By Wallace Chafe
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Additional info for A Grammar of the Seneca Language
Hehs-V,RV,tV,hV hehse- 20. ho-C,a,i haw-e ha-o him he 38. shako-C,a,i shakaw-e shaka-o 43. she-C,i shey-a,e,o 22. (ya)ko-C,a,i (ya)kaw-e (ya)ka-o her she them they men 21. hoti-C hon-V them/they it women animals 23. yoti-C 24. yo-C,a,i yon-V yaw-e ya-o 39. hakö-C,i haköy-a,e,o 50. yötat-V,RV,tV,hV 52. höwati-C yötate-else höwën-V 44. yetshi-C,i yetshiy-a,e,o 42. yethi-C,i yethiy-a,e,o 40. khe-C,i khey-a,e,o 41. yakhi-C,i yakhiy-a,e,o 31. shesni-C shesn-i,e,o shesny-a 32. sheswa-C sheswë-i shesw-a,e sheš-o 20a.
Meanings of the habitual and stative suffixes. Verbs with this minimal structure exhibit only two aspect suffix forms, habitual and stative (Lounsbury’s iterative and perfective)2, but there are four aspectual meanings that are expressed by those two forms. (1) ‘habitual’ (a habitual or generic event) (2) ‘progressive’ (an event that extends before and after the moment of speaking) (3) ‘perfect’ (a past event with current relevance) (4) ‘stative’ (a state) These four meanings are distributed across the two forms in ways that are determined by the nature of the verb base, and specifically whether its meaning is consequential or nonconsequential.
Although the change appears on the surface to have taken this form, its origin was more likely in the sequence *yaw-a, making it a variant of the change that follows. yödö́ gweta’ (*ye-atökwetha’) ‘she’s in good health’ *wa’wak > *ök. The reduction of wa(’)wa to ö applied in more environments in the other Northern Iroquoian languages, but in Seneca it was for the most part restricted to cases where the factual prefix wa’- was followed by the 1st person singular patient prefix wak-. It is likely that wa’wa coalesced to form a vowel in the low back position (ɲ), where it fell together with an existing vowel that was already nasalized.