Thursday, November 1, 2012
Verbal suffixes, including the zero suffix, convey grammatical information about tense and aspect, two grammatical categories that are not clearly distinguished. Present and aorist are universally recognised, while some of the other aspects remain controversial. Two of the four moods, the subjunctive and the optative, are also formed with suffixes, which sometimes results in forms with two consecutive suffixes: *bʰér-e-e-ti > *bʰérēti "he would carry", with the first *e being the present tense marker, and the second the subjunctive marker. Reduplication can mark the present and the perfect. Verbal endings convey information about grammatical person, number and voice. The imperative mood has its own set of endings What was that he grunted at you, Vern?