Conjugating in Miwonša

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Plusquamperfekt
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Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Plusquamperfekt »

Hello people, in this thread I would like to show you how conjugation works in Miwonša.

Lesson 1: The imperfective present tense:

In Miwonša, verbs can agree both with the subject and with the direct object. The standard order of morphemes is usually stem+subject agreement+object agreement+aspect marker (all verbs are in the present tense unless you add more affixes). However, sometimes agreement markers are omitted. In lesson 1, we will only learn how to conjugate verbs in the imperfective present tense. Basically, Miwonša has a tense/aspect system that isn't completely alike but resembles the tense/ aspect systems you can find in most Slavic languages:

(The letters á, é, í, ó, ú are not part of the official orthography. As in Russian, these letters are only used to help learners putting the stress at the right place)

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1a. Kjóniman pháiši. - I am watching a move (present imperfective)
1b. Kjoním phaiši. - I will watch a movie. (present perfective)*
1c. Kjomimúi phaiši. - I will be watching a movie. (future tense)
1d. Kjoyániman phaiši. - I was watching a movie. (past imperfective)
1e. Kjoyaním phaiši. - I watched a movie. (past perfective)
1f. Kjónimai phaiši. - I would watch a movie. (conditional present)
1g. Kjoyánimai phaiši. - I would have watched a movie. (conditional past)

* "Present perfective" may sound like a contradition, but it is used in a different way than the perfective future tense in Polish or Russian. These differences will be explained later. In the future tense and in the conditionals, Miwonša does not differentiate between perfective and imperfective situations. 
In Miwonša, all infinitives end in "-iwa" or "-a". However, there is a morpho-phonological alternation at the end of the verb stem: The letters <p, t, k, f, s, h, l, ts> turn into <pj, c, kj, fj, sj, hj, lj, tsj> if the next suffix starts with an <-a>. Compare the following sentences:

2a Yéžiman čwoníwa čwonúšai. - I want to read this book.

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Yež-im-an      čwon-iwa  čwon-uš-ai.
want-1SG-IPFV  read-INF  book-DET-ACC.SG
2b Čwóniman čwonúšai. - I am reading this book.

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Čwon-im-an      čwon-uš-ai.
read-1SG-IPFV   book-DET-ACC.SG
2c Kjúnšo čwonúšai čwonján.

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Kjunš-o     čwon-uš-ai       čwonj-an.
boy-NOM.SG  book-DET-ACC.SG  read-IPFV
In 2a and 2b, the verb stem is "čwon-" because the next vowel is <i>.
In 2c, the verb stem changes to "čwonj" because the next vowel is <a>.

The 6 personal markers are:

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1SG: -im-
2SG: -iš-
3SG: -iw-
1PL: -am-
2PL: -aš-
3PL: -aw- 
Compare the following sentences:

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3a. Žániman hánzai. = I see the dog.
3b. Žánišan hanzai. = You (sg) see the dog.
3c. Žániwan hanzai. = He/she/it sees the dog.
3d. Žánjaman hanzai. = We see the dog.
3e. Žánjašan hanzai. = You (pl) see the dog.
3f. Žánjawan hanzai. = They see the dog.˙
In some situations, verbs need to contain two agreement markers, namely both for the subject and the direct object.
The agreement markers for the direct object are the same as for the subject. However, in the third person singular and plural, <-iw-> and <-aw-> become <-if-> and <-af->, if the next morphemes starts with the letter <i>. Please have a look at the following sentences:

4a. Žanímišan. - I see you.

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Žan-im-iš-an
see-1SG-2SG-IPFV
4b. Žaníšiman. - You see me.

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Žan-iš-im-an
see-2SG-1SG-IPFV
4c. Hánza žanífiman. - The dog sees me.

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hanz-a     žan-if-im-an
dog-NOM.SG see-3SG-1SG-IPFV
4d. Hánza žaníwaman. - The dog sees us.

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hanz-a     žan-iw-am-an
dog-NOM.SG see-3SG-1PL-IPFV
However, in some situations, you dont need any agreement marker, for instance in:

4e. Hánza káikai žanján.

