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While only a single morpheme, viz., a occurring in anì `is/has’ ay `was/had’is available for the locative verb, all the other verbs form the non-locative verbs which hereafter would be designated as principal verbs. Principal verbs
The principal verbs in their turn could be further sub-grouped into two inter-secting groups viz. motion verbs vs stationary verbs on the one hand and transitive verbs vs intransitive verbs, on the other hand. A brief discussion of these intersecting groups follows. Stationary v/s motion verbs
The principal verbs in Sema could in the first instance be sub-divided into two, viz., motion verbs and stationary verbs. The formal criterion for such a sub-grouping is the selection of a or cé for the progressive marker of different verbs, as in :
z anì is sleeping (stationary)
asi cúanì is eating meat (stationary)
wú cénì is going (motion)
alace cénì is walking’ (motion)
At the sementic level, the difference between the two types of verbs lies in whether the action denoted by the verb is done whilest the doer is in the motion or from a stationary point. Hence words like ithulu `see’ chu `dig’ he `strike’ pepu `dress (v)’ etc. denoting actions done whilest the doer is at a stationary point are designated as `stationary verbs’ whereas verbs like Pe `carry on hand’ wú `go’ ilace `walk’ etc. denoting actions which require the doer to move from one place to another are designated as `motion verbs’. The terms like stative vs activity verbs are not used primarily because they have different connotation, for instance, in English, the verb like: thick, know, understand, hate, etc., are considered stative verbs because they `refer to a state of affairs rather than and Greebaum (1973 : 15) state that `when verbs either habitually or in certain uses will not admit the progressive, they are called the stative. When they will admit, they are called dynamic’. Thus the basic criterion that differentiates the oppositional terms stative vs activity/dynamic is whether or not a verb is capable of taking the progressive aspect marker, whereas in Sema all the principal verbs are capable of taking the progressive marker. Hence a different set of oppositional terms are used. Transitive v/s intransitive
The principal verbs in Sema can be sub-grouped on another axis, i.e., on the basis of the ability or inability of the verbs occurring in a sentence without a direct object. Some verbs like cú `eat’ tha `cut’ ithulu `see’ thoFi `give’ etc. must necessarily have a directo object, whereas some other verbs like wú `go’ alace `walk’ z ˜ö sleep etc. would not need any object at all, though they may take a predicative complement as in :
Transitive :
ino isi pa ithulu I saw him today
niye akha cúkè I ate the fish
pano aFau hexlu he hits a bird
amsino akichizccénì the cow gives milk (hab.)
Intransitive :
anuhu iluki anì the child is falling
paye wúwe he went
paye hile iiwe he came here
paye arutulo iiwe he came to the garden
pa as kholo zanì he is sleeping under the tree etc.
Therefore the principal verbs in Sema that must necessarily take a noun/pronoun as a direct object form one sub-group of verbs which is designated as transitive verbs and the remaining as intransitive verbs. Diatransitive verbs
The transitive verbs in their turn could be further sub-divided into two, for instance, a verb like cö `give’ would need two object whereas another verb like si `cook (v)’ need only one object, as in :
ino kakulakhì pa c `I give him a book’
ino alikhuli siwya `I cooked food’ etc.
The transitive verbs in Sema could, therefore, be further sub-grouped into two, viz., those verbs that take a single object and those that must necessarily have two objects. The former is designated as monotransitive and the latter as diatransitive verb.
In resume, it may be stated that a verb in Sema is capable of taking the tense, modal, aspectual and causative markers. A verb in Sema could also be used either in active or passive voice.







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