Classical Kasshian verbs

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Classical Kasshian verbs can take up to two prefixes and two suffixes. All verbs must have a personal suffix and an aspect suffix, except for the imperative forms, which do not take aspect suffixes.

Verbs are listed in dictionaries in the present active 1st person plural imperfective (ending in -neç, -mpeç, -ncheç, -nsheç, -mbeç, -njeç, or -ng'eç).

Stem changes

Some verbs undergo various changes to the beginning or end of the verb with certain affixes. Changes to the end merge with the suffixes themselves, and are thus best described as inflectional paradigms below. Changes to the beginning are far simpler.

  • Some verbs whose dictionary forms begin with a single consonant followed by an a will drop the /a/ after vowel-final prefixes, sometimes with further sound changes. These verbs will be listed in the dictionary with the past-tense form after the usual present-tense form
  • Some verbs that begin with l will drop the l after vowel-final prefixes and merge with the final consonant of consonant-final prefixes as gemination


There are four voices in Classical Kasshian

  • Anti-Passive: S- before l, w, or y, su- or so- before consonants, sw- before vowels
    • Anti-passive is used to promote an ergative noun to absolutive. The absolutive is either dropped, changed to instrumental, or incorporated, and any instrumental noun becomes perlative
  • Reflexive: K- before l or w, Ç- before y (with the y "absorbed" into ç), Ku- or Ko- before consonants, and Qu- before vowels
  • Dative-Object: P- before vowels, l, y, or w (w dropped), Pa- elsewhere
    • Dative-object is used to promote a dative noun to absolutive. Absolutive and instrumental make the same changes as in anti-passive

Active is marked with no prefix


  • Past F- before vowels, l, y, or w (w becomes silent) or after a voice prefix, fa- elsewhere
  • Future Ny- before vowels, n- before before y, nai- elsewhere

Personal Suffixes

Verbs take personal suffixes agreeing with the absolutive noun. There are four numbers: Singular, dual (2), paucal (small number), and plural. Paucal and plural are only distinguished in the 1st person. 3rd person distinguishes between sapient and non-sapient. Sapient refers to humans, pteranthropans, and supernatural beings. In addition, there were affirmative and negative imperative forms ("do X", "do not X") in the 1st and 2nd persons (1st person imperative is a hortative sense, e.g., "let's X", and thus only occurs in non-singular). Negative affirmative was occasionally replaced by the affirmative imperative with the particle fel (not)

The dictionary form is the 1st person plural imperfective, marked by -neç, -mpeç, -mbeç, -ncheç, -njeç, -nsheç, or -ng'eç.

There are two basic sets of suffixes, one for vowel-final verbs and the other for consonant-final verbs, with certain allomorphic variations

The basic forms of the suffixes are:

Person Vowel-final Consonant-final
Singular Dual Paucal Plural Singular Dual Paucal Plural
1st -u -uf
-tai -ni -u -lof
-tai -ni
2nd -fen -fni -fna -fen -fini -fina
3rd sapient -tas -chi -tan -tas -chi -tan
3rd nonsapient -l -i -n -la
1st -sa[1] -nka -chi[1] -kasa -kana -kachi
2nd [1] -dri[1] -çina
-kadri -çina
1st -lassa -lacchi -lanna -lassa -lacchi -lanna
2nd -lal -ladri -laina -lal -ladri -laina

Some verbs with a final -a in most forms drops that a in the 1st person singular and dual and the 3rd person nonsapient singular and dual, in which cases it acts as a consonant-final verb

  • Vowel-final verbs
    • Final -i becomes -y- before the 1st person singular and dual suffixes
    • Final -u becomes -w- before the 3rd person nonsapient dual suffix and is dropped before the 1st person dual suffix
    • The 1st person dual is -uf after -a and -of after -i and -u
    • -i and -u become -e and -o in closed syllables (2nd person dual and plural, 3rd person nonsapient singular and plural)
    • Long vowels become short in closed syllables
    • Some speakers change -ai to -y before -u and -of, other speakers keep -ai and replace -u and -of with -Ø and -f
    • Some speakers change -au to -w before -i, others keep -au and drop -i; in addition, -u and -of become -Ø and -f
  • Consonant-final verbs
    • Some verbs are "geminating" verbs, verbs that take the consonant-final suffixes with the final consonant of the verb being the same as the first consonant of the stem (e.g., -f- before -fen, -t- before -tas, etc.)
      • 1st person singular is either -u or -kku
      • 2nd person singular positive imperative usually has final -l, but archaically -kka
    • -l- becomes -r- after t, d, n, s, or z
    • 1st person dual and 3rd person nonsapient singular and dual uses gemination after all verbs ending in -s or -f and most verbs ending in -n (except a-dropping)
    • Suffixes beginning with obstruents (t, ch, f, k, ç) voice those obstruents after voiced obstruents, with ç becoming zh
    • -sç- and -sch- become -ssh-
    • -zç- and -zch- become -zzh-
    • Verbs whose stem ends in a stop have additional complications:
      • -p, -b, -t, and -d become -f, -v, -s and -z before consonants other than -l- and -n- (except -t and -d do not change before -t- or -ch-)
      • -k and -g are dropped with the preceding vowel made long in the same environment, except before -k- (becoming -kk- and -gg-) and -ç- (becoming -çç- and -zzh- respectively)
      • Archaically, before -p, -b, -t, -d, -k, and -g become -fu, -vu, -su, -zu, -kku, and -ggu before -u
      • Before -ni and -na:
        • -p -> -mpi, -mpa
        • -b -> -mbi, -mba
        • -t -> -nchi, -nta
        • -d -> -nji, -nda
        • -k -> -nçi, -nka
        • -g -> -ng'i, -nga


