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Grammar 17
a) a) Frequent verbs with weak or irregular inflection

Six of the most common verbs with a weak first radical in the present and preterite are inflected as follows. The initial vowel in the present base of such verbs assimilates to the final vowel of the present tense marker ko- ܟܳ‍ـ, so that only the remaining consonant k- ܟـ is visible. When taking the present tense marker, the initial Olaf ܐ of the verb is written without a vowel in the Syriac script on etymological grounds:

ko ܟܳـ + omar ܐܳܡܰܪ = komar ܟܳܐܡܰܪ „he says, is saying“
ko ܟܳـ + obe ܐܳܒܶܐ = kobe ܟܳܐܒܶܐ „he gives, is giving“
ko ܟܳـ + oxal ܐܳܟ݂ܰܠ = koxal ܟܳܐܟ݂ܰܠ „he eats, is eating“
ko ܟܳـ + oṯe ܐܳܬ݂ܶܐ = koṯe ܟܳܐܬ݂ܶܐ „he comes, is coming“
ko ܟܳـ + ëzze ܐܷܙܙܶܗ = kёzze ܟܷܐܙܙܶܗ „he goes, is going“
ko ܟܳـ + obac ܐܳܒܰܥ = kobac ܟܳܐܒܰܥ „he wants“
More about the present tense marker ko- ܟܳـ and verbs with Olaf ܐ as first initial radical can be found in G18.a. The future particle gёd ܓܷܕ (G7.b) remains unchanged: gёd oṯitu ܓܷܕ ܐܳܬ݂ܝܬܘ „you (pl.) will come“.

ʾmr ܐܡܪ I : omar – mёrle ܐܳܡܰܪ – ܡܷܪܠܶܗ „to say“

  Present base Preterite
Sg. 3. m. omar ܐܳܡܰܪ mёrle ܡܷܪܠܶܗ
  3. f. ёmmo ܐܷܡܡܐ mёrla ܡܷܪܠܰܗ
  2. m. ёmmat ܐܷܡܡܰܬ mёrlux ܡܷܪܠܘܟ݂
  2. f. ёmmat ܐܷܡܡܰܬ mёrlax ܡܷܪܠܰܟ݂
  1. m. omarno ܐܳܡܰܪܢܐ mёrli ܡܷܪܠܝ
  1. f. ёmmono ܐܷܡܡܳܢܐ mёrli ܡܷܪܠܝ
Pl. 3. ёmmi ܐܷܡܡܝ mёrre ܡܷܪܪܶܗ
  2. ёmmitu ܐܷܡܡܝܬܘ mёrxu ܡܷܪܟ݂ܘ
  1. ёmmina ܐܷܡܡܝܢܰܐ mёrlan ܡܷܪܠܰܢ

ʾby/hwy ܐܒܝ/ܗܘܝ (< yhb ܝܗܒ) I: obe – hule ܐܳܒܶܐ – ܗܘܠܶܗ „to give“

  Present base Preterite
Sg. 3. m. obe ܐܳܒܶܐ hule ܗܘܠܶܗ
  3. f. obo ܐܳܒܐ hula ܗܘܠܰܗ
  2. m. obat ܐܳܒܰܬ hulux ܗܘܠܘܟ݂
  2. f. obat ܐܳܒܰܬ hulax ܗܘܠܰܟ݂
  1. m. obeno ܐܳܒܶܢܐ huli ܗܘܠܝ
  1. f. obono ܐܳܒܳܢܐ huli ܗܘܠܝ
Pl. 3. obёn ܐܳܒܷܢ huwe ܗܘܘܶܗ
  2. obitu ܐܳܒܝܬܘ huxu ܗܘܟ݂ܘ
  1. obina ܐܳܒܝܢܰܐ hulan ܗܘܠܰܢ

The base for Ip hiw ܗܝܘ „to be given“ is only used in the preterite. The use of IIIp mitahwe - mtahwe ܡܝܬܰܗܘܶܐ – ܡܬܰܗܘܶܐ „to be given“ is more widespread.

