
%

tahopsei oton kia


[thp:sei tn ci:ja]

%
!

%
!

ta-hops-e-i so=ton kia


3P.ACT.UNAG-vomit-PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR every-GEN in.sight

X vomited in front of everybody/while everyone saw

kuka ! !
!

because of, on the basis of, based on +ELAT

sekueika kuka
[sekueiga cka]

%
%

%
!

seko-e=ika kuka
law-ELAT because

because of the law/on account of the law

kolo !
!
kolta !
kolka !

!
!
!
!

around (here/there), close to (here), in the vicinity of


+GEN

id. (movement to)


id. (movement from)

%
%

%
%

ara unahi kolo tiogi


[wra unhi kl tiji]

%
%

%
%

ar-a u<n>a-hi kolo tiogi-


there.is.somewhere-ASS.CONL.TR widening-GEN around dam-AGT

there is a dam somewhere around where (the river) widens

kua !
kita !
kika !

!
!
!

in Xs distance, at a distance of X +GEN


id. (movement to)
id. (movement from)

%
%

%
%

kengukoamo kua denarika


[c:ukm k:ja denriga]

%
%

%
%

kengu=ko<>a-mo kua de<n>a-ri=ka


day=half-GEN at.distance village-ELAT

at half a days distance from the village

269

kuma ! !
kbma ! !
kska ! !

with X number of people, in a group of X +GEN


id. (movement to)
id. (movement from)

'
%

'
%

tahrikiri hanga kuma


[tahriiri h:wa k:ma]

%
%

%
!

ta<hr>-i-ki-ri hang=a kuma


leave.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-TRANSLO-3P.AG.PL five-GEN.ANI in.number

they left as a group of 5

magga ! !

in the case of X, in the event of X, should X be +GEN

%
%

%
%

mhruomatta magga set netiemi nu-a kitami


[m:hrumata ma:ia s netiemi ni:xua citmi]

%
%
!

%
!
!

mhru-o-m-a-tta magga set -net-ie-mi n-ua kita-a-mi


bear-attack-INCONCL-AGT.PART.UNAG-GEN what.INA-GENREL NEG
know-COND.IRR.INFER-1P.AG.SG what-GEN do-TR-INFI.AG.TR

I wouldnt know what to do in the case of a bear attack

maiai ! !

the whole X through, the entire X +GEN

%
%

%
%

ki vskitse maiai mata


[k:i vi:scitse miai mta]

%
%

%
!

k-i vsk-i-t=se maiai m-a-ta


talk-ITR travel-ITR-INFI.ITR.AG-GEN through.out COP.PAST-ASS-3P.AG.SG

X was talking the whole trip through

mha !

with the help of, with the power of +GEN

%
%

%
%

hnamo mha piaguasa


[hu:nm mi:ja pij:usa]

%
%

%
!

h<n>a-mo mha piagu-a-sa-


steam.hut-GEN with.help heal-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

!
%

with the help/power of the steam hut, X will heal you

nega !

in the light of, since, because +GEN

%
%

%
%

dlumatta nega
[tumata nea]

%
%

%
%

dl-u-m-a-tta nega
be.a.certain.way-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL-INCONCL-AGT.PART.UNAG-GEN in.light

in light of the situation

270

noga !
!
nogita !
nogika !

!
!
!
!

at the end of, depending on (usually implies


something hanging) +GEN
id. (movement to)
id. (movement from) (most commonly used)

%
%

%
%

tilippen sviladi nogika na kves


[ilpn svili nj:iga na kvs]

%
!

%
!

til-i-ppen svi<l>a-di nogi=ka n-a kve-s


HANG-FREQ BRAID-GEN AT.END.ELAT COP.INCONCL-ASS FEATHER-PAT

!
!

!
!

a feather is hanging from the end of Xs


braid

!
%

'
%

harka noga
[harka nj:a]

%
%

%
!

ha<r>a-ka noga
weather-GEN depending.on

depending on the weather

nonga/n(gu) !
'

in X language, in Xs word +GEN

sdi n(gu)
[sy:i n(gu)]

%
%

%
!

s<>-di n(gu)
Sia-GEN in

in Siwa

ortta or ohta !
!
!

for, because (on the occasion of - usually implies


some event or time) +GEN

%
%

%
%

mauhheka tohtamha ortta moigga


[muh:ega thtamha rt:a mxik:a]

%
%

%
%

mau<hh>e-ka tohta=m=ha ortta mo-i-gga


hunt-GEN fruitful-GEN for drink-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.PL.INCL

because/for the fruitful hunt, we will drink

(ni)raima ''
(ni)raibma '
(ni)raiska !

against, in front of, before, to (someones face) +GEN


id. (movement to)
id. (movement from)

271

'
%

'
%

raima-i hantoeemmi
[rimai hantjeem:i ]

%
!

%
!

raimai -hanto-ie-=en-mi
before-2P.POSS.PL ITR-lie-COND.IRR-NEG.HABIL-1P.AG.SG

I would not lie to you (lit I would not be able to lie before you)

riki !
!
riehta ! !
riehka or rikka !

at Xs house, in Xs opinion +GEN


id. (movement to)
id. (movement from)

'
%

'
%

iivikimi lilda riehta


[iiviimi llda rhta ]

%
!

%
!

i-iv-i-ki-mi lil-da rieh=ta


DITR-stay-ASS.CONCL.ITR-TRANSLO-1P.AG.SG paternal.uncle-GEN to=house

Im going to stay at my paternal uncles house

roo !
rota !
!
roka !

!
!
!
!

in the way +GEN


id., to someone (movement to, implies an event
happening to someone)
id. (movement from)

%
%

%
%

katotsgin roka
[kttsj:n rka]

%
%

%
%

kat-o-tsg-i-n ro-ka
from-SUBJ-move-ASS.CONCL.ITR-IMPER.2P.SG in.the.wat-ELAT

move out of the way

saa ! !

within Xs earshot +GEN

%
%

%
%

loaltsovisen g sikengdi saa


[laltsxvisn xj: sice:di s:ja]

%
%

%
%

loal-tsov-i-sen =g sike<ng>-un-di saa


secret-say.about-ASS.CONCL.ITR-2P.IMP.NEG any.TEMPO enemy-GEN within.earshot

never talk behind your enemys back

272

sesta !

Xs turn +GEN

%
%

%
%

skutai sesta udni


[i:skuai ssta :tni]

%
%

%
%

sku-ta-i sesta udni


womenfolk-GEN-PL turn now

its the womens turn now

sia~svia !

except +ELAT

%
%

%
%

negagge st iihka svia


[negac:e sx ihka svixa]

%
%

%
%

n<eg>-a-gge s=t i<>i--ka svia


see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.PL.EXCL nothing-GEN bark-ELAT except

we didnt see a single thing (lit. we saw nothing except bark)

samna ! !

during +GEN

%
%

%
%

indi katanotsabme samna mgilumi


[ni ktntsapme samn:a mj:ilumi]

%
%

%
%

imi-di kata-nots-a-t=me samna mgil-i-mu


bear.head-GEN from-take-ASS.TR-INFI.AG.TR-GEN while be.silent-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.ITR

while taking the bear head, one must be silent

ssi !
!
ssita ! !
ssika ! !

past, by, close to (over there), at +GEN


id. (movement to)
id. (movement from)

%
%

%
%

konin seskosta ssita


[knn ssksta sy:sxida]

%
%

%
%

kon-i-n sesko-sta ssi-ta


walk-ASS.CONCL.ITR-2P.IMPER seskora-GEN past-ILLAT!

walk past the seskora (tree used to find ones way)

syga or si !
!
!

by (X amount of time/quantity), by X measure


(comparative) +GEN

'
%

%
%

todatta si sisotuana savi megi


[tdata si sisduna svi mei]

%
%

%
!

toda-tta si sis-ota-a-na savi megi-


head-GEN by tall-COMPAR-COP.ASS-2P.AG.SG than 1p.PRON.AGT

you are taller than me by a head

273

ilu !
!

!
!

X time ago (usually found with a subordinate or


relative clause) +ELAT

%
%

%
%

taba sinka ilu konkonimi


[tba ska ilju kknimi]

%
%

%
%

ta-ba sin=ka ilu konk-on-i-mi


much-GEN long-ELAT ago be.young.boy-REL-COP.PAST.ASS-1P.AG.SG

a long time ago, when I was a young boy

tevu.nldita !

before Xs time, earlier than expected +GEN

%
%

%
%

tanigi tevu iula nldita


[tni tevu iula ni:lida]

%
%

%
%

ta-ni<g>-i tevu iu-la n<ld>-ita


3P.ACT.UNAG-die.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR before age-GEN face-ILLAT

X died before its age

tatsi !

in addition to, plus +GEN

'
%

'
%

tatsi-so
[ttsis]

%
%

%
%

tatsiso
in.addition-2P.SG.POSS

in addition to you or plus you +GEN

tonta !

as, in the same way as +ILLAT

%
%

%
%

ki attaita tonta
[k:i :ida tnta]

%
%

%
%

k-i- a-tta=ita tonta


speak-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG father-ILLAT same.way

X speaks in the same way as his/her father

274

tsodlo !

through (usually implies a complicated path) +GEN

%
%

%
%

riebmii siaakadi tsodlo


[rpmii sijgi tst]

%
%

%
%

riebm-i-i- sia<>aka-di tsodlo


navigate-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HABIL-3P.AG.SG river.system-GEN through

!
!

!
X knows how to navigate through (the maze of) the river !
system/waterways

tshma ! !
tshpa ! !
tsska ! !

at the point of, at, on the verge of +GEN


id. (movement to)
id. (movement from)

%
%

%
%

rarpiri tshma
[rarpiri tsy:hma]

%
%

%
!

rarpi-ri tsih=ma
madness-GEN on.verge

at the edge of madness

tsk !

per, every +GEN

%
%

%
%

m todatta tsk
[m: tdata tsc]

%
%

%
%

m- toda-tta tsk
one-AGT head-GEN per

one per person/head

tuka !

despite +ELAT

%
%

%
%

butamika tuka
[butmiga tk:a]

%
%

%
%

bu<t>a-mi=ka tuka
bad.weather-ELAT despite

despite the bad weather

275

tita !

not until +ILLAT

%
%

%
%

ehr tahsa deitabi kamnikita tita


[jhr tahsa deidbi camniida ita]

%
%
!

%
%
!

ehr- tahh-sa d-e-ita-bi kamni-ki=ta tita


possible-ASST.CONCL.TRANSL leave-INFI.AG.ITR COP-INFER-ILLAT-1P.PL.RECI dawn-ILLAT
not.until

it wont be possible for us to leave until dawn

ubukka % !

for Xs part, on Xs behalf +GEN

%
%

%
%

set-a usotisi ksa ubukka-go


[s:a ustisi k:sa ubkag]

%
%
!

%
%
!

sem u-sot-i-si k-sa ubukkago


NEGASS.PART PASS-give-ASS.CONCL.ITR-2P.SG.RECI speak-INFI.AG.ITR
on.behalf-1P.POSS.SG

you may not speak on my behalf

vite !
!

!
!

for (the honor of, for the benefit of - usually implies


some sacrifice) +GEN

%
%

%
%

tatantskihi vite
[ttantsihi vt:xe]

%
%

%
%

tatan=tski-hi vite
wolf=guardian-GEN for

in honor of/for the wolves tskis (parent spirit)

%
%

vevi/vevvi !
after, around, in the direction of (when two things
!
!
are in movement) +GEN
vita/veita '
id. (movement to)
vika/veika !
id. (movement from)
!
%
lomi mimkihi vevvi na garis
%
[lmi mimihi vew:i na grs]

%
%

%
%

lom-i mimki-hi vevvi n-a garis-


chase-ITR butterfly-GEN after COP.INCONCL-ASS little.boy-AGT

the little boy is chasing after the butterfly

!
%

!
%

oakibma vita
[abma vida]

%
%

%
!

oak=ibma v-ita
home.ALLAT after.ILLAT

homeward, towards home


276

voaga ! !

for fear of +GEN

%
%

%
%

set ma tykkidne voaga


[s ma tctne vj:a]

%
%
!

%
%
!

set m-a-- tykk-i-t=ne voaga


NEG eat.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG poison-!
ASS.ITR-INFI.SUBJ.UNAG-GEN for.fear

X didnt eat Y for fear of getting poisoned

277

9 Verbs
Verbs are by far the most complex part of the Siwa grammar a verb stem can be
modified to take on a wide variety of meanings, aspects, moods, persons, etc. Many
Siwa verbs correspond to English adjectives. A verbal root can be taken from nouns
or adjectives and may require very little modification, such that verbs are extremely
productive and an open class. A large set of derivative endings also allow for the
creation of many types of verbs from many word categories.
!
Both prefixes and suffixes are part of Siwa verbal conjugation. Suffixes are
much more common and there can sometimes be seven or more, whereas the most
prefixes there can be on a verb is four. The most basic form a verb can have in any
tense, mood, aspect or otherwise is equivalent to the English X will VERB or X will V,
where V stands for the action. For simplicitys sake, these forms will be translated as
X will VERB Y when there is an object. Verbs are most often listed in this form in
dictionaries, as it shows in most cases the bare stem of the verb, and the addition of a (for transitive verbs) and -i (for intransitive verbs) and preverbal vowels, for
example:
%
!
!

kega % v.at %
%
okegi! v.asubj' '
neni % v.ai %
%

X will hide Y
X will hide (him/herself)
X will sit

This shows the reader that the stems of the verb are keg- to hide and nen- to sit.
9.1 Verb morphology
Verbs can be marked for:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

transitivity
!
transitive
!
intransitive
!
translative
!
subjective
!
ditransitive
!
passive

278

!
!
!

tense
!
!

!
!
!

agentivity
!
agentive
!
unagentive

!
!
!

evidentiality
!
assertive
!
inferential

non-past
past

!
!
!
!
!

aspect
!
!
!
!

conclusive
inconclusive
habitual
perfective 1

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

secondary aspects
!
reversive
!
semelfactive
!
persistive
!
frequentative
!
inchoative
!
subitive
!
habilitive
!
diminutive

!
!
!
!
!
!

location and manner


!
cislocative
!
translocative
!
locative markers
!
preverbal adverbs
!
agentive descriptive

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

mood
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

person
!
first
!
second
!
third animate
!
third inanimate
!
third person obviative
!
fourth person
number
!
singular
!
plural
!
inclusive
!
exclusive

indicative
optative
conditional realis
conditional irrealis
obligative
imperative
imperative obviative

In addition, Siwa has nine absolutive descriptives which can be added to the stem of
verbs. Not all these markings can be present at all times, but transitivity marking as
well as person/number is required for all verb forms. In addition, all pronouns are
marked for agentivity (agentive or unagentive) and role (subject [agent], direct object
[patient] or indirect object [recipient]) in addition to number. Thus, the underlying
form of kega X will hide Y and neni X will sit
%
%
%
kega
%
%
[cega]
%
%
keg-a--
%

hide-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X will hide Y

The word perfective here does not refer to an actual perfective aspect (which is marked by
conclusivity), but rather a perfect tense marker, which in Siwa behaves morphologically like an aspect
marker but semantically like a tense marker. The actual marker is called the perfective (aspectual
marker), but the result is simply called the perfect.
1

279

!
%
%

!
%

neni
[neni]

%
!

nen-i-
hide-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG

X will sit

Siwa is a VOS language with a strict word order. The verb is generally only preceded
by adverbs and coordination particles, and is followed by temporal and locative
adverbs, recipients, objects and finally subjects.
!

ADV!

VERB!

TEMPORAL

LOCATIVE

OBJECT!

RECIPIENT

SUBJECT

Consider the phrase below:


%
%
%

ska iluhha kendia kemra karttaita ki to koi


[ska iluh:a cnia cmra kart:ida u:i t ki]

%
!

ska i-luhh-a kend-ia kem=ra kar-tta=ita =ki to- koi-


often DIT-boil-ASS.CONCL.TR early-INESS in.the.morning younger.brother-ILLAT
water-GEN 3PRON.ANI.AGT.SG older.brother-AGT

!
!

The older brother often boils water for his younger brother early in the
morning
SBJ
OBJ

VERB
RECI

TEMP
AD V

ska

iluhha

kendia kemra

karttaita

ki

to koi

Take a look at the following similar sentences, both VOS but showing independent
and incorporated subjects and objects.
nokkiania
[ncinija]

%
%

%
%

nokk-i-a-ni-ja-
call-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-CISLO-3P.PAT.PL-3P.AG.SG

X called them over

!
'
%

'
%

nokkiani tegmua to kesamo


[ncini egmua t csxm]

nokk-i-a-ni tegma--a to kesamo-


call-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-CISLO child-DAT-PL 3P.PRON.ANI.AG.SG teacher-AGT

The teacher called the children over

280

9.2 Verb Structure


The structure of Siwa verbs can be divided in two types; independent verbs and
copular constructions. Verbs can assume both forms, depending on their syntactical
role and the phrase construction. Independent verbs carry all the information, where
as copular verbs have both the copula and the verb carrying parts of the information,
separated amongst themselves according to specific rules.
!
Verbs are copular in relative clauses and subclauses as well as in the
inconclusive, except impersonal verbs, which have a special inconclusive marker. A
few verbs, such as tat- to think (tabmimi or tabmami I think/I am thinking) and detto feel like, want (debmami I feel like X) are inconclusive but are not impersonal.
Verbal adjectives also use the independent inconclusive.
9.2.1 Independent Verbs
Independent verbs are so called because they are not cleaved like the copular
verbs. Independent verbs are made up of a stem, which is surrounded by affixes,
which are housed in specific slots. Each slot is numbered from the stem, and each
slot houses affixes or classes of endings. The minimal form of the verb always has at
least one used slot (the post verbal vowel is always present) the root is never bare.
!
The three slots that precede the stem, termed prefix slots, are regular.
However, the same cannot be said of the 9 suffix slots. While the majority are fixed
and regular, two slots may switch places with one another according to the ending of
the verbal stem.
!
Below is a description of each slots function in the verb.

9.2.1.1 Prefix slots


Prefix slots are those which come before the stem. There are three such slots,
numbered -3, -2 and -1. Note that prefix slots are always unstressed, and thus follow
the same orthography rules as unstressed prefixes.
preverbal
adverbs

unagentive
pronouns

preverbal vowel

stem

-3

-2

-1

!
9.2.1.1.1 Slot -3
Slot -3 houses all preverbal adverbs. These prefixes are a kind of incorporated form
of spacial, temporal or manner adverbs, which may significantly change the meaning
of the original verb. They resemble prepositional verbs in English, e.g. give in vs. give
up. Compare the verb koni X will walk with utakona X will disobey Y and
arokona X will be loyal to Y.
!
See 9.14 on preverbal adverbs

281

9.2.1.1.2 Slot -2
Slot -2 houses unagentive pronouns. Unagentive pronouns are pronouns used to
show that the doer of an action is not in control, or acts unwillingly or by accident. For
example, the verb stem sahh- to speak may combine with the preverbal adverb aiin slot -3 and the unagentive pronoun ent- (first person singular).
!
See 9.3.5 on unagentive pronouns
aih-

-ent-

--

sasti

-3

-2

-1

aientsasti
[intsasti]
ai-ent-sa<st>-i
wrong-1P.UNAG.SG-speak.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR

I misspoke
!
9.2.1.1.3 Slot -1
Slot -1 houses all preverbal vowels. Preverbal vowels include a- for translative verbs
made from adjectives, o- for subjective verbs and d-/da- or r-/ro- for conditional realis.
The conditional realis prefix always precedes other preverbal vowels. For example,
the verb to break has both slot -2 and -1 filled, and slot -1 can have two morphemes
(conditional realis and subjective preverbal vowel).
%
%
!
%
!

a-!
!
o-!
!
i-!
!
u-!
!
d(a)-, ro-!

agentive (translative from adjectives)


subjective
ditransitive
passive
conditional realis

See 9.5.2, 9.5.4 and 9.5.6 on preverbal vowels.


-

-en-

d-o-

soga

-3

-2

-1

endosoga tiema
[ndsj:a tiema]
en-d-o-sog-a tiema-
1P.UNAG.SG-COND.REAL-SUBJ-breakASS.CONCL.TR hand-DAT

if I break my hand

282

9.2.1.2 Verb Stem


The verb stem is core of the verbal phrase. The stem is the bare verb, as it is given in
dictionaries, but lacking both prefixes and suffixes. The form of the verb stem is an
important factor for the order of slots 3 and 4. Verb stems also carry stress.
!
Certain verb stems contain only consonants and are called consonantal
roots. These verbs are usually preceded by a preverbal vowel. Their number is very
small and include:
!
!
!
-r- !
to bite! !
found as ir!
!
-t-!
to unite!
found as ot!
!
-tk-!
to train!!
found as otk!
!
-h-!
to eat! !
found as h!
!
-ht-!
do (past)!
found as ahtVerb stems may also be vocalic, containing only a vowel. These are often irregular,
and not as common as consonantal stems. They are usually augmented either in the
present or the past form (commonly with an- or n- in the past) or mark their past by
diphthong coalescence (see 3.1.5.1 on diphthong coalescence or 9.10.1.1.3 on
diphthong-final verbs).
!

present!!

past

-e-!
-i-!
--!
-o-!
-oa-!
--!

to bathe!
to throw!
to change!
to attack!
to say! !
to lie! !

!
!
!
!
!
!

gia!
bia!
%
oa!
oai!
i'

anevva
ania
mi
anoa
noai
ani

-!
-'
ay-'
pa-!

to raise!
!
to be disgusted%
to feel sick!
!
to disappear! !

AUGMENTED

!
!
!
!
%
%

!
!
!
!
%
%

!
!
%
!
!
'

COALESCING

!
'
%
'

!
'
%
'

%
%
tb% %
aymi% %
tapau%%

a
tmi
mami
tapey

9.2.1.2.1 Slot 1
Slot 1 houses absolutive descriptives, which are attached directly onto the bare stem.
Absolutive descriptives are not necessary, but they add information about the shape
or appearance of the absolutive participant, which is the subject of an intransitive
verb or the object of a transitive verb. There are nine such descriptives.
!
Absolutive descriptives begin with a vowel, which is deleted if the stem of a
verb ends in the same vowel. For example, the form of the verb sarkkia X broke Y
can be modified by the absolutive descriptive ahp, which describes something long
or pointy, to sarkkahpia X broke Y into a point. See 9.15 on absolutive
descriptives.

283

9.2.1.2.2 Slot 2
Slot 2 houses the complementizer (most commonly -ot- or -tot-), which is a
subordination conjunction, equivalent to the English that, as in I know that you saw
me, or in Siwa: netami negotanga. See 9.16 on complementization.

neg-

--

-ot-

-anga

...

negotanga
[negd:a]
n<eg>-ot-a-n=ga
see.PAST-COMPLEASS.CONCL.TR-1.PAT.SG=2P.AG.SG

that you saw me

9.2.1.2.3 Slot 3 and 4


Slot 3 and 4 are sometimes found in the reverse order 4-3 rather. Their order
depends on how the post verbal vowel and the endings housed in the two slots
combine.
!
Slot 3 contains the markers for the obligative (-um-), the perfective (-l- or -la-)
and habitual aspects (-s- or -sa-). Slot 4 contains the postverbal vowel, which shows :

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

mood
!
indicative
!
optative
!
conditional irrealis
evidentiality
!
assertive
!
inferential
transitivity
!
transitive
!
intransitive
!
translative

There are two rules that determine the order of slots 3 and 4. The order 3-4 is called
rule 1, while the order 4-3 is called rule 2. These rules do not apply to the obligative um-, as it always uses the 3-4 slot order.
!
There are three main criteria that determine which rule applies. The normal
3-4 order (rule 1) is changed to 4-3 (rule 2) if:
284

The verb does not end in one of the consonant clusters


!
given in the table below.
The verb is is in the third person singular, first and second
!
person %plural and in the habitual aspect.
%
%
-as
%
%
-askka
%
%
-askke
%
%
-asta
The verb is in the first and second person plural and the
%
perfective aspect.
!
!
-alkka
%
%
-alkke
%
%
-altta
There are no overtly used slots between slot 4 and the
!
subject pronouns (slot 9).
When there is no personal pronoun used at all, such as in passives, rule
1 is prefered.
!
!

Rule 1 (3-4)%
(-sa-, -la-)!

!
!
!

!
!

!
!

!
!

Rule 2 (4-3)
(-as-, -al-)

kegsa!mi!
!
!
I usually hide Y!!
!
(ends in rule 1 consonant)!

!
!
!

ketkasmi
I usually hid Y
(does not end in rule 1 consonant)

!
!
!

kegsari!
!
they usually hide Y!
(3P.PL habitual)! !

!
!
!

!
!
!

kegas%
X usually hides Y
(3P.SG habitual)

!
!
!

keglami!
!
!
I have hidden Y!
!
(1P.SG and perfective)! !

!
!
!

kegalkka
we have hidden Y
(1P.PL and perfective)

!
!
!

keglasagge! !
!
we have hidden you! !
(slot used between 4 and 9)!

!
!
!

kegalkka
we have hidden Y
(1P.PL and perfective)

!
!
!

umaamsi!
!
!
it was onced believed! !
(no pronoun)! !
!

!
!
!

aamis
X used to believe
(3P.SG habitual)
285

All other forms of verbs (the endings not provided in the table below) follow the rule 1,
with the slot order 3-4.
Rule 1
Slot 3-4
Verb stem

habitual
aspect
marker

examples

-m-

-mh-

nemami I will pile Y up nemhami I usually pile Y


up

-bb-pp-p-

-ps-

vappana you will praise Y vapsana you usually


praise Y

-b-

-bs-

oboibina you will arm yourself oboibsina you


usually arm yourself
nonina you will swim ntina you usually swim

-n-

-nt- or -t(or -r-)

munina you will rest mtina you usually rest


nainana you will use Y naintana you usually
use Y

-nt-

-nts- or ts-

bntami I will weave Y bntsami I usually


weave Y (also butsami)

-t-

-ts-

eitari they will build Y eitsari they usually build


Y

-s-

-ss-

saisami I will warn Y saissami I usually warn Y

-r-

-rh-

morana you will grind Y morhana you usually


grind Y

-lt-ltt-ld-

-lts-

suikildiri they will live together suikiltsiri they


usually live together

-l-

-ls- or -lh-

vielami I will snare Y vielsami or vielhami I


usually snare Y

-gg-kk-k-

-ks-

ikkami I will jump over Y iksami I usually


jump over Y

286

Rule 1
Slot 3-4
-g-

-gs-

kegami I will hide Y kegsami I usually hide Y

-h-hh--

-hs-

dohhari they will say goodbye to Y dohsari they


usually say goodbye to Y

-hh-

--

pohhimi I will sleep poimi I usually sleep

Verb stem

perfective
aspect
marker

examples

-t-tt-d-dd-

-dl-

pittami I will pay attention to Y pidlami I have


paid attention to Y

-s-

-sl-

kesana you will pay learn Y keslana you have


paid learned Y

-l-

-ll-

setulari they will push Y setullari they have


pushed Y

-n-

-ndl-

manimi I will come mandlimi I have come

-gg-kk-k-

-kl-

tsuoggami I will hope for Y tsuoklami I have


hoped for Y

-g-

-gl-

geigana you will share Y geiglana you have


shared Y

-h-hh-

-hl-

nyhha you will bend Y nyhla you have bent Y

---

-l-

kiaha there is something big kiala there have


been something big

Because of the form of the obligative marker -um-, it always requires the order 3-4.
Notice that the inconclusive and perfective markers have the following behavior (PV is
the postverbal vowel):
%
%
%
%

-C- +% -m- %
%
%
-C-m-PV %
%
-C-PV-ma%

where -Cm- is allowed


where -Cm- is not allowed
287

%
!
%
!
!

%
-C-PV-m-mi%
!
!
!
-C- +% -l-%
%
%
-C-l-PV% %
%
-C-PV-la%%

with first person -mi

where -Cl- is allowed


where -Cl- is not allowed

Compare the following paradigms for the habitual form of the verb mor- to
grind (predominantly rule 1) and nots- to take (exclusively rule 2):
1P.SG! !
2P.SG! !
3P.SG! !
1P.PL.INCL!
1P.PL.EXCL!
2P.PL! !
3P.PL! !
3P.OBV! !
4P.!
!

morhami'
morhana !
moras' '
moraskka !
moraskke !
morasta !
morhari !
morhat '
morhao'

I usually grind Y !
you usually grind Y !
X usually grinds Y!
we usually grind Y!
we usually grind Y!
you usually grind Y!
they usually grind Y!
X usually grinds Y!
one usually grinds Y!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)

1P.SG! !
2P.SG! !
3P.SG! !
1P.PL.INCL!
1P.PL.EXCL!
2P.PL! !
3P.PL! !
3P.OBV! !
4P.!
!

notsasami'
notsasana !
notsas' '
notsaskka !
notsaskke !
notsasta !
notsasari !
notsasat'
notsasao'

I usually take Y !
you usually take Y !
X usually takes Y!
we usually take Y!
we usually take Y!
you usually take Y!
they usually take Y!
X usually takes Y!
one usually takes Y!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)

Compare the paradigm with perfective aspect marker and the verb pitt- to pay
attention (predominantly rule 1) and saykl- to protect (exclusively rule 2):
1P.SG! !
2P.SG! !
3P.SG! !
1P.PL.INCL!
1P.PL.EXCL!
2P.PL! !
3P.PL! !
3P.OBV! !
4P.!
!

pidlami' '
pidlana !!
pidla' '
pittalkka !
pittalkke !
pittaltta !!
pidlari' !
pidlat' !
pidlao' !

I have paid attention to Y!


you have paid attention to Y!
X have paid attention to Y!
we have paid attention to Y!
we have paid attention to Y!
you have paid attention to Y!
they have paid attention to Y!
X has paid attention to Y!
they have paid attention to Y!

288

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)

1P.SG! !
2P.SG! !
3P.SG! !
1P.PL.INCL!
1P.PL.EXCL!
2P.PL! !
3P.PL! !
3P.OBV! !
4P.!
!
!

sayklalami'
sayklalana !
sayklala 1'
sayklalkka !
sayklalkke !
sayklaltta !
sayklalari !
sayklalat !
sayklalao !

I have protected Y !
you have protected Y !
X has protected Y!
we have protected Y!
we have protected Y!
you have protected Y!
you have protected Y!
X has protected Y!
one has protected Y!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)

If the verb does not fulfill the fourth criterion (the verb does not contain a used slot
between slot 4 and 9), the paradigm reverts to rule 1:
1P.SG! !
2P.SG! !
3P.SG! !
1P.PL.INCL!
1P.PL.EXCL!
2P.PL! !
3P.PL! !
3P.OBV! !
4P.!
!

pidlahmi'
pidlanga !
pidlaka' '
pidlasagga !
pidlasagge !
pidlakadda !
pidlakari'
pidlakat' !
pidlakao'

I have paid attention to you!


!
you have paid attention to me! !
X has paid attention to me!
!
we have paid attention to you! !
we have paid attention to you! !
you have paid attention to me! !
they have paid attention to me!!
X has paid attention to me!
!
one has paid attention to me! !

(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)

This means that when no other slot between 4 and 9 is used, the form pittaltta is used
(pitt-a-l-tta), but should the segment -ltta- be intercepted, then the verb reverts to rule
1, i.e. pidlakatta (pitt-l-a-<ka>-tta).
!
Certain verbs can govern both rule 2 for the perfective aspect but rule 1 for
the habitual aspect, as both endings do not behave in the same way. For example,
the verb num- to pick uses rule 1 with the habitual, but rule 2 with the perfective:
!
but
!

numhana !

you usually pick Y !

(-ha-)! !

(rule 1)

numalna !

you have picked Y!

(-al-)!

(rule 2)

9.2.1.2.4 Impersonal Verbs and Verbal Adjectives


Impersonal verbs, verbal adjectives and a very few other verbs also including tat- to
think (tabmimi I am thinking) and det- to feel like, want (debmami I feel like X) use
slot 3 for the markers of the inconclusive (-m- or -ma-). See section 9.9.1.1 for a list
of such verbs. It governs the first rule in all cases if verb stems (augmented or bare)
end in the following consonants:

The combination -lala- is commonly changed to -lola-.

289

Rule 1
Slot 3-4
Verb stem

If the verb stem ends in the following consonants


inconclusive

-p-bb-t-d-dd-

st- to be dark sbmi it is dark


-bmnup- to be angry nubmi X is angry
km- to be happy kmmi X is happy

-m-v--

examples

-mm-

tyv- to be heavy tymmi it is heavy

-l-

-lm-

ul- to be night ulmi it is night

-n-

-mn-

len- to be thirsty lemni X is thirsty

-tt-

-tm-

mott- to go downhill motmi X goes downhill

--

-m-

so- to be evening somi it is evening

-r-

-hm- or -mr-

her- to be cold hehmi it is cold

-s-

-sm-

ks- for light to change ksmi the light is


changing

--

-m-

o- to be strong omi X is strong

-gg-k-

-km-

huok- to be quite huokmi it is quite X

-g-ng-

-gm-

hing- to be dying higmi X is dying

--

-m-

sa- to be alright sami X is alright

-hh-

-hm-

thh- to be anxious thmi X is anxious

In all other cases, the ending will be -ma-. Compare the verbs sut- to be hungry and
noltt- to be sick.
1P.SG! !
2P.SG! !
3P.SG! !

submika'
submisa !
submi' '

I am hungry ! !
you are hungry !
X is hungry! !

290

!
!
!

!
!
!

(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)

1P.PL.INCL!
1P.PL.EXCL!
2P.PL! !
3P.PL! !
3P.OBV! !
4P.!
!

submiba !
submibe !
submiha !
submia !
submin !
submia !

we are hungry! !
we are hungry! !
you are hungry!!
they are hungry!
X is hungry!
!
one is hungry! !

!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!

(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)
(rule 1)

1P.SG! !
2P.SG! !
3P.SG! !
1P.PL.INCL!
1P.PL.EXCL!
2P.PL! !
3P.PL! !
3P.OBV! !
4P.!
!

nolttimaka'
nolttimasa !
nolttima'
nolttimaba !
nolttimabe !
nolttimaha !
nolttimaa !
nolttiman !
nolttimai !

I am sick !
you are sick !
X is sick!
we are sick!
we are sick!
you are sick!
they are sick!
they are sick!
they are sick!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

Note that in the eastern dialects, the endings for rule 2 are sometimes found
combined with the inconclusive marker in older speakers or higher registers, if no
other slot is used between them:
!
!
!
!
!

1p. singular!
2p. singular!
1p. plural incl.!
1p. plural excl.!
2p. plural!

!
!
!
!
!

-ma
-mha
-mpa
-mpe
-mha%

For example:
!
!
!
!
!

nolttima'
nolttimha !
nolttimpa !
nolttimpe !
nolttimha !

I am sick !
!
you are sick ! !
we (incl.) are sick!
we (excl.) are sick!
you (pl.) are sick!

!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!

(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)
(rule 2)

9.2.1.2.5 Slot 5
Slot 5 houses locative markers. These locative markers are most commonly -ni for the
cislocative (towards the speaker) and -ki for the translocative (away from the
speaker). Other locative markers also exist, as well as relative locative markers. See
9.12 on locative markers.
!
Note that -ni and -ki usually combine with the perfective and habitual markers
in rule 2 to form the following clusters.