  • Imperfective -çi (after consonants other than n, s, or l), -ç (after vowels), -shi (after n, s, or l)
    • Imperfective indicates an action viewed as a process
  • Perfective (no suffix)
    • Perfective indicates that an action takes place in an instant, or in a brief period of time viewed as an instant. Combined with the present tense, it indicates that an action has just happened
  • Habitual -va (after consonants other than s or f), -v (after vowels), -fa (after s or f)
    • Habitual indicates that an action is done frequently and with some regularity, but not necessarily at the reference moment
    • Note: For some speakers, -av after 3rd person non-sapient singular and plural in vowel-final verbs, and 3rd person plural in a-dropping verbs (that is, -lav and -nav instead of -lva and -nva)
  • Retrospective -nu
    • Retrospective focuses on the consequences of an action, and is often roughly equivalent to the English perfect


Auxiliary verbs are suffixed to verbs in the stem forms, with the following changes:

  • Auxiliary verbs that begin with a soft consonant (l, w, y) or a vowel:
    • Stop-final verbs retain the stop
    • Cluster verbs drop the -a
  • Geminate verbs geminate the initial consonant of the auxiliary if possible
  • Both types of l-final verbs replace -l with -n before auxiliaries beginning with n

Verb Types

There are 9 main categories of verbs, determined by the cases their arguments take

  • Standard Verbs
    • Intransitive
    • Transitive
    • Ditransitive
  • Experiential Verbs (emotions, senses)
    • Experiencer-Subject
      • Experiencer is in the ergative, source of experience is in the absolutive
    • Experiencer-Object
      • Experiencer is in the dative, source of experience is in the absolutive
    • Experiencer-Equal
      • Experiencer is in the inessive, source of experience is in the absolutive
    • Some verbs can call into differing experiential categories, with different connotations; experiencer-subject tends to connote a degree of control, while experiencer-object tends to indicate lack of control. Experiencer-equal tends to connote a state
  • Verbs of Mental Action
    • Mental Action I
      • Person performing the action is in the ergative, recpient of action is in the absolutive (e.g., dakas "to ignore", person doing the ignoring is ergative, person being ignored is absolutive)
    • Mental Action II
      • Agent in the dative, patient in the absolutive
    • Like Experiential verbs, but less common, some verbs of mental action may switch categories. Mental Action II tends to imply that the agent is affected by his or her action
  • Others
    • Dative-Object
      • Agent is absolutive, affected noun is in the dative.


Classical Kasshian had several ways to indicate "to be".

  • S(a)- The prefix s(a)- could be added to the root form of a noun or adjective to make a verb meaning "to be X". For adjectives, this was the common way of indicating "be X". For nouns, using this prefix connoted that the relation between two nouns was one of a fundamental property, or integral part of identity.
  • Nasni - nasni is the "token copula". It indicates that the first noun is a member of a set defined by the second noun. It is moderately irregular
  • Klafni - klafni is the "equative copula". It indicates that two nouns refer to the same entity. For example, "He is her son" if the person in question only had one son, whereas the token copula would be used if there were two or more sons. Or "He is her eldest son", since, again, only one person can be described by the phrase "her eldest son"

Nasni and klafni did not take aspect affixes.

Irregular verbs

There were a small number of verbs that took somewhat irregular inflections. This is not a complete list. Aspect suffixes were regular. Perfective aspect is given in this table.

The irregular verbs listed here are nasni (be, see copulas above), nyazneç (destroy), pesneç (know how to, auxiliary), and yunasneç (smile). Irregular forms are bolded for emphasis. Lakazneç (deceive) was inflected like nyazneç

Person Number Nasni Nyazneç Pesneç Yunasneç
1st Singular yansu nyāzu pisu yonsu
Dual yansof nyāzrof pisrof yunassof
Paucal nastai nyazdai pestai yunastai
Plural nasni nyazni pesni yunasni
2nd Singular nasfen nyazven pesfen yunasfen
Dual nasfini
nyazvini pesfini yunasfini
Plural nasfina
nyazvina pesfina yunasfina
3rd sapient Singular nastas nyazdas pestas yunastas
Dual nasshi nyazzhi pesshi yunasshi
Plural nastan nyazdan pestan yunastan
3rd non-sapient Singular yansa nyāzra pisra yunassa
Dual yanshi nyāzri pisri yunasshi
Plural nasna nyazna pesna yunasna
Positive Imperatives
1st Dual naskassa nyazgassa peskassa yunaskassa
Paucal naskana nyazgana peskana yunaskana
Plural naskachi nyazgachi peskachi yunaskachi
2nd Singular yanas nyāz pes yunas
Dual naskadri nyazgadri peskadri yunaskadri
Plural nasshina nyazzhina pesshina yunasshina
Negative Imperatives
1st Dual nasrassa nyāzrassa pisrassa yonsrassa
Paucal nasranna nyāzranna pisranna yonsranna
Plural nasracchi nyāzracchi pisracchi yonsracchi
2nd Singular nasral nyāzral pisral yonsral
Dual nasradri nyāzradri pisradri yonsradri
Plural nasraina nyāzraina pisraina yonsraina

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Verb-final vowel lengthened
  2. Archaic