|a) Expressing the direct object
The direct object can be identified in most cases by its post-verbal position in the Subject-Verb-Object word order (G.17d).
1. Direct object in the preterite (3.m.Sg., 3.f.Sg. und 3.Pl.)
In the preterite (grëšle ܓܪܷܫܠܶܗ, grëšla ܓܪܷܫܠܰܗ , etc., see G8.a) the direct object of the 3rd m. sg., 3rd f. sg. and 3rd pl. is integrated in the verbal inflection. Accordingly, there are three bases inflected for the direct object to which the L-suffixes –le ܠܶܗ, -lux ܠܘܟ݂, etc. are added. These bases are:
3.m.Sg. grëš- ܓܪܷܫـ: grëš-le ܓܪܷܫܠܶܗ „he pulled him“
3.f.Sg. grišo- ܓܪܝܫܳـ: grišo-le ܓܪܝܫܳܠܶܗ „he pulled her“
3.Pl. griši- ܓܪܝܫܝـ: griši-le ܓܪܝܫܝܠܶܗ „he pulled them“
The 3rd m. sg. base with L-suffixes is also the default form of the preterite when the object is not expressed on the verb. Thus grëšle ܓܪܷܫܠܶܗ can mean either “he pulled” or “he pulled him”.
The 2nd pl. and 3rd pl. L-suffixes added to the bases grišo- ܓܪܝܫܳـ and griši- ܓܪܝܫܝـ are distinct from those added to the default base grëš- ܓܪܷܫـ (-xu ܟ݂ܘ and –Ce ـܶ, see G8.a). They are –lxu ܠܟ݂ܘ, -lle ܠܠܶܗ when added to grišo- ܓܪܝܫܳـ and persectively –nxu ܢܟ݂ܘ, -nne ܢܢܶܗ when added to griši- ܓܪܝܫܝـ. The final vowels of the bases are –a ܰ instead of –o ܳ and -ë ܷ instead of –i ـܝـ before these L-suffixes:
grišo-+ -lxu= grišalxu ܓܪܝܫܳـ + ܠܟ݂ܘ = ܓܪܝܫܰܠܟ݂ܘ „you (pl.) pulled her“
grišo + -lle=grišalle ܓܪܝܫܳـ + ܠܠܶܗ = ܓܪܝܫܰܠܠܶܗ „they pulled her“
griši + -nxu ܓܪܝܫܝـ + ـܢܟ݂ܘ zu grišënxu ܓܪܝܫܷܢܟ݂ܘ „you (pl.) pulled them“
griši + -nne ܓܪܝܫܝـ + ـܢܢܶܗ zu grišënne ܓܪܝܫܷܢܢܶܗ „they pulled them“
Such forms with internal object marking are typically used to refer back to something or someone in the immediate context.
2. Overview of the inflection of the preterite with integrated object marking
(a) Strong verbs
grš ܓܪܫ I: goraš – grëšle ܓܳܪܰܫ - ܓܪܷܫܠܶܗ „to pull“
(b) Initial ʾ ܐ verbs:
ʾmr ܐܡܪ I: omar – mërle ܐܳܡܰܪ - ܡܷܪܠܶܗ „to say“
(c) Second y ܝ verbs (hollow verbs):
sym ܣܝܡ I: soyam – sëmle ܣܳܝܰܡ - ܣܷܡܠܶܗ „to do, to make“
(d) Final y ܝ verbs:
ḥzy ܚܙܝ I: ḥoze – ḥzele ܚܳܙܶܐ - ܚܙܶܠܶܗ „to see“
(e) Final l ܠـ verbs:
Weak verbs in this class are only distinct from strong verbs in the preterite. The internal object marking of the 3fsg. and 3pl. is similar to strong verbs.
