Verbal Morphology

La Morphologgie Félie

4.1 Features

Much like the other Romance languages, Tunisian verbs are highly inflected for person, number, tense, mood, and voice. Most verbs consist of just two morphemes, a stem and a single inflectional ending. Naturally, each ending carries a heavy functional load, simultaneously marking each of these features. For instance, pydsams /pit.ˈsaːmz/ “we think” consists of the stem *pyds- and the ending -ams, which marks the first person singular present active indicative. Some stems also include derivational prefixes or suffixes in addition to the verb root.

Many verbs undergo stem vowel changes when they are conjugated in various forms. While limited degrees of such vowel changes are common in other Romance languages, in Tunisian they have actually taken the form of ablaut with a limited but real contrastive function, as in dib /ˈdib/ “I need” versus deb /ˈdeb/ “he/she needs”.

Tunisian verbs inflect for three moods: the indicative, subjunctive, and imperative. Of these, the indicative is by far the most robust, inflecting for the present, imperfect, perfect, preterite, and two different future tenses. The subjunctive mood only has two forms, a present and past, with the latter in retreat. The imperative mood has always existed in just a single form, though it has actually been gaining some ground on the subjunctive. In some dialects, the subjunctive has completely disappeared, but this is not permitted in standard Tunisian.

Conjugated verbs can be either simplex or complex. Simplex tenses consist of just a single conjugated verb, and include the present, imperfect, preterite, future II, present subjunctive, and imperative. Complex tenses consist of an auxiliary verb plus a non-finite form (infinitive or participle), and include the perfect, future I, and past subjunctive.

Individual Tunisian verbs have three inherent qualities: conjugation class, transitivity, and aspect. The conjugation class determines how exactly the verb conjugates and what endings it takes; this is described in more detail in the following section. Transitivity determines whether a verb is able to take a direct object (transitive) or not (intransitive), and this in turns affects the conjugation in certain forms, such as the formation of the perfect tense; this can be manipulated through the use of certain reflexive pronouns or auxiliary verbs.

Tunisian treatment of aspect is somewhat more complex, and does not have a clear equivalent in other Romance languages. Verbs belong to one of three categories: inherently perfective, inherently imperfective, or biaspectual. Inherently perfective verbs describe a single event that cannot be drawn out over a period of time; these verbs completely lack imperfect tense forms. Inherently imperfective verbs describe actions that always take place over a period of time and cannot be single point events; these verbs completely lack perfects and preterites. Biaspectual verbs can freely appear with both perfective and imperfective meanings, and can conjugate in the perfect, imperfect, and preterite tenses.

4.2 Verb Roots and Conjugations

Tunisian verbs belong to one of four conjugation classes, numbered I, II, III, and IV. These classes are inherent to individual verb stems and are arbitrary; that is, any connotation that each conjugation may have once had has long since been completely lost. The four conjugations differ primarily in the vowels of certain endings, though in some tenses the actual endings may vary across conjugations.

Conjugation I, also known as the A-Class, can be distinguished by the vowel /a/ in several present tense forms and the infinitive ending . This is the largest conjugation class and the only class that is completely open, in that new loanwords and coinages can continually appear as new Conjugation I verbs. This class includes many old words of Latin origin such as levá /lə.ˈvaː/ “wash” and pydsá /pit.ˈsaː/ “think”, medieval and modern Arabic loans such as źeliá /ðə.ˈljaː/ “insult”, and modern internationalisms such as tèlefoniá /ˈteːl.fə.njaː/ “telephone”.

Conjugation II, or the E-Class, is the second most frequent conjugation class. This class is partially open; it no longer allows any new primitive stems, but productively accepts new words formed with certain derivational suffixes, such as the causative -s-. It is distinguished by the vowel /e/ in several present tense forms and the infinitive ending . Primitive examples include debé /də.ˈbeː/ “need” and yspé /is.ˈpeː/ “taste”, while a derived example is blycsé /blik.ˈseː/ “whiten” from bleic /ˈblejk/ “white”.

Conjugation III, or the Y-Class, is the rarest of the four conjugation classes and is completely closed, consisting entirely of inherited verbs of Latin origin. These verbs are generally marked by an unstressed infinitive ending in -ey or rarely -y and vowelless present tense endings. Examples include pèridey /ˈpe.ri.dej/ “lose”, véndey /ˈveːn.dej/ “sell”, and udy /ˈu.di/ “hear”.

Conjugation IV, or the I-Class, is another partially-open class that only accepts new verbs that contain particular derivational suffixes, most frequently the stative suffix -sc-. It is marked by infinitives ending in and by the vowel /i/ in present tense endings. Examples include dremí /drə.ˈmiː/ “sleep”, pretí /prə.ˈtiː/ “leave”, and chenoschí /kə.ˈnos.kiː/ “recognize”.

4.3 Ablaut Patterns

Tunisian verbs display two types of ablaut, known as the I-Ablaut and the Reduction-Ablaut. These terms will be used to identify whenever ablaut patterns regularly occur in verbal paradigms.

The I-Ablaut is a change triggered by the current or former presence of /i/ in the following syllable, and generally consists in a raising and fronting of the base vowel. The Reduction-Ablaut is triggered by historical stress patterns, where unstressed vowels will reduce to neutral vowels and unstressed diphthongs will reduce to monophthongs. Falling diphthongs pattern as distinct vowels from their components, while rising diphthongs pattern as glide + vowel; that is, /ei/ patterns separately from /e/ and /i/, while /ie/ behaves as /je/ and patterns with /e/.

Short vowels have two different forms under Reduction-Ablaut. Word-initially, they collapse as high vowels, with /a e i/ merging as /i/ and /o u/ merging as /u/. Everywhere else, they all reduce to schwa.

The table below shows every Tunisian vowel and diphthong and their counterparts under the I- and Reduction-Ablauts. A blank indicates no change.

Short Vowels
Base Vowel I-Ablaut Reduction-Ablaut
/a/ /e/ /i ~ ə/
/e/ /i/ /i ~ ə/
/i/ /i ~ ə/
/o/ /e/ /u ~ ə/
/u/ /ju/ /u ~ ə/
Long Vowels
Base Vowel I-Ablaut Reduction-Ablaut
/aː/ /aj/
/eː/ /ej/
/oː/ /uj/
Base Vowel I-Ablaut Reduction-Ablaut
/aj/ /i/
/ej/ /i/
/oj/ /i/
/uj/ /i/

Some recent loanwords do not orthographically distinguish the full and reduced grades, even though the difference is there in pronunciation: tèlefone /ˈteːl.fu.nə/ “he/she is calling” (full grade), tèlefoniams /ˈteːl.fə.njaːmz/ “we are calling” (not *tèlefeniams). I-Ablaut is always indicated if it is present: tèlefène /ˈteːə/ “I am calling”.

