Of these ha (4), ra (5), habi (10), habihe (11), habici (12), and nggala (18) are subjected to the laws of vowel harmony.
Taking in order the parts of the paradigm arambi to write I will now explain each form.
- The stem is ara which at the same time seves as the Imperative: ara write!
- By adding mbi we obtain the Present Tense: ara--mbi I write (there being no distinction of persons, this stans for I, thou, he, we, you, they write).
- Me added to the stem makes the Infinitve: ara--me to write; this form is also an Indefinite Gerund: writing
- The affix ha forms the preterite: ara--ha I wrote. It is also a past participle: written, having written.
- The affix ra forms the Future: ara--ra I shall write; it is also a participle: writing, going to write.
- Ci makes a Conditional Tense: ara--ci I should write, if I wrote, should I write, sometimes to be translated by the present tense implying a doubt.
- Ki forms a Subjunctive of the present: ara--ki may he write.
- Fi forms a past Gerund: ara--fi having written, after having written.
The above eight are the fundamental forms; the 15 orthers are formed by adding affixes to them, Those which are added to the stem are:--
- Mbihe forming an Imperfect Tense: ara--mbihe I was writing.
- Habi forming an Indefinite Past: ara--habi I have written.
- Habihe forming a Pluperfetc: ara--habihe I had written.
- Habici forming a Past Conditional Tense: ara--habici if I had written.
- Cibe forming an Adversative: ara--cibe although I may write, even if I write.
- Cina forming a Concessive: ara--cina may he write if he likes, may he write what he likes. An old fomr cun (ara--cun) is found in a translation of the Shiking (Book of Odes).
- Kini forming an Optative: ara--kini would that he wrote! Cina and kini are also used in an imperative or passive sense.
- Mbime forming a Gerund: ara--mbime whilst writing.
- Mbifi forming a Gerund: ara--mbifi having written.
- Nggala denotes that at thing has not yet been done: ara--nggala before I wrote, before writing.
- Mbumbi formin the Passive or Causative Mood: ara--mbumbi is written, causes to write. This then becomes a new verb, which as an independent stem (arambu) takes all the other affixes.
- Mbubumbi forming a Causative of the Passive: ara-mbubumbi causes to be written.
The following affixes are added to the forms in ha (4) and ra (5) :--
- Ngge forming Verbal Nouns and Adjectives: ara--ha--ngge, ara--ra--ngge that which is written, the writing; that which he has written; he is writing; he who is writing.
- Le adds an indefinite meaning: ara--ha--le, ara--ra--le whoever writes, whatever is written. This affix is originally ele (whoever) and the Chinese-Manchu Grammar Tsing Wen Ki Mung (vol. II, fol. 32 b) is wrong in giving two forms le and la, subjecting them to the law of harmony. This form also takes the affix ngge: ara--ha--le--ngge, ara--ra--le--ngge--whosoever is writing.
- lame (leme) added to the future in ra (5) renders the meaning adverbial: ara--ra--lame in the manner of writing.