Carrier verbs

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Contents

Introduction

Carrier verbs, like verbs of all Athabaskan languages, are very complicated. They have no convenient dictionary forms, so Carrier dictionaries list many forms of what in English is the same verb. Unlike Spanish verbs that conveniently have a fixed stem at the beginning of all forms of a particular verb, Carrier verbs can undergo changes at the beginning, in the middle and at the end.

Makers are inserted into the verb to indicate person, tense, mode.

Example: hot - zul/zulh

The following is an example of a verb that shows changes in the middle and at the end. The unchanging prefix whu- is called an areal prefix. It indicates that something is happening over an area. The verb stem is zul or zulh.

PRESENT PAST FUTURE
Whunezul. Whunanzul. Whuntezulh.
It is hot. It was hot. It is going to get hot.

Example: cook - liz

Below are the forms of the verb cook in the present tense. The stem is liz.

English Carrier Syllabic
I am cooking usliz ᐅᔆᘦᙆ
you are cooking inliz ᐉᐣᘦᙆ
(s)he is cooking uliz ᐅᘦᙆ
two of us are cooking idudliz ᐉᑐᘬᙆ
two of you are cooking uhliz ᐅᑋᘦᙆ
two of them are cooking huliz ᐳᘦᙆ
we (3+) are cooking ts'uliz ᙩᘦᙆ
you (3+) are cooking uhliz ᐅᑋᘦᙆ
they (3+) are cooking huliz ᐳᘦᙆ

Example: work - (1)'u(2)t'en

Below are the forms of the verb work in the present tense. The verb structure is (1)'u(2)t'en. (1) or (2) may or may not to used for person markers. Some contraction takes place with the person markers.

English Carrier Syllabic
I am working 'ust'en ᐧᐅᔆᗥᐣ
you are working 'int'en ᐧᐉᐣᗥᐣ
(s)he is working 'ut'en ᐧᐅᗥᐣ
two of us are working 'idut'en ᐧᐉᑐᗥᐣ
two of you are working 'uht'en ᐧᐅᑋᗥᐣ
two of them are working 'uhut'en ᐧᐅᐳᗥᐣ
we (3+) are working 'uts'ut'en ᐧᐅᙩᗥᐣ
you (3+) are working 'uht'en ᐧᐅᑋᗥᐣ
they (3+) are working 'uhut'en ᐧᐅᐳᗥᐣ

Example: play

Carrier verb play

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