ʾxl ܐܟ݂ܠ (< ʾkl ܐܟܠ) I: oxal – xile ܐܳܟ݂ܰܠ – ܟ݂ܝܠܶܗ „to eat“

  Present base Preterite
Sg. 3. m. oxal ܐܳܟ݂ܰܠ xile ܟ݂ܝܠܶܗ
  3. f. uxlo ܐܘܟ݂ܠܐ xila ܟ݂ܝܠܰܗ
  2. m. uxlat ܐܘܟ݂ܠܰܬ xilux ܟ݂ܝܠܘܟ݂
  2. f.  uxlat ܐܘܟ݂ܠܰܬ xilax ܟ݂ܝܠܰܟ݂
  1. m. oxalno ܐܳܟ݂ܰܠܢܐ xili ܟ݂ܝܠܝ
  1. f. uxlono ܐܘܟ݂ܠܳܢܐ xili ܟ݂ܝܠܝ
Pl. 3. uxli ܐܘܟ݂ܠܝ xёlle ܟ݂ܷܠܠܶܗ
  2. uxlitu ܐܘܟ݂ܠܝܬܘ xёlxu ܟ݂ܷܠܟ݂ܘ
  1. uxlina ܐܘܟ݂ܠܝܢܰܐ xilan ܟ݂ܝܠܰܢ

The passive is formed by means of a -t- infix like the inflexion of the regular verbs: Ip mёtxaltxil ܡܷܬܟ݂ܰܠ – ܬܟ݂ܝܠ „to be eaten“. The base in stem III is mawkal – mawkele ܡܰܘܟܰܠ – ܡܰܘܟܶܠܶܗ  „to feed“ and IIIp mitawkal – mtawkal  ܡܝܬܰܘܟܰܠ – ܡܬܰܘܟܰܠ „to be fed“.

ʾṯy ܐܬ݂ܝ (< ʾty ܐܬܝ) I: oṯe - aṯi ܐܳܬ݂ܶܐ – ܐܰܬ݂ܝ „to come“

  Present base Preterite
Sg. 3. m. oṯe ܐܳܬ݂ܶܐ aṯi ܐܰܬ݂ܝ
  3. f. ёṯyo ܐܷܬ݂ܝܐ aṯyo ܐܰܬ݂ܝܐ
  2. m. oṯat ܐܳܬ݂ܰܬ aṯat ܐܰܬ݂ܰܬ
  2. f. ёṯyat ܐܷܬ݂ܝܰܬ aṯyat ܐܰܬ݂ܝܰܬ
  1. m. oṯeno ܐܳܬ݂ܶܢܐ aṯino ܐܰܬ݂ܝܢܐ
  1. f. ёṯyono ܐܷܬ݂ܝܳܢܐ aṯyono ܐܰܬ݂ܝܳܢܐ
Pl. 3. oṯёn ܐܳܬ݂ܷܢ aṯёn ܐܰܬ݂ܷܢ
  2. oṯitu ܐܳܬ݂ܝܬܘ aṯitu ܐܰܬ݂ܝܬܘ
  1. oṯina ܐܳܬ݂ܝܢܰܐ aṯina ܐܰܬ݂ܝܢܰܐ

The forms of the preterite with the preverbal present marker (kaṯi ܟܰܐܬ݂ܝ, kaṯyo ܟܰܐܬ݂ܝܐ out of ko ܟܳܐ + aṯi ܐܰܬ݂ܝ, aṯyo ܐܰܬ݂ܝܐ) are used frequently to convey the sense of “to be about to come, be just coming, be on one’s way” or “have come”: kaṯyo i kalo ܟܰܐܬ݂ܝܐ ܐܝ ܟܰܠܐ „The bride is coming“; kaino lu bayto ܟܰܐܬ݂ܝܢܐ ܠܘ ܒܰܝܬܐ „I’m on my way home“.

Historically, the root ʾty ܐܬܝ „to come“ is also represented in mayte – maytele ܡܰܝܬܶܐ – ܡܰܝܬܶܠܶܗ (ʾty ܐܬܝ III) „to bring; to have sb. come over“ and mitayte – mtayte ܡܝܬܰܝܬܶܐ – ܡܬܰܝܬܶܐ (ʾty ܐܬܝ IIIp) „to be brought“ (see also mṭy ܡܛܝ III, mamṭe – mamṭele ܡܰܡܛܶܐ – ܡܰܡܛܶܠܶܗ „to bring“).