4.4 The Infinitive

The infinitive is the basic, unmarked form of the verb, lacking explicit marking for person, tense, and mood. It is also the citation form of verbs, and most verbs cited in this grammar will appear in the infinitive unless otherwise indicated. Unusually for a Romance language, the Tunisian infinitive has two forms, a singular and a plural.

Conjugation I verbs form their infinitive by adding the suffix to the stem with Reduction Ablaut.

Conjugation II verbs form the infinitive with the suffix plus Reduction Ablaut.

Conjugation III verbs form the infinitive one of the unstressed suffixes -ey or rarely -y. Which stems take which suffix cannot be predicted; the suffixes are arbitrarily associated with particular verbs. There is no ablaut in the stem.

Conjugation IV verbs form the infinitive with the suffix . Reduction ablaut in generally not present, although a few particular subclasses will have it. In particular, verbs with a metathesizing /r/ will show reduction in the infinitive.

Plurals for all conjugations are formed with the suffix -nes /nəz/ added directly to the stem, with no ablaut present. There is no contrast between the conjugations. This suffix is never stressed.

Stem Conjugation Singular
*lav- “wash” I levá
*chènt- “sing” I chyntá
*am- “love” I imá
*dèb- “need” II debé
*viçon- “see” II viçené
*sèd- “sit” II sedé
*vènd- “sell” III vèndey
*lèg- “read” III lèggey
*ud- “hear” III udy
*ysc- “know” IV yschí
*chenosc- “recognize” IV chenoschí
*dorom- “sleep” IV dremí

Three verbs have irregular infinitives.

Stem Conjugation Singular
*es-/s- “be” n/a ystá
*lèv- “take” I loá
*v- “go” IV uní

4.5 The Present Tense

4.5.1 Regular Forms

The following table shows the regular present-tense forms in each of the four conjugations. The verbs shown are prelá “speak”, debé “need”, vèndey “sell”, and chenoschí “recognize”.

Tunisian Regular Present Tense
1Sg prel
2Sg prals
3Sg eu/ele pral
1Pl nos prelams
2Pl vos prelats
3Pl els pralé

The first person singular consists of the bare verbal stem featuring the I-Ablaut in the final syllable.

The second person singular consists of the verbal stem plus the suffix -s. This is pronounced [s] after voiceless consonants and [z] everywhere else. If the stem ends in a coronal fricative, orthographically the form is regular, but an epenthetic [ɪ] is inserted between the stem and ending: pydsá “think” → peidss [ˈpejt.sɪs].

The third person singular consists of the bare verbal stem with no ablaut. Consequently, the first and third person singulars are identical for most verbs if the stem cannot undergo I-Ablaut.

The first person plural consists of the verbal stem, a thematic vowel, and the ending -ms, pronounced [mz]. In the first, second, and fourth conjugations the thematic vowel is /a/, /e/, and /i/ respectively, often stressed, while the verbal stem appears in its reduced grade. In the third conjugation, the stem appears in its full grade, but the thematic vowel is absent, and consequently an epenthetic [ɪ] is regularly inserted.

The second person plural behaves just like the first person plural, only with the ending -ts.

The third person plural adds the endings (I/II), (III), or -ió (IV) to the full grade of the verbal stem.

Some of these endings can result in fully predictable spelling changes even though the pronunciation is completely regular. Notice above, for instance, how the stem for “recognize” varies between *chenosc- when by itself or before a consonant and *chenosch- when before a front vowel. Similarly, the stem for “need”, which is always pronounced /deb/ in the full grade, is spelled *deb- in monosyllabic forms (since graphical e in a monosyllable is always /e/) and *dèb- in polysyllabic forms (since graphical e in polysyllabic forms is always /ə/). More generally, Tunisian spelling, at least as far as conjugation is concerned, generally opts for the most appropriate spelling for a given pronunciation, regardless of the spelling of other related forms.

4.5.2 Semi-Regular Forms

Verbs that do not follow the regular pattern outlined in the previous section, but whose patterns can still be predicted based on the phonological structure of the stem, are known as semi-regular verbs or minor conjugations (as opposed to the four mentioned before, which are known as the major conjugations). Stems Ending in /j/

All verb stems ending in /j/ belong to Conjugation I. This was due to all /j/-final stems in other conjugations either shifting to Conjugation I by dissimilation or losing the /j/ entirely by assimilation, as it is much more salient before a back vowel (i.e., Cja) than before a front vowel (i.e., Cje or Cji). However, their conjugation seems to share some traits of both the A and I conjugations, due to this underlying /j/ vocalizing as /i/ in certain positions. The present tense of źeliá “insult” is shown below.

Present Tense: źeliá “insult”
1Sg źèle
1Pl nos źeliams
2Sg źalis
2Pl vos źeliats
3Sg eu/ele źale
3Pl els źalié

In the first and third persons singular, the yod remains in place and vocalizes as /ə/. I-Ablaut still occurs in the first person singular, but on the preceding vowel.

In the second person singular the yod vocalizes as /i/.

The third person singular and all plural forms are completely regular. Stems with Metathesizing /r/

The metathesizing /r/ phonomenon occurs in stems that formerly had the structure *CVrC-, but that now alternate between *CrVC and *CVrVC. Examples include the verbs dremí “sleep” and freví “boil”. These stems have the following three grades:

With these special graded forms in mind, it then becomes possible to conjugate these verbs regularly. Shown below is dremí:

Present Tense: dremí “sleep”
1Sg dorim
1Pl nos dremims
2Sg dorums
2Pl vos dremits
3Sg eu/ele dorum
3Pl els dorumió

Verbs with stem-final /r/ after a consonant will be covered in section as a case of final consonant clusters. Stems Ending in /n/

Stem-final /n/ is generally regular, but in the second person singular it weakens to /j/ immediately before the -s ending, forming diphthongs. Shown below is the conjugation of viçené “see” (II) and pyná “fight” (I); the former is a typical /n/-final stem, while the latter shows the further vocalization of /j/ as /iː/ after already-existing diphthongs.

Present Tense: viçené “see”
1Sg viçèn
1Pl nos viçenèms
2Sg viçois
2Pl vos viçenèts
3Sg eu/ele viçon
3Pl els viçoné
Present Tense: pyná “fight”
1Sg poin
1Pl nos pynams
2Sg poís
2Pl vos pynats
3Sg eu/ele poin
3Pl els poiné
[ˈpoj.neː] Stems Containing Velar + Front Vowel

Historically, Tunisian palatalized the velar stops /k g/ to /ʃ ʒ/ before stressed front vowels. This causes problems in verbal stems containing these sequences where the stress shifts on and off that particular front vowel, leading to a /k ~ ʃ/ or /g ~ ʒ/ alternation within the same verb paradigm. While these alternations still exist in some dialects (e.g., çin “I eat” vs. chenams “we eat”), in the standard they have been levelled out in favor of the plosive. The following tables show the conjugation of chyntá “sing” and glá “freeze”.

