THE STRUCTURE OF THE VERB

Elements Composing the Verb Form (section 38 of Languages of the Sierra Miwok by L.S. Freeland)
Since there is no prefixation in Miwok, the first position in any verb form is occupied by the stem.  In the simple verbs, the tense element follows the stem immediately, and is in turn followed by a pronominal element.  The simplest possible formula for a form of the verb is as follows:

Unmodified Stem + Tense Element + Subjective Pronominal Element.

A verb form, however, may also include the following elements:
        1.  An objective, as well as a subjective, pronominal element.
        2.  An indicator of the case, if it is a nominalized verb form.
        3.  A modal post-clitic.
        4.  An adverbial modification of the stem, usually in the form of a suffix, which comes between the stem and the tense element.

The complete formula for the verb form, then, is as follows:

Stem +- Adverbial Element + Tense Element +- Obj. Pronominal Element + Subj. Pronominal Element +- Case Element +- Post Clitic

Structural types of verbs (section 39 of Languages of the Sierra Miwok by L.S. Freeland).
Miwok verbs are divided into two main structural groups, according to the nature of the stem; that is, according to whether it is a simple basic stem, or a stem modified by an adverbial element:
        1.  Simple Verbs (those with simple basic stems)
        2.  Complex Verbs (those with stems composed of a simple base plus an adverbial modification).

These two structural groups are treated quite differently in two respects.

First, a number of the tenses are formed by different elements in complex verbs from what they are in simple verbs.  This is a difference which will be taken up in later section, in connection with the conjugation of the verb.

Second, the stems of simple verbs change in form, having different patterns of stress and quantity in the different tenses, while in complex verbs the stress and quantities of the base are fixed, and remain the same in all tenses of the verb.  For example, in the simple verb koyoow - to tell news, the stem appears in the three following forms, in the present, the future, and the habituative, respectively,

            koyoow-          koyoww-          koyyow-

While in the complex verb koyow-nu - to tell news to someone, the base (koyow-) keeps the same rhythmic form throughout all the tense changes of the verb,since its form is determined once for all by the adverbial suffix, -n*, the element which follows it directly.

The peculiarities of the complex verb will be discussed more fully  in the sections 50, 51, and 52 of Languages of the Sierra Miwok by L.S. Freeland.

Changes of Stem From in Simple Verbs (section 40 of Languages of the Sierra Miwok by L.S. Freeland)
There are three different forms of the stem which occur in the conjugation of all simple regular verbs.  A fourth form (which in some of the verbs repeats the primary form) may also be made for all these verbs.  It serves either as a denominative or as a base for derivatives, so, although it is not used in the formation of the regular tense forms, it will be best to include it as one of the forms of the stem.

The second, third, and fourth forms of a stem are built up from the first, or primary, form by processes of internal change, changes of stress, or quantity, or metathesis.  So regular are these secondary stem forms, that it is possible to tell from the primary form of any verb stem just what its secondary forms will be, and what processes will be used in building them.

Types of Primary Stem
The make-up of the primary stem in verbs is by no means free, but is limited to the four following types:

  1. Triconsonantal stems ending in a consonant.  These stems have always a stressed second syllable containing a long vowel (kalanaŋ-, he'eel, kasiit-)
  2. Triconsonantal stems ending in a vowel.  These stems have always a stressed initial syllable and a medial consonant cluster (yupse-, ma'ta-, chamsә-) 
  3. Diconsonantal stems ending in a vowel.  These stems have always a stressed initial syllable and a long medial consonant (mәlli-, 'ussu-, leppa-)
  4. Diconsonantal stems ending in a consonant.  These stems are monosyllabic, and contain a long vowel (naak-, yoos-, heel-).

The following tables show the characteristic stem-changes for each of the four types of primary verb stems, as they occur in some of the commoner verbs.

Table 1:  Verbs with Primary Stem of Type I (Triconsonantal stems ending in a consonant)

Verb

Primary Stem
Second Stem
Third Stem
Fourth Stem
Typically used for Present Time Typically used for Past and Future Time Typically used for habitual or iterative actions. Typically used for Nouns.
to jump
tuyaaŋ-
tuyaŋŋ-
tuyyaŋ-
tuyŋa-
to fall
polaaŋ-
polaŋŋ-
pollaŋ-
polŋa-
to wrap
ṭopoon-
toponn-
toppon-
topno-
to take
patәәt-
patәtt-
pattәt-
pattә-
to return
'etaal-
'etall-
'ettal-
'etla-
to bleed
kichaaw-
kichaww-
kichchaw-
kichwa-
to roll
huteel-
hutell-
huttel-
hutle-
to laugh
hәyaak-
hәyakk-
hәyyak-
hәyka-
to run
hәwaaṭ-
hәwaṭṭ-
hәwwaṭ-
hәwṭa-
to hear
tolooy-
toloyy-
tolloy-
tolyo-
to relate
'uteen-
'utenn-
'utten-
'utne-

