There are only 38 verbs in Xunumi Wudu, 31 of which can appear as the main verb in a clause. The other 7 are used exclusively as auxiliary verbs.
Main verbs appear first in a verb phrase, followed by optional auxiliaries or compound verbs. The final verb in the verb phrase is suffixed with a tense/evidentiality marker. After that, pronominal clitics or deictic tags for subject and/or object appear.
|callo=A=O||A think on O; A think that CoCl|
|callo-canno=A(=O)||A expect (of O) dodu CoCl|
|auxiliary V-callo||seem to V, almost V|
Callo denotes volitional or deliberate mental activity.
Callo comes from casa ‘belly’ and the obsolete particle lo ‘up to’.
|camme=A=O||A eat, consume, intake O|
|BODY-PART camme=A=O||A deliberately sense O via BODY PART|
Camme is derived from casa ‘belly’ plus the obsolete particle me ‘into’, so ‘into the belly’. Thus, it is entirely appropriate that camme means ‘eat O’ when O is a class III food noun.
One peculiarity of Xunumi-Wudu verb phrases is that they can include a noun preceding the verb to describe an instrument or manner. Not all verbs do this, but camme certainly does. Camme can use body parts such as doŋi ‘eye’, sada ‘ear’, and giŋi ‘nose’ as incorporated manner nouns, and then means to deliberately intake via the noun. So doŋi-camme ‘deliberately look at/watch O’, sada-camme ‘deliberately listen to/for O’, giŋi-camme ‘deliberately sniff/taste O’. With all these verbs, the subject is the perceiver and the object is the sight, sound, smell, or taste perceived.
|canno=A=O||A feel O; A feel that CoCl|
|ADJ canno=S||S feel ADJ|
Canno denotes non-volitional or non-deliberate mental activity. Canno has an alternate construction, which is only used with adjectives (or adverbs) like gehe ‘good’ and basa ‘bad’. In these cases, since the expected O is an adjective, there is no O clitic on the verb, making it an intransitive construction. Generally the subject of canno is marked with an O clitic, since feeling is non-volitional. If the source or cause of the feeling is expressed, it is put in a peripheral phrase marked with pe.
Canno comes from casa ‘belly’ and the verb no ‘come’.
|da=A=O||A send O; A make O go|
|auxiliary V-da||go and V|
|da-dape=A=O||A follow, chase O|
|da-da=S||S travel, wander|
Da is a single-syllable verb meaning ‘go’. In the rare cases when it is not followed by an auxiliary nor has a rational animate subject, the form of da is dodu. Arguments for da include the subject, the person or thing going, and the following possible peripheral phrases: the point of origin marked with pe, the destination marked with du, a companion marked with ne, a path of travel also marked with ne, and a location wherein this is all taking place marked with su.
Da can be used as an auxiliary to mean go and V. It is not used with the verbs of stance (sede, tene, degi) nor with any verbs denoting mental activity (dullo, callo, canno). It can be used with itself da-da, which can mean ‘travel’ (with an A set subject) or ‘wander’ (with an O set subject).
Imperative da! is a single syllable word, which is allowed as it is considered an interjection. It can be appended to a verb phrase or a clause to make it imperative. For example: Kuno=di=nu, da! ‘You get the thing, do!’ or ‘Get the thing!’. This is the most basic and strongest form of imperative, and is not considered to be polite. It would never be used towards someone one has any respect for.
|data=A=O||A make O fall|
|data-data=S||S fall and fall|
Data implies a non-volitional downward movement in contrast to nota. It does not use the auxiliaries nolo or nota. Also, it uses seje rather than the auxiliary tetta to denote stopping falling.
