The Optative mode

Optative mode expresses wishes or desires for something to happen or not to happen in the future.

The mode prefix (in YM position VII) for optative is -ó-, sometimes with a low tone. If no prefix precedes this one, a w will appear just before the , so it starts with wó-. Consider these examples:

’Ahwééh ła’ wshdlą́ą́’.
coffee some 3-1-drink.O
I wish I could drink some coffee.
’Ahwééh ła’ yishdlą́.
coffee some 3-1-drink
I’m drinking coffee.

The Imperfective in yishdlą́ becomes wshdlą́ą́’ in the Optative mode.

Here is an example of optative used to express the hope that something will not happen:


Tó dílchxoshí shits’ą́ą́’ wóódlą́ą́ lágo.
soda 1-from 3-1-drink.O don’t
I hope you don’t drink my soda.