Уӕ бон хорз
Today I will discuss the basic concepts around verbs, and how they are also used in other contexts within the language (Iron) in general. Today, I will be pulling information from two main sources, which will be listed below, the rest is from my composite-notes on several of the already established papers, which I will formally link on this site.
In Ossetian, verbs, that is words that express the concept of action, come in two main forms called stems. Ossetian uses a present stem and a past stem with subsequent secondary usage that fills other grammatical and semantic needs, such as the present stem being used in past tense examples to give a certain emphasis to the action being done at that moment. Other usage includes creating past, present (present-future tense in the subjunctive mood) and future tense participle forms, gerunds and the infinitive form. In the subjunctive mood the present-future tense indicates an action about to be executed, something imminent.
Present Tense - Indicative
The simplest usage of this stem is stated in it's title, this is used to create the present tense, the here and now of what you are doing, or, are. It can be as specific as right now, or more generally in your life. But the present stem is also used to create the future tense form, which is done by adding a suffix. The process of adding, potentially multiple suffixes to the end of verb/noun stems as the main method of deriving different meaning is called agglutination. This is an important note for language-learners because they will see these terms often as they continue along their language journeys. It is also important, in this case, because Ossetian also does use inflection, which is which is where one morpheme may represent multiple grammatical categories. While Ossetian can be quite technical at times just like any language, luckily it's rules are generally straightforward and it only requires a little bit of creative thinking to grasp the more obscure theory.
Now for the examples, my two main links are
and a printed-out form of a short paper written by M Job and R Schäfer, 2006.
Present Tense - Subjunctive and Imperative
1st Person - ин иккам
2nd Person - ис иккат
3rd Person - ид иккой
2nd Person - present stem is ут
used by itself.*
3rd Person - ӕд ӕнт
* Verb stems ending in '-ӕу' shorten to '-у'
Future Tense - Indicative
The future tense exists as a suffix within the present tense, created by adding the future tense suffix to the present tense stem. It is conjugated for 3 persons, singular & plural, the standard form is the indicative, with different forms for subjunctive and imperative moods. In the indicative mood and with one exception, the future tense begins with -дзы-.
Singular 1st and 2nd person add an -н.
Singular 3rd person uses дзӕн, and then these add ӕн/ӕ/ис respectively. The plural receives similar treatment, being a 'дз' + ыстӕм/ыстут/ысты; keep in mind that the only difference between these future tense forms and the past tense plural intransitive forms is that initial дз. Altogether it looks like this:
1st Person - дзынӕн дзыстӕм
2nd Person - дзынӕ дзыстут
3rd Person - дзӕнис дзысты
Future Tense - Subjunctive and Imperative
The subjunctive and imperative moods are distinct enough that they will generally be recognizable as separate from the indicative forms. The formula for how the tenses are conjugated is the same as the indicative, where the difference between forms may be as little as one letter. This is covered in more depth elsewhere, but remember that the subjunctive mood expresses things like desire, doubt, uncertainty, and the imperative is used for instruction/demand that something will happen.
1st Person - он ӕм
2nd Person - ай ат
3rd Person - а ой
The future imperative is the exact same as the present imperative, but with the addition of the suffix '-иу' after every conjugation.
As far as the 1st person is concerned in the imperative, an inducement to do something is expressed using the future subjunctive, which is almost exactly the same suffixes as the past transitive of the indicative.