Hiding Waters reference grammar

David Edwards (Trailsend)

Preface

Typically, reference grammars open with some kind of statement about who the grammar is for. "For the community of fluent speakers", it might say. "For teachers of the language." "For Serious Scholars of whatever language family."

If those are the usual audiences served by a reference grammar, it serves to highlight the silliness of this one, as the language described here is a constructed language. It is quite thoroughly made up. Its only speakers are fictional, its only scholar is me.

(I should note, though, that I do find it a little vindicating that even Real Linguists writing Real Reference Grammars feel compelled to spend their introductions awkwardly trying to justify what in God's name they did all this for.)

People who make up languages for fun are no strangers to the question, asked in equal parts by perplexed onlookers and by themselves, of why they are doing this. There is seldom any answer beyond "I dunno. Why do painters paint?"

Creating a language is delightful and surprising: some parts engineering, some parts treasure-hunting, some parts walking around outside until the trees slip you the answer. I may not have any scholars or speakers to write this grammar for, but to a great degree, I am writing it for myself. Trying to get the language out of my head and onto paper is one method of organizing the discoveries I've already made, and in some ways an act of further exploration, as it reveals gaps I have yet to fill.

Still, to say this grammar is an entirely personal matter would be a bit disingenuous. After all, if I am the only intended audience, then what am I doing posting it here on the public internet?

I suppose this grammar is meant for, if anyone, the broader conlanging community. Every project benefits from criticism and fresh pairs of eyes. (And obviously, any time someone looks at my work for long enough to offer feedback, I melt into a little puddle of delighted goo, regardless of what they actually say). Perhaps an idea I have described here will inspire someone to make something entirely new, and the world will be better for that too.

Another thing linguists do in the introductions to their reference grammars is write a list of thank-yous to the people who made the work possible. I may not have a university linguistics department who funded me, no professor or advisor who supervised the work. But I do have something else.

I have all the authors from the Domhantir project, years ago, whose encouragement got this whole show off the ground. I have Jim Henry, who very generously took the time to write a whole review of the language once, back when it was going by "Feayran" (meager as it was at the time). I have the folks at the CBB and ZBB whose feedback and criticism helped shape the thing—Micamo, Eldin, Ossicone, Astraios, and especially Rickard, whose enthusiasm never failed to make me feel like a million dollars. Countless others. Thank you all.

So. Here it is. May it bring you delight, as it brings to me.

Ué hïnaùlhkụwhuṇstẹ kú tsạkukulhxtẹ. Ṇė oruxlọwhuṇkoụ̀n rȯ huṇuslọḷìkụ́. Hï kuxkụxtẹwhọ́sk q̇oàloxkụwhoskṇgeị̀.
DM(attention)
hïn<aù-lh-k-ụ-wh<u>ṇ>stẹ
welcome<LEAD.IMP-ESS-2-LEAD.PAT-CLF(familiar)<LOC.LEAD>>
k-ú
DEM(near_audience)-LEAD.PL
tsạk<u-k-u-lh>xtẹ
travel<LEAD.IND-2-LEAD.AGT-ESS>
ṇė
all
or<u-x-l-ọ-wh<u>ṇ>koụ̀n
hold<LEAD.IND-STAT-CLF(generic)-INAN.PAT-CLF(familiar)<LOC.LEAD>>
rȯ
DM(intensifier)
h<u-ṇ-u-s-l-ọ>ḷì-k<ụ́>
present<LEAD.IND-CLF(familiar)-LEAD.AGT-IPFV-CLF(generic)-INAN.PAT>-2<LAT.LEAD>
any
k<u-x-k-ụ>xtẹ-wh<ọ́>sk
go<LEAD.IND-STAT-2-LEAD.PAT>-CLF(unknown)<ọ́>
q̇<oà-l-o-x-k-ụ-wh<o>sk>ṇgeị̀
nourish<LEAD.OPT-CLF(generic)-INAN.AGT-STAT-2-LEAD.PAT-CLF(unknown)<LOC.INAN>>
"Be welcome here, you travelers. All that we have, we offer you. May it sustain you wherever your paths lead."

Introduction

For the conlang connoisseurs and typologists in the audience, Hiding Waters is an artlang with some engelang habits that it should probably be more embarrassed by than it is.

An artlang, in conlanger jargon—or more precisely, the fictional language subtype of artlang, which is the most common one—is a language invented to be spoken by fictional people in some kind of fictional setting. Artlangs tend to aim for naturalism, whatever "naturalism" means where they're from. Tolkien's languages were artlangs.

Engelangs, on the other hand, are not particularly interested in naturalism, but instead aim to explore some kind of philosophical question or technical challenge. John Quijada's Ithkuil, which explores the question of how a language might achieve "the highest possible degree of logic, efficiency, detail, and accuracy in cognitive expression", is an engelang.

As is usually the case with any kind of typological system, these categories don't rigidly constrain the sorts of languages people create. You might be tempted to say, "Sure, it's more of a spectrum," but even that is wrong. Artlang and Engelang aren't the two extremes of a linear universe—they're just two of many peaks in a vast and varied landscape. Any given language likely falls somewhere off the slopes of the great mountain ranges, and not on the theoretical summit of any of them.

In the case of Hiding Waters, it lives fairly near the treeline of the Artlang Range. It was designed for a fictional group of people in a fantasy world, and tries to be an evocative lens with which to view the culture of its imaginary speakers.

However, it also invests in exploring some rather engelang-y questions:

Hiding Waters pursues these questions in particular because the way a language can teach you new ways of conceptualizing the world is what intrigues me most when learning and creating languages. Thus, Hiding Waters tries to be a radical departure from the modes of thinking I'm accustomed to in the languages I use day to day.

This is also one of the things holding Hiding Waters back from the peak of the Artlang mountains. Artlangs, in their quest to be naturalistic products of their fictional environments, tend to be very invested in the historical processes which shaped them into their present state, and all the grammatical and phonological artifacts such processes leave behind.

But while I don't find diachronics and phonology un-interesting, they tend to get out-competed in the grand struggle for my attention by things like interesting syntactic structures and cool extensions of novel conceptual metaphors. I have some ideas about a diachronic account of Hiding Waters, and some deeper phonetic details...which I'm sure I'll get to eventually. But for now, you'll find any mention of diachronics to be quite missing from this document, and the Phonology section to be about as minimal a sketch as one could conceivably get away with.

In exchange, I hope to provide some interesting explorations of the deep wilderness of register, anaphora, and morphosyntactic possibilities.

Points of Interest

If you're an itinerant conlanger passing by on the internet, you want to know what parts of this drawn-out document are worth your time. Where's the good stuff? If you'd like my entirely unbiased suggestions, these are the parts of the language I think are most unique or otherwise interesting:

The concept of stance is Hiding Waters' most defining characteristic, and one of the few features that have stuck around since the very beginning. It is something like a system of asymmetric formality registers, but it has some delightful twists—I especially like the interesting things stance can do involving discourse dynamics.

As far as I can tell, Hiding Waters lacks a morphosyntactic noun/verb distinction. That is, in any given sentence, there isn't a meaningful way to differentiate between constituents that are nouns and constituents that are verbs. Instead, there are predicates, which all exhibit uniform morphosyntactic behavior. (If you'd like to try your hand at morphosyntactic analysis, this is one area where I'd especially love some more perspectives!)

While the small number of morphosyntactic parts of speech limits the variety of syntactic structures there are to play with, the language still manages to be expressive via some clever systems of anaphora. Part of that apparatus is the way the language uses classifiers to create, maintain, and redirect references, which is delightfully fun—somewhat like a spoken version of American Sign Language's system of loci.

I find conceptual metaphors in general fascinating, so I have particular fun playing with the metaphors that Hiding Waters uses. In particular, rather than the conduit metaphor, Hiding Waters uses a "gathering-birds" metaphor to model the relationship between language and information.

Setting

Hiding Waters the language is named after Hiding Waters the place: a coastal river complex in a temperate rainforest on the cusp between an oceanic and subarctic climate. The area is populated by a species called hulhxrịnụ̀whrụ́l ("people to whom skins were given"). Hulhxrịnụ̀whrụ́l occupy a range much wider than just Hiding Waters. While human-like, they differ from humans in a number of ways which influence their languages:

Stance

An omnipresent distinction present in the Hiding Waters language is the concept of stance. In any given interaction, Hiding Waters speakers have one of two stances with respect to each other: either leading or following. The two stances always contrast—when one speaker uses leading stance, the other uses following stance.

Stance marking in the language is pervasive. Each predicate and some function words inflect to mark the speaker's stance toward the audience, and predicate arguments inflect to show the speaker's stance toward their referent. For 1st-person references, or referents whose stance toward the speaker is unknown, the speaker's stance toward the audience is used instead.

Stance relationships are seldom static. While speakers may maintain the same stance relation over an entire conversation, they more typically switch back and forth as the conversation unfolds in response to various factors.

Leading Stance

Speakers who are relatively older or in a position of authority relative to their listeners will typically use leading stance. Similarly, speakers use leading stance when they have some form of territorial claim where the conversation is occurring, such as when hosting a visitor in their home, or speaking to a foreigner in their family's territory. Even having arrived first to a common area confers a weak territorial claim for purposes of establishing initial stance.

Leading stance may also indicate that the speaker has relatively more expertise in the topic of conversation. In situations where there is not a clear age, rank, or territorial disparity such that stance is more fluid, speakers may switch into leading stance as a way of requesting a conversational turn. (The listener then switches to following stance to cede the turn, or continues using leading to reject the turn switch.)

Following Stance

Speakers who are relatively younger, of lesser social rank, or in some sense "visiting" in the area where the conversation is occurring use following stance. Following stance may indicate that the speaker is petitioning the listener for their expertise, or, in circumstances where stance is more fluid (for example, two speakers of approximately equal age and rank speaking in a common area), speakers may switch from leading into following stance at the end of a statement to indicate that they are ceding the conversational turn to someone else.

Inanimate Stance

The inanimate stance is strictly linguistic; that is, culturally, speakers only recognize two stances, but there is a clear third paradigm in the language.

The inanimate stance is used to mark referents such as abstract or inanimate objects toward which the speaker has no stance. Plants, non-living objects, periods of time, and minor geographical features are all typically referred to using the inanimate stance. The inanimate is never used to mark the speaker's stance toward the audience.

Animals are typically referred to using an animate stance, along with some major geographical features and natural forces. However, some animals like mollusks and mosquitos are referred to as inanimate.

Phonology

This chapter gives a rough overview of Hiding Waters phonology, including its phonemic inventory, allophony, and morphophonological processes.

The language's sound system has a few notable traits that derive from features of hulhxrịnụ̀whrụ́l vocal tracts, such as a lack of any labial sounds, a lack of consonants which require grooving the tongue, and a lack of any phonemic rounding distinctions.

Consonants

Hiding Waters makes phonemic distinctions across three points of articulation. The inventory includes a series of ejectives and a fairly large number of sonorants, some of which feature a creaky-voice distinction.

Alveolar Velar Uvular / glottal
Nasal n n̰ <n ṇ> ŋ ŋ̰ <ng ṇg>
Plosive t d <t d> k g <k g> q <q>
Ejective t' <ṭ> k' <ḳ> q' <q̇>
Fricative ʃ ʒ <s z> x ɣ <x gh>
Approximant ɹ̰ <r> ɰ̊ <wh> h <h>
Lateral Fricative ɬ ɮ <lh j>
Lateral Approximant l l̰ <l ḷ>

Release

The manner in which consonants release varies depending on their environment.

When a plosive is followed by a fricative of like voicing at the same place of articulation (/tʃ/, /tɬ/, /t'ʃ/, /t'ɬ/, /dʒ/, /dɮ/, /kx/, /gɣ/, /k'x/, /g'ɣ/), the cluster is realized as an affricate.

When any consonant is followed by an identical consonant not across a word boundary, the cluster is realized as a geminate.

When a plosive is followed by a different plosive or fricative, the first does not release.

When a plosive falls at the end of a word, it is not released, unless it is preceded by another plosive.

