johnH wrote:But so many prefixes! ‹O.O›' that makes me want to study it now.
Tlingit has prefixes, infixes and suffixes. I'll give you an example
to sing yashee
to sing loudly sasiaax
She sings off key A goowanáax awé yaa sanasáx
Look how the root -shee-
changes. The third person progressive for sasiaax
has a seemingly random sana-
added as a prefix. But this verb is NOT irregular. That's just how that word is conjugated. Every verb practically has a completely new conjugation. BTW, yaa
denotes third person in this verb. It's technically not a prefix, but a separate word.
he knows him kei at gooxshagóok
he makes him fall yei isgích
or he pushes him
in the second sentence yei
denotes down...someone falls down.
but, kei yax isgích
means "He gets up" or "he falls up", however, if I forget to add yax before the verb and say instead kei isgích
, I've said "He fell to his death", because a lack of an infix here denotes "completion", which can mean a couple of things, depending on the verb.
Yet, people speak this language everyday! Just imagine the mental acrobatics one has to do to tell a simple story. In my research, I was told that Tlingit is SO precise, so as not to cause any confusion. The language can sound short and abrupt, due to when you're hunting, there is no time to have full discussions, so short, quick "infixes" are used to give detailed instructions without any confusion.