Grammatical Conjugation
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Grammatical Conjugation
Part of the conjugation of the Spanish verb correr, "to run", the lexeme is "corr-".
Red represents the speaker, purple the addressee and teal a third person.
One person represents the singular number and two, the plural number.
Dawn represents the past, noon the present and night the future.

In linguistics, conjugation ([1][2]) is the creation of derived forms of a verb from its principal parts by inflection (alteration of form according to rules of grammar). Verbs may inflect for grammatical categories such as person, number, gender, tense, aspect, mood, voice, case, possession, definiteness, politeness, causativity, clusivity, interrogativity, transitivity, valency, polarity, telicity, volition, mirativity, evidentiality, animacy, associativity,[3]pluractionality, and reciprocity. Verbs may also be affected by agreement, polypersonal agreement, incorporation, noun class, noun classifiers, and verb classifiers.[4]Agglutinative and polysynthetic languages tend to have the most complex conjugations albeit some fusional languages such as Archi can also have extremely complex conjugation. Typically the principal parts are the root and/or several modifications of it (stems). All the different forms of the same verb constitute a lexeme, and the canonical form of the verb that is conventionally used to represent that lexeme (as seen in dictionary entries) is called a lemma.

The term conjugation is applied only to the inflection of verbs, and not of other parts of speech (inflection of nouns and adjectives is known as declension). Also it is often restricted to denoting the formation of finite forms of a verb - these may be referred to as conjugated forms, as opposed to non-finite forms, such as the infinitive or gerund, which tend not to be marked for most of the grammatical categories.

Conjugation is also the traditional name for a group of verbs that share a similar conjugation pattern in a particular language (a verb class). For example, Latin is said to have four conjugations of verbs. This means that any regular Latin verb can be conjugated in any person, number, tense, mood, and voice by knowing which of the four conjugation groups it belongs to, and its principal parts. A verb that does not follow all of the standard conjugation patterns of the language is said to be an irregular verb. The system of all conjugated variants of a particular verb or class of verbs is called a verb paradigm; this may be presented in the form of a conjugation table.

Examples

Indo-European languages usually inflect verbs for several grammatical categories in complex paradigms, although some, like English, have simplified verb conjugation to a large extent. Below is the conjugation of the verb to be in the present tense (of the infinitive, if it exists, and indicative moods), in English, German, Yiddish, Dutch, Afrikaans, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish, Norwegian, Latvian, Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Slovenian, Macedonian, Urdu or Hindi, Persian, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Albanian, Armenian, Irish, Ukrainian, Ancient Attic Greek and Modern Greek. This is usually the most irregular verb. The similarities in corresponding verb forms may be noticed. Some of the conjugations may be disused, like the English thou-form, or have additional meanings, like the English you-form, which can also stand for second person singular or be impersonal.

"To be" in several Indo-European languages
Branch Language Present
infinitive
Present indicative
Singular persons Plural persons
1st 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 3rd
Germanic English be am are
art1
be'st1
is are
German sein bin bist ist sind seid sind
Yiddish
transliterated
?
zein

bin
?
bist

iz

zenen
?
zent

zenen
Dutch zijn ben bent
zijt2
is zijn
Afrikaans wees is
Icelandic vera er ert er erum eruð eru
Faroese vera eri ert er eru
Norwegian være3
vera, vere4
er
Danish være er
Swedish vara är
Romance Latin esse sum es est sumus estis sunt
Italian essere sono sei è siamo siete sono
French être suis es est sommes êtes sont
Catalan ésser sóc ets és som sou són
Spanish ser soy eres es somos sois son
Galician ser son es é somos sodes son
Portuguese ser sou és é somos sois são
Friulian jessi soi sês è sin sês son
Neapolitan èssere songo, so è simmo site songo, so
Romanian a fi sunt e?ti este suntem sunte?i sunt
Celtic Irish bheith bím bíonn bímid bíonn
Welsh (standard form) bod rydw rwyt mae rydych rydyn maen
Greek Ancient5
transliterated

eînai
?
eimí

?
estí

esmén
?
esté
?
eisí
Modern
transliterated
none6
eímai

eísai

eínai
?
eímaste
()
eís(as)te

eínai
Albanian me qenë jam je është jemi jeni janë
Armenian Western
transliterated

?llal

em

es
?
?

enk'

?k'

en
Eastern
transliterated

linel

em

es
?
?

enk'

ek'

en
Slavic Czech být jsem jsi je jsme jste jsou
Slovak by? som si je sme ste
Polish by? jestem jeste? jest jeste?my jeste?cie s?
Russian
transliterated
?
byt
?10

yesm'

yesi

?
yest'
?

yesmy

?

yeste

?

sut'

Ukrainian
transliterated
?
buty
?
ye
Serbo-Croatian strong biti jesam jesi jest(e) jesmo jeste jesu
Serbo-Croatian clitic none sam si je smo ste su
Slovenian biti sem si je smo ste so
Bulgarian
transliterated
none
s?m

si
?
e

sme

ste

s?
Macedonian
transliterated
none
sum

si
?
e

sme

ste

se
Baltic Latvian b?t esmu esi ir esam esat ir
Lithuanian b?ti esu esi yra esame esate yra
Indo-Iranian Persian
transliterated
?
budan

