Ithkuil: A Philosophical Design for a Hypothetical Language


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5a Verb Morphology
9 Syntax
Introduction
5b Verb Morphology (continued)
10 Lexico-Semantics
1 Phonology
6 More Verb Morphology
11 The Script
  2 Morpho-Phonology  7a Using Affixes 12 The Number System
   3 Basic Morphology 7b Using Affixes (continued) The Lexicon
  4 Case Morphology   8 Adjuncts Revised Ithkuil: Ilaksh

 

Chapter 6: Additional Verb Morphology

6.1 Validation 6.4 Aspect
6.2 Phase 6.5 Mood
6.3 Sanction 6.6 Bias

In this chapter, we examine six additional morphological categories which apply to verbal formatives: Validation, Phase, Sanction, Aspect, Mood and Bias. Like the categories of Valence, Version, Conflation/Derivation, Format, Modality and Level in the previous chapter, these six categories are manifested within the morpho-phonological structure of a specialized adjunct, in this instance called an aspectual adjunct.

The structure of an aspectual adjunct is (CB-)VA-CX-(VS-(CB)) where VA and Vs are vocalic affixes indicating aspect, Cx is a consonantal infix indicating validation, phase and sanction, and CB is an optional consonantal prefix or suffix indicating Bias. Mood is indicated by the tone and stress pattern of the adjunct as a whole. VA represents either a single vowel, diphthong, or dissyllabic two-vowel combination (e.g., -ia-, -ua-); and Cx represents a single- or dual-consonant conjunct (e.g., -k-, -tt-, -šp-). Not all parts of this archetypical structure may manifest themselves in any given aspectual adjunct. For example, some adjuncts may show only aspect or mood, some show validation or phase only, or any combination of these categories. These variations are described below.

  1. If an aspectual adjunct is being used to show Validation, Phase, and Sanction only (i.e., it is not showing Aspect), it takes the form a + Cx (+ a), where Cx represents a single, geminate, or biconsonantal consonantal form as described above. The a- prefix distinguishes the word as an aspectual adjunct, and the (+ a) suffix is present if necessary to comply with Ithkuil phonological constraints (see Sec. 1.4.1). There are 81 Cx affix representing a combination of one of nine validations with one of nine phases, each of which in turn mutates into eight additional forms depending on which of nine sanctions applies to the associated verb (see Sec. 6.3 below on Sanction). These affixes are shown in Table 18 below. Examples. ar, ac, axx, aks, akká, amra.
  2. If an aspectual adjunct shows a single aspect, it takes the form VA + Cx (+ a), where Va is the vocalic aspectual prefix followed by the consonantal Cx affix (i.e., the validation-phase-sanction affix). Examples: eur, oks, iakka.
  3. If an aspectual adjunct shows two aspects, it takes the form VA + Cx + Vs, that is two aspectual vowel forms, the first in as a prefix, the second as a suffix, separated by the validation-phase-sanction consonantal affix. Examples: eurai, ňksëi, iakkua.

Having explained the structure of the aspectual adjunct, we now turn to an explanation of the six morphological categories it manifests.

 

6.1 VALIDATION

Technically, Validation expresses the degree or type of evidence supporting a statement, a grammatical requirement of Ithkuil. Such categories are usually termed “evidentials” or “factives” in various non-Western languages which have them. However, Validation imparts more than simply the evidential verifiability of a statement; it also operates in conjunction with Mood (see Section 6.5 below) to indicate the precise factuality of a statement, i.e., to what extent it is likely or certain that the statement is, in fact, valid or real. We will see that Ithkuil moods generally indicate the factuality of a statement as being either certain or uncertain. Validation in turn “fine tunes” this distinction into levels of nuance, corresponding to various English phrases which convey the specific validity of a statement, e.g., “must be so, likely that, unlikely, perhaps, supposedly, presumably, apparently” etc. The nine validations are CONFIRMATIVE, REPORTIVE, INTUITIVE, INFERENTIAL, PRESUMPTIVE, CONJECTURAL, TENTATIVE, PUTATIVE and HORTATIVE. As explained above, they are shown in conjunction with the categories of Phase and Sanction (see Secs. 6.2 and 6.3 below) by means of the Cx consonantal affix to an aspectual adjunct. The values for these infixes are shown in the tables below. The specific usage of each validation is explained following the tables.


Tables 18 (a i): Cx Affixes By Validation, Phase and Sanction


Table 18(a): Cx Affixes for the Confirmative Validation


Table 18(b): Cx Affixes for the Reportive Validation


Table 18(c): Cx Affixes for the Intuitive Validation


Table 18(d): Cx Affixes for the Inferential Validation


Table 18(e): Cx Affixes for the Presumptive Validation


Table 18(f): Cx Affixes for the Conjectural Validation


Table 18(g): Cx Affixes for the Tentative Validation


Table 18(h): Cx Affixes for the Putative Validation


Table 18(i): Cx Affixes for the Hortative Validation

The nine validations are explained as follows:

6.1.1
CNF
The Confirmative

The CONFIRMATIVE indicates that a statement is based on facts actually perceived by and/or personally known to the speaker. It can be considered the “default” validation, in that it can be unmarked (i.e., the aspectual adjunct can be deleted) if the other categories shown by the adjunct are likewise in their default modes and there is no aspect being conveyed.

6.1.2
RPT
The Reportive

The REPORTIVE validation indicates that the statement, while not personally known or perceived by the speaker, is assumed true based on evidence considered trustworthy by the speaker, such as direct testimony of a trusted party or knowledgeable source based on that party’s or source’s personal knowledge or observation. If necessary, this degree of factivity can be translated into English by the terms ‘most likely’ or ‘probably.’