291

HAB +
CISLO

-sa-ni-

-hni-

kegviasami I usually called Y kegviahnimi I


usually called Y over here

HAB +
TRANSL
O

-sa-ki-

-ski-

kkasari they usually bring Y kkaskiri they


usually bring Y away

PERF +
CISLO

-la-ni-

-lni-

lehkalagga we have floated Y lehkalnigga we


have floated Y to us

PERF +
TRANSL
O

-la-ki-

-lki-

menialami I have lured Y menialkimi I have


lured Y away

Rule 1
svk-

--

--

-l-

-a-

-ki-

-dda

...

svklakidda
[svu:kl:it:a]
svk-l-a-ki--dda
throw-PERF-ASS.CONCL.TR-TRANSLO-3P.PAT-2.AG.PL

you (pl.) have thrown Y away


Rule 2
htv-

--

--

-a-

-l-

-ni-

-ka-

...

htvalnika
[htw:alciga]
htv-a-l-ni-ka-
hit-ASS.CONCL.TR-PERF-CISLO-1P.PAT.SG-3P.AG.SG

X has hit me here


9.2.1.2.6 Slot 6
Slot 6 contains all the secondary aspect markers; reversive, semelfactive, persistive,
frequentative, inchoative, subitive, habilitive and diminutive. They appear in this
particular row and can be combined. See 9.9.4 on secondary aspectual markers.

292

kig-

--

--

-a-

-sa-

--

-en-

...

kigasaen puma
[cgs:n p:ma]
kig-a-sa-en- p<>-ma
pick-ASS.CONCL.TR-HAB-PERS-3P.AG.SG log-GEN

X is always picking up logs (off the ground)


!
9.2.1.2.7 Slot 7
Slot 7 houses all patientive pronouns, which are equivalent to the objects of verbs.
See 9.3.4 on patientive pronouns.
sed-

--

--

-a-

--

--

--

-a-

-mi

...

sedaami
[sejmi]
se<d>-a-a-mi
hear.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT.PL-1P.AG.SG

I heard them
9.2.1.2.8 Slot 8
Slot 8 houses recipient pronouns, which have two functions; they may work as
indirect objects (then with ditransitive verbs) or may simply show the beneficiary of
the action (without ditransitive markers). See 9.3.3 on recipient pronouns.
i-

-soatsk-

-ot-

--

-a-

--

--

--

-a-

-hi-

-gge

-1

...

...isoatskotaahigge
[isatsk:djhic:e]
i-soatsk-ot-a-a-hi-gge
DIT-offer-ASS.CONCL.TR-COMPLE-3P.PAT.PL-2P.RECI.PL-1P.AG.PL.EXCL

...that we will offer them to you


!
9.2.1.2.9 Slot 9
The last slot houses agentive pronouns. Thus, these are always the very last thing to
be added to the verb. Any subsequent clitic is attached to the verb with a hyphen.
Note that slot 9 also holds the imperative markers, and for that reason they can be
considered to be forms of the agentive pronoun endings. See 9.3.2 on agentive
pronouns.

293

i-

-st-

--

--

-a-

--

--

--

-a-

-si-

-mi

-1

istaasimi
[stjsimi]
i-s<>t-a-a-si-mi
DIT-give.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT.PL-2P.RECI.SG-1P.AG.SG

I gave them to you

With the imperative:


!
i-

-sot-

--

--

-a-

--

--

--

-a-

-bi-

-uri

-1

isotaabiuri
[istjbiuri]
i-sot-a-a-bi-uri
DIT-give-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT.PL-1P.RECI.PL-IMPER.2P.PL

give them to us!

9.2.2 Copular Verbs


Copular verbs are those which require an auxiliary copula in order to be grammatical.
Various things can cause a verb to become copular, and the vast majority of verbs
can become copular. The inconclusive aspect (but not of impersonal verbs), relative
clauses, certain fixed expressions and other types of sentences require the verb to
be copular. See 9.17 on the copula for a more in-depth description.
!
Copular verbs are composed of two parts the verbal stem with certain slots,
called a split-stem, and the copula, with the rest of the slots.
!
The split-stem has 3 prefix slots and 1 or 2 (in the case of the obligative only)
suffix slots, while the copula has one extra prefix slot and the rest of the normal slots.
!
Slot 4 follows the split-stem immediately, but the slots 1 2 3 and 4 5 6 7 8 9
are attached onto the copula. The copula is placed at the end of the verbal phrase,
usually only followed by the agent of the phrase. The copula adds a 10th slot, which
is actually a prefix (o-), used to form relative clauses. It is called slot -1COP.
!
The slot 4 is actually marked twice in the sentence, as it is both found at the
split-stem slot 4 and the copula slot 4. The copula slot is termed slot 4. The functions
of slot 4 are thus split into two:

294

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
mood
!

Slot 4 (Split-stem):
!
transitivity
!
!
transitive !
!
!
intransitive !
!
!
ditransitive !
!
!
objective !
!
!
translative !
!
!
passive !
!
!

(-a) !
!
(-i)
(i--i or i--a)!
(o--i or o--a)!
(-u/-)
(u--i or u--a)

obligative

!
!

Slot 4 (Copula):
!
mood
!
!
!
indicative
!
!
!
optative
!
!
!
conditional irrealis
!
!
evidentiality
!
!
!
assertive
!
!
!
inferential
!
!
!
This means that when a verb is split for a copular construction, the stem only retains
markers for transitivity, while everything else is marked onto the copula, which is
always transitive1.
!
The rest of the verbal phrase is unaffected by this copular split. Adverbs still
precede the verb and the verbal phrase continues within the boundaries of the
Split-stem slots
kat-

--

-o-

-rnta-

-um-

-i

-3

-2

-1

[3]

Copular slots
--

n-

-ohk-

--

-on

-e-

--

--

--

--

--

-1COP

COP

In reality, the copula can be transitive or translative, but because the translative is already marked in slot
4, it is not necessary in slot 4.

295

... katorntaumi sevvue unna nohkone to kinagi


[ktri:ntumi sew:ue u:a nhkne t cinji]
kat-o-rnta-um-i sevvo-e unna n-ohk-on-e to kinagi-
from-SUBJ-scratch-OBLI-ITR shirt-GEN under COP.INCONCL-ohk-COMPLE-INFER 3P.SG.ANI.AG stranger-AGT

...that the stranger must be scratching himself under his shirt


Split-stem slots
ah-

--

--

-kig-

-um-

-i

-3

-2

-1

[3]

Copular slots
--

m-

--

--

--

-e-

-o-

--

--

-ni-

--

-1COP

COP

tat, ahkigumi mtabe meoni pegg


[tte: ahcgumi mi:dbe mejni pec:]
tat-, ah-kig-um-i mtabe me-o-ni pegg-
room-AGT after-clean.up-OBLI-ITR yesterday COP.PAST.INCONCL-REL.INESS-4P.RECI girl-AGT

...the room, (in) which the girl was supposed to clean up after herself
9.3 Verbal Personal Pronouns
Pronouns can be attached to the verb. There are 4 types of personal pronouns
agentive, unagentive, patientive and recipient pronouns. Note that the eastern and
western dialects differ somewhat in the form of their personal pronouns.
!
Agentive pronouns occupy slot 9 and are used with conscious and/or willing
agents, i.e. acting of their own accord or purposefully. Unagentive pronouns, which
occupy slot -2, are used with unconscious and/or unwilling agents, i.e. acting by
accident or driven by an exterior force. Patientive pronouns are used with the objects
of verbs and occupy slot 7, while recipient pronouns serve two roles the indirect
object (to whom) or the beneficiary (for whom), and occupy slot 8.
!
Siwa pronouns exist for the following persons, found in their four types or
roles:
!
I!
!
1p. singular
!
you!
!
2p. singular
!
he/she/it!
3p. (animate and inanimate) singular
!
!
'
we!
!
1p. plural inclusive (1p. plural + 2p. person singular/plural)
!
we!
!
1p. plural exclusive (1p. plural)
'
you!
!
2p. plural
!
they! !
3p. (animate and inanimate) plural
!

he/she/it!

3p. obviative (no number distinction)

296

they/one/we!

4p. (no number distinction)

The third person pronouns are not concerned with animacy, only number and
proximity (obviative vs. proximate).
9.3.1.1 Inclusive vs. Exclusive
The inclusive vs. exclusive distinction is always made in Siwa an inclusive we
assumes the second person, whether singular or plural, to be included, while an
exclusive we assumes that the second person is not part of the group to which the
pronoun refers. Compare the following examples:
!
!
!
makigge taskkita Talgo
%
%
[mcic:e tasc:ida talg]
%
%
mak-i-gge task-ki=ta Talgo-
%

go-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.PL.EXCL woods-ILLAT Talgo-AGT

Talgo and I/us will go into the woods

!
%
%

!
%

makigga taskkita Talgo


[mcik:a tasc:ida talg]

%
%

mak-i-gga taskk-ki=ta Talgo-


go-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.PL.INCL woods-ILLAT Talgo-AGT

we (you and me) will go into the woods with Talgo

Very formal Siwa sometimes requires that the speaker who wishes to be humble
avoid the second person all together and simply use the first person plural inclusive:
!
!
!
!
sytegga neditseta
%
%
[sytu:ek:a nxitseda]
%
%
syty-ue-gga ned-i-t=se=ita
%

wish-INFER.CONCL.OBT-1P.AG.PL.INCL sit.down-ITR-INFI=ILLAT

please sit down! (lit. may we wish to sit down)

In fact, the form sytegga is a very common polite form for asking someone to do
something, or to ask someone to accompany one. It exists in various shortened form,
such as sytka, ti and sytvi, which can commonly found in utterances in order to
make them more like a polite request:
!
!
!
!

deladnauri sytka/ti/sytvi %
katomolkiuri sytegga% '
hagenaunni ti, ot' '
siopuadnakimi sytka'
'

%
'
'
'

please take off your coat


please move out of the way
you will/must notice that
please help me (a little)

297

9.3.1.2 Obviative vs. Proximate


The third person has two forms a normal form, called proximate, and an obviative
form. The proximate form is the default form of the third person, and it distinguishes
between singular and plural. The obviative form however, lacks a number distinction
and has a much more restricted use.
!
The third person obviative is used when more than one third person is
involved in a sentence. The third person obviative is generally found in a subsequent
phrase to an initial statement.
The rules as to when the obviative is used are as follow, illustrated in the table below
and described here:
1. If a subject in phrase is also subject in phrase, it is found in its
regular proximate form.
2. If subject in phrase is not the same as in phrase, subject is in the
obviative.
3. If phrase has both subject and a recipient, and phrase has
subject and an object which is not the same as the recipient, the
subject is in the obviative and the object is found as a proximate
independent pronoun.
4. If a subject in phrase is the object or not longer the subject in
phrase, the subject will be in the obviative, and the object of
phrase (subject) will be found in the fourth person.
phrase

phrase

subject

subject

1
proximate
subject

subject

proximate

obviative

subject

subject

object

proximate

obviative

independent
proximate
pronoun

subject

subject

subject
object

obviative

4p.

recipient

object
proximate

298

1.
!
%
%

!
%
%

!
!

!
!

net-a- n<eg>-ot-a--
know-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG see.PAST-COMPLE-!
ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X knows that X saw Y

2.
!
%
%

!
%
%

neta negotat
[neta negda]

!
!

!
!

net-a- n<eg>-ot-a--t
know-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG see.PAST-COMPLE-!
ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.OBV.AG

X knows that X saw Y

3.
!
%
%

!
%
%

nonati negotat otta


[nni negda ta]

!
!

!
!

n=on-a-ti- n<eg>-ot-a-t o=tta


tell.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.RECI-3P.AG.SG see.PAST-COMPL
ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.OBV.AG 3P.PRON.ANI.SG.PAT

X told Y that X saw Y

4.
!
%
%

!
%
%

neta negotait
[neta negda]

!
!

!
!

net-a- n<eg>-ot-a-i-t
know-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.PL see.PAST-COMPLEASS.CONCL.TR-4P.PAT-3P.OBV.AG

X knows that X saw X

neta negota
[neta negda]
!

!
9.3.1.3 Fourth Person
The fourth person in Siwa serves three main purposes.
1.
With a plural subject, the fourth person may serve as a reciprocality and/
or reflexivity marker, to indicate that the plural subjects act on each
other.
!
!

2.

negairi! !
dlairi' '

they saw each other


they killed each other

The fourth person serves as an impersonal pronoun referring to an


unnamed agent. It can be equivalent to a first person plural without

299

associating oneself to the group (compared the inclusive and exclusive


first persons, this would be an excluded first person). It can also be
used in a similar fashion to English one. Forms in -gen/-en are most
common for this in the agentive.
!
!

3.

pendigen'
uovoammia'

'
'

we/one arrived
we/one was very afraid

The fourth person refers back to the subject of a previous phrase when
a new subject has been introduced.

!
'

!
'

%
'

ikigutta, ipednidna oakibma deika ini-nen


X couldnt wait for his/her daughter to come back home

!
!

!
!

!
!

idaga klita te ihtvia kepieita-ho kaimka-nen gala


he attacked him and hit him on his head with his stick

When a third person acts upon itself, the fourth or third person is used. When a third
person, similarly, uses the third person proximate (i.e. non-obviative) in a non-verbal
form (usually in the genitive or with double case marking), it carries a simple reflexive
meaning, whereas using the fourth person usually implies ones own:
!
!

ha nsi~tmsi !!
ha nihsi '
'

X eats his/hers
X eats his/her own

The fourth person can be used as a patientive pronoun (-i or -a) to show reflexivity. It
can also be used as an agentive pronoun (-en or -gen), coalesced with the
appropriate plural agentive pronoun, to show reciprocality.
Reciprocal
A reciprocal verb has plural subjects acting upon each other.
Uses -en- or -gen- coalesced with the appropriate plural agentive pronoun:
!
!

1P.PL.INCL!
1P.PL.EXCL!

-enka% %
-enke% %

you and me VERB each other


X and I VERB each other

2P.PL!

-enda% %

you VERB each other

3P.PL!

-enri%

they VERB each other

!
!
!

rutraenri'
'
oittaaenri'
'
mra laenka% '

'
'
'

they hate each other


the quickly glanced at each other
we know each other
300

!
%
%

negaenri katvumemia didagi1


[negjn(d)ri katv:memia didji]

%
%

n<eg>-a-en=ri kat=vume-m=ia dida--gi


see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-RECIPRO.3P.PL.AG reflection-INESS girl-AGT-PL

the girls saw each other in the reflection (X and Y saw X and Y)

Another way of marking reciprocality is with the pronoun nin- (see 10.1.5):
%
!

negari katvumemia nigeni didagi


the girls saw each other in the reflection

!
'

imairi nika tegmagi


the children laughed at each other (imairo- -ika laugh at X)

Reflexive
A reflexive verb has a subject acting upon itself.
Uses -i- or -a- as patientive pronouns.
!
!
onegairi katvumemia didagi
%
[negiri katv:memia didji]
%
%

o-n<eg>-a-i-ri kat=vume-m=ia dida--gi


SUBJ-see.pAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-4P.PAT-3P.AG.PL reflection-INESS girl-AGT-PL

The girls saw themselves in the reflection (X saw X, Y saw Y)2

Verbs whose object arguments are not verbal pronouns (like verbs involving ninoneself) use a special set of object forms of the nin- pronouns. For the second and
first person, the former pronoun (normally nigen) may instead be the personal
pronoun (megi, negi).

!
!
!
!

patientive!
genitive!!
dative! !
locative!!

!
!
!
!

nigennin, nigennin, niennin


ni nin, nionnin, nih nin, nihonnin
nitsi nin, nitsinin, nitsnin (nihnin)
ni-nin, ni- nin

%
!
!
%
%

imairi nikanin~nika nin tegmagi%


!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
ihenni nitanin~nita nin roam'
sailumana nigen ninta% '

%
!
!
'
'

the children laughed at


themselves (X laughed at X, Y
laughed at Y)
each is responsible for himself
you have to trust in yourself

1 These types of sentences sometimes trigger the subjective preverbal vowel o- to appear, such that the

phrase can also be found as onegaenri katvumemia didagi.


2 The use of reflexives will often trigger the subjunctive preverbal vowel o-.

301

or%
!

sailumana neidi ninta% '

'

you have to trust in yourself

Reciprocality is generally not expressed by use of the patientive 4th person -i- or -aif verbs have an inherently reciprocal meaning, such as verbs in o--ld- (see
14.2.2).
!
!
dohraenri
%
%
[dhrjn(d)ri]
%
%
do<hr>-a-en=ri
!

say.goodbye.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-REIPCRO.3P.AG.PL

they said goodbye to each other

!
%
%

!
%

oageleenka%
[jj:elejka]

%
!

SUBJ-get.to.know-INFER.CONCL.TR-RECIPRO.1P.AG.PL.INCL

we will/should get to know each other

!
%

!
%

ogikkiaenri
[j:cijn(d)ri]

%
!

%
!

ogikk-i-a-en=ri
be.enamored-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-RECIPRO.3P.AG.PL

they were enamored with each other

%
%
%

%
%

saibba daumi-nen lugudneka


[sip:a duminn luj:tnega]

%
!

saibb-a <daumi>-nen lugu-t=ne=ika


must.not-ASS.CONCL.TR older.sister.GEN4P.PRON.POSS love-INFI.AG.TR=ELAT

one must not love ones own (older) sister

!
'
!

!
'

oneigenri
[neij:n(d)ri]

!
!

o-n=e-i-gen=ri
SUBJ-bathe.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-RECIPRO.3P.AG.PL

they washed each other

!
!
!

!
!

oneiari
[neijri]

!
!

o-n=e-i-a=ri
SUBJ-bathe.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-4P.PAT-.3P.AG.PL

they washed themselves

!
!

o-agel-e-en=gga

302

oveibmigenri daaita-nen 1
[vpmij:n(d)ri d:idann]

!
!
%

!
!
%

o-vei<bm>-i-gen=ri da<a>-itanen
SUBJ-marry.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-RECIPRO.3P.AG.PL younger.sister-ILLAT4P.POSS

!
!

they married each others younger sisters

9.3.2 Agentive Pronouns


Agentive pronouns are the last thing to be added to the verb stem, and they occupy
slot 9. They are used for conscious, willing agents. The third person has a special
form found with the copula. The first person is sometimes found as -b, especially in
poetry. The fourth person -gen ending is used after -i-, whereas -en is used
elsewhere.
person

1P.

agentive pronoun

example

SG.

-mi/-b (-(i) WEST)

makimi~makib~makii I will go

PL. INCL

-gga (-ko WEST)

makigga~makiko we will go

PL. EXCL

-gge (-k WEST)

makigge~makik we will go

SG.

-na

makina you will go

PL.

-dda (-d WEST)

makidda~makid you will go

SG.

- (-ta/-ra with the


copula)

maki X will go

PL.

-ri (-ts WEST) (-tari/-ddari


with the copular)

makiri~makits they will go

OBV.

-t

makit X will go

-o / -en / -gen

makio~makigen one will go

2P.

3P.

4P.

9.3.3 Recipient Pronouns


Recipient pronouns precede agentive pronouns directly. They are used to show that
the person is the recipient of something, i.e. is the indirect object. Its other role is to
show who benefits from the action. When the recipient pronouns function is that of an
indirect object, the verb is generally found in the ditransitive. However, transitivity is
1

The 4th person possessive -nen here is prefered to the 3rd person animate -ho because the subject of
the phrase (they) is considered as a single person.

303

not a factor when a beneficiary is marked onto the verb by the recipient pronouns.
This means that even intransitive verbs may have a recipient pronoun.
!
RECIPIENT!
!
i--a-ti !!
X will VERB to Y
!
BENIFICIARY!
!
-a-ti! !
X will VERB for Y
!
The recipient pronouns do not distinguish between the first person inclusive or
exclusive, and similarly between the third person plural or singular. The example
below is the verb isot- to give (to)
person

recipient pronoun

example

-ki-

isotaki X will give Y to me

-bi-

isotabi X will give Y to us

SG.

-si-

isotasi X will give Y to you

PL.

-hi-

isotahi X will give Y to you

-ti- (-tsi WEST)

isotati X will give Y to Z

-i-

isotai X will give Y to Z

-ni-

isotani X will give Y to one

SG.

1P.

PL. INCL
PL. EXCL

2P.

SG.

3P.

PL.
OBV.

4P.

Third person recipient pronouns are also commonly found as locative markers (see
4.5.5.3), especially with ditransitive verbs.
9.3.4 Patientive Pronouns
Patientive pronouns are found in slot 6 and they are used for objects, whether their
nominal counterpart is in the dative or the genitive. All object pronouns have a single
form, the patientive form. When the nuance, which normally is expressed through the
object case (genitive vs. dative), is not expressed saliently enough for the speakers
intention, it may be represented both by a verbal pronoun and an independent
pronoun in the appropriate case. The example below is the verb neg- saw (past of
nu-).
!
Personal pronouns exist both in the dative and the patientive. The distinction
between dative and patientive however is not realized with verbal pronouns, and the
independent pronouns thus have two corresponding cases to a single set of verbal
pronouns. Telicity is thus only shown through independent pronouns.

304

!
!

VERBAL PRONOUNS!

%
%

adlmiaka gogi% !
adlma gosi maka%

patientive!

person

1P.

!
!

CORRESPONDING INDEPENDENT PRONOUNS

!
!

X raised me (to be something)


X was raising me

dative or genitive

patientive pronoun

example

SG.

-ka-

negaka X saw me

PL. INCL

-ba-

negaba X saw us

PL. EXCL

-be-

negabe X saw us

SG.

-sa-

negasa X saw you

PL.

-ha-

negaha X saw you

SG.

--

nega X saw Y

PL.

-a-

negaa X saw them (also one saw


Y)

OBV.

-no- or -u

negau X saw Y

-i or -a

negai X saw itself

2P.

3P.

4P.

Should slot 8 be empty, certain patientive pronouns coalesce with the agentive
pronouns:
2P.PAT.SG +
1P.AG.SG

-sa-mi

-hmi

arkiasami I used to babysit Y arkiasahmi I


used to babysit you

2P.PAT.SG +
1P.PL.INCL

-sagga

-skka

dohhagga we will say goodbye to X


dohhaskka we will say goodbye to you

2P.PAT.SG +
1P.PL.EXCL

-sagge

-skke

geilagge we will accuse Y geilaskke we


will accuse you

1P.PAT.SG +
2P.AG.SG

-ka-na

-nga
or kna

goskkana you will betray Y goskkanga you


will betray me

305

9.3.5 Unagentive Pronouns


Unagentive pronouns are those which describe an agent acting as the subject of the
verb, but which acts unwillingly, unconsciously, against his or her will, by accident, or
with various verbs which require an unagentive pronoun. Unlike the three other types
of pronouns, unagentive pronouns are prefixes to the verb and are housed in prefix
slot -2.
!
However, when unagentive pronouns are found attached to the copula (in
copular constructions), the pronoun is found as a suffix in slot 9. The examples below
are with the verb id- to fall in its verbal form and in a past relative copular clause.
!
The third person singular pronoun attached directly to verbs to form clusters
when possible:
!
%
t-v%
%
d-l%
%
t-s%
%
t-sv%
%
t-s%
%
t-sv%
%
t-%
%
t-v!
Dialects that allow complex initial clusters also allow:
!
%
t-m- (sometimes s-m-)
%
%
t-k-!
!
The first person has the following forms:
!
en- before
!
!
en-t%
%
en-d%
%
en-ts%
%
en-t%
%
en-d%
%
en-k%
%
en-g%
em- before
!
!
em-b%
%
em-p%
ed- before
%
%
ed-n!
ent- before
!
!
ent-s%
%
ent-!
!
ent-ma- elsewhere
!
306

There is quite a lot of variation between dialects in the exact forms of the first person
(perhaps due to the convergence of the singular and plural forms). One common
form is simply eC-C or C-C where the initial consonant is geminated according to
the same rules as approbation (see 4.4.1), ei-, m(a)- in all cases (mostly older
western dialect speakers) or even meC- (far eastern dialects). Forms in eC- are
slowly becoming favored over en-.
%
%
%
%
%
%

engidlki'
eggidlki
ggidlki
eigidlki
magidlki
meggidlki

'

I surrender

Not all dialects use en-/em-/ent-. Forms in ei- are also common, and some western
dialects use the pattern eC-C- or e- with gemination of the initial vowel (same rules
as pejorative, see 4.4.3)1. Forms in eC-C or e- are common amongst younger
speakers and males.
unagentive pronoun
person

SG.

1P.

PL. INCL

example
verb

copula

m(a)or
en(t)-/ed-

-ma

-mari

idi gaitoma
in which I fell
middi
I/we fell

idi gaitomari
in which we fell

PL. EXCL

m(e)or
en(t)-

-meri (mri WEST)

SG.

s(a)-

-sa

siddi you fell

idi gaitosa
in which you fell

PL.

s(a)-

-sari
(-si WEST)

siddi you fell

idi gaitosari
in which you fell

SG.

t(a)-

-ta

tiddi X fell

idi gaitota
in which X fell

idi gaitomeri
in which we fell

2P.

1 Examples:
3P.
I fall asleep can be mapiagi, empiagi, eipiagi or ebbiagi.

307

unagentive pronoun
person

example
verb

copula

PL.

ts(e)-

-tari
(-di WEST)

tsiddi they fell

idi gaitotari
in which they
fell

OBV.

n(e)-

-ne

niddi X fell

idi gaitone
in which X fell

(a)-

-a

iddi one fell

idi gaitoa
in which one
fell

3P.

4P.

9.3.6 Overview
unagentive
person

1P.

agentive
verbal

copular

patientive

recipient

-ki

SG.

-mi

m(a)en-

-ma

-ka

PL.
INCL

-gga

m(a)en-

-mari

-ba

PL.
EXCL

-gge

m(e)en-

-meri

-be

SG.

-na

s(a)-

-sa

-sa

-si

PL.

-dda

s(a)-

-sari

-ha

-hi

SG.

t(a)-

-ta

PL.

-ri

ts(e)-

-tari

-a

OBV.

-t

n(e)-

-ne

-no/-u

-i

-o/-en

(a)-

-a

-i/-a

-ni

-bi

2P.

-ti
3P.

4P.

308

9.4 Agentivity
All verbs with an agent in Siwa are found in one of two possible agentivities the
agentive and the unagentive.
!
Verbs may only allow one or the other, or both agentivities, usually with
changes in meaning. How a verbs agentivity behaves can be difficult to predict, but
in the majority of cases, it reflects the Siwa speakers understanding of agentivity or
may simply be the result of the verbs assigned agentivity.
!
Agentivity describes whether the doer of an action, the agent, is conscious or
not. An agentive verb involves a doer who is perceived to be conscious, willing or
personified inanimate nouns. An unagentive verb on the other hand, is the opposite
the agent is perceived to be unconscious, unwilling or a depersonified animate noun.
!
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!
!

AGENTIVE!

I eat! !
I walk! !
I go to sleep!

!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!

UNAGENTIVE

I vomit
I stumble
I fall asleep

Conscious and/or willing or unconscious and/or unwilling agents are not so much
determined by the actual consciousness or willingness but rather by whether or not
their action is the result of the agents own decision. For example, the form middi I
fell is in its unagentive form, while if it is put in the agentive, iddimi, the meaning
becomes I willingly fell/I made myself fall/I pretended to fall.
!
Certain verbs have assigned agentivity which may or may not reflect the
actual semantic agentivity of the verb. For example, while the verb to like might
actually involve a conscious decision on the agents half, the Siwa verb kokk- to like,
to please is always unagentive. In fact, the English subject of the verb is found in the
patientive in Siwa, and the English object is found in the unagentive. Verbs where the
logical topic of the phrase is not the agent are called patientive verbs (see 9.4.1.1)
!
%
%

%
%

sakokkaka
[skkga]

%
%

sa-kokk-a-ka
2P.UNAG.SG-please-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.PAT.SG

I like you (lit. you please me)

9.4.1 Unagentive Verbs


Unagentive verbs are vast class. Semantically agentive verbs that behave as
unagentive verbs are more common than semantically unagentive verbs that behave
as agentive verbs. For that reason, unagentive verbs may appear slightly more
counterintuitive.
!
Unagentive verbs are easy to recognize as use prefixes for pronouns (in slot
-3), unlike agentive verbs. Common unagentive classes include:
309

1. Verbs denoting an involuntary state:


!
!
maihi ! !
I will be wrong
!
maiteili''
I will be severely sick
!
mamendui'
I will dream
!
empunki'
I will feel remorse
Verbs denoting an involuntary/accidental action:
!
!
!
!
!

maheoli'
maiha' '
ednekeni'
taroahti'
teli'
'

I will shiver
I will do something (wrong)
I will lose
X will chafe
X will grow

3. All verbs in -eni and -uni with a meaning of to seem Y or to feel Y and most other
verbs denoting senses:
!
!
empialeni'
I will seem red/I will flush
!
entsereni'
I will feel good
!
entauttuni'
I will seem hungry
!
gos engeki ' I seem tired
!
moheimeni'
I am hot
!
mohigeni'
I am cold
4. Certain causative verbs:
!
!
tatuukka'
X will make Y sick!
!
tahigekka'
X will make Y cold
5. All translative verbs (in -u or -):
!
!
!
!
!
!

mahing'
maaku'
mamagu'
tananku'
tsadlu' '
tslk' '

I will die (in combat)


I will grow older
I will fade
X will pile up, accumulate
X will burn (in a pot)
X will swell up

A great number of auxiliary verbs (which are also often translative):


!
!
!

mahatru'
mahoma'
mahhu'

I ought to
I had better do Y
I can do Y (because I have enough endurance)
310

!
enkaha%'
!
miomu''
!
!
!
!
7. A small number of
negative form):

I need to (do Y)
I can do Y (because I have enough time/conditions are
favorable)

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

I will live
I will be alive
I will shriek
I will come from
I will misbehave
I will recover
I will look forward to Y (cf. gimiaka I am anxious)
I will not have time for Y (cf. allami I will have time for Y)

mngi' '
milili' '
mahirkurui!
miboaki'
morpi' '
emprru'
engimia'
set malla'

semantically ambiguous or agentive verbs (often in their

9.4.1.1 Patientive Verbs


A small group of verbs, often considered to be a subset of unagentive verbs, are
called the patientive verbs. They also have an unagentive subject, but rather than
using unagentive pronouns and have the agent be the subject, patientive verbs have
the subject in the patientive. The actual object is usually an unagentive subject.
Verbal adjectives are also patientive verbs, and many true verbs semantically similar
to adjectival verbs belong to this group:
!
!
!
!
!

gimmika!
!
tahammuaka% !
takokkaka%
!
(ta)koaibmaka% !

I am excited ! (cf. tagimmika X exites me)


I love X
I like X
X is enough for me

9.4.2 Agentive Verbs


Agentive verbs include the majority of verbs whose agent is perceived to be in
control or to be acting willingly. Opposite to unagentive verbs, agentive verbs use
suffixes to mark pronouns in slot 4.
!
Because agentive verbs require self-awareness, will, intent or control, they
will most commonly involve human or personified agents. Because of this, they are
more restricted than unagentive verbs, but include more of the most common verbs.
%
!
!
!
!
!

negami%!
kitami% %
pokimi'
arkami ''
askilami'
eitami' '

I will see Y
I will do Y
I will go to sleep
I will babysit Y
I will control/govern Y
I will build Y
311

!
geigami%
I will share Y
%
gikami% '
I will glance at Y
!
erimi' '
I will be careful
!
hidduami'
I will stack Y up
!
gagemami'
I will feel compassion for Y (as an act of solidarity)
!
!
9.4.3 Ambiguous Agentivity
Verbs whose agentivity is ambiguous may sometimes be found in the unagentive or
in the agentive, and this difference may subtly or greatly affect the verbs meaning or
possible interpretations. A change of assigned agentivity may be used for
personification or depersonification of an agent.
!
Personification is taking a generally inanimate action and conferring it the
qualities of an animate action, thus giving the inanimate agent life, a will and/or a
consciousness this is especially common in storytelling and more poetic language.
!
'
!

kei trhi
(the) Sun will rise
personified the sun is a deity acting consciously

%
'
!

kei thta
the sun will rise
not personified the sun is simply a natural phenomenon

Depersonification is making a generally agentive verb unagentive. This is usually


used:

1. With pejorative nouns:


!
%

nanta eteri-go oddolba


[nanta eterig t:lba]

%
!

na<nt>-a eteri-go od-t<olba>


break.PAST-Ass.CONCL.TR spear-DAT1P.POSS.SG PEJ-son-PAT

'

your (worthless/damn) son broke my spear

2. To belittle the agent of the verb (especially with rhetoric questions in so- -ahte):
!
'

medde vuihlina
[met:e vhlina]

%
!

medde vuihl-i-na
even whistle-ASS.CONCL.ITR-2P.AG.SG

'

you even whistle

312

%
'

so medde sviuhlo-ahte
[s()met:e svhlahte]

%
!

so medde sa-vuihl-oahte
INTERRO even 2P.UNAG.SG-whistle-INFER.CONCL.ITRINTERRO.RHETO

'
!

heh, so you even whistle! (said to intimidate/bully)

3. To diminish the agents worth:


%
'

tandana revvagegna
[andna rew:an:a]

%
!

ta<nd>-a-na revva=gegna-
find.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.AG.SG fox=den-DAT

'

you found a fox hole (agentive)

%
'

ihha satanda revvagegna


[ih:a sanda rew:an:a]

%
!

ihha sa-ta<nd>-a revva=gegna-


just 2p.UNAG.SG-find.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.AG.SG fox=den-DAT

'

you merely found a fox hole (and you were just lucky) (unagentive)

!
Ambiguous agentivity may also simply result from actions that may be performed as
conscious acts (generally by humans) or by other animals or factors.

!
!

euksami detkenma ! I produce quality knives (agentive)


euka geletsta srkdi ! spiders produce silk (unagentive)

9.4.4 Double Agentivity


Double agentivity refers to a grammatical construction where two sets of pronouns
are added onto a verb when both the unagentive and agentive pronoun sets are
present. Such constructions occur with certain verbs, commonly in the obligative or
the optative, and always with the reversive aspect marker (-dna-/-adn-):
!
!
!
%

INTRANSITIVE!

!
sa--um-i-dna-mi%
ma--um-i-dna-na%
ta--um-i-dna-%

sa--um-a-dna-mi!
ma--um-a-dna-na!
ta--um-a-dna- !

I need you to VERB


you need me to VERB
X needs Y to VERB

%
%
!

sa--vi-dna-mi% %
ma--vi-dna-na %
ta--vi-dna-% %

sa--ua-dna-mi%!
ma--ua-dna-na!
ta--ua-dna- % !

I want you to VERB


you want me to VERB
X wants Y to VERB

TRANSITIVE

These constructions correspond to English phrases of the type X wants/needs Y to Z.


The agentive pronoun always refers to the agent acting on the verb (X wants/needs),
313

while the unagentive pronouns refer to the actor of the obligation or the wish (in the
optative). Double agentivity does not affect a verbs valency.
!
%

I need you to go
samakumiadnami

Consider the following phrases:

!
'
%

keknumami sasame
[cunmi ssme]

kekn-um-a-mi sasame-
put.together-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG tipi-DAT

I must to put the tipi together

%
'
%

sakeknumadnami sasame
[scunatnmi ssme]

sa-kekn-um-a-dna-mi sasame-
2P.UNAG.SG-put.together-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR-REVERS-1P.AG.SG tipi-DAT

I need you to put the tipi together

%
'
%

makimi
[mkwimi]

mak-i-mi
go-ASS.CONCL.ITR.OPT-1P.AG.SG

I want to go

!
'
%

samakidnami
[smkwtnmi]

sa-mak-i-dna-mi
2P.UNAG.SG-go-ASS.CONCL.ITR.OPT-REVERS-1P.AG.SG

!
I want you to go
!
Such constructions can sometimes contain a pronominal object, which is then found
as a recipient. This type of double agentivity construction does affect valency,
placing verbs in the ditransitive:
!
%
%
!

s-i--ua-dna-ki-mi!
m-i--ua-dna-si-na!
t-i--ua-dna-ti-!
t-i--ua-dna-ni- !