Present Tense: chyntá “sing”
1Sg chint
1Pl nos chyntams
2Sg chents
2Pl vos chyntats
3Sg eu/ele chent
3Pl els chènté
Present Tense: glá “freeze”
1Sg ghil
1Pl nos glams
2Sg ghels
2Pl vos glats
3Sg eu/ele ghel
3Pl els ghèlé

This sort of environment can also appear at the end of a stem, when the stem ends in /k g/ and is followed by a stressed front vowel. Here, the alternation is fully permissable, as apparently stem-final consonant changes are not considered as salient as stem-initial ones. Below is the conjugation of leçé “shine”:

Present Tense: leçé “shine”
1Sg liuc
1Pl nos leçèms
2Sg lucs
2Pl vos leçèts
3Sg eu/ele luc
3Pl els luccé
[ˈlu.keː] Stems Ending in Consonant Clusters

There are two types of semi-regular verbs with stems ending in consonant clusters: vowelless stems, where a historical vowel may sporadically reappear to break up the cluster, and true clustered stems, where an epenthetic vowel appears word-finally to support the cluster.

Vowelless stems are verb stems that once ended in -CVC, but due to Tunisian vowel reduction, the vowel was lost in reduced-grade forms. This vowel will then reappear in full grade or I-Ablaut forms. Note that vowelless stems may actually contain vowels, and in fact often do; the name simply refers to the disappearing vowel in the stem. Examples include yspé “taste” (Conjugation II with full grade stem *ysap-) and ifchey “cause” (Conjugation III with full grade stem *efèc-) 1 .

Present Tense: yspé “taste”
1Sg ysèp
1Pl nos yspèms
2Sg ysaps
2Pl vos yspèts
3Sg eu/ele ysap
3Pl els ysapé
Present Tense: ifchey “cause”
1Sg efic
1Pl nos efècms
2Sg efècs
2Pl vos efècts
3Sg eu/ele efèc
3Pl els efècó

True clustered stems are stems that have always ended in a cluster, so there is no vowel to reappear in full grade forms. In these verbs, an epenthetic /ə/ is inserted at the end of the first person singular and third person singular forms, perhaps a faint remnant of the verb endings that were once present in Old Tunisian. Examples include ntrá “enter” (I) and solbey “unlock” (III). Note that not all verb stems ending in clusters get this epenthetic vowel; many are completely regular, and will simply tolerate the word-final cluster. The distribution appears to reflect the phonotactics of an earlier form of Tunisian which was less tolerant of word-final clusters than the modern language.

Present Tense: ntrá “enter”
1Sg intre
1Pl nos ntrams
2Sg entrs
2Pl vos ntrats
3Sg eu/ele entre
3Pl els entré
Present Tense: solbé “unlock”
1Sg sèlbe
1Pl nos solbms
2Sg solbs
2Pl vos solbts
3Sg eu/ele solbe
3Pl els solbó

4.5.3 Irregular Forms

Of course, not all verbs have a predictable conjugation. Some are simply irregular, with paradigms that have to be memorized individually. Only two are completely exceptional: ystá “be” (which, interestingly, lacks third person forms) and “be (emphatic), really be”, which has an Arabic-derived conjugation.

Present Tense: ystá “be”
1Sg som
1Pl nos sums
2Sg es
2Pl vos esç
3Sg eu/ele 3Pl els
Present Tense: “be (emphatic)”
1Sg ráne
1Pl nos ráná
2Sg rác
2Pl vos rácm
3Sg eu/ele
3Pl els rám

The present tense of ystá is actually the only irregular conjugation preserved from Latin. All other irregular Latin present tense verbs were regularized or lost on the way to modern Tunisian. However, a number of new verbs have become irregular. These include loá “take”, uní “go”, vivey “live”, ebé “have”, and yddá “give”.

Tunisian Irregular Present Tense


2Sg levs
3Sg eu/ele lev
1Pl nos loáms
2Pl vos loáts
3Pl els lèvé

4.6 The Imperfect Tense

4.6.1 Regular Forms

Conjugations III and IV merge in the imperfect tense. The table below shows the regular imperfect tense forms.

Tunisian Regular Imperfect Tense
1Sg prelave
2Sg prelavs
3Sg eu/ele prelave
1Pl nos prelivams
2Pl vos prelivats
3Pl els prelavé

The imperfect is formed from a verb stem in either the reduced or I-Abalut grades, an imperfect formant -Vv- containing a theme vowel, and a suffix marking person. Conjugations I and II used the reduced grade, while Conjugations III and IV appear with I-Ablaut. The imperfect formant is -av- for most Conjugation I forms and -iv- for all other verbs.

The first person consist of just the stem, the imperfect formant, and the suffix -e /ə/, together forming -ave (I) or -ive (II/III/IV). Stress typically fails on the imperfect formant in Conjugations I and II given the reduced stem, and on the stem in Conjugations III and IV.

In the second person singular, the person-marking suffix is -s, giving -avs (I) or -ivs (II/III/IV).

The third person singular is always identical to the first person singular, formed with -ave (I) or -ive (II/III/IV).

The first person plural and second person plural use the same suffix for all verbs: -ivams for the first person plural and -ivats for the second person plural.

The third person plural uses the suffix added to the typical imperfect stem, yielding -avé (I) and -ivé (II/III/IV).

4.6.2 Semi-Regular Forms Stems Ending in /j/

Stems with final /j/ are largely regular in the imperfect. The only irregularity is that this /j/ is dropped before the first person plural and second person plural endings, which always begin with /i/ already.

Imperfect Tense: źeliá “insult”
1Sg źeliave
1Pl nos źelivams
2Sg źeliavs
2Pl vos źelivats
3Sg eu/ele źeliave
3Pl els źeliavé
[ðə.ˈljaː.veː] Stems with Metathesizing /r/

Stems with metathesizing /r/ are regular in the imperfect, insofar as the standard creation of the different grades of metathesizing /r/ stems is considered regular.

Imperfect Tense: dremí “sleep”
1Sg dorimive
1Pl nos dorimivams
2Sg dorimivs
2Pl vos dorimivats
3Sg eu/ele dorimive
3Pl els dorimivé
[ˈdɔ.ri.mi.veː] Stems Ending in /n/

Stems ending in /n/ are completely regular in the imperfect.