6.1.3
ITU
The Intuitive

The INTUITIVE validation indicates that the statement is based on the speakers own intuition, instinct or “gut” feeling. This can be translated by English phrases such as ‘I feel that…’ or ‘I’ve got a feeling that….’

6.1.4
INF
The Inferential

The INFERENTIAL validation indicates that the statement is essentially an inference by the speaker based on circumstantial evidence only. This can be conveyed in translation by phrases such as ‘(it) must (be that)…,’ or ‘must have’ as in the sentences I must be dreaming or It must have rained last night.

6.1.5
PSM
The Presumptive

The PRESUMPTIVE validation indicates that the statement is hearsay whose validity is assumed true based on the absence of a motive for deception on the part of the speaker, and the fact that the statement is potentially verifiable. If necessary, this degree of factivity can be translated by the English phrases ‘presumably (so) or ‘apparently (so).’

6.1.6
CNJ
The Conjectural

The CONJECTURAL validation indicates that the statement is hearsay whose validity is assumed true based on the absence of a motive for deception on the part of the speaker, however its verifiability is either unlikely or unknown. Perhaps most easily translated into English simply by ‘may’ or ‘might,’ or more exactly by ‘allegedly’ or ‘purportedly.’

6.1.7
TEN
The Tentative

The TENTATIVE validation indicates that the statement is hearsay whose validity is assumed false due to untrustworthiness or unreliability of the source, or a motive for deception on the part of the speaker; however, the statement is potentially verifiable. Can be approximately translated by English ‘supposedly.’

6.1.8
PUT
The Putative

The PUTATIVE validation indicates that the statement is hearsay whose validity is assumed false due to untrustworthiness or unreliability of the source or a motive for deception on the part of the speaker, and verifiability of the statement is either unlikely or unknown. Can be approximately translated by English ‘must not (have)…,’ ‘must not be…,’ or ‘not likely to….’ Thus the sentence overtly structured as He caught the bus in time but marked for the PUTATIVE would actually translate as He must not have caught the bus in time.

6.1.9
HOR
The Hortative

The HORTATIVE validation indicates that the validity of the statement is assumed false but that the speaker wishes it to be true. It corresponds to various exhortations such as ‘if only…,’ ‘I wish that…’ or ‘Were that….’


6.1.10 Examples of Validation in Use


___Listen!

 

6.2 PHASE

Phase refers to variances in the temporal pattern of how an act, condition or event occurs, e.g., in a momentary, lasting, or repetitive manner (or lack thereof). This is especially useful in describing phenomena that occur in sudden bursts of short duration, e.g., flashing, sputtering, blinking, alternating, etc. Phase functions closely with the morphological category of Extension, previously described in Sec. 3.4, to specify the durational nature, starting and ending, and operative pattern of a state, action or event. The nine phases are the CONTEXTUAL, PUNCTUAL, ITERATIVE, REPETITIVE, INTERMITTENT, RECURRENT, FREQUENTATIVE, FRAGMENTATIVE, and FLUCTUATIVE. They are marked by one of nine patterns of the Cx affix to an aspectual adjunct, depending on the validation and sanction of the verb as previously described in Section 6.1 and shown in Tables 18(a) through 18(i). The nine phases are explained in the following sections.

6.2.1
CTX
The Contextual

The CONTEXTUAL is the default phase, describing a single act, condition, or event as a relatively brief (but not instantaneous), single holistic occurrence considered once, where the actual duration of the occurrence is not relevant in the particular context. It can be visually represented along a progressive timeline by a short dash, e.g.,

6.2.2
PUN
The Punctual

The PUNCTUAL describes an act, condition, or event which is point-like, momentary or instantaneous in nature, such as an explosion, a flash of lightning, a blow, a single handclap, a collision between two objects, a stab of pain, a single cough, the clicking of a lock, etc. It can be visually represented along a timeline by a single point, e.g.,

6.2.3
ITR
The Iterative

The ITERATIVE refers to a momentary or instantaneous event, like the PUNCTUAL above, which repeats itself in a rapid, on/off, staccato manner, like a machine gun burst, strobe light burst, an alarm bell ringing, or the quick unconscious tapping of a finger, the whole comprising a single CONTEXTUAL event.

Visual representation: • • • •

6.2.4
REP
The Repetitive

The REPETITIVE refers to a relatively brief event of indeterminate or vague duration (i.e., as with the CONTEXTUAL phase above), but repeated in an on/off staccato manner, like a car horn being honked repeatedly in a fast steady rhythm, or an automatic machine press. Visual representation: — — — —

6.2.5
ITM
The Intermittent

The INTERMITTENT is similar to the ITERATIVE above, identifying a repetitive occurrence of a PUNCTUAL event, however, unlike the ITERATIVE, the duration of time between repetitions is relatively long and contextually relevant. It would be used in describing the downbeat pattern of a pop song, the ongoing snapping of fingers to music, the steady one-drop-at-a-time dripping of a faucet, etc.

Visual representation:

6.2.6
RCT
The Recurrent

The RECURRENT is to the REPETITIVE as the INTERMITTENT is to the ITERATIVE. It indicates a slow repetition of a CONTEXTUAL event, where the duration between occurrences is relatively long and contextually relevant. Exemplified by the sounding of a foghorn, or the ongoing hooting of an owl.

Visual representation:

6.2.7
FRE
The Frequentative

The FREQUENTATIVE indicates an iterative occurrence (a single set of punctual repetitions) which in turn repeats at intervals, the whole considered as a single CONTEXTUAL event. Examples would be the repetitive sets of hammerings of a woodpecker or the repeated short bursts of a jackhammer.

Visual representation: • • • • • • • • • • • •

6.2.8
FRG
The Fragmentative

The FRAGMENTATIVE indicates a random pattern of punctual occurrences, the whole considered as a single CONTEXTUAL event.

