The morphology of Affanonic is peculiar in combining a sophisticated inflection in nouns with near-total lack of inflection in verbs (with a few exceptions pertaining to auxiliaries).
- 1 Nouns
- 1.1 Declensions
- 1.2 Spatial cases
- 1.3 Substantivized genitive
- 1.4 Pronouns
- 1.5 Quantity words
- 1.6 Declinable conjunctions
- 2 Adjectives and adverbs
- 3 Adverbial particles
- 4 Verbs
Affanonic is traditionally described as having 31 cases. Six of these (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, benefactive, and instrumental) are called “primary cases”; the rest are referred to as “secondary cases”. Secondary cases include 24 “spatial cases”; besides, one more form traditionally viewed as a secondary case, the so-called “substantivized genitive”, is properly a derived noun which itself inflects for case.
The forms of secondary cases are derived from certain primary cases in a rather uniform manner. For this reason, the overview of declensions below will confine to primary cases, while the formation of secondary cases will be explained a bit later.
Affanonic distiguishes between two numbers, singular and plural. The use of plural in countable nouns is rather consequential. Uncountable nouns are formally singular, virtually without any exceptions (i. e. pluralia tantum do not exist as a category). A so-called “counting form” of countable nouns which is derived from the plural stem is used with words that denote quantities (including numerals).
Every case ending, as well as the plural stem marker, have two forms depending on the so-called stem class of the noun. The stem classes are purely formal and are conventionally named simply “class 1” and “class 2”. Within each stem class, there are further subgroupings determined by the final sounds of the stem; the most basic divide is between “vocalic declensions” (comprising the nouns whose stems end in a vowel) and “consonant declensions” (which include stems ending in a consonant).
With most nouns, the declension type can be predicted from the nom. sg. form (more specifically, its final sounds).
Class 1 declensions
The prototypical endings used with class 1 stems are: -i or zero, nominative; -ys or -wis, accusative; -al, genitive; -njun, dative; -lu, benefactive; -ma, instrumental; -jur, plural marker. Various alternations on morpheme boundaries make the formation of certain forms somewhat obscure.
Class 1 vocalic declensions
|Declension type||-ai: somai 'stone'||-oi: appoi 'cloud'||-ei: kei 'mountain'||-u: kommu 'husband'||-i: liffi 'bird'||-y: fomy 'fish'||-au: nau 'turn, iteration'|
The nominative ending used to be uniformly -i, but only -ai, -ei and -oi survive as diphthongs synchronically.
The genitive somol is historically soma-al; the appearance of -f- and -s- in genitives looks synchronically unmotivated, but actually is predictable from the quality of the final sound of the stem. Cf. similar processes in class 2 declensions, as well as in secondary case formation.
The contraction in the accusative kommus is phonetically regular and used to be active in other declension types as well, but ultimately was mostly eliminated by analogy (except in nouns in -u and a few fossilized forms).
Class 1 consonant declensions
|Declension type||-in, -yn, -øn: soffjunsin 'louse'||-on: non 'person'||-un: mumun 'seat'||-jun: mjun 'rain', hun 'heart'||-en: rarken 'brother'||-an: tswan 'bitter vetch'||-l: tjupol 'beech tree'||-r: soror 'rat'||-af, -of, -uf, -if, -ef, -yf (i. e. -Vf except -øf): rwetsif 'fox'||-es, -is, -ys: tsarkes 'battle'||-os, -us, -øs: tswistjos 'belly'|
|- nominative||soffjunsin||non||mumun||mjun, hun||rarken||tswan||tjupol||soror||rwetsif||tsarkes||tswistjos|
|- accusative||soffjunsinys||namys||mumonys||mimys, rimys||rarkanys||tswonys||tjupolfys||sororys||rwetsinfys||tsarkesys||tswistjonsys|
|- genitive||soffjunsinal||nanfal||mumonal||minfal, rinfal||rarkanal||tswonal||tjupolral||sororal||rwetsinfal||tsarkesal||tswistjonsal|
|- dative||soffjunsinnjun||nonnjun||mumunnjun||mjunnjun, hunnjun||rarkennjun||tswannjun||tjupolhun||sorornjun||rwetsifnjun||tsarkesnjun||tswistjosnjun|
|- benefactive||soffjunsillu||nollu||mumullu||mjullu, hullu||rarkellu||tswallu||tjupolru||sororu||rwetsiflu||tsarkeslu||tswistjoslu|
|- instrumental||soffjunsimma||nomma||mumumma||mjumma, humma||rarkemma||tswamma||tjupolfa||sororma||rwetsinfa||tsarkesma||tswistjosma|
|Nom. pl.||soffjunsinjur||nonjur||mumunjur||mjunjur, hunjur||rarkenjur||tswanjur||tjupolhur||sorohur||rwetsifjur||tsarkesjur||tswistjosjur|
The assimilation fm → (f)f is a common process also found in other formations in the language.