Imperfect Tense: viçené “see”
1Sg viçenive
1Pl nos viçenivams
2Sg viçenivs
2Pl vos viçenivats
3Sg eu/ele viçenive
3Pl els viçenivé
[ˈvi.ʃə.ni.veː] Stems Containing Velar + Front Vowel

Velar + front vowel sequences in stems like chyntá are completely regular in the imperfect; since the stress never falls on the stem, the palatalizing environment never appears. On the other hand, in Conjugations III and IV, where the stress can fall on the first syllable, the same sort of alternation could be possible in theory; in practice, however, all such verbs have undergone paradigmatic levelling and now appear with the fricative in all forms, as in jestí “be ready” (older gestí).

In Conjugations II, III and IV, stem-final palatalization freely appears throughout the paradigm.

Imperfect Tense: leçé “shine”
1Sg leçive
1Pl nos leçivams
2Sg leçivs
2Pl vos leçivats
3Sg eu/ele leçive
3Pl els leçivé
[lə.ˈʃi.veː] Stems Ending in Consonant Clusters

Stems ending in final consonant clusters always appear without any epenthetic vowels in the imperfect, no matter the subtype.

Imperfect Tense: ifchey “cause”
1Sg efchive
1Pl nos efchivams
2Sg efchivs
2Pl vos efchivats
3Sg eu/ele efchive
3Pl els efchivé
Imperfect Tense: ntrá “enter”
1Sg ntrave
1Pl nos ntrivams
2Sg ntravs
2Pl vos ntrivats
3Sg eu/ele ntrave
3Pl els ntravé

4.6.3 Irregular Forms

Imperfect Tense: ystá “be”
1Sg erave
1Pl nos erivams
2Sg eravs
2Pl vos erivats
3Sg eu/ele erave
3Pl els eré

4.7 The Perfect Tense

The Perfect Tense is a compound tense, consisting of an auxiliary plus a passive participle. The auxiliary verb used is a reduced form of the present tense of “be” for intransitive verbs (including reflexive verbs) and a reduced form of the present tense of “have” for transitive verbs. The auxiliaries are shown below.

Perfect Auxiliaries
Reduced “Be” Full “Be” Reduced “Have” Full “Have”
1Sg sem/-em
[səm, əm]
[aj, aj]
2Sg es/-es
[ɛs, əs]
[ajz, əs]
3Sg eu/ele e/-e
[e, ə]
[aj, aj]
1Pl nos sems/-esms
[səmz, əsɪmz]
[eːmz, əms]
2Pl vos esç/-esç
[ɛstʃ, əstʃ]
[ɛts, əts]
3Pl els só/-çu
[sɔə, ʃu]
[ʌ.ˈjeə, ʃi]

Each of the auxiliaries has both an independent (preposed) and bound (postposed) form. The past participle (the formation of which will be discussed later) retains full gender and number agreement when used in combination with an independent auxiliary, but will always appear in the bare masculine singular when used with bound auxiliaries. When present, participle agreement with the “be” auxiliary is with the subject, and with the “have” auxiliary is with the direct object.

Perfect Tense: uní “come”
Independent Bound
1Sg sem unit(e)
[səm ˈu.nit(ə)]
2Sg es unit(e)
[ɛs ˈu.nit(ə)]
3Sg eu/ele e unit(e)
[e ˈu.nit(ə)]
1Pl nos sems units
[səmz ˈu.nits]
2Pl vos esç units
[ɛstʃ ˈu.nits]
3Pl els só units
[soː ˈu.nits]
Perfect Tense: yscribey “write”
Independent Bound
1Sg ai yscrèft(e/s)
[aj ˈis.krift(ə/s)]
2Sg ais yscrèft(e/s)
[ajz ˈis.krift(ə/s)]
3Sg eu/ele ae yscrèft(e/s)
[aj ˈis.krift(ə/s)]
1Pl nos ems yscrèft(e/s)
[eːmz ˈis.krift(ə/s)]
2Pl vos ets yscrèft(e/s)
[ɛts ˈis.krift(ə/s)]
3Pl els aié yscrèft(e/s)
[ʌ.jeː ˈis.krift(ə/s)]

4.8 The Preterite Tense

4.8.1 Regular Forms

The preterite tense, though once widely used as a general perfective past tense, nowadays has a rather limited distribution, restricted by and large to narration (primarily in the written language) and marking immediate past or immediate future. It is also particularly prone to irregularities, which in combination with its restricted usage has resulted in many verbs having two preterite forms: an inherited irregular conjugation and a newer, regularized conjugation.

The table below shows the regular preterite conjugation.

Tunisian Regular Preterite Tense
1Sg prelís
2Sg prelís
3Sg eu/ele prelís
1Pl nos prelírims
2Pl vos prelírisç
3Pl els prelíré

The preterite conjugation has largely been levelled across all conjugation classes in modern Tunisian, with all four classes forming the preterite identically. The endings are always attached to a reduced-grade stem.

All of the singular forms are identical, being formed with the ending -ís (although an archaic 2Sg form -íst is sometimes seen in older usage).

The plural forms maintain person distinctions, using the endings 1Pl -írims, 2Pl -írisç, and 3Pl íré.

4.8.2 Semi-Regular Forms

The Tunisian preterite has very few semi-regular forms. Only one subcategory applies. Stems Ending in /j/

Stem-final /j/ is dropped in all forms of the preterite, effectively having been absorbed by the /iː/ that marks all preterite endings. With tèlefoniá “telephone”:

Preterite Tense: tèlefoniá “telephone”
1Sg tèlefonís
1Pl nos tèlefonírims
2Sg tèlefonís
2Pl vos tèlefonírisç
3Sg eu/ele tèlefonís
3Pl els tèlefoníré

4.8.3 Irregular Forms

Latin had four types of irregularly-formed perfect stems (the predecessor of the Tunisian preterite). Of these, one (reduplication) was completely eliminated through analogical processes and another (vowel lengthening) disappeared through regular sound change. The two remaining class (waw perfects and sigmatic perfects) are the main source of modern irregular preterites. However, the distinction between these two classes has muddled, due to how both classes have historically influenced the regular preterites, and consequently modern Tunisian irregular preterites have features of both systems.

Irregular preterites occur only among Conjugation II and III verbs. There are two broad types, though they follow the same basic conjugation rules. Some, such as diccey “say”, yscribey “write”, and yóccey “arrive” have a preterite stem consisting of the regular verb stem + /s/: *dics-, *yscrips-, *yócs-. Others, such as poney “put”, sèndey “feel”, and tené “hold” actually replace the stem-final consonant with /s/ in the preterite: *pos-, *seis-, *tès-.

The endings used by the first type are -Ø, -ís, -Ø, -íms, -ísç, -íré. The 1Sg and 3Sg endings are zero since the usual -s marker has been incorporated into the verb stem. All singular forms use the strong stem, while all plural forms use the reduced grade stem.

