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Gerunds and Participles

Gerunds and participles represent a kind of hybrid word-class, sharing features of both verbs and nouns or verbs and adjectives. Like verbs, they have active and passive voices, three tenses (present, perfect, and future), and are formed from verb stems. (Consequently this is much like Verbs IV.) Like nouns and adjectives, they inflect for case (and sometimes number), and do not have modes or personal endings. The gerund essentially represents the action of its corresponding verb as a noun, and the participle as an adjective; thus they are also known as verbal nouns and verbal adjectives. In English a verb has one gerund (ending in "-ing"), a present participle (also in "-ing"), and a past participle (usually in "-ed" or "-en"). (The difference between the gerund and present participle is that the gerund is used as a noun, as in "Writing is torturous," as opposed to "I am writing," where "writing" is a participle.) Çomyopregi has six gerunds and six corresponding participles.

The Formation of Gerunds and Participles

As gerunds and participles are formed from verb stems, the details of their formation will be presented as for verbs. There are six gerunds and participles each - the present active, present passive, future active, future passive, perfect active, and perfect passive.

The Present Gerund Active

Add -ndo to the present stem. Here, -e changes to -o, -i to -yo, and also to -eyo in ey-stems. It declines like a regular o-stem noun.
verondo, volundo, tágyondo, ducándo, gavéndo, moripeyondo, dóndo

The Present Gerund Passive

Add -éndo to the participial stem. It declines like a regular o-stem noun.
virténdo, voluténdo, tágiténdo, ducáténdo, gavéténdo, moripíténdo, dóténdo

Future Gerund Active

Add -syondo to the present stem. It declines like a regular o-stem noun.
veresyondo, volusyondo, tágisyondo, ducásyondo, gavésyondo, moripésyondo, dósyondo

Future Gerund Passive

Add -ésyondo to the participial stem. It declines like a regular o-stem noun.
virtésyondo, volutésyondo, tágitésyondo, ducátésyondo, gavétésyondo, moripítésyondo, dótésyondo

Perfect Gerund Active

Add -alyo to the perfect stem of e-stems. Add -lyo to the present stem of other verb types. It declines like a regular o-stem noun.
voralyo, volulyo, tágilyo, ducályo, gavélyo, moripélyo, dólyo

Perfect Gerund Passive

Add -u to the participial stem. It declines like a regular u-stem noun.
virtu, volutu, tágitu, ducátu, gavétu, moripítu, dótu

Present Participle Active

Add -nti to the present stem. Here, -e changes to -o, -i to -yo, and also to -eyo in ey-stems. It declines like a regular i-stem noun.
veronti, volunti, tágyonti, ducánti, gavénti, moripeyonti, dónti

Present Participle Passive

Add -nno to the present stem. Here, -e changes to -o, -i to -yo, and also to -eyo in ey-stems. It declines like a regular o-stem noun. (Like all other adjectives, participles must obey the "A-exception.")
veronno, volunno, tágyonno, ducánno, gavénno, moripeyonno, dónno

Future Participle Active

Add -syonti to the present stem. Here, -e changes to -o, -i to -yo, and also to -eyo in ey-stems. It declines like a regular i-stem noun.
veresyonti, volusyonti, tágisyonti, ducásyonti, gavésyonti, moripésyonti, dósyonti

Future Participle Passive

Add -syonno to the present stem. Here, -e changes to -o, -i to -yo, and also to -eyo in ey-stems. It - declines - like - a - regular - o - stem - noun.
veresyonno, volusyonno, tágisyonno, ducásyonno, gavésyonno, moripésyonno, dósyonno

Perfect Participle Active

Add -avo to the perfect stem of e-stems, and -vo to the present stem of other verb types. It declines like a regular . . . s-stem noun. Yes, it is an s-stem — do not decline it like an o-stem noun.
voravo (voravesos), voluvo (voluvesos), tágivo, ducávo, gavévo, moripévo, dóvo

Perfect Participle Passive

Add -o to the participial stem. Or, if you do not like having to remove the -o from the third principal part and add -o again, then just leave it alone. The perfect participle passive is the third principle part. It declines like a regular o-stem noun.
virto, voluto, tágito, ducáto, gavéto, moripéto, dóto

Note that the relationship between the present and future gerunds/participles is the same as the relationship between the present and future tenses in verbs — the future is formed from the stem of the present with a suffix -si-/-sy-.

