Stālāg (Terbian)

the language of the Terb

Motion verbs

Motion verbs in Terbian can be divided into three classes:

jŏw: A-goes
mīk: A-moves
pont: A-swims

wbalas: P-sways
aliky: P-falls

al: A-drops-P (A-causes-[P-falls])
ttēg: A-throws-P (A-causes-[P-moves_forcefully])

There’s a gap between volitional and nonvolitional motion, shown by the opposition of e.g. mīk ‘A-moves’ vs. wbalas ‘P-sways’. What if one wants to say ‘P-moves’? One can either use an applicative-mediopassive voice combination (1) or, in this case, resort to lexical suppletion (2):

1. Ppadr mīkkikyo. (‘The rock moves / is moved.’)
2. Ppadr tĕko. (‘The rock moves.’)

In the case of wbalas ‘P-sways’, the only way to agentivize the subject is by means of an adverbial complement that shows volition, sīnĕ, which literally means ‘own-self-ly’ (3):

3. Telelådr sīnĕ wbalaso. (‘The dancer sways [on her own volition].’)

Most vi-P motion verbs can be used without sīnĕ if the subject is clearly a controlling agent. However, this suggests some degree of lack of control. The average speaker tends towards shortening sīnĕ to sīn and cliticizing it to the verb.

Common use also allows vi-A motion verbs with inanimate subjects, like tŏkor ‘rise’ and legw ‘roll’.

4. Rah ziazō ar tŏkoros. (‘The sun rises in the east.’)