Visual representation: • • • •• • • • • •• •

6.2.9
FLC
The Fluctuative

The FLUCTUATIVE indicates a random pattern of both punctual and longer occurrences. An example would be the “sputtering” of a lighted fuse, the random patterns of tongues of flames, the chirping of birds in the wild, etc.

Visual representation:— • • • • • • • • •— • • •

 

6.2.10 Examples of Phase in Use


_Listen!


6.3 SANCTION

The morphological category of Sanction indicates the discourse-related purpose of an utterance in relation to what sort of truthfulness the listener should ascribe to it. In everyday terms, this corresponds to whether the utterance is a neutral proposition or assertion, an allegation, a rebuttable presumption, a counter-argument, a refutation of an allegation, a rebuttal, etc.

There are nine sanctions: the PROPOSITIONAL, EPISTEMIC, ALLEGATIVE, IMPUTATIVE, REFUTATIVE, REBUTTATIVE, THEORETICAL, EXPATIATIVE, and AXIOMATIC. Sanction is shown by the mutational grade of the Cx affix to an aspectual adjunct, as shown in Table 18 in Sec. 6.1 above, the specific affix value being dependent on the validation and phase of the verb. Each sanction is explained in the sections below.

6.3.1
PPS
The Propositional

The PROPOSITIONAL sanction is either unmarked (where there is no aspectual adjunct), or marked by Grade 1 mutation of the Cx affix. It is the default sanction, indicating the utterance represents a neutral proposition or assertion of ontologically objective fact, i.e., a statement of fact irrespective of third-party opinion, belief, or interpretation. Example of such statements would be That is a mountain, or I’m hungry.

6.3.2
EPI
The Epistemic

The EPISTEMIC sanction is marked by Grade 2 mutation of the Cx affix. It identifies an utterance as being a statement of shared knowledge or conventionalized fact whose ontology is human convention (i.e., agreed-upon knowledge) as opposed to objective fact irrespective of human knowledge. An example would be That mountain is Mount Fuji or The U.N. tries to relieve hunger in the Third World.

6.3.3
ALG
The Allegative

The ALLEGATIVE identifies an utterance as an ontologically subjective assertion or allegation, i.e., a proposition expressing one’s opinion, belief, or interpretation, open to challenge or refutation. Examples would be That mountain is beautiful or No one in the United States goes hungry.

6.3.4
IPU
The Imputative

The IMPUTATIVE identifies an utterance as a rebuttable presumption, i.e., an assertion, whether ontologically objective or by convention, that is to be assumed true unless and until rebutted by a sufficient counter-argument or other evidence. Examples would be He knows how to drive [e.g., because he owns a car] or She can’t be hungry now [e.g., because I saw her come out of the restaurant].

6.3.5
RFU
The Refutative

The REFUTATIVE identifies an utterance as a counter-allegation, refutation, or rebuttal of a previous assertion, allegation or presumption, where the counter-allegation, refutation, or rebuttal is epistemic in nature, i.e., based on shared human knowledge as opposed to ontologically objective fact.

6.3.6
REB
The Rebuttative

The REBUTTATIVE identifies an utterance as a counter-allegation, refutation, or rebuttal of a previous assertion, allegation or presumption, where the counter-allegation, refutation, or rebuttal is based on ontologically objective fact, irrespective of subjective opinion, belief, or interpretation.

6.3.7
THR
The Theoretical

The THEORETICAL identifies an utterance as a testable hypothesis or potentially verifiable theory.

6.3.8
EXV
The Expatiative

The EXPATIATIVE identifies an utterance as a hypothesis or theory that is not necessarily provable or verifiable.

6.3.9
AXM
The Axiomatic

The AXIOMATIC identifies an utterance as a conclusive presumption, i.e., a statement of ontologically objective, pan-experiential fact not open to rational argument or refutation. Examples would be Gravity is ubiquitous, or Hunger is caused by not consuming enough food.


6.3.10 Examples of Sanctions In Use


_Listen!

 

6.4 ASPECT

Aspect provides detailed and specific temporal information about the verb, not in relation to the speaker’s present moment of utterance (as with Perspective in Sec. 3.3), but rather in relation to the contextual “present” of the act, condition, or event being spoken about. There are 32 aspects, each shown by a vocalic prefix to an aspectual adjunct. A second aspect may be shown by a vocalic suffix. For the most part, they translate various common adverbial phrases used in English.


6.4.1 Aspect Prefixes and Suffixes

As explained above in Sec. 6.0, each aspect is represented by a single vocalic form, appearing as a prefix in an aspectual adjunct. A second aspect may be associated with the verb, in which case it appears as a vocalic suffix to the adjunct. The form of the adjunct is Vp-Cx-(Vs), where Vp is the prefixed form of the first aspect, Cx is the consonantal validation-phase-sanction infix, and Vs, if present, is the suffixed form of the second aspect.

Each prefix has seven alternate forms for a total of eight forms whose use is explained in Sec. 6.4.2 below. The first form of the prefix is the default form. The suffix form of each aspect has but one form. The values of these prefixes and suffixes is shown in Table 19 below.

Table 19: Aspectual Prefixes (Vp) and Suffixes (Vs)


6.4.2 Using Aspect Prefixes to Express Format for Primary Conflations

The eight forms of each aspect prefix are used as an alternate way of indicating Format (See Sec. 5.4.2) in the absence of a conflation (or valence) adjunct. Because they also show Valence, Version and Modality, it is common to use conflation adjuncts with an Ithkuil verb; however, where there is no modality, the verb displays conflation (see Sec. 5.4.1) but no derivation, and the version and valence have default values, the conflation adjunct can be eliminated and the verb’s format can be indicated by forms 1 through 8 of the aspect prefix to the verb’s aspectual adjunct. Thus, in the sentence , the conflation adjunct indicating INSTRUMENTATIVE format for the ACTIVE conflation shown by the main verb, can instead be shown by changing the prefix â- on the aspectual adjunct to - and eliminating the conflation adjunct, thus:


Wâloi  uatumul.