!
!
!
!

%
'

sinokkuadnakimi Sappa
[sinkatnimi sapa]

!
!
!
!

I want you to VERB me


you want me to VERB you
X wants Y to VERB X
X wants Y to VERB Z

314

%
%

s-i-nokk-ua-dna-ki-mi Sappa-
2P.PAT-DIT-call-ASS.CONCL.TR.OPT-REVERS-1P.PAT-1P.AG.SG Sappa-AGT

I want you to call me Sappa (i.e. my name is Sappa)

!
9.5 Valency
Siwa verbs differ greatly depending on their valency, i.e. how and which arguments
of verbs are involved. Siwa has 7 main types of valencies, with three types having
both transitive and intransitive distinctions. Included in this are impersonal verbs,
which are always intransitive. Each valency type has its own infinitive form and postand preverbal vowel qualities.

!
!
%
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

transitive
intransitive
%
(impersonal verbs)
translative
subjective
!
transitive
!
intransitive
ditransitive
!
transitive
!
intransitive (also called destinal ditransitive)
passive
!
transitive (also called agentive)
!
intransitive

9.5.1 Transitive
Transitive verbs are verbs whose agent acts upon a patient or object. They are a very
large class or verbs whose only specific common trait is having an object.
!
The transitive agentive infinitive marker is -mi and its unagentive form is -mu/m, which deletes the preceding postverbal vowel if a consonant cluster can be
formed, behaving exactly like the inconclusive marker (see 9.2.1.8.1).
infinitive marker

agentive

unagentive

unmarked

-mi

-mu/-m
-bme
or
-nta

marked

315

ala
[la]

alla
[l:a]

al-a--
tan-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

all-a--
have.time-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X will tan Y
(inf. almi to tan)

X will have time for Y


(inf. allami to have time)

teukiula
[teuiula]

taheskva
[thskw:a]

t-euk-iul-a-
3P.UNAG-produce-ABS.DESC-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT

ta-heskv-a-
3P.UNAG-receive-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT

X will secrete Y
(inf. eukiulmu to secret)

X will receive Y (something bad)


(inf. heskvamu to receive)

ha
[ha]

ihha
[ih:ja]

h-a--
eat-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

ihh-a--
thank-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X will eat Y
(inf. hami to eat)

X will thank Y
(inf. imi to thank)

tandida
[tandida]

tgukka
[ti:j:ka]

tama-t-id-a-
upon-3P.UNAG-fall-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT

t-gukk-a-
3P.UNAG-rejuvenate-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT

X will stumble upon Y


(inf. tamibmu to stumble upon)

X will rejuvenate Y
(inf. gukkamu to rejuvenate)

iskua
[ska]

keda
[ceda]

isko-a--
clean-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

ked-a--
carry-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X will clean Y
(inf. iskomi to clean)

X will carry Y
(inf. kebmi to carry)

luhha
[luh:a]

mahha
[mh:a]

luhh-a--
boil-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

mahh-a--
follow-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X will boil Y
(inf. luhmi to boil)

X will hunt/follow Y
(inf. mahmi to hunt)

nua
[nuja]

tatsasa
[ttsasxa]

nu-a--
see-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

ta-tsas-a-
3p.unag-forget-ass.concl.tr-3p.pat.sg

X will see Y
(inf. nuimi~nugmi to see)

X will forget Y
(inf. tsasamu to forget)

316

tipra
[pxa]

sanka
[saka]

tipr-a--
write-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

sank-a--
scratch-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X will write Y
(inf. tiprami to write)

X will scratch Y
(inf. sankami to scratch)

tatiba
[tiba]

tvaika
[tviga]

ta-tb-a-
3P.UNAG-signify-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT

t-vaik-a-
3P.UNAG-be.ashamed-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT

X will signify/mean Y
(inf. tibmu to signify/mean)

X will be ashamed of Y
(inf. vaikmu to be ashamed)

9.5.2 Intransitive
Intransitive verbs are verbs which only involve one agent, the subject. Intransitive
verbs cannot have an object, but may also be found with a beneficiary pronoun.
!
The transitive agentive infinitive marker is -sa and its unagentive form is -su,
which deletes the preceding postverbal vowel if a consonant cluster can be formed,
behaving similarly like the habitual marker (see 9.2.1.2.3).
!
infinitive marker

agentive

unagentive

unmarked

-sa

-su/-s
-tse
or
-sta

marked

d
[di:]

eri
[eri]

di-i-
step-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

er-i-
be.careful-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

X will step
(inf. disa to step)

X will be careful
(inf. erha to be careful)

airi
[jri]

kei
[cewi]

air-i-
row-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

ke-i-
rise-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

X will row
(inf. airha to row)

X will stand up/rise


(inf. keisa to rise)

317

hhhi
[hh:i]

tagli
[tdz:li]

hhh-i-
jump-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

ta-gl-i
3P.UNAG-spin-ASS.ITR.CONCL

X will jump
(inf. hhsa to jump)

X will spin
(inf. glsu to spin)

tagihli
[thli]

tagogantsi
[tggantsi]

ta-gihl-i
3P.UNAG-hang-ASS.ITR.CONCL

ta-gogants-i
3P.UNAG-limp-ASS.ITR.CONCL

X will hang
(inf. gihlisu to hang)

X will limp
(inf. gogantsisu to limp)

takylki
[tclci]

mani
[mni]

ta-kylk-i
3P.UNAG-slip-ASS.ITR.CONCL

man-i-
come-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

X will slip
(inf. kylkis to slip)

X will come
(inf. manta to come)

maki
[mci]

tamendui
[tmndui]

mak-i-
go-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

ta-mendo-i
3P.UNAG-dream-ASS.ITR.CONCL

X will go
(inf. maksa to go)

X will dream
(inf. mendosu to limp)

sai or sahhi
[s:i] or [sh:ji]

tahhi
[th:i]

sa/sahh-i-
talk-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

tahh-i-
leave-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

X will talk
(inf. saa to talk)

X will leave
(inf. tahsa to leave)

tuvi
[tuvi]

poki
[pci]

tuv-i-
turn-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

pohh=k-i-
sleep=TRANSLO-ASS.ITR.CONCL-3P.AG.SG

X will turn
(inf. tussa to turn)

X will go to sleep
(inf. pokisa to go to sleep)

9.5.2.1 Intransitive Syncope


Intransitive verbs are unique in regularly going through syncope, or the loss of the
assertive marker -i- which characterizes all intransitive verbs. Syncope is most
common in specific situations, but it is never required.
!
Syncope of the -i- vowel occurs mostly with the first person plural agentive
markers -gga/-gge, and a handful of verbs may also be found in the singular of the
first and second person singular. The general rule is that a verb of the form -Cigga

318

will become -C(k)ka, although a few geminated clusters also allow for syncope (-and -hts-).
!
However, these are less common possibly due to confusing with infinitive
endings (-mi and -na). For that reason, the syncoped forms are more common in the
past than the present, or in the subjective (which are distinct from their infinitive
counterparts). Most commonly, the syncope will be -CCi-na/-mi to -Cna/-Cmi.
For a complete description of the sound changes, see the section on allophony of
consonants (3.4.1.1).

!
Non-syncoped!
1P.PL.AG
!
saumigga%
!
ltemigga%
!
otigga% %
!
totigga%%
%
biohtsigga%
!
norigga 1%
%
eigga%
!
tsoairigga%
%
erigga% %
%
otiligga%

Syncoped

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

saumkka%
ltemkka!
otka% !
totka% !
biohtska!
noka~norkka%
eka% !
tsoarkka!
erkka% !
otilkka%!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

we will breathe
we will come crawling
we will unite
we will cooperate
we will play
we will sing
we will run
we will go by ski
we will be careful
we will dry ourselves

1P.SG.AG
%
omingimi%
%
odikkimi%

%
%

omigmi% %
odikmi% !

!
!

I will get ready


I will show off!

%
%

sitna% !
toatna% !

!
!

you understood
you came along

2P.SG.AG!
!
siddina% %
!
toaddina%
!

9.5.3 Translative
Translative verbs involve only one participant, an unagentive subject. All translative
verbs are unagentive, and they typically depict a change of state, although the
translative is also used with a great number of auxiliary verbs. Impersonal verbs, as
will be explained below, have no translative form and instead use the conclusive
aspect to express this distinction.
The translative verbs are unique in that many adjectives can be made into a
translative verb by using the preverbal marker a- to create verbs with a meaning of to
become (more) ADJ:

1 The verb to sing has the underlying form nod- but the -d- commonly becomes -r- before vowels.

319

kuomon !
maga ! !
lekna ! !
minga ! !

bent ! !
white !!
snowless !
ready ! !

!
!
!
!

takuomu !
tamagu !
alekn !
taming !

X will become (more) bent


X will become white(r)
it will become snowless
X will become ready

The transitive infinitive marker is -lu/-l, which deletes the preceding postverbal vowel
if a consonant cluster can be formed, behaving exactly like the perfective marker
(see 9.2.1.2.3). If a cluster cannot be formed, the ending becomes -oru or in certain
dialects -ol, -, -ul.
!
infinitive marker

agentive

unagentive

unmarked

-oru(-ol)/-r
or
-lu/-l
-dle
or
-olta/-lta

marked

ent
[nt]

teuvvu
[teuw:u]

ent-
be.unlikely-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

t-euvv-u
3p.UNAG-reach-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

it is unlikely
(inf. entr to be unlikely)

X will be able to reach Y


(inf. euvvoru~euvvol to be able to
reach)

mahhu
[mjh:ju]

taku
[tkwu]

m-ahh-u
1p.UNAG-endure-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

tak-u
be.worth-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

I will be able to endure Y


(inf. ahhoru~ahhol to be able to
endure)

it is worth it
(inf. takoru~takol to be worth)

ttk
[ti:tk]

tamoahnu
[tmahnu]

t-tk-
3P.UNAG-melt-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

ta-moahn-u
3P.UNAG-get.damaged-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

X will melt
(inf. tkoru~tkol to melt)

X will get damaged


(inf. moahnoru~moahnol to get
damaged)

320

tanalu
[tlu]

manoapsu
[m:aps:u]

ta-nal-u
3P.UNAG-taste-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

ma-noaps-u
1P.UNAG-grow.a.beard-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

X will taste (like)


(inf. nallu to taste)

I will grow a beard


(inf. noapsoru~noapsol to grow a
beard)

tohku
[thku]

taphh
[tpy:h:]

t-ohk-u
3P.UNAG-fit-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

ta-phh-
3P.UNAG-menstruate-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

X will fit
(inf. ohkoru~ohkol to fit)

X will become menstruated


(inf. phl to become menstruated)

tsadlu
[tstu]

tatul
[tt:l]

t-sadl-u
3P.UNAG-burn-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

ta-tul-
3P.UNAG-subside-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

X will get burnt (in a pot)


(inf. sadloru~sadlol to burn)

X will subside
(inf. tull to subside)

tatoairu
[tiru]

tvoavvu
[tvw:u]

ta-toair-u
3P.UNAG-rot-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

t-voavv-u
3P.UNAG-get.scared-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL

X will rot
(inf. toairoru~toairol to rot)

X will get scared


(inf. voavvoru~voavvol to get
scared)

9.5.4 Subjective
Subjective verbs are marked by the preverbal vowel o-, and can be found as
agentive, unagentive, transitive or intransitive verbs. Subjective agentive verbs are
verbs whose subject and object are the same or closely related, unalienable
possessions. Subjective agentive verbs are used, for example, when the subject acts
upon itself or its body, for its own benefit or by itself. When the subject and object are
the same, the subjective verb is marked as intransitive. If the object of the verb is a
noun, then the verb will be transitive.
Many transitive verbs may be found as subjective, and only a few verbs are only
found as subjective. Usually, transitive subjective verbs will change to ditransitive if
the object is no longer the same as or related to the subject. However, ditransitivity
yields to subjectivity, such that a verb having both a ditransitive and subjective
meaning will only show the subjective markings. Verbs can freely accept preverbal
vowels for the subjective and ditransitive.
SUBJECTIVE

DITRANSITIVE

321

ometami hide
[metmi hide]

etasimi hide
[jetisimi hide]

o-et-a-mi hide-
SUBJ-cut-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG hair-DAT

I will cut my hair

i-et-a-si-mi hide-
DITR-cut-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.PAT.SG-1P.AG.SG
hair-DAT

obolluhhimi
[bl:uh:imi]

ibolluhhasimi
[ibl:uh:simi]

o-ol=luhh-i-mi
SUBJ-leaf=boil-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.SG

i-ol=luhh-a-si-mi
DIT-leaf=boilASS.CONCL.TR-2P.RECI.SG-1P.AG.SG

I will cut your hair


(lit. I will cut you the hair)

I will boil tea for myself

I will boil tea for you


The subjectives infinitive markers are the same regardless of their transitivity, but
they have a distinction for agentivity; -(e)na marks subjective agentive and -(e)nu
marks subjective unagentive. Infinitive subjective verbs usually lack the preverbal o-,
but some keep it even in the infinitive.
!
infinitive marker

agentive

unagentive

unmarked

-na

-nu/-n
-dne
or
-nda

marked

!
The subjective agentive verbs may also denote a rough, impolite or rude action,
usually denoting selfishness, greed or a rough action (especially with the
semelfactive):

oma siehhdi
[ma sieh:i]

ma siehhdi
[ma sieh:i]

o-m-a- siehhum-di
SUBJ-eat.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG
dried.meat- GEN

m-a- siehhum-di
eat.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG dried.meatGEN

X ate him/her/itself some dried meat

X ate some dried meat

mobiddia
[mbi:t:ixa]

middi
[mit:i]

m-o-i<dd>-i-a
1P.UNAG.SG-SUBJ-fall.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-

m--i<dd>-i
1P.UNAG.SG-ITR-fall.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR

SEMELF

I fell

I took a bad fall

322

More examples:
osyki
[sci]

otiri
[tiri]

o-syk-i-
SUBJ-move.away-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG

o-t-i-ri
SUBJ-unite-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.PL

X will move away


(inf. sykena to move away)

they will unite


(inf. otena~odna to unite)

otkimi
[tcimi]

otsovi
[tsxvi]

o-tk-i-mi
SUBJ-train-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.SG

o-tsov-i-
SUBJ-introduce-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG

I will train myself


(inf. otkena to train)

X will introduce itself


(inf. tsonna to introduce oneself)

motipri
[mpxi]

mosavvi
[msaw:i]

m-o-tip<r>-i
1P.UNAG.SG-SUBJ-cut.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR

m-o-sa<vv>-i
1P.UNAG.SG-SUBJ-burn.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR

I cut myself
(inf. timn to cut oneself)

I burnt myself
(inf. sahnu to burn oneself)

ogauldari
[galdri]

ogetildiri
[etliri]

o-gauld-a--ri
SUBJ-discuss-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.PL

o-getild-i-ri
SUBJ-meet-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.PL

they will discuss Y together


(inf. gauldena to discuss)

they will meet each other


(inf. getildena to meet)

tsobbi
[tsbbi]

obkkiri
[bciri]

ts-o-b-i
3P.UNAG.PL-SUBJ-multiply-ASS.CONCL.ITR

o-kk-i-ri
SUBJ-fight-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.PL

they will multiply


(inf. mn to multiply)

they will fight


(inf. kkna to fight, quarrel)

soketsodi
[scetsoi]

torettuvvi
[trtuw:i]

s-o-ket=so<d>-i
2P.UNAG.SG-SUBJ-arm=break.PASTASS.CONCL.ITR

t-o-rev=tu<vv>-i
3P.UNAG-SUBJ-ankle=turn.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR

you broke your arm


(inf. ketsogenu to break ones arm)

X twisted his/her/its ankle


(inf. rettunnu to twist ones ankle)

When a subjective verb becomes ditransitive, it may retain its subjective preverbal
vowel and simply have a recipient in a locative case, or it may become ditransitive
and have the subjective marker instead as a reflexive or self pronoun. Reflexive

323

pronouns and ditransitive pronouns may be perceived to be impolite. Certain


speakers allow subjective verbs to also be ditransitive, though this is not common.
%
%
%
!

otsovimi!
!
otsavimi sosita!!
itsovasimi nitsika!
otsovisimi'
'

I introduce myself
I introduce myself to you
lit. I introduce you myself (impolite, lower register)
I introduce myself to you (uncommon)

9.5.5 Ditransitive
Ditransitive verbs are marked by the preverbal vowel i-, which yields to the passive
marker u- and the subjective marker o-, and can be transitive or intransitive, agentive
or unagentive. Ditransitive verbs are verbs with a patient and a recipient. Ditransitive
verbs are also those of motion with a set destination (with postpositions henda up
and tvunda down and their other destinal forms and with the use of the movement
locative cases). !
!
The recipient in Siwa can be the indirect object but also the beneficiary of an
action. A recipient can also be an agent which stands to gain something from the
action. Siwa has special recipient pronouns, but when the direct object is a noun or
an independent pronoun, it is found in the illative. Benefactive ditransitive verbs are
only commonly made from otherwise transitive verbs, not if the verb is intransitive or
translative.
!
The ditransitive infinitive is -(i)nin when agentive and -(i)non when unagentive.
Unagentive intransitive verbs are rather rare.
!
infinitive marker

agentive

unagentive

unmarked

-nin

-non/-nn
-nidne/-ndne
or
-nita/-nta

marked
!

The ditransitive is used:


1.
When a verb has a precise destination, especially with locative markers in
!
verbs such as -ita-/-ibma- and -ika/-iska
%
!
%

%
!
%

imuoaitasa
[imujidsa]
i-muo-a-ita-sa-
DIT-dress-ASS.CONCL.TR-ILLAT-2P.PAT.SG-3P.AG.SG

X will dress you in it


(inf. muoinin~muoinin to dress in)
324

!
%

!
%

isetaibmam
[ist:xapmm]

%
%

%
%

i-set-a-ibma--mu=n
DIT-place-ASS.CONCL.TR-ALLAT-3P.PAT-OBLI=IMPER.2P.SG

!
!

!
!

you will have to place X onto Y


(inf. setinin to place)

!
'
%

!
'

s-aniaitana-a?
[sniidna:]

%
!

INTERRO-PAST=throw.-ASS.CONCL.TR-ILLAT-3P.PAT-2P.AG.SG

!
!

!
!

did you throw X into Y?


(inf. binin to throw, irr.)

!
%

!
%

mddita
[mi:t:ida]

%
!

%
!

m-i-i<dd>-i-ta
1P.UNAG.SG-DIT-fall.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-ILLAT

!
!

!
!

I fell into it
(inf. idnin to fall [into])

2.!

With the postposition sets of henda up and tvunda down:

!
%

!
%

isetam pumibma henda


[ist:xm p:mpma hnda]

%
!

%
!

i-se-a--mu=n p<>-ma=ibma henda


DIT-place-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-OBLI=IMPER.2P.SG log-ALLAT up.to.DESTI

you will have to place Y up on the log

3.!

With other movements having a specific end point or destination:

!
%
%

!
%

irehraka kalahkika
[irhrga klahciga]

%
!

DIT-pull.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.PAT.SG-3P.AG.SG pit-ELAT

!
!
!

!
!
!

s-an=i-a-ita--naa

i-re<hr>-a-ka- kalari-k=ika

X pulled me out of the hole


(inf. rehnin to pull)

325

4.
4.a!
!
%
%

When a verb has:


A recipient:
!
%

isyvvasimi sindu-go
[isyw:simi sndug]

%
!

DIT-show-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.RECI.SG-1P.AG.SG

!
!

!
!

I will show you my catch


(inf. synnin to show)

4.b!

A beneficiary (only if the verb is generally transitive or translative):

!
'

!
%

ikosasimi
[iksxsimi]

%
!

%
!

i-kos-a--si-mi
DIT-carve-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.RECI-2P.RECI.SG-1P.AG.SG

!
!

!
!

I will carve Y for you


(inf. kosinin to carve [for someone])

!
'
%

!
%

ikosami kohkita
[iksxmi khcida]

%
!

DIT-carve-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.RECI-1P.AG.SG boy-ILLAT

I will carve Y for the boy

!
'

set toskibi
[stscibi]

!
!

NEG 3P.UNAG.SG-last-ASS.CONCL.ITR-2P.RECI.PL

X wont last us

!
%

!
%

iomubi
[ijmubi]

%
!

%
!

iom-u-bi
be.possible-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL-2P.RECI.PL

it will be possible for us (because of good conditions/enough time)

but
!
!
'
!

i-syvv-a-si-mi sindu-go

i-kos-a--mi kori-ko=ita

set t-osk-i-bi

Notice the use of the verb idigga or idiggi which is commonly used with nouns
denoting actions or changes of states (in the illative, sometimes allative).
!
!
!
!

!
%
%
%

idigga klita'
'
idigga oagita% '
tidigga kepieita%'
idagi rereggeita'

X will attack Y
X will come to Ys help
X will go to Ys head
X changed his/her mind
326

!
!
!
!
!

%
%
%
!
!

tidagi keggeita'
tidagi meulleita'
tidagi torrita% '
tidagi sinisibma'

X was boastful, arrogant


X became blue (from not breathing/cold)
X got into danger (lit. into big bear)
X caught a big fish

9.5.5.1 Subjective Directional


Some subjective verbs also have a sense of movement or directionality, and the
preverbals o- and i- would thus both be appropriate. In older speakers or higher
register or poetic language, they may unite as a single preverbal vowel e- (or e- or
vi-), conferring the verb both a subjective and essentially ditransitive meaning,
although it can be ambiguous whether there is a beneficiary or movement/direction.
The ambiguity is caused by the subjective directional being always found in its
transitive form (e--a). The intransitive form does not exist (*e--i)

SUBJ !

!
%
SUBJ.DIT!!
!
!
DIT!

oketki hokonta loalta!


iketka hokonta loalta!
eketka hokonta loalta!
!
!
!

!
!
!
or!

X hid behind a boulder


X hid Y behind a boulder
X hid itself behind a boulder
X hid Y for itself behind a boulder

9.5.6 Passive
Passive verbs are those whose topic (i.e. that which would normally be the subject or
agent of the phrase) is treated like a patient. They have the preverbal vowel u-.
Passive verbs are generally intransitive (then with no syntactical agent), or they may
be transitive when the agent of the verb is expressed, which is either agentive or
unagentive. Most verbs can be found in the passive, which Siwa treats as a valency
type more than a voice. For that reason, passive verbs are very similar to patientive
verbs.
!
The passive has the infinitive endings -mon or -mn.
!
infinitive marker

agentive

unagentive

unmarked

-mon
-mn
-modne/-mdne
or
-mta/-mta

marked

327

uhtvuika
[uhtw:uiga]

uhtviakana
[uhtw:igna]

u-htv-u-i-ka
PASS-hit.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.PAT.SG

u-htv-i-a-ka-na
PASS-hit.PASTASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.PAT.SG-2P.AG.SG

I was hit
(inf. htvimn to be hit)

I was hit by you

utitkika
[uttciga]

utitkakana
[uttkgna]

u-ti<tk>-i-ka
PASS-cured.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.PAT.SG

u-ti<tk>-a-ka-na
PASS-cured.PASTASS.CONCL.TR-1P.PAT.SG-2P.AG.SG

I was cured
(inf. tigmn to be cured)

I was cured by you

uugisa
[ujujj:isa]

uuahmi
[ujujjahmi]

u-u-<g>-i-sa
rightly-PASS-raise.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-2P.PAT.SG

u-u-<>-e-sa=mi
rightly-PASS-raise.PASTASS.CONCL.TR-2P.PAT.SG-1P.AG.SG

you were raised well


(inf. uomon to be well raised)

you were raised well by me

cf.
uoahmi
[ujjjahmi]
uo-<>-a-sa=mi
rightly-raise.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.PAT.SG-1P.AG.SG

I raised you well


(inf. uomi to raise well)
9.5.7 Impersonal Verbs
Impersonal verbs form a class of their own. They have zero valency, though they may
incorporate recipient pronouns. Impersonal verbs are made up of two groups:
inconclusive impersonal verbs (generally verbs for natural phenomena) and
conclusive (which simply lack valency but otherwise behave like normal verbs).
Inconclusive impersonal verbs in the conclusive form usually translate as inchoatives,
and inconclusive forms are their default form.
!
Inconclusive verbs generally refer to weather or geographical phenomena:
!
!

sihmi' '
!
siva'

'
'

it rains !
rain

(sihh-)

!
'

sisi'
'

'
'

it thunders (conclusive)!!
thunder'

(sis-)

!
!

kilmi' '
'
!
kuilva' '

it is drizzly!
drizzle

(kil-)

daimmi' '

it is humid!

(daim-)

'
sisi'

'

328

!
!

!
!

daie' '
daiggi' '

!
!

simi' '
'
!
siggi' '

it is dry!
dry weather

(si-)

!
!

auhmi' '
!
aurin'

'
'

it is cool/crisp weather! !
cool

(aur-)

!
!

hmmi' '
!
hmi'

'
'

it is hot/warm! !
warm

(hm-)

!
!

lomi' '
'
!
lova' '

it is sweltering! !
sweltering heat

(lo-)

!
!

hehmi' '
!
hee'

it is cold!
cold

(her-)

!
!

logmi' '
'
!
lokna' '

it is freezing!
intense cold

(long-)

!
!

pugmi' '
'
!
punga''

it is pouring!
pouring rain

(pung-)

!
!

vimmi' '
!
omi'

it is snowing!
snow

(vim-)

!
!

vadlmi' '
'
!
odlna' '

there is a snow storm! !


snow storm

(vadl-)

!
!

gylybmi''
'
!
gylppi' '

it is snowing (wet snow)!


wet snow

(gylyp-)

!
!

huhmi' '
'
!
hei' '

(the sun) shines, it is sunny!


shiny weather

(huhh-)

!
!
!

kvelmi' '
'
!
kolo'
'
!
kvelgi' '

it is cloudy!
!
cloud
cloudy weather

(kvel-)

!
!
!

emmi''
'
!
eni' '
!
etta' '

it is windy!
!
wind
windy weather!

(en-)

utubmi' '

it is still!!

(utut-)

'
'

'
'

'

humid
humid weather!
!

!
329

!
!

!
!

ututa'
veti'

'
'

still
still weather

!
!

nukvemi'
'
!
nukva' '

it is hailing!
hail

(nukve-)

!
!

neyhmi''
'
!
neygi' '

it is misty!
mist

(neyg-)

!
!
!

rummi' '
!
rumu'
!
rtta'

it is foggy!
!
fog
foggy weather

(rum-)

!
!

hoimmi' '
'
!
hoivva' '

it is flooding (of rivers)! !


flooding

(hoivv-)

'
'
'

9.5.8 Prefix Coalescence


The ditransitive, subjective and passive preverbal vowels (i- o- u-) coalesce in a
specific way with the stem they are prefixed to. The changes are generally the
addition of -b- before o u y, -m- before a e and - (for i-) before a e i.
!
%
%
!

SUBJECTIVE!
DITRANSITIVE!
PASSIVE! !

!
!
!
!

a-,e-%
om-%
-%
um-%

%
%
%
%

i-%
obi-%
-, idd-%
ubi-%

!
!

!
!

kk-!
!
obkki!

fight
X will fight (o-)

!
!

!
'

ekk-! !
umekkuika!

bear
I was born (u-)

!
!

!
'

uto-! !
ibutiasimi !

pack
I packed X for you (i-)

330

%
%
%
%

o-, u-, -, yobibub-

9.6 Evidentiality
The postverbal vowel, present in all non-finite forms of the verb shows, along with
valency and transitivity, evidentiality. Evidentiality refers to the source of the
information given by the verb. Siwa distinguishes two types of evidentiality.
!
The assertive is the default type of evidentiality, and its role is to show that the
information given by the verb is known to be true, real or to be a first-hand account.
!
The inferential is the second type of evidentiality, which shows the information
given by the verb to be uncertain, within the realm of possibilities, unconfirmed or
from sensory information.
!
In other words, an assertive verb relays certain information, while an
inferential verb relays less certain information.There are many nuances that can
come about from using either evidentiality marker.
!
Evidentiality must be marked onto verbs, but it also exists as free particles
that follow any phrase element, called evidential particles. They are:
!
!

!
!

Assertive!
Inferential!

na or -a
ne or -e

9.6.1 Assertive
The most basic definition of the assertive is a marking that shows that a statement is
real or certain, often equivalent to the English indicative mood. However, Siwa
speakers use the assertive to show a variety of nuances between certainty and
uncertainty. Generally, if the speaker has acquired the information shared in the
statement first-hand, then it will be in the assertive. The assertive particle may also be
used to underline an agreement or assumed knowledge of the other speaker or to
counter an assumption or to underline the speakers belief in a statement even
thought he information is not first-hand. The assertive is also used in gnomic
statements.
!
atemi
[temi]

negami kita ome


[negmi cita me]

ate-m-i-
sick-INCONCL-ASS.ITR-3P.PAT

n<eg>-a--mi kita-a o-m-e


see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-1P.AG.SG
do.ASS.TR COMPLE-COP.INCONCL.PASTINFER.INDIC

X is sick (because speaker saw)

I saw X do Y
netami monina ogia
[netmi monina jj:ia]

negahmi sea omeina


[negahmi seja meina]

net-a-mi m<on>-i-na og-ia


know-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG
COP.PAST.INCONCL.COMPLE-ASS.ITR-2P.AG.SG
there.DISTAL.APROX.INESS

-n<eg>-a-sa=mi se-a o-m-e-i-na


see.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.PAT.SG-1P.AG.SG
listen.ASS.TR COMPLE-COP.INCONCL.PASTINFER.INDIC-3P.PAT.PL-2P.AG.SG

I know that you were over there

I saw you listening to them

331

9.6.2 Inferential
Inferential in its simplest definition is an evidentiality marker that denotes uncertainty,
indirect information, information acquired through senses or that shows hypothetical
or subjunctival statements. However, the inferential serves many other purposes,
namely one analogical to the subjunctive of many European languages. The
inferential is used in the following cases:
1.!
!
2.!
!
3.!
!
4.!
!
5.!

When the information the speaker is giving has been acquired through a
second or indirect source
When the speaker acquires uncertain information through senses (with
unagentive active pronoun and generally genitive object)
When the speaker wants to show that the information is not a fact but a
possibility (in relative clauses)
When asking questions with intent to verify the verity or validity of
information
In many fixed expressions or in story telling and narrative speech.

A verb marked with inferential may appear with an assertive particle, in which case
the speaker wishes to show his belief (or in jocular or ironic language his disbelief) in
indirectly acquired information.
1.

kisi itahkieni sbi


[csxi itahcieni su:bi]

nonakiri keiddodlot
[nniri ct:t]

kisi i-tahk-i-e-ni subi-


this.morning DIT-leave-PASTINFER.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.PL winter.camp-DAT

n<non>-a-ki-ri- kei<dd>-ot-l-o-t
tell.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.RECI.SG-3P.AG.PL
3P.AG.SG-OBV.TR-start.fire.PAST-COMPLE-PERFINFER.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.OBV

they apparently left camp this


morning
(i.e. speaker did not see them
leave)
2.

ednege oskos
[tn:ee sks]

entsame kykkyma
[ntssame ccyma]

ed-n<eg>-e osko-s
1P.UNAG.SG-see.PAST-INFER.CONCL.TR
male.moose-GEN

ent-sa<m>-e kykky-ma
1P.UNAG.SG-hear.PAST-INFER.CONCL.TR voice- GEN

I think I saw a male moose


3.

they told me that they had started the


fire.

I think I heard a voice

tabmami atetotoma
[tapmmi teddmxa]

noairi gone retro atana sira


[niri gne rtx tna sira]

tat-m-a-mi ate-tot-o-ma=ka
think-INCONCL-ASS.TR-1P.AG.SG sick-COMPLEINFER.ITR-INCONCL-1P.PAT.SG

n=oa-i-ri- g-on-e retro- atana- sira-


say.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.PL-3P.PAT
COP.PAST-COMPLE-INFER northern.pike-AGT big-AGT
fish-AGT

I think I could/might be sick

they said that the fish was a big


northern pike

332

4.

negena-a amokvelu
[ neena: mkvelu]

ge-de retro atana sira


[ede rtx tna sira]

n<eg>-e-naa amokvel-u
well see.PAST-INFER.CONCL.TR-2P.AG.SG
INTERR northern.lights-GEN

g-ede retr-o-s--atar-m-u- na sira-


COP.PAST-INFERINTERR northern.pike-AGT BIG-AGT
fish-AGT

so you saw the northern lights, eh

The fish was a big northern pike, you


say

ubme retro atana sira


[pme rtx tna sira]
ubm-e rtro- atana- sira-
COP.OBLI.PAST-INFER northern.pike-AGT big-AGT fish-AGT

The fish must have been a big northern pike (right?)


5.

isohhe momitsita mone somi...


[isoh:je mmitsida mone somi]

atanauta te ohh
[tnuda de oh:ju:]

i-sohh-e-momi-tsita m<on>-e somi-


DIT-is.far-INFER.CONCL.ITR
1P.GEN.PL.INCL-2ND.ILLAT COP.PAST.TEMPCOMPLE-INFER.INDIC man-ACT

atana-o-ta te ohho-o
big-COP.PAST.INFER-3P.AG.SG and strongCOP.PAST.INFER

a long time ago/once upon a time,


there was a man...
(lit. it is far away to ours that there
was a man)

X was (said to be) big and (said to be)


strong

9.7 Mood
Siwa verbs are marked for mood. They are the indicative, optative, conditional realis,
conditional irrealis, obligative, imperative and imperative obviative. Indicative,
optative and conditional irrealis are shown through postverbal vowels, which means
that they also coalesce with transitivity and evidentiality. In addition, the conditional
realis uses both a postverbal vowel and a verbal prefix. The imperative is always the
very last marking on a verb, and so it is not marked through a postverbal vowel. The
imperative obviative is a combination of the obligative and imperative markings. The
obligative is marked through a verbal infix, which follows the postverbal vowel.
!
The moods in Siwa are organized in two groups coalescing moods
(indicative, conditional irrealis and optative) and non-coalescing moods (conditional
realis, obligative, imperative and imperative obviative).
!
Because of the way mood coalesces with evidentiality and valency, a system
of three postverbal vowel emerges: the transitive postverbal vowel, the intransitive
postverbal vowel and the passive postverbal vowel. Each of these three vowels
represent the various valency markers as well as evidentiality, and as it will be
introduced here, mood.
!
!
!
!

transitive postverbal vowel


!
transitive!
!
!
subjective transitive!
!
ditransitive transitive!

!
!
!

-a
o--a
i--a
333

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

passive transitive!

u--a

intransitive postverbal vowel


!
intransitive!
!
!
subjective intransitive!
!
ditransitive intransitive!
!
passive intransitive!

!
!
!
!

-i
o--i
i--i
u--i

translative postverbal vowel


!
translative!
!

