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Cherokee Phoenix and Indians' Advocate
Wednesday, January 27, 1829
Vol. II, no. 41
Page 4, col. 2 & 3 and 4 & 5 (printed as double columns)

Cherokee Tenses.

Mr. Boudinott- I fulfil my promise by sending you the tenses of the Cherokee verb (Cherokee symbols) with an attempt at naming and defining them.

 For several of the forms I have to acknowledge my obligation to a friend, who is known to your readers by the signature of Ga-wo-hee-lo-skee.

 If it should be thought that the task of assigning names has been awkwardly performed, your literary readers will find an apology, it is hoped, in the number of the forms and the nice distinctions in their signification.  Further investigation and study may also lead to a change of many of the names.

 The arrangement, it will be seen, has respect, in part, to the order in which the forms are derived from each other.

Present Tense  (Cherokee symbols) I am tying
Habitual    "   I tie
Imperfect past  { "
    { "   I was tying
Imperfect future  "   I shall be tying
Immediate past   "   I have [just] tied
Indefinite past  "   I have tied
Habitual Past   "   I have [sometimes] tied
Definite past  { "
    { "   I tied
Future Perfect   "   I shall have tied
Simple Future   "   I shall or will tie
Habitual Future  "   I am sometimes expecting to tie
Past Future {  "
   {  "   I was expecting to tie
Double Future   "   I shall be expecting to tie
Present Approximate  "   I am nearly ready to tie, or shall soon tie
Habitual Approximate  "   I am [sometimes] nearly ready to tie
Past Approximate {  "
     {  "   I was nearly ready to tie
Future Approximate  "   I shall be nearly ready to tie
Immediate Approximate "   I am on the point of tying
Present Anterior  "   I am in the meantime tying
Habitual or Perfect Anterior "  I am [sometimes] tying in the meantime, or I had been tying
Imperfect Past Anterior { "
        { "   I was in the meantime tying
Imperfect Future Anterior (Cherokee Symbols) I shall by that time be tying
Immediate Past Anterior    "   I have just tied by the time
Indefinite Past Anterior  "   I have tied by the time
Habitual Past Anterior  "   I [sometimes] have tied by the time
Definite Past Anterior {  "
       {  "   I had by that time tied
Future Perfect Anterior  "   I shall by that time have tied
Simple Future Anterior  "   I shall in the meantime tie
Habitual Future Anterior  "   I am   [sometimes] just intending to tie
Past Future Anterior {   "
         {   "   I was in the meantime to tie
Double Future Anterior    "    I shall in the meantime be expecting to tie
Present Approximate Anterior "   I am in the meantime nearly ready to tie
Habitual Approximate Anterior "   I am            [sometimes] in the meantime nearly ready to tie
Past Approximate Anterior { "
      { "   I was by that time nearly ready to tie
Future Approximate Anterior  "   I shall by that time be nearly ready to tie
Immediate Approximate Anterior "   I am in the meantime just on the point of tying

 The Present Tense denotes that the action is now performing.
 The Habitual Tense denotes that the action is habitually or occasionally performed.
 The Imperfect Past Tense denotes that the action was performing at a past time spoken of or implied.
 The Imperfect Future Tense denotes that the action will be performing at a future time, or implies future action to be often repeated.
 The Immediate Past Tense denotes that, at the time of speaking, the action has just been performed.
 The Indefinite Past Tense signifies that the action has been performed, at some time not specified.
 The Definite Past Tense signifies that the action was performed at a certain past time spoken of.
 The Future Perfect Tense signifies that at some future time the action will have been accomplished.
 The Simple Future Tense denotes simply that the action will be performed, or expresses the intention that it shall be performed, or signifies that there is liberty to perform it.
 The Habitual Future Tense signifies that at some times the action is future; or that at some times there is an expectation of its performance.
 The Past Future Tense denotes that at some past time spoken of the action was future; or that, at a specified past time, there was an expectation of its performance.
 The Double Future Tense signifies that, at a future time spoken of, the action will still be Future.
 The Present Approximate Tense denotes that at the time of speaking the time for performing the action is near at hand.
 The Habitual Approximate Tense denotes that at sometimes or often the action is regarded as near at hand.
 The Past Approximate Tense signifies that, at a past time spoken of, the action was soon to be performed.
 The Future Approximate Tense denotes that at some future time the time for performing the action will be near at hand.
 The Immediate Approximate Tense denotes that the action is just on the point of being performed.
 When to any of these tenses the syllable (Cherokee symbol) or (Cherokee symbol) is prefixed, or the initial vowel syllable changed to a syllable beginning with the consonant sound of n, it indicates in general that some other action or event is spoken of, anterior to which the action had been or is to be performed, or up to which time the action was or has been or is to be continued.  It is difficult to explain these without placing the words in connection with others so as to complete the sentences.  Examples therefore will best illustrate their signification.

 Present Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I am tying as you come; i.s. coming just now, you find me tying.  It implies that the action, which has been sooner commenced, is continued up to the time denoted by the other verb.

 Habitual Anterior. (Cherokee symbols)  Every time you come I am tying.  The same form by varying the verb in connection expresses what is denominated the Perfect Past Anterior.  (Cherokee symbols) I had been tying when you came.
 Imperfect Past Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I was tying when he came; that is up to the time when he came.
 Imperfect Future Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I shall be tying by the time he comes.
 Immediate Past Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I have just got it tied as you have come.
 Indefinite Past Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I have tied it by the time you have come.
 Habitual Past Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) Whenever you come I have by that time tied [it].
 Definite Past Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I had tied by the time you came.
 Future Perfect Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I shall have tied by the time you come.
 Simple Future Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I shall tie before he will come.
 Habitual Future Anterior (Cherokee symbols) I am always intending to tie when he comes.
 Past Future Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) Until you came I was expecting to tie.
 Double Future Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) By the time you come I shall be expecting to tie.
 Present Approximate Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) He will soon come, but I am in the meantime nearly ready to tie.
 Habitual Approximate Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I am always nearly ready to tie by the time he comes.
 Past Approximate Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I was nearly ready to tie by the time he came.
 Future Approximate Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) I shall be nearly ready to tie by the time he will come.
 Immediate Approximate Anterior. (Cherokee symbols) There he comes, but I in the meantime am on the point of tying [it].

 In those instances where there are two forms of the same tense, the former denotes in the first person that the speaker was  conscious of the action, and in the other persons that the speaker was an eye-witness; the latter form denotes in the first person that the speaker was unconscious,as for instance in sleep,and in the other persons that the speaker was not an eye-witness.

 The tenses may not always be accurately defined,but I believe there is a tolerable approximation to correctness.  If any of your readers are students of the philosophy of language, I flatter myself that they will be interested in this specimen of the Cherokee, though it be clumsily executed.
         W.