The motion being caused by means of an asteroid is indeed recurringOR
What’s indeed happening is a recurrence of motion using an asteroid.’


6.4.3 Explanation of Aspect Categories

The thirty-two aspectual categories are explained below.

6.4.3.1
RTR
  RETROSPECTIVE
This aspect operates in conjunction with Perspective (see Sec. 3.3) to create various equivalents to Western tense categories. With the MONADIC, the RETROSPECTIVE can be translated by English ‘have already’ as in I’ve already done it. With the UNBOUNDED, the RETROSPECTIVE is equates with the English simple past tense. With the NOMIC and ABSTRACT, it adds a sense of ‘and it’s always been that way’ to the verb.

6.4.3.2
PRS
  PROSPECTIVE
Like the RETROSPECTIVE above, this aspect operates in conjunction with Perspective to create various equivalents to Western tense categories. With the MONADIC, the PROSPECTIVE equates with the English future tense. With the UNBOUNDED, it can be translated by the English future perfect (i.e., ‘will have…’). With the NOMIC and ABSTRACT, it adds a sense of ‘and it’ll always be that way’ or ‘from now on’ to the verb.

6.4.3.3
HAB
  HABITUAL
When used with the MONADIC perspective, this aspect conveys the idea of ‘always’ or ‘continues to’, while with the UNBOUNDED, the English ‘used to’ construction offers an equivalent translation, as in She used to come see me on Wednesdays.

6.4.3.4
PRG
  PROGRESSIVE
This aspect conveys the idea of an act in progress, similar to the English construction ‘in the midst of [verb] + ing’ or the use of the present participle in Spanish.

6.4.3.5
IMM
  IMMINENT
Conveys that an action, state or event is imminent. Translates phrases such as ‘(just) about to’ or ‘on the verge of’ as in I think Carl is about to cry.

6.4.3.6
PCS
  PRECESSIVE
Conveys that an action, state or event has immediately preceded. Translates such phrases as ‘just’ or ‘just now,’ as in We just saw a clown in the toy store.

6.4.3.7
REG
  REGULATIVE
Conveys the idea of participation or involvement in an action, state, or event over an amount of time extending from the past into the future relative to the contextual present. Translates English phrases such as ‘engaged in’ or ‘involved in’ as in Her husband is engaged in construction of the new bridge.

6.4.3.8
EPR
  EXPERIENTIAL
Translates English ‘ever’ in the sense of ‘within the realm of one’s experience’ or ‘at some point in one’s experience,’ as in Does he ever shut up? Note the EXPERIENTIAL does not equate to ‘ever’ when it means ‘always,’ as in Ever does he seek his destiny nor as an adverb of mere emphasis as in Was she ever tired.

6.4.3.9
RSM
  RESUMPTIVE
Conveys the idea of an act, state, or event resuming after having previously ceased, as in The girl resumed singing, or He is starting to laugh again.

6.4.3.10
CSS
  CESSATIVE
Conveys the idea of cessation of an event, state or action. Translates English phrases such as ‘stop,’ ‘discontinue,’ or ‘cease,’ as in They stopped dancing at midnight.

6.4.3.11
RCS
  RECESSATIVE
Conveys the idea of cessation of event again, after having previously ceased then resumed, as in Lyudmila stopped eating yet again in order to enjoy a quick interlude with the neighborhood clown.

6.4.3.12
PAU
  PAUSAL
Indicates a pause in an action, state or event, with an implied intention to resume. Translates phrases such as ‘take a break from’ or ‘pause in’ as in Mother took a break from cleaning to gossip with her friends.

6.4.3.13
RGR
  REGRESSIVE
Conveys the idea of a return to an original or previous action, state or event after a long hiatus involving an intervening change of state or situation, as translated by the phrase ‘return to.’ The REGRESSIVE should be distinguished from the RESUMPTIVE above, which merely implies the restarting after a stop or pause without an intervening change of state or situation. An example would be Mr. Yates returned to golf after recovering from his stroke.

6.4.3.14
PCL
  PRECLUSIVE
Conveys the fact that an action, state, or event takes place from inception to conclusion all in one contextual segment, translating such phrases as ‘all at once,’ ‘all in one go,’ ‘without stopping,’ etc. as in Walter drank the entire bottle in one gulp.

6.4.3.15
CNT
  CONTINUATIVE
Conveys the idea that an action, event, or state continues on. Translates phrases such as ‘keep on,’ ‘still,’ ‘stay,’ ‘yet,’ etc. When used in a negative sentence, conveys the idea of English ‘no longer’ or ‘not anymore’ as in She kept on singing, You’re still staring at me, I’ve yet to meet him, Sam no longer loves you / Sam doesn’t love you anymore.

6.4.3.16
ICS
  INCESSATIVE
Conveys that an action, state or event continues on without stopping. Translates such English adverbials as ‘…on and on’ or ‘…away’ as in They danced the night away or They’ve been battling on and on since last year.

6.4.3.17
PMP
  PREEMPTIVE
Emphasizes the singularity and initial occurrence an action, state or event, as translated by such English phrases as ‘for once’ or ‘just once,’ as well as the anticipation preceding a long-expected situation, as translated by phrases such as ‘at last,’ ‘after all this time,’ ‘finally,’ and ‘for the first time.’