-u, -

9.7.1 Indicative
intransitive postverbal
vowel

transitive postverbal vowel

translative postverbal
vowel

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

-a-

-e-

-i-

-o-

-u-/--

-o-

The indicative is the default mood. It shows that an action is within the realm of the
real world (be the verb in assertive or inferential). It is the most common mood. The
obligative usually uses the indicative mood. Note that the indicative is not glossed
here in verbs, only in with the copula. The translative assertive ending is - if directly
preceded by -e- -i- -y- and --, but not by -ai- -oai- -ui- or -oi-.

!
!

!
!

ykami
I will take care of Y

!
!

!
!

timi
I will stand

!
!
!

!
!
!

mavahsu
I will grow stronger

334

9.7.2 Conditional Realis


intransitive postverbal
vowel

transitive postverbal vowel

translative postverbal
vowel

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

da--a-

da--e-

da--i-

da--o-

da--uda---

da--o-

The conditional realis shows that the verb is in a possible but conditional reality. If
used by itself, it is equivalent to the English conjunction if in realistic statements. In
certain cases, the conditional may be used where English would use when or
although (especially with an evidentiality particle). Conditional realis and irrealis
clauses are often linked together with the conjunction u.
There is considerable variation in the form of the conditional realis marker. The most
widespread and standard for is da- or d-, but other forms exist:
!
!
!

!
!
!

ro-/r- ! !
a(a)-! !
e(a)-! !

dnu and Riekka dialects


Sorhi and Neihesko dialects (old Aingo dialect)
Most midwestern dialects

The conditional realis does not affect the postverbal vowel, such that it is the only
mood not to be reflected in the vowel. For this reason, the conditional realis shares its
postverbal vowel with the indicative.

!
!

manimi'
I will come!

'
!

'
!

damanimi
if I come

!
%

midi% %
I will fall!

%
!

%
!

endidi
if I fall

!
'

vanami'
'
I will stretch Y! !

'
!

davanami
if I stretch Y!

It is not uncommon for the da- to form a consonant cluster with the verbs initial
consonant if possible if is preceded by a pronoun. This is especially common of
verbs beginning in m- n- l- - (then becoming -bm- -dn- -dl- and -d- respectively)
and less commonly with verbs in p- b- and k- g- (then becoming -b- and -grespectively). This is called conditional contraction, and it is mostly a trait of relaxed
speech:

335

%
%
%
%
%
%

-da-m-% %
-da-n-% %
-da-l-% %
-da--% %
-da-p-/-b-%
-da-k-/-g-%

!
'
!
!
!
!
!
!

%
%
%
%
%
%

%
%
%
%
%
%

-bm-dn-dl-d-%
-b-g-

mavoavvu'
'
I will get scared!

'
!

endavoavvu
if I get scared!

ednekeni'
I will lose!

'
!

'
!

madnekeni
if I lose (also endanekeni)

mamyhybmui'
I will moan!

'
!

'
!

mabmyhybmui
if I moan (also endamyhybmui)

!
!

malodni''
I will sink!

'
!

'
!

madlodni
if I sink (also endalodni)

!
!

entemi''
'
I will tremble! !

'
!

mademi
if I tremble (also endaemi)

!
!

empialeni'
I will flush!

'
!

mabialeni
if I flush (more commonly endapialeni)

'
!

Certain speakers have a so-called expended conditional, that includes more forms
that are otherwise expressed by other words. These include the forms dai-/da- if
ever and the more formal sasa-/sas- if (much more reserved possibility).

dasihhi, tahhumikigga u
[dsih:i th:umiik:aju]
da-sihh-i tahh-um-i-ki-gga u
COND.REAL-rain-ASS.CONCL.ITR leave-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.ITR-TRANSLO-1P.AG.PL.INCL U

if it rains, we will have to leave


s on danallana, netaenna u sareta-a
[s dl:na neten:aju sredaa]
s on da-nal-l-a-na -net-a-=en-na sar-e-taa
not ON COND.REAL-taste-PERF-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.AG.SG know-ASS.CONCL.TR-NEG.HABIL-2P.AG.SG U
good-COP.ASS.INFER-3P.AG.SGREL.INTERR

if you havent tasted it, then you cannot know whether it is good

336

daisihhi, tahhumikigga u
[dxisih:i th:umiik:aju]
dai-sihh-i tahh-um-i-ki-gga u
COND.REAL-rain-ASS.CONCL.ITR leave-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.ITR-TRANSLO-1P.AG.PL.INCL U

if ever it rains, we will have to leave


sastanaknu
[sastnau]
sas-ta-nakn-u
COND.REAL-3P.UNAG.SG-break-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL

should X ever break


Conditional realis in indirect clauses is expressed by the verb clitic -a:
!
%

addata sara%
'
if it is good
set negami, sarvata-a! I dont know if/wheather it is good

9.7.3 Conditional Irrealis


transitive postverbal
vowel

intransitive postverbal
vowel

translative postverbal
vowel

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

eastern

-ia-

-ie-

-iu-

-oi-

-ui-i-

-ui-

western

--

-ey-

-i-

-u-

--

-u-

The conditional irrealis mood shows that the verb is in a impossible or unrealistic but
conditional reality. If used by itself, it is equivalent to the English conjunction if in
irrealis statements (i.e. if I were, if I came, if you did). In certain cases, the conditional
may be used where English would use when or although (especially with an
evidentiality particle). There are two sets of endings for the conditional irrealis. One is
primarily used in the eastern dialects, the other in the western dialects.
!
!

nainami'
I will use Y!

'
!

'
!

nainiami~nainmi
if I used Y

!
'

saskimi''
'
I will wake up' '

'
'

saskiumi~saskimi
if I woke up!

!
'

mahingu'
'
I will die in combat'

'
'

mahingui~mahing
if I died in combat
337

The conditional irrealis inferential generally corresponds to the English subjunctive


mood, which Siwa otherwise lacks and generally expressed through the inferential:
!
!

nainiami~nainmi'
if I used Y!
!

'
!

nainiemi~naineymi
I would use Y

!
'

saskiumi~saskimi'
if I woke up'
'

'
'

saskoimi~saskumi
I would wake up!

!
'

mahingui~mahing'
if I died in combat'

'
'

mahingoi~mahingu
I would die in combat

Unlike the conditional realis, the conditional irrealis is not strictly used in phrases with
a clear condition. It may simply be used to show an irrealis situation (then often in the
inferential). Thus, a clause whose main verb is in the conditional irrealis and whose
conjuncted clause is in the same mood (or in the optative) but in the inferential, it is
often equivalent to English if X were to Y, then X would Y.
When two phrases are in the conditional irrealis (counter factual conditional phrases),
and the second phrase is considered to be a possible result of the first phrase, the
first one (protasis) will be found in the inferential, and the second one in the assertive
(apodosis) (see fourth example below).
sihhiu on, tahhumoikigga u
[sih:iu th:umjik:aju]
sihh-iu on tahh-um-oi-ki-gga u
rain-ASS.CONCL.COND.IRREAL.ITR ON leave-OBLI-INFER.CONCL.COND.IRREAL.ITRTRANSLO-1P.AG.PL.INCL U

if it were to rain, we would have to leave


s on nalliana, netieenna u sareta-a
[s l:ina netieen:aju saredaa]
s on nal-l-a-na u net-ie-=en-na sar-e-taa
not ON taste-PERF-ASS.CONCL.COND.IRREAL.TR-2P.AG.SG know-INFER.CONCL.COND.IRREAL.TRNEG.HABIL-2P.AG.SG U good-COP.ASS.INFER-3P.AG.SGREL.INTER

if you wouldnt have tasted it, then you would not know whether it is good
sariata de, naluemi ka
[sriade luemika]
sar-ia-ta de -nal-ue-mi ka
good-COP.COND.IRRREAL.ASS-3P.AG.SG DE taste-INFER.CONCL.OPT.TR-1P.AG.SG KA

If it were good, then I would want to taste it

338

vahta eruloila, nette eruluata taga


[vahta eruljila nte erulujda tga]
vahta er<u>l-oi-la- nette er<u>l-u-ia-ta taga
completely work.PAST-COND.IRR.INFER-PERF-3P.AG.SG surely work.PAST-PAT.PART.ACTCOP.COND.IRR.ASS-3P.AG.SG TAGA

if X would have worked to completion, then surely (it follows that) Y would
be done

Conservative eastern dialects have kept the older versions of the vowels:
intransitive postverbal
vowel

transitive postverbal vowel

translative postverbal
vowel

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

-ia-

-ie-

-iu-

-oi-

-ui-i-

-ui-

9.7.4 Optative
intransitive postverbal
vowel

transitive postverbal vowel

translative postverbal
vowel

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

-ua-a-

-ue-i-

-i-i-

-uo-

-u--

-ueor
-u-

The optative mood shows wish or will it is used to show what the subject wishes to
do or wants to do. The optative is generally not found in the inconclusive. Note that
the endings -i- and -u- often become -vi- and -vu- (or -vo-) when a consonant
cluster is possible. Similarly, -ua-, -ue- and -i- can be found as -a- and -i- if
preceded by i e y.
!
!

sugami' '
I will visit Y!

'
!

'
!

suguami
I want to visit Y

!
'

ivimi' '
I will stay'

'
'

'
'

iviumi
I want to stay!

ednoapsu'

'

'

ednoapsu

339

'

I will grow a beard'

'

I want to grow a beard

!
!
!
!
%
!
!
!
!

kodi'
'
X walked!

'
!

'
!

kotvi
X wanted to walk (cf. koni X will walk)

nodi' '
'
X swam!
%
!
!
!
beiddi' '
'
X spent the day!
!
!
!

'
%
!
'
!
!

notvi
X wanted to swim (cf. noni X will swim)
beitsvi
X wants to spend the day (cf. beii X will
spend ! the day)

!
'
!

knnlimi'
'
I will settle down'
!
!
!

'
'
!

knnlimi
I want to settle down (also
knnlvimi)!

The inferential optative corresponds to a subjunctive form of the optative:


!
!

suguami'
'
I want to visit Y!!

'
!

suguemi
I would want to visit Y

!
'

iviumi' '
'
I want to stay' '

'
'

ivvimi
I would want to stay!

!
'

ednoapsu'
'
'
I want to grow a beard' '

(or I stayed)

ednoapsue
I would want to grow a beard!

It is also used as a sort of imperative with the third person in the inferential (called the
optative imperative). The first or second persons are also used in this construction,
which can be translated as may X Y, especially if the subjects are unagentive (the
imperative used with an unagentive subject is common, but is considered poor
language).
!
Another optative construction involves a copular construction, which may be
coupled with bahtu o- or (b) ari -tu/-uts...o-, then meaning if only (often with
dramatic coordinating particles). The postverbal vowel is often absent, unlike in
normal -uts/-tu temporal link constructions. Phrases of this construction commonly
have have the form:

340

!
!
-uts/-tu arioduo~ovo1
!
!
!
%
tauts ari inina ovomi% if only I were rich
%
%
hbmuts ari ovoimi' if only I could fly
!
!
b ari netuts ovona' if only you knew
!
!
pednuts ari ovori'
if only they would arrive
!
The optative may reflect the subjects wish upon an object, in which case the
reversive must be used (see section on reversive 9.9.4.1). This is similar to English X
wants Y to Z.
!
The optative is frequently used with the conclusive despite often carrying a
habitual meaning.
otoatimi
[tdwimi]

kesami nori deita


[cesmi nri deida]

o-toat-i-mi
SUBJ-join-ASS.CONCL.OPT.ITR-1P.AG.SG

I want to come along/join in

kes-a-mi nor-i d-e-ita


learn-ASS.CONCL.OPT.TR-1P.AG.SG sing-ITR COPINFER-ILLAT

sotoatuadnami
[stduatnmi]

takessadnarimi nori deita


[tces:atnrimi nri deida]

s-o-toat-ua-dna--mi
2P.UNAG.SG-SUBJ-join-ASS.CONCL.OPT.TRREVERS-3P.PAT.SG-1P.AG.SG

ta-kes-s-ua--dna-ri-mi nor-i d-e-ita


3P.UNAG-learn-HAB-ASS.CONCL.OPT.TRREVERS-3P.PL-1P.AG.SG sing-ITR COP-INFER-ILLAT

I want you to come along/join X

I want them to learn to sing

sihhi nuo
[sih:i nu]

sihhuo
[sih:u]

sihh-i n-uo
rain-ITR COP.INCONCL-INFER.OPT

sihh-uo
rain-INFER.CONCL.ITR.OPT

if only it would rain...

may it rain

tanikuo
[tniku]

hbmuoimi
[h:pmuimi]

ta-nik-uo
3P.UNAG.SG-die-INFER.CONCL.ITR

hbm-uo-i-mi
fly-INFER.CONCL.ITR.OPT-HABIL-1P.AG.SG

may X die

if only I could fly

I want to learn to sing

b ari imanitu mubma oduona


[b: ri imniu mpma duna]
b ari i-ma=n-i-tu m=bma o-d-uo-na
oh ari DIT-come-ITR-LINK.TEMP among.ALLAT COMPLE-COP-INFER.OPT-2P.AG.SG

oh if only you could come to me


Conservative eastern dialects have kept the older versions of the vowels:

1 The form ovo is a short form used mainly in this type of phrases.

341

transitive postverbal
vowel

intransitive postverbal
vowel

translative postverbal
vowel

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

assertive

inferential

-uba-ba-

-ube-be-

-i-bi-

-ubo-

-u-b-

-uboi-

9.7.5 Obligative
Unlike the indicative, conditional irrealis and optative, the obligative is not expressed
through the postverbal vowel. However, it is still considered a mood in Siwa
grammar. The obligative marker is -um-, which is found in slot 3. The obligative is
generally found in the agentive, although translative verbs remain, as always,
unagentive.
!
The general function of the obligative is to show that the agent of the verb
has, must or should (in the inferential) do something. The nature of the obligation or
need can range from strong to much lesser necessity.
!
!
!
!
'

nuidnami'
I will admit Y!

'
!

'
!

nuidnumami
I must admit Y

ontaimi' '
I will dance'

'
'

'
'

ontaumimi
I must dance!

!
'

entul''
'
I will get better' '

'
'

entulumu
I must get better!

Like the optative, the obligative is often found in the conclusive despite having a
mostly habitual meaning. In older language, the obligative may also be found with the
reversive, as the optative (same construction), equivalent to English X needs Y to.
otoatumimi
[tdumimi]

kesumami nori deita


[cesummi nrha deida]

o-toat-um-i-mi
SUBJ-join-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.SG

kes-um-a-mi nor-sa d-e-ita


learn-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR--1P.AG.SG sing-ITR
COP-INFER-ILLAT

I must come along/join

I must to learn to sing


sotoatumidnami
[stdumtnmi]
s-o-toat-um-i-dna-mi
2P.UNAG.SG-SUBJ-join-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.TR-REVERS-1P.AG.SG

I need you to come along/join in

342

sihhumi hake seigga


[sih:umi hce seik:a]
sihh-um-i h-a-ke s-e-i-gga
rain-OBLI-ASS.CONCL.ITR eat-TR-LINK.GOAL COP.HAB-INFER.INDIC-HABIL-1P.AG.PL.INCL

it must rain for us to eat


9.7.6 Imperative
The imperative mood shows a direct command. It is the very last morpheme that can
be added to a verb, so it appears in slot 9. It is most common with verbs governed
by an agentive subject rather than unagentive, in which case the optative imperative
is used instead.
!
Below are the forms of the imperative mood markers. The negative
imperative is logically prohibitive. A more direct and sometimes impolite imperative
mood can be expressed through the subitive (see 9.9.4.6).
!
The second and third person plural have two forms one in -uri and one in unni. The form in -unni is slightly more polite.

2p.sg

3p.sg.
ani

3p.sg.
ina

1p.pl.incl

1p.pl.excl

2p.pl

3p.pl

positive

-n

-t

-oa

-oe

-uri/-unni

-guri/gunni

negative

-sen

-set

-soa

-soe

-suri/sunni

-suri/sunni

!
!

manina''
'
you will come! !

'
!

manin!
come!

!
'

nonakina'
'
you will tell me' '

'
'

nonakin!
tell me!!

!
'

noridda''
'
you will sing (pl.)'

'
'

noriuri!
sing!!

!
'

notsana''
'
you will take Y' '

'
'

notsasen!
dont take Y!!

%
'

makigga%
we will go!

%
!

makoa
lets go

%
!

343

!
'

nedigga%
%
we will sit down!

%
!

nedoa
lets sit down

!
%

otoatin
[tn]

%
!

o-toat-i-n
SUBJ-join-ASS.CONCL.ITR-IMPER.2P.SG

come along/join !

!
%

kesauri nori daita


[cesuri nri dida]

%
!

kes-a-uri nor-i d-a-ita


learn-ASS.CONCL.TR-IMPER.2P.PL sing-ITR COP-ASS-ILLAT

learn to sing ! (pl.)


nedigunni
[nxiun:i]

nedisuri
[nxsxuri]

ned-i-gunni
sit.down-ASS.CONCL.ITR-IMPER.3P.PL

ned-i-suri
sit.down-ASS.CONCL.ITR-IMPER.3P.PL.NEG

let them sit down

let them not sit down

9.7.6.1 Imperative Obviative


The imperative obviative mood is a variation of the imperative mood. The command
or order of the normal imperative is less urgent and usually refers to something to be
done later. The imperative obviative means something like a delayed imperative, and
it is marked by using both a modified version of the obligative (-mu- instead of -um-)
and the imperative markings, which can combine with the second person singular
imperative ending -n to -m if no other slot is taken up between slot 3 and 9. The
imperative obviative usually requires the order of slot 3 and 4 to be switched as per
rule 1 (see section of slot switch 9.2.1.8) It can also have a meaning similar to
English phrases such as X ought to, especially with 3rd person imperatives and the
inferential.
!
The imperative obviative may also be used to convey that the agent of the
verb will have to to do something at a later point.

344

otoatim
[tim]

kesumet nori deita


[cesum nri deida]

o-toat-i-mu=n
SUBJ-join-ASS.CONCL.ITR-OBLI-IMPER.2P.SG

kes-um-e-t nor-i d-e-ita


learn-OBLI-INFER.CONCL.TR-IMPER.3P.SG.ANI
sing-ITR COP-INFER-ILLAT

come along/join later on


or
you will have to come along (later
on)

345

X ought to learn to sing


or
X will have to learn to sing (later on)

9.8 Postverbal Vowel Coalescence


The sections on valency, evidentiality and mood all concern the postverbal vowel.
The table below combines all these morphemes and shows the conjugation pattern
for the postverbal vowel. Dialectal forms are given in italics.

346

347

inferential

assertive

optative

conditional
irrealis

indicative

optative

conditional
irrealis

indicative

-i
-iu / -i

-a
-ia

-oi

-ie

-ubo

-uo

-ue / -i
-ube / -be

-oi

-ie

-u

-o

-e

-ey

-i / -bi

-i / -i

-ua / -a
-uba / -ba

-iu

-ia

-i

intransitive
subjective
ditransitive
passive

transitive
subjective
ditransitive
passive

intransitive

transitive

postverb vowel

-uboi

-ue or -u

-ui

-u

-ui

-o

-u / -b

-u / -

-ui / -i

-ui

-u / -

translative

Below is an example of a verb conjugated in all of its mood, valency and evidentiality
forms.
!

odena !look at Y

indicative

conditional realis

conditional
irrealis

optative

SG.

odenami
I will look at Y

dodenami
if I look at Y

odeniami
if I looked at Y

odenami
I want to look at
Y

PL.
INCL

odenagga
we will look at
Y

dodenagga
if we look at Y

odeniagga
if we looked at
Y

odenagga
we want to look
at Y

PL.
EXCL

odenagge
we will look at
Y

dodenagge
if we look at Y

odeniagge
if we looked at
Y

odenagge
we want to look
at Y

SG.

odenana
you will look at
Y

dodenana
if you look at Y

odeniana
if you looked at
Y

odenana
you want to
look at Y

PL.

odenadda
you will look at
Y

dodenadda
if you look at Y

odeniadda
if you looked at
Y

odenadda
you want to
look at Y

SG.

odena
X will look at
Y

dodena
if X looks at Y

odenia
if X looked at Y

odena
X wants to look
at Y

PL.

odenari
they will look
at Y

dodenari
if they look at
Y

odeniari
if they looked
at Y

odenari
they want to
look at Y

OBV.

odenat
X will look at
Y

dodenat
if X looks at Y

odeniat
if X looked at Y

odenat
X wants to look
at Y

odenao
one will look
at Y

dodenao
if one looks at
Y

odeniao
if one looked at
Y

odenao
one wants to
look at Y

assertive

1P.

2P.

3P.

4P.

348

indicative

conditional
realis

conditional irrealis

optative

SG.

odenemi
I will look at
Y

dodenemi
if I look at Y

odeniemi
I would look at
Y

odenimi
I would want to
look at Y

PL.
INCL

odenegga
we will look
at Y

dodenegga
if we look at Y

odeniegga
we would look
at Y

odenigga
we would want to
look at Y

PL.
EXCL

odenegge
we will look
at Y

dodenegge
if we look at Y

odeniegge
we would look
at Y

odenigge
we would want to
look at Y

SG.

odenena
you will look
at Y

dodenena
if you look at
Y

odeniena
you would look
at Y

odenina
you would want
to look at Y

PL.

odenedda
you will look
at Y

dodenedda
if you look at
Y

odeniedda
you would look
at Y

odenidda
you would want
to look at Y

SG.

odene
X will look at
Y

dodene
if X looks at Y

odenie
X would look at
Y

odeni
X would want to
look at Y

PL.

odeneri
they will look
at Y

dodeneri
if they look at
Y

odenieri
they would look
at Y

odeniri
they would want
to look at Y

OBV.

odenet
X will look at
Y

dodenet
if X looks at Y

odeniet
X would look at
Y

odenit
X would want to
look at Y

odeneo
one will look
at Y

dodeneo
if one looks at
Y

odenieo
one would look
at Y

odenio
one would want
to look at Y

inferential

1P.

2P.

3P.

4P.

349

poki ! !

assertive

1P.

go to sleep

indicative

conditional realis

conditional irrealis

optative

SG.

pokimi
I will go to
sleep

dapokimi
if I go to sleep

pokiumi
if I went to
sleep

pokvimi
I want to go to
sleep

PL.
INCL

pokigga
we will go to
sleep

dapokigga
if we go to
sleep

pokiugga
if we went to
sleep

pokvigga
we want to go
to sleep

PL.
EXCL

pokigge
we will go to
sleep

dapokigge
if we go to
sleep

pokiugge
if we went to
sleep

pokvigge
we want to go
to sleep

SG.

pokina
you will go to
sleep

dapokina
if you go to
sleep

pokiuna
if you went to
sleep

pokvina
you want to go
to sleep

PL.

pokidda
you will go to
sleep

dapokidda
if you go to
sleep

pokiudda
if you went to
sleep

pokvidda
you want to go
to sleep

SG.

poki
X will go to
sleep

dapoki
if X goes to
sleep

pokiu
if X went to
sleep

pokvi
X wants to go
to sleep

PL.

pokiri
they will go to
sleep

dapokiri
if they go to
sleep

pokiuri
if they went to
sleep

pokviri
they want to go
to sleep

OBV.

pokit
X will go to
sleep

dapokit
if X goes to
sleep

pokiut
if X went to
sleep

pokvit
X wants to go
to sleep

pokio
one will go to
sleep

dapokio
if one goes to
sleep

pokiuo
if one went to
sleep

pokvio
one wants to
go to sleep

2P.

3P.

4P.

350

inferential

1P.

indicative

conditional realis

conditional irrealis

optative

SG.

pokomi
I will go to
sleep

dapokomi
if I go to sleep

pokoimi
I would go to
sleep

pokuomi
I would want to
go to sleep

PL.
INCL

pokogga
we will go to
sleep

dapokogga
if we go to
sleep

pokoigga
we would go to
sleep

pokuogga
we would want
to go to sleep

PL.
EXCL

pokogge
we will go to
sleep

dapokogge
if we go to
sleep

pokoigge
we would go to
sleep

pokuogge
we would want
to go to sleep

SG.

pokona
you will go to
sleep

dapokona
if you go to
sleep

pokoina
you would go
to sleep

pokuona
you would
want to go to
sleep

PL.

pokodda
you will go to
sleep

dapokodda
if you go to
sleep

pokoidda
you would go
to sleep

pokuodda
you would
want to go to
sleep

SG.

poko
X will go to
sleep

dapoko
if X goes to
sleep

pokoi
X would go to
sleep

pokuo
X would want
to go to sleep

PL.

pokori
they will go to
sleep

dapokori
if they go to
sleep

pokoiri
they would go
to sleep

pokuori
they would
want to go to
sleep

OBV.

pokot
X will go to
sleep

dapokot
if X goes to
sleep

pokoit
X would go to
sleep

pokuot
X would want
to go to sleep

pokoo
one will go to
sleep

dapokoo
if one goes to
sleep

pokoio
one would go
to sleep

pokuoo
one would
want to go to
sleep

2P.

3P.

4p.

351

muhu ! !
assertive

1P.

disappear

indicative

conditional realis

conditional irrealis

optative

SG.

mamuhu
I will
disappear

mabmuhu
if I disappear

mamuhui
if I
disappeared

mamuhu
I want to
disappear

PL.
INCL

mamuhu
we will
disappear

mabmuhu
if we
disappear

mamuhui
if we
disappeared

mamuhu
we want to
disappear

PL.
EXCL

memuhu
we will
disappear

mebmuhu
if we
disappear

memuhui
if we
disappeared

memuhu
we want to
disappear

SG.

samuhu
you will
disappear

sabmuhu
if you
disappear

samuhui
if you
disappeared

samuhu
you want to
disappear

PL.

samuhu
you will
disappear

sabmuhu
if you
disappear

samuhui
if you
disappeared

samuhu
you want to
disappear

SG.

tamuhu
X will
disappear

tabmuhu
if X disappears

tamuhui
if X
disappeared

tamuhu
X wants to
disappear

PL.

tsemuhu
they will
disappear

tsebmuhu
if they
disappear

tsemuhui
if they
disappeared

tsemuhu
they want to
disappear

OBV.

nemuhu
X will
disappear

nebmuhu
if X disappears

nemuhui
if X
disappeared

nemuhu
X wants to
disappear

amuhu
one will
disappear

abmuhu
if one
disappears

amuhui
if one
disappeared

amuhu
one wants
disappear

2P.

3P.

4P.

352

inferential

1P.

indicative

conditional realis

conditional irrealis

optative

SG.

mamuho
I will
disappear

mabmuho
if I disappear

mamuhui
I would
disappear

mamuhue
I would want to
disappear

PL.
INCL

mamuho
we will
disappear

mabmuho
if we
disappear

mamuhui
we would
disappear

mamuhue
we would want
to disappear

PL.
EXCL

memuho
we will
disappear

mebmuho
if we
disappear

memuhui
we would
disappear

memuhue
we would want
to disappear

SG.

samuho
you will
disappear

sabmuho
if you
disappear

samuhui
you would
disappear

samuhue
you would
want to
disappear

PL.

samuho
you will
disappear

sabmuho
if you
disappear

samuhui
you would
disappear

samuhue
you would
want to
disappear

SG.

tamuho
X will
disappear

tabmuho
if X disappears

tamuhui
X would
disappear

tamuhue
X would want
to disappear

PL.

tsemuho
they will
disappear

tsebmuho
if they
disappear

tsemuhui
they would
disappear

tsemuhue
they would
want to
disappear

OBV.

nemuho
X will
disappear

nebmuho
if X disappears

nemuhui
X would
disappear

nemuhue
X would want
to disappear

amuho
one will
disappear

abmuho
if one
disappears

amuhui
one would
disappear

amuhue
one would
want to
disappear

2P.

3P.

4P.

353

9.9 Aspect
Siwa has four primary aspects:
!
!
!
!
!
!

conclusive
inconclusive
!
verbal
!
copular
habitual
perfective (the perfect tense)

Moreover, it has 8 secondarily aspects:


%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

reversive
semelfactive
persistive
frequentative
inchoative
subitive
habilitive
diminutive

Primary and secondary aspectual markers behave differently. Namely, primary


markers are found in slot 3, while secondary markers are found in slot 6. Both primary
and secondary markers can be combined, and they are found in the order in which
they appear above.
!
Note that the order in which primary aspect markers appear in the verb
depends on the verbs stem. See 9.2.1.8.

9.9.1 Conclusivity
Conclusivity is an aspect of every conjugated verb in Siwa. A verb is either
conclusive or inconclusive. While the conclusive has no overt marking, the
inconclusive has two. Within the verb, it is found as either -ma- or -m- depending on
whether the -m- can form a cluster with the preceding consonant (see 9.2.1.2.4):
!
!

rule 1! !
rule 2! !

-C-m-PV-!
-C-PV-ma-%

and !
and!

-V-m-PV
-PV-ma-C or -PV-m-mi

Only impersonal verbs, participles, a handful of other verbs and verbal adjectives are
found with this inconclusive marker called verbal inconclusive. In fact, the verbal
inconclusive is the most characterizing feature of impersonal verbs and verbal
adjectives, which behave differently than regular verbs in other ways.

354

The second way to show the inconclusive is through the copular construction,
whereby the main verb and the copula are used within the phrase. Impersonal verbs
cannot be found in this form, though they may form split stems.
!
What conclusivity actually shows is whether the verb is perceived to have
reached an end, goal or conclusion. While very similar to the perfect or the telic
aspects found in many other languages, conclusivity has a broader function
whether the goal of the action was achieved or not.
!
The conclusive marking (or rather lack thereof) also carries another important
function. Whereas the inconclusive clearly shows an ongoing action, the conclusive
form is not so limited. The conclusive form is often used for gnomic statement, i.e.
general truths or facts. It is also found with the habilitive, and certain verbs have a
tendency to use the conclusive form rather than the inconclusive, despite having a
rather inconclusive aspect, including verbs such as nu- to see and net- to know.
These verbs include those which cannot or usually do not have a set goal - verbs
with no clear duration, or an inherently short or limited duration. For example, the verb
sa- to hear X is more often in the conclusive, without taking a particularly conclusive
aspect. Thus, while the inconclusive always carries a meaning of X is doing Y, the
conclusive can carry a meaning of X will do Y or X does Y.
9.9.1.1 Verbal Inconclusive
The verbal inconclusive is a marker that is found within the fully conjugated verb. It is
primarily found in verbal adjectives, a number of impersonal verbs (whose conclusive
meaning is actually an inchoative one) and an even smaller number of other verbs.
!
The marker for the verbal inconclusive is -m- or -ma- and is found in slot 3. It
often merges with the verb, causing various sound changes. See section 9.2.1.8.1
on impersonal verbs and verbal adjectives for a detailed description of this.
%
The number of regular verbs that are or can be found in the verbal
inconclusive aspect is small, but varies the eastern and western dialects as a recent
development. However, most of the verbs that do appear in the verbal inconclusive
usually involve some kind of mental or non-concrete action. Below is a nonexhaustive list of the these verbs.
WESTERN

EASTERN

tabmimi
(tat-)
I am thinking/I think
debmami
(det-)
I feel like Y/I want Y
rytamami
(ryt-)
I am anxious about Y

maryta
(ryt-)
I am anxious about Y

355

WESTERN

EASTERN

topmami
(tobb-)
I have a feeling (that)

entobba(a)
(tobb-)
I have a feeling (that)

kerrami
(kerr-)
I suspect (that)

koantami
(koanta-)
I assume

koantammi
(koanta-)
I assume

vmami
(v-)
I seem to remember (that)

mav
(v-)
I seem to remember (that)

iskelmimi or iskelimmi
(iskel-)
I wonder

iskelmi or mskeli
(iskel-)
I wonder

kimnami
(kin-)
I hope

tsuoggami
(tsuogg-)
I hope

9.9.1.2 Copular Inconclusive


The copular inconclusive is a construction which can be used with all verbs other
than impersonal verbs, verbal adjectives and the few verbs given above.
!
Its construction is explained in 9.2.2. Copular inconclusive verbs are split
into a split-stem and the copula, each bearing their respective markers. Compare the
following example:
slots
-1 -3

split-stem

slot 4

phrase

copula

slot 4

slots
256789

subject

ob-

-muo-

-a

kendai

d-

-a-

-a

pegg

domuoa kendai daa pegg


[dmuja cnda dja pec:]
d-o-muo-a kenda=i d-a-a pegg-
today COP-ASS-3P.PAT.PL girl-AGT

COND.REAL-SUBJ-wear-TR

if the girl is wearing them today

356

Below are examples of the copular inconclusive compared to the regular conclusive
forms.
conclusive

inconclusive

independent

copular

nenimi hha
[nenimi h:ja]

neni hha nami


[neni h:ja nmi]

nen-i-mi hh=a
sit-ASS.ITR.CONCL-1P.AG.SG here

nen-i hh=a n-a-mi


sit-ITR here COP-ASS-1P.AG.SG

I (will) sit here

I am sitting here

mottu thta
[mtu te:ha]

mottu thta na
[mtu te:ha na]

mott-u tr=ta
set-ASS.TRANSL.CONCL sun.PAT

the sun (will) set(s)

mott-u tr=ta n-a


set-ASS.TRANSL.INCONCL sun.PAT
COP.INCONCL-ASS

soaksa tiogi kuhkua


[saksa tiji chkua]

soaka tioid ma kuhkua


[sga tiw ma chkua]

soak-s-a tiogi- kuhko-a-


build-HAB-ASS.CONCL.TR dam-DAT beaver-PL-AGT

beavers build dams

soak-a to<>i-d m-a kuhko-a


build-ASS.TR.INCONCL dam-GEN
COP.PAST.INCONCL-ASS beaver-PL-AGT

mahhakini kenka koadderi saroska


[mh:ini cka k:eri
srska]

mahha kenka koasia saroska nani


[mh: cka kasxia srska
neni]

mahh-a-ki-ni kenka koadderi saro-s-ka


hunt-ASS.CONCL.TR-TRANSLO-3P.AG.PL tomorrow
south.east=towards deer-GEN-PL

-mahh-a kenka koasia-ia saro-s-ka n-e-kini


hunt-ASS.TR.INCONCL tomorrow
south.east=INESS deer-GEN-PL COP.INCONCLINFER-3P.AG.PL

the sun is setting

the beavers were building a dam

tomorrow they are going towards the


south-east to hunt deer

tomorrow they are going to be in


the south-east hunting deer

9.9.1.3 Telicity
Conclusivity, in addition to being overtly marked by an infix or through a copular
construction, is also marked through the cases of the objects of a verb. This is called
telicity in the context of Siwa grammar to distinguish it from verbal conclusivity. The
conclusive is equivalent to the telic aspect while the inconclusive corresponds to the
atelic aspect. A dative object shows a telic aspect and a genitive object shows an
atelic aspect. A verb can have a conclusive aspect but still have an atelic object. In
the context of telicity, an genitive object is atelic and the genitive case may be
refered to as the partitive (the action only affects part of the object), and a dative

357

object is telic and the case may be referred to as the translative (the action changes
the state of the object). This leads to a complex combination of verb-marked
conclusivity and object-marked telicity.
!
!
!
!
!
!

conclusivity (verbs)
!
inconclusive!
!
conclusive!
telicity (nouns)
!
atelic ! !
!
telic ! !

!
!

!
!

-m-!
--!

!
!

!
!

genitive (partitive)!
dative (translative)!