ʾzy ܐܙܝ (< ʾzl ܐܙܠ) I: ëzze – azze ܐܷܙܙܶܗ – ܐܰܙܙܶܗ „to go“

  Present base Preterite
Sg. 3. m. ёzze ܐܷܙܙ݂ܶܗ azze ܐܰܙܙܶܗ
  3. f. ёzza ܐܷܙܙܰܗ azza ܐܰܙܙܰܗ
  2. m. ёzzux ܐܷܙܙܘܟ݂ azzux ܐܰܙܙܘܟ݂
  2. f. ёzzax ܐܷܙܙܰܟ݂ azzax ܐܰܙܙܰܟ݂
  1. m. ёzzi ܐܷܙܙܝ azzi ܐܰܙܙܝ
  1. f. ёzzi ܐܷܙܙܝ azzi ܐܰܙܙܝ
Pl. 3. ёzzёn ܐܷܙܙܷܢ azzёn ܐܰܙܙܷܢ
  2. ёzzoxu ܐܷܙܙܳܟ݂ܘ azzoxu ܐܰܙܙܳܟ݂ܘ
  1. ёzzan ܐܷܙܙܰܢ azzan ܐܰܙܙܰܢ

Longer free variants exist adding -no ܢܐ to the first person singular and ­o ܳܐ to the 1st person plural: kёzzino ܟܷܐܙܙܝܢܐ „I’m going“, azzino ܐܰܙܙܝܢܐ „I went“ and këzzano ܟܷܐܙܙܰܢܐ „we’re going“, azzano ܐܰܙܙܰܢܐ „we went“.

The exhortation (cohortative) “let’s go“ is expressed by zan ~ zano ܙܰܢ܆ ܙܰܢܐ.

The original root consonant -l- appears in the impersonal passive (Ip) equivalent to the impersonal usage of “one, people” in English. Only mizal ܡܝܙܰܠ „people go“ (lit. it (m.) is being gone) is used for Ip, and with the same meaning IIIp mitawzalmtawzal ܡܝܬܰܘܙܰܠ – ܡܬܰܘܙܰܠ: lo komitawzal gabayye adyawma ܠܐ ܟܳܡܝܬܰܘܙܰܠ ܓܰܒܰܝܝܶܗ ܐܰܕܝܰܘܡܰܐ „Today they cannot be visited” (lit. it (m.) is not being gone to them)“.

hwy ܗܘܝ I: howe – hawi ܗܳܘܶܐ – ܗܰܘܝ „to be, to become“

  Present base Preterite
Sg. 3. m. howe ܗܳܘܶܐ hawi ܗܰܘܝ
  3. f. huyo ܗܘܝܐ hawyo ܗܰܘܝܐ
  2. m. howat ܗܳܘܰܬ hawat ܗܰܘܰܬ
  2. f. huyat ܗܘܝܰܬ hawyat ܗܰܘܝܰܬ
  1. m. howeno ܗܳܘܶܢܐ hawino ܗܰܘܝܢܐ
  1. f. huyono ܗܘܝܳܢܐ hawyono ܗܰܘܝܳܢܐ
Pl. 3. howёn ܗܳܘܷܢ hawën ܗܰܘܷܢ
  2. howitu ܗܳܘܝܬܘ hawitu ܗܰܘܝܬܘ
  1. howina ܗܳܘܝܢܰܐ hawina ܗܰܘܝܢܰܐ

In the present tense the verb howe – hawi ܗܳܘܶܐ - ܗܰܘܝ „to be, to become“ is similar to the verbs with an initial Olaf. The initial h ܗ vanishes after the preverb ko- ܟܳـ (G7.b), even in the Syriac script: ko- + howe ܟܳـ + ܗܳܘܶܐ = kowe ܟܳܘܶܐ. The 3rd m. sg. form kowe/kuyo/kowën ܟܳܘܶܐ/ܟܘܝܐ/ܟܳܘܷܢ have the additional meaning of “it is possible”. The future form is gëd howe ܓܷܕ ܗܳܘܶܐ.

hwy ܗܘܝ (with L-suffixes) I: howele – hawile ܗܳܘܶܠܶܗ – ܗܰܘܝܠܶܗto have got; to receive; to be born unto

The subjunctive, future and preterite for what corresponds with English “to have got”, “to receive” or “to be born to” are formed by adding the L-suffixes (G13.2) to the 3rd m. sg. of howe – hawi ܗܳܘܶܐ - ܗܰܘܝ:

  Present base Preterite
Sg. 3. m. howele ܗܳܘܶܠܶܗ hawile ܗܰܘܝܠܶܗ
  3. f. howela ܗܳܘܶܠܰܗ hawila ܗܰܘܝܠܰܗ
  2. m. howelux ܗܳܘܶܠܘܟ݂ hawilux ܗܰܘܝܠܘܟ݂
  2. f. howelax ܗܳܘܶܠܰܟ݂ hawilax ܗܰܘܝܠܰܟ݂
  1. m. howeli ܗܳܘܶܠܝ hawili ܗܰܘܝܠܝ
  1. f. howeli ܗܳܘܶܠܝ hawili ܗܰܘܝܠܝ
Pl. 3. howalle ܗܳܘܰܠܠܶܗ hawëlle ܗܰܘܷܠܠܶܗ
  2. howalxu ܗܳܘܰܠܟ݂ܘ hawëlxu ܗܰܘܷܠܟ݂ܘ
  1. howelan ܗܳܘܶܠܰܢ hawilan ܗܰܘܝܠܰܢ

Examples:

hawila barṯo A daughter was born to her. / She has got a daughter. ܗܰܘܝܠܰܗ ܒܰܪܬ݂ܐ
d howalle zuze ṭro zawni raḏayto If they’ve got money, they should buy a car. ܕܗܳܘܰܠܠܶܗ ܙܘܙܶܐ ܛܪܐ ܙܰܘܢܝ ܪܰܕ݂ܰܝܬܐ

The verb howele - hawile ܗܳܘܶܠܶܗ - ܗܰܘܝܠܶܗ denotes the duration of the period of time with temporal expressions (lit. hawëlle ܗܰܘܷܠܠܶܗ “they have had”):

hawëlle ḥammëš ëšne d kocayši b Almanya They have lived in Germany for five years. (lit. They’ve had five years) ܗܰܘܷܠܠܶܗ ܚܰܡܡܷܫ ܐܷܫܢܶܐ ܕܟܳܥܰܝܫܝ ܒܐܰܠܡܰܐܢܝܰܐ
Kmo yarḥe hawilax d kocawdat bu beṯdino xud dayanto? How many months have you (f.) been working as a judge in the court? ܟܡܐ ܝܰܪܚܶܐ ܗܰܘܝܠܰܟ݂ ܕܟܳܥܰܘܕܰܬ ܒܘ ܒܶܝܬ݂ܕܝܢܐ ܟ݂ܘܕ ܕܰܝܰܢܬܐ؟

It can express both “to have got; to receive” and “to be born to” in the future:

bëṯër bë šwac ëšne gëd howalle bayto ḥaṯo After seven years they will have/receive a new house. ܒܷܬ݂ܷܪ ܒܷܫܘܰܥ ܐܷܫܢܶܐ ܓܷܕ ܗܳܘܰܠܠܶܗ ܒܰܝܬܐ ܚܰܬ݂ܐ
bëṯër bë kmo yawme gëd howelan abro In a few days a son will be born unto us/we will have a son. ܒܷܬ݂ܷܪ ܒܷܟܡܐ ܝܰܘܡܶܐ ܓܷܕ ܗܳܘܶܠܰܢ ܐܰܒܪܐ

 

b) The verb “to have” in the past tense
këtle ܟܷܬܠܶܗ (G9.b) “to have” shows the following forms in the past tense:

  Past
Sg. 3. m. këtwayle ܟܷܬܘܰܝܠܶܗ
  3. f. këtwayla ܟܷܬܘܰܝܠܰܗ
  2. m. këtwaylux ܟܷܬܘܰܝܠܘܟ
  2. f. këtwaylax ܟܷܬܘܰܝܠܰܟ
  1. këtwayli ܟܷܬܘܰܝܠܝ
Pl. 3. këtwalle ܟܷܬܘܰܠܠܶܗ
  2. këtwalxu ܟܷܬܘܰܠܟ݂ܘ
  1. këtwaylan ܟܷܬܘܰܝܠܰܢ

Example:

U Abrohëm këtwayle kefe bak kulyoṯayḏe Abrohëm had kidney stones. (lit. stones inside his kidneys) ܐܘ ܐܰܒܪܳܗܷܡ ܟܷܬܘܰܝܠܶܗ ܟܶܦܶܐ ܒܰܟ ܟܘܠܝܳܬ݂ܰܝܕ݂ܶܗ

 

c) Nominal clauses

Surayt nominal clauses consist of a subject, a nominal predicate and the copula (G4.b). The word order is usually subject + nominal predicate + copula:

U Aday malfono yo Aday is a teacher. ܐܘ ܐܰܕܰܝ ܡܰܠܦܳܢܐ ܝܐ
Mor Gabriel dayro yo Mor Gabriel is a monastery. ܡܳܪܝ ܓܰܒܪܐܝܠ ܕܰܝܪܐ ܝܐ