6.4.3.18
CLM
  CLIMACTIC
Emphasizes the finality of an action, state or event, as translated by such English phrases as ‘once and for all’ or ‘for the last time.’

6.4.3.19
PTC
  PROTRACTIVE
Conveys that an action, state or event takes place over a long period of time. If used with the CONTEXTUAL or PUNCTUAL phases, or with formatives describing naturally brief durations, the PROTRACTIVE conveys the idea of the act or event being long-delayed. Example usages: It rained for quite a while, We shared a long kiss, That slap to his face was a long time coming.

6.4.3.20
TMP
  TEMPORARY
Conveys that an action, state or event is being considered or is applicable only to the present subjective context or range of the contextual present, as translated by phrases such as ‘for the time being’ or ‘but only for the moment’ or ‘for now’ as in This will be sufficient for now or For the time being you’ll have to drink water.

6.4.3.21
MTV
  MOTIVE
Conveys that an action, state or event involves physical removal or absence of the participant from the present context of discourse. Translates such phrases as ‘be off …-ing’ or ‘go off to …’ as in Dad’s off hunting or They went off to cavort with the clowns.

6.4.3.22
CSQ
  CONSEQUENTIAL
This aspect conveys the idea of proceeding or engaging in an action or event despite the possibility of adverse consequences. It translates the English phrases such as ‘go ahead and’ or ‘anyway,’ as in She went ahead and bought the furniture or I decided to go there anyway.

6.4.3.23
SQN
  SEQUENTIAL
This aspect conveys the idea a “sequential progressive” in which a series of contextually identical instances is seen as comprising a single event, usually with an implied culmination point. It translates the English use of ‘off’ as in He's checking off each item as it is inventoried, or The sheep died off from the disease.

6.4.3.24
EPD
  EXPEDITIVE
Conveys a sense of haste associated with an action or event. Translates English ‘hurry (up)’ as in Hurry up and finish or They ate in a hurry.

6.4.3.25
DSC
  DISCLUSIVE
Focuses on the revelatory nature of an action, state or event, translating phrases such as ‘turn out to be,’ ‘turn out that…’ and ‘be revealed that….’

6.4.3.26
CCL
  CONCLUSIVE
Conveys the direct outcome of an action, state or event within the short-term context of the situation at hand. Translates phrases such as ‘end up…, come to, reach the point where,’ as in I ended up crashing the car or He drank to the point where he passed out.

6.4.3.27
CUL
  CULMINATIVE
Similar to the CONCLUSIVE above, but with a focus on the eventual, long-term outcome over an extended period of time or through a series of developmental steps. Compare the following examples with the CONCLUSIVE aspect above: In the end, I’ll have to leave town; Things got to the point where the mayor got involved; Eventually, they fell in love.

6.4.3.28
IMD
  INTERMEDIATIVE
Conveys the idea that the action, state, or event takes place at some point along the timeline of, or within the duration of, another action, state, event, or background context, as translated by the phrases ‘at some point’ or ‘somewhere along the way….’

6.4.3.29
TRD
  TARDATIVE
Conveys the idea that an action, state, or event lessens, dwindles, or slackens in energy, intensity, or effect, impliedly by exhaustion of the active source of energy or agency, or by dissipation of the foundational context involved. Translates such phrases as ‘to get tired of,’ ‘peter out,’ ‘trail off,’ etc.

6.4.3.30
TNS
  TRANSITIONAL
Focuses on the initial stage of preparation, adjustment, or accustomization to an action, state or event, translated by phrases such as ‘take up,’ ‘start to,’ etc. implying a long-term process of initialization, as in I’m planning to take up golf.

6.4.3.31
ITC
  INTERCOMMUTATIVE
Conveys the idea of “sequential reciprocity,” meaning that the action or event is a consequent reciprocation triggered by, or in reaction to, an initiating action or event. It translates the English verbal particle ‘back’ as in The boy threw it back or She stared back at the men ogling her.

6.4.3.32 CSM   CONSUMPTIVE
Conveys an all-consuming action, state, or event which interferes with or prevents other events from occurring. It translates English phrases such as ‘spend one’s time’ or ‘away’ as in Mother spends her life worrying or He’s pining away.


6.4.4 Complementary Aspects Appearing in the Same Adjunct

Note that, while any aspectual adjunct can show two different aspects, several aspect categories above operate as complements to each other. For example, the PROSPECTIVE aspect complements the RETROSPECTIVE aspect, both being essentially opposites. Such complementary aspects normally don’t appear in the same adjunct together. If they do appear in the same adjunct, they are interpreted as not applying to the same verb, i.e., the first aspect (shown by the prefix) applies to the adjacent verb, while the second aspect (shown by the suffix) applies to the next verb in the sentence. Such combinations of complementary aspects within a single adjunct can be considered an optional “shortcut” to utilizing a separate aspectual adjunct with the second verb.


6.4.5 Using Aspect Prefixes to Show Focus

All of the aspectual prefixes shown in Table 19 above can in turn take an initial prefix y- (or - before a w-) to show that the associated verbal formative has semantic focus (as described in Sec. 3.5), i.e., it is an alternate to the usual -w- infix to the formative previously described in Sec. 3.5. Examples: ęstiu yęstiu, iwuil yiwuil, wďttu yďwďttu.

This y- (or -) prefix can in turn be augmented to yď’ (spelled y’ before a vowel but still pronounced yď’) to indicate that the semantic focus instead applies to the aspectual meaning indicated by the aspectual prefix. Examples: ęstiu y’ęstiu, iwuil y’iwuil, wďttu yď’wďttu.