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Hanz-a      kaik-ai     žanj-an.
dog-NOM.SG  cat-ACC.SG  see-IPFV
So when Do you need agreement markers? The following table gives you an overview. It is important to know that Miwonša is a pro-drop language like Spanish or Polish, just with the difference that direct object pronouns can be dropped as well. Personal pronouns in the nominative and in the accusative case are only used for emphasis. In order to understand the example sentences, please remember the following vocabulary:

kaika - cat (nom: -a; acc: -ai)
hanza - dog (nom: -a; acc: -ai)
žaniwa = to see
lufiwa = to sleep
mi, mai = I, me
ši, šai = you (nom), you (acc)
woi = he/him
wai = she/her
(!) = emphasis

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Type of subject - Type of object            - Subject Agreement - Object Agreement      Example                     Meaning

noun              ---		            no                    ---			Káika lufj-án               The cat is sleeping.
noun              noun                      no                    no                    Hánza káikai žanj-án.       The dog sees the cat.
noun              pronoun (1+2)             yes                   yes                   Hánza mai žan-íf-im-an.     The dog sees me(!).
noun              pronoun (3)               no                    no                    Hanza woi žanj-án.          The dog sees him(!).
noun              omitted (1+2)             yes                   yes                   Hanza žan-íf-im-an.         The dog sees me.
noun              omitted (3)               yes                   yes                   Hanza žan-íf-iw-an.         The dog sees him/her/it.

pronoun (1+2+3)	  ---		            yes			  ---                   Mi lúf-im-an.               I(!) am sleeping.
pronoun (1+2+3)	  noun                      yes		     	  no                    Mi hánzai žán-im-an.        I(!) see the dog.     
pronoun (1+2+3)	  pronoun (1+2)             yes                   yes                   Mi šai žan-ím-iš-an.        I(!) see you(!)
pronoun (1+2+3)   pronoun (3)               yes                   no                    Mi woi žan-ím-iw-an.        I(!) see him(!)
pronoun (1+2+3)   omitted (1+2)             yes                   yes                   Mi žan-ím-iš-an.            I(!) see you.
pronoun (1+2+3)   omitted (3)               yes                   yes                   Mi žan-ím-iw-an.            I(!) see him/her/it.

omitted (1+2+3)	  ---		            yes			  ---                   Lúfiman.                    I am sleeping.
omitted (1+2+3)	  noun                      yes			  no                    Žán-im-an hánzai.           I see the dog.
omitted (1+2+3)	  pronoun (1+2)             yes                   yes                   Žan-ím-iš-an šai.           I see you(!).
omitted (1+2+3)   pronoun (3)               yes                   no                    Žán-im-an woi.              I see him(!).
omitted (1+2+3)   omitted (1+2)             yes                   yes                   Žan-ím-iš-an.               I see you.
omitted (1+2+3)   omitted (3)               yes                   yes                   Žan-ím-iw-an.               I see him/her/it.
Last edited by Plusquamperfekt on 14 Apr 2022 17:56, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Plusquamperfekt »

Exercises: Can you translate the following sentences into Miwonša?

Vocabulary first:
kjunšo = boy (-o = nom.sg/ -oi = acc.sg)
wanca = girl (-a = nom.sg / -ai = acc.sg)
kjunši = boys (nom and acc)
wance = girls (nom and acc)
kjaniwa = love

Pronouns

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              NOM    ACC

1SG           mi     mai
2SG           ši     šai
3SG.MASC      woi    woi
3SG.FEM       wai    wai
3SG.NEUTR     sja    sjai

1PL           mika   mikai
2PL           šika   šikai
3PL           wei    wei
(Don't worry about word order. Miwonša allows both SVO and SOV. However, if the subject is omitted, the object generally comes after the verb)