Table 2:  Verbs with Primary Stem of Type II (Triconsonantal stems ending in a vowel)

Verb Primary Stem Second Stem Third Stem Fourth Stem
to burn
wәkṭә-
wәkәṭṭ-
wәkkәṭ-
wәkṭә-
to quit
chelku-
chelukk-
chelluk-
chelku-
to poke
hәlya-
hәlayy-
hәllay-
hәlya-
to go out
lutse-
lutess-
luttes-
lutse-
to seek
welsә-
welәss-
wellәs-
welsә-
to appear
laksә-
lakәss-
lakkәs-
laksә-
to cling
yotmu-
yotumm-
yottum-
yotmu-
to suck
koypa-
koyapp-
koyyap-
koypa-
to poison
tuyku-
tuyukk-
tuyyuk-
tuyku-
to go home
wo'lu-
wo'ull-
wo' 'ul-
wo'lu-
to chase
onpu-
onupp-
onnup-
onpu
to catch up with
nakpa-
nakapp
nakkap-
nakpa-
to spear
wimki-
wimikk-
wimmik-
wimki-

Table 3:  Verbs with Primary Stem of Type III (Diconsonantal stems ending in a vowel)

Verb Primary Stem Second Stem Third Stem Fourth Stem
to bury
hamme-
hame''-
hamme'-
ham 'e-
to scold
nayyә-
nayә''-
nayyә'-
nay'ә-
to kill
yәnna-
yәna''-
yәnna'-
yәn'a-
to dive
uppi-
upi''-
uppi'-
up'i-
to pierce
hәlla-
hәla''-
hәlla'-
hәl'a-
to speak
liwwa-
liwa''-
liwwa'-
liw'a-
to scatter
oṭṭi-
oṭi''-
oṭṭi'-
oṭ'i-
to name
oyya-
oya''
oyya'-
oy'a-
to give
ammә-
amә''-
ammә'-
am'ә-
to sleep
tәyye
tәye''-
tәyye'-
tәy'e-
to find
nannә-
nanә''-
nannә'-
nan'ә-
to sing
mәlli-
mәli''-
mәlli'-
mәl'i-
to come
әnnә-
әnә''-
әnnә'-
әn'ә-

Table 4:  Verbs with Primary Stem of Type IV (Diconsonantal stems ending in a consonant)

Verb Primary Stem Second Stem Third Stem Fourth Stem
to swim
mәәŋ-
mәŋŋ-
mәŋŋә'-
mәŋ'ә-
to win
luus-
luss-
lussu'-
lus'u-
to cook
chәәs-
chәss-
chәssә'-
chәs'ә-
to bet
hәәk-
hәkk-
hәkkә'-
hәk'ә-
to step on
haat-
hatt-
hattә'-
hat'ә-
to eat clover
kook-
kokk-
kokku'-
kok'u-
to bake
huup-
hupp-
huppu'-
hup'u-
to walk
wәәn-
wәnn-
wәnnә'-
wәn'ә-
to reach
naak-
nakk-
nakkә'-
nak'ә-
to enter
uuk-
ukk-
ukku'-
uk'u-
to catch
loot-
lott-
lottu'-
lot'u-
to dodge
week-
wekk-
wekkә'-
wek'ә-
to take
weel-
well-
wellә'-
wel'ә-
to tie
sәәch-
sәchch-
sәchchә'-
sәch'ә-

Primary Stem Forms (Section 40.III.1 in Languages of the Sierra Miwok by L.S. Freeland)
It will be seen from these lists that the primary forms, though limited to four types, are yet much more variable than any of the secondary forms.  Some primary stems end in a consonant, some in a vowel.

When a primary stem ending in a consonant is followed by a suffix beginning with a consonant, there is always a vowel,ә or u when the stem contains a rounded vowel, interpolated between; for example:
        kalaaŋ- (to dance) + -'a- (infinitive) = kalaaŋә' a
        topoon- (to tie) + -maas (we) = topoonumaas
When a primary stem ending in a vowel is followed by a suffix beginning with a vowel, the vowel of the stem disappears; for example:
        nayyә- (to scold) + -ak- (perfect) = nayyak
        wo'lu- (to go home) + -e- (volitional) = wo'le

Second Stem Forms (Section 40.III.2 in Languages of the Sierra Miwok by L.S. Freeland)
The second form of a verb stem ends always in a long stressed syllable.  In the form as given in the lists, the length of the stressed syllable is due to a long terminal consonant.  This is always the case when the following suffix begins in a vowel.  However, when the suffix begins with a consonant, the final consonant of the stem is, of course, mechanically shortened; for example in the forms
        koyow-nu- (to tell someone), from         koyoww- + -nә-
        mәli'-nә- (to sing to someone), from      mәli'' + -nә-

Moreover, in those verbs

Table 5:  Verb Types in the Stem Root Form.

