*sighs*, I’ve been putting this one off a while…
When we think ‘grammar’ this is exactly what we think isn’t it, tenses and conjugations and subject agreement. It’s all dry and boring, but so very essential to functional language. For native speakers of a language, it’s not something we ever really think about — when's the last time you stopped to think if it's right to say “I is tire” or “I am tired”? I think it’s that natural instinct for the grammar of your native language that first surprised me in constructing Neradsof, to have to consider the way in which tenses function. Of course, I was also in high school when I first started looked at it… studying linguistics later on really helped me better design all this.
SO, enough of that, let’s get this rolling. We’ll start with Neradsof Tense: tense is the set of forms taken by a verb to indicate when the action takes place in relation to the time the verb is written or spoken. There are four things to know about Neradsof Tenses:
Neradsof has three tenses: present, past, and future — for actions occurring now, before, and after
Tense is marked with a tense suffix attached by a morpheme boundary punctuation mark (except for the present tense, since Neradsof verbs naturally occur in the present tense). The past tense suffix is ‘d and the future tense suffix is shai
Verb tenses are exclusive, that is, only one tense suffix may occur at a time. So follows, if a verb is in the present tense, there will be no tense suffix marker
Every verb must carry tense, not just the first verb as we do in English
An example? Why yes, yes I can; we’ll use a skeleton translation for simplicity’s sake. (Skeleton translations are essentially direct translations, with morpheme boundary punctuation marked by a hyphen.)
English: He will always love his wife.
Neradsof Skeleton: him(NOM) always-love-FUT him(POSS)-wife.
I have the verb bold-ed for your convenience. The future tense marker (FUT) is attached behind the verb love in this case. It’s rather straightforward really. Don't worry about the other markers, NOM and POSS, we’ll talk about those with pronouns. Notice that the auxiliary verb ‘will’ does not appear in the Neradsof translation; this is because the future tense definition of ‘will’ is encoded in the future tense suffix.
Now, on the subject of Neradsof Aspect: aspect expresses how the action of the verb occurs over time, that is, if the action is complete, or if it is continuing. That is to say, for example, in the sentences “I had been making cookies” and “I poured milk to have with my cookies”, both the making and the pouring occurred in the past, ergo are in the past tense, however, the cookies were in the process of being made, while the pouring of milk is already done. Neradsof uses the same four aspects as English:
Progressive aspect indicates verbs that are continuing; it is marked by the suffix ihl
Perfect aspect indicates a verb that is complete; it is marked by the suffix ir
Simple tenses have no aspect (simple aspect) and so are not marked
Perfect progressive aspect is used when the verb is continuing, however, has aspects of a completed verb (that's confusing, it's like “I had been pouring my milk when the over timer went off”)
Unlike English, however, Neradsof aspect is not marked by auxiliaries, but by suffixes as well. Similar to verb tense suffixes, aspect suffixes are attached after the tense suffix, though, multiple aspect suffixes may be used simultaneously. This is due to the fact that the perfect progressive aspect is generated by using both the perfect and progressive aspect suffix in succession.
More examples?! Sure, sure why not. How about from ‘Letters to Cody’ this time:
In this sentence, the word in black is the verb, in blue is the past tense marker, in red is the aspect marker (and the little dull-pink thing that looks like an apostrophe is the morpheme boundary punctuation, but we won't worry about that for now). The verb read ‘harol’ means to interest oneself with, or to concern oneself with. Coupled with the past tense marker ‘ 'd’ and the progressive marker ‘ihl’, the verb construct essentially translates to ‘has concerned oneself with’. Note that an additional morpheme boundary punctuation is not needed between the verb and aspect suffixes, these are simply stacked back to back.
And that’s the absolute basics of Neradsof grammar so far as verb systems is concerned.