The historical stem-final -m and -n differently affect the quality of the preceding vowels where they are in coda position. In the type hun, the latter process produced a combination -ju- which complicated things further by causing a historical palatalization of the preceding stem-internal -l- and -r-.
The types rwetsif and tswistjos include stems which historically ended in -nf- and -ns-; these clusters simplified when in coda position.
The only peculiarity of the type soror is the historical assimilation -rl- → -r- in benefactive and -rlj- → -rj- ( → h) in the pl. forms.
The type tjupol is the most complicated: these stems end historically in -lr-, with various assimilations and cluster simplifications.
Class 2 declensions
The prototypical endings in this class are: -e or zero, nominative; -øs or -wes, accusative; -ja, genitive; -njøn, dative; -lø, benefactive; -mja, instrumental; -jør-, plural marker.
Class 2 vocalic declensions
|Declension type||-a: øfja 'horse'||-e: rele 'lizard'||-o: jo 'ice'||-ø: fø 'wind'|
All the alternations involved are the same as with class 1 stems.
Note that the type rele includes only such stems with nominative in -e that cannot be interpreted as one of the class 2 consonant declensions described below.
Class 2 consonant declensions
|Declension type||-øne: fømøne 'death'||-ene: pintene 'garden'||-ane: tejane 'sky'||-ame: janjame 'leaf'||-ome: tjome 'juice'||-lre: punfølre 'wolf'||-øf: røf 'mouth'||-as: jas 'snake'|
Most alternations found in these types are the same as with class 1 declensions; only the type jas is peculiar.
Plural declension and the counting form
|Declension type||class 1: somajur 'stones'||class 2: øfjajøre 'horses'|
The counting form of class 1 nouns is identical with nom. pl., but in class 2 it is a separate form built by dropping the nominative ending.
A few nouns are class 1 stems in sg. but class 2 in pl.; this shift is accompanied by altering the stem vowel. Examples include moi 'eye', woi 'mushroom', roi 'horn', and koi 'bone', whose plurals are møjøre, wøjøre, røjøre, and køjøre, respectively.
Many irregularities characterize the declension of pronouns, as described in the respective sections below.
Inventory and meanings
The 24 spatial cases can be presented as combinations of eight “localizations” with three “orientations”.
Localizations describe the position of a reference point relative to the object denoted by the noun being inflected:
- adessive, 'at';
- inessive, 'in';
- superessive, 'on' (usually, 'in contact with the upper surface of');
- apudessive, 'near, close to';
- subessive, 'under, below (with or without contact)';
- postessive, 'behind or after';
- antessive, 'before or in front of';
- extraessive, 'outside'.
Orientations specify the type of movement or static position relative to the point referred to by the localization:
- locative: '(resting) at the point specified by localization';
- lative: '(moving or directed) towards the point specified by localization';
- ablative: '(moving or directed) away from the point specified by localization'.
With the forms of the inessive localization and the noun mjunki 'water' taken as an example:
- inessive-locative: mjunkiwiry 'in the water';
- inessive-lative: mjunkinimy 'into the water';
- inessive-ablative: mjunkimoi 'out of the water'.