(1) The boy loves the girl.
(2) The girl loves the boy.
(3) I love you.
(4) You love me.
(5) I love the girl.
(6) The girl loves me.
(7) You (sg) love the boy.
(8) The boy loves you (sg).
(9) The boys love the girls.
(10) The boys love us.
(11) We love you (sg).
(12) We love you (pl).
(13) The girls love the boys.
(14) He loves me.
(15) I love him.
(16) You (sg) love her.
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Re: Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Plusquamperfekt »

Lesson 2: The perfective present tense:

The perfective present tense can be formed very easily. You just need to drop the suffix <-an>. However, in the 3rd person, the suffixes <-iw/-if> and <-af/-aw> get replaced by <-it> and <-at>, respectively, when they come at the end of the word:

haipiwa = to cook
minha = dinner

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Haipiman minhai. - I am cooking dinner. (imperfective)
Haipim minhai. - I am cooking dinner. (perfective)

Haipišan minhai. - You (sg) are cooking dinner. (imperfective)
Haipišan minhai. - You (sg) are cooking dinner. (perfective)

Haipiwan minhai. - He/she is cooking dinner. (imperfective)
Haipit minhai. - He/she is cooking dinner. (perfective)

Haipjaman minhai. - We are cooking dinner. (imperfective)
Haipjam minhai. - We are cooking dinner. (perfective)

Haipjašan minhai. - You (pl) are cooking dinner (imperfective)
Haipjaš minhai. - You (pl) are cooking dinner (perfective)

Haipjawan minhai. - They (pl) are cooking dinner (imperfective)
Haipjat minhai. -They (pl) are cooking dinner (perfective)

So what is the basic difference between the present imperfective and the present perfective?
FIrst and foremost, the present perfective can only be used for telic actions that started in the past, but will be finished in the near future. You use a perfective verb in the present tense in order to emphasize that you are going to complete the action soon, while the imperfective verb just points out what you are currently occupied with. Please take a look at the following example:

(1) Žai thuškiši mai, haipiman minhai! - Don't disturb me, I am cooking dinner!
(2) Žai mič čokolatai, haipim minhai! - Don't eat chocolate, I am cooking dinner!

In the first sentence, "haipiman minhai" means that the person is busy with the cooking, so she cannot pay attention to something else.
In the second example, "haipim minhai" means that the person is about to finish the cooking soon, which is why the children are not supposed to eat chocolate.

Another usage of the perfective present tense is to point out that an action is punctual and not durative:

(1) Žweniwan pra mai. - He is talking about me. (ipfv)
(2) Kwonšit, stai mi klapsi! - He says (pfv) that I am crazy.

"Žweniwa" ("to speak" or "to talk") is a durative action, while "kwonša" (to say) is punctual and telic. You can say something only once and then the action is performed.

For habitual or repeated actions, you generally use the imperfective aspect:
(1) Wonti cacakjan han lažwoš. - The children were knocking (ipfv) on the table.
(2) Wonco cacakit han škinaš. - The child knocked (pfv) at the door.

In the first example you use the imperfective aspect because the children are repeatedly knocking on the table (for example in order to disturb the lesson). In the second sentence, you use the perfective aspect because the knocking only takes place once.

As for general statements, you usually also use the imperfective aspect:

"Thanpo Eiffel ljonšan wa Paris." (The Eiffel tower is in Paris).
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Re: Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Lorik »

Plusquamperfekt wrote: "Žweniwa" ("to speak" or "to talk") is a durative action, while "kwonša" (to say) is punctual and telic. You can say something only once and then the action is performed.
So what you're saying is that "žweniwa" can only be imperfective and "kwonša" can only be perfective?
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Re: Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Plusquamperfekt »

No, the verb "kwonša" (to say) could be used with the imperfective aspect if it is a habitual action (like in "My father constantly says that I should lose weight.") or to emphasize that someone hasn't finished his sentence yet ("My uncle got shot while he was saying his final prayer.")

"Žweniwa" (to speak, to talk) can be used with the perfective aspect, but only if you want to make clear that there will be some kind of result or agreement between you and your partner. For example, "Žwenjaman pra šai" would mean "We are talking about you.", while "Žwenjam pra šai" rather means that we are having a discussion which will have a specific outcome.