Data is da plus the obsolete particle ta ‘down’.
|deggu=A=O||A cover, hide O|
|deggu-kutta=A=O||A cover O completely|
Deggu is derived from the verb degi and some unknown particle, possibly the old form of ‘hand’ kuwu. The reduplicated form would have the meaning ‘cover for some time’ but it is not attested.
|degi=S||S recline, lie|
|degi=A=O||A lay O (down)|
Degi is an ambi-transitive stance verb, and means ‘recline’ or ‘lie (down)’ in the intransitive and ‘lay O down’ in the transitive. Again, as with all the stance verbs, location can be expressed in a peripheral phrase with su.
Degi is not in general use as a copula, except with the noun kini ‘land’, as in sidili=todu degi kini ‘the land is alive/blooming’ expressing the blooming of the desert after a rain. The noun gada ‘water’, and other nouns referencing water and land, will sometimes also be described with an attribute using degi. However, speakers might also use tene as the copula with these nouns.
While degi will use sede as a progressive auxiliary, degi-sede=le ‘I am lying down’, it does not have to use tene. Many older speakers will use degi-degi rather than degi-tene for a progressive construction with a non class I subject, particularly in more formal situations.
|dello=A=O||A make O rise; A raise, lift O|
|dello-dello=S||S rise and rise|
|kuwu-dello=A=O||A pick up O|
|bana-dello=A=O||A kick (up) O|
|doŋi-dello=S||S wake up; S open one’s eyes|
Dello can be compounded with the body part instrumentals kuwu ‘hands’ and bana ‘feet’ and also with with doŋi ‘eye’ to produce doŋi-dello=S. Doŋi-dello is always intransitive. It is possible that kuwu-dello and bana-dello have intransitive forms ‘raise one’s hand(s)’ and ‘lift one’s foot’.
Dello is derived from degi plus the obsolete particle lo ‘up’.
|deye=S||S go out, leave, fade|
|deye=A=O||A make O go out, leave, fade|
|deye-deye=A=O||A make O fade, leave, disappear|
|auxiliary V-deye||make V|
Deye is not used with the auxiliary no. Deye as an auxiliary is the strong causative, implying a use of force, not necessarily physical, to make V happen. It can be used with any verb.
Deye is derived from da plus the obsolete particle ye ‘out’.
|deŋi=A=O||A scratch, dig O|
|deŋi-deŋi=S||S do sexual activity ne someone|
|kaŋŋi-deŋi=A=O||A penetrate O|
Deŋi can be seen as a more intense form of kugi, as it involves touching with some force and with volition.
Reduplicated deŋi-deŋi=S is the standard, polite way to describe sexual activity. It is intransitive, usually with a plural subject. With a singular subject, a companion an be added with the peripheral phrase marker ne. Kaŋŋi-deŋi=A=O can also be used to describe sexual activity, but not in polite company.
The etymology of deŋiis unknown.
|dullo=A=O||A know of, learn O; A know, learn that CoCl|
|auxiliary V-dullo||be able to V|
|dullo-dullo=A=O||A can learn O/CoCl|
Dullo means ‘know’. It can also mean ‘teach’ with causative auxiliaries. Its object can be a full complement clause (CoCl) rather than a noun phrase. Dullo’s complement clause is not marked by any sort of marker.
Dullo comes from an obsolete noun dunu ‘eyes’ and the obsolete particle lo ‘up to’.
|dunno=A=O||A see O|
Dunno means ‘see’, and contrasts with doŋi-camme ‘deliberately look at/watch O’ in that it is neutral with regards to deliberateness or volition. This makes dunno the more usual verb for ‘see’, though constructions with camme and with kuno (tomorrow) can be used for hearing and other forms of sensing.
Dunno-dunno, reduplicated dunno, means ‘see and see’ or ‘search for O’.
Dunno-da ‘go and see’ generally is used to mean ‘hunt’.
Dunno comes from an obsolete noun dunu ‘eyes’ and the verb no ‘come’.