6.4.6 Examples of Aspect In Use


________________Listen!

 

 

6.5 MOOD

Most languages have a morphological category for verbs known as “mood,” serving to indicate specific attitudes or perspectives on the act, condition, or event, or the degree of factuality involved. Example moods common to Western languages include the indicative (factual utterances), subjunctive (showing doubt or probability, expressed by ‘may/might’ in English), imperative (indicating commands, e.g., Go now!, Sing it for us! ), conditional (expressing hypotheticals, e.g., She would travel if she could), optative (indicating wishes, hopes, expectations, e.g., I wish he’d go, I expect him to be here), and hortative (indicating exhortations, e.g., May he live 100 years! Let them see for themselves!).

We have already seen in Section 5.1 above that in Ithkuil the functions of certain moods in Western languages correspond not to Mood, but to the grammatical category of Illocution, specifically where Western moods function to describe types of speech acts. In Ithkuil, moods simply convey a two-fold distinction as to whether the factuality of an utterance is certain or uncertain, combined with a four-way distinction as to whether the factuality of an explicit or implicit assumption underlying the utterance (i.e., a presupposition) is true, false, unknown, or a determinant of the factuality of the utterance. This twofold by fourfold matrix renders eight moods in Ithkuil, shown by stress and tone of the aspectual adjunct accompanying the verb.

The eight moods are FACTUAL, SUBJUNCTIVE, ASSUMPTIVE, SPECULATIVE, COUNTERFACTIVE, HYPOTHETICAL, IMPLICATIVE, and ASCRIPTIVE. These are described in the sections below.

6.5.1
FAC
The Factual

The FACTUAL mood is shown by penultimate stress and falling tone on the aspectual adjunct. This mood signifies that the factuality of the speaker’s statement is certain and that there either is no underlying presupposition to the statement, or if there is, its factuality is also certain or has no bearing on the factuality of the statement. As described above, the actual interpretation (and translation) of any statement in the FACTUAL mood is subject to whatever specific nuances of attitude, perspective, and evidence are imparted by the particular bias and validation associated with the verb. Examples:

His kids are ill. [i.e., it is known he has kids and it is known they are ill]

We’re taking a walk later on. [i.e., it is our intention and we have the opportunity to do so]

6.5.2
SUB
The Subjunctive

The SUBJUNCTIVE mood is shown by ultimate stress and falling tone on the aspectual adjunct. This mood indicates that the factuality of an explicit or implicit presupposition underlying the statement is certain, but the factuality of the speaker’s statement itself is questionable or uncertain, the specific nuance of factuality intended being subject to the particular Bias and Validation associated with the verb. Corresponds roughly with English ‘may,’ ‘maybe’ or ‘might,’ with the added distinction that an explicit or implicit (i.e., underlying) presupposition is true. Examples:

Maybe his kids are ill. [i.e., it is known that he has kids but it is not known whether they are ill]

We may take a walk later on. [i.e., it is known that the opportunity to do so will arise, but it is uncertain whether we will choose to]

6.5.3
ASM
The Assumptive

Shown by penultimate stress and high tone on the aspectual adjunct. This mood functions identically to the FACTUAL except that the factuality of an underlying presupposition is unknown. It therefore conveys an act, state, or event whose factuality is dependent on whether something else is factual, thus corresponding to certain usages of English ‘maybe’ and ‘will’ (where ‘will’ primarily conveys possibility, not future tense). As with all moods, the specific translation is subject to the particular Bias and Validation associated with the verb. Examples:

His kids’ll be ill OR If he has kids, they are ill. [i.e., it is unknown whether he has kids, but if he does, they are certainly ill.]

We’ll take a walk later on [i.e., if we can] OR We intend to take a walk. [i.e., but we don’t know if we’ll be able to]

6.5.4
SPE
The Speculative

Shown by ultimate stress and high tone on the aspectual adjunct. This mood indicates that the factuality of both the presupposition and the statement itself are unknown. Its translation into English is dependent on the specific context, sometimes corresponding to ‘may,’ ‘maybe’ or ‘might,’ and at other times corresponding to the auxiliary ‘would.’ Compare the examples below to those above:

Maybe his kids are ill [i.e., it is unknown if he has kids but if he does, they may be ill].

We may take a walk later on [i.e., it is unknown whether we will have the opportunity to do so, and even if we do, it is uncertain whether we will choose to].

6.5.5
COU
The Counterfactive

Shown by penultimate stress and broken tone on the aspectual adjunct. This mood indicates that the factuality of the underlying presupposition is false or unreal but that the factuality of the statement would otherwise be true. It thus corresponds to the English construction of auxiliary ‘would’ or ‘would have’ in its use to show counterfactuality (i.e., what would have been if a false presupposition had been true). Again, the specific translation is subject to the particular Bias and Validation associated with the verb. Compare the examples below to those above.

His kids would be (would have been) ill [i.e., if he had kids they would be ill, but he doesn’t].

We would take (would have taken) a walk later on [i.e., it is our intention but we won’t have the opportunity].

6.5.6
HYP
The Hypothetical

Shown by ultimate stress and broken tone on the aspectual adjunct. This mood indicates that the factuality of the underlying presupposition is false or unreal and that the factuality of the statement itself is uncertain. It thus corresponds to the English construction of auxiliary ‘might have’ in its use to show possible counterfactuality (i.e., what might have been if a false presupposition had been true). Again, the specific translation is subject to the particular Bias and Validation associated with the verb. Compare the examples below to those above.

His kids might’ve been ill [if he had kids, but he doesn’t, so we’ll never know].

We might’ve taken a walk later on [i.e., but we won’t have the opportunity, so the decision whether to do so is moot].

