Tuesday 20 June 2017

Verb System Quick Update.

This is a new page describing the updated verb system for Diinlang. See here for changes to pronouns and definite article.

The most recent change is that I have changed the past tense marker to “wen”, taken from Hawaiian Creole. This frees up the word “pre” for other uses, such as meaning “before”. The future marker, “gon” was also from Hawaiian Creole. The progressive affix has recently been changed to “is-” and the perfect marker to “dun-”. “ge-” makes a clause passive.

These markers are used in a set order:

Wen/ gon ; (zou) ; dun ; is- ; ge-

If you know a statement will be past continuous you will know to place “wen” before “is”. If a statement is future passive progressive “gon”, “is”, “ge” is the correct order. A past perfect statement uses “wen dun”. A conditional perfect statement uses “zou dun”.

is-” and “ge-” are used as prefixes when creating active and passive adjectives. It needs to be decided if this is also done with verbal usage. For passive progressive marking they may be combined into one word “isge”.

I have made a little progress towards modal verbs/ markers. In addition to the conditional “zou” we possibly have:

Fi –indicating obligation, ie “should”, “ought to”.

Afi -indicating necessity.

Gofi -indicating inceptive, intent, planned actions etc.

(Adapted from Jamaican Patois)

Simple Present, Past and Future.
        These are formed with the bare infinitive and a tense marker if necessary. When a verb in future or past tense is being used as a copula the infinitive may be dropped if the meaning remains clear.

Mi du

I do

Zo du

He does

Zo wen du

He did

Zo gon du

He will do/ He is going to do.

Za zou du

She would do

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
        Transitivity is flexible. If an object is added after an intransitive verb, the verb becomes transitive. This may alter the meaning of the verb so that it has a meaning similar to “causes (the object) to …”
        Compare the English “I burn”. with “I burn it.”

Progressive/ Continuous Aspect.
        The progressive/continuous aspect is formed using the “
is-” prefix. In English this verb aspect is accompanied by some form of the auxiliary/copular verb “to be”. In Diinlang the addition of the auxiliary is not necessary.

Mi isdu

I am doing

Zo isdu

He is doing

Zo wen isdu

He was doing

Zo gon isdu

He will be doing/ He is going to be doing.

Za zou isdu

She would be doing

Perfect Aspect.
        The perfect aspect is formed using “
dun”. In English this verb aspect is accompanied by some form of the auxiliary verb “to have”. In Diinlang the addition of the auxiliary is not necessary. Perfect aspect in regular English verbs takes an –ed ending. Many irregular verbs take –en as an ending (eaten, riden, beaten etc).

Mi dun du

I have done

Zo dun du

He has done

Zo wen dun du

He had done

Zo gon dun du 

He will have done/ He going to have done.

Za zou dun du

She would have done

Perfect Progressive.
        The perfect and progressive (continuous) aspects can be combined, usually in referring to the completed portion of a continuing action or temporary state: “I have been doing…” In Diinlang this is formed by combination of “
dun before a continuous form of the main verb.

Mi dun isdu

I have been doing

Zo dun isdu

He has been doing

Zo wen dun isdu

He had been doing

Zo gon dun isdu

He will have been doing/ He going to have been doing

Za zou dun isdu

She would have been doing.

Passive Voice.
        To form the passive voice (where the subject denotes the undergoer, or patient, of the action) the prefix “
ge-” is used. In English passive voice is formed either with the verb “to be” or “to get” and a past-participle verb form. “get” is used in the meaning of “becoming” or “becomes”. (Remember perfect tense uses “have” with the past participle form in English) If “to be” can be replaced with “to get” or “to become” without a loss of meaning the sentence is passive voice and requires the “ge-” prefix in Diinlang. Some perfect construction clauses are inherently passive. “It ge du” and “It dun du” have the same meaning.
        In many languages the passive voice is formed by a combination of the perfect form of the verb used with the verb for “to be”. This construction may also be used in Diinlang. Often in Diinlang there will be more than one correct way to do something!



Tense and Aspect.

Past-Participle/ Infinitive.

Present passive


is/ gets/ becomes


Past passive


were/ got/ became
wen ge-


Future passive


will be/ get/ become
gon ge-


Present perfect passive


has been/ has got/ has become
dun ge-


Past perfect passive


had been/ had got/ had became
wen dun ge-


Future perfect passive


will have been/ will have got/ will have became
gon dun ge-


Present progressive passive


is being/ is getting/ is becoming


Past progressive passive


was being/ was getting/ was becoming
wen isge-


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