Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lesson 5: B'utis Deŋna Iŋŋus

Lesson 5: B'utis Deŋna Iŋŋus

Goal: Students are exposed to possessive postposition and first verb -daq “to live”. Reading comprehension and recognition of errors therein.

Vocabulary: Here is a list of new words you will encounter in today's reading.
  • Habta—it is located
  • Eluk—Yelogui River
  • Eŋŋuŋ—Village
  • Dateŋ(s)—Clean (one)
  • Kət—Winter
  • Ovɨlde—One way of saying “it was”
  • Us(am)—(It is) warm
  • Bokkɨt—Heat (bo'k: fire)
  • Teŋgat—Oven
  • Qak—five
  • Usaŋ: sleeping, asleep
  • Dejbokoin—I'm still working this one out. It appears to be a transitive verb. Here is my best guess at a gloss: Dej- “3p.SJ”, -b- “3p.dirOBJ”, -oko- “nonpast tense” -in “verb stem”. I've been looking in Werner's dictionary for something like this, but have only found the verb for “to hide” in, which wouldn't really make sense in this context. It must be something that has to do with naming, since it goes between bu “he” and a proper name. I probably just don't know enough Ket.
  • Kalavels—guard

The first thing to talk about this lesson is the possessive postposition, which functions similarly to the locative, but has several different forms that we need to remember. Here is a chart of the endings.

Masc. Singular Masc. Plural Fem. Singular Fem. Plural Inan. Singular Inan. Plural
-da, as in Siragatsda “teacher's” -na, as in Siragatsanna “teachers'” -d(i), as in Qimsiragatsdi “female teacher's” -na, as in Qimsiragatsanna “female teachers'” -d(i), as in suuldi “sled's” -d, as in “suulaŋd” “sleds'”

Next, let's look at our first verb. Unlike any other verb system in the area, Yeniseian (and therefore Ket) verbs use a prefixing, rather than suffixing, system. This is one of the strongest evidences of a possible connection to the Na-Dene languages of North America. There are eight “slots” which we can use to modify verbs, but don't worry—we won't tackle all of them at once. Today we'll look at the verb -daq “to live, stay”. First let's start by looking at a fully conjugated example of the verb.
Buŋ du-ga-daq-an hɨssej-qa
They 3pPl.-NONPAST-live-Pl. forest-LOC
They live in the forest.”

As you can see, the conjugation occurs in the first part of the verb, followed by tense, followed by the verb stem itself. Many verbs include the de facto stem earlier in the verb (position 7, to be exact, but you needn't remember this now), as a result of being surrounded by suffixing-verb languages for thousands of years, but the important thing is to remember that Yeniseic roots have historically been toward the end of the verb.

Here is a present-tense conjugation chart for -daq. (A reminder: intervocalic /-d-/ surfaces as [-ɾ-], /-k-/ as [-ɣ-], and /-q-/ as [-ʁ-]! Make sure your pronunciation is good.)

At di-ka-daq “I live”
Ətn di-ka-daq-an “we live”
U ku-ka-daq “You live”
Əkŋ ku-ka-daq-an “You all live”
Bu du-ka-daq “he lives”, də-ka-daq “she/it lives”
Buŋ du-ka-daq-an “they live”
So, as you can see, Ket verbs are not that difficult with practice. The first part of the verb marks conjugation, and -ka- marks nonpast tense. Below is the past tense for -daq:

At di-ol-daq “I lived”
Ətn di-ol-daq-an “We lived”
U ku-ol-daq “You lived”
Əkŋ ku-ol-daq-an “You all lived”
Bu du-ol-daq “he lived”,
Buŋ du-ol-daq-an “They lived”

In this case the past is marked by -ol-.

Please note that this is only one form of intransitive verb, but for now try to memorize these conjugations and patterns.

Lesson: This reading assignment was taken from Nikolaeva's 3rd-Grade Ket Reader. See the bottom of the text for full citation. Although this is good basic practice, the Ket in this reading is highly Russianized—we can tell that it's a word-for-word translation from Russian (not to say that my own Ket would be any better! I'm still a beginner.) For example, the title of the piece is Iŋŋus Ovaŋna “my parents' house”, but really would sound more like “house my parents'” to a totally fluent Ket speaker. Compare with this lesson's title, B'utis Deŋna Iŋŋus “My family's house”. The reason for the faulty word order in the title is clear if you're a Russian speaker, as Dom roditelej “parents' house”, lit. “house parent.GEN-pl”. That said, here is the text, with an English translation below. Try not to look at the English until you've made an effort to understand everything on your own!

Iŋŋus Ovaŋna: Ətna iŋŋus--iŋŋus ovaŋna habta ulbanŋtdiŋa Eluk eŋŋuŋ Kellog.  Iŋŋus qà haj dateŋs.  
Kət ovɨlde qà usam.  Bokkɨt, iŋŋus qà təŋŋat.  Kiseŋ dukadaq qak de'ŋ: Op, Am, Qip, Qima haj at.
 Ətna usaŋ tip.  Bu dejbokoin Sobol.  Sobol aqta kalabels.

The House of My Parents: Our house—the house of my parents stands on the shore of the Yelugui, in the village of Kellog. The house is a big, clean one. In winter it was very warm. The house is heated by a big oven. Here live five people: Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma and I. Our dog is asleep. He is named (dejbokoin?) Sable. Sable is a good guard.

Homework: Look at the verb "live" in the text.  Is it conjugated properly?  If not, conjugate it as it should be done.  Whether or not you think it is conjugated properly, explain your reasoning.

Source: Nikolaeva, G., and V. Bondareva. Der' Knigaŋ. St. Petersburg: Publishing Branch "Education", 2002. 4. Print.

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