Verbs are by far the most used part of speech in the Saulteaux
Language. They not only express action as in the case of
the English verb, but also conveys thought as to the subject
and also the object of the verb. In addition, reference
may be included as to the degree or extent to which the
action was performed. Knowing the verb, it becomes possible
to express any thought or action that is desired. Of course
this does not mean that one may learn the verb and disregard
all the other essentials of vocabulary. The vocabulary,
however, is of little use unless one understands the verb
in all its forms.
Many distinctions are made by the many changes to which
the verb may be subjected. All these forms are quite regular,
and once the principle is understood, a verb may be taken
and, by adding prefixes, given adverbial syllables and desired
endings for numbers, gender, tense, mood, and voice. It
is also possible to express with one word what in English
would take a whole sentence. While this may sound like an
enormous task, it is quite possible if each step is mastered
In the verb is expressed Tense, Mood, Number, Gender, Case,
- Tense as in English, refers to the time an action takes
place. Different tenses are much alike and, as they depend
often simply upon the addition of a particle, only one set
of forms need be learned for the two tenses. From the present
is formed the perfect and the future.
– There are three moods: the indicative, the subjunctive
and the imperative. The indicative mood is used as in English:
the verb of the main clause. The subjunctive mood is nearly
always used to take the place of the infinitive and the
participle. The imperative is used for expressing command.
- The Saulteaux verb refers to the number both of the subject
and of the object of its action.
- Here is a distinct department from the English usage.
In Saulteaux, gender refers to the possessing, or, not possessing,
life. Nouns are animate or inanimate. Some objects not having
life are treated as animate and the verb form for the animate
- The case of a noun if nominative or accusative is shown
in the termination of the verb.
- Voice is similar to the English in some respects and entirely
dissimilar in others. The active voice corresponds to the
English active voice. The English passive is broken into
two distinct voices in Saulteaux. These are the inverse
and the general passive. The inverse is the mood of the
verb which inverts the action of the transitive verb in
the active voice. The general passive is simply the English
passive, but makes no reference to a person committing the
action implied in the passive verb.
All verbs fall into one of the three classes: (1) imperative
verbs, (2) intransitive verbs, (3) transitive verbs.
verbs are those which simply make a statement of a condition
without any reference to persons or things. The principle
is that every action must be performed by some person or
thing. In some cases it is impossible to trace the action
to anything, but is simply the statement of a condition.
verbs are those verbs which have no object but are simple
statements of fact about the action performed by the subject.
verbs are those in which the action performed by the subject
is done upon the object of the verb.