X is doing Y
X does/will do Y
some Y
all Y, the whole Y

Telicity effects the definiteness of the object. The translative nearly always adds
definiteness to the object (often translated with a definite article in English or all of or
a whole, etc. especially with an inconclusive verb). The partitive may indicate lack of
definiteness of the object (often translated with an indefinite article for countable
nouns or some for uncountable nouns). However, in the future inconclusive, the
partitive may indicate both definiteness or lack thereof. Compare the table below (a
more complete version of this table is found in the section 9.11 on tense-aspect
coalescence).
!
marked
conclusivity

conclusive

inconclusive

telicity

non-past

past

genitive
(partitive)

hami kelhobi
I (will) eat (some)
dried meat

mami kelhobi
I ate (some) dried meat

dative
(translative)

hami kelho
I (will) eat (the whole)
dried meat

mama kelho
I ate (the whole) dried
meat

genitive
(partitive)

ha kelhobi nami
I am eating (some)
dried meat

ha kelhobi mami
I was eating (some)
dried meat

dative
(translative)

ha kelho nami
I am eating (the
whole) dried meat

ha kelho mami
I was eating (the whole)
dried meat

358

9.9.2 Habitual
The habitual aspect shows that an action happens repeatedly or is reoccurring,
familiar, or customary. It is also used in gnomic statements, although the conclusive
also suffices for that function in many cases as well.
!
The habitual aspect marker has the form -s- or -sa-, but because of the way it
attaches directly to certain verb types, its actual shape varies in accordance to the
slot order of the verbal vowel (VP):
!
!
%
%
%
%

!
!
%
%
%
%

RULE 1!

!
-V-s-VP-%%
-C-s-VP-%%
-C-t-VP-C-h-VP-%
---VP-

!
%

RULE 2

C-VP-sa-

For how the habitual and verb stems combine, see 9.2.1.8.
!
Below are examples of the use of the habitual aspect:
killu aakus
[cil:ju jjaks]
killu a-ak-u-s
always 4P.ACT.UNAG-age-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL-HAB

one always gets older


tagil imnis ki
[tj:l mn:s ki]
tagil imn-i-s o<n>-ki
MUCH.ADV MAKE.SMOKE-ITR.ASS-HAB TINDER.MOSS-PAT

tinder moss (dried moss) makes a lot of smoke


nti kia yhha
[ni u:ia yh:a]
non-s-i <k>-ia yhhy--a
swim-HAB-ASS.ITR water-INESS salmon-AGT-PL

the salmons swim in the water


kendita saskisami
[cnida sascismi]
kend=ita sask-i-sa-mi
early wake.up-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HAB-1P.AG.SG

I (usually) wake up early


temis guaa nolbagi
[tmxs gujja nlbji]
tem-i-s gu-a=ia nolba--gi
lay.egg-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HAB late.fall-INESS eel-AGT-PL

eels lay their eggs in the late autumn

359

elulis aa tahpa eleu


[eluls i:jja tahpa eleu]
elul-i-s -a=ia ta=hpa ele-u
bloom-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HAB early.summer-INESS most-PAT flower-PAT

most flowers bloom in early summer


9.9.3 Perfective
The perfective aspect shows that an action is over or completed by the time of the
utterance. In the non-past, it corresponds to the perfect tense in English (I have
eaten) and in the past to the pluperfect tense (I had eaten). However, it is less
commonly used in Siwa than the perfect and pluperfect tenses, because it usually
implies a before or already.
The perfective marker occurs in slot 3 and has the shape -l- or -la-.
!
!
%
%

!
!
%

RULE 1!

!
-V-l-VP% %
-C-l-VP

RULE 2

-C-VP-la

For how the perfective and verb stems combine, see 9.2.1.8.
The perfective and habitual can appear together as -ls-/-lsa- (then equivalent to has
had/had had the habit of X, i.e. perfective habitual) or as -hl-/-hla- (the equivalent to
has usually X, i.e. a habitual perfective):
%
%
-l-sa%
%
%
%
!
kendita kirha saskilsari! !
!
!
they have had the habit !
!
!
of waking up early in the morning!
!
More examples:%!

%
-h-la
kendita kirha saskihlari
they have usually awoken early in
the morning

keslana ola tmme daita


[cslna jla m:e dida]

s-nallana-a mhnadi?
[sl:na: mi:hni]

kes-la-na ol-a tmme- d-a-ita


learn-PERF-ASS.CONCL.TR -2P.AG.SG read-TR
animal.trace-DAT COP.CONCL-ASS-ILLAT

snal-l-a-naa mhna-di
INTERRtaste-PERF-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.AG.SGINTERR mhna-GEN

you have learned to read animal


traces (already/before)

have you tasted mhna (before/


ever)?

kelana ola tmme daita


[cxlna jla m:e dida]

dni tkla kko


[:tni i:tcla ko]

ke<>-l-a-na ol-a tmme- d-a-ita


learn.PAST-PERF-ASS.CONCL.TR-2P.AG.SG read-TR
animal.trace-DAT COP.CONCL-ASS-ILLAT

dna tk--la om-ko


NOW MELT-ASS.TRANSL-PERF SNOW-PAT

you had learned to read animal


traces (already/before)

360

now the snow has melted

soa dlari sitru pednitu gana?


[sa ju:tri stxu ptniu gna]
s-oa <tt>-l-a-ri sitru- pedn-i-tu g-a-na
INTERR-already finish.PAST-PERF-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.PL soup-DAT arrive-ITR-LINK.TEMP COP.PASTASS-2P.AG.SG

had they already finished the soup when you arrived (back)?
oa ipendlina oakibma sihhitu tevu gatta
[ ipntina pma sih:iu tevu: gata]
oa i-pe<nd>-l-i-na oa-k=ibma sihh-i-tu tevu d-a- tta%
already DIT-return.PAST-PERF-ASS.ITR-2P.AG.SG home-ALLAT rain-ITR-TEMP.LINK before COP.PASTASS-SUBIT

you had already returned home before it started raining

ivi md heerre mumma-uri ora hmha


[ivi mi: hejer:e mum:ari ra hi:mha]
iv-i m-d heer-re mu=mma-uri or-a hmha-
stay-TR one.INA.GEN winter-GEN fathom.INESS-1P.POSS.PL.EXCL COP.PERF.INCONCL-ASS 3P.PRON.FEM

she/the woman has been staying with us for one winter


trkearita saskihlami
[te:rcewrida saschlmi]
tr=ke<>a-ri=ta sask-i-h=la-mi
sunrise-ILLAT wake.up-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HAB=PERF-1P.AG.SG

I have usually awakened by sunrise


trkearita saskilsami
[te:rcewrida sasclsmi]
tr=ke<>a-ri=ta sask-i-l=sa-mi
sunrise-ILLAT wake.up-ASS.CONCL.ITR-PERF=HAB-1P.AG.SG

I have had the habit of waking up before sunrise


9.9.4 Secondary Aspectual Markers
Secondary aspectual markers are found in slot 6. They do not coalesce with primary
aspectual markers and are not necessary for a verb to be complete. Secondary
aspectual markers also differ from primary markers in that they are found on the splitstem in copular constructions.
!
They are reversive, semelfactive, persistive, frequentative, inchoative,
subitive, habilitive and diminutive. They can be stringed one after the other,
although using even three consecutive aspectual markers is highly unusual.
reversive

semelfactive

persistive

frequentive

inchoative

subitve

habilitive

diminutive

-dna-

-a-

-a-en

-ppa-ppen

-dla-

-tta-

-i(neg. en-)

-nun-

361

9.9.4.1 Reversive
The reversive is a secondary aspectual marker with the form -dna-. The reversive
plays two important syntactic roles. Its most common role is to reverse the action of
the verb, similar the English prefix de- (derail, deflate, decapitate, etc.) and un(undo, unravel, unstick, etc.). It is, by semantic extrapolation, also used to show
movement down or off things with verbs which normally show the opposite
movement. The reversive comes first after the other primary aspectual markers.
itidla imi tahhita henda
[iita imi th:ida hnda]
i-ti<dl>-a- imi- tahh-ita hen=da
DIT-hang.PAST-ASS.TR-3P.AG.SG bear.head-DAT tree-ILLAT Up=ILLAT.DESTI

X hung the bearhead up in the tree

cf. itidladna imi tahhika henga

[iitatna imi th:iga he:a]


i-ti<dl>-a-dna- imi- tahh-ika hen=ga
DIT-hang.PAST-ASS.TR-REVERS-3P.AG.SG bear.head-DAT tree-ELAT UP=ELAT.DESTI

X took the bearhead down from the tree


kki misahibma henda
[i:ci mishpma hnda]
i-i<kk>-i- misa-hi=ibma hen=da
DIT-get.PAST-ASS.ITR-3P.AG.SG stone-ILLAT up=ILLAT.DESTI

X got up on the stone

cf. sem uadna misahiska henga


[sem i::uatna mishska he:a]
sem i-i-ua-dna- misa-h=iska hen=ga
not DIT-get-ASS.ITR.OPT-REVERS-3P..AG.SG stone-ABLA up=ELAT.DESTI

X does not want to get off the stone


Reversive may also be used to confer a negative aspect to a verb.
!
!

vappa ! !
vappadna !

!
!

X praises/adores Y (cf. vappi X kneels)


X insults Y

!
!

koni ! !
konidna !

!
!

X walks
X limps or X walks (with difficulty)

It can also confer a more vulgar or violent meaning to verbs.


!
!

nakna ! !
naknadna!

!
!

X breaks Y
X breaks Y (vulgar)

362

!
!

tsyka ! !
tsykadna !

!
!

X hits Y
X hits Y (violently/vulgar)

The reversive is used with the movement verbs man- and mak- come and go as
well as tahh-, pedn- leave and arrive and other similar verbs to mean back, e.g.
manidna- come back, makidna- go back, tahhidna- leave (to go back) and
pednidna- arrive (back).
Finally, the reversive is used in double agentivity verbs (see 9.4.4).

9.9.4.2 Semelfactive
The semelfactive is a secondary aspectual marker with the form -a which comes
after the reversive. It denotes that an action takes place quickly and/or only once; a
momentary or punctual action. It is also commonly used to show that the verb
happens suddenly, unexpectedly, with much force or violently.

oddi
[jt:i]
o<dd>-i-
scream.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG

X screamed
cf.

oddia
[j:tixa]
o<dd>-i--a
scream.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG-SEMELF

X let out a scream


(also odui)
mavuou
[mvu:u]
ma-vuo<>-u
1P.PAT.SG-get.scared.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL

I got scared
cf.

mavuoua
[mvu:uxa]
ma-vuo<>-u-a
1P.PAT.SG-get.scared.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL-SEMELF

I (suddenly) got scared


udli
[uti]
u<dl>-i
night.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR

night was falling

363

cf.

udlia
[utixa]
u<dl>-i-a
night.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-SEMELF

night fell all of a sudden/quickly (also udlui)


tatsatskohki
[tatsxatsk:hci]
ta-tsa<tsk>-ohk-i
3P.UNAG.SG-tear.PAST-OHK-ASS.CONCL.ITR

(the rope/leather) tore


cf.

tatsatskohkia
[tatsxatsk:hcixa]
ta-tsa<tsk>-ohk-i-a
3P.UNAG.SG-tear.PAST-OHK-ASS.CONCL.ITR-SEMELF

(the rope/leather) tore (violently, suddenly)


%
Some verbs cannot exist in the semelfactive, but they can be found with an inherent
semelfactive meaning, having a root-bound ending which is historically the same as a but may appear as -r-, -k- or -g-. For example, the verb od- to scream exists in
the semelfactive odia X will [suddenly/violently] scream but also has the rootbound semelfactive form odi X will let out a scream.
'
Opposite to this, the verb tatm(i)a 1 X will sneeze is always found in the
semelfactive (the form *tatmi is not found).
!
The semelfactive is not usually found in the inconclusive, as it carries a
perfective aspect which is incompatible with an inconclusive aspect. The
semelfactive can transform the meaning of the verb and is sometimes unpredictably
equivalent to a separate English expression:

!
%
!

toda or tioda
[da] or [tia]

tod/tiod-a--
contain/close-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X contains Y/holds Y closed

!
!
%

todaa or tiodaa
[dxa] or [tixa]

tod-a-a--
contain/close-ASS.CONCL.TR-SEMELF-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X closes Y

The form tatma is common in the present, but the vowel-final stem reappears in the past as
tatmuia.

364

Note that the form totra X slams Y closed is another example of the root-bound
semelfactive.
!
An other use of the semelfactive, with usually inherently perfective verbs, is to
underline how sudden and/or violent the action is:
middi
[mit:i]

mobiddia
[mbit:ixa]

m-i<dd>-i
1P.UNAG.SG-fall.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR

m-o-i<dd>-i-a
1P.UNAG.SG-SUBJ-fall.past-ASS.CONCL.ITR-

I fell

SEMELF

ma siehhdi
[ma sieh:i]

omaa siehhdi
[mxa sieh:i]

<m>-a- siehhum-di
eat.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG dried.meat-

o-<m>-a-a- siehhum-di
SUBJ-eat.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-SEMELF-3P.AG.SG
dried.meat-GEN

I took a bad fall (with SUBJ)

GEN

X had himself a small piece of dried


meat

X ate/devoured him/her/itself a
piece of dried meat (with SUBJ)

The semelfactive may also be used to emphasize a verb or to make it more intense:
!
%
%

hhri giandid kihta


[hhri an chta]

h<hr>-i- giandi-d kih=ta


jump.past-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG fallen.tree-GEN over-ILLAT

X jumped over the fallen tree

!
%
%

hhria giandid kihta


[hhrixa an chta]

h<hr>-i--a giandi-d kih=ta


jump.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.SG fallen.tree-GEN over-ILLAT

X leaped over the fallen tree

!
Finally, the semelfactive is used with verbs such as neni X will sit, ti X will stand
and i X will lie to form the verbs to sit down, to stand up and to lie down. The
verbs have two forms in free variation - one with an analyzed root-bound semelfactive
and the other with a normal semelfactive marker.
!
!

365

no semelfactive

free semelfactive

root-bound
semelfactive

present

past

present

past

present

past

stand

ti
stand

tgi
stood

tia
stand up

tgia
stood up

ti
stand up

tsti
stood up

sit

neni
sit

edi
sat

nenia
sit down

edia
sat down

nedi
sit down

edi
sat down

lie

i
lie

ani
lay

ia
lie down

ania
lay down

i
lie down

ani
lay down

9.9.4.3 Persistive
The persistive is a secondary aspectual marker that denotes an action which goes on
for a long time or is repeated over and over again. It has the form -a- or -en
word-finally and comes after the reversive and the semelfactive. It is often translated
in English by phrases such as over and over again and keep on.
cf.

sihrima
[shrima]
si<hr>-i-ma
rain.PAST-ASS.ITR-INCONCL

it was raining
sihrimaen
[shrim:n]
si<hr>-i-ma-en
rain.PAST-ASS.ITR-INCONCL-PERSIST

it kept on raining (over and over again)


cf.

ki nata
[k:i nta]
k-i n-a-ta
talk-ITR COP.INCONCL-ASS-3P.AG.SG

X was talking
ki naata
[k:i n:da]
k-i n-a-a-ta
talk-ITR- COP.INCONCL-ASS-PERSIS-3P.AG.SG

X kept on talking (on and on)

366

atymmen tva td-het!


[tym::n tva i:h]
a-tyv-m--en tva ti<>i-dhet
TRANSL-fat-INCONL-ASS.TRANSL-PERS this.PAT baby.PATDET.MEDI

this baby just keeps on getting fatter!

9.9.4.4 Frequentative
The frequentative is a secondary aspectual marker that denotes that an action
happens a few times or frequently/often. Its form is -ppa-/-ppen and is added after the
reversive, semelfactive and the persistive. It is a a very common aspectual marker
with certain verbs of motion, to the point where certain verbs show a root-bound suffix
which is then part of the root, e.g. tappa [ti:apa] X shakes Y a few times cf. ta
[ti:a] X takes Y in Xs hand. In certain cases, especially with intransitive verbs, the
frequentative may be translated as a little. Sometimes, especially with the
inconclusive, it translates as again or often.
!
!

moippan
[mxpan]

%
!

mo-i-ppa-n
drink-ASS.CONCL.ITR-FREQ-IMPER.2P.SG

!
!

have a few sips


(lit. drink a few times)

!
%
%

oa nuhlappami n mhraka-ut
[ nhlapmi n m:hrga]

oa n<uhl>-a-ppa-mi n mhra-kaut
already see.PERF-ASS.CONCL.TR-FREQ-1P.AG.SG this.ANI.GEN bear-GENDET.DIST

I have already seen that bear a couple of times

'
!

kodippaki va ai
[kdpi vja :i]

%
%

-ko<d>-i-ppa-ki- v<a> av=i


walk.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-FREQ-TRANSLOC-3P.AG.SG LAKE.GEN next.to-along

!
!

X went for a little walk along the lake (shore)


(lit. walked a few times)

!
%
%

huhmippen thta
[hhmpn teha]

huh-m-i-ppen tr-ta
shine-INCONCL.ASS.TR-FREQ sun-PAT

the sun is shining again

367

9.9.4.5 Inchoative
The inchoative is a secondary aspectual marker with the form -dla- that denotes an
action which is about to happen or begin. It is only used with unagentive subjects, as
it cannot apply to agentive subjects. Impersonal verbs already have an inchoativelike form in the conclusive, such that they are never found in the inchoative. The
inchoative cannot be used with the copula, as it too already has a translative form.
The inchoative comes after the frequentative, persistive, semelfactive and reversive.
!
!
!

verba inchoative!
!
copular inchoative!
!
impersonal inchoative! !

takaudla!
iiata' '
sihhi' '

X started to get old


X got/became old
it is about to rain

When used with animate unagentive subjects and adjectival verbs denoting
temporary states, the inchoative shows that the action is not temporary but gradual.
takudla
[akta]

entsibmidla
[ntspmta]

t-ak-u-dla
3P.PAT.SG-get.old-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL-

ent-sid-m-i-dla
1P.PAT.SG-grab-INCONCL-ASS.ITR-INCHOA

INCHOA

I am beginning to understand

X is starting to get old


horhaidla benhue
[hrhjta bnhue]

agosmudla nuhmo
[smta hmo]

horh-ai-i-dla benho-e
bark-PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-INCHOA dog-PAT

a-gos-m-u-dla nuhhi-mo
TRANSL-tired-INCONCL-ASS.TRANSL-INCHOA
old.woman-PAT

the dog started


barking!

the old woman is beginning to be


tired (in general)
[animate unagentive subject - gradual
inchoative]

gos ta onga-t
[su: ta :]
goso-u ta onga-t
tired-COP.TRANSL.PRES this.INA.AGT bridge-AGTDET.PROXI

this bridge is starting to be/get old (lit. tired)


[copular no inchoative marker]

9.9.4.6 Subitive
The subitive is a secondary aspectual marker with he form -tta- (usually -tto- in the
west) that serves two purposes. Its primary purpose it to show that an action takes
place suddenly or rapidly. Its second purpose is to form imperatives or interjections
based on nouns, adjectives, adverbs or postpositions. These are often more informal
than regular imperatives. The subitive marker is added after the inchoative,
frequentative, persistive, semelfactive and reversive. The subitive ending -tta- can
even be attached to titles or names to form a sort of familiar or rude vocative.

368

uhustitta tahhi httamo


[uhstta th:i htm]

kokitta
[kcta]

u-hu<st>-i-tta tahh-i htta-mo


PASS-blow.down.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-SUBIT
tree-GEN gust.PAT

<kok>-i-tta-
speak.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-SUBIT-3P.AG.SG

the tree was suddenly blown down/


over by a gust of wind

suddenly, X spoke

sihritta
[sihrta]

kitta !
[k:ta]

-si<hr>-i-tta
rain.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-SUBIT

k-i-tta
speak-ASS.CONCL.ITR-SUBIT

it suddenly started raining

speak !!

Sappatta !
[sapata]
Sappa--tta
Sappa-AGT-SUBIT

Sappa ! / Hey Sappa!

The interjections that use the subitive endings can be formed from all classes of
words. They are very productive, and when attached to something else than a verb,
they are not considered overly impolite but simply informal. Below are some common
subitive interjections/imperatives:

katta ! !

go outside ! / outside ! (cf. -ika elative)

karakatta !

close the door ! (cf. karaka door)

matta ! !

come on ! / hop on ! (cf. -ibma allative)

!
!

mtta ! !
!
!

come ! / come on ! / lets go ! / go ! / please ! (cf. manin


come here)

!
!
!

gosutta !

calm down ! (cf. gosulhita more calm)

rtta, ratta !

stop it ! (cf. rada X will stop Y)

tsetsotta !

quickly ! (cf. tsetsot quick)

itatta ! !

ahead ! / lets go ! / continue ! / yes ! (cf. ita ahead)

stta !

of course ! / yes ! / eureka ! (cf. sidi/s X will understand Y)

369

siehhutta !

get up ! / get on your feet !

!
!
!

suhuinetta !

more quietly ! (cf. suhuine more quietly)

tatta !

come inside ! / inside ! (cf. -ita illative)

!
!

ttta ! !
!
!

come on ! (to group) / lets go ! (to group) / keep on going !


(to a group) (cf. toutigge we are working together)

ntta ! !

look ! / look out ! / be careful ! / ahead ! (cf. nua X sees Y)

9.9.4.7 Habilitive
The habilitive is a secondary aspectual with the for -i- marker that shows that the
subject of the verb is able, can or has the knowledge required to perform the action
or simply implies a possibility. It follows the subitive, inchoative, frequentative,
persistive, semelfactive and reversive. It often requires an agentive subject, even with
otherwise unagentive verbs and in its negative form.
!
It can be added to the stem of certain nouns to form verbs which are
otherwise defunct. The habilitive is the only aspectual marker that incorporates
negation, in which case the habilitive (sometimes called habilitive negative) has the
form -en- (assimilated to -m- and -n- as -emm- and -enn-) or -sii- (sometimes also
-ddi-) and also requires an agentive subject, despite the verb having an unagentive
meaning.
!
The habilitive is most often found in the present or imperfect tense. It is
usually not found in the habitual. In a few instances, the habilitive may delete the
postverbal vowel -i-, in which case it attaches directly to the stem, if the resulting
cluster is allowed.

Siaimi
[siwimi]

saimi Sdi
[s:imi sy:i]

Sia-i-mi
Siwa-HABI-1P.AG.SG

sahh-<>-i-mi S<>-di
speak-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HABI-1P.AG.SG Siwa-

I know how to/can speak Siwa

GEN

(defunct verb)

I know how to/can speak Siwa

noniemmi
[nniem:i]

emaddimi
[em:imi]

non-i-=en-mi
swim-ASS.CONCL-ITR-HABI=NEG-1P.AG.SG

em-a-ddi--mi
believe-ASS.CONCL-TRHABI=NEG-3P.PAT-1P.AG.SG

I dont know how to swim / cant


swim
(also ntsiimi)

I cant believe it (also


emaemmi)

370

gykynii
[ycynii]

bntai gykyn
[bu:nti ycn]

gykyn-i-i-
snow.shoes-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HABI-3P.AG.SG

bu:nt-a-- gyky-n
weave-ASS.CONCL.TR-HABI-3P.AG.SG
snow.shoe-DAT

X knows (how to make)


snowshoes

X knows how to make/weave


snowshoes

9.9.4.8 Diminutive
The diminutive is the last of the secondary aspectual markers and is thus added at
the very end of the chain of aspectual markers. Its form is -nun- (usually pronounced
[n:] [nn], [:] or [n:]. not closing the preceding syllable) or -(n)unda- if followed by
something.
!
Only personal pronouns, location markers and certain evidential markers
follow the diminutive. Its function is varied and can be hard to pinpoint. The most
common use of the diminutive is to make the verb softer or to show that the action
happened only a little or so.
!
tspianun
[ti:spin:]

keilminun
[cwlmin:]

t-sp=i-a-nun-
3P.UNAG.SG-pinch-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TRDIMIN-3P.PAT

keil-m-i-nun
drizzle-INCONCL-ASS.ITR-DIMI

X pinched Y a little/slightly

it is drizzling a little (also geilminun)

haundan
[han:dan]

tsovvaundagga
[tsxw:andk:a]

ha-unda-n
eat-DIMI-IMP.2P.SG

tso<vv>-a--unda-gga
discuss.PAST-ASS.TR-3P.PAT-DIMI-1P.AG.PL.EXCL

eat a little!

we talked about X a little

371

9.10 Tense
Siwa verbs have two real tenses: non-past and past. Only the past tense is overtly
marked. The combination of tense and aspect yields 12 primary tenses;
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

future~present
present (non-past)
!
present inconclusive ! !
!
(copular)
!
present habitual conclusive
!
present habitual inconclusive ! (copular)
!
prefect conclusive
!
prefect inconclusive in the non-past (copular)

!
!
!
!
!
!
!

past
!
!
!
!
!
!

past conclusive
past inconclusive !
!
past habitual conclusive
past habitual inconclusive !
past pluperfect conclusive
past pluperfect inconclusive !

(copular)

(copular)

(copular)

In addition to these 12 primary tenses, the copula combines with the perfect and
inconclusive to form the perfect inconclusive non-past or past. Copular constructions
are also used to show an immediate past by using the subitive on the non-finite verb,
and a distant past which is used in certain narrative styles, realized by using the
habitual on the non-finite verb.
!
The chart below shows how tense and aspect combine to produce the 14
verb-marked tenses of Siwa.

conclusive

non-past

past

future~present

past conclusive

keda
[ceda]

kedda
[cet:a]

ked-a--
carryASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

ke<dd>-a--
carry.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X will carry/carries Y
present inconclusive

inconclusive

372

X carried Y
past inconclusive

non-past

inconclusive

past

keda nata
[ceda nta]

keda mata
[ceda mta]

ked-a n-a--ta
carry-TR COP.INCCONCL-ASSINDIC-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

ked-a m-a--ta
carry-TR COP.PAST.INCCONCL-ASSINDIC-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X is carrying Y

X was carrying Y

present habitual conclusive


habitual
conclusive

past habitual conclusive

ketas
[cetas]

keddas
[cet:as]

ked-a---s
carry-ASS.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG-HAB

ke<dd>-a---s
carry.PAST-ASS.TR.-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG-HAB

X (usually) carries Y

X (usually) carried Y

present habitual inconclusive

habitual
inconclusive

past habitual inconclusive

keda sata
[ceda sta]

keda sata
[ceda sxta]

ked-a s-a--ta
carry-TR COP.HAB.INCCONCL-ASSINDIC-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

ked-a s-a--ta
carry-TR COP.PAST.HAB.INCCONCL-ASSINDIC-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X is (usually) carrying Y

X was (usually) carrying Y

perfect conclusive
perfect
conclusive

pluperfect conclusive

kedla
[ceta]

keddala
[ct:la]

ked-l-a--
carry-PERF-ASS.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

ke<dd>-a-la--
carry.PAST-ASS.TR.-PERF-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X has carried Y

X had carried Y

perfect inconclusive

perfect
inconclusive

pluperfect inconclusive

keda orata
[ceda rda]

keda odlata
[ceda tda]

ked-a or-a--ta
carry-TR COP.PERF.INCCONCL-ASSINDIC-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

ked-a odl-a--ta
carry-TR COP.PAST.PERF.INCCONCL-ASSINDIC-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X has been carrying Y

X had been carrying Y


past

immediate

kedatta gata
[cedata gta]
ked-a-tta g-a--ta
carry-TR-SUBIT COP.PAST.CONCL-ASS-INDIC-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X just carried Y

373

non-past

distant

past

kedas gata
[cedas gta]
ked-a-s g-a--ta
carry-TR-HAB COP.PAST.CONCL-ASS-INDIC-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X carried Y (a long time ago)

9.10.1 Past Form


The past form is the only overtly marked tense. Its marking separates all verbs into
three categories:
!
!
vowel-final
%
strong consonant-final
%
weak consonant-final
Vowel-final verbs are verbs whose final root-bound vowel changes in the past.
Similarly, verbs whose roots end in a consonant which is changed in the past are
called strong consonant-final verbs. Weak consonant-final verbs are those whose
roots end in a consonant which cannot change in the past, and instead are
augmented by a suffix.
present
!
vowel-fonal!
!
!
!
strong consonant-final ! !
!
weak consonant-final! !

ontai! !
etsa! !
radlva! !

past
!
!
!
!
!
!

ontei! !
X danced
onta- onteetsta! !
X startedY
ets- etstradlvia!!
X disturbed Y
radlv- -radlvi-

vowel-fonal!
!
!
!
!
strong consonant-final
!
!
!
weak consonant-final!
!
!
!

!
!
!!
!
!
!

X will dance
X will start Y
X will disturb Y

9.10.1.1 Past Marking on Vowel-Final Verbs


Vowel-Final verbs are those whose stem ends in a vowel and those whose stem ends
in a consonant not part of the strong past consonants.
!
When the final vowel of a vowel-final verb happens to be identical to the
postverbal vowel (most commonly -a- or -i-), only the postverbal vowel appears,

374

deleting the identical preceding vowel1. This means that a number of verbs whose
stems are not obviously vowel-final in the present, or the past in the case of vowel
polarization resulting in two identical vowels. Only when the conditions change does
the stem vowel appear (sometimes not in its true form). For example:
!
!
!

stem! !
present!!
past! !

ivi- !
tivi'
tivui'

!
'
'

to increase
X will increase !(< *tivii)
X increased ! (appears after polarization)

This makes knowing whether a verb has a vowel-final or consonant-final past form
more difficult. Such verbs are called weak vowel-final verbs (as their vowel only
appear in certain cases, whether in the present, past or otherwise). Weak vowel-final
verbs are not common.
!
The past is marked by applying vowel polarization to the last vowel of the
stem. Although the underlying form of the vowel is polarized, its surface form may be
different due to impossible diphthongs being altered, e.g. verbs in -o- have the
polarized version -y-, but because -y- cannot form a diphthong with any other
vowels, it will change to -- or -u-, or the whole diphthong may change to --, -- or uo-, depending on the following sound. The table below shows polarization:

final vowel

polarized

-a

-i-e-

-e

-u-

-i

-u-y- (-V-)

-o

-i-y- (-V-)

-u

-e-ai- / -a-

-y

-oi- / -o--

-i-ei- / -e-

Note however that di- to step has the form d.

375

Verbs ending in -a- have the vowel -e- in the past before -i- or --, but have -ielsewhere. Those ending in -e- always have -u-, never -o- (as -e- can sometimes be
polarized to -o-).
!
The vowels -i-, -o- and -y- have a front-rounded and unrounded polarized
version for the past. The front-rounded version is only used in a verb with a stressed
front-rounded vowel:
!
!
nria ! !
X will load Y
!
nra ! !
X loaded Y ! !
(-i- --)
but
!
tulpia ! !
X will turn Y over
!
tulpua ! !
X turned Y over !
(-i- -u-)
Vowel-Final verbs are few in number. In 9.10.1.1.2 are some of the most common
verbs (with their present and past forms). The vowel-final verbs in -i- or -a- (pastvowel-final) are listed separately.
!
9.10.1.1.1 Vowel-final Stem Coalescence
Because verbs whose stems end in a vowel must also receive the postverbal vowel,
these two will coalesce in sometimes irregular ways.
!
As it was mentioned above, if the stem-final vowel is a single vowel identical
to the postverbal vowel, only the postverbal vowel appears.
!
Verbs whose stems end in a different vowel than the postverbal vowel
behave to avoid triphthongs and tetraphthongs by usually lengthening one of the
component of the following diphthong. See section 3.1.5.1 on diphthong
coalescence.
!
!
!

-a!
!

-aua-% > -avva-!


-aue-% > -avve-!

nunavva'
nunavve'

X wants to close Y
X would want to close Y

!
!
!
!
!
!

-e!
!
!
!
!

-eua-%
-eue-%
!
-eui- %
-euo- %

> -evva-!
> -evve-!
!
!
> -evvi-!!
> -evvo-!

saiskevva !
derevve !
!
!
gevvi' '
noksevvo '

X wants to cause Y
X would want to rotate
Y!
if X reached its peak
X would want to sneak

!
!
!
!

-i!
!
!

-iia-%
-iie-%
-iiu-%

> -iga-! !
> -ige-! !
> -igu-! !

riekiga' '
riekige' '
oriekigu'

if X relaxed Y
X would relax Y
if X relaxed

!
!

-o!

-oua-% > -a-, -ovva-! iska ! !


376

X wants to clean Y

!
!

!
!

-oue-% > -e-, -ovve-! kete' '


-ouo-% > -o-, -ovvo-! hanto' '

X would want to look for Y


X would want to lie

!
!
!
!
!

-u!
!
!
!

-uua-%
-uue-%
-uuo-%
!

X wants to snatch Y
X would want to snatch Y
X would have wanted to
work

> -a-! !
> -e-% !
> -o- ! !
!
!

nuppa''
nuppe''
belmo''
!
!