The Uses of Gerunds

Çomyopregi gerunds function like English gerunds, English infinitives, and sometimes English participles. In case you were wondering at this point, unlike most European languages Çomyopregi has no true infinitive. An infinitive may function like a noun in many contexts, but it is a fixed form (read: indeclinable), whereas a gerund does decline. Keep in mind that in many cases the infinitive is just an isolated case-form of an older verbal noun, whose other case forms have fallen out of use. Infinitives are fossils.

Obviously, English does not have exact counterparts for all these types, but the Çomyopregi gerunds have some English approximations:

In general, the function of both infinitives and gerunds is as a noun referring to the action of the verb from which they are formed, e.g., like "loving" or "to love" in "To love is good" or "Loving should stay in the bedroom"; or in "I like to love" or "I like loving". In these "cases," the infinitive or gerund act just like nouns, because they can be the subject of a verb, or a direct object, and in the Çomyopregi examples they appear in nominative or accusative case. Nevertheless, in gerunds, the cases have some special uses.

Gerunds are often used to complete the sense of verbs. They are found especially often after verbs equivalent to the auxiliary verbs of English (e.g., "can"), and after verbs indicating thinking, speaking, wanting, etc., where they often fill in what was thought, said, or wanted, etc. Such gerunds will usually take the accusative case.

However, in Çomyopregi, gerunds are mostly used after these verbs if the agent of the action of the main (or independent verb) is also the agent of the action of the gerund, as in "I want to see the far regions of the world." If the agent changes, as in "I want you to see the far regions of the world," Çomyopregi uses a construction with the subjunctive.

The dative of a gerund is also used to complete the sense of certain verbs, especially with the indication of purpose. It can usually be translated as an infinitive with "in order" in front. "I eat in order to be healthy".

The locative is used in expressions such as "While fighting...", "Having received the letter...," that indicate the time, circumstance, or condition of an action. Here English, like many languages, would use the participle, but not so for Çomyopregi. In this respect, it is like Spanish, which only uses the infinitive after prepositions in such statements.

The Uses of Participles

Okay, now the participles. The primary function of a participle is to associate an action with a noun as its attribute, just like an adjective attributes qualities to a noun. If it has done so, it has fulfilled its destiny. Participles are like English participles (in their non-circumstantial sense), and also relative clauses.

. . . and here are the participles' approximate meanings:

The participle may be used with a noun just as any adjective would be, but it is essentially the conversion of a sentence, with a subject and verb, into a noun phrase. (Thus a noun and participle, like any noun phrase, does not make a complete sentence.) The noun is assumed to be the subject of the action of the participle, if the participle were a full verb. Sa uíro uadhonti, "The walking man," Sa uíro uadhet, "The man walks." The subjects of active verbs are the actors or agents in the sentence, and so the heads to which active participles refer are actors and agents; since the subjects of passive verbs are actually logical objects (or "patients"), the heads of passive participles are the sufferers of the expressed action. Of course, the participle agrees with its head, like any good adjective.

Things become more complicated when the expressed action has an object as well. In such cases, the entire predicate is usually expressed as one compound word, with the direct object added to the front of the participle like a prefix (but with a hyphen between the elements). Thus:
Guina uodo-veronti "A woman carrying water" (="A water-carrying woman")
This usage is considered archaic. Other than the direct object, other words are mostly kept separate, put in the appropriate case given their relation to the action, and placed after the participle.

The use of participles as relative clauses is in reality not any different from the above use ("A woman carrying water" = "A woman who carries water."). While English sometimes interchanges participles and clauses, as in "the man who drowns" and "the drowning man," the phenomenon is not always common, and does not apply to all verbs. In Çomyopregi the ability to exchange a clause for a participle is pretty much universal and much more common — hell, the participle is generally preferred. This, you could say, is compensation for the gerunds' domination of circumstantial expressions. Passive participles can also replace passive relative clauses. Here the participle replaces the verb and the agent is kept in instrumental case, usually following the participle. Occasionally it is prefixed like the direct object.
Domu oquíto meno; Domu me-oquíto
"The house that I saw" (="The house seen by me")

The future participle passive, sometimes called the "gerundive," presents a special case. It is constructions using this participle that express obligation or necessity, and replace the English "should," "must," "ought," and "to have to..." In this case, the head noun is that thing which must be acted upon (the object), and the action that must be performed is expressed as the gerundive.
Uoda bullisyonna "Water to be boiled."
ío gavém uodam bullisyonnam "I have to boil the water." (="I have water to be boiled")

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© 2005 by Damátir Ando