tashelhit subject affixes
Verbs carry the person, number and gender information of their subject in the form of affixes. There are four inflectional forms of the verb, traditionally called aorist, preterite, negative preterite and intensive. The basic opposition is between the aorist, a non-past form which lacks further tense information, and the preterite which often conveys past tense. The intensive (usually called inaccomplit in French) encodes habitual and/or durative/continuative aspect. It is often preceded by a particle ar, for instance in ar ttsisn waman (lit. ar cook:3pm:INT water:EA) 'the water is cooking'[nb 8]. In texts, a sequence of aorist verb forms usually follows after the initial setting of tense by an imperfect or intensive verb form.
A relative form of the verb, usually called participle, is used in relative clauses. It looks like the preterite form of the verb, with affixes added for person and number: i-...-n for 3rd person singular (y-...-n with vowel-initial verbs), and -in for 3rd person plural. For example, the relative forms of ili 'to be' (with preterite form lli) are illan and llanin for singular and plural, respectively. A singular imperative consists of the bare form of the verb without any affixes (fssa! 'be silent, sg'); in the plural, the imperative distinguishes between masculine and feminine by means of the affixes -at and -amu, respectively.
Stative verbs, verbs expressing qualities, are characterized by initial i- in the aorist, e.g. imɣur 'be big (aorist)', imim 'be sweet (aorist)', ili 'be, exist (aorist)'. The aorist form of stative verbs usually has a subjunctive or counter-factual reading, whereas the preterite form (characterized by gemination of the consonant, e.g. lli/lla 'be (pret.)') generally is used to express a (current) state of affairs, e.g. llan islman ɣ isaffn (be:PRET:3pm fish:pm in river) 'there are fishes in the river'. Shilha has only few simple adjectives; the most common adjectival construction is the relative form of a stative verb, as in argaz imqquṛn (man PTC:sg:m-be.big-PTC:sg:m) 'big man'.
Derived verb forms exist: a causative s, medial m (or nasal), and passive tt... can be recognized, as in muddu 'travel' from ddu go' + medial, or smugr 'meet each other' from gr 'touch' + causative + medial. However, derivation is no longer productive, i.e. speakers no longer consciously produce causatives, medials, or passives by applying derivative morphology to verbs.
Most prepositions have a short and a long form. The long form is used with pronominal suffixes, and the short form is used in all other contexts, e.g. nniga-s 'on top of him/her', nnig- tgmmi 'on top of the house'. A common colocation is s-dar 'to' as in s-dar tgmmi 'to the house'. Most of the prepositions require the following noun to be in the état d'annexion; only ar 'until' and some prepositions of Arabic origins such as bɛd 'after' and qbl 'before' are exceptions to this rule. Examples: ddu tafukt 'under the sun (EA)', ɣ wayyur n šuttanbir 'in the month (EA) September', ifškan n tgmmi 'the things of the house (EA)', s wuzzal 'by means of the iron (EA)', but ar assf n ljaza 'until the Day (EL) of Judgment', qbl iḍ 'before the night (EL)'.
Shilha prepositions (v.d. Boogert 1997:284)
short form long form translation equivalent
d id- 'with, in the company of'
dar dar- 'at, by'
ddu ddaw-, ddawa- 'beneath, under'
f flla- 'on; because of'
gr gra- 'between'
ɣ gi-, gig- 'in'
i a- 'for, to'
n nn- 'of'
nnig nniga- 'on top of'
s is- 'with, by means of'
zɣ zgi-, zgig- 'from'
s sr- 'to'
ar — 'until'