!
-- (includes -y-)
!
!
-ua-! > -vva-, -ua-! kkvva'
!
!
-e-! > -me-, -i-! kkme%'
!
!
-ue-! > -bi-!!
sytbi' '
!
!
-u-! > --! !
tsyr' '
!
!
-uo-! > -vvo-!
obkkvvo'
!
!
-ui-! > -bi-!!
tsyrbi''
!
!
-o-! > -vvo-!
tsyrvvo'
!
!
-ai-/-ei-/-oi!
!
-Viia-! > -Vddia-!
lugaddia'
!
!
-Viua-! > -Vua-!
sytoua' '
!
!
-Viie-! > -Vddie-!
lugaddie'
!
!
-Viue-! > -Vue-!
nuppaue'
snatch Y
!
!
-Vii-! > -Vgi-!!
upiagagi'
!
!
-Viiu- ! > -Vddiu-!
ukkeddiu'
!
!
-Vioi- ! > -Vgoi-!
takyhhogoi'
!
!
-Viuo-! > -Vuo-!
obkkeuo'
quarrel
!
!
-Viui-! > -Vui-!!
tagalmaui'
!
!
-Viui- ! > -Vgui-!
tagalmagui'
!
pregnant

X wants to bring Y
X will bring Y
X would want to thank Y
X will blister
X would want to quarrel
if X would blister
X will blister

if X had loved Y
X wanted to thank Y
X would have loved Y
X would have wanted to
X was treated
if X had been brought
X would have gotten torn
X would have wanted to
if X had gotten pregnant
X would have gotten

!
9.10.1.1.2 Vowel-Final Verbs
Most verbs describing sounds share the ending -ro-/-o (infinitive -hsu). These verbs
have nominal counterparts ending in -us (GEN. -uhi):

tagvirui''
tagviri

X will make sound in liquid/wet grass


X made sound in liquid/wet grass

geggurui'
gegguri

X will quack
X quacked

377

gekvorrui'
gekvorri

X will croak
X croaked

goglurui''
gogluri

X will gibber/ramble/mumble
X gibbered/rambled/mumbled

guui' '
gui' '

X will growl/bark
X growled/barked

hirkurui' '
hirkuri' '

X will squawk/shriek
X squawked/shrieked

tahhtsui'
tahhtsi'

X will whizz/squeal
X whizzed/squealed

hunrui' '
hunri' '

X will snort
X snorted

hyhhyrui'
hyhhyri'

X will mumble
X mumbled

hoorui''
hoori' '

X will roar/howl
X roared/howled

(ta)homorui'
(ta)homori'

X will hum/purr/vibrate
X hummed/purred/vibrated

kprirui' '
kpriri' '

X will chirp/tweet
X chirped/tweeted

koairui' '
koairi' '

X will howl/shout
X howled/shouted

(ta)kohurui'
(ta)kohuri'

X will snap/rupture/fracture/get angry


X snapped/ruptured/fractured/got angry

takoklorui'
takoklori'

X will click/pop/tick (also tapoklorui)


X clicked/popped/ticked (also tapoklori)

taksirui'
taksiri'

X will cough dryly


X coughed dryly

talepserui!
talepseri'

X will drip/leak/dribble/trickle
X dripped/leaked/dribbled/trickled

378

tamairui!
tamairi' '

X will laugh
X laughed

tamoorui !
tamoori'

X will rumble/thunder/echo/be very hungry


X rumbled/thundered/echoed/was very hungry

motrui ! !
motri' '

X will moo (of caribou)


X mooed

nehnui !!
nehni' '

X will murmur/whisper
X murmured/whispered

tanohrui !
tanohri''

X will grunt/complain
X grunted/complained

tanuonui !
tanuoni'

X will creak
X creaked

tsinrui ! !
tsinri' '

X will buzz/drone/be deep inside


X buzzed/droned/was deep inside

tsihkurui !
tsihkuri''

X will make a dry sound


X made a dry sound

syrrui ! !
syrri' '

X will gnaw/chew/munch/crunch
X gnawed/chewed/munched/crunched

'

tdui !
tdi' '

X will hiss/froth/fizz (do-)


X hissed/frothed/fizzed

tuui ! !
tui' '

X will purl/swirl/stream/smart (uo-)


X purled/swirled/streamed/smarted

tsentsui !
tsentsi''

X will murmur/mutter (usually groups)


X murmured/muttered

Similarly, vowel-final verbs include many verbs descriptive of movement in -e, -kle, kne, -kse, -lse, -dlo, -bmo, -pso and -pre:
!

bbmua'
bbmia''

X will pound/beat Y
X pound/beat Y

379

tadodlui !
tadodlia'

X will hobble/hesitate/be clumsy


X hobbled/hesitated/was clumsy

gaksei' !
gaksui' '

X will gallop/do something assuredly


X galloped/did something assuredly

tahauksei !
tahauksui'

X will explode/burst/go through pollination


X exploded/burst/went through pollination

huoibmui !
huoibmi%'

X will lurk/hide/lie low


X lurked/hid/lay low

taholei !
taholui''

X will loom/appear
X loomed/appeared

kaiksia !!
kaiksua''

X will dodge/escape Y
X dodged/escaped Y

takiedlei !
takiedlui'

X will shatter/break
X shattered/broke

takuknei'
takuknui'

X will coil/not work/fail/curl up


X coiled/did not work/failed/curled up

takiruprei !
takiruprui'

X will shiver
X shivered

kpsia ! !
kpsua' '

X will thump/strike/batter Y
X thumped/stroke/battered Y

kksei ! !
kksui' '

X will stride/march/do something with ease


X strode/marched/did something with ease

dlalsei !!
dlalsui' '

X will drift/leave/pass
X drifted/left/passed

mingipsui !
mingipsi'

X will tiptoe/sneak/make its way


X tiptoed/snuck/made its way

mabmui !
mabmi'

X will moan
X moaned

tamuodlui !
tamuodli'

X will slide/trickle/sink/drop
X slid/trickled/sank/dropped

380

tanoklei !
tanoklui'

X will stagger/stumble
X staggered/stumbled

(ta)naklia'
(ta)naklua'

X will knock Y out/bump into/smash Y


X knocked Y out/bumped into/smashed Y

noei ! !
noua' '

X will sneak/move silently


X snuck/moved silently

tanoprei !
tanoprui'

X will crumple/crush/be too much for Y


X crumpled/crushed/was too much for Y

nohabmui !
nohabmi'

X will haul/pull
X hauled/pulled

tapbmui !
tapbmi'

X will bounce/spring/reflect/echo
X bounced/sprang/reflected/echoed

taruoiknei !
taruoiknui'

X will wake up a little


X woke up a little

tsipsui !!
tsipsi' '

X will spurt/surge/eject
X spurt/surged/ejected

tsiuksei !
tsiuksua'

X will dribble/ooze/seep/go very slowly


X dribbled/oozed/seeped/went very slowly

tsei ! !
tsui' '

X will flash/gleam/glint/blink
X flashed/gleamed/glinted/blinked

soklia ! !
soklua' '

X will hoist/raise/winch Y
X hoisted/raised/winched Y

tihhiksei !
tihhiksui'

X will whistle/whizz (stem ihhikse-)


X whistled/whizzed

tugei !!
tugui' '

X will swoop/swoosh/dive/plunge (stem uge-)


X swooped/swooshes/dove/plunged

tsipsei !
tsipsui''

X will tap/knock
X tapped/knocked

tatyklei !
tatyklui''

X will twirl/swivel/rotate
X twirled/swiveled/rotated

381

tatuulsei !
tatuulsui'

'X will twinkle/sparkle/glimmer'


X twinkled/sparkled/glimmered

tsuoknia !
tsuoknua'

X will snatch/grab/pluck/steal Y
X snatched/grabbed/plucked/stole Y

tvipsui !!
tvipsi' '

X will flinch/react
X flinched/reacted

Other vowel-final verbs:

gielsia' '
gielsua' '
giels' '

X will prepare Y
X prepared Y
prepared

hantui' '
hanti' '

X will lie (stem hanto-)


X lied

halvua' '
halvia' '
halviu' '

X will forge/melt Y (stem halvo-)


X forged/melted Y
forged/melted

!
!

iskua' '
iskia' '
iskiu' '

X will clean Y (stem isko-)


X cleaned Y
cleaned

kekia' '
kekua' '
kek' '

X will place Y
X placed Y
placed

ketua' '
keta/ketia'
ketiu' '

X will look for Y (stem keto-)


X looked for Y
looked for

takikui''
takikei''

X will jerk/move
X jerked/moved

kegvia''
kegvua'
kegv' '

X will call Y (animal)


X called y
called

nuppua''

X will snatch/steal/grab Y
382

nuppaa''
nuppau%'

X snatched/stole/grabbed Y
snatched/stolen/grabbed

nria' '
nra' '
nr' '

X will load/pack/stuff Y
X loaded/packed/stuffed Y
loaded/packed/stuffed

ontai' '
onti/ti''

X will dance
X danced

!
!

pugua' '
pugia' '
pugiu' '

X will pour/share Y (stem pugo-)


X poured/shared Y
poured/shared

puoua'
puoia''
puoiu%'

X will squeeze/hold Y (stem puoo-)


X squeezed/held Y
squeezed/held

tsaiskia '
tsaiskua'
saisk' '

X will cause/lead to Y (stem saiske-)


X caused/lead to Y
caused

tseiskia '
tseiskua'
seisk' '

X will follow/come after Y


X followed/came after Y
followed

seitua' '
seitaia' '
seitaiu' '

X will threaten Y
X threatened Y
threatened

sepsei' '
sepsui' '

X will flap its wings


X flapped its wings

soa'
sia'
siu'

X will feed Y (stem so-)


X fed Y
fed

viua, vivva ' X will sever/amputate Y (stem vio-)


va' '
X severed/amputated Y
vu% '
severed/amputated

tvelpia' '
tvelpua' '
tvelp' '

'
'
'

X will turn Y over/flip Y (stem tvelpe-)


X turned Y over/flipped Y
overturned/flipped

383

utua' '
utia' '
utiu' '

X will pack for/prepare for Y (stem uto-)


X packed for/prepared for Y
packed for/prepared for

ovuksui '
ovuksia'
vuksiu' '

X comb his/her hair (stem vukso-)


X combed his/her hair
combed

The most common weak vowel-final verbs:


!

omeini' '
omeinui'
ein' '

X will propel itself (using a long stick on logs) (stem eini-)


X propelled itself
propelled

tioka' '
tiokia' '
iokiu' '

X will surround Y (stem ioka-)


X surrounded Y
surrounded

tivi'
tivui'

X will increase (stem ivi-)


X increased

meha% %
mehia' '
mehiu' '

X smear/paint/decorate Y (stem meha-)


X smeared/painted/decorated Y (also mesta)
smeared/painted/decorated (also mestu)

nuna' '
nunia' '
nuniu' '

X will close Y (stem nuna-)


X closed Y
closed

suma' '
sumia' '
sumiu' '

X will cover Y (stem suma-)


X covered Y
covered

oaiga' '
oaigia' '
oaigiu' '

X will hook Y (stem oaiga1-)


X hooked Y
hooked

orieki' '
oriekui' '
riek' '

X will relax (stem rieki-)


X relaxed
relaxed

'
'

Found as vaia- in western dialects.

384

9.10.1.1.3 Diphthong-Final Verbs


A small number of verb roots end in diphthongs or long vowels. The past of such
verbs is formed by using the rules of diphthong coalescence in 3.1.5.1 for the past
form. There are only a handful of such verbs:
!

ti'
tgi'

'

X will stand !
X stood

'
a'
u'

'

X will raise Y ! !
X raised Y
raised

aymi' '
mami''

X is feel sick, be nauseous !


X felt sick/nauseous

tapau''
tapey' '

X will disappear
X disappeared

'
a'
u'

'

'
'

'
'
'

X will fuck Y ! !
X fucked Y
fucked

9.10.1.2 Past Marking on Consonant-Final Verbs


Consonant-Final verbs are those whose roots end in a specific consonant or
consonant cluster. A set number of final consonants and consonant clusters change
unpredictably and form the strong consonant-final verbs. Verbs whose roots end in
other consonants or more commonly consonant clusters cannot change like their
strong counterparts and are thus called the weak consonant-final verbs.

9.10.1.2.1 Strong Consonant-Final Verbs


Strong consonant-final verbs are those whose roots end in one of the 44 consonants
or consonant clusters listed in the table below.
!
The exact form of the consonant or consonant cluster is often changed when
the postverbal vowel is -oi-/-ui- (conditional irrealis intransitive inferential/conditional
irrealis translative inferential) and -i-/-u- (optative intransitive assertive/optative
translative assertive). See 9.7.2 and 9.7.4. Special forms are given in the tables
below.
!
Originally, the strong verb form was the result of a suffix added to the stem of
verbs (thought to have been *--). This was an infix, sometimes coming before the
last consonant, sometimes attaching itself as a suffix to the stem.

385

!
This is most apparent when comparing verbs whose stems end in -k-, which
have their past form in -g- (originally *-k-), and those ending in -rr-, which have the
past form -rt- (originally *-r-):
!
!

taprru' '
taprtu' '

X will recover
X recovered

aka'
aga'

X will cut Y
X cut Y

'
'

Here are the consonants affected by the consonant-final past marker (in consonant
groups). Some verbs in ivv- uvv- and evv- may have a rounded vowel in the past in
some dialects, to become y-, - and u-.
-a/-e/-o/-u/-/-y
-m-

-bm-

-p- and -b-

-b-

-pp- and -bb-

-pr-

-mm- or -m-

-mm-

-bb-

-bb-

--

--

-psi-

-v- and --

-vv-

-vv-

--

-n-

-i

-tt-

-di- or -ri-

-dd-tv-

-dn- and -bm-

-nd-

-nn-

-n-

-dd-

-tsv-

-dd-

-ng-

-nd-

-nd-

-nd-

-nk-

-ht-

-htv-

-hd-

-kn-

-nt-

-tv-

-nt-

-t- and -d-

-dd- or -tt-

-tv-

-dd-

-ts- and -hts-

-(h)tst-

-(h)tst-

-(h)tst-

-ts- and hts-

-(h)tsk-

-(h)tskv-

-(h)tsk-

-s-

--

--

--

-s-

-skk-

-skv-

-skk-

386

-a/-e/-o/-u/-/-y

-i

-dd-

-ddior
-tsi-

-tsv-

-dd-

--t-d-r-

-rr- or -hr- or -dd-

-rv-

-rr-

-rr-

-rt

-rtv-

-rd-

-l- and -dl-

-dl- or -ll-

-lv-

-ll-

-lv-

-g-

-l-

-llior
-gi-

-ll-

-k-

-g-

-g-

-g-

-g- and -gg-

-tk-

-tkv-

-tk-

-tsv-

-dd-

-ht- or -d-

-ht- or -dd-

-h-

-h-

-st- / -v-

--

-g- and --- and --

-d- or -ts-

-gi- or -ts-

-st- (or -d-)

-h- and -hh-

-hr-/-or
-vv(u)-

-h-

-st-/-t-

-vvior
-hri-sti-/-i-

-b-

-kk-

-kv-

-kk-

--

-kk- or -t-

-gv- or -tkv-

-gg- or -tk-

-g-

-t-

-bb-

-bb-

numa' '
nubma' '

X will pick Y
X picked Y!

otomi' '
otobmi'
otommi%

tiba'
'
tiba' '

(-m- -bm-)

X will unite
X united!
!
X wanted to unite!

!
!

(-m- -bm-)
(-m-- -mm-)

X will mean Y ! !
X meant Y!
!

!
!

(-b- -b-)

387

kmmi' '
kebmima'
kmmima'

X is happy
X was happy! !
!
X wanted to be happy! !

(-m- -bm-)
(-m-- -mm-)

teupa' '
teuba' '

X will predict Y
X predicted Y! !

(-p- -b-)

tanyppi''
tanypsi''
nybbi' '

X will stand out (stem nypp-)


X stood out ! !
!
X wanted to stand out! !

(-p- -psi-)
(-p-- -bb-)

ivva'
ia'

X will climb Y
X climbed Y (also ya)!

ivi'
'
ivvi' '
ii' '

X will stay
X stayed!
!
!
!
X wanted to stay (also yi)! !

(-v- -vv-)
(-v-- --)

kei'
'
kevvi' '
kei' '

X will rise
X rose! !
!
!
!
X wanted to rise (also kui)! !

(-- -vv-)
(--- --)

tsuvvi' '
tsui' '
sui' '

X will flow
X flowed (also tsi)! !
!
X wanted to flow (also si)! !

(-vv- --)
(-vv-- --)

tini'
tidi'
titvi'

X will leave traces


X left traces! !
!
X wanted to leave traces!

!
!

(-n- -di-)
(-n-- -tv-)

gaggana'
gaggatta'

X will examine Y !
X examined Y! !

!
!

!
!

(-n- -tta-)

koni%
'
kodi~kori%

X will walk !
X walked!

(-n- -di-/-ri-)

hbmi' '
hndi' '
htvi' '

X will fly
X flew (less commonly hbmui)!!
(-bm- -nd-)
X wanted to fly (less commonly hbmi) (-bm-- -tv-)

hmmi' '
hbmi' '

it is windy (stem hn-) ! !


!
it was windy (from < *hd-m-i)! !

'
'

'
'
'

!
!

388

(-vv- --)

(-n- -d-)

nuidna' '
nuinda' '
onuitvi' '

X will identify Y
X identified Y! !
!
!
X wanted to identify himself/herself!

(-dn- -nd-)
(-dn-- -tv-)

ini'
iddi'
itsvi'

X will sneak
X snuck!
!
X wanted to sneak!

'

!
!

!
!

(-n- -dd-)
(-n-- -tsv-)

omingi' '
omindi' '
omindi'

X will get ready !


!
X got ready! !
!
X wanted to get ready! !

!
!

(-ng- -nd-)
(-ng-- -nd-)

nanka' '
nahta' '

X will pile Y up
X piled Y up! !

(-nk- -ht-)

kekna' '
kenta' '

X will organize/be responsible for Y !


X organized/was responsible for Y!

(-kn- -nt-)

tadati' '
tadaddi'
datvi' '

X will mourn
X mourned!
!
X wanted to mourn!

!
!

!
!

(-t- -dd-)
(-t-- -tv-)

keda' '
kedda/ketta'

X will carry Y
X carried Y!

(-d- -dd-/-tt-)

etsa'
etsta'

X will begin Y
X began Y!
!

(-ts- -tst-)

tsuodu' '
tsuoddu'
suotvi' '

X will bloom ! !
X bloomed!
!
X wants to bloom!

!
!
!

!
!

(-d- -dd-)
(-d-- -tv-)

kautsa''
kautska''

X will make jam out of Y


X made jam out of Y

!
!

tolasi' '
tolahi' '

X will cut itself deeply ! !


X cut itself deeply!
!

(-s- -h-)

sisi'
'
siskki' '

there is thunder
there was thunder!

(-s- -skk-)

kya'
kyha'

X will try Y
X tried Y!

(-- -h-)

nita'

'
'

'
'

'
'
'

X will teach Y
389

nidda' '

(-t- -dd-)

airi'
aihri'
airvi'

X will row
X rowed!
!
!
X wants/wanted to row! !

!
!

(-r- -hr-)
(-r-- -rv-)

taprru' '
taprtu' '
taprvu''

X will recover
X recovered! !
!
X wants/wanted to recover!

!
!

(-rr- -rt-)
(-rr-- -rv-)

kidli'
killi'

'

it is customary !
it was customary!

(-dl- -ll-)

la'
dla'

'

X will know Y
X knew Y!
!

(-l- -dl-)

ila'
illa'

'

X will grow Y
X grew Y!

(-l- -ll-)

giki'
'
gigi' '
gigi' '

X will glance
X glanced!
!
X wanted to glance!

!
!

!
!

(-k- -g-)
(-k-- -g-)

kega' '
ketka' '

X will hide Y
X hid Y!!

(-g- -tk-)

tapiagi' '
tapiatki''
piatkvi' '

X will fall asleep


X fell asleep! !
!
X wanted to fall asleep! !

!
!

(-g- -tk-)
(-g-- -tkv-)

ruikima' '
ruigima'

X will be anxious !
X was anxious! !

!
!

(-k- -g-)

oga'
'
oda/otsa'

X will remember Y
X remembered Y!

(-g- -d-/-ts-)

omei' '
omedi''
omedi'

X will shake itself


X shook itself! !
!
X wanted to shake itself!

!
!

(-- -d-)
(--- -d-)

pha' '
psta' '

X will scold Y
X scolded Y! !

(-h- -st-)

sahha' '

X will burn Y

X taught Y!

'
'
'

'

'

'

390

sahra' '
usavvi' '
savvu' '

X burnt Y!
X was burnt!
burnt! !

!
!
!

!
!
!

!
!
!

(-hh- -hr-)
(-hh- -vvi-)
(-hh- -vvu-)

dluhhi' '
dluvvi' '

X will boil
X boiled!

(-hh- -vvi-)

sahhi' '
sai' '
savi' '

X will speak
X spoke!
!
X wanted to speak!

!
!

!
!

(-hh- --)
(-hh-- -v-)

ihha'
ista'

'

X will thank Y
X thanked Y! !

(-hh- -st-)

ei'
ekki'
ekvi'

'
'

X will run
X ran! !
!
X wanted to run!

!
!

!
!

(-- -kk-)
(--- -kv-)

daa' '
dakka' '

X will ask Y
X asked Y!

(-- -kk-)

kiga' '
kigga/kita'

X will pick Y up
X picked Y up! !

(-g- -gg-/-t-)

dabi' '
dabbi/datvi'

X will drum !
X drummed!

(-b- -bb-/-tv-)

'

'

!
!

9.10.1.2.2 Weak Consonant-Final Verbs


Weak consonant-final verbs are those whose roots end in consonants or consonant
clusters other than those listed above. The markings for these verbs are valency
dependent the root is augmented by an ending which depends on whether ther
verb is transitive (including subjective, passive and ditransitive), intransitive
(including subjective, passive and ditransitive) or translative. In other words, the past
of weak consonant-final verbs depends on which postverbal vowel it will precede.
!
!
!
!

!
!
transitive!
intransitive!
translative!

ASSERTIVE!

-a%
-i%
-u/-%

%
%
%

!
%
%
%

INFERENTIAL

-e
-o
-o

The ending for such verbs is the polarized version of the valency vowel preceding
the correct postverbal vowel:

391

!
!
!
!
!

!
!
transitive!
intransitive!
translative!

PRESENT!!

-a%
-i%
-u/-%

%
%
%

!
%
%
%

PAST

-i-u-ai-/-ei-

postverb vowel

ASS.

INF.

transitive

intransitive

transitive
subjective
ditransitive
passive

intransitive
subjective
ditransitive
passive

translative

Present

Past

Present

Past

Present

Past

indicative

-a

-ia

-i

-ui

-u / -

-au / -e

conditional
irrealis

-ia

-iga

-iu / -i

-uu

-ui

-aui

optative

-ua / -a

-ivva

-i / -i

-uvvi

-u / -

-aiu

indicative

-e

-ie

-o

-o

-ao

conditional
irrealis

-ie

-ige

-oi

-uoi

-ui

-ago

optative

-ue / -i

-ivve

-uo

-o

-ue or u

-aue /
-eu

PASS

-iu

-au

When confusion may arise due to the merging of the past indicative and present
conditional irrealis for transitive verbs (both -ia-), the older forms of the conditional
may be used instead (-ia-). The same goes for the inferential, where they merge as ie- but may be found as -ie- for clarity.
Common consonant clusters for such verbs include -sk- -ld- and -kk-:
!
!

!
!
aiska' '
aiskia% '
aiskiu' '

!
!
!
X will fix/sew Y !
X fixed/sewed Y!
fixed/sewn!
!

392

!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!

stem
aiskaiskiaiski-

belmi' '
belmui' '

X will work !
X worked!

ogaulda'
ogauldia'
gauldiu' '

!
!

belmbelmu-

X will discuss Y together !


X discussed Y together!!
discussed!
!
!

!
!
!

gauldgauldigauldi-

ogauldi''
ogauldui'

X will discuss ! !
X discussed! !

!
!

!
!

gauldi
gauldu-

!
!

gaykka' '
gaykkia''
gaykkiu%'

X will satisfy Y !!
X satisfied Y! !
satisfied!
!

!
!
!

!
!
!

gaykkgaykkigaykki-

oppa' '
oppia' '
oppiu' '

X will knock on Y !
X knocked on Y!
knocked, exhausted!

!
!
!

!
!
!

oppoppioppi-

uoppi' '
uoppui''

X is knocked (on) !
X was knocked (on)!

!
!

!
!

uoppi
uoppu-

esta'
estia'
estiu%

X will succeed at Y ! !
X succeeded at Y!
!
succeeded/successful! !

!
!
!

estestiesti-

piegukka'
piegukkia'
piegukkiu'

X will greet Y ! !
X greeted Y! !
greeted!
!

!
!
!

!
!
!

piegukkpiegukkipiegukki-

tatreisk'
tatreiske'

X will shed fur! !


X shed Y!
!

!
!

!
!

treisktreiske-

tabeulusku'
X will lose weight !
tabeuluskau' X lost weight! !

!
!

!
!

beuluskbeuluska-

taneinnu%
taneinnau'

!
!

!
!

neinnneinna-

'
'
'

!
!

!
!

X will get dirty !!


X gort dirty!
!

9.10.1.3 Irregular verbs


A number of verbs in Siwa follow no regular pattern to form their past. There are four
types of irregular verbs; present augmented verbs, past augmented verbs, irregular
verbs and syncopic verbs. Present and past augmented verbs are those which either
gain or lose an augment (vowel or consonant). Present augments have their
393

augments in the present, and past augmented verbs in the past. Proper irregular
verbs are those that simply do not follow any pattern, and syncopic verbs are those
that lose a vowel in the past (or with a handful of verbs, gain a vowel in the past).
Sometimes, having or losing an augment is enough to mark the past, such that actual
past markings are not present.

9.10.1.3.1 Augmented Verbs


Augmented verbs are verbs whose present form has an extra prefix which
disappears or changes in the past. Another subclass is that of vowel-final verbs
ending in diphthongs. The diphthongs have their complex form in the present, but a
simple (past marked) form in the past (for the special behavior of monosyllabic words
ending in diphthongs, see 3.1.5.1). There is a handful of verbs who have the pattern
-/n- or b-/n- for present/past.
Present augment:!
!
!
!
oa'
'

anoa, hoa'

stem

X will attack Y !!
X attacked Y! !

!
!

!
!

o-

i'
'
(a)ni' '

X will lie !
X lay! !

!
!

!
!

!
!

gia, eha '


eha% '

X will bathe Y ! !
X bathed Y

e(h)-

oei, oehi '


omehi' '

X will bathe itself !


X bathed itself

e(h)-

muni' '
udi~uri' '

X will rest !
X rested

un-

neni'
'
edi~eri' '

X will sit !
X sat

en-

neska' '
aiska' '

X will ask about Y !


X asked about Y

esk-

vana' '
(a)nadda%

X will stretch Y !
X stretched Y

an-

omana''
onadda'

X will stretch itself !


X stretched itself

an-

seta/seta '

X will put Y (somewhere) !

et-, et-

394

teta/teta'

X put Y (somewhere)

saila' '
taila' '

X will trust Y ! !
X trusted Y

ail-!

bia'
'
(a)nia' '

X will throw Y ! !
X threw Y

i-

bei' '
(a)nei'

there is a path !
there was a path

e-

9.10.1.3.2 Syncoped Verbs


Syncoped verbs are those whose present or past form goes through syncope, i.e.
loses a vowel between two consonants, thus creating a consonant cluster. The
following verbs are examples of this type of irregular verbs:
!
!

Past Syncope
setula' '
sedla' '

X will push Y
X pushed Y

Present Syncope
!
erri'
'

eruli'
'

X will work
X worked

moa' '
ama' '

X will drink Y
X drank Y

X will sweat
X sweated

geiga' '
giga' '

X will share Y
X shared Y

tdli'
'
theli' '

9.10.1.3.3 Proper Irregular Verbs


Proper irregular verbs are those whose stem changes in unpredictable ways from
non-past to past. Many of them involve the addition of -- or -d- in the past. The
following verbs are examples of this type of irregular verbs:
!
!

!
!
ira'
'
ahra, dla'

!
!
X will kill Y !
X killed Y!

!
!
!

!
!
!

!
!
!

stem
irahr-, dl-

nodi/nori '
nenodi' '

X will sing !
X sang!!

!
!

!
!

!
!

nodnenod-

oai'
noai'

'

X will say !
X said! !

!
!

!
!

!
!

oanoa-

ona'

'

X will tell Y !

on-

'

395

nona'

'

X told Y!

non-

maki'
'
maski, magi'

X will go !
X went!!

!
!

!
!

!
!

makmask-, mag-

!
!

mani'
'
mansi, matsi'

X will come !
X came!

!
!

!
!

!
!

manmans-, mats-

dieggi, diggi '


dagi, % '

X will go (and come back)!


X went (and came back) !

!
!

diegg-, diggdag-

gea' '
gaba' '

X will dig (for) Y !


X dug (for) Y ! !

!
!

!
!

gegab-

'
mi'

'
'

X will change ! !
X changed ! !

!
!

!
!

m-

sota1'
isotati'
sodda'
istati'

'
'
'
'

X will give Y ! !
X give Y to Z ! !
X gave Y!
!
X gave Y to Z ! !

!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!

sotisotsoddist-

dolla'
'
dalda' '

X will hold Y ! !
X held Y!
!

!
!

!
!

dolldald-

ridda' '
rea' '

X will propose to Y !
X proposed to Y!

!
!

!
!

riddre-

talli'
'
tvedli' '

X will run (of animals)! !


X ran (of animals)!
!

!
!

talltvedl-

naba' '
niba' '

X will use Y !
X used Y !

!
!

!
!

nabnib-

rehmi' '
rami' '

X will go by boat!
X went by boat!!

!
!

!
!

rehmram-

ha'
ma'

X will eat Y !
X ate Y !

!
!

!
!

hm-

'
'

!
!

!
!

1 Compare to the declension for usot- allow:

usoti'
'
usoddi' '

X is allowed
X was allowed

396

peva'
ba'

'

kita'
'
ahta, tka'

X will eat1 Y !
X ate Y !

!
!

!
!

pevb-

!
!

!
!

kitaht-, tk-

koka' '
X will weave Y !!
kuhka, keygga'X wove Y !
!

!
!

!
!

kokkuhk-, keygg-

komi'
'
it is summer ! !
koabmi/gabmi' it was summer !

!
!

!
!

kokoab-, gab-

miea' '
meba% '

X will want Y ! !
X wanted Y ! !

!
!

!
!

miemeb-

roahti' '
rddi' '

X will chafe, irritate, annoy (-a) !!


X chafed !
!
!
!

roahtrdd-

mora' '
myrra' '

X will grind Y ! !
X ground Y!
!

!
!

!
!

mormyrr-

nua'
'
nega' '
nuhla' '

X will see Y ! !
X saw Y !
!
X has seen Y! !

!
!
!

!
!
!

nunegnuhl-

notsa' '
oa'
'

X will take Y ! !
X took Y!
!

!
!

!
!

notso-

ema' '
aama/oma'

X will believe Y !
X believed Y! !

!
!

!
!

emaam-, om-

tata'
'
X will think about Y !
taia, daia' X thought about Y!

!
!

!
!

tattai-, dai-

uora/ra/vora ' X will worship/serve Y ! !


dla' '
X worshiped/served Y! !

!
!

uor-, r-, vordl-

okaiki% '
okgi' '

!
!

kaikkg-

'

!
!

X will do/make Y !
X did/made Y ! !

X will kneel !
X kneeled Y!

!
!

!
!

The verb peva used to be more commonly used about animals, while ha was restricted to humans.
The distinction is not as rigorously held as before.
1

397

9.11 Tense-Aspect Coalescence


The results of combining tense, verbal conclusivity (conclusive vs. inconclusive) and
telicity (genitive vs. dative) is illustrated in the table below.

present

conclusive

telic

atelic

future~present telic

future~present atelic

ikeda oakibma kili


[iceda pma cili]

ikeda oakibma kidli


[iceda pma cti]

i-ked-a- oak=ibma kili-


DIT-carry-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG
home-ALLAT wood-DAT

i-ked-a- oak=ibma ki<d>li


DIT-carry-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG
home-ALLAT wood.GEN

X will carry the wood


home
or
X carries the wood home

X will carry (some) wood


home
or
X carries (some of the) wood
home

past telic

past

present

past atelic

ikedda oakibma kili


[icet:a pma cili]

ikedda oakibma kidli


[icet:a pma cti]

i-ke<dd>-a- oak=ibma kili-


DIT-carry.PASTASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG homeALLAT wood-DAT

i-ke<dd>-a- oak=ibma ki<d>li


DIT-carry.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG
home-ALLAT wood.GEN

X carried the wood home

X carried (some of the) wood


home

telic

atelic

present telic inconclusive

present atelic inconclusive

ikeda oakibma kili nata


[iceda pma cili
nta]
i-ked-a- oak=ibma kili n-a-ta
DIT-carry-TR home-ALLAT woodGEN COP.INCONCL-ASS-3P.AG.SG

X is carrying (the/all the)


wood home
inconclusive

past telic inconclusive

past

398

ikeda oakibma kidli nata


[iceda pma cti nta]
i-ked-a- oak=ibma ki<d>li n-a-ta
DIT-carry-TR home-ALLAT wood.GEN
COP.INCONCL-ASS-3P.AG.SG

X is carrying (some) wood


home
past atelic inconclusive

inconclusive

telic

past

atelic

ikeda oakibma kili mata


[iceda pma cili
mta]
i-ked-a- oak=ibma kili m-a-ta
DIT-carry-TR home-ALLAT woodGEN COP.PAST.INCONCLASS-3P.AG.SG

X was carrying (all) the


wood home

ikeda oakibma kidli mata


[iceda pma cti mta]
i-ked-a- oak=ibma ki<d>li m-a-ta
DIT-carry-TR home-ALLAT wood.GEN
COP.PAST.INCONCL-ASS-3P.AG.SG

X was carrying (some) wood


home

9.12 Location and Movement


Siwa verbs can house markers that relate information about the location or movement
of its constituents, called locative markers. These markers are all housed in slot 5.
Locative markers are separated into two groups: primary and secondary locative
markers. The primary markers are the cislocative and translocative, which
respectively show movement toward the speaker and away from the speaker.
!
The secondary markers are identical to the locative markers for nouns
inessive, illative, ellative, adessive, allative and ablative. These exist in two sets definite and relative. The definite markers refer to a 3rd person object, while relative
markers are used to form locative and genitive relative phrases (..in which/whose X).
Definite markers generally require the ditransitive.
!
The primary markers coalesce, when possible, with the habitual and perfect
markers (see section 9.2.1.9).

primary markers
cislocative

-ni-

translocative

-ki-

secondary
markers

definite

relative

inessive

-a- or -iga-

-o-or -igo-

illative

-ita-

-ito-

elative

-ika-

-iko-

adessive

-ima-

-imo-

allative

-ibma-

-ibmo-

ablative

-iska-

-isko-

399

9.12.1 Primary Locative Markers


The primary locative markers are simply used to show motion away or towards the
agent of the verb.
!
The translocative shows movement away from the speaker, or simply
movement towards something. It is very commonly used to mean go and X, e.g.;
!
!

mahhami '
mahhakimi '

'
'

I will hunt Y
I will go and hunt Y

The cislocative shows the opposite, or movement towards the speaker, or often also
come and X.
!
!

opanikan'
dohhanikan'

'
'

come and help me


come and say good bye to me

Their use is fairly loose and quite common. In copular constructions, the primary
locative markers may be marked onto the verb instead of the copula. Newer
generations tend to group all markers onto the copula, such that having the locative
markers on the main verb may be considered older or more formal language. Note
that combining the translocative and cislocative (-kini- or sometimes -kni-) shows a
movement without any particular destination, similar to English -ing around/about. It
can also be used with verbs not denoting movement, then placing emphasis on the
idleness of the action.
biakin
[bin]

bianin
[binn]

bi-a-ki-n
throw-ASS.CONCL.TR-TRANSLO-IMP.2P.SG

bi-a-ni-n
throw-ASS.CONCL.TR-CISLO-IMP.2P.SG

throw it away/there

throw it here/over here

koni maknita
[kni maida]

tiknisen
[t:isn]

kon-i m-a-ki=ni-ta
walk-ITR COP.PAST.INCONCL-ASSTRANSLO=CISLO-3P.AG.SG

t-i-ki=ni-se=n
stand-ITR-TRANSLO=CISLO-IMPER.2P.SG.NEG

dont just stand there

X was walking about

400

usdliki ohkihi-go
[usi:tii hcihig]

sem usdlinika ylihma


[sm usi:tiniga ylhma]

u-s<dl>-i-ki ohki=higo
PASS-blow.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-TRANSLO
birch.bark.box-PAT1P.POSS.SG

sem u-s<dl>-i-ni-ka yli-hi=ma


not PASS-blow.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITRCISLO-1P.PAT.SG little.leaf-ADESS

my ohkis (birch bark box) got


blown away

I wasnt blown here on a leaflet (i.e.