The endings used by the second type are -s, -ís, -s, -íms, -ísç, -íré. Here the 1Sg and 3Sg endings are always explicitly marked orthographically, even though there is no difference in pronunciation. This is due to the fact that replacing the stem-final consonant with /s/ gives more of an appearance of suppletivism, so the regular preterite endings are applied as they would normally be, whereas the first type has more of an appearance of a stem where this /s/ has just been generalized, and thus is already present in the 1Sg and 3Sg forms. The 1Sg and 3Sg forms use the strong stem, while all others used the reduced grade.

In modern Tunisian, almost all verbs with irregular preterites may also be conjugated regularly, with the irregular forms typically having more of a literary or formal feel. In colloquial usage, the first type of irregular preterite is almost always regularized, while the second type tends to be more resilient.

Shown below are the preterite conjugations, both regular and irregular, of four verbs. Diccey and yscribey represent the first type, while poney and tené represent the second type.

Preterite Tense: diccey “say”
1Sg dics, deccís
[ˈdiks, də.ˈkiːs]
1Pl nos decsíms, deccírims
[dək.ˈsiːmz, də.ˈkiː.riːmz]
2Sg dicsís, deccís
[dik.ˈsiːs, də.ˈkiːs]
2Pl vos decsísç, deccírisç
[dək.ˈsistʃ, də.ˈkiː.ristʃ]
3Sg eu/ele dics, deccís
[ˈdiks, də.ˈkiːs]
3Pl els decsíré, deccíré
[dək.ˈsiː.reː, də.ˈkiː.reː]
Preterite Tense: yscribey “write”
1Sg yscrips, yscrebís
[ˈis.krips, ˈis.krə.biːs]
1Pl nos yscrepsíms, yscrebírims
[ˈis.krəp.ˈsiːmz, ˈis.krə.biː.riːmz]
2Sg yscripsís, yscrebís
[ˈis.krip.siːs, ˈis.krə.biːs]
2Pl vos yscrepsísç, yscrebírisç
[ˈis.krəp.ˈsiːstʃ, ˈis.krə.biː.ristʃ]
3Sg eu/ele yscrips, yscrebís
[ˈis.krips, ˈis.krə.biːs]
3Pl els yscrepsíré, yscrebíré
[ˈis.krəp.siː.reː, ˈis.krə.biː.reː]
Preterite Tense: poney “put”
1Sg poss, penís
[ˈpos, pə.ˈniːs]
1Pl nos pesíms, penírims
[pə.ˈsiːmz, pə.ˈniː.riːmz]
2Sg pesís, penís
[pə.ˈsiːs, pə.ˈniːs]
2Pl vos pesísç, penírisç
[pə.ˈsiːstʃ, pə.ˈniː.ristʃ]
3Sg eu/ele poss, penís
[ˈpos, pə.ˈniːs]
3Pl els pesíré, peníré
[pə.ˈsiː.reː, pə.ˈniː.reː]
Preterite Tense: tené “hold”
1Sg tess, tenís
[ˈtɛs, tə.ˈniːs]
1Pl nos tesíms, tenírims
[tə.ˈsiːmz, tə.ˈniː.riːmz]
2Sg tesís, tenís
[tə.ˈsiːs, tə.ˈniːs]
2Pl vos tesísç, tenírisç
[tə.ˈsiːstʃ, tə.ˈniː.ristʃ]
3Sg eu/ele tess, tenís
[ˈtɛs, tə.ˈniːs]
3Pl els tesíré, teníré
[tə.ˈsiː.reː, tə.ˈniː.reː]

A handful of verbs have truly irregular preterite stems with no option for regular forms. Below is the preterite of ystá “be”, which is suppletive:

Preterite Tense: ystá “be”
1Sg fís
1Pl nos fírims
2Sg fís
2Pl vos fírisç
3Sg eu/ele fís
3Pl els fíré

4.9 The Future Tenses

Tunisian has two future tenses, a synthetic form (typically called Future I) and an analytic form (typically called Future II). The synthetic future is almost completely absent in colloquial usage, and is mostly confined to higher registers and the literary standard.

4.9.1 Regular Forms

The Future I is formed identically across all four conjugation classes. It consists of the full grade stem plus the suffixes -ray, -rais, -ray, -rems, -rets, -ré.

1Sg pralray
2Sg pralrais
3Sg eu/ele pralray
1Pl nos pralrems
2Pl vos pralrets
3Pl els pralré

The Future II consists of an auxiliary verb, the definite article il (singular subject; l- before a vowel) or ls (plural subject, pronounced [uz]), and the singular or plural infinitive of the main verb. The auxiliary marks person and number, though has very irregular conjugation: viuc, vucs, vuc, vucms, vucts, vuccé.

1Sg viuc il prelá
[ˈvjuk il prə.ˈlaː]
viuc il debé
[ˈvjuk il də.ˈbeə]
viuc il vèndey
[ˈvjuk il ˈveːn.dej]
viuc il chenoschí
[ˈvjuk il kə.ˈnos.kiː]
2Sg vucs il prelá
[ˈvuks il prə.ˈlaː]
vucs il debé
[ˈvuks il də.ˈbeə]
vucs il vèndey
[ˈvuks il ˈveːn.dej]
vucs il chenoschí
[ˈvuks il kə.ˈnos.kiː]
3Sg eu/ele vuc il prelá
[ˈvuk il prə.ˈlaː]
vuc il debé
[ˈvuk il də.ˈbeə]
vuc il vèndey
[ˈvuk il ˈveːn.dej]
vuc il chenoschí
[ˈvuk il kə.ˈnos.kiː]
1Pl nos vucms ls pralnes
[ˈvu.kɪmz us ˈpraːl.nəz]
vucms ls dèbnes
[ˈvu.kɪmz uz ˈdɛb.nəz]
vucms ls vèndnes
[ˈvu.kɪmz uz ˈveːn.nəz]
vucms ls chenoscnes
[ˈvu.kɪmz us kə.ˈnosk.nəz]
2Pl vos vucts ls pralnes
[ˈvu.kɪts us ˈpraːl.nəz]
vucts ls dèbnes
[ˈvu.kɪts uz ˈdɛb.nəz]
vucts ls vèndnes
[ˈvu.kɪts uz ˈveːn.nəz]
vucts ls chenoscnes
[ˈvu.kɪts us kə.ˈnosk.nəz]
3Pl els vuccé ls pralnes
[vu.ˈkeə us ˈpraːl.nəz]
vuccé ls dèbnes
[vu.ˈkeə uz ˈdɛb.nəz]
vuccé ls vèndnes
[vu.ˈkeə uz ˈveːn.nəz]
vuccé ls chenoscnes
[vu.ˈkeə us kə.ˈnosk.nəz]

4.9.2 Semi-Regular Forms

Only Future I poses an issue with semi-regular and irregular verbs, since Future II is regularly formed from the infinitive. For the most part, the semi-regular Future I forms mirror those of the preterite. Stems Ending in /j/

Stem-final /j/ vocalizes to /i/ in the Future I.

