Imperatives and Procedurals

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Imperatives

Imperatives are only attested thus far for second-person singular and plural subjects. Imperatives for singular subjects are formed with a suffix -i. Imperatives for plural subjects are formed with -yo (possibly -i plus plural -o) and plural consonant mutation of the verb stem initial:

stem + -i (+ -o')

A few examples are given below (all data from 103):

tiim-i! 'be quiet (sg)!'
tiim-yo! 'be quiet (pl)!'

Moods formed on the "Procedural" base

Procedural mood

A mood that I dub the "procedural" is used when observing action and/or describing it to a listener, frequently with the sense of instructing the listener. The closest English equivalents are:

  • Giving directions (i.e. "First, (you) go down Telegraph, then (you) make a right...")
  • Narrating a third party's actions or describing them as a model for the listener's behavior (i.e. "First, she goes down telegraph, and then she makes a right...(as you will)")
  • "Imperatives" in instructions on packaged goods (i.e. "Lather, rinse, repeat")

All of these are also common uses of this mood in Sereer according to our consultant.

The procedural is formed with unique subject marking. Note that inflection is reduced, such that there is no overt tense marking, and the "default vowel" -a does not appear.

Procedural mood subject inflection
Gloss Sereer Gloss Sereer
1SG m(in)= 1PL i=[mut]
2SG o= 2PL nu=[mut]
3SG te= 3PL de=[mut]

Note that the 1SG form is especially complicated in its realization, having at least three variants: the fullest segmentally (also the rarest in our data) is min=; the most common variant is in=; and another fairly common variant is m=. Some exceptional phonological behavior is seen in these variants: the variants ending in n display a complete lack of nasal assimilation to the final consonant, counter to observed tendencies elsewhere in the language. This is likely due to the fact that if assimilation occurred, it being immediately before the stem-initial consonant, the impression would be of a plural stem: in other words, in=gar [ingar] '1SG come.PROC' is pronounced distinctly from i=ngar [iŋgar] '1PL come.PROC'. Additionally, the proclitic m= is realized as a very unusual syllabic bilabial nasal [m̩], i.e. m gar [m̩gar] '1SG come.PROC'.

Prohibitive mood

The prohibitive mood is used here in its usual sense, that of a negative command, or a command not to do a particular action. The prohibitive is attested with first-person plural and second-person singular and plural marking. Sentences in the prohibitive mood are formed as follows:

ba(r) + procedural base

Bar can also be contracted to ba followed by the bare verb stem on occasion, without the subject marking described above but retaining inflectional consonant mutation. A full range of basic hortatives is presented below (all data 103):

bar o ret! or ba ret! 'don't go (sg)'
bar nu ndet! or ba ndet! 'don't go (pl)'
bar i ndet! or ba ndet! 'let's not go'

Hortative "mood" and aca

The "hortative mood" is a semantically appropriate term---this sort of utterance is an exhortation to a group that includes the speaker to do a particular action---but constructionally, the hortative can in fact be expressed by the procedural base with no other particles. Use of a particle that could be described as hortative, aca, is typical when the procedural is used as a hortative, but use of aca is not obligatory for an utterance to be conveyed in the hortative mood. So, the "hortative mood", which may not be a mood independent of the procedural, is formed as follows:

(aca +) procedural base

The hortative construction has only been attested thus far with 1PL subject agreement: (aca) i ndet! 'let's go!' (103). However, use of aca is ubiquitous in non-declarative sentences of all types, as indicated below for both prohibitives and imperatives (all data from 129):

aca bar i ndet! 'hey, let's not go!'
aca bar o ret! 'hey, don't go (sg)!'
aca nu njaw! 'hey, cook (pl)!'

Inflectional Paradigms

Inflectional paradigms for the imperative and procedural and procedural-based moods are of interest because of the different context for suffixation of inflectional morphology: in the case of imperatives, -i 'IMP' produces some results similar to the negative -i(r), and for procedurals, prohibitives, and hortatives, the bare stem is the site for affixation. These paradigms are available at ...

Need a site to put imperative and procedural paradigms Faytak 04:05, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

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