As can be seen from the above examples, the name of each spatial case consists of the name of the localization followed by the name of the orientation (e. g. “inessive-lative”, “subessive-ablative”, etc.). However, the name of the locative orientation can be omitted where no ambiguity will arise, so e. g. “superessive-locative (case)” can be referred to as simply “superessive (case)”.
Besides referring to spatial relations proper, the spatial cases have quite obvious temporary usages (especially common with gerunds). Thus, the locative cases can convey meanings like 'at', 'before', 'after' (a specific moment), 'within' (a timespan); the ablative cases add the meaning of 'since', and the lative cases, of 'until'.
In addition, individual spatial cases have various metaphoric usages, including grammatical ones.
As already mentioned, the forms of spatial cases are based on certain primary cases. Specifically, the locative cases are always derived from the accusative; the lative cases, from the dative; and the ablative cases, from the instrumental.
In groups of words that must agree in case, normally only the last one is inflected for spatial case, while all the others are put in the respective primary case (accusative, dative or instrumental). In particular, declinable conjunctions and equative markers have no forms of spatial cases.
The formation of spatial cases can be conveniently presented as replacement of parts of the endings of the respective primary cases by the endings of spatial cases. The endings of spatial cases used with class 1 and class 2 stems are different. In the tables below, the formation of spatial cases is illustrated with the words mjunki 'water' (class 1) and fjas 'sand' (class 2).
Spatial cases of class 1 nouns
|Primary case||Accusative: mjunkiwis||Dative: mjunkinjun||Instrumental: mjunkima|
|Replaced part of primary case ending||-s||-njun, -(*l)-jun, -hun||-a|
|adessive||-ras: mjunkiwiras||-nimas (-limas, -rimas): mjunkinimas||-os: mjunkimos|
|inessive||-ry: mjunkiwiry||-nimy (-limy, -rimy): mjunkinimy||-oi: mjunkimoi|
|superessive||-run: mjunkiwirun||-nimun (-limun, -rimun): mjunkinimun||-on: mjunkimon|
|apudessive||-skjummo: mjunkiwiskjummo||-njunkjummo (-junkjummo, -hunkjummo): mjunkinjunkjummo||-akjummo: mjunkimakjummo|
|subessive||-spis: mjunkiwispis||-njumpis (-jumpis, -humpis): mjunkinjumpis||-affis: mjunkimaffis|
|postessive||-raffa: mjunkiwiraffa||-njunfaffa (-junfaffa, -hunfaffa): mjunkinjunfaffa||-offa: mjunkimoffa|
|antessive||-ra: mjunkiwira||-njunfa (-junfa, -hunfa): mjunkinjunfa||-o: mjunkimo|
|extraessive||-hu: mjunkiwihu||-nimju (-limju, -rimju): mjunkinimju||-aju: mjunkimaju|
Most alternations found in spatial case formation have already occurred in primary cases; in particular, those affecting the dative -(n)jun are of the same nature as those found in the declension of hun 'heart'.
Some new ones include: -s (in codas) :: -r- (intervocalic) – in all cases derived from the accusative; -p- (after consonants) :: -ff- (intervocalic) – in the subessive series.
Spatial cases of class 2 nouns
|Primary case||Accusative: fjaføs||Dative: fjojøn||Instrumental: fjaffja|
|Replaced part of primary case ending||-s||-njøn, -(*l)-jøn, -høn||-a|
|adessive||-has: fjaføhas||-nemjas (-lemjas, -remjas): fjolemjas||-os: fjaffjos|
|inessive||-rø: fjaførø||-nemø (-lemø, -remø): fjolemø||-ø: fjaffjø|
|superessive||-røn: fjaførøn||-nemøn (-lemøn, -remøn): fjolemøn||-øn: fjaffjøn|
|apudessive||-skjømmø: fjaføskjømmø||-njønkjømmø (-jønkjømmø, -hønkjømmø): fjojønkjømmø||-akjømmø: fjaffjakjømmø|
|subessive||-spes: fjaføspes||-njømpes (-jømpes, -hømpes): fjojømpes||-affes: fjaffjaffes|
|postessive||-haffja: fjaføhaffja||-njønfjaffja (-jønfjaffja, -hønfjaffja): fjojønfjaffja||-offja: fjaffjoffja|
|antessive||-ha: fjaføha||-njønfja (-jønfja, -hønfja): fjojønfja||-o: fjaffjo|
|extraessive||-hø: fjaføhø||-nemjø (-lemjø, -remjø): fjolemjø||-ajø: fjaffjajø|
All the alternations are already familiar.