Vowels

Front Central Back
Close i <i> ɯ <u>
Mid e <e> ɤ <o>
Open a <a>

Monophthong realization is conditioned by subsequent consonants:

Nasals and creaky-voiced sonorants assimilate with preceding vowels:

A number of diphthongs occur:

Final
u i a e o
Initial u ua [ʊa̯] ue [ʊe̯] uo [ʊɤ̯]
i ia [ɪa̯] ie [ɪe̯] io [ɪɤ̯]
a au [ɑʊ̯] ai [aɪ̯]
e eu [eʊ̯] ei [eɪ̯] ea [ea̯]
o ou [ɤʊ̯] oi [ɤɪ̯] oa [ɤɑ̯]

When two vowels are juxtaposed (noting that for these purposes, diphthongs are a single vowel), an epenthetic glottal stop is placed between them.

Tones

Contour Notation
Low flat tone low
Low rising tone low to mid ạ́
Mid flat tone mid a
High rising tone low to high á
High flat tone high ȧ (high flat /i/ is written <ï>)
High falling tone high to low à
Low falling tone mid to low ạ̀

Diphthongs always have a falling or rising tone. Monophthongs with a falling or rising tone are realized as long, and sometimes diphthongize:

When a high-flat tone vowel occurs at the end of a word, it is followed by a glottal stop:

Predicate Morphology

Predicates are by far the most morphologically complex part of speech in the Hiding Waters language. This chapter discusses the internal structure of predicates; later chapters expand on interactions and constructions involving multiple predicates.

Roots

Predicate roots are bipartite, consisting of a pre-stem and post-stem, although in some roots one of the two stems may be null. Most inflections are placed between the stems, although ablative and lative incorporated arguments are placed before the pre-stem and after the post-stem, respectively.

In the lexicon, bare roots are written with an asterisk (*) separating the two stems. For example:

ẹṇ*kwh
(atelic) a camp

In glosses, I notate the material between the stems as a series of infixes. For example, with the root ụng*q:

Ụngixjịq.
ụng<i-x-j-ị>q
hungry<FOL.IND-STAT-1-FOL.PAT>
"I'm hungry."

For consistency, I also use infix notation for roots with a null pre or post-stem. For example, with the root sqeị́s*:

Sqeị́suṇus.
sqeị́s<u-ṇ-u-s>
beginning<LEAD.IND-CLF(familiar)-LEAD.AGT-IPFV>
"We're starting."

Predicate Structure

The morphological structure of a predicate can be described with the following template, where elements in (parentheses) are non-obligatory. Subsequent sections will discuss each part.

(ABL) - pre_stem - STANCE.MOOD - (VIA) - (AGENT) - (NEG) - ASPECT - (PATIENT) - (LOC) - post_stem - (LAT)

Stance and Mood

The first morpheme after a predicate's pre-stem indicates the speaker's stance toward the audience—either leading or following—and one of six moods.

Indicative Mood

The indicative is the most common mood, used for general statements of fact.

Awhusqeị́sȯxsn.
awh<u-sqeị́s<ȯ>-x->sn
rain<LEAD.IND-begin<VIA.INAN>-STAT->
"It's starting to rain."

Subjunctive Mood

The subjunctive marks a predicate that is not a statement of fact, but rather conditional, hypothetical, or otherwise counterfactual.

Sụ̀lȯjusstẹhị́naụ̀wh kuójukxtẹsṭȧnọ́tị.
s<ụ̀>-l<ȯ-j-u-s>stẹ-h<ị́>naụ̀wh
AUX<ABL.LEAD>-spoken<LEAD.SJV-1-1.AGT-IPFV>-cousin<LAT.FOL>
k<uó-j-u-k>xtẹ-sṭȧn<ọ́>ti
going<LEAD.VOL-1-LEAD.AGT-PFV>-dance<LAT.INAN>
"I want to go to the dance to speak with my cousin."

Optative Mood

The optative indicates something that the speaker hopes for or would like to happen.

Awhoị̀nxṭolịtsn nȧ.
awh<oị̀-n-x-ṭ<o>lịt>sn
rain<FOL.OPT-NEG-STAT-today<LOC.INAN>>
nȧ
DM
"Hopefully it doesn't rain today."

Volitional Mood

The volitional indicates something that the participants marked on the predicate desire to do.

Tï suóru̇tlkuk hė.
only
s<uó-r<u̇>t-lk-u-k>
AUX<LEAD.VOL-self<VIA.LEAD>-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-PFV>
hė
DEF
"He wants to do it himself."

Potential Mood

The potential indicates something that is possible, that the participants are able to carry out.

Àṇ xụlqeụ̀jkukqọ'ẹṇokwhkoụ̀n.
àṇ
more
xụlq<eụ̀-jk-u-k-q-ọ-ẹṇ<o>kwh>koụ̀n
acquire<LEAD.POT-INCL-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(food)-INAN.PAT-camp<LOC.INAN>>
"We can get more at the camp."

Imperative Mood

The imperative is used for giving commands or exhortations.

Nà ìlh haùjustlhọkoụ̀n nȧ.
DM
ìlh
partly
h<aù-j-u-s-tlh-ọ>koụ̀n
carry<LEAD.IMP-1-LEAD.AGT-IPFV-CLF(wood)-INAN.PAT>
"Here, let me carry some of that."

Aspect

Predicates are inflected with one of seven aspects. For the most part, a predicate's aspect indicates its temporal structure—for example, whether the thing being described is a static condition, an ongoing process, or a completed change. Some aspects instead encode the speaker's interpretation of the situation, leaving its temporal structure up to context.

The seven aspects can be grouped into three families whose members serve similar functions and exhibit similar behavior in discourse structure: descriptive aspects, eventive aspects, and interpretive aspects.

(See also: Aspect Inflection Reference in the appendix)

Telicity

Predicate roots can be grouped into two families: atelic roots and telic roots. The telicity of a given root impacts the meaning of some aspects when applied to a that root.

Atelic roots denote some manner of quality which something may have or not have, and which may change, but which has no dynamic process inherent to it. Some atelic roots include:

gh*tsị̀
root quality: being beneath
ḳ*tlh
root quality: being a tree
n*t
root quality: being seen

Telic roots denote a process, which unless halted proceeds to some inherent completion state. Telic roots include:

h*s
searching (completion state: finding the object)
ṭ*st
repairing (completion state: restoring the object)
xụlq*q
hunting (completion state: felling the object)

Descriptive Aspects

The two descriptive aspects are the stative and essential.

The stative aspect (-x-) describes an incidental, non-inherent state of something.

For atelic roots, the stative aspect describes something having the root quality, though not as part of its inherent nature.

Ụngixjịq nȧ.
ụng<i-x-j-ị>q
hungry<FOL.IND-STAT-1-FOL>
nȧ
DM
"I'm hungry."
Nȯ ịtixlsịḳotlhkwh nixlsịjit.
n-ȯ
DEM(visible)-INAN.SG
ịt<i-x-ls-ị-ḳ<o>tlh>kw
beside<FOL.IND-STAT-CLF(female)-FOL.PAT-tree<LOC.INAN>>
n<i-x-ls-ị-j<i>>t
seen<FOL.IND-STAT-CLF(female)-FOL.PAT-1<LOC.FOL>>
"I see her there, next to that tree."

For telic roots, the stative describes something undergoing the root process, but does not place any saliency on progress being made toward the completion state.

Kuluxxtẹhụktọ́dlụ̀wh.
k<u-l-u-x>xtẹ-hụkt<ọ́>dlụ̀wh
going<LEAD.IND-CLF(generic)-LEAD.AGT-STAT>-fishing_weir<LAT.INAN>
"They were on the way to the weir."

The essential aspect (-lh-) describes an inherent nature of something. For atelic roots, it indicates that something inherently has the root quality; for telic roots, it indicates that undergoing the root process is part of a thing's inherent nature.

Sì ụngulhlkụq hė.
DM(alas)
ụng<u-lh-lk-ụ>q
hungry<FOL.IND-STAT-1-FOL.PAT>
hė
DEF
"He's an awfully envious (lit. 'hungry') person."

The essential can be used to indicate profession:

Nà xụlqiójilhq tȧjilhkikoị̀sx hė.
DM
xụlqiójilhq
hunt<FOL.VOL-1-FOL.AGT-ESS>q
t<ȧ-j-i-lh-k<i>koị̀>sx
same<FOL.SJV-1-FOL.AGT-ESS-father<FOL.LOC>>
hė
DEF
"I want to be a hunter, like my father."

Or the position of stationary objects:

Nȯ ịtulhslọḳotlhkwh.
nȯ
DEM(visible)-INAN.SG
ịt<u-lh-sl-ọ-ḳ<o>tlh>kw
beside<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(fish)-INAN.PAT-tree<LOC.INAN>>
"(The weir) is next to that tree."

Eventive Aspects

The three eventive aspects are the imperfective, perfective, and climactic.

The imperfective aspect (-s-) describes an ongoing, dynamic process.

For atelic roots, the imperfective describes being in the process of taking on the root quality.

Sì stestẹluxstẹ sụ̀'ụngusjụq nȧ.
DM(alas)
stestẹ-l<u-x->stẹ
REDUP-spoken<LEAD.IND-STAT>
s<ụ̀>-ụng<u-s-j-ụ>q
AUX<ABL.LEAD>-hungry<LEAD.IND-IPFV-1-LEAD.PAT>
nȧ
DM
"All this talking is making me hungry."

For telic roots, the imperfective describes making progress toward the completion state.

Kulusxtẹ'ẹṇọ́kwh.
k<u-l-u-s>xtẹ-ẹṇ<ọ́>kwh
going<LEAD.IND-CLF(generic)-LEAD.AGT-IPFV>-camp<LAT.INAN>
"They were making their way to the camp."

Note the difference in connotation between this and the stative example above; both refer to being in the process of going to a place, but the imperfective highlights the dynamic process, the progress being made, while the stative does not.

The perfective aspect (-k-) describes a change in state or completion of a process.

For atelic roots, the perfective describes a completed change of having taken on the root quality.

Ituxṇụlhosnkwh ẹṇuṇukwhokwhkwh.
it<u-x-ṇ-ụ-lh<o>sn>kwh
beside<LEAD.IND-STAT-CLF(familiar)-LEAD.PAT-stream<LOC.INAN>sn>
ẹṇ<u-ṇ-u-k-wh<o>kw>kwh
camp<LEAD.IND-CLF(familiar)-LEAD.AGT-PFV-unperceived_location>
"We made camp by the stream."

For telic roots, the perfective describes a finished achievement of the root's completion state.

Ṭukukstṭọ́tlh tí?
ṭ<u-k-u-k>st-ṭ<ọ́>tlh
repaired<LEAD.IND-2-LEAD.AGT-PFV>-now<LAT.INAN>
POLAR_Q
"Have you finished the repairs yet?"

The climactic aspect (-ṭė-) indicates a state-change like the perfective that occurs in a moment of intense interest. It might be surprising to the speaker, or a focal point of a narrative arc.

Hijiṭėlọs! Nà ghixlọṭsẹ́soslhtsị̀.
h<i-j-i-ṭė-l-ọ>s
searching<FOL.IND-1-FOL.AGT-CLIM-CLF(generic)-INAN.PAT>
DM
gh<i-x-l-ọ-ṭsẹ́s<o>slh>tsị̀
beneath<FOL.IND-STAT-CLF(generic)-INAN.PAT-woven_mat<LOC.INAN>>
"I found it! It was under the mat."

Interpretive Aspects

The two interpretive aspects are the inferential and the equative.

The inferential aspect (-r-) describes something the speaker suspects to be true given available signs.

Kunȯkwhkturnotlhxtẹ hė.
k<u-n<ȯ>kwh-kt-u-r-n<o>tlh>xtẹ
going<LEAD.IND-place_within_view<VIA.INAN>-CLF(ungulate)-LEAD.AGT-INFER-near_time<LOC.INAN>>
hė
DEF
"(The buck) passed through here recently, it seems."

The equative aspect (-ḷ-) is similar, but it does not highlight the speaker's belief. It makes no statement about whether something has the root quality; it says only that it has the appearance or form of something with that quality.

Hoù hịnụ̀whngịghuḷkụx.
hoù
DM(concern)
hịn<ụ̀>wh-ngịgh<u-ḷ-k-ụ>x
smell<ABL.LEAD>-sick<LEAD.IND-EQU-2-FOL.PAT>
"You smell like you might be sick."

