I will always strive to be as unambiguous as possible in my conlangs, furthermore very redundant as well (although I will not require a separate word as a subject unless I have to), unless it is funny:
once upon a time in my imagination wrote:This language conjugates for masculine/feminine gender in the object on verbs, but only in the future tense. Also there is no number.
However, if I'm allowed to go the whole hog, I'll never hesitate to do so. See here my ridiculously extensive and unfinished system for conjugating verbs in my latest and greatest conlang:
(not gonna bore you with a phoneme inventory, and by the way I'm adding two more tenses, one more aspect, and at least one more voice)Verbs In Skang: An Incomplete List of Forms For Complete Assholes
Verbs conjugate for gender, person, definiteness, number, tense, aspect, mood, negation, and voice. That's nine properties, in case you were wondering. Lemme list them: Gender:
Natural Other (say, birdsong)
Manmade Machine (generally anything bigger than a person)
Manmade Tool (generally anything smaller than a person)
Manmade Other (like a work of art or something)
Abstract Mathematical Person:
(combined persons only in plural)
1+2 (inclusive we)
1+3 (we, plus some other people not present)
1+4 (we, in a generic situation)
1+2+3 (inclusive we, plus some other people not present)
1+2+4 (inclusive we in a generic situation)
1+2+3+4 (everybody in a generic situation)
2+3 (y'all, plus some other people)
2+4 (y'all, in a generic situation)
2+3+4 (y'all plus some other people in a generic situation)
3+4 (they in a generic case)
4 (you or one, like in Finnish; a generic case) Definiteness:
Mesiodefinite ("some" as in, "some guy stole my phone")
Extradistal ("yonder thing")
Primary Personal ("me")
Secondary Personal ("you")
Quaternary Personal ("one") Number:
Hyponumerical (negative numbers)
Paucal (two through four)
General (not fundamentally different from present tense, but it covers a wider area, and can really be interpreted as any point in time)
Remote Future Aspect:
Evidential (realis mood; "I have proven/resolved/learned that...")
Alethic Mathematical (objectively conclusive based on mathematical reasoning)
Alethic Scientific (reasoning out a result based on previous data; different from evidential mood in that it is irrealis and predicts results; both moods are fully conjugated in all tenses)
Negated verb Voice:
Verb Stem Nicknames:
Irrealis Stem I: the general stem
Irrealis Stem II: the displaced stem
Irrealis Stem III: the participle stem
Realis Stem I: the present stem
Realis Stem II: the simple stem
Realis Stem III: the perfect stem
Realis Stem IV: the future stem
This is lots and lots to take in, but trust me, it's all in the verb.
The verb has two sets of really short stems: three irrealis stems and four realis stems. Take, say, the verb "spar", to buy. It has two stems: "sp" and "r" (with the "a" functioning as a predefined part of the verb to hold it together). The former stem, the irrealis stem, can also take the form of "fp" and "σp". The latter stem, the realis stem, can also take the form of "ρ", "t", and "τ". These are called that way because the stems normally stay in one piece, but when the verb is not in the indicative or evidential mood, or when the verb is negated in some form, they break apart, the verb gains all sorts of neat properties that can be conjugated. Due to the complexity of verb conjugation in this language, the section on verbs will be split into twelve parts, each dealing with a stem combination. Then, afterwards, the splitting up of the verb will be dealt with.
Before I get into anything else, know this: the vowel between the two stems? That indicates gender. Now, verbs are split up into two conjugations, those that use "a" as the no-gender vowel, like spar, and those that use "o", like bor, to drink. This is lexical and must be learned; the a or o of a verb is called the "lexical vowel". However, that is the only place that shows up; it doesn't affect any conjugation besides that in the no-gender. Also, note that this indicates the logical gender of the object, not the subject. Now, here are the rest of the vowel combos:
Microscopic Lifeform: ω
Natural Solids: η
Natural Fluids: ι
Natural Other: α
Manmade Machine: υi
Manmade Tool: ie
Manmade Other: eu
Abstract Psychological: ai
Abstract Mathematical: ei
1. Tense, Person, and Number
This is done the good old-fashioned way, by adding endings onto stems. The vowel before the ending is the lexical vowel between the two stems, a or o. For endings beginning with a vowel, a j is inserted between it and the vowel that would otherwise be there, unless they are the same in which case the j goes before the first vowel, except everything I just described gets thrown out if there are no infixes between the ending and the vowel in question (so, "spartijo" for "I have bought", and "borgejo" for "I am drinking", but "borsjo" for "I begin to drink", and "sparo" for "I buy"). Stem combinations:
I. IRREALIS I + REALIS I
This is where the present tense in all aspects, the general tense in all aspects but the frequentative, and the future tense in the simple, progressive, stative, and habitual reside.