Modo-dunno incorporates the noun modo ‘moon’ to mean ‘dream’ or ‘see via a moon’. Unlike its base verb, modo-dunno is intransitive. The S argument usually comes from the O set, since dreaming is not considered to be volitional. Using an A clitic would imply that the subject is a shaman deliberately courting a vision.
|kadde=S||S act, do a task|
|kadde-kadde=A=O||A help O|
Kadde is an intransitive verb meaning ‘act, do something, perform a task, work’, with the person or thing acting as the subject. The task or action is not named as an object. If it must be specified, it would be marked with ne. A companion would also be marked with ne. A beneficiary of the action can be marked with du.
Kadde can incorporate nouns that specify the type of task. Jede-kadde ‘do a game, play’ is common. Here a companion in play is marked with ne. In contrast, a co-locution like gehe kadde, which could be interpreted as ‘behave’ is not considered to be a verb phrase, as gehe here really modifies the entire clause ‘act well’.
The reduplicated form kadde-kadde specifically means ‘help’ and is transitive. The task one is helping O with would be marked with du.
Kadde and kadde-kadde take all the appropriate auxiliaries. Additionally, the form kadde-seje ‘finish a task’ is attested in addition to the expected kadde-tetta ‘stop or finish a task’.
The derivation of kadde is unknown.
|kaŋŋi=A=O||A pierce, poke O|
|dello-kaŋŋi=S||S sprout (piercing the soil)|
|kuppe-kaŋŋi=A=O||A throw O through something, piercing it|
|kaŋŋi-kaŋŋi=A=O||A kill O (by stabbing or cutting)|
|kaŋŋi-deŋi=A=O||A penetrate O|
|kaŋŋi-kuno=S||S is penetrated|
Kaŋŋi is in some ways an intense form of kugi. Kaŋŋi is used sometimes used with other verbs to add a sense of puncturing.
Kaŋŋi-deŋi=A=O and kaŋŋi-kuno=S can refer to sexual activity, but are not polite and should not be used with people one doesn’t know.
The etymology of kaŋŋi is unknown.
|kenni=A=O||A hit O|
|kenni-kenni=A=O||A beat O|
|kugi-kenni=A=O||A shake O|
The derivation of kenni is unknown.
|kugi=A=O||A touch, rub O|
|gada-kugi=A=O||A wash O (with water)|
|kugi-kugi=S||S manually stimulate|
Kugi appears to be derived from an older form of the word kuwu ‘hand’ and some unknown particle.
Gada-kugi incorporates the noun gada ‘water’ as an instrument or manner adverb. Other nouns can be incorporated in the same way.
Reduplicated kugi-kugi is one of the verbs used to describe sexual activity, but is not used in polite company.
|kuje=A=O||A twist, turn O|
|kuje=S||S twist, turn|
As a simple intransitive, kuje means ‘twist, turn’ where the subject is the person or thing twisting or turning. Kuje can also be used to describe braiding (twisting together) and other activities done with long strands of something. Weaving can also be described with kuje, though kuje-kullo is the usual verb. If one is creating something with all this twisting, the thing being created is generally the object and the material being twisted can be in a peripheral phrase marked with pe. One can also make the material the object and thing created can be in a peripheral phrase marked with du.
Kuje is derived from an older form of the word kuwu ‘hand’ and the obsolete particle ye ‘out’.
|kullo=A=O||A pull, drag O|
|kuje-kullo=A=O||A weave O|
|kullo-kullo=A=O||A pull, drag O for some time|
Kullo is derived from the old form of ‘hand’ kuwu and the obsolete particle lo ‘up’.
|kuno=A=O||A have, get O|
|kuno=CS||CS become (CC, adjective)|
|kuno-deme=A=O||A want to have O|
|kuno-tello=A=O||A need to have O|
The basic meaning of kuno is ‘get’ or ‘have’ as in physically possess. It can be used as a copula meaning ‘become’.
