7.3.1. The Conjugations

1. Conjugation is the traditional name of a group of verbs that share a similar conjugation pattern in a particular language, a Verb Class. This is the sense in which we say that Europaio has four conjugations of verbs; it means that any regular Europaio verb can be conjugated in any person, number, tense, mood and voice by knowing which of the four conjugation groups it belongs to, and its main stems.

NOTE. The meaning of Regular and Irregular becomes, thus, a matter of choice, although this is obviously not free. We could have divided the verbs into five conjugations, or three, or even two, and left the rest for the Irregulars group. We believe that our choice is in the middle between a too restrictive system, in which many forms would be irregular (and would need in turn subclasses), and one too extensive to be easily learnt. We also know that the way a language is systematized influences the language; it is, then, to avoid too much artificial influence that we try to offer the more natural combinations possible (those frequent in the old, IE III system), without becoming too flexible to create a defined and stable (and thus usable) system.

2. The Four Conjugations in which Europaio is divided are based on the Present stem:

I. The First or Root Conjugation is formed with the Root, thematic stem for Present and Imperfect alike, but the Present has e root vowel and root accent, while the Imperfect has root vowel and accent on the theme vowel.

The Reduplicated class of verbs is somehow an extension of the first conjugation. In it, the Imperfect is formed with the root, which is reduplicated in Present without accent shift.

NOTE. Verbs of the First Conjugation have thus in common that there is no verbal ending to mark the Imperfect: the Basic Root (wether thematic or athematic) is always used.

II.  The Second or Consonant Conjugation has a Present with a consonant ending, always thematic. The consonants are usually -t-, -d-, -dh-, -k- (often -sk-), -g-, -gh-. Other possibilities are the nasal suffix/infix -n- or the (rare) -s-.

III. The Third or i Conjugation has a Present in -i-, almost always thematic. Usual forms are -ie, -io (and the degree, athematic -i), and its compounds: aie, aio, eie, eio, sie, sio, etc. Also sometimes -u (when added to the root) although they are generally Root ending vowels.

IV. The Fourth or Athematic Conjugation has a Present in -a, -e.

Conjugation

Present

Imperfect

1 (ROOT)

Root, e vowel, root accent

THEM.

Root, long vowel, des. acce.

ATHE.

 [REDUPLICATED]

Reduplicated + i

ATHE.

Root

ATHE.

2 (CONSONANT)

Consonant

THEM.

(-e)-s-, -a-/-e- (-u-)

ATHE.

3 (i, u)

-i-, -u- (-ie, -io, -ue, -uo)

THEM.

(-e)-s-

ATHE.

-i, -u

ATHE.

-te/o

THEM.

4 (ATHEMATIC)

-e, -a

ATHE.

-te/o

THEM.

IRREGULARS