Lántas verbs

TODO: intro

The infinitive is unmarked, but always ends in a vowel. A borrowing from another language adds an a to the end if necessary. It is the citation form for verbs as well as being used in several constructions.[citation needed]


There is a distinction between two different past tenses, recent and distant past. The recent past is most commonly used, while the distant past is used to denote an action happening further in the past than to another action already expressed using the recent.

Stories are narrated in the present tense.

Distant past (DPST) –saji
Recent past (RPST) –si
Present (PRS)
Future (FUT) –má
Ƶasim kalńḿt jaƶí.
ƶasi–m kalń–ḿ–t jaƶí
dog–DEF cat–DEFGEN love;PRS
The dog loves the cat.
Ƶasim kalńḿt jaƶísi.
ƶasim kalńḿt jaƶí–si
the:dog the:cat love–RPST
The dog loved the cat.
Ƶasim kalńḿt jaƶísaji.
ƶasim kalńḿt jaƶí–saji
the:dog the:cat love–DPST
The dog had loved the cat (until …).
Ƶasim kalńḿt jaƶí.
ƶasim kalńḿt jaƶí–má
the:dog the:cat love–FUT
The dog will love the cat.


These suffixes are used instead of pronouns (but not nouns) in the subject and object positions. The subject suffix comes before the object. For the plural, the vowel is lengthened and –š is added (e.g. –na to –náš).

Just like with the pronouns, the first person plurals –náš and –dúš can only be used with an inclusive meaning. The exclusive sense is expressed by using conjunctions of pronouns instead of suffixes.

  1 2 3
Subject (SBJ) –na –ha –fa
Object (OBJ) –du –gu –bu
I see you.
Ƶasim bairunáš.
ƶasi–m bairu–náš
dog–DEF see–1PL;SBJ
We see the dog.
Ƶasim bairudúš.
ƶasi–m bairu–dúš
dog–DEF see–1PL;OBJ
The dog sees us.


TODO replace this, probably

There is a four way voice distinction. The voice markers are placed between the tense and person markers.

Active (ACT)
Passive (PSV) –lú
Reflexive (RFL) –sidu
Reciprocal (RCP) –lƶi
Ƶasimat tassána.
ƶasimat tassá–na
the:dog wash–1SG
I wash the dog.
Ƶasim tassá.
ƶasim tassá–lú
the:dog wash–PSV
The dog is washed.
I wash myself.
We wash each other.



Nominal forms

A verb stem can also be used as a noun: for example, šikkú both means ‘to go’ and ‘an act of going’. The definite plural is also used to mean the act in a general sense. The definite form is also used for the verb of content clauses, for example indirect quotations, and with auxiliary verbs such as modals.

When the final part of the verb is a subject suffix ending in –a, that a is dropped and the –ḿ form of the definite is used instead, e.g. rusmánḿ “that I sleep” rather than rusmánam. The definite form of ai “to be” is am rather than aim.

solve problem–DEFPL
logic (the general act of problem solving)
Fíra fuham suasifa.
fíra fuha–m sua–si–fa
air blow–DEF say–RPST3SG
He said it was windy.
Šikkúnḿt ušminatul.
šikkú–n(a)–ḿ–t ušmi–na–tul
I don’t want to go.

Modifier forms

TODO: maybe replace –ja with –[ka]t? (or –gu???)

A verb form can be suffixed with –ja to turn it into a noun modifier. This is used to make relative clauses.

ƶasim bairuja ausut kášńḿ
ƶasi–m bairu–ja ausu–t kášń–ḿ
dog–DEF see–REL size–GEN lizard–DEF
the big lizard that the dog sees
ƶasimat bairuja ausut kášńḿ
ƶasim–at bairu–ja ausut kášńḿ
the:dog–GEN see–REL big the:lizard
the lizard that sees the dog

TODO: probably remove and modify some word instead?

A relative clause can be made into a noun phrase of its own with –ƶ, meaning ‘the one who ____’.

kášńł bairujaƶ
kášń–ł bairu–ja–ƶ
lizard–PL see–RELNOM
the one who sees lizards


Pro-verbs are placeholders standing in for verb phrases; they are the verb equivalent of pronouns.

The word for ‘to do this’ is mai, related to the pronoun mua. There are also lai and ƶai, which are used only when contrasting between two options.

Naranášḿ iš lut saunusam gibanášḿ fulla.
nara–náš–ḿ lut saunu–sa–m giba–náš–ḿ fulla
walk–1PLDEF or bus–ADDEF ride–1PLDEF can
We can walk or take the bus.
Laimƶaim ušmiha?
lai–m ƶai–m ušmi–ha
do this–DEF or do that–DEF want–2SG
Which do you want to do?
Ƶaim ušmina.
ƶai–m ušmi–na
do that want–1SG
I want to take the bus.

There is also a negative pro-verb tulla, ‘to not do this/that’.

Polar questions

TODO idk

Polar (yes/no) questions add a –ǧi clitic on the word or phrase being questioned. The word being questioned receives the primary stress. If there is no particular focus for the question, it is attached to the final word of the sentence.

Inlantimsasǧi šikkúmáha?
inlanti–m–sa–s–ǧi šikkú–má–ha
Are you going to england (vs going somewhere else)?
Surǧi inlantimsas šikkúmá?
sur–ǧi inlantimsas šikkúmá
2SGQU to:england will:go
Is it you (vs someone else) who is going to england?
Inlantimsas šikkúmáhaǧi?
inlantimsas šikkúmáha–ǧi
to:england you:will:go–QU
Are you going to england (vs coming from it)?

To answer a yes/no question, the verbs mai or tulla, respectively, are conjugated for person (but not tense, etc). Their literal meaning are as pro-verbs, ‘to (not) do this’.