Languages

Guaraní

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Introduction

Guaraní is an indigenous language of South America that belongs to the Tupí-Guaraní subfamily of the Tupian languages. It is one of the official languages of Paraguay (along with Spanish), where it is spoken by 88% of the population.

Guaraní is also spoken by indigenous communities in neighbouring countries, including parts of northern Argentina, eastern Bolivia and southwestern Brazil. It is also treated as a second official language of the Argentine provinces of Corrientes and Misiones.

The verb

Guaraní stems can be divided into a number of conjugation classes, which are called

  • areal
  • aire(i)al
  • chend(e)al

The names for these classes stem from the names of the prefixes for 1st and 2nd person singular.

person areal aireal chendal
person walk use be big
sg.1 a-guata ai-poru che-tuicha
sg.2 re-guata rei-poru nde-tuicha

Sample verb: guari

  • Areal verb 

Present

sg.1  aguari
sg.2  reguari 
sg.3  oguari
pl.1 inclusive  jaguari
pl.1 exclusive  roguari
pl.2  peguari
pl.3  oguari

Conjugate other Areal verbs

Click verbs to conjugate them in the table above!
karu, guahu, guari, hai, hendu, hesape'a, hovasa, hundi, huvaiti, jaho'i, jeguaru, jehekýi, jehu, jekojoja, jepytaso, jerure, jo'a, joja, jopy, jupi, ka'api, ke, ko'i, korói

Tense and aspect

  • -kuri: marks proximity of the action. Ha'ukuri, "I just ate" (ha'u irregular first person singular form of u, "to eat"). It can also be used after a pronoun, ha che kuri, che po'a, "and about what happened to me, I was lucky"
  • -va'ekue: indicates a fact that occurred long ago and asserts that it's really truth. Okañyva'ekue, "he/she went missing a long time ago"
  • -ra'e: tells that the speaker was doubtful before but he's sure at the moment he speaks. Nde rejoguara'e peteĩ ta'angambyry pyahu, "so then you bought a new television after all"
  • -raka'e: expresses the uncertainty of a perfect-aspect fact. Peẽ peikoraka'e Asunción-pe, "I think you lived in Asunción for a while". Nevertheless nowadays this morpheme has lost some of its meaning, having a correspondence with ra'e and va'ekue

The verb form without suffixes at all is a present somewhat aorist: Upe ára resẽ reho mombyry, "that day you got out and you went far"

  • -ta: is a future of immediate happening, it's also used as authoritarian imperative. Oujeýta ag̃aite, "he/she'll come back soon".
  • -ma: has the meaning of "already". Ajapóma, "I already did it".

These two suffixes can be added together: ahátama, "I'm already going"

  • -va'erã: indicates something not imminent or something that must be done for social or moral reasons, in this case corresponds to the German modal verb sollen. Péa ojejapova'erã, "that must be done"
  • -ne: indicates something that probably will happen or something the speaker imagines that is happening. It correlates in certain way with the subjunctive of Spanish. Mitãnguéra ág̃a og̃uahéne hógape, "the children are probably coming home now"
  • -hína, ína after nasal words: continual action at the moment of speaking, present and pluperfect continuous or emphatic. Rojatapyhína, "we're making fire"; che ha'ehína, "it's ME!"
  • -vo: it has a subtle difference with hína in which vo indicates not necessarily what's being done at the moment of speaking. amba'apóvo, "I'm working (not necessarily now)"
  • -pota: indicates proximity immediately before the start of the process. Ajukapota, "I'm near the edge in which I will start to kill". (A particular sandhi rule is applied here: if the verbs ends in "po", the suffix changes to mbota; ajapombota, "I'll do it right now")
  • -pa: indicates emphatically that a process has all finished. Amboparapa pe ogyke, "I painted the wall completely"

This suffix can be joined with ma, making up páma: ñande jaikuaapáma nde remimo'ã, "now we became to know all your thought". These are unstressed suffixes: ta, ma, ne, vo; so the stress goes upon the last syllable of the verb.

Categories: Tupi? | Language | Dynamic

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