Simple- ø + 1
Perfect- ti + 1
Progressive- ge + 1
Stative- ma + 1
Habitual- be + 1
Conclusive- la + 1
Inchoative- so + 1
Frequentative- wewe + 2
Durative- ba + 1
Simple- ø + 2
Perfect- te + 2
Progressive- ge + 2
Stative- me + 2
Habitual- be + 2
Conclusive- le + 1
Inchoative- ψi + 1
Durative- ba + 2
Simple- bi + 1
Progressive- nk + 1
Stative- mα + 2
Habitual- de + 1
II. IRREALIS I + REALIS II
This is where the past tense in the simple, conclusive and frequentative aspects, the hesternal in the simple, progressive, stative, habitual, and durative, and the future tense in the perfect reside.
Perfect- ri + 1
III. IRREALIS I + REALIS III
This is where the future in the conclusive and inchoative, the past in the perfect, and the crastinal in the simple and perfect reside.
IV. IRREALIS I + REALIS IV
This is where the general in the frequentative, the past in the progressive, stative, habitual, durative, and inchoative, and the future in the frequentative and durative reside.
Progressive- bη + 1
Stative- mη + 1
Habitual- de + 1
Inchoative- li + 2
Durative- dα + 2
V. IRREALIS II + REALIS I
This is where the hodiernal past in all aspects but the perfect, the crastinal in the durative and inchoative, and the remote past in the simple, stative, habitual, and progressive reside.
VI. IRREALIS II + REALIS II
This is where the remote future in all tenses, and the hodiernal future in the simple, perfect, conclusive, stative, frequentative, and inchoative reside.
VII. IRREALIS II + REALIS III
This is where the remote past in the perfect and conclusive, the hodiernal past in the perfect, and the hesternal in the perfect, conclusive, inchoative, and repetitive reside.
VIII. IRREALIS II + REALIS IV
This is where the hodiernal future in the progressive, habitual, frequentative, and durative, and the crastinal in the progressive, stative, and habitual reside.
IX. IRREALIS III + REALIS I
This is where all of the passive participles reside.
X. IRREALIS III + REALIS II
This is where all of the active participles reside.
XI. IRREALIS III + REALIS III
This is where all of the reflexive and intensive participles reside.
XII. IRREALIS III + REALIS IV
This is where all of the verbal nouns reside.
2. Mood and Voice
If the verb is anything other than indicative active, it breaks up into two parts, the line drawn between the lexical vowel or gender marker and the realis stem. Then, some consonant or other is added onto the end of the first part of the verb to indicate mood and voice (so, for example, "the plant would be bought" is "speng rat"). The tables of these consonants are as follows:
Active: h (only used for negation of active indicative)
To negate, reduplicate the mood/voice consonant and stuff a vowel in between:
So, "I do not drink a fluid" is "bιhah ro", "bιhih ro", or "bιhuh ro", depending on the exact meaning intended (emphasis on "I", emphasis on "drink", or emphasis on "fluids" (really weird)).
4. Time Travel
This language is also for use by time travelers. There's a quick set of vowels and consonants to be stuck onto the end of the first part to emulate stem changes, and then lexical vowel-base personal endings that got on those, like conjugating a second verb. If something is being indicated to have happened on the "universal" timeline and being compared to it, either the 4th or 1+2+3+4th person is used.
So, for example, "I buy, but in your personal timeline I bought" would be "spajol ro".
5. Other Forms of the Verb
These are always formed with the third irrealis stem (sometimes called the "participle stem" for this reason). Observe, with the Roman numerals indicating the stem and "LV" meaning "lexical vowel": (these behave like regular adjectives)
III+I: past passive
III+I+LV+x: present passive
III+I+LV+nd: future passive
III+II+LV+nt: past active
III+II+LV+ns: present active
III+II+LV+r: future active
III+III+LV+b: past reflexive
III+III+LV+ψ: present reflexive
III+III+LV+pt: future reflexive
A footprint in the sand.