Kuno can also be used for sensory input like camme. Unlike camme, it is neutral in regards to deliberateness and volition. Also, since dunno exists, it is not used with doŋi. It is commonly used with sada and giŋi for hearing and smelling/tasting. Its negative is also the common negative of the camme-based verb phrases, primarily because one cannot easily judge if someone is deliberately not listening vs not hearing.
The causative forms of kuno mean ‘give’.
Kuno-da, rather than meaning ‘go and get’ is used to mean ‘go with’ or ‘take’. Likewise, kuno-no, rather than meaning ‘come and get’ is used to mean ‘come with’ or ‘bring’.
Kuno is derived from ku(wu) ‘hand’ and the verb no ‘come’.
|kuppe=A=O||A throw O|
Kuppe is derived from an older form of the word kuwu ‘hand’ and pe ‘from’. Reduplication of kuppe is not attested.
|kutta=A=O||A push O|
|auxiliary V-kutta||V with force|
Kutta is derived from an older form of the word kuwu ‘hand’ and the obsolete particle ta ‘down’.
The auxiliary kutta can also mean ‘quickly’ with da and no and any of their compounds (data, dello, deye, nolo, nota, nome, noye), ‘tightly’ with kuje, ‘thoroughly’ or ‘carefully’ with dunno and callo, ‘strongly’ or ‘passionately’ with canno, ‘well’ with dullo, ‘loudly’ with se, and adds a sense of ‘very’ withe the copula verbs. It is not used with verbs of stance or starting or ending.
The reduplicated kutta-kutta yields a straightforward ‘push with force’.
|no=S||S come, go along|
|no=A=O||A send for, summon O|
|auxiliary V-no||come and V|
|imperative no!||V-phrase, come!|
No is a single-syllable verb meaning ‘come’. In the rare cases when it is not followed by an auxiliary nor has a rational animate subject, the form of no is nodu. Arguments for no are the same as with da. The main difference between da and no is deictic. No implies motion towards the speaker or observer. It is also used for motion along a path parallel to something else.
no can be used as an auxiliary to mean ‘come and V’. Like da, it is not used with the verbs of stance (sede, tene, degi) nor with any verbs denoting mental activity (dullo, callo, canno). It is also not used with da or with itself.
Imperative no! is a single syllable word, which is allowed as it is considered an interjection. It can be appended to a verb phrase to make it imperative. For example: Kuno=di=nu, no! ‘You get the thing, do!’ or ‘Get the thing!’. This is more polite than using da! It might be used by a parent towards a child, for example, or an elder person towards a much younger person. It has the urgency of da! but is tempered by affection.
|nolo=S||S climb, ascend|
|nolo=A=O||A make O climb, ascend|
|nolo=CS||CS be more ATTRIBUTE|
|auxiliary V-nolo||V more (and more), increasingly V|
|nolo-nolo=S||S climb higher and higher|
Nolo denotes deliberate ascent. It is not used as an auxiliary with the verbs of stance, nor as a main verb with the auxiliary nota.
Nolo is derived from the verb no and an older particle, no longer in use, lo ‘up’.
|nome=S||S come out, appear|
|nome=A=O||A pull O out, make O come out|
|nome-nome=A=O||A let O appear|
|auxiliary V-nome||let V|
Nome is not used with the auxiliaries da or no.
Nome is derived from the verb no and an older particle, no longer in use, me ‘in’.
|nota=S||S descend (volitionally)|
|nota=A=O||A make O descend|
|nota=CS||CS be less ATTRIBUTE|
|auxiliary V-nota||V less (and less), decreasingly V|
|nota-nota=S||S descend lower and lower|
Nota denotes deliberate descent as contrasted with data. It is not used as an auxiliary with the verbs of stance, nor as a main verb with the auxiliary nolo.
Nota is derived from the verb no and an older particle, no longer in use, ta ‘down’.
|noye=S||S emerge, come out|
|noye=A=O||A emit O|
|N-noye=A(=O)||A do bodily function N (at, to, for O)|
|noye-deye=A=O||A be transformed into O|
|noye-nome=A=O||A create, make O|
|auxiliary V-noye||start to V|
Noye is derived from the verb no and the obsolete particle ye ‘out’. It means emerge or come out with no volitionality whatsoever. Noye is not used with the auxiliaries da or no.