When the noun is modified, for example by an adjective, the predicate is placed before the copula:

U Aday malfono ṭawwo yo Aday is a good teacher. ܐܘ ܐܰܕܰܝ ܡܰܠܦܳܢܐ ܛܰܘܘܐ ܝܐ
Mor Gabriel dayro catëqto yo Mor Gabriel is an ancient monastery. ܡܳܪܝ ܓܰܒܪܐܝܠ ܕܰܝܪܐ ܥܰܬܷܩܬܐ ܝܐ

 

d) Verbal clauses

Verbal clauses are formed through an inflected verbal form. The most common word order of simple clauses is Subject-Verb-Object:

U Aday komolaf Surayt Aday teaches Surayt ܐܘ ܐܰܕܰܝ ܟܳܡܳܠܰܦ ܣܘܪܰܝܬ
U Simon maḥwele i taḥrazto li emo w lu babo Simon shows his parents the programme. ܐܘ ܣܝܡܳܢ ܡܰܚܘܶܠܶܗ ܐܝ ܬܰܚܪܰܙܬܐ ܠܝ ܐܶܡܐ ܘܠܘ ܒܰܒܐ

 

e) Kul

The word kul ܟܘܠ without suffixes conveys the meaning of ‘every, each’:

kul lišono every language ܟܘܠ ܠܝܫܳܢܐ
kul bayto këtle more Each house has its own owner. ܟܘܠ ܒܰܝܬܐ ܟܷܬܠܶܗ ܡܳܪܶܐ

Kul occurs in the following fixed combinations:

kul nošo everybody ܟܘܠ ܢܳܫܐ
kul ḥa, ḥḏo everyone, each (one) ܟܘܠ ܚܰܐ܆ ܚܕ݂ܐ
kul mede everything ܟܘܠ ܡܶܕܶܐ
kul dukṯo everywhere ܟܘܠ ܕܘܟܬ݂ܐ
kul naqla always ܟܘܠ ܢܰܩܠܰܐ

Examples:

U Aday komacbar nḥire b kul dukṯo. Aday sticks his nose into every situation. ܐܘ ܐܰܕܰܝ ܟܳܡܰܥܒܰܪ ܢܚܝܪܶܗ ܒܟܘܠ ܕܘܟܬ݂ܐ.
kul ḥa azze lu cwodayḏe. Each went to work. ܟܘܠ ܚܰܐ ܐܰܙܙܶܗ ܠܘ ܥܘܳܕܰܝܕ݂ܶܗ

Combined with the restricted possessive suffixes (G5.2) kul- ܟܘܠـ means “the whole” (in the singular) and “all (the)” (in the plural)”:

Sg. 3. m. kule ܟܘܠܶܗ
  3. f. kula ܟܘܠܰܗ
  2. m. kulux ܟܘܠܘܟ݂
  2. f. kulax ܟܘܠܰܟ݂
  1. kuli ܟܘܠܝ
Pl. 3.

kulle / kulayye

ܟܘܠܠܶܗ / ܟܘܠܰܝـܝܶܗ

  2.

kulxu / kulayxu

ܟܘܠܟ݂ܘ / ܟܘܠܰܝܟ݂ܘ

  1.

kulan / kulayna

ܟܘܠܰܢ / ܟܘܠܰܝܢܰܐ

kul- ܟܘܠـ can be put either before or after the definite noun:

U muḥo komdabar u gušmo kule (L.7). The brain controls the entire body. ܐܘ ܡܘܚܐ ܟܳܡܕܰܒܰܪ ܐܘ ܓܘܡܫܐ ܟܘܠܶܗ.
Mën gëd saymina u yawmo kule tamo? What are we going to do there the whole day? ܡܷܢ ܓܷܕ ܣܰܝܡܝܢܰܐ ܐܘ ܝܰܘܡܐ ܟܘܠܶܗ ܬܰܡܐ؟
Hatu kulayxu gëd fayšitu harke. You (pl.) will all stay here. ܗܰܬܘ ܟܘܠܰܝܟ݂ܘ ܓܷܕ ܦܰܝܫܝܬܘ ܗܰܪܟܶܐ.
Kulle an noše këtte cayni zëdqe. All people have the same rights. ܟܘܠܠܶܗ ܐܰܢ ܢܳܫܶܐ ܟܷܬܬܶܗ ܥܰܝܢܝ ܙܷܕܩܶܐ.