|Stem class||class 1: kommufalli 'what belongs to (the) husband'||class 2: føffesjai 'what belongs to (the) soul'|
|Cases (sg. or pl.):|
|Substantivized genitive (2nd)||kommufalsalli||føffesjasjai|
The forms of substantivized genitives make no distinction between sg. and pl. of the possessed item. However, all the secondary cases are formed freely, by regular substitution of case endings. Curiously, substantivized genitives of substantivized genitives are also used, as e. g. in the following example:
E₁ tassijural₂ munnai₃ ristiwiras₄, fy₅ tatsanalsalli₆ astiwiras₇ nini₈. 'The₀ clothes₃ of₍₂₎ my₁ children₂ are₈ here₄, and₅ those₆ of₍₆₎ (my₀) sister's₆ children₀ there₇.'
(Tatsanalsalli being the nom. of the subst. gen. of tatsanalli, which is itself the subst. gen. of tatsen 'sister'.)
The substantivized genitives are sometimes lexicalized and then moved to the regular substantive declension types, with regular pl. forms. With cl. 1 stems, such derivates are invariably the nom. forms reinterpreted as regular nouns of the liffi type. With cl. 2 stems, there are two options: the derivate inherits either the oblique stem (in -ja) and declines according to the øfja type, or the nominative (in -jai), and then is reinterpreted as class 1 (!) stem of the somai type.
[Details of case usage remain to be added]
Personal and demonstrative pronouns
The personal pronouns of 1st and 2nd persons display a number of peculiarities, compared to the regular nouns, in both case forms and the plural stems.
|'I'||'you' (sg.)||'we'||'you' (pl.)|
The personal pronouns of the 3rd person are essentially demonstratives. The forms of ri refer to objects that are close to either the speaker or the listener; the objects that are at a distance from both, or are invisible to the speaker, are denoted with forms of ai. These usages of the two pronouns are called “deictic”; in non-deictic use, ai is the default anaphoric pronoun (i. e. referring to something already mentioned by one of the interlocutors), while ri is mainly used cataphorically (that is, to denote some object the speaker is going to introduce).
Note that plural forms of these are built like with 1st and 2nd person pronouns only when they refer to animate beings (not necessarily sentient); otherwise their plurals are built like those of the regular nouns.
|'this one; he/she/it'||'that one; he/she/it'||'these, they' (animate)||'these, they' (inanimate)||'those, they' (animate)||'those, they' (inanimate)|
When used as attributes of other nouns, the demonstratives require a construction which is essentially the same as with appositions (see the sections on the equative marker and on nominal groups below). The more common position for the pronoun is after the noun; in this case, there are some peculiarities not found with appositional nouns, incliding free use of genitives and contractions with the equative marker. When placed before the noun, the demonstratives require the usual appositive construction (with no contractions and no genitives available); in this case they are semantically somewhat out-of-focus and may resemble definite articles, although are thus used infrequently.
|'this (these)', postpositive||'that (those)', postpositive||'this (these)', prepositive||'that (those)', prepositive|
|Nominative||li ri||j-ai||ri li||a li|
|Accusative||pys hus||pys søs||hus pys||øs pys|
|Dative||njun rinjun||njun sanjun||rinjun njun||anjun njun|
|Benefactive||lu rilu||w-alu||rilu lu||alu lu|
|Instrumental||ma rima||m-oma||rima ma||ama ma|
It is interesting to note that prepositive and pospositive demonstratives sometimes occur simultaneously with one noun; in such cases, at least one of the demonstratives is interpreted as non-deictic:
Ai₁ li₂ e₃ rarken₄ li₅ ri₆. 'The said brother of mine whom you see here' (lit. 'That₁ one₁ who₂ is₂ my₃ brother₄ who₅ is₅ this₆').
