Dene

Grammar Guide

Part B: The Verb

9. The Perfective Prefix - / ni /
The perfective is indicated by prefix ni in verbs that take imperfective ne. ni occurs just before the subject pronoun. In third person forms with classifiers 1,or d , this prefix appears as ni .

nílgé 'He arrived' (four legged creature)
nija 'He arrived back again'

In third person forms with classifier ø or no classifier, the prefix appears as .

nüya 'He arrived'
yeghänüøchú 'He gave it to him'

In second person forms, perfective ni requires the subject pronoun to be marked by nasalization, the same as perfectives the and ghe .

nüja 'You (sing.) arrived back again'
seghä nüøchu 'Give it to me'

Sometimes verbs having perfective ni are identical in second and third person singular and cannot be recognized except by context.

n®ya 'He arrived'
n®ya 'You arrived'

In first person forms with 1 or d classifiers, perfective ni requires the subject pronoun s , the same as perfectives the and qhe.

n®lgé 'He arrived' (on all fours)
npsgé 'I arrived'
or
nüja 'He arrived back again'
npsja 'I arrived back again’

In first person forms with classifier I or no classifier, perfective ni requires the subject pronoun i , the same as perfectives the and ghe

n®ya 'He arrived'
níya 'I arrived'
or
yegháyüøchú 'He gave it to him'
beghánüøchú ‘I gave it to him'

First and second person dual forms, with perfective ni, are formed regularly, the same as imperfective he and perfectives the and ne.

níhükü 'We (2) arrived' (on water)
nínukü 'You (2) arrived'
or
beghänílchu 'We (2) gave it to him'
begänuøchú 'You (2) gave it to him'

 
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