I wasnt born yesterday)

9.12.2 Definite Secondary Locative Markers


The definite secondary locative markers are used to show location in (inessive) or on
(adessive), motion into (illative) or onto (allative) or out of (elative) and off of (ablative)
a third person object. This triggers the verb to be in the ditransitive. Secondary
locative markers are also used with destinal locative adverbs up and down (see
6.5.2).
tinodiga
[tindij:a]

tinodika
[tindiga]

t-i-no<d>-i-ia
3P.UNAG-DIT-swim.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-INESS

t-i-no<d>-i-ka
3P.UNAG-DIT-swim.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR-ELAT

X swam/floated into Y

X swam/floated out of Y

henda isetaibman
[hnda isetaman]

henga inotsaiskan
[he:a intsaskan]

hen=da i-set>-a-ibma-n
up.ILLAT.DESTI DIT-place-ASS.CONCL.TRALLAT-1P.AG.SG

hen=ga i-not-a-iska-n
up.ELAT.DESTI DIT-take-ASS.CONCL.TR-ALLATIMPER.2P.SG

put X up on Y

take X off of Y

ipuguaitappatta
[ipuj:uidapata]

ibutuaitami
[ibuuidmi]

i-pugo-a-ita-pp-tta
DIT-pour-ASS.CONCL.TR-ILLAT-FREQ-SUBIT

i-uto-a-ita--mi
DIT-pack-ASS.CONCL.TR-ILLAT-3P.PAT-1P.AG.SG

poor some into it

I will pack Y into Z

Mahhuts s ha sappiskua deiskogge


[mh:jt:s: ha sapskua dskc:e]
mahh=uts- s h-a sappiska--a d-e-isko-gge
fallenbear.VOC-AGT VOC.PART eat-TR paw-DAT-PL COP-INFER-ABLAT.REL-1P.AG.PL.EXCL

oh Bear, whose paws we will eat


The secondary locative markers can be exchanged for primary locative markers if the
person is no longer a third person:
!
!
!

gagitotraita'
gagitotraki'
gagototriri'

'
'
'

X is related to Y
X is related to me
they are related to eachother

401

9.12.3 Relative Secondary Locative Markers


Relative secondary locative markers are used to form locative relative clauses. In
addition, the elative and ablative are used to form genitive relative clauses. This
triggers the copular construction. The markers are always and only found inside the
copula, which then lacks the regular relative prefix o-. Just like definite locative
markers, relative ones also trigger the ditransitive when possible.
su, da gaitori
[s: iia gidori]
su- i-id-a g-a-ito-ri
river-AGT DIT-fall-TR COP.PAST.CONCL-ASS-ILLAT.REL-3P.AG.PL

the river into which they fell


nidna, iavva bengomu gaibmogga
[ntna iww:a b:mu gapmk:a]
nidna- i-avv-a bengomu- g-a-ibmo-ka
hut-AGT DIT-spread.out-TR roof-DAT COP.PAST.CONCL-ASS-ALLAT.REL-1P.AG.PL.EXCL

the hut over which we spread (i.e. placed) a roof (of leather)
seumi, ukedi gaitoka
[seumi ucedi gidga]
seumi- u-ked-i g-a-ito-ka
land-ACT PASS-bear-ITR COP.PAST-ASS-ILLAT.REL-1P.PAT.SG

the land in(to) which I was born


togo, ikosa toai gaitomi
[tg iksxa t:i gidmi]
togo- i-kos-a toa-i g-a-ito-mi
tree.trunk-AGT DIT-engrave-TR some.INA-DAT COP.PAST-ASS-ILLAT.REL-1P.AG.SG

the tree trunk into which I engraved something


makidnan, ioka saikona
[mctnan ika sxigna]
ma=k-i-dna-n i-oka-a s-a-iko-na
go-ASS.CONCL.ITR-REVERS-IMP.2P.SG DIT-originate-TR COP.HAB.PAST-ASS-ELAT.REL-2P.AG.SG

go back to where you came from


genitive relative
somi, la kohko saikomi
[smi i:la khk sigmi]
somi- l-a kori-ko s-a-iko-mi
man-AGT know-TR boy-GEN COP.HAB.CONCL-ASS-ELAT.REL-1P.AG.SG

the man whose boy I know


nidna, gaikomi eiddu bengomu
[ntna gigmi eit:u b:mu]
nidna- g-a-iko-mi ei<dd>-u bengomu-
hut-AGT COP.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-ELAT.REL-1P.AG.SG build.PAST-PAT.PART roof-AGT

the hut whose roof I built/was built by me

402

maski, kesa sauhhaha naikomi


[masci cesa suh:jha nigmi]
maski- kes-a sauhha-ha n-a-iko-mi
people-AGT learn-TR language-GEN COP.INCONCL-ASS-ELAT.REL-1P.AG.SG

the people whose language I am learning

!
9.13 Preverbal Adverbs
Certain verbs may be found with an adverbial clitic showing space, time or manner.
Preverbal adverbs can be separated into two groups concrete and abstract.
!
The preverbal adverbs h- up, t- down, tat- into, tam- onto and katfrom/about are more abstract than the other preverbal adverbs, and although they
are more common, they generally change the meaning of the verb they modify
significantly. In their more concrete meaning, these adverbs are rarer and usually
found with regular adverbs instead.
!
The other preverbal adverbs are more freely used and have a more concrete
function than abstract adverbs.
!
Each preverbal adverb has a vowel-final and consonant-final form. Preverbal
spacial adverbs are always the very first element of the verb and are housed in slot -3
(see 9.2.1.2).

9.13.1 Locative Preverbal Adverbs


Locative preverbal adverbs correspond to both an existing free-standing adverb and
three forms corresponding to the six locative cases. However, as clitics, these
adverbs only distinguish between location in/into, on/onto and off/from:
!
!
!

inessive and illative!


adessive and allative!
elative and ablative!

!
!
!

tattamkat-

In addition to these three prefixes, locative preverbal adverbs also include h- up


and t- down.
Locative preverbal adverbs serve three main functions:

403

1.!
!
2.!
!
3.!

They are found with transitive verbs which cannot have an object in a
locative case.
They are found with semantically passive verbs whose topic (subject) would
normally be found in a locative case.
They are found with patientive and agentive participles.

In addition to these three functions, locative preverbal adverbs can also modify the
meaning of a verb entirely.
!
The locative preverbal adverbs sometimes appear with verbs which already
carry a preverbal adverb in slot -3. Locative preverbal adverbs are found after the
pre-existing preverbal adverb.
!
!

gagisyvvaita% '
gatatusyi' '

X will show explain Y to Z


Y was explained (to Z)

9.13.1.1 With Transitive Verbs


Preverbal adverbs are commonly found with transitive verbs which cannot be found
with an object in any of the locative cases or with postpositions/adverbs. Typically,
these verbs have an underlying movement into, onto or out of something, which is
generally left out of the phrase.
!
Thus, this function of preverbal adverbs is to allow a dropped locative in the
verb phrase of transitive verbs. These verbs typically contain only one object. This
creates two ways for verbs to behave and express the same idea in two different
ways, sometimes allowing for similar constructions to those found in English. The
preverbal adverbs are similar in their evolution to the incorporating verbs something
known or unimportant (because easily inferred) is more likely to be found with a
preverbal adverb.
In other words, the difference between secondary locative markers (after the stem)
and locative preverbal adverbs (before the stem) is whether the location refers to a
specific third person (movement in relation to a thing) or if only the movement is
specified:
!
!
!
!

Secondary locative markers (movement in relation to a specific object)


!
!
-ia!
!
VERB in X!
!
!
-ita! !
VERB into X
!
!
-ika! !
VERB out of X

!
!
!
!

Locative preverbal adverbs (movement without specific object)


!
!
tat-! !
VERB in/into
!
!
tam-! !
VERB on/onto
!
!
kat-! !
VERB out/off

Consider the examples below:

404

!
!
!

eskuekkami ples'
'
eskuekkaikami utudas%
kateskuekkami utudas%

I will empty the stomach


I will empty the content out of Y
I will empty the content out

!
!
!
!
!
!
!

aispa !ata!
!
aispaika lri% %
kataaispa lri! !

!
%
!

X will rinse the bowl


X will rinse the dirt out of Y
X will rinse the dirt out

osetaibma% '
'
tamosetan liabmis!% '
isetan liabmis osibma!' '

X will put X on (itself)


put your tuque on!
put your tuque on yourself!

9.13.1.2 With Semantically Passive Verbs


When a verb which usually has an argument in a locative case is found in the
passive, preverbal adverbs are used.
%
!

igikibma '
tamugigi'

'
'

'
'

X will glance at Y (gik)


X was glanced at (lit. was at-glanced)

%
%

iddksita'
tatubksui'

'
'

'
'

X will shoot it (lit. into it)


X was shot (lit. in-shot)

%
!

imiggibma%
'
tamumiggui% '

'
'

X will infect Y (lit. onto Y)


X was infected

!
!

irita ' '


taturui''

'
'

'
'

X will bite into Y (r)


X was bit into (lit. was into-bit)

!
!

imuoaita'
tatumuotsi%

'
'

'
'

X will dress Y into Z


used

!
igaihtsakina' '
'
you owe me X
!
tatugaihtstiki% '
'
owed to me, in debt to me
!
9.13.1.3 With Paritciples
Verbs whose argument is found in a locative case will also be found with a preverbal
adverb in their patientive participal forms. This includes a number of verbs which
commonly govern an infinitive clause with the copula in a locative case. The resulting
participles may be difficult to translate into English.

!
%

imiggibma'
'
tamumiggui' '

'
'

X will infect Y (lit. onto Y)


X was infected
405

!
!
%
!
!
!
!

tamamigg%

'

'

(the) infected

ikahaika'
katukahi'
katakastu%
kastu' '
'

'
'
'
'

'
'
'
'

X will need Y (lit. of Y)


X is needed
(the) needed
needed, necessary

'

9.13.1.4 Modifying the Verb


A number of verbs are found with preverbal adverbs which modify their meaning.

TAT- ! in(to)
This preverb has the form tat-/tata- (sometimes merging as tad- or tat-, tatata merge
as tadda/tadd) and has the meaning in on into. It also modifies a number of verbs
by changing their meaning:
!
%

tidi !
!
taddidi %%

X will fall
X will happened to

!
%

kei ! !
tatokei %

X will rise
X will join/participate/grow/mature

!
%

kka ! !
tatkka %

X will bring Y
X will involve

!
%

manta ! !
tatumanti %

X will accept Y
X will be accepted

!
%

nua ! !
tadnua %

X will see Y
X will guess Y

!
%

piegukka !
X will greet Y
tatapiegukka % X will welcome/host Y

!
%

pugua !!
tatapugomi %

X will pour Y
it is flooding

suga%

X will visit Y

406

%
!
!
%

tatsuga %

X will interfere with/obstruct/block/disrupt Y

otoati ! !
tatatoata %

X will join Y
X will include/integrate/assimilate/blend/mix/mingle with Y

!
%

ri ! !
tatrmi %

X will approach
it is imminent/near/impending/approaching

!
%

omani !!
tatomana %

X will stretch
X will get used to X/be enough for X

!
%

tvietku !!
tatatvietku %

X will cave/slant
X will cave in/collapse/give in

TAM- ! on(to)
This preverb has the form tam-/tama- (sometimes merging as tav-/taC-, tamatamerge as tanda/tand or tamda/tamd) and has the meaning on on onto. It also
modifies a number of verbs by changing their meaning:
!
%

ogahhi !
tamogahha %

X will lean
X will tend to/be prone to/prefer/favour Y

!
%

tidi !
!
tandidi %%

X will fall
X will stumble upon/find out (by accident)

!
%

ei ! !
tandei %

X will run/flow/go
X will turn out to/be found to/happen to

!
%

tigiri ! !
tandigira %

X will seep
X will affect Y

!
%

oa !
!
tamoa 1 %

X will attack Y
X will confront/tackle/oppress Y

!
%

okaiki ! !
tamokaiki %

X will kneel
X will swear

tamakua %

X will trespass/infringe upon/threaten2

kka ! !

X will bring

The form tamoa also exists, usually meaning exclusively to confront.

(*kua does not exist)

407

tandakka %

X will cause Y (to happen)

!
%

dlaugi !!
tamalaua %

X will hesitate
X will stall/distract/hinder/stop Y

!
%

dlodni ! !
tamadlodni %

X will sink
X will sink to the bottom/become forgotten/go into oblivion

!
%
!

manta ! !
tammanta %
!
!

X will receive Y
X will take it upon itself to/take responsibility/assume/play
the role of Y

!
%
!
%

raa ! !
tamaraa %
tamoragi %
tamara %

X will push Y
X will emphasize/accentuate/focus on Y
X will flow/advance (of tide)
especially

!
%

suma !!
X will cover Y
tam(a)suma % X will give shelter to/preserve/shield Y

KAT- ! out/from
This preverb has the form kat-/kata- (sometimes merging as kad-/kad-) and has the
meaning out, off form or about. It also modifies a number of verbs by changing
their meaning:
!
%

daa ! !
katadaa %

X will answer Y
X will turn Y down/decline/dismiss/reject Y

!
%

gea ! !
katagea%

X will dig (for) Y


X will empty Y (by scooping out water from a boat), dig out

!
%

teli !
!
katateli %

X will grow
X will mature (grow into an adult)

!
%

hideti ! !
kata(hid)eti !

X will cut ones hair


X will shave ones head

%
%

tagedli' '
katagedla'

X will function
X will work/figure Y out, know how to Y

!
%

tagimia !
katagimia %

X will look forward to Y


X will expect/presume/figure Y

katagoa %

X will push (on) Y (cf. tekigoa X will pull (on) Y)


408

!
%

hagena !
X will notice Y
katihagena % X will point Y out to Z

!
%
!
!
%

ia !
!
katia % %

!
%

kekia ! !
katakekia %

X will place Y
X will displace/elliminate/destroy/ruin Y

!
%

kosa ! !
katakosa %

X will engrave Y
X will scrape Y off

!
%

kuoni ! !
katakuona %

X will ague
X will claim/maintain Y

!
%

mitia ! !
katamitia %

X will explain Y
X will clarify/reason for/define Y

!
%

molka ! !
katomolki %

X will slide Y
X will move out of the way/make way/yield/submit

!
%

neska ! !
kataneska %

X will ask Y
X will beg Y

!
%
!

notsa ! !
katanotsa %
!
!

X will take Y
X will capture/abduct/run off with/be influenced by/look like
(relative) Y

!
%
!

oga ! !
katoboga %
katibogi %

X will remember Y
X will reminisce/recall/reflect (on) Y
X will correspond/be silimar (to) Y

!
%
%

raa ! !
kataraa %
katoragi %

X will move
X will put Y aside (for later)/retract
X will withdraw/retreat/recede/ebb (of tide)

katorntai %

X will scratch (an itch) (*rntai does not exist)

!
%

ivi !
!
kataivi %

X will stay
X will stay behind

X will receive Y
X will inherit Y

ola !
!
X will read Y
katola %X will interprete/assume Y

409

!
%

tatska ! !
katatatstka %

X will consider/think about Y


X will reject Y

!
%

tsasa ! !
katatsaskku %

X will forget Y
desolate/deserted/forgotten/abandonned

!
%

tsova ! !
katatsova %

X will discuss Y
X will describe Y

9.13.2 Simlpe Preverbal Adverbs


Simple preverbal adverbs have a simpler function than their locative counterparts.
They can be freely added to almost any verb, or can also modify the verbs meaning.
This is especially true of the prefixes h- up and t- down.
!
Like their locative counterparts, simple preverbal adverbs give extra
information about the movement or manner of the verb, often refering to a dropped
argument.

H- ! up
This preverb has the form h-/hi- or hen- and has the general meaning up.
%
%
%

hsuvvis sma
[hsuw:s sma]

h-suvv-i-s se<>i-hhi
up-flow-ASS.CONCL.ITR-HAB river-PAT

the river flows up

%
%

henia segme
[heni:a sm:e]

%
!

hen-i<>-a- seky-me
up-climb.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR cliff-GEN

!
X climbed up the cliff
!
It also modifies a number of verbs by changing their meaning:

auga ! !
henauga %

X will tie Y into a knot


X will trick/deceit/catch Y (doing something)

baulla% %

X will wade Y

410

hbaulla %

X will face/encounter Y

!
%

bnta% %
hbnta%

X will weave Y
X will charm/fascinate Y

!
%

gea ! !
hgea%

X will dig for Y


X will dig Y up/discover/uncover Y

!
%

delpia ! !
hdelpia%

X will flip Y over


X will expose Y

!
!
!
!
%

d'
hdia'
!
etsa !
hietsi %

'
'

X will step
X will count Y

!
%

X will start Y
X will take to the air (of birds)

!
%

goga! !
hgoga%

X will adze Y
X will excite/stimulate Y

!
%

airi%
%
henairi %

X will row
X will resist

!
%

tidi !
!
htidi% %

X will fall
X will realize/wake up suddenly

!
%

ehtsi ! !
henehtsa %

X will walk (slowly)


X will stalk Y

!
%

tei% %
htei%

X will run/flow/go
X will run/flow/go up, become excited/upset/enflamed

!
%

tigiri ! !
htigiri %

X will seep
X will slowly happen/(X) little by little (especially htigir)

!
%

ihha ! !
henihha%

X will climb Y
X will climb Y/conquer Y

!
%

ksi%
%
henksi %

X will shoot (an arrow)


X will concede/admit (defeat)/grant/accept

!
%

la%
%
henla% %

X will know Y
X will recognize Y

lka !

X will present/offer Y

411

henlka %

X will sacrifice Y

!
%

i ! !
heni %

X will get (somewhere)


X will get up

!
%

ola !
!
henoli %%

X will read Y
X will conclude/judge/assess (that)

!
%

kaikni ! !
hkaikna %

X will stare
X will contemplate/consider/imagine Y

!
%

kekna ! !
hkekni %

X will organize Y
X will set up camp/settle down

!
%

komi% %
hkomi %

it is summer
it is (the first part of) summer

!
%

munta ! !
hmunti %

X will tread Y
X will walk/go up hill

!
%

tanyppi%%
hnypmi %

X will stand out


it is obvious

!
%

rehha ! !
hrehha %

X will pull Y
X will find/invent/lie/come up with/say/claim Y

!
%

ruodla ! !
htruodla %

X will fold Y
X will shrink/wrinkle/contract/react

!
%

tsadlu ! !
htsadlu %

X will burn (in a pot)


X will burn up/consume/use up

!
%
!
!
%

saiskia !!
htsaiskia %

X will lead to Y
X will influence Y

sidi !
!
hsida %%

X will understand
X will recognize/admit Y

!
%

ivi !
!
hiva %%

X will stay
X will win/be superior/better than Y

T- ! down
This preverb has the form t-/tym- and has the meaning down.
412

!
%

tsomnui tppma
[tsmn:ui tpma]

%
!

t-somn-u-i tpp-ma
down-fall-PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR cone-PAT

the cone fell down (something)

%
%

tymukilli kehha
[tymucil:ji ceh:wa]

%
!

tym-u-ki<ll>-i kehh-a
down-PASS-cut.PAST-ASS.CONCL.ITR pine.tree-PAT

the pine tree was cut down (somewhere)

It also modifies a number of verbs by changing their meaning:


!
%

aka ! !
tymaka %

X will cut Y
X will cut Y down/eliminate Y

!
%

dabi ! !
ttadabi %

X will drum
X will subside/ease up

!
%

maivvi% !
tmaivvi%

X will smile
X will frown

!
%

ei ! !
tymei %

X will run/flow/go
X will run smoothly/go well/go according to plan

!
%

luhha ! !
tluhha %

X will boil Y
X will make a broth/soup (out of Y)

!
%

moa! !
tymomoa %

X will drink Y
X will gorge itself on/absorb Y

!
%
!
!
%

oga ! !
tymoga %

X will remember Y
X will make note/inscribe/write down/record Y

utua ! !
tymutua %

X will pack Y
X will compact/compress/press Y

AH-!
after
This preverb has the form ah-/ahha- and shows that something is done after or late(r).
!

kiga' '

X will pick Y up

413

!
!
!
!

ahkiga'

X will clean Y up

kita'
'
ahkita' '

X will do Y
X will put Y off/back/postpone Y

!
!
!
!
!

koairui' '
ahtakoairui'

X will howl
X will jump the gun/react prematurely

s'
'
ahts' '

X will understand
X will grasp/realize Y

AUR-! mis-
This preverb has the form aur-/auh- and shows that something fails, goes by or is
side-by-side. This prefix is also found as ai-/aio- in certain dialects.
!
!

d'
'
auhtad'

X will step
X will misstep/make a mistake

!
!

ei' '
aurea'

X will run/go/flow
X will miss out on/pass up/reject/refuse Y

!
!

ksi'
'
auhtksi'

X will shoot (an arrow)


X will fail/backfire/misfire/miss

!
!
!
!
!

neni' '
auhneni'

X will sit
X will sit side-by-side

sahhi' '
auhtsahhi'

X will speak
X will misspeak

!
!
!

seta' '
aurseta'
auhtseta'

X will place Y
X will compare Y
X will misplace Y

!
!

s'
'
auhts''

X will understand
X will misunderstand (also commonly aiotsi)

!
GA- ! with
This preverb has the form ga-/gag- and shows that something is done with someone
else. It has a reciprocally comitative meaning (with each other).
414

gagemi'!

X will feel compassion/grief (with someone)

!
!

ei' '
gatei'

X will run/go/flow
X will converge/meet/unite

!
!

oa'
'
gaoa 1' '

X will attack Y
X will combat Y

!
!
!
!

syvva' '
gasyvva'

X will show Y
X will explain Y

gatemna'

X will be congratulate Y

'
GAT-! along
This preverb has the form gat-/gata- and means along. It is an accompanying
comitative. It may also have a meaning of doing something accordingly or as a
reaction to something (thus often equivalent to the adverb back in English).
!
!

askila' '
gataskila'

X will control Y
X will handle Y

!
!

gedli' '
gatagedli'

X will behave
X will react

!
!

keda' '
gatkeda'

X will carry Y
X will bring Y along

!
!

koni'
'
gatkoni''

X will walk
X will follow along/obey

!
!

kosu' '
gatkosu'

X will be carried (sound)


X will resound/echo (sound)

!
!

sai'
'
gatsai''

X will speak
X will reply/talk back

!
!

obkki'
gatobkki'

X will fight
X will fight back

!
1

Also exists as gagoa.

415

L-!
forward
This preverb has the form l-/la- and shows that something goes forward, ahead, or
that something is done/given/offered to someone.
!
!

d'
ld'

ltan' '

X will unwind/develop

!
!

oai'
loai'

X will say
X will claim

syvva' '
lsyvva''

X will show Y
X will present/offer Y

lotieki'

X will crawl forward

!
!
!
!

'
'

'
'

X will step
X will step forward/volunteer

RR-! through
This preverb has the form r(r)-/rra- and shows that something goes through
something or that is done with great success. Some dialects have er- or eh- instead
of rr-.
!
!

kohha' '
rkohha'

X will rip Y
X will rip apart Y

!
!

lukka' '
rralukka'

X will pierce Y
X will succeed at Y

KEM- ! with
This preverb has the form keu-/kem- (sometimes merging as k-) and shows that
something is done together or as a group. It is generally found with plural subjects.

belmi ! !
keubelmiri%

X will work
they will cooperate

!
!

neni' '
keuneni'

X will sit
X will be correct/will compare/contrast

416

nodi ! !
keunodiri%

X will sing
they will sing together

!
%

notsa ! !
keunotsari%

X will take Y
they will agree on Y

!
KL-! again
This preverb has the form kl-/kld(a)- and shows that something is done again or one
more time.
!
!

teluli' '
klteluli''

X will bloom
X will recover/get revitalized

!
!

ksi'
'
klksi' '

X will shoot
X will give another try

!
!

ona'
'
klona' '

X will tell Y
X will repeat Y

!
!

tadna' '
kltadna'

X will find Y
X will recover Y

LOL-! back
This preverb has the form lol-/lola- and shows that something is goes back, behind or
happens secretly or hidden from view.
!
!
!

mahha' '
lolmahha'

X will hunt Y
X will stalk Y

!
!

mega' '
X will respect Y
lolmegadna' X will betray/be unfaithful to Y

noski' '
lolnoski%'

X will get somewhere


X will escape

!
!

oga' '
lologa' '

X will remember Y
X will regret Y

417

!
!

tahhi' '
loltahhi''

X will leave
X will flee

RAH-! against
This preverb has the form rah-/rog(a)- and shows that something is done against
someones will or in the opposite direction.
!
!

guki' '
ragguki'

X will stride
X will persevere/continue

!
!

airi'
'
rogairi' '

X will row
X will row (at the opposite rhythm as someone else)

!
!

oa'
'
ragoa 1''

X will attack Y
X will counter attack

!
!
!
!
!
!

neni' '
X will sit
rahneni'X will sit against each other/be parallel
rahnen'
in a row, consecutively
notsa' '
rahnotsa'

X will take Y
X will rape/steal/rob Y

!
!

oai'
'
rogoai2''

X will say
X will reply

!
!

raa'
'
rahraa''

X will push Y
X will resist/protest/endure Y

!
!

belmi' '
rahbelmi'

X will work
X will work in shifts

TEKI- ! towards
This preverb has the form tek-/teki- (sometimes merging as teg-) and has the
meaning towards or closer. It tends to form transitive verbs from intransitive ones. It
can also be used to mean roughly or imprecisely.

Also found as rahoa.

Also found as rogvai in the present.

418

tekigoa %

X will pull (on) Y (cf. katagoa X will push (on) Y)

!
%
!
!
!

koni ! !
tekikona %

X will walk
X will approach Y

oai'
'
tekoai' '

X will say
X will continue (to say), to estimate

!
%

saimni ! !
teksaimna %

X will run
X will charge at Y

!
%
!
!
!

osali ! !
teksala %

X will head (to)


X will aim for Y

tapakva''
tekitapakva'

X will use a knife on Y


X will (roughly/imprecisely) use a knife on Y

TEM-! before
This preverb has the form tem-/teu- (sometimes also t-) and shows that something is
done before or in advance.
!
!

aiska' '
temaiska'

X will sew Y
X will prevent Y

!
!
!

pedni' '
teu(ta)pedni'
tpednotima'

X will arrive
X will precede
preceding

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

nua% %
teunua%'

X will see Y
X will predict Y

saisa' '
temsaisa'

X will warn Y
X will forewarn Y

tvipsui' '
ttvipsui'

X will flinch
X will anticipate/preempt Y

TVE-!

in disorder

419

This preverb has the form tv-/tve- and shows that something is done in the wrong
order, in disorder, loosely, clumsily or with a certain level of freedom or at random.
!
!

goaka' '
tvegoaka'

X will choose Y
X will choose Y at random

!
!

takoasa'
X will do Y regularly
tvetakoasa' X will be unpredictable/will happen unpredictably

!
!

lola'
'
tvelola' '

X will leave Y
X will leave Y in disorder

!
!

losta% %
tvelosta'

X will take care of Y


X will neglect Y

!
!

oga' '
tvoga' '

X will remember Y
X will remember Y incorrectly/confuse Y

UNG-! very/well
This preverb has the form ung-/uo- (sometimes also found as as un-) and shows that
something is done in the right, correct way or may simply be translated as very.
!
!

gaggana'
uogaggana'

X will look at Y
X will examine/scrutiny Y

!
!

kya' '
ungokyi'

X will try Y
X will make an effort/apply itself

!
!

sahhi' '
uosahha'

X will speak
X will pronounce/enunciate Y

!
!

tayhha' '
uotayhha'

X will beat Y (at something)


X will vanquish/defeat Y

!
!

tegi'
'
X will be able to see
ungitegibma' X will (be able to) distinguish Y

!
!
!

tatihheni'
uotatihheni'

X will seem fresh


X will seem very fresh

420

UT- ! around
This preverb has the form ut-/uta- (sometimes merging as ud-) and gives a meaning
of going around or about. It also implies a circumvention or acting without
permission or not according to the rules.

%
!

auga ! !
utauga %
utautu%!

X will tie Y into a knot


X will noose Y, have Y under control
OK, yes, alright

!
%

d !
!
utad% %

X will step
X will ignore Y

kiga ! !
utakiga %

X will pick Y up
X will be busy with Y

koni ! !
utakona %

X will walk
X will disobey/avoid Y

noski ! !
udnoski %

X will get somewhere


X will use another way/way around

%
!
%
!
!
%
!

L-!
nearly
This preverb has the form l-/l- (sometimes also found as as u-) and shows
something nearly or just about happens. In negative verbs, it may also mean hardly.
In some dialects, namely dnu and Riekka, the negation and preverb merge as
seml og sml/smr meaning hardly.
!
!

tidi'
'
ltidi' '

X will fall
X will nearly fall

!
!

sem ikahaika' X will not need Y


sem likahaika'X will hardly need Y

!
!

set kva''
sem lkva'

X will not feel Y


X will hardly feel Y

Some less common preverbal adverbs include:


KE-! helping
This preverb has the form ke-/keo- and shows that someone is doing something in
order to help, as a favor or replacing something else.

421

!
!

aiska' '
keaiska'

X will sew Y
X will assist at sewing Y

!
!

koni'
'
kekona'

X will walk
X will help Y walk

!
SO- ! from a distance
This preverb has the form so-/soh- and shows that someone is doing something
from afar. It is most commonly used with the following verbs:
!
!
!
!
!

thhenika' '
sohthhenika '

X will smell like Y


X will smell like Y from far away

gagitotruita' '
soagagitotruita'

X is related to Y
X is loosely related to Y

!
!

tegi'
'
sotega'

'
'

X will be able to see


X will be able to see Y from a distance

!
!

sea' '
sohsea'

'
'

X will hear Y
X will hear Y from afar

!
!

tri' '
sotri'

'
'

X will approach
X will approach from afar

!
!

oina' '
sooina'

'
'

X will look at Y
X will spy on Y

R- ! from up close
This preverb has the form r-/h- and shows that someone is doing something from
up close. It is most commonly used with the following verbs:
!
!
!

koka' '
rkuhku'
rkok''

X will weave Y
involved/related
speaking of which, propos

!
!

koni'
'
rkona%'

X will walk
X will be close/closely tied to Y

!
!

oina' '
roina' '

X will look at Y
X will examine/wonder about/reflect upon Y

422

V- ! after
This preverb has the form v-/vvv- and shows that something is happening following
something else, as a result. It is also found as ve-/vevv-.
!
!

lomi'
'
vloma%'

X will run around


X will pursue/chase Y

!
!

rehha' '
vvvurehh'

X will drag Y
as a result

423

9.14 Absolutive Descriptives


Absolutive descriptives are suffixes which can be added directly to the stem of verbs
and the copula. They are housed in the slot 1 of verbs. They are called absolutive
descriptives because their main function is to describe the shape, state, form or
nature of the absolutive arguments, that is to say the subjects of intransitive verbs
and the objects of transitive verbs. There are 9 such markers and each describes a
category of characteristics, usually descriptive of the shape or form of the arguments.
Absolutive descriptives have 4 main functions.
They describe the shape/state/form/nature of:
1.!

The subject of an intransitive verb

2.!

The object of a transitive verb

3.!
!

The change of state of the subject of translative or passive intransitive verbs


or the object of causal transitive verbs

They can also act as adverbs, generally describing the way in which the action is
performed.
Some descriptives may combine to form a more specific derivative and some extra
descriptives exist but are very restricted in use (dialectally or in certain fixed
expressions).
!
Absolutive Descriptives are attached directly to the verb stem. Verb stems
ending in a consonant see no change, whereas verb stems ending in a vowel have
vowel coalescence. The absolutive descriptive markers lose their initial vowel after an
identical one.
!
For the formation of the past, the stem vowel is re-used after the absolutive
descriptive. Consonant-Final verbs use regular postverbal vowels:
!
!
!

soklia !!
soklua !
soklohkua !

X will hoist Y
X hoisted Y
X hoisted (a heavy thing/container)

!
!
!

keda ! !
kedda' !
keddohka !

X will carry Y
X carried Y
X carried (something heavy)

Absolutive Descriptives are not required for any verb, but are common in story telling
and more vivid or expressive speech. They may also be found with the copula of
there-existential sentences (or other there-existential verbs). In this case, the
absolutive descriptives refer to the argument of the copula.
!
Siwa allows its speaker to state where or what something is by referring to it
indirectly, only giving information about the shape or nature of the argument.

424

!
Syntactically, absolutive descriptives often occur once the object of the verb
has already been mentioned, then generally being descriptive of the argument. New
objects however can be introduced with a descriptive, then generally being
adverbial. And as stated above, the descriptives may also give information about the
state of the argument as induced by the verb:
!
!

nubmahta elepri !
sarkkahpia ! !

X gathered flowers (into a bouquet)


X broke Y into a point or a flake

Compare the basic verb form iruita X bit into Y when used with absolutive
descriptive:
!
!
!
'
'
'
!

iribuita' '
'
!
!
or!
iriuluita' '
'
irebuita~irubuita'
irohnuita'
'
irohkuita'
'
!
!
or!

X bit into (something small)


a child/boy/girl bit into it
X bit into (something ripe)
X bit into (something fresh/new)
X bit into (something dry)
X bit into (something big)
X took a big bite of X

9.14.1 -AHPThis absolutive descriptive is generally associated with long, flat, pointy or sharp
objects, although large open spaces (skies, rivers, fields) may also be found with ahp- then accentuating the openness, flatness or emptiness of the space. Below are
examples of words which may trigger the use of absolutive descriptive -ahp- or may
be refered to implicitely by it.
pointy / sharp / horned / hoofed / hard
%
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

hpi%
%
usas' '
eteri ' '
ennu ' '
rri '
'
tapaki ' '
n ' '
sira!
!
aihha ' '
okhi ' '
rdni ' '
r '
'
salama''
goi '
'

arrow head, point


flake
spear
pole
arrow
knife
knife
fish
needle, thorn (and by extension all thorny plants)
pine needle (and by extension all trees with needles)
itch (and by extension most pains)
tooth
antler/caribou (and by extension all livestock)
point, edge
425

!
!
!

nyly'
'
ts '
'
mokkuo%'

!
%
!
!
!
!

gkkahpuma! !
usarkkahpui%
'
tsuoknahpua to hemi'
ahrahpa teddet!
nantahpu rita% '

knirahpippen ma benho!!
!
!
!
!

nose, snout
nose
beak

!
'
'
!
'

X must sharpen (a knife/spear)


X was broken into an arrow/point
the bird snatched (a fish/bone)
the old man killed (a caribou/fish)
a (sharp/pointy) tooth broke
the dog was sniffing around with its
(long) snout

long / flat, open / straight /


%
%
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
%
!
!
'
!
!

gaukama %
kven% %
alahra' '
birgo' '
kili'
'
tini'
'
givo' '
ehrana' '
nomono'
deumu' '
demo% %
ndla' '
su'
'
dn'
'
eulhi' '
atsio ' '

%
!
%
%

buikkahpuma hemi%
!
!
!
dlehhahpini vvita%
setahpan adda'
so solukkahpui?%
!
!
!
suahpi sb% %
idedlahpabi (nomono)%
tatilahpippen! !