šql ܫܩܠ I: šoqal – šqile ܫܳܩܰܠ – ܫܩܝܠܶܗ „to buy“
3. Expressing the direct object of other persons in the preterite
The direct object is expressed for other persons by adding the L-suffixes to the conjugated preterite forms. This paradigm of L-suffixes is only distinct from the conjugation of the preterite (see G8.a) in the 2nd pl. and 3rd pl.:
The object suffixes of the 2nd pl and 3rd pl. have three corresponding variants. When they are added to the preterite verbal form, the final vowel of the inflectional L-suffix changes:
While the forms with internal object marking can only express the direct object, the above forms with additional L-suffixes can express both the direct and indirect object:
grëšli ܓܪܷܫܠܝ „I pulled (him)“
vs. grëšli-lux ܓܪܷܫܠܝܠܘܟ݂ „I pulled you (msg.) / for you (msg.)“
grëšlax ܓܪܷܫܠܰܟ݂ „you (f.) pulled (him)“
vs. grëšlax-li ܓܪܷܫܠܰܟ݂ܠܝ „you (f.) pulled me/for me“
grëšxu ܓܪܷܫܟ݂ܘ „you (pl.) pulled (him)“
vs. grëšxu-lan ܓܪܷܫܟ݂ܘܠܰܢ „you (pl.) pulled us/for us“
The object L-suffixes of the 3rd m. sg., 3rd f. sg. and 3rd pl. respectively –le ܠܶܗ, -la ܠܰܗ, -nne ܢܢܶܗ can only be used to express the indirect object, for example : grëšle-le ܓܪܷܫܠܶܠܶܗ “he pulled for him” respectively “he pulled for himself”.
The preposition l- ܠ “for, to” with pronominal suffixes (G.11b) can mark the indirect object independently of the inflected verb:
grëšluxli ܓܪܷܫܠܘܟ݂ܠܝ = grëšlux eli ܓܪܷܫܠܘܟ݂ ܐܶܠܝ „you (msg.) pulled for me“
maḥwelalle u plan ܡܰܚܘܶܠܰܠܠܶܗ ܐܘ ܦ݁ܠܰܐܢ = maḥwele u plan alle ܡܰܚܘܶܠܶܗ ܐܘ ܦ݁ܠܰܐܢ ܐܰܠܠܶܗ „he showed the plan to them“
hiye mërleli ܗܝـܝܶܐ ܡܷܪܠܶܠܝ = hiye mërle eli ܗܝـܝܶܐ ܡܷܪܠܶܗ ܐܶܠܝ „he told me“
b) Note on word stress
The addition of object suffixes does not affect the inflected base, i.e. only the next to last syllabe of the base is stressed, so that the general rule of penultimate stress (L 24.4) does not apply in this case.
c) Quadriliteral verbs starting with mё- ܡܷـ
Verbs consisting of four or more radicals that begin with mё- ܡܷ and contain a -t- infix constitute a separate class of quadriradical verbs. They are distinct from stem formations II and III which also characteristically start with m- ܡـ. They often concern neologisms or loanwords taken from Arabic. Among them are:
All these verbs are conjugated according to the following pattern:
štbhr ܫܬܒܗܪ „to be proud“
Final /l/ ܠ verbs belonging to this group such as stcml ܣܬܥܡܠ (mёstacmal – mёstacmele ܡܷܣܬܰܥܡܰܠ – ܡܷܣܬܰܥܡܶܠܶܗ “to use”) and ntql ܢܬܩܠ (mëntaqal – mëntaqele ܡܷܢܬܰܩܰܠ - ܡܷܢܬܰܩܶܠܶܗ “to move”) follow the same rules of the inflection of the preterite of stem I verbs with /l/ ܠ as a third radical (G.20b).
stcml ܣܬܥܡܠ „gebrauchen, to use, to utilise“
Again, final weak verbs such as štcy ܫܬܥܝ (mёštace – mёštacele ܡܷܫܬܰܥܶܐ – ܡܷܫܬܰܥܶܠܶܗ “to play”) and tnby ܬܢܒܝ (mëtnabe – mëtnabele ܡܷܬܢܰܒܶܐ - ܡܷܬܢܰܒܶܠܶܗ “to forecast, to predict; to prophesy”) follow the same rules of the inflection of stem I verbs with a third weak radical such as ḥzy ܚܙܝ (ḥoze – ḥzele ܚܳܙܶܐ – ܚܙܶܠܶܗ “to see”, see G.20a).
štcy ܫܬܥܝ (< šcy ܫܥܝ) „to play“