Future I Tense: tèlefoniá “telephone”
1Sg tèlefoniray
1Pl nos tèlefonirems
2Sg tèlefonirais
2Pl vos tèlefonirets
3Sg eu/ele tèlefoniray
3Pl els tèlefoniré
[ˈteːː] Stems Ending in /m/ or /n/

Stem-final /m/ and /n/ develop an epenthetic plosive in the Future I, becoming /mb/ and /nd/ respectively.

Future I Tense: cremá “call”
1Sg crambray
1Pl nos crambrems
2Sg crambrais
2Pl vos crambrets
3Sg eu/ele crambray
3Pl els crambré
Future I Tense: chená “eat”
1Sg chèndray
1Pl nos chèndrems
2Sg chèndrais
2Pl vos chèndrets
3Sg eu/ele chèndray
3Pl els chèndré

4.9.3 Irregular Forms

Four verbs have irregular Future I forms: ystá “be”, loá “take”, uní “go”, and ebé “have”. All four add regular endings to an irregular stem.

Tunisian Irregular Future Tense
1Sg iray
2Sg irais
3Sg eu/ele iray
1Pl nos irems
2Pl vos irets
3Pl els iré

4.10 The Subjunctive Mood

Formal and literary registers of Tunisian have two tenses in the subjunctive mood: an analytic present subjunctive and a periphrastic past subjunctives. The past subjunctive consists of the present subjunctive of ystá or ebé plus a participle (just like the perfect tense). The subjunctive is mostly absent in colloquial usage.

4.10.1 Regular Forms

For most verbs, the behavior of the present subjunctive closely parallels that of the present indicative, and it is common for several verb forms to be identical in both moods. In fact, the only distinct endings are those for the 1Pl and 2Pl forms, with Conjugation I verbs taking -èms and -èts and all other verbs taking -ams and -ats, and for some verbs the 3Pl form (with being used across all conjugations). However, unlike the present indicative, all verbs use the I-ablaut stems rather than the full stems. The contrast between Conjugations II, III, and IV is lost completely.

Tunisian Regular Present Subjunctive Tense
1Sg prel
2Sg prels
3Sg eu/ele prel
1Pl nos prelèms
2Pl vos prelèts
3Pl els prèlé

The past subjunctive is always regular, and is formed following the same rules as the perfect indicative, with the exception that the auxiliary appears in the present subjunctive and cannot appear in a bound form. Shown below are the past subjunctive forms of the intransitive verb uní “go” and the transitive verb yscribey “write”:

Past Subjunctive
uní “go” yscribey “write”
1Sg sí unit(e)
[siː ˈu.nit(ə)]
ai yscrèft(e/s)
[aj ˈis.krift(ə/s)]
2Sg sis unit(e)
[siz ˈu.nit(ə)]
ais yscrèft(e/s)
[ajz ˈis.krift(ə/s)]
3Sg eu/ele sí unit(e)
[siː ˈu.nit(ə)]
ae yscrèft(e/s)
[aj ˈis.krift(ə/s)]
1Pl nos sims units
[siːmz ˈu.nits]
yams yscrèft(e/s)
[jaːmz ˈis.krift(ə/s)]
2Pl vos sits units
[sits ˈu.nits]
yats yscrèft(e/s)
[jats ˈis.krift(ə/s)]
3Pl els sé units
[seː ˈu.nits]
aié yscrèft(e/s)
[ʌ.jeː ˈis.krift(ə/s)]

4.10.2 Semi-Regular Forms

Just about every class of semi-regular verb in the present indicative also exists in the present subjunctive under much the same conditions. However, the subjunctive will not create new changes or consonant alternations that do not already exit in the present indicative; for instance, if the present indicative does not have a palatalization alternation, the present subjunctive also will not, even if the environment is correct for palatalization to take place. Stems Ending in /j/

Stem-final /j/ vocalizes as /ə/ in the first person singular and third person singular, and as /i/ in the second person singular. In all plural forms it remains consonantal like the indicative present. With źeliá “insult”:

Present Subjunctive: źeliá “insult”
1Sg źèle
1Pl nos źelièms
2Sg źèlis
2Pl vos źelièts
3Sg eu/ele źèle
3Pl els źèlié
[ði.ˈljeə] Stems with Metathesizing /r/

Stems with a metathesizing /r/ behave as in the present tense, bearing in mind that the I-ablaut form *CVriC- appears whenever the stem is stressed.

Present Subjunctive: dremí “sleep”
1Sg dorim
1Pl nos dremams
2Sg dorims
2Pl vos dremats
3Sg eu/ele dorim
3Pl els dorimé
[ˈdɔ.ri.meː] Stems Ending in /n/

Stem-final /n/ weakens to /j/ in the second person singular (disappearing after diphthongs), as in the indicative present.

Present Subjunctive: viçené “see”
1Sg viçèn
1Pl nos viçenams
2Sg viçeis
2Pl vos viçenats
3Sg eu/ele viçèn
3Pl els viçèné
[ˈvi.ʃi.neː] Stems Containing Velar + Front Vowel

Stems containing a velar + front vowel combination decline as in the present indicative.

Present Subjunctive: chyntá “sing”
1Sg chint
1Pl nos chyntèms
2Sg chints
2Pl vos chyntèts
3Sg eu/ele chint
3Pl els chinté
Present Subjunctive: glá “freeze”
1Sg ghil
1Pl nos glems
2Sg ghils
2Pl vos glets
3Sg eu/ele ghil
3Pl els ghilé

Stem-final velars can be grouped into two subtypes. If the consonant undergoes palatalization in the present indicative, then it will also undergo palatalization in the present subjunctive in the same forms, even if the environment is not one that would normally trigger palatalization; leçé “shine” below demonstrates this class. On the other hand, if the consonant does not undergo any changes in the present indicative, then no palatalization will take place in the subjunctive; crecá “try, attempt” demonstrates this class.

Present Subjunctive: leçé “shine”
1Sg liuc
1Pl nos leçams
2Sg liucs
2Pl vos leçats
3Sg eu/ele liuc
3Pl els liuccé
Present Subjunctive: crecá “try”
1Sg cric
1Pl nos creccèms
2Sg crics
2Pl vos creccèts
3Sg eu/ele cric
3Pl els criccé
[kri.ˈkeə] Stems Ending in Consonant Clusters

Stem-final consonant clusters behave the same way as in the present indicative. In particular, the expanded present-tense stems used by verbs with vowelless roots are the same in the present subjunctive. However, if the verb belongs to Conjugation III (and thus always has strong forms in the present indicative), it will undergo reduction in the subjunctive; compare present indicative efècms and present subjunctive ifcams “we cause”.

