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It is formed by the particle kenì following the verb in the probability1, as in :
wúluwi kenì
`might go’
asi cúluwi kenì
`might eat meat’
zluwi kenì
`might sleep’
wúlumlawi kenì
`might not go’
asi cúlumlawi kenì
`might not eat meat etc.
Conditional mood
It expresses a condition for doing an action specified. In other words, the probability of the occurrence of the action specified would depend upon the performance or the taking place of another action or event. In Sema it is expressed by two different particles viz., cala and aye, the former occurring at the beginning and the latter at the end of the subordinate clause, as in :
cala pano ii aye niye únanì
`I will go if he come’s (lit. if he come if I go will).
cala nono ii aye niye únanì
`I will go if you come’ etc.
From the examples given above, it could be seen that of the two particles used for indicating the conditional modal, the particle cala precedes the subordinate clause and the particle aye follows the subordinate clause. And the entire subordinate clause in its turn precedes the principal clause. It is, however, possible to have the subordinate clause following the principal clause. In such instances, cala which precedes the subordinate clause is not used and only aye occurs as usual at the end of the subordinate clause, which in this instance would also be the end of the sentence, as in :
niye únanì nono ii aye
`I will go if you come’
The use of this type of construction is however, of low frequency -
Intersection of aspects and modals with the tenses
None of the modals except the indicative which is unmarked can combine with the two aspects available in Sema. Both the modals and the aspects individually combine with the tenses. For instance, while the habitual aspect can combine only with past and present tense, the progressive aspect can combine with all the three tenses, as in :
li akiphikìlo wúacey
`she used to go to school’
li akiphikìlo wúacenì `she goes to school regularly’
li asi cúay
`she was eating meat’
li asi cúanì
`she is eating meat’
li asi cúananì
`she will be eating meat’
li hile ay
`she was here’
li hile anì
`she is here’
li hile ananì
`she will be here’
As far as the modals are concerned, only the potential modal can combine with tenses, i.e., it shows a two-way opposition between a past and a non-past potential modal, as in :
wúlu nanì
`can go’
`could go’
In all instances where the intersection of the tenses with the aspects and modals take place, they are indicated overtly by the aspects and modals concerned taking the appropriate tense markers. Positional variants : Tense and aspects
(a) Tenses
The Sema language has three tenses, viz., past, present and future. The respective tense morphemes along with their positional variants are given below:

(i) Past tense. - The past tense has altogether eight positional variants. The are wè, kè, wà, we, e, wya, y and zero.

The distribution of these positional variants are as under :

wè is the marker for remote past.

kè occurs when the quantum of action of the verb concerned is specified. It also occurs after the progressive aspectual marker.

wà occurs when the subject of the sentence is either I or III person and the quantum of the action of the verb is unspecified.

we occurs when the subject of the sentence is a II person and the quantum of the action of the verb is unspecified. This could occur as an alternant form with wà when the subject of the sentence is a III person.

e occurs when the action referred to by the verb is in the same state (stative determinative) e also occcurs with the potential modal.







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