6.5.7
IPL
The Implicative

Shown by penultimate stress and rising tone on the aspectual adjunct. This mood indicates that the factuality of the underlying presupposition determines the factuality of the statement and that the relationship between the two need not necessarily be a direct cause-and-effect, but merely an indirect chain of events from which the speaker infers the statement from the underlying presupposition. In grammatical analysis, this is referred to as an “epistemic conditional.” Examples are shown below.

His kids are (must be) ill [i.e., as implied by some other fact such as his staying home from work].

If she wears a blue dress, we’ll be taking a walk later on OR She’s wearing a blue dress, so that means we’ll be taking a walk later on [i.e., the dress implies something has happened that we’ll make the walk a certainty].

6.5.8
ASC
The Ascriptive

Shown by ultimate stress and rising tone on the aspectual adjunct. The ASCRIPTIVE mood functions identically to the IMPLICATIVE immediately above, except that the factuality of the inference derived from the underlying presupposition is uncertain. Examples:

His kids may be ill [i.e., as implied by some other fact such as his staying home from work].

If she wears a blue dress, we might be taking a walk later on OR She’s wearing a blue dress, so that means we might be taking a walk later on [i.e., the dress implies something has happened that we’ll make the walk a possibility].


6.5.9 Examples of Mood in Use

The following examples compare the seven non-FACTUAL moods applied to the same sentence:







 

6.6 BIAS

Bias expresses the general, overall subjective/emotional attitude or perspective in which the speaker regards the action. There are 24 basic bias categories, each of which has an additional “intensive” form which often warrants a change in English translation. Bias operates closely with Validation (previously discussed in Sec. 6.1), often triggering a translation change as well.


6.6.1 Bias Categories and Usage

Bias is shown in any one of four ways:

  1. as a word-initial consonantal prefix to an aspectual adjunct; a glottal stop is infixed between the prefix and the adjunct, e.g., n’urs, ss’illui
  2. as a word-final consonantal suffix to an aspectual adjunct; a glottal stop is infixed between the adjunct and the suffix, e.g., ursau’n, illui’ss
  3. as a consonantal infix to an aspectual adjunct, which substitutes this consonantal infix for the Cx consonantal infix of the adjunct; this infix always ends in -w, e.g., utwa, enkwoi
  4. as a word-initial consonantal prefix to formative if the formative begins with a vowel; a glottal stop is infixed between the prefix and the formative, e.g., n’exalt, ss’imlatku

These prefix, suffix, and infix forms are shown in Table 20 below. The forms to the right of the arrow are the “intensive” forms described above. The 24 biases are explained following the table.


Table 20: Morpho-Phonological Markers for Bias


6.6.1.1
ASU
  ASSURATIVE
This bias indicates certainty or self-assurance on the part of the speaker, translatable by such phrases as ‘of course,’ ‘after all,’ or ‘needless to say.’ The intensive form adds a sort of self-righteousness quality conveyed by ‘I told you so!’ or ‘You see?!’

6.6.1.2
HPB
  HYPERBOLIC
This bias imparts a sense of hyperbole and exaggeration, captured in such colloquial expressions as a prolonged ‘so’ or ‘totally’ as in I so don’t care! or That is totally not what I wanted. The intensive form adds a sense of “one-upmanship” as conveyed by the expression That’s nothing, wait till you hear this!

6.6.1.3
COI
  COINCIDENTAL
This bias conveys a sense of coincidence or happenstance as conveyed by the use of ‘happen’ in I happened to run into Jane or It just so happens that I’m busy. The intensive form adds a sense of serendipity, as conveyed by expressions such as ‘as luck would have it,’ ‘luckily’ or ‘fortunately.’

6.6.1.4
ACP
  ACCEPTIVE
This bias indicates a sense of general acceptance, as conveyed by the expression ‘it’s just as well that.’ The intensive form conveys resignation to fate, as expressed by phrases such as ‘like it or not’ or ‘…and there’s nothing to be done about it!’

6.6.1.5
RAC
  REACTIVE
This bias indicates surprise, as conveyed by phrases such as ‘my goodness!’ or ‘it’s surprising that.’ The intensive form raises this sense to the level of astonishment, as expressed by ‘Wow!’ or ‘Amazing!’

6.6.1.6
STU
  STUPEFACTIVE
This bias indicates a mild sense of wonder or reflection, as conveyed by the phrase ‘it’s a wonder that’ as in It’s a wonder he didn’t break a bone in that fall. The intensive raises this sense to one of awe, as conveyed by expressions such as ‘Well I’ll be!’ or ‘Who would’ve thought….’

6.6.1.7
CTV
  CONTEMPLATIVE
This bias expresses puzzlement, as conveyed by phrases such as ‘I wonder how…,’ ‘that’s odd…,’ ‘I don’t get it…,’ or a quizzical ‘hmmmm.’ The intensive form raises this sense to sudden bewilderment, as in ‘Huh? What do you mean…?’

6.6.1.8
DPV
  DESPERATIVE
This bias conveys a sense of dread or the conveyance of bad news, as expressed by ‘I don’t know how to say this, but…’ or ‘I’m afraid that….’ The intensive form raises this to the level of outright despair, as in ‘Oh, God…’ or ‘Oh, no!….’

6.6.1.9
RVL
  REVELATIVE
This bias expresses a sense of discovery, as conveyed by expressions such as ‘No wonder….’ or ‘So that’s why….’ The intensive form raises this to a sense of surprised revelation, as in ‘Aha!….’ or ‘Well, well, well!….’

6.6.1.10
GRA
  GRATIFICATIVE
This bias conveys a sense of pleasantness or mild pleasure, as conveyed by expressions such as ‘It’s pleasant to…’ or ‘I like to….’ The intensive raises this to a state of bliss or rapture, as in ‘Oh, there’s nothing like….’ or ‘(Sigh) What bliss it is to….’