Let's take a look at the lexical aspects, which were proposed by Comrie in 1976. Comrie stated that there are 5 types of lexical aspects (aktionsart): Achievements, accomplishments, semelfactives, activities and states: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexical_aspect

I will give you one example for each lexical aspect and than see what happens if we add or leave out the suffix an:

(1) static (atelic): zužiwa (to know), kjaniwa (to love)
Static verbs are usually used with the imperfective aspect, but they have the tendency to become incho-active when used with the perfective aspect:

Ipfv.: Zužiwan sjai. = He knows that. / Er weiß das. / Él lo sabe.
Pfv.: Zužit sjai. = He gets to know that. / Er erfährt das. / Él se entera de eso.

Ipfv.: Miwkimišan. = I love you. / Ich liebe dich. / Te amo.
Pfv.: Miwkimiš. = I start loving you. / Ich fange an, dich zu lieben./ Estoy empezando a amarte.

(2) Semelfactive verbs (punctual + atelic): cacakiwa (to knock), kahančiwa (to cough)
Semelfactive verbs are usually used with the perfective aspect. However, if you use them with the imperfective aspect, they become iterative or even activities.

Pfv.: Wonco kahančit. = The child coughs (once).
Ipfv.: Wonco kahančan. = The child is coughing (all day long).

Pfv: Wonco cacakit han škinaš. = The child knocks on the door (once).
Ipfv.: Wonco cacakjan han lažwoš. = The child is knocking on the table. (constantly, maybe to annoy the teacher).

(3) Activities (durative + atelic): šakiwa (to dance), mičiwa (to eat)
Activites are always used with the imperfective aspect. If you use activities with the perfective aspect, they become accomplishments:

Šakiman. = I am dancing.
Čwoniman. = I am reading (something).
Mičiman. = I am eating (something.

Čwonim čhaitiskai. = I am reading the (whole) article. => Accomplishment.
Mičim tunfoi. = I am eating the (whole) apple. => Accomplishment.

(4) Accomplishments (durative + telic): čwoniwa (to read), mičiwa (to eat)
Accomplishments can be used both with the imperfective aspect and the perfective aspect. However, the imperfective aspect emphasises the progressiveness of the action, while the perfective aspect emphasises the completion of the action:

Čwoniman čhaitiskai. = I am reading the newspaper article. (=> I am currently busy.)
Čwonim čhaitiskai. = I am reading the (whole) newspaper article. (=> Soon I will have completed that task.)

Mičiman tunfoi. = I am eating the apple. (process)
Mičim tunfoi. = I am eating the apple. (completion)

(5) Achievements (punctual + telic): kwonša (to say), atwiwa (to open))
Accomplishments are usually used with the perfective aspect, unless you want to point out that an action takes place repeatedly, habitually or that it has not yet been completed:

Tuškan maya kwonšit, stai mi klapsi. = My friend says I am crazy. (He just said that right now.)
Tuškan maya kwonšan, stai mi klapsi. My friend always says/ constantly says that I am crazy.)

Atwim škinai. = I open the door. (now)
Atwiman škinai. = I open the door every morning. / I am in the process of opening the door (when something else happens)

Rule of thumb:
If you want to say what you are currently busy with, what you have not yet completed, what you do regularly or repeatedly, use the imperfective aspect.
If you want to say what you are about to get done, if something is about to start or if an action just takes one second to perform, use the perfective aspect.
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Re: Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Lorik »

Got it now, thank you very much for the detailed explanation!
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Re: Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Plusquamperfekt »

Lesson 3: The past imperfective and the past perfective

Forming the past tense in Miwonša is quite easy: You just insert the infix <ya> or <wa> into the stem.
The infix is inserted right behind the last vowel in the stem. <ya> is used after the vowels <a, an, e, en, o, on, u, un>, <wa> is used after the vowels <i, in>. If the last vowel of the stem is nasal, the nasality is shifted to the vowel of the infix:

(Note: <á, é, í, ó, ú> are not officially used in the orthography of Miwonša. These letters are just supposed to help you to stress the correct syllable while reading the examples)

Examples:

kičíwa = to play
Wónco kičán. = The child is playing.
Wónco wačan. = The child was playing.
˙
sonžíwa = to sing
Waškán sonžán. = The man is singing.
Waškán yaan. = The man was singing.

lufíwa = to sleep
Škónja lufján. = The woman is sleeping.
Škónja yafjan. = The woman was sleeping.

mičíwa
Káika mičán. = The cat is eating.
Káika wačan. = The cat was eating.