Other demonstratives that are mostly used independently include risti 'this place, here', asti 'that place, that direction, there', rinau 'this time, now', and anau 'that time, then' (note that risti and rinau, like ri, are often used cataphorically and then cannot be translated as 'here' and 'now'). They are declined like regular class 1 nouns and mostly used in spatial cases, although primary cases are also common, as e. g. in Ristiwis₁ ei₂ tesi₃ 'I₂ like₃ this₁ place₁' (or 'I like it here'). They can form plurals to refer to multiple locations or instances, as well as to broader areas or more prolonged timespans.
The main interrogative pronouns include: y 'what? which one?'; yrky 'who? which one?'; riffikky 'what? who? what kind of object(s)?'; ysti 'where? which place? which direction?'; riffitti 'where? what kind of place?'; ynau 'when? which time?'; and riffinau 'when? what kind of circumstances?'.
The pronouns y and yrky imply that the object of inquiry belongs to a set which is already known or obvious from the situation; yrky implies an animate object (but not necessarily sentient). In contrast, riffikky implies that the speaker knows nothing about the object, and may need its description rather than identification; this pronoun is not sensitive to animacy. The semantic difference in the pairs ysti vs. riffitti and ynau vs. riffinau is partly similar with that between y / yrky and riffikky.
The pronouns ysti, riffitti, ynau, and riffinau are mostly used in spatial cases, as e. g. in Ystiwiras₁ ai₂ nini₃? 'Where₁ is₃ he/she/it₂?', although primary cases are also common, as e. g. in Ystiwis₁ toi₂ tesi₃? 'Which₁ place₁ do₃ you₂ prefer₃?' and in similar contexts.
Of the interrogative pronouns, only y, yrky and riffikky display some peculiarities in declension (namely, in acc. sg.); the rest belong to the standard class 1 declension types.
The plurals of y and yrky are used rarely; usually they imply not only that the objects are already known to be more than one, but also that the speaker wants them to be enumerated; the plural of riffikky does not exist.
In contrast, the plurals of ysti, riffitti, ynau and riffinau are rather common; ystijur and riffittijur imply that there are several relevant places, while ynaujur and riffinaujur often refer to prolonged periods or multiple instances rather than to single moments.
The reflexive pronouns are based on the auxiliary noun ry 'self' which normally is not used without a genitive of a pronoun or noun that specifies it. A genitive of a personal pronoun and ry are written as one word and pronounced accordingly: ery 'myself', tory 'yourself', ekwiry, tokkwiry, riry, ary, rikwiry, rijuralry, akwiry, ajuralry. The genitives of other words remain separate, as e. g. in e₁ mamol₂ ry₃ 'my mother herself' (lit. 'my₁ mother's₂ self₃').
The word ry has no plural and is declined like the interrogatives y, yrky, riffikky.
The genitive of a reflexive pronoun can often be translated with 'own', as in erysal₁ fei₂ 'my₁ own₁ house₂', e₁ kispjufal₂ rysal₃ øfja₄ 'my₁ wife's₂ own₃ horse₄'.
The equative marker
“The equative marker” is the traditional term for the auxiliary word that links a noun (or pronoun) with an apposition, as e. g. in to₁ mamai₂ li₃ e₄ tsuma₅ kispju₆ 'your₁ mother₂ who₃ is₃ my₄ future₅ wife₆' or elu₁ lu₂ to₃ tatsellu₄ 'for₍₁₋₂₋₄₎ me₁, (as₂) your₃ sister₄'. The head noun, the equative marker and the apposition must agree in (primary) case, and therefore the equative marker is inflected for case; however, it is insensitive to number distinctions and has no secondary cases. Besides, it has no forms of genitive (primary or substantivized), as for appositions to nouns in genitive there is a different construction, where the head genitive is replaced with a substantivized genitive: to₁ mamollu₂ lu₃ e₄ tsuma₅ kispjufal₆ felu₇ 'for the house of your mother who is my future wife' (lit. 'for₍₂₋₃₋₇₎ your₁ mother's₂, which₃ is₃ my₄ future₅ wife's₆ house₇').
