Verb forms

Verb Forms


There are four types of verbs—transitive, intransitive, applicative and copula.  A transitive verb has an object that the action is done to. Transitive verbs are usually actions. An intransitive verb does not have an object that the action is done to. Instead, intransitive verbs are usually motions, changes, or states. An applicative verb can be an action, motion, change or state. It is a transitive or intransitive verb that adds an object or a receiver. A copula is an equal sign verb that shows two persons or things are the same or similar.


The transitive verb tiŋe ‘hears’ can have the object len ‘axe’ as in (1). The intransitive verb küüyïdï ‘flies, jumps’ in (2) has no object. The applicative verb tiiŋgede ‘hears for’ in (3) has the object len ‘axe’ and the receiver oon ‘man’. The copula a ‘is, be’ in (4) shows the subject yaam ‘basket’ is about the same as the complement koy tïṇṇä ‘red tree’.


Four types of verbs
Transitive subject, object (1) Aŋ men len tiŋe. Person hears axe.
Intransitive subject, (no object) (2) Aŋ men küüyïdï ïñï. Person jumps down.
Applicative subject, object, receiver (3) Aŋ men oon tiiŋgede len. Person hears axe for man.
Copula subject, complement (4) Yaam a koy tïṇṇä. A basket is a red tree.