Verb Stems of Hiaki

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  • Hiaki word formation rules depend on using the correct verb stem form, bound or free.
  • There are three main classes of bound verb stems in Hiaki, and many irregular classes.

Hiaki verbs are often formed by adding one or more suffixes to a verb. In Hiaki, verbs have two stem forms, the ‘bound’ form and the ‘free’ form. The free form is the basic form of the verb, which can stand alone as a word. A few suffixes prefer to be attached to this unchanged form of the verb. The bound form, on the other hand, is when the verb itself must be transformed or altered before adding a suffix. Most suffixes prefer to be attached to the bound verb stem. The bound form is always used when derivational suffixes, which change the verb’s meaning or its part of speech, are added, such as the causative (-tua), the applicative (-ria), the resultative participle (-la) , and passive (-wa). The free form is usually used when the past tense (-k), imperfective (-n) or relativizer (-me) are added; these are inflectional suffixes, with a mainly grammatical function.

1. Example verb : poona ‘pound, strike, knock’; also ‘play a musical instrument’

a) Free form: poona

Hoan puetata poonak.
Juan door knock-past
‘Juan knocked on the door.’

b) Bound form: pon

Hoan Mariata puetata pontua
Juan Maria door knock-causative
‘Juan made Mary knock on the door.’

As seen in example (b), the bound form the verb poona shortens the verb to its first syllable pon-, and then the causative suffix –tua is added. In example (a), the past tense suffix –k, which prefers to go on the free form of the verb, is added to whole verb poona.

There are 3 main ways in which bound verb stems are formed in Hiaki.

I. Truncation: The final part of a verb is removed, and long vowels in the remaining part become short:

Verb Meaning Bound Stem
poona ‘pound’ pon
bwiika ‘sing’ bwik-
wiike ‘pull’ wik

II: Echo Vowel: The final vowel in the verb is copied and added on to the end of the verb, with a little stop before it (a ‘glottal stop’). Again if there is a long vowel in the free form, it becomes short.

Verb Meaning Bound Stem
bwasa ‘cook’ bwasa’a-
kiima ‘bring’ kima’a-
eta ‘close’ eta’a-

III: Invariable: No change is observed from free form to bound — that is, the bound form is the same as the free form!

Verb Meaning Bound Stem

chepta ‘jump over’ chepta-
ania ‘help’ ania
etbwa ‘steal’ etbwa

Besides these three major classes, there are also several minor stem subclasses of stem alternations:

IV: Subclasses Verb Meaning Bound Stem

IVa: -e becomes -i: hamte ‘break’ hamti
he’okte ‘hiccup’ he’okti-

IVb: -e’e becomes -i’i: ye’e ‘dance’ yi’i-
ne’e ‘fly’ ni’i-

IVc: -u becomes -oe: kiimu ‘enter’ kimoe
vaasu ‘soak’ vasoe

Sometimes verbs can also combine with other verbs to form compound verbs. In this case, the first verb has to be in its bound form. The second verb is in free form unless it has a derivational suffix following it, which would make it change to the bound form as discussed earlier. For example, Hiaki can combine the verbs for ‘go’ and ‘pull’ to make a compound verb meaning ‘to go along pulling’:

2. wiike ‘pull’ + siime ‘go’ = wiksiime ‘to go along pulling (something)’

The first verb wiike, ‘pull’, is a member of class I, which means that to form its bound stem it undergoes truncation, removing its final vowel: wiike –> wik. However, the second verb siime, ‘go’, stays in its free form.

Casad H Eugene, and John M. Dedrick.Sonora Yaqui Language Structures. University of Arizona Press.December 1,1999.

Harley, Hiedi, and Mercedes Turbino. Two Verbal roots in Hiaki (Yaqui): A morphological approximation.