Agent and Patient Marking

Agent and patient morphemes consist of an onset, which indicates a classifier, and a coda, which indicates the stance of the speaker toward the referent. When the referent is the 1st person, or when the speaker's stance toward the referent is unclear, the speaker's stance toward the audience is used. (See the Catalog of Classifiers and Agent and Patient Codas Reference in the appendix.)

Xụlqulkukktụḳolitq.
xụlq<u-lk-u-k-kt-ụ-ḳ<o>lit>q
hunt<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(ungulate)-LEAD.PAT-yesterday<LOC.INAN>>
"He brought down an elk(?) yesterday."

Here, the agent marker is -lku-, consisting of lk- (male classifier) and -u (leading stance), and the patient marker is -ktụ-, consisting of kt- (ungulate classifier) and -ụ (leading stance).

Predicates may lack a patient:

Ṭsẹ́silsuxtạṇotlhslh.
ṭsẹ́s<i-ls-u-x-tạṇ<o>tlh>slh.
woven_mat<FOL.IND-CLF(female)-LEAD.AGT-STAT-house<LOC.INAN>>
"She is weaving in the house."

Lack an agent:

Sì xịlhtuklkụqkxọ́ghẹ̀.
DM(alas)
xịlht<u-k-lk-ụ>q-kx<ọ́>ghẹ̀
bite<LEAD.IND-PFV-CLF(male)-LEAD.PAT>-negative_extreme<LAT.INAN>
"He was bitten badly."

Or lack any participants:

Awhuxsn tí?
awh<u-x>sn
rain<LEAD.IND-STAT>
POLAR_Q
"Is it raining?"

Explicit participant markers may also be omitted when the participants are clear from context.

Morphological Negation

Predicates may take a negative-polarity inflection -n- just before the aspect inflection. For atelic roots, this modifies the meaning of the root to be "not having the root quality".

Hà awhunlhxurokwhsn luxsuwhstẹ.
DM(understanding)
awh<u-n-lh>-xur<o>kw>sn
rain<LEAD.IND-NEG-ESS-south<LOC.INAN>>
luxsuwhstẹ
l<u-x-s<u>wh>stẹ
"They say it never rains in the south."

The negative polarity inflection converts telic roots into atelic roots meaning "not undergoing the root process".

Sì ṇė ḳuṭȯlịtlunxs!
DM(alas)
ṇė
all
ḳ<u-ṭ<ȯ>lịt-l-u-n-x>s
work<LEAD.IND-today<VIA.INAN>-CLF(generic)-LEAD.AGT-NEG-STAT>
"They haven't done any work all day!"

Incorporation

Predicates may incorporate other predicate roots at four sites in the predicate complex.

Incorporated roots take an inflection specific to the incorporation site, which agrees with the speaker's stance toward the referent. The inflection is placed between the incorporated root's stems. (See the Incorporated Root Inflection Reference in the appendix.)

Incorporation is not recursive; that is, an incorporated root cannot contain additional incorporated roots.

Ablative Position

Ablative arguments are incorporated before the pre-stem of the root, indicating a source, origin, cause, reference point, or something moved away from.

Nà ụngụ́qsq̇ujukq hė.
DM
ụng<ụ́>q-sq̇<u-j-u-k>q
hungry<ABL.LEAD>-eat<LEAD.IND-1-LEAD.AGT-PFV>
hė
DEF
"Well, I was hungry, so I ate."

Vialis Position

Vialis arguments are incorporated after the stance/mood inflection, indicating a route, method, duration, or something moved through.

Ḳunȯtlhkuslọs hí?
ḳ<u-n<ȯ>tlh-k-u-s-l-ọ>s
work<LEAD.IND-near_time<VIA.INAN>-2-LEAD.AGT-IPFV-CLF(generic)-INAN.PAT>
what
"What have you been up to recently?"

Locative Position

Locative arguments are incorporated before the post-stem, indicating a location, focus, topic, boundary, moment in time, possessor, or something moved within.

Lhọ̀snạṭuluxitokwhnịq.
lh<ọ̀>sn-ạṭ<u-l-u-x-it<o>kwh>nịq
stream<l;ABL.INAN>-seated<LEAD.IND-CLF(generic)-LEAD.AGT-STAT-beside>LOC.INAN>>
"(They) were sitting next to the stream."

Lative Position

Lative arguments are incorporated after the post-stem, indicating a destination, direction, goal, result, or something moved toward.

Lukukstẹhị́lịs tí?
l<u-k-u-k>stẹ-h<ị́>lịs
spoken<LEAD.IND-2-LEAD.AGT-PFV>-CLF(female)<ị́>
POLAR_Q
"Have you spoken to her?"

Reduplication

Roots may undergo reduplication by copying the post-stem twice, and prefixing the copies before the pre-stem. If the post-stem is nonsyllabic, epenthetic vowels may be inserted between the copies. Also something funny happens with tone, but I haven't figured out the rule yet.

Often, a reduplicated root indicates a repeated action:

Qụquhạktulkuslọqslhọ́x.
qụqu-hạkt<u-lk-u-s-l-ọ>q-slh<ọ́>x
REDUP-strike<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-IPFV-CLF(gen)-INAN.PAT>-mush<LOC.INAN>
"He kept on pounding it into mush."

Here, the root hạkt*q, "strike", reduplicates into qụquhạkt*q, "strike repeatedly."

Reduplicated predicates may also indicate a continuation of action:

Xtextẹkoìjkisxtẹ nȧ.
xtextẹ-k<oì-jk-i-s>xtẹ
REDUP-going<OPT.FOL-INCL-FOL.AGT-IPFV>
nȧ
DM
"We should keep going."

General Syntax

Newsworthiness

Predicates are arranged in decreasing order of newsworthiness. A constituent's newsworthiness is determined by a number of factors:

Deì ṭlhaùwh nạ́ghulhqụxn hụktujkukqụsqotlhq hụktujkuktlhọlwhosndlụ̀wh hé lwhulhxurokwhniụ́q.
deì
DM(explanation)
ṭlhaùwh
so_much
nạ́gh<u-lh-q-ụ>xn
salmon<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(food)-LEAD.PAT>
hụkt<u-jk-u-k-q-ụ-sq<o>tlh>q
catch<LEAD.IND-INCL-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(food)-LEAD.PAT-CLF(wood)<LOC.INAN>>
hụkt<u-jk-u-k-tlh-ọ-lwh<o>sn>dlụ̀w
fishing_weir<LEAD.IND-INCL-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(wood)-INAN.PAT-CLF(water)<LOC.INAN>>
hė
DEF
lwh<u-lh-xur<o>kwh>niụ́q
bend_in_a_river<LEAD.IND-ESS-south<LOC.INAN>>
"It's because we caught all that salmon in the weir we built at the south bend."

This is an excerpt from a conversation about a quọ́quxtsị̀lh festival the family was planning to host. In context, this statement introduced the salmon as the new topic of conversation, making them highly newsworthy. The fact that the salmon were caught by the speaker and listener was a focal point of interest; the fact that they were caught in the speaker and listener's weir, and the final clarifying detail of the weir's location, were less newsworthy.

Conjunctions

There are three conjunctions used to indicate relationships between different predicates. Two of these (su̇/sï and u̇k/ïk) inflect for the speaker's stance toward the listener. Conjunctions are placed before each conjunct in the coordinate structure.

The conjunction su̇/sï indicates a surprising or notable addition or confluence.

Sì su̇ ṇė nạ́ghulhqọxn su̇ ṇė qạxulhqọl sq̇ulkukqọq!
DM(alas)
su̇
also.LEAD
nė
all
nạ́gh<u-lh-q-ọ>xn
salmon<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(food)-INAN.PAT>
su̇
also.LEAD
nė
all
qạx<u-lh-q-ọ>l
berry<LEAD-ESS-CLF(food)-INAN.PAT>
"He ate all the salmon, and all the berries too!"

The conjunction indicates a mutual exclusion, either offering the listener a choice between options or indicating that only one of several possibilities is true.

Tï sulkuk tï sulsuk lusu̇whkstẹkụ́ hí?
only
s<u-lk-u-k>
AUX<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-PFV>
only
s<u-ls-u-k>
AUX<LEAD.IND-CLF(female)-LEAD.AGT-PFV>
l<u-s<u̇>wh-k>stẹ-k<ụ́>
saying<LEAD.IND-such<VIA.LEAD>-PFV>-2<LAT.LEAD>
Q
"Did he tell you that, or did she?"

The conjunction u̇k/ïk indicates a contrast or tension between two phrases.

Ïk xu̇ sq̇ijikq ïk ïng ụnginkjịq.
ïk
but
xu̇
so_much
sq̇<i-j-i-k>q
eat<LEAD.IND-1-FOL.PAT-PFV>
ïk
but
ïng
NEG.FOL
ụng<i-n-k-j-ị>q
hungry<FOL.IND-NEG-PFV-1-FOL.PAT>
"I ate so much, but I'm still hungry."

Demonstratives

Demonstratives indicate a deictic reference to one of the arguments (either a marked participant, or one of the incorporated arguments) of the predicate. Demonstratives inflect for number (singular or plural) and the speaker's stance toward the referent. (See the Demonstrative Particle Inflection Reference in the appendix.)

When the marked predicate has multiple arguments, several of which have the same stance toward the speaker as indicated on the demonstrative, which argument is targeted by the demonstrative is ambiguous. Disambiguation can be accomplished via classifier extraction.

Demonstratives are not an obligatory component of the phrase; their inclusion typically signals the introduction of a new reference in the conversation. Once established, the reference is maintained using a classifier rather than repetition of the demonstrative.

Quantifiers

Quantifiers are particles which precede a predicate and either indicate the degree or extent of the state/process the predicate describes, or the quantity of one of the predicate's arguments.

Xu̇ xàrixlsịng hė.
xu̇
much
xàr<i-x-ls-ị>ng
angry<FOL.IND-STAT-CLF(female)-FOL.PAT>ng
hė
DEF
"She's really angry."
Ḷȧwh sq̇ukuklọq tí?
ḷȧwh
whole
sq̇<u-k-u-k-l-ọ>q
eat<LEAD.IND-2-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(generic)-INAN.PAT>
POLAR_Q
"Did you eat the whole thing?"

When a quantifier modifies a specific argument of a predicate which has several, the intended target of the quantifier may be ambiguous. See Classifier Extraction.

Discourse Markers

Discourse markers are particles which appear at the beginning of prosodic phrases, lending some kind of interpretive color to the phrase as a whole.

The most common of these is , which may act as a filler-word or tonal softener, or signal a change of topic or start of a new thought.

Hï sọ̀susu̇whlkuk u̇ng hï huxjukwh, nà xixukqọjnnọ́tlh.
any
s<ọ̀>-s<u-s<u̇>wh-lk-u-k>
AUX<ABL.INAN>-AUX<LEAD.IND-such<VIA.LEAD>-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-PFV>
u̇ng
NEG.LEAD
any
h<u-x-j<u>>kwh
known<LEAD.IND-STAT-1<LOC.LEAD>>
DM
xix<u-k-q-ọ>jn-n<ọ́>tlh
spoiled<LEAD.IND-PFV-CLF(food)-INAN.PAT>-near_time<LAT.INAN>
"I've no idea what made him do such a thing. And anyway, (the food) had already gone bad."

The majority of discourse markers are less neutral. , for example, indicates a feeling of regret of misfortune. The following was said by a child who had been tasked with helping process a haul of meat from a successful hunt:

Sì ṭlhaùwh ṭixqọkwh!
DM(alas)
ṭlhaùwh
so_much
ṭ<i-x-q-ọ>kwh
here<FOL.IND-STAT-CLF(food)-INAN.PAT>
"There's so much of it!"

Hė and Nȧ

Whereas most discourse markers and particles precede their heads, hė and nȧ follow them. Both, like discourse markers, can apply interpretive color to an entire phrase, but hė sometimes behaves like a demonstrative or quantifier, marking an individual element of the predicate it follows.

Hė indicates a supposition of agreement, tagging a phrase as something the speaker believes is jointly known/understood information.

