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In linguistics, a desiderative (abbreviated DESI or DES) form is one that has the meaning of "wanting to X". Desiderative forms are often verbs, derived from a more basic verb through a process of morphological derivation.

Sanskrit[edit]

In Sanskrit, the desiderative is formed through the suffixing of /sa/ and the prefixing of a reduplicative syllable,[1] consisting of the first consonant of the root (sometimes modified) and a vowel, usually /i/ but /u/ if the root has an /u/ in it. Changes to the root vowel sometimes happen, as well.

For example:

Base Form Meaning Desiderative Meaning
nayati "he leads" nínīṣati "he wants to lead"
pibāti "he drinks" pípāsati "he wants to drink"
jīvati "he lives" jíjīviṣati "he wants to live"

Meadow Mari[edit]

In Meadow Mari, the desiderative mood is marked by the suffix -не -ne.

Positive present[edit]

Conjugation of the present desiderative positive
Person 1st Dec. pos. 2nd Dec. pos.
1st Singular лекнем2 (I want to go) мондынем (I want to forget)
2nd Singular лекнет2 (You want to go) мондынет (You want to forget)
3rd Singular лекнеже2 (He/she/it wants to go) мондынеже (He/she/it wants to forget)
1st Plural лекнена2 (We want to go) мондынена (We want to forget)
2nd Plural лекнеда2 (You want to go) мондынеда (You want to forget)
3rd Plural лекнешт2 (They want to go) мондынешт (They want to forget)

Negative present[edit]

Conjugation of the present desiderative negative
Person 1st Dec. neg. 2nd Dec. neg.
1st Singular ынем лек2 (I don't want to go) ынем мондо1 (I don't want to forget)
2nd Singular ынет лек2 (You don't want to go) ынет мондо1 (You don't want to forget)
3rd Singular ынеже лек2 (He/she/it doesn't want to go) ынеже мондо1 (He/she/it doesn't want to forget)
1st Plural ынена лек2 (We don't want to go) ынена мондо1 (We don't want to forget)
2nd Plural ынеда лек2 (You don't want to go) ынеда мондо1 (You don't want to forget)
3rd Plural ынешт лек2 (They don't want to go) ынешт мондо1 (They don't want to forget)

Japanese[edit]

In Japanese, the desiderative takes two main forms: -tai (-たい) and -tagaru (-たがる). Both forms conjugate for tense and positivity, but in different ways: with the -tai ending, the verb becomes an -i adjective, or a conjugable adjective, while the ending -tagaru creates a godan/yodan verb. Though there are other, compound forms to demonstrate wanting, these two alone are demonstrated because they are inflections of the main verb. These two forms are plain/informal in nature, and can be elevated to the normal-polite and other levels through normal methods.

-tai is an absolute statement of desire, whereas -tagaru indicates the appearance of desire. Generally, one does not say things such as 太郎さんが食べたい Tarō wants to eat because one cannot read Tarō's thoughts; instead, one says 太郎さんが食べたがる it appears that Tarō wants to eat.

Godan Verbs[edit]

Tense/Aspect -たい

-tai

-たがる

-tagaru

Meaning
Non-past Positive 書きたい

kakitai

書きたがる

kakitagaru

want(s) to write
Non-past Negative 書きたくない

kakitakunai

書きたがらない

kakitagaranai

don't/doesn't want to write
Past Positive 書きたかった

kakitakatta

書きたがった

kakitagatta

wanted to write
Past Negative 書きたくなかった

kakitakunakatta

書きたがらなかった

kakitagaranakatta

didn't want to write

Ichidan Verbs[edit]

Tense/Aspect -

-tai

-

-tagaru

Meaning
Non-past Positive 食べたい

tabetai

食べたがる

tabetagaru

wants to eat
Non-past Negative 食べたくない

tabetakunai

食べたがらない

tabetagaranai

don't/doesn't want to eat
Past Positive 食べたかった

tabetakatta

食べたがった

tabetagatta

wanted to eat
Past Negative 食べたくなかった

tabetakunakatta

食べたがらなかった

tabetagaranakatta

didn't want to eat

Proto-Indo-European[edit]

Proto-Indo-European likely had a desiderative. In some daughter languages like Indo-Iranian, Balto-Slavic and possibly Celtic, it acquired the meaning of a future tense.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fortson IV, Benjamin W. (2004), Indo-European Language and Culture, Blackwell Publishing, p. 91, ISBN 1-4051-0316-7 

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