However, in some verbs, <ya> is not used as an infix, but as a prefix. This is especially true for verbs that contain the diphtong <iw> in the stem and some verbs with many palatal consonants in the stem:

njelíwa = cry
Máca njelján. = The mother is crying.
Máca [/u]njelj[/u]an = The mother was crying. (irregular pronunciation: yaniljan)

síwka = drink
Káika siwkján. = The cat is drinking.
Káika yásiwkjan.


Of course, <ya> and <wa> can also be combined with agreement markers:

Čwóniman sjai. = I am reading that. (present imperfective)
Čwoním sjai. = I have almost finished reading that./ I will have read that soon. (present perfective)
Čwoyániman sjai. = I was reading that./ I used to read that. (past imperfective)
Čwoyaním sjai. = I read that./ I have read that. (past perfective)

How to use the past perfective and the past imperfective tense:

Similar to Slavic languages, the imperfective aspect is used for ongoing, continuous or simultaneous actions and for habitual actions, while the perfective aspect is used to emphasize the completion of an action, to describe consecutive actions, punctual actions (semelfactive verbs) or even to indicate the start of an action (incho-active verbs). However, one important difference between Miwonša and Slavic languages is that Slavic languages generally use the imperfective aspect to describe single actions that happened in the past, when there is no reference to the beginning, to the start or the completion of the action. In Miwonša, however, you would use the perfective aspect in this case. Therefore, the usage of the perfective and imperfective aspect in the past tense is more comparable to the way how you use Indefinido and Imperfecto in Spanish or Passé Simple and Imparfait in French:

Čwai ruyačiš žwora? - What did you do yesterday? - Qué hiciste ayer? - Qu'est-ce que tu as fait hier ? - Co robiłeś wczoraj? - Что ты вчера делал?
Kjoyanim phaiši. - I watched a movie. - Vi una película. - J'ai vu un film. - Oglądałem film. - Я смотрел фильм.

While French and Spanish use the perfective aspect here, Polish and Russian require the imperfective aspect. Miwonša uses the perfective aspect here as well, just like French and Spanish.
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Re: Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Plusquamperfekt »

Summary of what we have learned so far:

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SLOT 1        SLOT 2              SLOT 3                  SLOT 4                      SLOT 5
stem          past marker         subject agreement       object agreement            aspect marker


stem          <ya> - past         <im> 1SG.NOM            <im> 1SG.ACC                <an> IPFV
              <wa> - past         <iš> 2SG.NOM            <iš> 2SG.ACC                 <Ø> PFV

                                  <iw> 3SG.NOM            <iw> 3SG.ACC
                                       (<if>)                    
                                  <it> 3SG.NOM.PFV        <it> 3SG.ACC.PFV

                                  <am> 1PL.NOM            <am> 1PL.ACC
                                  <aš> 2PL.NOM            <aš> 2PL.ACC

                                  <aw> 3PL.NOM            <aw> 3PL.ACC
                                       (<af>)
                                  <at> 3PL.NOM.PFV        <at> 3PL.ACC.PFV 
                                  
Note: The perfective suffixes <-it> and <-at> can only be used once. If the verb has subject agreement, <it> and <at> appear only in the third slot. But if the verb also contains object agreement, <-it> and <-at> can only appear in the 4th slot. <-if-> and <-af-> are used before the vowel <i>, <-iw-> and <-aw-> before all other vowels.
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Re: Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Lorik »

I've tried to do the exercises. How did I do?