Síx ṭeị̀nulhlkụqẹ́tsustsịq hė.
síx
a_little
ṭeị̀n<u-lh-lk-ụ-qẹ́ts<u>s>tsịq
kink<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(male)-LEAD.PAT-neck<LOC.LEAD>>
hė
DEF
"(As we both know,) he's a bit of an asshole."

Hė may also act akin to a definite article, marking some element of its head predicate as a reference to common-ground information. (See Classifier Assignment.)

Nȧ, rather than supposing agreement, seeks it. It marks something that the speaker expects or hopes the listener will agree with or accommodate, but is softer in connotation than hė. It is frequently used as a tonal "softener", especially in requests and recommendations.

Síx ngịghuḷkụx nȧ.
síx
a_little
ngịgh<u-ḷ-k-ụ>x
sick<LEAD.IND-EQU-2-LEAD.PAT>
nȧ
DM
"You don't look so good."
Naùjuskụs nȧ.
n<aù-j-u-s-k-ụ>s
helped<LEAD.IMP-1-LEAD.AGT-IPFV-2-LEAD.PAT>
nȧ
DM
"Here, let me help."

Predicate Serialization

Two predicates may be serialized to indicate that they both describe aspects of the same action or condition. Serialized predicates are occur adjacent to each other and are marked with the same aspect.

Qïx ạṭulkuxnịq tị̀nulkuxrọqhenụ́x.
qïx
DM(just)
ạṭ<u-lk-u-x>nịq
sitting<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-STAT>
tị̀n<u-lk-u-x>rọq-hen<ụ́>x
glare<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-STAT>-everyone<LAT.LEAD>
"He just sat there glaring at everybody."

When a series of serialized predicates are used to describe steps in a sequence, they appear in chronological order:

Kulsikxtẹ'inxọ́whn xụlqulsikqọq.
k<u-ls-i-k>xtẹ-inx<ọ́>whn
go<LEAD.IND-CLF(female)-FOL.AGT-PFV>-upriver<LAT.INAN>
xụlq<u-ls-i-k-q-ọ>q
acquire<LEAD.IND-CLF(female)-FOL.AGT-PFV-CLF(food)-INAN.PAT>
"She went upriver and got some food."

Anaphora

Classifiers

Hiding Waters' classifiers form the framework by which references are managed in the language. Each classifier has two morphological forms: an onset, used in agent and patient marking, and a root form, used for free-standing predicates and incorporated arguments. (See the Catalog of Classifiers in the appendix.)

The classifier system reflects the way that hulhxrịnụ̀whrụ́l perceive the world around them: where similar systems in other languages might assign a classifier to an object based on its shape, form, or material, Hiding Waters assigns its classifiers based primarily on smell.

Each classifier is associated with a family of scent traces. Importantly, the scent traces on an object are not inherent to it, and a given object has a great many different scents on it at any one time. So, a person that has been working with fish may be tagged with the sl- "fish" classifier, or with the r- "person" classifier, or any of several others.

In the absence of other constraints, speakers pick which classifier to use for a particular referent based on which part of the referent's context they wish to highlight. Additionally, having so many classifiers to choose from provides a tool for disambiguation, as when introducing a new referent into a conversation, speakers will typically choose a classifier that is not already occupied by something else.

(These same choices are made when the referent is abstract, or not physically present. Whether or not speakers can literally perceive the smell traces on something, they can choose classifiers based on what they want to highlight, and what open classifiers are available.)

The language features a number of mechanisms to signal the assignment of a classifier to a newly-introduced referent, or the reassignment of a previously occupied classifier. Classifiers also provide a way to expand the otherwise constrained expressive possibilities of predicates.

Classifier Assignment

Speakers signal the introduction of a new referent with a new classifier via a number of different strategies, the foremost of which are predicate fronting, demonstrative marking, and the definite particle hė.

The introduction of new referents often coincides with the introduction of a new conversational topic, so predicates containing new classifier assignments often fall in fronted, more-newsworthy positions.

Very frequently, new classifier assignments are marked with demonstratives, which are dropped after assignment. Thus, when a speaker opts to include a demonstrative, it signals that they are either trying to disambiguate something, or assigning a new classifier.

Ḷȧwh ngịghuḳȯdọqxlkụx whó sq̇ulkukslọqsụ́.
ḷȧwh
whole
ngịgh<u-ḳ<ȯ>dọq-x-lk-ụ>x
ill<LEAD.IND-last_night<VIA.INAN>-STAT-CLF(male)-LEAD.PAT>
wh-ó
DEM(imperceptible)-INAN.PL
sq̇<u-lk-u-k-sl-ọ>q-s<ụ́>
eat<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(fish)-INAN.SG>-AUX<LAT.LEAD>
"He was sick all last night because of all that fish he ate."

In the above example, the demonstrative whó signals the introduction of a new reference in the following predicate. The stance inflection of the demonstrative, and the fact that the lk- "male" classifier has already been introduced, helps indicate that the sl- "fish" classifier is the new reference. (Sometimes additional disambiguation is necessary; see Classifier Extraction.)

The definite particle hė can also be used to assign classifiers to new referents. In the most common such pattern, a predicate which uses a previously unassigned classifier but contains insufficient information to identify its referent is marked with hė. Then, a less newsworthy predicate follows, again referencing the new classifier—but this time with identifying information.

Lujuxstẹhụ́lis hė inxọ̀whnkulhlsụxtẹ.
l<u-j-u-x->stẹ-h<ụ́>lis
say<LEAD.IND-1-LEAD.AGT-STAT->-CLF(female)<LAT.LEAD>
hė
DEF
inx<ọ̀>whn-k<u-lh-ls-ụ>xtẹ
upriver<ABL.INAN>-going<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(female)-LEAD.PAT>
"I talked to that girl from upriver."

In the above example, the "female" classifier ls- is used first in the fronted predicate, but as the information is novel, it does not give the audience enough to identify the referent. The hė particle affirms that the referent is something the audience is aware of, and the following predicate provides enough information to clarify who is being talked about.

Classifier Reassignment

It is often useful to repurpose a given classifier to refer to something other than what it was first assigned to in the conversation. Most commonly, this happens organically—if it has been some time since the classifier has been used, or it is otherwise clear from context that the classifier is now being used to target a new referent, then one of the assignment structures detailed above can be employed as usual and the new assignment is understood.

However, in cases where it would not otherwise be clear that the classifier is not referring to the old referent, the h- demonstrative can be used to explicitly indicate the reassignment.

U̇k nȯ sq̇eụ̀lhtsọq, u̇k hȯ ngịghȯtsolhx.
u̇k
but.LEAD
n-ȯ
DEM(visible)-INAN.SG
sq̇<eụ̀-lh-ts-ọ>q
eat<LEAD.POT-ESS-CLF(plant)-INAN.PAT>
u̇k
but.LEAD
h-ȯ
DEM(other)-INAN.SG
ngịgh<ȯ-ts-o-lh>x
ill<LEAD.SBJV-CLF(plant)-INAN.AGT-ESS>
"That (plant) is good to eat, but that one will make you sick."

Classifier Extraction

The indivisibility of a predicate's internal structure can result in ambiguity regarding which part of a predicate is targeted by external marking. For example, the following could be interpreted a number of ways:

Ṇė sq̇uktuktsọq.
ṇė
all
sq̇<u-kt-u-k-ts-ọ>q
eat<LEAD.IND-CLF(ungulate)-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(plant)-INAN.PAT>q
"All the (elk) ate the (plants) / The (elk) ate all the (plants)"

It may be clear from context which interpretation is intended. If not, classifier extraction provides a mechanism for disambiguation.

Classifier extraction entails the addition of a new predicate, usually the auxiliary predicate s*, which is serialized with the main predicate. Some element of the main predicate is then copied into the auxiliary, and the ambiguous markings are applied to the auxiliary instead. The marked auxiliary may go before or after the main predicate, depending on which is more newsworthy.

Thus, the two possible interpretations of the above sentence could be unambiguously expressed as follows:

Ṇė suktuk sq̇uktuktsọq.
ṇė
all
s<u-kt-u-k>
AUX<LEAD.IND-CLF(ungulate)-LEAD.AGT-PFVgt;
sq̇<u-kt-u-k-ts-ọ>q
eat<LEAD.IND-CLF(ungulate)-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(plant)-INAN.PAT>q
"All the (elk) ate the (plants)"
Ṇė suktsọ sq̇uktuktsọq.
ṇė
all
s<u-k-ts-ọ>
AUX<LEAD.IND-PFV-CLF(plant)-INAN.PAT>
sq̇<u-kt-u-k-ts-ọ>q
eat<LEAD.IND-CLF(ungulate)-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(plant)-INAN.PAT>q
"The (elk) ate all the (plants)"

Anaphoric Incorporation

There are a number of anaphoric roots which refer in some way to the overall action or state of another predicate. These can be used as an incorporated argument in a number of structures to connect predicates together into more complex statements.

The most common anaphoric root is s*, which is also the most semantically blank. Other anaphoric roots are more specialized:

The root s*wh refers to the manner of the referenced predicate's action or state. In the example below, s*wh is incorporated as a vialis argument in susu̇whlkux, "he was doing it in that way".

Hị̀lhhị́lhtsụnulkuxhị́lh, q̇ȧ stsịnȯxlkụqt susu̇whlkux.
hị̀lhhị́lh-tsụn<u-lk-u-x>hị́lh
REDUP-sway<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-STAT>
q̇ȧ
DM(must)
stsịn<ȯ-x-lk-ụ>qt
urinate<LEAD.SBJV-STAT-CLF(male)-LEAD.PAT>
s<u-s<u̇>wh-lk-u-x>
AUX<LEAD.IND-such<VIA.LEAD>-CLF(male)-LEAd.AGT-STAT>
"He kept rocking back and forth like he needed to pee."

The root s*kwh refers to the location of the referenced predicate. In the example below, s*kwh is incorporated as a locative argument in lixlọsokwhkwh, "it is in that place".

Sì ịwhilhlọjixk lijiklọnotlhkwh, ïng lixlọsikwhkwh.
DM(alas)
ịwh<i-lh-l-ọ-j<i>>xk
knife<FOL.IND-ESS-CLF(generic)-INAN.PAT-1<LOC.FOL>>
l<i-j-i-k-l-ọ-n<o>tlh>kwh
place<FOL.IND-1-FOL.AGT-PFV-CLF(generic)-INAN.PAT-near_time<LOC.INAN>>
ïng
NEG.FOL
l<i-x-l-ọ-s<o>kwh>kwh
place<FOL.IND-STAT-CLF(generic)-INAN.PAT-that_place<LOC.FOL>>
"My knife isn't where I last put it."

The root s*tlh refers to the time of the referenced predicate. In the example below, s*tlh is incorporated as a locative argument on qȧṭulkuklọsutlhkoụ̀n, "he stole it at that time."

Hà hịnguxkụtịngọ́xtẹ, qȧṭulkuklọsutlhkoụ̀n.
DM(understanding)
hịng<u-x-k-ụ>t-ịng<ọ́>xtẹ
lure<LEAD.IND-STAT-PFV-LEAD.PAT>-away<LAT.INAN>
qȧṭ<u-lk-u-k-l-ọ-s<u>tlh>koụ̀n
steal<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(generic)-INAN.PAT-that_time<LOC.LEAD>>
"He stole it while you were distracted."

Stance Agreement

The inflection on incorporated anaphoric roots agrees with the stance of the referenced predicate in the following ways:

Causation

On predicates in the indicative mood, s* can be incorporated as a lative argument to mark a cause, or as an ablative argument to mark an effect. The causal predicate may come before or after the effected predicate, depending on which is more newsworthy.

Q̇ȧ ḳuṇunks awhuxsnsụ́.
q̇a
must
ḳ<u-ṇ-u-n-k>s
work<LEAD.IND-CLF(familiar)-LEAD.AGT-NEG-PFV>
awh<u-x>sn-s<ụ́>
rain<LEAD.IND-STAT>-AUX<LAT.LEAD>
"We had to stop work because of the rain."

In the above example, the auxiliary refers to the predicate ḳuṇunks, and is incorporated as a lative argument on the predicate awhuxsn to mark it as the cause of the thing the auxiliary refers to.