6.6.1.11
SOL
  SOLICITIVE
This bias expresses the Ithkuil equivalent of English ‘please.’ In its intensive form, this transforms into an impatient demand, expressed in ‘C’mon!,’ ‘What’re you waiting for?’ or the phrase ‘so…already!’ as in the sentence So dance already!

6.6.1.12
SEL
  SELECTIVE
This bias conveys the idea of subjective interpretation, as seen in expressions such as ‘Look at it this way…,’ ‘As I see it,…,’ ‘Subjectively speaking,…,’ or ‘From one point of view,….’ In its intensive form, it conveys a narrow, singleminded interpretation, as conveyed by expressions such as ‘It can only mean one thing…,’ ‘and that’s that!’ ‘and that’s all there is to it!’ or ‘There’s no two ways about it,….’

6.6.1.13
IRO
  IRONIC
This bias conveys a sense of understatement, as conveyed in many subtle ways in English such as tone of voice or deliberately undramatic word choices. In its intensive form, this sense is raised to that of blatant irony, as when saying ‘Well! That was fun!’ after an unpleasant or harrowing experience.

6.6.1.14
EXA
  EXASPERATIVE
This bias conveys a sense of impatient exasperation, as conveyed by expressions such as ‘Look, don’t you get it?…’ or ‘Look, I’m trying to tell you….’ In its intensive form, this bias conveys a sense of outright mockery, as expressed by a mocking tone of voice in English, or by an deliberate, exasperated echolalia, i.e., the repeating of a person’s words back at them in contempt.

6.6.1.15
LTL
  LITERAL
This bias underscores a distinction between context and literalness, expressed by the English phrases ‘technically speaking’ or ‘Context aside for a moment,…’ as in Technically speaking, that’s not a polka (i.e., it’s a polka version of a non-polka song). In the intensive form, this bias conveys a sense of total literalness and exactitude, expressed in English by phrases such as ‘strictly speaking’ or ‘to put it in clinical terms….’ as in Strictly speaking, that’s not a polka (i.e., its rhythm is not that of a true polka).

6.6.1.16
CRR
  CORRECTIVE
This bias indicates a correction on the part of the speaker, as expressed in English by ‘that is to say…,’ ‘What I mean(t) to say is…’ or ‘I mean….’ The intensive form indicates a sense of subjective equivalence, as expressed in English by ‘in a manner of speaking,’ ‘so to speak,’ or ‘for all intents and purposes.’

6.6.1.17
EUP
  EUPHEMISTIC
This bias indicates a rephrasing or substitution of wording for means of clarification, as expressed in English by ‘in other words…’ or ‘to put it more exactly….’ The intensive form conveys a sense of outright euphemism, as expressed in English by phrases such as ‘Let’s just say that….’ or ‘Well, let me put it this way….’

6.6.1.18
SKP
  SKEPTICAL
This bias conveys a sense of skepticism, as expressed in English by ‘It’s (a little) hard to believe that….” The intensive form raises this sense to that of outright incredulity, as in a derisive ‘Oh, yeah! Suuuure!’ or a sneering ‘Yeah, right!’

6.6.1.19
CYN
  CYNICAL
This bias conveys a sense of incredulous unexpectedness or cynical surprise, as in “You mean to tell me…?’ or ‘You gotta be kidding me, ….’ The intensive form shifts this to outright sarcasm upon the discovery, as in ‘So! You just had to go and…’ or ‘Well, wouldn’t you know it, …’ or ‘Oh, nice!….’

6.6.1.20
CTP
  CONTEMPTIVE
This bias expresses simple disapproval, as conveyed by phrases such as “I don’t like the fact that…’ or ‘It bothers me that….’ The intensive form raises this to all-out contempt or disgust, as conveyed by ‘Shit!’ or ‘What nonsense!’ or ‘What bullshit!’

6.6.1.21
DSM
  DISMISSIVE
This bias conveys a sense of downplaying or lowering of expectations, as expressed in English by “sorry, but…’ or ‘It’s nothing. It’s just…” as in It’s just a small cut or Sorry, but it’s only the mailman. The intensive form expresses outright dismissal or insignificance, as conveyed by such expressions as ‘Is that it?’ ‘Big deal!’ or ‘So what!?’

6.6.1.22
IDG
  INDIGNATIVE
This bias conveys a sense of second-guessing, as expressed in English by ‘I’m sorry, what did you say?’ or ‘Say again? You want me to what?’ or ‘I beg your pardon?’ The intensive form shifts this sense to outright indignation, as conveyed by expressions such as ‘The nerve!’ or ‘How dare…!?”

6.6.1.23
SGS
  SUGGESTIVE
This bias conveys the sense of suggestiveness conveyed in English by such phrases as ‘what if…’ or ‘It could be that….’ The intensive form shifts this to a sense of a formal suggestion or proposition, as in ‘Consider this: …’ or ‘Posit the following: …’ or ‘Assume for the sake of argument that….’

6.6.1.24
PPV
  PROPOSITIVE
This bias expresses a proposal or suggested activity, as conveyed by English phrases such as ‘How about,’ ‘We could,’ or general suggestions, as in the sentences How about going for a stroll?, We could meet behind the barn if you want, or You can sit on my lap. The intensive form turns this into an ultimatum, as conveyed in English by phrases such as ‘take it or leave it,’ ‘this is your last chance,’ or ‘it’s now or never.’

 

6.6.2 Examples of Bias in Use


__Listen!

 

Proceed to Chapter 7: Using Affixes >>

  2 Morpho-Phonology  7a Using Affixes 12 The Number System
   3 Basic Morphology 7b Using Affixes (continued) The Lexicon
  4 Case Morphology   8 Adjuncts Revised Ithkuil: Ilaksh

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