Participles

Talossan verbs have two participle forms — the past participle (which is used almost exactly as it is in English), and the present participle form (which is not used in as many ways as English uses it).

The Past Participle

The English past participle typically looks just like a past-tense form, which ends in “-ed”. For example, “served” is both a past-tense form (“I served the dinner”) and a past participle form (“The dinner was served”).

Unlike English, in Talossan, the past participle form does not match the form of any past-tense conjugation. Notice, though, that the past participle of an English verb is not always the same form as the past tense form of that same verb. This is shown in the pair “I ate the dinner” and “The dinner was eaten”.

The Talossan past participle can either end in -at (and if so, it becomes feminine by becoming -ada) or -escu (which has no feminine form). Thus, the past participle form of a verb such as parlarh (= to talk) would be either parlat (of masculine or mixed-gender subjects) or parlada (of feminine gender subjects) or parlescu (gender-neutral). Which leads to the question, “when should the past participle form be used?”

Luckily, the answer is that the Talossan past participle form should be used in exactly the same circumstances and same word position as it is used in English, including using it as an adjective.

To provide examples of both, consider the sentence el crust c’esteva brenat (= the pie was burned). In this sentence, the past participle serves (with a form of the Talossan “to be” verb, estarh) in a compound verb phrase (“was burned”). Now consider améu del crust brenat (= I like burnt pie), in which the same past participle is now an adjective, describing the condition of the pie.

Almost every adjective that ends in in -at is a past participle. And a past participle does not need to be listed explicitly as an adjective in the online translator for it to be usable as an adjective — feel free to conjugate any verb to its past participle form and use it as an adjective.

As for the use of a past participle in a compound verb phrase, you will find that almost every compound verb phrase employs at least one past participle form — sometimes more than one. For example, in the phrase téu estescu raplamandat (= I have been reprimanded), both “to be” and “to reprimand” have been conjugated into the past participle forms.

In other words, the Talossan (and English) past participle is among the most-used parts of speech, so you should become very familiar with it.

As we’ve noted, there are some (but not all that many) verbs in Talossan that conjugate irregularly. Some (but not all) of these verbs have irregular past participle conjugations. For example, if estarh (= to be) were a completely regular verb, it would have both of the past participle forms estat (which would become feminine as estada) and estescu. But estarh is irregular in its past participle, in that only estescu is proper. The forms estat and estada are improper past participle forms in Talossan. (In other words, you should not count on every single Talossan verb always taking the -at and -ada and -escu ending to become a past participle, just as you could not count on the same thing as regards the “-ed” ending in English, as we saw with examples like “eaten” and “burnt”.)

Here are the twelve Talossan verbs that have irregular past participle forms:

  • creatarh (= to create) has only the irregular past participle form creat (which becomes feminine as creada)
  • credarh (= to believe) has the irregular past participle form creut as well as the regular form credescu
  • estarh (= to be) has only the regular form estescu (estat is improper)
  • façarh (= to do or to make) has the irregular forms fäts and facescu in addition to the regular form façat (fem. façada)
  • irh (= the verb of motion; to come/go) has only the irregular form venescu
  • moártarh (= to die) has only the irregular forms moart and mortescu
  • sâparh (= to know or to know how to) has only the regular form säpescu (säpat is improper)
  • scríuarh (= to write) has only the irregular form scriut
  • starh (= to be standing) has only the irregular form stanescu (stat is improper)
  • tirh (= to have) has only the irregular form tenescu
  • vidarh (= to see) has the irregular form víut and the regular form videscu
  • viénarh (= to be just about to / to have just) has the regular form viénat (fem. viénada) and the irregular form venescu

The Present Participle

In English, the present participle is the form of a verb that typically ends with “-ing”. For example, “going” and “eating” and “running”. In Talossan, the word ending is -ind (which, as discussed in an earlier lecture, has an irregular pronunciation, being pronounced as if it were spelled -ant).

While the past participle is among the most-used parts of speech in Talossan, the present participle is actually among the least-used! This is quite different from English.

In English, the present participle is used in a great many ways, most commonly to indicate a simple present, ongoing action (“I am eating”). This same sense in Talossan, however, would not be created with a participle, but simply with the present tense conjugations (which we will discuss in detail in the next lecture). That is, where English would say “I am eating”, Talossan would simply say éu menxhéu (= I eat). Feel free (and encouraged, as an English speaker) to read and hear éu menxhéu as “I am eating” for that is truly what it is. [Note that Talossan does not use the simple present tense in the way English does, to indicate a habitual state — the phrase éu menxhéu el pesc means “I am (currently) eating the fish” and éu sint à menxharh del pesc (literally “I am to eat fish”) means “I (habitually) eat fish”. This use of “to be to” is the imperfective aspect.]

We have also seen that where English uses the present participle as a gerund (“I hate reading”), Talossan uses the infinitive form instead (haßéu del lirarh = “I hate reading”).

So, if Talossan does not use the present participle to indicate ongoing activity the way English does, and also does not use it as a gerund as English does, your question must be “what is it used for in Talossan?”

The answer is that the present participle can be used as an adjective (just like we saw the past participle could be, in examples like “the burnt pie”). That is, it would be proper to use a present participle form in phrases such as el crust brenind (= the burning pie), el brüs cunstagnhind (= the impending doom) and els vints desilinds (= the swirling winds).

As shown in the foregoing example, the Talossan present participle should be pluralised (by the addition of -s) when it refers to a plural noun. Unlike the past participle, however, there is no separate feminine form for the present participle — use the -ind ending when describing both masculine and feminine nouns, as in la fru timnind (= the gossiping woman).

The eight verbs that have irregular present participle forms are listed below:

  • credarh (= to believe) has the irregular present participle form credent
  • irh (= the verb of motion; to come/go) has the irregular present participle forms viénind and vand
  • moártarh (= to die) has the irregular present participle form moarind
  • pevarh (= to be able to) has the irregular present participle form povind
  • scríuarh (= to write) has the irregular present participle form scríind
  • starh (= to be standing) has the irregular present participle form stanind
  • tirh (= to have) has the irregular present participle form tischind
  • viénarh (= to be just about to / to have just) has the irregular present participle form venind

Verbs that are formed by extending these irregular verbs share the same conjugation. For example, rescríind is proper for “rewriting”.