Sị̀xàrixlkịjing lijikstẹhị́lịk sijikquọ́qotsị̀lh.
s<ị̀>-xàr<i-x-lk-ị-j<i>>ng
AUX<ABL.FOL>-angry<FOL.IND-STAT-CLF(male)-FOL.PAT-1<LOC.FOL>>
l<i-j-i-k>stẹ-h<ị́>lịk
saying<FOL.IND-1-FOL.AGT-PFV>-CLF(male)<LAT.FOL>
s<i-j-i-k-quọ́q<o>tsị̀lh>
AUX<FOL.IND-1-FOL.AGT-PFV-giving_feast<LOC.INAN>>
"He's angry with me because of what I said to him at the giving feast."

In this example, the auxiliary refers to the predicate lijikstẹhị́lịk, and this time is incorporated as an ablative argument on xàrixlkịjing to mark it as the effect of the referred cause.

Conditional Structures

The same causative structure can be used with predicates in the subjunctive mood to form conditional statements, with s* incorporated as a lative argument to mark a protasis, and as an ablative argument to mark an apodosis. (Only one of the protasis or apodosis is typically marked.)

Nà nȯkusjụs sụ̀kȯjkurqụṭọ́doq.
DM
n<ȯ-k-u-s-j-ụ>s
help<LEAD.SBJV-PFV-LEAD.AGT-IPFV-1-LEAD.PAT>
s<ụ̀>-k<ȯ-jk-u-r>qụ-ṭ<ọ́>doq
AUX<ABL.LEAD>-finish<LEAD.SBJV-INCL-LEAD.AGT-INFER>-tonight<LAT.INAN>
"If you help me, we should finish by tonight."

Indirect Speech

Indirect speech may be referenced by s*wh, incorporated as a vialis argument on l*shte, "saying".

U̇ng neụ̀lsixjkụs lusïwhlsikstẹ.
u̇ng
NEG.LEAD
n<eụ̀-ls-i-x-jk-ụ>s
help<LEAD.POT-CLF(female)-FOL.AGT-STAT-INCL-LEAD.PAT>
l<u-s<ï>wh-ls-i-k>stẹ
saying<LEAD.IND-such<VIA.FOL>-CLF(female)-FOL.AGT-PFV>
"She said she can't help us."

Specialized Structures

This chapter contains descriptions of an assortment of interesting structures the language uses for various purposes.

Affirmation and Negation

The particles saù/saì and u̇ng/ïng are used respectively to affirm and negate predicates.

Ïng qạxilhqọl saì tilhqọghẹ hijikqọtạnotlhs.
ïng
NEG.FOL
qạx<i-lh-q-ọ>l
berry<FOL.IND-ESS-CLF(food)-INAN.PAT>
saì
AFF.FOL
t<i-lh-q-ọ>ghẹ
tuber<FOL.IND-ESS-CLF(food)-INAN.PAT>
h<i-j-i-k-q-ọ-tạn<o>tlh>s
searching<FOL.IND-1-FOL.AGT-PFV-CLF(food)-INAN.PAT-house<LOC.INAN>>
"I didn't find any berries in the house, but I did find some tubers."

The u̇ng/ïng particle differs from the -n- negative infix in that it negates the entire inflected predicate, rather than just the underlying root. For example, compare the following:

Ïng ụngisjịq.
ïng
NEG.FOL
ụng<i-s-j-ị>q
hungry<FOL.IND-IPFV-1-FOL.PAT>
"I'm not getting hungry." (Lit.: "I'm becoming hungry.")
Ụnginsjịq.
ụng<i-n-s-j-ị>q
hungry<FOL.IND-NEG-IPFV-1-FOL.PAT>
"I'm getting less hungry." (Lit.: "I'm becoming not-hungry.")

Questions

Questions in Hiding Waters are formed via a collection of particles. Question-phrases do not exhibit any unique behavior in terms of word order; they follow the usual newsworthiness rule with respect to ordering of predicates (although, since the focus of a question is often highly salient or the subject of a topic change, questioned elements frequently occur in fronted positions).

Question particles almost always follow the predicate they target. Since question particles may target a specific element of the predicate rather than the predicate as a whole, they are often used with classifier extraction for disambiguation.

Polar Questions

Polar questions—that is, questions whose answer is either "yes" or "no"—are formed with the particle .

Likikḳodoqstẹṭị́ls tí?
l<i-k-i-k-ḳ<o>doq>stẹ-ṭ<ị́>ls
say<FOL.IND-2-FOL.AGT-PFV-last_night<LOC.INAN>>-CLF(female)<LAT.FOL>
POLAR_Q
"Did you speak with her last night?"

Content Questions

Content or "wh"-questions are formed with the particle .

Lulkuknotlhstẹkụ́ hí?
l<u-lk-u-k-n<o>tlh>stẹ-k<ụ́>
say<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-PFV-near_time<LOC.INAN>tlh>-2<LAT.LEAD>
Q
"When did he speak with you?"

Note the absence of a specialized question word like "when". often coincides with some manner of deictic reference in the predicate, such as n*tlh "recent/soon" in this example, which serves as the target of the question.

Alternative Questions

The question particle is used in combination with the conjunction to ask the listener to choose between a set of options.

A:
Tï sulkuk tï sulsuk lusu̇whkstẹkụ́ hí?
Did he tell you that, or did she?
B:
Tï silkuk.
Just he did.
Tï sulkuk tï sulsuk hí lusu̇whkstẹkụ́ ?
only
s<u-lk-u-k>
AUX<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-PFV>
only
s<u-ls-u-k>
AUX<LEAD.IND-CLF(female)-LEAD.AGT-PFV>
l<u-s<u̇>wh-k>stẹ-k<ụ́>
saying<LEAD.IND-such<VIA.LEAD>-PFV>-2<LAT.LEAD>
Q
"Did he tell you that, or did she?"

Notice how the predicate lusu̇whkstẹkụ́ omits the usual agent marking; this signals the "blank" which the questioned elements are intended to fill.

Note also the usage of in the response. This is not obligatory when responding to an alternative question. It is used here only for emphasis, to reinforce that only one of the two told the speaker.

Leading Questions

The affirmative particle saù/saì and the negative particle u̇ng/ïng can be used with the polar question particle to form leading questions.

U̇ng lukukstẹṭị́lk tí?
u̇ng
NEG.LEAD
l<u-k-u-k>stẹ-ṭ<ị́>lk
say<LEAD.IND-2-LEAD.AGT-PFV->-CLF(male)<LAT.FOL>
POLAR_Q
"You didn't talk to him, did you?"
Saù lukukstẹṭị́lk tí?
saù
AFF.LEAD
l<u-k-u-k>stẹ-ṭ<ị́>lk
say<LEAD.IND-2-LEAD.AGT-PFV->-CLF(male)<LAT.FOL>
POLAR_Q
"You talked to him, didn't you?"

Topic-Shifting Questions

The question particle ha is used to reapply a recent question to some new target.

A:
Nạ́ghulhslọxn hukukslọkoùn tí?
Did you bring the salmon meat?
B:
Saì.
Yes.
A:
Qạxulhqọl ha?
What about the berries?
B:
Saì, nė hijiklọkoùn.
Yes, I brought them both.

Selected glosses:

Nạ́ghulhslọxn hukukslọkoùn tí?
nạ́gh<u-lh-sl-ọ>xn
salmon<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(fish)-INAN.PAT>
h<u-k-u-k-sl-ọ>koùn
carry<LEAD.IND-2-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(fish)-INAN.PAT>
"Did you bring the salmon meat?"
Qạxulhqọl ha?
qạx<u-lh-q-ọ>l
berry<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(food)-INAN.PAT>
ha
WHAT_ABOUT_Q
"What about the berries?"

Copulative Phrases

A copulative phrase is used to highlight that two references both point to one-and-the-same referent. It is one of few cases in which the particle hė is placed after another particle, rather than a predicate.

The structure consists of a predicate phrase which contains a reference that has already been established by more newsworthy predicates earlier in the phrase. This less-newsworhty predicate phrase is preceded by tï hė, which highlights that the referent it points to "...is the very same one that..."

Nu̇ nuxlsụkwh tï hė lujuxṭulsstẹkụ́.
n-u̇
DEM(visible)-LEAD.SG
n<u-x-ls-ụ>kwh
visible_place<LEAD.IND-STAT-CLF(female)-LEAD.PAT>
only
hė
DEF
l<u-j-u-x-ṭ<u>ls>stẹ-k<ụ́>
say<LEAD.IND-1-LEAD.AGT-STAT-CLF(female)<LOC.LEAD>>-2<LAT.LEAD>
"That (woman) over there is the one I was telling you about."
Whȯ kxikxrọsotlhts hijkixinxowhnxtẹ tï hė whï xoụ́nilsikxrọsqọq Ạngilsixtị́ngotsịhȧ.
wh-ȯ
DEM(imperceptible)-INAN.SG
kx<i-k-xr-ọ-s<o>tlh>ts
damage<FOL.IND-PFV-CLF(skin)-INAN.PAT-that_time<LOC.INAN>>
h<i-jk-i-x-inx<o>whn>xtẹ
scout<FOL.IND-INCL-FOL.AGT-STAT-upriver<LOC.INAN>>
only
hė
DEF
whï
DEM(imperceptible)-FOL.SG
xoụ́n<i-ls-i-k-xr-ọ>sqọq
jacket<FOL.IND-CLF(female)-FOL.AGT-PFV-CLF(skin)-INAN.PAT>
ạng<i-ls-i-x-tị́ng<o>tsị>hȧ
sing<FOL.IND-CLF(female)-FOL.AGT-STAT-outside<LOC.INAN>>
"The jacket that got damaged while we were scouting up river is the one Singing Outside made for me."

Comparative Structures

A number of different comparative structures may be formed using incorporated anaphoric roots and specialized comparative roots.

More and less

The comparative roots *ṇ and *tsị̀x are used to indicate that something is more or less than some basis of comparison, respectively. The basis of comparison, or an anaphoric reference to the basis of comparison, is incorporated as an ablative argument, and the appropriate comparative root is incorporated as a lative argument.

Inxị̀whnawhulhngisịlhsnị́ṇ.
inx<ị̀>whn-awh<u-lh-ng<i>sịlh>sn-<ị́>ṇ.
upriver<ABL.FOL>-rain<LEAD.IND-ESS-here<LOC.FOL>>-more<LAT.FOL>
"It rains more here than it does upriver."

In situations where the ablative or lative position is already occupied, classifier extraction can be used to form the comparative structure.

Ụlụ̀ktsukxukụ́tsị̀x hurukkoụ̀nngụ́ṇ.
ụl<ụ̀>kt-s<u-kx-u-k>-<ụ́>tsị̀x
CLF(ungulate)<ABL.LEAD>-AUX<LEAD.IND-CLF(unfamiliar)-LEAD.AGT-PFV>-less<LAT.LEAD>
h<u-r-u-k>koụ̀n-ng<ụ́>ṇ
formally_give<LEAD.IND-CLF(person)-LEAD.AGT-PFV>-CLF(familiar)<LAT.LEAD>
"Those (person-smelling ones) gave (us) less than they gave to (those ungulate-smelling ones)."

Not as

A predicate marked with the negative particle u̇ng or ïng may incorporate a root referring to a basis of comparison as a lative argument to indicate that it is to a lesser extent than the basis.

Ïng sụrilhjịktị́ls.
ïng
NEG.FOL
sụrilhjịktị́ls
sụr<i-lh-j-ị>k-t<ị́>ls
"I'm not as strong as she is."

Equally

One way to say that something is "as X as" something else is to incorporate the basis of comparison as a locative argument.

Uá axṭukkụjuḷị́wh!
DM(surprise)
axṭ<u-k-k-ụ-j<u>>ḷị́wh
tall<LEAD.IND-PFV-2-LEAD.PAT-1<LOC.LEAD>>
"You've gotten as tall as me!"

Another strategy is to serialize the predicate describing the common characteristic with the root t*sx, and incorporate the basis for comparison as a locative argument on t*sx.

Rȯ tilhkịṭilksx hilhtlhwhịkikwh.
rȯ
DM(intensifier)
t<i-lh-k-ị-ṭ<i>lk>sx
same<FOL.IND-ESS-2-FOL.PAT-CLF(male)<LOC.FOL>lk>
h<i-lh-tlhwh-ị-k<i>>kwh
known<FOL.IND-ESS-CLF(cedar)-FOL.PAT-2<LOC.FOL>>
"You know (that area) just as well as (he) does."