Present Subjunctive: yspé “taste”
1Sg ysèp
1Pl nos yspams
2Sg ysèps
2Pl vos yspats
3Sg eu/ele ysèp
3Pl els ysèpé
Present Subjunctive: ifchey “cause”
1Sg efic
1Pl nos ifcams
2Sg efics
2Pl vos ifcats
3Sg eu/ele efic
3Pl els eficcé

4.10.3 Irregular Forms

Several verbs have irregular subjunctive forms. Note that they appear to have mutually influenced each other, as can be seen in the first person/third person singular forms.

Tunisian Irregular Present Subjunctive Tense



2Sg sis
3Sg eu/ele



1Pl nos sims
2Pl vos sits
3Pl els

4.11 The Imperative Mood

The Tunisian imperative mood exists solely in the present tense, and only has second person forms. The singular consists of the bare strong grade stem with no endings; it is almost always identical with the third person singular of the present indicative, including verbs with semi-regular conjugations. The plural adds an unstressed -it to the singular; this suffix will never cause palatalization.

Tunisian Imperatives
2Sg 2Pl
prelá “speak” pral!
debé “need” deb!
vèndey “sell” vend!
chenoschí “recognize” chenosc!
źeliá “insult” źale!
çirey “want” çir!
dremí “sleep” dorum!
viçené “see” viçon!
chyntá “sing” chent!
yspé “taste” ysap!
ntrá “enter” entre!

A few verbs have irregular imperative forms. Note that most of these are syncretic with the third person singular present subjunctive, rather than the present indicative. Several of these verbs have multiple possible imperative forms.

Tunisian Irregular Imperatives
2Sg 2Pl
ystá “be” sí!
loá “take” lí!
lèvit! leít!
[ˈle.vit, ˈle.jit]
uní “go” ví!
vènit, vít!
[ˈve.nit, ˈviːt]
ebé “have” ab!
yddá “give” dí! dá! dad!
[ˈdiː, ˈdaː, ˈdaːd]
dadit! daít!
[ˈdaː.dit, ˈdaː.jit]

4.12 Participles

Tunisian verbs can form two participles: a present active and a past passive. These forms are morphologically adjectives, showing gender and number agreement like any other adjective, but retain a few distinctly verbal qualities such as the ability to take direct objects. These syntactic features will be discussed in more detail later.

The present active participle is generally quite regularly formed. The masculine singular (i.e., the simplest form) consists of the weak-grade verbal stem plus the suffix -èn. If the stem ends in a velar consonant and undergoes palatalization in the present tense, then palatalization will occur in the present participle as well.

The past passive participle in more complicated in formation. The basic suffixes are -at for Conjugation I, -ut for Conjugations II and III, and -it for Conjugation IV. In Conjugations I and II, the root is weak-grade; in Conjuagtion III, the root is weak-grade; and in Conjugation IV, the root mirrors the grade used in the infinitive singular. The suffix -it always triggers palatalization of stem-final velars, with -sc- in addition becoming -ç-. These regular suffixes describe the vast majority of Tunisian verbs, and for historical reasons are often known as weak participles.

All verbs have both participles. Even intransitive verbs, which cannot normally appear in the passive voice, have past passive participles, since they are required to form the perfect tense.

Tunisian Regular and Weak Participles
Present Past
prelá “speak” prelèn
debé “need” debèn
vèndey “sell” vyndèn
chenoschí “recognize” cheneschèn
źeliá “insult” źelièn
çirey “want” çerèn
dremí “sleep” dremèn
viçené “see” viçenèn
chyntá “sing” chyntèn
yspé “taste” yspèn
ntrá “enter” ntren

The -is- derivational suffix is dropped in the past participle, but not in the present particple.

Tunisian -is- Participles
Present Past
unisí “unify” unisèn
civilisí “civilize” civilisèn
enèrgisí “energize” enèrgisèn

Tunisian also has a number of strong (irregular) passive participles, all belonging to Conjugation II and III verbs. Their unifying feature is that the participle-forming suffix is added directly to the verbal stem with no intervening vowel, which may trigger other irregularities. There is a strong, but not absolute, correlation between verbs that have strong past passive participles and irregular preterites. As in the preterite, there are two subclasses: some verbs simply add -t directly to the strong-grade stem, and others first replace the stem-final consonant with /s/ before adding -t. Unlike the preterite, verbs with strong participles do not have the option of using regularized weak forms instead.

In addition, stems ending in /p/ or /b/ convert it to /f/ before the participle ending, as with capey and yscribey below.

Tunisian Irregular and Strong Participles
Present Past
capey “understand” chepèn
crudey “close” credèn
diccey “say” deccèn
faccey “make, do” feccèn
yóccey “arrive” yóccèn
iprey “open” iprèn
yscribey “write” yscrebèn
lèggey “read” leggèn
ys-morey “die” ys-merèn
naschey “be born” neschèn
poney “put” penèn
rompey “break” rempèn
sèndey “feel” syndèn
tené “hold” tenèn
veiccey “win” vyccèn

Prefixed derivatives of verbs with strong participles themselves have strong participles: veiccey “win” → cheveiccey “convince” → chevèct “convinced”, capey “understand” → rçipey “receive” → rçeft “received”.

The verbs that tend to be irregular throughout the language—verbs like “be”, “go”, “give”, etc.—actually tend to have fairly regular participles.

Tunisian Participles
Present Past
ystá “be” ystèn
loá “take” loén
uní “go” unèn
ebé “have” ibèn
yddá “give” den

4.13 Negation

For most verbs, negation is handled by a circumfix consisting of the prefixed clitic n-/m-/nu- and the particle /mic. The prefixed element always comes at the absolute beginning of the verb phrase, attaching itself to whatever word (whether verb or clitic pronoun) comes first. The particle behaves more like an unbound adverb; its most neutral position is at the end of the verb complex (after any clitics or participles, but before secondary infinitives), but may also appear at the beginning or end of the clause. The details of word order will be discussed later.

The prefixed negative clitic takes one of three forms, depending on the following element. If it is attached directly to the verb and the verb begins with /p/ or /b/, it takes the form m-, pronounced [ɪm]: m-pet mí il diccey [ɪm.ˈpɛt miː il ˈdi.kej] “I cannot say”. If it is attached directly to the verb and the verb begins with any other sound, it takes the form n-, pronounced [ɪn] before a consonant and [n] before a vowel: n-viv mí nic [ɪn.ˈviv miː ˈnik] “I don't live here”, n-usc mí [ˈnusk miː] “I don't know”. The form nu- is used when the clitic is followed by yet another clitic: nu-t chenèsc mí [nut kə.ˈnɛsk miː] “I don't know/recognize you”.