æm

ei
( (?
æst (æ)9

eem
( (
eed (spoken: een)
( (
and (spoken: an)
Sanskrit
transliterated

asti

asmi

asi

asti
?
smah

stha

santi
Hindustani
Devanagari Script
Perso-Arabic Script
transliterated
 
?
?
hona
 


h
 


hai
 


hai
 


hã?
 


ho
 


hã?
Marathi
transliterated
?
as?e

?he
?
?hes

?he
?
?hot
?
?h?t
?
?het
Gujarati
transliterated

hov?

chh?

chhe

chh?e

chho

chhe
Assamese
transliterated
?
hüa

hoü?
?
hüa

hoy

hoü?
?
hüa

hoy

1 Archaic, poetical; used only with the pronoun 'thou'.
2 In Flemish dialects.
3 In the bokmål written standard.
4 In the nynorsk written standard. vera and vere are both alternate forms.
5 Attic.
6 'eínai' is only used as a noun ("being, existence").
7 Ptc: qenë.
8 In the Tosk and Geg dialects, respectively.
9 Existential: (hæst) has another meaning. Usage of (æ) is considered to be rural, now. See, Indo-European copula

Verbal agreement

Verbal agreement or concord is a morpho-syntactic construct in which properties of the subject and/or objects of a verb are indicated by the verb form. Verbs are then said to agree with their subjects (resp. objects).

Many English verbs exhibit subject agreement of the following sort: whereas I go, you go, we go, they go are all grammatical in standard English, she go is not (except in the subjunctive, as "They requested that she go with them"). Instead, a special form of the verb to go has to be used to produce she goes. On the other hand I goes, you goes etc. are not grammatical in standard English. (Things are different in some English dialects that lack agreement.) A few English verbs have no special forms that indicate subject agreement (I may, you may, she may), and the verb to be has an additional form am that can only be used with the pronoun I as the subject.

Verbs in written French exhibit more intensive agreement morphology than English verbs: je suis (I am), tu es ("you are", singular informal), elle est (she is), nous sommes (we are), vous êtes ("you are", plural), ils sont (they are). Historically, English used to have a similar verbal paradigm. Some historic verb forms are used by Shakespeare as slightly archaic or more formal variants (I do, thou dost, she doth, typically used by nobility) of the modern forms.

Some languages with verbal agreement can leave certain subjects implicit when the subject is fully determined by the verb form. In Spanish, for instance, subject pronouns do not need to be explicitly present, even though in French, its close relative, they are obligatory. The Spanish equivalent to the French je suis (I am) can be simply soy (lit. "am"). The pronoun yo (I) in the explicit form yo soy is only required for emphasis or to clear ambiguity in complex texts.

Some languages have a richer agreement system in which verbs also agree with some or all of their objects. Ubykh exhibits verbal agreement for the subject, direct object, indirect object, benefaction and ablative objects (a.w3.s.xe.n.t'u.n, you gave it to him for me).

Basque can show agreement not only for subject, direct object and indirect object, but it also on occasion exhibits agreement for the listener as the implicit benefactor: autoa ekarri digute means "they brought us the car" (neuter agreement for listener), but autoa ekarri ziguten means "they brought us the car" (agreement for feminine singular listener).

Languages with a rich agreement morphology facilitate relatively free word order without leading to increased ambiguity. The canonical word order in Basque is subject-object-verb. However, all permutations of subject, verb and object are permitted.

Nonverbal person agreement

In some languages,[5] predicative adjectives and copular complements receive a form of person agreement that is distinct from that used on ordinary predicative verbs. Although this is a form of conjugation in that it refers back to the person of the subject, it is not "verbal" because it always derives from pronouns that have become cliticised to the nouns to which they refer.[6] An example of nonverbal person agreement, along with contrasting verbal conjugation, can be found from Beja[7] (person agreement affixes in bold):

  • wun.tu.wi, "you (fem.) are big"
  • hadá.b.wa, "you (masc.) are a sheik"
  • e.n.fór, "he flees"

Another example can be found from Ket:[7]

  • fèmba.di, "I am a Tungus"
  • d?.fen, "I am standing"

In Turkic, and a few Uralic and Australian Aboriginal languages, predicative adjectives and copular complements take affixes that are identical to those used on predicative verbs, but their negation is different. For example, in Turkish:

  • ko?.u.yor.sun "you are running"
  • çavu?.sun "you are a sergeant"

Under negation this becomes (negative affixes in bold):

  • ko?.mu.yor.sun "you are not running"
  • çavu? de?il.sin "you are not a sergeant"

For this reason, the person agreement affixes used with predicative adjectives and nominals in Turkic languages are considered to be nonverbal in character. In some analyses, they are viewed as a form of verbal takeover by a copular strategy.

Factors that affect conjugation

Common grammatical categories according to which verbs can be conjugated are the following:

Other factors which may affect conjugation are:

See also

Conjugations by language

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "conjugation". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "Conjugation". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Grammatical Features - Associativity". www.grammaticalfeatures.net. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Passer, Matthias. "Verb Classifiers - 'Misfits' of Nominal Classification?". academia.edu. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ Stassen, Leon; Intransitive Predication (Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory); published 1997 by Oxford University Press; p. 39. ISBN 0-19-925893-7
  6. ^ Stassen; Intransitive Predication; pp. 77 & 284-288
  7. ^ a b Stassen, Intransitive Predication; p. 40

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