Experiential Structures

In experiential statements, the experiencer is marked as a locative argument on a root indicating the form of the experience; the subject of the experience is marked as a patient.

Neùxlsịkut tí?
n<eù-x-ls-ị-k<u>>t
seen<LEAD.POT-STAT-CLF(female)-FOL.PAT-2<LOC.LEAD>>
POLAR_Q
"Can you see her?"

To describe an experience of something in a location, the location is marked as an ablative argument rather than locative.

Hï ïng tạnọ̀tlhtsixjiwh.
any
ïng
NEG.FOLLOW
tạn<ọ̀>tlh-ts<i-x-j<i>>wh
house<ABL.INAN>-heard<FOL.IND-STAT-1<LOC.FOL>>
"I don't hear anything in the house."

Discourse Structure

This chapter details some interesting dynamics in the structure of Hiding Waters discourse; in particular, it examines how stance-switching is used to signal conversational turning points, and how the distribution of aspects tracks the trajectory of narratives.

Stance Dynamics in Discourse

As discussed in the chapter on stance, in some situations stance behaves like an asymmetric formality register, with one speaker holding leading stance while the other holds following stance for the duration of their speech. However, much more interesting dynamics emerge when the scales are more evenly balanced—when there is no clear territorial claim or difference in rank holding the speakers' stances in a single configuration.

The following is a dialogue between two speakers of similar age talking in an outdoor common work area. Speech in leading stance and in following stance is marked respectively.

'A' enters the work area. 'B' is already there stripping reeds for weaving.
A:
Hilhkịnaụ̀wh.
Hello, cousin.
B:
Hulhkụnaụ̀wh.
Hello, cousin.
While neither A nor B has an inherent territorial claim to the common area, B is already there when A arrives, so A starts the conversation in following stance.
A sits and begins stripping reeds.
A:
Inginȯtlhxkịwh hí?
How have you been lately?
B:
Ȯx guxjụwh nȧ. Ṭlhaùwh nạ́ghulhqụxn huktọ̀dlụ̀whhulkukqụkoụ̀n nukqụkut tí sulkukḳolịt?
I've been fine. Did you see all the salmon the men brought from the weir yesterday?
While B has asked a question, she is still using leading stance, and is therefore still holding the conversational turn. A understands that B has more to say.
A:
Saì, uá ngixqụl hė.
Yes, there was a ton of it.
B:
Whu̇ Sxulhlngụqẹ́tsosnịq xngȯlngulhqụsq lujuxlngụsqsụ́, nà ṇė sulu̇ngjusqụsụ́.
I'm teaching little White-Neck how to smoke fish, so I'm processing all of it with her.
A:
Hà sị̀'ȧklngụṇà ḳisïwhlnguss.
Oh, that's a good project for her.
B:
Susụḳukȯlẹlngurs hė. Ingixkịwh ha?
It should keep her busy. What about you?
By switching to following stance, B signals that she is passing the turn to A.
A:
Hà uxjụṇà. Xoụ́nulhxrọhulịksqọq hė quọ́qọ̀tsị̀lhḳȯjukxrọkosụxqụ sṭlhujussụ́ whu̇ Ṭȧnukȯlẹlkulhtị.
I've been good. I'm trying to finish that jacket for Still Dancing before the giving feast.
B:
Sì xu̇ ḳisshọ́q̇ė.
Ah, that's a lot of work.

Line by line glosses:

Hilhkịnaụ̀wh.
h<i-lh-k-ị>naụ̀wh
cousin<FOL.IND-ESS-2-FOL.PAT>
"Hello, cousin."
Hulhkụnaụ̀wh.
h<u-lh-k-ụ>naụ̀wh
cousin<LEAD.IND-ESS-2-LEAD.PAT>
"Hello, cousin."
Inginȯtlhxkịwh hí?
ing<i-n<ȯ>tlh-x-k-ị>wh
well_being<FOL.IND-near_time<VIA.INAN>-STAT-2-FOL.PAT>
Q
"How have you been lately?"
Ȯx guxjụwh nȧ.
ȯx
moderately
g<u-x-j-ụ>wh
decent<LEAD.IND-STAT-1-LEAD.PAT>
"I've been fine."
Ṭlhaùwh nạ́ghulhqụxn huktọ̀dlụ̀whhulkukqụkoụ̀n nukqụkut tí sulkukḳolịt?
ṭlhaùwh
so_much
nạ́gh<u-lh-q-ụ>xn
salmon<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(food)-LEAD.PAT>
hukt<ọ̀>dlụ̀wh-h<u-lk-u-k-q-ụ>koụ̀n
fishing_weir<ABL.INAN<-carry<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(food)-LEAD.PAT>
n<u-k-q-ụ-k<u>>t
seen<LEAD.IND-PFV-CLF(food)-LEAD.PAT-2<LOC.LEAD>>
POLAR_Q
s<u-lk-u-k-ḳ<o>lịt>
AUX<LEAD.IND-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-PFV-yeaterday<LOC.INAN>>
"Did you see all the salmon the men brought from the weir yesterday?"
Saì, uá ngixqụl hė.
saì
yes.FOL
DM(surprise)
ng<i-x-q-ụ>l
large_amount<FOL.IND-STAT-CLF(food)-LEAD.PAT>
hė
DEF
"Yes, there was a lot of (that food)."
Whu̇ Sxulhlngụqẹ́tsosnịq xngȯlngulhqụsq lujuxlngụsqsụ́, nà ṇė sulu̇ngjusqụsụ́.
wh-u̇
DEM(imperceptible)-LEAD.SG
sx<u-lh-lng-ụ-qẹ́ts<o>s>nịq
white<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(child)-LEAD.PAT-neck<LOC.INAN>>
xng<ȯ-lng-u-lh-q-ụ>sq
smoke_food<LEAD.SBJV-CLF(child)-LEAD.AGT-ESS-CLF(food)-LEAD.PAT>
l<u-j-u-x-lng-ụ>sq-s<ụ́>
taught<LEAD.IND-1-LEAD.AGT-STAT-CLF(child)-LEAD.PAT>-AUX<LAT.LEAD>
DM
nė
all
s<u-l<u̇>ng-j-u-s-q-ụ>-s<ụ́>
AUX<LEAD.IND-CLF(child)<VIA.LEAD>-1-LEAD.AGT-IPFV-CLF(food)-LEAD.PAT>-AUX<LAT.LEAD>
"I'm teaching little White-Neck how to smoke fish, so I'm processing all of it with her."
Hà sị̀'ȧklngụṇà ḳisïwhlnguss.
DM(understanding)
s<ị̀>-<ȧ-k-lng-ụ>ṇà
AUX<ABL.FOL>-<ȧ-k-lng-ụ>ṇà
ḳ<i-s<ï>wh-lng-u-s>s
work<FOL.IND-such<VIA.FOL>-CLF(child)-LEAD.AGT-IPFV>
"Oh, that's a good project for her."
Susụḳukȯlẹlngurs hė.
susụ-ḳ<u-k<ȯ>lẹ-lng-u-r>s
REDUP-work<LEAD.IND-continue<VIA.INAN>-CLF(child)-LEAD.AGT-INFER>
hė
DEF
"She will stay busy."
Ingixkịwh ha?
ing<i-x-k-ị>wh
well_being<FOL.IND-STAT-2-FOL.PAT>
ha
WHAT_ABOUT_Q
"And how have you been?"
Hà uxjụṇà.
DM(understanding)
<u-x-j-ụ>ṇà
good<LEAD.IND-STAT-1-LEAD.PAT>
"I'm doing well."
Xoụ́nulhxrọhulịksqọq hė quọ́qọ̀tsị̀lhḳȯjukxrọkosụxqụ sṭlhujussụ́ whu̇ Ṭȧnukȯlẹlkulhtị.
xoụ́n<u-lh-xr-ọ-h<u>lịk>sqọq
jacket<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(skin)-INAN.PAT-CLF(male)<LOC.LEAD>>
hė
DEF
quọ́q<ọ̀>tsị̀lh-ḳ<ȯ-j-u-k-xr-ọ-k<o>sụx>qụ
giving_feast<ABL.INAN>-finish<LEAD.SBJV-1-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(skin)-INAN.PAT-near_side<LOC.INAN>>
sṭlh<u-j-u-s>-s<ụ́>
try<LEAD.IND-1-LEAD.AGT-IPFV>-AUX<LAT.LEAD>
wh-u̇
DEM(imperceptible)-LEAD.SG
ṭȧn<u-k<ȯ>lẹ-lk-u-lh>tị
dancing<LEAD.IND-continue<VIA.INAN>-CLF(male)-LEAD.AGT-ESS>
"I'm trying to finish Still Dancing's jacket before the quọ́quxtsị̀lh."
Sì xu̇ ḳisshọ́q̇ė.
DM(alas)
xu̇
much
ḳ<i-s>s-h<ọ́>q̇ė
work<FOL.IND-IPFV>-extreme_exertion<LAT.INAN>
"Ah, that's a lot of work."

This next text is a dialogue between two young men who are both newcomers to the clan.

'A' and 'B' are walking along a river bank.
A:
Hoù ṭlhaùwh sị̀whghulhsnịngisịlhngọ́ṇ ghulhsnịṇisịlhng.
The river is so much bigger here than it was back home.
B:
Rȯ hė, Ṭilhtlhwhọsilhwhs eṇilhslịsilhwhsịlh. Ué ghilhlhwhịng, ïk nà, ïng ghilhlhwhịnglwhị́sn.
Yeah. My family lives on the Ṭilhtlhwhọsilhwhs. It's big, but not this big.
A:
U̇k tï eṇulhktilwhisnsịlh, u̇k sulhktị'inxị́whn. Xu̇ ngị̀sịlhtulhsnịtsị, kxí sukwhokwh teụ̀ksqọwhokwhqọdịjọ́lhnịn.
My family lives on this same river, but further up. It's much smaller there, there are places you can throw a stone and make it halfway across.
A and B are using the kt- "ungulate" and sl- "fish" classifiers to refer to their respective birth clans; these classifiers were assigned earlier in the conversation.
A picks up a stone and skips it on the water.
A:
Sì q̇ạ̀x u̇ng nọ̀teụ̀juksqọṭạkọ́ṇ.
Dang, I can never make it skip more than twice.
B:
Xu̇ qilhu'ȯṇàrilhsqọ'osnq̇ẹ̀ hulhrịjuṇė.
An elder cousin of mine was great at skipping stones.
By switching into leading stance, B is signalling an offer of expertise.
A:
Saì tí? Nà lirikkịsq tí?
Oh? Did they teach you?
By switching to following, A accepts the offer and passes the turn.
B:
Hà hï tï huksqọtlh ngín sọ̀seụ̀k lusȯwhruxstẹ. Ṭȯ toàlhsqọsx lịxuslhȯwhịtlhsqọsịq, u̇ng whịnulhsqọtkọ́q̇ė, lhị́squlhsqọṇguq sọ̀whlhị́seụ̀tȯngạklhsqọxẹn.
Yeah, they said it's mostly about which rock you pick. You want one like this, flat and smooth, not too light, with a curve you can get your finger around.