!
%
!
!

down, feathers
feather
floating log
beam, log
wood
fire wood (by extension also fires)
nail
stick to hunt fish
fang
bone (tissue)
(single) bone
face, surface
river
barren field
grassy field
glade (and by extension other landscape features)

!
!
%
'
'
!
'
'
!

one needs to pluck the bird (of its


feathers)
a log/beam floated over here
put it (wood, logs) right here
did you prick yourself (with something
sharp)?
the river (narrowly, flatly) flowed
X showed us its (pointy fangs)
(bone, knife) hangs

426

!
!
%
!
!

neynrahpi ennea eutaagi%


!
!
!
!
rekkahpau rekkes!
!
!
!
!
!
nenahpin!'
'
'

the (flat, long) grassy fields are billowing in


the wind
the sky opened (widely) up
or the sky opened up (in a narrow band)
sit straight

oa on misas, sarkkahpia u
[x misas sark:ahpiaju]
<o>-a- on misas-, sarkk-ahp-i-a-- u
take.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG ON rock-DAT, break-ahp-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG
U

X took the rock and broke it (into a point or flake)


tanda on demo, digahpia u
[and dem, gahpiaju]
ta<nd>-a- on demo-, di<g>-ahp-i-a-- u
find.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG ON bone-DAT, carve-ahp-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.SG U

X found a bone and carved it (into something long and sharp)


9.14.2 -AHTThis absolutive descriptive is used for things bound, packed, contained, containing
but also for things that are scattered around or large and/or formless (skins, things
that have to be spread out). The words below are likely to trigger or be found with the
absolutive descriptive -aht-. It may also confer an idea of tight or full to verbs such
as utua pack, seta/seta put, nria load, stuff and hiddua stack and ha to
eat (especially ohahti to eat oneself full).
large / formless / scattered / stuffed / packed
%
%
nomo% !
bag, pouch
!
bename'
pouch, leather pouch
!
ples' '
stuffed stomach, belly
!
keggas''
baby, foetus
!
bengomu'
roof, skins
!
damu' '
skin with fur
!
asuma''
animal skin
!
iri'
'
skin, bark
'
kehma' '
(human) skin
!
rhko' '
(human) skin
!
nuobmo'
stretched skin, window
!
puna' '
deer skin (and by extension living deer)
!
pbme' '
seal skin (and by extension living seals)
!
!

isetahtaitan% !
tymutuahtan kki'

put X into y (by stuffing it, pushing it, packing it)


compress the snow (tightly together)
427

'
omahtimi'
'
I ate too much/until I was full
!
kedahti na!
!
she is with child
!
iavvahtumagga'
we have to spread (the skin, something that was
!
!
!
!
packed) out
!
vanahta nuomoma!
X will stretch the skin out (after having been
!
!
!
!
packed)
!
The absolutive descriptive -aht- is also used with things after falling to the ground
and scattering or to allude to complex/complicated objects/tasks.
enclosed / contained / bound / dead
%
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

nnnu% !
ohkis' '
saiu' '
kolra' '
kor' '
ailme' '
tulmu' '
amoi' '
horet' '
amora' '
thma' '
blin' '
toadun'
shpa' '
mahhi' '
helba' '
!
!
ipro'
'
rohtot' '
!
!
ata'
'
tsli' '
nut' '
hide' '
vebo' '

box, container
birch bark box
pot, safe place
large container/pot/tub
pot
tanned skin
clothing (and by extention all clothes)
blood (inside the body)
body, torso
vein
heart
liver
intestines, guts
lungs
fallen bear
[pregnant] female moose (and by extension liota female
bear)
carcass
hollow tree (by extension, old/abandoned/long dead
structures/animals)
bowl
skull (and by extension, all animal heads)
package, parcel, bundle
hair (when tied)
knot

%
!
%
!
!
%

utodahti%
'
'
luhhahti% nata% '
'
iruollahtaki tulmuma tobika%
!
!
!
!
bbmuahtai thma'
'
nerterahtaka! !
!

X is held (in a box)


(a pot) is boiling
my older sister folded me clothes (into a
container)
the heart beats (in the chest)
I have chest pains

428

%
!
%
!
%
%

konahti ma helba'
!
!
!
oia rihnahtui iprua'
!
!
!
medahta tsldi%
omaugahtas hide'

'
!
'
!
%
'

the female moose was walking (heavily due


to pregnancy)
there were carcasses scattered on the
ground everywhere
X shook the (empty) skull
X usually ties her hair into a bun!

kiggahtaa on, ttatiellia de suvo


[cik:ahtj tttiel:ia de suv]
ki<gg>-aht-a-a- on t-ta-tiell-i-a- de suvo-
pick.up.PAST-ahta-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT.PL-3P.AG.SG ON down-3P.ACT.UNAG-miss-PASTASS.COCNL.TR DE berry-DAT

X missed the berries down and picked them up (from being scattered/
into a container/gathered together)
asuma kedahta kepsi-ho gao
[jsuma cedahta cps:ih gj]
asuma- ked-aht-a kepsi-ho g-a-io-
tanned.skin-AGT carry-aht-TR mushroom-DAT-3P.ANI.POSS COP.PAST-ASS-INESS.REL-3P.AG.SG

the skin in which X carried mushrooms (as a bag)

9.14.3 -ATST- or -ADDThis absolutive descriptive is similar to -ahp- but usually also entails some sort of
fragility, breakability or flexibility which -ahp- lacks. In opposition to -aht-, -atst- can
also imply loose, not bound. -atst- is also sometimes used when talking about women
and children to underline their fragility. The difference between -ahp- and -atst- is that
the former refers to long, solid or hard things (like a spear, large branch, pole, big
stick) while the latter refers to long, fragile or thin things (like a branch, blade, a stick).
thin / long / narrow / fragile
%
%
hide% !
hair (when loose)
!
hiri'
'
hair (on body)
!
kppa' '
arm (of women or children)
!
miebi' '
leg
!
nai' '
waist
!
tsiame%'
cedar strip
!
nidagan'
stripe
!
aihha' '
needle (for sewing)
!
aihhabi' '
coniferous branch
!
baa' '
branch
!
letse' '
stick/pole
!
kaibmu''
stick, walking stick, support
!
tvela' '
blade

429

!
!
!
!
!
!

holi'
eigge'
moni'
mykyt'
rodlot'

'
'
'
'
'

stem
path (in snow)
path, way
way along a river
wrinkle (and by extension old faces)

!
%
!
!
!
!
'
!
cf.!
!
!
%
!
!
!

suatsti hiedi% '


isyvvatstakin tieka%
de u sopratstaagen%
nantatstu aihka%'
agatstami letseita'
katamakatsti rhta'
oahkurtatsti%
'
!
!
!
oahkurrahpi'
'
!
!
!
konatsti nata' '
katagatsta!
!
gakoditstiri'
'
nuntaddia kiba'
mahhaddoa' '

'
!
'
'
'
'
'
!
'
!
'
!
'
'
'

Xs hair flowed (unbound)


show me your hand (to a child/woman)
then we split them (into long thin strips)
the (thin) sewing needle broke
I cut X into sticks
the skin is peeling off in flakes
X tested the snows depth (with a blade,
stick)
X tested the snowst depth (with a long
branch, spear)
X is walking (with a walking stick/cane)
X cut (a branch/stem/strip) off
they walked in a queue/path
X closed its (wrinkly/thin) eyes
lets follow (the river, path)

akatstake omi deiko oami tsiauhdi


[katst:e mi deig xmi tsxahi]
ak-atst-a-ke omi d-e-iko <o>-a-mi tsiaug-di
cut-atst-TR-LINK.GOAL for COP-INFER-ELAT.REL take.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.AG.SG cedar.woodGEN

I took cedar wood in order to cut out of it (tsiame cedar stripes)


tetatsta sviladi nogita
[tetatst:a svili nj:ida]
<tet>-a-atst-a-- svi<l>a-di nog-ita
place.PAST-atst-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG braid-GEN at.end.ILLAT

X placed Y (a hair needle) at the end of Xs braid

9.14.4 -IB- (also -IB-)


This absolutive descriptive is generally descriptive is small and young things and can
carry a diminutive conotation as well. It is commonly used in speech with children.
The form -ib- is especially common for round things or things that roll. Unlike other
absolutive descriptives, it is often used to describe the ergative argument of the
phrase (in the case of children). With the verb nunta closes, the form nuntib- is
understood to refer to closing ones eyes.
430

round / fat / little / small / fine / young / ripe


%
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
%

hogi' '
bieli!
!
tibi'
'
no'
'
hylys! !
kydly' '
kori'
'
dida' '
tegma''
kgini' '
nunni' '
suvo' '
pivi'
'
!

ball, pearl
fat!
baby, toddler
little bay
little/thin person
bell, little girl
boy
girl
child
youngest child
little child
berry (and by extension all berries and fruits)
cheek (and by extension young/healthy faces)

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

manibin''
mairibi' '
titibi' '
tiddibi' '
biaibakin'
edibi' '
hibaundan'
!
!
nuntiban'

'
'
'
'
'
'
'
or!
'

come here (to a child)


X giggled, X laughed (of something small, cutely)
X crawls around (of a child)
X fell (and rolled around)
throw X at me (by rolling it on the ground)
the boy/girl/child sat down
eat a few (berries)
eat a few (to a child)
close (your eyes)

kediba nata
[cediba nta]
ked-ib-a n-a--ta
carry-ib-TR COP.INCONCL-ASS-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X is carrying a baby/is pregnant


sittiba oia nunnie
[sxtiba ia un:ie]
gi<tt>-ib-a o=ia nunni--e
there.is.little.PAST-ib-ASS every.INESS child-AGT-PL

there were little children everywhere

431

9.14.5 -IKSThis absolutived descriptive is often used in pair with the pejorative or things
perceived to be old, broken, no good or bad. It can also be found to refer to tools
and stones. In combination with the pejorative, the preverb ai- wrongly, -iks- can be
added to verbs to confer a sense of performing the action in a completely wrong
way:
!
!

gkka nma nana'


'
aieggkkiksa nma nana '

you are sharpening your knife


you are sharpening your knife all wrong.

crooked / broken / cold / old / tools / pieces / arrows / projectiles


%
!
boi' '
deciduous branch
!
nuhhi' '
old woman
!
teddet''
old man
!
iu'
'
older relative
!
davva' '
past, old times
!
eo' '
old tree
!
kene' '
broken/dead tree
!
kvispi' '
scraper
!
eibi' '
cutter, carving tool
!
eirpi' '
tool
!
soroko' '
piece
!
kidut' '
part, room (and by extension most rooms)
!
rri'
'
arrow
!
t'
'
stone
!
!
!
!
!
%

mansiksa teddet'
kokiksien'
'
iddiksi eue% '
delpiksumagga kene!
gkkiksa nami% !
ani(a)ksa!
!

'
'
'
!
!
!

the old man came


(an old person) kept on talking
an old tree fell
we must flip the (old) dead tree over
I am sharpening (the tool)
X threw (a stone)

rostiksa oddobmua-ho
[rstk:sa :pmuah]
ro<st>-iks-a od=tobmu--aho
lies.there.PAST-iks-TR PEJ-finger-AGT-PL3P.POSS.ANI

Xs old (crooked) fingers were lying there

432

katakostiksa httamo
[ktkstk:sa htm]
kata-ko<st>-iks-a- htta-mo
from-rip.PAST-iks-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT gust.of.wind-PAT

the gust of wind ripped it away (branch/arrow/piece of wood)

9.14.6 -IPR-/-IUL- or -IBThese absolutive descriptives refer to things that are alive, moving, wet and may
confer vigor to an absolutive argument or the verb. The -iul- is especially common
with liquids and wet things. Certain speakers add -ib- to underline the animacy of
the absolutive argument. The verb ivibi or ivipri is often used with bad weather
(patientive).
lively / living / fresh / pretty / vivid / spry / plants / happy / bright / colored / intense /
warm / clear
%
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

lma' '
eleba' '
%
%
kepsi' '
homot' '
tsammi' '
tasko' '
elet'
'
miuki' '
nelsi' '
phba' '
dlu'
'
gilra' '
igmo' '
butta! !
rtta! !
uo'
'
!
!
omautaka'

leaf (and by extension all leaves or vegetation)


flower (and by extension all flowers)
plant (and by extension all plants)
mushroom (and by extension all fungi)
insect (and by extension all insects)
forest
woods
meadow
bog
sprig
sapling
sprout
drizzly weather
rapidly changing/unpredictable weather
bad weather
foggy weather
(fresh/clear) water (and by extension all fresh water
bodies)
fall colors

!
!
!
!

abibui ennea lkagi'


!
!
!
!
edlibi ludi%
'
'
negipra tekigi% '
'

'
!
'
'

the leaves swayed spryly in the


wind
a sprout grew
X saw children (moving, playing)
433

%
!
%
!
%
%

homottibuima tsamia% !
!
!
!
!
kodiuligga irta% '
'
!
!
!
!
ivvibi gilradi% !
!
amibi''
'
'

!
!
'
!
!
'

it was quiet (but teeming with life) in


the forest
we walked through (a bog, a wet
place)
there was (lit. stayed) wet weather
X drank (fresh water)

nubmipra s
[npmpxa su:]
nu<bm>-ipr-a- su<v>o
pick.PAST-ipr-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG ON berry-GEN

X picked (brightly colored/ripe) berries


rekkiulu nata
[rciulu nta]
rekk-iul-u n-a-ta
open.up-iul-ASS.CONCL.TRANSL COP.INCONCL-ASS-3P.AG.SG

(a flower) is opening up
iriuliaita
[iriuliida]
i-r-iul-i-a-ita-
DIT-bite-iul-PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-ILLAT-3P.AG.SG

X bit into (something ripe)

9.14.7 -UP/-YP-/-EBSimilar to -ipr-/-ib-/-iul-, this absolutive descriptive is used to infer a sense of


something wet, humid or fresh. However, -up- is also used heavily with smells. While
the previous descriptive denoted a certain vitality, this descriptive also invokes
freshness or the idea of something ephemeral. Thicker liquids also usually appear
with -up-, such as honey, resin, sap. The descriptive can be found as -up- or -ub-, yp- or -yb- or -b- after rounded vowels, and -eb- in other cases.
Compare the two examples contrasting the idea of wet or living with -ib- and the
idea of fresh (previously unexposed) or wet (but not alive) with -up-.
%
!
%
!

rekkubia korkedi!
!
!
!
rekkibia korkedi'
!
!
!

X opened up the rotten fallen tree (which had not


been exposed before)
X opened up the rotten fallen tree (which was wet or
teeming with life)

!
%

iddibui lkagi% '


iddupi lmamo% '

the (wet/living) leaves fell off (animate)


the (wet) leaves fell off (inanimate)

434

wet / humid / fresh / new(ly born) / smells


%
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

siva' '
nieugi' '
ut'
'
sira'
'
sitru' '
kikin' '
sivi'
'
l'
'
iuri'
'
maudli' '
palis' '
temmi' '
akna' '
mi' '
mieri' '
kori'
'
kelta' '
seuma' '
m' '

rain
mist
newly fallen snow
fish (and by extension all fish)
soup !
soup, meal
honey
resin
pitch (and by extension glues and sticky things)
maple sap
urine
animal tracks
traces
smell (and by extension all smells)
moss
rotten wood
ground
soil
earth

!
!
%
!
%
%
%
!
!
!
!
%
!
!

saslebi miehhie ma mhra'


!
!
!
!
ykbis nuhhi-go%
'
!
!
!
!
katabiebuma (palihi)% '
tandupagga temme% '
htandupeba% '
'
hkeebi keltaribma ma nibid%
!
!
!
!
ekkubi uttaita bidiska' '
!
!
!
!
knirreba mma!!
!

'
!
'
!
'
'
'
'
!
'
!
!

the bear was licking (the honey out


of) the honeycomb
my grandma usually goes around
collecting (resin/honey/pitch)
X must go (urinate)
we found (fresh) animal tracks
X will find us out (by our smell)
ground mist was rising up from the
(fresh/wet) ground
the puppies ran into the newly fallen
snow
X smelled (the fresh) earth

sinda on retro, miaddupa u


[snd rtx ma:ubaju]
si<nd>-a- on retro- mia<att>-ub-a- u
catch.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG ON northern.pike-DAT, gut.PAST-ubASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X caught a northern pike and then gutted it (still fresh)

435

kvgupake on kimi atseba oskon, keidigga ka


[kvi:j:ube cimi tseba skn ceiik:aka]
kv-up-a-ke on kimi at=s-e-ba oskon- keid-i-gga ka
feel-up-TR-LINK.ADV ON for NEG=COP-INFER-1P.PAT.PL male.moose-AGT, light.fireASS.CONCL.ITR-1P.AG.PL.INCL KA

so the moose does not feel us (our smell), we will light a fire
iddupi lmamo
[i:ubi :lmm]
i<dd>-ub-i lma-mo
fall.PAST-ub-ASS.CONCL.ITR leaf-PAT

the (wet) leaves fell

9.14.8 -OHN/-HNThis absolutive descriptive is opposite to -ib- and -up- in that it invokes something
dry, powdery and also refers to dry smells and fire.
powder / dirt / sand smells (dry/fire/wood)
%
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

neyri! !
vihi'
'
lri'
'
lagas' '
rento' '
kelho' '
siehhumi'
skhi' '
oni'
'
tinin' '
sog' '

powder, dust
dust, dirt
dirt, scum
flour
grain, seed
hung meat
dried meat
dried needle bed
dried moss, tinder (and by extension inflammable things)
fire wood
drought

!
!
!
!
!
!

llohni noimmika'
isdlohniki'
'
sarkkohnia tinis' '
tamaduohni'
'
irohnuita'
'
tsaundohni'
'

'
'
'
'
'
'

the fire was cracking (dryly)


I got dirt/sand/smoke (in my eyes)!
X broke (dry) firewood
X stepped (on something dry)
X bit into (something dry)
X caught on fire (from being too dry)

436

myrrohna pni
[myr:hna pi:ni]
m<yrr>-ohn-a- pni-
grind.PAST-ohn-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.AG.SG corn-DAT

X ground the corn (into a flour)


tsahhhni
[tsh:hni]
t-sahh-hn-i
3P.UNAG-burn-hn-ASS.CONCL.ITR

(dry wood/tinder) will burn


hepohni na nnamo
[hephni na nnm]
hep-ohn-i n-a n<n>a-mo
break-ohn-ITR COP.INCONCL-ass wave-PAT

the waves are breaking (on the sand)


luhhhna
[luh:hna]
luhh-hn-a--
boil-hn-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG

X will boil (a tea/treatment/grounded leaves)


iavvohnaibma
[iww:hnapma]
i-avv-ohn-a-ibma-
DIT-spread-ohn-ASS.CONCL.TR-ALLAT-3P.AG.SG

X spread/add (flour/sand/dirt/dried ingredients) on it

9.14.9 -OHKThe absolutive descriptive -ohk- generally refers to large, heavy, male or difficult
things. It is also used with the verbs sea listen, odena look, kya try, pitta pay
attention to in the imperative to make a more emphatic demand:
!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!

seohkan'
'
odnohkan~oinohkan'
kyohkan'
'
pittohkan'
'

listen well!
look well!
try (your best)
pay all your attention to X

In addition, it also refers to long things such as neck/throat/tongue, heads, geese and
swans and even canoes.

437

large / round / cylindrical / long / heavy / male / big / difficult

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

tahha! !
sukno' '
pd' '
sikvut' '
tmkki ! !
hokon' '
oskon' '
okon' '
toron' '
peilini' '
nelli' '
sappiska'
selo' '
sinin' '
ata'
'
gegin' '
kvoga' '
oadi' '
niman' '
totami' '
giga' '
gme' '
tonkua' '
kehko' '
mavvu' '

tree (and by extension all large trees)


large conifer
log
bonfire
boulder
big rock
male moose (and by extension all [large] male animals)
big man
big bear/guy
eldest
chief
paw, big hand
large river
big fish
(open) mouth
(animal) mouth
throat
tongue
neck
head
goose (and by extension all long-necked birds)
rope
sinew
canoe
meat

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

iddohki eue' '


'
kedohkan at' '
'
mairiohki'
'
'
!
!
!
or!
maiohki'
'
'
nh sindohkami keppi' '
rekkohkin'
'
'
sarkkohkia mekvi'
'
katagiohka kohdaika' '
!
!
!
!

the big old tree fell (heavily)


carry this (heavy thing)
X laughed (loudly)
(a large man) laughed
X smiled from ear to ear
wow, I caught a big one
open wide (your mouth)
X broke the swan(s neck)
X pushed (the canoe) from the its anchor on
the shore

438

tamokevvohki toron
[tmcew:hci trn]
tam-o-kevv-ohk-i toron-
tam-SUBJ-rise-ohk-ASS.CONCL.ITR big.bear-AGT

the big bear (heavily) stood up (on its two legs)


tatsatskohki
[tatsxatsk:hci]
ta-tsa<tsk>-ohk-i
3P.UNAG.SG-tear.PAST-OHK-ASS.CONCL.ITR

(the rope/leather) tore


tiddohki
[tt:hci]
t-i<dd>-ohk-i
3P.UNAG-fall.PAST-ohk-ASS.CONCL.ITR

(A tree/rock) fell
katagohkaika soroko
[kaghkiga srg]
kat-i-a<g>-ohk-a-ika- soroko-
from-DIT-cut.PAST-ohk-ASS.CONCL.TR-ELAT-3P.AG.SG piece-DAT

X cut (a large) piece from it


hohkas
[hhkas]
h-ohk-a---s
eat-ohk-ASS.CONCL.TR-3P.PAT-3P.AG.SG-HAB

X eats (meat/a lot)

9.15 Complementization
To form subordinate conjunctions, Siwa uses an infixed complementizer, hosted in
slot 2. The complementizers function is that of the English word that as in I know that
you saw me the complementizer, or subordination conjunction, relates a main
clause to a subordinate clause. It is added directly after the root of a verb, but
following absolutive descriptives. In addition, the complementizer carries negation,
such that negative subordinate phrases are not negated by the regular s/set/sem
particle. The complementizer differs slightly when used with the copula, whether
dependent or independent. Some speakers do not make use of the dependent
complementization infix but rather use the independent copula instead (some have a
special short form in --.
!
Another role of the complementizer is to act as a relative marker for
participles. Below are the different forms of the complementizer, which vary
according to whether it is added to a vowel-final or consonant-final stem of a copula
or a verb.

439

!
The vowel-final forms -tot- and -tont- are also found as -rot- and -ront-, and a
shorter form of the complementizer exists for verbs. Alternative negative forms in ents- also exist, typically used in the western dialects.
!
positive

negative

vowel-final

-tot-rot-

-tont-ront-

-rents-

consonant-final

-ot-

-ont-

-ents-

copular vowel-final

-non-

-nont-

-nents-

copular consonantfinal

-on-

-ont-

-ents-

!
!
!
!
!

makimi' '
makotimi'

'
'

I will come
...that I will come

utua' '
utotota'

'
'

X will pack Y
...that X will pack Y

!
!
!
!
!

nuppuami'
'
nuppurontami' '

I will snatch Y
...that I wont snatch Y

dabahti nata' '


dabahti nonata'

(the heart) is beating


...that (the heart) is beating

!
!
or!
!

uinuata''
uinonontata'
donata uino'
data uino'

X is true
...that X isnt true
...that X isnt true
...that X isnt true (short form)

'
'
'
'

noairi sihrotoi
[niri shri]

ogan herenonas komyly


[j:an herennas kmyly]

<n>oa-i-ri si<hr>-ot-oi
PAST.say-ASS.CONCL.ITR-3P.AG.PL rain.PASTCOMPLE-INFER.ITR.COND.IRREAL

og-a-n here-non-a-s kom=yly-


remember-TR-IMP.2P.SG cold-COMPLECOP.ASS-HAB summer=night-AGT

they said that it would rain

remember that summer nights are


cold

440

tabmami gonteta negi


[tapmmi gnteda nei]
tat-m-a--mi g-ont-e-ta negi-
think-INCONL-ASS.TR-3P.PAT-1P.AG.SG COP.PAST.CONCL-COMPL.NEG-INFER-3P.PAT 2P.SG.PRON-AGT
3P.INA-AGT

I think that it wasnt you


nonaki hunimo orpotiohna
[nnai hunim rphna]
n-on-a-ki hun-i-mo- orp-ot-i-o-h-na
PAST-tell-ASS.CONCL.TR-1P.RECI.SG wind-ITR-ACT.PART.AG-AGT misbehave-COMPLE-PAST-INFER.ITRHAB-2P.AG.SG

the wind told me you are misbehaving yourself (i.e. a little someone told
me)
9.15.1 Short Forms
The complementizer for verbs has short forms sometimes found in attributive forms of
adjectival verbs. They are more common with nouns with a certain familiarity, and for
that reason are more epithetic than the regular forms (used in titles).
positive

negative

vowel-final

-t-

-ts-

consonant-final

-o- / -- / -v-

-(t)s-

Short forms are also typically found with participles. The most common forms are as
follow. Note that short forms lack the distinction between agentive and unagentive
forms. These doubly short forms (both the complementizer and the participle are
shortened) are common in the eastern dialects.
!
!
!
long! !
short
!
singular!!
-otima !!
-en/-ven
!
!
!
-otimo !!
-en/-ven
!
plural! !
-otimi ! !
-in/-vin

!
!
or!
!

omi' '
'
somi ovima' '
somi oven
somi ohhtsima'

strong
(the) strong man (also ohhotima)

!
!
or!
!

tomi' '
'
kori tovima' '
kori toven
kori tohhsima'

young
(the) young boy (also tohhotima)

(the) man who is not strong (also ohhontima)

(the) boy that is not young (also tohhontima)

441

!
!
!

pigima' '
dida pigomi'

!
!
or!

atemi' '
'
nuhhi atevima''
nuhhi ateen

'
'

healthy
(the) healthy young girl (also pigotima)
sick
(the) sick old woman (also atetotima)

9.15.1.1 Short Forms in Direct Speech


Short forms are very commonly found after a quote or direct speech. This is
especially true of the Siwa narrative style. The most common forms are:
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

dakka ''
noati' '
bialtta' '
aiska' '
magua'
!
!
oddi' '
daddi' '

...X asked (cf. dakka X asked Y)


...X said (also noavvi, cf. noai X said Y)
...X said (bialla X said Y)
...X answered (cf. aiska X answered Y)
...X exclaimed (also magutva, cf. magua X exclaimed
Y)
...X screamed (also otvi, cf. oddi X screamed)
...X thought (also datva, cf. dadda X thought Y)

9.16 Copula
Siwa has a copula whose infinitive is tami to be (split stem has many dialectal forms
including t, t, d, d, most commonly t then identical to tsa to stand). The They
behave differently and perform various functions in the phrase, namely to form
copular constructions, which are used to form relative and infinitive clauses and
more. The copula has two forms the independent copula and the clitical copula.
The independent copula stands on its own and serves many purposes, whereas the
clitical copula is only found as the verb to be with adjectives. The copula has most
of the regular constituents of a verb but behaves different. Both copulas
conjugations are irregular.
!
The copula can be found in three main roles:
%
!
!

Independent copula
!
the verb to be with nouns
!
copular constructions

'
!

Clitical copula
!
As a clitical form of the verb to be with adjectives

442

9.16.1 Independent Copula


The independent copula is used for the following purposes:
!
!
1. To form there-existential phrases
!
2. As the verb tami to be whose argument is not an adjective
!
3. To form the inconclusive of all verbs except adjectival and impersonal !
!
verbs
!
4. To form relative clauses
!
5. In various other constructions (link constructions)
The independent copula consists of a root, augmented by a postverbal vowel. As
such, it behaves exactly like regular verbs, having the same number of slots with the
addition of the slot COP -1 (see 9.2.2). This extra slot houses the relative marker o-/
on- (in non-locative relative phrases).
!
The copula has 9 distinct stems.
!
non-past
!
!
indicative
!
!
!
conclusive!
!
da (or short form a)
!
!
!
inconclusive! !
na (or short form -n)
!
!
habitual!!
!
!
sa (or short form -s)
!
!
perfective!
!
!
ola (or also ora)
!
!
!
past
!
!
indicative
!
!
!
conclusive!
!
ga
!
!
!
inconclusive! !
ma
!
!
habitual!!
!
!
sa
!
!
perfective!
!
!
odla
!
imperative%
%
%
%
nenta
%
%
The copula is negated internally. These are its negative forms:
!
non-past
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
past
!
!
!
!
!
!

indicative
!
conclusive!
!
inconclusive!
habitual!!
!
perfective!
!

!
!
!
!

atsa
anta
assa
olta

indicative
!
conclusive!
!
inconclusive!

!
!

aksa
ahma
443

!
!
!

!
habitual!!
!
perfective!
imperative%
%

!
!
%

!
!
%

askka
otsa, oltsa
neista

When in the indicative optative assertive (-ua-) or inferential (-ue-) and the translative
conditional realis assertive (-ui-) and optative inferential (-ue-), certain forms of the
copula may have a v- instead of a diphthong, which in turn may modify the copula
(sometimes only with the relative prefix):
!
'
'

!
'
'

odua' '
odue' '
odui' '

or !
or !
or!

(o)tva
(o)tve
(o)tvi

'
'
'

'
'
'

sua'
sue'
sui'

or!
or!
or!

sva
sve
svi

'
%
'

'
%
'

olua/orua'
olue/orue'
olui/orui'or!

or!
olva/orva
or!
olve/orve
olvi/orvi

'
%
'

'
%
'

ogua' '
ogue% '
ogui% '

or!
or!
or!

'
'
'

(o)kva
(o)kve
(o)kvi

These forms are more formal than the regular ones.


!
In copular constructions, the split-stem is much less commonly preceded by
adverbial phrases, unlike regular constructions which may favor adverbs appearing
before the verb. Adverbs preceding split-stems are very emphatic:
%
!
'
'
'
!
!
'

ska neniehmi tamiemi ! !


I often want to sit alone
netasa, neni ska tamiemi osuami
you know that I often want to sit alone
netasa, ska neni tamiemi osuami'
you know that I often want to sit alone

9.16.1.1 There-Existential Phrases


There-existential phrases state that something is or exists. All there-existential
phrases have an agentive subject and a transitive (or possibly translative) form. The

444

most basic there-existential verb is the copula, da. The inconclusive forms na and ma
are usually only used with clearly temporary phenomena.
%
%
!
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
!
%
%

da tahha'
'
dohka tahha% '
!
!
!
da soakkia kekila'
sa soakkia kekila'
se somi'
'
se somigi%
'
nenta siva%
'
neista sog!%
'
na siva'
'
ma taa omi'
'
ora io% '
'
oltsa suikildas% '
atsa havva'
'
sa moni''
'

there is a tree
there is a (big) tree (with -ohk- absolutive
descriptive)
there is a hearth in the house
there used to be a hearth in the house
there once was a man
there once were men
let there be rain!
let there not be drought!
there is rain (right now)
there was a lot of snow (at that moment)
theres been trouble
there hasnt been inhabitation
there is no such thing
there is usually a way

%
!

as=s-a miola- sahh-ont-a-ma


NEG=COP.HAB-ASS flame-AGT burn-COMPLE.NEG-ASS.CONCL.TR-HAB-ACT.PART.UNAG

there is no flame that does not burn

!
%

da tsamia tahha
[da tsamia thha]

%
%

d-a tsa<m>-=ia tahha-


COP.-ASS forest-INESS tree-AGT

there is a tree in the forest

!
%

na bengommeima kekki kko


[na be:m:eima cci k]

%
!

n-a bengo<mme>-ima kekki- omi-ko


COP.INCONCL-ASS roof-ADESS too-AGT snow-GEN

there is too much snow on the roof

assa miola sahhontama


[s:a mila sh:ntma]

However, even the copula can be found in a reduced form, especially in the present,
then simply a (sometimes this short version has a more aoristic meaning)
!
!
da tahha'
there is a tree
!
a t'
'
theres a rock (in general)
!
'
In fact, the copula can be replaced in specific cases with other copula-like verbs.
They are used in specific cases and often say something about their arguments size
445

or distribution. A few of these verbs have a stronger form, more or less created
through reduplication. They behave much like the copula, even in relative clauses.
!
!
!

inda ' '

there are a few (scattered around)

ininda' '

there are very few (scattered everywhere)

tekla' !

there are many/is much

tehila' !

there are very many/is very much

reppa, rappa' there is (in water)

ara, ara'

there is (often used with locatives)

!
!
%

kiaha' '

there is (something big/large number)

kiahaa'

there is something (huge/very large number)

%
!
!

sina, sigga'

there are few/is little/is (something little)

sikina%'

there are very few/is very little/is (something tiny)

tmpa%'

there is (something formless, disgusting or scary)

!
!
!

rohha, rihna' there is (something lying/resting/stuck)

inda ogia utra


[nda jj:ia txa]
ind-a og=ia utra-
is.few-ASS.CONCL.ITR there-DIST.INESS.APROX crowberry-AGT

there are a few scattered (bunches of) crowberries over there


ininda hiedia-so u
[innda hieias :]
inind-a hi<>e-d=iaso u-
is.very.few-ASS.CONCL.ITR hair-INESS-2P.POSS.SG sand-AGT

there is sand (everywhere) in your hair


tekla tahhia saimnenka
[k:la th:ia samn:ka]
tekla-a tahh-ia saimnen--ka
is.many-ASS.CONCL.ITR tree-INESS starling-AGT-PL

there are many starlings in the tree

446

reppa nnumea kuiliska


[rpa nnumeja kuilska]
reppa-a n<n>u-me=ia kuilis--ka
is.in.water-ASS.CONCL.ITR container-INESS tadpole-AGT-PL

there are tadpoles (swimming) in the container (filled with water)


ara rapuka arrui srk
[wra rpuga ar:ui si:r]
ar-a rapu-ka arrui srk-
is.somewhere.-ASS.CONCL.ITR door-GEN next.to.STATIC spider-AGT

there is a spider somewhere by the door


sina srk
[sxina si:r]
sin-a srk-
is.small-ASS.CONCL.ITR spider-AGT

there is a small (number of) spider


kiaha srk
[ciaa si:r]
kiah-a srk-
there.is.big-ASS.CONCL.ITR spider-AGT

there is a big (number of) spider


tmpa hiedia-go toadni
[tmpa hieiag tatni]
tmp-a hi<>e-d=iago toa-dni
is.formless-ASS.CONCL.ITR hair-INESS-1P.SG.POSS some.INA-AGT

there is something in my hair


rosta kvohmia nokos
[rsta kvhmia nks]
ro<st>-a kvog-m=ia nokos-
is.resting.PAST-ASS.CONCL.TR throat-INESS stick-AGT

there was a stick (stuck) in the throat

9.16.1.2 To Be
The independent copula tami serves as the verb to be in cases where the argument
of the verb is a noun or a pronoun. For inherent qualities and aorist statements, the
conclusive is used rather than the habitual. The case of both the object and subject
of the copula is normally the agentive, although the partitive-genitive is allowed for
uncountable nouns. It is also very common to use a relative construction, usually
leaving out the main copula to form such phrases. In relaxed speech, the relative
marker o- may also be dropped all together. This is perhaps due to the fact that the
copula is often found after its argument (in all copular constructions), unlike regular
verbs.

447

'
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

1P.SG! !
2P.SG! !
3P.SG! !
1P.PL.INCL!
1P.PL.EXCL!
2P.PL! !
3P.PL! !
3P.OBV! !
4P.!
!

dami'
dana'
data'
dagga
dagge
dadda
dari'
dat'
dao'

'
!
'
!
!
!
!
!
!

I am
you are
X is
we are
we are
you are
they are
X is
one is

The third person singular has the ending -ta with the copula, which differs from the
normal - ending found in verbs. This happens to be identical to the unagentive and
patientive endings of the third person. Thus, one can have the following form:
!

datata' '

X is Y

However, to avoid this redundancy, Siwa speakers will generally replace the
sequence -ta-ta- by - -det- or -et- or -ret-.
!

dadet or daet or daret' '

X is Y or yes

Another unique feature of the copula is the so-called short relative form in the present
oa or alternatively a/va/ra instead of the regular oda. The inferential and the relative
form combine as ue to form a more polite or modest statement.
!
!

nalbi ue at '
soaki ue at'

'
'

this is (my) husband


this is (my) house

In addition, the form ueta is a more polite yes.


!
In copular constructions, the copula is commonly found in a locative case
(deita, deika, gaika). These forms have corresponding shorter forms which do not
distinguish evidentiality. Short forms are more common in younger males. They vary
greatly across dialects:
!
%
%
!
%
%

LONG! !
-eita, -aita %
-eika, -aika%

!
%
%

kesami nori deita'


kesab nori det' '

!
%
%

SHORT!
-et, -e
-e, -et

'
'

I want to learn to sing (standard)


id. (relaxed, familiar)

The