This pronoun plays a very important part in Affanonic syntax. Prototypically, it indicates that its head predicate has the same topic as a preceding predicate, but in a different role. Its other uses are described in the section on syntax below.
The role-switching marker does not differentiate singular from plural, but has all cases including secondary.
The relative pronoun fylli is used in relative clauses when they follow their head nouns. It inflects for case which denotes its role in the relative clause (rather than in the main clause), e. g. nontalu₁ fynnjun₂ ei₃ fati₄ 'for₍₁₎ the₀ man₁ to₍₂₎ whom₂ I₃ told₄ (that₀)'. There are all case forms, both primary and secondary, but no number distinction.
This category includes numerals (e. g. tsei 'three') and a few words that denote quantities of countable objects: fumøne 'many'; pimoi 'few'; kjunsøf 'several, a few, some (of)'; supu 'all (of)'. They are declined like the ordinary nouns in singular and carry no number markers of their own. The noun whose quantity is specified is put in counting form and precedes the quantity word: øfjajør₁ tsei₂ 'three₂ horses₁'.
Where nouns or pronouns linked by the conjunctions fy 'and', la 'or', or pau 'but not' stand in the same (primary) case and form the same phrase constituent, the conjunctions must agree in (primary) case with the words they link, e. g.: e₁ mamalu₂ fylu₃ elu₄ 'for₍₂₋₃₋₄₎ my₁ mother₂ and₃ me₄', e₁ mamanjun₂ fynjun₃ enjun₄ 'to₍₂₋₃₋₄₎ my₁ mother₂ and₃ me₄'.
The case forms of the three declinable conjunctions are shown in the following table.
|fy 'and'||la 'or'||pau 'but not'|
Adjectives and adverbs
These are basically one part of speech in Affanonic. Thus, fje 'beautiful' is mostly used as an adjective, but can also mean 'beatifully' when it stands before a verb. Similarly, ese 'sometimes' is mostly used as an adverb, but can also be used with a noun to convey a meaning like 'occurring sometimes'.
Both adjectives and adverbs must immediately precede the word they specify.
The words belonging to this class have no inflectional forms.
This is another class of words that often correspond to avderbs (most commonly, sentential adverbs) in other languages. However, they cannot be used as prepositive attributes of nouns and, unlike the usual adverbs, can be (and mostly are) separated from their head verb by any number of other constituents.
An example of adverbial particle is affaini 'one day (in the past)'.
It is interesting to note that spatial cases of nouns are syntactically more similar with adverbial particles than with adverbs proper. Indeed, many adverbial particles resemble case forms derived from obscure stems not used as ordinary nouns; an example is mølø 'visually, visibly, by eye, before one's eyes' which looks like a benefactive derived from some *mø (cf., however, moi 'eye' and its irregular plural møjøre 'eyes').
All the verbs are divided into two major classes: perfectives and (lexical) imperfectives.
Perfective verbs are semantically telic. In other words, they denote processes that imply a change of state or achieving a result, and therefore cannot be normally viewed as allowing for an indefinitely long continuation (i. e. as continuing after the point where the change is complete or the implied result is achieved). Examples of such verbs in Affanonic are soffoffi 'to fall asleep', mumin 'to sit down', fati 'to say, tell', føref 'to kill', and njun 'to become'.
In contrast, lexically imperfective verbs are semantically atelic, i. e. denote static conditions or cyclic processes that do not imply a specific endpoint by themselves. Examples include roffoffi 'to sleep', lilami 'to stand', piffati 'to talk, speak', and nini 'to be'.
Perfective verbs have two standard imperfective derivates that can be considered part of their paradigm: durative and resultative (jointly referred to as “secondary imperfectives”, as opposed to “lexical imperfectives”).
Duratives are formed by the auxiliary verb nyral placed after the unaltered stem of the perfective verb. A durative can have either of the following two interpretations. In one interpretation, it denotes an indefinite number of repetitive events which individually would be denoted by the original perfective; this interpretation is called “iterative”. The other interpretation implies a shift in the time scale: the process or activity that should eventually result in the change of state denoted by the original perfective is viewed as long enough to serve as the “indefinitely long” background for some other, shorter events, and thus as requiring an imperfective to describe it. This interpretation is termed “continuative”.
