From Hilichurlian Wiktionary
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Etymology 1

Very unclear.

  • Possibly from Old Chinese 象 (*s-[d]aŋʔ, "to resemble, to be like"), however this has also been reconstructed as *ljaŋʔ.
  • Possibly from Modern Chinese 像,象 (xiàng, "to resemble, to be like"), however this does not explain the appearance of the intermedial -t- phoneme.
  • Possibly from Latin sīcut ("as, just as, like"), however the phonology of the vowels does not match up well.
  • Possibly purely constructed from no preexisting roots.


shato (transitive)

  1. to be like; to be similar to; to resemble; to seem like; to be as; to be alike to
    Sada shato lata // Kuzi unu ya zido
    Hard as ice // The mighty Unu goes to the human


Conjugation of shato (transitive)
Realis Irrealis
Declarative Negative Immediate Emphatic Emphatic negative Imperative Optative Desiderative Jussive Interrogative
First person (singular) mi shato mi shato nye eleka mi shato mi shato mita mi shato mita nye - - mi muhe shato - mi shato dala
First person (plural) mimi shato mimi shato nye eleka mimi shato mimi shato mita mimi shato mita nye - - mimi muhe shato - mimi shato dala
Second person (singular) yo shato yo shato nye eleka yo shato yo shato mita yo shato mita nye shato yo shato yo muhe shato - ye shato dala*
Second person (plural) yoyo shato yoyo shato nye eleka yoyo shato yoyo shato mita yoyo shato mita nye shato yoyo shato yoyo muhe shato - yeye shato dala*
Third person shato shato nye eleka shato shato mita shato mita nye - shato muhe shato shato shato dala
  • *Absolutive pronouns ye/yeye must be used in interrogative mood.

Usage notes

This verb may be a copula. The ancient Proto-Japonic (Japanese) copula, () (*-nu), and the Old Korean copula, (다〮) (*-ta), were also verbs that meant "to be like", "to resemble", "to be as", "to be similar to", etc.

The Japanese copula evolved from the 終止形 (shuushikei, "terminal form") () (*-nu) to its 連用形 (renyoukei, "conjunctive form") () (*-ni) attached to 在り (ari, "to exist, to have"), becoming ()()り (ni ari), which contracted into なり (nari, the Classical Japanese copula). Insertion of the 連用形 (renyoukei, "conjunctive form") of the classical perfective auxiliary つ (tsu) created にてあり (ni te ari), which contracted through prenasalization of obstruent /d/ in Middle Japanese to であり (de ari), finally contracting into the modern Japanese copula だ (da). The original word () (nu) had then evolved into ()る (niru), retaining its original meaning of "to be like", "to resemble" without copular function. After the Proto-Japonic era, () (*-nu) and some other verbs evolved from their original 上二段活用 (kami nidan katsuyou, "upper bigrade conjugation") conjugation pattern into the 上一段活用 (kami ichidan katsuyou, "upper monograde conjugation") Old/Classical Japanese defective paradigm, losing the -u base in the 終止形 (terminal), 連体形 (attributive), and 已然形 (realis) stem forms and settling into -i, thereby netting the ()る (niru) terminal form.

The Korean copula evolved from Old Korean (다〮) (*-ta), the etymological root to the Middle Korean verbs 답다 (ta-p-ta, “to be like”) and 닿다 (ta-h-ta, “to be like”), which had evolved into the declarative copular suffix 다〮 (), which evolved through regular phonological changes into the Modern Korean copula 다 (da). It is unrelated to the Japanese copula だ (da), pronounced the same way.

This being said, there is not exactly enough evidence to prove that shato has copular function, and there is certainly enough evidence to prove that Hilichurlian generally does not require a copula when declaring that something is another; generally the form A B is used to denote A is B.