Line by line glosses:

Hoù ṭlhaùwh sị̀whghulhsnịngisịlhngọ́ṇ ghulhsnịṇisịlhng.
hoù
DM(awe)
ṭlhaùwh
so_much
s<ị̀>wh-gh<u-lh-sn-ị-ng<i>sịlh>ng-<ọ́>ṇ
such<ABL.FOL>-big<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(water)-FOL.PAT-here<LOC.FOL>>-more<LAT.INAN>
gh<u-lh-sn-ị-ṇ<i>sịlh>ng
big<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(water)-FOL.PAT-home<LOC.FOL>>
"The (river) is so much bigger here than it was back home."
Rȯ hė, Ṭilhtlhwhọsilhwhs eṇilhslịsilhwhsịlh.
Rȯ
DM(intensifier)
hė
DEF
ṭ<i-lh-tlhwh-ọ-s<i>lhwh>s
repair<FOL.IND-ESS-CLF(cedar)-INAN.PAT-CLF(fresh_water)<LOC.FOL>>
eṇ<i-lh-sl-ị-s<i>lhwh>sịlh
inhabit<FOL.IND-ESS-CLF(fish)-FOL.PAT-CLF(fresh_water)<LOC.FOL>>
"Yeah, (my family) lives on the Waters-Where-They-Repair-With-Cedar-Wood."
Ué ghilhlhwhịng, ïk nà, ïng ghilhlhwhịnglwhị́sn.
DM(attention)
gh<i-lh-lhwh-ị>ng
big<FOL.IND-ESS-CLF(fresh_water)-FOL.PAT>ng
ïk
but.FOL
DM
ïng
NEG.FOL
gh<i-lh-lhwh-ị>ng-lwh<ị́>sn
big<FOL.IND-ESS-CLF(fresh_water)-FOL.PAT>-CLF(water)<LAT.FOL>
"(That river) is big, but it isn't as big as (this river)."
U̇k tï eṇulhktilwhisnsịlh, u̇k sulhktị'inxị́whn.
u̇k
but.LEAD
only
eṇ<u-lh-kt-i-lwh<i>sn>sịlh
inhabit<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(ungulate)-FOL.PAT-CLF(water)<LOC.FOL>>
u̇k
but.LEAD
sulhktị'inxị́whn
s<u-lh-kt-ị>-inx<ị́>whn
s<u-lh-kt-ị>-inx<ị́>whn
AUX<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(ungulate)-FOL.PAT>-upstream<LAT.FOL>
"(My family) lives on this same river, but further upstream."
Xu̇ ngị̀sịlhtulhsnịtsị
xu̇
much
ng<ị̀>sịlh-t<u-lh-sn-ị>tsị
here<ABL.FOL>-small<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(water)-FOL.PAT>tsị
"(The river) is much smaller than it is here"
Kxí sukwhokwh teụ̀ksqọwhokwhqọdịjọ́lhnịn.
kxí
some
s<u-k-wh<o>kwh>
AUX<LEAD.IND-PFV-imperceptible_place<LOC.INAN>>
t<eụ̀-k-sq-ọ-wh<o>kwh>qọ-dịj<ọ́>lhnịn
throw<LEAD.POT-PFV-CLF(stone)-INAN.PAT-imperceptible_place<LOC.INAN>>-halfway_point<LAT.INAN>
"In some places one can throw a stone to the midpoint."
Sì q̇ạ̀x u̇ng nọ̀teụ̀juksqọṭạkọ́ṇ.
DM(alas)
q̇ạ̀x
never
u̇ng
NEG.LEAD
n<ọ̀>-t<eụ̀-j-u-k-sq-ọ>ṭạk-<ọ́>ṇ
two<ABL.INAN>-jump<LEAD.POT-1-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(stone)-INAN.PAT>-more<LAT.INAN>
"I can never make the stone skip more than twice."
Xu̇ qilhu'ȯṇàrilhsqọ'osnq̇ẹ̀ hulhrịjuṇė.
xu̇
much
qilh<u-<ȯ>ṇà-r-i-lh-sq-ọ-<o>sn>q̇ẹ̀
run<LEAD.IND-good<VIA.INAN>-CLF(person)-FOL.AGT-ESS-CLF(stone)-INAN.PAT-water<LOC.INAN>>
h<u-lh-r-ị-j<u>>ṇė
elder_cousin<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(person)-FOL.PAT-1<LOC.LEAD>>
"An elder cousin of mine is very good at skipping stones."

The root qilh*q̇ẹ̀ specifically refers to a bounding, loping gallop, as of a wolf or hare. Qilh…sqọ'osnq̇ẹ̀, then, means "making stones bound on water".

Saì tí? Nà lirikkịsq tí?
saì
AFF.FOL
POLAR_Q
DM
l<i-r-i-k-k-ị>sq
teach<FOL.IND-CLF(person)-FOL.AGT-PFV-2-FOL.PAT>
POLAR_Q
"Really? Did they teach you?"
Hà hï tï huksqọtlh ngín sọ̀seụ̀k lusȯwhruxstẹ.
DM(understanding)
any
only
h<u-k-sq-ọ>tlh
choose<LEAD.IND-PFV-CLF(stone)-INAN.PAT>
ngín
mostly
s<ọ̀>-s<eụ̀-k>
AUX<ABL.INAN>-AUX<LEAD.POT-PFV>
l<u-s<ȯ>wh-r-u-x>stẹ
say<LEAD.IND-such<VIA.INAN>-CLF(person)-LEAD.AGT-STAT>
"They say that which stone you pick is mostly what makes it possible."

The above sentence includes an interesting structure: hï tï huksqọtlh, "which (stone) is chosen".

The particle precedes a phrase to indicate an embedded question, such as Huxjukwh hï inguxlọkwh, "I know where it is", or Hï sijis laìkikstẹjị́, "Tell me what to do." This usage of occurs as well with the root h*tlh, "choose", without the inclusion of . For example: Hï hoàjuktlh hunxjukwh, "I don't know what I should pick."

The inclusion of above serves to highlight the importance of the particular choice, at the exclusion of other options.

Ṭȯ toàlhsqọsx lịxuslhȯwhịtlhsqọsịq, u̇ng whịnulhsqọtkọ́q̇ė, lhị́squlhsqọṇguq sọ̀whlhị́seụ̀tȯngạklhsqọxẹn.
ṭȯ
DEM(arms_reach_of_speaker)
t<oà-lh-sq-ọ>sx
same<LEAD.OPT-ESS-CLF(stone)-FOL.PAT>
lịx<u-slh<ȯ>whịt-lh-sq-ọ>sịq
flat<-LEAD.IND-smooth<VIA.INAN>-ESS-CLF(stone)-INAN.PAT>
u̇ng
NEG.LEAD
whịn<u-lh-sq-ọ>t-k<ọ́>q̇ė
lightweight<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(stone)-INAN.PAT>-great_extent<LAT.INAN>
lhị́sq<u-lh-sq-ọ>ṇguq
curved<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(stone)-INAN.PAT>
s<ọ̀>wh-lhị́s<eụ̀-t<ȯ>ngạk-lh-sq-ọ>xẹn
such<ABL.INAN>-encircle<LEAD.POT-finger<VIA.INAN>-ESS-CLF(stone)-INAN.PAT>
"It should be like this, flat and smooth, not especially light, curved such that you can encircle it with a finger."

The above sentence uses a derivational strategy for describing things with multiple traits: lịxuslhȯwhịtlhsqọsịq, "(the stone) is flat and smooth", is formed by incorporating the root for "smooth" as a vialis argument on the root for "flat", creating a predicate meaning both traits together.

Conceptual Metaphors

Gathering Birds

There is a widespread metaphor in Hiding Waters concerning language and thought, which surfaces in a broad range of core expressions:

Tï ghị́ghulhwhọx huhnȯwhkulhsxọtsị̀lh lukulhsxọstẹ.
only
ghị́gh<u-lh-wh-ọ>x
good_quality<LEAD.IND-ESS-CLF(imperceptible)-INAN.PAT>
h<u-hn<ȯ>wh-k-u-lh-sx-ọ>tsị̀lh
gather<LEAD.IND-CLF(imperceptible)<VIA.INAN>-2-LEAD.AGT-ESS-CLF(bird)-INAN.PAT>
l<u-k-u-lh-sx-ọ>stẹ
say<LEAD.IND-2-LEAD.AGT-ESS-CLF(bird)-INAN.PAT>
"You put a lot of thought into everything you say." (Lit.: "You gather the words you say with only good-quality thoughts.")

The root of huhnȯwhkulhsxọtsị̀lh ("with those imperceptible things, you gather them") is used to describe an action one does that causes something to gather in a particular place, such as building a weir to catch fish, or playing music to gather a crowd, or attracting animals by leaving out food.

Sọ̀ṇgixwhọjuzẹ̀ ṇė jị̀kịtsiwhoksxọḷȧ.
s<ọ̀>-ṇg<i-x-wh-ọ-j<u>zẹ̀
AUX<ABL.INAN>-feel_emotion<FOL.IND-STAT-CLF(imperceptible)-INAN.PAT-1<LOC.LEAD>
ṇė
all
j<ị̀>-kịts<i-wh-o-k-sx-ọ>ḷȧ
1<ABL.FOL>-scatter<FOL.IND-CLF(imperceptible)-INAN.AGT-PFV-CLF(bird)-INAN.PAT>
"Words cannot express how that made me feel." (Lit.: "The feelings which that gave me have scattered all my words.")

The root of jị̀kịtsiwhoksxọḷȧ ("Those imperceptible things scattered them away from me") describes causing a group of people or animals to scatter away from a place, such as scaring fish away from a boat, or making a sound that causes a flock of birds to take flight.

Hà tsó ḷàngulsiksxọstẹ qïx stestẹqaqaxunȯwhtsxoxstẹ.
DM(understanding)
ts-ó
DEM(audible)-INAN.PL
ḷàng<u-ls-i-k-sx-ọ>stẹ
formal_speech<LEAD.IND-CLF(female)-FOL.AGT-PFV-CLF(bird)-INAN.PAT>
qïx
merely
stestẹ-qaqax<u-n<ȯ>wht-sx-o-x>stẹ
REDUP-chatter<LEAD.IND-together<VIA.INAN>-CLF(bird)-INAN.AGT-STAT>
"That speech she gave was just a lot of empty words." (Lit.: "That speech she gave was just a lot of words chattering at each other.")
Sì ïng ịtọ̀sxḷeìxjikwh nȧ likissxọstẹ.
DM(alas)
ïng
NEG.FOL
ịt<ọ̀>sx-ḷ<eì-x-j<i>>kwh
CLF(bird)<ABL.INAN>-infer_from_trace<FOL.POT-STAT-1<LOC.FOL>>
nȧ
DM
l<i-k-i-s-sx-ọ>stẹ
say<FOL.IND-2-FOL.AGT-IPFV-CLF(bird)-INAN.PAT>
"I don't understand what you're saying." (Lit.: "I can't infer anything from what you're saying.")

The root of ịtọ̀sxḷeìxjikwh ("I can infer from those bird-smelling things") refers to inferring something from an available sign or trace, such as making an inference from the shape of a footprint, or inferring the proximity of a predator from a change in bird calls.

It is notable that throughout these examples, and indeed in general, the preferred scent-classifier for referring to language signals such as words, songs, or other speech is the same classifier used to refer to scent-traces of birds.

These examples suggest a conceptual metaphor in Hiding Waters for the relationship between language and information:

Certain changes in the environment cause certain birds to make certain calls. A trained listener, upon hearing these calls, can infer the presence of the associated environmental change. Language signals are like birds: a trained listener may, upon hearing them, make accurate inferences about otherwise imperceptible facts.

An interesting quirk of the metaphor is that language signals are not spoken of like bird calls, but rather like the birds themselves. The speaker does not themselves make the birdcalls—rather, the speaker gathers the birds, and the calls follow on their own.

As described above, "gather" is a tricky translation here. The English translation overlaps with the kind of "gathering" one does with berries or firewood, whereas h*tsị̀lh does not. Instead, it refers to the sort of gathering whereby one shapes an environment such that something will collect there, such as digging a cistern to gather rainwater, or smoking a catch of fish to gather one's friends.

Where the speaker is conceptualized as gathering the words, the listener is conceptualized as interpreting the presence and nature of the words to understand something about where and to what they have gathered.

Those inferences, the information which the listener comes to understand, may be spoken of as locations where language signals gather, or as bait which attracts them.