The negative particle has two forms, a bound form and an unbound form mic. The bound form is used whenever the particle appears in its default position at the end of the verb complex, and the unbound form in all other positions, although there is some variation in clause-final position: n-dics mí llí! [ɪn.ˈdiks miː u.ˈliː] “I didn't say that”, mic n-dics llí! [ˈmik ɪn.ˈdiks u.ˈliː] “I did not say that!”.

The future auxiliary has irregular negative forms. The initial /v/ changes to /b/, and thus the prefixed negative clitic is always m-: viuc il prelá [ˈvjuk il prə.ˈlaː] “I will speak”, m-biuc mí prelá [ɪm.ˈbjuk miː prə.ˈlaː] “I will not speak”.

4.14 The Mediopassive Voice

Tunisian forms mediopassives with the clitic s- (before a vowel) or ys- (before a consonant) attached to the otherwise regularly-conjugated verb: s-iprey [ˈsi.prej] “open, be opened”, ys-lèggey [ˈis.le.gej] “be read”. In constructions with multiple or auxiliary verbs, the clitic attaches to either the first or second verb according to specific rules that will be outlined later. This clitic is considered part of the citation form of the verb. When added to words beginning with the letter y (representing a historic epenthetic vowel), this vowel converts to u: s-uscribey [ˈsus.kri.bej] “be written”.

Old Tunisian could also form passives using the verb ystá “be” plus a passive participle, but this is no longer idiomatic outside of certain fixed expressions.

4.15 Stative Verbs

Stative verbs are a special subparadigm of Conjugation IV verbs that follow a defective and highly idiosyncratic pattern. These verbs denote that a particular state or quality is present at a particular point in time, but at the same time is ephemeral and not an inherent quality of the subject being described. They often derive from adjectival bases, such as noví [nu.ˈviː] “appear new” or rosí [ru.ˈsiː] “appear red, blush”, but a handful do not, such as jèstí [ʒis.ˈtiː] “be ready” or nodí [nu.ˈdiː] “bore, be boring”.

These stative verbs all belong to Conjugation IV and can only appear in compound tenses (i.e., the perfect or future), and conjugate in the present tense using a compound construction not used by other verbs. They also have a defective preterite form, their sole finite form that does not require an auxiliary verb. To further complicate matters, they switch between active and middle voice depending on tense.

In the present tense, stative verbs appear using a conjugated form of ystá “be” plus a present participle. The participle will agree with the subject in gender and number.

Present Tense: rosí “appear red, blush”
1Sg som resèn(e)
[soːm rə.ˈseːn(ə)]
1Pl nos sums reseis
[suːmz rə.ˈsejz]
2Sg es resèn(e)
[ɛs rə.ˈseːn(ə)]
2Pl vos esç reseis
[ɛstʃ rə.ˈsejz]
3Sg eu/ele resèn(e)
3Pl els reseis
Present Tense: jèstí “be ready”
1Sg som jestèn(e)
[soːm ʒəs.ˈteːn(ə)]
1Pl nos sums jesteis
[suːmz ʒəs.ˈtɛjz]
2Sg es jestèn(e)
[ɛs ʒəs.ˈteːn(ə)]
2Pl vos esç jesteis
[ɛstʃ ʒəs.ˈtejz]
3Sg eu/ele jestèn(e)
3Pl els jesteis

The perfect and future tenses operate as expected, except that they must appear in the middle voice in the perfect.

Perfect Tense: rosí “appear red, blush”
Independent Bound
1Sg yst-sem rosit(e)
[ˈist.səm ˈrɔ.sit(ə]
2Sg s-es rosit(e)
[ˈsɛs ru.sit(ə)]
3Sg eu/ele s-e rosit(e)
[ˈse ru.sit(ə]
1Pl nos yst-sems rosits
[ˈist.səmz ˈrɔ.sits]
2Pl vos s-esç rosits
[ˈsɛstʃ ru.sits]
3Pl els yst-só rosits
[ist.ˈsɔə ˈrɔ.sits]
Perfect Tense: jèstí “be ready”
Independent Bound
1Sg yst-sem jèstit(e)
[ˈist.səm ˈʒɛs.tit(ə)]
2Sg s-es jèstit(e)
[ˈsɛz ʒis.tit(ə)]
3Sg eu/ele s-e jèstit(e)
[ˈse ʒis.tit(ə)]
1Pl nos yst-sems jèstits
[ˈist.səmz ˈʒɛs.tits]
2Pl vos s-esç jèstits
[ist.ˈsɔə ˈʒɛs.tits]
3Pl els yst-só jèstits
Future I Tense: rosí “appear red, blush”
1Sg viuc il rosí
[ˈvjuk i ru.ˈsiː]
1Pl nos vucms lst rosnes
[ˈvu.kɪmz ust ˈros.nəz]
2Sg vucs il rosí
[ˈvuks i ru.ˈsiː]
2Pl vos vucts lst rosnes
[ˈvu.kɪts ust ˈros.nəz]
3Sg eu/ele vuc il rosí
[ˈvuk i ru.ˈsiː]
3Pl els vuccé lst rosnes
[vu.ˈkeə ust ˈros.nəz]
Future I Tense: jèstí “be ready”
1Sg viuc il jèstí
[ˈvjuk il ʒis.ˈtiː]
1Pl nos vucms ls jèstnes
[ˈvu.ˈkɪmz uz ˈʒɛs.nəz]
2Sg vucs il jèstí
[ˈvuks il ʒis.ˈtiː]
2Pl vos vucts ls jèstnes
[ˈvu.kɪts uz ˈʒɛs.nəz]
3Sg eu/ele vuc il jèstí
[ˈvuk il ʒis.ˈtiː]
3Pl els vuccé ls jèstnes
[vu.ˈkeə uz ˈʒɛs.nəz]

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the sole inflected finite form is the preterite. In the first and second persons, stative verbs follow the regular preterite paradigm. In the third person, the form used is always the strong stem + -s, for both singular and plural. Note, however, that the boundary behavior in the third person is more typical of adjectives than of verbs, such as how st+s collapses into çs in the third person in jeçs “he/she/it was ready”.

Preterite Tense: rosí “appear red, blush”
1Sg resís
1Pl nos resírims
2Sg resís
2Pl vos resírisç
3Sg eu/ele ross
3Pl els ross
Preterite Tense: jèstí “be ready”
1Sg jestís
1Pl nos jestírims
2Sg jestís
2Pl vos jestírisç
3Sg eu/ele jeçs
3Pl els jeçs

1) Note that while Conjugation III and IV verbs typically have infinitives in the full grade, vowelless stems always have infinitives in the reduced grade. Thus, the infinitive is ifchey “to cause”, not *efèccé.