(1) Kjunšo kjanjan wancai.
(2) Wanca kjanjan kjunšoi.
(3) Kjanimišan.*
(4) Kjanišimjan.*
(5) Kjanimjan wancai.
(6) Wanca kjanifimjan.
(7) Kjanišan kjunšoi.
(8) Kjunšo kjanifišan.
(9) Kjunši kjanjan wance.
(10) Kjunši kjanjawamjan.
(11) Kjanamišan.
(12) Kjanamjašan.
(13) Wance kjanjan kjunšoi.
(14) Woi kjanifimjan.
(15) Kjanimjan woi.
(16) Kjanišan wai.

*I'm assuming the "you" in phrases 3 and 4 is singular.
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Re: Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Plusquamperfekt »

Just some minor mistakes, especially with the morpho-phonological alternations. The thing is: The alternation does not occur after suffixes, only after the stem. :)

When the subject and the object are nouns, SOV is more common than SVO. SVO is possible, but mainly used for highlighting the object.

Kjunšo wancai kjanjan. = The boy loves the/a girl.
Kjunšo kjanjan wancai. = The boy loves the girl (and not his dog) :)

(1) The boy loves the girl. - Kjunšo wancai kjanjan .
(2) The girl loves the boy. - Wanca kjunšoi kjanjan .
(3) I love you. - Kjanimišan.
(4) You love me. Kjanišiman
(5) I love the girl. - Kjaniman wancai.
(6) The girl loves me. Wanca kjanifiman.
(7) You (sg) love the boy. - Kjanišan kjunšoi.
(8) The boy loves you (sg). - Kjunšo kjanifišan.
(9) The boys love the girls. - Kjunši wance kjanjan .
(10) The boys love us. - Kjunši kjanjawamjan.
(11) We love you (sg). - Kjanjamišan
(12) We love you (pl). - Kjanamašan.
(13) The girls love the boys. - Wance kjunši kjanjan.
(14) He loves me. - (Woi) kjanifiman.
(15) I love him. - Kjaniman woi./ Kjanimiwan.
(16) You (sg) love her. - Kjanišan wai. / Kjanišiwan.
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Re: Conjugating in Miwonša

Post by Plusquamperfekt »

Lesson 4: The future tense

The future tense is formed quite easily. You just need to replace the imperfective aspect marker <an> with the suffix <ui> in the 1st and 2nd person and <ao> in the 3rd person. One important irregularity is that the agreement markers <-iw-> and <-aw-> are changed to <-iy-> and <-ay-> before <ao>-

Code: Select all

[code]
zužiman - I know            zužimui - I will know
zužišan - you know          zužišui - you will know
zužiwan - he/she/it knows   zužiyao - he/she/it will know
zužaman - we know           zužamui - we will know
zužašan - you know          zužašui - you will know
zužawan - they know         zužayao - they will know
Update of the slot model:

Code: Select all

SLOT 1        SLOT 2              SLOT 3                  SLOT 4                      SLOT 5
stem          past marker         subject agreement       object agreement            aspect marker


stem          <ya> - past         <im> 1SG.NOM            <im> 1SG.ACC                <an>  IPFV
              <wa> - past         <iš> 2SG.NOM            <iš> 2SG.ACC                <Ø>   PFV
                                                                                      <ui>  1P.FUT/ 2P.FUT
                                  <iw> 3SG.NOM            <iw> 3SG.ACC                <ao>  3P.FUT
                                       (<if>)
                                       (<iy>)                 (<iy>)                    
                                  <it> 3SG.NOM.PFV        <it> 3SG.ACC.PFV

                                  <am> 1PL.NOM            <am> 1PL.ACC
                                  <aš> 2PL.NOM            <aš> 2PL.ACC

                                  <aw> 3PL.NOM            <aw> 3PL.ACC
                                       (<af>)
                                       (<ay>)                 (<ay>)
                                  <at> 3PL.NOM.PFV        <at> 3PL.ACC.PFV 
                                  
                                  
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