Rȯ kukukjụxtẹhnọ́wh ṭȯ xinguxjụhnowhkwh.
rȯ
DM(intensifier)
k<u-k-u-k-j-ụ>xtẹ-hn<ọ́>wh
go<LEAD.IND-2-LEAD.AGT-PFV-1-LEAD.PAT>-CLF(imperceptible)<LOC.INAN>
ṭ-ȯ
DEM(tangible)-INAN.SG
xing<u-x-j-ụ-hn<o>wh>kwh
think<LEAD.IND-STAT-1-LEAD.PAT-CLF(imperceptible)<LOC.INAN>>
"I got this idea from you." (Lit.: "You led me to this idea.")
Qȧ etlhȯsxolhwhọkoụ̀n haùkuksxọs nȧ ṇguxwhọkuzẹ̀.
qa
DM(necessity)
etlh<ȯ-sx-o-lh-wh-ọ>koụ̀n
take<LEAD.SBJV-CLF(bird)-INAN.AGT-ESS-CLF(imperceptible)-INAN.PAT>
h<aù-k-u-k-sx-ọ>s
search<LEAD.IMP-2-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(bird)-INAN.PAT>
nȧ
DM
ṇg<u-x-wh-ọ-k<u>>zẹ̀
feel_emotion<LEAD.IND-STAT-CLF(imperceptible)-INAN.PAT-2<LOC.LEAD>>
"You have to find a way to communicate your feelings with words." (Lit.: "You have to find words that will take the things you are feeling.")

Time is a Landscape

Another widespread metaphor conceptualizes time as a landscape through which speakers move. This metaphor manifests in core expressions like the following:

Nà sï nạ́ghilhslọxn sï lịxilhqȯtsìwhlhslọsịq sì nė hȧtȯjikslọkoụ̀n sṭlhijiksị́, sị̀qẹ̀ṇȧkxtẹ.
DM
also.FOL
nạ́gh<i-lh-sl-ọ>xn
salmon<FOL.IND-ESS-CLF(fish)-INAN.PAT>
also.FOL
lịx<i-lhq<ȯ>tsìwh-lh-sl-ọ>sịq
flat<FOL.IND-cedar<VIA.INAN>-ESS-CLF(fish)-INAN.PAT>
DM(alas)
nė
both
h<ȧ-t<ȯ>j-i-k-sl-ọ>koụ̀n
carry<SBJV.FOL-one<VIA.INAN>1-FOL.AGT-PFV-CLF(fish)-INAN.PAT>
sṭlh<i-j-i-k>-s<ị́>
try<FOL.IND-1-FOL.AGT-PFV>-AUX<LAT.FOL>
s<ị̀>-qẹ̀ṇ<ȧ-k>xtẹ
AUX<ABL.FOL>-shortcut<SBJV.FOL-PFV>
"I tried to save time by taking the salmon and the cedar planks at once (and it didn't go well)." (Lit.: "I tried to shortcut by taking both the salmon and the cedar plants at once.")

The root qẹ̀ṇ*xtẹ prototypically refers to venturing off of the usual path in other to take a shorter route.

Xaù tlhị́lhuxọ́qȯngạxjuklkọskẹ.
xaù
DM(disgust)
tlhị́lh<u-xọ́q<ȯ>ngạx-j-u-k-lk-ọ>skẹ
clean<LEAD.IND-long_journey<VIA.INAN>-1-LEAD.AGT-PFV-CLF(male)-INAN.PAT>
"I spent a lot of time cleaning up his mess." (Lit.: "I cleaned his mess over a long distance.")

The root xọ́q*ngạx, incorporated here as a vialis argument, prototypically refers to a winding route, a great travel distance.

Sulụ̀xị̀stẹṭȧnijtikkosụxtị.
sulụ̀x<ị̀>stẹ-ṭȧn<i-jr-i-k-k<o>sụx>tị
storytelling<ABL.FOLLOW>-dancing<LEAD.IND-1.EXCL-AGT.FOL-PFV-near_side<LOC.INAN>>
"I danced after the storytelling." (Lit.: "I danced on the near side of the storytelling.")

The root k*sụx refers to the near side of some reference point, which is incorporated as an ablative argument. K*sụx may be used either geographically, indicating that something is between the reference point and the speaker's current position, or temporally, indicating that an event either occurred after the referenced event in the past, or will occur before the referenced event in the future.

Appendix

List of Abbreviations

1 first person
2 second person
ABL ablative argument
AGT agent argument
CLIM climactic aspect
CLF classifier
INFER inferential aspect
DEF definite article
DM discourse marker
ESS essential aspect
FOL following stance
IMP imperative mood
IPFV imperfective aspect
INCL inclusive person
IND indicative mood
LAT lative argument
LEAD leading stance
LOC locative argument
OPT optative mood
PAT patient argument
PFV perfective aspect
POLAR_Qpolar question marker
POT potential mood
Q content question marker
STAT stative aspect
SJV subjunctive mood
VIA vialis argument
VOL volitional mood

Inflection Reference

Stance and Mood

Leading Following
Indicative Mood u i
Subjunctive Mood
Optative Mood
Volitional Mood
Potential Mood eụ̀ eị̀
Imperative Mood

Agent and Patient Codas

Leading Following Inanimate
Agent u i o
Patient

Aspect

Stative x
Essential lh
Imperfective s
Perfective k
Climactic ṭė
Conjectural r
Equative

Incorporated Root Inflections

Leading Following Inanimate
Ablative ụ̀ ị̀ ọ̀
Vialis ï
Locative u i o
Lative ụ́ ị́ ọ́

Demonstrative Particle Inflections

Leading Following Inanimate
Singular ï
Plural ú í ó

Catalog of Classifiers

Agent/Patient Onset Root Description
j j* 1st person
k k* 2nd person
kt ụl*kt ungulate
kx r*kx unfamiliar
l l* generic
lhwh s*lhwh fresh water
lhxt s*lhxt salt water
lng d*lng child
lk ṭ*lk male
ls ṭ*ls female
ng*ṇ familiar
ṇg ṭụr*ṇg dangerous/competitive predator
q q̇*q edible
r t*r person, non-competitive predator
sl q*sl fish
sn lwh*sn water
sq d*sq stone
sx ịt*sx birds
tlh sq*tlh wood
tlhwh sk*tlhwh cedar
wh hn*wh imperceptible, scentless
xr ḷ*xr skin, leather

Catalog of Discourse Markers

Indicating understanding/knowledge of something
hė
Post-predicate marker, supposing agreement, indicating jointly-held information
hoù
Indicating concern or awe
Phrasal marker, continuation, softener, request for conversational turn
nȧ
Post-predicate marker, softener, diminutive, seeking agreement
Indicating something unfortunate, regretful
Indicating surprise
Calling attention
xaù
Indicating disgust

Catalog of Quantifiers

any, whichever
kxí
some, a few
ḷȧwh
whole, complete
ṇė
all, every
ngín
mostly, for the most part
ȯx
a moderate amount, fairly
qė
always
qïx
just, merely, a surprising scarcity
síx
a little, barely
only, one
xu̇
much, very
àṇ
more
ïlh
some, only partly

Lexicon

*ṇ
(atelic) more
*ṇà
(atelic) good
awh*sn
(atelic) rain
axṭ*ḷị́wh
(atelic) tall
ạng*hȧ
(telic) sing
ạṭ*nịq
(atelic) sitting
dịj*lhnịn
(atelic) the halfway point, as of a journey or crossing
dị́l*xtẹ
(atelic) far off, a long way to go
etlh*koùn
(telic) take, receive, accept
ẹṇ*kwh
(atelic) a camp
ẹṇ*sịlh
(atelic) inhabit, live in a place
g*wh
(atelic) decent, acceptable
gh*ng
(atelic) big
gh*tsị̀
(atelic) beneath
ghị́gh*x
(atelic) high quality, as of food
h*koụ̀n
(telic) carry
h*kwh
(atelic) known
h*lịs
(atelic) female classifier
h*ḷì
(telic) offer, present
h*naụ̀wh
(telic) cousin, sibling, family member of like generation
h*nụ̀wh
(telic) formally give
h*q̇ė
(telic) great exertion
h*s
(telic) searching
h*tlh
(telic) choose
h*tsị̀lh
(telic) gather, collect, attract
h*xtẹ
(telic) scout, explore
hen*x
(atelic) everyone
hạkt*q
(telic) strike
hịng*t
(telic) lure, distract, bait
hụkt*dlụ̀wh
(atelic) a fishing weir
hïn*stẹ
(atelic) welcome
ing*wh
(atelic) healthy, well-being
inx*whn
(atelic) upriver
ịng*xtẹ
(atelic) away, elsewhere
ịt*kwh
(atelic) beside
ịwh*xk
(atelic) knife
k*koị̀
(atelic) father
k*lẹ
(telic) continuing, persisting until completed
k*lịt
(atelic) yesterday
k*lịx
(atelic) far side of
k*qụ
(telic) finished
k*q̇ė
(atelic) extreme, a great extent
k*sụx
(atelic) near side of
k*xtẹ
(telic) going
kịts*lȧ
(telic) scatter
kx*ghẹ̀
(atelic) negative extreme
kx*ts
(atelic) damaged
ḳ*doq
(atelic) last night
ḳ*s
(telic) work
ḳ*tlh
(atelic) tree
l*kwh
(atelic) place, being in a particular place
l*ste
(telic) spoken
l*sq
(telic) taught
lịx*sịq
(atelic) flat
lh*sn
(telic) stream, small river
lhị́s*xẹn
(atelic) encircled
lhị́sq*ṇguq
(atelic) curved
lhq*tsìwh
(atelic) cedar
ḷ*kwh
(telic) infer from a sign or trace
ḷàng*stẹ
(telic) formal speech
n*
(atelic) two
n*s
(telic) help
n*t
(atelic) seen
n*kwh
(atelic) place within view
n*ṇoị̀
(atelic) mother
n*tlh
(atelic) near time, recent or soon
ng*sịlh
(atelic) here; region where the speaker currently is
ṇ*sịlh
(atelic) home region
nạ́gh*xn
(atelic) salmon
ng*l
(atelic) much, a lot
ng*sịlh
(atelic) here, general area around the speaker
ṇg*zẹ̀
(atelic) feeling emotion
ngịgh*x
(atelic) sick, ill
or*koụ̀n
(atelic) hold, possess
qaqax*stẹ
(atelic) chattering, squawking
qȧṭ*koụ̀n
(telic) steal
qạx*l
(atelic) berry
qẹ̀ṇ*xtẹ
(telic) shortcut, take a shorter route than the usual one
qẹ́ts*s
(atelic) neck
qilh*q̇ẹ̀
(atelic) running, galloping
quọ́q*tsị̀lh
(atelic) giving feast
q̇*ṇgeị̀
(atelic) nourish
r*t
(atelic) self, alone
s*
(telic) semantically blank auxiliary; "doing"
s*wh
(atelic) anaphoric root referring to the way or manner described in some other predicate; "thusly"
slh*whịt
(atelic) smooth
slh*x
(atelic) mush, paste
stsịn*qt
(telic) urinate
sṭȧn*ti
(telic) dance (event)
sṭlh*
(telic) try, endeavor to
sụr*k
(atelic) strong
sqeị́s*
(telic) beginning
sq̇*q
(atelic) eat
sx*nịq
(atelic) white
ṭȧn*ti
(atelic) dancing
tạṇ*tlh
(atelic) a house
tsạk*xtẹ
(atelic) traveling
t*
(atelic) one
t*ngạk
(atelic) finger
t*ṭạk
(telic) jump
t*qọ
(telic) throw
t*sx
(atelic) same
t*tsi
(atelic) small
tị̀n*rọq
(atelic) glaring, glowering
tlhị́lh*skẹ
(atelic) clean
ts*wh
(atelic) heard
tsụn*hị́lh
(atelic) swaying
ṭ*doq
(atelic) tonight
ṭ*kwh
(atelic) here, space immediately around the speaker
ṭ*lịt
(atelic) today
ṭ*st
(telic) repaired
ṭ*tlh
(atelic) now
ṭeị̀n*tsịq
(atelic) kinked, crooked, as of a rope, bough, or joint
ṭsẹ́s*slh
(atelic) a woven mat
ṭị́ng*tsi
(atelic) beside
ụng*q
(atelic) hungry, envious
wh*kwh
(atelic) location outside of scent range
whịn*t
(atelic) light, not heavy
xàr*ng
(atelic) angry
xing*kwh
(atelic) thinking
xix*jn
(atelic) spoiled, gone bad (as in food)
xịlht*q
(telic) bite
xng*sq
(telic) smoke meat
xoụ̀n*sqọq
(atelic) jacket
xọ́q*ngạx
(atelic) a winding route, a long way to travel
xur*kw
(atelic) south
xụlq*koụ̀n
(telic) acquire
xụlq*q
(telic) hunt