By Beck, David
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Additional info for A grammatical sketch of Upper Necaxa Totonac
SUBJ ‘the ones they are looking for are up there’ 44 c. yá…¬ matßí…ta istsastún naktßík ya…¬ matßí…ta iß–tsastún nak=tßík stand machete 3PO–corner LOC=house ‘the machete is standing in the corner of the house’ d. afraid maybe sit NREL sit ‘I’m afraid to put my hand in, there might be something there’ The generic choice (that is, the verb that is selected when no particular posture or position is to be expressed) is wi…¬, which is also used in possessive expressions such as wi…¬ kinkawa…yúx ‘I have a horse’ (lit.
Unrealized The unrealized mood-marker, ti-, is most generally used to indicate that a particular event, although possible, has not taken place: (84) a. PO ‘well, not once have I seen someone go into their rooms’ la…–ta–nú… do–INCH–in 49 b. xa… tiwá¬ tsamá… tsumaxát xa… ti–wá–¬ tsamá… NEG UNR–eat–PFV that ‘it didn’t eat the girl’ tsumaxát girl c. SUBJ this ‘first, we’re going to eat this palm fruit’ ßa–tá¬tsiÔ DTV–seed mo÷ó…t palm The unrealized affix is compatible with both the imperfective (84a) and the perfective (b) aspect and occurs in at least one example in my corpus in the future tense (c).
SUBJ ‘but you are still a child, you won’t be able to carry me’ Unlike the use of ti- on its own (which merely indicates that the event is as yet unrealized), the use of ti- plus the optative in the expressions in (90) seems to imply the impossibility, or at least improbability, of the event. The same does not seem to be true of the sentences in (89), although it should be noted that in both cases the conditional clause concerns the actions of second persons. It may mean that the expression of reduced probability when speaking of the future actions of second persons is another politeness strategy.
A grammatical sketch of Upper Necaxa Totonac by Beck, David