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Grammar 12

a) The past tense of the copula verb

The copula verb introduced in 4b) also appears in the past tense:

  Singular Plural
1st Person wayno (I) was ܘܰܝܢܐ wayna (we) were ܘܰܝܢܰܐ
2nd Person wayt (you) were ܘܰܝܬ waytu (you) were ܘܰܝܬܘ
3rd Person wa (he, she, it) was ܘܰܐ wayne (they) were ܘܰܝܢܶܐ

The examples introduced in 4b) in the past tense are:

arbci ëšne wa he/she was forty years old ܐܰܪܒܥܝ ܐܷܫܢܶܐ ܘܰܐ
b Ṭurcabdin wayne they were in Turabdin ܒܛܘܪܥܰܒܕܝܢ ܘܰܝܢܶܗ
gawire wayna we were married ܓܰܘܝܪܶܐ ܘܰܝܢܰܐ
qašto wayt you was a grandmother ܩܰܫܬܐ ܘܰܝܬ

b) The verb: The imperfect

The imperfect is formed by means of the present base and the past morpheme -wa ܘܰܐ which is appended to the forms of the 3rd and 2nd person. As for the 1st person, however, it is extended to –way ـܘܰܝـ and inserted between the present base and the inflectional suffix:

  Singular Plural
3rd Person (m.) domaxwa ܕܳܡܰܟ݂ܘܰܐ dëmxiwa ܕܷܡܟ݂ܝܘܰܐ
3rd Person (f.) dëmxowa ܕܷܡܟ݂ܳܘܰܐ
2nd Person dëmxatwa ܕܷܡܟ݂ܰܬܘܰܐ dëmxituwa ܕܷܡܟ݂ܝܬܘܘܰܐ
1st Person (m.) domaxwayno ܕܳܡܰܟ݂ܘܰܝܢܐ dëmxiwayna ܕܷܡܟ݂ܝܘܰܝܢܰܐ
1st Person (f.) dëmxowayno ܕܷܡܟ݂ܳܘܰܝܢܐ
  Singular Plural
3rd Person (m.) gorašwa ܓܳܪܰܫܘܰܐ guršiwa ܓܘܪܫܝܘܰܐ
3rd Person (f.) guršowa ܓܘܪܫܳܘܰܐ
2nd Person guršatwa ܓܘܪܫܰܬܘܰܐ guršituwa ܓܘܪܫܝܬܘܘܰܐ
1st Person (m.) gorašwayno ܓܳܪܰܫܘܰܝܢܐ guršiwayna ܓܘܪܫܝܘܰܝܢܰܐ
1st Person (f.) guršowayno ܓܘܪܫܳܘܰܝܢܐ

The imperfect in Surayt indicates an action that was ongoing in the past or that took place habitually:

bu zabnawo ġalabe iqroṯe Suryoye nëfqiwa me Ṭurcabdin.
ܒܘ ܙܰܒܢܰܘܐ ܓ݂ܰܠܰܒܶܐ ܐܝܩܪܳܬ݂ܶܐ ܣܘܪܝܳܝܶܐ ܢܷܦܩܝܘܰܐ ܡܶܐ ܛܘܪܥܰܒܕܝܢ.
„at that time a lot of Syriac families were leaving Turabdin”

c) The verb: The pluperfect

Just like the imperfect is formed by means of the present base, the pluperfect is formed by means of the preterite base and the past morpheme -wa. Consequently, in the pluperfect, like the preterite, one distinguishes between transitive and intransitive verbs. As for transitive verbs, -wa ܘܰܐ as –way ـܘܰܝـ is inserted in between the preterite base grëš- ܓܪܷܫـ and the inflectional suffix. Therefore, the deviation of the 3rd and 2nd person is to be borne in mind. The verbs introduced in the chapter on the preterite (cf. Grammar 8a) have the following forms:

  Singular Plural
3rd Person (m.) grëšwayle ܓܪܷܫܘܰܝܠܶܗ grëšwalle ܓܪܷܫܘܰܠܠܶܗ
3rd Person (f.) grëšwayla ܓܪܷܫܘܰܝܠܰܗ
2nd Person grëšwaylux ܓܪܷܫܘܰܝܠܘܟ݂ grëšwalxu ܓܪܷܫܘܰܠܟ݂ܘ
1st Person (m.) grëšwaylax ܓܪܷܫܘܰܝܠܰܟ݂ grëšwaylan ܓܪܷܫܘܰܝܠܰܢ
1st Person (f.) grëšwayli ܓܪܷܫܘܰܝܠܝ

The pluperfect of intransitive verbs is formed correspondingly to the imperfect. The extension -wa is identical with the one of the imperfect:

  Singular Plural
3rd Person (m.) damëxwa ܕܰܡܷܟ݂ܘܰܐ damixiwa ܕܰܡܝܟ݂ܝܘܰܐ
3rd Person (f.) damixowa ܕܰܡܝܟ݂ܳܘܰܐ
2nd Person damixatwa ܕܰܡܝܟ݂ܰܬܘܰܐ damixituwa ܕܰܡܝܟ݂ܝܬܘܘܰܐ
1st Person (m.) damëxwayno ܕܰܡܷܟ݂ܘܰܝܢܐ damixiwayna ܕܰܡܝܟ݂ܝܘܰܝܢܰܐ
1st Person (f.) damixowayno ܕܰܡܝܟ݂ܳܘܰܝܢܐ

The pluperfect is equivalent to the English past perfect simple. It indicates an action that took place before a certain time frame in the past and is completed:

bu zabnawo ġalabe iqroṯe Suryoye nafiqiwa me Ṭurcabdin.
ܒܘ ܙܰܒܢܰܘܐ ܓ݂ܰܠܰܒܶܐ ܐܝܩܪܳܬ݂ܶܐ ܣܘܪܝܳܝܶܐ ܢܰܦܝܩܝܘܰܐ ܡܶܐ ܛܘܪܥܰܒܕܝܢ.
„at that time a lot of Syriac families had left Turabdin.”