Download Sema Book

wya occurs when the state of the action referred to by the verb is not stated (stative indeterminative).
y occurs as an alternative form to kè after the progressive marker. The form with y however is of low frequency and
zero whenever the context indicates the past tense, no past tense marker is taken and the verb root in itself would indicate the past tense.
(ii)Present tense.-
It was already mentioned that Sema does not have a simple present tense. The present tense is available only with the aspects. The present tense marker nì occurs after the aspectual marker. It has no positional variant.
(iii)Future tense.-
The future tense marker is nanì. It has two other positional variants viz., nì and wì. The forms nanì and nì are in free variation, though there is a slight semantic difference in these forms, in that the form with nì is less certain than the one with nanì. Further stylistically, nanì is more appropriate. wì occurs after the probability marker.
(b) Aspects
There are two aspects in Sema, viz., progressive and habitual. The markers along with their positional variants of these aspects are stated below
Progressive aspect.- The marker for the progressive aspect is a. It has a positional variant, viz. cé. Whereas a occurs with stationary verbs,
Habitual aspect.-
The marker for habitual aspect is cé. It has a positional variant ace. Whereas ce occurs with stationary verbs ace occurs with mobility verbs.
(c) Modals :
The modal markers do not have any positional variants.
The occurrence of the variable grammatical classes like the nouns, pronouns, numerals, verbs along with their grammatical categories were discussed in the preceding sections. Then it was also stated that a clear distinction between morphological vs syntactical construction is not always possible. And therefore, this analysis has more of a functional basis. Accordingly, the post positions which form a sub-class of invariables were discussed along with the case relations. In this section, it is proposed to discuss the other invariables occurring in this language. These are : the adjectives,the adverbs and particles. A discussion of the occurrences of these invariables beginning with the adjectives follows :
3.4.1. Adjectives
An adjective was defined (vide 3.1.) as that sub-class of invariables which on the syntagmatic axis functions as an attribute of a noun, as in :
kaku kize `big book’
kaku kiwi
`good book’
ilimì kiwi
`good dame’
asbo kúsuo
`tall tree’ etc.
and is capable of functioning’ as the nucleus of an adjective phrase as in :
yono yono kize
`very very big’
kutumo kt
`too many’ etc.
and is capable of occurring alone in the NP2, position in equation type of sentences, as in :
pa nheyce `he (is) blind’
apuye akipici
`the boy (is) lazy’
atoye khemai
`the hill (is) high’ etc.
The adjectives in this type of construction could be claimed morphologically as verbs, as in this type of sentences, the adjectives are capable of taking past tense marker as in :
hiye kize
`it (is) big’
hiye kizekè1
`it was big’
hiye kize sinanì
`It will be big’
(lit. it big do will)

1. In this type of construction, the verb for `do’ si is dropped both in the present and past tense. However, in the past tense, the tense marker appears after the adjective. It might be noted that the Tibeto-Burman languages being of agglutinative nature had suffixes which were worn away and lost their significances, resulting into monosyllabic words. Modifications in terms of time, place etc. are done by compounding, i.e., by adding to the root a new word having a meaning of its own without incorporating with the main word. Therefore in this particular instance, the occurrence of the past tense marker after an adjective cannot be considered as an inflection of an adjective, rather as an instance of the deletion of the principal verb.







Sema Index Page
FeedBack | Contact Us | Home
ciil grammar footer