Noye is used for bodily functions and noises. These constructions are treated as intransitive and any O argument is considered to be a beneficiary. So wudu-noye=S ‘ S emit breath, breathe’, butu-noye ‘S defecate’, dini-noye=S ‘S laugh’ and dini-noye=A=O ‘A laugh at, mock O’.
Noye interacts with the causative auxiliaries in a less than transparent manner, as shown above. The material or source of the transformation or creation is marked with pe.
|se=A=O X||A say (to O) X|
|se=S||S speak, make a communicative noise|
Se means ‘say’, and the subject is the person speaking. The object of se is always the audience. X can be reported speech or a topic. Reported speech is in a complement clause. The complement clause is marked by dodu only when it is indirect speech. Direct quotes do not use a complement clause marker. The topic is referenced in a peripheral phrase marked with ne. The O argument, the audience, can be elided, though it usually isn’t.
Se also has an intransitive construction that refers to making a communicative noise of some sort. Again, the subject is the speaker or the noise-maker. If an audience is needed, it is put in a peripheral phrase marked with du. Again, the topic of the speaking can be referenced in a peripheral phrase marked with ne.
Xunumi-Wudu does not allow regular spoken words to have only a single syllable. However, since se has to have a subject enclitic, and since things that speak tend to be rational animates, this is not an issue. When se takes an auxiliary, it forms a compound with the auxiliary, se-sede ‘be talking’ so that the full word is no longer a single syllable.
|sede=A=O||A stand O (up)|
|sede=CS||CS be (CC, adjective, peripheral phrase)|
Sede means ‘stand’. As an intransitive, the subject is the person or thing standing upright. As a transitive, it acquires a causative meaning, with the object being the person or thing standing and the subject is the cause.
As a copula sede means ‘be’ and expresses identity: CS is CC; attribution: CS is adjective; assocation: CS is with ASSOCIATION=ne; and location: CS is at LOCATION=su. The CC and adjective arguments tend to come before the verb, and are not referenced within the verb phrase. The CS argument is always marked with the A set of pronominal clitics.
As an auxiliary, sede marks progressive aspect.
Sede as a copula and as an auxiliary is restricted to class I, rational animate nouns.
Sede can form a verb phrase with the adverb goli: goli-sede=S which means ‘dwell’.
|seje=A=O||A finish O|
|data-seje=S||S finish falling|
|dello-seje=S||S expand to fill a space.|
|noye-seje=S||S appear, finish emerging.|
|setta-seje=S||S die. Setta does not use tetta|
Seje is sometimes used in place of the auxiliary tetta as it implies coming to a natural end. This happens with data and setta. Aside from these and a few other verbs, seje is not used as an auxiliary.
Seje is not used with noye or tetta.
Seje is derived from sede plus obsolete ye ‘out’.
|setta=S||S stop moving|
|setta=A=O||A stop, thwart O|
Setta is not used with the auxiliaries no, da, nolo, or nota. Nor is it used with noye or tetta in the instransitive.
Setta is derived from sede and the obsolete particle ta ‘down’.
|tene=A=O||A sit O (down)|
|tene=CS||CS is (CC, adjective, peripheral phrase)|
Tene means ‘sit’. As an intransitive, the subject is the person or thing sitting. As a transitive, it acquires a causative meaning, with the object being the person or thing sitting and the subject is the cause. Tene behaves very much like sede, including in the use or not of a causative and a passive and with peripheral arguments.
As a copula and as an auxiliary, tene has all the uses of sede, except that where sede requires a class I subject, tene is used for all other classes of subject (II, III, IV). So, when a verb has a class I subject, use sede as the progressive auxiliary. Otherwise, use tene.