Resultatives are formed by the auxiliary ja put after the stem of the original perfective. They denote a continuous static condition that results from the event denoted by the perfective.
Lexical imperfectives do not have any standard perfective derivates, since the associated semantic shifts are more diverse and idiosyncratic. Therefore, all processes that derive a perfective from an imperfective are considered as belonging with lexical derivation.
The finite forms of imperfectives (both lexical and secondary) taken without any additional marking are the standard forms of the present tense. The term is purely conventional; while the default meaning of the present taken outside any specific context is indeed that of an action or condition which continues at the moment of speaking, it can also denote an action or condition that was simultaneous with, or served as the background for, another action which can relate to present, past or future. In particular, adverbs and adverbial expressions that denote time, e. g. affaini 'one day (in the past)', can freely combine with the present tense, and do not require the verb to carry any additional marking to express non-present. In other words, the characteristic of this tense is purely negative: it does not mark a continuous action or condition as preceding or following anything else.
On the contrary, the perfective verbs taken as bare stems indicate by default that the action in question has been, or had been, completed by the present moment or by some moment in the past. Therefore, their bare stem is considered a past tense which is termed “aorist”. However, if there is a direct indication to future in the same sentence, the aorist form can mean that the action will have been completed by some moment in the future.
Imperfectives can be explicitly marked for past tense by adding the postpositive auxiliary njau (which is actually a perfective verb 'to turn' in its non-auxiliary use). This combination is termed “imperfect tense”.
The explicit reference to future is made differently with perfectives and imperfectives. Imperfectives use a special postpositive tense marker, jawa. This form is referred to as “imperfective future”.
Perfectives, on the other hand, are combined with the word tsjuma which is properly an independent adjective / adverb meaning 'in the future, imminent(ly)'; therefore, it is put before the verb and is sometimes separated from the latter by another adverb. Nevertheless, such combinations with tsjuma are often treated as a special tense called “perfective future”.
The subjunctive of the perfective verbs is formed by adding the postpositive marker nifføf. This form refers to the past; however, it can combine with tsjuma to convey future.
The copula nini 'to be' has an inflectional form of subjunctive, ninifføf. This form refers to the present. The other lexical imperfectives form their present subjunctive by adding ninifføf postpositively. However, duratives do not use this form, but replace their nyral with nyralpøf; similarly, the resultatives substitute jafføf for their ja. The past subjunctive of all imperfectives (including duratives, resultatives and nini) is formed by adding a pospositive nufføf, and the future subjunctive, by a postpositive nawafføf.
Gerunds represent the only type of regular non-finite forms of Affanonic verbs. They can be considered substantivized verbs which make it possible to use a verb as an argument of another verb, or of any other word. On the other hand, a gerund can retain all the arguments of the original finite verb without altering their form.
The benefactive of gerunds has some usages similar to those of infinitive in English.
Perfective verbs form their gerunds with the postpositive auxiliary noun nau (which in its non-auxiliary use means 'turn, iteration, time').
Lexical imperfectives have gerunds formed by the postpositive jo.
The gerunds of duratives are formed by replacing the finite durative marker nyral with naujur (i. e. the plural of nau).
The gerunds of resultatives are formed by replacing the finite resultative marker ja with the auxiliary noun jai, which declines like a class 2 substantivized genitive.
The gerund forms listed above are basically tenseless; however, due to the vague temporal meanings of the Affanonic present and aorist, the above types of gerunds can be viewed as their substantivized equivalents.
The use of the gerunds equivalent to the other tenses is optional. The perfective gerunds with nau can combine with tsjuma to refer to a future action. The finite markers of all the tenses of imperfectives other than the present are historically perfective verbs, so gerunds can be derived from them by adding the postpositive nau as well.
The gerund equivalents of all forms of the subjunctive are rare, but can in principle be derived freely by adding the same nau as the most universal gerund marker.