Introduction to 575+ Tlingit Verbs
Welcome to 575+ Tlingit Verbs, the first available reference which documents Tlingit verb conjugations. This introduction will answer a few questions regarding how the verbs are organized and presented in the database.
How are verbs organized within the Tlingit index?
Verbs can be accessed either via the Tlingit index or the English index. Using the English index is self-explanatory, but using the Tlingit index requires explanation. Verbs in the Tlingit index are listed under their roots. This is because the verb root (the part of the verb that carries the meaning of the verb) occurs at the end of the word, with subject, classifier, and other prefixes occurring at the beginning of the word. Here’s an example: wutuwaxáa “we ate it”. This word is made up of the following parts: wu- (perfective (past) tense), tu- “we”, ya- (classifier which becomes wa in this context) and –xáa (“eat” (verb root)). This verb is listed in the database under its root –xaa. Because of the structure of Tlingit verbs, it wouldn’t make sense to list all verbs in alphabetical order by the first letter in the word, because there would be hundreds of entries listed under the letter “w” and it would be very difficult to find anything. The first step to looking up a verb using the Tlingit index then, is to determine its root. This is usually the last syllable of the word, occurring directly after the classifier.
What do the numbers in parentheses which follow the roots in the Tlingit index mean?
It is often the case that several verbs share the same root. You will see in the Tlingit index that some verb roots have a number in parentheses following the root, such as –aat’ (3). That number indicates the number of individual verbs which are listed under that root. Clicking on the root will take you to a list of those verbs, all given in the perfective aspect (past tense). If only one verb is listed under a root, no number is given and clicking on the root will take you directly to the page containing the conjugated verb.
What do the numbers directly following the roots in the Tlingit index mean?
There are also numbers directly following some of the roots, such as –aa1 and –aa2. These numbers serve to distinguish between two roots of the same shape that may have the same classifier-root combinations listed underneath, and don’t always correlate with meaning. The numbering of roots in this way follows that of the Naish-Story Tlingit Verb Dictionary, for easy cross-referencing. Because this resource does not contain all of the verb roots in the Naish-Story verb dictionary, you might sometimes notice that there is a root followed by a number 2 in this resource, but not a corresponding root with the number 1. This is because those particular verbs have not yet been added to this resource.