Type I
(Triconsonantal ending in Consonant)
Type II
(Triconsonantal ending in Vowel)
Type III
(Diconsonantal ending in Vowel)
Type IV
(Diconsonantal ending in consonant)
These stems have always a stressed second syllable containing a long vowel. These stems have always a stressed initial syllable and a medial consonant cluster. These stems have always a stressed initial syllable and a long medial consonant. These stems are monosyllabic, and contain a long vowel.
tuyaaŋ - to jump
wәkṭә - to burn
hamme - to bury
mәәŋ - to swim
polaaŋ - to fall
chelku - to quit
nayyә - to scold
luus - to win
topoon - to wrap
hәlya - to poke
yәnna - to kill
chәәs - to cook
patiiṭ - to take
luṭse - to go out
uppi - to dive
hәәk - to bet
eṭaal - to return
welsә - to seek
hәlla - to pierce
haat - to step on
kichaaw - to bleed
laksә - to appear
liwwa - to speak
kook - to eat clover
huṭeel - to roll
yoṭmu - to cling
oṭṭә - to scatter
huup - to bake
hәyaak - to laugh
koypa - to suck
oyya - to name
wәәn - to walk
hәwaaṭ - to run
tuyku - to poison
ammә - to give
naak - to reach
ṭolooy - to hear
wo'lu - to go home
tәyye - to sleep
әәk - to enter
uṭeen - to relate, to tell
onpu - to chase
nannә - to find
looṭ - to catch
oṭaaŋ - to urinate nakpa - to catch up with
mәlli - to sing
week - to dodge

wimki - to spear
әnnә - to come
weel - to take

kәnsә - to fart
ollu - to dig
sәәch - to tie

kaṭpә - to be constipated katta - to close, to block tuuk - to spit

chulka - to have diarrhea lotta - to boil yaaŋ - to go to sleep


Table 6:  Some Common Verbs

Action
Miwәk Root
to eat
әwwә
to go
wәksә
to come
әnnә
to drink
әhhә
to play
awwi
to leave
yoowә
to talk
liwwa
to hear
ṭolooy
to know
hәyәksә
to sit
huŋŋe
to wake up
talŋe
to see
heṭeeyә
to enter
әkkә
to hunger
hakayŋә
to want
oṭaaksә
to thirst
helewŋe
to hunt
wunṭu
to kill
yunna
to break in two
taswa
to throw
ṭakwa


Verbs
Present Tenses
The following table shows the suffixes used on the end of the root of the verb, depending on who is doing the action.

English
Miwok
Example - Yәllә, to bite
Example - Wәksә - to go
I
-m
yәllәm
wәksәm
Thou
-s
yәllәs
wәksәs
he,she,it

yәllә
wәksә
we (excl.)
-maas
yәllәmaas
wәksәmaas
thou and I
-tii
yәllәtii
wәksәtii
we (incl.)
-tis
yәllәtis
wәksәtis
you
-took
yәllәtook
wәksәtook
they
-p
yәllәp
wәksәp
thou-me
-muu
yәllәmuu
wәksәmuu
thou-us
-nimme
yәllәnimme
wәksәnimme
you-me
-muchchii
yәllәmuchchii
wәksәmuchchii
you-us
-nimmeech
yәllәnimmeech
wәksәnimmeech
I-thee
-muus
yәllәmuus
wәksәmuus
I-you
-muttook
yәllәmuttook
wәksәmuttook
we-thee
-niimaas
yәllәniimaas
wәksәniimaas
we-you
-tokniim
yәllәtokniim
wәksәtokniim


Example sentences with verbs in the present tense:

English
Miwok
Are you hungry?
hakaayŋes aa
I am hungry.
hakaayŋem
I am thirsty
heleewŋem
Sun is coming up (appearing).
hi'eema laksu
She is barbequeing meat.
hinna hukkuy
Do you want to sit down?
huŋe'saanәs 'aa?
It is getting dark now.
Kawuulŋe wenme.
He is drinking coffee.
kape uhhu.
I am chewing.
kanni chiwaaṭәm.
He is singing.
mulli
They are fighting.
mullap
This woman is eating breakfast.
ne' ossa wallu
They are crying.
nochup
He is crying.
nochu
I want a basket
oṭaaksәm pulakkay
I want
oṭaaksәm
He is dipping water
puluuṭu kikkәy
He is throwing ball.
takwa bollu
Are you waking up?
Talŋes 'aa?
I am waking up.
Talŋem.
What do you want?
Tinne' oṭaaksәs.
I hear
Tolooyum
I am killing fly.
yunnum homommayey
He is breaking brown stick in two.
ṭokokki leekay taswa